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  1. #1
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Apr 19 2018
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    417303
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    Chicago, IL

    How hard are the shifts on a good TCU tune?

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    One of the things that I was perhaps a bit let down with on my 2015 S4 DSG compared to the e46 m3 SMG that I had driven, was that the shifts were much much softer, even at WOT. I see many of the benefits of a TCU tune... mostly for single and dual pulley cars that maybe need extra clamping pressure, and for the B8.5 that benefits from the extra headroom on the rev limiter, but what I really crave is a 'D' shifting profile that's smooth like normal, and an 'S' and 'M' profile that gives some shifts that are a lot firmer than what I'm seeing now.

    People talk about that extra clamping force, but I want that immediate power transfer. Is that something that I can expect from a TCU tune or is it mostly just the extra rev range and maybe being smarter about which gear it's in at which time as well as not automatically upshifting at the limiter?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Four Rings Loe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 09 2015
    AZ Member #
    347794
    My Garage
    '14 Audi S5, '18 BMW 540i
    Location
    Sarasota, FL

    immediate power transfer happens during what's called an AMAX event (any launch control method can be used). Clutch #1 slips slightly while clutch #2 slips and engages, then clutch #1 disengages it "feels" like a slow upshift, but the power is transferred immediately vs. having to cut fuel, release one clutch, and then engage the other.

    This happens on any TCU tune (even the OEM one). The issue with the OEM tune is that the AMAX mode is limited to 200 LC counts. There's no headbang situation with a DSG, however it upshifts faster than an SMG. I wish it were more raw in feel, but thats the pay-off for immediate power transfer to keep acceleration at maximum rate (AMAX, get it? )
    -Loe- ('14 Audi S5 S-tronic )
    [10.930@127.38mph | +1209 ft. D/A | 3.371 PR]
    Technical discussions? JOIN ME!

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Sep 22 2015
    AZ Member #
    357151
    Location
    Nashville, TN

    What Loe said. A DSG will never feel as brutal as an SMG. As much as I enjoyed the violent shits, it's fairly primitive anymore and I think everyone has phased that technology out whether for being too harsh or slower than modern autos, or likely both.
    2014 S4: EPL Stage 2 + TCU | ECS Intake | CR15 | 034Motorsport RSB | ECS Trans/Diff Inserts | Mr. Spectacular's 10" Subwoofer Box w/10w6

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings sacandagaD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 02 2013
    AZ Member #
    118210
    My Garage
    2015 S4 P+, 2015 BMW X3 M-sport, 2005 Honda Element, On order: 2018 Porsche Macan GTS
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Items for Sale

    Quote Originally Posted by minman26 View Post
    ....As much as I enjoyed the violent shits.....
    Cipro can help that,
    2015 P+, Sepang Blue, Black/Black Alcantara, Tech package, Sport Diff, DSG, Carbon inlays, B&O, Hard wired V1, CR-15, 3M film, 19" PSS/Hartmann Rotor reps, Akebonos, LED interior lights, ZxE fogs, CW Pro, Soundakator mute, RS Rep grille.

    Loved but traded: 2011 S4 P+, Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Black/Silver Alcantara

  5. #5
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Apr 19 2018
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    417303
    Location
    Chicago, IL

    These were really good answers, thanks both of you. Yeah, I sort of love the SMG a bit. It's definitely dumber than the DSG but it's dumb in a really predictable way, and it'll do exactly what you tell it to. If I click click click down three gears, it's just gonna jump right down from 6 to 3 and we're off to the races, it gives no fucks. When I try to do that in the DSG, it sort of feels like I have to buffer my inputs to make sure it registers all three clicks, or maybe like it has to shift through one or two of those gears on the way down. The SMG is much closer to actually driving stick than the DSG... there's no automatic 'creep' in gear, you have to let off the gas a bit on upshifts if you want it to be smooth, that sort of thing. It's kind of neat but I can understand why it was improved upon so dramatically over time.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Three Rings Corradobrit's Avatar
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    Oct 27 2007
    AZ Member #
    22138
    Location
    TX

