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      04-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
hoeferland
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Smile My experience moving from a Dinan's "Racing" to BPM Sport tune

Hi everyone,

It's been a little over two months now since I worked with Mike Benvo at BPM Sport to move from a Dinan's "Racing" to BPM Sport tune, and I couldn't be happier with the change. It took me several months of research to decide on what tuner to work with and I am very, very happy with the support I received before and after with Mike. Before I talk about the new tune, I am going to provide you with a bit of background on the whole cluster-muck of an experience I had with my Dinan "Racing" tune to give you a feel why I've been so happy since the change.

Quick background on the performance changes on my ride:
2008 E90 M3
AA Full Signature Cat-less X-Pipe and Exhaust
AA HF Air Filter
AA Short Shift
Eibach Springs + E36 Bumps

In Feb, 2011 I worked with BMW of Portland to flash my car to Dinan's "Racing" tune, because I was convinced it would be the safest and smoothest route while the car was under the existing factory warranty. From the first day I picked up the car after the tune I confronted with serval "behaviors," including the acute onset of a very rough and un-driveable cold start whenever the car sat for more than an hour. During the cold start folks would have to plug their ears if they were standing towards the rear of the car, and I can pretty much guarantee that most of my neighbors became acutely aware of what time I leave for work every day. I took the car back to the dealer 3 or 4 times during the next two years to trouble-shoot the cold start as well as rough idling and overly-rich symptoms I was experiencing, and I continued to get back my car with the same behaviors even after it had been "re-flashed" repeatedly by the dealer.

Of all of the behaviors the cold start was by far the most pronounced and really undermined my family's enjoyment and usage of the M3. Over time we began to avoid using it during the weekends, because we rarely wanted to wait the 2 to 3 minutes for the car to cycle through the cold start and become drivable. Additionally, starting the car late at night or early in the AM was a surefire way to get a few nasty stares the next time I went to get the mail at the mailbox. At work I rarely wanted to drive it during the day between meetings (I work at a company with an extended campus) and my car was nicknamed "rumble box" by a few of my friends. I am providing this background, because I want to emphasis (1) how frustrated I had become with my car, because of the way it was running, (2) how much that can have an affect on the way you use your car, and (3) why it can be so difficult to want to go out on the ledge to try out a new tune when your previous tune has left you feeling less that stellar about the whole experience.

I spent nearly 3 months reading postings on this forum and calling to interview tuners around the country. I'm not going to walk through the list, but at the end of the day I wanted to be as sure as possible that whoever I worked with would be able to address my concerns and fears as well as deliver a new tune that would address my cold start, rough idle, and overall driving experience concerns. I'm not sure what everyone's budgeting situation is like, but it took a ton of convincing to get my wife to want to invest our $ into another tune, when the previous investment had pretty much bombed out. Luckily she was willing to take a leap of faith with me and said "yes" to moving forward with the re-tune.

I became aware of BPM Sport and Mike Benvo by reading through peer postings on this forum and was particularly interested in working with Mike after so many folks (1) moved from existing tunes to at BPM Sport tune, and (2) commented on how much they enjoyed the process of working with Mike. Mike took the time to have 5 or 6 conversations with me before I decided to move forward with the BPM Sport tune, and it was his honest and candid feedback that sold me on working with him and BPM Sport. Still, after two years of living with my Dinan tune I was skeptical on whether or not the change would be as pronounced as promised.

The whole process of working with Mike to complete the tune straight forward and it was interesting to re-tune my car from my garage without having to make a trip anywhere. We ran into a few issues along the way (mostly due to using my MacBook while running Fusion for Windows), but we were able to troubleshoot all of them and completed the re-tune after 2.5 hours. I then took my car out for a maiden voyage and was immediately struck by how smooth and more pronounced the power delivery was across the whole RPM range (especially when the M Sport mode was engaged). Mike stayed on the line throughout the whole experienced and listened to me hoot and howler as I experienced the new driving dynamic of the car.

But, the true test of the BPM Sport tune came the next day when it was time to start my car after letting it sit over night. I eagerly jumped into my car the next morning, crossed my fingers and started it up and was pleasantly greeted by a normal, smooth, and cold-start-less experience that brought a huge smile to my face (and I am sure sighs of relief from my neighbors). I pulled the car out of the garage and ran up stairs to tell my wife. Her comment was "did you start the car yet?" Mine was "Hell yes I did and it's spectacular!"

