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    • What an M156 (63 AMG) ECU/computer ruined by a tuner looks like and how to fix it

      We are not going to name any names here but chances are there are a few M156 ECU's out there that look exactly like what you see here. This ECU was drenched in epoxy gunk which essentially ruined it without the owner knowing or providing consent for the ECU to be modified in this manner. The only way to remove the material to be able to tune the ECU was to use a CNC machine carefully to remove it over a period of a couple hours. It was a coin flip whether the board would be hit essentially creating an expensive paperweight but the ECU was able to be salvaged and tuned as the material was removed without hitting/damaging the board. Make sure you do not have to go through this ordeal with your ECU and be careful what tuner you go with.







      This article was originally published in forum thread: What an M156 (63 AMG) ECU/computer ruined by a tuner looks like and how to fix it started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 454 Comments
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        People seemingly prefer to discredit those they have an axe to grind with. Personally, professionally, or both.
        It's a truly sad world in which we live.
      1. JRCART's Avatar
        JRCART -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        I don't see the relevance of your response to my post (#32). Are you saying that those tuners did disclose exactly what steps they go through when tuning your vehicles, in rebuttal to my assertion that tuners typically do not?
        All I am saying is that none of my numerous other "tuned" ecus were ever epoxyed as a form of encryption.
      1. PetroC63's Avatar
        PetroC63 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        I am going to chime in. I have a few points to make. @c32AMG-DTM already covered them.

        First off, I agree the title of this thread should be changed to reflect truth, if indeed this is a truthful forum.

        Secondly, owners are sending their ECUs to tuners to tune. Owners have a reasonable expectation that tuners will do whatever they do in order to give them the product they paid for, which is actually just a license. When you purchase a tune, you're merely licensing it from the tuner. You may own the hardware, but the software on the ECU is no longer your property.

        Companies have every right to protect their IP from infringement. Written code can be copyrighted and is in fact IP. Just because the new code was modified from existing code does not change the fact that it is IP. Mercedes (and other manufacturers) encrypt the code to prevent infringement, but they will never sue tuners, because they have sales increased from people to intend to tune the cars, much like yourself. Removable epoxy = encryption.

        I don't know which tuners or how many of them have a practice of using epoxy, but it appears from another post that MHP does this and offers to remove it and put the ECU back to stock if so desired. Really, some of y'all are just moving the hater train up the track more with this thread. I have yet to see anyone post that a tuner epoxied the ECU and refuses to remove it. This is really unwarranted, folks. The entire thread.
        Well said.
      1. benzomannyc's Avatar
        benzomannyc -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        /inb4benzomannyc is Andy.
        Sorry pal I am not Andy I have been an active member of MBworld since 2003 way before Andy rose to the circuit of Mercedes Benz tuning. You guys are such a bunch of jokers it makes me laugh. I signed up with the intent this forum may have a more mature audience which it simply does not as I am finding out.

        Like my post stated prove it that this ECU was ruined or the CNC actually cut the glue off or just shut up. If there is no proof then this post and all post in this thread are clearly here to discredit a company in a ruthless manner. It's shame. Do any of you guys have actual real jobs or careers? Sorry I don't have 7000 post to be a forum top dog because I actually work for a living and do not thrive on bashing others in public domain to make myself feel better like most of you guys do.
        JRCart lets be real with your statements of owning all these modded cars like your the baddest guy on the block. Your still bragging about your OLD CLK 63, and you play the role of a district attorney on forums. Why don't you go buy an Aventador or 599 GTO and mod those cars or build a collection of world class vintage and race cars and then I would actually respect you but I simply do not since your behavior is nothing but immature and demeaning. You are not a true car guy, just some ego driven cyber bully who needs an ego boost from phantom friends on web forums. Life is way to short to be living and acting the way some of you guys intend to choose. It is time to Wake up and Grow Up!
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzomannyc Click here to enlarge
        Sorry pal I am not Andy I have been an active member of MBworld since 2003 way before Andy rose to the circuit of Mercedes Benz tuning. You guys are such a bunch of jokers it makes me laugh. I signed up with the intent this forum may have a more mature audience which it simply does not as I am finding out.

