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      01-17-2021, 01:24 PM   #1
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Custom Flash Dyno Tuned 2020 M8 - Experience and Results

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Summary:

Bone stock 2020 M8 base 1,500 miles
Stage 1 e30 tune + removal of speed limiters
+129 crank hp + 48 crank tq
No change to daily drivability
Tuner: LCE Performance in Germany
Dyno operator: EMD Auto Anaheim California

Gentlemen, I would like to share my experience of flash tuning my M8.

With the ECU's (both) being locked, we don't have a lot of flash tuning options. ECU either needs to come out to get unlocked, or you need to go to a very reliable shop with professional tuning tools. So in the meantime, a lot of people have been using piggy backs which are great but just not for me.

I use EMD Auto in Anaheim, California for all of the work on my bolt-on 991 Turbo S. EMD does phenomenal work and highly known in the VAG world (VW Audi Porsche). They dyno tuned my car together with Emre from ES Motor and with simple mod combo, I have a very reliable mid 9's 147+ 1/4 mile / 181+ 1/2 mile trap airstrip and track car.

The M8 posed more of a challenge due to the ECU's being locked. I have known EMD for over a decade as the owner was previously with GIAC, and has professional tuning tools.

Step 1 was to use EMD's Autotuner software hooked up directly to both ECU's in the engine bay to take a picture of both ECUs - to have the ability to flash back to stock.

Step 2 was to upload OBD Unlock so that the flash tunes could be uploaded via OBD port.

Step 3 was to send ECU pictures to LCE Performance in Germany. Why LCE? I wanted calibration from a long time automotive software engineers. LCE is an up-and-coming shop but have been in the automotive business for decades. They are a full-service shop in Germany that does some mind boggling builds including all mechanical, electrical and software. They have a beautiful M8 comp shop car as well a bunch of other incredible cars.

https://www.lce-performance.de/

Step4: few days after sending the stock ECU pictures to LCE, they sent two tunes back to EMD. Both tunes stage 1 as my M8 is otherwise bone stock. First tune is 91 octane and second tune is e30. I only plan to use the e30 tune as I am lucky enough to have a Chervron station with e85 two miles from my home.

Step 5 was to hit the dyno. I picked a great day - it was 86 degrees F in the middle of January and the dyno room was even hotter - but it was a blessing since I'd rather dyno in high temp, high DA conditions. EMD uses a mustang dyno and is calibrated to read both crank and wheel hp.

EMD strapped the car down and did a couple dyno pulls with the car 100% stock. Coincidentally, the car made exactly 600 crank hp on the dyno. Whether the car makes more or less it doesn't matter - it was the best baseline we could hope for. We were taking logs using bFlash and most interesting was that the car needed to produce 1.35 bar stock which is very high (highest LCE has ever seen stock). We think because it was so hot with IAT's starting each dyno pull over 50 celsius. Nothing we could do about this with BMW's weird air to (coolant) water setup.

Next step was load up the 91 tune and dyno again. I'm likely never using this tune but it was fun to see nevertheless. It made around 50 more crank hp on the base map. We could have changed some parameters to make more power but I didn't want to waste any time since I don't plan to use it. If I want, I can always go back to EMD and custom calibrate it later.

So then we used the BMW connected app to see exactly how much fuel was in the car, and added 4 gallons of e85 and computed e32 based on the assumption of 10% E in California 91 octane and 80% E in the E85 pump. EMD wanted to install an ethanol reader and I will do that later once we purchase another stock fuel line.

Then EMD loaded the e30 tune and did the dyno pull and the results were incredible. 729 crank hp. Now here's where it gets interesting. Logs were sent to LCE and they asked how much more power I wanted and I said none. In fact, the custom calibrations thereafter were to reduce boost, particularly in the lower rpms.

I ended up reducing boost under 4000 rpm from 1.35 bar stock to 1.15 bar tuned. Max boost between 4000 rpm and 7000 rpm was 1.5 bar.

This is not going to be a race car in fact all I do with it is use it for surfing and my wife drives it sometimes when I need her X5. Yes probably the fastest surf car on planet earth but needs to be reliable with no chance of transmission problems or faults or error codes or anything like that. Goal is 100% reliability and drivability with a little more punch. Well, goal achieved.

