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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been running a Spider tuning box on our 120d M-Sport for the last 6 months.
I have always had remaps on my cars, and would be happy to use any of the usual suspects that everyone else on here uses.
However, I sold my 335i just before a 3000 mile trip in the Summer down through Germany, Switzerland, Italy and back home through France, this was with a week at the bottom of the Alps at the Italian Lakes, obviously not being able to take the 335i was a real bummer. So as the 120d had to step in I thought it better to get the thing singing before setting off.
I spoke to a couple of the guys to see if fitting me in that week was possible but they were all booked up, so I started looking at tuning boxes that were available, I have used Tunit before on a 320d and a 1.9tdi A4, both seemed OK, added a little bit of pep but no where near as good as a remap, not as smooth and used a lot more fuel overall unless really taking it easy. Also had to have two units replaced because they were faulty, but think that was just bad luck as I have not heard of any other problems. I looked at the boxes from the big companies like Hartge etc. but they are £1000+ and don't seem to offer anything different to the others really.
I had heard good things about Spider from my father in law, he said the lads on his forum had seen good results and were very impressed, so I called them and had a long chat with them about what it does and doesn't do, their box has a nice little feature that when the car is not under load and cruising it cuts fuel back a little, but as soon as you press the throttle all the extra gains kick in, so when you are just pootling about the consumption climbs quite rapidly, I will believe it when I see was my initial thought!!

I ordered the box on the Tuesday night at 4pm and it was here by 9am the next morning, I went outside and fitted it, took no more than 2 minutes, it snaps in top the factory harness, nice and easy.
There are Jumpers on the unit, which allow you to adjust the settings, or you can leave it where it is which is in what they call their "Adaptivscan" mode. This monitors RPM and load and puts it into economy mode, as soon as you plant your foot it switches to performance mode (0.01 second delay).
Driving the car this is completely seamless, the only way you can tell it is in economy mode is by looking at your MPG computer.

I have always been a little disappointed with the 120d Auto for consumption, around 34mpg round town, and no more than 40 mpg on a run. I set off on my trip for Italy the next morning and had a steady run down to the Tunnel, sat pretty much at 80 mph all the way down there, with 3 of us and a fortnights worth of luggage the car returned 47 mpg.
But most impressive was the performance from 30mph onwards, overtaking was a complete breeze, once you had your foot down the whole car just felt so much more alive, it had gone from a nice little sporty hatch into something a bit special, even with the family in the car laden down with the essentials needed for a holiday sat by a lake, like first aid kits, cans of food in case of emergencies, hair straighteners, shoe trees, step ladder and all the other crap women insist on taking with them, the car still felt a lot lighter on it's feet than it had for the previous 9 months of ownership!

Once in Italy I went out on my own, empty car and sat nav was all I needed for a fun day out, up into the mountains and you realise just what a great car the 1 series is, it is so well balanced, the seat position is just perfect and the weight of the steering and the big chunky wheel suddenly make complete sense when you a darting round the mountain passes. All this greatly enhanced by this small black box plugged into the car, the car is so nimble with the extra bit of poke, it really did feel seriously impressive, I had a nice little 10 minutes with a Swiss guy in a new S3, we stopped at the bottom of a pass and had a bit of a chat, he was amazed I was in the little diesel and thought I must have been in a 130i as he was having trouble making any distance on me, although his S3 was going to be remapped when he got back from his trip so he wasn't loosing too much sleep!! :lol:

The impressive thing for me was when just driving normally it is as smooth, if not smoother, than with the car in stock form, it feels like there is more torque but you never feel the car is a little twitchy like I have done with other tuning boxes, it feels more like a proper re map.

I have now had this thing on for over 6 months, seriously impressed, I see 38/40 mpg round town, so up around 5/7 mpg, and easily see 47/50 mpg on a run, up around 10 mpg.

I know some people will always go with a remap and I totally understand that, but some people want the option of not playing with the ECU, being able to put a lease car back to stock etc. etc. and for those people I can't recommend this unit enough.
I bought a 320d (177bhp) Sport Touring this week and spoke with Mike at Spider asking about a box of tricks for this car, he said they have just sorted it out and it was using the same PCB and connector as I am using now, so for £30 I can send it in and he will update the software for the new car, which is superb!
There is also a 5 year, transferable, warranty on these units which is also excellent for when you want to sell it on.

