Test 3 Cobb AccessPort Stage 1 91-octane

For this test we shut off the Bank's StraightShot system and ran the Cobb N54 software on the same tank of 91-octane.

It was a straightforward install once we found the correct software on the Cobb website and uploaded it to the AccessPort using a laptop and supplied USB cable. As a precaution we made a backup of the original file prior to installing the software via the OBD2 port.

Once installed and running, the AccessPort datalogger showed a 28-40% increase in intake temps, while boost pressure showed an average increase of 80% through the entire rev range. Data logs indicated the vehicle was only retarding the timing about 3? under acceleration. This was because the BMW runs a positive timing under boost in stock form but when under the control of the Cobb software it's recalibrated towards negative timing. However, it produced good results, with output up to 251hp and 300 lb-ft at the wheels.

Parts

  • Cobb N54 AccessPort with OBD2 and USB cables
  • Installation: 20min
  • MSRP $895

Pros

    Increased throttle response

Cons

  • Vehicle running negative ignition timing
  • The cooling fans are constantly running

Results

Peak power 251hp at 5432rpm
Peak torque 300 lb-ft at 2719rpm
27-99.8mph dyno accel 16.95sec
Range of timing retard 5000-6700rpm -1 to -3°
Intake manifold temp 5000-6700rpm 159-213°F
Peak boost pressure 15.9psi at 4574rpm
Timing at peak power in cylinder #1 -1.5° at 5432rpm
Timing at peak torque in cylinder #1 -0.75° at 2719rpm
Max power gain over stock 34whp at 6771rpm
Max torque gain over stock 64 lb-ft at 2719rpm
Temperature 66-67°F
Humidity 55%

Test 4 Cobb AccessPort Stage 1 91-octane/Banks Straight Shot

For this test, the StraightShot was reactivated and we ran the same settings as test 2. Except now, the logs showed the reduced intake temps from the StraightShot allowed the engine to run positive timing again, which meant it was no longer retared under boost, so boost pressure dropped.

Pros

  • Reduced intake temps
  • Less timing retard

Results

Peak power 267hp at 5663rpm
Peak torque 311 lb-ft at 2693rpm
27-99.8mph dyno accel 16.95sec
Range of timing retard 5000-6700rpm
Intake manifold temp 5000-6700rpm 101-104°F
Peak boost pressure 14.1psi at 3876rpm
Timing at peak power in cylinder #1 +4.5° at 5432rpm
Timing at peak torque in cylinder #1 +1.875° at 2693rpm
Max power gain 30whp at 6587rpm
Max torque gain 19 lb-ft at 2553rpm
Temperature 64°F
Humidity 61%

Test 5 Cobb N54 AccessPort Stage 2 93-octane/Banks Straight Shot

We chose to download the 93-octane version of the Cobb software as well, upgrading the StraightShot with the #7 nozzle, which was included in the kit.

With the larger meth nozzle fitted, the engine wasn't pulling timing but could run more boost, allowing it to make 295hp and 342 lb-ft on our original tank of 91-octane fuel, which produced a good increase in acceleration of 0.65sec.

System Configuration

  • Cobb N54 AccessPort Stage 2 93-octane with Nozzle #7 running at 442cc/min at 100psi
  • System activated at 2psi, pump at 15% (boost setting 1)
  • Full operation at 15psi, pump at 100% (boost setting 2)

Parts

  • Free Cobb software and supplied #7 Nozzle
  • Installation time 30min
  • MSRP $0

Pros

  • 93-octane performance for the price of 91-octane

Results

Peak power 295hp at 5364rpm
Peak torque 342 lb-ft at 2319rpm
27-99.9mph dyno accel 16.3sec
Range of timing retard 5000-6700rpm -1 to -3°
Intake manifold temp 5000-6700rpm 106-112°F
Peak boost pressure 18.82psi at 4030rpm
Timing at peak power in cylinder #1 +5.25° at 5364rpm
Timing at peak torque in cylinder #1 +1.875° at 2319rpm
Max power gain 13hp at 5464rpm
Max torque gain 10 lb-ft at 3949rpm
Temperature 67°F
Humidity 64%

Test 6 Cobb N54 AccessPort Race Map 100-octane/Banks Straight Shot

For our final test, we went for broke with Cobb's free 100-octane software. This would pump more meth through the larger #7 nozzle, cooling the intake and hopefully allow the engine to make even more boost on our 91-octane fuel. The theory proved correct, as you can see, with 333hp, 368 lb-ft thanks to positive ignition timing, giving a great increase over stock for no additional spend.

Parts

  • Free Cobb software
  • Installation time 9min
  • MSRP $0

Pros

  • Less timing retard and lower intake temps
  • Cheaper than race fuel

Results

Peak power 333hp at 5358rpm
Peak torque 368 lb-ft at 2506rpm
27-99.6mph dyno accel 17.05sec
Range of timing retard 6500-6700rpm -4°
Intake manifold temp 5000-6700rpm 108-113°F
Peak boost pressure 18.78psi at 3951rpm
Timing at peak power in cylinder #1 +6° at 5358rpm
Timing at peak torque in cylinder #1 +1.875° at 2506rpm
Max power gain 41hp at 5358rpm
Max torque gain 70 lb-ft at 3543rpm
Temperature 63°F
Humidity 63%

Conclusion

Over the years, we've driven many BMWs with the N54 engine, but all have shown one thing - they don't like to be messed with. When the engine gets hot, they will reduce power and even activate limp mode on a racetrack without much provocation. Mess with the motor too much and it will start throwing codes like a two year-old having a temper tantrum.

However, this BMW 335i with the Banks StraightShot and Cobb AccessPort software showed an overall increase of 112hp and 132 lb-ft, which is a winning combination. Even on the dyno and with the small stock intercooler, the methanol maintained cool intake temps, making the high-strung BMW fast and consistent.

We ran into Sig a few weeks later and the smile on his face told us all we needed to know about the upgrades. The car was better than ever and California's poor gas was no longer a problem.

Curve Peak Power Peak Torque
Baseline 227hp at 5574rpm 248 lb-ft at 2393rpm
Banks Straight Shot 236hp at 5597rpm 258 lb-ft at 3129rpm
Cobb S1 91-oct 251hp at 5432rpm 300 lb-ft at 2719rpm
Cobb S1 91-oct/Banks StraightShot, #5 nozzle 267hp at 5663rpm 311 lb-ft at 2693rpm
Cobb S2 93-oct/Banks StraightShot, #7 nozzle* 295hp at 5364rpm 342 lb-ft at 2319rpm
Cobb Race 100-oct/Banks StraightShot, #7 nozzle* 333hp at 5358rpm 368 lb-ft at 2506rpm
*all tests performed on 91-octane

SOURCE
Banks Power
546 Duggan Avenue
Azusa
CA  91702
866-738-5915
http://www.bankspower.com
Cobb Tuning
2311 W. Rundberg Ln Suite 500
Austin
TX  78758
866-922-3059
www.cobbtuning.com
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