K1200RS/GT '03-04 ECU change-out - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 2007, 3:31 pm Thread Starter
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K1200RS/GT '03-04 ECU change-out

Some have had the ECU changed out due to cold engine performance, where the bike would stumble or even die when the throttle was opened until the bike was at operating temperature. The fact that they changed out the ECU rather than change the EPROM had me wondering what it was they were faced with on the bad ECU vs. the good/replacement ECU.

Anyone know what BMW did that makes them different?



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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 2007, 3:54 pm
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I suspect they can't trust a dealer network to upload an updated eprom image to the existing eprom. If the update fails part way through, the ECU could be dead and they'd have to send it back anyway.

Their Moditec diagnostics can read the first block of the eprom code which contains its version number - without removing the ECU. So anybody putting in their bike for any sort of ECU swap should ask for a printout of that header before and after the swap.

The ECU firmware code is the bike. It's like computer BIOS upgrades. Most of the time you don't notice much difference, but if you happened to have some software/hardware that was quirky, it would fix that for you.

Lets say the ECU ran the bike on a leaner mix during warmup (to meet some proscribed emission requirement). They would use the engine temperature sensor to shift the map to a normal running table at some temperature. But in practice bikes are for riding and not acrobats for the emission regs. We don't want to pay a lot of money for a new bike that meets the emission criteria, but fails to work when you pull away on a cold morning. It sounds as though the emission politicos at BMW had more influence over the ECU function than they should have. Now BMW have to accept that riders want their bikes to work and aren't going to ride like pussy's on a cold motor.



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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 2007, 5:55 pm
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My GT has developed the dreaded "idle knock" but it smooths out if I bring the RPM's up just a tad. The dang thing sounds like a diesel engine at idle. I asked my dealer if he could change the idle speed up to 1100 rpms instead of the factory 1050, and he indicated that the ECU wasn't programmable, there wasn't a thing he could change in the ECU program. He said about the only thing that they could adjust were some air screws on each throttle body.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 2007, 6:31 pm
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Originally Posted by rhhall
My GT has developed the dreaded "idle knock" but it smooths out if I bring the RPM's up just a tad. The dang thing sounds like a diesel engine at idle. I asked my dealer if he could change the idle speed up to 1100 rpms instead of the factory 1050, and he indicated that the ECU wasn't programmable, there wasn't a thing he could change in the ECU program. He said about the only thing that they could adjust were some air screws on each throttle body.
I've got the throttle bodies off my bike at the mo. and he's right that there are 4 air bleed screws which I assume are adjusted with a vacuum gage. But I think he's also right that the ECU takes the crankshaft sensors and forces the motor to idle at 1100. If my memory is correct these bikes before ECU changes used to idle around 950 but I've known car ECU upgrades where the idle has gone up because with all the emission regulations, they can't sell cars with rough hunting lower rpm idle. I think 1100 is far to high when most carb motors run at 750rpm. I've just assumed the K brick would run so rough at 750 upping it to 1100 was an easy 'cosmetic' fix. There's another factor that metering fuel through the injectors requires very short pulse cycles at low rpm and I suspect Bosch's archaic multi point Efi system can't do this without a big increase in emissions.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 2007, 6:56 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhhall
My GT has developed the dreaded "idle knock" but it smooths out if I bring the RPM's up just a tad. The dang thing sounds like a diesel engine at idle. I asked my dealer if he could change the idle speed up to 1100 rpms instead of the factory 1050, and he indicated that the ECU wasn't programmable, there wasn't a thing he could change in the ECU program. He said about the only thing that they could adjust were some air screws on each throttle body.
Does this happen on cold start, but goes away once warmed up? Might be the "monkey nuts" associated with the alternator. Don't know what the replacement process is for the alternator, but I know they do wear over time. (I can hardly wait...)



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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 2007, 10:29 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
I've got the throttle bodies off my bike at the mo. and he's right that there are 4 air bleed screws which I assume are adjusted with a vacuum gage. But I think he's also right that the ECU takes the crankshaft sensors and forces the motor to idle at 1100. If my memory is correct these bikes before ECU changes used to idle around 950 but I've known car ECU upgrades where the idle has gone up because with all the emission regulations, they can't sell cars with rough hunting lower rpm idle. I think 1100 is far to high when most carb motors run at 750rpm. I've just assumed the K brick would run so rough at 750 upping it to 1100 was an easy 'cosmetic' fix. There's another factor that metering fuel through the injectors requires very short pulse cycles at low rpm and I suspect Bosch's archaic multi point Efi system can't do this without a big increase in emissions.

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I'm sure that any ECU uses an RPM sensor for feedback as part of its control algorithm at idle. My Ford F-150 will maintain a 750 RPM idle even when I start to let the clutch out in gear, you can just see the control circuit working as you play in the friction zone. I also think you're assumptions on the EFI are likely spot-on as well. I just wish I could put another cosmetic fix on and bump the RPMS another 50 or so ... we're already over 1000 so whats another 1/2% ?!

I do notice the problem goes away when I'm next to a Harley.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 2007, 10:33 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razel
Does this happen on cold start, but goes away once warmed up? Might be the "monkey nuts" associated with the alternator. Don't know what the replacement process is for the alternator, but I know they do wear over time. (I can hardly wait...)
It doesn't go away with temperature. It does seem to get worse at times with alternator load, especially from brake circuit, heater circuits, and/or PIAA lights. Having done some online searching, and talking to the local dealer service manager, whom I trust, it's either the alternator bushings (monkey nuts?) or the anti-backlash device on the gear. I think the anti-backlash device is on the same gear that drives the alternator.

Anyone know if you can easily pull the alternator to check?

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2007, 11:34 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
I suspect they can't trust a dealer network to upload an updated eprom image to the existing eprom. If the update fails part way through, the ECU could be dead and they'd have to send it back anyway.
Well, the reason I asked was I had the Rhinewest upgrade (chip and cam gears) done just after July 4th. And, along with a difference in performance (all good once warmed up) came this old issue with cold starting. Engine would either stumble or die when the throttle was opened. Did the TPS reset, no change. Just like old times...
Called Rhinewest, and got to speak with Hank. I explained my concerns, and his suggestion? Disconnect the battery overnight, reset the throttle again, and call with the results.

Voodoo...

I suppose different ECU's drain down at a different rate, and mine didn't get completely drained such that the ECU didn't appear to nead to download the fuel map from the EPROM. But, the throttle response when cold was spot on at this point.

I've seen a fuel-usage improvement of around 2 MPG, but that's over just two tanks. It's better tracked over 5 tanks, as you never fill it up exactly the same, and I've squeezed in another ½ gallon at times after the nozzle clicks off.

Runs better...just as advertised. Nothing more than commute at this point, but the throttle response is noticably better, just manuvering throug traffic this morning. I'm heading to Laguna Seca this weekend, so I'll have opportunity to see all of the improvement.

Props to the good folks at Rhinewest, too.



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