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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-05-2013, 08:48 PM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Throttle response: sprint booster v. chip

I've read lots of threads about chips and lots of threads about sprint boosters, but haven't found one that compares them, or talks about how these two ways of improving throttle response might work together.

Does one work as well as the other, or is one of them superior?

If I were to get both, would the effect be cumulative, or would the second add nothing to the first?

I have a 2004 330ci manual.

Thanks--
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2013, 09:18 PM
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I am also interested in the effects of combining both.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:24 PM
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Check the posts about PedalBox recently on the F01 board.

We are using both PedalBox and BMS piggyback tune and they work great together. I would get the PedalBox/Sprint booster first, before getting the engine tune. For around town driving, the responsiveness is more satisfying to me than top end power.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:35 PM
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AFAIK, no one around here has ever come up with a chip that`s worth the price of admission....several hundred bucks for a few butterfly farts worth of power is not a very good investment. If such a device actually existed, that truly produced a real 15 or so RWHP, you could be sure that most of us would already have one on our cars....
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoX750Li View Post
Check the posts about PedalBox recently on the F01 board.

We are using both PedalBox and BMS piggyback tune and they work great together. I would get the PedalBox/Sprint booster first, before getting the engine tune. For around town driving, the responsiveness is more satisfying to me than top end power.
I would be very interested in seeing documented proof (i.e., before & after dyno runs, quarter-mile time slips, etc.) to support these claims....
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:30 PM
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The N63 is twin turbo, so its easy to increase power by just turning up the boost, which is what the BMS piggyback tunes do. You can set the map on your laptop to run up the boost and increase power.

In non-turbo cars, increasing power is much more difficult and expensive, so engine tunes are not much benefit.

Badblack550ix, M4XBMW7, Richard109, DBV and myself have dyno'd and/or run at the track. Timeslips, dynosheets, 1/4 mile videos, Vbox data, etc. have been posted. The N63 with BMS dynos about 420 Hp and 470 TQ, measured at the wheels. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...7&postcount=44 That is higher than the stock engine is rated at the crank, without the drivetrain losses.

But after all this, the thing that makes the most difference in the driving experience to me is the immediate throttle response of the PedalBox/Sprint Booster. The N63 already has plenty of power, so it makes little difference that your car has 15% more Hp at the top end, where you will rarely use it on the street. Unless you are racing, a 1/2 second qtr mile and higher trap speeds don't mean much (it is nice to know you got your moneys worth, though).

What you notice around town is immediate response and the car jumping when you touch the throttle, i.e., the car steps off hard hard with no delay or lag. With the PedalBox in Sport setting, the car felt like it was going to launch into the back of the car of front of me and I would have to back off the throttle. This accessible power is what most drivers want around town.

So PedalBox does not claim to add any power, won't dyno your car any higher or necessarily improve 1/4 mile times, but after adding it to my car I am convinced it is well worth the money.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:40 PM
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Here is a thread with some of the dyno, slips and videos.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...715489&page=10

But check these on PedalBox.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=723051

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=725889
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoX750Li View Post
The N63 is twin turbo, so its easy to increase power by just turning up the boost, which is what the BMS piggyback tunes do. You can set the map on your laptop to run up the boost and increase power.

In non-turbo cars, increasing power is much more difficult and expensive, so engine tunes are not much benefit.

Badblack550ix, M4XBMW7, Richard109, DBV and myself have dyno'd and/or run at the track. Timeslips, dynosheets, 1/4 mile videos, Vbox data, etc. have been posted. The N63 with BMS dynos about 420 Hp and 470 TQ, measured at the wheels. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...7&postcount=44 That is higher than the stock engine is rated at the crank, without the drivetrain losses.

But after all this, the thing that makes the most difference in the driving experience to me is the immediate throttle response of the PedalBox/Sprint Booster. The N63 already has plenty of power, so it makes little difference that your car has 15% more Hp at the top end, where you will rarely use it on the street. Unless you are racing, a 1/2 second qtr mile and higher trap speeds don't mean much (it is nice to know you got your moneys worth, though).

What you notice around town is immediate response and the car jumping when you touch the throttle, i.e., the car steps off hard hard with no delay or lag. With the PedalBox in Sport setting, the car felt like it was going to launch into the back of the car of front of me and I would have to back off the throttle. This accessible power is what most drivers want around town.

