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    • Why an M3 tuner shootout will never happen - OE Tuning only tuner to agree to third party shootout


      As many of you know, we attempted to get an M3 tuner shootout going. This is now the second time we have tried and it won't be taking place. Why? Tuners aren't interested in putting their products up against one another in a third party environment. Too large of a risk for them and most tuners prefer to battle it out through marketing on forums, not with real results.

      There have been a lot of accusations flying around as of late. A number of them came from Powerchip as well as a community member known as spdu4ea who took great liberty with posting accusations against OE Tuning all over the place claiming proof of dyno manipulation. The problem is, he had no proof, instead providing what amounted to a somewhat educated guess which is dangerous and misleading. Especially considering he later rescinded stating he wished he titled his thread differently:

      We wonder if he will be as aggressive in sharing that no other tuner would meet OE Tuning head to head on the dyno?

      Powerchip used this opportunity, despite there being no proof and only a series of coincidences on a sample size of 2 graphs that could easily have several other explanations, to market against OE Tuning. It is no secret Powerchip continues to attempt to attack their former tuner who somehow was excellent while he was working for them but for some reason now they claim he is not. Jeremy also somehow was able to tune the car that set the fastest lap at Mfest, first E9X to break 130 mph in the 1/4 mile, and also two cars that took 1st and 2nd place in the Ultimate Heist Vehicle Challenge. This crticism specifically came from Mike Benvo at Powerchip. We have to ask, when is the last time Powerchip did anything of merit, anything at all? No SC tunes, no record setting M3's, nothing but typing.

      What is odd is Mr. Benvo suggested and even asked for a test:

      Well, we proceeded to call Mike@Powerchip and tell him about the tuner shootout. After a few days we heard back from Mike saying someone else from Powerchip would have to handle this. Matt@Powerchip is apparently out of the country so we asked who at Powerchip would be available and Mike simply stated he did not know who was in charge and he would not participate. Well, it would seem when it actually comes down to it, Powerchip will not participate in any independent testing vs. OE Tuning.

      This really leaves us scratching our heads. Why would the only tuner who agrees to an independent dyno comparison with the rules and testing all established by third parties be the one the competition is accusing of manipulation? Why is the only tuner who steps up to the plate the one that supposedly is doing something wrong? Why? Because there is nothing to hide. Powerchip knows they can not compete with their former tuner and therefore will stick to trying to change your mind on forums instead of with results. It's all a shady game people, that is all this is. They don't want a real test to take place, all that would mean is that all the claims would finally be put to the test. By perpetually putting off a real test they can perpetually make their accusations and claims. Brilliant, right?

      We need you to understand the tuning game is dirty, extremely dirty. The competition is fierce and tuners will do just about anything to alter perception and control your mind. They pay big dollars for control of forums, you see it happen all the time and it's one of the reasons BimmerBoost exists. Information that is potentially damaging on big forums with big dollar vendor contracts disappears if the vendor does not like it. They pay for protection, almost like the mafia. They will bribe former customers to get them to switch, they will download competitors files, they will steal tunes, this all takes place on a daily basis. The majority of tunes out there especially for the M3 originate overseas from a single source. If there was nobody working on the inside we wouldn't even get any decent tunes as no one would solve the encryption. There is a source overseas that provides the base tunes for several of the major tuners you are familiar with today but you won't hear them say it. The difference becomes how the tuners each proceed from there. They get the base tools, it's up to them how they are applied. That is where the tuners skill comes in and a shootout on the same car is the perfect way to see who is the best. Things are not how you think they are if you only go by what is posted on certain forums.

      We invited every tuner as stated. We contacted every single one and here is what took place:

      Active Autowerke - Did not bother to respond.

      ESS - Did not bother to respond, no surprise after what happened previously with them backing out at the last minute.

      Eurocharged - Responded, said they did not want to get in the middle of an OE Tuning / Powerchip fight and that is completely understandable.

