Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*
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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N* in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hey guys, I recently purchased Madtuner's ecm upgrade, as well as the tcm upgrade for my 2005 N* STS. Now ...
  1. #1
    aliskerov is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    Hey guys,

    I recently purchased Madtuner's ecm upgrade, as well as the tcm upgrade for my 2005 N* STS.

    Now I've been looking for something like this just about since I first got the car (2 years ago), as it was the only performance upgrade that could make an actual difference on this car. Cold air intakes have little to no gains, as the stock airbox is sufficient for the engine's air demands, and, since this car is highly computerized, I feel like any gains would be defeated by the stock ecm programming. I do have a Gibson exhaust on my car, but, being an axle-back, it hardly does anything for airflow (makes the car sound awesome though - highly recommended). Sadly, the word around the forum was that the ecm was hard to crack and no one wanted to do it. I even called a local Corvette specialist whom happened to be a test driver for GM and had all the resources to tinker with an STS ecm, but never got a follow-up. Thats when I finally gave up.

    After doing some maintenance, some exterior upgrades, swapping the differential bushing with a poly one (common issue - I recommend this as a preventative measure; especially if you'r'll be doing this upgrade), swapping my front and rear sway bars with ones from a V, adding some aftermarket speakers to my BOSE system, a subwoofer system, a lockpick Navi override, and purchasing a nice set of 20" rims, I decided that there was nothing I could do for the engine and stopped looking. I stopped checking the forums for performance upgrades and decided that I should just enjoy the car the way it came.

    Little did I know that in June of last year Madtuner bought a V-8 STS with a mission to crack the ecm that no one else cared about. I actually caught wind of this about a month ago, and made fast moves to get this done on my car. I contacted madtuner with what I was looking to get from the tune and, with his help, determined what route to go. His website, which you can find by typing in madtuner in google, will explain some of the things that you can tune. He explained to me that he can individually program certain perimeters individual in D mode, Ds mode, and M mode. This was key for me, as I won't own this car forever, and selling a car that redlines on the highway in D mode might be a challenge; especially if gas prices keep going up .

    Here's a list of what I got done:

    ECM:
    - Performance tune - this is the essential ecm tune. This is where the extra ponies come from (and they certainly let themselves be known). It does require premium fuel, but it's well worth the price.
    - Fans set to turn on at 211 degrees F (primary fan) and 223 degrees F (secondary fan) - fans come on at lower temperature to keep the engine cooler.
    - Knock retarder desensitized - this is explained better on a forum posted by madtuner himself. Read here: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ng-update.html
    - Disabled Speed Limiter - this is more of a braging right
    - Torque Reduction Managment reduced by 60% - madtuner explained to me that, at launch, the car can automatically reduce torque to minimize wear. For performance purposes this can be desensitized.

    TCM:
    - Shift time reduced by 50% - car shifts faster.
    - Rev limiter set at 6600 RPM
    - Shift firmness increased by 20% in D and Ds modes, by 60% in manual mode - this makes the shifts crisp. In M mode the car physically launches into the next gear = awesome

    I have a mac computer, so I couldn't program-by-wire and had to get a spare ecm and tcm; madtuner makes it easy with deposits until your old ones are returned. The TCM is located on the side of the fuse box and the ecm is located right in front of the driver-side front wheel, behind the splash guard; just make sure you disconnect the battery's positive terminal before you swap them. If you are, indeed swapping them, don't worry about the anti-theft or crankshaft sensor procedures you'll read about on madtuner's website, as neither proved to be a problem in our cars: antitheft won't be an issue if you disconnect the battery first, as the car will never locate a missing ecu without power. The crankshaft sensor re-learn was nowhere to be found as an option in my buddy's (certified mechanic with his own shop) up-to-date tech 2 tool; popped right up when we plugged it in to his GMC truck; our take on it - it's done automatically. You may want to go over the transmission adaptive functions re-learn procedure, just incase - ask madtuner for the instructions. Do remember to fill your car up with premium fuel BEFORE the install; I did, but could see how someone could forget.

    The car may need some time to adjust to the new modules, or the modules may need some time to adjust to the car; whatever you prefer. Give it a day or two before you make your judgements; I didn't feel the full effects on my first drive. After a week of living with the car, however, I can honestly say that there is quite a difference; and I wouldn't tell myself that if it wasn't true. The car seems to accelerate faster and with more ease; less hesitation. The transmission is humble in D mode ( I asked for that with eventual resale and gas milage in mind), intuitive in Ds (holds in gear even with no gas applied), and ferocious in M mode - the gear shifts launch the car forward and press you back in the seat. The rev limiter is set higher, and you can see the needle going a bit past the redline in M mode, which is great, because the car still has alot of power at the top end. A wonderful side effect of this tuning that I wasn't aware of but love is that the car doesn't shut the fuel off at redline anymore, it just stay on it. If I leave the car in first gear and hit the gas, the revs will go up to 6600 rpm AND STAY THERE - now THAT is awesome, because the fuel cut-off was seriously pissing me off. Overall the tune was well worth the $500 (includes $100 discount for purchasing the combo, shipping, and refund of both deposits) that I paid for it; especially considering that the Volant air intake costs $350 and does little more then make your car sound like a vacuume cleaner. If you wish your N* STS had bigger balls you should definitely consider this upgrade, cause there is really nothing else worth doing; especially compared to this. Madtuner was very responsive throughout our email exchange and answered any questions I threw his way. Let him know what you're looking to get out of the tune and he will help you make a decision. Happy motoring!

