So why is it that some people say that DSG tunes are required for more than stock torque? APR (who my current tune is through) a few years back made some forum posts involving the point that the ECU being able to tell the TCU that it is not actually under a torque overload condition - will affect how the DSG reacts to a large amount of torque. I am just trying to solve some major headscratching going on right now lol because even though I haven't had any problems with my particular tranny, trying to figure out what supporting mods I will need for ethanol is a nightmare lol
Same reason everyone says Stg 2 Instantly kills MT clutches, because it's fun to say stuff. lol
Very little in the mod world is "required" until you get into bigger turbos as long as you are clear with goals and expectations.
Step one here is to gather all information, there is more to the TCU tune than "holding torque".
- Optimized part throttle drive and sport maps
- Optimized wide open throttle drive and sport maps
- Increased clutch torque limits
- Manual downshift lockout limit increased
- Lightning fast paddle response
- Lightning fast shift times and AMAX mode
- Reduced pull-away delay
- Customizable auto up-shift behavior
- Customizable auto down-shift behavior
- Customizable 3-step launch control
- Lightning fast launch control
- Launch counter
- Temperature management optimized
- Gear display active in drive and sport
- Direct Port Programming - Clean and easy install through the OBD II port without removing the ECU
- Free Updates - Get free updates for life
- Guarantee - 30 day money back guarantee
Even though the last 3 are not really "features", I left them in there for completness, that's quite a list of things included in the TCU tune. Do you care about any of them? For sure they are all pretty nice features and upgrades and totally worth it well outside the "holding torque" issue but it's your car and if you shrug and say don't need them then we can focus on JUST torque holding.
I had an over-torque situation on my TTRS a little while after getting Stg1. It's a completely different platform so no direct comparison other than similar underlaying equipment (DSGs are different but still DSGs). It only happened to cars at altitude (I lived near Denver at the time) with one exception and only really on the E85 tune. If it happened the car basically went into limp mode with DRIVETRAIN ERROR screaming at you in the cluster. lol Turn the car off and back on and all was good again. APR was able to tweak the ECU tune and after an update the issue never replicated again, I did not have the TCU tune at this time. Obviously the systems communicate as they have to and "over torque" can be avoided without a TCU tune. I have since gotten the TCU tune and while more subtle than the stock to Stg1 ECU difference, drivability behavior is noticeably improved in shifts.
The question is, how does it avoid it. Well, it certainly retards/controls power output so as to not exceed the factory torque limits. This means you are likely not getting 100% of your tune performance. These torque limits are programed by the factory with warranty and longevity in mind and are well below the tested maximums. Keep that in mind of course lol sooner services are a good idea and earlier clutch pack replacements are likely if exceeding stock power. The secondary factor is for safety some clutch slip is allowed to save the drivetrain, the engineers would rather the clutch pack slip at a certain peak of torque over designed thresholds to avoid damaging the rest. Time for my flame proof Underoos; (Batman style even though Affleck killed the franchise, again) just like with traditional manual transmissions clutch slip is bad long term and will wear out the packs. Obviously spinning a friction disc even a wet one against another material will damage the friction material, with the added fun of debris now in the fluid.
The TCU tune not only lifts the programmed toque limits to avoid the over-torque, doing this means the clamp pressures of the packs is increased to HOLD that pressure instead of slipping the discs. Now you are not causing increased wear to your clutch packs and dumping debris into the fluid from slipping them. There's still increased wear over stock to other components from the higher torque but the wear to the clutches is just sped up normal wear (sort of as it were), not burning and debris from them slipping constantly.
Is a TCU tune REQUIRED? No, you can and many people do just tune the ECU and go on their way. Will you have the same drivability and performance without one? No.
At the end of the day, it's $400 which is a heck of a lot cheaper than a MT clutch upgrade and comes with loads of drivability features in addition to allowing the maximum potential of the tune. Heck it's cheaper than most INTAKES which do far less yet those are on everyone's cars. LMAO