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    • 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. THATDONFC's Avatar
        THATDONFC -
        Is the mss54 ecu still used when this standalone is hooked up, or is it removed entirely?

        I know when there is a communication error with the ecu on the e46 m3 the eml light will light up and the rpm lights as well.
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        I understand the check engine light but why the EML and rev limit lights? Also if the EML light (throttle is supposed to become restricted) is on how are you guys bypassing that?
        We're not bypassing any of it. The EML lights, Rev Lights and if BMW had a "please don't do this at home" light that would be on too. Actually, this has gone a bit off topic.

        Technically, with our "plug & play" kit, the dash won't work at all. We don't interface with the stock car CAN. Our $3400 plug & play kit is for race cars or swaps where the user will figure out their own dash solution. The kit has an tach and check engine output. You can buy an optional cable to interface it with popular racing dashes from RacePak, AIM, MOTEC and more.

        If you WANT, you can install it as a piggyback, which means keeping the stock ECU in place to placate the CAN bus. But the stock ECU will see all sorts of errors (no injectors, ignition, VANOS or throttle motors) so although the dash will work it will be lit up. We can and have done several of these, and I would quote the harnesses on a case by case basis as the options are many and the installation is a bit more involved.

        -Neel
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        Actually, this has gone a bit off topic.
        Beauty of this board Click here to enlarge You never know what info you will pick up.
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge

        Technically, with our "plug & play" kit, the dash won't work at all. We don't interface with the stock car CAN. Our $3400 plug & play kit is for race cars or swaps where the user will figure out their own dash solution. The kit has an tach and check engine output. You can buy an optional cable to interface it with popular racing dashes from RacePak, AIM, MOTEC and more.
        Yoiu can get an aftermarket dash that will respond without CEL's to your tuning, right?

        Please get to my post when you get a chance Click here to enlarge
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Yoiu can get an aftermarket dash that will respond without CEL's to your tuning, right?
        absolutely. Or to be technically more accurate, the aftermarket dash WILL respond to CEL's, but CEL's from OUR ECU, which will be valid. Remember, I am replacing the stock ECU. The replacement ECU has its own diagnostics and can send a valid CEL when there is an issue.

        -Neel
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        absolutely. Or to be technically more accurate, the aftermarket dash WILL respond to CEL's, but CEL's from OUR ECU, which will be valid. Remember, I am replacing the stock ECU. The replacement ECU has its own diagnostics and can send a valid CEL when there is an issue.

        -Neel
        This is a great solution and actually pretty cool as well. I believe this could be done with the S65 and E9X as well but I-Drive would have to be ditched. Still, it is probably the best way to do it if going this route.
      1. black bnr32's Avatar
        black bnr32 -
        I just want to see more DIY turbo S54 cars out there!
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        This is a great solution and actually pretty cool as well. I believe this could be done with the S65 and E9X as well but I-Drive would have to be ditched. Still, it is probably the best way to do it if going this route.
        Actually, I think we could keep the i-drive working. We have CAN-CAN translators that can send the i-drive the right information to keep it happy. Chris from DC has already expressed interest in pouring through the hex code to turn off warnings. And we can hack the CAN in the car. Problem is we need someone to step up and let us try. We know HOW to do this, the question is how long will it take to reverse-engineer enough of the CAN bus to make it all work.

        -Neel
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        Actually, I think we could keep the i-drive working. We have CAN-CAN translators that can send the i-drive the right information to keep it happy. Chris from DC has already expressed interest in pouring through the hex code to turn off warnings. And we can hack the CAN in the car. Problem is we need someone to step up and let us try. We know HOW to do this, the question is how long will it take to reverse-engineer enough of the CAN bus to make it all work.

        -Neel
        Did you take a look at my response in the turbo thread? http://www.bimmerboost.com/showthrea...very-difficult
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Did you take a look at my response in the turbo thread?
        Yes, but an E46 chassis would be much easier to do as the "infotainment" system is much less integrated.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        Yes, but an E46 chassis would be much easier to do as the "infotainment" system is much less integrated.
        Infotainment, heh, I like that.

        No doubt, you are quite correct.
      1. metrik's Avatar
        metrik -
        This is very tempting.
      1. metrik's Avatar
        metrik -
        Three areas specifically that I am curious about:

        Vanos control. With Pectel and Motec, I've read that users have to reverse the polarity of the vanos solenoids in order for the standalone to be able to run it. Is this true? And does the Vipec require this as well?

