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COBB PDK Flash Review

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Old 03-04-2018, 08:29 PM
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djillusion
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Default COBB PDK Flash Review



i recently decided to move forward with the COBB PDK flash for my 997.2 Turbo. i figured another post on my impressions couldn't hurt (i didn't see a lot of info on the forums since its release), so here is a brief review:

IIRC, i emailed/PM'ed Sam at By Design on a late friday afternoon right before Christmas. Sam got back to me within minutes on details about the COBB PDK release and within a few more minutes, i had a transaction processed with him. which in turn, he got me the COBB file directly from COBB, literally mins after our initial communication. honestly, i thought this would take weeks to get squared away - but again, between Sam and COBB a day or two before Christmas, the file was in my inbox. now that is some serious service and promptness. you must have the latest firmware on your COBB A/P, so make sure that is all up to date before loading the file onto the unit (after the firmware update, restart your computer and then load in the PDK file to the A/P). sadly, i live in Chicago, thus up until recently the weather has sucked (and i don't have a winter setup on my Turbo), so have recently got some good seat time with it as the weather is getting a bit better.

before flashing my Turbo with the file, i called up AMS Performance, which is a huge COBB dealer. AMS is about 4 miles from my house and they have done other work to my Turbo. Hats off to Chris over there on getting me in to play with the file and get it all flashed without any glitch. sometimes having another set of eyes on the process doesn't hurt - so thanks again to AMS for consistent support for me and porsches, though their work in the GTR market speaks for itself. the flash took about 2-3 mins and that is it. no other work needed to take immediate advantage of the file. i don't have experience with many other tuning options for porsche, but i had a 2001 Audi B5 S4 with a lot of work done to it in the past. tuning for the S4 was essential for taking advantage of bigger turbos, etc, but a headache too. COBB has this process down very well! final note: i flashed the sport PDK file, not the more aggressive ones since my car barely gets driven, let alone has never seen a track. i did not do the PDK learn step which is mentioned in some of the COBB release notes for the more aggressive files.

onto the impressions:
  • the Turbo now shifts like it should have since Day 1. if you have a Turbo with PDK, you know what i'm talking about. it lags enough for me to have noticed & wished it was a bit more tight/firm/aggressive. and thats in comparison to a lot of DTC cars out there. i have never driven a newer 991+ porsche, but everyone says PDK shifts much faster in the newer Porsches, than the 997s. well, again, i can't make a direct comparison there - but there is no question the car shifts faster not only in 'normal/eco' mode but also in sport and sport plus. downshifts are quick and aggressive. crisp, tight and boom.
  • i primarily drive the car in sport mode when temps are up and warm. at WOT, shifts are lightening fast and man o man - makes the whole car performs to another level. it literally adds another grin to the driving experience!
  • i did not change or request the paddle +/- orientation. I'm comfortable the way it is via porsche. i was looking forward to putting the car in neutral by pulling both paddles inward at the same time, but that doesn't do the trick. not sure if this feature was actually released with the file, so if COBB is reading - any thoughts on that would be great.
  • if you have frustrations or qualms about pulling a paddle and then the shift occurring - that does not change here. which is my only gripe. the actual shift occurs (milliseconds I'm sure) after the pull is physically made - not simultaneously. I'm sure there is a lot to do here from an electronics stand point, so not sure this will ever change.
so there is my brief review of the COBB PDK flash. its works right out of the box with the COBB A/P. the flash itself takes only 2-3 mins and the stock PDK file can be re-flashed at any time backwards. if you currently drive a PDK Turbo, i assure you the notice is worth the $$$.

hats off again (big time) to Sam at By Design, COBB, and AMS Performance.

if anyone has questions, PM me or reply here. i will answer what i can based on my experiences thus far. i'll post this to the other forum so those who go over there can see the info too. pic of my beast, bring on spring!
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:44 PM
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Considering the PDK flash. Already have the stage 1 Cobb tune on 997.2TTS

The PDK feels a little jerky on the 997. 991 is much smoother. What I mean is not the speed but jerkiness. Like being pushed or logged into your seat a bit with every shift. I know you did not drive the 991 but some have said this jerkiness which existed in 997 was fixed in 991 (Chris Harris for example). Some have also hoped this PDK flash addresses this. Any thoughts pre/post on this jerkiness/abruptness point specifically?

