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KermaTD vs Malone Tuning w/ BorgWarner Series 7 Tubro

D-cappz

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Location
Victoria
TDI
2003 Jetta ALH, 6 speed, 4motion, fully loaded, leather heated interior, sunroof, steering wheel controls. Over 420,000km
Kerma TDI vs Malone Tuning w/ BorgWarner S7 Turbo & VNT17

KermaTDI, Malone Tuning & BorgWarner Series 7 & VNT17 Turbo
I had the opportunity to test out a tune from both Kerma TDI and Malone tuning. The vehicle is a 03 Jetta 1.92L TDI ALH, 5 speed. The main components in this test are; BorgWarner S7 Turbo, DLC764 nozzles, 11mm IP, stage 2 colt cam, port and polished head, over sized valves, dual valve springs, decat (stock downpipe),2.5” exhaust, PD150 intake manifold and more, but the more shouldn’t matter while comparing these two tuners. This engine has a fresh rebuild with around 3k km on it.
Back in June 2016 before the full rebuild, I was running the 160HP kit from KermaTDI with the BorgWarner S7, stock intercooler and intake manifold. I put my TDI on a Dynocom trailer Dyno at Supreme Diesel’s Dyno days. Max power was 181whp @3300rpms & 324.2ft-lbs @ 2400rpms roughly. Now this was thought to be a little high. So, after a full rebuild I put it to the test on different Dynos with the BorgWarners series 7 turbo.
Supreme Diesel Dyno Days Video: https://youtu.be/yzrzOYfGS1A
On Sep. 29, 2017 made my way over to Vancouver BC to visit the friendly crew at Malone tuning. We got the TDI set up on a Dynapack Hub dyno, did some runs and got some numbers. I was having some injection quantity issues while on the Dyno at Malone tuning, it was set around 1.6mg even though we tried to set it around 3.5mg. I also found later that my lift pump relay was having some ground issues which was causing some fueling issues, but it never stalled while testing. Due to the IQ being set so low it would roll a bit of coal, this was later simmered down by finally getting the IQ set correctly and fixing the lift pump relay problem.
Malone Tuning video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCdbAtp1tYsn
Dyno charts from Malone
KermaTDI Tune: https://i.gyazo.com/7ecaa7f14826c79fe1b61b9b00800b46.png
My Kerma tune vs vnt17, pp520, 11mm pump, otherwise stock TDI
https://i.gyazo.com/53ff873987e88038c0fb1c74931410dd.png
KermaTDI vs Malone tune: https://i.gyazo.com/6477d4ab565e9e56759a32c2f5d1367f.png
KermaTDI vs Malone aggressive Tune: https://i.gyazo.com/2438a906badf8f77f6ed1e1b86429178.png
On Feb. 22, 2018 the Jetta made it onto the Superflow AWD Autodyn 30 dyno at Paradigm Auto Works. With the injection quantity set correctly but the lift pump relay was still acting up causing fueling issues, I hadn’t been able to source the issue quite yet. The TDI did run much better with less smoke with the IQ set around 4.2mg. The numbers on this dyno were very similar to the numbers on the Malone hub dyno, but this is right to the wheels like it would be on the road.
Paradigm dyno video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQA365sZVu8&t=22s
Paradigm dyno charts: https://datazap.me/u/d-cappz
The TDI ran nicely on both tunes but there were some differences. The noticeable differences right way while driving is Malone’s tune has a smoother throttle response, what I mean by this is 10% throttle felt like 10%, 50% felt like 50% and so on to 100% throttle, it’s very nice while shifting making it a very smooth ride. KermaTDI’s tune is a bit touchy or instant torque, making it kind of a jerky ride, 10% throttle is like 30% and 60% and up feels like 100%, so it’s not as smooth. Right away I noticed that Malones tune did not have as much “passing power” though. At higher RPMs it doesn’t feel like it has as much compared to KermaTDIs tune, it also did not feel like the take off power was as strong, this was also proven when a Dyno was done. Malones suggested tune was 35+ Ft-lbs less than KermaTDIs tune and around 10+ HP less. Malone’s tune did not spool as fast and did offer quite the low-end torque that Kerma does. Malone’s tune would also drop boost quite quickly in the higher RPMs vs the Kerma Tune. Malones tune had a little less smoke and around 200°F lower EGTs along with the smooth throttle response. Malone could match the power with an aggressive tune, but it still didn’t quite feel like Kerma’s tune on the road and it didn’t spool the turbo as fast.
Now the biggest test done was to see how far this BorgWarner S7 could go. With the testing I’ve done and the charts collected, I’ve found that the max HP for this turbo is around the 160-170whp. I’ve now had this turbo in for over 2 years with no issues. It’s been a great turbo and it has taken some high EGTs, with temps reaching upwards of 2000° F with ceramic coated head and pistons and upwards of 1500° F without coating. I am not easy on my car at all and this turbo has held up to everything I’ve given it. I’m full throttle and higher RPMs around 70% of the time, I can’t contain myself.
Iv been very happy with the results of the BorgWarner series 7 turbo. The torque this turbo offers with the KermaTDI tune is great. Keeps the Fuel economy better than I was getting with a VNT15 and gives me just over 2x the power to the wheels. Kerma offers a right up in your face tune with torque and spool so low in the RPMs, which I really enjoy, it does make it for a very responsive/touchy feeling. Malone’s tune does offer a little lower EGTs and a smoother throttle, but with a sacrifice of that fast spool and full torque around 2000rpms. Both companies have had great customer service, have been friendly and offer a lot of great information. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to test these long enough to find who offers the better fuel mileage between the Tuners. But I know I get around 5.6L/100km (42mpg or 50impg) with the KermaTDI tune. Like I said, I’m not easy on the throttle and I live in BC where it is very mountainous and curvy, you won’t see many highways that have a strait stretch for more than a 1km or reach speeds over 80km/h.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Up next is the AWD/4motion dyno’s
You will find charts in pics and S7 vs VNT17 on an ALH.
pic #1: on the hub Dyno @ Malone Tuning

