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      11-25-2016, 01:13 PM   #1
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Bootmod3 review with dyno testing of stock, bootmod3, JB4, custom power tuning

Earlier this week I had the chance to use ProTuningFreaks bootmod3 system and work with my local dyno tuner. Although the bootmod3 system comes with its own user-installable tuning files, the feature I was most excited for was the ability to work with a dyno tuner directly to tune for my exact car. I do not have any significant modifications (just intakes), and I still use stock catalysts, but every car is slightly different and I want to take full advantage of any tuning platform.

There are a number of reviews already on bootmod3 which talk about the features of the platform, including the app-based management, the inclusion of the GTS DCT programming (which is very nice), and the upgrades and support, I want to focus on the power tuning.

First, a comment on unlocking your ECU, maps, and tuning. At this time, in order to use bootmod3 you must remove the ECU from the car and have it "unlocked" at a capable facility. Not all tuning shops have the ability to do this, so plan ahead. Once you have the unlock completed, and a readout of your stock ECU in an un-encrypted format, you deliver the file to PTF who will in turn use it as a baseline for your maps. The performance maps PTF returns to you are encrypted and not easily available to be read by you or your dyno tuner. I would prefer if PTF would not do this, as it means my tuner could not start from PTFs canned maps, and instead had to tune from my stock file. You're often paying by the hour for tuner time, so keep that in mind.



The following dynos are uncorrected, and posted without smoothing. All testing is on pump 93 octane only. No E85 or fuel enhancers.



Stock vs bootmod3 Stage 1
I was always planning on having custom tuning done, but I figured why wouldn't I test what PTF provides as the bootmod3 Stage 1 map? In short, it is very impressive. I didn't know what to expect from PTF's tune, and I was thinking a canned "Stage 1" tune should be good for 440 - 450whp. My tuner and I were both blown away by the performance. This was the very first pull on PTF's Stage 1 map. I would say 95% of users are going to be extremely satisfied by just this offering. Notice the smoothness of the tune's power delivery, and the abundance of low end torque and top end power. I'm calling this the "table top" power band, and I love it.


Legend:
Red - Stock
Blue - PTF Stage 1



Custom Tuning
Starting from the stock tune, my tuner spent about 4 hours tuning my car. We went through 4 revisions, and got some nice results. After multiple revisions and some additional table work to go past the stock 23 psi restriction, we arrived at the conclusion that the car was limited right around 490whp with the stock cats in place. At 25psi we got the low end torque all the way to 530, but top end never gained north of 490 (I wanted the magical 500 number) and we were sure it was pushing more heat and inefficient boost at that level. In the end, he backed it down to 23psi, and made results very similar to what PTF delivered "off the shelf". Although there are some slight areas of improvement, I think this again shows how great the OTS tune from PTF is.


Legend:
Red - Stock
Green - Custom Tune



Comparison of bootmod3 Stage 1 and Custom Tuning

Legend:
Blue - PTF Stage 1
Green - Custom Tune



bootmod3 vs JB4
And now for the real power comparison: how does PTFs tuning compare to the most popular piggyback solution on the market? No comparison. The PTF Stage 1 maps offers all of the benefit of JB4 Map 2's torque and Map 5's top end power, all while using less boost and with smoother delivery.


Legend:
Blue - PTF Stage 1
Orange - JB4 Map 2
Brown - JB4 Map 5
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Last edited by Reach; 11-25-2016 at 06:14 PM..
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      11-25-2016, 01:14 PM   #2
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Here are my concluding thoughts for now: bootmod3 is currently the best tuning platform available and provides superior off-the-shelf tunes. However, it does have certain drawbacks:

- One time unlock process requires ECU removal. This is about an hour of shop time to un-install, and another hour to re-assemble. It can be done at home "DIY" (I did) but care must be taken in the process and it is not for a below-average DIY mechanic. If you haven't done significant wrenching before, this probably shouldn't be done at home, too much can go wrong.

- Expense: once you add up the cost of the PTF licenses, the hardware agent, the time and expense to unlock, you have the most expensive of the "off the shelf" tuning solutions. If you want to get custom dyno tuning, you're looking at likely between 50% and 100% of that cost added on top.

- Lack of open maps: at this time, PTF is encrypting their maps and not making their work readily available for other tuners to build from. This decision is squarely PTF's to make, but I would ask them to change course and make them more available. To be clear, when you custom tune, you are uploading your tunes to PTF's cloud, so they are receiving your tuning, while not sharing theirs. I think the whole community benefits when we share our best information. PTF already has the best hardware and support available, so even sharing this IP I don't know how much they would have to lose, while we could potentially gain much from better community dyno tune sharing.

So, what should you do? The JB4 offers a great set of maps and features, and is the easiest to install and start using. Great support, vendor network, and OBDII enabled features. bootmod3 offers a more difficult setup, higher cost, but then superior performance tuning capacity via the ECU. Some users may benefit from leveraging both setups in carefully controlled setups, as the JB4 can offer beyond-the-ECU boost targeting and EWG features. It also integrates with other features such as methanol and port injection, which are not currently supported or managed by bootmod3. Choose carefully before going down any tuning / power adding path, but it is nice to have these great choices available.
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Last edited by Reach; 11-25-2016 at 06:16 PM..
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      11-25-2016, 03:15 PM   #3
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Nice data collection! Please post the SAE corrected charts also. Unless the runs are done on the same day you can't compare uncorrected numbers.

