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Old 24th April 2008, 06:43   #1
andrewsherman
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Another ESS ECU Tune: Thoughts and Impressions

Until recently, I didn't have much interest in software. However, after hearing all of the good reports on ESS's tune and having gone many months without blowing any coin on mods, I was starting to get the itch. Well the stars aligned and my wife went to Florida for the week with the kids, leaving me with an extra car and the perfect opportunity to send my ECU out.

First, let me start by saying kudos to ESS and Mike. These guys run a truly first class shop when it comes to customer service. I FedEx'ed my ECU out Monday morning for Tuesday delivery, they programmed it on Tuesday and sent it back out Tueasday afternoon. I had it by mid-morning today (Wednesday). Now that is what I call turnaround time! I think Mike said they managed to process 6 or 7 ECUs yesterday. Throughout the process (from a few weeks ago when I started talking to Mike about this) communication has been amazing.

Now, for my impressions:

Shifting: The software makes an amazing difference. It is absloutely night and day. My car shifts so smoothly now. This alone is well worth the price of the software.

Torque Management: All I can say is wow. The low end responsiveness is so much better. That bog down lag when you hit the gas in first gear is completely gone. The car pulls so nicely accross teh range -- even at low RPMS.

Shifting: The car shifts great. Gone is that SMG thump, particularly on downshifts.

Exhaust Note: I am not sure I hear any difference as others have reported. Certainly no noticable difference at idle. Maybe a little more F1ish under load, but that could just be the power of suggestion. ESS does not represent any change in exhaust note and I wasn't looking for one, but I thought I would report on it since others seemed to notice it.

Shifting: Have I mentioned how much smoother the shifts are?

Redline Increase: I chose the 8400 limit (there is an 8500 limit at your own risk which I was not interested in) and the extra 200 RPM is a noticable benefit.

Shifting: Uhm .

HUD Display: With the increase in the rev limiter, the HUD has been adjusted so that there is a larger yellow/orange range (it encroaches into what was the red range -- I don't think the green range is affected). Having this broader area makes it much easier to get the shifts just right. This is how it should be set up stock from BMW. I can't understand why you need a broad red zone that the car cannot enter anyway. I did notice that the adjustable band around the dashboard tach has not been adjusted, but I never use that when running hard anyway.

Shifting: I should probably point out what a remarkable difference there is in the SMG. I noticed this from moment one while the car was warming up.

Butt Dyno; Mine is very inaccurate. Some days my car feels lighting quick and other days not so much. But the car certainly feels noticably faster to me. Even if it isn't in actuality, it feels that way and I am more concerned about my visceral enjoyment that the occasion beat down of the competition.

A couple of things to point out. When I first started the car after re-installing the ECU, I got the High Battery Drain warning. I stopped and re-started the car and it cleared. I assume this is from the car sitting without the ECU for 3 days. It has not come back

I took the car for about a 20 minute ride, made a quick stop and then another short ride and all was fine. When I got back in the car about 45 minuted later and started it up, my idle dropped to below 500 RPM and the car seemed like it was going to stall. Turned it off and started it again and it was fine. The same thing happened the next time and it cleared after a few moments (I did not re-start it that time). I hope this is just a matter of the ECU adjusting.

Anyway, whenever a buy any product, I evaluate it based on quality, value and customer service. So far, this gets 5 stars accross the board. I am addding ESS (right alongsinde of RPI) as my list of "vendors I would look to business with again soon"!
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Old 24th April 2008, 07:15   #2
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Congratz on the software. The car definately feels different with the software. It makes the car THAT much more enjoyable to drive.
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Old 24th April 2008, 07:17   #3
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Nice......GREAT write up...thanks

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Old 24th April 2008, 07:18   #4
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how hard was it to remove/re-imstall the ecu? And what worries if any do you have if you take your car in for service in terms of them voiding ur warranty if they find the software installed? That's the only thing holding me back from getting this mod...

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Old 24th April 2008, 07:55   #5
Mike@ESSTuning
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Thank you for the write up Andrew. It was truly a pleasure doing business with you as well.

The car's initial adaptation is 200-400 miles. During that time the car will change parameters around to keep the engine running optimally. It will be fully adaptated a bit past 1000 miles. Make sure to report back then, the car will become even more faster and smoother the more you drive it.

Also, it is totally normal for a light to come on with errors on your first start. If you turn the vehicle on with the ECU out of the car, the first start will actually display every error in your instrument cluster one by one. This is completely normal and is just the car pairing up to all of the modules again.


Anyway, I am really happy you are enjoying the software. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

Mike
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Old 24th April 2008, 07:59   #6
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congratas. Andrew where the ecu is located , and how much the software cost. thanks.
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Old 24th April 2008, 08:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BD 997 View Post
how hard was it to remove/re-imstall the ecu? And what worries if any do you have if you take your car in for service in terms of them voiding ur warranty if they find the software installed? That's the only thing holding me back from getting this mod...
It's very easy to remove it and reinstall it, even with limited mechanical skill. We also provide step by step instructions in .pdf format. As far as the warranty issue, the software is transparent and the dealers don't have the equipment to see if the software has been changed. They can however, overwrite the software if there is an update available from BMW.
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Old 24th April 2008, 08:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@ESSTuning View Post
It's very easy to remove it and reinstall it, even with limited mechanical skill. We also provide step by step instructions in .pdf format. As far as the warranty issue, the software is transparent and the dealers don't have the equipment to see if the software has been changed. They can however, overwrite the software if there is an update available from BMW.
So this Software will not void the BMW warranty?
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Old 24th April 2008, 09:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoKeNaSe View Post
So this Software will not void the BMW warranty?
The warranty question is not necessarily a tough question, but itís not an easy answer. Technically doing anything to your car can void warranty on that part and parts that are related to it. However, it is not possible for our ECU tuning to cause failure to any BMW component. Our tune is dyno, street, and track proven. You will 100% have a measurable increase in many areas. I have taken my E60 M5 many times to my dealer for issues (and they are not mod friendly), and I never had an issue of them blaming failure of a component on modified software. Plus, the dealers canít tell you have modified software anyway.
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Old 24th April 2008, 09:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@ESSTuning View Post
The warranty question is not necessarily a tough question, but itís not an easy answer. Technically doing anything to your car can void warranty on that part and parts that are related to it. However, it is not possible for our ECU tuning to cause failure to any BMW component. Our tune is dyno, street, and track proven. You will 100% have a measurable increase in many areas. I have taken my E60 M5 many times to my dealer for issues (and they are not mod friendly), and I never had an issue of them blaming failure of a component on modified software. Plus, the dealers canít tell you have modified software anyway. :p>:p>
But they must see that this rev limiter goes up to 8400rpm
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