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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #26  
Old 05-02-2012, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ///M-ratedE90 View Post
Dinan runs dyno tests at the crank as they have an engine testing room. They have the ability to do that because they build race engines, so have to meet spec for the series (CF Telmex BMW in Grand-Am). I am not sure how many other tuners have this facility. They choose their tuning spec based on getting the engine to fail and dialing back the tune to what they consider a "safe" level that they can comfortably offer a warranty. They commented that the failure is usually the engine con-rods, which I believe are sintered metal. Steve Dinan referred to this as automotive chipboard.

He also said that a stock N54 engine has a lifetime of about 150-200K before needing rebuilding, whereas a tuned N54 engine has a "lifetime" of 100-150K.

In terms of power gains, the tunes are probably a wash, the difference may well be the ancillary tuning of other engine control mechanisms such as water and oil pumps. I wonder if any of these are borrowed between tuners - I am sure they all have copies of each other's engine maps.

Day-to-day, on the road, you won't need an oil cooler. On the track, you will have about 5 laps before the engine goes into lock down mode and you have to cool off.
Gee & all this time I thought he used BHP because it made his tune look competitive with the other guys who are all at WHP. For the amount of actual power his tune generates you might as well get BMW's factory performance pack, get a real BMW warranty & call it a day.

There is no way the tunes are a wash.....the three major 3rd party ones all perform very well but Dinan does not, its more of an insurance policy then a tune. Take a quick look at Drag Times .Com list of 238 BMW 335i's & look who is pretty much missing from the list.

On the oil cooler BMW went to one because of heating issues on the stock motor when pushed & think anyone adding any power or even running the stock motor hard in a warm climate should install one.
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Last edited by bear-avhistory; 05-02-2012 at 02:04 PM.
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  #27  
Old 05-02-2012, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by boilers93 View Post
You guess wrong my friend.

What you should have been guessing is that Steve Dinan pulled those numbers out of his rear end and has no real statistical data to back up what an N54 "engine" "lifetime" is.

For starters, is he talking about the engines that he regularly flogs around tracks or the engines that most of use as daily drivers? What parts of the engine is he talking about? What does he consider constitutes a "rebuild"?

He must have assumed that everyone he was talking to was an idiot and would just accept those rear-end pulled numbers without questioning them.

Now, if he had said, all else being equal, the incidence of failure for an engine (specifically turbos and related piping, although everything in the drivetrain) that is after-market tuned will go up quicker with time and mileage than a car that is not after market tuned, I would have no problem with that.
Maybe I should have used the phrase "major overhaul" rather than "lifetime".

So, you've comprehensively debunked Steve Dinan as a authoritative source of engine lifetime data, despite his reputation as a leading BMW engine tuner, successful race car engine builder and owner of business formerly closely associated with BMW. He did state that he has regular discussions with BMW engineers to discuss engine data, as the BMW engineers wonder about what happens to their engines when they are tuned/pushed. I have no reason to believe he was lying, but then again I was one of ~50 idiots in the audience.


May I be so bold as to enquire as to your credentials as an engine lifetime expert? Clearly, you haven't pulled them out of your ass...so where did you get them?

[It could make the difference between appearing as an engineering expert versus an internet blow-hard]
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  #28  
Old 05-02-2012, 02:44 PM
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Gee & all this time I thought he used BHP because it made his tune look competitive with the other guys who are all at WHP. For the amount of actual power his tune generates you might as well get BMW's factory performance pack, get a real BMW warranty & call it a day.

There is no way the tunes are a wash.....the three major 3rd party ones all perform very well but Dinan does not, its more of an insurance policy then a tune. Take a quick look at Drag Times .Com list of 238 BMW 335i's & look who is pretty much missing from the list.

On the oil cooler BMW went to one because of heating issues on the stock motor when pushed & think anyone adding any power or even running the stock motor hard in a warm climate should install one.
Dinan's selling point is their warranty, so they set the tune to where they can guarantee longevity. They dial the tunes back. He said that they have tuned the V8 is the new 5 series to about 650HP and some ridiculous torque, but dialed it right back to make sure the engine lasted.