During the next week my wife took the car to the gym in the morning to try out the new experience and sent me a string of texts along the way (we'll presume she stopped of course, because no one would text while driving in Oregon...) saying how excited and pleased she was by the change in the cold start as well as the driving dynamic of the car. I think the biggest compliment and confirmation came when she said that she "was so happy we did the new tune," because it made me feel as if I had spent our $ wisely and found the right tuning partner for the change.

It's been two months since the re-tune and I am 100% satisfied with the change and continued support I've received from Mike. So far I am experiencing:

1. No cold start and a smooth and stable idle
2. Better and smoother (butt dyno tested) power delivery and driving experience
3. Better gas milage
4. Better overall quality of life with my M3

Without a doubt I recommend BPM Sport and Mike Benvo, and can say for sure that it kicked the crap out of my Dinan tune!
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      04-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #2
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I know...Mike Benvo & BPM tune...are the best
BTW....soon i will do the same thing....get the BPM tune
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      04-06-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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Just this week I replaced my ESS tune with a BPM Stage I tune and my experience is pretty much identical to yours! (including the months of prevarication and 'conversations' with the GF about spending more $ on a second tune! )

It's only been a couple of days, but the difference in drivability is very pronounced. I definitely have that big grin on my face again.

In particular, with the ESS tune I used to have a rough cold start and idle, fairly frequent hesitations pulling away from a standstill, or when trying to accelerate too suddenly in the lower half of the rev range (as happens frequently on the freeway) or on a hill.

So far, it seems like the BPM tune has none of these issues. I can pull away from a standstill with much more confidence that the car isn't going to hesitate. I don't know if Mike changed the throttle mapping, but the power comes on more immediately and there isn't a 'dip' when you hit about 2K rpm.

Power delivery is extremely smooth and the car almost feels lighter. Just a small squeeze of throttle produces an immediate and progressive response, even in the bottom half of the rev range. The net result is that it *feels* faster around town and on the freeway - and that's what makes all the difference to me. These cars are always great fun if you keep the revs above 6K, but that's now how you drive on public roads.

I couldn't say if there's much difference in top-end power between the ESS and BPM, but given I use this car for my daily commute, the BPM tune is a *much* more enjoyable drive.

I'm going to wait a week or two to make sure, but so far I'm *very* happy.

...oh, and it doesn't really need repeating, but Mike's customer service is as good as they all say.
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      04-06-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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Been debating a tune for the past two weeks and figured I would go with mikes if I ever decided on it.
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      04-06-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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What I don't get is you stop using the car as much because of the dinan problems but left it on the car? WHy didn't you simply flash back to stock as dinan adds no power anyway or miniscule amount. I would have pulled that tune out within weeks rather than stop driving the car. Wierd. And you interviewed the tuners? Any of the big 3 products are so well reviewed that what else would you be looking to learn?
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      04-06-2013, 04:58 PM   #6
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It seems like your problem had more to do with the x pipe than with the tune. Going catless always makes the cold start sequence much louder. That's something everybody should consider before picking a tune with no cold start delete option. Glad you like the BPM tune, though.
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      04-06-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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Is there a way I can have the cold start cycle always on? I love the sound...
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      04-06-2013, 08:33 PM   #8
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I had the same experience going from Dinan to BPM/Benvo!
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      04-06-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Few m3s I knew switched from ESS to mikes tune. I am alitle puzzled though ESS seems to really have developed some good custom products why would their tune be so Inferior
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      04-06-2013, 09:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriskm3 View Post
Few m3s I knew switched from ESS to mikes tune. I am alitle puzzled though ESS seems to really have developed some good custom products why would their tune be so Inferior
+1. Not to doubt what people are reporting, but I wouldn't have expected a notable difference between tunes.
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      04-06-2013, 09:52 PM   #11
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i think its all in your head IMO. All tunes are about the same really one wont put more power than the other, but just the idea of you changing to another one will make you think "oh i feel a difference" and you should believe it lol you just spent an extra grand on the same thing basically.

BPM has a great tune so does all other companies. Since a lot of people have changed from one company to another, why doesnt some actually dyno with each tune on the same car ? im sure you have both cables and both tune since they are VIN locked
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      04-06-2013, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriskm3 View Post
Few m3s I knew switched from ESS to mikes tune. I am alitle puzzled though ESS seems to really have developed some good custom products why would their tune be so Inferior
+1... makes no sense whatsoever.
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      04-06-2013, 09:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms372 View Post
i think its all in your head IMO. All tunes are about the same really one wont put more power than the other, but just the idea of you changing to another one will make you think "oh i feel a difference" and you should believe it lol you just spent an extra grand on the same thing basically.

