R3VLimited Forums

Go Back   R3VLimited Forums > E30 Technical Forums > Engine & Drivetrain > Alternative Tuning / W.A.R / Megasquirt / etc

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-18-2015, 12:25 AM   #1
bmwman91
E30 Mastermind
 
bmwman91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 1,848
The Definnitive M42 Crank and Cam Angle Info Thread

So, there is a bit of info out there regarding tooth angles and whatnot for the M42, but no single cohesive place with all of it. If you read around enough, you will probably come to the conclusion that the first tooth pulse after the gap is 114 degrees BTDC, which is correct as far as the physical setup on the engine goes. Since I am planning to rock a MS3Pro ECU at some point in the next year or two, I wanted to get a clear idea about this and document it once and for all. I borrowed an oscilloscope and popped the shell apart on the 88 pin connector that plugs into the Motronic so I could directly measure the VR sensors (and yes, both are VR type). It's been too long that only the M20 guys have had nice, well defined information to work from, and it is time for the M42 to get some nerd-love!

Which wire is which? This causes some confusion, mainly because the cam and crank sensors have the same wire colors, but one's polarity is reversed because BMW decided to swap the wires (for whatever reason). Keep in mind that this is the E30 M42, and I do not know if this changed in the E36.
- The crank sensor uses pins 67 and 68 of the Motronic. Pin 67 takes the black wire from the crank sensor, and this is the POSITIVE sensor output. Pin 68 takes the yellow wire from the crank sensor, and this connection is GROUNDED inside the Motronic. So, pin 67 is the crank sensor signal, which by convention would be called the positive output of the sensor.
- The cam sensor uses pins 16 and 44 of the Motronic. Pin 16 takes the yellow wire from the cam sensor, and this is the NEGATIVE sensor output. Pin 44 takes the black wire from the cam sensor, and this connection is GROUNDED inside the Motronic. So, pin 16 is the cam sensor signal, which by convention would be called the negative output of the sensor.

I am not sure why BMW reversed the signal wires between the two sensors. For those that are going stand-alone, you have the option of getting your cam signal from pin 44 (the positive output) and then whatever conditioner circuit you are feeding that (and the crank signal) into will behave the same way. With a VR sensor, both wires will essentially provide the same signal, but one is "flipped upside-down" relative to the other. Most VR conditioner circuits are designed for the VR positive output, and will give a digital rising edge when the VR output crosses zero from positive to negative.

The positive/negative convention is shown in the diagram below.


Great, so that is a lot of reading about VR basics. What about the M42?

First, here's a scope shot of two full rotations of the crankshaft, with some annotations added. The amplitude changes a lot as the crank turns because my damper wheel is either out-of-round, or just worn out, so some teeth get closer to the sensor than those on the other side of the wheel. I did some measurements at 2000RPM and 3500RPM as well, and at 3500RPM the big voltage spike peaked at around 50V. That means that at redline, the VR sensor is going to be putting out a signal that peaks at over 100V.


Here it is zoomed in a bit, with the important teeth marked.


And here's a fun little graphic showing what is what and the relationship between moving parts with respect to the cam and crank sensors. Note that the cam lobes are not to scale or anything; they are just for fun to illustrate the general idea.



Note:
This is all based on photos of mine from over the years and a lot of online image searching. Thankfully it all seems to agree with existing information, as well as the oscilloscope measurements. If you find an error or think that you see an error, please let me know so that I can see if a correction is needed.



I plan to do a pretty in-depth look at ignition coil dwell times too, since that is also a critical parameter. That will involve more oscilloscope action with the goal of determining the factory dwell times for the coils (both for the M42 coils, and the M54 coils that many of us run with our COP conversion). In a year or two (or whenever I get my ass into gear and install an aftermarket ECU) I will try to document all of the factory equipment (thermistors, idle control valve, etc) so that others will not have to spend weeks and weeks scratching their heads.
__________________

Last edited by bmwman91; 12-18-2015 at 06:00 PM.
bmwman91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2015, 08:54 PM   #2
5Toes
Forever N00b
 
5Toes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: 98310
Posts: 9,759
I am planning on building a custom engine harness for my m42 and megasquirt 3x/pro whatever this Spring and will definitely be needing this info! thank you bmwman!