So PedalBox does not claim to add any power, won't dyno your car any higher or necessarily improve 1/4 mile times, but after adding it to my car I am convinced it is well worth the money.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoX750Li View Post
So what we have here is a classic "Apples and Oranges" situation, as exactly none of this info applies to the E46....
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2013, 11:57 PM
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So what we have here is a classic "Apples and Oranges" situation, as exactly none of this info applies to the E46....
Just that its worth trying the sprint booster--regardless of whether it adds power, decreases 1/4 mile times, trap speeds, etc.

Those things don't actually matter as much as throttle response and driveability.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:21 AM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoX750Li View Post
The N63 is twin turbo, so its easy to increase power by just turning up the boost, which is what the BMS piggyback tunes do. You can set the map on your laptop to run up the boost and increase power.

In non-turbo cars, increasing power is much more difficult and expensive, so engine tunes are not much benefit.

Badblack550ix, M4XBMW7, Richard109, DBV and myself have dyno'd and/or run at the track. Timeslips, dynosheets, 1/4 mile videos, Vbox data, etc. have been posted. The N63 with BMS dynos about 420 Hp and 470 TQ, measured at the wheels. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...7&postcount=44 That is higher than the stock engine is rated at the crank, without the drivetrain losses.

But after all this, the thing that makes the most difference in the driving experience to me is the immediate throttle response of the PedalBox/Sprint Booster. The N63 already has plenty of power, so it makes little difference that your car has 15% more Hp at the top end, where you will rarely use it on the street. Unless you are racing, a 1/2 second qtr mile and higher trap speeds don't mean much (it is nice to know you got your moneys worth, though).

What you notice around town is immediate response and the car jumping when you touch the throttle, i.e., the car steps off hard hard with no delay or lag. With the PedalBox in Sport setting, the car felt like it was going to launch into the back of the car of front of me and I would have to back off the throttle. This accessible power is what most drivers want around town.

So PedalBox does not claim to add any power, won't dyno your car any higher or necessarily improve 1/4 mile times, but after adding it to my car I am convinced it is well worth the money.
Thank you--this is helpful. If I follow what you're saying, a pedalbox or sprint booster will do a better job of improving throttle response than a chip would (and throttle response is my goal--not more hp, etc.). Is that right? I'm assuming that what you say applies to my E46 as well...
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:04 AM
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If you want to increase throttle response BOTH a custom tune OR sprint booster will do it, but you can't combine the two for a greater benefit. Personally, I'd recommend doing a custom tune. While the Sprint booster does increase voltage to the throttle (thereby making it seem more peppy) it does NOTHING for power. A custom tune will do both. And Bob is correct, you may only gain 6-11hp on the tune, you DO get SOMETHING for your money, unlike a sprint booster that adds NO power. And 99% of all people who get the custom tune say the car feels more "peppy" across the rev range as a result (same thing sprint claims to do).

I am about to invest in a Shark Injector. I know it may not be massive gains, but for $350 I can accept whatever it gives. And, I have had one before and did notice a difference, not mind blowing, but it was there.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
If you want to increase throttle response BOTH a custom tune OR sprint booster will do it, but you can't combine the two for a greater benefit. Personally, I'd recommend doing a custom tune. While the Sprint booster does increase voltage to the throttle (thereby making it seem more peppy) it does NOTHING for power. A custom tune will do both. And Bob is correct, you may only gain 6-11hp on the tune, you DO get SOMETHING for your money, unlike a sprint booster that adds NO power. And 99% of all people who get the custom tune say the car feels more "peppy" across the rev range as a result (same thing sprint claims to do).

I am about to invest in a Shark Injector. I know it may not be massive gains, but for $350 I can accept whatever it gives. And, I have had one before and did notice a difference, not mind blowing, but it was there.
Do you know whether a shark chip will improve throttle response as much as a pedalbox or sprint booster, or is it a bit less? If the chip provides the same degree of improvement in throttle response, then I would be inclined to go with a shark chip, for the same reasons you cite.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
Do you know whether a shark chip will improve throttle response as much as a pedalbox or sprint booster, or is it a bit less? If the chip provides the same degree of improvement in throttle response, then I would be inclined to go with a shark chip, for the same reasons you cite.
The car I had the shark injector on was a 99 E46, still had drive by cable so I can't tell you.

What I can tell you is that several guys on the ZHPmafia site tried the sprint booster and the consensus was for track days and rev matching it was fantastic, but for daily driving it was twitchy (thus why the new ones have an "off" mode). To me, if I am paying $250 for something, I better not have to turn it OFF.

The software will likely not increase throttle response as much as a sprint booster since that is ALL the sprint booster does. But it will give you REAL throttle response improvement due to better performance. Peak HP and Torque numbers are all fine and dandy, but the true potential of a Shark or similar is the increase across the rev range where you actually DRIVE your car. between 2500 and 4000 rpm.

