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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 F10 Technical Topics Engine, Transmission, Exhaust, Drivetrain, ECU Software Modifications Dinan Stage 1 Software Upgrade for 550i
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      01-12-2013, 01:56 AM   #1
dchartier
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Dinan Stage 1 Software Upgrade for 550i

I've got a new F10 550i and am, to say the least, intrigued by Dinan's Stage 1 software upgrade. (http://dinancars.com/shop/D900-44T5-...de.aspx#page=1) 495-hp, 573 lb-ft of torque -- nuff said! :-)

A few questions for the group:

1. If you've gotten the upgrade, how satisfied have you been with it?

2. I live in California where, apparently, this is not street-legal. Have any California denizens had luck getting it for their cars anyway? And if so, are there any issues with passing smog?

3. I have the 6-year, extended factory warranty (i.e., a longer period than Dinan will cover). Any issues with getting repairs done under warranty with this upgrade?

4. What sort of decrease in engine life can I expect?

Many thanks in advance!
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      01-12-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
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I can't answer all of your questions but I can provide some insight. Most people skip stage one and go to stage 2. Stage 2 gives much better low end and its been said that stage 1 doesn't really "kick in" until you hit 3rd gear.

I installed stage 2 on Thursday. All I can say is holy crap. I was a tad bit skeptical at first but the car has really come alive. Its just as smooth and pleasant to drive as stock when your just driving around, but floor it and you get whiplash. I've noticed a couple of times that I've gotten the tires to squeal even with traction control engaged. I have no regrets.

I also believe that the Dinan warranty only matches the BMW 4year/50k only and not any extended warranties.
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      01-12-2013, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbbrewer
I can't answer all of your questions but I can provide some insight. Most people skip stage one and go to stage 2. Stage 2 gives much better low end and its been said that stage 1 doesn't really "kick in" until you hit 3rd gear.

I installed stage 2 on Thursday. All I can say is holy crap. I was a tad bit skeptical at first but the car has really come alive. Its just as smooth and pleasant to drive as stock when your just driving around, but floor it and you get whiplash. I've noticed a couple of times that I've gotten the tires to squeal even with traction control engaged. I have no regrets.

I also believe that the Dinan warranty only matches the BMW 4year/50k only and not any extended warranties.
+1
Skip stage 1. I installed stage 2 a month ago and the results are great. I could feel all that extra power immediately.
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      01-12-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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I live in LA and the local Dinan dealer laughed when I asked about "off road only" in California. He said its a damn software mod and swing by and he would do it. Got stage 2 in 45 min and wasn't that impressed immediately but about the second half of day two the world changed. Just got an exhaust so looking forward to stage 3.

No issues so far with my BMW dealer and warranty. Had several small car issues and didn't say a word.

I doubt it hurts your car unless you redline to death on a track etc.
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      01-13-2013, 09:56 PM   #5
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Dinan matches BMW's 4yr/50k warranty so you're good there. As with any ECU mod it increases the work on your engine somewhat so if you really are hard on the car it may shorten its lifespan/increase wear and tear proportionately but that is true with any engine mod. However I haven't heard stories of Dinan ECU modded cars falling out all over the place so I'd say he's pretty good for the added cost. Some go other routes that are cheaper but Dinan is still around and I think its the warranty helps from a piece of mind standpoint.

I did Dinan Stage 1 when I got my Eissenman Race done last Nov and its great! Thought about going state 2 or 3 a the time but Stage 1 was just the best bang for the buck. I think Stage 2 is still going thru CAFE testing and awaiting certification so my local dealer wanted me to wait until doing it but I'll likely go to Stage 3 or 4 and intercoolers sometime in the next 6 months. Probably in the spring when the winter weather stuff goes away...no need to do it yet I figure with all the nasty stuff on the floor by now.
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      01-14-2013, 11:01 PM   #6
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All i can say is DO IT you will not regret it.. Do stage 2
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      01-15-2013, 12:30 AM   #7
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Go stage 4, that's when it gets fun my biggest issue is traction now.
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      01-15-2013, 07:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sluggoslinger View Post
Go stage 4, that's when it gets fun my biggest issue is traction now.
Sluggoslinger do you really think there is a big difference between stage 2 and 4?

What do you need to run stage 4? Exhaust and???
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      01-15-2013, 08:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primetime1 View Post
Sluggoslinger do you really think there is a big difference between stage 2 and 4?

What do you need to run stage 4? Exhaust and???
Dinan intercoolers....and another $200 for stage 4 software.
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      01-16-2013, 02:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-Town550i View Post
Dinan intercoolers....and another $200 for stage 4 software.
SO I'd need just an upgrade from my current stage 1 and intercoolers? What cost estimated for intercooler installation and time? Anyone getting or thinking of the Dinan LSD? Or has someone gone and put an M5 LSD into their cars?
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      01-16-2013, 02:46 AM   #11
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Same question

I was about to ask the same question regarding my 2011 550...I have done every modification except anything having to do with the engine.

I am debating whether to install the Dinan software or not..hope I can figure something out..think it's a little expensive though..
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      01-16-2013, 10:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrobc13 View Post
SO I'd need just an upgrade from my current stage 1 and intercoolers? What cost estimated for intercooler installation and time? Anyone getting or thinking of the Dinan LSD? Or has someone gone and put an M5 LSD into their cars?
Most have already made the jump to stage 3 before going to stage 4. Stage 3 also includes the Dinan exhaust ($3500). So if you wanted to go true stage 4 from stage 1, the cost breakdown would be:

Dinan exhaust - $3599.00
Dinan intercoolers - $2499.00
Stage 4 software from stage 1 - $900.00

$6998.00 + labor (about 7 hours) to go from stage 1 to stage 4.

