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      05-30-2012, 02:31 PM   #14
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Dr.GumbyM.D.'s Avatar

Drives: 2009 328i
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

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Originally Posted by iczz View Post
AA has Stage 3 tune now? I thought it was stage 2 for manifold swap.
I have not yet heard any info about a Stage 3.

Their "Stage" tunes are not the traditional "Stage" of modding. Stage 1 was "Flash Version 1.0," "Stage 2" was "Flash Version 2.0." They're upgrading them as they work on developing better flashes, but ultimately the only change between them is the software, and assuming you use a respectable shop, each tune is customized to your car by AA with the newest available "Stage" of software they're using. I wonder if they even have a "Stage 1" or "Stage 2" template, since they're modifying your specific ECU file anyway, or if they're just applying newer/better values as they learn about them (i.e. is my "Stage 2" flash the same when they first announced "Stage 2," as it is now if I had them re-scan and program my flash?)

It sounds like our cars are very adaptable to the situation, since no situation other than FI will make a huge change in how the engine works (and you would NEED a new flash for FI), so even if you add a part here, or remove a part there, as long as you're not doing anything huge (FI), then it probably doesn't matter whether you flash before parts or after.

That being said, I'd always recommend getting a flash a few hundred (or thousand) miles after any recent mods, if possible, so your car is firmly adapted to the current condition, and you're only changing one variable at a time (the flash) versus changing a few variables at a time (flash and parts) that can maybe/maybe not lead to a worse adaptation, or longer adaptation time, or the flash not being optimally programmed for your car, since the file you're sending to them isn't the actual car's condition/mappings. Again, the ECU is very flexible, but I'm sure there are limits and optimizations.

I still would love to get a 3-stage intake and flash... a nice ~35-50hp boost for under $1k...
2009 328i Jet Black with Dakota Brown interior - Nav, heated seats, Premium Package