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      02-17-2016, 10:39 PM   #1
spuntyb
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Thought I would make a dedicated thread after my install question (and resolution) posted here:
http://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...php?p=19406472

-----------------
Installation - 9/10
-----------------

Tools needed: socket wrench, small, long-ish flathead screwdriver, and ideally a small metal pick, possibly a flashlight.

QR code included on the bill of sale that you can scan that takes you to the most up to date instructions. Nice touch. They were simple and easy to follow, even if you have only a basic understanding of where components are in the engine bay. The harnesses are clearly marked and are the same type and quality as the OEM harnesses. They snap reassuringly in place and then have plastic clips that lock them in place. The nice thing is that the little clips are big enough to get to with just a fingernail. Unclip and the harness comes out easy. Clip it in and the harness is locked. Simple and well designed.

The actual box itself is weatherproof and is high quality plastic with a metal base that you use to attach it to the body frame with an OEM bolt already in place. Very nice.

To get to each harness, you only need to remove two cowls in the engine bay. The passenger side cowl below the wiper, covering the ECU box and battery terminal (This is where you will mount the actual piggyback box with the OEM bolt), and the main engine cover. Socket wrench 3 bolts to get the cowl off, then pops out. Engine cover just lifts straight up and then you pull out towards you. No bolts. Once out, you'll see how it just slides back in place in the rear with two plastic clips and pops back onto small posts around the front. Easy. Had them both off having never done it on this model in about 2 minutes.

Taking the engine cover off allows much easier access to all the harnesses and allows you to decide how to route all the cable once installed so they are away from hot and moving parts. Disconnecting each harness involves using a small flathead screwdriver to shimmy the locking clip while you separate the harness ends. Very easy, even for me with sausage fingers. EXCEPT FOR THE CAMSHAFT SENSOR. It's awkward and in a tight space, between the intake and motor. Getting it separated is easier if you have a small metal pick or flathead screwdriver. Getting the piggyback harness in there is a different story, as the female end of the OEM sensor is aimed down. You have to dangle the piggyback harness down there and somehow magically get it to pop into the female sensor by pulling up on it. Took me 20-30 minutes. As mentioned in my thread above, it's tough to get this harness to seat properly, and might be best accomplished by first taking the intake apart. I reached out to AA and even they said that harness is a PITA to get on.

Once everything is connected, you connect a bridge to the harnesses and start the car to check for errors. Assuming you have none, you turn the car off, let it sit 5 minutes, then remove the bridge and attach the harness to the actual tuning box, which, as mentioned above, you bolt to the engine bay just above the ECU box. Then you use the included zip ties to lock down the harness, as directed in the instructions.

Make sure your cables are routed properly, as suggested in the instructions, replace engine cover, replace cowl, and you're done.

Took me an hour, but I was doing this in the dark out on the street here in Manhattan with a small flashlight resting on a microfiber towel on the intake box. Not ideal. I consider that a dry run, and now I could take it down and put it back on in probably 20 minutes.

Would give it a 10/10 if not for that damn camshaft sensor. Not AA's fault though.


--------------------
Performance - 10/10
--------------------

Only about 50 miles driven so far, city and highway. My car is an N20 running 93 octane, map 6 by default. The first 30 miles I only noticed improvement in Sport. I assumed it would take the ECU some time to adjust and I was right. After those first 20-30 miles or so, Comfort became more like Sport. It was also a little jerky sometimes those first few miles while it was learning the new map. Nothing crazy, but the revs bounced around a little sometimes while the ECU got it's sea legs. That's completely gone now. You know how we all want to be able to have our cars start in Sport mode? Not necessary now. It's too early to really talk about mileage, plus I'm more of a smiles per gallon type of guy anyways, but I imagine it won't change a whole lot, if any.

That said, this engine completely WOKE UP with this tune. Just the kick in the pants this motor needs. It runs so much smoother now and feels like it has a proper set of balls. It pulls more throughout the rev range and just feels like it has a lot more steam before it plans to run out. My wife was worried it would make me a more aggressive driver, but I already had a lead foot and prefer to carve up traffic whenever I can. I explained that it hasn't changed the way I drive, but that it simply facilitates my driving style. I don't drive faster or more aggressively, it just makes doing those things easier. Like the N55 does (which this car really needs, but I guess BMWNA feels otherwise). It's bliss so far.

