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Old 09-29-2004, 06:01 PM   #1
mjalex007
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Default Installed a Unichip Today

I installed my Unichip this morning. It's been raining and there are spots with leaves on the road (I can't believe it's that time already) so I haven't had a chance to wring it out.

My initial impression is that the power is very linear. It comes on smooth and aggressively. Before the chip, I really felt the car kick me in the seat of the pants in second gear, more so than first, in fact. Now, first and second are the same--it pulls enough that you have to pay attention to keeping the wheels on the ground. The car also pulls harder in third gear. But like I said, that's about all I was able to discern on my 10 mile commute to work.

My chip was mapped for cat-back exhaust, short ram air intake, and uppipe (without cat). I also have a lighter crankshaft pulley and a manual boost controller on the car. I think the MBC has to come off--I have a querry into the people who did the mapping.

I bought the GP Moto short ram air intake on the recommendation of dealer (not the one I actually bought the Unichip from). Evidently, the chip is mapped for that intake. Previously, I had a K&N air filter in there.

You have two map options--one for regular and the other for premium gas. I threw a CEL on the regular gas map, which apparently happens in 30% of cars that are sensitive to detonation. Nothing seems amiss with the alternate map. In addition to a switch to choose between maps, there's a power-cut switch that is used to reset the ECU and to clear a CEL.

Installation takes about 30 minutes, give or take. You have to pull back part of the carpet on the passenger side and take of the ECU protective cover (four screws). Unplug four plugs from the ECU, plug those into the harness and plug the harness into the ECU. You also plug the harness into the Unichip along with a driver's module (the wires for the two switches also go into this module). Takes really it.

The kit comes with velcro strips to hold everything in place. I haven't buttoned up everything yet because I wanted to make sure all was copacetic.

So, I've got some more driving to do before I announce my verdict. The place where I bought the Unichip doesn't have a four-wheel Dyno, so getting it tuned there wasn't an option. I'm not sure what's available in my area just yet.

On the way home tonight I had a chance to floor it in a couple of short straights. The thing is a rocket! I have no idea what sort of HP I'm putting down but my set up is almost identical to Vishnu's Stage 3 (I have a cat-back, not a turboback) and they say it puts a WRX at 300-310 HP. Who knows? It's just fun to drive. I can't wait to really try it out this weekend.
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Old 09-29-2004, 06:29 PM   #2
Chris N
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Here in Portland there is an AWD dyno. I beleive its called F1 Performance, Forest Ave. I'll try to get you a link if I can find it. The guys there are very familiar with turbo set-ups...if you ever have the urge to tune in Portland.

Questions for you.
Do you feel any abnormalities after the Unichip install? Anything undesireable?
Who did you purchase from? Satisfied with them? Price range?
Why did you use a unichip and MBC? I thought it as an "either-or" situation.
Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2004, 07:34 PM   #3
mjalex007
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--I haven't noticed an abnormalities just yet. I've got my fingers crossed.

--I bought it from a company called Fastline Motorsports in Connecticut, which was recommended to me by Unicip USA because they are closest to me. I am extremely satisfied with them as far as their staying in touch with me and answering my questions. Their price was waaay lower than any I've seen--$775. However, the mapping was done by iPD on the West Coast and the unit was drop shipped from there.

--I've read that it's an either/or proposition with the chip and MBC. I put the question to iPD today whether I should take it off but haven't heard from them. Still, taking it off is what I'm going to do tomorrow. I have a turbo gauge and I have not seen any change in boost but I suspect that is a result of the manual having fixed setting. It was on the car before I installed the chip, by the way. I have it set at about 13psi, compared to the 11.6psi stock. I'm curious about what the effect taking it off will be.
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Old 10-02-2004, 10:28 AM   #4
mjalex007
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I never heard back from iPD, which probably doesn't matter anyway. I took the MBC off yesterday. I notice that boost is about the same of may a bit higher--still about 13 psi.

Still no abnormalities. In fact, the car seems to be running great. I'm definitely going to need new tires!

I buttoned up everything. The chip kit comes with spacers to raise the foot rest (the plate the covers the ECU). They're needed because the kit harness sits on top of the ECU and is held in place with Velcro. The result is that you lose about an inch of leg room on the passenger side.
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Old 10-09-2004, 08:34 AM   #5
Chris N
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Heres the link to the guys in Portand with the 4 wheel dyno, incase you wanna know what she does Now
http://www.f1dyno.com/index.html
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Old 10-09-2004, 08:54 AM   #6
mjalex007
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I'm going to have to make that drive one of these days because I want to know not only what the car does now, but also because I'm sure that fine tuning would make it even better.

Right now, the car flies.

By the way, re: the question about the MBC, which I took off. I noticed Xcceleration's power package includes the Unichip, MBC and fuel cut defender. When I asked them about the MBC, they replied they found it necessary to maintain relaible boost. Judging from my boost gauge, I don't see any difference with or without it. I'd much rather go without it for the simple reason that it's probably safer to rely on the ECU/chip than the MBC.
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Old 10-25-2004, 08:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
I'm anxious to put the car on a dyno for proper tuning and will do that as soon as I can spare time to make the trip to either Connecticut or Maine (don't know of anyone in Massachusetts).
KTR in Ayer Ma.

