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      10-30-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
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Quick Z4M Tune Questions

I've been reading a lot about M tunes recently and wanted to know if I am on the right track with my information.

Three tuners offer the...tune:

Active Autowerke for $499

Evolve for $679

ESS for $995

Now the ESS and Evolve involve sending the data file of your car to the tuning company? Whereas the AA is just an ECU insert?

Do people find they are worth the investment? I know it won't be a miracle tune that will make a stock Z4M a 400 hp beast, but it smooths out the power band and fixes some of the quirks.

Does one company focus on a specific more than another? I know with the AA it make the sport button ALWAYS on, which I am a little leery of. Does one company focus more on tunes with CAI and exhausts, while another is better for just a stock setup?

Since I run on 93 octane, does one tune favor that?

I had a Conforti Shark tune for my Z3M, and it was ok. It really was barely noticeable. Will the Z4M tune produce more of a difference?

Thanks!
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      10-30-2012, 06:55 PM   #2
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I went with EPIC and have been really happy. When I first flashed my ECU and took it for a spin I was impressed. I've never had the fan stay on after I shut the car down. The car just drove like a monster. I've never had that happen again, just the car felt that much better and alive I think I pushed it a little too hard in the short drive I took.

6th gear feels more useable in lower rpm. Car just felt peppier and more ready to go. Throttle response I think was a little sharper than stock and sport mode I think is the same, don't use it at all now.

Get the benefit of the handheld tune, same benefits to read and clear codes via software and Randy at EPIC was really good for answering my questions. They custom setup the tune as per your bolt ons. I've never done a tune before and was skeptical of it but it is one of my favorite mods.
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      10-30-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirko View Post
I've never had the fan stay on after I shut the car down.
I don't know how this is a function of a tune.

I'd rather have the fan stay on after shutting the car down to cool the engine.
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      10-30-2012, 10:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kgolf31 View Post
I don't know how this is a function of a tune.

I'd rather have the fan stay on after shutting the car down to cool the engine.
Not a function of tune. Guess i never drove it hard enough before. Was fun and i enjoyed it and continue to do so.
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      10-31-2012, 12:58 AM   #5
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Go with evolve, you'll thank me later.
Get the evolveR cable.

You will need evolve's tuning if you decide to supercharge later on.
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      10-31-2012, 05:05 AM   #6
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Well, not planning on supercharging. Any more power than what I have will come from a 3.8 911 engine .
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      10-31-2012, 10:41 AM   #7
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Can't really comment on the tunes versus each other since I've only had experience with Evolve, but I only have a GruppeM intake and slip on mufflers and the tune did wonders for my car. Smoothed out the power delivery and really added more "kick" to the car especially in high RPM. Also made the sport button much more usable. Check my dyno graphs I posted in this section and you can see the power gains at the high end. I can only imagine how the car would feel with headers and the evolve carbon air box...
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      10-31-2012, 11:03 AM   #8
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Active tune is customizable, as I'm sure all the other tunes are. Mine does not have sport mode always on. I don't prefer sport mode, and having it on all the time would drive me nuts.
I believe all of the tunes now have cables for "remote"/DIY tuning as an option.
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      10-31-2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaZeta View Post
Well, not planning on supercharging. Any more power than what I have will come from a 3.8 911 engine .
Hmmm. Does that mean you're thinking of adding a Porsche turbo to the stable?
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      10-31-2012, 11:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfanatic325 View Post
Active tune is customizable, as I'm sure all the other tunes are. Mine does not have sport mode always on. I don't prefer sport mode, and having it on all the time would drive me nuts.
I believe all of the tunes now have cables for "remote"/DIY tuning as an option.
Lon, did you run any before/after dynos with this tune? I know there were some dyno days some time back, but I can't find any results. Since you have headers, etc., etc. a before/after would be interesting to see if you have it.

"Tune" is on my list to do one of these days, and like others, deciding on which to go with is still an open question.
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      10-31-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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Hmm, real tune should be done on a dyno, especially if you change the intake/exhaust.
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      10-31-2012, 01:40 PM   #12
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I'm happy with my evolve tune. But bang for the buck I'd do euro headers before tune (and possibly gearing, haven't installed mine yet but I imagine 10% torque will make a more noticeable difference than a tune).
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      10-31-2012, 03:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
Hmmm. Does that mean you're thinking of adding a Porsche turbo to the stable?
Well, in a few years, yes. A 911 is probably/most likely my next step (again).

Of course a Vantage V8 looks nice too and is reasonably priced. But gotta buy some property first.