        ABS. If the Vipec is installed into an e46 m3, what kind of functionality is to be expected from the factory ABS and traction control systems? I know that a lot of this depends on how the unit is installed (true standalone vs piggyback).

        Finally, can this be installed in such a way as to not cut the factory harness? As in, could I wire this up so that it could plug right in to the factory dme plugs?
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Vanos control. With Pectel and Motec, I've read that users have to reverse the polarity of the vanos solenoids in order for the standalone to be able to run it. Is this true? And does the Vipec require this as well?
        Technically, this isn't required but they you have to use a high-speed solid-state relay to operate the solenoids. Modifying them is so easy its usually not work the hassle of the extra component. We do this as part of the package we sell.

        ABS. If the Vipec is installed into an e46 m3, what kind of functionality is to be expected from the factory ABS and traction control systems? I know that a lot of this depends on how the unit is installed (true standalone vs piggyback).
        In either case, we can preserve the factory ABS no problem. With a piggyback install, there's no effect on the ABS whatsoever but traction control does not work. In a standalone install, some additional harness work is done, but then we can actually use the ABS signal outputs to do traction control.

        Finally, can this be installed in such a way as to not cut the factory harness? As in, could I wire this up so that it could plug right in to the factory dme plugs?
        Actually, this could be done in a way not to cut the factory harness, but a factory DME plug would be needed, which we've never been able to source. This is another one of those deals, like the VANOS, where modifying the stock harness is so easy that we haven't investigated finding factory plugs any further.

        Regards,

        -Neel
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        Neel im going to try to call you tomorrow....i got some questions concerning the Pectel unit....im tossed between that or a Vipec unit....the E28 has ABS and the idea of being able to integrate traction control via that seems interesting...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Matt@Camber-Toe Click here to enlarge
        Neel im going to try to call you tomorrow....i got some questions concerning the Pectel unit....im tossed between that or a Vipec unit....the E28 has ABS and the idea of being able to integrate traction control via that seems interesting...
        Pectel may be overkill for your application but Neel would know better.
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Neel im going to try to call you tomorrow....i got some questions concerning the Pectel unit....im tossed between that or a Vipec unit....the E28 has ABS and the idea of being able to integrate traction control via that seems interesting...
        Pectel may be overkill for your application but Neel would know better.
        I actually don't think a Pectel is overkill for ANYTHING you use a Vi-PEC for. The $1500 or so difference in price is usually more than made up for by the Pectel's data logging, expandability and the power of its software. The extra features are real things that most people will actually use. The funny part is I've actually sold more Pectels that Vi-PECs since this kit came out. The Vi-PEC is a great unit as it blows competitively-priced cheap ECUS out of the water with its feature-set. But the Pectel gives you real, motorsports quality products for not a lot more.

        So if the Vi-PEC is at the very top of your budget, and its either that or stay stock, the Vi-PEC is definitely the way to go. But if you are willing to stretch in the same way that you might have stretched yourself on a better brake or wheel package, you won't be disappointed. I can't image a single one of our Pectel customers coming back to me and saying "that was overkill, wish I would have saved some money and bought something cheaper."

        -Neel
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Apex Speed Technology Click here to enlarge
        I actually don't think a Pectel is overkill for ANYTHING you use a Vi-PEC for. The $1500 or so difference in price is usually more than made up for by the Pectel's data logging, expandability and the power of its software. The extra features are real things that most people will actually use. The funny part is I've actually sold more Pectels that Vi-PECs since this kit came out. The Vi-PEC is a great unit as it blows competitively-priced cheap ECUS out of the water with its feature-set. But the Pectel gives you real, motorsports quality products for not a lot more.
        I see, so you would usually advice the Pectel but the Vi-PEC is a great choice especially if one is budget conscious?
      1. jacobs323i's Avatar
        jacobs323i -
        Pectel hands down! ANd yes Matt the ABS integrated launch or traction control is an awesome feature! Go Pectel you will not regret it!
      1. basar13's Avatar
        basar13 -
        THANKS !!! Click here to enlarge

        Would it fit z4 m with s54 ?? Z4 has a different ECU thats the reason i am asking....
      1. Apex Speed Technology's Avatar
        Apex Speed Technology -
        Would it fit z4 m with s54 ?? Z4 has a different ECU thats the reason i am asking....
        Absolutely. The stock ECU doesn't matter to us... we're replacing it completely.

        -Neel