Close

    • Dinan's weak BMW turbo era tuning - Comparing F85 X5M 1/4 mile results with Dinantronics Stage I S63TU piggyback to ACM ECU flash tuning

      Dinan is struggling in the turbo BMW era. Ever since piggyback tunes launched way back with the E92 335i Dinan has not offered much competition. You may remember Dinan dismissed piggyback tuning on BMW's only to release their 'Dinantronics' piggyback when cracking the tricore ECU's in modern BMW's proved too difficult for them.


      It is rather obvious that Dinan went the piggyback route because they could not go the flash route at the time. However, flash tunes are available now and Dinan is not offering a flash tune for modern M cars such as the F85 X5M. They want to recoup the cost of investment in the Dinantronics boxes. That is fine and dandy but the performance Dinan offers for the money is considerably weaker than their piggyback and flash tuning competition.

      Take a look at this F80 M3 and F82 M4 option. 20 wheel horsepower for $2500? Kind of sad especially when compared to other piggyback options available for less money.

      What about a practical example on the dragstrip? This X5M with the Dinantronics Stage I tune ran at the Atco dragstrip and barely made it into the 11's after a handful of 12 second passes (car# 221):


      Now look at this flash tuned example with downpipes from AutoCouture Motoring. 11.3 @ 123 in the 1/4 mile:



      Eight miles per hour of trap speed on the Dinan tuned X5M? That is night and day. Do the downpipes make a difference? No doubt. Not eight miles per hour of a difference though. It is mostly the stronger tune.

      What makes this especially interesting is flash tuning is cheaper than Dinan piggyback tuning. Some people even go the piggyback plus flash tune route and you can have both options working together offering superior results for less money than it costs to go to the Dinantronics route.

      Dinan simply is not a high performance aftermarket option in the BMW turbo era. They are the best choice for those who still revere the Dinan name for some reason and older folks concerned about their warranty. Dinan does supplement the BMW warranty with their own warranty.

      The younger BMW forum savvy crowd already moved on from Dinan a long time ago and for a good reason. They place a stronger emphasis on performance.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Dinan's weak BMW turbo era tuning - Comparing F85 X5M 1/4 mile results with Dinantronics Stage I S63TU piggyback to ACM ECU flash tuning started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 25 Comments
      1. richpike's Avatar
        richpike -
        The Dinantronics Stage I only picked up 0.2mph in the quarter? Click here to enlarge The elapsed time is likely due to a more aggressive launch and lower 60ft time than any additional power. You'd expect to see additional power in the trap speed.

        @DinanCars - Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you on your way out (of relevance)...

        -Rich
      1. Tony@VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        Tony@VargasTurboTech -
        What about Dinans full Stand alone for the M3/4, N20 and other F series platforms that are already being tested, and are fully functional? Never mind that, thats not a high performance option in the BMW turbo charger era. What about their full race program for the M3/4 with full dry sump motors, with upgraded turbos, running said stand alone already on the engine dyno. Never mind that, that's not a high performance option in the turbocharger era. At least inform yourself before your make articles that tell a small portion of what a company is doing
      1. Tony@VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        Tony@VargasTurboTech -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by richpike Click here to enlarge
        The Dinantronics Stage I only picked up 0.2mph in the quarter? Click here to enlarge The elapsed time is likely due to a more aggressive launch and lower 60ft time than any additional power. You'd expect to see additional power in the trap speed.

        @DinanCars - Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you on your way out (of relevance)...

        -Rich
        Good to see people buying into Stickys articles. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by what they have in store. But at the end of the day, the Dinan market is two fold, race cars, and people who want to retain factory warranty while modifying their newer cars. They do not want limp modes, and check engine lights, nor do they care about every last WHP, they offer people slightly improved performance that doesn't void their warranty. Pretty smart angle is you ask me, as they get a premium for such a service.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        What about Dinans full Stand alone for the M3/4, N20 and other F series platforms that are already being tested, and are fully functional? Never mind that, thats not a high performance option in the BMW turbo charger era. What about their full race program for the M3/4 with full dry sump motors, with upgraded turbos, running said stand alone already on the engine dyno. Never mind that, that's not a high performance option in the turbocharger era.
        I have yet to see anything about this standalone.

        Yes, their $40k stroker dry sump E92 M3 S65 V8 is very impressive if you like engines that cost more than the car is worth: http://www.bimmerboost.com/content.p...gine-39-999-00

        There are better options for going dry sump and stroking the motor for less money. It can be done for less than half that.

