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  1. #1
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    R8 coils vs. aftermarket N54 ignition coils?

    The more I've talked about this the more people have told me coil upgrades have existed essentially forever. Guys have been running R8 coils for 6+ years. Especially European members.

    My question then is, why are these coil upgrades coming out now? Are the aftermarket coils superior to the R8 coils?

    I'm just wondering how they differ.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    R8 coils require changes in the flash which were only recently made available. So while they have been available for years they're useless without the required changes in your tune. Not sure how guys have been running them for years

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by titium Click here to enlarge
    R8 coils require changes in the flash which were only recently made available. So while they have been available for years they're useless without the required changes in your tune. Not sure how guys have been running them for years
    So running them without optimization I guess?

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    I think the R8 coils are also "smart coils" that require some sort of converter box as well.

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    Well if people are like me they just never thought about it. Running water and meth I've always felt the sparks (generated from the coil) were a weak point in good timing. I never knew there were after market options.
    I'm definitely going to look towards an upgrade this year.

    Anyone running alcohol should also consider an upgrade due to the higher activation energy of the fuel compared to gasoline.
    Best:11.79@119mph on stock turbos.
    11.75@127 on GCs.
    FBO+Meth Port injection, GC Turbos, fuel-it stage2, JB4, Trebila flash.

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    It didn't take Tony long to do a review of the precision coils, where's the review on this these with some upgraded twins or a nice single on decent boost? Or did I miss it somewhere?

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    I checked into this a little while ago and the R8 coils will not work directly with a BMW ECU. They have to add a sort of relay to activate the smart coils. While this is an additional complication, it also relieves almost all of the stress that usually limits how much energy a BMW coil can produce. There are existing coils that would be "plug and play" with a BMW ECU, but the power requirements would be more than what our system can handle.

    ETA: The system that Tony tested maximizes how much power the existing BMW system can handle by using more efficient coils but, in theory, the other system should open up even more power by eliminating the ECU as a limitation.
    Last edited by Velocity26; 07-13-2017 at 12:59 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Velocity26 Click here to enlarge
    I checked into this a little while ago and the R8 coils will not work directly with a BMW ECU. They have to add a sort of relay to activate the smart coils. While this is an additional complication, it also relieves almost all of the stress that usually limits how much energy a BMW coil can produce. There are existing coils that would be "plug and play" with a BMW ECU, but the power requirements would be more than what our system can handle.


    ETA: The system that Tony tested maximizes how much power the existing BMW system can handle by using more efficient coils but, in theory, the other system should open up even more power by eliminating the ECU as a limitation.


    Very interesting Click here to enlarge
    Best:11.79@119mph on stock turbos.
    11.75@127 on GCs.
    FBO+Meth Port injection, GC Turbos, fuel-it stage2, JB4, Trebila flash.

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Velocity26 Click here to enlarge
    I checked into this a little while ago and the R8 coils will not work directly with a BMW ECU. They have to add a sort of relay to activate the smart coils. While this is an additional complication, it also relieves almost all of the stress that usually limits how much energy a BMW coil can produce. There are existing coils that would be "plug and play" with a BMW ECU, but the power requirements would be more than what our system can handle.

    ETA: The system that Tony tested maximizes how much power the existing BMW system can handle by using more efficient coils but, in theory, the other system should open up even more power by eliminating the ECU as a limitation.
    PR coils disable multispark if you tick the box with MHD thus reducing the load on the DME significantly and allowing you to run much longer dwell times with higher final current (while still maintaining less overall load on the DME). Otherwise the load on the DME is very similar if you use the standard dwell values + multispark (they have the same primary resistance as stock coils but higher inductance).

    As for running r8 coils I guess you could get it to work without changing anything on the factory DME but would be a little messy and probably hard to get something that you could make easy to install and reliable enough to sell.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by titium Click here to enlarge

    As for running r8 coils I guess you could get it to work without changing anything on the factory DME but would be a little messy and probably hard to get something that you could make easy to install and reliable enough to sell.
    It has already been done and they are available for purchase, and several people are using them. A good feature is that the R8 coils are readily available and relatively cheap.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Velocity26 Click here to enlarge
    It has already been done and they are available for purchase, and several people are using them. A good feature is that the R8 coils are readily available and relatively cheap.
    That's what I hear too. Are the V8 and V10 coils the same thing?

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    I think some of the VW coils are the same too

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Velocity26 Click here to enlarge
    It has already been done and they are available for purchase, and several people are using them. A good feature is that the R8 coils are readily available and relatively cheap.
    Bimmerlife ones? They require changing values in the flash... I was referring to people who'd done this mod prior with no flash changes

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    3 out of 3 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    The more I've talked about this the more people have told me coil upgrades have existed essentially forever. Guys have been running R8 coils for 6+ years. Especially European members.

    My question then is, why are these coil upgrades coming out now? Are the aftermarket coils superior to the R8 coils?