They are very proud of the fact that every legitimate claim against their warranty has been fixed, either by them, or by BMW. They have a BMW hotline to resolve these issues. They have done enough fixes that there is a distinct protocol of who fixes what based on the nature of the warranty claim. They ended up being liable for the wastegate issues, so they redesigned the part to be more durable, as there was a clear design flaw with the Mitsubishi turbo that BMW uses. They increased the price of their tunes to cover the cost of develpping the redesigned turbo parts and cover the cost of repairs. If your wastegate breaks with a Dinan tune, they rebuild the turbo with Dinan parts! I am not sure if this means you can stick a Dinan badge on the back of your ride though.
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  #29  
Old 05-02-2012, 07:21 PM
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Problem is you are buying a way more insurance then performance from Dinan. That being the case I would be embarrassed to put a Dinan sticker on the car, its sort of like validating P.T. Barnum's famous statement.
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  #30  
Old 05-02-2012, 07:28 PM
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Besides the performance, I think, with the various map re-configs-including water flow (as I recall there are 2000 changes)-longevity is part of the price as well.
I would agree with the poster who intimated that the 50k miles less expected -as stated by Steve Dinan- was attributed to a more or less flogged engine.
Again, who knows what loss of longevity an engine will experience when 'flogged' only periodically. I love my tuned 54. Sometimes wish it were more-then I wake up, and realize it's a six !
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  #31  
Old 05-03-2012, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ///M-ratedE90 View Post

May I be so bold as to enquire as to your credentials as an engine lifetime expert? Clearly, you haven't pulled them out of your ass...so where did you get them?

[It could make the difference between appearing as an engineering expert versus an internet blow-hard]
Frankly, I don't care how I appear to you. And I will absolutely agree that Mr. Dinan knows more about BMW engines than I know or ever care to know.

And I absolutely believe that those 100k and 150k numbers are completely and totally pulled out of his buttocks. And you should know it. For starters, they are meaningless without data and what was done to the engines in question to lead Mr. Dinan to believe that they have any real world applicability to real world BMW drivers.

Furthermore, there are already many tuned and stock 335s running around this forum with over 100k and 150k. I haven't heard of any one who has even had to replace a turbo much less "rebuild" an entire fricken' engine. So there are my statistics.

Me 1.

Steve Dinan 0.

Last edited by boilers93; 05-03-2012 at 08:25 AM.
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  #32  
Old 05-03-2012, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ///M-ratedE90 View Post
They are very proud of the fact that every legitimate claim against their warranty has been fixed, either by them, or by BMW.

Who gets to decide if a claim is legitimate?

Dinan = weak tune + insurance.

Cobb, JB, and others = strong tune and no insurance (unless you do it during your BMW warranty and commit fraud to cover it up)

On the average, Engine lifetime prior to rebuild can be calculated like this -

Engine lifetime = X

Dinan tune Engine lifetime = X - Y

Cobb, JB tune Engine lifetime = X - Z (where Z is greater than Y)

X = some unknown number below infinity but well above 150k for a daily driver.
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  #33  
Old 05-03-2012, 08:41 AM
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So Boilers93, what do you think of the best tune for that 335i? Still Dinan or Cobb or any other?
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  #34  
Old 05-03-2012, 08:46 AM
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So Boilers93, what do you think of the best tune for that 335i? Still Dinan or Cobb or any other?
No such thing as best. If it were me, and it probably will be after my CPO runs out in December, I would go with JB3 or JB4 if I had no desire to tinker with mapping, extra features, etc. and Cobb if I had such a desire.
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  #35  
Old 05-03-2012, 08:57 AM
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So, if I follow, the foundation of your argument and the basis for your credibility as a BMW engine expert is what you have read on the internet?

I have no idea what a legitimate claim is, I guess if the engine has been subsequently modded on top of the ECU.

I am sorry that you have such a big problem with Steve Dinan's numbers...he pulled them out of his ass when one of the idiots in the crowd asked him what a Dinan tune did to the longevity of the engine. He commented that it is the higher torque that does the damage to the engine, more specifically the stress on the sintered con-rods. He spoke with the authority of a man that knew what he was talking about, which was actually in a very similar way to how people post on the internet, so I am all confused.
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  #36  
Old 05-03-2012, 08:57 AM
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I am not going to enter the debate, but you can see where I put my money. However, I also got my Dinan S2, Dinan oil cooler and Dinan CAI for a significant discount (dealer cost) because of issues I had with BMW and the dealer and that was my offer to settle the dispute and BMW and the dealer agreed. I did want the Dinan warranty. Having said all that, if I was out of warranty, I would probably go JB4 or Cobb for the cost difference.
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  #37  
Old 05-03-2012, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ///M-ratedE90 View Post
So, if I follow, the foundation of your argument and the basis for your credibility as a BMW engine expert is what you have read on the internet?

I have no idea what a legitimate claim is, I guess if the engine has been subsequently modded on top of the ECU.

