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      12-02-2010, 10:00 AM   #1
tscdennab
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My GIAC Stage 2 Review

Hi,

Warning: this is not a full review (yet) because I drove the car when it was raining and the outside temp was 33F (1C).

Introduction
------------

I decided to get the GIAC Stage 2 Flash because I wanted the safest possible way to make 400whp after my warranty expired. I liked the GIAC AFRs compared to other solutions and the fact that they did measure EGTs during their testing. Their reputation was also a big factor. The fact that they fully control the DME software was also a deciding factor.

Since I did not have a GIAC dealer in my country, I had to send the ECU for flashing. I had to choose between TyrolSport in NY and Stertman Motorsport from Sweden. There were other dealers in Europe but they did not respond to my email. Unfortunately, I needed some export papers to temporarily export my ECU to USA. If I knew how easy it was to get those papers (1-2 days) I would have sent them to TyrolSport which were very nice in explaining me everything I needed.

ECU install/removal
------------------

I will say this, you have to be determined to do this There are many screws/tabs/different locking mechanisms to use when accessing the ECU area. I managed to break some small plastic tab and I had to order a new ECU cover (I don't want broken parts in my car).

After I received the ECU, it had a sticker on it stating that it has been bench flashed and I must erase all error codes before starting the car. Which I did. But before this, first time I installed the ECU I got a "Internal DME error, RAM checksum error, short circuit or interruption". OMG, I thought. I have reinstalled the ECU again (disconnect battery, connectors, reconnect, etc.) and got the same error code. Hmm...I erased it, and then started the car. Car ran perfectly and the code has not appeared anymore.

Driving impressions
------------------

Stock map: what I can say until now is that you cannot tell that this software was not made by BMW. It's absolutely perfectly linear, with much less lag than I had before ! Feels better than my original software for sure, but it's noticeably less powerful than my previous Power Kit software. The maximum boost on the Rixster gauge was about 8psi.

Stage 2 map: it's funny. Using the Stage 2 map I couldn't accelerate Because of the rain and very low ambient temperature, there was very little traction. 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear triggered the DSC from very low RPMs. But I could use the 3rd a bit on one occasion and it is like a slingshot. Very powerful ! In 4th and 5th I had too much speed to accelerate given the heavy rain. But it is significantly faster than my pervious Power Kit. This map is also absolutely linear, it's just like a much more powerful stock car.

Stage 2 Race map: I didn't try this map, my meth kit is not yet installed

The map switcher works perfectly.

Fuel consumption
-----------------

When cruising around town with the Stage 2 map, the fuel consumption is equal or even a bit less than before. When pushing the car though, you instantly see 39.5l/100km (the max displayable value) while accelerating I am very happy with the fact that the fuel consumption has not changed with regular driving.

Experience with GIAC
--------------------

GIAC contacted me right after they received my ECU original flash in order to say what are the potential problems that could affect my decision. For example, I was told that they cannot bring my ECU back to 100% stock once it is flashed, because of some security routines. Dealer could flash over GIAC, though. However, the dealer could not detect the flash since it has the same checksums and the same ECU part number. Since I don't have a warranty (in fact I have a 3rd party warranty), I decided it is ok.
One other problem they told me about was that if I wanted a Power Kit-like map as my stock map, I would have to pay extra for a custom map. I decided it is not worth it (for now). I think I have made the right decision, because the Stage 2 map is smooth and linear that you can use it all the time. You can drive such that the boost never goes past 8psi. I think it's very safe, and the risks only come into play when you are pushing the car significantly.

Experience with Stertman Motorsport
-----------------------------------

Unfortunately, the experience with them was not good at all. Immediately after I had sent the ECU to them, they responded that they are in Germany at a tuning show and they will begin work in 5 days. We have exchanged at least 10 emails before, and before sending the ECU I asked for their approval. Great...couldn't they tell me beforehand ? After they finished flashing my ECU, they said they checked my company's VAT number and it was not valid. I was mad and I asked them to send my ECU back unflashed at my shipping expense (2-3 hours earlier they said they are still waiting for the files from GIAC) but surprise, they said the ECU is already flashed and they can send it back to me if I pay about $500 labor. They would also send it with the 306hp stock map instead my 326hp Power Kit map. Haha...not even funny. I spent a few days sending papers to my government and finally I have avoided the +25% Swedish VAT. For shipping back the ECU, they have quoted me $320 Luckily I managed to make UPS to charge me at destination (and it was about $65). All this mess took about 2 weeks when I could have it back in 4-5 days.

