Setting the Aquamist Failsafe

Before starting this process please ensure the system is purged and operating correctly. You will need have set the threshold trimmer to the point where you want the system to come on before the following procedure otherwise you may need to reset the lower window.


  • Start with the WL trimmer on the gauge set full left (CCW) and the WH full right (CW). Put the system in test to spray 100%, (in open air) for no more than 1 minute at a time.
  • Turn the SC trimmer on the gauge until 6 of the 8 bars are lit up.
  • Turn the WH to the left (ccw) slowly until the “B” light at the end of the gauge flashes or goes off.  Stop, and turn it back clockwise 1-2 clicks. Take the system out of test. The high failsafe is now set.

You will need to drive the car to set the lower failsafe.

  • With the car in a high gear, 3rd or higher, gently press down on the throttle until the system starts to inject. When injection starts the “B” light at the end of the gauge should come on steady.
  • Turn the WL trimmer to the right 1-2 clicks at a time.
  • Repeat the same gentle throttle application. If the “B” light comes on then goes off right away, the failsafe has been tripped. If the “B” light stays on, turn the WL CW another 1-2 clicks.
  • If the failsafe trips during throttle application, let off the throttle and repeat a number of time to ensure it is at a consistent setting. If repeatable, turn the WL back to the left (CCW) 1-2 clicks.

The lower failsafe has now been set.

Any change to the jetting or other parameters of the system may require a resetting of the gauge scaling and failsafe windows. What you have just done is set a failsafe window around the working parameters of you system. The time you put into setting this failsafe will dictate how well it operates. When set properly, the failsafe should not active under normal conditions. If your system is operating properly for a fair amount of time, and the failsafe begins activating, you probably have an issue and should address it accordingly.

875whp 700wtq – GTX3076 997.1 Turbo

Thought we’d share some results from last night’s tuning session. This 997.1 Turbo was brought to our friend’s at Boost Theory in Mississauga for some custom fab work a while back.

Along with some exterior aesthetic changes the car received a custom 3″ x-pipe exhaust, manifolds with Tial external wastegates that fit with Garrett GTX3076 turbos, 3.5″ intercoolers, custom y-pipe with Tial BOVs, ID1000 injectors and a Sachs 2.5 clutch. Stock plenum and throttle body are still on the car.

Dyno for this particular car was at DL Motorsports who have just a single roller Dynojet so the front driveshaft was removed as per usual. All of the tuning on our shop’s 997.1 Turbo was on an AWD Mustang that reads much lower than Dynojets as mentioned in our past threads so we were really curious what a Dynojet would end up showing.

Our tuning was done via Cobb Accessport and an external boost controller. Initially we did just some relatively mild tuning on our pump gas and got to 650whp at 17-17.5psi peak after which we moved to race gas.

Tires started to have serious traction issues. We asked a friendly 260lb bystander to have a seat in the rear for our final runs and finally had tires hooking up with the roller all the way through the RPM band making 100wtq in midrange over previous runs

Check out the final pull on our Instagram feed. This car has more left in it but we’re keeping it here for now as we’ve found motor internals to hold up without any issues on our shop car for thousands of miles of test/tune at very similar power/torque levels and tuning that we essentially replicated here on race gas while we’ve done ours on pump gas+meth.


Porsche 997.1 Turbo (2007-2009) Aquamist HFS-3 methanol injection kit – wiring diagram

We have used methanol injection on almost all the platforms we’ve tuned since 2007 with great results. To do it properly one shouldn’t compromise and should use the highest quality injection kit with an appropriate turbine based flow sensor failsafe in place such as what comes in Aquamist’s HFS-3 and HFS-4 kits.

For those looking to install a methanol kit on their 997.1 Turbo we recommend going with the Aquamist HFS-3 kit and you can order it here.