      Evolve Automotive - Responded and suggested excellent testing procedures which would be applied for all tuners. Evolve stated they would likely not participate due to issues with getting someone they felt they could trust to handle their tune being based in the UK and not in SoCal.

      GIAC - No response, did not respond the first time, and BMW tuning reputation seems to have taken a significant hit.

      MHP - Responded, will participate in track shootout only as they prefer track results.

      OE Tuning - Responded, participating, ready, and waiting.

      Powerchip - Responded, aware, and Mike@Powerchip stated he has no intention of participating with Jeremy@OE Tuning involved.

      Singh - Responded, said they prefer to do rolling runs to prove their tune.

      Turner Motorsport - Responded and stated they do not believe this is in their best interest which we completely understand and agree with. Turner was incredibly gracious and took the time to respond and ask questions. We thank them for their time.

      So, why is a tuner shootout not in a tuners best interest? Because the battle is being waged for your mind on forums, not in the real world. These forums are the primary way potential customers get information. All that would happen in an M3 tuner shootout is that all the claims would be put to the test. There is too much too lose, the risk is too high. No tuner wants to take that risk, well, except for 1 tuner. We heard previous excuses about bias. Well, the dyno is completely a third party, DC Performance, not affiliated with any tuner. The procedures were suggested by tuners themselves. Completely independent third party handling all details with rules the tuners agree to themselves. Only one tuner stated wherever it is held with whatever rules they are willing to put their skills to the test. Now tell us, would a tuner who needs to manipulate dyno results be the one willing to participate in a shootout? Or would the tuner who is not willing to participate likely be the one manipulating perception on forums? Well, it would seem you have the answer.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Why an M3 tuner shootout will never happen - OE Tuning only tuner to agree to third party shootout started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 61 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        ^ Don't think that worked out right.. or I'm missing it.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        First thing is first.

        This all started because one company released a test of their tune vs the tune of a competitor.

        This is not really a good strategy. Sometimes it has to be done but really should be avoided when tensions already exist.

        The better approach would be to call the competition and tell them that their tune is really aweful and maybe ask them if it's a potential mistake because EVERY tuner knows this can happen. It's happened to us where one of us has not been concentrating and have forgotton to change one or more vital maps. It happens to everyone at some point.

        We have done this before and we have earned nothing but respect from our competition and also the customer. In the long run being helpful and honest has actually given us more business because the competitor has referred work to us where they believe we do a better job and the customer spreads the word that we don't do dirty tactics and are not interested in just one thing.... money!

        Now, the backlash has not been so great and the fan club of both sides just makes things even worse.

        There's no point delving into the details of everything and who said this and who said that or who is wrong or right.

        I would personally not recommend a tuner shoot out of this type because of the following reasons:

        1) There is way too much monitoring required to make this a fair test
        2) The ECU is very sensitive to change
        3) The winner by 0.00005hp and 0.00005 lb.ft torque will suddenly be the best tuner around without the general public understanding that without even touching the ECU or car setup the figures can vary on the dyno because of conditions which you simply cannot control.
        4) The backlash afterwards!!

        I have another solution though and this is probably something that is more likely to happen.

        Everyone just go to an independent dyno shop which has nothing to do with anyone's dealer network and has zero interest in tuning BMW's. Doesn't have to be the same dyno shop.
        Everyone just do the following:

        1) Pre tune dyno tests - 5 runs which are all displayed
        2) Post tune dyno tests - 5 runs which are all displayed

        AFR's to be displayed for each run
        Ignition timing only to be displayed on pre tune (no one is going to agree to show you their ignition timing!)
        Correction factors to be clearly displayed
        Test to be strictly carried out on DYNOJET only! The reasons for this I can cover in detail.
        All runs to have the rpm pickup attached and WinPEP files to be available for public download

        Keeps it all nice and simple without any major drama.

        The main thing is that everyone just needs to keep of each others' back. There is no way any of the tuners in the US who are involved in these major bust ups are innocent.

        There are many things said behind the scenes and to customers. Apparently I will my head kicked in if I enter the US!! Not that I take that personally because we all say things when we get angry or misunderstand the intentions of the person saying what ever it is they said.

