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Discussion Starter #1
Ok fellas. Finally got my car back from Classic Coach in Elizabeth NJ where they installed the Formula Dynamics Drive By Wire and the Larini X-pipe.

And what can I say that every other person I have ever read a review on hasn't already said.... the DBW is probably the most incredible mod you can do to your car, dollar for dollar. It is that incredible. I can't imagine why they would handicap this engine this much from the factory... but the DBW unleashes all the Ferrari power in this beast!

I don't want to sit here and ramble on, because I could for at least another few pages... but if you own this car without the DBW, go buy it IMMEDIATELY!! Further more, if you are looking at purchasing the QP... add 1295 dollars to the price and just assume you need to buy this too! :)

From the first second I put my foot on the gas leaving the shop, I screeched the tires (which I hadn't really been able to easily do with the automatic) and the car rocketed forward. I was blown away. I was a bit afraid that I'd get in this car and want it to be faster so bad i'd convince myself it was faster even if it wasnt'... like a placebo affect. But there is no doubt... this car has been completely transformed. Go out and get this thing installed, you are crazy not to.

Now onto the x-pipe, This was also a great great mod. It has really opened up the sound and roar of this engine. Not "too" loud... just a great, deep throaty sound with just enough Ferrari inspired raspyness!

Classic Coach did a great job as well. These guys are perfectionists! They built a custom (over engineered) bracket to contain switches for the DBW and the ECU i'll eventually buy. They took over 11 hours to do the DBW and x-pipe was my only complaint. Should have probably taken 4-5 hours? I guess that is why they can charge 91 bucks an hour... they get there money eventually!

The last thing I'll say here, that every person has said, is how great Jeff is to work with from Formula Dynamics. Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable about all things Maserati, he is friendly, professional, and bends over backwards to help you out and do the right thing. So thanks Jeff for the great products and moreso - the great service! I'll be back to pick off most of whats in your lineup eventually! :)


So that's it guys. If you are on the fence about the DBW, get the hell off that fence and order this thing immediately. I can't even imagine owning this car without this mod now. I don't know how many HP it adds... i think the claim is 25? But it FEELS like it's 100.

I'll snap some pics of the switches I had put in a few weeks when I finish round 1 of mods!


Jim
 

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They took over 11 hours to do the DBW and x-pipe was my only complaint.
I can't imagine how they could have taken 11 hours for those two products alone. The module is 1 & 1/2 hours. 2 tops. So they took 9 hours to rip off the H pipe and install the X?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea... it was a bit of bullsh*t. They said they had fitment problems and had to mess with pipe diameters.

On the DBW, they had my entire interior taken apart basically so they could run the switches to the driver side, build a custom bracket to hold the switches and mount them somewhere they didn't have to destroy the interior. All in all, it looks great and hidden.. but was it worth another 500 bucks or so? No way.
 

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It took me 45 min to install the DBW myself with the computer guy from my office. I didn't run any wire because I didn't want them to mess with the interior. I end up having the wire in my glove compartment just hanging loose but hidden. I know I will always set it on aggressive, so who cares...
 

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I don't know how many HP it adds... i think the claim is 25? But it FEELS like it's 100.
I believe it adds zero HP. It's remapping the response of the accelerator so that the car reacts more aggressively, as though you've pressed the gas more than you actually have. I've also noticed that it shifts more smartly at high speeds (it seems to know the proper gear to grab when accelerating at highway speeds better than stock). There's no doubt that the car feels more sporty, but I'm relatively sure that your total HP is the same.

The performance chip, on the other hand, does claim to increase HP as it operates differently. It taps into fuel mixtures and timing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I believe it adds zero HP.

Elambo - you are probably dead on, but even if you told me it would actually take 10 or 20 horses away, but respond like it does, i would get it every time.

I thought that this was only good with the duo, but now i realize it's a MUST HAVE with the auto. The auto is so lazy and sloppy, you have a more sporty feel in a 3-series. But now it's obvious to me, that i'm driving a maserati that goes when i tell it to go!

Love it love it love it!! :)
 

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But now it's obvious to me, that i'm driving a maserati that goes when i tell it to go!
And it makes you wonder why Maserati allows them to be so tame when they leave Italy. The DBW response should be stock, not an aftermarket product.
 

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I have the same upgrades and mostly agree with the review. The most aggressive mode on the DBW is little too touchy in city traffic but a hoot out on the open road. The "normal" sport mode was not that big a difference on my 2003 Coupe. I suspect mine had the original more aggressive setting from the factory and was never reflashed. The gear changes seem quicker and smoother though and the engine response is somewhat quicker I think, but not a day and night difference. The x-pipe makes the engine a little more willing and the sound on start-up is very cool as well as when you punch it hard. If nothing else you can now say you have 400 hp like the GS....we probably all have well over 400 since these engines are very conservatively rated due to Italian regulations. My mechanic charged me 2.5 hours labor to install both. Granted I do not have custom switch boxes etc but I find you pretty much leave the setting alone and all I have to do is open the passenger side footwell lid to switch before taking off if I feel in a particularly sporty mood or vice versa. You do not gain HP but it feels like it since the engine reacts immediately. Biggest plus to me is the reduced lag in first gear upon take-off. Now I am ready to kick some Porsche butt off the line.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The gear changes seem quicker and smoother though and the engine response is somewhat quicker I think, but not a day and night difference. /QUOTE]


My car had 39k miles on it when I got it... and i'm about 99% sure it was driven by an older lady (not joking) - based on the paperwork i have. So... my assumption is that my car had 39k worth of horrible training and part of the DBW installation is a reflash I believe, I did have to put my radio code back in when I got the car back so i'm pretty sure the battery was reset?

