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      05-01-2010, 08:10 AM   #1
Rubber Ducky
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s35i DCT Dinan S-II Report: 6 months, 5500 miles

1. Zero troubles, no trips to shop. No oil usage.

2. 3 or 4 second cranks on about 5 occasions but never twice in succession. Seems to correlate with sitting awhile.

3. Subtle high-pitched whine when adding power disappeared when Dinan flash installed. Exhaust tone sounds better - more rumbly and less burble. No droning.

4. Dinan Stage II is an absolute blast. Any gear above about 2800 RPM just pulls like hell. Traction limited. Can feel it taper off a bit approaching redline, as Dinan has it programmed to keep from clocking the turbos. Would guess 4.2 to 4.4 seconds 0-60 and driver limited.

5. Deep Sea Blue is surprisingly easy to live with. Was afraid it would be in same class as black (have had 4 in Jet Black and Sapphire Black), but is very good at looking good between washes.

6. Zero probs with Ivory interior. Wipe down with damp microfiber drying towel after every wash, use Windex on coffee etc. Looks like new.

7. If you haven't experienced it, the sun-reflective leather will seem uncanny. Really works. Never gets hot-hot.

8. DCT always in Manual, Sport. No shifting lag up or down. Did experiment with D and S modes in full auto - D is a very good automatic transmission, S is high revs and always in power band. Have also tested Sports+ a few times. IMHO, this is strictly a track or street-race mode. Very high shift points. In regular driving around town, DCT in manual, normally run between 1500 and 2000 RPM. 7-speeds may seem overkill ... until you try it and see just how flexible it is. These are very short gears.

9. Zero issue with handling in street traffic. Might be a step or two behind a Boxster in the twisties, but just not an issue in normal driving.

10. Comfort Access, adaptive HID lights, Nav, iDrive, top mechanism: all work well and without problems. Trunk is nice size for a roadster.

11. Visibility out and driving position are excellent. Very comfortable sports seats.

12. Top-down wind is not a problem with windows up or below 55. Do not have nor want wind deflector (it's a convertible, booby).

13. Glove box is OK, but wish it came without the 6-disk changer. Door pockets are good sized. Cup holder is excellent. Space behind seats is useful for umbrella or window rag, but anything there will slide side to side unless somehow anchored. I do not have the pass through.

14. Upgraded sound system is excellent. But mechanization of the various input sources is a mess. I use iPod (left in car always) and occasionally single-disk CD. Info from the sources on iDrive is not perfect. Could not get the USB input to work with thumb drive with several tries; did some partial transfers and could play songs but inconsistent and not as advertised. This is a parts-bin collection rather than an integrated system and needs real improvement.

15. Bluetooth with iPhone works flawlessly.

Questions?
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      05-01-2010, 08:19 AM   #2
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Great write-up! Thanks for sharing.

With regard to the USB, of which connection are you speaking - the glove box for loading to the hard drive or the center console as a direct music source? We've done both with great success. In fact we keep a thumb drive attached in the console.

Best regards,
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      05-01-2010, 08:25 AM   #3
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Excellent review and cleared up a few questions/concerns I had.
  1. I absolutely love the DSB, but was concerned it would be a problem to keep clean so it's back on my list.
  2. Sounds like the Dinan flash is a must do!
  3. Someone needs to do a "Remove your CD Player DIY" post. I'm sure it's possible given that it's completely optional now here in the US just like it has been in other countries.
  4. Do you ever run your DCT in full auto mode? Is it much of a hassle to put it in manual mode each time you start the car?
  5. Do you have the NAV system?
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      05-01-2010, 08:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EandS View Post
Great write-up! Thanks for sharing.

With regard to the USB, of which connection are you speaking - the glove box for loading to the hard drive or the center console as a direct music source? We've done both with great success. In fact we keep a thumb drive attached in the console.

