Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission
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Cadillac ATS Technical Discussion Forum Discussion, Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Hello, I'm a newbie on this forum (i've actually never posted in any online forum before) and when it comes ...
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    Osiris4313 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    Hello,

    I'm a newbie on this forum (i've actually never posted in any online forum before) and when it comes to mods. I just leased a 2013 ats 2.0 with manual transmission and just want an ECU Tune but am having trouble deciding between the companies. I think I've narrowed it down to D3, Pfadt, and Bad News. I'm leaning towards D3 since I live in California and can get some dyno runs. The other ones would be mail. Any input or reviews on these tunes and how they compare would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
    -Mark

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    Siren05's Avatar
    Siren05 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    I'm running BAD NEWS which is done by Trifecta and I'm very happy.
    I would recommend it.
    BNRacing likes this.

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
    Hoosier Daddy is offline Moderator
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    The KPE tune is fantastic. While I think the actual engine tunes are about the same from a performance standpoint, I only recall seeing non-suspect back to back stock and tune gasoline dyno sheets for KPE and PFADT. So price, other features, methods of installation, support are important considerations. I know you are looking for a 2.0T tune but I was impressed that D3 admitted in a recent MotorTrend video that their 3.6 tune didn't really add HP just altered pedal to throttle relationships and of course the transmission tuning which is VERY important for anyone with an auto.

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    ben.gators is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Daddy View Post
    D3 admitted in a recent MotorTrend video that their 3.6 tune didn't really add HP just altered pedal to throttle relationships and of course the transmission tuning which is VERY important for anyone with an auto.
    i think there was a fellow Cadillac ATS owner who was claiming that with a tune his 3.6L NA engine got 30 more horsepower.... You need to show this video to him!

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by ben.gators View Post
    i think there was a fellow Cadillac ATS owner who was claiming that with a tune his 3.6L NA engine got 30 more horsepower.... You need to show this video to him!
    Unless he's racing for pinks, nothing wrong with thinking that. You do these changes to feel better. Throttle mapping can make a car FEEL faster, as can firmer shifts, and can be faster if left to shift for itself. So you still get your money's worth. Depending on the power curve, you could get some more HP by raising the rev limits. Or you might get more HP with more octane but that's happening more often with or without a tune these days. A 2011+ V6 mustang with factory tune gets an extra 5-9 HP just by putting premium in it. Ford didn't market it that way because they thought fuel costs was a better selling point plus premium results in the V6 putting out more power per cubic inch then the king 5.0. And you can get some HP with riskier ignition timing or allowing more knock but those gains are very small, probably less than variations between stock motors.

    For a turbo there are all kinds of reasons for the factory to limit HP, for an NA car, little or none. It would be rare and take a screw-up by the auto maker to leave much NA HP on the table.

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    Osiris4313 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    Thank you very much for the responses and input everybody! I appreciate it. Is there much benefit to getting some dyno runs versus having a mail order tune and being able to send the data to the engineers? Has anybody seen any actual reviews for D3 tunes for the ATS? I have had a heck of a time trying to find any. Last question, is it correct to say that the tunes generally do not seem to affect the torque below 2,500 to 3,000 rpm's?

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by Osiris4313 View Post
    Thank you very much for the responses and input everybody! I appreciate it. Is there much benefit to getting some dyno runs versus having a mail order tune and being able to send the data to the engineers? Has anybody seen any actual reviews for D3 tunes for the ATS? I have had a heck of a time trying to find any. Last question, is it correct to say that the tunes generally do not seem to affect the torque below 2,500 to 3,000 rpm's?
    Not true. The KPE tune increases torque between 20 and 25 at 3K and close to 10 even at 2K. Some other tuners emphasis maximum HP and torque at high RPMs. I think they do that because they know that a lot of buyers don't understand how important the area under the curve (which includes all RPMs used during acceleration) is.

    Also some owners or tuners don't dyno using full throttle until higher RPMs because they either don't care about values there or maybe even would prefer it not be known. So if you see a dyno sheet where its shoots straight up at some point, you really don't know what's happening before that.

    You are right to be carring about all the usable RPM band for street use, particularly for manual transmissions.

    I like the overall performance improvements but really love that extra punch from low RPMs without downshifting.

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    roadpie4u is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    In the case of a "stock" engine, there isn't as much of a need for an in-person dyno and review, especially when the car is going to be driven on the street at part throttle 99% of the time. The fact that Pfadt and BNR/Trifecta offer datalogging tweaks based on real-world driving logs (and not full throttle dyno runs) is a godsend to the community - I'd say dyno tuning really isn't necessary till you start playing with more than just intake/exhaust/tune.

    Thanks to our woefully undersized stock turbo, tunes on the LTG see the biggest gains below 4500rpm - so while a solid dyno of revs down low isn't available, there'll be a difference once the turbo starts spinning up - and I'd bet from 1500-3000rpm you'd notice a pretty nice difference.

    Interestingly enough, the ECU calculates how much power it thinks its putting out and is actually shockingly accurate, so I bet BNR or Pfadt can chime in on their "down low" results.

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    Osiris4313 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    Again, thank you guys. I tried to do a ton of research online and can honestly say that your replies have been more helpful in answering my questions than the hours I spent. And the extra power at 1500 to 3000 rpm is exactly what I was looking for, so I will definitely be looking forward to the tune.

