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      02-17-2018, 11:28 AM   #111
Lieutenant Colonel
jh_f30's Avatar

Drives: 2013 335i Sportline Auto RWD
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Bay Area, CA

iTrader: (2)

I finally got around to flashing my AA tune last night. Here's a brief overview of the process:

Received the Simon3 cable that I ordered through Mike at X-PH and was drop shipped directly from Active Autowerke. After downloading the software onto my laptop and plugging into my OBD port, I ran the program, only to encounter a communication issue. I emailed Andrew at AA and he sent a new link within a day. Downloaded the fix and re-ran it with no issues.

Followed all of AA's instructions for saving the stock map and sent it along to them with info on my car/mods. In about a day, I received an email with a map for my original specs and a map tuned to my mods/options and an additional PDF to the one on their site for flashing instructions. Make sure you read both!

Tuned map: 91 octane (CA...), burble, cold start delete, cat delete

I originally hadn't asked for the burble tune and was a little concerned that it was included as this car is my daily driver, and vids I've seen of other burble tunes just sound ridiculous to me, and not in a good way (just my personal opinion) and I didn't want my daily sounding that aggressive. I emailed Karl, the technical director who sent me the files, asking about the burble and he said it can be aggressive but that it can vary and that he'd be more than willing to sent me a map without the burble option on Monday. Since I have a VRSF catless DP, the cold start and cat delete were included.

I got the files mid-day yesterday while I was at work. I was so anxious to see what kind of magic the tune would do that as soon as I was done, I decided to screw it and just do the flash in my work parking lot.

I didn't have an outlet to plug my battery charger up to but in my impatience, decided to roll the dice and forego it. Start to finish, it took probably around 10 minutes. Now, this is my first JB4 or other piggyback, and obviously my first flash tune. So initially all the warning indicators going off kinda freaked me out, but I trusted in the process and kept her goin.

Right off the bat, cold start delete is pretty sweet. My neighbors will appreciate it in the mornings. The catless dp cold start is pretty frickin loud, so when I started my car post-tune, I was amazed at how "civil" it sounded. I blipped the throttle and definitely noticed a difference in response/sound, however, I didn't get the crazy backfires/pops that I was worried about with the burble tune being included. Also, it cleared my CEL that I'd been driving with since about a day after I installed my DP. So far, so good!

The drive home (37 miles, mostly CA highway) was inspiring! Midrange pull is absolutely improved. 8th gear pulls at 65+ feels like it pulls harder than 7th gear did on my stock tune. Now, I don't have any experience with JB4 to compare power delivery to, but from what I've read here, piggybacks have the potential to be a little jerky. None of that whatsoever with this flash. Everything was smooth and strong. I set my sport display on, just for shits and giggles and noticed the torque gauge maxed out (320lb/ft) at about 2/3 throttle. I've never dyno-ed the car, but now I think I might try to schedule a session just to see how much I'm putting down. (if anyone knows of a good Bay Area shop with reasonable rates for dyno sessions, let me know pls!)

One thing to note though...which I think is a little weird given that a burble tune option was included in this overrun burbles actually seem quieter than they did previously. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet. Part of me (the older part) feels like it's more civilized/less obnoxious; the other part of me (the enthusiast) feels like it's less cool.

All in all, I'm super satisfied. Again, I don't have much to compare it to...never driven a tuned N54/N55 or late model M3 before, so in my progression of cars, from MkI GTI, Civic, WRX, E46 330ci, to F30 already was my fastest car to it's even faster. I know my gas mileage is going to take a hit with the random midrange pulls I know I'll be doing.

FMIC upgrade is next on my list, and after that I THINK I'll be done as far as go fast bits are concerned...except maybe a JB4 for boost control and added safety well as flexfuel case I ever want to dabble in some E85 mixes.

Anyways, to wrap it up, the OBD flash tune is super easy and very effective with no need to fiddle with sensor connectors and whatnot as with piggyback tunes. Everything on my car has been DIY-ed thus far, so it's kinda cool to know I'd taken it from stock to where it is now. And of course any questions/feedback will be welcome!
2013 F30 335i RWD ZF Melbourne Red
~Remus Sport Axleback~VRSF Chargepipe~VRSF Catless Downpipe~HR Sport Springs~CF Rear Lip Spoiler~Active Autowerke OBD Flash Tune Stage 2~