View Full Version : GIAC vs. Revo vs. Dahlback for allroad?
02-11-2005, 11:28 PM
I hate to keep beating a dead horse...
OK, today I was able to speak with pretty cool guy who worked in the service department at an Audi dealership...unlike most of the people that I have talked to at dealerships, he seemed to be pretty honest about the whole "chipping" thing...
His thoughts were basically this: If you keep the horsepower at around 300...and don't drive the car like a moron, you should be OK...
Thus I have decided that I am probably going go for it...but now whose "chip" should I use? I have it narrowed down to GIAC, Revo, and Dahlback...why those three?
Both GIAC and Revo can go through the diagnostic port WITHOUT having to physically mess with the ECU. (I like that...less "evidence") Now, Dahlback has to go into the ECU...BUT supposedly they are the "easiest" on the turbos...
Can anyone confirm that Dahlback is really any "better" than the others? I don't care "that much" about performance, I just want the car to be a bit more fun to drive..., and sure, I want to let it rip everyonce in a while...but the driveability and reliability (and the "warranty issues") are the most important to me.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the comparisons of the ECU mods from these three companies?
Thanks a lot,
02-16-2005, 01:43 PM
yeah......I have been shopping for a chip too and was leaning more towards the Revo as well......for the same reason as you. I'm very interested in what people have to say.
02-17-2005, 07:07 PM
Hey rc51rydr…I'm not sure if your are a newbie like me…if so, this may help.
This is what I have heard/read about some of the various chip tuners…I'm sure this is old news for many people who read these forums…but it may be useful for other newbies (like me)…and remember, this is just what I have heard from several "experts" and read on the web. I certainly don't claim to have first hand knowledge of any of this.
For the most part, I haven't read/heard that much "bad" stuff about any of them...but here are some of pros and cons of a few of them (at least from I have heard/read):
AMS (I guess they actually use ABT chips) - Pros: They've been in the game for a long time, and they seem to have one of the "safer" ECU mods, especially with respect to the transmission (i.e., they are careful with the amount of torque). Cons: From what I can tell, they do not yet offer their upgrade through the diagnostic port ("DiPP" is the term many are using)…they have to physically mess with the ECU. Also, from what an AMS employee told me, they don't offer any bells and whistles (i.e., they do not offer any sort of easy switching between upgraded and "stock" programs).
APR - Pros: For the most part, people seem to like the product, and their EMCS allows you to switch between different programs using the cruise control buttons. They are starting to get into the DiPP game… Cons: …but they do not yet have the DiPP for all Audis, like the allroad. I have also heard a few complaints about some "glitches" in the software…and they may be harder on the turbos than initially thought.
Dahlback - Pros: A European tuner…They might be the best in terms balancing serious performance and "taking it easy" on the turbos. Supposedly they push the turbos to less than 90% capacity…most companies go to the mid-90s…yet they still offer great performance and great "drivability." Cons: They don't offer DiPP or any sort of "switching." I think I read some concerns about the amount of torque on the tiptronic tranny. They also charge considerably more than the other companies.
GIAC - Pros: A lot of people seem to like this mod. Their basic ECU mod may offer the most horsepower. I believe they claim 320 HP for the 91 octane program (most others are between 300 and 310 or so…) They also have DiPP via their "Flashloader," and the ability to switch between multiple programs. Cons: Supposedly you "need" to get their tip chip also (it helps the tip tranny handle the extra torque). Some people will claim that this is too much for an otherwise stock 2.7T…they also push the turbos harder than anyone.
Revo - Pros: They were the first to offer DiPP…I have heard no complaints about the software at all. They also seem to offer pretty reliable performance. They also have their Serial Port Switching (SPS) that allows you to switch between multiple programs. Additionally, with their more advanced SPS device, you can customize your performance program. Cons: They haven't been around all that long, and if you only care about performance, their basic ECU mod may not be as aggressive as GIAC or Dahlback.
MTM - I haven't been able to find out much about them. From what I gather, they are pretty reliable but they don't have DiPP…but they are European (which supposedly is a good thing)…I don't think they have any "switching."
The bottom line - if you have "warranty concerns" of any kind, Revo MAY be the "best" way to go. If I do actually go through with this, it will probably be them. However, if you are out of your warranty, in which case opening the ECU doesn't mean anything, Dahlback MAY be the "best" especially if you want to add other mods later on.
So, rc51rydr, are you still under warranty? If not, I would check out Dahlback.
I can't believe I took this much time writing all of this out…I guess, if anything, it helped me organize my own thoughts on the matter.
I hope this helps!
02-20-2005, 09:21 AM
That was awsome man....thanks for the extra info. I have 2more years and another 45k miles left on the extended warranty so thats why I am going with the Revo. I need to be able to switch the ECU from stock to performance.
02-21-2005, 02:38 PM
bad news today....just went to my local Revo installer and they said that I can't get the software loaded in my car....fugg. He attached the vag-com and said Revo doesn't have compatible software. I'm gonna have to check with GAIC or APR now. Wish me luck....
02-21-2005, 03:04 PM
jeez....just called the local GAIC and APR installers and they said that they dont have flash upload install for my car. They physically solder a chip to the ECU and thats not an option for me due to my Audi Certified 7year/100k extended warranty.
If anyone has some advise I'd greatly appreciate it.
