After warming the engine up with the stage 2 software, I took off a bit aggressively from a stop sign. Around 2/3 throttle, the traction control kicked in, hard. Never had more than a chirp from the Pole Positions without intentionally trying to break them loose before. Getting onto a 6 lane road uphill I surged the engine because the throttle limiter which keeps you from revving past 2k is gone, there's so much torque, the perceived 800 RPM cutoff seems to be gone as well. The engine makes so much more torque off idle that I think a very significant percentage of the added output is there. After that took it easy pulling through 3rd and 4th. Nothing dramatic, can't actually feel a difference just putting around. Then did a few 2k-4k RPM pulls at WOT. Nothing dramatic there either, just got through the gear much quicker. Turbo spools a bit quicker and the throttle response is much better, but overall, the whole change is very subtle on the butt dyno. And then you look at your gauges and realize how fast you're going. Honestly, if feels about like you're in one gear lower than you actually are give or take a bit. Another way to get an idea of the difference in performance is to give a friend or two a ride. The difference in performance with just you vs a friend or two in the car is about the same as the performance difference over stock with the flash. Only one real disappointment actually... no Malone sticker to put under the TDI badge... The downsides. I've lost about 8 mpg's off my average. The car runs so much better that I can't seem to keep my foot out of it. Also the stock software has a throttle attenuation algorithm to make throttle inputs smoother, that's gone. Instant throttle response means that instant fuel economy jumps around a lot more. Being very smooth with the throttle, I did get about the same numbers, but that does take some practice to do it under normal driving conditions.
After finding an awesome introduction deal for Mark's custom tuning, I decided to give it a shot. My car, 2004 Jetta 1.8T, is completely stock except for an upgraded turbo inlet pipe. I decided on the 93 octane tune Mark offers and had him dress up the tune to be ready for when I put on my new exhaust/FMIC in the near future. For reference, this tune is equivalent power-wise to the stage 2 offering he has. Now, the 1.8T is a venerable engine. It's very responsive and has pretty smooth power to begin with. After loading up the tune with my new Flashzilla (which is super simple and easy to use, FYI) I took my car out for a spin. I eased it around for 10 - 15 minutes, and it responded just like stock - no fluttering, no hesitation, just smooth. As soon as I hit my first red light, though, I decided to see what this tune really gave me under the hood. With traction control off, I launched it pretty softly. Holy crap. As soon as I hit 3k rpm, my needle DROPPED to red line as I spun my way entirely through first. My shift into 2nd caught fast and hard, and I spun my way through most of 2nd. 3rd gear? Chirped it. Needless to say, I was super impressed. Low end, midrange, top end - all VASTLY improved. 5th gear feels like what 4th gear *used* to feel like. There is just no lack of power anywhere above 2k rpm. While I'm still waiting to do my logs to have Mark tweak the tune, I've been super impressed by him in general. He's awesomely responsive with e-mails, made sure I knew he was a little busy/behind, and when he'd be getting me my tune. (and he did get it to me exactly when he said he would) He's a really nice guy, and all I've heard about him, and his product offerings, rings true to my feelings. If you were on the fence about getting a tune from Mark, don't be. It'll be worth every damn penny you spend, and then some.
After talking to Steve, an amazing mechanic, amazing reputation, at Euromotive in Niagara On The Lake, Ontario 905-684-3876 regarding tuning my 2004 Jetta TDI with a BEW engine / 5Spd he recommended I purchase the Flashzilla and I bought two tunes. Stage 1.5 and Stage 2. I ordered it on New Years Day and I received it a couple days later. How it got here that fast over the holidays is amazing. I downloaded my stock tune and e-mailed it to Mark and within an hour Mark had responded he was almost done BOTH tunes. So I program the Stage 1.5 tune and took my car for the initial shakedown run. (I've owned a supercharged 550+whp Mustang and a 478whp turbo Civic and other faster cars) and I will say this. I have only been startled by such a performance difference 3 times in my life. This is one time. The expectation vs the reality was way off. The stage 1.5 tune blew my mind. The car does not even feel like the same car. It IS completely drive-able as they are stock, but if you want to really enjoy your car, experience the way that it will pull you forward like a rocket with no effort, you need to get Mark's tunes. I haven't even tried the stage 2 yet and I'm excited. If stage 1.5 is that dramatic I look forward to stage 2. Realize that the car is still your reliable, comfortable and efficient TDI and Mark just dramatically improves it. My 04 TDI is now much stronger then my brand new 2013 TDI. Take that as comparison. And that is the 1.5 tune. Marks whole team from the outside dealer I've dealt with, to his inhouse staff are amazing. It's seems they want to inform you so you make the best decision. Trust these people at Malone and EuroMotive. Thank you Mark, Andrew, and Steve. Bravo
2004 Jetta PD TDI. After installing my Stage 1.5, I noticed a change in the idle of my engine. The egr delete option got rid of the CEL, which is great. The morning was cold, having the idle control was a super way to warm up the car quicker. Now that the roads are clear of snow and ice I can take advantage of the tunes power increases. I am VERY happy with the linear power of the tune. Pulling into traffic knowing I can get to speed with ease. Thanks to Mark and his fellow workers for a great experience when ordering and answers to all my questions!!!