I haven't tested it 1/4 mile but driving home from EMD it behaves exactly like stock. When I go WOT it kicks down exactly like stock just way more power. I did a couple 0-60mph pulls stock yesterday which was 3.0 (2.8 with 1 foot rollout) and tuned 2.9 (2.7 with rollout) just brake boosting. I haven't ever used launch control and don't plan on it until I change tires since I have crappy PZeros. I was happy it didn't spin much on the launch just chirped a few times all the way to like 80mph. Over 80mph is where it gets interesting. I can tell the car is fighting for grip and its heft gets in the way under 80mph but over 80 I have full traction and the weight is less apparent and rockets away, much different than when stock. I'm guessing mid130's 1/4 mile which is my goal Stage 1. Nothing higher for now.

Anyway I'm extraordinarily pleased with the ease of the process and the results. LCE and EMD are amazing to work with - it couldn't have been simpler given the context of the locked ECU.

Cheers.
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      01-17-2021, 01:26 PM   #2
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Some pics and dyno overlay stock vs Stage 1 e30 tuned.
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      02-19-2021, 08:59 PM   #3
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Nice. Why less boost early in the curve from the tune? Were you concerned about traction or reliability or...?
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      02-20-2021, 05:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amerkin View Post
Nice. Why less boost early in the curve from the tune? Were you concerned about traction or reliability or...?
Great question! All of the above.

With the torque limiters built into the transmission TCU, and hearing about other motors grenading, the goal was to increase top end power without a significant increase in torque. Puts my mind at ease.

Result is also that I can brake boost off the line with zero wheel spin on the crappy PZero's that come with the car. Just tried it once on a foggy/damp road and did 0-60mph in 2.6/2.8 seconds on the dragy. LC on a nice surface will of course be better.

I've been in my vacation home for a while so when (if lollll) I get back to California where the car is at, I will put it through some more dragy tests.

Cheers.
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      02-20-2021, 07:22 AM   #5
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Great write up... don't own a M8 but enjoyed reading.....
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      03-08-2021, 10:48 AM   #6
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First try 1/4 mile not sure I stayed in it until the end. Was on an abandoned road in really bad shape and the road was curving. Need to get to a proper road.

This is a 100% stock car just the LCE Performance tune. Stock everything else including filters and even stock PZeros.

110 1/8th mile means it is FLYING.

Next run I will try ms109 gas and will assume the 1/4 mile trap speed increases a lot.
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      03-08-2021, 11:08 AM   #7
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So without reading the thread--- 10.3x just on a tune and gas?
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      03-08-2021, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic55 View Post
So without reading the thread--- 10.3x just on a tune and gas?
Hi Vic. Yeah and first try 1/4 mile on a full tank of gas too.

Need to try with ms109 which I have 10 gallons in my garage now but stuck with a full tank of gas and a busy work schedule. Can you come by and drive the shizzz out of my car for me
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      03-08-2021, 11:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboarder View Post
Hi Vic. Yeah and first try 1/4 mile on a full tank of gas too.

Need to try with ms109 which I have 10 gallons in my garage now but stuck with a full tank of gas and a busy work schedule. Can you come by and drive the shizzz out of my car for me
LOL I was in your neck of the woods yesterday--- Im just running a basic piggy and its relatively good----- for me. But you have that 991 that sets the bench.

Im a basic guy when it comes to mods: lower, exhaust, tune/piggy, california 91. I know its not optimal but BPU's are pretty much where I max out. Oh and cheap ABS lips.
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      03-08-2021, 12:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic55 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboarder View Post
Hi Vic. Yeah and first try 1/4 mile on a full tank of gas too.

Need to try with ms109 which I have 10 gallons in my garage now but stuck with a full tank of gas and a busy work schedule. Can you come by and drive the shizzz out of my car for me
LOL I was in your neck of the woods yesterday--- Im just running a basic piggy and its relatively good----- for me. But you have that 991 that sets the bench.

Im a basic guy when it comes to mods: lower, exhaust, tune/piggy, california 91. I know its not optimal but BPU's are pretty much where I max out. Oh and cheap ABS lips.
From what I recall, I picked up 80bhp on the dyno going from pump 91 to pump 91+e85=e30 ! Hard to make power on pump 91 alone but obviously its no hassle. I wouldn't be doing e30 daily but the ethanol pump on Crown Valley and Niguel makes it sooo easy!
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      03-08-2021, 04:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboarder View Post
First try 1/4 mile not sure I stayed in it until the end. Was on an abandoned road in really bad shape and the road was curving. Need to get to a proper road.

This is a 100% stock car just the LCE Performance tune. Stock everything else including filters and even stock PZeros.

110 1/8th mile means it is FLYING.

Next run I will try ms109 gas and will assume the 1/4 mile trap speed increases a lot.
10.33 at about the same trap is my best ever with a JB4. Interestingly, your 60ft kinda sucks which means you've got another 1/10th in there for free (this assumes you lost it on launch because of traction and not because of the lower boost targets in the early RPM range).

