It seems like only yesterday, but in reality the overall effort has been going on for six years. Six years ago I installed the M150 into my 330.
Today Drobnak Software announces the general availability of the SMG-enabled initial release of DS BMW E46 S54. This package is intended for vehicles which have the S54 motor, on the BMW E46 platform. This works equally well for both the M3, and S54 swapped 3-series vehicles. SMG gearbox control works, but it is a little rough under some scenarios.
If interested, please contact us via the BMW page.
It’s been quite a journey to get here, and while not quite done for the initial goal, which is SSG gearbox support on the M54 (that’s close but not quite there yet), it’s time to thank those that got me here. Without PEI330Ci on e46fanatics, this would never have happened.
A long time ago, far, far away..err, no. Seven years ago, I loved my 330i, but thought it needed “just a little more” power. There was a couple turbo kits for the non-M cars, and you had a roots-style supercharger kit from ESS. Having come from a 2003 SVT Cobra Mustang, I wanted turbo. So, I found Technique Tuning and ordered a kit, had it installed, and had fun with it for about a year. Then I said, ok, this is nice, but what about E85 and turning up the power? Looking around at the aftermarket, very few supported MAF based tunes, which is what I wanted. It made the most logical sense, and the stock ECU was already using it. So I heard about ProEFI, and ended up purchasing an ECU. Long story short, it was not quite what I needed. The main kit was for an M3..and I clearly didn’t have an M3. It did ‘support’ SMG, so I hoped it would work with my gearbox.
Well, it did start, slowly. But…Nope. I was basically told I didn’t know what I was doing and that it worked just fine by Jason Siebels, owner of ProEFI. Around this time I vented my frustration online, and PEI330Ci told me there was this “new and exciting” product coming out from Motec. It would allow us to write our own code! So feeling sufficiently motivated by the events that happened, I jumped in head first and bought a Motec M150. This was via the next person that is important, Neel Vasavada of Apex Speed Technology. He helped me get my start. We were so early, I submitted the M54 engine / camshaft sync pattern to MoTeC to add in. At this point, I’ve got..the M150. Nothing else. No scope, no CAN sniffer, nothing. PEI330Ci steps up and has a ‘suitable device’ shipped to me. It was one of the better CAN devices you could buy at the time.
Fast forward a few months and everyone in this group is working on their own firmware, sharing bits of knowledge. Peter Partee came through when I needed an oscilloscope, which was very helpful. Neel then asks if I want to take a crack at a Porsche 997 firmware. Which brings us to Jamie Bopp of Dundon Motorsports. Jamie had a crazy build on his 997 going on, but we made it start and go reasonably well. Again, we supplied the pattern for MoTeC. Fast forward more time, and I’m flying cross country often, working as Drobnak Software to develop my own packages. The 997 package turns into a 996/997 package. So having that in a decent spot, I return back to the BMW challenge. I bought an M3. Did some initial work on that. Got it going where it would move, and shift, but the stupid SMG cog/gear (error) light was on. Couldn’t figure that out. Meet Daniel of Calibrated Performance. We realize we’ve both worked on getting SMG working, from completely different directions. Porsche package then becomes a 996/997.1/997.2 GT3 package. Pivot back to the 330. There were always some bits which I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from with the SSG gearbox - I ended up implementing some of the ‘diagnostic’ routines and that turned up what I was looking for. My friend Alex on Facebook helps me out with some stuff here. Still doesn’t like second gear, but I have a torque model that’s starting to shape up. Interest in the M3 package starts to increase. Pivot back there. Do some data collection with the stock ECU controlling things and enough inputs to simulate what we would do. Notice some data isn’t lining up quite a nicely as it should. Realize I’m computing something wrong. Use i2 to calculate things, and compare against a known good value from the stock ECU. Find it. Look the assembly code. Notice something I totally saw, looked at, and ignored, 2 years prior. Fix the issue. Error light is gone.
All of this brings us to recent events. I’ve been working hard on getting things to a release-ready state. It’s been a very crazy few weeks, but here we are.
So to summarize, I’d like to thank Jason Siebels, PEI330Ci, Neel, Peter, Jamie, Daniel, Alex, others on FaceBook over the years, my grandmother, and those closest to me who have heard me babble about my cars over the years and supported me. Without all of you, Drobnak Software wouldn’t be what it is.
Thank you all.
PS Lots of exciting stuff coming this year. Some EV related products too!