Lately, questions APR Tuned's software for the 997T about the validity of its dyno and performance gains. It seems that not many people know much about them and that's why I've started this thread. I want this thread to basically be an FAQ Thread for anyone interested in APR's 997T software. Members are welcome to post a question and I will do my best to answer it. If I don't have the answer on hand I will do whatever it takes to get an answer for you and I will edit this thread and post the question and the answer to it. Any new information I receive I will also post it up here so that members can come back and visit it in the future. Everything from how much power you should receive with different octanes and performance modifications, to instructions on how to change your programs.
Above is a time sheet by a 997TT 6spd APR Software, 100 octane, Tubi Race exhaust, 20" wheels, track temperature was 125 degrees @ Zmax dragway in Concord, NC. YouTube - APR Program Switching on a 997 Turbo
Above is a link on how to change programs in your 997/997T
Some questions by member Speed21
1) What are the official boost pressures (min/max)APR use on this 997tt tune in both normal and sports modes.
The boost pressures are the same, in normal and sports mode. The APR software overrides both functions and replaces it with EMCS program switching technologies through your cruise control switch. No handheld device needed. See video below. As for the amount of boost, my local clients and GMP's 997T have seen 18-20psi.
2) Do all countries APR 997tt tunes have the same boost pressures.
As long as the 997T you are trying to flash has the same turbos and engine components then yes you should see similar boost pressures as there is only one version of the software. VW/audi cars have been known to make tweaks to their engines in the same chassis era which you will see slightly different tq and hp figures but I'm not aware of Porsche changing their engine in the 997t till 2010 in the 997T.2 second generation.
3) How does your APR tune "know" when it has achieved the claimed KW and torque ratings shown on your web graphs when you say the maximum boost pressure is not required to reach the maximum power output on every occasion.
The APR software is just a guidline for the ECU to run the engine off of. Your car will never run identically the same way on the dyno or the street everyday. There are too many variables. I wouldn't wrap your mind around exact numbers. The APR Dyno graph is an average of the numbers they received from their dyno runs once they felt that they had the right calibrations for the car. So with that said the software is not a ecu so it can't read anything, its information stored on the ECU. The ECU reads APR software and tells the car what to do. If the sensors on the car tell the ECU what to do. Such as retard timing, advance timing, add more boost, run less boost etc based on what information the ecu receives from the car. Of course this all happens in a fraction of a heart beat
4) And, If max boost is not required on each and every occasion to produce the max power output then what determines when it is required? ie: Does the tune have a internal dyno of its own that knows when and where the max boost is required? And, if so, how does it know when it has peaked at the 403kw and 865nms?
Again, the ECU runs off the apr software and tries to meet those demands. If it needs more boost to achieve it or less boost and more timing it will make the changes on the fly, but only if its safe for the engine and turbos internally of course. There are settings and limitations I'm sure that are programmed into the APR software to avoid any kind of detonation or anything like that but its obviously clear that this engine can handle more power than what the APR software runs from other brands with their upgraded turbos.
6) What does your own datalog info state on real time boost pressures... etc etc.
We have not run the 997T with apr software while running durametric programs to read boost pressure or anything else as we usually only run those types of diagnostics if something is wrong with the car and so far we have had a single Porsche either turbo or none turbo come back to us with an issue or CEL yet. But we can do this if you would like. We have a dyno appt set up for tomorrow 6/11.
6) What did your own 997tt test car manage to produce on the dyno (whp)
We will post this up tomorrow if we have time or Monday since our appt is tomorrow 6/11 @ 9am.
7) What is the accel test times of your own 997tt (60 to 130...and so on)?
We haven't tested this yet but we have a vbox on order and should be here any day now. Or next available day to do this would be our track day next Thursday 6/17 @ Carolina Motorsports Park. This is a road course but it's only 2.3 miles long so if we have enough room to get up to a 130 in their last straight away which would be the only location we would have a chance to do so I will definately record the results with maybe a little in car video
8) What other aftermarket components were fitted on this test car at the time of testing (exhaust, I/C's Turbos/air filter/ clutch etc). Also, was a stronger clutch a pre-requisite to obtain the data?
The car we are going to measure tomorrow has APR with 100 octane in it since he doesn't run anything else. Tubi Race exhaust, (muffler no cats required in his state), BMC filter, everything else is stock on the engine.
9) You quote in your letter and website that you calibrate aproximately 250 maps per octane setting compared to an average of 6 to 25 different map changes amongst our competition so:
a) Why "approximately 250 maps"? Dont mean to offend but this does sound a bit made up and designed to confuse the unknowing masses (ie:marketing BS). If you calibrated each map surely you must have to record the specific number of maps and their individual calibration settings? And if not why not?
I have asked this question directly to APR and will post their response. For now I can only assume that they use this many calibrations to gain information. See how the engine reacts when they make a change in the software. The idea is to achieve best driving experience. They want lots of power, everyone does, but not at the cost of drivability. The car still has to accelerate smoothly like it does from the factory. The idea is have the car drive like it does stock but with more power. Most dont want a car with a ton of power but constantly surges. They want a nice smoothe power band. I'm sure APR has other reasons why they make/use so many different calibrations and when I have their response I will post it in here.
a. A typical APR motronic calibration is anywhere from 220-300 changes depending on car. I was merely generalizing in the same manner I generalized what our competition does.
b) How do you keep informed of what map numbers the other tuners are calibrating vs your own?
