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Hi I'm new here and interested in a tune for my 01 540i auto. I'm leaning towards a tune from RKTuning that was a recommendation through his site. Is there any feedback on them...so far they seem good and fair. I'm also not looking to be running around with timing at its max just for results. I want a clean hp and torque improvement without loosing drivability and more importantly reliability. I currently have a cat back exhaust and most likely will drop in a K&N box filter. Along with the minor gains I also know the limiter will be increased. So my questions are, are they any good, will it be reliable and can I return to stock settings if wanted. Thanks in advance.
 

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If the K & N filter is the kind where you spray on a film, I'd think twice about it. This bacause the maf sensor is so important, anything that degrades it's performance will hurt motor performance.

Rev increase: Chances are your going to be out of the peek hp and peek torque ranges anyway without a serious increase in cam duration and lift.

This is a heavy body car and the auto trans is a potential trouble spot for you. How frequently has the fluid been changed?

Jim
 

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I'm curios but are dinan products available as second hand as in someone can sell the "chip"?
 

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I'm curios but are dinan products available as second hand as in someone can sell the "chip"?
In our cars, I believe Dinan products aren't so much "chips" as they are software updates.
Of course, I'm just talking about tuning products, not hardware updates (like air intakes & exhausts...).
 

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Many agree that performance tuning provides minimal increases.

Yes, the upgrade is a firmware change. Ask your seller if it's reversible.
 

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The drop in K&N isn't one that you spray oil in. Just drop it in place of the OE. I needed a new filter on my 540I and went with the drop in K&N. Can't tell you if it added any HP, but you can hear the intake a little more, which I like. FYI, the K&N cone filters that need a very light mist of oil are fine. 99% of the users that have had problems with their MAF have applied way to much oil!! Most get it almost dripping wet. It needs to be so light that you still see the white color of the filter, so none will get sucked in. I've used them on a number of cars and they've always been a benefit to a small HP increase and zero problems.

I've had quite a bit of experience with tuning high performance V8's, i.e. Corvettes, new GTOs, Pontiac Firehawks, Supercharged GTPs and others. First, any type of performance tune will not improve reliability, just the opposite. You're messing with the brains of the car, obviously. Any changes from the factory has a chance of problems now, or down the line. Example: if it was a car under warranty, it would void your warranty. It's always best to know other people that have used the tuner that you want to use. Don't just go by what he says!!

This guy must be very astute in the tuning of BMW's specifically, not just some performance tuner dude! If it was me, I'd get a handheld tuner, that you can install a number of preset tunes yourself. You can save your factory tune in it and revert to it if you need or want to. They may not give you quite the same HP increase as say a true dyno-tune, but they are safer, easier on the car and more reliable without a doubt. Some cars have popped their engine on the dyno during a tuning session, seen it happen. So if he's just using a laptop, and doesn't have a dyno to measure your before HP & torque numbers and then your after tune gains, this guy is NOT a true tuner and I would NOT use him.

Look around at what your options are from Dinan, etc. I'm not up on all the available handheld tuners or "chips", which have been somewhat outdated by the handheld devices, at least in the rest of the performance car world. You be glad you did. Lastly, I wouldn't expect huge numbers from just a drop in filter and a tune. Usually, other supporting mods are installed first: headers is almost a must, a better intake than just a drop-in, a true cat back exhaust, if a single pipe is used, which is OK, it must be 3" in diameter, and other parts, like forced induction, small nitrous kits, etc. I would not use a tuner in your situation, only minimal mods, etc. Last time, look for a handheld tuner or a "chip". These are by far your safest options. They're tried and true to your BMW. Not worth taking a chance with what you have now!!
 

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The drop in K&N does require oiling after cleaning.

The key is to not over oil it. I've been running one for years and have never fouled a MAF.
 

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The drop in K&N does require oiling after cleaning.

The key is to not over oil it. I've been running one for years and have never fouled a MAF.
I'm running one also, came with the car, but after learning a bit about the maf, I'm not sure it's a great idea. Could be fine, I just don't know.

jim
 

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Just go easy when oiling the filter, also, let it dry overnight after oiling before reinstalling. Don't oil both sides of the filter, only oil the side that faces away from the MAF.
 

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I've got K&N cone set-up on on my LS2 GTO, stuck way low in the fender. I was always very careful to ever so lightly dust the filter with as light as possible mist. I've had no problems, ever. They're a pretty good filter, as long as the person oiling it pays very close attention. I think that some figure it will filter better, it won't. For the drop in, after cleaning, which for me is more than recommended, 15-20K miles, due to being in a dusty area, it's a good idea to again, very lightly mist it. I ONLY do one side, the side that the air is first drawn through. No need to do both and you could over oil it.
 

