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    • Flash faux pas? Modern BMW turbo flash tuning capability is greatly overstated and not what you think it is

      Sorry to put a damper on the parade but the flash tuning capability of the new turbo M models is greatly overstated. A couple of days ago results were posted of a flash tuned S55 inline-6 which is the turbocharged M motor featured under the hood of the F80 M3 and F82 M4. It is true that this car was flashed but after seeing the article BimmerBoost was contacted by a tuner who wanted to set the record straight on what is actually going on.

      Nobody at the moment has real control of any modern ECU used in the turbo BMW's. This includes the F30 models, F10, F12/F13, F82, F80, and so on. The tricore ECU's in these cars have not been cracked. So what exactly is going on?

      The tuners claiming the ability to flash are all using the same trick but they are not uploading their own custom tuned software. They are essentially flashing the same files that originate internally from BMW. Some of these files are just press files. Oh, you did not know BMW uses different software on cars they let the press test? Well, namely with the F10 M5 and F12/F13 M6 they do.

      Why? The BMW press software will allow a higher margin for a CEL (check engine light). That means you will not see any of those nasty reviews saying the cars went into limp mode. This among other things like traction control changes or higher boost itself. Some tuners have even been using the BMW Competition Package software which is not real flash tuning. It is just uploading BMW's own file.

      If anyone needs proof of this ask for a custom dyno tune for your F10 M5 or F80 M3. It is not going to happen, at least not yet. Tuners can play with the bootloader but if they modify outside of certain parameters the checksum fails. If it fails, the software will not flash.

      All of the big boys are struggling with this believe it or not. Dimsport which is traditionally the source for a lot of automotive ECU cracks that then spread out (for $ from others) can not flash tune the Tricore ECU's. Some guys may be using this Russian software for the Tricore ECU's to read out of the files but what can they do with it once they do?

      The tuner that contacted BimmerBoost said to ask the tuners for proof of their ability. No tuner that has contacted BimmerBoost stating they have the ability to flash tune has demonstrated it. So how do you get a dyno graph showing gains with a flash tune? Well, you can run a car until it is hot and then flash BMW's own software that leaked out and once the car cools down showing gains with a handpicked before and after graph.

      BimmerBoost stands by this report that nobody has true flash tuning ability at the moment. BimmerBoost will also state that many tuners make their living simply flashing factory files from Europe over on US cars at a markup. We will not name who it is that predominantly does this but the readers here are smart enough to figure it out.

      The flash tuning era of the F80 M3 / F82 M4 and F10 M5 / F13 M6 can not even be stated as being in its infancy as the development is not even that far along. We will see what happens but internal sources at BMW that traditionally have helped can not. You would not either if it meant losing your job.


      This article was originally published in forum thread: Flash faux pas? Modern BMW turbo flash tuning capability is greatly overstated and not what you think it is started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 32 Comments
      1. fastgti69's Avatar
        fastgti69 -
        Told you it was BS. There is no way that $#@! just "leaks"
      1. Kommodore's Avatar
        Kommodore -
        I wonder what's cheaper? Hiring enough development time to break in with no guarantee of success, or develop a plug & play aftermarket ECU?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Kommodore Click here to enlarge
        I wonder what's cheaper? Hiring enough development time to break in with no guarantee of success, or develop a plug & play aftermarket ECU?
        Neither.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
        Told you it was BS. There is no way that $#@! just "leaks"
        I don't know if 'BS' is the right term as much as 'misleading' is the right term.
      1. richpike's Avatar
        richpike -
        That sucks - so much for the hype. Just tell me Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are still real?

        -Rich
      1. I6+TT=FTW's Avatar
        I6+TT=FTW -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by richpike Click here to enlarge
        That sucks - so much for the hype. Just tell me Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are still real?

        -Rich
      1. richpike's Avatar
        richpike -
        NOOOOO!!!!

        -Rich
      1. 135pats's Avatar
        135pats -
        Ugh. Lame.

        Not surprised but lame.
      1. BrenM3's Avatar
        BrenM3 -
        Not BS. Press files are different and only applied to the M5/M6. No need to debate it though.

        I know where HG/JB get their stuff from.
      1. Sticky2's Avatar
        Sticky2 -
        Well you guys are getting it from the same source.
      1. rawad1017's Avatar
        rawad1017 -
        well that didn't last very long lol
      1. bobS's Avatar
        bobS -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BrenM3 Click here to enlarge
        Not BS. Press files are different and only applied to the M5/M6. No need to debate it though.

