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BMW E39 Engine Management Systems
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Engine Management Systems

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

****

Tools:

ECM flash tool, supplied with software

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)

Parts Required:

DME flash too and software

Hot Tip:

Use this info to better understand your BMW E39 engine

Performance Gain:

Fuel economy and performance

Complementary Modification:

Upgrade DME software

BMW E39 engine management systems--an overview

BMW E39 cars (1997 - 2003) are equipped with digital engine management systems (called Digital Motor Electronics or DME). The engine control module (ECM) in these systems is programmed with software for control of fuel injection, ignition and other functions. BMW DME systems comply with second generation on-board diagnostics (OBD II) standards.

The table below summarizes the DME systems used in E39 sports cars:

 Model, Years Engine Engine Management
 528i, 1997-1998 M52 2.8 liter 6-cylinder Siemens MS 41.1
 528i, 1999-2000 M52 TU 2.8 liter 6-cylinder Siemens MS 42.0
 525i, 2001-2003 M54 2.5 liter 6-cylinder Siemens MS 43.0
 530i, 2001-2002 M54 3.0 liter 6-cylinder Siemens MS 43.0
 540i, 1997 M62 4.4 liter V-8 Bosch M5.2
 540i, 1998 M62 4.4 liter V-8 Bosch M5.2.1
 540i, 1999-2003 M62 TU 4.4 liter V-8 Bosch ME7.2

Engine control module (ECM)

The engine control module (ECM or DME) (green arrow) is mounted in the electronics-box (E-box) at right rear of the engine compartment underneath the interior ventilation filter housing.
Figure 1

The engine control module (ECM or DME) (green arrow) is mounted in the electronics-box (E-box) at right rear of the engine compartment underneath the interior ventilation filter housing. In MS 42.0 and MS 43.0 cars the ECM is flash-programmable to boost certain performance parameters, such as allowing for higher top RPM or increasing low-end torque. The transmission control module is mounted next to the DME (yellow arrow) Fuel supply, fuel injection An electrically operated fuel pump, located inside the fuel tank, supplies high pressure fuel (approx. 3.5 bar or 50 psi) to the engine fuel rail. The fuel rail in turn distributes fuel to the electronically actuated fuel injectors. The ECM meters the fuel output of injectors using pulse width signals. It varies the pulse width based on input signals. Inputs to the ECM include: Air intake volume using mass airflow sensor signal. Ambient and coolant temperature signals. Accelerator pedal signal. Crankshaft and camshaft position signals. Knock sensor signals Intake system

The M52 TU / M54 intake manifold is known as the resonance / turbulence intake system.
Figure 2

The M52 TU / M54 intake manifold is known as the resonance / turbulence intake system. The molded plastic intake manifold consists of two sets of three intake runners. Resonance valves are used to vary the length of the runners in order to enhance low end torque at low engine speeds or allow high volume air flow at medium or high engine speeds. The intake manifold is also equipped with a 5.5 mm turbulence port for each cylinder. These ports channel idle and low speed air from the idle speed control regulator to one intake valve in each cylinder. (There are 2 intake valves per cylinder.) Air rushing through one valve causes air swirl and more efficient fuel atomization in the cylinder.

8-cylinder (M62 / M62TU) models utilize a single intake manifold (green arrows) with individual runners and fuel injectors for each cylinder.
Figure 3

8-cylinder (M62 / M62TU) models utilize a single intake manifold (green arrows) with individual runners and fuel injectors for each cylinder. The crankcase breather valve (yellow arrow) is integrated to the rear of the manifold, mounted to the rear. You can remove the intake manifold with most components attached. See our tech article on intake manifold removing. Variable camshaft timing (VANOS)

E39 cars with 6-cylinder engine or M62 TU V-8 are equipped with ECM-controlled variable camshaft timing (VANOS).
Figure 4

E39 cars with 6-cylinder engine or M62 TU V-8 are equipped with ECM-controlled variable camshaft timing (VANOS). The system uses engine oil pressure to adjust camshaft timing, offering the following advantages: The system uses engine oil pressure to adjust camshaft timing, offering the following advantages: Increased power. Higher low end and medium speed torque. Improved idle and fuel efficiency. Elimination of external EGR plumbing (internal EGR). Quicker warm-up and lower emissions. Models with M52 (6-cylinder) engine are equipped with single VANOS; this system varies intake valve timing only. Models with M52 TU, M54 and M62 TU engine are equipped with Double VANOS; this system operates independently on both intake and exhaust valve timing. Throttle control, idle control 6-cylinder models with DME MS 41.1 are equipped with a conventional throttle assembly with an accelerator cable. In MS 42.0 vehicles, an accelerator cable connects the gas pedal to an electronic throttle valve.