        Plus, did you somehow miss the emphasis on the turbo era? Not reading or what?

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        At least inform yourself before your make articles that tell a small portion of what a company is doing
        I'm pretty sure I have better pulse on Dinan's history than just about anyone. You're welcome to read any of the articles on them from the past six years. I can save you the trouble of searching for articles about records with the Dinan name attached, there aren't any. Unless you're into records for most money spent.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Good to see people buying into Stickys articles. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by what they have in store.
        They haven't done anything of merit in the turbo aftermarket and turbo BMW motors have been on the market for how long now?

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        They do not want limp modes, and check engine lights, nor do they care about every last WHP, they offer people slightly improved performance that doesn't void their warranty. Pretty smart angle is you ask me, as they get a premium for such a service.
        That is stated and for some people this matters. For people who want high performance options it doesn't matter as Dinan can not and does not compete with those options.

        That's why they are number 10 on our most overrated tuners list: http://www.boostaddict.com/content.p...errated-tuners
      1. richpike's Avatar
        richpike -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Good to see people buying into Stickys articles. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by what they have in store. But at the end of the day, the Dinan market is two fold, race cars, and people who want to retain factory warranty while modifying their newer cars. They do not want limp modes, and check engine lights, nor do they care about every last WHP, they offer people slightly improved performance that doesn't void their warranty. Pretty smart angle is you ask me, as they get a premium for such a service.
        Please, I don't care if Sticky posted this or not - my opinion would be the same. Dinan is overpriced and overhyped. They lost all respect from me when they attacked piggies and then ended up copying them. And I can't help but think they were the impetus behind BMS getting targeted by CARB.

        Having said all that - remove your bias due to supplying them N20 turbos - what's your honest take on the time slips Sticky posted? Would you invest in their X5M piggy?

        -Rich

        edit: Admit it, if this were Rob or Pure you'd be $#@!ting yourself over this. And rightfully so.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by richpike Click here to enlarge
        Please, I don't care if Sticky posted this or not - my opinion would be the same. Dinan is overpriced and overhyped. They lost all respect from me when they attacked piggies and then ended up copying them. And I can't help but think they were the impetus behind BMS getting targeted by CARB.

        Having said all that - remove your bias due to supplying them N20 turbos - what's your honest take on the time slips Sticky posted? Would you invest in their X5M piggy?

        -Rich

        edit: Admit it, if this were Rob or Pure you'd be $#@!ting yourself over this. And rightfully so.
        Yeah it's the bias from supplying some N20 turbo to them.

        The slips speak for themselves.
      1. Tony@VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        Tony@VargasTurboTech -
        I have no Bias, I base my words on facts. That you think Dinan sells products based on 1/4 time slips is your first mistake. Let the slips speak for themselves. That's not their market. As for what they are doing. I have been there recently. Have been in the dyno cell with a fully functional stand alone developed in house controlling F series motors including the S55. Sounds like a bunch of butt hurt to me. Dinan made a fortune by focusing on two niche markets. Race teams with deep pockets, and customers more concerned with keeping a warranty than clearing codes. I had the same opinion of Dinan as most of you until I toured the facility, and set down with them. They are doing more than with the BMW platform than any of us here, and do so with BMW's blessing. I respect them for it, and respect the niche they created. Does that mean I would ever run a Dinan product on my person" car. Most likely not, but I like to clamp wastegates closed, run 40 psi on stock frame turbos, try to blow up motors, and break parts. I wouldn't exactly call myself their target audience. I can only imagine they laugh at haters as they continue to develop new products in their multi million dollar facility, while we sit here bickering over $300 inlets, saying they are not relevent. Its actually funny
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        I have no Bias, I have been recently. Have been in the dyno cell with a full functionalstand alone developed in house controlling F series motors including the S55. Sounds like a bunch of butt hurt to me. Dinan made a fortune by focusing on two niche markets. Race teams with deep pockets, and customers more concerned with keeping a warranty than clearing codes. I had the same opinion of Dinan as most of you until I toured the facility, and set down with them. They are doing more than with the BMW platform than any of us here, and do so with BMW's blessing. I respect them for it, and respect the niche they created. Does that mean I would ever run a Dinan product on my person car. Most likely not, but I like to clamp wastegates closed, run 40 psi on stock frame turbos, try to blow up motors, and break parts. I wouldn't exactly call myself their target audience. I can only imagine they laugh at haters as they continue to develop new products in their multi million dollar facility, while we sit here bickering over $300 inlets, saying they are not relevent. Its actually funny
        We all know Dinan made a ton of money. Charging $40k for stroker motors does that. As does overcharging for basically every part they ever sold.

