• Vi-PEC V88 plug & play E46 M3 MS54 standalone ECU available through Apex Speed Tech

      Apex Speed Tech has announced a plug and play S54 ECU kit utilizing the Vi-PEC V88 is available for $3400. This includes a complete plug and play harness. The ECU has dual map capability which means pump and race tunes at the flip of a switch. It also supports the E46 traction control. Apex Speed Tech is claiming they have used this ECU successfully in everything from road racing to 1200 whp twin turbo setups. We haven't seen these twin turbo setups personally or any details of to support that claim but this plug and play ECU should open up the S54 to some interesting custom setups as well as a variety of swaps.



      This article was originally published in forum thread: Vi-PEC V88 plug & play E46 M3 MS54 standalone ECU available through Apex Speed Tech started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 112 Comments
      1. daytonaM3's Avatar
        daytonaM3 -
        Hello Neel.
        Did you tune Mert Dastan(Turkey) his twin turbo setup or not?
        i ask this because he denied it and said he did it by himself alone , so please explain this.

        I dont want to start a drama but the thruth has to be told because he lies all the time!
      1. GTR-Dad's Avatar
        GTR-Dad -
        I can vouch for the effectiveness and reliability of the ViPEC in a moderate port injected twin turbo application. I've been running one for 3 seasons on my RB26 making between 375 and 525 whp depending on which season, and it's never skipped a beat.
        This is a feature rich ECU that be configured to do a ton of stuff to keep your engine safe while you're going hard. The best go fast features for drag racers are launch control / traction control and flat shifting. I rarely use these, but love the following:
        - ability to do individual cylinder knock control,
        - EGT-based fuel trimming,
        - closed loop fuel control over whatever operating range you like, (and yes, fuel autotuning that actually works)
        - soft and hard limiters to avoid bad situations (rev limiter, low oil pressure, over boost etc.)
        - great data logging capabilities.
        Flexiblity in tuning strategy is probably beyond the capacity of most 'users' to fully appreciate (and I include myself in this category) but a skilled tuner has many options for mapping and trimming fuel and timing.

        Quesiton for Neel, I'm curious about what makes a DI engine more difficult to tune than a port injected one.
        I can imagine that timing the injection event becomes almost as critical as ignition timing, but there must be some rules of thumb for how much time the fuel needs to mix in the cylinder before ignition....
        The consequence of errors is also high, but that's part of the territory. Click here to enlarge
        I recall that OE injection events, particularly at low rev/low power are made up of two or even three pulses of fuel, which would prbly be pretty challenging too.
        Are these perceived challenges real? Are there others?

        Thx for bringing some experience and tuning value to the table!

        Dan
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Hello Neel.
        Did you tune Mert Dastan(Turkey) his twin turbo setup or not?
        i ask this because he denied it and said he did it by himself alone , so please explain this.

        I dont want to start a drama but the thruth has to be told because he lies all the time!
        That's a precedent I can't set, I'm sorry. Its up to the customer to identify themselves unless they've given us express permission to use their name. Think of it this way - I have competing customers in 4 pro race series right now. You have no idea the headaches being a supplier to motorsports can cause. Its all about avoiding the drama!
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Flexiblity in tuning strategy is probably beyond the capacity of most 'users' to fully appreciate (and I include myself in this category) but a skilled tuner has many options for mapping and trimming fuel and timing.
        We sell our systems with startup maps, but more importantly maintain a strong forum, phone, email and on-site technical support program to educate our customers. In fact, I'm going to VIR this weekend to work on some customer cars if anyone is there. We even sell laptops pre-configured with software, maps and remote connection software so that our customers know they have tools that work from the beginning.

        Quesiton for Neel, I'm curious about what makes a DI engine more difficult to tune than a port injected one.
        I can imagine that timing the injection event becomes almost as critical as ignition timing, but there must be some rules of thumb for how much time the fuel needs to mix in the cylinder before ignition....
        The consequence of errors is also high, but that's part of the territory. Click here to enlarge
        I recall that OE injection events, particularly at low rev/low power are made up of two or even three pulses of fuel, which would prbly be pretty challenging too.
        Are these perceived challenges real? Are there others?
        If I left the impression that DI systems are hard to tune, that was not my intent. If anything, once setup DI systems are EASY to tune. Heck, you just work that variable pressure pump like a diesel and you're good to know. Piece of cake!

