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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > *Official* Active Autowerke Flash Thread



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      03-13-2012, 07:45 PM   #639
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatNinja View Post
I concur. Put all the guesswork and speculation to rest once and for all and do it right. That said, I know full well these tuners have seen their share of dyno graphs so I can only surmise that the reason they are not readily publicized is that they are not that impressive. My educated guess is that the tunes produce 5-10bhp and most of the seat-of-the-pants perception is from reprogramming the throttle. Owners are happy with the way the car 'feels' because throttle response is crisper and the car has a couple of more ponies. I call shenanigans until there are legitimate before and after dynos of a 328i posted up.
i think they have posted enought dynos of not only 328 but also 330 and modified ones, i have the stage 2 and had the stage 1 before and also had a pbx box on it before stage one, and i am telling you the mid curve gain is EXCELENT for driving. it does make a diference, its not 335i fast but its a lot better than stock and a little better than stage 1. and i dont think its the throtle remap because i have experience with that and i hate throtle remaps (sports mode on my e46 m3) basically it goes like this. does it make HP yes, is it gonna make you faster yes, are you gonna fly with this.... no, but its fun to have it and feel it every now and then.

ps. the tune on my 328i did more on my but dyno than the tune for my e46 m3
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      03-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #640
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Show me a before and after dyno for a 328i on stage 2.
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      03-13-2012, 08:19 PM   #641
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Show me a before and after dyno for a 328i on stage 2.
What's all this talk about "Stage 2" anyway? I don't see a new tune on their website...
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      03-13-2012, 08:24 PM   #642
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Originally Posted by Andrew@ActiveAutowerke View Post
If it were on a Dyno jet we would of seen higher WHP Gains than the crank Hp we advertise.

I would also like to mention the 330 does not leave as much power to be unleashed as the 325/328 models.

It is clear that AA spent some time on this tune because the tq curve is smoother although the gain is incremental at best For example, compare the response between 3K and 4K rpm. That is probably the most significant difference that can be noticed during regular driving. Kudos there!!

However, is there anything that can be done about that "Grand Canyon" at 4400 rpm? If you guys figure that one out you will have BMW engineers calling you non-stop!!
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      03-13-2012, 08:28 PM   #643
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Do a track day and you'll see how that shifter is full of win.
I'm aware, it's just ugly. I was giving him praise, nothing else
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      03-13-2012, 10:31 PM   #644
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Of course, not many people have the time, resources, and forethought to dyno before they start modding. I know I didn't.
Had the forethought, just not the time and resources
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      03-13-2012, 10:40 PM   #645
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Dynojet vs mustang is irrelevant if the net gains are the same. if a car dynos X on any dyno. then after the tune dynos x+12 on the same dyno, the gain is what is important.

What is important for customers and potential customers to know here is the net gain from the various tunes, which can't be answered for some odd reason. Especially when there are so many varying outcomes.
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      03-13-2012, 11:04 PM   #646
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I think I gave a clear answer

Same RWD 330i with MT.
Baseline runs on our Mustang 500.
Followup runs on our Mustang 500.
Pics of said events.
Dyno graph that is legible and standardized.
Positive results through the entire RPM range.
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      03-13-2012, 11:15 PM   #647
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      03-13-2012, 11:15 PM   #648
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Learned from Andrew that they have flashed stage 2 on some 2.5L N51/N52 cars.
Is there anyone can show your before/after dyno or driving experiences ?
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      03-13-2012, 11:16 PM   #649
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Originally Posted by danielh1018 View Post
Learned from Andrew that they have flashed stage 2 on some 2.5L N51/N52 cars.
Is there anyone can show your before/after dyno or driving experiences ?
AA Tune stage 2 w/ Simon Tool experience, part two:

Part one (aka, pre-tune impressions) is a few pages back for anyone interested.

So I sent in the ECU read file to AA over the weekend and received the tuned file back promptly on Monday from Zak, their software engineer. I went ahead and uploaded to the Simon tool, it was no problem at all. The tool is pretty easy to use overall, however it seemed to have some trouble downloading the ECU file to my windows 7 laptop so I used my xp laptop and it was perfectly fine.

For a N51 328i the ECU read took about 55 minutes, longer than the 40 I was expecting, and also, it is a bit risky, but I can attest to the fact that a fully charged battery in good condition can last two of these reads (guess how I know this?!).

