EMP TUNING, moving the discussion out of the shadows

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V8bait

Sergeant
Nov 2, 2016
329
Texas
#1
Hey everybody, it’s time to address an issue that has come up in recent months related to the practices of AJ at EMP tuning. There has been a lot of online drama related to things being said “behind the scenes”, so this post will attempt to elucidate the concerns publicly, so they can be settled once and for all. I would like to preface this by disclosing that I do tune these cars and others, and while that indeed makes this a conflict of interest, it’s also why I am qualified in this regard. I will attempt to be as objective as possible and keep my feelings out of this, the community can form their own opinions on the matters. This is a long post, but it's an important issue for the community not just as it relates to EMP but also as it relates to tuning in general and the way people try to hide information or enlist an army of those who are not qualified to begin with, to stand up publicly and quell rumors with numbers. So lets get rid of the rumors, shall we.

The issue at hand:
It was alleged recently that AJ Hoti at EMP tuning is selling re-branded BMS back end flashes for customers paying for custom tunes, with no (or very few) changes made. Firstly, to shut down one thing I’ve seen over and over, even if this is completely true it means nothing legally. Professionally this is another story but I don’t want to get ahead of myself here.

What is custom tuning?
I submit that at its essence, custom tuning is to make sure a car is running safely as possible for a specific goal or goals. How it gets to the goals will vary by tuner, but often this includes adjusting hardware on the car or modifying tables in the computer. Which tables and how can vary based on the tuners knowledge of the software environment and many other factors. Custom tuning is, as such, a very broad term. If tuner A changes only 4 tables, and tuner B changes 60, is tuner B better? What if those 56 other tables are largely useless or don’t amount to any real difference, then is tuner A better because he’s more efficient? These questions are rhetorical, and I don’t care about their answers. What I care about, and what you should care about, is the base definition of custom tuning, is your car running safely as possible to meet your goals. No matter your stance on what I am showing the community, keep that in mind.

Story and meat:
After the facebook drama I was contacted by a few people I have tuned recently, all of which wanted to share their previous experience with EMP. I had no idea anybody I had tuned worked with him prior to this. Without going into details, their stories were compelling and similar enough for me to look a little further. It so happens I also had a request to review logs and a tune file from somebody local to me, I usually ignore requests like this but decided to so I could see what was really going on. What I found was a map sent to this person to be used flash only, but it was in essence a JB4 backend flash (specifically, the JB4_BB2_IJE0S_E85 from June/July). The only tables with changes are AFR, timing, WGDC and airflow adder, and raised boost limit. The image below shows changes made to WGDC, AFR and TIMING vs BMS:

EMP tuning vs BMS.png


Worse than what was changed in these tables (which was shockingly few things to me), were the tables that I did not see changed for flash only use. There are numerous tables that are JB4 specific, this is the case because the JB4 has control over boost reported to the DME. Throttle safeties are one of the areas where the JB4 has very specific needs for mapping, and this table was left JB4 specific:

EMP flash only throttle.png


So how did this map run on the customers car? I have re-uploaded (with permission) 3 logs, one from a V5 and two from this V6 map. I see lots of timing corrections and lots of throttle closures, timing past MBT, boost near the sensor max etc. From talking to the person, it was concerning him as well. The actual BIN is available at the bottom of this post labeled 'CUSTOMER A'. Re-uploaded logs- https://datazap.me/u/v8bait/emp-tuning-logs?log=0&data=3-22

LOG image.png


This is only one example. There are others, but this is a very recent customer of his so I feel it's most reflective. I have uploaded two of the files I have seen personally, one was this BMS map “modified” for flash only (CUSTOMER A, discussed here), and another one was a SPX map sent as “custom” (CUSTOMER B). Both maps logged equally poorly for the customers, so whatever your definition of custom tune I feel these examples fail to hit the minimum standard. They are not final tunes sure, maybe all this would be fixed in later revisions. The conclusion here, is if you try to reconcile the logs and the BIN as I have, it paints a picture of somebody who is experimenting and does not understand many of the tables he is working with. Which brings me to the point of all this.

Why does any of this matter?