02-21-2005, 03:14 PM
I recommend that you either stay stock and stay worry free... or get a chip physically put in like the rest of the people in the world and take the risk of paying if you take the risk of playing..... its all on you, and your wallet...
or you could wait for someone to come out with a flashload for your car?
02-21-2005, 05:02 PM
yeah.....thats what I'ma have to do...sux.
ah well....more money to spend on 19's and suspension!
SwimmerTy....I guess we in the same boat.
02-21-2005, 06:24 PM
Are you sure that dealer knows what he's talking about? Of course, I probably don't know what I'm talking about...
I spoke with a couple of guys at Revo (Jason and Trevor). They seemed to think it wouldn't be a problem at all for me. I have a '05 allroad with tiptronic.
Now, the software for the '05 hasn't been released yet. It is still in the testing stages, so I haven't pulled the trigger yet.
However, I "thought" that they already had software compatible with '01-'04 allroads.
I also saw this on the web:
That appears to include Revo software for pre-'05 allroads. What ECU number do you have?
If I were you, rc51rydr, I would give them (Revo) a call and see what is really going on. If they can actually do what they claim, they seem to be the best IMHO.
Their phone number is 1-805-544-0061? Like I said, I spoke with Jason and Trevor. They were both very helpful. Of course, I am assuming that what they told me was correct. FYI, they did tell me that they were having some trouble with some of their dealers...like they might not know what they are doing (the dealers that is).
In case you don't have it, here is their webpage:
Good luck! Hey, and would you let me know what they tell you? Also, would you ask them about their software in general? The performance vs. reliability?
I've already spoken to them quite a lot, but I'm curious about what they tell you.
02-21-2005, 08:20 PM
I have a 2000 2.7T and I decided to go with an APR 2 program chip. The part that I like the best from this particular chip is that I can switch from chipped mode and stock mode by just holding down the cruise control reset button.
There is no need for a seperate module like the Giac chip. Also with the APR I can switch modes while driving. This cannot be done with the Giac.
Another thing to look into is I don't believe the ECU is flashable. My year the 2000 has to physically rechipped. I am not sure is newer model 2.7 are flashable. I know that all year A6 4.2 are not flashable. (1998-2004).
Anyway as far as the differance. WOW. best thing you can do for the money. power is significantly increased at 3500-up rpms. The numbers I retrieved of the internet are 5.4sec 0-60 mph and 13.5 in the 1/4mile. These numbers were not told to be auto or stick. I have seen a A6 auto at the dragstrip lay down mid 13s runs looking bone stock. The power rated from APR is 60HP and 110 torque. This puts the power at 318hp and 382ft/lbs with the 93 octane program.
I have heard stories from other people out running 350z. auto M3s, s2000 and numerours rice.
Also I live in the FT. Laud are so the dealership that I go to is Champion Audi. I spoke with the dealership and they don't care if the cars are chipped. There are many stories are guys popping their turbos and getting replaced under warranty. Ironicly enough Champion Audi released their own chip. I do not have any info for their chip on the market.
02-21-2005, 09:30 PM
This is my understanding......just because it is an '01 A6/S4/Allroad doesn't mean that it can be chipped. Only certain ECU's within the models can be done. The shop checked my ECU and mine was not in the list of Revo upgradeable ECU's. They said that the have the most updated software list from Revo.
02-22-2005, 01:45 AM
Ah...I see. Yeah, that stinks.
OK, well, I think I'm gonna call Revo again tomorrow to double check on mine.
I'll also ask about the situation in general too...just to see what they say.
In case you're interested, I will follow up with what I find out tomorrow.
In the meantime, you may want to find out what ECU # you have...and ask Revo themselves.
02-22-2005, 10:13 AM
yeah....I email'ed Revo directly with my ECU code and am waiting a responce.
Let me know if yours can be done....good luck,
02-22-2005, 07:04 PM
I spoke with Revo today (Trevor), gave him my ECU #, and yes...they do have software for my ECU. It is currently in the "testing" stage (they have a couple of their dealerships trying it out). They should have it ready for sale in a couple of weeks.
He said I could be a "tester," but I'd rather let other people try it...just to be safe.
Anyway, he said that some of their dealers (tuners) may not realize how many different programs Revo makes. That is, the tuner may not have the program for your ECU, even though Revo actually makes it...and they may not even realize that Revo does in fact make it. I actually talked to him in general about your situation.
Don't even bother asking that local tuner about this...just call Revo (I posted the phone # in an earlier post in this thread) and ask them yourself if they have software for allroads with your ECU #. Of course, you will need to know your ECU # (which I assume you do after your trip to that tuner).
I was also able talk to a tuner in my area that seemed pretty good...he told me that the Revo software not only makes the car quicker, but really improves the overall driveability of the car...and that some people do in fact report better gas mileage (I'm sure those are the people that don't develop a lead foot). He also claimed that he did not know of a single person who has blown a turbo with the Revo software. Now, of course, he is trying to sell me something, but still, it does make me feel a bit better about it.
So, do yourself a favor and call Revo.
I hope this helps...and let me know what you find out.
02-22-2005, 09:11 PM
awsome man....Ima give them a holla first thing tomorrow.
I dont blame you in not wanting to be a beta tester....I'd be afraid too
anyways.....good luck and I'll keep ya guys posted