Best regards,
Ed
Did try USB port in center console. Screen kept telling me to use the one in the pooka. I'll keep screwing with this and certainly don't rule out cockpit error, but it seems a bit more hassle than it should be.
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      05-01-2010, 08:33 AM   #5
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  1. Do you ever run your DCT in full auto mode? Is it much of a hassle to put it in manual mode each time you start the car?
  2. Do you have the NAV system?
Always in full manual. DCT to manual is no hassle. Ditto always being in Sport.

Yes have nav system and find it a great advance over the 2007 model in my E93 of that time. Being able to send destinations from Google Maps on my iMac directly to the car is really hot stuff. I do not have any trouble reading the map with polaroids but do find the gray text boxes on the nav display (miles to go, arrival time, Bluetooth status) to be really squinty and almost impossible to read. I click over to Route Preference and there the miles-to-go and arrival time are very clearly readable. then click back to map.
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      05-01-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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Excellent review...thanks. I'm getting my car in about 5 weeks and am seriously considering this engine software. Any changes in fuel economy?
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      05-01-2010, 09:40 AM   #7
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Dinan is awesome - I have the ESS Stage II software and I can tell you it is a must purchase for these cars (i.e. a quality software flash). Virtually no lag, quicker throttle response, and, yes, more power. However, the priimary improvement is the throttle response and no turbo lag.
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      05-01-2010, 09:46 AM   #8
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Any noticeable increase in oil temps with S-II? Great write-up, too.
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      05-01-2010, 09:52 AM   #9
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Dinan: oil temps normal. Getting 24.0 mpg and have not reset since new. Dinan Stage-II tune seems to slightly improve mileage.

I put 30K miles in an E93 335i with Dinan Stage-II and saw no downside whatever. It improves the E89 even more IMHO.
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      05-01-2010, 11:06 AM   #10
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Any problem passing the emissions inspection with the flashed ECU?

Seriously considering this once the car is broken in, but am somewhat concerned about the manual transmission taking the added torque...
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      05-01-2010, 11:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Any problem passing the emissions inspection with the flashed ECU?

Seriously considering this once the car is broken in, but am somewhat concerned about the manual transmission taking the added torque...
Good question
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      05-01-2010, 03:36 PM   #12
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Any problem passing the emissions inspection with the flashed ECU?

Seriously considering this once the car is broken in, but am somewhat concerned about the manual transmission taking the added torque...
No emissions inspections in FL.
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      05-01-2010, 05:59 PM   #13
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We have it in Calif., but I'm guessing that it's likely not a problem for Dinan.
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      05-01-2010, 08:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubber Ducky View Post
5. Deep Sea Blue is surprisingly easy to live with. Was afraid it would be in same class as black (have had 4 in Jet Black and Sapphire Black), but is very good at looking good between washes.

I second that, my E90 was jet black and it was a PITA, but DSB is easy to maintain


6. Zero probs with Ivory interior. Wipe down with damp microfiber drying towel after every wash.Looks like new.

I second that! I love it

7. If you haven't experienced it, the sun-reflective leather will seem uncanny. Really works. Never gets hot-hot.

I've only experienced a few 70's but I agree, it stays cool to the touch

13. Glove box is OK, but wish it came without the 6-disk changer. Door pockets are good sized. Cup holder is excellent. Space behind seats is useful for umbrella or window rag, but anything there will slide side to side unless somehow anchored. I do not have the pass through.

I've seen pics where the Z has a little cubby drawer in the headlight switch area, i don't have that. do any of you??

14. Upgraded sound system is excellent. But mechanization of the various input sources is a mess. is a parts-bin collection rather than an integrated system and needs real improvement.

do you mean aftermarket upgrade or the 14 speaker system??
see comments/questions in bold
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      05-02-2010, 03:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
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see comments/questions in bold
-"I've seen pics where the Z has a little cubby drawer in the headlight switch area, i don't have that. do any of you??"

Yes, came with the extended storage package. I have my pocket-camera and dictaphone there and still room to spare!
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      05-02-2010, 05:47 AM   #16
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"do you mean aftermarket upgrade or the 14 speaker system??"