For many people, it doesn’t. For me, since this isn’t my real job, and I'm not EMP tuned, it also doesn’t. I’ve become apathetic with the influx of amateur tuners to the platform. I tend to help them out where I can but leave them to their own devices and could care less how much they copy/paste, as long as I don’t see them capitalizing on their learning process as that’s where I draw the line. It comes down to professionalism, that is why this matters to me. Ask any of the guys I’ve helped learn about tuning and they'll tell you I told them all to read books (real ones) and learn the basics first, then find a car (theirs or somebody who agrees) to start making changes on, lots of changes one at a time to see how it effects things. Don't copy tables or modify tables you don't understand without testing them or asking "why is this". Additionally, tuning is much more than just table changes (those can be copy/pasted). it requires a strong understanding of how the car works and how the software works. The common thread in all of these people who came to me, was the car was just not running right. While it’s incredibly unprofessional to me seeing such blatant copying, this experimenting on paying customers cars and lack of base understanding about the tables or flashes he is copying from is poor judgement. I understand he has a very loyal following, and he’s made a lot of horsepower. The problem is unless you're a little experienced in tuning you may not recognize these issues, and as for having a high power car... I’ve said it many times, these cars are INCREDIBLY forgiving. That makes them both a good platform to learn on and a bad one- just because you can get away with a lot of bad things, doesn’t mean you should.

I hope this thread serves to take this discussion out from the shadows. EMP continues to profit off this community so this discussion should happen with the community. Others can contribute if they want, I have tried to keep identifying information out of this post for now so people can give their own feedback. There have been many documented cases of lying and misleading customers, lying to other tuners, and various other questionable practices behind the scene. My goal is for those issues to be brought out of the shadows and posted here where people can see them for themselves and pass their own judgement, the community has to self-police itself and since there's no "tuning police" the other tuners will have to contribute their expertise, this is mine. These are the facts I am privy to and my interpretation of them, there are many more.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Jerry_3:16

Specialist
Dec 15, 2016
56
#2
Damn...thx for shedding some much needed light on this situation.
 

Joe

Specialist
Nov 1, 2016
58
Arizona
#3
Damn...thx for shedding some much needed light on this situation.
 
Jan 1, 2018
8
#4
Hey everybody, it’s time to address an issue that has come up in recent months related to the practices of AJ at EMP tuning. There has been a lot of online drama related to things being said “behind the scenes”, so this post will attempt to elucidate the concerns publicly, so they can be settled once and for all. I would like to preface this by disclosing that I do tune these cars and others, and while that indeed makes this a conflict of interest, it’s also why I am qualified in this regard. I will attempt to be as objective as possible and keep my feelings out of this, the community can form their own opinions on the matters. This is a long post, but it's an important issue for the community not just as it relates to EMP but also as it relates to tuning in general and the way people try to hide information or enlist an army of those who are not qualified to begin with, to stand up publicly and quell rumors with numbers. So lets get rid of the rumors, shall we.

The issue at hand:
It was alleged recently that AJ Hoti at EMP tuning is selling re-branded BMS back end flashes for customers paying for custom tunes, with no (or very few) changes made. Firstly, to shut down one thing I’ve seen over and over, even if this is completely true it means nothing legally. Professionally this is another story but I don’t want to get ahead of myself here.

What is custom tuning?
I submit that at its essence, custom tuning is to make sure a car is running safely as possible for a specific goal or goals. How it gets to the goals will vary by tuner, but often this includes adjusting hardware on the car or modifying tables in the computer. Which tables and how can vary based on the tuners knowledge of the software environment and many other factors. Custom tuning is, as such, a very broad term. If tuner A changes only 4 tables, and tuner B changes 60, is tuner B better? What if those 56 other tables are largely useless or don’t amount to any real difference, then is tuner A better because he’s more efficient? These questions are rhetorical, and I don’t care about their answers. What I care about, and what you should care about, is the base definition of custom tuning, is your car running safely as possible to meet your goals. No matter your stance on what I am showing the community, keep that in mind.

Story and meat:
After the facebook drama I was contacted by a few people I have tuned recently, all of which wanted to share their previous experience with EMP. I had no idea anybody I had tuned worked with him prior to this. Without going into details, their stories were compelling and similar enough for me to look a little further. It so happens I also had a request to review logs and a tune file from somebody local to me, I usually ignore requests like this but decided to so I could see what was really going on. What I found was a map sent to this person to be used flash only, but it was in essence a JB4 backend flash (specifically, the JB4_BB2_IJE0S_E85 from June/July). The only tables with changes are AFR, timing, WGDC and airflow adder, and raised boost limit. The image below shows changes made to WGDC, AFR and TIMING vs BMS:

