Best N54 Tuner

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Asbjorn

Sergeant
Mar 10, 2018
355
Europe, based in China
The unlocked tune thing was huge for me. I play with my own tunes all the time, especially because I drive between altitude and sea level at least once a year.

So I wanted a tune that would be a good starting place, then to take it from there.

Dean was kind enough to save me the time of trying to come up with my own good stable base tune. And it works well. I did tweak it to get it to work well at both sea level and altitude, and changed my own coolant targets and vanos to be what I wanted them to be. So I'm glad there was one tuner who did open tunes, or else I would have had to do it all from scratch my self, which I would have, but I was happy to pay to save me that time.

Dean's turn around times were usually under a day.
Do you happen to have a screenshot of base coolant targets vs your current coolant targets? Just curious.
 

typedRew

Corporal
Feb 25, 2019
126
I only speak for myself here. But i advertise 1-5 business days for base map to be sent from time of purchase, and same for revisions once logs are returned. 1-5 business days doesn't include weekends, yet i still do stuff for people on weekends which is technically the only real time i have off from anything, lol. I do my best to to stick to that posted advertising on my website of 1-5 business days.

There are times when it can take longer, but i do try despite whats advertised to do same or next day when i can. But those are usually for people if they have a severe issue, which isn't common, then i slide a couple normal revision in between those and working my normal queue.

Me personally, i work from oldest to newest in terms of when the logs come in. and generally what happens is people either don't read the advertisement timeframe, and send me a new email daily or every other day and the there mail gets bumped to the bottom. There are times however where i miss emails due to the sheer amount or inquiries i receive

To put it in perspective, as the owner of the vehicle, think about all the questions you have or may have about your car, whethr its an issue, quirk, next mods you should, a funny sound you heard, what fuel is best, how much power you think you're making, what does this random code mean, can you look at this log, got my car tuned by someone else can you look at the log and see whats wrong, and the list goes on. Now multiply that time it takes to type and re-read all your questions and formulate a response by 100+ daily. Thats just emails. Thats not including text messages, phone calls, and 100s of social media messages, tags, and etc. And still doesn't include normal day to day inhouse on dyno tuning and r&d. And half of those inquiries may or may not even be paying customers. But if you ignore them, you become the asshole or a shit vendor

I average about 4-5 hours of sleep per night if im lucky. Nowadays, people want their tuner to be their mechanic, teach them how to email, diagnose a whistle from a video, walk them through everything under the sun, tune their car, and so on and so on. All for minimum ROI. 10 years ago i could charge $1000 for all that work and availability. but can't do that anymore due to all the pop up tuners charging $100 for a tune and people going to them for the price, not the knowledge. been doing this for like 20 years. So i've seen the swing to wanting a mountain for a penny as opposed to getting a mountain for a mountain.

In short, i love my customer base, and i do my absolute best to support them as fast or as much as i can, and i will continue to do so. But i don't think people really understand the amount of work some of us tuners have to do to continue supplying people with proper and great service despite waiting a few days. Then you have the dishonest people whole submit chargebacks after they get the products and service. Which makes doing this that much more frustrating at times.

But yea, 1-5 business days is what i advertise on all my tuning service product descriptions. but can sometimes take a bit longer.
Thank you for chiming in so thoroughly.

My question to you, my car is running great on a OTS map, but i do have a few things id like to do in the next couple months. Mainly downpipes and inlets when I drop the sub to fix and oil pan leak. That said, its going to take me some time to get that done and if at all possible i'd like to start the tuning process before then. Would that be something you can work with or would you rather I wait until I have the next round of bolt ons on the car?

i've been wanting to hit the track, but the itch for more power before I go has hit me hard and I know I won't have time for a while to get the downpipes and inlets done reasonably soon. And a custom map is just an email away. :lol:

One of my biggest things is that I see you active on the forums and that leads me to believe you're keeping up with the platform and changes, updates, new mods, etc. And obviously you're engineering new stuff yourself so that makes me lean your way just because I like seeing its not just tuning for you but improving the platform as a whole when possible. (eg; meth flow dme integration)


The unlocked tune thing was huge for me. I play with my own tunes all the time, especially because I drive between altitude and sea level at least once a year.

So I wanted a tune that would be a good starting place, then to take it from there.

Dean was kind enough to save me the time of trying to come up with my own good stable base tune. And it works well. I did tweak it to get it to work well at both sea level and altitude, and changed my own coolant targets and vanos to be what I wanted them to be. So I'm glad there was one tuner who did open tunes, or else I would have had to do it all from scratch my self, which I would have, but I was happy to pay to save me that time.

Dean's turn around times were usually under a day.
I considered getting with him on a custom file, as I tried his OTS with good success, I personally dont need the tuning ability because I won't touch it myself.

I'm just unsure who I want to spend money with still at this point, few good options.
 

Twisted Tuning

Lieutenant
Platinum Vendor
Oct 25, 2016
869
New York
The unlocked tune thing was huge for me. I play with my own tunes all the time, especially because I drive between altitude and sea level at least once a year.