Upgraded factory system. Guess that's '14 speaker.'
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      05-02-2010, 12:44 PM   #17
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I remember when first working with the USB connections I was getting some pretty flakey results using lossless files (.WAV, etc) on the thumb drive, especially after more than about 25 songs were present. Once everything loaded to the flash drive was in an MP3 format all those problems disappeared and everything worked great.

Here are the steps to access the drive in the center console (assuming it's plugged in):
  • Main Menu - select "CD/Multimedia"
  • Next select "External devices"
  • Finally select "UDISK" and the music should begin playing and you can see what's on the drive to make selections.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Ed
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      05-02-2010, 01:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EandS View Post
I remember when first working with the USB connections I was getting some pretty flakey results using lossless files (.WAV, etc) on the thumb drive, especially after more than about 25 songs were present. Once everything loaded to the flash drive was in an MP3 format all those problems disappeared and everything worked great.

Here are the steps to access the drive in the center console (assuming it's plugged in):
  • Main Menu - select "CD/Multimedia"
  • Next select "External devices"
  • Finally select "UDISK" and the music should begin playing and you can see what's on the drive to make selections.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Ed
It's a shame it only wants to work with MP3's, a low quality format, but the transfer rate of USB ports probably couldn't keep up with the data rate of higher quality lossless formats, anyways. I think some lossless formats are as high as 900 kb/sec whereas USB is only capable of 480 kb/sec. USB 3 would solve that problem, but not the standard yet. At least one would hope one could transfer lossless files to the built-in HDD where the data rate would be much higher. But, I understand that takes a long time as well. It would be interesting to find out if BMW is using USB 1 or 2.

FWIW
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      05-02-2010, 01:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
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It's a shame it only wants to work with MP3's, a low quality format, but the transfer rate of USB ports probably couldn't keep up with the data rate of higher quality lossless formats, anyways. I think some lossless formats are as high as 900 kb/sec whereas USB is only capable of 480 kb/sec. USB 3 would solve that problem, but not the standard yet. At least one would hope one could transfer lossless files to the built-in HDD where the data rate would be much higher. But, I understand that takes a long time as well. It would be interesting to find out if BMW is using USB 1 or 2.

FWIW
In the meantime, the iPod works flawlessly. Unclear why this sound system needs 6 separate input locations when it would work very well with the iPod, a single-disk CD slot, and the radio. Over-designed and under-performing.
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      05-02-2010, 01:22 PM   #20
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My recollection (hope I'm remembering correctly) is that .WAV would not load from the flash drive to the hard disk.

Best regards,
Ed
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      05-02-2010, 02:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
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In the meantime, the iPod works flawlessly. Unclear why this sound system needs 6 separate input locations when it would work very well with the iPod, a single-disk CD slot, and the radio. Over-designed and under-performing.
I hear you. At least the iPod element is functional.

What do they say about the WWII German Panzer armored tank: an engineering marvel of its day, while others, particularly those who had to use it, would say it was over engineered, costly to build and maintain, and a nightmare to operate. The Germans (I'm half German, 1/2 Italian) have been accused from time to time of over-engineering when a simple approach was clearly visible. But the Germans take a lot of pride in their engineering ability.

Toyota's current nightmare not withstanding, I think that's why the Japanese have made their money - they find simple approach's and keep perfecting them to infinity. At the same time figure out how to continually reduce costs. A friend gave me a ride in his little hot rod Scion, which if memory serves was a tC (?). He turned on the stereo and the sound quality kicked my a**. I asked him what the upgrade cost was, because it clearly had a subwoofer, and he said it was the base unit. He said at the time he bought it the only upgrade was things like iPod and USB interface connections. Even then they were only a couple hundred total for everything!

Last edited by teagueAMX; 05-02-2010 at 02:43 PM.
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      05-25-2010, 05:46 PM   #22
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Great report. I've got 8000km on mine and just got the Dinan Stage two installed. Picked the car up from the dealers this morning after the remap, I've driven it 40 miles with the stage 2 and I love it already.

Love everything about this car except the Sat-Nav (I don't have one, I use a Garmin..) figured I'd kill myself fiddling with the iDrive system so it's safer for everyone including me...
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