I'll try out some more driving modes with and without the shifter paddles, Eco Pro, different maps, etc., but for now, instead of defaulting to Sport for most of my driving, I can just leave it in Comfort. If anything, it just makes me yearn for warmer weather and summer tires.

Very happy so far, and will hopefully have more positive updates in the future.

Shout out to Top Gear Solutions for fulfilling my order, and to Active Autowerke for a great product, and excellent customer service. And to Bimmerpost.
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      02-18-2016, 04:03 PM   #2
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Glad you are happy with your tune

Thank you for the review
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      02-19-2016, 04:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike@x-ph.com
Glad you are happy with your tune

Thank you for the review
My pleasure. PM sent your way, btw.

Thanks!
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      02-21-2016, 05:29 PM   #4
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This review has raised one more question in my mind w.r.t. piggy-back tunes. spuntyb said it took a few tens of miles before the ECU adapted to the tune. Is this typical for a piggy-back tune? Does it also take the same for the ECU to adapt BACK AGAIN when the piggy-back is removed? (in other words, don't wait until you're in the dealer's parking lot to remove it before a service!) Is there any long-term issue from frequent installs and removals?
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      02-22-2016, 02:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simoneves View Post
This review has raised one more question in my mind w.r.t. piggy-back tunes. spuntyb said it took a few tens of miles before the ECU adapted to the tune. Is this typical for a piggy-back tune? Does it also take the same for the ECU to adapt BACK AGAIN when the piggy-back is removed? (in other words, don't wait until you're in the dealer's parking lot to remove it before a service!) Is there any long-term issue from frequent installs and removals?
the adaptation process is only needed when installing the tune
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      02-22-2016, 02:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike@x-ph.com View Post
the adaptation process is only needed when installing the tune
Interesting. I wonder why. But OK...
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      02-22-2016, 06:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simoneves View Post
Interesting. I wonder why. But OK...
Thank you for your order, please let us know what you think of the tune once you get some time to test it
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      02-23-2016, 09:58 AM   #8
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Great review for Active8! another one
jamoka3 and Stubok also have it since last year
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      02-23-2016, 05:59 PM   #9
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A trick to make it a lot easier to get the cam sensor is to pull the airbox out. It really only takes a couple extra minutes and then you have full access to the cam sensor.
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      02-23-2016, 09:21 PM   #10
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I had a look at that, but although I could see how to undo the pipes, I couldn't work out how to get it off the two big rubber grommets (center and right). Is that it, other than the fragile vacuum pipe (couldn't see where that was, but hopefully revealed when lifted up).
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      02-23-2016, 09:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippydo
A trick to make it a lot easier to get the cam sensor is to pull the airbox out. It really only takes a couple extra minutes and then you have full access to the cam sensor.
Agreed.

Btw, I'm realizing this thread needs more pictures. I'll snap some next time I'm in there during daylight hours.
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      02-24-2016, 01:41 PM   #12
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Crashnbrn5 should see how Active8 328 does vs stock 335 GT

jamoka3 Aatish drag-strip season is here
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      02-24-2016, 02:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spuntyb View Post
Btw, I'm realizing this thread needs more pictures. I'll snap some next time I'm in there during daylight hours.
Cheers, mate. I know you said look on-line for the instructions for the Injen, but I couldn't find anything beyond a post on here offering additional information (basically, be careful because the vacuum pipe is really fragile!) but without any reference back to the fundamentals.

I'm guessing that the big grommets just pull out (the front/center one does have an arrow on it, which implies that it pushes sideways to release) but I was just experimenting so didn't want to disassemble something I didn't have to at that point. Also, I have small hands (and my kid's are even smaller) so I think I'll be able to get to the cam sensor thing without needing to touch the airbox anyway, but if taking the airbox out is easy then why struggle.
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      02-24-2016, 03:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBNYC View Post
Crashnbrn5 should see how Active8 328 does vs stock 335 GT

jamoka3 Aatish drag-strip season is here
Very nice to hear, yea it sounds like a good idea
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      02-24-2016, 07:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBNYC View Post
Crashnbrn5 should see how Active8 328 does vs stock 335 GT

jamoka3 Aatish drag-strip season is here
Just give me the word.
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      03-01-2016, 09:22 PM   #16
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My AA8 apparently finally arrived today. Shame that my smaller-handed family members are both off to the UK for ten days tomorrow, and that the Bay Area is about to get another week of rain...
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