All in all the company is a pleasure to deal with. I spoke to Mike again asking if he would be interested in a group buy or forum offer?

These units are £375 each and available for most cars, Mike said he would be more than happy to do the unit for £300 and include postage too. So if anyone is interested drop them an email or give them a call and say you have seen the forum offer at £300 and they will get one out to you.

I never usually recommend something in case others are not as impressed, but a couple of people have driven my 120d now including a BMW tech and they have all given a big thumbs up, so I thought I would.
After taking the car in for a service and not having the unit on for a few days made me realise just how got this thing is, the car felt heavy and lathargic in comparison. I love it!

 

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Sounds really good gIzzE. It seems you have given the unit a complete thumbs up with no reservations. I wonder what it'd do to my 118d, any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All you need to do is say you saw the offer on the babybmw.net forum and Mike will do you the offer price. :thumbs:

Oh, I should say this price is valid till March and then it will be reviewed again.
 

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Hi gIzzE,
I have been looking at the options and personally favour the remap for longevity and refinement but prefer the "box" option for ease of fitting and the fact that you can sell it when you sell the car.

One thing that I have noticed in the past is that the box options tend to give more visible smoke where the remap doesn't, is this still the case with the Spider box?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The spider box, has 7 settings (I think from memory) that allow you to adjust for power, on the top one you start to see some smoke, not much though, and you had to be looking, it wasn't obvious (I was behind my wife driving).
I leave it in their "Adaptivscan" mode now and don't notice it, I have looked behind while booting it but not followed the car.

If there is any it is minimal.
 

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DPF will catch most of it anyway
 

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gIzzE said:
I have been running a Spider tuning box on our 120d M-Sport for the last 6 months.
I have always had remaps on my cars, and would be happy to use any of the usual suspects that everyone else on here uses.
However, I sold my 335i just before a 3000 mile trip in the Summer down through Germany, Switzerland, Italy and back home through France, this was with a week at the bottom of the Alps at the Italian Lakes, obviously not being able to take the 335i was a real bummer. So as the 120d had to step in I thought it better to get the thing singing before setting off.
I spoke to a couple of the guys to see if fitting me in that week was possible but they were all booked up, so I started looking at tuning boxes that were available, I have used Tunit before on a 320d and a 1.9tdi A4, both seemed OK, added a little bit of pep but no where near as good as a remap, not as smooth and used a lot more fuel overall unless really taking it easy. Also had to have two units replaced because they were faulty, but think that was just bad luck as I have not heard of any other problems. I looked at the boxes from the big companies like Hartge etc. but they are £1000+ and don't seem to offer anything different to the others really.
I had heard good things about Spider from my father in law, he said the lads on his forum had seen good results and were very impressed, so I called them and had a long chat with them about what it does and doesn't do, their box has a nice little feature that when the car is not under load and cruising it cuts fuel back a little, but as soon as you press the throttle all the extra gains kick in, so when you are just pootling about the consumption climbs quite rapidly, I will believe it when I see was my initial thought!!

I ordered the box on the Tuesday night at 4pm and it was here by 9am the next morning, I went outside and fitted it, took no more than 2 minutes, it snaps in top the factory harness, nice and easy.
There are Jumpers on the unit, which allow you to adjust the settings, or you can leave it where it is which is in what they call their "Adaptivscan" mode. This monitors RPM and load and puts it into economy mode, as soon as you plant your foot it switches to performance mode (0.01 second delay).
Driving the car this is completely seamless, the only way you can tell it is in economy mode is by looking at your MPG computer.

I have always been a little disappointed with the 120d Auto for consumption, around 34mpg round town, and no more than 40 mpg on a run. I set off on my trip for Italy the next morning and had a steady run down to the Tunnel, sat pretty much at 80 mph all the way down there, with 3 of us and a fortnights worth of luggage the car returned 47 mpg.
But most impressive was the performance from 30mph onwards, overtaking was a complete breeze, once you had your foot down the whole car just felt so much more alive, it had gone from a nice little sporty hatch into something a bit special, even with the family in the car laden down with the essentials needed for a holiday sat by a lake, like first aid kits, cans of food in case of emergencies, hair straighteners, shoe trees, step ladder and all the other crap women insist on taking with them, the car still felt a lot lighter on it's feet than it had for the previous 9 months of ownership!