Now for the actual flashing... this is where things got real scary! I plugged in the Simon tool and pressed go, and then everything just went... haywire, at least it sounded that way. In addition to the electric whine you hear when the car is "on", my entire car begin to make a loud noise mostly in the rear half of the car, definitely NOT ordinary sounding, the best way to describe it is that it makes me think of the sound a water boiler makes, which is a loud hum and hissing noise. If anyone wants to hear what it sounds like, I'll upload the found I recorded during this process. My dash also lit up with the traction control light as well as a symbol of a foot on the brake. But those didn't concern me as much as the loud hissing noise from the car.

Fortunately, the upload only took about 10 minutes, and as soon as the writing is done, all the noises stopped, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Disconnected the simon tool and started the car, and it started right up, no hesitation, no shake, perfect.

Now for the real review: Immediately after starting the car, I can hear some subtle differences in the sound, in a very good way. Driving impression after letting the car warm up was just wonderful. If you guys remember, I used to have the BMS power box for more than a year, which I disabled prior to doing the AA Tune. I took a few drives in the car after disabling PBX, and while I felt the car being less eager, I really enjoyed the smoothness of the drive, and hoped the AA tune would preserve that.

The tune from AA really did not disappoint, it indeed did make the car feel stronger, you can definitely feel the car being more enthusiastic on accelerations. But the best part is that the power comes on so smoothly compared to the PBX. With the power box, I been having trouble driving "well" since with the throttle remap, the car feels faster, at the cost of being jerky (I use Map 2, not 3). But since it made the throttle too sensitive, the shifts come along a bit sudden and hard. In my last two days with the AA tune, the car pulls strong, very linear, and the shifts are much easier to predict.

In terms of where the additional power comes in, before I seem to have to push the car to 3K before it felt "light on its feet" and sprints ahead, now that feeling comes at 2k'ish, which really makes a big difference in everyday driving. And with the throttle not as overly sensitive, it's easier to have a smooth ride as well.

Haven't tried full throttle yet as it's been raining here, maybe next week I'm really hoping that the ECU doesn't adapt to the changes over time because I'm really really enjoying the tune right now, big thanks to AA for doing such a good job on it.

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      03-14-2012, 06:26 AM   #650
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@VAC View Post
I think I gave a clear answer

Same RWD 330i with MT.
Baseline runs on our Mustang 500.
Followup runs on our Mustang 500.
Pics of said events.
Dyno graph that is legible and standardized.
Positive results through the entire RPM range.
Granted, I have seen a few dynos out there, but there are always caveats: 325i or 330i instead of 328i (the most current car), AWD instead of RWD, "our dyno reads low," etc.

Maybe I'm not looking hard enough through some of these 16 or 20 page threads, but my point is that the responsibility ultimately should be with the tuner. Presumably they have a dyno in their shop? Surely they've tuned 328i's? Somone like Active, IMO, ought to have before and after dynos for each tune displayed clearly on their website, right next to the "Add to Cart" button.
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      03-14-2012, 06:38 AM   #651
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I'm really hoping that the ECU doesn't adapt to the changes over time because I'm really really enjoying the tune right now, big thanks to AA for doing such a good job on it.
I've had my tune in for about 3 weeks now and it feels stronger than it did when it was first installed in spite of the warmer weather we've been getting here.
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      03-14-2012, 06:54 AM   #652
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@VAC View Post
I think I gave a clear answer

Same RWD 330i with MT.
Baseline runs on our Mustang 500.
Followup runs on our Mustang 500.
Pics of said events.
Dyno graph that is legible and standardized.
Positive results through the entire RPM range.
I agree, your dyno was pretty definitive for a modified 330i. What also is clear from your result is that Active's power/torque claims were not substantiated. The torque gain is well off their claim. In fact, they were actually pretty disappointing considering Active states on its website that gains will be even greater with bolt-on mods. Your car has an intake, throttle body and exhaust. What would a stock car have gained? I assume even less. There isn't much "less" than a 7 lb-ft peak torque gain. I am fully aware that the whole curve is what you need to look at but if Active says it gains X amount of torque I expect to see a dyno bear that out.

Still waiting for a before and after on a stock 328i.
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      03-14-2012, 07:30 AM   #653
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Still waiting for a before and after on a stock 328i.
The way you ask (or should I say request), i'm not sure you'll see it anytime soon buddy!

