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I work now about 20 years for BMW in the development of diesel engines. The aggregates of the series M47 / M57 and their successor N47 / M57 are a bit too my "children", for the three patents run alone in my name. In the past, you could afford to develop your own engine, almost your own engine range, for almost every car. That's not possible today. Today, one relies on so-called equal parts - only in this way can modern motors still be manufactured reasonably cheaply. BMW builds only six-cylinder with 3 liters of displacement - to conclude, so that all the engine would be the same, simply because they have the same displacement, is already thought very narrow and unfortunately the usual tuner thinking. In 1993, the development of a modern direct-injection diesel engine began. But you do not build more engines, but only a so-called master cylinder. This has for all CR diesels at BMW 84mm bore and 90mm stroke. Four of these cylinders make the 2l diesel, six of them the 3l and eight of them - who would have thought it - the V8, which was once in the 7th. Today, there are each of these cylinders for diesel in three versions: UL, OL and TOP. UL stands for lower power / torque requirements, the pistons are made of a simple aluminum alloy, for example, the crankshaft is simply forged and sintered connecting rods are used. So you can cover performances up to 25kw or 75Nm per cylinder and this variant is used eg x16d, x18d and x25d (except F10 from 2011) OL stands for top performance / torque requirements, the cylinder tracks are repeatedly honored, there are forged connecting rods and the bearings of the connecting rod and crankshaft are sputter bearings. This allows requirements up to 35kw per cylinder or 100Nm represented and used this base cylinder in the x20d, x30d. TOP is for high performance requirements with a specially treated KW and laser machined cylinder liners. Thus, an increase in the rated speed and an increase in the injection pressure is possible. These base cylinders will be used in the x23d, 525d from 2011 as well as in the x35d and x40d models. The motors are identical in mechanical dimensions, but not in terms of the materials used: UL models: (25d-6cyl), 18d, etc.) Mahle type series 124, pistons with 0.6% CU, magnetic injectors, OL models: (20d, 30d) Mahle type series 148, pistons with 1.2% CU, Piezoinjectors, rail pressure up to 1800 bar, connecting rods and crankshafts made of other materials TOP models (23d, 35d, 50d) Mahle type series 174, various further modifications Piston example: The pistons of the OL have a higher copper content and a higher chromium content. The higher copper content ensures better heat conduction out of the combustion chamber into the piston bottom cooling. Chromium makes the piston more stable at the higher combustion pressures of the OL. The price of the pistons differs considerably, so you save every penny. The two main additives in pistons are copper (improves heat transmission) and chrome (which improves strength at high pressures and temperatures) .The stupid thing is that chromium, copper and aluminum have so different melting points and densities that these three substances are not easily poured can do without demixing - the 124er is cheaper, since it is the only one still can be produced by stamp casting, since the copper content is less than 1% .This does not work with the other two.The advantage of die casting is that it is not lost is form - the 148er is produced by centrifugal casting the production time is longer, the follow-consuming.. - The 174 has 2% copper and 6% chromium - that's nothing with liquid alloys anymore. This is a wrought alloy and the piston itself is forged. This makes the piston expensive - with spare parts, the purchase price but rather secondary, because there, the storage costs over time, the problem. Since the pistons are mechanically identical, the piston of the OL or TOP can serve as a spare part for the UL. Saves storage costs and spare parts, the price is rather secondary anyway. But in terms of production costs, it does make a lot of sense if you do not just do it with the pistons. It is correct that the 25d is throttled over the control unit, but you also have to because the components in the version used for the performance and especially the higher torque are not designed. Almost all supercharged diesel engines can do more thermally than they can mechanically tolerate - chip tuning is based exactly on it. Now the smarties come with their chips, because they think that yes all engines would be the same - yes, all have the same part numbers. That's true for the most part, but only reduces the storage costs. In fact, you can also use the piston for a 535d in a 316d - it does fit, it's just a bit oversized, but it does not matter. This common parts policy is intentional, because so I have to reserve for all diesel engines only a piston pattern as a spare part. But that does not apply to the original equipment, because the customer expects a lower price for a 116d than for a 123d. Therefore, for the 116d, the pistons are made simpler and with less heat-resistant (and therefore cheaper) materials than the 120d would. Diesel has the problem