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      06-13-2014, 12:24 PM   #1
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ESS vs Active Autowerke vs Dinan

Hi guys,

So I have been looking at performance parts for my e92 and I am curious to see all of your opinions about the performance software. So I came across the one offered by ESS:

http://www.esstuning.com/products/E9...-Software.html

One by Active:

http://store.activeautowerke.com/act...ware-p115.aspx

And one by Dinan:

http://dinancars.com/product/d900-40...ries&mid=1114/

They are all about the same price and claim similar gain in hp and torque, So what do you all think of these three, and any other ones I might not be aware of?
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      06-13-2014, 12:32 PM   #2
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http://www.m3post.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=124

Sort thru the 100's of previous threads regarding engine software. You'll get many views and even more opinions.

There's no one correct answer, and you'll find that out very quickly.

One you are missing is BPM Sport, a vendor on this site.
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      06-13-2014, 12:38 PM   #3
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And Evolve which is awesome
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      06-13-2014, 01:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnell325 View Post
http://www.m3post.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=124

Sort thru the 100's of previous threads regarding engine software. You'll get many views and even more opinions.

There's no one correct answer, and you'll find that out very quickly.

One you are missing is BPM Sport, a vendor on this site.
Thanks , I read some of those already, that's why I was curious in getting some first hard experience and thoughts from people who can compare a few of them
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      06-13-2014, 02:24 PM   #5
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Gintani also has an E9X M3 ECU Tune & bitFlash Cable. $1049
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      06-13-2014, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnell325 View Post
One you are missing is BPM Sport, a vendor on this site.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougeefresh View Post
And Evolve which is awesome
Along with VF Engineering which I understand to be phenomenal.
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      06-13-2014, 07:16 PM   #7
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Can't speak on behalf of the other tuners, but the BPM tune is awesome it brought my M to life! I now have power through the entire power band & Mike's a real cool guy as well.
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      06-13-2014, 07:56 PM   #8
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Have and logged both ESS and BPM tunes using Dash Dyno and the BT Tool on open roads. Of the 3 choices you presented, would choose ESS (is a good tune and I've logged it extensively), but seriously consider the BPM tune. Peak power of both tunes is similar (and think they are both very safe in terms of A/F and timing advance and other parameters that I've logged but won't go into), but I prefer the BPM servo settings, throttle response, and I've had smoother cold starts for the mods that I run. Also for MTs, the "launch control" feature is really cool.

Was reading something from a european BMW tuner/consultant to tuners and basically what he said was that there is really only one theoretically proper A/F ratio and therefore one optimal ignition and fuel map for any car within reasonable limits of safety. If the tuners know what they're doing, power production should be similar across tuners.

That's why for me, it was the characteristics and features that made me choose to run one over the other.
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      06-14-2014, 03:22 AM   #9
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I would go BPM or Evolve. I have PMed mike @ BPM, very very great guy!

Evolve tunes are also great, the best part is there newest pop exhaust add on. IF you are catless, you shoot flames.
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      06-14-2014, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezio
I would go BPM or Evolve. I have PMed mike @ BPM, very very great guy!

Evolve tunes are also great, the best part is there newest pop exhaust add on. IF you are catless, you shoot flames.
I have the evolve exhaust system plus the BPM stg 2 tune and it is delightful!
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      06-15-2014, 02:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FogCityM3 View Post
Have and logged both ESS and BPM tunes using Dash Dyno and the BT Tool on open roads. Of the 3 choices you presented, would choose ESS (is a good tune and I've logged it extensively), but seriously consider the BPM tune. Peak power of both tunes is similar (and think they are both very safe in terms of A/F and timing advance and other parameters that I've logged but won't go into), but I prefer the BPM servo settings, throttle response, and I've had smoother cold starts for the mods that I run. Also for MTs, the "launch control" feature is really cool.

Was reading something from a european BMW tuner/consultant to tuners and basically what he said was that there is really only one theoretically proper A/F ratio and therefore one optimal ignition and fuel map for any car within reasonable limits of safety. If the tuners know what they're doing, power production should be similar across tuners.