        The issue is not the tuning, its the setup. The installation side takes a ton of engineering and simulation work, and setting up the software initially means you have to know a lot of about the characteristics of the system, which requires a lot of either OEM knowledge or reverse engineering. To setup that Mazda so it was running on the dyno probably took 2 months. To tune it took 3 days.

        -Neel
      1. TaZaM3's Avatar
        TaZaM3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by daytonaM3 Click here to enlarge
        Hello Neel.
        Did you tune Mert Dastan(Turkey) his twin turbo setup or not?
        i ask this because he denied it and said he did it by himself alone , so please explain this.

        I dont want to start a drama but the thruth has to be told because he lies all the time!
        This! +1
        Mert posted about his tune (I cut out the other unrelated bantering in it):
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MertDastan Click here to enlarge
        "On the BF you are telling that I cannot tune my car and I hire a top level tuner.
        this is true, that TOP LEVEL tuner is MERT DASTAN, from Istanbul.

        Cameron, it is very hard and heartbreaking for you to accept my 60-130 record. Sorry to have set it.

        I tune my own M3s and M5. Nobody else touches my software. Got 2 M3s and 1 M5 on which I do work each day.

        Ask the tuner, who was supposed to tune my M3. Email him to reveal the truth. Inspector Cameron, you can do it boy.

        Your brain capacity, in other words IQ seems to be very low. This M3 requires to work every SINGLE DAY throughout 365 days a year. Each and every day we work on this E46 M3. (also on my E36 Euro M3, not to make you envy, also on my M5).
        So, flying a tuner from Europe, or USA to Turkey 365 days is not possible, nor would a tuner accept.

        Must be hard for you but I do tune each and every phase / part of my M3s.
      1. GTR-Dad's Avatar
        GTR-Dad -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        The issue is not the tuning, its the setup. The installation side takes a ton of engineering and simulation work, and setting up the software initially means you have to know a lot of about the characteristics of the system, which requires a lot of either OEM knowledge or reverse engineering. To setup that Mazda so it was running on the dyno probably took 2 months. To tune it took 3 days.

        -Neel
        Good to hear! Do you know if your learning on the Mazda will translate to other engines like, say, the N54?
        d
      1. TaZaM3's Avatar
        TaZaM3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        That's a precedent I can't set, I'm sorry. Its up to the customer to identify themselves unless they've given us express permission to use their name. Think of it this way - I have competing customers in 4 pro race series right now. You have no idea the headaches being a supplier to motorsports can cause. Its all about avoiding the drama!
        Well someone is definitely lying here. I dont know you personally but I know Mert has spun some webs before. There is no other Turkish tiwn turbo S54, i dont even think there is any other twin turbo S54 at all. Mert has claimed 1200hp with no dyno sheets, and you mentioned 1200hp as well. So it definitely seems like you are talking about Mert's car. But Mert claims nobody has ever tuned or touched his car other then himself.

        Apex has done some of the most powerful S54's in the world including twin-turbo setups making over 1200hp at the wheels!
        Its a Turkish customer who's really cagy about his stuff. No, he won't let me post dyno charts so people just have to take me on my word! Trust me though, I've flown there, tuned it and suffered through many of his blown engines. But when he does get it to stay together, at 40psi of boost it really does make the power.
        Our Turkish customer insists on remaining anonymous. I spent a week there tuning and working on his dyno; the car has a Cosworth/Pectel SQ-6 ECU and that's all I can say. I more than anyone wish I could use that in our promotional efforts but that's how it goes.
        That above is pretty solid proof that its Mert's car. Yet Mert is adamant on telling everyone nobody has ever touched his car except himself.
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Good to hear! Do you know if your learning on the Mazda will translate to other engines like, say, the N54?
        Absolutely. Just looking for someone to fund it!

        As far as everything else, I would like some of you to put yourself in our position. We attract a lot of specialized clients, a lot of competitive clients, and a lot of businesses whose intellectual property are closely tied to our work. The only thing I can confirm is if someone who we work for has given us express permission to speak about the work we've done in public. I cannot and will not risk the reputation of our company or the livelyhood of our 8 (soon to be 10) employees in order to confirm or deny something that is none of my business. So please stop asking.

