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    • What an M156 (63 AMG) ECU/computer ruined by a tuner looks like and how to fix it

      We are not going to name any names here but chances are there are a few M156 ECU's out there that look exactly like what you see here. This ECU was drenched in epoxy gunk which essentially ruined it without the owner knowing or providing consent for the ECU to be modified in this manner. The only way to remove the material to be able to tune the ECU was to use a CNC machine carefully to remove it over a period of a couple hours. It was a coin flip whether the board would be hit essentially creating an expensive paperweight but the ECU was able to be salvaged and tuned as the material was removed without hitting/damaging the board. Make sure you do not have to go through this ordeal with your ECU and be careful what tuner you go with.








      This article was originally published in forum thread: What an M156 (63 AMG) ECU/computer ruined by a tuner looks like and how to fix it started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 454 Comments
      1. c32AMG-DTM's Avatar
        c32AMG-DTM -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I have proof that they had to result to CNC machining and that it was determined there was no other alternative. Why? Because there isn't.
        Choosing to not pursue an alternative does not mean one did not exist.

        If the ECU had been sent back to Tuner #1, Tuner #1 tried and failed to remove the epoxy claiming "wow, this one was really buggered up - can't get it off" then that would be something of note. If that attempt was never made, we'll never know if it could've been removed by solvent, period.

        Basing conclusions solely on Tuner #2's opinion is illogical... I can think of plenty of reasons why Tuner #2 would like to start a FUD campaign that this stuff has to be cut off of the board and that no other conceivable method could work, "but don't worry we don't use it - please make sure to emphasize that."
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        I think the only thing truly factual is that there is a lack of chemists that have viewed this thread. For those of y'all claiming 100% there's no solvent that can remove this epoxy, y'all are 100% incorrect. Don't believe me, that's fine. You can't argue with science.
        Neel, do you not trust me? I will tell you what. I will gladly, happily, take you to a CNC shop and get an ECU just like this. We will try both methods simply to prove it, first with solvent of course. That is how confident I am. I'm not sure when you will be in the area.

        It's material hard as a rock... really.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        Choosing to not pursue an alternative does not mean one did not exist.
        So a group of people decided there was no other course of action. Mind you, a group of people far more experienced than anyone in this thread with tuning these ECU's. You are telling me the solvent method, your suggestion, slipped their mind? They just weren't capable of thinking of it?

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        If the ECU had been sent back to Tuner #1, Tuner #1 tried and failed to remove the epoxy claiming "wow, this one was really buggered up - can't get it off" then that would be something of note. If that attempt was never made, we'll never know if it could've been removed by solvent, period.
        Why aren't you asking why Tuner 1 did not inform the owner? Why aren't you questioning the credibility and professionalism of a tuner who will result to dumping epoxy in that manner on a board? It isn't even applied neatly, just thrown the hell on there with blatant disregard for the owner's property.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        Basing conclusions solely on Tuner #2's opinion is illogical... I can think of plenty of reasons why Tuner #2 would like to start a FUD campaign that this stuff has to be cut off of the board and that no other conceivable method could work, "but don't worry we don't use it - please make sure to emphasize that."
        Basic conclusions on tuner 2's actions is logical based on tuner 1's actions which lead to them, don't you think?

        Prove to the board there is another method with a board that looks like that. Prove it, I already gave you an option to do so. I will gunk the living crap up out of your ECU. I will make a video and have fun with it. It will make a great article. Let's do it, then you send it to whomever you want. What is the problem?
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Neel, do you not trust me? I will tell you what. I will gladly, happily, take you to a CNC shop and get an ECU just like this. We will try both methods simply to prove it, first with solvent of course. That is how confident I am. I'm not sure when you will be in the area.

        It's material hard as a rock... really.
        It's not that I don't trust you. It's that I'm pretty sure you don't have all the info....or you only have the info someone gave you purposely leaving something out. Don't believe me. Don't believe them. Believe the science. It's chemistry. Any compound can be removed with the proper solvent. This epoxy was not permanent, even though the subsequent tuner didn't know how to remove it with a solvent.

        You of all people know that I won't just say things in speculation.
      1. JRCART's Avatar
        JRCART -
        Why don't we put Andy on the spot and have him "disolve" some of this epoxy on video for us. I still think it is BS that he has done this to customers ECUs but it will give him a little credibility on the issue. I want to vsee cured epoxy melted away and the ecu put back in a car and started to ensure it didn't damage the ECU on an uncut unedited video. Nows your chance to prove us wrong Andy.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        It's not that I don't trust you. It's that I'm pretty sure you don't have all the info....or you only have the info someone gave you purposely leaving something out. Don't believe me. Don't believe them. Believe the science. It's chemistry. Any compound can be removed with the proper solvent. This epoxy was not permanent, even though the subsequent tuner didn't know how to remove it with a solvent.