Conclusion
----------

I absolutely recommend GIAC Stage 2 ! It's just like stock with much more power.

I will post more driving impressions once I get to do more driving in the dry...by the way, my Bridgestone Potenza S001 are incredible in the rain. Very predictable and very good stopping power.

Last edited by tscdennab; 12-02-2010 at 03:43 PM.
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      01-08-2011, 06:46 AM   #2
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What max boost numbers are you seeing?..I am on the fence between GIAC stg 1 and 2 b/c I don't wanna run too much boost through the stock turbos.
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      01-08-2011, 06:55 AM   #3
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did u tryed other tunes as well?
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      01-08-2011, 07:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tscdennab View Post

Experience with Stertman Motorsport
-----------------------------------

Unfortunately, the experience with them was not good at all. Immediately after I had sent the ECU to them, they responded that they are in Germany at a tuning show and they will begin work in 5 days. We have exchanged at least 10 emails before, and before sending the ECU I asked for their approval. Great...couldn't they tell me beforehand ? After they finished flashing my ECU, they said they checked my company's VAT number and it was not valid. I was mad and I asked them to send my ECU back unflashed at my shipping expense (2-3 hours earlier they said they are still waiting for the files from GIAC) but surprise, they said the ECU is already flashed and they can send it back to me if I pay about $500 labor. They would also send it with the 306hp stock map instead my 326hp Power Kit map. Haha...not even funny. I spent a few days sending papers to my government and finally I have avoided the +25% Swedish VAT. For shipping back the ECU, they have quoted me $320 Luckily I managed to make UPS to charge me at destination (and it was about $65). All this mess took about 2 weeks when I could have it back in 4-5 days.
i heard a different story from Stertman and considering how "you think" i knew you would have created problems...
First of all you DONT ship something without informing the Shop.
Second of all GIAC in the USA and Stertman already told you via mail that it was not possible for you to keep the PPK because its encrypted and i would cost you more money in order to get them to decrypt it and make a custom map.
Third you sent them a bogus VAT number thinking they would not check it out in order to save those 25% of VAT. Sorry to say but WHO DOES THIS? So first you try to fool them and when it does not work you want the ECU back?
So please dont blame the shop when its actually you fucking up pretty bad in this case...
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      01-08-2011, 09:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tscdennab View Post
GIAC contacted me right after they received my ECU original flash in order to say what are the potential problems that could affect my decision. For example, I was told that they cannot bring my ECU back to 100% stock once it is flashed, because of some security routines. Dealer could flash over GIAC, though. However, the dealer could not detect the flash since it has the same checksums and the same ECU part number. Since I don't have a warranty (in fact I have a 3rd party warranty), I decided it is ok.
can you elaborate on this? Doesn't GIAC state it would be returned 100% to stock if they reflash it with your base ROM file (say before going to the dealer)?
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      01-08-2011, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enrita View Post
i heard a different story from Stertman and considering how "you think" i knew you would have created problems...
First of all you DONT ship something without informing the Shop.
Second of all GIAC in the USA and Stertman already told you via mail that it was not possible for you to keep the PPK because its encrypted and i would cost you more money in order to get them to decrypt it and make a custom map.
Third you sent them a bogus VAT number thinking they would not check it out in order to save those 25% of VAT. Sorry to say but WHO DOES THIS? So first you try to fool them and when it does not work you want the ECU back?
So please dont blame the shop when its actually you fucking up pretty bad in this case...
Well...let's see if their "different story" is right, shall we ? I have attached to this post the relevant conversation between me and them so that everyone can see the truth. Read it from down to up (you can see the dates and times there). I don't like to deal with liars as I am not a liar myself. As you can see, I have clearly told them that I decided to send them the ECU, and only after a few more emails did they told me they are not at the shop !

As for the "bogus" VAT number, the only VAT number I have sent to them was my own company's VAT number which is RO23147117. After I solved the VAT database issue, my VAT number was valid in the EU database as can be checked here: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vieshome.do . So it was NOT a bogus VAT number !

