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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > N55 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > OBD Flash Tune From Active Autowerke **No ECU REMOVAL REQUIRED**
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      02-17-2018, 11:28 AM   #111
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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 tune...no 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 map...my 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 now...my F30 already was my fastest car to date...now 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 features...as well as flexfuel adapter...in 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!
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      02-17-2018, 02:40 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jh_f30 View Post
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 tune...no 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 map...my 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 now...my F30 already was my fastest car to date...now 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 features...as well as flexfuel adapter...in 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!
Great review! I have no bolt on's but In anxious to see how the tune only will boost stock performance.
Can't wait to see what happens when you add a JB4. Will be interesting to see your dyno numbers as well.
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      02-17-2018, 05:22 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by torkles View Post
you put down 305 bone stock on a 435 rwd? that's pretty stout.
My apologies for a flaky memory from a year ago, I didn't make 305 stock but here is all of the info so far and up to date as of today

May 2017 - Bone stock no mods, all 4th gear
max power 294.45 max torque 315.75
max power 298.34 max torque 303.16
max power 287.54 max torque 302.73

Graphs were UGLY, not smooth at all

Feb 2018 - CP, FMIC, Intake, exhaust, Active 8, Ignition Projects coil packs.
max power 314.39 max torque 303.15 3rd gear
max power 327.09 max torque 332.93 4th gear
max power 316.20 max torque 310.79 4th gear

Definitely showing some knock in the graphs, which I was told/diagnosed as the map may be a little too aggressive for 92 octane. Power curves though are substantially smoother though than a year ago. Sounded great and really smooth through the runs.

Not bad though showing basically a jump of 30 in both HP and torque.

Next will be - same CP, FMIC, Intake, exhaust, coil packs, ECU Tune (and I hope high flow catted DP)
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      02-17-2018, 07:10 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jh_f30 View Post
I finally got around to flashing my AA tune last night. Here's a brief overview of the process:

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'm confused... Karl told me the burble options are not developed yet... Maybe for N55 but not for N20 then....
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      02-17-2018, 08:08 PM   #115
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You are making 320 on a fbo car? Does that seem right ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raichean View Post
My apologies for a flaky memory from a year ago, I didn't make 305 stock but here is all of the info so far and up to date as of today

May 2017 - Bone stock no mods, all 4th gear
max power 294.45 max torque 315.75
max power 298.34 max torque 303.16
max power 287.54 max torque 302.73

Graphs were UGLY, not smooth at all

Feb 2018 - CP, FMIC, Intake, exhaust, Active 8, Ignition Projects coil packs.
max power 314.39 max torque 303.15 3rd gear
max power 327.09 max torque 332.93 4th gear
max power 316.20 max torque 310.79 4th gear

Definitely showing some knock in the graphs, which I was told/diagnosed as the map may be a little too aggressive for 92 octane. Power curves though are substantially smoother though than a year ago. Sounded great and really smooth through the runs.

Not bad though showing basically a jump of 30 in both HP and torque.

Next will be - same CP, FMIC, Intake, exhaust, coil packs, ECU Tune (and I hope high flow catted DP)
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      02-17-2018, 08:08 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raichean View Post
My apologies for a flaky memory from a year ago, I didn't make 305 stock but here is all of the info so far and up to date as of today

May 2017 - Bone stock no mods, all 4th gear
max power 294.45 max torque 315.75
max power 298.34 max torque 303.16
max power 287.54 max torque 302.73

Graphs were UGLY, not smooth at all

Feb 2018 - CP, FMIC, Intake, exhaust, Active 8, Ignition Projects coil packs.
max power 314.39 max torque 303.15 3rd gear
max power 327.09 max torque 332.93 4th gear
max power 316.20 max torque 310.79 4th gear

Definitely showing some knock in the graphs, which I was told/diagnosed as the map may be a little too aggressive for 92 octane. Power curves though are substantially smoother though than a year ago. Sounded great and really smooth through the runs.

Not bad though showing basically a jump of 30 in both HP and torque.

