Public Post Development

May 4, 2017
1,759
Plano TX
#1
This is a thread for us to finalize the public post before we make it visible to the world. I would like to publish this by 5/11/2018 if possible.
 
May 4, 2017
1,759
Plano TX
#2
::DISCLAIMER::

This conversion requires expert knowledge of module coding and flashing. It will include the requirements to spoof an M3 Vehicle Order inside NCS Expert to allow NCS Expert to code certain modules correctly without modifying the actual Vechicle Order. If you use NCS Expert to code any other module while set up like this you have a high likelihood of bricking those modules. THIS CONVERSION REQUIRES THE USE OF AN M3 3.15 DIFF.

N54 DCT w/M3 conversion

bmw-m3-dct.jpg


This post is going to be long. REALLY long. I will provide an introduction, and then a table of contents that can guide you to the section you are interested in.

Intro:

A few people have tried to change the rear gear ratio on the DCT enabled cars (N54 or S55) for years with relatively little success. A small group of people have tried changing the N54 DCT launch control behavior. And an even smaller group of people have attempted to figure out the how and why behind the DCT’s behavior patterns.

Our goal with the DCT with this project was to bring adjustable launch control without traction control, shiftlogic, and a stronger M3 rear diff to the N54 DCT community. We treated the DCT as a black box. After 5mo we have not only achieved all our original goals, we have achieved more. We now also understand how to bring MDrive, and MDM to the 335i/335is as well. And the holy grail for all DCT cars…I think we are on the verge of running any rear diff ratio you want.

Special thanks goes out to the team responsible for this:

@dyezak
@doublespaces
@Bimaxtremeretro
@aus335iguy
@RSL
@Stokes
@LMB335is
@boostE92d
@jyamona
@Hpaula
@NoQuarter
@TireDeathRacing
@BMWJunkie
@derekgates

Table of Contents:

I. Hardware
a. Shiftlogic
b. Adjustable Launch Control
c. MDrive/MDM​
II. Theory
III. How To Guide
IV. Future Development
V. FAQ

Section I – Hardware

So this is probably the first thing you are curious about. What all would you need to buy ($$$$) to enable this functionality. Here goes a nice list and the average used prices on ebay as of this posting.

A. Shiftlogic
a. Electronics
i. M3 GWS - $200
ii. M3 Shift Knob - $100
iii. M3 Center Console Trim - $200
iv. M3 Shiftlogic Button - $25
v. M3 Center Console Switch Cluster (Power, DSC, EDC) - $100
vi. 8pin connector - $10​
b. Hardware (option 1)
i. M3 Diff (3.15) - $500
ii. M3 Axles - $300
iii. M3 Driveshaft - $300​
c. Hardware Emulation
i. MHD (in development)​

B. Adjustable Launch Control
a. M3 SZL - $250​

C. MDrive/MDM
a. M3 DSC - $300
b. M3 KOMBI - $300
c. 1M DME Flash – (unkown cost, under development)​

Section II – Theory

So we have been forced to infer functionality in a lot of areas, there is very little that we know for a fact as we haven’t be able to look at a DKG EGS BIN directly at this point. We knew going in that the e9x M3 DCT was exactly the same mechatronic unit, same gearset, same clutches, same functionality as the N54 DCT.

After several months of talking, a small group of us did research on newtis.info looking over wiring diagrams we decided that it should theoretically possible to flash the DCT with the M3 ZB file in WinKFP. We did also predict that would require the use of the M3 GWS (gear shift assembly) and shiftlogic buttons.

The goal was for us to get on the fly adjustable shift firmness (shiftlogic) and adjustable launch control. We fitted the M3 GWS, and the M3 Shiftlogic buttons in a 335is (basic repining of some connectors required) then flashed the M3 GTS ZB file to the 335is DCT using WinKFP.

Initial reaction was that it worked. We had to re-code the KOMBI to allow shiftlogic to be seen, and to get the tachometer to work which wasn’t predicted but it was pretty easy. But while we did have shiftlogic, we didn’t get adjustable launch control. We also had an unexpected sideffect of “soft” or “mushy” shifts. We did however get full traction control disabled during Launch Control!

