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  1. #1
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    My Frank Smith Tuning Experience / M3 experience Saga

    Sorry for the long story, but I wanted to share my experience with everyone.


    I picked up my M3 in October of this year from the member OneFastSicilian.


    I picked up this car because of all of the work/maintenance that was done to it (OneFastSicilian was not the one that did all the work to it). I have a kid on the way, and my zhp needed some maintenance, so my awesome wife and best friend convinced me to get an M3 while I can.


    Initially I was super pumped, but the car wasn't quite what I was expecting. I came out of an Active stage 2 ZHP that was around 335 to the wheels.


    I promptly purchased an Active Autowerke Gen 6 exhaust which gave me the illusion that I was going faster because of the sound. Still unhappy, I purchased SuperSprint V1 headers and a CPI CRT Cat/Resonated section 1 400 cel cats. This woke the car up a little, but I still wanted more (we all do). I also found that the K&N probably had never been cleaned. It weighed 5 lbs with gunk all over it. I took that out and replaced it with a BMC filter and sprayed the hell out of the MAF with cleaner.


    Well needless to say, still didn't make the difference that I was looking for. I decided to take the car down to Frank Smith since he is local. I figured maybe a tune would help. He promptly put it on the dyno, and this is what he found.

    Click here to enlarge


    Wow what is going on there? M3 with headers and high flow cats? 274? Why is it tanking a little after 6500? Well remember all the work that was done by the previous owner? One of those items was a Dr. Vanos. Frank told me that he had seen this before and it was a VANOS issue. At this point I am panicking because I have heard and read horror stories. Apparently if the proper BMW tools are not used, it will cause issues like these. In comes Dave (Dafoe) to the rescue. Dave was able to diagnose and fix the alignment. Dave said the exhaust side was a few teeth off I believe.


    Well here is the next dyno, pre-tune just vanos aligned properly.

    Click here to enlarge



    Getting better right? Now for the fun. Time to tune.

    Click here to enlarge



    So lets get this straight, I drive in with 274 HP and leave with 307 HP? Wow not bad for a 106k mile car.


    Here is the final comparison:

    Click here to enlarge



    Now let me finish by talking about the feel of the tune. If you are curious its not magical, its still no supercharged car, but I can honestly say, I don't miss my old car anymore.


    - The car is smoother, it feels like I have more torque in the bottom end and I don't have to make the car work as hard to get up to speed. I am old enough now that I appreciate the smoothness.


    - The car pulls a lot harder. Enough said.


    - Sport button memory. This is a perk to a tune. Must have for me.


    - Piece of mind. I know the car is running right and that everything is in spec, including the valves (thanks Dave).


    I am not sure if Frank is on this forum, but I wanted to say thanks for helping me fall in love with my car. It's nice to have a good guy like you near by.


    I will update later in the week once all of the adaptations have taken effect and give a review of my normal commuting and drive-ability.

  2. #2
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    Next mods will be pulleys, electric fan and intake elbow. I will post back here when I add these.

  3. #3
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    Great results.
    Click here to enlarge



    EURO 04 M3 Current Mods:GC DAs, Eibach Sways, PF RTAB's, RE RCAs, INTRAVEE II, Black Roundels, ///MFEST Badges, Depo's, Screen protector for NAV display, VCSL Bumper + Race Lip & CF Trunk & CF Rear Diffusor, DIETZ TV in Motion, SS= V1 Headers + catless pipes + X-Pipe + SS Sport Exhaust, Z8 Starter Button, Lamin-X, OEM CSL interior, OEM CSL Steering, OEM CSL Intake, OEM CSL Roof, MSS54HP + OEM CSL Tune, BBS CH's, LIGHTWERKZ, 355mm ST40 BBK, BW Oil Cooler....

  4. #4
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    Which correction factors and which mode?

  5. #5
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    Those are great results and some very healthy gains! Nicely detailed.

    Now who the hell is Frank Smith?

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Ha sorry tuningtechfs.com

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bmw_knight Click here to enlarge
    Ha sorry tuningtechfs.com
    Well I'm mildly retarded considering they are our newest vendor.

    This works out perfectly though as I have plenty of info for an intro now.

    Thanks man.

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    Glad to help.

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    Promoted to the front page. @bmw_knight

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    Wow, cool. Hope it helps others.

  11. #11
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bmw_knight Click here to enlarge
    Wow, cool. Hope it helps others.
    It will. You've already helped me and Tuning Tech FS. Nicely done!