For me it is a no brainer, the shark wins. May also want to check out Bren Tuning, they seem to have substantially higher gains than others.But I still prefer shark because it is a true 20 min DIY and I dont have to disable my car for a few days like the others make you do (send off your DME).
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by smolck View Post
The car I had the shark injector on was a 99 E46, still had drive by cable so I can't tell you.

What I can tell you is that several guys on the ZHPmafia site tried the sprint booster and the consensus was for track days and rev matching it was fantastic, but for daily driving it was twitchy (thus why the new ones have an "off" mode). To me, if I am paying $250 for something, I better not have to turn it OFF.

The software will likely not increase throttle response as much as a sprint booster since that is ALL the sprint booster does. But it will give you REAL throttle response improvement due to better performance. Peak HP and Torque numbers are all fine and dandy, but the true potential of a Shark or similar is the increase across the rev range where you actually DRIVE your car. between 2500 and 4000 rpm.

For me it is a no brainer, the shark wins. May also want to check out Bren Tuning, they seem to have substantially higher gains than others.But I still prefer shark because it is a true 20 min DIY and I dont have to disable my car for a few days like the others make you do (send off your DME).
Thanks! I'm open to the idea of getting both a sprint booster and a shark chip, thereby getting the gains provided by both of them, and I realize that my throttle response won't be doubled or anything like that. But suppose I got both: do you have any sense of how they might interact? Would I get the greater gains in throttle response provided by the booster, along with the rest of what the chip provides, or would the chip somehow cancel out or slow down the booster?
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
Thanks! I'm open to the idea of getting both a sprint booster and a shark chip, thereby getting the gains provided by both of them, and I realize that my throttle response won't be doubled or anything like that. But suppose I got both: do you have any sense of how they might interact? Would I get the greater gains in throttle response provided by the booster, along with the rest of what the chip provides, or would the chip somehow cancel out or slow down the booster?
As they say, "Be careful what you ask for"....in this case, it IS possible to get too much of a good thing, and wind up with a gas pedal that`s so twitchy that the car becomes uncomfortable to drive in traffic, or while parking. This is particularly more evident in auto trans cars....
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
As they say, "Be careful what you ask for"....in this case, it IS possible to get too much of a good thing, and wind up with a gas pedal that`s so twitchy that the car becomes uncomfortable to drive in traffic, or while parking. This is particularly more evident in auto trans cars....
This. But in theory the Sprint Booster and the software will work in tandem. All the booster does is increase voltage to the DBW system, tricking it into thinking you are pressing the throttle harder/more than you are. So a light touch of the throttle and the car thinks you are hammering it. That is why it can be twitchy.

I'd highly suggest the shark or other tune first, assess, and then do the sprint if you still feel you need more. My gut says, at first you will be pleased and then as you get used to it you will want more. But to me, the Sprint Booster is not worth $250.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoX750Li View Post
The N63 is twin turbo, so its easy to increase power by just turning up the boost, which is what the BMS piggyback tunes do. You can set the map on your laptop to run up the boost and increase power.

In non-turbo cars, increasing power is much more difficult and expensive, so engine tunes are not much benefit.

Badblack550ix, M4XBMW7, Richard109, DBV and myself have dyno'd and/or run at the track. Timeslips, dynosheets, 1/4 mile videos, Vbox data, etc. have been posted. The N63 with BMS dynos about 420 Hp and 470 TQ, measured at the wheels. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...7&postcount=44 That is higher than the stock engine is rated at the crank, without the drivetrain losses.

But after all this, the thing that makes the most difference in the driving experience to me is the immediate throttle response of the PedalBox/Sprint Booster. The N63 already has plenty of power, so it makes little difference that your car has 15% more Hp at the top end, where you will rarely use it on the street. Unless you are racing, a 1/2 second qtr mile and higher trap speeds don't mean much (it is nice to know you got your moneys worth, though).

What you notice around town is immediate response and the car jumping when you touch the throttle, i.e., the car steps off hard hard with no delay or lag. With the PedalBox in Sport setting, the car felt like it was going to launch into the back of the car of front of me and I would have to back off the throttle. This accessible power is what most drivers want around town.