    I'm just wondering how they differ.
    most the people using them in Europe are using standalones which makes it much easier to implement. I've run them in my personal cars for 5+ years and recently saw a need for them in the n54 community which is why they are now available.

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    Also reading about the R8 coils now. They are looking like my preferred option. I'm not an electronics expert but the power they produce is far higher than stock coils. As stated above, they are available all over the place which for me in Europe is great. I don't know how the smart coils technology works but they mention about the power demand not having to go through the DME which seems to have longevity benefits. Wiring harnesses are available.
    Best:11.79@119mph on stock turbos.
    11.75@127 on GCs.
    FBO+Meth Port injection, GC Turbos, fuel-it stage2, JB4, Trebila flash.

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    Do you guys get actual misfires with misfire codes or is it sometimes that you get timing drops at high rpms where the DME reverts back to single spark from multispark?

    I assume a stronger R8 coil allowing a greater spark gap with more powerful spark in less time should reduce this occurrence. Provided this isn't actual knock retard.
    Click here to enlarge
    Best:11.79@119mph on stock turbos.
    11.75@127 on GCs.
    FBO+Meth Port injection, GC Turbos, fuel-it stage2, JB4, Trebila flash.

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    And how exactly do you get them to work with the stock dme ?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Traf Click here to enlarge
    And how exactly do you get them to work with the stock dme ?
    I believe that MHD has a box that you check.

    EDIT: See end of description here: https://www.bimmerlifetuning.com/col...135i-335i-535i

    Neil

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Traf Click here to enlarge
    And how exactly do you get them to work with the stock dme ?
    That is basically what Bimmer Life does, they sell you the signal conversion boxes, wiring harness and mounting brackets (along with a set for R8 coils) so that you have a turn-key system. All that you have to do is install the hardware and modify the tune and you are done. If you did not need their proprietary signal conversion box, you could buy R8 coils and make the wiring harness yourself.

  20. #20
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Velocity26 Click here to enlarge
    I checked into this a little while ago and the R8 coils will not work directly with a BMW ECU. They have to add a sort of relay to activate the smart coils. While this is an additional complication, it also relieves almost all of the stress that usually limits how much energy a BMW coil can produce. There are existing coils that would be "plug and play" with a BMW ECU, but the power requirements would be more than what our system can handle.

    ETA: The system that Tony tested maximizes how much power the existing BMW system can handle by using more efficient coils but, in theory, the other system should open up even more power by eliminating the ECU as a limitation.
    Honestly the IGBT is rated over 30 amps per channel. You'd be hard pressed to hit that in a 4 stroke motor, now that multispark can be disabled you have tons of headroom. The DME isn't the reason the BMW coils are bad. The factory coils are just a design from when the cars were all N/A still, I doubt they changed them from the e46 to 335i.

    The highest dollar stand alone systems might have drivers capable of 40 amps, but just because the factory coils saturate at 7 amps or so doesn't mean it's the factory computers fault. In fact the IGBT built in far exceeds the one you get with a cheap smart coil. BMW had no reason to add expensive magnetic cores to increase inductance, they couldn't increase spindle size because of packaging constraints, and they didn't need to increase coil voltages (windings) when they were working fine in every car they put them in. Would be a waste of effort for a factory tune, hell even an extra hundred hp.

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    In short, what kit is better when you take into account all the factors ? I'm in europe too so R8 coils should be pretty easy to get.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    I like the idea of using Audi coils and not a coil someone had special made. The last thing I want is to be a year or two down the road on an ignition system, have a coil go bad, and no way to replace the coil because it's no longer produced.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by hobbit382 Click here to enlarge
    most the people using them in Europe are using standalones which makes it much easier to implement. I've run them in my personal cars for 5+ years and recently saw a need for them in the n54 community which is why they are now available.
    Would you mind sharing which standalones?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MDORPHN Click here to enlarge
    I believe that MHD has a box that you check.

    EDIT: See end of description here: https://www.bimmerlifetuning.com/col...135i-335i-535i

    Neil
    Now it makes sense, thanks.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TEC Click here to enlarge
    I like the idea of using Audi coils and not a coil someone had special made. The last thing I want is to be a year or two down the road on an ignition system, have a coil go bad, and no way to replace the coil because it's no longer produced.
    Robert is developing these for other platforms needing a medium/low dwell coil and isn't going anywhere. Also, there are OEM and performance versions of this coil available from retailers like AEM, megasquirt, mercury marine, MSD etc. They like a little more dwell but still kick ass, that's why it was even chosen as a base. We're not the first to modify the mercury marine coil. There's no reason you couldn't use one or 6 of an inductive version if you're running with the MHD option checked since it adds just enough dwell. It's custom, but it's still just a coil. You could put a factory one with the PR kit and it would run fine just a little saturated with lower energy. With the MHD table changes you can really run just about any coil you want now, we even tested CDI coils at .1ohm and guess what? Better than stock. Just drew excessive current to do it. This isn't rocket science.

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