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    • ESS-Tuning service and Alpha-N E60 M5 S85 V10 tuning issues - Third party account of switch to Evolve Alpha-N S85 tuning

      Hey guys, just wanted to share a story and do a small write up on my friends experience with his M5 over the past few months. I have been there step by step with my friend while he has modded his M5. A nice experience to me aswell as I got to see what mods did what, and how this lovely V10 responded for my future reference when I mod. My friend isn't a forum type of guy, so I'm telling his story as he urged me to share it. So let's begin the story.


      About the car:
      2010 M5 SMG 3x,000 miles
      ESS tune
      ESS SMG tune
      RPI oem catless headers with ceramic coating and wrap
      RPI oil cooler
      RPI scoops with BMC filters
      RPI GTS exhaust
      RPI pulley

      As you can see within a one year period he dropped a lot of money modding the car, also adding install prices, and maintenance like plugs, diff, tranny oil, etc. He was a true modding addict and enthusiast for this S85 beast.

      Tune wise, he started with ESS base tune only, then ESS+header tune, and finally ESS+header tune+ alpha N. Progressed nicely with the ESS tunes.
      His car worked very well through all the mods and being tune only, and FBO with header tune. The ESS tune didn't give him any issues through these mods and time that were directly related from what we could tell, power was OK, not the most consistent but OK. (really don't know how bad a tune is until you try a better tune, will get to that later)

      Where the issues startedÖ.

      What to mod next? Alpha N seemed like a good next step. So my friend got the ESS alpha N hardware and alpha N software from ESS. Installed the hardware, and uploaded the software, and this is where all hell broke loose.

      Right after flashing the car, it began throwing 02 sensor codes, all kinds of codes for both top and bottom sensors but for mostly the pre-cat 02 sensors. WTF? I was confused as hell. Put some miles on the car thinking they might go away, cleared the codes multiple times, they just instantly kept coming back. Contacted ESS, they said cant be the tune, its programmed for catless headers and alpha N.

      OK, my friend tosses out the money for new pre-cat sensors on both sides and install even though the car never had this issue before and car has under 40K milesÖ Installed new 02 sensors, No change! We try uploading the stock file, tune only file, tune+header file, etc and nothing works, car stays in limp mode and runs horrible, continues to throw 02 sensor codes. Even going back to the old header tune with alpha N uninstalled we were getting the same issue now.

      OK I checked the 02 sensors fuses for him, checked the wiring, everything checks out. How can these codes just pop up out of no where right after the alpha N software upload on a 3XK mile car? Seems like the alpha N tune from ESS did something wrong. And all the hardware retaining to the 02 sensors is perfect, double checked by a mechanic.

      So after contacting ESS numerous times for help and suggestions throughout this ordeal, they would just keep giving generic answers like, not our tunes fault, it is a hardware problem, bring it to the dealer. They went as far as to say they donít have time to troubleshoot this with him as hardware issues are time consuming for them! Go to the dealer again.

      Really I was in shock ESS didnít try to send him another tune, or adjust the tune or give him suggestions on what to try via tuning. They left him high and dry! Really lost respect after seeing what they did to him, I felt my friends pain as he loves his M5 as I do and would hate to be in this situation. It seemed 100% tuning related since the issue popped up right after flashing it with the Alpha N tune. After researching on the forums, it seems this has happened before to a member as well with ESS, where he flashed his car via ESS and the codes that were thrown keep coming up even after going back to stock tune. My friend had to no choice except to find the best indy he can and leave his car with them to try to figure out what in the world is happening even if it means reverting the car back to 100 % stock.

      Fast forward 2 weeks later, trying to fix the issue at a mechanic shop. Went as far as changing some type of CAS computer and the alternator to no fixing of the issue. Just more money dumped after this mystery ESS alpha N flash tune made the car go nuts. Car was basically just a loss!

      So now the superhero comes into play. Sal and imran @ Evolve automotive and the evolve team..

      I suggested to my friend he contact and try to get a tune from evolve since there so knowledgeable on the S85 platform and own one, and still to this day are tuning them. If anyone has most experience around the S85 ECU, how the ecu reacts and tuning them, its evolve. They would be able to solve this issue if its really tuning related.

      So with no other option then to sell the car or buy a new expensive ECU from bmw or who knows what else that would cost thousands. So he called evolve, told them his story and issues, got the evolve alpha N kit. They went above and beyond helping him, making him feel comfortable while explaining the process to him. They sent him a file to upload and then the alpha N tune upload and he loaded it up and Guess what? Not sure how he did it or what he changed but he works magic!