        Everyone just needs to chill out, stop pointing fingers and just get on with creating better products rather than wasting their damn time on this kinda BS!

        The amount of energy wasted on BS is amazing. If companies put their time instead somewhere else and avoid this then they will just get better and better.

        The fan club members of each tuner also need to chill out a little and if they don't then the companies should chill them out a little!

        We have a few people in the UK who just go on and on and on about us like we are some kinda gift from god. It does us no favours and we told them straight - we appreciate your support but this is not the way we like it and if they would like to continue coming to us then they need to be a little more laid back from now on.

        Lastly - to the tuners. Organic growth is the best type you can have. If you have a good product then people will find out about it naturally over time. You cannot force feed the market. It only works for a small period of time.

        Oh, and by the way.... I am not an angel myself. I have said things in the past (and recently) on some forums where I should have just stayed quiet. I have however realised where I am wrong and apologized to my competition either by email/PM or phone call. We all do dumb stuff..... it's how we deal with it that matters.

        I go make a coffee now. Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        I would personally not recommend a tuner shoot out of this type because of the following reasons:

        1) There is way too much monitoring required to make this a fair test
        2) The ECU is very sensitive to change
        3) The winner by 0.00005hp and 0.00005 lb.ft torque will suddenly be the best tuner around without the general public understanding that without even touching the ECU or car setup the figures can vary on the dyno because of conditions which you simply cannot control.
        4) The backlash afterwards!!
        1. The procedures selected were basically your own.
        2. Which is why clearing adaptations is necessary, right?
        3. I don't think people are quite that gullible to not see close results as well as suddenly ignore all the other data that would be collected.
        4. Yes, as in, the risk tuners have to take by participating.

        As a tuner, I see why you wouldn't want to.

        Please don't tell me there are so many darn variables that it would not be possible to make this fair. If it truly were that way, dyno testing in itself would basically be useless.

        Also, please don't forget Powerchip basically asked for this and now is nowhere to be found.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        Everyone just go to an independent dyno shop which has nothing to do with anyone's dealer network and has zero interest in tuning BMW's.
        Yep, this is what we tried to do.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        Lastly - to the tuners. Organic growth is the best type you can have. If you have a good product then people will find out about it naturally over time. You cannot force feed the market. It only works for a small period of time.
        I used to think this way. That is until I saw just how much business forums drive for myself and how companies use them to their advantage. Organic growth is dead, it is all about what results you have now and the volume of people you can reach. Word of mouth is practically irrelevant in the social media age, unless the opinion of 1 person means more to you than being able to form the opinion of hundreds of thousands instantaneously. I see some tuners who leverage this better than others so we are trying to level the playing field and although the game is still rigged we have at least freed a mind or two.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        It can be made fair yes but is there anyone out there to be trusted enough to control things? No. We don't have an independant body to control things.

        What I am saying is everyone just go to the dyno of their choice in their own time and post up their results. Not a on the day tuner shootout.

        We can take part from the UK on a dynojet. I still cannot find any way to cheat this machine but I have not enough experience with them so far. By information so far is that it is incredibly difficult to do.

        Organic growth is something we follow on forums and word of mouth (on forums too). Our magazine features bring us a huge amount of people too. Our customer base is mainly the more down to earth people who like no BS marketing. It's been a slow slow growth but we are in no hurry to prove anything or to boost sales massively. We just don't care how fast things happen.
        The situation in the US is completely different to the UK. The market there is just like having something rammed down your throat constantly. The marketing is boring and cheesy with everyone with their hand up in the air....,...... ' look, look, we are the best' mixed with 'they others are all crap'.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        It can be made fair yes but is there anyone out there to be trusted enough to control things? No. We don't have an independant body to control things.
        This is the whole point, yes we do.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        What I am saying is everyone just go to the dyno of their choice in their own time and post up their results. Not a on the day tuner shootout
        I understand, but the purpose is to compare tuners not just collect dyno's.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        We can take part from the UK on a dynojet. I still cannot find any way to cheat this machine but I have not enough experience with them so far. By information so far is that it is incredibly difficult to do.
        I agree with you, this is why we always want Dynojets. I just prefer them, they have the largest base of results, and their numbers add up quite well to how the car will perform in the real worth.