So PedalBox does not claim to add any power, won't dyno your car any higher or necessarily improve 1/4 mile times, but after adding it to my car I am convinced it is well worth the money.
burgertuning should do u guys something like the jb4 for the E9x, since both of u r turbocharged. would b sick rolling an F01 flying around with 500hp

as for the E46, after doing some extensive research on this subject since i was looking to get a software remap for my car, i found that "brentuning" and "eurocharged" have one of the best results (11hp/11tq), with an acceptable price of 350-400$
Note that the above research is done for ZHP, non-ZHP are known to gain more hp, and in addition to those companies, you have "superchips" and "viezu" that are known in my country and add a good amount of 15-20hp for non-ZHP.
currently my car hits 7k RPM, so i guess it's been sharked. i dunno much about how the throttle response is like on non-sharked ZHP's, all i know is that my car is smooth throughout all RPM ranges, and that extra 200RPM is great in drag races.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
As they say, "Be careful what you ask for"....in this case, it IS possible to get too much of a good thing, and wind up with a gas pedal that`s so twitchy that the car becomes uncomfortable to drive in traffic, or while parking. This is particularly more evident in auto trans cars....
This is a legitimate concern in traffic, the pedal can start to feel like an on-off switch and then you want to turn it off.

That's why I like PedalBox, 3 modes with 6 levels of adjustment. You can change it on the fly to suit traffic conditions.

http://www.motivemods.com/v/vspfiles...oxPrograms.pdf

BTW, I too was a big skeptic of these pedal devices. My wife will tell you that the last thing I need is to spend $250 on something to help me mash the accelerator (she is always screaming at me to slow down).

I had a Conforti chip from Turner in my e36 for 18 years and thought the modest power gains were great. But that accelerator had a cable and it was a manual tranny so when I stepped on the gas at speed, it was so responsive that it felt like my foot was pushing the small of my back and I was being propelled down the road by an auger drill.

I missed that in my 750 with the fly-by wire and auto tranny. With the PedalBox and BMS, I feel like I have some of that back now.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GeoX750Li View Post
This is a legitimate concern in traffic, the pedal can start to feel like an on-off switch and then you want to turn it off.

That's why I like PedalBox, 3 modes with 6 levels of adjustment. You can change it on the fly to suit traffic conditions.

http://www.motivemods.com/v/vspfiles...oxPrograms.pdf

BTW, I too was a big skeptic of these pedal devices. My wife will tell you that the last thing I need is to spend $250 on something to help me mash the accelerator (she is always screaming at me to slow down).

I had a Conforti chip from Turner in my e36 for 18 years and thought the modest power gains were great. But that accelerator had a cable and it was a manual tranny so when I stepped on the gas at speed, it was so responsive that it felt like my foot was pushing the small of my back and I was being propelled down the road by an auger drill.

I missed that in my 750 with the fly-by wire and auto tranny. With the PedalBox and BMS, I feel like I have some of that back now.
Thanks-- I finally decided to put in a pedalbox because, as you say, it has so many settings that I think I can calibrate it to a resonable level of response. It should arrive by the end of the week, so by the weekend I should know more.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:44 AM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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This is an update about three modifications I made to my 2004 330ci. I have no dynos or other objective results; just my own impressions from driving it around for a couple of weeks after adding three modifications. Take that for whatever you think it's worth.

In the end, I installed three modifications at roughly the same time: the Active Autowerke performance software for $411 (they were running a special; it's normally $500), a Pedalbox throttle signal amplifier for $300, and a K&N 57 cold air intake (about $450 for part and labor). The AA software was installed at a shop in LA (rather than mailing my ECU to AA), and I told the shop I wanted it tweaked to maximize low end torque and fuel economy. They phoned that into the AA company back in Florida, and a couple of hours later AA send the software electronically to the shop in LA, which installed it there and then. Supposedly the AA software was semi-customized according to my request. The AA software has a throttle signal amplifier built in, but I wanted more settings, so I had them switch off that part of the software so the Pedalbox could handle that instead. (Pedalbox has 23 settings (including "off"), and you can set it very twitchy or very gentle and anywhere in between--unlike what comes with the AA software, it can be calibrated at will, even while driving).

The cold air intake went in two weeks earlier, and by itself didn't make much of a difference. Once I combined it with the AA software, there was a dramatic difference in how much power I felt in the lower gears, and in how smoothly the engine operated. It also starts more promptly. Fuel economy seems to have improved by rougly 4.5 miles per gallon (maybe even 5, though I have trouble believing what I'm seeing). I'm not sure how to attribute that between the three modifications; they all three claim to improve fuel economy if you drive conservatively, which I do.

I'm extremely pleased with the Pedalbox. It does two things: eliminates nearly all the lag in the throttle, and alters the throttle response curve. The car now responds almost instantly when I tap the pedal, and with a lot more torque than before.