pic #2: Engine bay

pic #3: on Dyno @ Paradigm auto works

pic #4: Kerma tune 00001 WHP

pic #5: Kerma tune 00001 WTQ

pic #6: Malone tune WHP

pic #7: Malone tune WTQ

pic #8: Kerma tune 00002 WHP

pic #9: Kerma tune 00002 WTQ

pic #10: Kerma tune on S7 vs Malone tune on VNT17

more pics, charts and graphs below.
 
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D-cappz

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Location
Victoria
TDI
2003 Jetta ALH, 6 speed, 4motion, fully loaded, leather heated interior, sunroof, steering wheel controls. Over 420,000km
Last edited:

Matt-98AHU

Loose Nut Behind the Wheel Vendor
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Vallejo, CA
TDI
2014 Passat SE DSG, 2005 Passat wagon, 2004 Touareg V10.
Hell yeah Damian.

The AWD build is pretty epic, bud.
 

dunerking

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Saugus,Ca
TDI
04 Jetta TDI
Nice write up! I also went with the S7 turbo with Kerma tune and have been very happy with my performance and economy! I was a little unsure about going with the S7 turbo as most people seem to lean forwards the VNT 17. So far I'm very pleased,I'm hoping that this setup takes care of me for many years/miles!
 

JettaTDIBlack

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Location
Brandon, FL
TDI
2002 Jetta TDI Automatic Sedan
And here I am with a P0730 code earlier tonight just wanting the stock car I recently bought to work. Nice job OP!
 

Votblindub

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Location
NY
TDI
MK4 Jettas: Sedan & Wagon
I'm looking at it and thinking to myself "wow, why is this so familiar?", then it hits me that it's Damian's car.
Looking good buddy!
 

D-cappz

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Location
Victoria
TDI
2003 Jetta ALH, 6 speed, 4motion, fully loaded, leather heated interior, sunroof, steering wheel controls. Over 420,000km
I'm looking at it and thinking to myself "wow, why is this so familiar?", then it hits me that it's Damian's car.
Looking good buddy!

LOL thanks.
 

Jetta_Pilot

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Location
West Hill, Ont. Mexico mid October 2019 to end of
TDI
2015 Passat Highline TDI Candy White (SEL Premium) gone 2002 Jetta TDI
Now if someone could just simplify this whole thing and put it in plain language that ANYONE can understand!


Such as difference in HP, difference in torque, between two different tunes I think that could be helpful !
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White

Jetta_Pilot

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Location
West Hill, Ont. Mexico mid October 2019 to end of
TDI
2015 Passat Highline TDI Candy White (SEL Premium) gone 2002 Jetta TDI

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White
Thank you for the link, the written report is more what I was looking for.
It seems to favor Kerma over Malone, but I think it is because the author is a far more aggressive driver than I am.


I'm quite happy with what the Malone Stage 2 tune as well as the Malone DSG tune give me for my style of driving.:D
These are key points, I think:
"Malone’s tune has a smoother throttle response, what I mean by this is 10% throttle felt like 10%, 50% felt like 50% and so on to 100% throttle, it’s very nice while shifting making it a very smooth ride. KermaTDI’s tune is a bit touchy or instant torque, making it kind of a jerky ride, 10% throttle is like 30% and 60% and up feels like 100%, so it’s not as smooth....... Malones tune had a little less smoke and around 200°F lower EGTs along with the smooth throttle response."

The lower EGTs probably translate into a longer turbo life with the Malone tune.
 
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