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  1. #26
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by V8Bait Click here to enlarge
    Try to trace down wires the MS needs and check them off, delete the rest.
    I never even once considered this as a route, interesting.

    The fact of the matter is I don't have a motor currently lying around in my magic mancave/garage full of money, beer, and rainbows. That aspect is still in the working as I wait to hear back on job offers. I will definitely take your advice though and take what I've gathered here and move into a thread on the MS forums and see if I can work more out there. Who knew being the first ever to do something would be so much work... Click here to enlarge

  2. #27
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    IF and this is a big IF, you get the N54 to run on MS I will personally congratulate you.

    It would be a huge step.
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    That's my biggest motivation. If I can compile a list of parts and processes needed to standalone control this motor it would open up a HUGE door for this platform. I've been following it for years, before I ever bought my 335, and I'd love nothing more than to be a part of it.
    I'm not just in it to have a fast project car, as mentioned earlier a 1000whp Ls build can be crammed into any chassis, I'm trying to do something one of a kind here.

  4. #29
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mrbillytalent Click here to enlarge
    Who knew being the first ever to do something would be so much work... Click here to enlarge
    I can tell you from personal experience that the majority of your time invested in this project will feel like you're simply lost floating in outer space, with no one to provide any type of real direction, or assistance. The MS forums are a great resource, but even when you attempt a more common undertaking, the online guidance can be sparse.
    As far as ignition inputs are concerned, you are either going to have to take apart your N54 and integrate some already supported trigger wheels (for both crank and cam) or simply wait a few years until the MS authors write the code for the N54's existing trigger wheels.
    I seriously don't want to be the voice of pessimism, because I'm like you in my confidence to just go balls deep on a project and do something different from the rest. I just think that for your first undertaking with this type of project, you're embarking upon a very complicated process, and one that simply might not have a chance of being successful without support from the software developers of the MS platform.
    I really think you don't have a solid grasp of what is necessary to do this, or even the proper approach.
    The other guy is right, you do not want to use the factory wiring schematics as your foundation. You will use the MS wiring diagram, and like i said, i doubt any of the factory input sensors will be able to be used. Setting up your ignition circuit will be your primary challenge, then you have variable valve timing hurdles, then DI complications. So don't be wiping your brow already Obama, the work hasn't even began...

  5. #30
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    The purpose of this thread was to bring out a brick wall in the process before I begin, so your pessimism is appreciated in the long run.

    Are the cogs on the camshafts pressed on? I don't want that to be the nail in my coffin. If I can find a generic profile that MS likes I can (provided the room) attach that to the end of the cams can I not? Or does the complications lie further than that?
    I've read (not confirmed) that the MS VVT can control up to 4 cams, I'm uncertain about the newer vanos style specifically.
    Same situation with the direct injection.

    In the end I'm out of school now so I need something terrifyingly confusing and stressful hanging over my head, so researching this will just have to do. I'm still months and months out from actually purchasing a motor or shell. If I'm not confident by the time I get there I'll start with an older bmw motor and MS that.
    If you guys are willing to assist me and see if we can figure this out together, there's no sense in throwing in the towel yet.

  6. #31
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    The N54 has lots of I/O that will be difficult to control.

    But if you are going to approach this project, the way I would do it would be on a sub-system level.

    An engine is just an air pump, it needs air, fuel and spark. I know that sounds simple, but when you look at it that is all this machine does.

    If you have to custom design systems to drop out other systems of this engine then so be it. For instance, can't control the DI? Design a port injection manifold and just run low Z injectors off the MS.

    Can't get ignition to work? Run a crank trigger like was said earlier, it's primitive but it will work.

    In the end you may not have an N54 anymore, but a motor with tons of things 'locked' out and less I/O because of the sacrifices you had to make to get it to run.

    You may have to lock your camshafts (I don't know if this is even possible on this engine, can someone answer that?)

    This will be very hard but the internet is your friend and the www.msefi.com is the best resource.
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  7. #32
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    I run an MS DIYPNP kit in my 85 MR2 that has ITBs. While things like Tunerstudio ability to auto tune fuel make things much easier I feel that the N54 would be a nightmare for anything short of a track car.

    Its also possible to use the MS to control only certain functions like a piggyback while leaving others to the OEM ECU. Im just not sure how that would work with the N54 DME.

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    More or less this project has just become a difficulty that I am willing to admit that I will not have the resources to finish. I, for an unrelated purpose, have my motor apart right now and have noticed that the teeth used for timing on the cams are literally plates that bolt onto the cams, EXTREMELY easy to replace with something more manageable.

    My disconnect is in the programming required to figure out timing using this custom set of timing gears on the cams. I am not good at all with anything that lies on the other end of a keyboard, at least when it comes to this. I guess I'll just keep my eyes peeled and hope someone else attempts something similar and maybe bounce ideas off of them.

  9. #34
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    There's some serious talent and knowledge in this thread.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    There's some serious talent and knowledge in this thread.
    I was just thinking that. I think we will ultimately go with motec but perhaps this will be worth a look.
    Click here to enlarge

    I will quit being rude if you quit being stupid.