        Like my post stated prove it that this ECU was ruined or the CNC actually cut the glue off or just shut up. If there is no proof then this post and all post in this thread are clearly here to discredit a company in a ruthless manner. It's shame. Do any of you guys have actual real jobs or careers? Sorry I don't have 7000 post to be a forum top dog because I actually work for a living and do not thrive on bashing others in public domain to make myself feel better like most of you guys do.
        JRCart lets be real with your statements of owning all these modded cars like your the baddest guy on the block. Your still bragging about your OLD CLK 63, and you play the role of a district attorney on forums. Why don't you go buy an Aventador or 599 GTO and mod those cars or build a collection of world class vintage and race cars and then I would actually respect you but I simply do not since your behavior is nothing but immature and demeaning. You are not a true car guy, just some ego driven cyber bully who needs an ego boost from phantom friends on web forums. Life is way to short to be living and acting the way some of you guys intend to choose. It is time to Wake up and Grow Up!
        Read all my posts. I said you were not Andy. I made that comment, because there are certain members in this thread who keep targeting new members as being Andy posting under a different username. Yes, they are very infantile.
      1. JRCART's Avatar
        JRCART -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzomannyc Click here to enlarge
        Sorry pal I am not Andy I have been an active member of MBworld since 2003 way before Andy rose to the circuit of Mercedes Benz tuning. You guys are such a bunch of jokers it makes me laugh. I signed up with the intent this forum may have a more mature audience which it simply does not as I am finding out.

        Like my post stated prove it that this ECU was ruined or the CNC actually cut the glue off or just shut up. If there is no proof then this post and all post in this thread are clearly here to discredit a company in a ruthless manner. It's shame. Do any of you guys have actual real jobs or careers? Sorry I don't have 7000 post to be a forum top dog because I actually work for a living and do not thrive on bashing others in public domain to make myself feel better like most of you guys do.
        JRCart lets be real with your statements of owning all these modded cars like your the baddest guy on the block. Your still bragging about your OLD CLK 63, and you play the role of a district attorney on forums. Why don't you go buy an Aventador or 599 GTO and mod those cars or build a collection of world class vintage and race cars and then I would actually respect you but I simply do not since your behavior is nothing but immature and demeaning. You are not a true car guy, just some ego driven cyber bully who needs an ego boost from phantom friends on web forums. Life is way to short to be living and acting the way some of you guys intend to choose. It is time to Wake up and Grow Up!
        I think he was being sacrcastic
      1. PetroC63's Avatar
        PetroC63 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        I wish people on this forum would stick to discrediting tuners who actually destroy $#@!.
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        People seemingly prefer to discredit those they have an axe to grind with. Personally, professionally, or both.
        +1

        This is just a witch hunt.

        Andy has stated publicly he would gladly remove the epoxy
        if the customer desired. Many of you got your wish when Andy
        was removed from this forum but I guess that wasn't enough?
        Very sad.

        Back to mbworld for me.
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        Some very good points and counter points being made here and I tend to agree with all of them.

        I think what is being said at this point is that Andy previously admitted that he does this to the ECU's he tunes - even showed a picture of it...but the pic he showed didn't show the the true amount of epoxy and the haphazard manner in which it was applied. Looking at the first few pics in this thread, you can clearly see the mound of epoxy is covering up other components on the board. I'd be pissed about that. I don't give a $#@! if the tuner says that he has the tools and solvents to safely remove it, I wouldn't want it there in the first place nor would I ever agree to it if I was told beforehand that this was their GHETTO way of encryption. And Furthermore, I guarantee you if a dealer saw this they would void the owners warranty citing a severely damaged and tampered with ECU - or, they would refuse to do any work on the vehicle until the owner purchased a new ECU.

        So many of you take such pride in your AMG's and nit pick every single little thing about them - I'd be willing to be that these same people would be very surprised to know that tucked away under their hood was an ECU that had some gigantic glob of epoxy covering it. One could argue that it's not harming the functioning of the ECU, but could you also say with absolute certainty that it will never cause the ECU to fail ? No matter which way you slice it, it has been done to owners ECU's without their knowledge or consent and it's a TOTALLY GHETTO way of encryption.
      1. c32AMG-DTM's Avatar
        c32AMG-DTM -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PetroC63 Click here to enlarge
        +1

        This is just a witch hunt.

        Andy has stated publicly he would gladly remove the epoxy
        if the customer desired. Many of you got your wish when Andy
        was removed from this forum but I guess that wasn't enough?
        Very sad.

        Back to mbworld for me.
        You know, it's funny that you say that. I think many are thinking the same thing.

        Don't get me wrong, MHP/Andy is not without faults, but getting to read his posts was one signficant aspect that made this place unique and different than MBW. Now, BenzBoost seemingly is becoming more polarizing and inflammatory and has very little unique, technical info that one can't readily get elsewhere, oftentimes much sooner and with more info/comments/feedback (due to much higher traffic). For example: Renntech's new M157 tune track results? That was posted days earlier by SGC on MBW. The moderation has also eased significantly over there - which was the most often-cited complaint.