Here’s a wiring diagram for the OEM DME harness. For any tuning related questions don’t hesitate to contact us at

NOTE: If you’re wiring this kit into a harness that will use a standalone ECU such as an AEM Infinity make sure that during any firmware updates to the standalone ECU you physically [U]disconnect the power on your Aquamist controller[/U] prior to upgrading firmware. This is NOT required if using the OEM DME with a Cobb Accessport at any time. Leaving the meth kit plugged in, even with the gauge off, can/will cause the kit to spray at 100% duty as the firmware upgrade sends a signal on the wiring that simulates a 100% fuel injector duty cycle which can cause your motor to get hydrolocked with meth. Map switching, updates to calibration, etc will never trigger this issue. This only and specifically applies to firmware upgrades which are rare/infrequent.

PTF proTUNE Results, PUMP gas stock turbo record and comparison dynos with JB4 G5

In almost every initial email people ask us what we can do for them with our custom tuning power wise. Some come to us with bone stock cars and ask about getting parts to go full bolt on and get a custom tune. Others come to us with an existing Cobb OTS tune and ask about gains while some already have a tune such as the latest JB4 G5 with and without the free BMS backend flash.

We spent some time on the dyno and gathered up some neat results to demonstrate what we can do. The runs are on pump 93 octane, same day, details below.

Car and its modifications:
2007 335i 6AT
WINTER tires (they actually hurt power a little over summer tires due to thread design, read more here if you like).
3″ catless downpipes
OEM exhaust
BMS DCI intakes
93 octane pump gas
All runs done in 4th gear

We started with a baseline run with all the boltons on the car and just a Factory (OEM) tune flash and from there did our custom tuning. Other than being a great all around consistent reliable tune this is also a stock turbo pump 93 octane N54 torque World Record.

Gains of +115whp and +187wtq over stock baseline of the same car, same dyno, pump gas and FBO modifications. That will transform your stock N54 entirely and provide it with enough punch to confuse a lot of other cars on the road while doing so on your no-hassle pump gas :)

As the car came to us with a JB4 G5 ISO on it we moved on to get some runs with it installed. First we uninstalled the Cobb AP entirely from the car and ran the JB4 as most people out there seem to run it, without a pump gas backend flash. Here are the results:

The tune above had a number of timing corrections on Map 1, 2 and 5 and we felt that we should flash the free BMS pump gas flash and get what we and BMS feel is a more appropriate tune these days. Here are the results:

Above shows the power actually went down from No BMS backend flash runs. However, given how Map 1, 2 and 5 are setup for boost this setup actually is considerably less knock prone and safer to run on the car than the No backend flash. In case you’re running a JB4 out there without an appropriate flash at least do yourself a favour and grab the BMS free flash. Your N54 will thank you for it.

At this point we installed the Cobb AP back on the car and ran the Cobb OTS Stage 2+Agg map that comes preloaded on the Cobb Accessport to get a sense of how it compares against the JB4. Here are the results against the JB4 without the free BMS backend flash:

Considering how simple it is to plug the Cobb AP into the OBD2 port and just flash it with this OTS map and considering the logs show absolutely no knock while making more power everywhere we felt the Cobb AP brings the most complete off the shelf tune available on the market even without any custom tuning.

Here is the same Cobb Stage 2+Aggressive map against the JB4 G5 with a BMS backend flash:

Here are results of our custom tune compared to the off the shelf map. Note almost +30whp/+80wtq gains at peak over the Cobb Stage 2+Agg OTS map and as much as +70whp gained in midrange.

Let us know if any questions at all. Our custom tuning has been built and refined over many years with the N54 and we will guarantee a consistent reliable tune for all of our customers. Tuning comes with lifetime support from us and unlimited map revisions as long as the car needs a revision on the same mods/octane we’re there to help free of any additional charge.

With the recent introduction of ignition timing logging on the JB4 G5 we’ve adopted it as well for custom tuning when/where required and will provide custom backend Cobb flashes to run with the JB run exclusively on a custom map 6 where higher numbers are available to be had as well but it is nice to see what Cobb OTS vs. JB4 OTS vs. stock baseline and custom tuning can do all in one place gathered on the same car same octane same dyno same day.

When we get a chance we’ll do a similar exercise on higher octane and demonstrate our results.

BMW N54 Boost Control – PID and Tuning Limits

Given recent developments in flash based tuning we wanted to offer our insight into the inner workings of the N54 DME when it comes to boost control tuning or more specifically, PID based boost control.

