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Lost in a sea of tuning... (Ostrich 2.0)

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    Lost in a sea of tuning... (Ostrich 2.0)

    So, I thought a stroker motor would be cool...
    Bimmerheads engine (used w/6K miles):
    2.9 Mahle motorsport stroker
    10:1 Compression ratio
    M52 Crank ( 84mm stroke)
    85mm Bore
    Super sport head with performance valve springs and 274 cam
    S50 Connecting rods
    ARP Rod bolts
    ARP Main studs
    ARP Head studs
    Nuke adjustable cam gear

    And it is, but it is not running well on the stock ECU.
    Rich at idle, lean under load, and cuts out at 3900 RPM @ WOT.

    So, I got Ostrich 2.0 and TunerPro RT. (How hard could it be? 4 or five inputs: Temp, AFM, CPS, O2, TPS and a few outputs: Injector pulse, Timing.)
    Oops. What are all those variables? How are they related? And what do they do?

    I have 7 tabs open at

    I got the .bin and .xdf files.
    Got the USB driver installed to talk to the Ostrich 2.0.

    Seems like a recommended starting point is to set the "Injector Constant" since I have the M50 injectors instead of stock.
    0-280-150-715 Stock M20 325i flow rating is 14.5 pounds / 152.5 cc/min at 3.0bar/43.5ps
    M50 injector is 0280150415 180 cc/min at 43.7psi (3 bar)

    The "Injector Constant" is set to 10, so
    152.5 / 180 = 10 / X
    I set "Injector Constant" to 11.8 (The TunerPro rounded it up to 12 for me.)

    While I was there, I set "Rev Limit (primary)" from 6250 to 3250. It rounded it up to 3578 for me.

    I loaded the .bin into the Ostrich 2.0, setup the exhaust gas analyzer and went for a drive.

    Previously, idle was rich, and under load would be lean.
    Cruising on the freeway had AFR @ 14.5.

    Idle is no longer rich. It still goes lean under load. And cruising on the freeway AFR@ 14.9 - 15.5.
    And the rev limit does kick in at ~3500 RPM.

    It appears I was able to edit the .bin file and change the way the engine runs.

    Initially it seemed counter intuitive that scaling the injectors to larger flow would lean it out, but after thinking about it, the computer would shorten the injector pulse for the larger injectors, so less fuel.

    I have not figured out how to get data out of TunerPro RT. It seems I should have a .adx file, but I have not been able to find one for 173 computer.
    Does anyone have one they would share / sell? Or advice on how to log the data and review it.
    Also, any advice on what to look at next to modify would be a huge help.

    Maybe I am drowning in the sea...

    After more internet searching I found this statement:
    "... multiply by stock injector and divide by new injector ..."

    This says the constant should be smaller if you are using larger injectors. (This is the opposite of what I did yesterday.)
    152.5 * 10 / 180 = 8.4722

    So today I tried an injector constant of 9.
    The idle was not as rich.
    It seemed to pull better up the hill, and was less lean.
    But it still goes lean under load.
    On the freeway it maintains an AFR of 15.5.

    Do I need to disable the O2 sensor when adjusting fuel settings?


      Honest recommendation: Just buy a tune from Sssquid Tuning. I have ZERO affiliation with Sssquid and gain nothing by recommending them. However, I have worked with them for multiple years on custom tunes and they do fantastic work...fully tuned idle, PT and WOT. Shoot them a message with info about your engine and they should be able to get back to you with a quote and lead time. You have an expensive engine, don't risk damaging it to save a little money.

      Do you need to disable O2 to make sense of fuel adjustments? Yes. There are almost a dozen pairs of constants in the BIN that need to be set to 0x80, and I do not think that those show in the XDFs online, but you can unplug the O2 sensor for a similar effect. I don't recall if missing O2 input causes the ECU to stop using certain maps that would otherwise need tuning.

      I've been where you are, and it is not going to work out. You can make the car run, but it won't run well compared to a proper tune. The XDFs available on the web are half-baked. If you have extensive tuning experience, then you may well be able to get on a dyno and optimize things, but if you do not have hundreds of hours of tuning experience and are not going to a dyno, sell the Ostrich, buy a pro tune and be done with it. A dyno tune will cost a hell of a lot more than one from Sssquid.