        You don't know Dinan's history in the naturally aspirated era as well. In the E46 M3 era they actually said they gave up on ECU tuning 'congratulating' the BMW engineers on their job. They couldn't squeeze out any power. Well, we all know today you can gain quite a bit with quality tuning on the S54. Shouldn't Dinan of all people know that? They will happily overcharge you for an exhaust though.

        Their supercharger offering was weak as well. Frankly, the weakest. No turbo upgrade offerings to speak of.

        Move on to the E92 M3 era and what do they offer? A stroker motor. Why? Because it just carries over the parts from their S85 V10 stroker. Same pistons, same rods. It cost them no money to develop yet they charged over $30k for it initially. Insane. Yet people bought it as Dinan cut the cost gradually over time as people wised up.

        Dinan of course has racing success but this is not street success. The race cars don't use street ECU's. BMW themselves supplied the ECU's and codes for Dinan to race with for many years. You can supply any number of high quality engine builders with that info and they will turn out quality motors. It is not the same as doing it with street cars.

        We're speaking of Dinan's aftermarket parts for BMW street cars. How good does that offering look in the context of what is available? To me, it looks weak and overpriced. That is because that is exactly what it is.

        Dinan can wipe his ass with $100's for all I care. Dinan tuned cars get their asses kicked and that is what matters to me.
      1. richpike's Avatar
        richpike -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        I have no Bias, I have been recently. Have been in the dyno cell with a full functionalstand alone developed in house controlling F series motors including the S55. Sounds like a bunch of butt hurt to me. Dinan made a fortune by focusing on two niche markets. Race teams with deep pockets, and customers more concerned with keeping a warranty than clearing codes. I had the same opinion of Dinan as most of you until I toured the facility, and set down with them. They are doing more than with the BMW platform than any of us here, and do so with BMW's blessing. I respect them for it, and respect the niche they created. Does that mean I would ever run a Dinan product on my person car. Most likely not, but I like to clamp wastegates closed, run 40 psi on stock frame turbos, try to blow up motors, and break parts. I wouldn't exactly call myself their target audience. I can only imagine they laugh at haters as they continue to develop new products in their multi million dollar facility, while we sit here bickering over $300 inlets, saying they are not relevent. Its actually funny
        Good post and you bring up some valid points. Perhaps they did a better job of transitioning from milking the everyday enthusiast to a more diverse business model built on racing than I realized. Which is good, because IMHO the turbo era of BMW caught them off guard.

        And they don't have BMW corporate's blessing. They cover the warranty side separately.

        -Rich
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by richpike Click here to enlarge
        And they don't have BMW corporate's blessing. They cover the warranty side separately.
        Single biggest misconception when it comes to Dinan. Makes me want to hit my head against a wall sometimes.

        Back in the early days I knew this guy with an E60 M5 with Dinan everything. He talked about how awesome Dinan was blah blah blah.

        I had my E92 M3, stock. He decided to take two passengers with him to do some runs against me because he wanted them to see how badly he beat me.

        Well, he lost. To my stock E92 M3 DCT. It was funny to see him flip out about how much he spent on Dinan parts. They were not enough to overcome the weight of two passengers.
      1. 7to3_enthusiast's Avatar
        7to3_enthusiast -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge

        Back in the early days I knew this guy with an E60 M5 with Dinan everything. He talked about how awesome Dinan was blah blah blah.

        I had my E92 M3, stock. He decided to take two passengers with him to do some runs against me because he wanted them to see how badly he beat me.

        Well, he lost. To my stock E92 M3 DCT. It was funny to see him flip out about how much he spent on Dinan parts. They were not enough to overcome the weight of two passengers.
        I would have sold my M5 the following week...at a major loss Click here to enlarge
      1. Tony@VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        Tony@VargasTurboTech -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by richpike Click here to enlarge
        Good post and you bring up some valid points. Perhaps they did a better job of transitioning from milking the everyday enthusiast to a more diverse business model built on racing than I realized. Which is good, because IMHO the turbo era of BMW caught them off guard.