        I know you guys would be willing to participate just the distance makes it difficult. I wouldn't worry about it, this clearly won't be happening.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        Organic growth is something we follow on forums and word of mouth (on forums too). Our magazine features bring us a huge amount of people too. Our customer base is mainly the more down to earth people who like no BS marketing. It's been a slow slow growth but we are in no hurry to prove anything or to boost sales massively. We just don't care how fast things happen.
        The situation in the US is completely different to the UK. The market there is just like having something rammed down your throat constantly. The marketing is boring and cheesy with everyone with their hand up in the air....,...... ' look, look, we are the best' mixed with 'they others are all crap'.
        Magazines are a great way to go, also because of the large base they reach.

        The thing is, you guys aren't a company that wants to get growth the wrong way. I think you know yourself there are tuners are boards that will do some things that are not exactly reputable.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        We just don't care how fast things happen.
        The situation in the US is completely different to the UK. The market there is just like having something rammed down your throat constantly.
        Hahaha! That is actually a great way to put it.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        That was a nice coffee Click here to enlarge

        OK, the dynojet thing - I also prefer them because the car is allowed to perform naturally on this machine but this is another subject which we will touch I am sure.

        Who is the independant body? The dyno shops just does the pulls, who resets adaptations? Who makes sure the temperatures are all equalised as much as possible for every tuner tuned test?

        You and everyone's dog knows that this will not happen so why not do this.

        Just get something done that will happen and then let people decide who they want their tuning done by?

        My suggestion of going to an independant dyno jet and showing 10 runs with WINPEP files is the best one in my opinion. No pressure. It will happen this way. As long as everyone concentrates on the gains achieved it's all good and I would recommend every tuner starts with a car that does NOT produce less than the average power of most stock cars on a dynojet.

        We did a car last week that started where it should be with just an Akrapovic exhaust fitted. Around 355hp with no tune. Nice healthy high figure. That was the best it made and then we tuned it to ....... well..... I will tell you later Click here to enlarge This is not the place for me to advertise what we can do.

        Thanks for seeing us for what we really are. Your right, we just don't want to grow in the wrong way. If you ever visit here you will immediately see one thing. We are more interested in the achievement than the money side of things. The money just comes anyway when your products are good and well designed/thought out.
        We have experienced the seriously ugly side of the US BMW tuning market. Threats of violence, getting loyal faithful followers to slate our products and an attempt to spread some stupid rumours. This has happened from 3 very well known tuners in the US market....... who we have never ever said anything against!

        You know why this happened? Because we release information that educates the end user. In my eyes, these are the most important people because it is their hard earned money that is at stake.

        Another coffee and back to header design!
      1. BrenM3's Avatar
        BrenM3 -
        Sal,

        Careful - OE did not release the before and after sheet as PC, nor even marked who it was on the sheet.

        The customer asked for the before and after print out....fine hes entitled tot hat. Gintani didn't label who the previous tune was.

        The customer posted it....fine. His sheet.

        The customer then spilled the beans who it was....fine. His call.

        I didn't see that sheet on OE's blog trying to dick around PC. Not his style. OE has been retuning PC files for years. I have personally seen LOTS more behind the scenes, even on my own dyno. Not a single one was posted on OE's behalf.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        Fair enough Bren,

        I am not upto speed on what exactly went on and personally don't really care. If I have said anything that's not correct then I apologise.

        My point basically is that this sort of thing is a bit of a joke anyway. It could have been avoided. This is exactly the kind of nastiness we can all do without.

        If OE knew the car was tuned already (and they must have known because they must have read the file out) then it would have been far more sensible to first return the car back to stock and then apply their own tune.

        I am not pointing fingers at any one party btw, just saying the whole thing could have been completely avoided.

