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Old 07-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
skep18
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Default Reliability: OTS Stage2 vs. Custom Tune

Hi all. I DID search, but didn't really find anything helpful to my question. For all the people waiting to flame me...

1) sorry if I didn't type the right words in to get the post you're going to link below
2) I know custom tunes > OTS, but does this translate to reliability?

I drive a 05 WRX with the Cobb Stage 2 OTS map with a TurboXS TBE (EDIT: With a high flow cat). I've been running it for about a year. My car is about at 75k miles.

Locally (I live in the South) we don't have a huge Subaru community. However, our small community has managed to get a Denver, CO tuner who has plenty of experience and his own business doing this, to come down and do a group tune. I plan on jumping in on this and am getting the tune and a EBCS to accomodate the changes in boost.

My question is should I be more afraid in terms of reliability now that I may be putting down more power? Generally speaking, are OTS tunes worse on reliability than custom tunes, despite power gains?

Saying this, should I ask for a more conservative tune (though I am looking for conservative anyways) specifically? I am mainly looking for the faster spool and maybe a little more power, but can't risk a motor failure until next year [when I graduate college].

Thanks for any insightful input or testimonials.
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Last edited by skep18; 07-12-2011 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:43 PM   #2
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I think the general consensus it that the custom tunes are safer... BUT, in my opinion the more you push an engine the more reliability can/could suffer. So maybe an OTS tune can actually be "safer"... JMO
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:19 PM   #3
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Hey skep18, its hebs from msioc. I saw you asking about this in the shoutbox earlier and I answered you but I think you are gone. For some reason I decided to check out the cobb section tonight and saw your post so here is my response.

OTS maps are built to have some conservatism but they are somewhat of a shot in the dark. Things vary from car to car, such as maf scalings (which controls how accurate your afr's are), and wastegate duty cycles (which controls how accurate your boost is). I have run some absolutely amazing base/ots maps but not a single one was %100 perfect for my car "off the shelf". The meat of the map is what the tuner is telling the car to do (how much timing to run, how much boost to run, how much fuel to run, etc...). But other tables usually need tweaking to get the car to do exactly what the car is supposed to do.

When you get a custom tune, not only will the car do exactly what the tuner designed the rom to do, but he can be more aggressive because of it. With most OTS maps, they have to build in some conservatism to make it work for the majority. However this usually means uber rich afr's which can foul plugs and sensors, or lower boost and timing which makes you slow

Also, in the first post you forgot to mention who is coming from CO to tune your car. We are having Eric Minehart from http://www.torquedperformance.com fly in for a group tune. I believe that anyone who has heard of Eric would agree that $250 for him to fly half way accross the US to tune your car, and future support, is a pretty damn good deal.

Last edited by D0nets; 07-12-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:52 PM   #4
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Having closely examined many of the Cobb OTS maps, I can tell you right now that in terms of actual fuel and timing tables it is going to be as safe or safer than most custom tunes. Cobb barely touches the rich fuel AFR targets. On most maps they're basically stock, which means plenty rich provided that you followed the instructions and used a catted exhaust and stock intake. The timing isn't that aggressive but fuel quality can vary some so if you're really worried a custom tune can retard the timing in a few areas to make it safer.

The MAF scaling will be fine if you are using the stock intake as the instructions require. The wastegate duty cycle requirements will vary a little bit because everybody is at a different altitude or is using a somewhat different exhaust.

A lot of custom tunes are going to run some combination of more boost, more timing, and less/leaner fuel. All those decrease safety margin to some extent, but they create more power over the OTS maps. An OTS map could be safer if there were some outstanding issue that needed to be fixed with the in the first place, like you ignored the instructions and ran a catless exhaust.

Bottom line: OTS map on the proper fuel, with catted exhaust and stock intake, will usually push the engine less than a custom tune designed to extract more power.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:01 PM   #5
skep18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arghx7 View Post
like you ignored the instructions and ran a catless exhaust.
A) I have a high cat exhaust....

B) Thanks D0nets, I appreciate the input. Facts remain, in a year, this car may be a garage car, so while reliability is important, it may very well be that this car becomes a track-only car... I shall see you on MSIOC and on tune/track day!

Thanks for the input and more responses!

