Syvecs value propisition (why not JB4 or MHD??)

dyezak

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So we finally have a full PnP Stand Alone DME for the N54 released by Syvecs http://www.syvecs.co.uk/products/engine-management-plug-in-kits/bmw-135335m1/

In the product release thread there were a lot of people basically stating that with MHD and JB4 you have all the functionality of Syvecs and they didn't understand why the product existed, much less why the product existed at a $5-6000 price point. And although I don't have direct experience with Syvecs, the people who do, have not stepped forward to explain the value proposition they bring to the market. Why does this product exist (in other words why not a JB4 and/or MHD)? Why the enormous price?

What I do have is experience as a consumer with these types of products in the current market and in the past. I remember the frustration I experienced with piggy back devices in the 1990's. In the DSM community we had many offerings from Apexi, HKS, and Greddy to address our tuning needs.....and they did so very poorly. This drove the development of flash tuning...or DSMTune (if you remember it). That didn't do everything needed either so AEM stepped up with their EMS product and released a PnP Stand Alone DME for the DSM cars. I probably owned every single iteration of tuning product available for the DSM at one point or another and had the first AEM 1301 EMS in 2003. From an N54 perspective I'm on my 4th N54 and have used the COBB, Proceed, JB4, MHD, and MHD+JB4.

So I'll be taking my experiences in DSM (and EVO) tuning and juxtaposing them over to the N54 community. I've never been a tuner, I'm only a consumer that has been through this before and knows the value each product (piggy back, flash tune, stand alone) *can* bring to the table.

Let's hit price first. From a pure inflationary standpoint Syvecs isn't *that* far off historic pricing on products like this. Remember guys, we aren't talking about a stand alone kit you have to put 2000hrs into wiring up yourself and developing a base map to even get the engine to turn over. You're talking about a Plug and Play (PnP) product here. AEM was one of the first to offer this to the Supra market (then the DSM market) in the early 2000's. This was on pre CAN bus cars. OBD2 compliance wasn't even there, the port was dead if you used an AEM EMS. And that PnP DME cost me $2500 in 2003 for my 1994 GSX that could be purchased used for roughly $5000 at the time. Simply adjust for inflation and you end up with $3325 for that product today. Add in additional control layers and infrastructure to deal with CAN BUS, BMS BUS, DI Injection, etc and $5000 isn't off the historic norm for a product like this. People have regularly paid this type of price for a product in this market space.

So what the hell does Syvecs bring to the table at this price? Well, lets go through their bulleted marketing listing of their features and talk about each of them:

• Live Tuning of every aspect of the engine’s calibration, including signals sent to the DSG ecu

Live tuning doesn't offer 99.99% of us any value on a daily basis. This is really for track cars. The highest value this would bring to the table is the capability of a tuner to sit in a pit area tuning a car in real time as it circles the track using Syvecs add on WIFI module.

The average Joe won't ever use this beyond the initial tune however. This would also make road tuning or dyno tuning your car faster. You could have a tuner in the passenger seat making real time adjustments to your tune and committing them to the DME without the need for a reflash, or to stop and start your car. And while that's cool for a tuner, most of us are just consumers and aren't tuning every day.

• Ability to select desired engine map, boost level, traction and launch control levels through 8 Position switch or via OEM Cruise control levers

Oooooo....this is the one that causes everyone to say, "Well I can do that already with a JB4". And when I hear that vapid comment I know that BMS's marketing wank has claimed another victim. No, the JB4 can't do this. It can do a cheap parlor trick that looks like this, but it's not even in the same ballpark. First off the JB4 is a piggy back that only really lies to the DME to get it to do things differently. It does allow you to change boost levels ABOVE what is in the flash tune itself, and to get the associated fueling and ignition changes to take advantage of that additional boost, but in essence, that's all it provides.

THIS however is a whole 'nother beast entirely. How about a *true* valet map on the fly? 0psi boost, 3000rpm rev limiter, etc. Or in normal operation how about different maps for different boost levels like a JB4 but with the capability of changing ALL parameters. So on my 12psi drive around town map I can also alter my throttle position mapping to make the midrange throttle response less jumpy? Or how about a fuel saver map for your long road trips? The JB4 itself can't do this stuff. And even with the JB4 w/MHD BEF you are still not about to re-flash on the fly while driving down the street.