        Thank you,

        Neel
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TaZaM3 Click here to enlarge
        But Mert claims nobody has ever tuned or touched his car other then himself.
        I think Mert has no credibility at this point. Would it really be above him to take credit for the work of someone else?

        Neel told you he isn't going to violate customer privacy, that is that.
      1. azjimi's Avatar
        azjimi -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge

        It is generally my policy not to post charts. Those are the sole property of my customers and it is up to them to share their information. Either way, I don't find dyno charts particularly instructive in evaluating an electronics package. First off, they only tell you how the motor performs at max power in a very idealized setting. Second, the variability between dynos is so great that its hard to compare apples to apples. Third, the talent of a tuner is to make a motor useable across a wide range of conditions - including startup, partial load, transient operation and variable atmospheric conditions. At Barber Motorsports Park this weekend, a 150ish HP Buell was racing very competitively against 190+ hp Suzukis. Clearly in this case, peak power did not define the overall performance of these racing vehicles.

        -Neel
        1st of all I am totally in awe of both your knowledge and your ability to express yourself. However a 150 hp Buell being competitive w/a 190 hp Suzuki does not necessarily support the point you were trying to make UNLESS the riders involved were of equal ability (& of course they rarely are). I spent a lot of time on roadcourses on a sportbike & got my butt routinely kicked by people on vastly inferior bikes but with overwhelmingly superior riding skills. I mean you are right that, "peak power did not define the overall performance of these racing vehicles", you just left out the fact that the rider is the biggest factor w/chassis set-up right behind it. To suggest that a Buell is even close to comparable to a GSXR 1000 (all other things equal) on a roadcourse is...well, laughable.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by azjimi Click here to enlarge
        1st of all I am totally in awe of both your knowledge and your ability to express yourself. However a 150 hp Buell being competitive w/a 190 hp Suzuki does not necessarily support the point you were trying to make UNLESS the riders involved were of equal ability (& of course they rarely are). I spent a lot of time on roadcourses on a sportbike & got my butt routinely kicked by people on vastly inferior bikes but with overwhelmingly superior riding skills. I mean you are right that, "peak power did not define the overall performance of these racing vehicles", you just left out the fact that the rider is the biggest factor w/chassis set-up right behind it. To suggest that a Buell is even close to comparable to a GSXR 1000 (all other things equal) on a roadcourse is...well, laughable.
        True, of course, driver skill is important, but I think his point had more to do with the power curve that was tuned for real world application rather than just peak power on the dyno.
      1. black bnr32's Avatar
        black bnr32 -
        I'm surprised the FI S54 guys aren't eating this up
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by black bnr32 Click here to enlarge
        I'm surprised the FI S54 guys aren't eating this up
        Most of them are all going the HPF route, this is more of a custom solution.
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        1st of all I am totally in awe of both your knowledge and your ability to express yourself. However a 150 hp Buell being competitive w/a 190 hp Suzuki does not necessarily support the point you were trying to make UNLESS the riders involved were of equal ability (& of course they rarely are). I spent a lot of time on roadcourses on a sportbike & got my butt routinely kicked by people on vastly inferior bikes but with overwhelmingly superior riding skills. I mean you are right that, "peak power did not define the overall performance of these racing vehicles", you just left out the fact that the rider is the biggest factor w/chassis set-up right behind it. To suggest that a Buell is even close to comparable to a GSXR 1000 (all other things equal) on a roadcourse is...well, laughable.
        Perhaps I should give you a bit of background on why I made the claim that I did.

        I have been an engineer in the AMA Superbike paddock for over 5 years now. I have worked with Rockwall, Erion and the Honda Factory, now I am the electronics engineer for Michael Jordan Motorsports. In my career I have handled engine tuning for Jake Zemke, Aaron Yates, Geoff May, Aaron Gobert and a variety of other riders. My current engineering staff probably has more combined AMA wins and championships than anyone in the paddock. I have worked extensively with both Geoff May (Buell) and Jake Zemke (Suzuki) ; I can say with confidence my example was relevant and the comparison is not laughable at this level.

        So from my perspective, the Buell and the Suzuki are actually quite competitive on certain tracks; I am confident that results would have been quite similar if any of the top 5 riders were on that machine. Does that mean chassis and rider wasn't some of it? Of course not. But those factors alone, in this case, do not make up for the 25%+ power difference. Without going into a lot of detail in my example, I was saying that the power characteristics of the two motors was more significant than the peak power numbers, even when taking into account chassis & riders.