    I hated the SMG in my old E46 M3 Competition. Was the reason I sold the car. Slow speed and around town driving was a PITA.
    2014 S4 Premium Plus, Glacier White Metallic, Black Optics, DSG, sport diff, Nappa, B&O, AWE Touring/Res DP, GIAC ECU/TCU Stage 1, ECS CF rear diffuser, CR15

  7. #7
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Apr 19 2018
    AZ Member #
    417303
    Location
    Chicago, IL

    My dad got rid of his 1969 327 Camero 3 speed automatic and got the m3 to replace it. It gave him a much more modern car, which was less of a chore to drive, and the SMG gave him the benefits of the automatic but still kept that sort of raw, visceral character... even if it wasn't efficient. He's been extremely pleased with his purchase. He had the Camero for about 30 years and was just tired of having to warm it so it wouldn't stall backing out of the garage, didn't like cruising on the highway at 60mph at like 4500rpms or whatever he was geared at... just all the things that come with owning an older vehicle. A lot of 'character'.

    His is a convertible too, which is possibly heresy for a lot of m3 fans, but it's a VERY clean example (40k miles, black on black) and it's fun to borrow once in awhile. I'm glad I've got my S4 though.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Four Rings Loe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 09 2015
    AZ Member #
    347794
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    '14 Audi S5, '18 BMW 540i
    Location
    Sarasota, FL

    I loved how my SMG E46 upshifted. In mode "4", just back off the gas slightly when you hit the paddle during part throttle situations and the transition is smoother, otherwise its lurchy and slow. SMG downshifts are a blink of an eye, something I hate about DSG because its sometimes laggy/slow to engage a gear completely as the clutches slip.

    The paddle response is much quicker too, plus I love being able to just pull the "-" paddle, foot on the floor, and it would automatically downshift to the lowest gear possible vs. the DSG where you have to click the downshift paddle multiple times from top gear. I really really really really wish the features of TCU tunes on this platform would be up to 2004 standards...
    -Loe- ('14 Audi S5 S-tronic )
    [10.930@127.38mph | +1209 ft. D/A | 3.371 PR]
    Technical discussions? JOIN ME!

  9. #9
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Apr 19 2018
    AZ Member #
    417303
    Location
    Chicago, IL

    Quote Originally Posted by Loe View Post
    I loved how my SMG E46 upshifted. In mode "4", just back off the gas slightly when you hit the paddle during part throttle situations and the transition is smoother, otherwise its lurchy and slow. SMG downshifts are a blink of an eye, something I hate about DSG because its sometimes laggy/slow to engage a gear completely as the clutches slip.

    The paddle response is much quicker too, plus I love being able to just pull the "-" paddle, foot on the floor, and it would automatically downshift to the lowest gear possible vs. the DSG where you have to click the downshift paddle multiple times from top gear. I really really really really wish the features of TCU tunes on this platform would be up to 2004 standards...
    Ohhhhh... that tip about pulling the paddle for the automatic lowest gear shift, that's a good one, I'll have to pass that along!

    All your complaints seem to echo mine... I have a feeling that those changes might require a higher degree of TCU editing than any of the tuners really have access to. That's a shame, and considering the platform probably isn't active development anymore, I imagine it's unlikely that we'll see those kind of improvements.

  10. #10
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 20 2018
    AZ Member #
    415804
    Location
    Baltimore

    The slower feel in shifts is the first thing i noticed when coming from a bmw dual clutch car. Even with TCU tune i've been highly disappointed with the "feel". I was hoping for that bmw or gtr feel. Nope lol

    I do believe there are more tables to access but that raw feel does wear down the clutches and high chance of slip down low

  11. #11
    Senior Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 28 2015
    AZ Member #
    365055
    Location
    Montreal, QC

    I know those are onlyu patch...

    but once you install ALL of the metal insert/bushing available on this car, you do get a better more raw feeling. If you go all-in, it will cost you about 1000$, but it really brings more feel to the car that i dont regret at all.
    S4 B8.5 no track, just enjoying spirited driving.



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