EDIT: I realized I didn't say catted on this forum. Sorry arghx7 for lack of clarity... I do have a cat. Edits will be made.

Last edited by skep18; 07-12-2011 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skep18 View Post
1) sorry if I didn't type the right words in to get the post you're going to link below
Sorry, I have nothing useful to add, but this made me .
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:27 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for your input! The OTS maps are very reliable and do not post any risk factor above a protune. The OTS maps are much more on the conservative side of things and are designed to work as reliable daily driver performance maps. There are some cases where we would suggest getting a Protune, for things like racing, HEAVY track usage or modifications that fall outside of what the maps are meant to be used for. This is most commonly due to intakes, catless exhaust systems or other tune-altering modifications.

To directly answer your question, if used as directed, the OTS mapping is perfectly safe for your performance and daily driven Subaru.

Travis
COBB Tuning
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:04 PM   #8
GeneralTsou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post
Thank you everyone for your input! The OTS maps are very reliable and do not post any risk factor above a protune. The OTS maps are much more on the conservative side of things and are designed to work as reliable daily driver performance maps. There are some cases where we would suggest getting a Protune, for things like racing, HEAVY track usage or modifications that fall outside of what the maps are meant to be used for. This is most commonly due to intakes, catless exhaust systems or other tune-altering modifications.

To directly answer your question, if used as directed, the OTS mapping is perfectly safe for your performance and daily driven Subaru.

Travis
COBB Tuning
I have a 2010 STI SE with turboback w/ catted dp and AEM CAI. I am running the Stg2+AEM 93oct OTS map. Will I gain anything from a protune? Do I have anything to be concerned about?
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:10 PM   #9
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I don't think there's anything to worry about, but it seems like there's always something to be gained from a protune.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:30 PM   #10
GeneralTsou
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I don't question whether you can gain power, but rather can you do so WITHOUT sacrificing reliability
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanrc View Post
I don't think there's anything to worry about, but it seems like there's always something to be gained from a protune.
Since the OTS maps are kinda one size fits all, they are dialed back compared to a protune in some sense. The OTS maps are not the razor's edge of performance. That said, your biggest limiting factor is the turbo and the fuel injectors/pump. You can only dump so much fuel and air into the engine with the equipment you have. That said, most protunes will make another 10-20hp over the OTS maps and probably that much torque, generally speaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneralTsou View Post
I don't question whether you can gain power, but rather can you do so WITHOUT sacrificing reliability
I have never seen a properly tuned car on a stock turbo be less reliable than the stock car. That said, it all depends on how you drive. I have had a customer that was able to burn through clutches, motors and turbos on his stage2 STI on a fairly regular basis because he just drove the living snot out of it. But I would say that the same would be true for the car even without a tune! I also have customers that drive hard eveyrday on OTS tunes, keep up with the maintenance and have years of good hard driving. So, I would say that reliability OTS to Protune is pretty similar given an owner that maintains and takes car of their car.

Travis
COBB Tuning
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:59 PM   #12
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I would say get a protune only because that tune will be more suited 2 ur car.. In aspects that every car is a little different in its own unique way... Its like gettin say a retainer for ur mouth it s molded to fit ur mouth and ur mouth ONLY
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post
Since the OTS maps are kinda one size fits all, they are dialed back compared to a protune in some sense. The OTS maps are not the razor's edge of performance. That said, your biggest limiting factor is the turbo and the fuel injectors/pump. You can only dump so much fuel and air into the engine with the equipment you have. That said, most protunes will make another 10-20hp over the OTS maps and probably that much torque, generally speaking.



I have never seen a properly tuned car on a stock turbo be less reliable than the stock car. That said, it all depends on how you drive. I have had a customer that was able to burn through clutches, motors and turbos on his stage2 STI on a fairly regular basis because he just drove the living snot out of it. But I would say that the same would be true for the car even without a tune! I also have customers that drive hard eveyrday on OTS tunes, keep up with the maintenance and have years of good hard driving. So, I would say that reliability OTS to Protune is pretty similar given an owner that maintains and takes car of their car.