View attachment 7926

Worse than what was changed in these tables (which was shockingly few things to me), were the tables that I did not see changed for flash only use. There are numerous tables that are JB4 specific, this is the case because the JB4 has control over boost reported to the DME. Throttle safeties are one of the areas where the JB4 has very specific needs for mapping, and this table was left JB4 specific:

View attachment 7925

So how did this map run on the customers car? I have re-uploaded (with permission) 3 logs, one from a V5 and two from this V6 map. I see lots of timing corrections and lots of throttle closures, timing past MBT, boost near the sensor max etc. From talking to the person, it was concerning him as well. The actual BIN is available at the bottom of this post labeled 'CUSTOMER A'. Re-uploaded logs- https://datazap.me/u/v8bait/emp-tuning-logs?log=0&data=3-22

View attachment 7927

This is only one example. There are others, but this is a very recent customer of his so I feel it's most reflective. I have uploaded two of the files I have seen personally, one was this BMS map “modified” for flash only (CUSTOMER A, discussed here), and another one was a SPX map sent as “custom” (CUSTOMER B). Both maps logged equally poorly for the customers, so whatever your definition of custom tune I feel these examples fail to hit the minimum standard. They are not final tunes sure, maybe all this would be fixed in later revisions. The conclusion here, is if you try to reconcile the logs and the BIN as I have, it paints a picture of somebody who is experimenting and does not understand many of the tables he is working with. Which brings me to the point of all this.

Why does any of this matter?

For many people, it doesn’t. For me, since this isn’t my real job, and I'm not EMP tuned, it also doesn’t. I’ve become apathetic with the influx of amateur tuners to the platform. I tend to help them out where I can but leave them to their own devices and could care less how much they copy/paste, as long as I don’t see them capitalizing on their learning process as that’s where I draw the line. It comes down to professionalism, that is why this matters to me. Ask any of the guys I’ve helped learn about tuning and they'll tell you I told them all to read books (real ones) and learn the basics first, then find a car (theirs or somebody who agrees) to start making changes on, lots of changes one at a time to see how it effects things. Don't copy tables or modify tables you don't understand without testing them or asking "why is this". Additionally, tuning is much more than just table changes (those can be copy/pasted). it requires a strong understanding of how the car works and how the software works. The common thread in all of these people who came to me, was the car was just not running right. While it’s incredibly unprofessional to me seeing such blatant copying, this experimenting on paying customers cars and lack of base understanding about the tables or flashes he is copying from is poor judgement. I understand he has a very loyal following, and he’s made a lot of horsepower. The problem is unless you're a little experienced in tuning you may not recognize these issues, and as for having a high power car... I’ve said it many times, these cars are INCREDIBLY forgiving. That makes them both a good platform to learn on and a bad one- just because you can get away with a lot of bad things, doesn’t mean you should.

I hope this thread serves to take this discussion out from the shadows. EMP continues to profit off this community so this discussion should happen with the community. Others can contribute if they want, I have tried to keep identifying information out of this post for now so people can give their own feedback. There have been many documented cases of lying and misleading customers, lying to other tuners, and various other questionable practices behind the scene. My goal is for those issues to be brought out of the shadows and posted here where people can see them for themselves and pass their own judgement, the community has to self-police itself and since there's no "tuning police" the other tuners will have to contribute their expertise, this is mine. These are the facts I am privy to and my interpretation of them, there are many more.
 

V8bait

Sergeant
Nov 2, 2016
329
Texas
#5
I will post a message he sent me before blocking me and address his concerns:

Screenshot_20180101-174000.jpg


AJ, I'm glad you've reworked your mapping, because these examples I've seen are unworthy of the money paid to you, by fellow enthusiasts. It's basically robbery disguised as helping them, although I'm sure in many cases you did provide some form of service.

You have been professional in communication, no problem there. Your actions as a tuner on the other hand have been disgraceful to the profession.

Again, I'm glad everything has been changed. That's what people pay for, after all. And on the throttle maps, I know you don't change them and anybody can see that. It was Ken who claims that, I'm not privy to his info so I didn't post about it. The map here has BMS throttle maps, the throttle table of issue specifically is the throttle safety, which is also BMS, the fact you didn't change it and run it without a jb4 is wrong.

These customers did say you were very active in diagnostics. That's fine, and part of tuning is diagnostics (a large part). That's also part of auto mechanics. I'm not concerned with you diagnosing misfires, I'm concerned with the points I've posted.

