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      05-23-2011, 02:28 PM   #1
nirvanayoda
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Dinan Stage 3 vs. M3 (I've owned both, here's the comparison)

Almost two months ago, I traded in my 2009 Dinan Stage 3 335i Coupe for a 2011 DCT ZCP M3 Coupe. Both cars were loaded with virtually every option available, so this should be an even comparison. Also, for reference, both cars were black / black with aluminum trim (though the M3s black is slightly more blue and the M3s aluminum trim seems higher quality and less shiny).

335i mods (I paid right at $10k for the parts plus labor): Dinan CAI, Dinan Intercooler, Dinan Pedals, Dinan Stage 3 Software, and Dinan Oil Cooler.

M3 mods: BMW Performance Aluminum Pedals (I hate stock rubber pedals).

Handling/Suspension – We’ll get this one out of the way first. The Dinan 3 was a stock 335i as far as suspension components go and it still had the run flat tires. This was in no way a fair fight. The M3 absolutely destroys the Dinan 3 in cornering (which is much crisper in the M3) and suspension. I remember in the Dinan 3 when I’d hit a bump in the road, I’d lose traction and in some cases slide a bit. I would also feel the suspension give and it would take a second to recover. The M3 recovers instantly when it hits a bump and there is no sliding or feeling of “bounce”. I’m not sure what the proper term is, but the M3 stays glued to the road and inspires much more confidence.

Looks/feel – The Dinan 3 was sleeker (only the Dinan badge even hinted toward what it could do), but I prefer the sports car / performance car look of the M3 with the hood scoops, side vent, and other slight features. Also, the leather in the M3 is a very different leather and I much prefer it. It just feels like a more expensive car. I’m pretty sure most people notice zero difference between the cars. I don’t think my girlfriend would have even noticed it was a new car if I didn’t tell her. I do get many more looks from other guys, though. I also have gotten a few compliments at stoplights and such – for example, the other night a girl asked me to roll down my window at a stoplight to tell me I had an awesome car.

Acceleration – I used the Dynolicious Utility on my iPhone to compare the cars. Here is the best run from each. I don’t think it’s accurate at all given the stats, but it’s really the only objective data that I have. The full stats from the best run of each is at the bottom of this post as an appendix.

The M3 did 0-60 in 4.9 seconds compared to 5.9 for the Dinan 3 and each did the 330 feet around 64 mph (64.7mph for the M3 versus 63.5mph for the Dinan 3), but the M3 did it about a second quicker (5.81 seconds to 6.74 seconds). Given this data under similar conditions, I assume both cars have about the same acceleration given likely traction issues with the Dinan (I had horrible traction problems with that car). I’d give a slight edge to the M3 in terms of numbers, but numbers don’t tell the entire story, so let’s look at the subjective aspect of the cars.

The Dinan 3 had instant torque no matter where you punched it on the rev meter. It would throw you back in the seat, and then throw you back in the seat some more. It just felt fast. The M3 on the other hand, can only throw you back in a similar manner if you punch it in just the right circumstances (shift points which I’m learning as I go along). The difference is that the M3 seems like it never stops pulling. I would liken it like this – the Dinan 3 pulls hard and then even harder for a short period of time whereas the M3 pulls moderately but then never stops.

Before anyone comes in and says Dinan Stage 3 is an inferior tune, please note that the car ran very even with a 335 with Cobb software and Stage 3 performance mods. The Dinan seemed to have slightly more low end and the Cobb seemed to have slightly more top end.

Conclusion – I understand academically that the HP delivery method of the M3 is actually probably superior overall and that it’s likely just a bit faster than the Dinan, but I still preferred the power delivery of the Dinan. I’m not a street racer, so a tenth of a second or two in the ľ mile doesn’t matter to me. What does matter to me is smooth power delivery, acceleration, handling, looks, and prestige. What the M3 lacks in torque, it makes up for in fun-factor with handling, suspension, and still great speed. I may just need to get used to the high revving engine, as I haven’t had one of those since I traded my 2000 Honda Prelude in over 5 years ago.

With that in mind, I’m extremely happy that I moved up to an M3, but I wish I would have just bought one to start with instead of messing with the Dinan upgrades. I think my next car will be turbo’ed or supercharged, however, as I prefer the torqey power delivery mechanism to the high revving engine.