That's why for me, it was the characteristics and features that made me choose to run one over the other.
Totally agree. ESS has a long experience.

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      06-15-2014, 09:36 AM   #12
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Avoid all tunings. No tuning is best for long term reliability. There are dozen of senior expert engineers at BMW M who know one subsystem of the engine, they can fully simulate and know what is safe. This can never be replaced by a tuner shop who hacks into a software code and then tweak the parameters on a dyno to get the best hp/tq while monitoring engine knock. There is a massively huge gap between BMW engineering and tuners.
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      06-15-2014, 09:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsweet View Post
Avoid all tunings. No tuning is best for long term reliability. There are dozen of senior expert engineers at BMW M who know one subsystem of the engine, they can fully simulate and know what is safe. This can never be replaced by a tuner shop who hacks into a software code and then tweak the parameters on a dyno to get the best hp/tq while monitoring engine knock. There is a massively huge gap between BMW engineering and tuners.
BOOM! And from the way you hear people talk, sometimes they make it sound like the tuners are the smarter ones.

That's one of the reasons for my curiosity with the data analysis. Although I will admit I'm willing to have my car tuned because I'm willing to accept the risks as I understand them.
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      06-15-2014, 02:57 PM   #14
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They should have a subsection for tunes. It's very simple, OP is in Chicago, so go to a meet and I'm sure you can find a few people with different tunes and ask for a ride. The power differences I'm sure are minimal, it's the "feel" of the power delivery and drive-ability. RG I appreciate all of your extensive research you have done for the community, would it really be THAT difficult for you to take my suggestion to compare the tunes?!?!?!? There have been quite a few people who have switched from one vendor to another and been happy with the results. Why is it so hard to believe multiple people(meaning people that had tune A and switched to B)! I'm not even going to get into what tune I have because I will be labeled a fanboy. One last point RG, the poster who talk about data logging did not once say or insinuate that BPM made an "innovation" with launch control. He simple said he liked that aspect of the tune!
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      06-15-2014, 03:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip3's View Post
They should have a subsection for tunes. It's very simple, OP is in Chicago, so go to a meet and I'm sure you can find a few people with different tunes and ask for a ride. The power differences I'm sure are minimal, it's the "feel" of the power delivery and drive-ability. RG I appreciate all of your extensive research you have done for the community, would it really be THAT difficult for you to take my suggestion to compare the tunes?!?!?!? There have been quite a few people who have switched from one vendor to another and been happy with the results. Why is it so hard to believe multiple people(meaning people that had tune A and switched to B)! I'm not even going to get into what tune I have because I will be labeled a fanboy. One last point RG, the poster who talk about data logging did not once say or insinuate that BPM made an "innovation" with launch control. He simple said he liked that aspect of the tune!
Thanks for the input, there is a meet coming up on August that I cant wait to come and one of the things im looking forward to the most is getting to talk to a few people with different tunes to see how their cars feel different. Like I said all of the software tunes claim similar power gain, about 10-12, which is of course minimal compared to the stock hp of the m3, sop the feel of the car is my biggest interest in considering a tune
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      06-15-2014, 07:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsweet View Post
Avoid all tunings. No tuning is best for long term reliability. There are dozen of senior expert engineers at BMW M who know one subsystem of the engine, they can fully simulate and know what is safe. This can never be replaced by a tuner shop who hacks into a software code and then tweak the parameters on a dyno to get the best hp/tq while monitoring engine knock. There is a massively huge gap between BMW engineering and tuners.
Not saying you are wrong, but couldn't that be said for any after-market part? If that is the line of thinking, why would anyone change their suspension, exhaust, wheels, tires, etc?
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      06-15-2014, 07:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
Not saying you are wrong, but couldn't that be said for any after-market part? If that is the line of thinking, why would anyone change their suspension, exhaust, wheels, tires, etc?
Concur
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      06-15-2014, 07:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
Not saying you are wrong, but couldn't that be said for any after-market part? If that is the line of thinking, why would anyone change their suspension, exhaust, wheels, tires, etc?
Big difference between mechanical mods, (exhaust, tires, wheels, brakes) and ECU mods (software/electronics based) To be fair BMW ECUs are notoriously difficult to crack and tune correctly. So I can see the argument for leaving this stock. I have.
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      06-15-2014, 08:21 PM   #19
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I think you have me confused with somebody else. I don't care what tune you run, and you don't see me involved with these silly tuner threads either. But I am interested when somebody says they've data logged multiple tunes and has the expertise to analyze the data to know hat one of them is "spot on." That really does have my interest because I'm just as interested in learning from others as I am in helping others.
I lumped you in with the haters, my apologies.