I will keep y'all tuned of course!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by slammin.e28guy View Post
Holy fuck. Don't fuck with Toes.
1988 325is - zinno/natur - all original + never get to drive
1991 318i - brillantrot/natur - slutty AF daily

Quote:
Originally Posted by nrubenstein
At this point, no one even remembers what they looked like brand new...
5Toes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 05:26 PM   #3
varg
E30 Enthusiast
 
varg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Palm Beach County, FL
Posts: 1,158
Very nice! For what it's worth, these are my verified (with timing light) Megasquirt trigger and dwell settings for my M42 with COP conversion. I have not put a scope on the sensors or done anything fancy with the dwell, but this works well enough that I am running 18psi on stock internals and haven't blown it up!

__________________
@turbovarg
'91 318is, M20B25, T3/T04E 50 trim, megasquirt, coilovers
[project thread]

raise the lowered

Last edited by varg; 12-26-2015 at 05:38 PM.
varg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2015, 10:09 AM   #4
bmwman91
E30 Mastermind
 
bmwman91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 1,848
Awesome! Your dwell time is very close to what I have directly measured (and will make a separate thread for once I have a chance to do the same measurements on an M42 with stock coils and an M52 with its stock coils which are what we all use for the COP conversion).

Basically, the factory dwell is 3.6ms on average. It jumps around a lot, from 3.0 to 4.2ms and it seems totally random. Maybe the Motronic is old and slow or something, or maybe it has to do with the timing advance changing during the dwell period or something. Anyway, 3.6ms of dwell with the M52 coils on our cars makes for an 8 Amp primary current and the spark duration ranges from 2.2ms at idle to 0.9ms at redline.

Any chance that you can post up the settings you use for the idle control (assuming you use the stock ICV)? How about the tach and MPG gauges? From what I understand, the tach takes a 50% duty cycle square wave with 2 pulses per revolution. As far as the MPG meter, I need to get in there with a scope.
__________________
bmwman91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2015, 06:08 PM   #5
varg
E30 Enthusiast
 
varg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Palm Beach County, FL
Posts: 1,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwman91 View Post
Basically, the factory dwell is 3.6ms on average. It jumps around a lot, from 3.0 to 4.2ms and it seems totally random. Maybe the Motronic is old and slow or something, or maybe it has to do with the timing advance changing during the dwell period or something. Anyway, 3.6ms of dwell with the M52 coils on our cars makes for an 8 Amp primary current and the spark duration ranges from 2.2ms at idle to 0.9ms at redline.
Interesting. With the voltage correction I probably average 3.6ms too. Stays steady with MS though - it's nice to be able to see exactly what's going out by plugging in your laptop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwman91 View Post
Any chance that you can post up the settings you use for the idle control (assuming you use the stock ICV)? How about the tach and MPG gauges? From what I understand, the tach takes a 50% duty cycle square wave with 2 pulses per revolution. As far as the MPG meter, I need to get in there with a scope.
Shortly after I started to get it dialed in, my ICV stopped working correctly - it would just creep wide open and stay there, not responding to changes in duty cycle. I haven't bothered to replace it yet because they're so expensive.

The MPG gauge I haven't figured out, and likely won't ever try - fuel economy doesn't really matter to me, if I were to try and figure it out it would be to make my own boost mpg gauge. I suppose it wouldn't be so hard, I don't have a function generator though, or a stock car to probe with a scope. The tachometer is happy with the 5V square wave output straight from the MS board, no mods required, set to normal speed which is one pulse per revolution.
__________________
@turbovarg
'91 318is, M20B25, T3/T04E 50 trim, megasquirt, coilovers
[project thread]

raise the lowered
varg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2015, 07:46 PM   #6
bmwman91
E30 Mastermind
 
bmwman91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 1,848
Cool. Thanks for the info!