Appendix: Full Dynolicious stats

Dinan 3 – 0-10: 1.37s; 0-20: 2.18s; 0-30: 2.87s; 0-40: 3.84s; 0-50: 4.77s; 0-60: 5.92s; 60 feet: 3.09s @ 30.1mph; 330 feet: 6.74s 63.5mph; Max Acceleration: 0.69 G’s; Peak HP: 251

M3 – 0-10: 0.53s; 0-20: 1.35s; 0-30: 2.01s; 0-40: 2.80s; 0-50: 3.74s; 0-60: 4.90s; 0-70: 6.36s; 0-80: 8.00s; 60 feet: 2.27s @ 30.8mph; 330 feet: 5.81s @ 64.7mph; 1/8 mile: 8.78s @ 83.1mph; Max Acceleration: 0.71 G’s; Peak HP: 270

Last edited by nirvanayoda; 05-23-2011 at 02:46 PM.
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      05-23-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
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if you install a DINAN STAGE, will it influence your warranty?
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      05-23-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
nirvanayoda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonlu View Post
if you install a DINAN STAGE, will it influence your warranty?
Yes and no. If you go to a Dinan certified dealership, theoretically any warranty issues should be invisible to you. In other words, either BMW will pay or Dinan will pay and you never need to find out who paid because it got fixed and you didn't owe anything. That was my experience at least.

With that being said, you can't get an extended warranty to cover the Dinan parts. They may sell you the extended warranty, but it won't cover anything you modify. So, in other words, if you modify the engine software, they could argue that you'd lose the warranty altogether because that could be considering modifying the engine and the turbos. That's one of the reasons I traded it in.

Last edited by nirvanayoda; 05-23-2011 at 04:34 PM.
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      05-23-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for the review, definitely interesting.

the one thing i sort of want to add is your numbers from dynolicious/feel could probably be matched with only 1k worth of software from Jb4/giac/cobb.

The only reason i point this out is because you said you are not a track racer, etc. therefore the oil cooler/intercooler is probably most effective at the track which it seems like you did not get to.

I understand the whole warranty and Dinan and all that nonsense that has been beaten to death but for this particular comparison (and i am emphasizing this comparison only) it seems like you could have saved 9k and had an extremely similar comparison.

I think that may be an important point to touch upon but please correct me if I am wrong.
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      05-23-2011, 07:52 PM   #5
nirvanayoda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskamatt View Post
Thanks for the review, definitely interesting.

the one thing i sort of want to add is your numbers from dynolicious/feel could probably be matched with only 1k worth of software from Jb4/giac/cobb.

The only reason i point this out is because you said you are not a track racer, etc. therefore the oil cooler/intercooler is probably most effective at the track which it seems like you did not get to.

I understand the whole warranty and Dinan and all that nonsense that has been beaten to death but for this particular comparison (and i am emphasizing this comparison only) it seems like you could have saved 9k and had an extremely similar comparison.

I think that may be an important point to touch upon but please correct me if I am wrong.
You're absolutely correct on the price savings. However I didn't want to deal with warranty issues, which is why I went with Dinan (and why I traded it in at 40k miles). I do agree that many other tunes are proving reliable and have equal or better performance to what I was getting.
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      05-24-2011, 01:36 AM   #6
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consider doing a intake/xpipe/exhaust/tune/pulley. It will really help with additional torque.

nice write up thanks.
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      05-24-2011, 03:55 AM   #7
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Supercharge the M3 and you will feel everything that you felt in the Dinan but with brutal force!
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      05-26-2011, 12:41 AM   #8
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congrats on your new ride and thanks for the write up.

if you want some more tq these two mods i did really helped. i added the Dinan midpipe and it really gave it a nice bump in tq below 5k. i believe the stats are 23hp and 21tq gain. i also did the Dinan diff bc i felt the stock gears were to long for the type of driving i did. now with the extra power from the midpipe and 8600 redline from the Dinan software and the diff the car is a blast in the twisties and everywhere really. i did just the software first bc my friend had it on his and i really liked how much better it made the car run, especially at take off and the 1-2 shift. it is not much of a power gain like others out there but i really liked how it made the car run compared to the stock tune. then when i added the midpipe it just made things that much better and it is one of the best sounding mufflers i have ever heard. it has a nice deep tone below 4k then it gets a high pitched exotic tone above 5k till redline. i did the diff last and i love it.

don't get me wrong the car is great stock but i love it that much more with the few mods i did. i also have the Dinan stage 1 susp with camber plates and i felt like the car is more comfortable but yet handles better and the 1/2 drop looks great. not to low just enough in my op

enjoy your new M

Quote:
Originally Posted by nirvanayoda View Post
Almost two months ago, I traded in my 2009 Dinan Stage 3 335i Coupe for a 2011 DCT ZCP M3 Coupe. Both cars were loaded with virtually every option available, so this should be an even comparison. Also, for reference, both cars were black / black with aluminum trim (though the M3s black is slightly more blue and the M3s aluminum trim seems higher quality and less shiny).

335i mods (I paid right at $10k for the parts plus labor): Dinan CAI, Dinan Intercooler, Dinan Pedals, Dinan Stage 3 Software, and Dinan Oil Cooler.