LSD would be an additional $3600.00 + labor.
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      01-16-2013, 12:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by primetime1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sluggoslinger View Post
Go stage 4, that's when it gets fun my biggest issue is traction now.
Sluggoslinger do you really think there is a big difference between stage 2 and 4?

What do you need to run stage 4? Exhaust and???
I would say the diff from stock to stage 2 was way more dramatic than to 3 or 4. With my current setup, the car is a beast. The power delivery is smooth through the whole range. I felt like with just stage 2 it really hit hard only in higher RPM's. if I'm pulling off the line slow and decide to hit it at 30 mph, it's whiplash fast. I don't feel like I got that with stage 2.

With the mods I've done, my car is night & day different from what I rolled out of the dealer with 10 weeks ago. All I have left to do is have the M5 sway bar installed and I'm done with my mods.
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      01-17-2013, 02:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-Town550i View Post
Most have already made the jump to stage 3 before going to stage 4. Stage 3 also includes the Dinan exhaust ($3500). So if you wanted to go true stage 4 from stage 1, the cost breakdown would be:

Dinan exhaust - $3599.00
Dinan intercoolers - $2499.00
Stage 4 software from stage 1 - $900.00

$6998.00 + labor (about 7 hours) to go from stage 1 to stage 4.

LSD would be an additional $3600.00 + labor.
Hmm.. I already have a Dinan Stage 1 and an Eissenman Race exhaust so I figure the Inter-coolers would cost just $2500 +$900 to Stage 4 as you say. Not sure benefit of the LSD yet but looking closely. Would like to see if anyone has done either of these big upgrades before to a 550i tho.
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      01-17-2013, 07:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrobc13 View Post
Hmm.. I already have a Dinan Stage 1 and an Eissenman Race exhaust so I figure the Inter-coolers would cost just $2500 +$900 to Stage 4 as you say. Not sure benefit of the LSD yet but looking closely. Would like to see if anyone has done either of these big upgrades before to a 550i tho.
Oh yes...sorry I missed that you already had the Eissenman Race exhaust, so no need to get the Dinan exhaust. Don't forget labor costs for the inter-coolers, which would probably run around $500.

I just cant justify spending 3k to go to stage 4. Diminishing returns start to kick in when spending that kind of money for maybe a 20 hp bump.
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      01-18-2013, 01:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-Town550i View Post
Oh yes...sorry I missed that you already had the Eissenman Race exhaust, so no need to get the Dinan exhaust. Don't forget labor costs for the inter-coolers, which would probably run around $500.

I just cant justify spending 3k to go to stage 4. Diminishing returns start to kick in when spending that kind of money for maybe a 20 hp bump.
Yeah I'll probably just go to Stage 3 myself and intercoolers and then add the LSD and call it a day. Oh yeah bembro brakes or another set if stoptek or somebody makes a set ever! Still waiting on that too (better brakes!)
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      01-22-2013, 04:29 PM   #17
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Okay, so it looks like Stage 2 is the way I'll go if I do this upgrade.

I'm still concerned about the fact that Dinan doesn't cover the last 2 years of my extended warranty. If I did get just the Stage 2 done and I had an issue with my engine, what's the likelihood that BMW would discover this and not honor the last 2 years of my warranty?
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      02-03-2013, 03:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchartier View Post
Okay, so it looks like Stage 2 is the way I'll go if I do this upgrade.

I'm still concerned about the fact that Dinan doesn't cover the last 2 years of my extended warranty. If I did get just the Stage 2 done and I had an issue with my engine, what's the likelihood that BMW would discover this and not honor the last 2 years of my warranty?
Slim to none. You'll be okay. 90% of Dinan shops i've seen are at BMW dealerships and so I'd think if you continue to have a good relationship with your service guys and have the car serviced at its regularly intervals and all then there really shouldn't be an issue IF you had a problem.Now I haven't had a problem personally but don't think there would be an issue otherwise. Dinan has been around and from what I have heard support their products and if I am gonna go mess with the engine/ECU then they're probably definitely the only way I'd go on my car.
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      02-03-2013, 02:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mbbrewer View Post
I can't answer all of your questions but I can provide some insight. Most people skip stage one and go to stage 2. Stage 2 gives much better low end and its been said that stage 1 doesn't really "kick in" until you hit 3rd gear.

I installed stage 2 on Thursday. All I can say is holy crap. I was a tad bit skeptical at first but the car has really come alive. Its just as smooth and pleasant to drive as stock when your just driving around, but floor it and you get whiplash. I've noticed a couple of times that I've gotten the tires to squeal even with traction control engaged. I have no regrets.

I also believe that the Dinan warranty only matches the BMW 4year/50k only and not any extended warranties.
Hey brewer

Can I ask where in Houston you got it done? I just got a 550 and my dealer (advantage) doesn't offer it.

Thanks
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      02-03-2013, 02:30 PM   #20
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Hey brewer

Can I ask where in Houston you got it done? I just got a 550 and my dealer (advantage) doesn't offer it.

Thanks
BMW of Houston North is a Dinan dealer
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      02-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #21
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BMW of Houston North is a Dinan dealer
Thanks. Is this the same one as the woodlands?
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      02-04-2013, 12:10 AM   #22
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Thanks. Is this the same one as the woodlands?
Nope, it's different. This is a little further south on I 45
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