hmmmnn... I strongly suggest that if you want bigger performance for your car - specially a BMW, you get rid of your old engine and buy a bigger engine ( 2.2 litres at least ) and in the long run it would be cheaper and be more reliable than a modified one..
If you have a timing gun you can do the same thing but better that the chip does or claims to do. I do not know the stock timing setting in degrees. However, you can usually advance the timing any where between 3 and 5 degrees and run the next level gas with out any problem and sometimes you don't have to go to the next level of gas. Advancing the timing bascially gives you 2 hp for every degree you advance and as long as your engine doesn't knock it does no damage to the car what so ever. If your engine does knock move up to premium gas or reduce the retard (reduce/set back) the timing a few degrees or back to stock. On my first car (1992 celica gt 5spd) I advanced the timing 3 degrees and ran 89 instead of 87 octane fuel and it worked great. Then i moved it up to 5 and still worked great. The power wasn't noticeable at low engine speeds but it did help in the mid/upper range. It's a really good easy and non destructive "mod" that you can do on any car.
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Yeah, I'm still not too familiar with under the hood of a BMW i havnt had time to poke around yet. First make sure your pretty low on gas. Then remove anything that is/might be blocking you from turing your distributor cap. Then check your timing using a timing gun (kinda like an adjustable strobe light that looks like a radar gun.) Then twist the cap a few degrees and check again. What you want to do is have it advanced (higher) by a few degrees (ie. if it's stock at 10 then move it to 13) Then take the car out and drive it kinda hard and listen for knocking or pinging. If it pings and you can afford to then put in the next higher grade gas or move it back a degree and try again. Since I've not done this yet with my BMW I can't tell you what a good setting would be to try. Hope this helps and sorry I couldnt help you with more details. But like I've only done this on a 1992 celica gt.
You may be surprised if you look at your engine and find no distributor. Even the cars that have them, they aren't ajustable, unless you have an ancient ride. The engine computers keep spark timing in check, especially the engines with knock sensors.
um... they are adjustable, at least every car that I have ever seen. You just turn the distributor cap (the thing with little lines that run to each cylinder of the car). Yes the computer does also adjust it but you can give it a little help. Don't believe me? Turn yours about a 1/4 turn counter clock wise and try to drive it. It will either be retared (not you the timing) (by retared you will have no power at all and car will be very slugish) or be really advanced your engine will ping and knock and be destroyed (I forgot which way advances). Hence the turning of only a few degress unless you know which way is advance and you have very very high octane fuel.
I think you'll find that the point TECH is trying to make, is the fact that late model (and some earlier) BMW's don't have dizzy's as such, everything is controlled by electronic's, so...no dizzy to turn.........you can only chip em.
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