Once in Italy I went out on my own, empty car and sat nav was all I needed for a fun day out, up into the mountains and you realise just what a great car the 1 series is, it is so well balanced, the seat position is just perfect and the weight of the steering and the big chunky wheel suddenly make complete sense when you a darting round the mountain passes. All this greatly enhanced by this small black box plugged into the car, the car is so nimble with the extra bit of poke, it really did feel seriously impressive, I had a nice little 10 minutes with a Swiss guy in a new S3, we stopped at the bottom of a pass and had a bit of a chat, he was amazed I was in the little diesel and thought I must have been in a 130i as he was having trouble making any distance on me, although his S3 was going to be remapped when he got back from his trip so he wasn't loosing too much sleep!! :lol:

The impressive thing for me was when just driving normally it is as smooth, if not smoother, than with the car in stock form, it feels like there is more torque but you never feel the car is a little twitchy like I have done with other tuning boxes, it feels more like a proper re map.

I have now had this thing on for over 6 months, seriously impressed, I see 38/40 mpg round town, so up around 5/7 mpg, and easily see 47/50 mpg on a run, up around 10 mpg.

I know some people will always go with a remap and I totally understand that, but some people want the option of not playing with the ECU, being able to put a lease car back to stock etc. etc. and for those people I can't recommend this unit enough.
I bought a 320d (177bhp) Sport Touring this week and spoke with Mike at Spider asking about a box of tricks for this car, he said they have just sorted it out and it was using the same PCB and connector as I am using now, so for £30 I can send it in and he will update the software for the new car, which is superb!
There is also a 5 year, transferable, warranty on these units which is also excellent for when you want to sell it on.

All in all the company is a pleasure to deal with. I spoke to Mike again asking if he would be interested in a group buy or forum offer?

These units are £375 each and available for most cars, Mike said he would be more than happy to do the unit for £300 and include postage too. So if anyone is interested drop them an email or give them a call and say you have seen the forum offer at £300 and they will get one out to you.

I never usually recommend something in case others are not as impressed, but a couple of people have driven my 120d now including a BMW tech and they have all given a big thumbs up, so I thought I would.
After taking the car in for a service and not having the unit on for a few days made me realise just how got this thing is, the car felt heavy and lathargic in comparison. I love it!

Hi gIzzE, just spoke to mike of Spider tuning box. He was really helpful and polite. I have placed an order for the box. Unfortunately I will not have delivery for another week. You were lucky that at the time you placed your order they were able to dispatch in the same day. Now it takes 7 days.

I will let you all know how my purchase turns out.
 

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Spoke to spider today for my 123d.

stats are 204ps - 245ps and 400Nm - 460Nm

My question is, with only 2,500 miles on the clock- should I wait until say 5,000 miles before considering any kind of performance upgrade?

Obviously the stats are tempting but I had a tuning box on my previous focus tdci and had 3 warranty claims on the engine- 2 of which resulted in fuel leaks (hole in equivalent of throttle body, fuel line over engine heater came apart and then egr failed). Pretty convinced from the ford forums that others had similar issues, as I had the focus from the day of launch- but I would rather be safe than sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That is just bad luck with the Ford, and nothing to do with tuning, pressures are not increased that much!

I usually wait till my cars have done 200 miles or so. :mrgreen:
 

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gIzzE said:
That is just bad luck with the Ford, and nothing to do with tuning, pressures are not increased that much!

I usually wait till my cars have done 200 miles or so. :mrgreen:
The pressures don't have to increase much to cause leakage. These babies are running 1800 bar +.

That's a lot of pressure.
 

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gIzzE said:
I guess, but surely the tolerance has to be quite high?? If they run 1800+ they must allow for 2400 or higher??
If we could run them at 2400 we would. The tolerances aren't that high.
The problem with diesel it that it's very good an finding holes.
Remember that diesel technology is at the forefront and has increased technologically massively in the last 10 years. much more so than petrol.

Modern diesel engines can run 7 injections per combustion cycle. I can't imagine a little add on box can calculate the torque output for even 1/10th of all the map settings. In the various settings that we test for.

It may seem that manfacturers under power certain models e.g. VW Golf TDi 130/150. Some believe that the 130 and 150 are the same but with the wick turned up to give an extra 20bhp. It isn't. The 150 is a different beast internally.
 
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