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All good point, thanks.

Jim
I don't remember if it says so in the instructions, but in the cone filters, just oil the outside too, for some that's obvious. You'll over do it by spraying it on the inside. Even with a super light mist, hold the can a good foot or so away, out of the wind. I also wipe it off with a clean, no lint rag after dusting it with the oil. Letting it sit overnight isn't a bad idea either. :thumbup:
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX6CedJwGJ0 Here's a pretty good clip for those of you that haven't done it yet. This guy, IMO, almost over oils the filter though. He uses a lot of oil, so just be aware of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone. Maybe I should just avoid the tune. I would really like to eliminate the speed limiter. Is that possible without a tune? Also anyone know of a handheld tuner?
 

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Thanks everyone. Maybe I should just avoid the tune. I would really like to eliminate the speed limiter. Is that possible without a tune? Also anyone know of a handheld tuner?
Why? Do you plan on hitting a track? Drive the autobahn? Dyno testing?
Chances of you ever able to reach top speed on the streets is very slim

And no not possible without a tune. Tuners? They're expensive. Think upwards of a grand or so.

Look for shop near you that specializes in bmw tuning or contact a bmw chapter near you. BMW is known to use alot of tricky software and not everyone will be able to tune it correctly as hammer said
 

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I don't see any draw backs to getting a tune. All of my cars have some kind of a tune or another typically the Conforti/Shark Injector.

All of the tunes are reversible as they will mail you a little unit that plugs into your OBD port, updates some parameters in your ECU like timing, air fuel mix, etc. typically increased your rpm limit a few 100rpms and removes the top speed limiter which is electronically controlled by the ECU.

I haven't heard of any issues from name brand tunes like Dinan or Conforti. Other companies are also offering tuning packages like RK Tunes which you've found, the Miller War Chip, and a few others that are popping up.

From my experience, Dinan tunes are a little more conservative and have all sorts of levels depending on what supporting mods you purchase from there. There is a charge each time you want to change your tune, but they'll send you an updated flash, you load it up, and off you go.

While I haven't heard of anything wrong with RK Tunes, I've mostly heard them in the forced induction area to support their turbo kits.

From a reliability standpoint, the tune will not change anything except maybe make you want to drive the car a bit harder more often lol. I just threw a conforti chip into my ZHP and I really like the additional low end torque the chip added which makes the car much more pleasant to drive around town.

I think a good easy set up that makes the car feel a little more alive (a small increase in power, as well as better sounds from the car) is a simple intake, which I prefer and have liked the AFE products, catback exhaust and the base level tune. Not a ton of money invested, not a huge gain of power, but it makes the car feel and drive a lot better without decreasing reliability.

I hope this helps, I'd say go for it if you can find a base level tune for the 540. Just looking at conforti stuff, I couldn't find one for the 540 on Turner Motorsports or Bimmerworld sites.
 

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Why? Do you plan on hitting a track? Drive the autobahn? Dyno testing?
Chances of you ever able to reach top speed on the streets is very slim

And no not possible without a tune. Tuners? They're expensive. Think upwards of a grand or so.

Look for shop near you that specializes in bmw tuning or contact a bmw chapter near you. BMW is known to use alot of tricky software and not everyone will be able to tune it correctly as hammer said
Dinan tuners start at about $300 and will eliminate your speed limiter. They are one of the safest and tried and true tuners you can get. A dyno-tune, which is where a tuner puts your car on a rack, redlines it 3 times to get the base numbers, then makes the adjustments, does three more full pulls to get your final tune numbers.

That's a once and your done deal for about $500. It's cheaper and safer, plus you can put your car back to stock, if you ever want to, and then retune if necessary. Going to a tuner is sort of chancey. I've had years of experience dealing with my cars being tuned, both ways. Dyno-tunes can be hard on a car as well. Especially, if you've got some miles on your car. Some make mistakes and greatly reduce your engines reliability. With Dinan, you really don't have that to worry about. BTW, it's nice to have a street car that'll do 150MPH. I know my Vette with just hit 200MPH. No autobahn needed. Just way late at night while nobody is on the road. ;)

http://www.dinancars.com/products/?series=5-Series&model=540i & sport wagon-e39&mid=1048

Scroll down and look at some of the software you can get for your laptop. This is a good way to go. None of them are close to $1,000. My handhelds were $500 each and that is close to the top.
 
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