        But couldn't agree more, the "Joe, Jim, and Luke show" is becoming a pretty predictable satire. Witchhunt indeed.
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        I think another question that should be asked is this - What would you guys think if you found out that Renntech was doing this ? Clearly they don't and have the ability to embed their encryption in the file itself. Yet, we all know that anyone with the skill and proper tools can crack the Renntech file which is considered the one of the best in the business, right ?
        So why go to such extremes to keep others from seeing what is on MHP tuned ECU's ? And if their tune is so good, then why can't they encrypt it electronically ?? Perhaps the answer is simple and the MHP tune really isn't that different than any other tune out there...or, maybe they don't want people seeing the tune and finding out that it doesn't really control all the parameters that MHP says it does. I don't know, but I think those are valid questions given the lengths that we see this particular tuner is willing to take to hide their files.

        Lastly - who's ECU is this ? Jim, is it yours ?? If so, I'd like to see pictures of the board after it was saved by the CNC machine. And I also agree with others here...The title of this thread is misleading if in fact the ECU was not ruined and was able to be salvaged. But still, having to use a CNC machine to clear away all that epoxy is still pretty hard to swallow for me and I'd be pissed off even if the ECU was still fine.
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LZH Click here to enlarge
        Some very good points and counter points being made here and I tend to agree with all of them.

        I think what is being said at this point is that Andy previously admitted that he does this to the ECU's he tunes - even showed a picture of it...but the pic he showed didn't show the the true amount of epoxy and the haphazard manner in which it was applied. Looking at the first few pics in this thread, you can clearly see the mound of epoxy is covering up other components on the board. I'd be pissed about that. I don't give a $#@! if the tuner says that he has the tools and solvents to safely remove it, I wouldn't want it there in the first place nor would I ever agree to it if I was told beforehand that this was their GHETTO way of encryption. And Furthermore, I guarantee you if a dealer saw this they would void the owners warranty citing a severely damaged and tampered with ECU - or, they would refuse to do any work on the vehicle until the owner purchased a new ECU.

        So many of you take such pride in your AMG's and nit pick every single little thing about them - I'd be willing to be that these same people would be very surprised to know that tucked away under their hood was an ECU that had some gigantic glob of epoxy covering it. One could argue that it's not harming the functioning of the ECU, but could you also say with absolute certainty that it will never cause the ECU to fail ? No matter which way you slice it, it has been done to owners ECU's without their knowledge or consent and it's a TOTALLY GHETTO way of encryption.
        It's your prerogative wether or not to use any tuner. Andy has been very forthcoming about it, as already shown. Also, MBUSA has been notorious for voiding warranties for any aftermarket products, even wheels. Yes, it has happened. So, I really don't think warranty is at issue. We all know we are modifying a vehicle and the warranty is subject to that, epoxy or no epoxy.
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LZH Click here to enlarge
        But still, having to use a CNC machine to clear away all that epoxy is still pretty hard to swallow for me and I'd be pissed off even if the ECU was still fine.
        Nobody had to CNC anything. Someone could have easily had Andy put the ECU back to stock, but chose not to. We don't know the story.
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        It's your prerogative wether or not to use any tuner. Andy has been very forthcoming about it, as already shown. Also, MBUSA has been notorious for voiding warranties for any aftermarket products, even wheels. Yes, it has happened. So, I really don't think warranty is at issue. We all know we are modifying a vehicle and the warranty is subject to that, epoxy or no epoxy.
        Are you kidding me ??? Are you really going to cite MBUSA voiding warranty for wheels as if that is an apples to apples comparison in this scenario ??? Any dealer that might see an ECU tampered with in this manner is going to raise some VERY BIG CONCERNS and that is a FACT. You cannot say the same for aftermarket wheels. The ECU controls so many different aspects of the vehicle that an initial visual inspection would most likely cause the dealer to immediatly call the regional rep and then it's GAME OVER.
        Your argument does not hold a drop of water. There are plenty of ways to modify a car and not have the dealer immediatly throw up a red flag - this is not one of them and you are foolish to suggest otherwise.
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LZH Click here to enlarge
        Are you kidding me ??? Are you really going to cite MBUSA voiding warranty for wheels as if that is an apples to apples comparison in this scenario ??? Any dealer that might see an ECU tampered with in this manner is going to raise some VERY BIG CONCERNS and that is a FACT. You cannot say the same for aftermarket wheels. The ECU controls so many different aspects of the vehicle that an initial visual inspection would most likely cause the dealer to immediatly call the regional rep and then it's GAME OVER.
        Your argument does not hold a drop of water.
        Really? Because dealers open the ECUs how often? Sorry, bro, but my argument holds water because it's happened before. Voiding warranty is voiding warranty...and they are known to do it any little chance they get.
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        Nobody had to CNC anything. Someone could have easily had Andy put the ECU back to stock, but chose not to. We don't know the story.
        So what you're saying is that this is industry standard to leave the customer high and dry. If the customer has a falling out with the tuner and says, "Screw you, I don't want my money back, I don't ever want anything to do with you again" - then what do you think is going to happen when said customer takes this $#@!ed up ECU to another tuner ????? I'll tell you what will happen, THIS THREAD - because no RESPECTABLE tuner is going to even ATTEMPT to try and remove that mound of epoxy. WHY ??? BECAUSE IT ISN'T INDUSTRY STANDARD to modify hardware in such a way!!!!!
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LZH Click here to enlarge
        So what you're saying is that this is industry standard to leave the customer high and dry. If the customer has a falling out with the tuner and says, "Screw you, I don't want my money back, I don't ever want anything to do with you again" - then what do you think is going to happen when said customer takes this $#@!ed up ECU to another tuner ????? I'll tell you what will happen, THIS THREAD - because no RESPECTABLE tuner is going to even ATTEMPT to try and remove that mound of epoxy. WHY ??? BECAUSE IT ISN'T INDUSTRY STANDARD to modify hardware in such a way!!!!!
        Then that's the customer's dumbass fault for not having the tuner remove the epoxy first as he stated he would. I'm sorry, but I can't side with arrogance over common sense. Someone already commented saying this is standard practice with audio engineering. Maybe someone was just smart enough to pioneer it in auto engineering.
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        Really? Because dealers open the ECUs how often? Sorry, bro, but my argument holds water because it's happened before. Voiding warranty is voiding warranty...and they are known to do it any little chance they get.
        Clearly you missed this in my first post here:

