A couple interesting things came out of this comparison. I had originally
estimated my stock car might make an additional 20 whp with the AWE
DP's and Supersprint exhaust. But as it worked out, if my APR Stage
III kit were to produce APR's advertised numbers, then the dyno correction
factor (drive train loss) would result in my stock car creating 310
crank hp. This seemed very unlikely, but I decided to go fourth accepting
this assumption. If my car and APR's car produced the same peak chp
numbers, by integrating the hp curve from 2000-6500 rpm I would be
able to determine if the overall power produced by the two cars was
equivalent. I did a simple numerical integration (trapezoidal rule)
breaking the curve up every 500 rpm. The result showed my car to be
down 5% in crank hp, as compared to what this kit should make, and
that was assuming my peak hp was equal to APR's advertised 412 hp.
A more realistic drive train loss correction factor, netting my stock
car 280 chp and Stage III setup 385 chp, would result in my car being
down 11% in total power from what APR advertises for the kit. (GRAPH)
[From here forth I have changed some of the names of those involved
to protect their identity.]
On May 16th I called Streetwerke and spoke to Tonto, he asked if
I had ECUx and that they really needed to see some data since they
didn't have the car available to them. A bit exasperated since I had
sent them my VAG-COM data three weeks prior, I informed him that I
used a VAG during the dyno session and that I had previously sent
The Lone Ranger a link to my results. He asked for me to send the
link to him and he'd look at it and talk to APR about it later in
the week, since they were going to be coming out there.
While I was waiting for an answer from Streetwerke/APR I began to
scour through the Audiworld forum for posts about the APR Stg3 kit
on H-box cars. What I learned was not encouraging. It became clear
that the H-box had been a poor performer with the APR code every since
the beginning. A 2003 dyno test between an AMS chip and APR chip on
the same H-box S4, using the supposedly better APR M code, showed
a significant difference between the two, with the APR chip being
outperformed by the AMS code on 91 octane pump gas. The results of
another S4 owner from the drag strip and FATS tests further supported
the conclusion that the H code did not perform well. My own results
served to solidify my belief that the APR H-box code was behind the
mediocre performance my car was demonstrating. I also came across
the following quote from Jason (President of Streetwerke) in March
of 2003 regarding the dyno comparison between AMS and APR with APR's
M code on an H code car: "I think it was the right choice though,
as the M code does feel better than the H code. APR does have some
work to do, and I have voiced my opinion to no less than four APR
employees in person. The S4 should be back on the dyno in about 4-6
weeks for further tuning. We'll see." It would seem that over
two years later APR still has not got around to addressing the issues
with this code.
The APR Stg3 owners that I contacted made a couple of recommendations
of hardware checks, such as verifying the orientation of the RS4 injectors,
and checking the RS4 fuel pump for a modification to the hose. While
checking the injectors I noticed that the RS4 MAF did not appear to
be well sealed with the Airbox. Closer inspection revealed some missing
fasteners. Streetwerke informed me that the kit did not come with
these screws. Hard to imagine this, so I ended up going and buying
the screws on my own to complete the kit. These missing fasteners
led me to discover a problem with the other side of the MAF housing.
The accordion hose and MAF did not make a smooth transition due to
part of the accordion hose being folded over inside the tube.
I inquired with Streetwerke about the fuel pump, and they informed
me that the RS4 fuel pump I had received had been properly modified.
My attention was now focused on getting the proper code into my car.
Whether this was APR correcting the problem with their code, or finding
another tuner to supply the chip for my vehicle.
May 24th I called Streetwerke to find out the results of the meeting
with APR. I was informed that only APR Sales representatives had come
out so they did not know anything more than before. They anticipated
later in the week to know something more.
On May 26th I called Streetwerke again to see what they knew. I was
told that my information had been forwarded to Hoss at APR.
May 31st. Tired of getting absolutely no answers about the data I
had provided them and seemingly no effort on their part to get answers,
after five weeks of dealing with Streetwerke, I contacted APR directly.
I got a hold of Hoss and asked him what they had thought of my results.
Hoss knew nothing of my situation or any information coming to them
from Streetwerke. So I sent Hoss my information. This ended my efforts
to work with the company that had sold me the kit, Streetwerke. It
seemed that having sold me the kit and receiving payment, they no
longer had any incentive or desire to assist me.
June 1st, I called APR and asked Hoss what he thought of the data.
He hadn't had the chance to look at it, but said he would call me
later in the day to discuss. I never got a call back. During my drive
home I hooked up a VAG-COM to check my Knock Sensor activity. I checked
for any fault codes and found that one had popped up, 18048 Internal
Control Module (EEPROM) Error. I sent an email to Hoss notifying him
of this and asking if he had any idea what it meant.
June 2nd, I called APR and spoke briefly with Hoss. He asked if it
would be all right if he called me later and I agreed. Hoss called
back in the evening and I described for him what it was about my results
that I found unusual. He agreed that the results did seem odd, and
he suggested that we try putting the M code on my spare ECU to see
if that would help to correct the situation.
June 3rd, Friday, I sent my APR coded Stage 2 ECU to APR for modification.
June 6th, Monday. I received confirmation that the ECU was delivered
June 8th, I wrote to Hoss at APR inquiring about my ECU that had
been delivered to them on June 6 for a Stg3 upgrade and M code install.
He wrote back stating the ECU would be shipped back the same day and
he would have a tracking number sent to me by the end of the day.
I did not receive a tracking number.
June 9th, the upgraded H/M ECU was delivered along with ECUx, so
that I would better be able to collect data on my next dyno session.
I wrote to Hoss and informed him that there was no cable for the ECUx,
and I did not believe my ISO-COM VAG cable would work with ECUx.
June 10th, Hoss wrote back stating he would be out of town the remainder
of the day and the following Monday. He also thought the VAG-COM cable
would work. I contacted someone that I had been corresponding with
about my situation and mentioned that I still did not know what was
installed on my M-box ECU. He offered to provide me with the T-box
APE file. Since the M and T are interchangeable I accepted and loaded
that into my ECU so it would have time to adapt.
June 13th, I wrote to Hoss at APR and informed him that after testing
I had established that the ISO-COM cable did not work with ECUx. I
also let him know that Friday of that week I had scheduled a dyno
session, contingent on me getting ECUx to work. I also asked what
information they would like me to log on the dyno. I also asked for
the APE files for the M and H coded ECUs in addition to the appropriate
adapter to connect my home programmer to the new ECU. As well, my
M coded ECU had not come back with a listing of what programs had
been installed and I needed to know what was on it.
June 14, I called APR at 11 a.m. and left a voice message for Hoss.
Two hours later I had not heard back so I called again, did not get
him, and left another voice mail. Two more hours later I had not heard
from APR so I called again. This time I was able to speak with Hoss.
He said he was busy as the moment but would get the ECUx cable in
the mail and would call me later. He did not call back, but I received
a UPS tracking number via email.
June 16th, I received a USB cable for ECUx but was still encountering
problems getting the software to communicate with my car. I wrote
to Hoss telling him of the situation and cancelled my dyno session.
I also called APR and left a voice mail for Hoss. Later in the day
I called and spoke to Little Joe at APR and he gave me some suggestions
for getting ECUx to work. I tried them and succeeded in getting the
software to run. I then rescheduled my dyno session for the next day.
That afternoon I received an email from Hoss with some current drivers
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