Having acquired a 330d, I’d heard from reliable sources that it’s well worth having the ECU tinkered with to extract maximum potential. There are many suppliers willing to perform this task, but a variety of factors led me to challenge ChippedUK to deliver a quality, driveable and long-term reliable remap of my car.
In order to make an experiment, and scientifically judge the results, I enlisted the help of Surrey Rolling Road.
Pre-remap car test
On Wednesday 22nd March 2006, the car was measured in its virgin state at Surrey Rolling Road. As a note, Surrey Rolling Road are independent, and have a braked rolling road. ChippedUK also have a rolling road, but theirs is an inertia theory device.
The results were, quite frankly, disappointing. An estimated 159hp at the flywheel; a measured 125hp at the rear wheels. Below is the printout at the wheels. To be clear, the top line is the torque (axis on the right), the lower line is the power (axis on the left).
To provide scope for comparison, here’s the same graph with Andy’s old 330d (pre-Van Aaken) overlaid).
So, with the estimated power output (flywheel) 25hp down on standard, Chipped UK had their work cut out.
Visit to Chipped UK
Saturday 25th March 2006. Olly accompanied me to visit Jayson at ChippedUK. Upon arrival, it was explained that to begin, we’d do a run on their rolling road, and then the current ECU map would be saved, and the car’s fault codes read.
Video (4MB): aligning the car on the rollers
The initial graph is below. Bottom green line is estimated power loss, red line is torque, grey line is power at the tyres, and the top line is estimated flywheel power.
So ChippedUK’s rolling road seemed to view my car in its virgin state in a far more positive light. It estimated that power was only around 10hp down on stock. So we got down to business.
Charlie from Surrey Rolling Road had suggested that the drop in power may be due to the MAF being faulty. The diagnostic check performed by ChippedUK didn’t report such a fault, but it didn’t report any others.
At this stage Jayson created an initial remap. He moved fast, and I observed him altering values that dictated fuelling and boost at various rpms, amongst other parameters. His software appeared to allow him to replace sections of ECU lookup tables with adjusted values, and also had 3D views representing the current model.
This was uploaded to the car and the following run performed.
Some fairly significant gains there. Peak tyre power was up 18hp, torque up 30lbs/ft. I took the car for a test drive and the difference was quite plain. Which was disappointing, as I’m quite cynical!
Jayson was keen to tinker further, and so tweaked the map again. Final results:
Video (5.5MB): final run
And here’s the overlaid original vs final:
The journey home was quite telling. I was determined not to be swayed by any placebo effect, yet the results were quite clear to both Olly and me. The car is a lot swifter across the range, but especially higher up the rpm range. Overtaking on the motorway in fifth is now effortless, and whooshing from bend to bend is now smile-tastic.
The next two questions needed to be answered though: what would the independent rolling road say, and how would the results compare to another 330d with a Van Aaken tuning box?
Tuesday 28th March 2006. I returned to Surrey Rolling Road with Paul and his 330d in tow. First of all, Paul removed his Van Aaken and we put his car on the rollers.
I haven’t got Paul’s pre-Van Aaken graph to hand, but I know his produced just under 140hp at the wheels, just a touch less than Andy’s.
Next, it was time to put my car on the rollers; the real test.
A 23MB video clip of the entire power run is available here.
Results at the wheels (original run also shown for reference).
Results estimated at the flywheel (original run also shown for reference). [
Significant gains. From 1,000 to 1,750 rpm performance if anything suffered, but after that it’s a notable improvement all the way to the red line. This leaves one major question unanswered though; how does this compare to a car with a Van Aaken tuning box?
Given that both Andy’s and Paul’s had significantly higher outputs before tuning, here are the results. All flywheel estimates, my car in pink, Andy’s in dark green, Paul’s in light blue.
Here it can be clearly seen that my car doesn’t offer the same level of mid range torque as the other cars. Whether this is due to the nature of the remap, or some fault with my car, is of course up for discussion. Power wise though, especially after 3,000rpm, my car seems to be streets ahead.
In conclusion then, ChippedUK’s remap has certainly worked: an independently verified 27hp and 35lb/fts at the wheels, an estimated 32hp and 40lb/fts at the flywheel. The car is better to drive, I’ve not noticed any hit in economy, and it’ll be interesting to see how it performs on the ‘ring!