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Old 09-03-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
Nolimit77
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E36 owners: Ever consider installing the M50 manifold without a tune?

Now, ideally the M50 manifold should be installed along with a tune but for those who do not have the extra $350+ this may not be possible. After doing my research I noticed allot of people asking if it was worth doing so and it was a question I had wondered about ever since I got the manifold. Well, what better way to test this than at the track. What track? Mosport!

This past weekend was OTA event 7 & 8 so I thought I would do a true back to back test with the stock maifold and M50 manifold without a tune. Thankfully the weather was absolutely beautiful and both days had near identical nconditions within a degree and a couple % points. This was the most ideal testing.

Car:1996 328i
Class: GT2(Mosport class record 1:37.9)
Engine mods: K&N CAI, A/C delete, Fan delete
Suspension mods:Too many to list, PM if you want to know
Tires/Wheels: Kosei K1 17X8.5 with 245/40/17 Hankook RS-3 Tires

On Saturday, I was able to manage a 1:39.1(besting my PB by 2.1 seconds) and I felt that I had left nothing on the table in terms of time. After completing the first day, and since I was camping over, I decided to swap to the M50 manifold so I could do Sunday's event with it. After it was installed, I drove the car around the area to allow the ECU time adjust to the increased volume of air. It ran fine but I knew the real test would come tomorrow.

After waking up, I made sure to fill the car up to the same level as I had the previous day just to make sure things were as equal as possible. My only concern about changing the manifold was how much effect would the toque loss have on my exit out of 5B(3rd gear). Even with the stock manifold, the car would only come out of 5B at around 3500RPM. Any torque loss would make the car lug even more and unfortauntely 2nd gear is too short to utilize. During my first run, I immediately noticed speeds were higher through 2-3, 4-5a and 5b-8 and that the torque loss had not been as bad as I had thought it would be. As the morning went on they crept up a little higher as the computer was continuing to adjust to the new manifold. At the end of the day, I am happy to report that my new PB fell to a 1:38.5. I could not be any happier with the result! Again, I felt I had left nothing on the track so I can say without a doubt, the manifold swap resulted in a .6 second improvement over one lap at Mosport.

Below are the times/speeds from Saturday/Sunday:

Saturday with stock M52 manifold- 1:39.1 *Turns 5B-8, 184km/h*
Sunday with M50 manifold and NO tune- 1:38.5 *Turns 5B-8, 192 km/h*

Hope this helps those who have been waiting to install their M50 Manifolds.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
cormier
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Wow, interesting data! Good to hear, I wouldn't have expected such a gain as the swap is usually downplayed quite a bit
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:17 PM   #3
Trekz
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I have 2 m50 manifolds for sale $100 a pop!

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Old 09-04-2012, 08:49 AM   #4
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Those sound like great times
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:09 PM   #5
Gleb
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OP, realistically speaking, the only thing you kind of proved, is that at 7/10 the M50 manifold is not much different from a M52 one.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:46 PM   #6
Nolimit77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gleb View Post
OP, realistically speaking, the only thing you kind of proved, is that at 7/10 the M50 manifold is not much different from a M52 one.
What did you expect from a manifold swap without a tune? I think .6 seconds is worth the $150 investment. There isn't many things you can do to the car to gain that time with that kind of money. Actually, the only other thing would be an alignment. Let me go further...

OTA class rules use "PIPS" for each part changed or modified, some are worth 1 and some are worth as much as 12. There is a 5 PIP separation between each class with an expected 1 second difference in lap times. For example, if the fastest GT1 car is expected to do 1:25, then GT2 would have to do 1:26 to get maximum points(pax). This means that each PIP that you use, must at the very least gain you .2 seconds. In my case, the manifold swap cost me 1 PIP and gained me .6 seconds. So for me, it makes allot of sense!


I guess what it really comes down to is, is it worth it to you? The information I posted was intended to help people make the decision. Before this event, I did ALLOT of research and no one could provide real data so I took upon myself to change that. Was the test perfect? No, but it was really damn close. Take it for what it is.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:49 PM   #7
Gleb
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Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to start anything...
Just WAY too many variables.
Without back to back dyno testing and data, all you did is went .6 of a second faster on Sunday than Saturday.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gleb View Post
Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to start anything...
Just WAY too many variables.
Without back to back dyno testing and data, all you did is went .6 of a second faster on Sunday than Saturday.


Your right, it was all a coincidence.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
BigD
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There's no need to debate or tune anything. The M50 manifold has larger runners and makes more power, period. It's been shown an endless number of times on dynos, even for those who can't clearly see the difference in flow (it's hardly subtle). More importantly, it doesn't fall off at the top end like the M52 manifold. And the difference isn't outside of the range of the system to require any tuning. More flow simply means you need enough fuel to match the extra air. If the DME couldn't keep up, you'd see injector duty cycle codes. Don't waste your money on tuning and enjoy the extra power.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Don't waste your money on tuning and enjoy the extra power.
While I agree that there won't be a huge improvement and it isn't the best hp/$, I dont think it's a complete waste.

TRM seems to have made an OBDII tune for the m50 manifold with noticable gains.

This quote taken from bf.c, m50 manifold, before and after TRM tune.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHARMDVIPER View Post

green is before the TRM tune
blue is after the TRM tune




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GCkiGut59E&feature=plcp
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:50 AM   #11
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And just to show that there is an improvement with a tune, this is a quote from bf.c with dyno before and after an m50 manifold.

Notice the drop in torque you don't see above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdrifts View Post
Red curve is with the m50, I barely notice the drop in the 3k range when driving and she really opens up after 4k now, very happy with the m50 swap.


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Old 09-05-2012, 09:32 AM   #12
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My point is that tuning is not necessary to use the M50 manifold. If you want to mess with the timing, power can be gained with any manifold, since they build in a safety margin from the factory (and as such, it's not an especially great idea unless it's a track car). But the manifold alone does not require any kind of special tuning just for its own sake. A better manifold simply lets you flow more air. The MAF and IAT readings will inform the DME of this and it will adjust the fuel in step.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:45 AM   #13
Nolimit77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigD View Post
My point is that tuning is not necessary to use the M50 manifold. If you want to mess with the timing, power can be gained with any manifold, since they build in a safety margin from the factory (and as such, it's not an especially great idea unless it's a track car). But the manifold alone does not require any kind of special tuning just for its own sake. A better manifold simply lets you flow more air. The MAF and IAT readings will inform the DME of this and it will adjust the fuel in step.
This was the only point I was trying to make in my OP. Perhaps we can get more people in here to share their experience with this swap.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:53 AM   #14
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My point is that tuning is not necessary to use the M50 manifold.
Fair enough, I was just responding your statement that it was a waste of money.

Pretty sure it is well understood that a tune isn't required and that there are top end gains and some low end torque loss without a tune, but a tune can help get some of the low end torque that is lost back, so it isn't completely worthless, just another mod.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:59 AM   #15
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you dont need a tune with the m50.

though as pointed out it can help recover some of the torque drop
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