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Old 03-06-2013, 06:09 PM   #1
Bugeye386
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Default E85 and 93oct map switching

I am looking to make some more power and live in the midwest where E85 is readily available. I am wondering if there is a way besides using the Cobb AP to switch maps between 93 and E85? I have an 06 wrx with VF39, TBE, STI Tmic, GM BCS. I have an opensource tune right now. I have a tuner lined up and he can do either opensource or AP tuning. I would just like to avoid paying $500 plus dollars for the AP when all I would use it for would be to switch maps occasionally. Could I just get a cheap laptop and a tactrix cable and keep both maps on the computer and use that to switch? Any ideas welcome

On a completely unrelated note, I am still a little bit on the fence about whether to go E85 or to get a new turbo INSTEAD. Thinking 18g xt or something like that. I love how hard the torque hits with the 39 which is why I am leaning to E85 but still not 100% sure. Too much headache switching fuels? This is a DD car. Again, ideas/comments welcome and appreciated.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:22 PM   #2
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Could I just get a cheap laptop and a tactrix cable and keep both maps on the computer and use that to switch?
Yes..
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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Would most tuners let you keep their maps on a comp like that? Or do they typically not do that? I don't want to ask him if he will if it's something that tuners never do, that's all.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:29 PM   #4
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I don't see why not. Some tuners will lock the maps so you can't edit them, but you should still be able to write them to the ECU.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
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Switching fuels, to do it right, is not super fast. Some people say just run the tank until you get close to stalling but you risk damaging fuel pumps. I have a y-fitting in the engine bay that helps with the change over but then you still need to run the car for a full tank on the new fuel running waste-gate boost.

That is what I do. So, yeah, you can switch fuels but it is not like switching just the map. I am sure someone will say 'non-sense, just hit empty, refill, reflash and go.' But my wallet does not agree with such "convince" of changing fuels.

Have you looked at many 18g type turbo dyno graphs to see how the torque comes on? You might be happy with that on pump fuel and save yourself the trouble of changing fuels.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #6
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Yeah I have looked at some of them. They look similar but I read a few reviews and some specifically saying they missed the "neck snapping spool" of the vf 39 so I'm not sure what to do really haha. Wish I could ride in one but there aren't a lot of 06 or 07 wrx running the 18g xt
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:34 AM   #7
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Yeah I have looked at some of them. They look similar but I read a few reviews and some specifically saying they missed the "neck snapping spool" of the vf 39 so I'm not sure what to do really haha. Wish I could ride in one but there aren't a lot of 06 or 07 wrx running the 18g xt
I hear ya, I like that feeling too. But now with a car that is making good whp, too, that sensation of the car just pulling and pulling is kinda cool, too.

Just be honest with yourself about the whole fueling thing. I am running E85 all the time now b/c it was too much of a pain to change for winter....and I like the extra power. but that's just me.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:45 AM   #8
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They're working on and off over on the RR forums to make a patch that allows the use of an E sensor. Thats going to be the ticket once its done because once you tune it correctly you'll be able to put anything from straight gas to e98 and any ratio in between and have the car run perfectly.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #9
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They're working on and off over on the RR forums to make a patch that allows the use of an E sensor. Thats going to be the ticket once its done because once you tune it correctly you'll be able to put anything from straight gas to e98 and any ratio in between and have the car run perfectly.
Yesss. Finally a real flex fuel vehicle!!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:02 AM   #10
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When I go e85, I won't be changing back to my oct93 tune unless all the e85 distributors close down. Switching between the two sounds like such a pain...
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:28 AM   #11
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500$ for the AP....or $xxx for a laptop + $100 bucks for a tactrix cable. Then another $100 for a power inverter to make sure the laptop always has a charge. In the end, it'll be so much more worth it just to get the accessport. I got my accessport used for $400 off the forums.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:37 AM   #12
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500$ for the AP....or $xxx for a laptop + $100 bucks for a tactrix cable. Then another $100 for a power inverter to make sure the laptop always has a charge. In the end, it'll be so much more worth it just to get the accessport. I got my accessport used for $400 off the forums.
Well he already has the tactrix, he can run some <$100 pos laptop off of craigslist (or a free one from some business that doesnt want to pay the hazardous waste fee), and 100 for an inverter.

*Or maybe he doesnt have the cable. I normally just assume people with open source tunes have tuned themselves.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:39 AM   #13
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500$ for the AP....or $xxx for a laptop + $100 bucks for a tactrix cable. Then another $100 for a power inverter to make sure the laptop always has a charge. In the end, it'll be so much more worth it just to get the accessport. I got my accessport used for $400 off the forums.
True. The other thing is I have to pay for two tunes as well with e85. I wouldn't be switching maps often just in an emergency when I couldn't fine E or if I was doing a road trip and didnt want to always have to find E on the way. For those of you running E all the time is it a hassle to always get it? There is a Bp right by my house but they don't have e, there are a number of them around just not quite as conveniet
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:10 AM   #14
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500$ for the AP....or $xxx for a laptop + $100 bucks for a tactrix cable. Then another $100 for a power inverter to make sure the laptop always has a charge. In the end, it'll be so much more worth it just to get the accessport. I got my accessport used for $400 off the forums.
Yes, $500 for a paperweight that sits in your glove box and does NOTHING except for the two times a year you need to update your tune

or

$100 for a Tactrix that he probably already has, $30 for a power inverter if he wants to do more than 6 hours of logging at a time, and <$300 for a netbook that can do ANYTHING HE WANTS with during those 6 months between flashes. The netbook also lets him adjust the tune and reflash it whenever, wherever, and it can also log from a wideband. The AP can do none of those things.