Next will be - same CP, FMIC, Intake, exhaust, coil packs, ECU Tune (and I hope high flow catted DP)
The tune for the Active 8 was too aggressive for 92 octane? I would imagine the Flash will perhaps work better. I hope!Still conservative but respectable numbers.
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Last edited by ceedawg; 02-17-2018 at 08:38 PM..
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      02-17-2018, 08:14 PM   #117
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Btw turning the light off for dp doesn't do anything besides turning a light off. Unless this tune is different from the others
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      02-18-2018, 02:07 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceedawg View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by raichean View Post
My apologies for a flaky memory from a year ago, I didn't make 305 stock but here is all of the info so far and up to date as of today

May 2017 - Bone stock no mods, all 4th gear
max power 294.45 max torque 315.75
max power 298.34 max torque 303.16
max power 287.54 max torque 302.73

Graphs were UGLY, not smooth at all

Feb 2018 - CP, FMIC, Intake, exhaust, Active 8, Ignition Projects coil packs.
max power 314.39 max torque 303.15 3rd gear
max power 327.09 max torque 332.93 4th gear
max power 316.20 max torque 310.79 4th gear

Definitely showing some knock in the graphs, which I was told/diagnosed as the map may be a little too aggressive for 92 octane. Power curves though are substantially smoother though than a year ago. Sounded great and really smooth through the runs.

Not bad though showing basically a jump of 30 in both HP and torque.

Next will be - same CP, FMIC, Intake, exhaust, coil packs, ECU Tune (and I hope high flow catted DP)
The tune for the Active 8 was too aggressive for 92 octane? I would imagine the Flash will perhaps work better. I hope!Still conservative but respectable numbers.
they thought that maybe the Active 8 is looking for 93 octane like most of the country where we have 92 here in WA. They also felt I had an easy 15hp more without the dip for knock.

This is straight pump 92, no e85 or race gas. I will keep tweaking it further plus looking forward to the flash tune!
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      02-18-2018, 08:45 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raichean View Post
they thought that maybe the Active 8 is looking for 93 octane like most of the country where we have 92 here in WA. They also felt I had an easy 15hp more without the dip for knock.

This is straight pump 92, no e85 or race gas. I will keep tweaking it further plus looking forward to the flash tune!
Yep I can agree,you'd probably realize more Hp with your setup on 93 octane. Once she knocks the DME will happily pull back your timing killing your hp/tq which I am sure you know. Still anxious to hear your findings with AA tune standing by
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      02-18-2018, 12:48 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matty088 View Post
Btw turning the light off for dp doesn't do anything besides turning a light off. Unless this tune is different from the others
You are correct. Turning the light off turns the light off. I don't know about the other tunes, are there any that turn the light off without turning the light off?
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      02-18-2018, 01:10 PM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jh_f30 View Post
You are correct. Turning the light off turns the light off. I don't know about the other tunes, are there any that turn the light off without turning the light off?
I was under the impression that 'Turning the light off' was just that - it turns the CEL light Off on the dash, but does nothing for allowing O2 sensor readiness in order to pass emissions OBD2 plug in test?

How do you pass emissions test in Cali with catless DP?

I was told that here in PA, with catless DP, even if light was turned off - I would not pass the test as O2 sensors would not show ready

Which is why I went with catted FabSpeed DP - I have not had a problem passing emissions with this DP & I have nothing turning anything off - it passes with DP & O2 sensors installed
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      02-18-2018, 02:04 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1QuikWS6 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jh_f30 View Post
You are correct. Turning the light off turns the light off. I don't know about the other tunes, are there any that turn the light off without turning the light off?
I was under the impression that 'Turning the light off' was just that - it turns the CEL light Off on the dash, but does nothing for allowing O2 sensor readiness in order to pass emissions OBD2 plug in test?

How do you pass emissions test in Cali with catless DP?

I was told that here in PA, with catless DP, even if light was turned off - I would not pass the test as O2 sensors would not show ready

Which is why I went with catted FabSpeed DP - I have not had a problem passing emissions with this DP & I have nothing turning anything off - it passes with DP & O2 sensors installed
Me too!
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      02-18-2018, 04:37 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1QuikWS6 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jh_f30 View Post
You are correct. Turning the light off turns the light off. I don't know about the other tunes, are there any that turn the light off without turning the light off?
I was under the impression that 'Turning the light off' was just that - it turns the CEL light Off on the dash, but does nothing for allowing O2 sensor readiness in order to pass emissions OBD2 plug in test?

