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