• Fully adjustable Launch control with Anti-lag strategies and Ramp in Maps

This is one we need direct experience to interpret. Is this only for 6sp cars? Is this for DCT cars too? There is a ton of potential here, and without some direct experience from someone who has used this as a tester we won't really know what this feature brings to the table. We can guess all we want.

• Ability to control aftermarket High pressure and Low Pressure pumps

This one is easy. Instead of using a stand alone Hobbs switch to control your secondary LPFP you can now control them directly via the DME in the tune. Also, instead of having to run an AIC to control a secondary HPFP in a VTT Double Barrel Shotgun kit you can control it directly here.

AND you can use aftermarket HPFP's directly. AND!!! You can also use custom PWM 750LPH LPFP's and just use one LPFP instead of multiples that we have to now. We can't use custom 750LPH LPFP's right now because they need to be controlled via the tune itself with PWM to prevent from overheating the fuel in low load situations.

• Full Variable Valve Timing control

I'm not sure if this is any better than what MHD already has...might be the same. Would need to hear from someone with direct experience with this piece.

• Closed loop Dual Lambda Control using OEM lambdas

I'm not sure if this is any better than what MHD already has...might be the same. Would need to hear from someone with direct experience with this piece.

• Flex Fuel control

Oooo...another one where the marketing wank from existing products is confusing people. So first off no, JB4 doesn't do this at all in their e85 implementation. Not even close. If you want to read about it see prior discussions about their E85 solution vs the impending MHD Flex Fuel Offering.

But what about the upcoming MHD offering? Well, honestly we don't know cause nobody has had the chance to use it yet. BUT, MHD did reveal a few things already. The biggest problem they are overcoming however is a lack of free memory space in the factory DME to accomplish this task. So they are having to compromise by deleting things from the factory functionality. One thing they said they were going to have to remove is Bank to Bank trims and fueling. Ouch. Any how you can see what Syvecs does in existing platforms here and it is full featured no compromises Flex Fueling. There might not be much benefit over MHD, or there may be a lot. We won't know until MHD releases.

(I am overwhelming this text editor for the spoolstreet forum and it's glitching out with this much text so I'm going to have to break my post apart)
 
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dyezak

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• Flat Shifting (No need to remove foot from pedal sensor on shifting)

This is something the JB4 offers...nothing new here. But the MHD people would love this as they have to use an add-on box to accomplish this now (usually a JB4 ahaha)

• Cruise Control add on

I have no clue what this means

• Control the OEM Injectors and additional port injectors for high power installations where staged injection may be required

If you don't understand what this is you can leave the thread now and sell your car. OK, just kidding but this is a game changer. This actually fixes fueling completely for these cars. Right now the closest thing to a *correct* fueling option is the VTT Double Barrel, but even that uses an add on box (AIC) to control the second HPFP and taps out in the neighborhood of 750hp.

All currently available port injection systems are time bombs. If you are relying heavily on PI for fuel and have a cylinder deactivation occur while under load (you know, misfire deactivations), your PI has no clue that the DI system is shut down. What that leaves you with is an extremely dangerous lean condition which melts pistons like a blow torch. It doesn't matter what way you cut it, this Syvecs offering is enough of a value proposition that anyone relying on PI for fueling should be looking here. All it would take is one blown engine to make this PnP DME worth it for you. Consider it insurance.

• Fully adjustable closed loop boost control with launch level adjustments and trims for turbo speed, air charge, engine coolant temp, exhaust gas temperatures etc

Boost by speed, and boost by gear are a cheap facsimile of this offering. They work fairly well, but they aren't the same. You get additional control and safety of EGT feedback.

• Monitor and trimming of exhaust gas temperatures

This will be important in a later bullet point (as with the previous point too). But there are times (launch control, anti-lag, etc) where you cause EGT's to skyrocket. Having EGT feedback capabilities and the further ability to trim fuel and ignition based on EGT is a nice safety feature to keep from melting your turbine.

• Built in data logging using a market leading analysis software of up to 8 hours, with data rates at up to 1000hz

Lots of people have bemoaned the K-CAN, D-CAN, and OBD2 logging rate as being too slow. Currently noting very quick events is difficult, mostly in my experience we can't really tell how much of a benefit xHP has on shift times because we can't log fast enough to see millisecond improvements.

