This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Pelican Parts' new book, How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 500+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any MINI owner's collection. The book is due to be released in late 2015. See The Official Book Website for more details.
If you are running a stock engine, one of the best upgrades you can perform is the installation of performance software. The factory programmed the original computer to compensate for a wide variety of driving characteristics. These days, you can find software that will elevate the rev-limiter, advance your timing, and generally run the engine with less conservatism than the factory programming.
One downside to installing performance software is that you need to run premium fuel with the software installed. Whereas the stock software is designed and mapped to provide good performance across a wide variety of operating conditions, the performance software is specifically mapped to assume that you are running high-octane gasoline. If your car doesn't have a knock sensor and you run low octane gasoline with a performance software, then harmful detonation may occur. If you run low octane fuel with a car that has a knock sensor, you will prevent detonation, but in general, you will not fully utilize the performance improvements of the software.
The Shark Injector Engine Software by Jim Conforti is a good choice for anyone seeking a little more performance out of their engine (available from PelicanParts.com). The software upgrade alters the fuel enrichment maps, cam & ignition timing, raises the factory-set RPM limiter, accelerator enrichment and optimizes other engine characteristics for increased performance. The Shark Injector is also upgrade-able through its own USB port, allowing you to upgrade to different software as your needs and modifications change.
The first step in installing software is to connect a good quality battery charger to the battery. The installation of the software requires a constant 10 amps (20 amps for cars with daytime running lamps) going through the vehicle's electrical system at all times. Do not skip this step as it could result in an inoperable vehicle, where the entire control module of the car would need to be replaced. Voltage below 12.5v can cause a permanent failure to the control module. If your battery charger has an automatic shutdown mode, disable it or find a different battery charger. you MUST have the correct voltage and amperage throughout the procedure. Also, note that trickle chargers will not work here. (NOTE: this procedure is also the same for restoring a car's software back to stock programming if you have already installed performance software)
Next, open the hood and turn the key two positions to ON and see that the check engine light turns on. (Do not start the car) On some MINIs as soon as you turn the key, the electro-hydraulic steering pump is actuated. If you hear this, turn the steering wheel. If the pitch of the whine changes, it is the steering pump and you have to remove a fuse from the fuse box to disable the pump as you install the software. Turn the ignition OFF, open the fuse box and remove fuse no. 39.
It's a good idea to let the battery charge for a while if you aren't sure of its condition. The idea is to have the battery fully charged during installation. If it's not sufficiently charged, the Shark Injector will let you know with a particular error code. (see near the end of the article for a list of error codes)
Open the driver's door and locate the OBD-II port underneath the dashboard. It will have "OBD" embossed into the cover plate. Open the cover.
Now, turn ON the ignition and lower the driver's and passenger side windows. You will need to be able to access the Shark Injector from outside the car. Unfortunately, all doors need to be closed during installation. Turn OFF the ignition and install the Shark Injector into the OBD-II diagnostic port. At this point, the green LED should be illuminated a SOLID green. If the green LED or the red LED is flashing or pulsing, remove the Shark Injector, count to ten and re-insert it into the port without pressing the button on the bottom. The Shark Injector will be powered via the OBD-II port even with the vehicle ignition (and ECU) switched off. DO NOT press the button while inserting the Injector into the port.
It is important that you be able to see the two LED's on the bottom of the Shark Injector during installation. Take a mirror and place it on the floor of the car so that you can see the LED's with the doors closed. Make sure that ALL electrical loads on the car are switched OFF. (Navigation, Radio, Climate Control, Courtesy Lamps, etc...) Also make sure that all of these items are unable of turning themselves on (i.e. Cell Phone) Note that the Navigation System Display sometimes needs to be turned off (via "Monitor Off") twice.
Exit the vehicle and close ALL doors. Now turn the ignition two clicks to the ON position and wait at least 30 seconds before pressing the button on the bottom of the Shark Injector. Within 3 seconds the green LED will begin to pulsate rapidly. This indicates that the Shark Injector is transferring data to the car's ECU. Note: NO ONE should be inside the car during this procedure. Just kick back and watch. Do NOT touch anything inside the car or the Shark Injector under ANY circumstances. Do NOT open the vehicle doors as this can disturb the programming.
In about 4 1/2 minutes, the red LED will turn on solid while the green LED continues to pulsate. This means that the Shark Injector is entering the re-programming phase. (See Figure 8) Once again, touch nothing during the process.
After another 4 1/2 minutes, the LED will turn off while the green LED continues to pulsate. This is the final check phase of reprogramming the car.
