Like I promised in the thread with the results, here is my result with ProTuning Freaks, specifically Jake (Jake@PTF).
SO back in August, I heard that Jake & Dzenno were forming ProTuning Freaks, a tuning group that was going to exclusively focus on tuning the N54 with the COBB tuning module. Being a COBB user & finally having all the mods I wanted installed on the car (aFE DCI, Helix Intercooler, Akrapovic Downpipes, Evolution Racewerks Charge Pipe & Forge Diverter Valves), I decided that it was the perfect time to get some custom maps made for my car. Luckily enough, E85 had just started being explored on the N54 platform so I made the decision to get 2 maps made – a Pump Gas (93 octane) & E85 Blend.
So after reaching out to both guys via email/PM, I decided that PTF would ProTune my car. From the beginning I knew that I wanted to get locally tuned. It was important to me to have the tuner there with me as the adjustments were being made and communicate what my goals were, what I liked (as the tune was being made) and what I wanted to change. Luckily Jake is from the DC area & I live in NJ, so after a few emails back & forth, we were able to find a date that worked for both of us to tune the car.
Saturday morning, nice & early with my cup of coffee, I started the 3-hour trip. As I got closer, I started to drive a little more spirited just to see how the OTS Maps felt one last time before the ProTuning. The car definitely pulled, but at the time I didn’t realize how different the ride home was going to be. I met up with Jake, he showed me his car and we briefly discussed how the ProTune was going to be made and what my goals were. I explained to him that the car is my DD so I didn’t want to do anything overly aggressive, but at the same time my car is a sleeper and I wanted it to move.
Jake got in the car, hooked up the AP & his laptop and we made our way over to a closed strip of road where we would do some pulls and road tune. After reviewing the data logs, Jake slowly made some adjustments to the tune: boost curve, timing, wastegate duty cycles, etc. It was really cool to watch what changes were being made and feel as the tune slowly developed, experiencing more and more power with each revision. After a few hours & handful of revisions, we reached what we believed was a final product. I’m sure the 93 octane ProTune still has some more in it, but we were tuning in 100 weather. Still, I was amazed with how much power was still available over the OTS Maps, but then Jake reminded me about the best part – These gains were just with 93 octane, we still had to make the E85 Map!
After a brief break that involved some Chipotle and talking with Jake & his friends who had some mean COBB MS3s, we went over to a local gas station with E85. Jake recommend that I put in a little less E85 than what the tune would be made for, that way we could make the tune aggressive and when I actually ran it with the proper E85 blend, there wouldn’t be any concern for knocking/over aggressive tuning. In addition to the significantly higher octane rating that E85 gets, it also burns a lot cooler, which was really going to help since we were tuning in triple digit heat. Once again, we went back to that empty stretch of road & started the E85 ProTune. The power was INCREDIBLE. After just a few changes, the car was having trouble getting grip from 2nd gear rolls. On E85, Jake was able to run much more aggressive timing, which in turn made substantially more power; the car felt completely different as it continued to surge forward effortlessly. After a few more adjustments were made, a final product was reached for the stock turbos & E85 blend I was running.
We drove back to where Jake’s car had been parked and we talked for a little more. We briefly spoke & Jake wanted to make sure that I knew if felt wrong or funny with the tune, to not be afraid to reach out. We both got back in our cars & jumped on the highway. After some spirited driving, I was shocked how my car was keeping up with Jake’s (no surprises that his car being somehow magically faster than mine) and how much faster it had felt then when I had been running the OTS Maps. The ride home definitely went a lot faster & it was great to flex the new muscle against a couple cars on the way home (Camaro SS’s, Mustang GTs and a few pesky G37s).
Some point along the ride, I received a text message from Jake – He wanted to see if I was enjoying the tune. This spoke volumes to me & confirmed the fact that I had made the right decision by going with ProTuning Freaks. Over the next few weeks, Jake & I continued emailed back and forth some data logs to make sure the car was running happy. The customer-vendor relationship that Jake had taken a personal interest in how my car was running & that I was enjoying the tune really meant a lot to me. After a few weeks, Jake & I crossed paths again at Bimmerfest, where we traded some more kill stories.
ANYONE who has an N54 & is looking for consistent, reliable power, I would not only recommend using the COBB tuning module, but contacting ProTuning Freaks and getting a custom tune made by them (whether locally or eTuned). The car never has an “off day” and always delivers power smoothly. I daily drive my Pump Gas ProTune Map and even 4 months later, an evil smirk grin still comes on my face whenever I’m on the highway and can downshift a gear and smoke some unsuspecting competition.
Then again, when you have 380 WHP/ 395 WTQ of N54 twin-turbo goodness under your right foot, there are a lot of unsuspecting victims out there – Dyno Results: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=778331