        I think Jeremy knows this and I doubt he will ever be doing it again just to avoid the massive headache!
      1. BrenM3's Avatar
        BrenM3 -
        Lots of customers want you to prove to them why they should spend the money with you over their current tune. I retune boosted cars all the time and gain 30whp/wtq over competitors tune without adjusting boost or leaning on the air/fuel. Most tuners don't understand Cam Timing/Phasing nor the concept of an ideal ignition timing curve. Almost every customer asks for this "comparison." In most cases, unless the previous shop is plastered all over the side of their vehicle in vinyl I ask them NOT to even tell me who did it first. And just allow me to retune the vehicle to my specs.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        Easiest way is to just return the car back to stock first. It's not hard.

        We are currently doing loads and loads of E46 M3's that have been previously tuned. We will not dyno the cars with the tunes on them. We will always return back to stock and then use that as our baseline. Sometimes the customer does not even know it's been t

        Of course... the customers do notice a big difference on the road in most cases and there is nothing I can do at that point to stop them saying where they went...... but they don't have a dyno comparison. If that's not ethical I don't know what it.

        Your definately right on the cam timing. The majority don't understand it and probably never will.
      1. evolve's Avatar
        evolve -
        Need more coffee.... spelling is going to $#@!!
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        prints and mirrors?
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        First off, the dyno idea will not work because all dynos are configured/calibrated differently, run at different ambient temperatures, at different altitudes, and using different gear runs. That being said, I think that there is much more to having the most hp/tq in a tune. Think about that powerband - the torque curve. Put the cars up against each other on the track, in the same place, at the same time, with the same air temperature and elevation. That's where you prove who is the best tuner.
      1. black bnr32's Avatar
        black bnr32 -
        the WOT maps are a poor thing to use to determine a 'best' tuner, imo.

        all a dyno comparo would prove is who's tune is the most aggressive
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by black bnr32 Click here to enlarge
        the WOT maps are a poor thing to use to determine a 'best' tuner, imo.

        all a dyno comparo would prove is who's tune is the most aggressive
        No, a lot of claims were made that there was no way one tuner could make the gains they did, blah blah blah.

        A comparison on a car neither has ever touched would show how they adapt to the circumstances and which tuner is the best. It wouldn't just be about peak numbers but how they get there, the curve, air/fuel, spark, etc.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by evolve Click here to enlarge
        You and everyone's dog knows that this will not happen so why not do this.
        This will not happen, but we tried. I just want to commend all our vendors for being willing to participate in at least some sort of comparison, not necessarily a dyno shootout.

        What happened here was a tuning house in decline tried to throw their weight around. It was thrown right back at them, and they buckled. That is pretty much that.
      1. black bnr32's Avatar
        black bnr32 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        No, a lot of claims were made that there was no way one tuner could make the gains they did, blah blah blah.

        A comparison on a car neither has ever touched would show how they adapt to the circumstances and which tuner is the best. It wouldn't just be about peak numbers but how they get there, the curve, air/fuel, spark, etc.
        and...they'll only really touch the WOT maps, which i understand is one of the easier parts of tuning
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by black bnr32 Click here to enlarge
        and...they'll only really touch the WOT maps, which i understand is one of the easier parts of tuning
        Part throttle on these is tough but the dynos that were questioned keep in mind were WOT. So, logical to approach what Powerchip was calling for themselves, right?
      1. catch_m3's Avatar
        catch_m3 -
        We are holding an airport day mid-June.
        Here are the specs for the runway:

        Length: 5,012 ft
        Elevation: 822 feet ASL

        It will be turned into a track, Top Gear style.
        At the end of the day we will have roll ons, M5Board style.
        The airport is about 2 hours north-east of Detroit.

        PM me and you can do roll-on tuner testing beyond the 1/4 mile If you are serious enough.

        Good day.

        Here are some pics from the last event:

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      1. Alessandro's Avatar
        Alessandro -
        i can only confirm this event it will be great cant wait to see you there.