Boost control in the N54 OEM DME as well as most modern electronic boost controllers out there is based on what is called a PID algorithm. PID algorithms aren’t exclusive to boost control and are applied to various systems where correction to a signal can be applied by feeding the actual value of the signal through the algorithm and adjusting control for it automatically by comparing setpoint/requested to actual and adjusting the controlling device which in the case of boost control is pulse to a boost control solenoid.

Concept of a PID algorithm is quite simple. It is based around knowing two values:

1) Setpoint – in the case of boost control this is requested boost pressure that the DME is targeting for a given Load
2) Actual Value fed into the PID algorithm – in the case of N54 boost control this is the signal coming from the OEM TMAP sensor feeding back a 0-5V value representing absolute pressure

DME converts the analog 0-5V signal coming off of the TMAP sensor into engineering units based on the Map Conversion table you can find in your maps.

OEM TMAP sensor is a 2.5bar sensor. That means it can read 2.5bar of absolute pressure. This means your actual boost will vary based on your atmospheric/barometric pressure which needs to be subtracted from 2.5bar to understand how much readable range you’ve got out of your MAP sensor. This readable range above your barometric is what is referred typically as the word we all love and we’re here for, “BOOST” (i.e. positive pressure or pressure above barometric).

The OEM N54 DME works on the principle of Load based tuning and PID based boost control. Load is a calculation based on various parameters primarily around “boost” (i.e. pressure at the MAP sensor – barometric presure) and charge air temp which in turn calculate into Mass Air Flow (MAF). N54 doesn’t use a MAF sensor to meter airflow on the intake side. It calculates/infers it based on other values mentioned.

In order to make boost from the turbos the DME regulates boost control solenoids via a PWM (pulse-width modulated) signal pulsing them and allowing vacuum to hit the wastegate actuator. The frequency of that pulse/signal is what is typically referred to as wastegate duty cycle (WGDC). This is where PID based boost control comes in and helps the DME regulate the amount of WGDC applied to the solenoids so that Target Load is hit as required.

Very few of us speak about our tunes in terms of target load and it makes sense as most are used to talking about “Boost”. While the DME targets a given load and given that Load is defined based on primarily boost+IAT+compressor maps and airflow modelling around stock turbos/intakes/intake pipes it ends up calculating a Requested Boost level. In your Cobb datalogs you can monitor this value by looking at the Req. Boost Abs. channel.

You can refer to the Req. Boost Abs. as the DME’s Setpoint for the PID based algorithm. When using Cobb’s ATR software there is a hard limit at 1.28bar in terms of maximum Requestable boost. If for any reason your car boosts past this level the DME’s safety mechanism will kick in to prevent motor damage due to what it perceives as an uncontrollable boost condition for its settings. For a tuner using ATR to get around this issue and provide a smooth tune they need to effectively remove this first DME safety by calibrating tables related to boost control and throttle management. In other words, if at any point in time the turbos were to spike boost and cause it to overshoot target to say 35psi instead of where they’ve set/expect your tune to be, given how they’ve set the DME tables up to get that extra 2-5psi out of your car, it ends up being quite unsafe and won’t have the DME intervene as it normally should/would. With appropriate PID control and DME failsafes in place the signal to the solenoids is taken way, DME closes throttle causing DVs/BOV to open and vent boost and the DME goes into limp mode.

If you’ve been around the N54 scene long enough or even owned an N54 for while, especially a tuned one, you know that there are countless N54s out there that have had an experience with either overboost (30FE) or underboost (30FF) induced limp mode issues that otherwise could’ve ended up in a tune that knocked damaging the motor potentially ending in a really unnecessary and expensive repair.

Some N54 ROMs, such as the I8A0S and IJE0S, have had support added by Cobb (i.e. race code) so that the full range of the OEM TMAP sensor can be tuned with PID based boost control and the DME safety net entirely in place. It is only available with AccessTuner Pro (ATP) software and only by request to Cobb from a licensed protuner shop.