This is a good question, I have my own ideas but i would like to know for sure as well. I have sent this in an email to APR as well to be answered.
b. Like any software, once you have the source code, in this case the OEM code, you can look at whatever anyone else did to make different software for that same source code. I guess someone might say that's dishonest or whatever but it's a simple fact that every tuner looks at other tuner's code, pepsi would be stupid to not chemically analyze coke, it's the same situation. The difference is the lengths some tuners go to to protect their code. The more hoops you make someone else jump through, the more time consuming, so you hope they eventually give up. The dishonesty comes in if you copy what they do and use it as your own. APR does not copy other tuner's work. We do look at what they've done in order to help some of our clients in technical support situations whereas they relay to us they think their tuner has made a mistake and want to know if our calibrations will fix their issues. More often than not, our reply is that "the changes your tuner has made wouldn't create the issues you are describing so we suggest you look for a hardware failure." It's the same reason Ford's R&D departments own Audi Rs4's and several other makes of vehicles. It's the same reason any OEM's different technology groups buy different cars of different makes to tear them apart and see what makes them tick. It's also why patents were invented. Those who do not patent their technologies are very na´ve to think others won't prey upon their accomplishments. APR has been burned in this regard in the past and we vehemently hate that this is the way the world works, and we are aware that Tuner A will try to copy our code. If they get it, it's our fault for not protecting it with encryption or patents as unfortunately, a lot of people in this world are dishonest. Did I mention we were the first company in the world to flash the 997T through the OBD2 port?
c) How do you know what other tuners are acheiving in their map calibration number rates to actually know how many they are calibrating vs your own methods?
c. The process is accomplished by an internal tool APR developed that we call Cal Compare. Cal Compare automatically takes 2 binaries and compares them at the most finite levels for changes and reports the changes in a summary once the process is complete. The Cal Compare tool was developed for use by our Engineering Teams to determine if a new ECU/DME part number or software version from the OEM is compatible with a calibration we've developed for a very similar ECU/DME part number or software version.
d) How do you know by using your claimed higher map numbers you are actually acheiving anything beyond those tuners that arent?
Again I have my own thoughts, I would assume that more calibrations = more information = which leads to the more you figure out what makes the car better and what doesn't the better your software will be in the end. Like in school, the more you study the better your grades will be but more importantly the better you will be @ your profession. But I have emailed APR this question to see what they have to say.
It's almost always related to drivability, reliability and fuel economy. Operating modes such as part throttle and cold start, etc. require completely different changes that are connected to the primary WOT load maps. To make power, you have to raise the requested load levels and many tuners stop at that. To make consistent power, you have to dial in other maps that take effect as say EGT's rise to a predetermined spec set by Porsche in the DME. There are multiple fueling surfaces for example that are active dependent upon knock and EGT's. Many tuners will merely calibrate the primary map and turn those other maps off.
The ecu has the ability to extrapolate other operating modes from those WOT load maps through calculations and algorithms inherent to the ecu but if your change is outside of the range of those abilities to adapt, you need to change a lot more maps for those other operating modes. It's easy to ignore them or to merely set the operation modes very similar to that of WOT but you lose a lot of ecu's ability to adapt to different operating modes. Some tuners do it by changing the location of where maps are called upon. For example, some tuners will lock the ecu into only the use of a single timing map, when there may be 30+, by changing the identifier or pointer in the code of where the ecu should look for different timing maps in different locations to the one map they've calibrated. This means you are operating in the same timing range for all conditions as WOT which is very 1990's as far as ECU technology goes and it affects drivability, fuel economy and adaptation more than some people realize. It's just a less time consuming way of doing it than we or the OEM's do.
10) If you "know" you have the best tune out there then why is it that 2 years on you have failed to obtain a decent share of the 997tt tune market? And, what are your plans to correct that?
Again I have emailed this question to APR to see what their thoughts are on this subject, however if it was directed at me (which is wasn't) I have driven a few other cars with other brand software, and listened also to what some of the customers had to say about it when they had it and their reaction to the APR software which leads me to believe internally that APR's programming is superior. Some have said that had it made just the same power or less they would still have paid to switch because of how much smoother it was. I personally dont think there is a way of proving that theirs is better than everyone elses. I think on reason is that there are too many other tuners out there to test it against and lack of information of some of them. All they can do is match it up against some of the leaders that are out there. As far as obtaining market share, they simply don't advertise as much as they do for VW/Audi. If they did and could get more people with 996T and 997T to just try it out I think the Pcars will start lining up for them. They are in most of the Porsche magazines I think but they are not on any of the higher end forums. I think they leave it for their dealers to push it for them for the most part but not all their dealers have a Porsche market for them locally.
