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ECU Tunes, Software & Chip Questions

 
 
Old 05-03-2013, 06:25 PM
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TheInfamousDrew
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Question ECU Tunes, Software & Chip Questions

Hey guys. as some of you may already know, I am looking to take delivery of my first Pcar tomorrow morning.
Ive been driving BMW's for close to 10 years now and I am fairly familiar with turbos, and tuning them. I built my 135i and its up to 416HP 488tq to the wheels.

One of the first things on my list of power upgrades is a tune.
There doesnt seem to be any real resource that puts all the info together.
Does anyone have a thread or list of some sort that outlines all the different options as far as tunes for these cars?

Just received a call back from Kevin at UMW, very nice and knowledgeable guy!


But I do want to know what else is out there, pros, cons and opinions.

Thanks for the help guys!



**Update**
Here is a short list of suggestions from other members in no particular order....

UMW
Softronic
GIAC
911 Tuning
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:02 PM
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Th Dude
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:14 PM
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TheInfamousDrew
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Originally Posted by Th Dude View Post
It's a good thing you asked this question. There are hardly any other threads
in this forum on this subject.
Oh wait...I just searched...and it appears that there are actually DOZENS of
threads on this very topic. Strange. Seems like it would be a rare topic of
discussion.



Trust me....you asked for it.
I did search, I'm no "noob" to forums. I figured I might get flamed for that.

There is no thread that really puts all the info into one. If you found one please enlighten me. So many of the thread I read kept getting off track and were difficult to follow.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:38 PM
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alright....

https://rennlist.com/forums/996-turb...mods-list.html

the 2nd and 3rd replies in this one are pretty good....
https://rennlist.com/forums/996-turb...h-umw-epl.html

softronic...
https://rennlist.com/forums/996-turb...5-turbo-s.html

another...
https://rennlist.com/forums/996-turb...endations.html

start reading...
https://rennlist.com/forums/search.p...rchid=12412171

https://rennlist.com/forums/search.p...rchid=12412185

or start calling the vendors directly with your questions if you know what to ask.
From reading a few threads you'll discover the "bad" tunes and the ones with a good rep.
Lastly, you could make your life really easy and just go with Kevin and UMW.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Th Dude View Post
alright....

https://rennlist.com/forums/996-turb...mods-list.html

the 2nd and 3rd replies in this one are pretty good....
https://rennlist.com/forums/996-turb...h-umw-epl.html

softronic...
https://rennlist.com/forums/996-turb...5-turbo-s.html

another...
https://rennlist.com/forums/996-turb...endations.html

start reading...
https://rennlist.com/forums/search.p...rchid=12412171

https://rennlist.com/forums/search.p...rchid=12412185

or start calling the vendors directly with your questions if you know what to ask.
From reading a few threads you'll discover the "bad" tunes and the ones with a good rep.
Lastly, you could make your life really easy and just go with Kevin and UMW.
Thanks!
I did read that first one and thats what lead me UMW. I did speak with Kevin.
Ill keep reading up.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:20 PM
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So I found out my car has a tune....no idea which one yet....lol
I called Kevin and he doesnt keep a VIN record of any sort.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:50 PM
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I also have an unknown tune(1.2bar) on mine, although I have an idea of which it is, will likely be purchasing a UMW data logger very soon to make sure everything is safe as-is
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:12 PM
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I would avoid UMW so you don't suffer the misery I had to endure. Go with a reputable tuner that has a guarantee on their work and has more than 1 employee. All is great until they don't do the work they were specifically hired to do and then refuse to refund your money. And please, I am not a basher, I do not write bashing posts, and there was NO miscommunication here.

I went with the Softronic tune as they are guaranteed and it makes a noticeable difference (I could literally not tell the difference between stock and tuned with UMW).
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:28 PM
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Drew,

I’ll step in here as somebody who was in your position several months ago. The absolute best thing that you can do is to have a mechanic do a complete fluid change (differential, transmission, brakes, coolant, and engine) plus plugs/coils. That is money well spent.

When you get into messing with the tune or suspension (as I did) you need to know how these mods affect the day to day drive and existing OEM components. The better aftermarket tunes will put the 996T at around 500 ft/lbs of torque. Most OEM clutches are unable to hold that extra torque. Some guys will tell you that they can, but they are the rare exception to the rule. If you go with tune that puts the car in that zone then you are going to need to have a clutch with extra clamp-force to hold it. I just went through this very expensive drill on my 996T if you go back and check my posts on the topic.

If you tune…make sure you have a new clutch in the budget. Figure about $5K to $6K between parts and labor because you’ll want to do flywheel, mounts, slave/accumulator, and maybe fork while in there. Dropping the transmission is about 18 to 25 hours in labor. Trust me…I have quotes from two different Porsche dealerships and three independent mechanics (from the DC area) sitting on my desk right now.

