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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N55 Turbo Engine Tuning and Exhaust Modifications - 335i Tuning > So my buddy is on the fence on getting an Alpina TCU flash



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      06-20-2014, 04:59 AM   #1
Dark_Knight_335
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I told him it pretty much transformed the car, and didn't blow up the car or anything, but he remains skeptical. Figured I'd start a thread for people to leave their impressions and experiences, good or bad, so he can review and judge for himself. It is a 2011 335 E90 AT in case it matters.
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      06-20-2014, 06:22 AM   #2
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Car will blow exactly 10.000miles after flash
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      06-20-2014, 06:40 AM   #3
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You lie! It's 25k and you know it!
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      06-20-2014, 07:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Knight_335 View Post
You lie! It's 25k and you know it!
Oh shit... I'm getting close!

Seriously though, best mod I've done to the car by far. Dark is right, transform the car! However, I suspect this mod is best when you have a tune. Reason I say that is in D, it likes to shift much earlier. And with all of the extra torque of the various tunes it is great for casual driving. My only gripe is I wish D still started in 2nd gear. 1st is too short for that kind of driving, but it's a minor annoyance and the faster, harder shifts in S and M modes are WAY worth it. Reminds me of driving a car with the new ZF8.
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      06-20-2014, 10:11 AM   #5
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Tell your buddy it's not a mod. it's standard equipment. no joke the Alpina TCU program is included in the standard firmware; coding just switches the standard program to the Alpina program.

Alpina's TCU program is only for the ZF 6AT, was designed for the n54's torque curve after Alpina massaged it, but the n55 w/even a JB+ has a better torques under-the-curve. I agree with that D1 isn't really needed for city driving (hell, D2 is selected after a half-second). I was gonna trade in my e90 for something, anything, with a MT because i was so pissed at BMW's TCU. WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT GEAR CHANGE COME FROM, TRANSMISSION!?!?!:fighting056:

now i like my transmission
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      06-20-2014, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knonsense
Tell your buddy it's not a mod. it's standard equipment. no joke the Alpina TCU program is included in the standard firmware; coding just switches the standard program to the Alpina program.

Alpina's TCU program is only for the ZF 6AT, was designed for the n54's torque curve after Alpina massaged it, but the n55 w/even a JB+ has a better torques under-the-curve. I agree with that D1 isn't really needed for city driving (hell, D2 is selected after a half-second). I was gonna trade in my e90 for something, anything, with a MT because i was so pissed at BMW's TCU. WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT GEAR CHANGE COME FROM, TRANSMISSION!?!?!:fighting056:

now i like my transmission
How did you find that out? Interesting.
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      06-20-2014, 10:52 AM   #7
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its standard for only alpina b4 our cars don't come from the factory with two firmwares and someone figured out how to switch it over..
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      06-20-2014, 10:56 AM   #8
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Yes that's what I figured- he's afraid of borking his trans...eh...

Any other real world experiences to share?
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      06-20-2014, 11:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dark_Knight_335 View Post
Yes that's what I figured- he's afraid of borking his trans...eh...

Any other real world experiences to share?
it will smooth out his shifts so much he will notice it instantly. tell him to go for it! I had it for 3 months and if I need it to shift hard I just put it into sport mode.
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      06-20-2014, 11:30 AM   #10
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I'm a 6MT, but I've seen many guys from Bimmer Alliance here in the DMV opt for the Alpina TCU flash. They all love it for both around town and spirited driving.
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      06-20-2014, 04:14 PM   #11
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I've had it changed over in December 2013 on my '11 335i as well. Yes I was told that the D mode would tend to shift a little sooner, and it does. What I also noticed on this D mode is that it is less afraid to grab a downshift at just the right time it's needed. Before the flash it would hold the higher gear too long, and the paddles would have to be invoked. Now in D mode no more need to use paddles for normal in town driving.

I've done 3 BMW HPDE's since the flash (Chuckwalla and Buttonwillow in CA) along with an autocross. All runs were in M mode and this flash was fantastic in this setting on the track. Run it like a MT with the paddles, get the rev matching shifts, and hold the shifts until you want them. No, I don't have any other tune on the car, yet...

In short, best thing I've done, and I love it in all modes. No driveability issues whatsoever.
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      06-21-2014, 11:48 AM   #12
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Get off the fence and do it.
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      06-21-2014, 12:49 PM   #13
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That's what I told him!

So now to find somebody in New Jersey area that can do it for him.

I'm actually thinking of learning how to do it myself... hell I am an IT guy by trade- guess I just don't want to carry the burden of responsibility- should I brick a transmission ha ha
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      06-21-2014, 02:10 PM   #14
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The Alpina flash is very nice. If he is out of warranty, then it is a no brainer. I am still in warranty for 40k miles so I haven't done it yet, but drove a car with it done.
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      06-21-2014, 02:17 PM   #15
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I have the Alpina flash on mine and loved it, I just installed a JB4 and now it is even better. I would say this is the best bang for the buck mod for our cars, you'll probably make back the $$$ in mpg savings in D mode.
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      06-21-2014, 02:46 PM   #16
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Have PM Alex@alpine (actual user name).