Travis
COBB Tuning
I would hate to lose the "boost select" feature. Is it difficult for a tuner to create a tune/map that allows me to retain the boost select?
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:10 PM   #14
skrewbaru02
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Question cobb accessport

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post
Thank you everyone for your input! The OTS maps are very reliable and do not post any risk factor above a protune. The OTS maps are much more on the conservative side of things and are designed to work as reliable daily driver performance maps. There are some cases where we would suggest getting a Protune, for things like racing, HEAVY track usage or modifications that fall outside of what the maps are meant to be used for. This is most commonly due to intakes, catless exhaust systems or other tune-altering modifications.

To directly answer your question, if used as directed, the OTS mapping is perfectly safe for your performance and daily driven Subaru.

Travis
COBB Tuning
My car is pretty modified, and already has a protune. I was looking into getting an accessport though. Do they make one that has maps allowing the car to use the modifications to their potential? The car is an 02 bugeye with vf39 turbo, BOV(50/50), sti pink injectors, walbro 255 fuel pump, full exhaust (up-pipe/downpipe), intake, and clutch upgrade. As of right now it runs 17psi and supposedly puts down about 270whp, is there a map that will get me anywhere close to that?
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:18 PM   #15
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i was running the cobb ots hwg stage 2 map on my car and it was knocking. even the plain stage 2 ots cobb map was knocking when it was hotter out.

took the cobb downpipe off and flashed back to stage 1 ots and not a single knock event.

not all ots tunes are created equal. log, log, log! it is your friend.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:40 AM   #16
GeneralTsou
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I can log but I don't know what to look for. total newb I know
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:43 PM   #17
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everyone will tell you something different. for knock, you should log feedback knock, fine learning knock, and dynamic advance multiplier (DAM). i'm not an expert on this stuff so take the following with a grain of salt:

feedback knock- instantaneous knock picked up by your knock sensor
fine learning knock- ecu learned from previous knock events and stores these values to pull timing at the same load/rpm. this will prevent feedback knock which is why you need to log both!
dam- should be 1 on dbw throttle cars. think this is a way the ecu scales timing, possibly across all rpm/load conditions? this is thought of as a general way to determine engine health with respect to knock.

gosh, i sound like a noob here too, but i promise i've been playing with this stuff for a while.

i usually throw in boost, boost target, intake air temp, MAF, and probably a couple other things i'm forgetting.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skrewbaru02 View Post
My car is pretty modified, and already has a protune. I was looking into getting an accessport though. Do they make one that has maps allowing the car to use the modifications to their potential? The car is an 02 bugeye with vf39 turbo, BOV(50/50), sti pink injectors, walbro 255 fuel pump, full exhaust (up-pipe/downpipe), intake, and clutch upgrade. As of right now it runs 17psi and supposedly puts down about 270whp, is there a map that will get me anywhere close to that?
We do have a map for just those mods for a bugeye WRX. That said, a ProTune will usually net you a bit more midrange hp and torque, but we do have an OTS map that will work with your mods on your car exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimbus09 View Post
i was running the cobb ots hwg stage 2 map on my car and it was knocking. even the plain stage 2 ots cobb map was knocking when it was hotter out.

took the cobb downpipe off and flashed back to stage 1 ots and not a single knock event.

not all ots tunes are created equal. log, log, log! it is your friend.
It's hard to say why a car will knock without seeing logs and other factors like the overall health of the vehicle/sensors etc. For every vehicle that has the kinds of issues you are describing there are many more that don't.

That said, logging is always a good idea, it can tell us how well, or not, a car is running. We use it every day to diagnose issues or even to put fears to rest!

Travis
COBB Tuning
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:15 PM   #19
Nimbus09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post

It's hard to say why a car will knock without seeing logs and other factors like the overall health of the vehicle/sensors etc. For every vehicle that has the kinds of issues you are describing there are many more that don't.

That said, logging is always a good idea, it can tell us how well, or not, a car is running. We use it every day to diagnose issues or even to put fears to rest!

Travis
COBB Tuning
And I do understand this. I know you guys are a quality company. I naively think that since the difference between stage 1 and stage 2 on 09+ wrx's is so small, Tim may have been too aggressive with the timing on stage 2 probably even against his will. After all, you guys are in the business to sell downpipes among other things. This is purely speculation and I would have to talk to him about it and show him the logs I have. In the end... "For every vehicle that has the kinds of issues you are describing there are many more that don't" is absolutely correct and I might just be one of those stray data points.
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