The cumulative effect of these three things is that the car feels far more responsive and powerful, and the engine runs much more smoothly, with a lot more pull in all gears. It really transforms the way it feels.

I know that these modifications haven't added much additional horsepower (AA and K&N both claim about 10 hp, which I know is not cumulative), but they seem to make the car's existing horsepower available in a way that I can use for daily driving, and that makes a big difference.

I don't think I'll add any more power modifications; suspension modifications are next. And a high-performance driving class, but that will have to wait until next year.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
This is an update about three modifications I made to my 2004 330ci. I have no dynos or other objective results; just my own impressions from driving it around for a couple of weeks after adding three modifications. Take that for whatever you think it's worth.

In the end, I installed three modifications at roughly the same time: the Active Autowerke performance software for $411 (they were running a special; it's normally $500), a Pedalbox throttle signal amplifier for $300, and a K&N 57 cold air intake (about $450 for part and labor). The AA software was installed at a shop in LA (rather than mailing my ECU to AA), and I told the shop I wanted it tweaked to maximize low end torque and fuel economy. They phoned that into the AA company back in Florida, and a couple of hours later AA send the software electronically to the shop in LA, which installed it there and then. Supposedly the AA software was semi-customized according to my request. The AA software has a throttle signal amplifier built in, but I wanted more settings, so I had them switch off that part of the software so the Pedalbox could handle that instead. (Pedalbox has 23 settings (including "off"), and you can set it very twitchy or very gentle and anywhere in between--unlike what comes with the AA software, it can be calibrated at will, even while driving).

The cold air intake went in two weeks earlier, and by itself didn't make much of a difference. Once I combined it with the AA software, there was a dramatic difference in how much power I felt in the lower gears, and in how smoothly the engine operated. It also starts more promptly. Fuel economy seems to have improved by rougly 4.5 miles per gallon (maybe even 5, though I have trouble believing what I'm seeing). I'm not sure how to attribute that between the three modifications; they all three claim to improve fuel economy if you drive conservatively, which I do.

I'm extremely pleased with the Pedalbox. It does two things: eliminates nearly all the lag in the throttle, and alters the throttle response curve. The car now responds almost instantly when I tap the pedal, and with a lot more torque than before.

The cumulative effect of these three things is that the car feels far more responsive and powerful, and the engine runs much more smoothly, with a lot more pull in all gears. It really transforms the way it feels.

I know that these modifications haven't added much additional horsepower (AA and K&N both claim about 10 hp, which I know is not cumulative), but they seem to make the car's existing horsepower available in a way that I can use for daily driving, and that makes a big difference.

I don't think I'll add any more power modifications; suspension modifications are next. And a high-performance driving class, but that will have to wait until next year.
Congrats. I'd say your reports are right in line with other folks who do what you did. The only other large gain item is headers.

But I will say I would bet you added 15ish peak HP and likely more than that at spots throughout the power curve.
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  #22  
Old 11-10-2013, 02:31 PM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Location: Long Beach, California
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Congrats. I'd say your reports are right in line with other folks who do what you did. The only other large gain item is headers.

But I will say I would bet you added 15ish peak HP and likely more than that at spots throughout the power curve.
You know, it does -feel- more powerful than an extra 10 hp, certainly in the lower gears, so you may well be right.

I'd like to get headers, but apparently you can't have them in California unless you also get a catalytic converter, which apparently negates much of the effect (that's probably garbled, but I think the mechanic told me something like that). California emissions law constrains what I can do to my car; for example, only Active Autowerke software and the Dinan chip were compliant with it.
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  #23  
Old 11-19-2013, 06:24 PM
drexellak drexellak is offline
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Location: Columbia, SC
 
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Mein Auto: 330ci vert
I also use the PedalBox and love it. I would recommend this over a chip any day. You won't need a Dyno to prove to you it works, trust me. I use it on the lowest of the three settings because your car will flat take off, and if you are not prepared it could put you in a parking lot fender bender. Highly recommended, and yes, unlike some on here I actually own it.
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2013, 07:40 AM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Location: Long Beach, California
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330ci
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Originally Posted by drexellak View Post
I also use the PedalBox and love it. I would recommend this over a chip any day. You won't need a Dyno to prove to you it works, trust me. I use it on the lowest of the three settings because your car will flat take off, and if you are not prepared it could put you in a parking lot fender bender. Highly recommended, and yes, unlike some on here I actually own it.
The Pedalbox IS truly amazing. It just transforms these cars.
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