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    i have megasquirt on my M10, turbocharged with distributor less ignition from a custom machine crank signal and wheel. I'm running it on a wireless galaxy note 13'' display for my dash. I know a little about it.

    Secondly, I already have an E9x outside the car. its all loomed up and ready for the dyno. Its the first "factory" stand alone, I know of. Click here to enlarge

    I've since coded out everything it doesn't need as well. you turn on the ignition just like you would in a car. No lights on the dash, everything works.
    This week (hopefully) I can get the N54 to start on an engine stand..... but I'm having to chase down a bunch of extra/little things that the got dam seller didn't put in the boxes when I bought a "complete" engine......


    Once I have this 100% running, we dyno our engines and claim a world record or 2, I'll be entertaining the idea of selling these harnesses as kits. The only issue would be finding "donor" cars to steal the control modules needed to make it run..... would be nice to have the connectors too, but I can buy/make them all.
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    Megasquirt and none of the firmware for it out there supports direct injection.

    Also it is NOT open source like someone mentioned.

    If you want a standalone to control the DI portion of the engine you are gonna need some cash. You could do away with the DI part and just run port injection provided the pistons and cyl head aren't specifily designed for the DI part.
    Last edited by Techsalvager; 07-19-2014 at 11:52 AM.
    Slow miata

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alex@ABRhouston Click here to enlarge
    i have megasquirt on my M10, turbocharged with distributor less ignition from a custom machine crank signal and wheel. I'm running it on a wireless galaxy note 13'' display for my dash. I know a little about it.

    Secondly, I already have an E9x outside the car. its all loomed up and ready for the dyno. Its the first "factory" stand alone, I know of. Click here to enlarge

    I've since coded out everything it doesn't need as well. you turn on the ignition just like you would in a car. No lights on the dash, everything works.
    This week (hopefully) I can get the N54 to start on an engine stand..... but I'm having to chase down a bunch of extra/little things that the got dam seller didn't put in the boxes when I bought a "complete" engine......


    Once I have this 100% running, we dyno our engines and claim a world record or 2, I'll be entertaining the idea of selling these harnesses as kits. The only issue would be finding "donor" cars to steal the control modules needed to make it run..... would be nice to have the connectors too, but I can buy/make them all.
    If anybody can get a N54 running on a MS it's Alex. It's why I always advocate his shop over the other popular place in Houston, too bad I'm on the opposite side of town so most people don't care about the recommendation. Good luck with your project!

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by V8Bait Click here to enlarge
    If anybody can get a N54 running on a MS it's Alex. It's why I always advocate his shop over the other popular place in Houston, too bad I'm on the opposite side of town so most people don't care about the recommendation. Good luck with your project!
    Man a lot of guys seem to say @alex@ABRhouston is on the wrong side of town.

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  15. #40
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by V8Bait Click here to enlarge
    If anybody can get a N54 running on a MS it's Alex. It's why I always advocate his shop over the other popular place in Houston, too bad I'm on the opposite side of town so most people don't care about the recommendation. Good luck with your project!
    I drive 55 miles to get Tim941NYC to fix my Porsche, I walk 3 miles to the train, catch said train for 2 hours and pay $66 for taxi when I arrive at the other end when I pick up

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  16. #41
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Man a lot of guys seem to say @alex@ABRhouston is on the wrong side of town.


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    @alex@ABRhouston needs to capitalize on the memorial/Cinco ranch/kelliwood fancy car crowd and get away from the allure of being near the church.

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    I have been using MS1/MS2 for many years now with great success. A friend of mine in FL (Jordan) has had great success with MS1/2/3/3x on BMWs, but I am not sure about the newer series of engines. I am using this on my 2j E36. It is am amazing and ever evolving EMS that sometimes gets a bad rap from people trying to use it that don't know how to do so..

    Sorry that I cannot be more help for your specific engine/chassis combo, but I have used it with great success for 8+ years on several other builds and would always recommend it. The guys at DIYAutotune (Matt) have always been a great help.
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    This is my 1980 320's dashboard Click here to enlarge
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    I just got done getting MS3/MS3X up and running on my friend's H6 swapped STi (Legacy motor). As far as I know, there aren't many people who've accomplished this.

    The car runs great. Also, I tuned my other friend's turbo LSX Mustang which was running on a Microsquirt, so I have some experience working with the systems.

    I didn't read this whole thread with very much attention so I don't know if this has been concluded but I am 100% confident the MS3 can "run" the N54.

    The worst case would be to simply mount a trigger wheel on the crank, run some LS2 coils, and run normal port injection. Leave VANOS disconnected. You don't even need to worry about cam sensors if you are okay with running batch fire. The reason I say to run LS2 coils is because they're very widely used and are perfectly compatable with MS and readily available. They're also strong as hell.

    But at that point, the N54 is no longer an N54. It's just like any other inline 6.