• Rolling Antilag / Pit lane limiter strategies, great for building boost on a roll

JB4 does half this, and does it fairly good. But there is no feedback and BMS just puts a disclaimer on their Antilag feature saying that you could melt your turbo turbine if abused. But a speed clamp/antilag feature is new. Imagine holding a button down and clamping 45mph with rolling antilag enabled while WOT. That is a boon for roll racers (1/2mi, 1mi, runway, etc), let go of the button and you are already in boost.

• Antitheft and valet modes

Would be interesting to see what this is capable of.

• Super fast connection via RJ45 Ethernet port for live tuning anywhere in the world or even remotely if on track if connected to a wireless unit.

Easy remote tuning? I think there are a lot of tuners that would like that. Plug in your laptop to the Syvecs unit, call the tuner, and drive around and they live tune your car while you talk to them on Bluetooth...would be amazing.

• Adjustable traction control strategies based on lateral g, steering angle and/or individual wheel speed monitoring.

FINALLY, we get to tweak the traction control harshness! I'm not the best driver, so tuning traction control to allow a certain amount of slippage etc would be awesome! I just HATE the immediate cut in all power you get now. This is big in my book.

• 4 programmable and selectable target slip maps. An immediate torque reduction can be applied by the ECU via ignition retard or a fuel cut.

Applying this to above you can have 4 levels of TC that changes based on what map you choose (*on the fly*)! Pretty damn snazzy and something we don't have now.

• Configurable Engine Safety Trips on all important parameters like oil temperature, oil pressure.

I think this is covered by the Factory DME parameters and this is Syvecs stating you don't loose this when you trash that factory DME.

• Fuel pump control of both main Direct Injection pumps, and sub pumps, as well as Relative fuel pressure monitoring and limiting in the event of fuel pressure dropping on boost.

Covered slightly above but gives more insight into the feedback loops capable.

• 4 different Pedal to Throttle Angle maps with multipliers for different parameters e.g. speed. Again adjustable via steering wheel buttons

Can be done via MHD now, but not changing on the fly.

• Configurable individual cylinder closed loop knock control, to suit any cylinder modification with adjustments to frequency, windows for listening and gains for each cylinder. Ability to trigger full cylinder shutdown in severe knock conditions.

I think this is covered by the Factory DME parameters and this is Syvecs stating you don't loose this when you trash that factory DME.

• Ability to change torque levels and demand levels sent to the DSG Ecu for changing clutch pressure and Pull away drivability

Technically capable with MHD now.

• Change torque reduction levels on shifts. Essential for very high power Gallardos where the Oem levels of reductions are not enough with the added torque from a Twin Turbo Kit

Technically capable with MHD now. But interesting how Lambo stuff is in this line item hahaha.

• Ability to change Torque ramp in after launch

Not sure what this means

• Change throttle blip requests to match your torque band. Especially useful on oversized turbo installations.

This is going to be important for DCT Single Turbo cars.

• Run up to 7bar map sensors

Seriously? Don't think that we need anything beyond the 4bar we use now but hey! There's no kill like overkill!

• Control high or low impendence injectors

Flexibility in their Port Injection offering.

• Change injector dead times based on voltage levels for proper control

Flexibility in their Port Injection offering.

• Change injector end angle to ensure injection point is properly calibrated

Flexibility in their Port Injection offering.

• Ability to fit any type of external sensor to monitor and trigger safety trips from anything from crank case pressure to damper position

Possible flexibility here based on unique needs.

• Ability to use any size DBW throttle body e.g. Chevrolet LS7

For Forward Facing intake manifolds this would be nice to get a new option.

• Wet and Dry – Wet and Dry nitrous control with ability to drive solenoids directly and control n20 heaters via pressure monitoring

If anyone is running N2O the ability for the DME to control it is extremely nice. Could also be used to control meth injection in a hacked way.

• Ability to control any external vehicle features based on sensor inputs e.g. Adjustable rear wing linked to G force or exhaust control valves

Control of the exhaust flap is how I interpret this.
 
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jyamona

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Syvecs will be great for the 1% of N54 owners who push to the absolute max and have $20k+ invested, or those planning some N54 swap into a different vehicle. For everyone else, a large majority of these features will be implemented in MHD.

Basically, if you have to ask if Syvecs is for you... it probably isn't.
 

dyezak

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Syvecs will be great for the 1% of N54 owners who push to the absolute max and have $20k+ invested, or those planning some N54 swap into a different vehicle. For everyone else, a large majority of these features will be implemented in MHD.

