|Wed, Oct-28-2009, 09:48:06 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,453In the garage:
Location: SE PA
Review: ESS ECU tune
I have long avoided getting software. This was for two reasons.
1) I generally HATE what software companies do with throttle mapping. My friend has the Conforti shark software on his M5, and in my opinion (and his) it has completely ruined the drivability of the car. I hate sport mode with a passion and anything that makes the car behave more like its in sport mode will never touch my car.
2) I didn't feel there was any real gains to be had from it.
Fast forward 100,000 miles into my car's life. I installed headers and, after a couple weeks the post cat O2 CEL came on. I was hoping it wouldn't, with the recent emissions recall... but it did... So I began the research process.
Eventually I landed on ESS, largely because, from what they told me, their software would make the throttle less touchy rather than more. If I'm honest I didn't really believe them 100% (because everyone seems to feel the need to make the car feel faster by making the throttle mapping more aggressive) but I had to get something so I took the leap... and I've very pleased I did.
1) Throttle mapping is perfect. This is NOT sport mode, all the time, like my friend's 39 with shark. The car still drives predictably and smoothly. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say the throttle mapping is better than stock-- something I never foresaw.
2) The tune is specific to your setup. Options include headers/not, what octane you'll be running, cams you're running, what you want the redline set to (from 8000 to 9000). In my case, I set the car up for euro headers, 93 octane, stock cams, 8000rpm redline.
3) Top speed limiter removed
4) car can now be dynoed without any tricks
5) They actually remap the VANOS. Not everyone does.
6) In some 6MT cars they can turn on the SMG shift lights. They don't advertise this feature because they can't do it on all cars, but some let this happen. The car much be post 03.5 and then there's some unknown that determines if it can happen or not. Sadly mine could not, though it would be awesome if it had.
I could not be more pleased with how this turned out. I will be dynoing the car in the next few weeks, as well as running a stock M3, but I have to say that the car actually does feel noticeably faster. Where it really stands out is in the mid range pull-- 3600-7400rpm feel much torquier than stock. It could be the butt dyno, but I really don't think it is (and I had another forum member with a stock M3 drive the car-- he felt the same way). The car runs flawlessly and the throttle is completely smooth/controllable. I can't imagine any way I could be happier with the way this software turned out. I love it!!
Lastly, in case anyone was wondering, turn around was quick-- the sent the ECU back out the day after they got it. Minimal downtime ftw
Oh, and the price is $500 for anyone wondering.
Thread will be updated with dyno and mexico race as I get them...
edited in from later in the thread, as a second opinion is always a good thing
edited in from later in the thread:
Had a chance to get down to Mexico and run a fellow M3Fer there last night. Here's the complete breakdown:
JVT (ebay) headers
Macht Schnell air filter
Streamline intake elbow
Two AR20s welded in to eliminate rasp (which probably reduce power)
AFE stage 2 intake.
From talking to him today, in his experience he normally pulls slowly on stock M3s.
Both cars had two people. Mine probably had an extra 50lb of people weight.
My AC was on, but his slat windows were open... probably a wash.
I don't know how much gas he had, I had 3/4 of a tank.
Both cars were running on Vredestein tires. He was running on 18lb, 18" Volks, I was running on 20lb, 19" RACs.
So, in total, I believe I was disadvantaged in every way other than power (and maybe shift speed).
Second run Dave mis shifted and gave up shortly thereafter... so only watch the beginning of it.
Both runs were from 30mph in 2nd gear. Watching the video, it looks like most of my gains over Dave are right in the beginning, which is right in line with the mid range power jump that i feel like I've gained. I'm hoping to do another race where we shift at 6000rpm or start from low speed at a higher gear to test this theory out.
Anyway here's what we got last night:
Clearly I still need to dyno
Current Cars: 2005 IR/IR M3, 2003 TiAg M5, 1995 S50 B32 GT3 RS Green M3 Race Car _____Former Cars: 2004 TiAg/IR M3, 1996 TV/black M3, 1995 AW M3 shell
Useful stuff: Objective suspension comparison, DIY suspension install VIDEOS (e36 version), Stick Driving Basics, e46 Climate Control, Better Fuel Economy 101, 10W-60 TWS
Everything on the car: Mod List __________ HighRes M Wallpapers (Misc collected pics) <--- save target to desktop
Selling: Suspensions, brakes, safety equipment, etc (ask away!)
