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Malone or Kerma

Wpilot673

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Location
Tennessee
TDI
2012 Golf TDI
Just bought a “fixed” 2012 Golf 6 speed with 51000 miles. Looking to start off with a tune and leave the rest stock for now. Later I’m thinking a down pipe and a better clutch maybe. My google searches have brought up older threads about both Malone and Kerma. Any recent reviews on either one ? This will be a daily driver so fuel mileage is a concern but I want a little more fun too. Thanks!
 

WildChild80

Veteran Member
Joined
May 30, 2016
Location
Nashville, AR
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI 2000 Jetta TDI 2000 New Beetle TDI ALL 5 speeds
I think that's like asking BMW or Mercedes, both nice but from my experience on both I'd rather work on the Mercedes. Some will say the opposite just as some will say Malone over kerma...

Email both, communicate your goals and go with your gut. For the mk4s some say Malone feels smoother but the kerma feels more rowdy...my mk4 is kerma tuned and it's pretty rowdy and I like it...

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calimustang

Veteran Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Location
Central FL
TDI
2011 JSW DSG (buyback, RIP), 2015 Passat TDI SE, 2014 JSW TDI.
I had Malone tune and loved it. The car ran beautiful and very fast and smooth. Increased MPG about 5-10 more depending on the road conditions. They know their stuff. Kerma are good but few people got car issues after having Kerma tune.... but best for you to google it up and decide for yourself. :) like he said, Mercedes or BMW.


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Piranhafreak

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Location
United States
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen
I recently have a Malone stage 2 tune and I am very happy with it power increase very noticeable mpg gained a little as well. Communication is good when you need it to be but sometimes there is a wait as they seem to be busy
 

calimustang

Veteran Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Location
Central FL
TDI
2011 JSW DSG (buyback, RIP), 2015 Passat TDI SE, 2014 JSW TDI.
Being Busy are a good sign because it shows how popular they are. :)


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JSWTDI09

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
TDI
2009 JSW TDI (gone but not forgotten)
First the bad news: I have never heard of anyone who has put both tunes on the same car and then dynoed them both to compare their performance. Therefore, I cannot say that one is superior to the other.


Then the good news: I have also never heard anyone complain about the performance of either tuner's products. Both appear to be excellent.


Often the choice of tuners has more to do with which one is more convenient. Questions like: which one has a dealer close to you? and which one is easier to deal with? and is either having a sale? These decisions are often more important than Kerma vs. Malone.
I seriously doubt that you will be disappointed no matter which way you go.


Have Fun!


Don
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
First the bad news: I have never heard of anyone who has put both tunes on the same car and then dynoed them both to compare their performance.
I think this is why people so strongly defend what's in their car. They have no point of reference, and a tune, even if it's less than perfect, almost always make the car more fun to drive.

I got my first tune in IBW from Upsolute in 2003 (yikes). Loved it, until I went to my first dyno day and saw dyno pulls from cars with Rocketchip tunes. Had the car re-tuned by RC a few months later and never looked back.

I did have an opportunity to have my A3 tuned by two tuners, and ran dynos with both tunes. The differences were dramatic. So, in my experience, who you pick does matter. I've never worried about warranties, ease of uploading, or getting updates. I had my Wagon last re-tuned by RC when I replaced the engine 90K miles ago. Haven't touched it since. No need to.
 

Nero Morg

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
I actually read a thread on this end of the forum where someone did run their car on a Malone tune and a kerma tune. Ultimately, they both dynoed about the same the biggest difference between the two was where the engine power was based on throttle. As I understood it, Malone felt more like an even tune throughout the entire throttle, whereas Kerma was more aggressive, like 10% throttle felt like 30%, 50%felt like 80%, ect.

But as others have said, it'd all a matter of opinion. Only reason I went with Malone was because I didn't want to rent/buy a flashzilla and I found a vendor local who would do the tune for me. Plus the tune works better for me since it's my daily, I don't want to feel like I'm driving a racecar all the time. I rode in a golf that had the same hardware I did, but was tuned by Kerma, and it definitely thew you in the seat more than my car does. Fun, yes, but to me it'd get old.
 

iamatt

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Location
Rosharon, Texas
TDI
2014 Jetta 6 Speed manual
From a business standpoint I'd choose Malone. They have been good to me and easy to deal with. Just Google complaints and make your own decision.