Basically, if you have to ask if Syvecs is for you... it probably isn't.

Not to beat you up on Flex Fuel Jyamona, but *will be* is not the same as *is* and a lack of a reliable timeframe for MHD releases could drive people to an offering that currently exists. And I don't see this only for the people pushing to the max, those people who want flexibility and on the fly options can't get that itch scratched any other way.

But the biggest one (IMHO) is the correct, proper, and safe implementation of Port Injection. If someone is using PI they should be looking very hard at Syvecs.

But this is not for the majority of people....most people are going to be well served by the offerings on the market we are already familiar with.
 

TEC

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I'm considering it just for the simple fact that I dont have to flash and re-flash everytime I make a change. Also the ability to see the cell highlighted as the tune hits a certain part of the tuning map and be able to change it that instant.
 

jyamona

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Not to beat you up on Flex Fuel Jyamona, but *will be* is not the same as *is* and a lack of a reliable timeframe for MHD releases could drive people to an offering that currently exists. And I don't see this only for the people pushing to the max, those people who want flexibility and on the fly options can't get that itch scratched any other way.

But the biggest one (IMHO) is the correct, proper, and safe implementation of Port Injection. If someone is using PI they should be looking very hard at Syvecs.

But this is not for the majority of people....most people are going to be well served by the offerings on the market we are already familiar with.

Fair enough. I just hope people don't overlook the immense cost to get a standalone setup, tuned, and running properly.

I'm considering it just for the simple fact that I dont have to flash and re-flash everytime I make a change. Also the ability to see the cell highlighted as the tune hits a certain part of the tuning map and be able to change it that instant.

So if that ability were available in MHD as an additional module, what do you think a fair cost would be?
 

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No offense at all, and please do not take this as such, but comparing something like a full featured stand alone to JB4 makes little sense. The N54 has a very powerful ECU, as is put on display by how much you can do with it, [admin edit] Spend the money for a Syvecs, find someone who knows the system (the most important part), pay them to tune it, and you have fully unlocked the potential of the N54 engine. We will be using one on one of our cars prob around the beginning of the year, going to wait for some tuners to get their feet wet on the system before jumping in.
 
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Seems like you're mostly comparing apples to oranges.

The DME itself is really solid in terms of running the engine. The JB4 is out there as a tool to perform tasks that need handling like driving PI injectors, controlling WMI, wireless logging, in dash gauges, absolute boost targeting, various learning algorithms and safety systems, NLS, anti-lag, integrating a bunch of stuff together cleanly, etc, etc. Whatever we need done that can't be done we can rather easily program the JB4 to accommodate as its very flexible.

Syvecs is intriguing as a stand alone option but just replacing the DME and all it can do seems daunting, no less what we've able to add on via JB4, but it certainly has a market for customers who like to spend money. Just don't be surprised if it's a 2 steps backwards, 3 steps forward sort of proposition. I was planning on getting one for one of our shop cars to play around with but I don't want to get stuck in the position of having to try to help people with it... So I might just take a back seat and let Tony and others play around to see if anything in there is worthwhile.
 
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Abacus38

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One word "Control". With Syvecs you have complete control over the N54 engine. This is for the 1% of the community (as Jake alluded to) since the stock DME can do most of the things the avg joe wants. I will most def be getting one in the spring when i get my tax return
 

doublespaces

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OP created this thread specifically to have a concentrated tech conversation, I've cleaned it up.
 

Abacus38

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Also another cool thing is
• Fully adjustable closed loop boost control with launch level adjustments and trims for turbo speed, air charge, engine coolant temp, exhaust gas temperatures etc

Boost by speed, and boost by gear are a cheap facsimile of this offering. They work fairly well, but they aren't the same. You get additional control and safety of EGT feedback.

This is a dope feature esp if you planned on pushing your turbo hard. The Gen 2 GTX and EFR turbos are equip with a slot where you can monitor wheels speed. You can plug this up to the Syvecs and you'll know exactly how hard you are pushing your turbo. Furthermore you don't have to worry about nuking it due to over-speeds since you can have the Syvecs cut the boost when you approach the speed limit
 

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I love how people see all these features, and are like awesome! Bolt a Syvecs to my car, and I get ALL THIS STUFF! Um no, where do you think the EGT signal is going to come from, means you now have to run EGT thermo couples preturbo if you want any sort of resolution, shaft speed, well if unless you are running an EFR, that means removing the turbo, and having complicated, and expensive machine work done on the compressor housing, and then spending $500 on the shaft speed sensor. For the 5 grand you pay, you are getting a system that works with the existing sensors on the car, nothing more.