Even with the above race code in place going past the limits of the OEM TMAP sensor with flash only tuning carries an extreme level of risk for a motor. N54 is a stout motor that we all know can take quite a beating but that hasn’t prevented engine failures in the past due to various reasons but also due to poor and unsafe tuning.

If you’re running a flash-only tune on your N54 today, with or without the N20 3.5bar capable TMAP sensor, the hard limit is in place for the readable boost range of 2.5bar absolute (~21.5-22psi at sea level) inside which the DME’s boost safety mechanism works. This is also the range in which PID based boost control has authority to adjust your boost. If your tune is pushing past 22psi rest assured that even though some tuners love throwing the word PID in their descriptions that PID simply doesn’t exist and is virtually eliminated. Why? As mentioned before, PID based boost control revolves around knowing the actual boost. If you’re seeing boost flatline in your logs at ~21psi it is at that point that PID based boost control and safety has basically gone out the window for your car/DME and all you’re left with basically is the wastegate duty cycle which is mapped based on what is now a really skewed MAF calculation.

Can you make power in this way? You sure can, but so could the old versions of popular piggybacks before CANBus days. There will always be multiple ways of making power on any given motor. We’ve also shown that pushing past the TMAP sensor limit is quite doable setting a former N54 HP/TQ record on a beta Stage 3 VTT twin setup. However, the difference at least with us is that we explicitly stated that such tuning is not recommended and WILL NOT be provided for any customer car given boost control safety mechanisms aren’t in place. We are not ones to hand responsibility of appropriate tuning and throw risk into customer hands or make them stare at a boost gauge in hopes that they’ll react in time to save their motor from uncontrollable boost spikes. It is also why we recommend going with an external form of boost control when tuning any car past its OEM TMAP sensor as there simply isn’t any other proper way of doing it and certainly no way of using PID based boost control.

Dyno glory numbers and tinkering are always fun and certainly help marketing buzz but its one thing to make power and another to do it with appropriate safety and control in mind. Bottom line is, if you see anyone claiming PID based boost control while going past the TMAP limit you can refer them to this thread and let them know they’re missing a key piece of information to claim effective PID based control. You can also ask them what happens if your wastegate actuator sticks (not uncommon especially with wear on the turbos) or a boost control solenoid fails in the open position or when the car is already tuned to the edge at altitude and you drive down to sea level with the same map and heavily overboost. Not pretty, potentially very costly, irresponsible and just plain unnecessary given how far the N54 has come.

New Porsche 997.1 Turbo 60-130mph record – 6.700secs on pump 93 octane – OEM turbos + boltons + PTF custom Cobb tune

We are happy to report that a protune customer of ours from Alabama, US has just set new 997.1 OEM VTG turbo 60-130mph record at 6.700secs on pump 93 octane. The car has minimal bolton modifications including an AWE exhaust, OEM 997.2 intercoolers and turbo inlet pipes with a Sachs 2.5 clutch that drives just like the OEM clutch. This is your ultimate sleeper setup. The car has had ID1000 injectors as the car will be running on E85 soon. We’re looking forward to even faster numbers with E85!

Congrats Greyson, all the best!

Porsche 997.2 Turbo 60-130mph World Record – 5.90secs – Cobb custom tuning by proTUNING Freaks

We’re excited to share a recent vbox verified 60-130mph time of 5.90secs done by our customer Costas in Greece that looks to be a new World Record.

What really makes this impressive is the car is running pump gas with our custom Cobb protune and the only hardware modification being a 100cell exhaust.

Congrats once again Costas!

Click the image to open in full size.

Here’s a link to his 6.0sec run previously:

And his 5.90sec record setting run:

BMW N54 30FF Underboost Code – Boost Leak Testing – DIY

We decided to share this great DIY on boost leak testing that was contributed to the N54 community a long while back and is still very useful for those running into issues with underboost codes, limp mode due to a boost leak in their charge piping.