    As far as controlling direct injection, I would personally drop that idea. Megasquirt claims to control many things, but you will quickly find out that certain features are very buggy. You would need to be able to control the fuel pressure and pulsewidths of the injectors and somehow correlate the dependancy between the two. It might be easier to install bungs on the intake runners and run normal injectors. Or perhaps run the HPFP at a constant pressure and treat the direct injectors as normal injectors? My fear is that the pulse width to fuel volume delivery will not be as linear as it is with a normal injector. There's probably a reason BMW varies the fuel pressure as well as pulse widths of injectors. I think it would take a very long time to properly map this out for DI.

    As far as getting the cam sensor to work for full sequential, you would start with the documentation on the factory cam sensor. Someone above me said it has three teeth. It is very possible that one of those teeth represents cylinder 1 TDC. That's all you need. You could simply break off the other teeth or fill them in with weld if they're missing teeth.

    A single tooth cam sensor with a normal crank trigger wheel will provide enough position information give you a full sequential system. Also, don't worry about whether the signal from the factory sensor will be compatable. It's probably a gear tooth sensor or a VR sensor; either one will work.

    As far as VANOS control goes, I have seen it done before on other motors. You'd obviously need the cam sensor running for that to work. Chances are it runs a control loop to achieve a position set point like said previously. I don't know what your experience is with tuning PID loops but it's kind of a pain in the ass. It's not impossible, just takes time. Some engineer at BMW spent a lot of time tuning his loop response for that motor and you're basically going to have to try an replicate that without any of the information that he had. But honestly, if you get to the point of being able to control cam position at all, this will be the least of your concern.

    I'd also like to second that MS is NOT open source. And it's also pretty poorly written from a software perspective. I'm pretty sure the entire program is a single C file lol. Not that this matters from a functionality stand point, but you have to remember this is basically a DIY EFI system. No warranty, no guaranteed support, etc. You are relying on the good hearted people of the forum to help you out. But for the price point, it's hard to beat. Although I do feel as if they're getting a little too greedy with charging $1000+ for their MS3 pro systems.

    For straight up race cars, it's fine. But the DIYautotune MS3's don't seem to be assembled with a harsh automotive environment in mind. They're basically what seems like a Radioshack enclosure with some normal PC grade D-Sub connectors. The MS3 pro is much nicer in that respect. When you spend the money on a Bosch or other high end stand alone, you're getting the result of R&D of a company who has $$$$$$$$$ to spend and has much experience designing these things for automotive environments. With the MS, you are relying on people who do this pretty much in their free time off from their real jobs.

    That being said, my experience with it has been positive.
    Last edited by Unklejoe; 12-23-2014 at 11:01 AM.

  21. #46
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Unklejoe Click here to enlarge
    But at that point, the N54 is no longer an N54. It's just like any other inline 6.
    Exactly.

    Thanks for your honesty.

    To control DI someone is going to need something a bit more sophisticated not that I'm not a fan of the megasquirt and the homebrew stuff we see using it.

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    In 4 updates.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by corsair Click here to enlarge
    In 4 updates.
    The updates are basically that it isn't worth the effort and Megasquirt isn't going to be able to control the direct injection.
    A LOT of progress is being made on the stock DME flashing capabilities it is kind of stupid to try to make this work.
    The closest I have heard of is Motiv's track car that runs on a standalone but they had to swap in a head from an N55 so they can actually control the injectors with their standalone (N54 uses piezo injectors).
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by subaru335i Click here to enlarge
    The updates are basically that it isn't worth the effort and Megasquirt isn't going to be able to control the direct injection.
    A LOT of progress is being made on the stock DME flashing capabilities it is kind of stupid to try to make this work.
    The closest I have heard of is Motiv's track car that runs on a standalone but they had to swap in a head from an N55 so they can actually control the injectors with their standalone (N54 uses piezo injectors).
    I don't think they swapped the head but they had to machine the N54 head to accept N55 injectors. I'm surprised for the cost of some of the other controllers though that nobody has tried running the Port Injection off of a Megasquirt.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by brusk Click here to enlarge
    I don't think they swapped the head but they had to machine the N54 head to accept N55 injectors. I'm surprised for the cost of some of the other controllers though that nobody has tried running the Port Injection off of a Megasquirt.
    Maybe if you wanted to put an N54 that you already had into some random chassis for as cheap as possible then it would make sense. But if you run the N54 as only port injection why not just use a better and more proven S54? Removing direct injection and everything then all you have leftover is an average open deck aluminum inline 6 with a $#@!ty selection of aftermarket components (cams, internals etc).
    The only reason an N54 is kinda special and worth anything is because of the sophisticated factory control and safeties. It is strong enough and cheap to get pretty good power but not all out 1000whp+ power.
    If you want to go all out it would be much better and easier to go with an older BMW motor...or your choice of any other better motor (american V8 or proven Japanese tuner motor).
    The people going for big power in the E9x chassis with the N54 can do so now with the factory DME and adding a controller for port injection. There is no reason to I can see to completely delete the factory DME and convert the N54 over to only port injection if you aren't trying to make it run in another platform on a budget.
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