I am sorry that you have such a big problem with Steve Dinan's numbers...he pulled them out of his ass when one of the idiots in the crowd asked him what a Dinan tune did to the longevity of the engine. He commented that it is the higher torque that does the damage to the engine, more specifically the stress on the sintered con-rods. He spoke with the authority of a man that knew what he was talking about, which was actually in a very similar way to how people post on the internet, so I am all confused.
First of all, on the "legitimate" claim issue, which isn't really the issue we are discussing, I was just adding another data point on why you should question everything you hear (particularly if it comes from someone trying to sell you something). I am sure BMW (and everyone else on the planet) argues that they have "fixed" all "legitimate" warranty claims. Heck, they have even fixed a bunch of illegitimate ones as well.

And for the record, I am not trying to sell you something. Of course, I am not going to knock you off of your point any more than you are going to knock me off of mine. This is just for the people that read your post and might think they are likely going to have to pay to "rebuild" their BMW engine after 150k (untuned) or 100k (tuned).

I am not sure what Mr. Dinan's motivation was for giving those particular numbers, but they are clearly bunk, and I am quite sure even you don't really believe them. I can assume that one of his motivations is that if a customer comes in after 200k miles and he says their engine needs to be rebuilt, he can claim that it already lasted 100k more miles than it "should" have. Classic undersell.

Put it this way, if even 1/3 of the non-tuned BMW N54 engines ended up needing to be "rebuilt" at a 150k miles, you would be looking at one of the largest class action suits in history. THAT is how I know that Mr. Dinan's numbers are bunk.

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  #38  
Old 05-03-2012, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by boilers93 View Post
Put it this way, if even 1/3 of the non-tuned BMW N54 engines ended up needing to be "rebuilt" at a 150k miles, you would be looking at one of the largest class action suits in history. THAT is how I know that Mr. Dinan's numbers are bunk.

So there would be some intersting numbers to have:

- Engine code (N54 or N55)
- Miles on vehicle
- tune or no tune (and if tune, which one and map)
- "significant" engine events?

We need a poll
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  #39  
Old 05-03-2012, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ///M-ratedE90 View Post
up being liable for the wastegate issues, so they redesigned the part to be more durable, as there was a clear design flaw with the Mitsubishi turbo that BMW uses. .
Interesting conversation. I dont think BMW is using a Mitsu turbo. Certainly not the dual scroll unit ... I think IHI is the only maker on the market with this design. I have an article on this somewhere. Its either IHI or Bell or so, not Mitsu.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:36 AM
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So there would be some intersting numbers to have:

- Engine code (N54 or N55)
- Miles on vehicle
- tune or no tune (and if tune, which one and map)
- "significant" engine events?

We need a poll
Absolutely agree.

2007 335i e92 mt (N54)
80k miles
NO significant engine events (still on original HPFP)

Will own until at least 180k miles, 5 more years. Will likely tune at 100k. Will not ever have to rebuild the engine.
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  #41  
Old 05-03-2012, 09:37 AM
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Would you agree that based on the data currently available that your numbers are as "bunk" as Steve Dinan's?

However, you do state that you know something based on what will happen in the future. I am not sure predicting BMW engine longevity is the best use of that skill...

He did say that Dinan pretty much replaced the whole drive train on a Dinan tuned 335 that had been serially launched under warranty. BMW considered this abuse and denied the claim, Dinan fixed the car and told the owner not to come back.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ///M-ratedE90 View Post
Would you agree that based on the data currently available that your numbers are as "bunk" as Steve Dinan's?
No.

Quote:
However, you do state that you know something based on what will happen in the future. I am not sure predicting BMW engine longevity is the best use of that skill...
I use it for other things as well.

Quote:
He did say that Dinan pretty much replaced the whole drive train on a Dinan tuned 335 that had been serially launched under warranty. BMW considered this abuse and denied the claim, Dinan fixed the car and told the owner not to come back.
I can understand where Steve gets his numbers if he bases it on cars serially abused and regularly tracked.

I am starting to understand better, though. To you, Steve Dinan= God. Not sure how I can top that.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:28 AM
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Interesting conversation. I dont think BMW is using a Mitsu turbo. Certainly not the dual scroll unit ... I think IHI is the only maker on the market with this design. I have an article on this somewhere. Its either IHI or Bell or so, not Mitsu.
The N54 was a Mitsu unit. Not sure about N55
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:01 AM
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No.



I use it for other things as well.



I can understand where Steve gets his numbers if he bases it on cars serially abused and regularly tracked.

I am starting to understand better, though. To you, Steve Dinan= God. Not sure how I can top that.
No, I wouldn't say that Steve Dinan = God.

I would say that his reputation, knowledge and experience regarding tuned engines is superior to yours, as he has tested, tuned and sold thousands of packages for BMW engines, whereas you have just read about them on the internet. Your assumption is that the engines he bases his data on are thrashed, but there is no data to support that. (However, as a balance, I think it is safe to assume that the engines are thrashed to generate accelerated wear tests to understand the impact of their software).

