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Bmw n52

Practical Standalone Tuning

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I just recently came into possession of a BMW n52 engine from a customer who thought they needed an engine but didn't. And furthermore his car was an n51 not an n52. So now I have this engine and it has gotten the gears turning. Having valvetronic the engine is capable of running without a throttle body. I also have access to a 3d printer that I could use to make trumpets to bolt straight to the head for theoretically the best throttle response possible from an engine. The problem I am having is what standalone ecu would be capable of running the bmw valvetronic? I have a spare emu black I plan on wiring up to the valvetronic to see if I can get it to work. Should that be unsuccessful what direction should I be looking?

Im not familiar with the N52 but have looked at a N55 Valvetronic motor, I'm assuming they use similar control. It is a brushless motor with 5 hall effect sensors for position control so no off-the-shelf ecu will control it that I have seen. You will need something that you can code yourself and probably extra hardware to interface. From OBD2 logs the mapping of the valvetronic also appeared to be very complex - not just a 3D table anyway that's for sure. On top of that they always still have a throttle as the Valvetronic system is not particularly reliable.

Adam thank you for your response.. I have been looking at it and you are correct there is 3 hall effect sensors on the eccentric shaft and 1 for either can as the engine has dual vanos just like the n55. I believe the over complicated mapping from the factory on the n55 is also due to the ecu being torque based and using the throttle body and cam control as well as valvetronic to control boost to regulate engine torque. My thinking was the brushless motor could be controlled with an hbridge and just use the hall effects like throttle positions. That is oversimplified a lot and I know it will take a lot of pid tuning if I do get it to work. I just can't let it go because the engine is about 100 lbs lighter than the s54 that is currently in the car with the potential to make more power and have even better throttle response should I be able to get the valvetronic sorted.

I realize this inquiry was related to running an aftermarket ecu on the n52, but you can have the ews system removed from the msv70/80 ecus and run those on whatever you decide to put the engine in. I have one in my z3 coupe and it’s fantastic. I’m also working on putting one in my e30.

And a really late reply on this, but the N55 is a different animal for valvetronic with the 5 hall positioning. This was implemented so that the factory DME could determine position of the servomotor very precisely, therefore valve lift position without the use of a separate position sensor. The N52 however, used a standard 3 hall arrangement for commutation control and has a separate position sensor for feedback. Using the position sensor for a standalone is straightforward enough and then possibly and external BLDC controller.

I have a couple of spare n52s and considering using one for an FRS that needs a motor.

I suspect Motec + M1 build may be able to control this with a custom package with enough work, but I'd check with Emtron and Bosch Motorsport in case they already have a control strategy for this.

I agree this would be a really neat project if you can find a standalone to control it fully.

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