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Nevada_TDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Location
Reno, sort of...
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
I don't understand why nobody ever seems to talk about Mike@TDTuning.com, I had an Upsolute tune done 12 or 13 years ago and it destroyed my turbo. I fixed the turbo, contacted Mike and have never looked back. I have had no dealings with Kerma, and Malone and I could not come to an agreement about a tune I wanted, so I am still running a TDTuning tune.
 

Wpilot673

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Location
Tennessee
TDI
2012 Golf TDI
I appreciate the advice. I pulled the trigger on the Kerma tune. It was a 50\50 decision as far as reviews and recommendations. What put me over the edge for Kerma was that someone answered the phone when I called. I couldn't find a number for Malone so I emailed them and didn't get a response for a couple of days . No doubt that they're busy. Plus , Kerma is in USA.
I'll do a full review soon. Hopefully with some Dyno time.
 

Rrusse11

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Location
PA Deutsch Country
TDI
2002 Golf, 5spd; 05 Jeep CRD
"They have no point of reference, and a tune, even if it's less than perfect, almost always make the car more fun to drive." IBW

This is the problem, how do you compare? Same with mods,
we're scattered across the world with different conditions and
vehicles. I'm happy with my setup, but have no real reference
to alternatives. Never been to a GTG, but that's the only place
I think one could have the opportunity to drive a series of different
answers to what turns into a very complicated set of variables.
A weekend with access to something like the Lime Rock Raceway
would be ideal, and a bunch of members willing to swap cars.

Gurus at least have the opportunity to drive a lot of different vehicles, and I value their input whenever they drive mine.

So I read as much as possible, and try to make incremental
upgrades one step at a time. That at least gives a sense of what changes
make what kind of difference. So far so good with a LOT of input
from these forums.

Cheers all!
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
One thing I loved about the New England TDI owners is we ran dyno days for several years. We would often run upwards of 20 cars in a day. And it gave us a great opportunity to compare how tunes performed regarding how they delivered maximum power. In addition, TDI owners have always been generous about letting other members test drive their tunes. It was a great way to identify what hardware and software you preferred for your own car.

I switched to Rocketchip from Upsolute after looking at max outputs and dyno curves at the New England Dyno day in 2004. Others have switched based on dyno data as well. Although that's not the whole story, it's good data.

I think I've totaled about 80 dyno pulls in IBW. Poor thing.
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
We have had some Dyno days, tuning events and GTG here a ways back. Nothing though for the last few years or more though. They were good when they happened. Kind of like TDI Fest going away.
 

calimustang

Veteran Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Location
Central FL
TDI
2011 JSW DSG (buyback, RIP), 2015 Passat TDI SE, 2014 JSW TDI.
Just wait.... now TDI’s coming back and selling like hot pancakes because they are getting real cheap with amazing warranty that no other companies can beat that. TDI fest may come back soon as more owners are buying them nowadays.


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ToxicDoc

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Location
US
TDI
2001 Jetta
Just wait.... now TDI’s coming back and selling like hot pancakes because they are getting real cheap with amazing warranty that no other companies can beat that. TDI fest may come back soon as more owners are buying them nowadays.


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Nope. Think of it as a fire sale before it goes out of fashion. This is the last of the TDI.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Nope. Think of it as a fire sale before it goes out of fashion. This is the last of the TDI.
Unless they don't. Set the clock back to the mid-80s and you could justifiably said the same thing. Mercedes dropped its diesels, VW barely made any, Peugeot, Volvo, Toyota (yes, Toyota), Mazda, etc. were going away. And then they came back. They just might again.
 

calimustang

Veteran Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Location
Central FL
TDI
2011 JSW DSG (buyback, RIP), 2015 Passat TDI SE, 2014 JSW TDI.
Unless they don't. Set the clock back to the mid-80s and you could justifiably said the same thing. Mercedes dropped its diesels, VW barely made any, Peugeot, Volvo, Toyota (yes, Toyota), Mazda, etc. were going away. And then they came back. They just might again.


Bingo^^^^


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Yourbuddysatin

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Location
Pennsylvania
TDI
2013 Jetta tdi
I hope they do come back. Just have to advertise dirty diesel instead of clean diesel....so the hippies don’t get all bent out of shape for false advertising!
 