        " One could argue that it's not harming the functioning of the ECU, but could you also say with absolute certainty that it will never cause the ECU to fail ?"

        So can you say with 100% certainty that this "epoxy encryption" will never cause any problems with the ECU whatsoever ??
        Anyone in their right mind cannot agree to that statement thus proving your argument doesn't hold water. Chances are it could fail giving the dealer the opportunity to open it and thus voiding the warranty.
        Do you know what kind of equipment the dealer has to monitor voltage inside the ECU ? I do...and I can tell you with absolute certainty that if this ECU was diagnosed, the epoxy covering the other components would cause a voltage spike outside it's normal parameters and raise a few eyebrows.
      1. mramg1's Avatar
        mramg1 -
        A couple of things to take away from this:

        1. Without question, IF this vehicle had have had an engine/ECU issue, MB would have voided the warranty instantly. I really do not care what our resident lawyer would say, but this vehicle would have been null and voided INSTANTLY. If you feel otherwise, please stand up and defend them with time and money.

        2. It is NOT industry standard to do this tactic to save your IP material. NO ONE Does this except for company A, PERIOD.

        3. It is common knowledge that company A gets their tunes from tectech. They have even stated that themselves. For those non believers please check the dyno graphs at both sites to see the similarities/exact graphs. If you like I can post them myselfClick here to enlarge

        4. It can be argued from both sides that the title is misleading, but it still has your attention on this matter, doesn't it? I personally would agree that it was NOT ruined as it was stated that they removed it. Simple fact here guys. Why was it removed, now that IS a good question. I to would like to see the finished product after the millingClick here to enlarge
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LZH Click here to enlarge
        Clearly you missed this in my first post here:

        " One could argue that it's not harming the functioning of the ECU, but could you also say with absolute certainty that it will never cause the ECU to fail ?"

        So can you say with 100% certainty that this "epoxy encryption" will never cause any problems with the ECU whatsoever ??
        Anyone in their right mind cannot agree to that statement thus proving your argument doesn't hold water. Chances are it could fail giving the dealer the opportunity to open it and thus voiding the warranty.
        Do you know what kind of equipment the dealer has to monitor voltage inside the ECU ? I do...and I can tell you with absolute certainty that if this ECU was diagnosed, the epoxy covering the other components would cause a voltage spike outside it's normal parameters and raise a few eyebrows.
        Can you say 100% that it can cause harm? Surely if it's used in other industries on boards that has to be some indication, but you didn't give that any deference. Your mind is clouded with your hatred toward Andy/MHP. You keep using "your argument does not hold any water." That's a common phrase for people who argue without conviction. It's a subconscious defense mechanism. That only really tells me that you don't absolutely believe what you post....and you can't, because you can't say with certainty that you know this particular epoxy can cause any damage whatsoever.
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        Then that's the customer's dumbass fault for not having the tuner remove the epoxy first as he stated he would. I'm sorry, but I can't side with arrogance over common sense. Someone already commented saying this is standard practice with audio engineering. Maybe someone was just smart enough to pioneer it in auto engineering.
        You truly are an idiot.
        So some guy with no credibility comes on here and in his FIRST POST states that this is common practice in the field of audio engineering and you immediately take that as FACT ???? For an attorney you really have a strange way of finding the facts...
        And so now the customer is the "dumbass"??? I have been in situations with people where I have been so put off that I was willing to lose thousands of dollars just to never have to hear from them again or have anything to do with them because I had lost all faith in them. So if this were the case, then I would be the "dumbass" ???