Nice!

PS: were you using launch control proper?
PPS: @Noelle the tuning company and some of their customers: this is how you measure a tune.
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      03-08-2021, 04:54 PM   #12
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Tuning for more torque than the car can put down doesn't really help matters, generally just makes it difficult to control the throttle. Having it come in later can improve overall performance. There are some interesting YouTube drags where the Shelby 500 (a fairly powerful vehicle) can't get off the line, but once hooked up screams.
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      03-08-2021, 04:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
Tuning for more torque than the car can put down doesn't really help matters, generally just makes it difficult to control the throttle. Having it come in later can improve overall performance. There are some interesting YouTube drags where the Shelby 500 (a fairly powerful vehicle) can't get off the line, but once hooked up screams.
Perhaps that's true for the Mustang but this 4WD car, naaaa. I nailed a 2.5s 60 on a farm road in the mid 40sF and it can do that repeatedly... well, as long as repeatedly doesn't exceed 100 times.
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      03-08-2021, 06:44 PM   #14
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Awesome AB!

You gonna do 1/2 miles in it?
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      03-08-2021, 06:44 PM   #15
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Great write up. One question your ecu is it build after June 2020? If so are you saying they have figured out how to unlock it?

If not aren't there Boot mod 3 or other tuners that do custom tune on m8?
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      03-08-2021, 08:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limeypride View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboarder View Post
First try 1/4 mile not sure I stayed in it until the end. Was on an abandoned road in really bad shape and the road was curving. Need to get to a proper road.

This is a 100% stock car just the LCE Performance tune. Stock everything else including filters and even stock PZeros.

110 1/8th mile means it is FLYING.

Next run I will try ms109 gas and will assume the 1/4 mile trap speed increases a lot.
10.33 at about the same trap is my best ever with a JB4. Interestingly, your 60ft kinda sucks which means you've got another 1/10th in there for free (this assumes you lost it on launch because of traction and not because of the lower boost targets in the early RPM range).

Nice!

PS: were you using launch control proper?
PPS: @Noelle the tuning company and some of their customers: this is how you measure a tune.
Yes, I was surprised given the condition of the road which is on the coast and has a lot of sand and broken up concrete with plants growing out of the broken concrete so it was less-than-ideal conditions. Therefore I could not use launch control and I had to brake boost. Very surprised how well the car did on the launch all thing considered.
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      03-08-2021, 08:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by M3 Number 86 View Post
Awesome AB!

You gonna do 1/2 miles in it?
Sup bro. Nah I'm going to stalk you with it at ACS
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      03-08-2021, 08:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saurabbhatia View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboarder View Post
Summary:

Bone stock 2020 M8 base 1,500 miles
Stage 1 e30 tune + removal of speed limiters
+129 crank hp + 48 crank tq
No change to daily drivability
Tuner: LCE Performance in Germany
Dyno operator: EMD Auto Anaheim California

Gentlemen, I would like to share my experience of flash tuning my M8.

With the ECU's (both) being locked, we don't have a lot of flash tuning options. ECU either needs to come out to get unlocked, or you need to go to a very reliable shop with professional tuning tools. So in the meantime, a lot of people have been using piggy backs which are great but just not for me.

I use EMD Auto in Anaheim, California for all of the work on my bolt-on 991 Turbo S. EMD does phenomenal work and highly known in the VAG world (VW Audi Porsche). They dyno tuned my car together with Emre from ES Motor and with simple mod combo, I have a very reliable mid 9's 147+ 1/4 mile / 181+ 1/2 mile trap airstrip and track car.

The M8 posed more of a challenge due to the ECU's being locked. I have known EMD for over a decade as the owner was previously with GIAC, and has professional tuning tools.

Step 1 was to use EMD's Autotuner software hooked up directly to both ECU's in the engine bay to take a picture of both ECUs - to have the ability to flash back to stock.

Step 2 was to upload OBD Unlock so that the flash tunes could be uploaded via OBD port.

Step 3 was to send ECU pictures to LCE Performance in Germany. Why LCE? I wanted calibration from a long time automotive software engineers. LCE is an up-and-coming shop but have been in the automotive business for decades. They are a full-service shop in Germany that does some mind boggling builds including all mechanical, electrical and software. They have a beautiful M8 comp shop car as well a bunch of other incredible cars.

https://www.lce-performance.de/

Step4: few days after sending the stock ECU pictures to LCE, they sent two tunes back to EMD. Both tunes stage 1 as my M8 is otherwise bone stock. First tune is 91 octane and second tune is e30. I only plan to use the e30 tune as I am lucky enough to have a Chervron station with e85 two miles from my home.