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      03-14-2012, 08:40 AM   #654
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Okay. Plain and simply - dyno "tests" are NOT where we live and breath when it comes to a tune. I know on most forums it's the end-all, be-all for what you're getting.
Each type of chassis dyno is different (Dynojet, Mustang, etc). At VAC the Mustang dyno had run a supercharged M3 that put down 440whp, which was WELL below what others were posting. Do you think the M3 owner was disappointed? No, because his car performed. Later, they ran the EXACT same M3 on a Dynojet and it made something like 580whp. Same car, different dyno with a 140whp delta! We are splitting hairs for a few HP and TQ.
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Here is a response on LS1Tech that Mike from Straightline Performance posted:
I have written pages and pages of posts on this topic on various forums. Here's a little write up I did a few weeks ago. . .

DynoJets are inertia dynos, and have been around for years, much longer than any type of load cell dyno. Inertia dyno's work on the principle of the acceleration of a known mass over time. Their rollers are the known mass. Weighing in at over 2500lbs or so. Your car gets strapped down to the machine, and the dyno collects it's data. It is able to calculate horsepower by measuring the acceleration in rpm of the rollers in regards to RPM. This is why gearing can affect the dyno results, more on that in a bit. Now that the dyno has recorded the horsepower curve, it can take the integral of that curve and get the torque curve. Since the dyno’s power calculations are based on the acceleration of mass over time in regards to RPM, gearing is very important. Since a vehicle with a lower gear ratio can accelerate the mass to a higher speed using less engine RPM, it will show a higher horsepower number than a car with a higher gear ratio. If a car is able to accelerate the dyno’s rollers from 200rpm (roller) to 300rpm (roller)in 1500rpm (engine), then the dyno is going to record more power than a car that did that in 2000rpm (engine).

Now we go to Mustang dyno’s and other loaded dyno’s. Our Mustang MD-1100SE dyno’s rollers weigh 2560lbs. That is the actual mass of the rollers, much like the DynoJet. That’s about where all the similarities end. When we get a car on our dyno, we enter two constants for the dyno’s algorithms. One being the vehicle weight, the other being what’s called “Horsepower At 50mph”. This is a number that represents how much horsepower it takes for the vehicle to push the air to maintain 50mph. This is used as the aerodynamic force. Mustang dyno’s are also equipped with a eddy currant load cell. Think of a magnetic brake from a freight train. This magnetic brake can apply enough resistance to stall a big rig. Off one side of the eddy currant load cell, there is a cantilever with a 5volt reference load sensor (strain gage). As the rollers are spinning this load sensor is measuring the actual torque being applied. So as the rollers spin, the load sensor is measuring the force being applied, sending that information to the dyno computer, taking into account the two constants entered earlier, computing the amount of resistance needed to be applied to the rollers to load the car so that the force of the rollers resistance is as close to the force the car sees on the street. The dyno is then able to calculate the total force being applied to the rollers in torque, and then taking the derivative of that torque curve to arrive at the horsepower curve. Since torque is an actual force of nature, like gravity and electricity, it can be directly measured. Horsepower is an idea that was thought up by man, and cannot be directly measured, only calculated.

I like to state it like this. . . I start by asking how much your car weighs, lets say 3500lbs. Now you take your car and you make a make a WOT rip in your tallest non overdrive gear, how much mass is your engine working against? 3500lbs right? Now you strap your car on a DynoJet and you make a WOT in the same gear, how much mass is your engine working against? 2500lbs right? Now you strap your car on a Mustang dyno, how much mass is your engine working against? 2500lbs. Plus the resistance being applied by the eddy current generator. We’ve seen anywhere for 470lbs of resistance to over 700lbs of resistance as measured in PAU force in the data logs. So which one is more accurate? Well they their both accurate. If a DynoJet dyno says you made 460rwhp, then you made 460rwhp. If a Mustang dyno says you made 460rwhp, you also made 460rwhp. Now which one of those numbers best represents what your car is doing when its on the street. That’s a different question.

The most important thing to remember is that a dyno is a testing tool. If the numbers keep increasing, then you’re doing the right thing. We try to look over at NET gain, instead of Peak HP numbers. A 30rwhp increase is a 30rwhp increase regardless of what dyno it is on.