      NO CODES! Car was running flawless! No more limp mode, no 02 sensor codes, car was idling nice and smooth like stock. ESS idled high and rough.

      Throttle response in M mode is amazing! Just has such a great feeling putting your foot down, my friend was blown away by the drivability and response over the ESS tune.

      The midrange and top end power was down right scary. We took the car for a test drive last night so I can directly compare his old ess tunes vs this new evolve tune, and to say the least, the power was astonishing, I was so addicted! Car was just jumping and taking off like a rocket! The car was going by RPMS so much faster it was incredible! An important thing to also note was the consistency! Back to back runs, the car didn't even hiccup once, and gave the same exact hard pull each run with no variance which really shows how well a tune shines, ! My friend is just thrilled his car is in working order and now with even more power! Honestly, the ESS tune felt good, but you donít really know how good a tune is until you try a tune that is better. Then you know what the other tune was lacking, in this case, drivability, midrange/top end power, and consistency.

      I'm not biased in anyway, I don't even own a tune, but I thought this story I would share to show Evolve passion, knowledge and customer service! Not sure if ESS has to re-evaluate their tuning and alpha N tuning, but also their customer support! My friend is beyond angry with ESS as he was a very loyal, pro ESS guy and thought they were top of the line in terms of BMW tuning, and was let down immensely, and left for dead by them. I know the E60 M5 is the older platform now but customer service shouldn't be put off because of this, especially when itís a tuning issue. Anyways, it was a very expensive and tough ordeal for my friend, I tried my best to help him in diagnosing throughout this ordeal, but glad he finally got it fixed with the help of Evolve, he only regrets not going with them sooner.

      Here are some pics throughout his modding and issues:

      First test drive with the evolve tune:


      Evolve goodness






      Evolve owner happiness:


      ESS alpha N tune, high idle when fully warmed and stopped that ESS said was normal


      Vs EVOLVE stable, smooth nice idle under 1K


      Late night flashing ESS tunes to try and fix the issue after flashing ESS alpha N tune:




      RPI headers, coated and wrapped:

      BTW do not go to Autocouture in NJ to do installs on any of your cars.. There installs are very sloppy and not professional. They installed my friends headers and didn't put back the oem heat shields, the main wire of the car sat and got burned on the headers! My friend had to bring the car to another Mechanic, who had to cut away the burned wires and individually re-connect all the wires! Or replace the whole main harness of the car just because of the Autocoutures improper and sloppy/lazy work! They also do very sloppy job on car wraps! But that is another story! Find another place for car work!






      RPI oil cooler:


      Stock vs RPI pulley:


      RPI GTS exhaust:





      I know what tune i will be getting this spring now as well
      This article was originally published in forum thread: ESS tuning and service issues || EVOLVE to the resuce with more power started by 5soko View original post
      Comments 76 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by plbusa Click here to enlarge
        Wow. I'm new to this forum but have already reaped a wealth of information. Clearly know now who NOT to use but any suggestions on who to use to do a SC upgrade to my 840Ci? M62 motor. Also, the car is in Fort Lauderdale so proximity would be helpful but not required.
        Since you are in Florida the logical choice is to talk to Active Autowerke. @Andrew@activeautowerke
      1. Mybabym5's Avatar
        Mybabym5 -
        It has been 5 long months since the ordeal with my car started and she is finally fixed! Latest wave of problems: Faulty alternator, Cas unit and Battery! Car is 100% now! I would like to thank EVOLVE for their unrelenting support! Sal, your tune is absolutely bulletproof! Car is very consistent and pulls very strong! She is scary fast! I highly recommend Evolve alpha-n tune or any other products from EVOLVE for that matter to anyone without hesitation! It is simply the best out there! EVOLVE INTAKE is definitely next on my mod list!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mybabym5 Click here to enlarge
        It has been 5 long months since the ordeal with my car started and she is finally fixed! Latest wave of problems: Faulty alternator, Cas unit and Battery! Car is 100% now! I would like to thank EVOLVE for their unrelenting support! Sal, your tune is absolutely bulletproof! Car is very consistent and pulls very strong! She is scary fast! I highly recommend Evolve alpha-n tune or any other products from EVOLVE for that matter to anyone without hesitation! It is simply the best out there! EVOLVE INTAKE is definitely next on my mod list!
        Glad to hear it and I hope any other non-automotive 'issues' were resolved as well.