Step 5 was to hit the dyno. I picked a great day - it was 86 degrees F in the middle of January and the dyno room was even hotter - but it was a blessing since I'd rather dyno in high temp, high DA conditions. EMD uses a mustang dyno and is calibrated to read both crank and wheel hp.

EMD strapped the car down and did a couple dyno pulls with the car 100% stock. Coincidentally, the car made exactly 600 crank hp on the dyno. Whether the car makes more or less it doesn't matter - it was the best baseline we could hope for. We were taking logs using bFlash and most interesting was that the car needed to produce 1.35 bar stock which is very high (highest LCE has ever seen stock). We think because it was so hot with IAT's starting each dyno pull over 50 celsius. Nothing we could do about this with BMW's weird air to (coolant) water setup.

Next step was load up the 91 tune and dyno again. I'm likely never using this tune but it was fun to see nevertheless. It made around 50 more crank hp on the base map. We could have changed some parameters to make more power but I didn't want to waste any time since I don't plan to use it. If I want, I can always go back to EMD and custom calibrate it later.

So then we used the BMW connected app to see exactly how much fuel was in the car, and added 4 gallons of e85 and computed e32 based on the assumption of 10% E in California 91 octane and 80% E in the E85 pump. EMD wanted to install an ethanol reader and I will do that later once we purchase another stock fuel line.

Then EMD loaded the e30 tune and did the dyno pull and the results were incredible. 729 crank hp. Now here's where it gets interesting. Logs were sent to LCE and they asked how much more power I wanted and I said none. In fact, the custom calibrations thereafter were to reduce boost, particularly in the lower rpms.

I ended up reducing boost under 4000 rpm from 1.35 bar stock to 1.15 bar tuned. Max boost between 4000 rpm and 7000 rpm was 1.5 bar.

This is not going to be a race car in fact all I do with it is use it for surfing and my wife drives it sometimes when I need her X5. Yes probably the fastest surf car on planet earth but needs to be reliable with no chance of transmission problems or faults or error codes or anything like that. Goal is 100% reliability and drivability with a little more punch. Well, goal achieved.

I haven't tested it 1/4 mile but driving home from EMD it behaves exactly like stock. When I go WOT it kicks down exactly like stock just way more power. I did a couple 0-60mph pulls stock yesterday which was 3.0 (2.8 with 1 foot rollout) and tuned 2.9 (2.7 with rollout) just brake boosting. I haven't ever used launch control and don't plan on it until I change tires since I have crappy PZeros. I was happy it didn't spin much on the launch just chirped a few times all the way to like 80mph. Over 80mph is where it gets interesting. I can tell the car is fighting for grip and its heft gets in the way under 80mph but over 80 I have full traction and the weight is less apparent and rockets away, much different than when stock. I'm guessing mid130's 1/4 mile which is my goal Stage 1. Nothing higher for now.

Anyway I'm extraordinarily pleased with the ease of the process and the results. LCE and EMD are amazing to work with - it couldn't have been simpler given the context of the locked ECU.

Cheers.
Great write up. One question your ecu is it build after June 2020? If so are you saying they have figured out how to unlock it?

If not aren't there Boot mod 3 or other tuners that do custom tune on m8?
Hi. It's an October 2019 build date. So I have more options than the 2021 M5's with the locked ECUs.
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      03-08-2021, 09:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSM View Post
Great write up... don't own a M8 but enjoyed reading.....
Same - such a nice write up. Truth in engineering ...
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      03-09-2021, 10:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limeypride View Post
Perhaps that's true for the Mustang but this 4WD car, naaaa. I nailed a 2.5s 60 on a farm road in the mid 40sF and it can do that repeatedly... well, as long as repeatedly doesn't exceed 100 times.
Are you on stock hardware with a stage 1 tune? Or more mods?
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      03-09-2021, 10:50 AM   #21
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Amazing build and the best "surf" car around. That is a safe and fast build. 👍🙂

I have a question on the Dyno graph. Why doesn't the 5252 rpm rule apply? Or am I misreading the graph? I was taught in physics that hp/tq always intersects at 5252rpms.
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      03-09-2021, 12:03 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Kuato2084 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by limeypride View Post
Perhaps that's true for the Mustang but this 4WD car, naaaa. I nailed a 2.5s 60 on a farm road in the mid 40sF and it can do that repeatedly... well, as long as repeatedly doesn't exceed 100 times.
Are you on stock hardware with a stage 1 tune? Or more mods?
JB4, H&R springs, Michelin tires @295R/285F.
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