Now I can address how to calculate the difference between one type of dyno and another. Simply put, you can’t. Because Mustang dyno’s have so many more variables, it’s not a simple percentage difference. We’ve had cars that made 422rwhp on our Dyno, two days later make 458rwhp on a DynoJet the next day. We’ve also had cars that made 550rwhp on our dyno, make 650+rwhp on a DynoJet a few days later at another shops Dyno Day. For instance, my 2002 Z28 with a forged internal LS6 Heads/Cam/Intake, makes 460rwhp on our dyno. I thought that was a little low, since I’ve had cam only LS6 Z06 vettes make 450rwhp. So I overlaid the dyno graphs. Guess what, the PAU force for my car was almost 200lbs more than the C5Z06 that made 450rwhp with cam only. So I entered the weight and horsepower at 50 number for a C5Z06 and did another horsepower rip with my car. The only reason I did that was to compare Apples to Apples. This time my car made 490rwhp, no other changes. Now I don’t go around saying my car made 490rwhp, I say what it actually did with the correct information entered into the computer. It made 460rwhp. Now if I ever get a chance to take it on a DynoJet (which I plan to in the spring), I have no doubts it’ll be over 500rwhp. I know this based on airflow and fuel consumption on the data logs.

But since we’re asked this question constantly we're fairly conservative, and hence tell our customers that the difference is closer to 6-7%, but as you make more power, and the more your car weighs, the difference increases as well. You must remember, Dyno's regardless of the type are tuning tools, and are in no means meant to tell people how fast their car is. Now which one is more "real world" is a totally different question. I like to explain it like this..... If you drive your car in a situation in which you have no mass and you're in a vacuum, so basically if you do intergalactic racing in space, use a DynoJet. If your car sees gravity, and has an aerodynamic coefficient, and you race on a planet called Earth, then use a Mustang Dyno

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I can tell you that there is in NO way a placebo affect for me. My previous car was a 2006 Z06 so putting down the hp my 330 is NOTHING compared to my Z06.
Again, getting back to the dyno issues. I spoke in depth with Katech at Corvettes @ Carlisle. Yes, the engine builders for the C6R that races at LeMans. I asked about the possibility of Chevrolet downgrading the HP figures because we were seeing chassis dynos making as high as 445rwhp, which would translate to about 523hp at the crank.
His response was the chassis dynos are NOT accurate and vary widely. They had put over 20 LS7 engines on an engine dyno and NONE of them made more than 507hp.

As I stated in my earlier post, this tune has made my car more drivable, better over the entire rev range and is well worth it for me. The tech at VAC said my car continued to improve with each pass. My gains will continue as the tune is optimized for my car.

The 330 is really optimized from the factory so that's the reason why there aren't huge gains to be had. We can tell this by the fact that Schrick REFUSES to make any aftermarket cams for our cars because there is nothing to improve on - that says a lot.

Does my car keep up with a stock 335? Yes, I can tell you on the straights my car does keep right up with a stock 335 (yes, on the track).

If you don't think the tune is worth it - then don't buy it.
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      03-14-2012, 09:36 AM   #655
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...

The 330 is really optimized from the factory so that's the reason why there aren't huge gains to be had. We can tell this by the fact that Schrick REFUSES to make any aftermarket cams for our cars because there is nothing to improve on - that says a lot.

Does my car keep up with a stock 335? Yes, I can tell you on the straights my car does keep right up with a stock 335 (yes, on the track).

If you don't think the tune is worth it - then don't buy it.

I believe everything minus the last part. I have the same motor as the e90 330i but my z4 is lighter. I've lined up with a friend's n54 335i. Both are 6mt and I could not keep up... and as much as I believe in the AA tune, I don't think it's the difference maker. On the track, I've able to keep up with n54's but that's more a reflection of driver / seat time than car.

Either way, appreciate your review. Trying to make an appointment with VAC soon. I'm sold...
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      03-14-2012, 09:50 AM   #656
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMCU View Post
AA Tune stage 2 w/ Simon Tool experience, part two:

Part one (aka, pre-tune impressions) is a few pages back for anyone interested.

So I sent in the ECU read file to AA over the weekend and received the tuned file back promptly on Monday from Zak, their software engineer. I went ahead and uploaded to the Simon tool, it was no problem at all. The tool is pretty easy to use overall, however it seemed to have some trouble downloading the ECU file to my windows 7 laptop so I used my xp laptop and it was perfectly fine.

For a N51 328i the ECU read took about 55 minutes, longer than the 40 I was expecting, and also, it is a bit risky, but I can attest to the fact that a fully charged battery in good condition can last two of these reads (guess how I know this?!).

Now for the actual flashing... this is where things got real scary! I plugged in the Simon tool and pressed go, and then everything just went... haywire, at least it sounded that way. In addition to the electric whine you hear when the car is "on", my entire car begin to make a loud noise mostly in the rear half of the car, definitely NOT ordinary sounding, the best way to describe it is that it makes me think of the sound a water boiler makes, which is a loud hum and hissing noise. If anyone wants to hear what it sounds like, I'll upload the found I recorded during this process. My dash also lit up with the traction control light as well as a symbol of a foot on the brake. But those didn't concern me as much as the loud hissing noise from the car.