Renting: Valve shim adjustment kit, RTAB tool, Ball joint tool
Last edited by Obioban; Mon, Nov-02-2009 at 03:05:29 PM.
|Wed, Oct-28-2009, 10:10:30 PM||#3|
you want WHAT delivered WHERE?
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: OFallon IL
Wonder if its possible to tell by the VIN if the shift lights can be turned on?
DOUG aka BUCHO
From the Factory: 2004 Titanium Silver/Imola Red 6MT 19s PremPkg HtdSeats Xenon HK Nav
Mods: Champion Motorsport RG4s wrapped in 245/275 Toyo T1Rs, OEM CSL Bootlid, VCSL CF Diffuser,
ZCP/CSL OEM brake upgrade, CF Kidney Grilles, CF Fender Gills, Painted reflectors and fog light rings
Official M3 Boobies Club: Boob #13
|Wed, Oct-28-2009, 10:40:02 PM||#4|
Join Date: May 2006
Location: San Jose, Ca
hmm, i might have them load it on my car at bimmerfest
PM me for a Shim Kit
|Wed, Oct-28-2009, 11:53:23 PM||#5|
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Boston, MA
Ian, thanks for the review. I will be doing headers/cats in the coming year, and I had researched software flashes as well. My feeling was (solely based on research) that the ESS tune was the closest to the Euro tune with a few tweaks (rev limit, speed limiter, octane adjustment,...), and that's *ALL* I wanted. Like you said, no artificial throttle mapping, etc. to make the car "feel" faster, or boosting high-rpm power at the cost of low/mid rpm power. This review confirms what I thought, and I will definitely go with the ESS tune when I swap headers.
2005 TiAg ///M3 Coupe
6MT, Black Nappa leather, Xenon, HK sound
///Mods - performance: OEM CSL headers (Swaintech ceramic coated) & catalytic converter pipe, Supersprint resonated X-pipe & "Street" muffler, ESS ECU tune, Rogue Octane SSK & transmission mounts, ZHP shifter knob, hollowed CDV (Zeckhausen), Mason/GSP clutch pedal with UUC bushing, Volk Racing CE28N 18x8.5F/9.5R wheels with 245/275 tires
///Mods - appearance: OEM CSL front bumper & trunklid & diffuser, piano black kidney grilles & side gills, smoked corner lights, short center console with Euro tray, AC Schnitzer aluminum pedals, 35% tint
|Wed, Oct-28-2009, 11:55:56 PM||#6|
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Asbjorn at ESS is an absolute WIZARD with this stuff. I wish you could've been closer to the Twin Cities when you were in Minnesota so you could've experienced their CFR tune.
I'm looking forward to see the yield and/or comparisons. Congrats Ian!
Porsche 997 - GJGM3 Replacement
997 Mods in Progress
|Thu, Oct-29-2009, 12:02:16 AM||#8|
Join Date: Mar 2006
Good to hear you're happy with the tune do you have a baseline dyno ? so you can see the difference between before and after the tune .
Euro 01 IR/IR ///M3 113K miles|281rwhp on DD
Engine: aFe drop in filter, SS race exhaust |Drivetrain: AS Ultimate SSK w/ UUC DSSR, ZHP shifter knob, GSP clutch pedal.
Suspension : AST 5100's 600/750 w/ Vorshlag camber plates, PF RTAB's, RE RSM, UUC adjustable rear camber arms, TMS reinforcement kit & endlinks |Braking: Cool Carbon, StopTech SS lines| Exterior: Alufelgen SF-71's, VORS(1x1) CSL bumper, trunk and diffuser,OEM rear LED's, blackout front grills, CF side grills , smoked corners and side signal lights, TFX conversion, Umnitza 4300K V2's angle eyes, Euro wide convex mirrors| Interior: US spec trunk release button, OEM alcantara boot, OEM alum pedals.
|ecu, ess, review, tune|