      For one, the injector constant in the Motronic 1.x ECUs does not do what you think it does, hence why it looks like things are corrected under certain conditions and not others. The best way I know of to adjust for injector changes is to leave the constant alone and scale the values in all of the fuel maps (idle, low-PT, high-PT, WOT). There are multiple copies of each, with some being used a lot more than others, but you need to hit them all. There are also base fuel maps and "correction" maps of the same size, with the latter not being corrected for injectors. Overall you have to adjust dozens of maps if you want to do a full fuel+spark tune, and WOT is by far the easiest to do since it is 2D. WOT is like 10% of a "proper" tune.

      I have looked through a pro's XDF that is actually correct, and it is very different than the ones on the web. Web ones are maybe 50% correct, which is enough to make a car run poorly if you get too deep into it since some things are flat-out wrong. Given the cost of the engine you have (I have a 2.1L Metric Mechanic M42, which is also not an inexpensive item), it is well worth a couple hundred extra dollars to get a proper tune in there. The car idles and responds to throttle inputs better than stock because of all the filter time constants and other non-map parameters that were adjusted.

      For reference, here's the level I went to in reverse engineering Motronic 1.7 back when I thought I'd bang out a tune myself. I am glad I got over that and just had Sssquid make a custom one for me. I ended up collaborating with them a bunch on the reverse engineering stuff, and I can safely say that they know what they are doing. Again, I have been through the full, correct XDF from Sssquid, and I would not even know where to start messing with most of it, which is why I left it to the pros.


        Originally posted by bmwman91 View Post
        Honest recommendation: Just buy a tune from Sssquid Tuning. I have ZERO affiliation with Sssquid and gain nothing by recommending them. However, I have worked with them for multiple years on custom tunes and they do fantastic work...fully tuned idle, PT and WOT. Shoot them a message with info about your engine and they should be able to get back to you with a quote and lead time. You have an expensive engine, don't risk damaging it to save a little money.
        Thanks for the comment.
        I have reached out to SSSQuid.

        That was an interesting read. Very deep dive.


          IT's not that difficult now that you are there.

          In TunerPro, you have the ability to emulate and data trace. In other words, you can see the block that the ECU is reading (will be highlighted yellow), make an adjustment, save to emulator and keep on driving.

          You need to activate emulation (TunerProRT only) in tools>emulation>enable emulation. There will be bleeping sound to let you know, and the emulation tab at the bottom of the screen will turn green.

          Open the map you would like to read. There is 5 icons at the top disk (save) "X" (close) graph (graph) scale (compare tunes) and finally "A" (read ECU).

          Now when you are emulating, you can see the actual cell the ECU is reading.

          I find the injector constant in the .xdf's are often wrong. I want to say you will have better luck using the baro correction if it's the public .xdf. Whatever number that is using isn't a true "k" injector constant.

          Realistically, you can just scale the maps themselves for 19lb injectors (reduce the numbers in cells to lean).

          The only part that's a pain when live tuning is the transition from low to high part throttles, and the WOT map (can only data trace one map at a time). It's best to have a friend drive with ya, or go to the dyno to get your upper throttle/wot and work your way back on the street.

          Too bad e30tech info is mostly gone, I started a thread there many moons ago and SSSquid was quite the forum poster back then.

          EDIT: Found it:

          Transaction feedback: Here, here and here. Thanks :D


            ForcedFirebird thank you for the instructions. I knew you could watch a trace, but when I get in the car, I forget to turn on the emulation, and then I didn't know about the "A" on the map.

            I went out yesterday with my son running the computer and we saw the trace. It was pinging in the HPT ingnition map at 2K RPM (3 rows) and 170 - 180 load. There is a lot of advance in those rows, and then it drops in the 3-4K rows.

            I reduced ignition timing there and higher (both axis) by *.85.
            And increased fueling in the corresponding cells in the HPT fuel map by *1.3.
            Will go test it shortly.

            I am finding it is hard to collect good data. We tried filming with a phone, but it was hard to see with the H&R sport springs bouncing all over. I think it will be good to figure out the logging / play back features. Is the logging able to track multiple maps?

            It is hard hard to remember what the changes are over the previous run with small changes to the map.

            Anyway, I am hoping to get rid of the lean conditions and bog at 4K RPM (I think the bog is from lean). At least until I can get a tune from SSSquid. (I was not able to recognize his username in your E30Tech tread.)

            Thanks again for your encouragement.


              It is not lean at HPT maps. But, it doesn't pull so well with the reduced timing.
              And it still pings around 3K RPM, not as much, but it is still there.

              I wonder if the dip in rows of timing needs to be shifted up or down due to the different camshaft...

              I richening up a WOT1 fuel map, but then it did not get into that map accelerating on to the freeway, and it cut /bogged at 4K RPM.

              So many changes and results to keep track of...