    ----------

    In talking with one of the vendors, it was suggested to me that a tune which noticeably increases the output at the low rpm range, risks pushing the engine to the point where it will shorten the lifespan or potentially cause some damage. Would you guys disagree with that? How long have you had your tunes, and have you noticed any problems at all?

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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by Osiris4313 View Post
    In talking with one of the vendors, it was suggested to me that a tune which noticeably increases the output at the low rpm range, risks pushing the engine to the point where it will shorten the lifespan or potentially cause some damage. Would you guys disagree with that?
    That's one of the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I wonder if that is the same vendor who I posted something about their product that caused them to PM me and offer a bribe to NOT mention it again because it wouldn't be good for their business.

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    Thunder Gray STS's Avatar
    Thunder Gray STS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Daddy
    That's one of the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I wonder if that is the same vendor who I posted something about their product that caused them to PM me and offer a bribe to NOT mention it again because it wouldn't be good for their business.
    I have to agree. You can't imagine what GM powertrain does to these engines. When I went through Buick engineering in Flint in the 1980s they had a 3.8 liter that was in this room they had been running it for 5 days straight at 5500 rpm. They were getting ready to shut it down, tear it down and check wear. He said they will run it at peak torque for days and peak hp for days, make changes and do it all over again. I know that a tune will put more stress on an engine than stock, but I would say in normal driving there isn't anything you could do to it that would hurt it. And I would also like to know which tune gives the best bang in the 2000-4500 RPM range that most people are in most of the time.

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    Osiris4313 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    Ok, I had a feeling that sounded a bit peculiar but thought I would double check. Your comments are in line with what a different engineer told me too; he said these engines are incredibly solid and I would basically have to put in some work to try and blow it.
    And hahaha Hoosier Daddy, based on my review of tunes on this forum, I have a funny feeling I know who you are talking about. It was not them, but I for one wanted to thank that person who attacked your review, because they helped me to very easily and quickly check one company off my list of potential ecu tunes (although it was HIS company, not yours).
    I agree with you Thunder Gray, I have been trying to find the same information. I will definitely put up a post of my experience once I get a tune.

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    Siren05's Avatar
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    My BNR/TRIFECTA TUNE has gained a ton down low. One of the things ive noticed is no need to downshifts in most situations with the added tq down low. now instant push with just light throttle.

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    ATSturbo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    I wrote a review of my experience with the Pfadt Tune with my dyno results. Please read it when you get the chance to. http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ne-review.html They have the world's fastest ATS so I went with their tune. Turned out it was the best choice.

    The bottom line is I picked up 55+ ft/lbs of torque at the wheels with 32.21 peak horsepower at the wheels. At around 3750 RPM, the Pfadt Racing ATS tune picked up 70+ HP at the wheels vs the car stock. Weeks later and I am equally impressed. Granted, my car is auto and with the Pfadt tune there are many improvements over factory with the shifting. But I would expect slightly higher gains on a manual ATS. I'd say for the money, there is no other mod that can give you as much as the Pfadt Tune. Other tunes I have seen cheaper but do not offer near as much. I am about to order my Pfadt downpipe and CAI to complete my P35 package, I am told I will get a free re-tune when I do, which is a giant plus in my book. Here is the dyno:

    10x7txs-1.jpg

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Best Company for ECU Tune on 2.0L Manual Transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by ATSturbo View Post
    I wrote a review of my experience with the Pfadt Tune with my dyno results. Please read it when you get the chance to. http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ne-review.html They have the world's fastest ATS so I went with their tune. Turned out it was the best choice.

    The bottom line is I picked up 55+ ft/lbs of torque at the wheels with 32.21 peak horsepower at the wheels. At around 3750 RPM, the Pfadt Racing ATS tune picked up 70+ HP at the wheels vs the car stock. Weeks later and I am equally impressed. Granted, my car is auto and with the Pfadt tune there are many improvements over factory with the shifting. But I would expect slightly higher gains on a manual ATS. I'd say for the money, there is no other mod that can give you as much as the Pfadt Tune. Other tunes I have seen cheaper but do not offer near as much. I am about to order my Pfadt downpipe and CAI to complete my P35 package, I am told I will get a free re-tune when I do, which is a giant plus in my book. Here is the dyno:

    Attachment 138282
    Hi, can you explain why the run started at over 3500 RPM? Also what gear were they done in?

    The reason I ask is that even with 70 MPH airflow, the temps in these engines at full throttle rises dramatically in a very few seconds and the power then falls off significantly. Making pulls starting at high RPMs like those gives results very different than ones beginning in the 2k range or in the real world. Likewise pulls done in lower gears are finished sooner because of the torque multiplication, lack of wind resistance, etc.. That also gives an unrealistic picture by ending the pull before the heat builds up.

    Someone can argue they will never give full throttle below 4K RPMs but if their dynos runs are based on that concept, they are useless for comparison to any other full RPM range dyno pulls in a high gear.

    I'm used to seeing some tuners doing things like that to make things look better than real world, but I have the impression you paid for the dyno runs at an independent shop and if so am curious if they informed you about that.

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