M3 mods: BMW Performance Aluminum Pedals (I hate stock rubber pedals).

Handling/Suspension Ė Weíll get this one out of the way first. The Dinan 3 was a stock 335i as far as suspension components go and it still had the run flat tires. This was in no way a fair fight. The M3 absolutely destroys the Dinan 3 in cornering (which is much crisper in the M3) and suspension. I remember in the Dinan 3 when Iíd hit a bump in the road, Iíd lose traction and in some cases slide a bit. I would also feel the suspension give and it would take a second to recover. The M3 recovers instantly when it hits a bump and there is no sliding or feeling of ďbounceĒ. Iím not sure what the proper term is, but the M3 stays glued to the road and inspires much more confidence.

Looks/feel Ė The Dinan 3 was sleeker (only the Dinan badge even hinted toward what it could do), but I prefer the sports car / performance car look of the M3 with the hood scoops, side vent, and other slight features. Also, the leather in the M3 is a very different leather and I much prefer it. It just feels like a more expensive car. Iím pretty sure most people notice zero difference between the cars. I donít think my girlfriend would have even noticed it was a new car if I didnít tell her. I do get many more looks from other guys, though. I also have gotten a few compliments at stoplights and such Ė for example, the other night a girl asked me to roll down my window at a stoplight to tell me I had an awesome car.

Acceleration Ė I used the Dynolicious Utility on my iPhone to compare the cars. Here is the best run from each. I donít think itís accurate at all given the stats, but itís really the only objective data that I have. The full stats from the best run of each is at the bottom of this post as an appendix.

The M3 did 0-60 in 4.9 seconds compared to 5.9 for the Dinan 3 and each did the 330 feet around 64 mph (64.7mph for the M3 versus 63.5mph for the Dinan 3), but the M3 did it about a second quicker (5.81 seconds to 6.74 seconds). Given this data under similar conditions, I assume both cars have about the same acceleration given likely traction issues with the Dinan (I had horrible traction problems with that car). Iíd give a slight edge to the M3 in terms of numbers, but numbers donít tell the entire story, so letís look at the subjective aspect of the cars.

The Dinan 3 had instant torque no matter where you punched it on the rev meter. It would throw you back in the seat, and then throw you back in the seat some more. It just felt fast. The M3 on the other hand, can only throw you back in a similar manner if you punch it in just the right circumstances (shift points which Iím learning as I go along). The difference is that the M3 seems like it never stops pulling. I would liken it like this Ė the Dinan 3 pulls hard and then even harder for a short period of time whereas the M3 pulls moderately but then never stops.

Before anyone comes in and says Dinan Stage 3 is an inferior tune, please note that the car ran very even with a 335 with Cobb software and Stage 3 performance mods. The Dinan seemed to have slightly more low end and the Cobb seemed to have slightly more top end.

Conclusion Ė I understand academically that the HP delivery method of the M3 is actually probably superior overall and that itís likely just a bit faster than the Dinan, but I still preferred the power delivery of the Dinan. Iím not a street racer, so a tenth of a second or two in the ľ mile doesnít matter to me. What does matter to me is smooth power delivery, acceleration, handling, looks, and prestige. What the M3 lacks in torque, it makes up for in fun-factor with handling, suspension, and still great speed. I may just need to get used to the high revving engine, as I havenít had one of those since I traded my 2000 Honda Prelude in over 5 years ago.

With that in mind, Iím extremely happy that I moved up to an M3, but I wish I would have just bought one to start with instead of messing with the Dinan upgrades. I think my next car will be turboíed or supercharged, however, as I prefer the torqey power delivery mechanism to the high revving engine.

Appendix: Full Dynolicious stats

Dinan 3 Ė 0-10: 1.37s; 0-20: 2.18s; 0-30: 2.87s; 0-40: 3.84s; 0-50: 4.77s; 0-60: 5.92s; 60 feet: 3.09s @ 30.1mph; 330 feet: 6.74s 63.5mph; Max Acceleration: 0.69 Gís; Peak HP: 251

M3 Ė 0-10: 0.53s; 0-20: 1.35s; 0-30: 2.01s; 0-40: 2.80s; 0-50: 3.74s; 0-60: 4.90s; 0-70: 6.36s; 0-80: 8.00s; 60 feet: 2.27s @ 30.8mph; 330 feet: 5.81s @ 64.7mph; 1/8 mile: 8.78s @ 83.1mph; Max Acceleration: 0.71 Gís; Peak HP: 270
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      05-26-2011, 12:44 AM   #9
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oh yeah i have the CAI and pulley too, those helped as well but i felt the biggest gain from the midpipe and the diff
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