My 911 options will be:

996 Turbo - can get this quicker due to lower price

997.2 C2 - with the Sport Classic Fuch wheels, white with grey stripes, retro ducktail and GT3 front bumper

Some sort of high mileage GT3
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      10-31-2012, 04:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
Lon, did you run any before/after dynos with this tune? I know there were some dyno days some time back, but I can't find any results. Since you have headers, etc., etc. a before/after would be interesting to see if you have it.

"Tune" is on my list to do one of these days, and like others, deciding on which to go with is still an open question.
Yes, I've dynoed absolutely every performance modification made to my car in comparison to the car's baseline, all on the same dyno and operator.
As for the AA tune's dyno, it should be under a thread I created called Active Autowerk ECU tune success. It yielded almost 30whp from tune alone. I had no muffler cannisters during baseline, but IMHO that doesn't change any power output, as most of our exhaust restrictions are in the headers, section 1, and section 2. I've yet to see another tune yield the same peak gains, but that doesn't necessarily mean AA is the best. I believe that all mail order ROM tunes are pretty much the same. It's a generic mapping to accomodate a wide range of modifications/setups. If judging by price alone, then AA is the cheapest I know of.

Edit: did a quick search. Here's the link to the tune's dynos.
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=449998
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      10-31-2012, 04:39 PM   #15
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What about reliability with the AA, or other, tunes?
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      10-31-2012, 04:54 PM   #16
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I've been using the Active Autowerk tune since they released it back in November of 2010 (since I was the first one to get the tune done), and have done at least 15 track days since then, as well as quite a few dyno days, and the addition of probably over 25k miles. Still have yet to experience any issues.
I've not used any other tune, but ESS has been available for our cars the longest and there should be more reliability inputs from the owners of those tunes.
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      10-31-2012, 06:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfanatic325 View Post
Yes, I've dynoed absolutely every performance modification made to my car in comparison to the car's baseline, all on the same dyno and operator.
As for the AA tune's dyno, it should be under a thread I created called Active Autowerk ECU tune success. It yielded almost 30whp from tune alone. I had no muffler cannisters during baseline, but IMHO that doesn't change any power output, as most of our exhaust restrictions are in the headers, section 1, and section 2. I've yet to see another tune yield the same peak gains, but that doesn't necessarily mean AA is the best. I believe that all mail order ROM tunes are pretty much the same. It's a generic mapping to accomodate a wide range of modifications/setups. If judging by price alone, then AA is the cheapest I know of.

Edit: did a quick search. Here's the link to the tune's dynos.
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=449998
Now only if we can get someone local with ESS tune to go to AGP we'd have three different M's with three different tunes run on the same dyno by the same guy at the same shop!

On a side note, interesting to see the gains of your AA/Supersprint mods vs. my Evolve/intake/exhaust combo...

You yielded 295rwhp and 243rwt and I got 289rwhp and 240rwt. Wonder what I would get if I had headers/X-pipe added...
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      10-31-2012, 08:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beta View Post
I'm happy with my evolve tune. But bang for the buck I'd do euro headers before tune (and possibly gearing, haven't installed mine yet but I imagine 10% torque will make a more noticeable difference than a tune).
Do both - and intake. Headers give a great gain on their own (getting rid of a set of cats) but in conjunction with a proper tune it gets even better and allows you to extract the most out of your intake/exhaust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartBastard View Post
Hmm, real tune should be done on a dyno, especially if you change the intake/exhaust.
I felt the same way as you, because that's the standard way of doing it (datalogging etc). However after a chat with AJ @ ESS, it's something having to do with BMW's adaptability that a custom tune isn't really necessary over a 'canned' tune.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gferil View Post
Now only if we can get someone local with ESS tune to go to AGP we'd have three different M's with three different tunes run on the same dyno by the same guy at the same shop!

On a side note, interesting to see the gains of your AA/Supersprint mods vs. my Evolve/intake/exhaust combo...