By defending a company with questionable behavior you are doing yourself a disservice. And looking at your language and insinuation you cofirm what I was already thinking about you from other discussions.
Attached Files
File Type: txt conversation.txt (3.8 KB, 180 views)

Last edited by tscdennab; 01-08-2011 at 10:28 AM.
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      01-08-2011, 10:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turkish335 View Post
can you elaborate on this? Doesn't GIAC state it would be returned 100% to stock if they reflash it with your base ROM file (say before going to the dealer)?
You would have to ask GIAC about details on this. In my particular case it didn't work and they notified me beforehand, I am not sure on the details (they mentioned "security routines").

However, in my opinion there is no better tune than GIAC S2 as of today in terms of power delivery, AFRs, safety. As I read some information on multiple forums, there are only very few tuners that can tune any boost (more than 14.5psi) without problems as of today. But if you have a warranty and do not have a GIAC dealer near you to take care of reflashing, etc. I would recommend another tune.
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      01-08-2011, 11:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tscdennab View Post
However, in my opinion there is no better tune than GIAC S2 as of today in terms of power delivery, AFRs, safety.
why u say so all best tunes offer it
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      01-08-2011, 11:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by **335i** View Post
why u say so all best tunes offer it
He's up to it again....

Don't take his opinion for knowledge, fact or having a fair a assessment of anything. He's shown numerous times in the past (under the username cstavaru) that he knows little/nothing about how the current tunes, Procede particularly, have been developed, how they function, how the N54 and it's engine management system work, and even basic engine theory.
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      01-08-2011, 11:35 AM   #10
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you should actually attach a conversation that confirms your story... is pretty clear that you just sent it with high priority without even telling them....

It happens to have missunderstandings but you should not talk crap about a reputable shop because of it... cheer up man dont be that serious you got your GIAC after all and it runs great apparently.
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      01-08-2011, 12:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enrita View Post
you should actually attach a conversation that confirms your story... is pretty clear that you just sent it with high priority without even telling them....

It happens to have missunderstandings but you should not talk crap about a reputable shop because of it... cheer up man dont be that serious you got your GIAC after all and it runs great apparently.
So:

- I told them I have decided to send the ECU;
- I asked them where to send it
- They said please send it to the shop
- I said "sent"
- They said "can't flash until next week"
- They said "we are at an expo"

Sorry, but I can't help to think that you show a worrying lack of logic...
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      01-08-2011, 02:41 PM   #12
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Neah, Enrita is just bored these days, no lack of logic.
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      01-08-2011, 03:02 PM   #13
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How about the boost numbers..? what are you seeing
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      01-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #14
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How about the boost numbers..? what are you seeing
15.7psi is the max I have seen on the dyno. On the road I have seen 16.5 max, probably due to spikes.
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      01-08-2011, 04:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tscdennab View Post
15.7psi is the max I have seen on the dyno. On the road I have seen 16.5 max, probably due to spikes.
What RPM do you see max boost THX
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      01-08-2011, 04:13 PM   #16
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What RPM do you see max boost THX
I have some BT logs posted here on the forum (can't find them right now) but the max boost is seen at around 3000RPM and then it tapers until reaches ~13psi at 6500RPM.
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      01-08-2011, 04:19 PM   #17
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3000? wow are you sure about this.. doesnt sound right but then again your in Europe so there may be some differences.

I have reviewed several other GIAC stg 2 forum members dyno sheets with boost numbers and they all seem to max out somewhere between 4700-5000 RPM.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=451640

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=419780
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      01-09-2011, 09:23 AM   #18
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Thanks for your review! Great you're enjoying the tune so much, it indeed is great and the mapswitcher works just fine.

Being located in Europe and sending around the ECU always is a hassle, I've experienced that quite a lot last year as well (without it being anyone's fault but the downtime to the car is annoying). I dealt with Regal Autosport in the UK and they were always very responsive and quick in turning things around.

I also enjoy the stage 2 very much, although in the past two months I could not really go WOT more than two or three times due to the crap weather and loads of snow we got here in Europe. I'm looking forward to get to try the stage 2 race with my Snow Performance meth injection (which finally works) and doing some logs, dynos and Vbox runs (I got the latter for Christmas!). Once that's done I'll also post a more extensive review.

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