Strange about the ICV. Maybe it was all gummed up with oil vapors from the PCV system. I had to soak mine in rubbing alcohol, shake it around and that sort of thing a few times and after that it worked nicely.

Did you just plug the ICV hose and crack open the throttle plate or something?
__________________
bmwman91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 08:53 AM   #7
varg
E30 Enthusiast
 
varg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Palm Beach County, FL
Posts: 1,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwman91 View Post
Strange about the ICV. Maybe it was all gummed up with oil vapors from the PCV system. I had to soak mine in rubbing alcohol, shake it around and that sort of thing a few times and after that it worked nicely.
I put plenty of brake cleaner through it, if it was dirty, it wasn't after that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwman91 View Post
Did you just plug the ICV hose and crack open the throttle plate or something?
Pretty much. I turned the AC on and adjusted the throttle plate screw until it idled around 900rpm. I also used the megasquirt idle advance settings, when the TPS signal is low enough it adds timing when idle speed drops and pulls timing when it rises.
__________________
@turbovarg
'91 318is, M20B25, T3/T04E 50 trim, megasquirt, coilovers
[project thread]

raise the lowered
varg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 01:05 PM   #8
ccsdo5
E30 Addict
 
ccsdo5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 471
This thread has some awesome information! Props to all your work bmwman91! Varg also has some really good settings for his car. He helped me a lot trying to get my car to run correctly.

I just welded a barb to my IC pipe for the ICV the other day I'm going to play around with closed loop idle settings sometime this weekend and see how happy I can get my car to idle. When I have some sorta decent idle I'll post the settings I used here. Nice seeing the M42 get a little love lmao!
__________________
-Dee
5-lugged turbo 318is Barn car
IG: @deebelmont
ccsdo5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 01:51 PM   #9
bmwman91
E30 Mastermind
 
bmwman91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 1,848
I am starting to seriously consider VEMS now. There has been a group-buy going for PnP VEMS setups for 88 pin M/S5x engines, and the guy is now going to do an M42 one as well. While VEMS is much older hardware, I sort of doubt that there is much of a functional difference since the M42 isn't that complicated of an engine. Either way, I guess that this info will be of use though!
__________________
bmwman91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2016, 11:50 AM   #10
ccsdo5
E30 Addict
 
ccsdo5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 471
Okay so here are the settings I'm currently with the stock M42 ICV. I'm they aren't perfect but my car is idling pretty good at ~900 rpm give or take with my AFR's at just around 13.7-14.5:1 It does tend to dip pretty low when I come off throttle to a stop sometimes but I added a little bit more advance in the ignition map and it seems to help with that.











I'm no master of megasquirt or really know what the hell I'm doing. This is just what is working for me. If you guys have some other suggestions I can definitely give it a try and see what happens. Just trying to help give some more info so anyone that wants to run megasquirt in the future has an easier time with it than me.
__________________
-Dee
5-lugged turbo 318is Barn car
IG: @deebelmont
ccsdo5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 07:50 AM   #11
blueapplesoda
E30 Mastermind
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: 42' Container, Woodland Hills, CA
Posts: 1,905
Send a message via AIM to blueapplesoda Send a message via MSN to blueapplesoda
About the econometer: Econometer funtions on PWM. What I've come to conclude is that BMW likes to take the injector pulsewidth and do some sort of conversion with wheel/vehicle speed. The cluster obviously receives its own VSS input signal and requires injector cylinder 1's pwm signal to calculate and display what the MPG is. Check attached "genericpwma.png". Note this is running on an completely stock M50NV running MS3X, but it shouldn't be any different for an m42 or m20 car.

