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Old 23-07-13
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Spider tuning box review

Soooo...

In the past I went down the route of exhaust systems, remaps and induction kits, all to a lot of expense. This time around however, after just getting a mortgage I decided not to go down this route and keep costs low but still wanting the most out of my car. I went for a GQV as i love the looks however the performance is a bit behind with other hatches, which is why I wanted a bit more.

After a fair bit of researching and negotiating with various companies I went for a spider tuning box,

The Spider Diesel tuning system.

There are various reasons I went for these including great reviews from other forums (being very popular on the BMW forums), being able to organise a great forum price, and the ability to transfer it to any car in the future as it learns your car, only requiring a new harness for your next car.

Once I got the code via email for the forum price i ordered there and then (11am). By lunchtime the next day it arrived at my door which i was very happy about. A point to note here is that at the forum price you don't get the pretty little box as advertised on their web site, it comes in standard packaging. If you ask me, to save £75 I'm more then happy with this as the box would just end up holding junk around the house. The unit itself is nice looking and is solid. The harness using OEM connectors and is finished well. There are two settings on the box to change, boost (power) and RPM. Im still not 100% sure what the rpm setting does I just left it on the reccomended setting. Both dials are in Hexidecimal however to keep things simple there are 16 levels to change on each.

Having never installed one of these before I was a bit worried. The instructions are ok, and it does come with a colour picture of an actual GQV engine bay showing the actual ports. The port at the back, in the middle (not sure what its called lol) is a real pain to get out. What I did was remove the sensor with a T20 bit and remove the whole thing. This allowed me to easily remove the connector. I highly recommend you do this as its much easier. The connection on the right is easy, even for me! The next thing was where to secure the box. The unit comes with cable ties but if you ask me these look a bit bodge. What I did was took a trip to halfords and got some heavy duty velcro.

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I then deemed the best place to secure it was on top of the battery. There is plenty of clearence from the bonnet and it fits in nice and snug.

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There are clear instructions but you need to wait 3 mins after turning off car and removing key before unplugging stuff from the engine.

Once connected all nice what I then did was go for the 50 mile drive to let the box learn the car. Some people have said this is all lies but I can assure you this happens. The cars characteristics defiantly change during the 50 miles. Again it says, but don't go above 4k RMP during this first 50 miles, this should all be done at the recommended settings, 7 (boost) and 15 (RPM). Once I did this like a school boy i whacked the boost up to full and went for a drive. almost immediately the EML light appeared and the car overboosted and said no.... Got onto the live chat to spider and they said to remove the box and do some error free drives until the fault clears. This however would have taken ages so I went and bought a OBD device for £40 and it worked a charm.

So then I refitted the box at slightly lower settings, 6, 15 and covered another 50 miles and no problems. After this point I set the boost slightly higher to 7 and went for a drive. The box had really made a big difference. When the turbo spools at 2500 rpm there is a real kickback into your chair, rather then the smooth progression before. This carry's on all the way to red line pretty much gets rid (mostly anyway) on the power drop off at 5k.

I then had to drive from Southampton to Belfast which is a good 250 miles. I did this as an economy run staying at about 60mph and achieved 42 mph. During this time i may have did a few boost runs so econ could have been slightly better.

Once I got to belfast I clicked up another boost setting and its now running at level 8 boost. Did a bit of a drive and cant make the EML come back on, even boosting hard in 6th starting at 40mph. After covering about 300 miles since installation the box has got better and I feel now it has learnt my car. The car has completely changed and is now proper quick. Will be taking it around the ulster gp circuit later with my mate on his ninja 600. When in my mito he defiantly had the legs on me, however now I think its going to be pretty close.

I wont be going above level 8 boost as the turbo is considerably louder and the car is much faster so anymore might be a bit to hard wearing. If however I go to a dyno day ill give it a test then, with my OBD at the ready is the EML comes on. My prediction is the car is at about 265 - 280 bhp. I say this only because my mates cupra R is 280 (dyno proven) and it feels as quick as that. However im not that fussed about figures but what I can say for a fact is that the box has exceeded my expectations and really impressed me.

Spider has been good. Quick delivery, good product and good live chat help, however dont expect any feedback or help at the weekend.

If there are any other questions just ask, but if your bored of the performance of your GQV but dont want to worry about remaps, exhausts and loosing warranty, get yourself one of these and remove it if you get any problems before heading to the dealers lol...

Cheers

Si
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Old 23-07-13
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Just a few pics from our run around the ulster gp circuit. We stuck to the speed limits, honest

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kept up suprisingly well this time, althought the bike only just had the legs. with a nice supersprint system i think it would be a different story. BMW was left behind (320 i m sport)
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Old 23-07-13
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Great write up man!

Boost can be set to up to 16 levels? Wow! I'm sure that's for a few 1/4mile runs with exhaust and filter and octane booster!

The problem with this is after a while you're going to get used to it, lol, so better star thinking about an exhaust and drop in filter at least and crank the boost to 10!!!

How is your 90kph to 210kph?
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Old 23-07-13
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yeah both dials are A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Lowest setting is 8 and highest is 7.

All around performance has improved to be honest, with the most dramatic difference being when the turbo kicks in at 2.5k as it really chucks you back, with the much louder noise from the turbo.

would like a full decat supersprint but not prepared to pay for it. kinda hoping a GTA version will come out before I get to that point. Either that or an M3.
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Old 23-07-13
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Not sure if im allowed to post the coupon code I got from spider, as my previous thread was deleted with the forum offer? If anyone wants it let me know ill PM
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Old 24-07-13
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Ja I was looking for that thread last night and didnt see it, lol. Looks like Spider will have to PAY AO to give AO a discount...lol.