Finally, in about 2 minutes, the green LED will stop pulsating and illuminate SOLIDLY. This is the indication that the performance software upgrade has been successfully completed and verified. If you see a solid green and solid red LED, this indicates that a restore to stock programming was completed and verified.
You can now open the vehicle door and turn the ignition key completely off. Wait at least 30 seconds, but do NOT remove the Shark Injector.
Replace fuse no. 39 back into the fuse box if you removed it earlier. Be careful to not dislodge the Shark Injector from the OBD-II port. Also, do not re-fit the fuse box cover at this time as it will be very difficult to do with the Injector in the way.
Wait another 30 seconds and press the button on the bottom of the Shark Injector. The green LED will again begin to pulsate indicating the transfer of some final information to the car. This phase only lasts about 10 to 15 seconds before the green LED illuminates a SOLID green. Once the green LED is illuminates SOLID, you can proceed. (NOTE: If you are performing the restore function, you will again see a solid red and solid green LED as before) Now turn the engine completely off and wait another 30 seconds before removing the Shark Injector from the OBD-II port. You can now also remove the battery charger as installation is complete. Take the decal included with the Shark Injector and apply it next to the OBD-II cover and re-fit the fuse box cover.
Keep in mind that the Shark Injector will clear and fault codes stored in the DME. If you previously had a Check Engine light or Service Engine Soon light, indicating a fault code(s), this will be reset when installation is completed. Should a CEL or SES light come on after the software installation, it is likely due to the condition that pre-existed the software install. The Shark Injector will also clear adaption values back to original setting (if so equipped). Adaption takes place when the DME senses the need for correction to maintain an "ideal" air/fuel ratio for things like altitude or fuel quality. If a pre-existing condition persists the DME will revert back to it's previous adaption values.
If the Shark Injector encounters any exceptions or difficulties during installation, the red LED will flash out a 3-digit code at a pace of 0.5 sec per flash with 2 seconds pause between digits. All codes begin with a single flash, and none of the digits will repeat. If you receive any flash codes, refer to the list below.
If you do receive any fault codes, do NOT simply unplug the Shark Injector. Turn the ignition off, wait at least 30 seconds and then unplug the Injector from the car. Failure to follow this procedure can damage both the Injector and/or your car!
The following codes indicate that your vehicle is now drivable, but could NOT be successfully programmed for some reason. Follow the advice below to correct the situation.
123 - Vehicle voltage too low. You must ensure at least 12.5v for programming. Most likely, the battery charger is not charging at 10 amps or above.
124 - Programming voltage too low. You must ensure sufficient charge for programming. Most likely, the battery charger is not charging at 10 amps or above.
125 - Programming voltage needed, not present. Contact your Shark Injector dealer.
126 - Bad Key Index. Contact your Shark Injector dealer.
128 - Login Authentication Failed. Contact your Shark Injector dealer.
142 - DME Hardware Unknown. The DME hardware is different from any hardware Shark Injector is familiar with.
143 - DME Contents not stock. The existing DME programming is not stock. It may already have performance software installed. The Shark Injector can only function on a stock programmed DME.
147 - DME Software Unknown. Return the Shark Injector for analysis. (your car may have an old, new or an unusual version of BMW software installed). Most likely, your BMW dealer has installed a new version of BMW software. You will have to send your Injector back for an update.
152 - Injector Stock Storage Failure. Return the Shark Injector for analysis.
153 - Injector Not Prepared. Return the Shark Injector for analysis.
162 - Vehicle Mismatch. The Shark Injector was previously used or attempted to be used on a different car. The unit will only work on one car. The code could also be the result of BMW's new system of re-programming cars. Contact your Shark Injector dealer for more info.
163 - Bad User Request. User requested an Upgrade when already upgraded or a Restore when already restored to stock.
Shown here is the Shark Injector. This hand held unit plugs into the factory OBD-II port and features a USB connection to download new, custom software from the manufacturer.
On the backside of the fuse box cover is a graphic showing the location of fuse no.39. (green arrow) This fuse must be removed on cars with electro-hydraulic steering that is active with the ignition turned on, but the engine not running.
Remove fuse no. 39 if so required.
Locate the OBD-II port underneath the dashboard. (green arrow)
Shown here is the OBD-II port with the cover open. Unlike older cars where you would replace an EPROM chip in the computer, the Shark Injector flashes the computer with the new software from this port. .
With a good battery charger connected to the battery, plug the Shark Injector into the OBD-II port with the ignition turned off and follow the installation instructions exactly.
Place a mirror on the driver's side floor so you can see the LEDs illuminating on the Shark Injector while installing the software. In this position you can see the changing lights on the Shark Injector as the software installs.
Place the supplied decal next to the OBD-II port to advise a technician of the performance software installed in the car (green arrow).