If your friend gas an INPA camble Alex can do it remotely along with a bunch of other great coding (windows down with FOB, seatbelt gong delete, unlock all doors when shutting engine off, faster idrive load with disclaimer delete, euro hazard light pattern etc).

He has helped me twice. Second time I threw an airbag code when swapping front seats. This was many months after my alpina/ code session and he refused any $$ for fixing my airbag code. Standup guy.

He remotes in and you don't even need to use th phone. Super quick and easy. Very reasonable!

Highly recommend Alex@alpine
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      06-21-2014, 03:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JETmn
The Alpina flash is very nice. If he is out of warranty, then it is a no brainer. I am still in warranty for 40k miles so I haven't done it yet, but drove a car with it done.
The Alpina TCU is part of the vehicle (standard). The flash only enables it, that's why the dealership doesn't care at all. I've got several services and repairs without a problem. In fact, they updated my DME and i lost my alpina flash and random coding. Got everything coded again as soon as i left the dealership.
Don't hold back , price is cheaper than window tinting and it makes a HUGE difference when you drive in "D" , "S" and "M"
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      06-21-2014, 03:25 PM   #18
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So now I got the bug to do it myself to help others, and I'm wondering out of these cables on Amazon does anyone have one that works flawlessly?

Does anyone in the New Jersey area do the stuff well, and are they willing to teach me?

My background is IT support, and it's what I do every day, so I imagine it would be no small feat to learn this stuff.
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      06-21-2014, 04:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knobi View Post
The Alpina TCU is part of the vehicle (standard). The flash only enables it, that's why the dealership doesn't care at all.
That is totally false, you have to load the code in to the TCU. It seems like you think the TCU is something special to the Alpina. The TCU is the Transmission Control Unit, like the ECU but for the tranny. The Alpina just uses the same TCU as every other 2008-2011 3 series 6AT. The new code tells the tranny to shift differently. There are also several other codes you can flash in such as the Euro code. The 2011's have a new code and it is much better than the older ones, but still not as crisp as the Alpina in S or M mode, but D mode is much nicer.
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      06-22-2014, 12:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JETmn
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knobi View Post
The Alpina TCU is part of the vehicle (standard). The flash only enables it, that's why the dealership doesn't care at all.
That is totally false, you have to load the code in to the TCU. It seems like you think the TCU is something special to the Alpina. The TCU is the Transmission Control Unit, like the ECU but for the tranny. The Alpina just uses the same TCU as every other 2008-2011 3 series 6AT. The new code tells the tranny to shift differently. There are also several other codes you can flash in such as the Euro code. The 2011's have a new code and it is much better than the older ones, but still not as crisp as the Alpina in S or M mode, but D mode is much nicer.
I'm quite aware of what the TCU is, guess i missed the word "firmware" after TCU when i was typing, the flash simply "switches" to program from standard to Alpina. Although you explained it perfectly, the point of my post was trying to inform you of my experience (and other's) when dropping the car off for service and just let you know in a friendly way that you could be enjoying the Alpina flash now instead of waiting for your warranty to expire, sorry if you thought I was starting an IQ contest.
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      06-22-2014, 02:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stashtrey
Have PM Alex@alpine (actual user name).

If your friend gas an INPA camble Alex can do it remotely along with a bunch of other great coding (windows down with FOB, seatbelt gong delete, unlock all doors when shutting engine off, faster idrive load with disclaimer delete, euro hazard light pattern etc).

He has helped me twice. Second time I threw an airbag code when swapping front seats. This was many months after my alpina/ code session and he refused any $$ for fixing my airbag code. Standup guy.

He remotes in and you don't even need to use th phone. Super quick and easy. Very reasonable!

Highly recommend Alex@alpine
+1. Alex is great. Sent me the cable really fast and then I just mailed it back.

Had it on my 2011. One of the best mods. My dealer didn't care during service or when I returned it after the lease.

Everyday driving was so much better. Do it.
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      06-22-2014, 06:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knobi View Post
I'm quite aware of what the TCU is, guess i missed the word "firmware" after TCU when i was typing, the flash simply "switches" to program from standard to Alpina. Although you explained it perfectly, the point of my post was trying to inform you of my experience (and other's) when dropping the car off for service and just let you know in a friendly way that you could be enjoying the Alpina flash now instead of waiting for your warranty to expire, sorry if you thought I was starting an IQ contest.
I just didn't want other people thinking there was some special Alpina TCU in the car and not being used. No problem man, carry on
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