Spent a lot of time the past week trying to diagnose a 30FF. (Boost Log is NOT matching Target)
Since 30FF can be from a leak in the pressurized section of the intake track and/or the turbo just isn’t putting out enough, I broke this up into 2 areas:

1. Turbo compressor (COOL side) to intake manifold/head interface.

a. Test entire intake system.

b. Test Diverter Valves

2. Turbo compressor operation(HOT side) –

a. Vacuum system & line integrity

b. Wastegate actuator & line integrity

c. Solenoid functionality

The sequence of the tests is not so important. You can start with the tests you already have the tools or time for and stop if you are lucky enough to detect & fix the problem. Just remember that there can be more than 1 source for the 30FF. You’re not done till the 30FF’s stop popping up.

OK, I had already made several fittings to tap into, plug and pressurize sections of the OEM intake system.
After removing sections of the intake system and checking them independently, it was obvious they could leak when they were put back together.
So after playing with all the new gadgets I wanted to test the system w/o removing any parts that are exposed to boost pressure.

Step 1a Tools & Equipment
• Compressor w/ regulator, GOOD pressure gauge, hose
• Very quiet garage to listen for leaks – beware of neighbors watering the lawn
• Squirt bottle w/ Dish soap & water
• (2) – 1-1/2” PVC pipe cap ($0.77 each @ Menards)
• (1) – ¼” NPT male hose fitting ($0.25 @ Harbor Freight)

Prep work:
Remove any bumps (injection molding gates) on the OD of each cap w/ a file (if necessary, depending on mfg.). Make it smoothed.
Drill & tap 1 cap to install air fitting. (7/16” drill, ¼” NPT tap)

Name:  1.5 PVC Caps 001.jpg
Views: 23545
Size:  327.9 KB

Get front wheels off the ground – ramps, jack stands or lift
Car off and cool
Remove the 14 screws & engine splash pan
Remove the DCI’s (or air filter box) to access the 2-1/4” accordion intake tubes.
Install plain PVC cap in the F tube and the other cap w/ air fitting into the R tube and tighten hose clamps.
**If running OEM crankcase venting system you must Plug the rear air intake tube at the PCV return tube heater element**-edit on 8/25/11
Set the air pressure regulator to ZERO and connect air hose to cap fitting.

Name:  2 caps n text.jpg
Views: 25775
Size:  306.2 KB

You are now “in Theory” ready to pressurize the whole intake & exhaust system from the air inlet to exhaust tips. Not sure why but didn’t need to use exhaust tip plugs I made cause air was not exiting the exhaust. Only thing that comes to mind is no overlap between intake & exhaust valves. Ideas welcome…

SLOWLY increase regulator air pressure to 10 psi (it’s high enough to find a pretty small leak).
Filling up the whole system takes some time and can sound like a leak when filling. Give it time & let pressure stabilize.
The air intake tubes are not designed to hold pressure but they do hold some. Mine held to 12 psi B4 rear turbo inlet started hissing. This is NOT a boost leak but the weakest joint in this test method.
Don’t go leak hunting if a turbo inlet is leaking @ 10 psi. You may need a buddy to hold intake tube onto turbo @ 10 psi if leaking there or get creative and wedge it in place.

Reference Picture from Hotrod’s post, I did NOT remove my engine!
Name:  turbos solenoids view.jpg
Views: 26587
Size:  196.6 KB

Listen & look, squirt soapy water anywhere/everywhere you suspect & look for bubbles to confirm leak. Get under the car & check both turbo connections, piping, connectors, FMIC, elbow, DV or BOV & recirculation tubes, vacuum/boost lines to DV’s, Charge pipe, Throttle body, intake manifold to engine head. Fix any leaks & retest. If air tight @ 10psi you are done with this step.

Here’s what I found!

Name:  Cut oring.jpg
Views: 21890
Size:  172.8 KB

Step 1b.Test DV’s

Name:  DV n Syringe.jpg
Views: 22553
Size:  312.9 KB

I also rigged up a way to pressurize the DV’s , CP & elbow as an assembly. Used syringe w/ Tee to both DV’s.