I spent many hours with Kevin from UMW on the phone and he does know 996T Porsches. He is a very good source of knowledge on these cars. He’ll probably tell you the exact same thing that I said above. The UMW tune is very good and a lot of people here run it. Just make sure that you have the appropriate clutch. He sells a clutch kit that is a very good match for the tune. Talk to him about this---it will be worth your while.


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Old 05-06-2013, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Silberwolfen View Post
Drew,

I’ll step in here as somebody who was in your position several months ago. The absolute best thing that you can do is to have a mechanic do a complete fluid change (differential, transmission, brakes, coolant, and engine) plus plugs/coils. That is money well spent.

When you get into messing with the tune or suspension (as I did) you need to know how these mods affect the day to day drive and existing OEM components. The better aftermarket tunes will put the 996T at around 500 ft/lbs of torque. Most OEM clutches are unable to hold that extra torque. Some guys will tell you that they can, but they are the rare exception to the rule. If you go with tune that puts the car in that zone then you are going to need to have a clutch with extra clamp-force to hold it. I just went through this very expensive drill on my 996T if you go back and check my posts on the topic.

If you tune…make sure you have a new clutch in the budget. Figure about $5K to $6K between parts and labor because you’ll want to do flywheel, mounts, slave/accumulator, and maybe fork while in there. Dropping the transmission is about 18 to 25 hours in labor. Trust me…I have quotes from two different Porsche dealerships and three independent mechanics (from the DC area) sitting on my desk right now.

I spent many hours with Kevin from UMW on the phone and he does know 996T Porsches. He is a very good source of knowledge on these cars. He’ll probably tell you the exact same thing that I said above. The UMW tune is very good and a lot of people here run it. Just make sure that you have the appropriate clutch. He sells a clutch kit that is a very good match for the tune. Talk to him about this---it will be worth your while.


Thanks for the heads up.
After speaking with Kevin, it appears that I already have some sort of a tune and the clutch (for now) is holding strong.
If my free time permits, I typically do all my own work (mods & maintenance ).
I have been putting together a parts and fluids list that I am ordering in the next few days. Just the parts alone are up around $1,000.
I am going to perform a complete tune up and overhaul.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:48 PM
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Excellent! If you can perform your own install and maintenance then you are well ahead of the game as that is 60% of the overall cost most of the time---at least in the DC area where shops charge insane labor rates. No need to replace a clutch or diverter valves until you need it.

Good luck and nice looking Turbo!
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:48 PM
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I have reached out to the Moderators and have provided them with emails. They instructed that I don’t post the emails.

In this world there are people that ask for favors and discounts. I liken it to this story. They go to a steak house and order a steak. Three quarters thru the meal they tell the waitress, they want a refund because it wasn’t rare enough. The manager comes over and tells them that they will cook another one for him. They accept and eat that one too. Then they “attempt” to do a chargeback on the credit card.!!!

Mr Berger (bmwtmx) wrote in his post “I could literally not tell the difference between stock and tuned with UMW”

My reply is the opposite. I have a follow up email telling me that car feel GREAT, and definitely an improvement than before.. He states that he is seeing 1.2 BAR!!!

I received an email later telling of a CEL. I instructed Mr Berger to check his O2’s and his exhaust. I told him that I made the changes to correct his CEL.

Four months later I receive a email from Mt Berger, stating that he had taken his car into a shop and that they “replaced his exhaust” He stated that SHOP went into the ECU and removed my TUNING file and replaced it with another file (mystery Tune)?)

On January 14th he requests that I respectfully(his words)send him my slave programming module to replace the tune on his ECU. He inquired about turbochargers and I quoted him pricing. I offered to help and sent the programming module to him.

Upon receipt he alerts me that the programming unit is showing error codes. I tell him that he has two option since the TUNE in his ECU has a NO READ tag or non verified VIN.. Send me his ECU, or go to a Porsche dealer and reflash the ECU to stock. He replied and told me that he would send me his ECU..

Fast forward a few months, I ask Mr Berger to send me back my slave programming unit. He replies and tells me that he will return the unit ($895.00 value).. He then emails me that he wants a refund.. I told him No.. He has since attempted a credit card chargeback.. Interesting enough I haven’t received my programming module.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:10 PM
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I have no knowledge of the above mentioned dispute, but I know UMW has dozens of satisfied customers on this board alone. I am one of them.

Kevin was extremely helpful and patient providing me with 3 different programs until it was just right for my needs.

Fair warning. A tune will expose worn out clutches, coils, plugs, and O2 sensors. My stock clutch is fine, but did have to replace the last three items.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:32 PM
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I also have no knowledge of the events posted on this thread, but I have dealt with Kevin for 8 years. He (and his programming) is a knowledgable, helpful and trustworthy guy.

bmwtmx I have never met, but based on his post I would venture to say this individual does not possess those same characteristics.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:36 PM
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Back on topic.
I created this thread to gain information and to be used as a resource for future members with the same question.
The original post was updated with a short list of suggestions, any more?
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