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    33whp gained from a tune only? Looks to me like 14whp gained from VANOS alignment and 19whp gained from the tune...

  13. #13
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stevenh Click here to enlarge
    33whp gained from a tune only? Looks to me like 14whp gained from VANOS alignment and 19whp gained from the tune...
    You're right.

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    Congrats OP & welcome to the TTFS tuning club! Very solid gains there, bet it feels like a different car on the street. Frank is very easy to deal with...top notch customer service.

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    Damn, so it was off the timing chain. Surprised the car didn't throw any codes or anything. Anyways, great gains and good to know the car is fixed. Lets hear the car with the headers and that exhaust.
    Burger Motorsports
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    It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser and installer of any BMS part to employ the correct installation techniques required to ensure the proper operation of BMS parts, and BMS disclaims any and all liability for any part failure due to improper installation or use. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to verify that the use of their vehicle and items purchased comply with federal, state and local regulations. BMS claims no legal federal, state or local certification concerning pollution controlled motor vehicles or mandated emissions requirements. BMS products labeled for use only in competition racing vehicles may only be used on competition racing vehicles operated exclusively on a closed course in conjunction with a sanctioned racing event, in accordance with all federal and state laws, and may never be operated on public roads/highways. Please click here for more information on legal requirements related to use of BMS parts.

  16. #16
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by stosh1 Click here to enlarge
    Congrats OP & welcome to the TTFS tuning club! Very solid gains there, bet it feels like a different car on the street. Frank is very easy to deal with...top notch customer service.
    More people know about TTFS than I thought. Awesome, glad to get their forum presence stronger.

  17. #17
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    Saw this post in our local bimmer alliance group. Frank smith really knows how to tune. I've seen him tune countless other e46 m3's and some as high as 320whp with just n/a bolt ons and 93 octane pump gas. Its cool to have all these tuners (frank smith, jake @ ptf) local lol.

  18. #18
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stucks Click here to enlarge
    Saw this post in our local bimmer alliance group. Frank smith really knows how to tune. I've seen him tune countless other e46 m3's and some as high as 320whp with just n/a bolt ons and 93 octane pump gas. Its cool to have all these tuners (frank smith, jake @ ptf) local lol.
    320 whp NA is serious power out of the S54. 100 wheel horsepower per liter... no joke.

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    Congrats OP. I'm glad Dave was able to fix that vanos issue and solid gains from Frank's tune. Would love to meet you and your new car one day.

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    Very nice. I should be having headers installed within a week or so as well. Are you running the stock maf, or alpha N?

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    Thank for sharing @bmw_knight

    It's such a tedious job working on the VANOS on our S54s and any slight and minute inaccuracy can have huge ramifications on top end power. Great to hear that you got everything sorted out and most of all tuned.

    I brought up some questions on the other forum, but I also was curious and wanted to clarify.

    Are dyno runs R16487.001 - .003 all before Dave retimed your motor?

    Thanks again!
    2002 E46 M3 6MT | Jet Black . Black Nappa | My GermanBoost Build Thread
    2009 E90 M3 DCT | Melbourne Red . Speed Cloth

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    Hi Alex,


    We probably should have done some more pre runs but, since we have seen several cars now come thru the shop with Vanos issues, I figured why beat on it for no reason. Once Dave pulled it apart he confirmed that the intake was off. As you can see run number 8 was the stabilized run after the fix. I will try to dig up some comparisons of pre and post Vanos fix and post them for another car. It's kind of a pain because my analog dyno dynamics as it stores all the files by id number not by customer name so I have to know the id that I am looking for.


    Having Dave available to do the Vanos is a blessing, he has got it down, and can knock it out in no time.


    I just wanted to add so there is no confusion, we did not actually do 35 full runs to get the tune correct on the car, we did a lot of short recordings of different loads ect. The reason is we now have a very high quality emulator which allows us to do live tuning with the factory DME. We can now hold the car steady state and make cell by cell changes watching horsepower and torque move accordingly. Another benefit we can monitor all the different maps that DME is accessing for compensation at any given point and make live changes to one or all of them. This allows us not have to make certain assumptions when tuning rather hit the cells and get it 100%. This car is a perfect example, though 307 whp is not record breaking numbers, but if you look at the torque curve it is smooth and clean as well at just about 260ftlbs of torque. That in my opinion is a pretty healthy torque number for a car that has a euro header, catted section one and a muffler for mods.