--kC
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Old 11-06-2004, 04:45 PM   #8
mjalex007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC
KTR in Ayer Ma.

--kC
I sent them an e-mail almost two weeks ago with a few questions (like, how far in advance do I need to make an appointment, and I never heard from them).
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Old 11-06-2004, 09:20 PM   #9
02_Forester
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IPD has been around a long time doing Volvo peformance modifications. They may not push the envelope but you will get reliability and longevity. They have excellent customer service.

They recently branched out into Subaru.

http://www.ipdusa.com/
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:21 PM   #10
SLC
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OK - I just spoke with Scott B at KTR. Please send email again. Their server went down last week and he lost 2 days of emails

d
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Old 02-19-2005, 10:44 PM   #11
02_Forester
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mjalex007, How has the Unichip been holding up?
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:37 AM   #12
mjalex007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02_Forester
mjalex007, How has the Unichip been holding up?
It's been great... No problems whatsoever. I've been meaning to run the car without the UniChip turned on to see what it feels like with, and without it, but I haven't had time to do a proper "before" and "after" comparison. I forget what the car feels like without it; and I've done so many other mods that the memory blurs...

The UniChip has two switches, one to turn it on and off, and the other to change the map. Turning it off, letting the car sit for 10 minutes, and then turning it back on, resets the ECU. It will also clear a CEL like I had to do yesterday when I exceeded 13-ish PSI. The MBC is set a bit too high but it's cold, I'm lazy, I'm busy, and it's cold., so I haven't tinkered with it.

The other switch allows you--supposedly--to run with regular octane gas, but I get a CEL if I try it The instructions say that 30% of cars won't be able to use the second map.

My car is scary fast, that much I know. It's ridicuous, actually. Even with performance tires, the thing literally hops when I accelerate too hard. It slingshots through every gear. I have yet to put the car on a dyno, however, so I can't tell you what sort of HP it puts out but with the mods I've done, it's easily in the neighborhood of 300 HP. Over the summer, I'll put in a new header and a bigger intercooler and then call it quites. By then, I hope to be in the 320-340HP range.

My wife calls the car the Darth Vader because you can really hear the short air intake suck air.

Short story is that based on my experience, if you do the sort of mods that most people might consider (catless up/downpipe, cat/turbo back exhaust, air intake, etc) you need chip management to get the most bang for your mods. As you probably already know, there aren't a lot of options. I was able to get my UniChip mapped by iPD specifically for my mods, so I'm happy about that.

I found a dealer in Connecticut (Fast Line Somethingorother) who sold me the UniChip for $750 (Xcceleration, Rallitek and others want something like $1200-$1500) and they sent it to iPD to do the mapping.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:31 AM   #13
02 wrx sleeper
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wow, that's great news, congrats on how well things are going. i have a few questions will the chip work on a auto turbo? also what is a safe amount of boost to run on our engines without getting into any kind of trouble? thanks.
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Old 02-20-2005, 03:01 PM   #14
02_Forester
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Glad to hear all is going well. I may end up with the UniChip.

I'll probably stick with a cat. for emissions testing here in VA. What are your current list of mods?
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:27 AM   #15
mjalex007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02_Forester
Glad to hear all is going well. I may end up with the UniChip.

I'll probably stick with a cat. for emissions testing here in VA. What are your current list of mods?
Main ones are catless uppipe, catback exhaust, ram air intake, lighter crank pulley, MBC, and ECU management. Also put 17-inch wheels on. I've changed hoses, transmission mount and some other things as well.
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:31 PM   #16
02 wrx sleeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02_Forester
Glad to hear all is going well. I may end up with the UniChip.

I'll probably stick with a cat. for emissions testing here in VA. What are your current list of mods?


as far as emissions goes if you have a catless up pipe but keep your down pipe and mid catted you'll still have 2 of your 3 cats. o would like to think that you would pas with that set up. a lot of wrx members do have that setup or they go completly catless
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:17 AM   #17
mjalex007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02 wrx sleeper
wow, that's great news, congrats on how well things are going. i have a few questions will the chip work on a auto turbo? also what is a safe amount of boost to run on our engines without getting into any kind of trouble? thanks.
Yes, it will work on your turbo. I've found that 13 PSI is about max for my car. Each time I've exceeded that, the engine shut down momentarily and I've thrown a CEL.
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:38 PM   #18
02 wrx sleeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjalex007
Yes, it will work on your turbo. I've found that 13 PSI is about max for my car. Each time I've exceeded that, the engine shut down momentarily and I've thrown a CEL.


Do you run a manual boost controller or an electronic. i would imagine it would be hard to set a manual at 13lbs with out going over considering the stock baja puts out 11.6lbs.

on a side note...... i'm not sure if i ever asked you yet but have you ran it down the 1/4 mile yet? what does a stock baja turbo auto and or 5 speed run if you know?
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