        Enjoy the car. That is ultimately what this should be about.
      1. gzim335's Avatar
        gzim335 -
        Im glad you got it all figured out man enjoy that beast.
      1. Mybabym5's Avatar
        Mybabym5 -
        Time to get ready for the upcoming Bimmerfest in August! Can't wait...
      1. Mybabym5's Avatar
        Mybabym5 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by gzim335 Click here to enlarge
        Im glad you got it all figured out man enjoy that beast.
        Thanks a lot for your support! I really appreciate it!
      1. 5soko's Avatar
        5soko -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mybabym5 Click here to enlarge
        It has been 5 long months since the ordeal with my car started and she is finally fixed! Latest wave of problems: Faulty alternator, Cas unit and Battery! Car is 100% now! I would like to thank EVOLVE for their unrelenting support! Sal, your tune is absolutely bulletproof! Car is very consistent and pulls very strong! She is scary fast! I highly recommend Evolve alpha-n tune or any other products from EVOLVE for that matter to anyone without hesitation! It is simply the best out there! EVOLVE INTAKE is definitely next on my mod list!
        Great to hear man.. You been through so much, glad she is back to 100% man, u deserve it..
      1. BigM62's Avatar
        BigM62 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I have been asked to delete this thread. I will not do so.

        The owner of the M5 is apparently according to him being threatened by ESS due to this thread and asked me to delete this. I think deleting this does not fix the problem, it only masks it.

        BimmerBoost will not cave in to bullies. I told the owner if ESS withholds whatever refund they are supposed to give him I will step in to reimburse him from my own pocket.

        I strongly believe he should stand up for himself and not be bullied. I will not participate in hiding poor customer service or abuse.
        Thanks Sticky, from those who have experienced bad customer service.
      1. BigM62's Avatar
        BigM62 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mybabym5 Click here to enlarge
        I can't physically go through with this anymore! I have asked this forum to delete the thread! All i want at this point is to at least get the refund from ess for the alpha-n tune! I do not wish to continue this argument and i have no more strength to go on with this war! I am publicly asking the administrator again to take down the thread as it doesn't really help my situation at this point; in fact it only makes it worse...
        No it does not make it worse. It shows to "tuners" that they must be held accountable for their actions.
      1. BigM62's Avatar
        BigM62 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by plbusa Click here to enlarge
        Wow. I'm new to this forum but have already reaped a wealth of information. Clearly know now who NOT to use but any suggestions on who to use to do a SC upgrade to my 840Ci? M62 motor. Also, the car is in Fort Lauderdale so proximity would be helpful but not required.
        If I had to do it all over again, I would have just stayed with my built 4.9L M62. And instead of building it for a s/c, I would have increased the compression with wilder cams. S/C (CF) has a little, tiny window to reap it's benefits.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigM62 Click here to enlarge
        If I had to do it all over again, I would have just stayed with my built 4.9L M62. And instead of building ii for a s/c, I would have increased the compression with wilder cams. S/C (CF) has a little, tiny window to reap it's benefits.
        If staying NA you are going to be chasing the S62. The M62 can be boosted, we all know this. A nice Vortech blower is really all that is needed.
      1. BigM62's Avatar
        BigM62 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        If staying NA you are going to be chasing the S62. The M62 can be boosted, we all know this. A nice Vortech blower is really all that is needed.
        I am speaking from experience. With my S62 crankshaft, Arrow rods, JE pistons, p-n-p heads and cams, my car without boost is a beast. Making a higher performance n/a engine is about saving weight. Don't get me wrong, I love boost, but a CF, as I have pointed out, has very little value except when driving near and up to redline. I am designing a turbo system for a few years down the line for my own personal use. I can't afford one right now as I just got back my CF kit.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigM62 Click here to enlarge
        I am speaking from experience. With my S62 crankshaft, Arrow rods, JE pistons, p-n-p heads and cams, my car without boost is a beast. Making a higher performance n/a engine is about saving weight. Don't get me wrong, I love boost, but a CF, as I have pointed out, has very little value except when driving near and up to redline. I am designing a turbo system for a few years down the line for my own personal use. I can't afford one right now as I just got back my CF kit.
        I do not disagree with you whatsoever. I'm just pointing out that you are essentially turning an M62 into an S62 and chasing that motor. Not that an NA build is not rewarding because it is.

        If I could do it all over again I'd forget chasing horsepower and build the car for enjoyment. But... oh well. Boost simply makes more power.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        I also want to point out the M62 may be the better candidate for boost than the S62 due to the increased block material.
      1. BigM62's Avatar
        BigM62 -
        Not all boost is created equal. But, boost is nice, but so is displacement.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigM62 Click here to enlarge
        Not all boost is created equal. But, boost is nice, but so is displacement.
        Well said.