10. Its lack of marketing commitment. We are a small to medium size business with several OEM commitments at this point and we are constantly developing new technologies. We often rely on our dealer network to spread the word and we simply aren't that strong in Porsche car speed shops at this time. It's my primary responsibility to determine our marketing direction and the lower hanging fruit have been through existing channels where our brand is considered the strongest and we are maximizing the investment in doing so. There will be a time when we go full force into the P car world and I'm sure we'll enjoy a bigger piece of the pie at that time. The P car world is also very saturated as far as the number of tuners is concerned and as you can see form this exercise, re-education of the marketplace is difficult. Look at Mac. Took them awhile for their products to catch on in the mainstream but they are now enjoying everything they brand becoming gold. We have that in the VW group of marques and we will add the same for Porsche in the future as I've said. We are learning the marketplace, getting our feet wet if you will and we'll devote more marketing effort to it in the future.
11) Why is your tune currently priced beyond all of the competition. (putting to one side the bells and whistles of the programme switching which most may not place any value on anyway).
I can't speak for APR on behalf of them on this question but I do want to point out that the bells and whistles of their program switching is huge. Most tuners require a seperate box to purchase for a couple hundred bucks and then purchase the software such as GIAC. When you add in the cost of their extra programs for 100 octane and the little programmer box to change the programs it almost comes out to be the same price. However with that said we are going to offer for the month of June a special group buy price for the forums. $2500 fully loaded
11. Part of the difficult re-education process is helping people to understand the "bells and whistles" as our competition calls it (you must have been talking to EVOMS as that is one of their favorite lines regarding our products) are a display of advanced mastery over the Bosch Motronic EMS and have a significant value to those that travel, participate in HPDE's and like to perform some of their own maintenance or valet their car, would like to keep their OEM warranty or are concerned about vehicle theft. It's an all inclusive suite that may or may not be right for you. It's the responsibility again, of our dealer network to help their clients understand the value of our added features. I like that my car has them. So does my Mom.
Someone also mentioned about 997TT being ME7.8.1 and not 7.1.1 as I mentioned. As I stated, I wasn't going to bother the engineers for specifics and have some technical nomenclature incorrect. The reason I listed the 997T as 7.1.1 is because 7.1.1 was the first ecu on a can network as opposed to a k-line which began the new generation of ME7 ecu's on a can bus. ME9 is on a can bus. ME7 traditionally was k-line. Internally, we refer to everything ME7 on a can bus as ME7.1.1 in conversation so those like myself understand it's that flavor of EMS. 7.8.1 in the 997T marks the introduction of dual processors which is very similar to ME9 dual ECU's as found in the RS4, R8, etc. For us, its about flashing technologies and base level coding architecture and embedded systems levels changes. That's how we communicate internally.
Regarding the part about me saying 997.2 was ME9, the production line at Porsche was switched to SIMOS very late in the production cycle and our information at the time it was relayed to me was that it was ME9. That changed and our Engineering Team didn't communicate that detail to me as I had no reason to know. Again, I mentioned that some of my technical nomenclature might be incorrect as I wasn't going to consume the time necessary to get a full report and update from the Engineering Team before I wrote my email. FOR MORE ON THE 997TT CALIBRATION SOFTWARE FROM APR PLEASE VISIT APR - High Performance Development for Audi, VW and Porsche Vehicles.
6/11/10 INDEPENDENT DYNO
Today I took a 997T get some dyno results. I'm going to try and list every detail I can about this morning. From the car to temperature conditions in the order that they happened. If anyone wants to check our weather for today go to the weather channel website and type in our zip code 28217.
Our appointment was for 9am.
8am Started the car up in the garage drove from Lake Wylie, SC
(just outside charlotte) to highway I85.
815am Got on I85 @ exit 27 (belmont, NC)
830am Got off I85 Exit 37 North Charlotte Statesville Ave Exit to meet me
835am Got on I85 @ Exit 37
850am Got off I85 Exit 49 Speedway blvd Concord, North Carolina
9am Reached destination 3sx Performance (dyno facility)
Ok so since I'm still waiting on all the individual dynos we did with their time on them as well I will just post this one that I have here. Its a comparison graph showing our first pull of the morning and our last pull.
Temperature on the dyno was 94-95 degrees. Humidity was 60%
First Pull - APR100OCT File, Tubi Race Exhaust, 100 oct fuel.
Last Pull - OEM Porsche File - Tubi Race, 100 Oct Fuel in the tank
APR 997TT Software Upgrade Group Buy
For those who are interested in an ECU Upgrade from APR we have the following offer for you. The price is $2500 and it includes a fully loaded ECU with the OEM Stock File, 91 or 93 Octane File, 100 octane file, Valet, Fault Code/Throttle Body Alignment, Security, & Anti-Theft. You can come to GMP and get the car flashed, We can send you our lap-top to download the programming through the OBDII the same way we would here at the shop, or you can send us your ECU.
The group buy will run till July 1st. To sign up for the group buy all we need is your billing information. Nothing will be charged till we reach 5 cars and your car comes in to get flashed and or a lap top is on its way to you, or your ECU is on its way to us.
So far we have on the list.