So I wanted a tune that would be a good starting place, then to take it from there.

Dean was kind enough to save me the time of trying to come up with my own good stable base tune. And it works well. I did tweak it to get it to work well at both sea level and altitude, and changed my own coolant targets and vanos to be what I wanted them to be. So I'm glad there was one tuner who did open tunes, or else I would have had to do it all from scratch my self, which I would have, but I was happy to pay to save me that time.

Dean's turn around times were usually under a day.
When i first started advertising tuning on this platform it literally bugged me out the amount of people that complained about or insinuated people were hiding things if they locked their maps. What was strange to me about this whole thing was that coming from the over a dozen platforms i supported back then (more now) it was common knowledge and globally accepted that if you were getting a custom tune. It would be locked and you would not be able to open it or anything like that.

This is done for the preservation of intellectual property. and to keep people from pirating someone else's work and using it for profit. I'm sure you already saw the thread about Dean where it seems he was just reselling MHD OTS maps for profit under a custom tune label. I didn't follow it much, because i personally don't care, but there was a huge thread on it, and shortly after that he started giving stuff away for free. I was just using it as an example, don't really care much about him or his tunes.

But yea, there is a reason I/we as tuners lock our maps.



Thank you for chiming in so thoroughly.

My question to you, my car is running great on a OTS map, but i do have a few things id like to do in the next couple months. Mainly downpipes and inlets when I drop the sub to fix and oil pan leak. That said, its going to take me some time to get that done and if at all possible i'd like to start the tuning process before then. Would that be something you can work with or would you rather I wait until I have the next round of bolt ons on the car?

i've been wanting to hit the track, but the itch for more power before I go has hit me hard and I know I won't have time for a while to get the downpipes and inlets done reasonably soon. And a custom map is just an email away. :lol:

One of my biggest things is that I see you active on the forums and that leads me to believe you're keeping up with the platform and changes, updates, new mods, etc. And obviously you're engineering new stuff yourself so that makes me lean your way just because I like seeing its not just tuning for you but improving the platform as a whole when possible. (eg; meth flow dme integration)




I considered getting with him on a custom file, as I tried his OTS with good success, I personally dont need the tuning ability because I won't touch it myself.

I'm just unsure who I want to spend money with still at this point, few good options.

when you start the tuning process is entirely up to you. but my service price include full support for 12months as advertised. this included tune updates for new mod and etc. short of main power adders (bigger turbo, nitrous, meth injection, and etc) which would require decent amount of change to balance back out the calibration. However, i can't recall a time where i didn't support a client beyond 12months.
 

shushikiary

Corporal
Jun 4, 2018
131
Perhaps an interesting compromise would be to lock the tune using a different than normal key, and only give that key to the person if they pay extra or something.

Of course that requires the same amount of trust as giving them an unlocked tune, because they could just post the key... so it boils down to a trust issue in the end, and how does one prove them selves trust worthy over the internet?... not so easy.

I've said this before, but for my self, and to help prove I'm trust worthy, is that I'm a firmware engineer and have access to things like CAN bus tracers, and thus its a piece of cake to crack... I'm refraining from posting the details so people don't buy one of those and then just start stealing tuner's info, but given the way tunes are currently locked and the data transmitted to the ECU... like I said piece of cake (unless you're smart like Jake and put end to end encryption in).

The fact that I didn't pay someone for a locked tune and then just do that to get what I wanted, and instead was open about it and then paid dean instead, I would hope, is pretty good evidence I have no mal intent.

All that aside, I do completely understand the desire to not have your IP (intellectual property), given out for free, its part of how you make your business.

I'll also admit I'm not your "average" user, and so locked tunes work perfectly fine for the majority of customers.
 

langsbr

Lieutenant
Apr 5, 2017
909
I offered to pay extra for an unlocked tune and was turned down. I paid for a tune because I didn't want to have to take the time to figure out the wgdc with mmp turbos, and thought a pro tune would be quicker, but I think now that it's easier than initially thought. I've tuned other platforms before but there was enough FUD (especially around hybrid turbo wgdc) to keep me from messing with it and I thought a pro tune would be a week or two and good. It took vastly longer, and a week or two between replies just made it seem even longer.

In my initial tuning, every response was 5 days minimum, sometimes 12, and a few where I had to send multiple follow up emails. I know tuners hate emails (even though that's called work), so I always waited at least a week to follow up. Later I got replies in a day or 2, so maybe it was just a heavy workload.

When my work eases up I plan to retune the car myself. With a stock head and cams there is no change to VE so it's simply a matter of boost, timing, and fueling.

Sure I won't have some super duper proprietary vanos settings, but it's not like my setup has special fantastic spool anyways (or maybe it does and I'll find out by tuning it myself).