        And they don't have BMW corporate's blessing. They cover the warranty side separately.

        -Rich
        Honestly they are not caught off guard in the slightest, and have very cool products in development, they are just taking their time to do things right. As for not having Corporate's blessing, you should let BMW know that, as I witnessed first hand multiple crates of brand new F series motors sent directly from BMW for Dinan to test, and develop its products on. You are correct in saying BMW does not cover the warranty directly, thats where the Dinan Business model to me was genius. Offer to give people well designed products, and modest gains while promising stock like drivibility, and full warranty. Its not going to interest us over here pushing the bleeding edge more interested in breaking records, than driving a trouble free car, but there is a large market that are exactly the opposite, a stock M3/4 is fast to them, and adding a few more ponies while not worrying about anything is worth the price of admission. Either way, as I said, I had the same opinions as you guys until I actually had a look inside their operation. They are not sitting on their hands, and have big plans for the turbocharged BMW era.
      1. emil's Avatar
        emil -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Honestly they are not caught off guard in the slightest, and have very cool products in development, they are just taking their time to do things right. As for not having Corporate's blessing, you should let BMW know that, as I witnessed first hand multiple crates of brand new F series motors sent directly from BMW for Dinan to test, and develop its products on. You are correct in saying BMW does not cover the warranty directly, thats where the Dinan Business model to me was genius. Offer to give people well designed products, and modest gains while promising stock like drivibility, and full warranty. Its not going to interest us over here pushing the bleeding edge more interested in breaking records, than driving a trouble free car, but there is a large market that are exactly the opposite, a stock M3/4 is fast to them, and adding a few more ponies while not worrying about anything is worth the price of admission. Either way, as I said, I had the same opinions as you guys until I actually had a look inside their operation. They are not sitting on their hands, and have big plans for the turbocharged BMW era.
        At their prices I don't see much future on their plans...
      1. Tony@VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        Tony@VargasTurboTech -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by emil Click here to enlarge
        At their prices I don't see much future on their plans...
        Exactly, because you are not who they are trying to sell too. They could care less about the nickel, and dimers looking to get 600WHP for 3K. Not interested in the slightest in that market.
      1. Payam@BMS's Avatar
        Payam@BMS -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Exactly, because you are not who they are trying to sell too. They could care less about the nickel, and dimers looking to get 600WHP for 3K. Not interested in the slightest in that market.
        Exactly, the people that are on the forums are 10000X less likely to be the ones purchasing the Dinan stuff. It's the older Geezers that have cash flow and can drop another 20k and say they have a special M3/4.
      1. sal@autocouture's Avatar
        sal@autocouture -
        Thanks!!

        We went 11.3 at 123 on the first pass with this car, and no other passes were made. Those that were there can corroborate this. We went faster than what we were expecting and that was good enough for us. For the time being.

        With that being said, we've put a little more work in to this truck. All I'm able to tell you for now is that it's BEGGING to go 10's. Stay tuned Click here to enlarge
      1. emil's Avatar
        emil -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sal@autocouture Click here to enlarge
        Thanks!!

        We went 11.3 at 123 on the first pass with this car, and no other passes were made. Those that were there can corroborate this. We went faster than what we were expecting and that was good enough for us. For the time being.

        With that being said, we've put a little more work in to this truck. All I'm able to tell you for now is that it's BEGGING to go 10's. Stay tuned Click here to enlarge
        Sal, I visited your website today and saw nothing regarding the F85 X5 M.
        When do you plan to have more info posted online?
      1. ezec63's Avatar
        ezec63 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by richpike Click here to enlarge
        The Dinantronics Stage I only picked up 0.2mph in the quarter? Click here to enlarge The elapsed time is likely due to a more aggressive launch and lower 60ft time than any additional power. You'd expect to see additional power in the trap speed.

        @DinanCars - Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you on your way out (of relevance)...

        -Rich
        You guys are looking at the wrong slips the 2 posted are both with the Dinan tune installed. He ran a 12.4 @ 111 stock so about half a second and 4mph is not to bad considering the safety and reliability you get with Dinan that some people are looking for. I personally would not get it and would go with a jb4+bcm or flash tune
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Exactly, because you are not who they are trying to sell too. They could care less about the nickel, and dimers looking to get 600WHP for 3K. Not interested in the slightest in that market.
        They have their target market but would you mind explaining to me how people buying $100k turbo M cars that depreciate like rocks are nickel and dimers?