How do you pass emissions test in Cali with catless DP?

I was told that here in PA, with catless DP, even if light was turned off - I would not pass the test as O2 sensors would not show ready

Which is why I went with catted FabSpeed DP - I have not had a problem passing emissions with this DP & I have nothing turning anything off - it passes with DP & O2 sensors installed
I've only had my car for about a year now, so I haven't had to smog it yet. You're right that, as it sits, I likely won't pass smog, but I have a few months before my registration is up and if I need a smog test this year, I'll figure it out when the time comes. It's a MY2013, so as I understand it, I wouldn't have to smog it until 2019. Worst case scenario is that I'd have to swap my stock dp back on once every 2 years, which isn't the end of the world.

My original comment on clearing the cel was just that I no longer have it staring me in the face every time I'm behind the wheel; nothing more, nothing less.
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      02-18-2018, 05:02 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jh_f30 View Post
You are correct. Turning the light off turns the light off. I don't know about the other tunes, are there any that turn the light off without turning the light off?
Point is you can't pass emissions.
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      02-18-2018, 05:03 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1QuikWS6 View Post
I was under the impression that 'Turning the light off' was just that - it turns the CEL light Off on the dash, but does nothing for allowing O2 sensor readiness in order to pass emissions OBD2 plug in test?
Correct. And ThSts the point. Everyone fussing over turning the light off button. They are confused.
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      02-18-2018, 05:05 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1QuikWS6 View Post

Which is why I went with catted FabSpeed DP - I have not had a problem passing emissions with this DP & I have nothing turning anything off - it passes with DP & O2 sensors installed
You paid 1300 for that piece?
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      02-18-2018, 10:57 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matty088 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1QuikWS6 View Post

Which is why I went with catted FabSpeed DP - I have not had a problem passing emissions with this DP & I have nothing turning anything off - it passes with DP & O2 sensors installed
You paid 1300 for that piece?
1300 seems a lot where do you see that pricing? I got mine with a package deal from Mike at XPH
Fabspeed catted dp
ER comp. intercooler
ER Charge pipe
JB4 + Bluetooth $2800 total shipped.
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      02-19-2018, 06:21 AM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matty088 View Post
You paid 1300 for that piece?
Was $1070 shipped direct from FabSpeed - I got a deal when it was on sale

They are not in stock on shelf though, they are made to order - so wait time was roughly 5 weeks till it arrived


I'm not gonna swap DP's back & forth every year at emissions time

There's a new AA Catted DP being released next month that supposedly has same hi flow cat element & is also guaranteed to not throw CEL & pass emissions for less $$ - so that is always an option
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      02-19-2018, 06:57 AM   #129
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Being that he is MY2013, if he is PWG then he can pass emissions with the Area 74/CATsim module, same as the VRSF DP fix module. I'm hoping there is a solution for EWG by September 2019, when I will have to get emissions testing done.


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Originally Posted by matty088 View Post
Point is you can't pass emissions.
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      02-19-2018, 02:18 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matty088 View Post
You paid 1300 for that piece?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1QuikWS6 View Post
Was $1070 shipped direct from FabSpeed - I got a deal when it was on sale

There's a new AA Catted DP being released next month that supposedly has same hi flow cat element & is also guaranteed to not throw CEL & pass emissions for less $$ - so that is always an option
Hello,
Keep in mind HJS raised their price on cats which also caused the price of the Fabspeed downpipe to go up.

New retail price is $1395, we offer deals on this downpipe but there is no way you can get close to $1050 after the price increase
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      02-19-2018, 03:05 PM   #131
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Exactly ^

It's an expensive but great option

The alternative is get a custom tune.
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      02-19-2018, 03:21 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike@x-ph.com View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by matty088 View Post
You paid 1300 for that piece?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1QuikWS6 View Post
Was $1070 shipped direct from FabSpeed - I got a deal when it was on sale

There's a new AA Catted DP being released next month that supposedly has same hi flow cat element & is also guaranteed to not throw CEL & pass emissions for less $$ - so that is always an option
Hello,
Keep in mind HJS raised their price on cats which also caused the price of the Fabspeed downpipe to go up.

New retail price is $1395, we offer deals on this downpipe but there is no way you can get close to $1050 after the price increase
Oh wow. I'm glad I got mine when I did!
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