There was a theory floated that the M3 KOMBI (being a gateway module) could be having some impact on speed/rpm values. So we fitted an M3 KOMBI. It was an easy, well documented procedure so no problems there. The end result however was that the KOMBI did nothing for us. BUT the KOMBI would prove valuable much later down the road.
Next theory was the 335i DSC was causing some issues…we needed to swap over the M3 DSC. So we fitted the M3 DSC and had loads of issues. Long story short we found @Bimaxtremeretro who explained how to fool NCS Expert into believing the car was an M3 without updating the VO, we could then default code the DSC and perform all adaptation procedures.

Now we had an M3 DSC installed but it did nothing to fix our issues. But because the SZL and DSC units are paired we thought that the M3 MDrive SZL unit would be required…and upon fitting this we found that we got adjustable launch control!! Some newer cars may already have the correct SZL that outputs the correct signals for adjustable LC (mostly post N54 cars...).

We were left with a fully functional M3 conversion but with “soft” “mushy” shifts. It was around this time that @jyamona found the DME subroutine for launch control where the DCT would send a request to the DME to hold a particular RPM via a PT-CAN message. @jyamona proved that he could hijack that routine and input whatever value he wanted in there instead of relying on the PT-CAN requested RPM value.

Doing some logging we then observed that on a shift the RPM was not dropping as much as it should for the next gear. It was being held artificially high. We took this revelation and applied the BMW marketing material which touted the DCT as providing smoother downshifts because it rev-matched (blipped) the throttle on a downshift. Effectively the transmission was using the exact same DME subroutine during launch control as a downshift…it was simply sending a PT-CAN request for the DME to target a specific RPM for the shift to occur. So then we inferred that the DCT could be doing this on regular upshifts as well.

Taking that knowledge back to our clean logs we did some math and found that we were right on the money. The shift was always targeting an RPM that lined up with the final gear ratio being 3.15….but our test car (335is) had a 2.56 rear gears. So the clutches were slipping excessively due to the RPM being WAY higher than it expected. This was our soft/mushy shifts.

We fitted our car with a M3 3.15 LSD and instantly had flawless shifts! All through this process we had people playing with the coding for M Mode in the CIC and we couldn’t get that working. Pressing the M button on the steering wheel and having all your preferences loaded would be nice.

@bimaxtremeturbo came back to the rescue here. He got M Mode and MDM mode to work on a car down in Australia only after swapping over to the 1M DME flash. Turns out this is the last piece of the puzzle, the DME actually interacts with all the other powertrain modules when calling up M Mode or MDM and instructs them to call up the selected pre-sets.

As it sits I (@dyezak) have applied all this theory to my car except the 1M DME flash. Everything except the M button on the steering wheel functions flawlessly. We will be making this change in the near future just to prove out the theory and eliminate any/all variables. But I am now driving a true BMW mutt, half 335 and half M3. It has an M3 KOMBI, M3 SZL, M3 DSC, M3 GWS, M3 Center Console, M3 Switch Cluster, M3 Shiftlogic Buttons, M3 Rear Diff, M3 Axles, Custom Driveshaft, M3 DCT Flash.

As you can imagine this was a long, expensive process. It was a valuable learning experience however. And we want the community to have this knowledge.

Section III – How to Guide

This is so large of an endeavor it is an external PDF found here:
https://bmw.spoolstreet.com/attachments/m3-drivelogic-and-m-drive-on-a-non-mver2-pdf.9691/

Section IV – Future Development

We are looking to bring MDM mode to my car to test it out. The M3 DSC only has on/off…there isn’t a “half on” setting like the 335i has. As such you can get in a lot of trouble fast with DSC full off. MDM mode would be much welcomed. So we will be applying a 1M DME flash soon to prove the last piece out.