        I know where HG/JB get their stuff from.
        Ok so if Bren is saying it's not bs....then is it not bs? What is true?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
        Ok so if Bren is saying it's not bs....then is it not bs? What is true?
        Nobody has full access to the ECU is the truth.
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        I'm still not sold on this idea that it's a "press tune" since the numbers put down by M5s and M6s by journalists have been slower than what private owners have gotten time and time again.

        Looks like it's turning out to be the same for the M3/4 as well. There may well be a different file, but the idea that it's a "press tune" makes no sense to me.

        Also, I keep hearing about this "press tune" for S63tu cars but nobody ever seems to be able to verify its existence or even have any evidence that this is what its used for. In fact, I've never seen a single dyno run by any "press tuned" M5 or M6 ever. And, the only times I've seen journalists dyno an M5 or M6, they've gotten lower numbers than what private owners have been able to generate.

        Will be very interesting to see what happens with the M3 and M4, looking forward to developments.
      1. Terry@BMS's Avatar
        Terry@BMS -
        The s63tu flash file that is passed around is the comp package flash. Several tuners market and install it as a flash tune. It's well documented.

        On the s55 stuff no idea. The dyno tuned flashed dyno chart they posted seems to closely match our stock s55 numbers and we have no problems pulling our stock car to 170mph (on the speedo) on the dyno. Shrug.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by leveraged sellout Click here to enlarge
        I'm still not sold on this idea that it's a "press tune" since the numbers put down by M5s and M6s by journalists have been slower than what private owners have gotten time and time again.
        As stated it is not just about power. Additionally, press files exist for multiple manufacturers.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by leveraged sellout Click here to enlarge
        Also, I keep hearing about this "press tune" for S63tu cars but nobody ever seems to be able to verify its existence or even have any evidence that this is what its used for.
        It's pretty clearly stated.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Terry@BMS Click here to enlarge
        The s63tu flash file that is passed around is the comp package flash. Several tuners market and install it as a flash tune. It's well documented.

        On the s55 stuff no idea. The dyno tuned flashed dyno chart they posted seems to closely match our stock s55 numbers and we have no problems pulling our stock car to 170mph (on the speedo) on the dyno. Shrug.
        The Competition Package stuff should be well known. It should also be well known that many Mercedes tuners used the factory AMG P31 file as a standard C63 tune. This happens with multiple companies not just BMW.

        Regarding the flash baseline we saw it was a little low not that all dynojets read the same. The tuned run wasn't even higher than the majority of baseline runs we have seen. So, what's really up?

        The fact is nobody has control of these ECU's. I don't care if you can get some factory file to write. That isn't tuning.
      1. BrenM3's Avatar
        BrenM3 -
        Press tune was an original thing most did with the F10. Sticky is right. However, Not anymore.

        It does not apply anymore or to the F80.

        I know the person who originally wrote the tool. There are files for downpipes / bigger turbos / etc. There are full editable definitions available for all F cars if your wallet is deep.

        It will be more common as more tuners purchase it. And the truth will be revealed soon.

        Your question is better sent to jailbreak.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BrenM3 Click here to enlarge
        Press tune was an original thing most did with the F10. Sticky is right. However, Not anymore.

        It does not apply anymore or to the F80.

        I know the person who originally wrote the tool. There are files for downpipes / bigger turbos / etc. There are full editable definitions available for all F cars if your wallet is deep.

        It will be more common as more tuners purchase it. And the truth will be revealed soon.
        Show me a dyno tuned F80 M3.
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        What else would it be about...I've seen people get a stock M5 (no comp package) to 60 in less than 3.7 seconds and cut sub-12 quarter mile times. No "press car" has ever done that. Some comp package cars get close, but not quite.

        I know it's being stated, but I'm saying I simply don't believe it. I think this is a story that was told by a few and got passed around as fact. Not trying to say you did that, but just in general that seems to be what everyone always says. Also, the people who had their car "press-tuned" by guys who supposedly were able to even do that mysteriously never get their cars dyno'd or run them at the strip. Always seemed funny to me. Like many say, I believe that the "press tune" was a leak of the comp package tune. That would make sense to me.

        Its not really a big deal, I just like to stick to known facts. So far, I've never seen a BMW that didn't perform as well or better than BMW or the journalists said it would. Now Ferrari on the other hand....