There's some mystique tuners like to apply to the N54, when it has so many protections it also allows schlubs to survive.
 

shushikiary

Corporal
Jun 4, 2018
131
I'd agree the idea's are fairly simplistic, its all in the time. Non-linear load scaling because of the tricks needed to get 3 and 4 bar TMAPs to work makes life harder, but still doable. Just makes the inflection point where the TMAP curve changes in "load" a touchy spot. That is what I didn't want to try to figure out from scratch.

Further, very few people, from what I've seen, re-map their WGDC base tables to a high enough requested MAF or high enough boost setpoint factor to account for high altitude vs low altitude, and fewer still change their PID gains. And to your point, what WGDC base, what max air flow adder values, etc, to use change with what ever after market turbo setup you're doing, so there's just a bunch of time in trial and error to get a good "starting point" especially with a TMAP curve change thrown in.

Heck, I even made an excel spread sheet that lets me just paste in a WGDC base map, give it the new X and Y values, and it will auto interpolate the new values to keep the same curve the original map had. Gives you a good starting point, and then you can go in and poke it without being super out of wack from the start.

So its just time.... same old story, time is money.

Fueling is pretty easy, go rich for a base, check AFR's with long term and short term trims... change scalars and PI injection maps so the HPFP doesnt sag and has headroom. Go easy on timing until fueling is figured out, then add timing.

Obviously I'm over simplifying things like changing BLM and other things you have to change, but you get the idea.

Vanos, possibly set high valve overlap at low load low RPM for MPG, for power get close to no overlap but then its best to get on a dyno and adjust until you find peak torque for that RPM.... again lots of time involved. The only catch to vanos is that it can tie in with the boost request offset table and make your boost requested for a given load do goofy things because the ECU is calculating a fixed air charge for a given load, which changes with valve overlap and other things (aka VE), so you need to have smooth vanos transitions.... sometimes for spool its a good idea to have valve overlap to allow the turbo to flow air through the engine rather than it piling up on the intake and making resistance to it spinning up (so you don't build a ton of boost during "spool" but the second you remove the valve overlap you do!)... things like that.

Basically, if you know the basics, its not hard.... it just takes time in trial and error to get a good starting point and then pin it down. This is what you're paying the tuner for. The time they spent doing that work, and doing it again because each engine is a little different, and every setup a little different.... thus they protect their IP.... I get it.


That's why I'd love to just pay for a decent base map and do it my self from there, I flat out am paying money for the time spent to find the base map to start with, I'm happy to take it from there, as it saved me time in getting the car to a "drivable" state, and now I can play with my toy like I wanted to in the first place.


Anyways, way off topic. There are plenty of good tuners out there, each with trade offs and what they will and wont give you. I think at the end of the day is down to personal preference as long as you're going with a reputable tuner. (aka, do you get along with them? Will they work with you to get what you want and properly discuss your risk tolerance? etc).
 
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Abacus38

Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2016
608
Tampa/Orlando, FL
There's no way in hell I would sell unlocked tunes. That's asking to get your ish stolen and you run risk of people blaming you for their f up when they decided to play with the tune you sent them. That's a no go at this station chief.
 

martymil

Lieutenant
Free Vendor
Sep 6, 2017
943
Down Under
As stated all the well known tuners are good at what they do, some get you tunes right a little faster than others and all are within 10 to 15 rwk of each other.

Pick the one who gives you the best price vs experience and turn around time.

The more info you give them about your setup and what you will sacrifice or wont will determine how quickly and easily this will occur.

Be realistic about your goals and don't expect record braking numbers as lots have tried and paid the price, if your not sure ask them what you should expect and not those facebook know it all's that think because they changed a sparkplug they are full blown know it all mechanics
 

CNM135i

Lurker
Nov 14, 2018
14
Better stop spamming Twisted if that mean I end up back in the queue haha Tune is 5 months in progress so I guess I can wait a little longer ;)
 
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typedRew

Corporal
Feb 25, 2019
126
Better stop spamming Twisted if that mean I end up back in the queue haha Tune is 5 months in progress so I guess I can wait a little longer ;)
5 months? Changing a lot of things during that time or just a difficult setup to get ironed out?
 

nz_92

New Member
Aug 25, 2018
3
Is it still worth it to have a JB4 with an MHD BEF or going with mhd only is a better option and which tuners do stacked tunes ?
 

Twisted Tuning

Lieutenant
Platinum Vendor
Oct 25, 2016
869
New York
Is it still worth it to have a JB4 with an MHD BEF or going with mhd only is a better option and which tuners do stacked tunes ?

worth depends on the owner. but i've never found a "need" or "worth" to have a JB4 on ours vehicles. But again the worth is up to the owner. But we do everything, flash only, stacked, standalones, and etc.
 
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nz_92

New Member
Aug 25, 2018
3
worth depends on the owner. but i've never found a "need" or "worth" to have a JB4 on ours vehicles. But again the worth is up to the owner. But we do everything, flash only, stacked, standalones, and etc.
So what are the pro s and con s of jb4 stacked setup compared to mhd only ?
 
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