Now I tried to make it a boost gauge, but the gauge contains the VSS input, which is hardwired into the econogauge. This causes a problem because boost has nothing to do with VSS, and making math in tunerstudio to negate a variable that isn't related is a nightmare. I want to know more about this, because I really want to make the econogauge a boost gauge or a A/F gauge, but I'm not going to go any further into it until I start getting into cluster mods. It's on my list of things to do, but its priority is pretty low.

The pdf is the pinout for the e30 m42. It's where I start for building PnP units.

Derek
DedericMS
Attached Images
File Type: pdf 1991 318i 318is.pdf (479.6 KB, 93 views)
File Type: png genericpwma.png (41.6 KB, 135 views)
blueapplesoda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 08:42 AM   #12
varg
E30 Enthusiast
 
varg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Palm Beach County, FL
Posts: 1,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueapplesoda View Post
Now I tried to make it a boost gauge, but the gauge contains the VSS input, which is hardwired into the econogauge. This causes a problem because boost has nothing to do with VSS, and making math in tunerstudio to negate a variable that isn't related is a nightmare. I want to know more about this, because I really want to make the econogauge a boost gauge or a A/F gauge, but I'm not going to go any further into it until I start getting into cluster
Cut off the VSS input from the gauge and see how it responds to just a fake injector signal, if it doesn't respond well, you'll need to spoof a constant VSS signal. Gonna require some custom boards and pulse generator circuitry, lots of fun.
__________________
@turbovarg
'91 318is, M20B25, T3/T04E 50 trim, megasquirt, coilovers
[project thread]

raise the lowered
varg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 06:19 PM   #13
blueapplesoda
E30 Mastermind
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: 42' Container, Woodland Hills, CA
Posts: 1,905
Send a message via AIM to blueapplesoda Send a message via MSN to blueapplesoda
Without VSS it doesn't move at all. 0 MPH=0 MPG I'm guessing. May have to snip the motor control and control the gauge direct.
blueapplesoda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2016, 02:09 PM   #14
pklym
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: WA
Posts: 57
Forgive these O-scope newbie questions, we have access to an o-scope to help with troubleshooting that is documented here: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=384330

We are trying to scope both the crank and cam position sensors using a fluke 125.

Questions:
Should we probe both pos & neg wires, or just positive and use a chassis ground?
What should we set the scales too for volts and time?
Is it DC or AC volts?

We are getting some readings but they don't look anything like the pictures up top.

Thanks!
pklym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2016, 08:27 PM   #15
bmwman91
E30 Mastermind
 
bmwman91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 1,848
Quote:
Originally Posted by pklym View Post
Forgive these O-scope newbie questions, we have access to an o-scope to help with troubleshooting that is documented here: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=384330

We are trying to scope both the crank and cam position sensors using a fluke 125.

Questions:
Should we probe both pos & neg wires, or just positive and use a chassis ground?
What should we set the scales too for volts and time?
Is it DC or AC volts?

We are getting some readings but they don't look anything like the pictures up top.

Thanks!
Crap, sorry I didn't see this! It's a bit late, but it looks like you figured it out with the right sensor.

Q&A:
1) Where should you probe?
Obviously for the crank & cam you want the positive probe tip on the black & yellow wires' terminal ends, respectively. For the ground, the bolt where the ECU grounds might be acceptable, but I used the sensor's second wire (the corresponding yellow & black wires). This helps with noise reduction.

2) Time and voltage division settings?
Both depend on RPM. At idle the 5V/div and 10ms/div should work. At 3000RPM you probably want 10V/div and 2ms or 5ms/div.

3) DC or AC coupling?
I had the inputs set to DC coupling.



What did your readings look like? I am guessing that they were super noisy or something. I did some pretty heavy post-processing on the scope captures because there was a lot of noise to filter out to get the proper waveform in a clean format. The ECU does its own filtering and stuff, but if you are probing from the outside you'll probably need to do some of your own.
__________________
bmwman91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2004 - 2020 R3VLimited LLC