You yielded 295rwhp and 243rwt and I got 289rwhp and 240rwt. Wonder what I would get if I had headers/X-pipe added...
May be the same dyno at the shop, but a small difference in temperature, barometric pressure etc etc can vary the results. Peak HP/TQ #'s are virtually meaningless. There's so much variance between Dynojet/Dynapack/Mustang readings that the only thing worth considering is the difference between your own pulls with/without your particular tune (done in close proximity to each other). Dynapack dyno's are also known to be quite 'liberal' in their readings.
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      10-31-2012, 11:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gferil View Post
You yielded 295rwhp and 243rwt and I got 289rwhp and 240rwt. Wonder what I would get if I had headers/X-pipe added...
My 295rwhp and 243rwtq were from tune only, when the car was all stock except tune. After headers and intake and rest of exhaust system, I got 310rwhp and 256rwtq
But I have since put the OE section 1 back in, so I'm sure I lost a few ponies hah
Quote:
Originally Posted by johanness View Post
Dynapack dyno's are also known to be quite 'liberal' in their readings.
I was told this a long time ago too, but apparently it's a misconception that many have. In theory, one would be almost certain that a wheel/tire combo on a roller dyno setup must resemble more closely real-world and concrete data/numbers, whereas a dyno hooked up to the hubs doesn't have the potential losses in power due to any weight/frictional factors. And I was just as skeptical at first until I came across a well-done experiment posted online by a few tuner guys whom set out to see if the myth had any validity. They tested out two different cars at two different dynoes all on the exact same day and same times (relatively, as the cars went back to back being strapped up to the dyno, etc.). In essense, two dynoes were done in the AM, and two were done in the PM. What they found in comparing a DynoJet vs. a DynaPack was that the DynoJet actually read higher numbers all across the board vs. the DynaPack. This contradicts what most people have been tossing around by word of mouth, but is a form of real-world application in data acquisition, and from what I read, there was no way that the data was tampered with whatsoever; which led me to think that it was trustworthy material.
I did the search a long time ago via Google and I don't recall the site that I read over, but if anyone's interested in it, ya'll can do your own research and reach your own conclusions. After all, research is half the fun, right?
But all in all, it only matters that one sticks to what he/she started with, to stay as consistent and unbiased as possible in obtaining data.
And at the end of the day, we need FI for moar powerzzz lolll..le sigh.

edit: just did a quick search, and I didn't see anything that resembled the site posting that I saw a couple years back. But I did find this, which essentially yields the same conclusion that I eventually adopted.

This vid uses a built test car used on a DynoJet vs. DynaPack in two different boost modes, and all done in the PM time within two hours of each other supposedly. They claim that the standalone ECU they used logged temps and tried to keep everything else consistent as well.
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      11-01-2012, 12:09 AM   #20
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Every shop/tuner I've ever dealt with have ALL said chassis-dynos (like Dynapack) read higher than say, a Mustang dyno (which is generally the opposite). You can find one-off's of proof on either side, but the point is moot. Peak HP readings do nothing but help you sleep better. It's the difference between tune/no tune that's important (at least the point of this thread - to show gains from respective companies).
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      11-01-2012, 12:36 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johanness View Post
Every shop/tuner I've ever dealt with have ALL said chassis-dynos (like Dynapack) read higher than say, a Mustang dyno (which is generally the opposite). You can find one-off's of proof on either side, but the point is moot. Peak HP readings do nothing but help you sleep better. It's the difference between tune/no tune that's important (at least the point of this thread - to show gains from respective companies).
Well no, the point is not moot. The fact that there are inconsistencies clearly means that it can't just be easily written off that one type of dyno reads lower/higher than another. Statements like such are detrimental to those that are seeking help from experience. I just wanted people to know that it just isn't true; and because word of mouth goes a long way, once it gets out, it can snowball vigorously. Just hoped to set everyone straight with what facts I've found through my own experiences at the dynoes with my own cars, as well as some detailed info I've come across from research. Hopefully those that see this will refrain from passing on potentially false information in the future without an anecdote stating that it is just from word of mouth as opposed to real life experiences.
And I also provided my before-and-after dynoes for tune-only gains with the Active Autowerk ECU flash (for the purposes of this thread)
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      11-01-2012, 01:17 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfanatic325 View Post
Well no, the point is not moot. The fact that there are inconsistencies clearly means that it can't just be easily written off that one type of dyno reads lower/higher than another. Statements like such are detrimental to those that are seeking help from experience. I just wanted people to know that it just isn't true; and because word of mouth goes a long way, once it gets out, it can snowball vigorously.
I think you're missing my point entirely, but that's ok. Every dyno will show the increase we're looking for as far as the tune is concerned. /thread

But if you're still talking about PEAK hp... I'm not going to argue with what YOU think is fact. From MY experience on pretty much every current/past ride, and from professional tuners, custom engine-builders, etc... all agree with what I've said (which is why it even merits repeating). Hell, even Brown Bros (SVT Performance Division) in Vancouver who run a Dynapack at their shop admit that chassis-dyno's result in the highest #'s of the 3.
But to prove my point, I'll book a couple of pulls with Wayne and compare them to the Mustang unit @ Mopac. The snowball you're talking about happened ages ago on the merits of thousands of comparisons.

"Statements are detrimental" Gimme a break.
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