Thanks for the post and in advance.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:53 PM
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yeah i can't compare it to the 991, but have heard similar comments here and there. i can't say i have ever really felt the 997 PDK (stock or even with this flash) is truly jerky. do you feel this when the car is cold and temps aren't up? i would say if there was any abruptness - its when the car is cold. it needs to get up to temp (maybe the same for the PDK trans) before i open it up.

i have the COBB Stage 2 tune, AMS ICs, Europipe, and the TPC DSC controller, on top of this PDK COBB flash. the car just flat out performs.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:22 PM
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I've always felt my OEM PDK was jerky in gears 1-3 and even asked my friend JB to drive it and compare it to the PDK in his 12 TTS. He said it was fine but I think we were both operating with the same PDK performance impressions so it felt normal to him. Anyway, thanks for the post. Perhaps that will be my first mod.
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:29 PM
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Awesome review of the product bud and thanks for the kind words.

Paddle neutral is in the sequential map. The guys did what they could to speed up response as much as possible. 991 gen. is a little different and better in that aspect. .2 even better than .1. But on every model Cobb finds ways to make it a faster, better driving experience! Say hi to Chris and the AMS crew!

***Guys, with the PDK re-learn procedure I think you will find that with everything gets better or as good as it can get. As the clutches wear tolerances change and although the ECU does constantly measure touch-points and continue adaptations a full calibration lines up everything including hydraulics.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:16 PM
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I would like to echo a ďthank youĒ as well for the review. Most of the reviews seem overall positive, with a few let downs. (Roughness, neutral option, engagement, cost, etc)

I have had several Cobb APís and have enjoyed them with all of my cars. I struggle with Cobb and the 997.2 only because I feel like they are focusing more on the newer models. (Which I understand) I just which they had some new cutom tuning, and offered all of the pdk options for us 997.2 guys. And if they donít, the price should correspond.

Eventually I will buy this but it will be a little upsetting if Iím not happy, and canít sell my pdk tune that I just spent $700 on...

Hopefully Cobb will hear these issues and make some changes. I really feel they should do an initial group buy to get a bunch of these pdk tunes out there. I know the 991 guys like it but everyone Iíve spoken to has said it was better on the 991.


Last edited by Whosdady; 03-05-2018 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:44 PM
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Thank you all for the kind words and detailed review! And thank you to Sam for getting the maps over to these guys so fast! We really appreciate the input and will pass this along to improve our product offerings for the PDK maps. Right now, the logic on the 997.2 cars is different than that of the 991, so at the moment the software doesn't exist to flip/flop the +/- on these cars or do dual paddles to neutral. We'll be sure to have a notice out if we are ever able to modify this on the 997.2 PDK trans and come out with a "Sequential Style" map. Right now, this is only possible on the 981/991.

Here's a link to our map notes if y'all want some good reading material: https://cobbtuning.atlassian.net/wik...r+987.2+Cayman

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Old 03-05-2018, 02:15 PM
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Cheers Charles!

Guys the 997.2 gearbox and ECU is different. It is vastly improved but only so much can be done with software as far as comparing to the newest models. IMHO it's a great upgrade and a great value. The boys at Cobb have worked on it for years now and continue to! With my guys I stand behind them and Cobb on every order!
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:43 PM
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Just got it from Sam and will report back once we get it.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanscribe View Post
Just got it from Sam and will report back once we get it.
Looking forward to your update.

Some questions before your review:

1) How many miles do you have on your pdk fluid? A lot of guys are complaining about the roughness so Cobb is recommending a change prior to running the tune.

2) What other mods do you have?
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:14 PM
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15K miles on my Turbo. I didnít do anything with my PDK fluid when I flashed.

I dont feel any roughness. Where is this said be felt? Upshift, downshift, etc?
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by djillusion View Post
15K miles on my Turbo. I didnít do anything with my PDK fluid when I flashed.

I dont feel any roughness. Where is this said be felt? Upshift, downshift, etc?
1st gear, low rpm and in reverse. A shutter or jerk.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Whosdady
1st gear, low rpm and in reverse. A shutter or jerk.
This is WITH or WITHOU the PDK tune? I feel a reasonably jerk WITHOUT and will report on it once WITH is done.

My Update
I have to get the PDK firmware factory updated first. Flash fails without.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanscribe View Post
This is WITH or WITHOU the PDK tune? I feel a reasonably jerk WITHOUT and will report on it once WITH is done.

My Update
I have to get the PDK firmware factory updated first. Flash fails without.
I didnít know you needed the Porsche pdk firmware updated? Maybe that is why you are feeling a noticeable jerk without the pdk tune. (I have never felt that)

I do know you will need the Cobb AP updated firmware but that only takes two minutes to download from cobbís Website.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Whosdady
I didnít know you needed the Porsche pdk firmware updated? Maybe that is why you are feeling a noticeable jerk without the pdk tune. (I have never felt that)

I do know you will need the Cobb AP updated firmware but that only takes two minutes to download from cobbís Website.
Indeed the AP manager is updated.

Exactly, going to drive the car a bit without the time but WITH the PDK update and see what it feels like.
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