    -Aleks
    Attached Images
    ezed1, ezed1, Subsailor613 and 3 others like this.

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  3. #2
    mckellyb is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    If that isn't a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!

    The program-it-yourself setup is in my near-term things to do, but funds are a bit short right now. Hopefully by the end of April, I'll be all over it.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mckellyb View Post
    If that isn't a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!

    The program-it-yourself setup is in my near-term things to do, but funds are a bit short right now. Hopefully by the end of April, I'll be all over it.
    I'm right there with you. I would love to do the reprogramming, but funds are short. Soon, hopefully.
    mckellyb and mckellyb like this.

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    aliskerov is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    Its not endorsement, its actually sharing a positive experience with an automotive product company, which, from restroring my 1964 corvette, is getting harder and harder to come by. I've been on this forum since 2011, long before madtuner offered any products for our cars. If you find my other posts you'll find great info on what particular speakers to upgrade your Bose Premium sound system with. Did JBL endorse me as well?

    I just dont mind promoting a good guy, as well as share some experience/learned tips with fellow forum members. If you're not interested in that then why are you on this forum, my friend?

    If you want better performance from your V-8 STS - this is the best bang for the buck. Please feel free to prove me wrong; ill wait.

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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    aliskerov,

    I think you may have taken what mckelly said the wrong way. All he is saying is that the review you provided is quite inclusive and provides lots of details regarding the tuning. Not in the terms of "endorsement" such as athletes get where they are paid to wear reboknikeadidas shoes or jersys. I don't think anyone is looking to prove you wrong, in fact I think most are looking for the good reviews you provide.

    With regards to Positive Experiences, I think you are correct in that there are few companies still providing a customer service aspect and caring about the outcome. I seem to feel that a lot of people are just out for themselves, but here in the STS forum we seem to have some truly accommodating and caring vendors.

    matt

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    mckellyb is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    aliskerov...chill out man. You're reading WAY to much negativity into this.

    I don't mean 'endorsement' as in you were paid for your words or time.

    I mean you endorse the the product, as in you support or approve of it.

    There are multiple meanings of this word, I did not mean I doubted what you say...quite the contrary, and I'm quite happy to read about someone with an '05, which is what mine is, having done it.

    IMO, if "endorsement" is used with a negative connotation, then it's being used incorrectly.

    I was hoping to not be the first to write a review of this for the '05, but I may be the first to do one of the tweak-it-yourself version.

    Kelly

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    aliskerov is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    I'm not mad at all, Kelly; I hate that there is more then one way posts can be interpreted lol. I did misunderstand your meaning of the word endorsement and just wanted to elaborately explain that this wasn't the case. I am sorry for misunderstanding though; I haven't heard that word used in a positive way in a while and forgot it's true meaning
    mckellyb and mckellyb like this.

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    mckellyb is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    No problem, aliskerov.

    I'll have to surf for your Bose posts, 'cause I know it can be better (though, for an OEM Bose system, it's remarkably good...I'm not a Bose fan).

  10. #9
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    Attachment 108778
    Im about to do this tune also, here is the before dyno this is with a drop in K&N crossover pipe
    and dynomax super turbo mufflers,my cable should arrive tomorrow
    I will post an update Dyno to show the results, i have a 07 4.6 V8 ,funny thing is
    I have been driving this car for three years now and didnt know it had a sports mode SMDH!!!!
    The car ran pretty good in auto and manual i drove it in sports mode the other day and man the over drive
    kicks in like a mother!!!! and this dyno was baseline in auto mode!!

  11. #10
    mckellyb is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    More HP than torque.

    I'm a bit surprised, though I should have known the engine was a bit oversquare....

    I need to find a period review of this car. I know I have one, in my 33 years of C&D.

    Yes...I've kept them all....

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    Charles Warren's Avatar
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    Why is it squiggly on the chart lol. And is that after the tune? Because on mustang dyno I put down 225 trq and 230HP. Well let me find my dyno before i say numbers

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    ezed1's Avatar
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    lol Before the tune I think the squiggly is the car slipping on the dyno but im not really sure, this being my first dyno :-?

  14. #13
    Ludacrisvp's Avatar
    Ludacrisvp is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezed1 View Post
    lol Before the tune I think the squiggly is the car slipping on the dyno but im not really sure, this being my first dyno :-?
    AWD? RWD?

    Possibly Bad tires?

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    ezed1's Avatar
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    its RWD

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    Charles Warren's Avatar
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    Re: Madtuner ECM and TCM Review - 2005 Cadillac STS N*

    I dynoed the car on 22s smh, wont do that again. and I was off 1 hp lol 229 was my hp and 224 was my trq. But stang dyno is a bit stingy because it applies road force similutaion. and I believe the 1/4 times now. Is the dyno graph you posted after the tune though @ezed1 ???

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