Also excited to see the boost and ignition advance traces for each tune.
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      11-25-2016, 03:19 PM   #4
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Great reviews seem to be very impartial. They really need an unlocker in Atlanta. ��
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      11-25-2016, 03:52 PM   #5
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Very nice job. I am assuming these runs were all done the same day?
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      11-25-2016, 04:03 PM   #6
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Really appreciate the time taken to try bootmod3 for custom tuning and to share your experience in as much detail with others.

One minor thing we wanted to add and maybe clarify, cost wise to get all of this going including our OTS map, TCU transmission flash and all the features (logging, live dash, ability to load and flash custom maps, diagnostics, exhaust flap actuation, active sound control, etc) is 595 provided the car is unlocked already. Unlock itself varies based on the dealer doing the work. Our cost when doing it at our home location in Toronto is $100 excluding shipping.

Have a great weekend!
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      11-25-2016, 05:58 PM   #7
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What proTUNING Freaks is saying is true. My posted experience was about my all-in costs of purchasing and using the bootmod3 license, hardware (optional), unlock (not provided by PTF), shipping, etc. Dollar for dollar it's hard to argue with PTF, but just be aware you may spend some additional dollars in the process that don't go to PTF.



To answer another question asked: I'm not going to post SAE charts as well, as uncorrected is the appropriate way to read and compare results for this engine. No, not all runs were done on the same day, but all were conducted on the same equipment. There's another thread where we've beat this issue to death, but the proper way to read S55 numbers is uncorrected, not SAE, per the standard itself. I'm quoting from the document below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAE J1349
5.5.2 On any engine where the power output is automatically controlled to compensate for changes in one or more of the listed inlet air and fuel supply test conditions, no correction for that test parameter shall be made. For example, boosted engines with absolute pressure controls shall not be corrected for ambient barometric pressure.
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Last edited by Reach; 11-25-2016 at 06:09 PM..
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      11-25-2016, 06:34 PM   #8
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It's your data but uncorrected numbers are totally useless. Ambient temperature and barometric pressure changes result in huge uncorrected variances.
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      11-25-2016, 06:52 PM   #9
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Amazing results! Its awesome that your tuner too got a crack at making a custom tune with BM3! I had no idea that was already possible?
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      11-25-2016, 07:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongBeachDinanFan View Post
It's your data but uncorrected numbers are totally useless. Ambient temperature and barometric pressure changes result in huge uncorrected variances.
The S55's ECU makes adaptation for ambient and barometric. SAE J1349 (the topic for correction factors) directly says not to apply correction factors when this is the case. You've been misinformed, please download and read the standard before making such a statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chewbakam4 View Post
Amazing results! Its awesome that your tuner too got a crack at making a custom tune with BM3! I had no idea that was already possible?
I've seen him work on many other cars, he can read tables directly and knows what to make changes to. He's offered to flash tune before but it would mean pulling the ECU for each revision, a major PIA. bootmod3 enabled us to just have him write a tune, flash, test, and repeat. Being in the shop with him was how we were able to do 4 iterations in 4 hours.

This is going to be huge for the ugpraded turbo guys. I wish I had some Pure Turbos to be writing a ECU flash for.
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      11-25-2016, 07:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reach View Post
The S55's ECU makes adaptation for ambient and barometric. SAE J1349 (the topic for correction factors) directly says not to apply correction factors when this is the case. You've been misinformed, please download and read the standard before making such a statement.
It is true the DME will attempt to compensate for weather changes to keep power the same but this all goes out the window when tuning. Once tuned you are working against knock threshold and compressor efficiency maps and weather plays a large role in what you are able to produce. The colder and more dense the outside air the easier it is to add power for a given fuel quality.

The good news is we don't need your permission to compute the SAE correction factor. It requires only the temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity. I took the liberty of reading your previous dyno post and plugging in the numbers for those curious like I was.

Raleigh, North Carolina
3/31/16: 4pm: 76f, BARO 29.97, Hum 48%: Dynojet SAE 1.01
11/23/16: 4pm: 59f, BARO 30.27, Hum 31%: Dynojet SAE 0.99
http://www.wallaceracing.com/dyno-cor-calc.php

To get close to SAE numbers you will multiple your flash result by 0.99 and your JB4 result by 1.01. Not a huge swing but notable. The colder weather will make it easier to push more boost and timing on the pump fuel. Be sure to test again when it warms up for comparison.
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      11-25-2016, 07:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongBeachDinanFan View Post
It is true the DME will attempt to compensate for weather changes to keep power the same but this all goes out the window when tuning. Once tuned you are working against knock threshold and compressor efficiency maps and weather plays a large role in what you are able to produce. The colder and more dense the outside air the easier it is to add power for a given fuel quality.

The good news is we don't need your permission to compute the SAE correction factor. It requires only the temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity. I took the liberty of reading your previous dyno post and plugging in the numbers for those curious like I was.