When I first got the car it drove so soft I couldn't believe it. Now its incredible. So whatever the reason, I couldn't be happier.


I have found one negative though.... My gas mileage has gone down from 17-19 MPG to 12-14 ! I'm willing to be though most of that is because I just can't help myself to drive this thing hard now! :)
 

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My car had 39k miles on it when I got it... and i'm about 99% sure it was driven by an older lady (not joking) - based on the paperwork i have. So... my assumption is that my car had 39k worth of horrible training and part of the DBW installation is a reflash I believe, I did have to put my radio code back in when I got the car back so i'm pretty sure the battery was reset?

I have found one negative though.... My gas mileage has gone down from 17-19 MPG to 12-14 ! I'm willing to be though most of that is because I just can't help myself to drive this thing hard now! :)
When hardwiring electronics the battery is always disconnected for safety.

Im sure youo are just having much more fun and its difficult to take your foot off the pedal :cheers:
 

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part of the DBW installation is a reflash I believe, I did have to put my radio code back in when I got the car back so i'm pretty sure the battery was reset?[/QUOTE]
No reflash. The DBWEM does not change your stock electronics. However, the stock DBW system is dynamic and does perform based on learnings from previous driving history. Any time you want to remove driving history from the TCU, you can just turn the battery off for a couple of hours. You can do this with or without the DBWEM.



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Yea... it was a bit of bullsh*t. They said they had fitment problems and had to mess with pipe diameters.

On the DBW, they had my entire interior taken apart basically so they could run the switches to the driver side, build a custom bracket to hold the switches and mount them somewhere they didn't have to destroy the interior. All in all, it looks great and hidden.. but was it worth another 500 bucks or so? No way.
Without being unfair, is it safe to say your installer was learning on the job? I haven't heard anyone talk about a total interior tear out for the DBW install. That seems more than extreme. Am I wrong here?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
They have done a few, Jeff recommended them. I think where I got in trouble here was that they ran the wires to the driver side and built custom switches and switch brackets so I could easily reach them, without drilling into my dash.

Probably a good 5 hours of over-engineering. Expensive lesson for me, but won't happen again. It does look good though.
 

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I bet it looks slick, and having the switches accessible is a plus (I wish I had that kind of accessibility with my DBW) but for those thinking about installing one from scratch it's not necessary to go so far. It's more or less set-it-and-forget-it and pretty easy to hide under the glove box.
 

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I installed mine today. Took a few hours total; reading through the manual, searching this forum for tips , going out to get some solder...the actual install took about 45 min. Double checked the pin positions and not just the colors which paid off as I had no codes thrown with the bypass or the DBW plugged in.

First impressions are good. The less aggressive mode seems almost the same as stock but fixes the uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous lag at take off. This is in my opinion the main thing the DBW does, as if you spend long enough learning how to drive the car you can have it shift smooth and fast enough, it's all in the timing and throttle position. But there is not much you can do about the unpredictable start.

The aggressive mode is pretty good. Basically it just feels like the DBW is keeping the throttle a little open so it's ready to accelerate. I can liken this to the experience of a large cam in an old v8 when you have to increase the idle just a bit to smooth it out and the characteristics of the car change. It feels a little harder to “hold back” when you back off, particularly down a hill, and you need to be ready on the brakes. Between gears the shifts seem a little more aggressive, which I like. I think I'll be able to use this mode most of the time, you just can't be too heavy with the right foot while pulling out AND turning. Unless you plan to get it sideways ;)

All up I would recommend the product, the aggressive mode is good but I would not say it's worth it just for that. Foot to the floor it feels exactly the same. I don't understand how people can say it feels like it's got 100 more horsepower or even any more for that matter. It's clearly a device that tricks the car into thinking you have a bit more throttle than you actually do, and therefore it releases the clutch sooner without the lag. The real value is in how much more drivable the car is because you no longer have to think and compensate for the lag at launch. Thanks Jeff for inventing this wonderful product, I enjoy my Maserati much more and now plan to use her more often as a result.

Damn this thread, now I'm thinking about an x-pipe and the ECU upgrade.

Question for the forum: Where did you mount the module? I just have mine wedged under the glove compartment floor and the carpet till I test drove and was sure the install was fine. I plan to mount it properly tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey 2005QP. As far as the DBW and my experience, i'm now really starting to think it's about half DBW and half having the battery reset to clear out the previous owners "driving miss daisy" habits. But to me, it feels like a totally different car. The x-pipe is sweet... not too crazy loud, but gives you much more growl. I'm sure in a month i'll be used to it and get cats and boxes myself :)

As far as install goes, under your passenger side floor, is an empty box. I didn't get too good a look, but did see when the installer had the entire interior out and that is where they mounted mine. Then ran wires and switches to the driver side having to totally remove that sides interior.

I'm sure Jtan and a couple of the other DIY'rs can give you more reasonable setup per their installs.
 

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Foot to the floor it feels exactly the same. I don't understand how people can say it feels like it's got 100 more horsepower or even any more for that matter.
In the accelerator's most typically used range - up to about half-pedal - the car is substantially more responsive, in exactly the same way it would be if you threw it another 50 HP or so. By comparison, it's fair game to say that it "feels" like it has more horsepower because that's exactly how it feels. Technically, no, it's not any more powerful, but that's just taking the fun out of it. ;)

I'd say it's absolutely worth the cost, in either mode. It transforms the car.
 
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