With the holidays now behind us, I had a chance this weekend to install a really fun Christmas gift. My wife gave me the Shark Injector performance software for my 2002 BMW E39 M5. (OK, there was some coaching).
The software was created by Jim Conforti, a well known and respected name who has been coding BMW performance software for two decades. His products are available through a wide range of aftermarket retailers. A few years ago I added his Shark software to my E36 M3, so I had full faith in the product.
As you can see from the graph above, this software promises some horsepower and torque gains in my M5. My M5 already has an incredible amount of both, so I was more interested in the improved throttle response and optimization for 93 octane fuel. The software I received also removes the top speed limiter and raises the RPM limit to 7,400.
The software is added via the OBD-II port in the driver side footwell. The injector plugs right in, and the process is easy but you do need to carefully read and follow a number of detailed steps. For the E39 M5, I had to remove two fuses so the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system didn’t interfere with the new software. You need a battery charger for additional power, and be able to view the flashing lights on the injector during install from outside the car.
The Shark Injector can be tailored to other modifications owners make to their BMWs, such as aftermarket exhaust headers. The process is totally reversible, so it’s easy to return the car to stock settings if needed.
My install was happily uneventful. My excellent local service station Hollin Hall Automotive lent me a battery charger to use. I placed a small mirror in the footwell so I could follow all the steps and watch for the green and red light to flash as advertised.
My early impressions are the software wakes the car up a bit in the lower gears. BMW designed the E39 M5 with a sport button on the dash, which when pushed makes the throttle response more responsive and lessens the assistance to the power steering. Now with the Shark, there is a less dramatic difference between the throttle response without the sport setting and the throttle with it activated. Of course, I won’t be able to confirm the top speed limiter removal or increased RPM limit outside of a track.
For a visual description of the install process, here’s a video from BMP Design. This video mentions upgrading the Shark software via the USB port, which is not currently available.
There are more expensive tuning options out there for BMWs that promise more dramatic gains. Sharking your BMW is more like tweaking your car, leaving the character intact but reclaiming a few things BMW left underutilized. It’s another way to make sure your BMW is all it can be.
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