Well, we’ve had a very exciting month! Firstly, congratulations must go to Nem and his amazing Orange FG F6.
After resetting the record books a month ago with a rocket like 9.15 second pass at Calder Park raceway. He was confined to half track passes over the next two meetings to keep his top speeds within ANDRA regulations for cars without roll cages. With a bit more boost, those two outings clearly achieved a two tenth time decrease to half-track, and speed had risen by a couple of mph.
I would say Nem’s FG has completed more passes than any other FG in Australia. This being the case, Nem certainly knows when he’s on a flyer, so much so he’s now Nizpro’s test pilot when we can get hold of him. Nem has even driven other Nizpro customer cars when they want to see the full potential of their cars.
So another visit to Calder to perform half tracks came around, but this time Nem believed he was on a cracker pass and his foot stayed buried to the floor for the full 400 meters. Well, he was on the money with a record breaking 8.90 pass at 157.89 mph. That was the end of that FG’s racing career at Calder, at least until some regulation safety gear is fitted. For the record, here are the numbers:
- Fastest ever ZF transmission equipped vehicle.
- First ever 8 second pass recorded worldwide with a ZF transmission equipped vehicle.
- Record 60 foot time, 1.41 with ZF equipped vehicle.
Nem is yet to decide on what’s next for the record breaking F6, whatever he decides I’m pretty confident it will be amazing.
BMW Transmission upgrades
The BMW community are well aware that the transmission fitted to their 335 N54 powered vehicles is the smaller cousin to what is used in the Ford Falcon XR6 turbo range. We have been able to achieve amazing results from the ZF 6HP26, it is now capable of handling well over 1200 engine horse power with our latest hardware and software upgrades.
Unfortunately the BMW guys have not had the luxury of ongoing development to their ZF 6HP21’s. Suffering all the issues experienced by Turbo Ford Falcon owners back in 2006-2008 before Nizpro started development of what has now been proven as a fantastic transmission for high performance upgraded cars.
That being said, no matter what power levels have been achieved with the mighty twin turbo 3 litre BMW engine, acceleration times have always been off the pace for the given power and weight of the vehicles. There have been endless complaints by owners suffering with slipping transmissions and long gear changes, hence slow quarter mile times.
With our reputation growing due to the achievements of customers running Nizpro upgraded ZF transmissions, it was only a matter of time before we were asked to develop an upgrade package for the smaller 6HP21 for BMW owners.
Due to an already heavy workload, and a project that snowballed in size, it’s been nearly 2 years since we initially undertook the 6HP21 development. Most of the development for the 6HP21 was simply carried over from the 6HP26, but still required all our tooling and jigs to be reproduced due to the different size of all the components. On an upside for 6HP26 owners, some extra developments needed for a successful 6HP21 were now carried back to 6HP26.
After 8 years experience with the 6HP26, the mechanical upgrades needed for the 6HP21 were not groundbreaking as far as we were concerned, however a massive problem was the transmission software calibration, or lack of to be precise.
Transmission power handling capabilities and performance can be divided into two almost equally important categories:
- The upgrading of internals to allow for extra torque requirements.
- The software calibrations allowing for adjustment of torque management, shift speeds and transmission pressures.
One without the other gives a 50% result at best.
Now, many said re-calibrating the ZF via the BMW OBD2 port along with locating the calibration tables required for transmission control could not be possible. We at Nizpro are very excited to say that we have now been able to achieve this goal. It is now possible to read existing calibration, and also write new calibrations. New calibrations can be flashed directly to the ZF TCU via the OBD2 port.
The next development period will see us concentrating on custom calibration for use with both the standard ZF 6-HP21, and our upgraded transmissions. We will have hardware and software calibrations that can be purchased directly from us, and then loaded into the vehicle by their owners.
So what does this mean regarding performance gains for N54 owners?
Here’s the bit that most of you will love, these are real world measurements of transmission improvement:
- As a proven example, one of our Level 2 internally upgraded 6HP26 transmissions using standard calibration will be 2 tenths faster over the ¼ mile compared to a good condition standard transmission.
- Take the same Level 2 upgraded 6HP26, add a recalibrated file and you will see a further reductions of 4 tenths.
- Now, if you were to put the same recalibrated file into the stock transmission the input shaft would likely fail before the end of the first pass.
These numbers are based off proven results on a flat 10 second 4200 lbs vehicle. To be clear, the recalibrated and upgraded transmission will take a flat 10 second time slip down to 9:40 or better. After purchasing our own test BMW 335I, and performing mild upgrades to lift power to 300 rwkws, we see that the standard shift speeds are far slower than any standard Ford XR6 Turbo fitted with a ZF transmission running a standard calibration. I would say that the improvements of the BMW will prove greater than the above examples.
I look forward to providing more information and results as they come to hand.