        Back on topic though, I find dyno charts unreliable in evaluating an engine management system. If there is a significant difference between two systems, the one making lower power has serious installation or setup issues and should not even be considered.

        -Neel
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Most of them are all going the HPF route, this is more of a custom solution.
        What's more, most people should be going to HPF route (AEM FIC piggyback.) For street cars running stock ECUs, this is the way to go.

        But for engine swaps and race cars, where stock dash compatibility is not an issue but the ability to have a lot of tuning flexibility is, this (the stanalone) route is far better.

        I've been really impressed with the response. We've had a lot of interest and I've met some really excellent people that we're excited to be building systems for!

        -Neel
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        But for engine swaps and race cars, where stock dash compatibility is not an issue but the ability to have a lot of tuning flexibility is, this (the stanalone) route is far better.
        Exactly, people need to understand this isn't a street car "kit" approach, this is for serious racing.

        That is not to say it could not be adopted for street use, but the HPF route is already tried and true.
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        That is not to say it could not be adopted for street use, but the HPF route is already tried and true.
        Exactly. And let me point out that 4 of the S54 kits I've done replaced HPF kits that lacked necessary features such as anti-lag, knock control adjustment, motorsports-level traction control, closed-loop boost control and multi-fuel map capability. I know the HPF kit very well; also the defect rate of the AEM FIC that has been used by them is well documented. I am an AEM dealer and they have some excellent products. We built a conceptually similar kit to the HPF S54 kit for Suzuki Hayabusas; it was discontinued after we had several mechanical failures with the AEM circuit boards and connector interfaces. I know they have changed these and they've been improved.

        I'd liken the difference to a bookshelf audio system versus an individual component system. Not that the former can't sound good, but there's a point where you need flexibility and control that its can't provide. The kits we provide allow people to have completely standalone "blank slate" injection systems with the benefits of being free of the stock ECU constraints.

        Regards,

        Neel
      1. The__J__Factor's Avatar
        The__J__Factor -
        Hi found this forum yesterday and it has a ton of good info!

        I own a Z4 M - which comes with the s54. While there are heaps of s/c kits and turbo kits for the M3 there is nothing but 1 s/c kit for the Z4 because of the ECU we have. Its a different ecu to the m3 and is very similar to the m5 and new m3 ecu.

        Im not sure if the wiring harness is the same for the e46 m3 and Z4 m - if it is this ecu might be the first step towards a turbo Z4 M. Using the HPF manifold and custom pipe work it would be a great project.

        Also not sure if the AEM or similar set up would work with our DME. I cant find much info on any M5s or e9x M3s running a similar set up. Any insight would be great.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The__J__Factor Click here to enlarge
        Hi found this forum yesterday and it has a ton of good info!

        I own a Z4 M - which comes with the s54. While there are heaps of s/c kits and turbo kits for the M3 there is nothing but 1 s/c kit for the Z4 because of the ECU we have. Its a different ecu to the m3 and is very similar to the m5 and new m3 ecu.

        Im not sure if the wiring harness is the same for the e46 m3 and Z4 m - if it is this ecu might be the first step towards a turbo Z4 M. Using the HPF manifold and custom pipe work it would be a great project.

        Also not sure if the AEM or similar set up would work with our DME. I cant find much info on any M5s or e9x M3s running a similar set up. Any insight would be great.
        These are excellent questions and I have heard many guys with the Z4 M expressing concerns over the ECU. I think Neel would be more than qualified to handle to this as I am not familiar with the ECU in the Z4 M.
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Also not sure if the AEM or similar set up would work with our DME. I cant find much info on any M5s or e9x M3s running a similar set up. Any insight would be great.
        The AEM FIC might work, but the setup can be pretty tricky. The unit basically fools the engine into thinking everything is okay while adding fuel and retarding timing on boost. The problem is these ECUs often have torque calculations and will shut the fly by wire throttle if it sees an overtorque error. So you have to first find someone to reflash the stock ECU to prevent that from happening. Also, the lambda spoofing the AEM FIC offers doesn't work with the Bosch sensors in the Z3 (or at least didn't about 2 years ago) so you'll likely get errors. Again, you need to find someone to disable this in the stock ECU. There are people out there but the problem is you can't be 100% sure it will work until you try; so its possible to be stuck with a big bill and no results.