This system when fully integrated will enable full control, but expect to spend I would estimate 7-10K from start to finish to get the system on the car, hooked up to external sensors for more control, and properly tuned. This is as people say 1% of the N54 crowd
 

dyezak

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Tony, why the fear mongering? I don't get it. The EFR speed sensor is only $150, not $500. And the machining on the compressor housing is a free option at the time of ordering. I mean I know Fuel-IT marks up their Continental sensors by about 40% but I didn't realize VTT marks up their EFR Speed Sensors by 225%! (that was sarcasm) As for the EGT setup you are spot on there, to take full advantage of 6 thermocouples you are probably looking at $1000 right there. But lets be real, does anyone need 6 thermocouples to tell if they are feeding their turbine wheels 1900F exhaust gases? Nope, you only need one for a single setup or two for a twin setup.

I just went and counted, only 4 out of 37 features listed require external sensors. And some of those are sensors we are already retrofitting into our existing setup(s) anyhow...flex fuel sensor, upgraded MAP sensor, etc.

The big sunk cost will be the tuning. If you are paying by the hour for some tuner to learn the Syvecs system and tune your car for their first time...that's going to get expensive quick. That could be something negotiable however...but there is no way around the fact that the first tunes are going to be expensive and potentially.......quirky; until people get a good understanding of the product.
 

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Fear mongering? Simple stating everyone is saying oh look at all these features. Those are not features you get with the Syvecs without more work. Also you cannot read? I said Unless you have an EFR. Not many do, the machine work, and sensors are extremely expensive. So far not a single person except us has used N54 shaft speed sensors, or EGT probes. Simply stating, these features are NOT included with a basic syvecs install, and they an extra cost. Did you ignore the EGT sensors. No one is fear mongering, no one is more behind a true stand alone, but no one is also more real about what it actually takes.
 
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Abacus38

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Yeah it's really simple to with the EFR and GTX gen 2 they came with the speed sensor slot predrill already and the sensor is like $100-150. As far as tuners are concerned you'll have Andy and Motiv for N54 specific stuff but there's a bunch of people out there that already tune stuff on Syvecs. Just got to look at the Lambo, Porsche, GT-R crowd. I'm think a tune probably going to run $1000 instead of your normal 200-250 pro tune charge
 

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Tony, why the fear mongering?

I don't think he's fear mongering... He's the only person I know who really wants to run this that fully knows what he is getting in to and has a good chance of a successful outcome. The reason he's putting his opinion on the forum, is probably the same reason I've stated my opinion a couple times. It's to save us replying countless emails asking "So, what do you think of that stand alone?". I can just refer them back to my comments on the forum.
 

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Seriously, you people make me laugh. Ok, lets count on one hand how many N54 owners are running EFR's or Gen 2's GTX's turbos. Go ahead get a count, of the people who can run a shaft speed sensor for $150. I'll wait. Next I have already spoken to Andy, he told he was not even comfortable tuning the Syvecs yet, you want me to believe [admin edit] that motiv is can successfully tune a syvecs car. LOL, if you say so. I would look else where before I looked to the N54 community for Syvecs tuning, but then you have big issues with the people not knowing the platform
 
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Abacus38

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Lol chill out Tony nobody saying you can run a speed sensor for $150. The sensor is a $150 but you obviously need something to interpret the signal generated by the sensor. This is where the additional aux input of a stand alone ECU comes in. As far as Motiv tuning abilities they're the only people in our community running a stand alone ECU with DI besides Andy so if you don't want to roll with them then you can go obviously go to AMS, ETS, and all the other big time Syvecs tuners
 
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jyamona

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Hey @[email protected], last time I checked Motiv was the first to get a standalone running an N54 (and running extremely well, winning time attack series, etc). We're probably still the only one that did it without help from the manufacturer (like Wayne + Syvecs holding Andy's hand). Hell, it wasn't even PnP, this will be cake compared to the Motec setup. So anyone who purchases this, please don't hesitate to have us tune it, you won't regret it.
 
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