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Old 11-26-2010, 10:53 AM   #1
325iXT
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iX touring, megasquirt or not?

Hi everyone,

I'm from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and picked up a 1988 325iX Touring a couple months ago. The car is in amazing shape and I've already done a bunch of work to it. Now that's its snowing and icy I'm amazed at how well the awd works!

Anyway, the car is completely original save for the bilstein HD shocks and some powder coating under the hood, and I'm contemplating converting it to run on megasquirt (fuel and wasted spark). The purpose of this would be 1) fuel economy (currently 21-29mpg) 2) response/control 3) fun project.

Technically, I have no worries about doing it. I have tuning and electronics experience but what I'm worried about is resale value because its a fairly rare car around here. Is this something to worry about or should plunge in and do it? Would you pay less for this car if it was megasquirted? I would try and do it without making any irreversible changes but the question still lingers. It also opens it up for turbo possibilities but I imagine that would reduce the value more? I'd appreciate any thoughts or comments you might have.

Thanks

Mike
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:12 AM   #2
NOTORIOUS VR
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If you do it right, you will be able to have the car run better then when it was on Motronic, in which case I don't see how you will have a problem with resale at all.

If you cannot do it right (starts, idles and drives like a bucket) you might want to consider a chip + MAF conversion instead.
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:28 PM   #3
325iXT
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If you do it right, you will be able to have the car run better then when it was on Motronic, in which case I don't see how you will have a problem with resale at all.

If you cannot do it right (starts, idles and drives like a bucket) you might want to consider a chip + MAF conversion instead.
Thanks Notorious, the whole point is to get into a more efficient and accurate system than the motronic. The MAIN goal is efficiency since this is my daily driver, driveability would be a nice benefit of that.

I just wasn't sure if somebody looking to buy this car would be turned off from the megasquirt since its not 'original'. I'm new to the BMW crowd so I'm not sure what people like/don't like. Normally I would never consider resale value when making a change but for this vehicle I'd rather not lose a tonne on it as I'm basically restoring the rest of it to keep it mint.

Nice website btw! Looks like a fun business

Mike
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:57 PM   #4
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If it were something like an E30 M3, which is highly sought after & commands a high dollar value if left stock then maybe you would have something to think about (although for me, engine management would be the first thing I would do to any old BMW like an E30 incl. the M3 since there is so much to gain).

If your case, I wouldn't think twice. You can do a nice full sequential setup if you so choose with full wideband feedback, etc, etc. So many advantages IMO.

Do it!
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Old 11-26-2010, 05:11 PM   #5
325iXT
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If it were something like an E30 M3, which is highly sought after & commands a high dollar value if left stock then maybe you would have something to think about (although for me, engine management would be the first thing I would do to any old BMW like an E30 incl. the M3 since there is so much to gain).

If your case, I wouldn't think twice. You can do a nice full sequential setup if you so choose with full wideband feedback, etc, etc. So many advantages IMO.

Do it!

Ya I have a line on a cheap setup that a friend built and tested then sold the car he was going to put it on, MS2 v3, and I would go sequential fuel with wasted spark. With the Motronic 55 pin adapter board it makes it a pretty painless conversion.

The ix touring wasn't cheap to buy (though not as much as an E30 M3) but it still has a very small market base and if I want to sell it I don't want to turn those guys off if its not original, but if they don't care, then great!
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Old 11-26-2010, 05:42 PM   #6
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I obviously cannot speak for everyone. But serious buyers won't (shouldn't) be turned off if the system is properly installed and tuned IMO.

Good luck!
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:31 PM   #7
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As a somewhat long time megasquirt user, I have to ask this question: how much efficiency do you think you can gain? If you're as lean as factory settings, you'll be about the same. Leaner, you'll suffer performance loss (which you'll make up by mashing the gas more) and richer, you'll gain performance and lose out of fuel consumption. The motronic system is really not that bad. Every off the shelf solution aims for more power at the expense of efficiency.

You'll *NEVER* gain so much efficiency that you'll make back:

- the couple hundred bucks for the MS unit and any sensors you'll need to buy
- the many hours you'll spend tuning

Hey, I'm all for MS, I love to tinker, but don't kid yourself that you'll save $ in the long run. IMO, you won't.

If you want amazing mileage, find some narrow tires and over-inflate them. Srsly.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:51 AM   #8
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i like ix tourings.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:15 AM   #9
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I'm not really up to speed on the mega squirt as it applies to an e30, but the one that I am running in my turbo Miata has been wired up with factory plugs. It just plugs into the factory wire harness and can be removed in very little time.

If you are worried about resale, just keep all the stock parts and put the car back to stock before you sell it. This would allow you to then sell your setup to someone here when you are done. Seems win/win to me.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:17 AM   #10
325iXT
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As a somewhat long time megasquirt user, I have to ask this question: how much efficiency do you think you can gain? If you're as lean as factory settings, you'll be about the same. Leaner, you'll suffer performance loss (which you'll make up by mashing the gas more) and richer, you'll gain performance and lose out of fuel consumption. The motronic system is really not that bad. Every off the shelf solution aims for more power at the expense of efficiency.

You'll *NEVER* gain so much efficiency that you'll make back:

- the couple hundred bucks for the MS unit and any sensors you'll need to buy
- the many hours you'll spend tuning

Hey, I'm all for MS, I love to tinker, but don't kid yourself that you'll save $ in the long run. IMO, you won't.

If you want amazing mileage, find some narrow tires and over-inflate them. Srsly.

Some good points here thanks. AFR's would likely remain close to stock as you mentioned, the efficiency gain in my mind would come from a lot tighter ignition control and the ability to run a ton of advance at cruise/under light load, that and better air metering.

Now, with winter conditions and studded ice tires, at about 120km/hr I get roughly 21 mpg. 110kph is around 24-25mpg. (25-30 psi in tires) In the fall I could get 29mpg on the hwy, barely. If I could get 30mpg on the hwy I think I would be happy. Of course if I puttered around at 95kph that would be possible but that's not going to happen!

I would guess you'd reach a point where cam timing/intake/exhaust tuning will be working against you and head/combustion efficiency with the older head would start being the limiting factor in economy. I've gone as far as thinking (only thinking) about trying a 2-5 psi turbo set up with a tiny little turbo that runs out of air at 4500-5000 rpm that would be 0-2 psi cruising to to boost efficiency but haven't decided on that yet (having turbos sitting around from other projects is not good, they're just sitting there!). Not to mention this would make it a lot more fun around town so you can accelerate without reving the bejeezus out of it.

Mike
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:20 AM   #11
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i like ix tourings.
Me too

Last edited by 325iXT; 11-29-2010 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:14 PM   #12
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me too
me three, now post some pics!
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Some people have serious track experience from the cruise, so what is fast to you, isn't fast to them.
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:17 PM   #13
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Here is the only decent photo I have of it right now
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:20 PM   #14
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me three
That's a lie. You thought you liked iX tourings, what you really wanted was a RWD touring

...I also like tourings
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:35 PM   #15
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I've gone as far as thinking (only thinking) about trying a 2-5 psi turbo set up with a tiny little turbo that runs out of air at 4500-5000 rpm that would be 0-2 psi cruising to to boost efficiency but haven't decided on that yet (having turbos sitting around from other projects is not good, they're just sitting there!). Not to mention this would make it a lot more fun around town so you can accelerate without reving the bejeezus out of it.
Why go through all that bother to try and get more air into the motor and then end up restricting it by forcing it through a tiny turbo? Slap a nice turbo on it and run 10+psi through it. You'll stop caring about fuel efficiency
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