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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 02:38:24 AM   #1
E46M3ZCPILB
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Default Gauges to monitor SMG system

I have a project in mind and would like to survey the community to see potential issues and get ideas on how to implement it.

I'd like to install gauges in place of my ashtray to monitor the SMG hydraulic pressure and fluid temperature (instead of common Engine oil temp / pressure combo).

Premature failure of SMG pumps are common and it seems there is a consensus about the root cause being leaky o-rings, resulting in a rapid drop in pressure of the hydraulic fluid, which causes the motor to work more to keep the pressure up, thus heating up and failing prematurely (correct me if this assumption is wrong). Since hydraulic fluid pressure and temperature are key signs of a common problem, it would make sense to monitor them closely and address failures early.

I was planning on getting a LeatherZ gauge kit with VDO gauges and control them using either a microcontroller that would hook to the CAN bus, read the values and output an analog signal to control the gauges OR convert the voltages out of the sensors to the gauge to map correctly the pressure and temp for the oil pressure and temp gauges. This would combine the badass look of gauges instead of a useless ashtray to the usefulness of monitoring the SMG system.

Each option seems to have advantages and drawbacks. Reading the CAN bus seems a bit more complicated than running a wire to the sensors but additional information could be calculated such as the time between subsequent activations of the pump for example.

Generally speaking, what are the thoughts about this project ? Any reasons why this would be more complicated than I think ? (reading from the wires on the harness and converting voltages seems fairly easy).

I got from the SMG training manual that the normal pressure range of the Pentosin fluid is 45-80 Bar with a relief valve opening at 100 Bar.
SMG sensors spec can be found here : https://burkhart-engineering.com/SMG-Wiki/en
At 0 bar pressure a voltage signal of .5 volts is sent to the SMG II with the voltage increasing linearly to 4.58 volts at 100 bar of pressure.
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Old Mon, Jul-22-2019, 11:38:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Gauges to monitor SMG system

I think this would be pretty cool! Now that my SMG is relocated, I have not had a single hiccup (even in 105+ degree weather and rapid shifting). Prior to reloaction, my SMG had issues any time temperatures outside were in the 80s or above. Would be interesting to see a clean way to monitor fluid temps and pressures. Prior to SMG relocation, I was interested in this too.

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Old Tue, Jul-23-2019, 12:04:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Gauges to monitor SMG system

It would be cool. I could then constantly watch the coolant and SMG temp gauges.
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Old Tue, Jul-23-2019, 03:14:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: Gauges to monitor SMG system

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Old Wed, Jul-24-2019, 01:21:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Gauges to monitor SMG system

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Old Wed, Jul-24-2019, 02:20:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Gauges to monitor SMG system

Great idea!

But monitoring the fluid pressure might not be much useful unless it just for telling a failed pump. The pressure will be maintained as long as the pump still alive. So all you see a number changing between 45 to 80 bars. If it shows 10 bars then game is over.

Monitor how often the pump kicks in is more useful, or time between pump turned on (5 minutes is good , or 1 minute is bad), and how long the pump running per cycle (i.e. 8 sec is good and 20sec is not so good)

Temperature is useful.
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Old Wed, Jul-24-2019, 05:08:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gauges to monitor SMG system

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Originally Posted by sapote View Post
Great idea!

But monitoring the fluid pressure might not be much useful unless it just for telling a failed pump. The pressure will be maintained as long as the pump still alive. So all you see a number changing between 45 to 80 bars. If it shows 10 bars then game is over.

Monitor how often the pump kicks in is more useful, or time between pump turned on (5 minutes is good , or 1 minute is bad), and how long the pump running per cycle (i.e. 8 sec is good and 20sec is not so good)

Temperature is useful.
Thanks, your feedback is useful.

Here is a list of preliminary requirements I came up with :

The system shall :
* Allow monitoring of SMG fluid temperature and hydraulic pressure through two gauges placed in the ashtray of the center console.
* Offer an easy installation that shall take inexperienced users no longer than 2 hours
* Not violate the manufacturer’s policies for voiding the warranty (no wire splitting possible).
* Offer the possibility to fully revert the vehicle to factory condition in at most the same amount of time and effort required for installation.
* Not involve any other visual or functional modifications, including an extra connector to the OBD port.
* Interface with the CAN bus to provide information.
Optional :
* Offer a wireless interface (BT or Wi-Fi) to program or access extra CAN messages.

Other ideas welcome.

For the moment I think interfacing with CAN would be best, although a bit harder than tapping directly into the sensors, it offers a wider range of possibilities and it can be less invasive.

I am researching touchless can interface solutions that are within acceptable $$$.

This is a candidate : https://teltonika.lt/product/simple-can/#description
There is also this : https://squarell.com/products/cancliq/
(same as used in the racelogic VBox) but it's much more expensive (around $300 !!).
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Old Thu, Jul-25-2019, 05:11:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gauges to monitor SMG system

Interested in the idea since I have the gauges setup already that I can use a toggle switch on.
I like the CAN idea because I don’t think there is a way to add extra sensors to the SMG pump.
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Old Thu, Jul-25-2019, 08:58:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Gauges to monitor SMG system

I'll be the wet blanket. It's a cool idea, and more info is always good, but it's not something I would actively monitor as I'm normally only really concerned with oil and coolant temps.

If you could find a way to display this, having everything that's available in INPA or testo on various systems would be quite cool, and very marketable.
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Old Fri, Jul-26-2019, 09:31:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gauges to monitor SMG system

Quote:
Originally Posted by kokgo20 View Post
Interested in the idea since I have the gauges setup already that I can use a toggle switch on.
I like the CAN idea because I don’t think there is a way to add extra sensors to the SMG pump.
The idea is either to tap into the existing sensors and get their analog signal, or use the info available on the CAN bus.

After some research, I discovered that these sensors are not published to the can bus, the analog signals go directly to the SMG ECU to be used there and only there.

INPA accesses them through car-specific OBD II PID requests, which makes the SMG ECU reply on the OBD II bus (not the same as the CAN bus through wich the DME and the SMG ECUs communicate). If I can sniff the communication between INPA and the OBD II diagnostic bus, I could probably find out what the PIDs are.

I also know OBD II has a PID for listing all available info (01 00), but that's just for the generic PIDs. Maybe there's something similar for vehicle specific messages. If anyone knows anything about it let me know.

Now, I don't think it's possible to monitor SMG temperature and fluid pressure tapping in the can bus. The only ways are directly tapping in the analog signals at the SMG ECU connector OR using the PID to poll OBD II for those sensor's statuses.

The first option has limited benefits : it's only useful if someone is interested in knowing this specific information. It's a lot of work for the benefits it gives plus it requires tapping physically into (thus altering) the wiring, as there is no way to read analog voltage otherwise. The second option requires further research to determine the PIDs, but it's the most promising. Wouldn't it be great to have a community-developed API to interface with the cars sensors and display on custom gauges ?
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Discussing Gauges to monitor SMG system in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)