ToxicDoc

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Location
US
TDI
2001 Jetta
Unless they don't. Set the clock back to the mid-80s and you could justifiably said the same thing. Mercedes dropped its diesels, VW barely made any, Peugeot, Volvo, Toyota (yes, Toyota), Mazda, etc. were going away. And then they came back. They just might again.
Hey, I'm not getting rid of my diesel car and jeep, but the writing is on the wall that it's going battery/electric. I'm sure the steam engine guys were holding out too lol
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Fair enough. But I've written this before and stand by it: Electric car sales have peaked. Call me crazy, but I think the people who are willing to pay an extra $20-30K for a car because it's electric have already bought theirs. Or most of them, anyway. Fuel is cheap (which doesn't bode well for diesels) and most people like what they know. Tax credits are disappearing unless the lobbyists get their way. Just watch.
 

calimustang

Veteran Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Location
Central FL
TDI
2011 JSW DSG (buyback, RIP), 2015 Passat TDI SE, 2014 JSW TDI.
Yeah electric cars emits more pollution than diesel cars which are an fact. They need to wake up and realize they aren’t always good for us all nor the mother earth.


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ToxicDoc

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Location
US
TDI
2001 Jetta
Fair enough. But I've written this before and stand by it: Electric car sales have peaked. Call me crazy, but I think the people who are willing to pay an extra $20-30K for a car because it's electric have already bought theirs. Or most of them, anyway. Fuel is cheap (which doesn't bode well for diesels) and most people like what they know. Tax credits are disappearing unless the lobbyists get their way. Just watch.
I'm not advocating paying all that extra money. The market/manufacturing isn't there yet, but it looks inevitable to me (and the industry - VW is going all-electric, no?). When the economy of scale and incremental technological improvements bring a good vehicle with excellent range at an affordable price, that'll be the tipping point and ICE simply won't be offered for sale.

This is similar to every other thing in manufacturing. When I was a much younger, a wind-up mechanical watch was better and cheaper than the new digital ones or electric analog. Recreational sailboats were wooden; now they're fiberglass. etc. you get my drift.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
There were electrics at the dawn of the automotive age. They've appeared--and disappeared--several times since. The electrics that manufacturers are making now are better than anything that's preceded them. But I think they're still not good enough for an industry sea change. And there are other issues: raw materials availability, electric grid capacity, long term performance, pollution, disposal. If there's a significant breakthrough in battery technology then electrics may stay.

Car makers announce strategies and then change them all the time. Many believe VW has taking their position on electrics under court pressure. It could easily change.
 

edatainc

Member
Joined
May 24, 2018
Location
Greenbrae, CA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagon, Black on Black
Malone and KERMA

I am currently running a Malone Stage 2 on a 2014 JSW TDI. This week I am replacing the Malone tune with the KERMA tune. Malone will tell you that his tune is more conservative and does not stress the design specs of the turbo, KERMA and others squeeze a bit more out of the CR140. Probably not an issue for the daily driver who likes to step on it once and awhile but a higher risk of turbo failure for the track driver. I can share the dyno specs from the same dyno for the following conditions.
~Stock, post-emission fix (Blah)
~Malone Stage 2 (got exactly what Malone says you will get)
~KERMA equivalent (TBD)
~KERMA after a CR140 performance rebuild (TBD)
I’ll let the forum know how that goes.
2014 JSW TDI, Black on Black
Wavetrac LSD
H&R St. Performance Coilover
H&R 24 mm rear, 26 front sway bar
Malone Stage 2 tune
18x7.5 GTI rims
235x40 Firehawk Indy 500
 
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calimustang

Veteran Member
Joined
May 17, 2010
Location
Central FL
TDI
2011 JSW DSG (buyback, RIP), 2015 Passat TDI SE, 2014 JSW TDI.
Cool, I look forward to hear your dyno results.

Thanks for the specs of your JSW. Im looking for something to improve the handling and you just came in. Thank you for posting yours. :)


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740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
I appreciate the advice. I pulled the trigger on the Kerma tune. It was a 50\50 decision as far as reviews and recommendations. What put me over the edge for Kerma was that someone answered the phone when I called. I couldn't find a number for Malone so I emailed them and didn't get a response for a couple of days . No doubt that they're busy. Plus , Kerma is in USA.
I'll do a full review soon. Hopefully with some Dyno time.

Enjoy the new tune, but also be aware that Kerma doesn't tune for aftermarket down pipes, so that may change your future mod goals you listed.

Either way, motor on for many more miles with a way more entertaining ride.
 
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