that it can do more thermally than it mechanically tolerates. Thermodynamics does not know from which material the piston is. Due to the way in which modern engines are controlled, it is sufficient to simply increase the boost pressure. If you combine the whole thing with a nice "play" called "individual tuning", you can really get a lot of money out of your pocket. No manufacturer throttles the engine only electronically. It is the media and, above all, the tunebreaker that spreads this rumor in order to lull the customer to safety. The differences are no longer in the dimensioning, but in the material and in the production steps. The same-part strategy does NOT mean that the parts are exactly the same, but identical in dimensions and weights, but not in their thermal properties. In the engine production, CAM is used. The engines run off the conveyor belt in succession. There comes a 25d and then a 30d and in the piston inlet are only 6 124er and then 6 148er. Naturally, for the ignorant, it is obvious that these are all the same parts. I know that many do not like this knowledge because it breaks a world. It's the illusion of having a 30d in his 25d and you just have to swap the chip. An entire industry thrives on this illusion. And no, it's usually not better to use the same for everything. If a M148 in the EK costs 12 €, an M124 but only 8 €, then that is only a slack 24 € per vehicle. But that makes for 200,000 525ern with 6 cyl. Already 4.8 million out - and the piston is not the only difference. The 118d and the 318d as well as the old 325d are not counted at all. Common part strategy means: - All components have the same basic production steps; Higher values differ in terms of another material and further production steps. Thus, the cylinder liner in the TOP is subsequently hardened laser - we would not do, if it were not necessary, is not made at the UL and the OL also. - All components can be maintained with the same tools. - When replacing in the workshop, there is no longer a risk of confusion - there is only one piston in exchange That is not only the car manufacturers do so - eg Bosch in his machines. There are the Green Series (home improvement) and the Blue Series (professionals). Again - except the housing no visible difference. One- hand angle grinder : - Other casting material of the housing - Other hardening process of the gearbox - Wire enamel of the winding of the electric motor is harder, does not break so fast - Switch is designed for more switching cycles - Other cable material (thicker, does not break so quickly) - Modified overload protection This concept, made possible by CAM, allows manufacturers to use a design for a variety of engine models. The power control is via the electronics to prevent the engine from being overstressed with the simple components. By charging you can miss the engine almost any performance - only he just can not stand it inevitably. So if you think that even a 118i with 170PS could do even more, only the dorks of BMW can not get out, then let you give a nice greeting from a dork: A 118i is good for 300+ hp and under full Compliance with exhaust emissions - but he does not stop that long. Basically, in the automotive industry (and not just there) * It's not all as it seems. * If somewhere a € uro can be saved, you will do it * Especially in the field of automotive technology on the part of the media and in parts of the technical literature much incorrectly presented - it is good to keep yourself covered, because you deserve well with it. This statement "how long does a chipped engine" is not to hit in km, because an engine does not know the term of the km. If the M124 is operated at the performance level of a 30d, but this performance is never or rarely demanded, the predicted life expectancy does not change at all. However, if the performance is often demanded, it comes to structural changes over time. Depending on the environmental conditions and the characteristics of the request, there may be a strike after a few minutes, or only after 1000 operating hours. The maximum load for the piston arises in the range of the maximum torque and thus the highest medium pressure. Here, in particular, the heat transfer value of importance. In contrast to a gasoline engine, the diesel has a significantly higher heat transfer through the piston, which is then dissipated by the spray oil cooling. The mean pressure of the UL is 15 bar, the OL at 18 bar and the TOP at 21 bar. Much more important, however, is the heat transfer. This is 40% for the OL and 57% higher for the TOP. With a maximum load requirement of a 25d tipped to 30d, the 124er must compensate this with a 40% higher heat transfer. Due to the laws of the heat gradient, he only achieves this with a temperature that is 6% higher in relation to Kelvin. However, this is accompanied by an approximately 18% higher loss of strength. This is all the more critical, because he also lacks the higher strength-enhancing chromium component. This weakens the microstructure of the piston and one day, the driver drives under heavy load on the AB, goes from the gas because one pulls out in front of his nose to then back to full throttle, it does a hit. The thermal capacity is exhausted, the