    Last we are looking forward to are new AWD linked dyno that is due to arrive
    next week which will further allow us to monitor the the DME thru real-time obd2 logging of all available DME parameters and have the ability to overlay them on the graphs. Also we are looking forward to having the ability to turn the front tires on the dyno as we will be exploring modifying things like the DSC tables, ect. Some of the newer cars wont realize changes like raising the rpm limit without the front tires turning. Hopefully by sharing this information the entire community can benefit. I will keep you posted.


    Also, OP thank you for the kind words and taking time to post and Sticky for putting this on the first page.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TTFS Click here to enlarge
    Hi Alex,


    We probably should have done some more pre runs but, since we have seen several cars now come thru the shop with Vanos issues, I figured why beat on it for no reason. Once Dave pulled it apart he confirmed that the intake was off. As you can see run number 8 was the stabilized run after the fix. I will try to dig up some comparisons of pre and post Vanos fix and post them for another car. It's kind of a pain because my analog dyno dynamics as it stores all the files by id number not by customer name so I have to know the id that I am looking for.


    Having Dave available to do the Vanos is a blessing, he has got it down, and can knock it out in no time.


    I just wanted to add so there is no confusion, we did not actually do 35 full runs to get the tune correct on the car, we did a lot of short recordings of different loads ect. The reason is we now have a very high quality emulator which allows us to do live tuning with the factory DME. We can now hold the car steady state and make cell by cell changes watching horsepower and torque move accordingly. Another benefit we can monitor all the different maps that DME is accessing for compensation at any given point and make live changes to one or all of them. This allows us not have to make certain assumptions when tuning rather hit the cells and get it 100%. This car is a perfect example, though 307 whp is not record breaking numbers, but if you look at the torque curve it is smooth and clean as well at just about 260ftlbs of torque. That in my opinion is a pretty healthy torque number for a car that has a euro header, catted section one and a muffler for mods.


    Last we are looking forward to are new AWD linked dyno that is due to arrive
    next week which will further allow us to monitor the the DME thru real-time obd2 logging of all available DME parameters and have the ability to overlay them on the graphs. Also we are looking forward to having the ability to turn the front tires on the dyno as we will be exploring modifying things like the DSC tables, ect. Some of the newer cars wont realize changes like raising the rpm limit without the front tires turning. Hopefully by sharing this information the entire community can benefit. I will keep you posted.


    Also, OP thank you for the kind words and taking time to post and Sticky for putting this on the first page.
    Thanks for chiming in Frank. I have been hearing a bit about this "new" emulator technology for the MSS54. Seriously exciting stuff and definitely opening up a new frontier for tuning our DMEs. Sounds like it has been working well for you. I saw on Instagram and Facebook that you also moved into a new shop. Congrats on getting a new dyno! A few friends and I went to the PRI trade show under our new shop business venture and it was cool to chat with Dyno Dynamics about their products and tools.

    Totally agree with you, @bmw_knight's new power and torque curve can only equate to one hell of a car to drive!

    No worries about going back and digging through files. I don't want you go through the trouble!

    I was just curious if runs R16487.001, .002, and .003 were before Dave worked his magic on the VANOS because I noticed a rather noticeable difference in shape of and area under the curve amongst the three separate runs.

    All the best.
    2002 E46 M3 6MT | Jet Black . Black Nappa | My GermanBoost Build Thread
    2009 E90 M3 DCT | Melbourne Red . Speed Cloth

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    Thanks for the great comments everyone. Yes @flipm3 it is a lot more fun to drive now. I am really wondering what it would have dyno'd at with the stock manifold and muffler.

    Thanks @TTFS I had no clue what those numbers meant.

    I am loving this car now. Its so smooth. I think my most favorite thing is when I am cruising in sixth gear, I can just press on the gas and I have power.

    I can't wait to get more mods and have another session.

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Nice! Frank is a go-to type of guy, knows his stuff and has always gone the extra mile for me (on multiple occasions). He is definitely an asset for the BMW community and he is helping push the s54 boundaries NA and FI.

    Frank tuned my mostly custom VF SC kit to 563whp on a completely stock block, which was staying relatively conservative/safe-ish, lol. My first time visiting him I found my intake manifold was cracked as we were pulling it on the dyno and frank was nice enough to tig it up on the spot for me!

    Anyways, happy to see frank getting the credit he deserves as he gets bad press for no reason on a different forum from people that have never met him.
    02 M3 JB/IR
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