Fortunately, the upload only took about 10 minutes, and as soon as the writing is done, all the noises stopped, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Disconnected the simon tool and started the car, and it started right up, no hesitation, no shake, perfect.

Now for the real review: Immediately after starting the car, I can hear some subtle differences in the sound, in a very good way. Driving impression after letting the car warm up was just wonderful. If you guys remember, I used to have the BMS power box for more than a year, which I disabled prior to doing the AA Tune. I took a few drives in the car after disabling PBX, and while I felt the car being less eager, I really enjoyed the smoothness of the drive, and hoped the AA tune would preserve that.

The tune from AA really did not disappoint, it indeed did make the car feel stronger, you can definitely feel the car being more enthusiastic on accelerations. But the best part is that the power comes on so smoothly compared to the PBX. With the power box, I been having trouble driving "well" since with the throttle remap, the car feels faster, at the cost of being jerky (I use Map 2, not 3). But since it made the throttle too sensitive, the shifts come along a bit sudden and hard. In my last two days with the AA tune, the car pulls strong, very linear, and the shifts are much easier to predict.

In terms of where the additional power comes in, before I seem to have to push the car to 3K before it felt "light on its feet" and sprints ahead, now that feeling comes at 2k'ish, which really makes a big difference in everyday driving. And with the throttle not as overly sensitive, it's easier to have a smooth ride as well.

Haven't tried full throttle yet as it's been raining here, maybe next week I'm really hoping that the ECU doesn't adapt to the changes over time because I'm really really enjoying the tune right now, big thanks to AA for doing such a good job on it.

PM
Thanks for the review Patrick
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      03-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #657
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I concur. Put all the guesswork and speculation to rest once and for all and do it right. That said, I know full well these tuners have seen their share of dyno graphs so I can only surmise that the reason they are not readily publicized is that they are not that impressive. My educated guess is that the tunes produce 5-10bhp and most of the seat-of-the-pants perception is from reprogramming the throttle. Owners are happy with the way the car 'feels' because throttle response is crisper and the car has a couple of more ponies. I call shenanigans until there are legitimate before and after dynos of a 328i posted up.
This is how I felt about the tune as well. I got the simon tool and flashed my car about... 2 weeks ago. Posted my initial impressions, which were somewhat un-impressive.

I figured I'd give it a week or two to post another FU review. I also talked to my petrol-head buddy who said a local dynoshop that he's talking with about a custom dyno tune told him that if he had an auto, they could do something for him by changing the shift points (not necessarily throttle response), but a manual would need bolt ons and aftermarket mods to really take advantage of a tune.

I have a manual + the tune. My impressions are not as great as everybody elses. I notice a slight improvement in driveability between 2k-4k that gives it a little extra step, and its easier to 'torque' out of a shift now.

It is my first tune, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But I don't believe the tune unlocked that much more power - so don't expect the world to change. It did improve driveability, as I feel I'm in spirited driving mode more now, even without changing my driving habits. I believe auto drivers will have much more success with this tune than MT drivers

I'd buy it again, though, simply cause its the best out there. Will probably stop modding this car, though, and wait for my next one
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      03-14-2012, 10:52 AM   #658
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Originally Posted by Dubbedown View Post
I believe everything minus the last part. I have the same motor as the e90 330i but my z4 is lighter. I've lined up with a friend's n54 335i. Both are 6mt and I could not keep up... and as much as I believe in the AA tune, I don't think it's the difference maker. On the track, I've able to keep up with n54's but that's more a reflection of driver / seat time than car.

Either way, appreciate your review. Trying to make an appointment with VAC soon. I'm sold...
Yup, I agree. On the track the driver will make a difference, even if it's in the advanced group.
To your point, it wasn't from a standing start, it was from anywhere from 40mph - 120mph. From a dead stop, the n54 makes 300ft lbs of torque essentially just off idle where we all know our engines need to be revved at bit more.

Give Mike @ VAC a call. They will set you up!
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      03-14-2012, 02:45 PM   #659
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Originally Posted by Andrew@ActiveAutowerke View Post
Thanks for the review Patrick

Can you provide some additional details as to how low grade fuel will impact the engine. Is there a chance that 87 oct would cause damage? I am assuming that this tune is optimized for 91/93 fuel to provide performance gains. Thanks
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      03-14-2012, 03:33 PM   #660
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What else can a Simon tool be used for?
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