        You of all people know that I won't just say things in speculation.
        I am more than happy to prove this with an experiment if the pictures of the ECU, the epoxy, and the CNC machine are not enough for some of you.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by JRCART Click here to enlarge
        Why don't we put Andy on the spot and have him "disolve" some of this epoxy on video for us. I still think it is BS that he has done this to customers ECUs but it will give him a little credibility on the issue. I want to vsee cured epoxy melted away and the ecu put back in a car and started to ensure it didn't damage the ECU on an uncut unedited video. Nows your chance to prove us wrong Andy.
        I think it is best to simply leave names out of this. I have no desire for interaction with Andy or MHP.
      1. c32AMG-DTM's Avatar
        c32AMG-DTM -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Mercedes had to result to going to a new ECU to fix issues created by epoxy from a tune. Don't believe me? Here: http://mbworld.org/forums/c63-amg-w204/412299-dealer-cant-figure-out-whats-problem.html

        T
        he solution was a new ECU because Mercedes could not write to the ECU. Why not? Why not use a solvent? Because they couldn't.

        I know you guys don't want to believe this. I know you guys want to think you can just put a material hard as rock on a circuit board and then "sovlent" it away. You can't, not a board that looks like the one I posted. Read the thread I linked and tell me if anything adds up.
        I'll tell you something that doesn't add up: I'm not sure you even read the conclusion to the link you posted. Here it is:

        The dealer ordered the new ecu and installed it last Friday , the dealer started
        the car and it was still the same, at the end the technician today figured out
        what's wrong, it appears that when my belt ripped it damaged one of the control
        unit wires which is causing all the sensors and ecu to have shortage , that said
        the bad news is that this was not figured out till today and after the new ecu
        was installed which ended up messing the new ecu because of the power shortage
        from the damaged wire, so now the wires have been fixed and were waiting for
        another ecu,
        So... not sure how a broken belt damaging the car's electronics, which wasn't fixed even with a brand new ECU from MB, fits into your "epoxy-causes-problems" thesis...
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I am more than happy to prove this with an experiment if the pictures of the ECU, the epoxy, and the CNC machine are not enough for some of you.
        How are you going to prove that there is no chemical compound able to break a molecular bond of the polymer used in the photos?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by c32AMG-DTM Click here to enlarge
        So... not sure how a broken belt damaging the car's electronics, which wasn't fixed even with a brand new ECU from MB, fits into your "epoxy-causes-problems" thesis...
        Guess you missed where they couldn't interface with the old ECU. Mechanical issues being irrelevant to communication with it which required a new one, a separate issue caused by guess what?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        How are you going to prove that there is no chemical compound able to break a molecular bond of the polymer used in the photos?
        How are you going to prove there is?
      1. JRCART's Avatar
        JRCART -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I think it is best to simply leave names out of this. I have no desire for interaction with Andy or MHP.
        joseph, I have no desire to have any interactions with Andy either, but in fairness he should be allowed to at least tell his side or prove that this is indeed as simple to remove as he states and as harmless as he claims it is to the ECU. Fairs fair, I am a reasonable person, that being said I don't think applying a liquid solvent to and electronic device is a smart idea especially if that solvent is strong enought to melt/disolve epoxy, my guess it that it would dislove the resins and thermoset plastics used on the board as well.
      1. KB's Avatar
        KB -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        How are you going to prove there is?
        You took the words right out of my mouth.
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        How are you going to prove there is?
        Do you really want me an expert to post on the matter? It doesn't take a PhD in chemistry to understand how this works, but I have no problem getting one for you.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        Do you really want me an expert to post on the matter? It doesn't take a PhD in chemistry to understand how this works, but I have no problem getting one for you.
        Whatever it takes.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by JRCART Click here to enlarge
        joseph, I have no desire to have any interactions with Andy either, but in fairness he should be allowed to at least tell his side or prove that this is indeed as simple to remove as he states and as harmless as he claims it is to the ECU. Fairs fair, I am a reasonable person, that being said I don't think applying a liquid solvent to and electronic device is a smart idea especially if that solvent is strong enought to melt/disolve epoxy, my guess it that it would dislove the resins and thermoset plastics used on the board as well.
        Fair is absolutely fair but this is not aimed at Andy or anyone to begin with.

        My guess is that whomever opened the ECU explored all options.
      1. KB's Avatar
        KB -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        Do you really want me an expert to post on the matter? It doesn't take a PhD in chemistry to understand how this works, but I have no problem getting one for you.
        I am sure there is something that could take it off, but like JRCART said, it needs to be done without damage to the board components.
      1. Yomama69's Avatar
        Yomama69 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by KB Click here to enlarge
        I am sure there is something that could take it off, but like JRCART said, it needs to be done without damage to the board components.
        That's the entire premise of potting. There are chips in your computer that Apple or Dell or whomever has potted to prevent reverse engineering. They can remove them. You cannot. This is no different.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by KB Click here to enlarge
        I am sure there is something that could take it off, but like JRCART said, it needs to be done without damage to the board components.
        Even trying to remove parts of it is going to be a Herculean task. That is thick and hardened. It's there to not be removed, but to stay on and keep people out.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Yomama69 Click here to enlarge
        That's the entire premise of potting. There are chips in your computer that Apple or Dell or whomever has potted to prevent reverse engineering. They can remove them. You cannot. This is no different.
        This is vastly different because it was done without permission creating an expensive brick if you want to retune... unless you go as far as CNC'ing. Apple and Dell create their components and you buy them. If Dell decided to prevent me from using a button on my keyboard (purchased from another company) with epoxy without my permission I would be a little pissed. I think that would be a closer example to where we are at.