piston weakened by operation in the overload range, it breaks through only in the top land - engine damage is the result. Combustion in the engine produces temperatures up to 2000 ° C - but aluminum melts at 660 ° C. Actually, the piston would have to be liquid - but it is not, because the combustion takes only 45-90 ° kw diesel and he can rest the remaining 630-675 ° kw. From 400 ° C, aluminum loses considerable strength, so the piston operating temperature must be kept below 400 ° C. The piston is now 300 ° C hot and it comes the combustion. The piston bottom heats up to 380 ° C and now he has to manage to get down to 300 ° C in 630 ° kw. During this time, the piston head must pass this heat down to the spray oil cooling. How much the piston heats up depends on the intensity of the combustion - it is highest at full load and maximum torque. The OL has a more intense combustion and he heats the piston no longer by 80 °, but by 120 °. This leads to two problems: First, I leave the range of high strength of aluminum and second, the time of 630kw no longer enough to break down 120 °, because the heat transfer of aluminum is simply too slow. That's why you do the OL: You increase the copper content. Copper is one of the best heat conductors and so at 4000 revolutions it is not only possible to deliver 80 °, but 120 ° to the oil. Second, chromium is added, allowing the piston to have a higher strength at 420 ° C than the UL piston - which is also needed because more force is created. So you can say, the stronger engines have not only more pressure-resistant, but also "faster" alloys ... (!) It is then we who are allowed to pay for the consequences of chip tuning. We come to you when certain problems occur frequently. These include faulty turbos, broken valves, burnt EGR valves, blown pistons, defective injectors. Coming to us are the complaints of the customers and the management (worried about the reputation) and the defective units, where we have to find again and again, the subsequent interference with the electronics were the cause. Admittedly, this is rarely the case - rather you complain about BMW and the poor quality. As for the damage: Most occur only some time after tuning. Usually after 50,000 to 80,000 km there are problems. Many do not own the vehicle then and the subsequent owner often knows nothing of his luck. And then, in the case of many damages, the vehicle is driven to the workshop and they simply exchange. That the cause could be in the chip, many do not come to that - the tuner said yes, it does not matter. And it is with great pleasure that the tuner (and not just those) spreads certain components as wearing parts - eg the turbocharger. But he is not! Turbos are broken by chiptuning or wrong handling. Previously, when turbos were the absolute exception, everyone knew that you drive a vehicle with a turbo engine after the cold start best once in idle and the first 500m rather sneaks than drives to prevent the still cold turbo with too high Exhaust gas temperature is faced. Is also the reason why many who have a turbo damage, often not only have one. I can understand it from the customer's point of view. Somebody comes here and builds something that does the engine without any other neat charge more power. You do not see anything, you only feel it. With the knowledge in the background, yes, all engines are the same, one thinks, it can not matter. The tuners do the rest with their arguments - no tuner will report the damage, after all, it's his business and a statement that no one had ever called for damage - although you've just got three complaints on your neck - is also completely normal. Chiptuning is like smoking. The cigarette maker will never tell you that smoking causes lung cancer. The smokers argue that they know people who have been smoking for a lifetime and are 80 years old. Is that the proof that smoking is not unhealthy? And also here: The treatment of smoking diseases is a very big business. So that the UL is not overloaded, the electronics must control it so that he just does not make more than 25kw per liter. And it's exactly this protection that the chip tuners are building for a lot of money and spreading - to justify their business - the rumor of rip off by the manufacturers. The trouble, folks, we explain this to you, makes BMW and all other manufacturers no longer, because it is too complicated for the people. People want simple explanations, and not just those who put their pink glasses on them. So if chip tuning does not harm the engine, why do the chip tuners have to give any guarantees at all? Why are taxis, rental vehicles, courier vehicles and sports vehicles excluded from the warranty? So all vehicles that are known to reach high mileages. The chipped Golf of Hänschen Müller, which comes to 15,000km per year, will last for the next three years or 45,000km. Then come defects such as injectors or turbochargers or just melted pistons and one scolds the manufacturer, which is a lousy quality. The forums are full of such reports. Sure - who writes here, if he has no problems. Oa statements are probably valid for every vehicle manufacturer, I personally do not know anyone who does not drive such an identical part strategy accordingly.