I am just relating what information I know about Dinan products from a seminar I attended as part of the information content of he thread, especially in light of the assertions and speculation being laid out. I don't believe I actively promoted Dinan products anywhere in this thread. I don't actually have any Dinan products. For what it's worth, the Dinan tune for an M3 is not worth the money. I suppose I just wanted to express why Dinan products cost what they do and why, and why the tune is set where it is at so people know what they are paying for if they haven't researched much beyond forums such as these.

We both agree that a tuned turbo engine will have a shorter lifetime that a stock one, the question is by how much. You pulled a number out of your ass, Steve Dinan pulled a number out of his ass. In a few years, we'll all know...

Some facts that are out there, BMW are only prepared to offer a warranty on their stock engines up to 100K miles. Dinan is prepared to offer a warranty on their tunes to 50K miles, and other tuners offer no warranty...although they do tell you how to hide their tune. Read into that what you will.

Whichever tune one decides to buy is based on how one feels about the risk to their car. Clearly (from reading here) Burger tunes are very highly thought of and nobody has had a problem (I think I remember one muppet with an issue with running methanol). Terry B is very responsive to posters and has a lot of respect on the board. I would also back Cobb too, based on their reputation for quality in tuning other brand turbos.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:06 AM
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I had Stage II installed in my car at 42,000 miles. I now have 52,000 miles. If the engine dies at 100,000 miles I'll beat myself over the head with my HPFP until I'm dead. I pray it doesn't come to that.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:25 AM
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I had Stage II installed in my car at 42,000 miles. I now have 52,000 miles. If the engine dies at 100,000 miles I'll beat myself over the head with my HPFP until I'm dead. I pray it doesn't come to that.
No worries. The HPFP will give out before your head will!
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:36 AM
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No worries. The HPFP will give out before your head will!
LMAO!! THAT is a good one!!
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:04 PM
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No, I wouldn't say that Steve Dinan = God.

I would say that his reputation, knowledge and experience regarding tuned engines is superior to yours, as he has tested, tuned and sold thousands of packages for BMW engines, whereas you have just read about them on the internet. Your assumption is that the engines he bases his data on are thrashed, but there is no data to support that. (However, as a balance, I think it is safe to assume that the engines are thrashed to generate accelerated wear tests to understand the impact of their software).

I am just relating what information I know about Dinan products from a seminar I attended as part of the information content of he thread, especially in light of the assertions and speculation being laid out. I don't believe I actively promoted Dinan products anywhere in this thread. I don't actually have any Dinan products. For what it's worth, the Dinan tune for an M3 is not worth the money. I suppose I just wanted to express why Dinan products cost what they do and why, and why the tune is set where it is at so people know what they are paying for if they haven't researched much beyond forums such as these.

We both agree that a tuned turbo engine will have a shorter lifetime that a stock one, the question is by how much. You pulled a number out of your ass, Steve Dinan pulled a number out of his ass. In a few years, we'll all know...

Some facts that are out there, BMW are only prepared to offer a warranty on their stock engines up to 100K miles. Dinan is prepared to offer a warranty on their tunes to 50K miles, and other tuners offer no warranty...although they do tell you how to hide their tune. Read into that what you will.

Whichever tune one decides to buy is based on how one feels about the risk to their car. Clearly (from reading here) Burger tunes are very highly thought of and nobody has had a problem (I think I remember one muppet with an issue with running methanol). Terry B is very responsive to posters and has a lot of respect on the board. I would also back Cobb too, based on their reputation for quality in tuning other brand turbos.
I agree with practically all of this post. What I don't agree with is the original numbers that Steve Dinan allegedly gave out and which you have restated here as to the "lifetime" of tuned and non-tuned N54 engines.

Frankly, given the words involved, I am not even sure what we are arguing about.

What I hear when I hear Steve Dinan say what you are attributing to him is that he thinks 50% or more of tuned N54 engines will require rebuilding (i.e. catastrophic failure) at 100k miles and the same thing to be true at 150k miles for untuned.

And frankly, that is one of the most ridiculous things I have seen on this (or any) forum.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:26 PM
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And frankly, that is one of the most ridiculous things I have seen on this (or any) forum.
Can I direct you towards one of the ///M badging threads?
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:36 PM
boilers93 boilers93 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M-ratedE90 View Post
Can I direct you towards one of the ///M badging threads?
Are you talking about people that put fake M badges on their cars? I agree, they are as ridiculous as Steve Dinan's statement.
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