I hold people to high standards of professionalism in things I'm passionate about. If I see a fellow physician taking advantage of patients or scamming people with med check visits unnecessarily you bet your ass I'll bring it up. It's not ok to me, and I will not stand by. I do not feel this issue is silly, you're modifying the second largest investment in many people's lives here. If I thought it was silly I wouldn't have posted. The fact it's your livelihood is your choice, and my suggestion is you take it more seriously as it's not a "game" when somebody brings you a build worth many thousands of dollars.

Cheers.
 
Last edited:
Jan 1, 2018
8
#7
Hi folks. Im wanna of the fellas who has been compiling the ways of emp and aj's tuning practices. I have endured countless insults and harassments and snuffing out of my evidence and the practices of and by emp tuning and aj specifically. He is a nice enough person but was very unprofessional in dealing with my unique build. He charged me 600.00 to give me 2 custom tunes. And after blaming my hardware and mechanic and not paying enough for his help, i called hil out for his lack of tuning and he bailed and im still fighting for my refund and putting my car back together after he drowned my fuel rail. He acts like the victim time and time again and puts his family and following out front to keep the truth in the back round.
 

Attachments

Jerry_3:16

Specialist
Dec 15, 2016
56
#8
He wouldn't be worried about people taking his livelihood if he wasn't ripping people off
 

[email protected]

Sergeant
Free Vendor
Jan 23, 2017
330
#10
If they were going to copy BEF flash maps and rebrand them as flash only maps I don't see why they'd do it with our JB4 BEF maps. Those are not setup to run without a JB4. Wouldn't they just take Shiv's old flash only maps or something and work off those?
 

V8bait

Sergeant
Nov 2, 2016
329
Texas
#11
If they were going to copy BEF flash maps and rebrand them as flash only maps I don't see why they'd do it with our JB4 BEF maps. Those are not setup to run without a JB4. Wouldn't they just take Shiv's old flash only maps or something and work off those?
This is a big part of why it concerns me so much. Cars are like people to me and the tune is a big deal, these were blatantly unacceptable flash only. It's like he did no research and was just winging it.
 

[email protected]

Sergeant
Free Vendor
Jan 23, 2017
330
#12
At some point we designed them so they wouldn't work flash only by removing most of the base WG just in case someone was stupid enough to try it, lol. We may have to go back to that.
 

Jerry_3:16

Specialist
Dec 15, 2016
56
#13
If they were going to copy BEF flash maps and rebrand them as flash only maps I don't see why they'd do it with our JB4 BEF maps. Those are not setup to run without a JB4. Wouldn't they just take Shiv's old flash only maps or something and work off those?
AJ wasn't even a tuner by the time the open flash tablet died
 
Oct 17, 2017
235
#14
I wish there are more posts like this. EMP aren't the only ones doing things like this.
 

WedgePerformance

Specialist
Platinum Vendor
Nov 2, 2016
61
Portland OR
#15
If they were going to copy BEF flash maps and rebrand them as flash only maps I don't see why they'd do it with our JB4 BEF maps. Those are not setup to run without a JB4. Wouldn't they just take Shiv's old flash only maps or something and work off those?
After he figured out the current BEF maps weren't working well as flash only maps, that's when he found the SPX maps that Spencer published a few years ago after catfishing me for months beta testing. Those were based off your KR maps and were very aggressive, very unsafe. He used them in Colorado at the onsite dyno. Actually just pulled 3 degs of timing out of a E40 map, made a few changes to fueling, added 20 points to load, then scaled the tmap so MHD would show boost above 22 psi and sent it. Lucky for the owner the 3.5bar scaling wouldn't work at that altitude because of the min voltage triggers a 2ABC. If it did the map would have targeted 30 psi and because he disabled throttle safety by setting the boost ceiling too high it would have blow the motor on the first pull.
 
Jan 1, 2018
8
#16
After he figured out the current BEF maps weren't working well as flash only maps, that's when he found the SPX maps that Spencer published a few years ago after catfishing me for months beta testing. Those were based off your KR maps and were very aggressive, very unsafe. He used them in Colorado at the onsite dyno. Actually just pulled 3 degs of timing out of a E40 map, made a few changes to fueling, added 20 points to load, then scaled the tmap so MHD would show boost above 22 psi and sent it. Lucky for the owner the 3.5bar scaling wouldn't work at that altitude because of the min voltage triggers a 2ABC. If it did the map would have targeted 30 psi and because he disabled throttle safety by setting the boost ceiling too high it would have blow the motor on the first pull.
So some pretty serious shit like blowing a fuel rail or other issues could be caused?
 

