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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Fun with N54 Cobb AccessPort - logs, timeslips, and review



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      02-19-2011, 12:16 AM   #1
boom
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Thumbs up Fun with N54 Cobb AccessPort - logs, timeslips, and review

Intro:
I've been playing with cars now for about 4 years. I beta tested the cp-e Standback for the Mazdaspeed6 and n54, had a performance shop with four partners, tuned the first mazdaspeed3 to make over 400 whp, built several motors for that platform, and have installed every part on that car and the 3 series that exists. I will be the first to say that I am no expert. I have some experience but take the position that there is always something to learn from someone that knows a lot more than me. All that said, I'm not really interested in 20 psi + nitrous from a gt35 on this car. I'm a father of two with a busy job and want fast without complication or compromise – as do we all... lol.

I had a 335i that I bought new and used to beta test the Standback and get it salable. I documented over 260 WOT runs in that car on the dyno and the street in multiple gears. I've pulled that tune out of the ecu compartment at least a hundred times – I have 57 firmware versions on my laptop. I sold that car and thought I was done modding. Bought an Audi A3 and decided to calm down... Yeah, right. I sold the Audi after 4 months and jumped right back in to an 08 335. This time it's an Xi coupe auto – getting old I guess and snow sucks.

I decided on the AP based on COBB's history, the ability to install/uninstall without accessing the engine bay, the additional features that the AP offers, and, ultimately, the ability to tune with ATR. So, here we go...

Packaging:
The AP and the packaging looks like something you ran out to Best Buy and bought. It's extremely professional looking and, sad as this may sound, that inspires confidence.




Install:
I immediately went to www.cobbtuning.com and downloaded the AccessPort Manager software as per the website instructions and hooked up my AP to the computer. Flawless. It automatically detected a firmware upgraded and I clicked “yes” to upgrade the firmware. Again, I've been around this industry for some time and seen the aluminum boxes with tons of wires and instructions written by a chinese engineer with two weeks of English class. This is a whole different ballpark we're playing in now fellas. The instructions are clear and extremely simple – too simple in fact. There's got to be more than this? I should have to figure something out by now... Firmware upgraded, I head out the car. I watch the installation video three times prior to my attempt and settle in for the ordeal – really, that's all there is?? I'm midway through a conversation on my iphone when the thing has completely downloaded the ROM from my ecu and is asking me which flash I'd like to install. Whoa. That was WAY too easy. Ummm, stage 1, 93 octane please. Approximately 10 more minutes and we're done. The car was giving me tons of error messages during the process but the video warned of this so I wasn't concerned.



One thing that was sort of surprising is just how small the thing is. I guess I just expected something bigger...


At startup I have an SES light but other than that, all is fine. The car starts immediately, idles perfectly. I cycle the ignition a couple of times and the SES light persists. At this time I clear the code with the AP. I had read about others with the persistent SES light so I wasn't really concerned. Once cleared it has stayed away.

First drive:
Holy moly. This car is transformed. Throttle response is better, and the car is a rocket. It's so much faster I can't believe it's still stock. There is no jerky weirdness or limp modes, the car just drives like it's supposed to except much faster and more rewarding. It's the kind of fast that is deceptive and when you round that bend with a little more speed that you anticipated it makes you think of upgrading the suspension to prevent things from getting “interesting.” I use the live data function during a couple of WOT runs and see that AFR is 12.0-12.2 the entire WOT run and that my timing is 9 deg at redline. It's 40 deg outside so that's helping but this car flies.

Track time:
So today, Friday, 2/18, a private track day was organized at Maryland International Raceway (MIR). This is a great time because you get to see some really exotic cars running (SL65 AMG, E55 AMG, GTR, ZR1, 997TT, Viper, C63 AMG, all manner of boosted Mustang, Charger, G8, etc.) and, if you pay the $100 you can run as often as you like with zero wait time as there are only a max of 50 or so cars all day. I took the opportunity to test (and enjoy the 72 deg weather and a day off) my new AP tune and finally get the answer on the DCI question.