Raleigh, North Carolina
3/31/16: 4pm: 76f, BARO 29.97, HIM 48%: Dynojet SAE 1.01
11/23/16: 4pm: 59f, BARO 30.27, Hum 31%: Dynojet SAE 0.99
http://www.wallaceracing.com/dyno-cor-calc.php

So to get close to SAE numbers you will multiple your flash result by 0.99 and your JB4 result by 1.01. Not a huge swing but notable.
You can calculate it all you want, the standard still says you're not supposed to use it! That's the part that I'm trying to point out. Please, let's take this particular point "offline" from this thread, and if you'd like to engage in civilized debate on the applicability of correction factors, let's go have another thread about that.
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      11-25-2016, 07:57 PM   #13
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The OTS mapping looks really nice on the dyno and very closely mirrors what PTF has been showing off for a while. The power gain is impressive for the small amount of boost increase required (thanks to improvement in the throttle angle department as well as in the timing map which advances to MBT on pump gas....the under advancement of this platform, and crappy load targeting on the factory non-zap mapping is well documented).

Nice job guys.
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      11-25-2016, 08:04 PM   #14
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OP, thank you for taking the time and effort to do this. It's completely above and beyond what most of us have the time, patience, or energy to do (in a good way). And let's be honest, we don't drive M3s because we bum around all day!

One question for you, are you at all concerned with potential warranty issues? I was under the impression a re-flash to stock was needed for any potential warranty work, as a "stock tune" would still be detectable.

A second question as well, in your day-to-day driving, do you feel that all that torque down low is "useable"? I feel like our cars are already somewhat traction-limited as it is. Even going down the highway, sometimes kicking down to 3rd gear will make the chassis a bit squirrely from my experience.
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      11-25-2016, 08:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reach View Post
Here are my concluding thoughts for now: bootmod3 is currently the best tuning platform available and provides superior off-the-shelf tunes. However, it does have certain drawbacks:

- One time unlock process requires ECU removal. This is about an hour of shop time to un-install, and another hour to re-assemble. It can be done at home "DIY" (I did) but care must be taken in the process and it is not for a below-average DIY mechanic. If you haven't done significant wrenching before, this probably shouldn't be done at home, too much can go wrong.

- Expense: once you add up the cost of the PTF licenses, the hardware agent, the time and expense to unlock, you have the most expensive of the "off the shelf" tuning solutions. If you want to get custom dyno tuning, you're looking at likely between 50% and 100% of that cost added on top.

- Lack of open maps: at this time, PTF is encrypting their maps and not making their work readily available for other tuners to build from. This decision is squarely PTF's to make, but I would ask them to change course and make them more available. To be clear, when you custom tune, you are uploading your tunes to PTF's cloud, so they are receiving your tuning, while not sharing theirs. I think the whole community benefits when we share our best information. PTF already has the best hardware and support available, so even sharing this IP I don't know how much they would have to lose, while we could potentially gain much from better community dyno tune sharing.

So, what should you do? The JB4 offers a great set of maps and features, and is the easiest to install and start using. Great support, vendor network, and OBDII enabled features. bootmod3 offers a more difficult setup, higher cost, but then superior performance tuning capacity via the ECU. Some users may benefit from leveraging both setups in carefully controlled setups, as the JB4 can offer beyond-the-ECU boost targeting and EWG features. It also integrates with other features such as methanol and port injection, which are not currently supported or managed by bootmod3. Choose carefully before going down any tuning / power adding path, but it is nice to have these great choices available.
Very nice write up! Thank you for posting the charts as well. I was sold on the BM3 but this just accelerated my timeline on getting a flash. I'm really shocked at how well the OTS tune held up verses a custom tune. Thanks again much appreciated
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      11-25-2016, 09:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James0518 View Post
Very nice write up! Thank you for posting the charts as well. I was sold on the BM3 but this just accelerated my timeline on getting a flash. I'm really shocked at how well the OTS tune held up verses a custom tune. Thanks again much appreciated
I'm interested in seeing the stage 2 stacked with the JB4


BMW M4 PWR check this out
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      11-26-2016, 03:55 AM   #17
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Very informative and detailed review!!! I've done the stage 2 bm3 flash and it's amazing! Now i'm just waiting for an e85/91 map to be released. Hopefully someone (coughs) finally tests it out next week. You know who you are
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      11-26-2016, 05:48 AM   #18
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Great thread and approach to comparing results .
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      11-26-2016, 10:42 AM   #19
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The PTF tune looks better than the custom imo. Either way nice to see the BM3 stuff is working well!
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      11-26-2016, 10:47 AM   #20
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Amazing work OP! Love seeing threads like this. You answered so many questions for so many people. We will definitely be referring plenty of people over to this thread

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      11-26-2016, 03:24 PM   #21
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Great review, thanks for that
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      11-26-2016, 03:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soobieajax325 View Post
Very informative and detailed review!!! I've done the stage 2 bm3 flash and it's amazing! Now i'm just waiting for an e85/91 map to be released. Hopefully someone (coughs) finally tests it out next week. You know who you are
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