Name:  CP fixture.jpg
Views: 22049
Size:  208.8 KB

Step 2a. Vacuum system & line integrity – Tools & Equipment
• Vacuum gauge
• Pick or small pry tool to remove vacuum hose

Name:  Hose Pick.jpg
Views: 25855
Size:  171.5 KB

Vacuum to Wastegate solenoids
Follow hose from the top a canister to a solenoid. Remove hose at the solenoid and connect vacuum gage. Start car, gauge should read about 26” Hg at idle. Don’t know acceptable limits but if it’s much lower than 26” trace ALL hoses all the way back to vacuum pump (behind oil filter). Replace leaking or pinched hose.
Reconnect the hose and repeat the vacuum test on remaining solenoid.

Step 2b. Wastegate actuator & line integrity – Tools & Equipment
• 100cc or larger syringe
• 5/35” Tee
• Towel Clamp or long nose vice grip

Test can be done w/o a Tee by connecting syringe directly to braided hose going to wastegate actuator. (Easier said than done)
Since a Tee is needed for Step 2C you can save time & aggravation if you:
Cut the 5” long hose that’s between the 2 OEM tees (see below)
Use clamp to Pinch the short hose that runs down from the Rear Tee to the Rear Solenoid
Connect syringe to the Hose you just cut
Name:  syringe to actuator Text.jpg
Views: 24687
Size:  199.0 KB

Apply vacuum by pulling syringe plunger and check for smooth movement of actuator rod and a metal to metal sound when the wastegate closes.
Once wastegate is closed it must remain closed and the force needed to hold the plunger steady must remain constant. If it gets easier to hold the plunger in place it means the hose and or actuator is leaking.
Repeat for front actuator connecting syringe to remaining 1” of OEM tube & pinching front line between Tee to Solenoid. The front actuator that is NOT visible from above engine. If you don’t have access to a borescope to watch the rod movement, listen closely to the sound and compare to the front. If you can’t see the actuation rod you will have to make the call (by listening) if it’s operating like the rear actuator.
Connect Tee and go to next step or plug the open end of the Tee if you are done.

Step 2c. Solenoid Functionality – Tools & Equipment
• Vacuum gauge
• 6’ of 5/32” vacuum hose
• 5/32” Tee ( if you didn’t take my advice in 2b)

Install 5/32” Tee into vacuum hose you cut in 2b.
Connect 6’ hose to Tee & gauge
Name:  6 foot vacuum hose.jpg
Views: 22804
Size:  277.2 KB

Route gauge thru drivers window & into car
Getter warmed up, cruse at about 60 mph in 3rd,
Go WOT, w/ a Tune the gauge should spike then hold at about 20” while under boost.

If the 30FF is not gone then there’s only 2 more options:
1. Wastegate rod adjustment back to OEM spec
2. New Turbos

534WHP 532WTQ – One-off set of custom turbos from Vargas – Race Gas + Meth – New N54 Stock Frame Turbos/Stock Motor Record? We think so..

Went back to the dyno this past Saturday. It was a lot hotter out than last time when the car did 523whp on pump+meth. With the same conditions as on the pump/meth runs it could’ve maybe done a touch better, maybe 540 even, maybe not. It shows just how close meth/pump numbers can be to a more expensive race gas+meth alternative when you’re already maxed on the turbo side of things. However, with race gas some additional timing managed to be had without knock through the top end helping power not drop off as quickly in the 6-7k rpm range.

These are the one-off set of stock frame upgraded turbos from Vargas. These will never see production and are not Stage 2 Batch 2 turbos. These have a one off housing that was used in the name of “science” to see the effects of a lot more machining work on the turbine housing when it comes to hp while preserving the OEM exhaust manifold in place.

This seems to be the new stock frame turbo stock N54 motor record, with a tune that was done in the most appropriate of ways possible (i.e. not testing hardware limits with bottom end boost or torque), even though its a hybrid of VTT/ASR hardware. The rpm/mph chart below the power/torque graphs is to show the RPM pickup cutting out Click here to enlarge dyno shop will need to sort that one out hopefully soon

GREEN line is pump/meth
RED/BLUE lines are race gas/meth

Both tunes run the same boost and wg duty cycles. Only thing remaining is to try maybe using an E85 blend with meth, possibly.