December 2016


The BMW 316 ECU arrived so I wasted no time in taking the lid off to have a look inside. This will be the donor for the Tyco connector, that I need for the adapter between the Life ECU and the wiring loom.


The intercooler isnt going to be ready until January, which is a shame as I'd like to have trial fitted it over the XMAS break. I've learnt now that the X10 expander needs to connect to CAN#2 from the ECU (Pins 79 and 80). These arent currently populated, so I do need to add these if I want the expander to work. Which is a bit of a problem. The back shell on the ECU connector is sealed, so I'm going to either make a M-F adaptor, to allow me to add the wires to the M-F adaptor rather than the loom, or, take the back shell off the 88 pin loom connector, and fit the pins and wires, and try and re-seal the back shell to protect against ingress of water. Life has at least confirmed that the ECU will support CAN#2, but again it needs a trip to NMS to have the feature unlocked :(
I've also etablished that the ECU only needs three switches wiring in for the paddles to work. Gear Up, Gear Down, and Clutch. The reason for the clutch switch, is that it prevents accidental selection of Neutral or First gear, if the gearbox is in neutral. Therefore the clutch pedal must be fully depressed and the switch closed, for the ECU to allow selection of 1st or Reverse. Pete has reminded me that there was a pit lane limiter switch fitted to our wheels, so I'm wondering if this can be used for the clutch switch if I run it down to the footwell where the pedal is sat.


December can slow down, I dont know where the weeks are going at the moment. It'll soon be March and we'll be out testing at Blyton, so I better get a move on with these modifications. I've buzzed most of the engine loom through, and confirmed that pin 34 of the ECU goes to the spare relay on pin 85, and pin 50 of the ECU goes to pin 85 on the other relay, that controls the fuel pump. I've ordered a couple of fused relays, so I can wire the radiator fan in. And I'm running a +12V supply cable in, from the battery, to the X10 Expander, so I can start wiring in the rear wheel speed sensors and pneumatic solenoids. I also need to bring the CAN data from the ECU, to the expander. But these wires go to the Dash4Pro on the steering wheel.
FF200 schematic


More progress this week. With the help of Northampton Motorsport we've established that the spare relay wired in to my chassis loom, can be used to control the radiator fan. This simplifies the wiring somewhat, but it means that someone with permission needs to change the settings in the ECU to allow the fan to be controlled, so I'll wire in an override switch so I can control the fan relay manually for the time being. Pending the rolling road session, or a Teamview connection from Life, I've zero chance of changing the settings myself due to the security imposed by Life. And I've asked NMS for a copy of the schematics for the chassis and engine looms, and they've declined due to 'contractual issues', which is very frustrating. So I'm making my own diagrams, which I'll share with the other EcoBoost owners on our Facebook group.

I bought a SPAL 9" suction fan from Demon Tweeks this week. It was the first time I'd used my BTRDA Pole Position card, which gives 10% discount. Or at least its meant to. I had to call them up to question if the discount had been applied, as there was no mention of it on the paperwork, and the lesson I learnt was that I need to mention the discount when placing the order, otherwise it most likely isnt applied. I'm due a refund today hopefully.

I've spun the engine over on the key, to make sure that the alternator turns ok, and there were no horrible noises, and that the belt stayed on. So the next step is to put some fuel back in the tank and see if the engine runs and the alternator charges the battery. To allow that to happen, the radiator is reattached, and I've added 3.0l of antifreeze back in. The SPAL is fitted to the radiator, and I'll run the wires over to the relay on the opposite side of the chassis. I've also cleaned some more of the chassis, and the car is starting to look a lot tidier, hopefully it'll stay that way too.

I've covered some 350 miles since I fitted the TDI Tuning soot box to the BMW, and I must say I'm extremely impressed with the improvement in torque. I'm only using 621NM at the moment, when the weather improves I'll select the full 650NM, but even with 621, its a very very fast car now. I cant say I've noticed any improvement in MPG's, yet, but thats probably down to my spirited driving.


Pete's Mygale reached 289BHP and 240ftlb before it developed a misfire that only worsened after further running. After changing plugs and checking bores with the endoscope, they think it might be the head gasket thats blown. Pete is now removing the engine to find out. Replacing the head seems impossible with the engine fitted, as the cam pulleys and belt are obscured by the chassis rails at the front of the engine. It was running 1.6bar of boost, which could account for the head bolts stretching and allowing the gasket to blow, but we wont know until Pete's finished stripping the engine down.

I've ordered a Pro-Alloy intercooler, the same as Pete's, and delivery is approx 3 weeks. I'm now thinking about the uprated turbo from Northampton Motorsport, which should produce the same power output with less boost, just to prevent the same issue happening with my engine. Removing and dismantling my sealed Mountune engine isnt something I want to do.