WedgePerformance

Specialist
Platinum Vendor
Nov 2, 2016
61
Portland OR
#17
Even when I had the smoking gun in my hand asking him why he would use BMS maps and SPX maps on customer cars he lied to me. Looking at his reply, I assume the N54 community is not the only community he has taken advantage of.

stock bins lie.jpg
 
#18
My one and only comment I will make to this thread. Will not be responding to anyone’s questions, statements or insults after this.

Pertaining to what was being said about me by claimed individuals should have been addressed to me if there were any issues with their vehicles. I am a person of profession and take pride in my work. If there is something that is concerning you then I will do everything I can to help.

Saying I am a con artist and that I am only professional when I want your money is absolutely incorrect as an individual said. I keep ties with all my clients and I always treat then as family because I don’t want any client feeling uncomfortable in any way. Yes diagnosis of issue during tuning is apart of it and I clearly agree with you on that.

Also individuals were claiming I got ran off by VW/Audi community is improper and incorrect as well. There were a very large amount of immature members and I had grown tired of it and purchased an N54 and moved on. Also I didn’t change my name to AJ Hoti to hide, I did it because I was tired of the improper pronunciation of my full name. Also my nickname is AJ and have been called that for a VERY long time.

Now moving on to the mapping, We have changed our maps tremendously and now have 100% EMP Maps. We have reworked many many tables and had our shop cars and our dyno times involved to get all the answers we needed.

There was a post made on Christmas day explaining this situation and openly invited any unhappy clients to have the vehicle remapped free of charge.

I am not saying this to protect myself or in a way to cover up anything. I am explaining everything as a whole for everyone to read.

I am not a con artist and I am not a thief. I used a base and from there have moved on and changed and obtained information. Yes I asked questions, anyone learning would. Like anybody in school when learning they raise their hand and ask questions. I thank those who assisted in my knowledge because we all have to learn from somewhere and someone.

So now I say, the maps out now are in fact 100% ours and we have worked many hours into them with OUR cars. We have over 5 cars in our shop and all different builds.

Happy New Year to you all.
 
Jan 1, 2018
8
#19
My one and only comment I will make to this thread. Will not be responding to anyone’s questions, statements or insults after this.

Pertaining to what was being said about me by claimed individuals should have been addressed to me if there were any issues with their vehicles. I am a person of profession and take pride in my work. If there is something that is concerning you then I will do everything I can to help.

Saying I am a con artist and that I am only professional when I want your money is absolutely incorrect as an individual said. I keep ties with all my clients and I always treat then as family because I don’t want any client feeling uncomfortable in any way. Yes diagnosis of issue during tuning is apart of it and I clearly agree with you on that.

Also individuals were claiming I got ran off by VW/Audi community is improper and incorrect as well. There were a very large amount of immature members and I had grown tired of it and purchased an N54 and moved on. Also I didn’t change my name to AJ Hoti to hide, I did it because I was tired of the improper pronunciation of my full name. Also my nickname is AJ and have been called that for a VERY long time.

Now moving on to the mapping, We have changed our maps tremendously and now have 100% EMP Maps. We have reworked many many tables and had our shop cars and our dyno times involved to get all the answers we needed.

There was a post made on Christmas day explaining this situation and openly invited any unhappy clients to have the vehicle remapped free of charge.

I am not saying this to protect myself or in a way to cover up anything. I am explaining everything as a whole for everyone to read.

I am not a con artist and I am not a thief. I used a base and from there have moved on and changed and obtained information. Yes I asked questions, anyone learning would. Like anybody in school when learning they raise their hand and ask questions. I thank those who assisted in my knowledge because we all have to learn from somewhere and someone.

So now I say, the maps out now are in fact 100% ours and we have worked many hours into them with OUR cars. We have over 5 cars in our shop and all different builds.

Happy New Year to you all.
Um your a liar and a con artist. And funny i never got the invite nor my money refunded with out my own resources. How professional is that?.
When we told you to tune my car why did you run?..Brian Mae the biggest name in audi and vw tuning built my car along with automotion who builds 9 second quarter mile cars on any platform. They looked by and and over everything. You are a phony and should be doing air filter changes and walnut blasts at best
 

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