In MS 43.
Figure 5

In MS 43.0 vehicles, the throttle cable is eliminated and throttle actuation is completely electronic (drive-by-wire).

In vehicles equipped with V-8 engine, the M62 engine throttle is operated by a conventional throttle cable; in the M62 TU engine throttle actuation is completely electronic (drive-by-wire).
Figure 6

In vehicles equipped with V-8 engine, the M62 engine throttle is operated by a conventional throttle cable; in the M62 TU engine throttle actuation is completely electronic (drive-by-wire). In 6-cylinder models and M62 engine, the idle speed control valve is controlled by the ECM to bypass varying amounts of air around the closed throttle valve. A separate idle speed control valve is eliminated in M62 TU engine. Idle speed is not adjustable. Ignition and knock control The ignition system uses one ignition coil per cylinder, each coil mounted above a spark plug. Multiple sparks per ignition cycle are used to reduce emissions and extend spark plug life. Spark timing is controlled by the ECM using an ignition spark "map". Spark timing is not adjustable.

However, to prevent engine damage in case of adverse conditions or poor fuel quality, knock (detonation) sensors are mounted on the engine crankcase.
Figure 7

However, to prevent engine damage in case of adverse conditions or poor fuel quality, knock (detonation) sensors are mounted on the engine crankcase. These are microphones tuned to the frequency of engine knock and communicate such knock to the ECM. The ECM can respond to these signals by changing (usually retarding) ignition timing at one or more cylinders. (6-cylinder engine shown in photo) Exhaust manifolds and oxygen sensors Oxygen sensor signals are used by the ECM to control fuel delivery. The M52 and M62 engine (1997 - 1998) are equipped with two exhaust manifolds leading to dual middle exhaust pipes and dual catalytic converters. Two oxygen sensors are ahead and two are behind the catalysts. In the M52 TU and M54 (1999 - 2002), the three front cylinders and three rear cylinders are each equipped with a separate exhaust manifold, each with an integrated catalytic converter. This allows the converters to heat up a very short time after a cold start. The manifolds are also equipped with 4 oxygen sensors, one before each catalyst and one after. In the M62 TU engine the exhaust manifold on each bank of cylinders has a built-in pre-catalyst with an oxygen sensor ahead of it. There is a second catalyst further back on each exhaust pipe and an oxygen sensor on each pipe behind that. R-flashing the engine control module (ECM) We offer a well-tested system for re-flashing (reprogramming) the ECM, depending on your vehicle year and model:

The Shark Injector, designed for 1997 - 2003 models, re-flashes the ECM to improve low-end torque.
Figure 8

The Shark Injector, designed for 1997 - 2003 models, re-flashes the ECM to improve low-end torque. The car wonÂÂÂ't hesitate or lag, making it easier to drive. And with the extra torque you can drive in a higher gear and not have to downshift as often, thus improving fuel mileage. The Shark Injector may be upgraded via USB port, depending on your performance needs. 16 Pin model shown, 20 pin also available.

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Comments and Suggestions:
willie Comments: Ifgot n problem with my325tds dieselelectronic fuelcontrol light comes on what can I do pls
October 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the engine control module for fault codes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Glockfan42 Comments: Forgot to add that when I misses at low rpm, it's much more noticeable and more aggressive.
March 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Got it, thanks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Glockfan42 Comments: Hey. I have a 2000 540i/6. I've developed a small, almost unnoticeable miss at idle. Also when driving under load below 2000rpm. Just replaced the spark plugs, everything looked good, no intake leaks that I could find. The car still has great power as it's always had. No CEL. Any ideas before I take it to someone? Thanks!
March 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You need to see what part of the mixture is missing or faulty. I would check spark, fuel and compression on all cylinders.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 7/26/2017 02:06:30 AM