Dinantronics Stage 1 Performance Tuner

Dinan has been tuning BMWs since the 80s. The founder Steve Dinan was so obsessed with tuning these vehicles that he put himself through engineering school many years ago in order create better modifications and add-ons. Dinan has since sold the company, but the Dinantronics Stage 1 piggyback is one of the last projects to be completed before Steve’s departure. We’re all hopeful that the new owners will carry on the legacy Steve created, by providing the same level of care and obsession.

Dinan currently covers whatever you have left on your warranty if you’ve installed it in a newer vehicle. So if something goes wrong with your car that BMW determines is a result of the Dinan tuner, you’ve got a piece of mind with a warranty that no other tuner manufacture has ever been willing to match. Why have no other manufacturers been willing to match Dinan’s tuner warranty? Read on:

The Dinantronics S1 tuner goes beyond your typical “extra boost” type tuner by connecting to several additional sensors (Intake Camshaft Position Sensor, Manifold Pressure Sensor, Charge Pipe Pressure Sensor, Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor) that its competition doesn’t bother with, and its ECU is designed to take advantage of those extra data-points which ultimately provides a “glassy smooth” running engine and also provides some safety mechanisms as well. Other tuners may be able to increase the boost higher than your Dinantronics tuner, but in most cases they’ll end up setting a fault and probably cause the engine to react with a self-correct that adjusts the timing and/or boost pressure, which causes the car to slow down for a moment, and that just means the extra horsepower you gained with your non-Dinan tuner was lost anyway. What we’re talking about is a poorly tuned engine, and that’s obviously not what any of us wants. This is why the Dinan tuner has an octopus-like wiring harness that connects to so many different points on your engine — it facilitates a more thorough tune. Dinan’s tuner is also shock tested and the harness uses the same type of waterproof wiring and connectors that the factory uses. But enough of that, the real question is: does it actually produce a smooth running, high torque engine? The short answer is yes.

We installed it on our 2017 BMW 330xi and for the most part, we can’t tell that we’re running modified engine beyond the torque gains. There’s no hesitation, no hard(er than usual) shifting, no backfiring, etc. It’s just substantially more aggressive. Over the last three months I’ve kept it in Sport+ and driven very aggressively. (+1 speeding ticket added to my record) I’ve had no major issues and certainly nothing that could be attributed to the Dinantronics tuner.

After the initial installation. There was some “misfiring” for lack of a better term. That is, there were times where I was just about stop at a red light and it would change to green, so before I came to a stop, I’d gun it. At that point it would seem to almost stop the engine for like a split second (like milliseconds) and then it would quickly ramp back up and things seemed fine again. But after 4 weeks of driving around under different conditions it eventually stopped doing that. This has been explained away by the technicians as the car “learning” to handle the new sensor data, and in fact when I pulled the error logs I could see various “learn conditions” listed. But it’s not clear to me if those were always there or would have occurred whether the tuner was installed or not. In any case, those experiences tapered off after a month or so.

I will say that when I’m in Sport+ and I merge onto a highway from a yield sign, it accelerates ridiculously fast now (for such a tiny 4-cylinder engine) During the acceleration I can feel a slight rapid chugging effect that I’m certain is not a gear switching. It’s very mild and hardly noticeable, but it makes me wonder if the engine timing is being retarded because the cylinders are filling with too much oxygen from the extra boost? I’ve also noticed that in colder weather the “misfiring” effect will come back until the engine is at operating temperature. But most engines misbehave when they’re not at operating temperature, so no points off for that one.

Would I recommend it? Fuck yes, I would. I can’t imagine anyone would want to remove this thing from their car once they’ve installed it and driven their new beastly jetmobile. Take a look at the Dyno results posted on Dinan’s site:

We haven’t independently verified the above results, but the old butt Dyno tells us this is probably pretty accurate.

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