These things usually gets better with time so I'm 100% sure it will even improve more. Is your turbo still dropping off to almost in the middle of the boost bar in D mode?

I'd say get it dyno'd to see the power. 280 bhp sounds good, I'm running that now with moderate boost of 1.4bar, I'm sure you are over that lol.

See if you can checkk your boost levels with a tool


For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.
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Old 24-07-13
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Not sure about that, Ill have to have a check on my next "spirited" drive, might try do a lil vid, but I dont think that turbo really drops off.

Yeah im curious to get it on a dyno. Just have to wait and see when the next one is in northern ireland...
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Old 24-07-13
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I was thinking about removing Novitec box.I will wait for your dyno results. Thanks for the detailed review towney.
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Old 24-07-13
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No problem
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Old 24-07-13
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All sounds good - brave of you to take the plunge Towney.

Send me the code please ...will give it some thought
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Old 24-07-13
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PM sent.

Yeah I was a little nervous to be honest but it all worked out in the end.

Know of any dyno days bob?
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Old 24-07-13
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I would also like the code please Towney, some more data also on how it affects fuel consumption if possible.
Thanks
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Old 24-07-13
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Pm sent.

Well on my last drive from southampton to belfast i achived about 38mpg. this time 42, so mpg increased. I guess this is due to the turbo working harder so the engine doesnt have to rev as hard? im no expert so im sure someone will correct me. I used just under half a tank, covered about 250 miles or so.

What I did find out is that when driving hard fuel consumption does go up slightly. however I think this is always going to happen with more power.

Once I have did a few weeks normal driving I shall update so how things are going. Before the box it read 31mpg (combined over about 1000 miles) so will have to wait and see.
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Old 24-07-13
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Thanks, mine has never read 31mpg ever lol... nearer 26
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Old 24-07-13
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Originally Posted by towney View Post
PM sent.

Yeah I was a little nervous to be honest but it all worked out in the end.

Know of any dyno days bob?
Sorry mate - not something that I have ever seen happen in these parts!

I am led to believe the best place for a dyno locally is Contact Us

That's only by reputation - I haven't been myself.
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Old 25-07-13
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Interesting and a good write up. I'm very pleased with my Novitec box which is also plug and play and can easily be removed, gives around 260bhp, noticable extra torque and the 0-60 has dropped to low 6 seconds or so, it easily matches a Focus ST and mid 2000 Imprezas (280 bhp) while mpg has gone steadily upwards. I can easily get over 40mpg driving steadily at 55 - 60mph on a decent run now.
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Old 25-07-13
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40mpg Mine only ever sees 55-60mph whilst passing through 2nd or 3rd gear!
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Old 25-07-13
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The thing I was worried about when reviewing this product is trying not to make out its the best one out there and all others are rubbish, as this being my first box I cant say that. What would be interesting if a few of us with different boxes were to be on the same dyno?

Only problem with different people on different dynos on different days is that most people either lie or the results cant be trusted.

What was important for me was just being honest, and letting people know if they bought one it would be a good buy.
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Old 25-07-13
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Do you think mpg figures from the dash are still 'accurate' when the chip box is tricking the ecu? (Just a thought)
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Old 25-07-13
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Thats the thing im not sure.. which is why i said about covering that many miles on half a tank...

I do believe that the econ is better thou.
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Old 26-07-13
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Mpg should be accurate as its not tricking mpg.
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Old 26-07-13
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Originally Posted by JUSTONCE68 View Post
40mpg Mine only ever sees 55-60mph whilst passing through 2nd or 3rd gear!
The county is full of holidaymakers (grockles) at the moment, I'm unable to drive anywhere with any haste!

Being serious though, I do feel there has to be an element of practicality and common sense applied to any tuning done on these engines. There are companies who claim to be able to give you 290 bhp+ on a 1750tbi, which sounds great but, what the hell is that going to do to the rest of the drivetrain??

Having already gone through one clutch (badly aligned) and one turbo (seized bearings at 19k) it is becoming obvious that while this is a great engine for tuning, you do need to remember all the other components which may not be so able. Extra power equals extra heat and wear and strain.

This car will be a great secondhand buy in a few years for the tuning fraternity, when it is cheap and the cost of throwing on a bigger more capable turbo and clutch are not extortionate, and spare gearboxes, driveshafts and joints can all be sourced secondhand.


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Old 26-07-13
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Originally Posted by Marzy View Post
The county is full of holidaymakers (grockles) at the moment, I'm unable to drive anywhere with any haste!

Being serious though, I do feel there has to be an element of practicality and common sense applied to any tuning done on these engines. There are companies who claim to be able to give you 290 bhp+ on a 1750tbi, which sounds great but, what the hell is that going to do to the rest of the drivetrain??

Having already gone through one clutch (badly aligned) and one turbo (seized bearings at 19k) it is becoming obvious that while this is a great engine for tuning, you do need to remember all the other components which may not be so able. Extra power equals extra heat and wear and strain.

This car will be a great secondhand buy in a few years for the tuning fraternity, when it is cheap and the cost of throwing on a bigger more capable turbo and clutch are not extortionate, and spare gearboxes, driveshafts and joints can all be sourced secondhand.
You think you got probs with holiday makers.... its the same here in Devon.
Mines on second clutch also, although the car is fairly new to me (march) I noticed a little slip just after I bought it.. resolved under warranty. My main concern is with the turbo when using spider box, not that I ever really cane the car.
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Old 26-07-13
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Yeah im well aware of the extra ware and tear, however 95% of the time i do drive slow and try get good econ so even although my car has a little extra power, it probably has an easier life then unmodified. I also change oil every 5k miles.

Secondly even if i do have problems ill just wip the box off and take it back to the dealers
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Old 28-07-13
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towney I would like the code if at all possible.

cheers.
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