BPM has a great tune so does all other companies. Since a lot of people have changed from one company to another, why does some actually dyno with each tune on the same car ? im sure you have both cables and both tune since they are VIN locked
There is more to a tune than just WOT power, although this unfortunately seems to be everyones focus.

I disagree that all tunes are the same. It's like saying that HP, Dell, and IBM computers are the same, or Quickbooks and Quicken are the same.

There are MANY variances between tunes on vanos changes, part throttle ignition and fueling, throttle body opening and response, torque management, full throttle ignition strategy, etc.. I'm sure a lot of them share certain things in common.

Most people are happy with the software they have. On the flip side, I don't think people who switched would be happy if they spent $1000 and there was no difference in driveability/performance/features, etc..

Carl, Paul, and Vinnie, I'm glad you guys are enjoying the software.
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      04-07-2013, 12:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
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All tunes are about the same really one wont put more power than the other, but just the idea of you changing to another one will make you think "oh i feel a difference"
I completely agree that there is going to be little or no difference in top end power output with your foot mashed to the floor. I'm also very aware of the placebo effect, especially when money is involved ;-)

Another effect I am very aware of is that re-loading the exact same tune apparently resets a bunch of the ECU "adaptations" which can really make the car feel like it drives differently for a few days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms372 View Post
Since a lot of people have changed from one company to another, why doesn't some actually dyno with each tune on the same car ? im sure you have both cables and both tune since they are VIN locked
I could certainly do this... but you miss the point. On a dyno when you mash the pedal to the floor tunes *will* look pretty identical.

I care a lot more about what happens when I'm on the freeway at 4Krpm and I have to suddenly lift my foot, downshift or reapply throttle to maneuver. I want my M to be smooth and responsive, not just full of grunt.

For me, the difference in these tunes is not what they do in a 3rd gear side-by-side drag race, but rather how often the car annoys me by doing something unexpected when I want it to take off.

Just my 2c
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      04-07-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriskm3 View Post
Few m3s I knew switched from ESS to mikes tune. I am alitle puzzled though ESS seems to really have developed some good custom products why would their tune be so Inferior
You would be surprised how great the BPM tune is! Its a completely different car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FormulaMMM View Post
+1. Not to doubt what people are reporting, but I wouldn't have expected a notable difference between tunes.
You'd be surprised!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms372 View Post
i think its all in your head IMO. All tunes are about the same really one wont put more power than the other, but just the idea of you changing to another one will make you think "oh i feel a difference" and you should believe it lol you just spent an extra grand on the same thing basically.

It's not in their heads! The tune Mike brings along is outstanding and I have proven numerous times that its great.

BPM has a great tune so does all other companies. Since a lot of people have changed from one company to another, why doesnt some actually dyno with each tune on the same car ? im sure you have both cables and both tune since they are VIN locked
+1,000,000
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      04-15-2013, 10:03 PM   #16
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Thanks guys. We also have awesome DCT transmission software around the corner... It really turns heads... or should I say snaps necks
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      04-15-2013, 10:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Thanks guys. We also have awesome DCT transmission software around the corner... It really turns heads... or should I say snaps necks
You're going to be able to program the dct software remotely?
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      04-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #18
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You're going to be able to program the dct software remotely?
Absolutely, and current users of our tuning cable will be able to use the same cable as well
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      04-15-2013, 10:08 PM   #19
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Nice,congrats on the new tune !
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      04-15-2013, 10:10 PM   #20
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Nice,congrats on the new tune !
Thanks

Will be posting some videos of the shifting soon. Charging the GoPro
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      04-15-2013, 10:19 PM   #21
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Thanks

Will be posting some videos of the shifting soon. Charging the GoPro
Awesome man,can't wait to see some videos.Good work Mike !
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      04-15-2013, 11:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Benvo View Post
There is more to a tune than just WOT power, although this unfortunately seems to be everyones focus.

I disagree that all tunes are the same. It's like saying that HP, Dell, and IBM computers are the same, or Quickbooks and Quicken are the same.

There are MANY variances between tunes on vanos changes, part throttle ignition and fueling, throttle body opening and response, torque management, full throttle ignition strategy, etc.. I'm sure a lot of them share certain things in common.

Most people are happy with the software they have. On the flip side, I don't think people who switched would be happy if they spent $1000 and there was no difference in driveability/performance/features, etc..

Carl, Paul, and Vinnie, I'm glad you guys are enjoying the software.
+1
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