Before going any further, please understand that these runs do not reflect best times. My intention was demonstrate the effects of the AP and the DCI. In order to accomplish this I strove to minimize variables such as driver skill, etc. I therefore waited, idling, until the light turned green and matted the accelerator letting the car shift. I was in DS mode with the traction control off in all cases and that's why the logs start from 600ish rpm. I'm sure I could knock off a tenth or maybe two by shifting at more optimum rpm and loading the car before launch. I was planning to go for times after these runs but my buddy broke his diff mount on his mazda and I spent the rest of my time there trying to help him get home.

Here are the relevant run times and accompanying logs.


If you look at the comparison of the stage 1 vs. the stock tune and do a horsepower calculation from dragtimes (weight with me in it was 3910 lbs) I went from 298 to 365. Both of those numbers seem high to me but the difference is about right and I'll believe track times before dynos. I'm really happy with 13.1 tune only and no launch.













When we arrived the temp was in the low 60s and cloudy. As the day wore on the sun came out and it was in the 70s. That has a dramatic effect on the DA and results in higher temps and slower times. Nevertheless the data seem pretty clear to me that the DCI is a no go and the stock airbox is actually better at 15psi or lower. I am curious about the drop in load that occurs at 5500 repeatedly. I admit I don't know all that goes into the calculation but 5500 rpm seems like an arbitrary number to me. One note, the AP stg1 – 2 timeslip may not be my run. It has car 26 but I was sure that was my time. Can't say unequivocally one way or the other but in the interest of sharing all data...

Wrap up:
As for the tune, I literally could not be happier. I do think it's aggressive and runs more boost than I expected and I did see knock events in 4th. I think that is to be expected however, with drag racing. You sit idling and then floor it to 100+ mph letting it redline in 3 gears before hitting 4th. That in no way represents typical driving. I'd bet that logs on the street would show far fewer events. It's clear the stock tune didn't like it either as the throttle plate was closed half of the time.The 335is has an overboost function hitting 14psi with AFAIK the exact same breathing hardware. I would really like to see a BT log of that car's timing and afr. I'll bet it's leaner than COBB's tune.

I never had one limp, hiccup, or worry all day even with repeated flashing and logging. The car performs flawlessly and the product connects quickly and reliably to both car and computer for pulling logs. If I never have to see the interior of that ecu compartment again, that's fine with me. The flashing, logging, DTC clearing, data management, etc all work as they should and that's a rarity in this industry. This is only my second day with the AP but I already have over 200 miles from commuting and numerous times down the track with zero issues.

Judging from the previously published timing/load table I would agree with ZTUNER that there must be some IAT offset. I had about 30 miles in my range to empty when I added 2.5 gal of 104 octane for the last run. The timing is much smoother but not near the ideal as laid out in that table IIRC.

I do think that an FMIC is a good idea for this tune but I feel that way about all of them. My ETS gets here Monday. Incidentally another e92 335i AT with the OE Tuning flash came out and ran a 13.4 @ 109 on race gas after several attempts. He's rwd and was working hard to get that and I know that tune targets 14psi as well. I lined up with an additional ~300 lbs and launched from idle and ran 13.2 @ 109. Must be some COBB secret sauce, lol. I do think the tune is aggressive and one would benefit from an FMIC and maybe downpipes. I'm not sure they're necessary but have little doubt that after purchasing the AP, the owner will only thirst for more and those two mods would be my recommendation.

As for the DCI, I'm convinced that I don't need it. It didn't do anything for me at this boost level and I would guess that something like what Mr 5 put together would be better than a simple DCI. It'd be cool to see some real data from the Dinan intake but I'd never spend that much.
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      02-19-2011, 12:29 AM   #2
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Great Review! I can't wait to see the results with the intercooler. Keep up the good work.

Thanks!

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      02-19-2011, 12:45 AM   #3
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+1 I love my Cobb.
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      02-19-2011, 01:10 AM   #4
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By far the best COBB AccessPort review to date...from unboxing to lots of great test data.

The AP looks pretty sweet for no need to get out any tools and mess around with the ECU. The timing does seem agressive stock. FWIW, I have seen big differences in autotuned boost on my procede depending on gas station. I went from a chevron that was autotuning to 12 psi to a mobil that is very happy up to 14psi. BIG DIFFERENCE! I think the ethanol content is making fuel quality more uncertain that it ever has been.