Come on man, let's be real here. When comparing tunes people don't talk about all the similarities when they're in the middle of making a product recommendation; instead they talk about the differences and what sets one apart from the other. If that's not what he was doing, maybe he can clarify.[/quote]
You may have a point, I will defer to FogcityM3

As for telling the difference between tunes, I am only going by what personal friends have told me after driving my car(they had a competitors tune) and of course members on this board posting similar impressions after "upgrading".
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      06-16-2014, 06:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizer View Post
Big difference between mechanical mods, (exhaust, tires, wheels, brakes) and ECU mods (software/electronics based) To be fair BMW ECUs are notoriously difficult to crack and tune correctly. So I can see the argument for leaving this stock. I have.
Perhaps. But a company like Dinan offers a warranty on their tune which matches the BMW factory warranty. If it was that dangerous to run a tune dont you think they would be much less inclined to offer this?

Also, as far as I know, out of the hundreds if not thousands of members on this site with their cars tuned I dont recall a single engine failure directly related to a tune Just trying to play devils advocate here...
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      06-16-2014, 10:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
Perhaps. But a company like Dinan offers a warranty on their tune which matches the BMW factory warranty. If it was that dangerous to run a tune dont you think they would be much less inclined to offer this?

Also, as far as I know, out of the hundreds if not thousands of members on this site with their cars tuned I dont recall a single engine failure directly related to a tune Just trying to play devils advocate here...
Steve Dinan said on interview that the % safety margin that BMW overdesigns their cars parts is 20% for M cars, he claims they've seen this number model after model. This is for a 120kmiles to failure criteria ( All those stage 2-3 SC's M3 with stock internals or inadequately upgraded are reducing their lifetime).

Well first off, some of us intend to keep their cars longer than that. 120k isn't high. Second Dinan sees their modding philsophy as close to bmw factory as possible but their experience is predominantly from practical trial and error which never has the clearvoyance of design engineering all encompassing simulations at today's computing tools power. I am not talking about tuning optimisation software who concern themselves with performance gain versus engine knock and exhaust sensor data but engine full finite elements 3D mechanical and thermodynamical simulations on professional workstation computers.

An ECU tune is what 8-10 hp versus +20% would be +82 hp. So it may seem reasonnably safe. But that statement is only backed by a 50k warranty. Better than nothing. And that is with the most established name in BMW tuning. Then there is half dozen of other names that offers not much if any warranty.

Last edited by sunsweet; 06-16-2014 at 10:31 PM.
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      06-17-2014, 12:25 AM   #22
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A stock tune isn't just conservative in terms of max HP, it is also more weighted toward reduced exhaust emissions than a performance tune would be. Often a manufacturer tuning for emissions sacrifices some driveability and throttle response; and in some cases the effects are fairly significant. OTOH, an aftermarket tuner who has little or no concern for exhaust emissions (and to some extent, fuel economy) can throw out all the compromises and tweak the tuning parameters exclusively for engine performance/driveability.

Even further, once the vehicle has been modified to remove its exhaust catalysts there is even more freedom to fatten up fuel:air mixtures in certain conditions for better throttle response while also producing lower cylinder temps than a lean-burning setup, a plus for engines that are frequently under high loads. Bottom line is if you take away restrictions based on emissions and fuel economy, you can generally find more performance than the factory team of engineers were allowed to release in their very regulated tuning environment. And once you've driven with that uncompromised tune, I think most guys here would agree they wouldn't want to go back to stock!
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