Section V – FAQ

TO BE DEVELOPED AS QUESTIONS ARE ASKED

Section VI – Glossary

VO – Vehicle Order
SZL – Steering wheel clock spring
DSC – Dynamic Stability Control (ABS Unit)
KOMBI – Gauge Cluster
DCT – Dual Clutch Transmission
DKG – German Acronym for Dual Clutch Transmission
TCU – Transmission Control Unit (for the purposes of this article, this is an American term and is used for ease of conversation)
EGS – This is the real name of the transmission control unit
GWS – DCT Shifter Mechanisim
DME – Digital Motor Electronics or the computer that runs your engine
MDM – M Dynamic Mode
Shiftlogic – The on the fly adjustability of shifts

 
Last edited:

RSL

Sergeant
Aug 11, 2017
275
#3
Looks good to me, maybe include the obligatory M3 shifter pic :)
 

NoQuarter

Lieutenant
Nov 24, 2017
867
Indiana
#4
The Z4 text still needs to come out and I like the addition of the glossary
 
Apr 12, 2017
212
FOB FL
#10
Looks good. It's a shitolad of info to piece together into digestible guide.
 

NoQuarter

Lieutenant
Nov 24, 2017
867
Indiana
#11
Seems like the beginning needs to be a bit more clear. At the moment, no part of this project gets anyone anything unless they totally plan on swapping out their final drive.

I know it says it in the list, I just think if it is not crystal clear that the 1st 1,000 posts will be asking about doing it without changing their FD. What exactly will happen if they don't?
 

aus335iguy

Lieutenant
Nov 18, 2017
780
#12
Seems like the beginning needs to be a bit more clear. At the moment, no part of this project gets anyone anything unless they totally plan on swapping out their final drive.

I know it says it in the list, I just think if it is not crystal clear that the 1st 1,000 posts will be asking about doing it without changing their FD. What exactly will happen if they don't?
Agree with this. Should we maybe wait until @jyamona has weaved his magic? Or perhaps we say complete conversion is the only way to do it for the moment ?
 

RSL

Sergeant
Aug 11, 2017
275
#13
I know it says it in the list, I just think if it is not crystal clear that the 1st 1,000 posts will be asking about doing it without changing their FD. What exactly will happen if they don't?
That is the $64k question. For now, we know it will drive and higher gear shifts can suck. Waiting on some logic and testing to find out for sure.
 

doublespaces

Administrator
Oct 18, 2016
6,758
AZ
#15
I think this needs to wait until Jake can confirm something. Otherwise the first 20 pages of that thread will be spinning wheels, because lets be honest...Nobody is going to spend all this money. Nobody sane anyway.
 

aus335iguy

Lieutenant
Nov 18, 2017
780
#16
Keeping a 12 year old(design) car and maintaining it is crazy. Modifying it is crazier. Liking it is masochistic. There’s at least 2 people in the DEV area that are doing this. Hell, even Im saving for it. Like i said masochist!
 

Stokes

Corporal
Jan 26, 2018
118
Houston, TX
#19
Reads very well. How about changing the hardware section c title?

c. Hardware Emulation (option 2)

And flip the # on the DME flash title...

c. 1M DME Flash

Should you include having to extend the wires for the GWS install or leave it for the details?

Typo - first sentence of the paragraph.
"As it sits I (@dyezak) hav applied all this theory"

I must have missed the part on MDM not available. Is that when you go to the M3 DSC? I was pretty sure with non-M DSC, DTC still is active on one push.
 
May 4, 2017
1,759
Plano TX
#20
Reads very well. How about changing the hardware section c title?

c. Hardware Emulation (option 2)

And flip the # on the DME flash title...

c. 1M DME Flash

Should you include having to extend the wires for the GWS install or leave it for the details?

Typo - first sentence of the paragraph.
"As it sits I (@dyezak) hav applied all this theory"

I must have missed the part on MDM not available. Is that when you go to the M3 DSC? I was pretty sure with non-M DSC, DTC still is active on one push.
Did the change on hardware emulation

Don't know what you mean about the DME flash portion

The wire extension should be covered in the guide itself

Fixed the typo identified

When you have the M3 DSC, for MDM you need the 1m DME Flash. Without it all you get is DSC on/off. With the factory 335is (335i) DSC you still get two levels of DSC control.
 

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