Once again, great work!
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      02-19-2011, 01:58 AM   #5
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wow! indeed one of the best to date. very informative thanks for the review on the AP! if you brake boosted you would be in the 12's easy.
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      02-19-2011, 04:42 AM   #6
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What a great review, Thank you. I was sold before but this really sealed the deal for me. I can't wait to COBB it out and burn some rubber.
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      02-19-2011, 05:02 AM   #7
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Nice review. I knew the DCI were pretty much useless after my testing too (MY PERSONAL OPINION NOT TO START WAR!!). The MPH is more with stock too.

Stock Airbox + BMS drop-in for me!
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      02-19-2011, 05:39 AM   #8
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Very nice post thank you.
I am looking forward forCobb to make something for the Euro spec cars...
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      02-19-2011, 07:39 AM   #9
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ETS Michael, Thanks. I'm looking forward to logging with it as well.

Gaifaun, Thanks. I agree. I was planning to go for times but had other issues to deal with. It's probably better that I wait for cooler temps and my FMIC.

Doug007, Thank you. IMO the boost is a little high for the stock fmic. The timing should be okay with effective cooling.

belal242, Thanks. I highly recommend it. The whole thing is just quality and with ATR we'll be able to modify and eek every bit of performance out of the car or dial it down to something each person is comfortable with. No fuss, no muss.

Gunzaro, Thanks. I agree though I'm now interested in a Mr. 5 type airbox mod or some design like the overpriced Dinan. I wish some company would take that on.

ChristosK, THanks. You won't regret it. These ecus seem dramatically different from 07, euro, n55. There are like 10 or so ecu files that fit the 08-10 n54s. It's got to be working the COBB engineers like crazy trying to keep up.

Last edited by boom; 02-19-2011 at 07:48 AM.
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      02-19-2011, 09:34 AM   #10
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Great data, thanks!

Funny though, almost looks like the stock tune is too aggressive-lol. Didn't realize it had so much throttle activity.

Curious what your WDC looked like.

I'm enjoying my AP, too. Honestly I like the handheld device but wish it had a better display, the 'screen' resolution leaves alot to be desired.

Oh yeah, thanks for putting the myth of DCI's to rest (although I'm sure others will disagree).
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      02-19-2011, 09:44 AM   #11
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Good review, thanks.
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      02-19-2011, 09:53 AM   #12
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excellent post. waiting patiently for 07 support
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      02-19-2011, 10:05 AM   #13
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Great review! i cant wait to pick up my ap!
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      02-19-2011, 11:01 AM   #14
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your welcome....lol
180 IAT temps, thats pretty crazy.
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      02-19-2011, 11:24 AM   #15
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i couldn't wait for AP to release the 07 tune, so i went with JB4.

JB4 feels great, even though i can't confirm if my ignition coil busted due to running Map 2 for about 3 seconds HAHA !!!!

i'll be seriously thinking about going with Cobb once it's released for 07's. really enjoyed it on my STi.
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      02-19-2011, 11:43 AM   #16
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good review man

I can confirm that he was launching like puss all day

he was super happy w the AP all day

beautiful day at the track, not great for performance....too warm.
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      02-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #17
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Yeah. No like...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clap135 View Post
your welcome....lol
180 IAT temps, thats pretty crazy.
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      02-19-2011, 12:09 PM   #18
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Thanks Matt. Maybe one day you'll actually run your car.... lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniz View Post
good review man

I can confirm that he was launching like puss all day

he was super happy w the AP all day

beautiful day at the track, not great for performance....too warm.
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      02-19-2011, 12:14 PM   #19
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Thanks for a great post! Looking forward Cobb AP once I get my car.
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      02-19-2011, 12:14 PM   #20
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great review
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      02-19-2011, 12:38 PM   #21
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great post. No doubt fmic is necessary mod with this tune.
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      02-19-2011, 12:39 PM   #22
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Can't wait until the AP is compatible with the 2007's...thanks for your review!
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