Quite the decision indeed...
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:12 AM   #15
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For those of you running E all the time is it a hassle to always get it?
It doesn't matter what it's like for us, because you don't live where we do. You need to find your nearby E85 stations and decide for yourself if they're worth the drive every ~200-250 miles.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:59 AM   #16
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Any comments on e85 vs adding meth?
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:28 PM   #17
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Here's a comment... research. It's been discussed before.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:19 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by the suicidal eggroll View Post
Yes, $500 for a paperweight that sits in your glove box and does NOTHING except for the two times a year you need to update your tune

or

$100 for a Tactrix that he probably already has, $30 for a power inverter if he wants to do more than 6 hours of logging at a time, and <$300 for a netbook that can do ANYTHING HE WANTS with during those 6 months between flashes. The netbook also lets him adjust the tune and reflash it whenever, wherever, and it can also log from a wideband. The AP can do none of those things.

Quite the decision indeed...
hmm, that's one way to look at it. Not sure why you got so pissed. Maybe time for some cranberry juice.

Quote:
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Any comments on e85 vs adding meth?
OP, personally I find myself flashing back and fourth maps alot. If I want to take my car on a longer drive, and can't find any e85, I just pull out my "paper weight" without any hardships, and back in the locked glovebox it goes.
I have my AP because I had planned on switching to Cobb's SD when I first got it, so it was practical for me, and the switching of the maps back and fourth. I don't recommend meth unless its DPI, or the Aquamist hfs5 or hfs6 with the safety.

Meth vs. e85 has some advantages, like the fuel system doesn't have to be so overkill, and the gas mileage is alot better. But if its not direct port, it doesn't mix and atomize with the intake charge as well, giving certain cylinders "hot spots"

And the obvious, if the pump fails while in boost, there goes the motor.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:37 PM   #19
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hmm, that's one way to look at it. Not sure why you got so pissed. Maybe time for some cranberry juice.
Not pissed, I just don't like the AP. I've owned two APs, both are/were paperweights and wastes of money. You'd think I would have learned something after the first one, but I figured that in 5 years maybe Cobb would have improved the AP so it didn't suck as bad...but they didn't.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #20
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They're working on and off over on the RR forums to make a patch that allows the use of an E sensor. Thats going to be the ticket once its done because once you tune it correctly you'll be able to put anything from straight gas to e98 and any ratio in between and have the car run perfectly.
Such a thing would make me very very happy!
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:22 PM   #21
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Not pissed, I just don't like the AP. I've owned two APs, both are/were paperweights and wastes of money. You'd think I would have learned something after the first one, but I figured that in 5 years maybe Cobb would have improved the AP so it didn't suck as bad...but they didn't.
I use mine quite a bit for data logging and watching sensor data. I have a cell phone holder mounted to my driver's side dash vent and it makes for a handy little boost guage and watching for knock, fuel trims, etc., etc. I use to ride around with a laptop in my passenger's seat too, but that is much more cumbersome to me than unplugging the AP and putting it in the armrest/glovebox. It is dangerous on the road as well. To each his own I suppose.

The only drawback I have found with the AP is not having the road tuneability, but with a Tactrix and AT Race you get that too. How much road tuning do you REALLY need to do? Not a lot I hope!

Also, any suggesting that everyone needs to be open source is just plain unwise, as 90% of us out here have no business road tweaking maps to begin with. Screwing with otherwise good tunes kills cars. In short, the AP has a very valuable function for those that want more juice, but don't want/need to be jacking with boost tables and such. The vast majority of people that think they are DIY tuners are usually the ones blowing up their cars...
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:54 PM   #22
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Also, any suggesting that everyone needs to be open source is just plain unwise, as 90% of us out here have no business road tweaking maps to begin with. Screwing with otherwise good tunes kills cars. In short, the AP has a very valuable function for those that want more juice, but don't want/need to be jacking with boost tables and such. The vast majority of people that think they are DIY tuners are usually the ones blowing up their cars...
Why does everybody with an AP think that OS = DIY Tuning? There is no more obligation to tune the car yourself with OS than with an AP. Just another one of the many misconceptions most AP users have about OS...
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:19 PM   #23
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Just close this thread its pointless. OP needs to do some damn research and figure this out for himself or better yet ask his tuner.

Figure out your damn budget what your goals are and go ask your tuner.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:42 PM   #24
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Why does everybody with an AP think that OS = DIY Tuning? There is no more obligation to tune the car yourself with OS than with an AP. Just another one of the many misconceptions most AP users have about OS...
I guess I was not clear, as I don't have that misconception at all. Put simply: An e-tune is the only relatively non-expensive solution (that I have found) for non DIY applications, but even those are $200 for a "good" one. A single-pro tune can a pay for an AP. Granted a pro-tune is better suited for an individual car than a Cobb OTS map. For me and many others it is just fine, as I don't and never will try to make my econobox a race car. Most tuners can tune through an AP now anyway. Not much to argue about over a couple hundred dollars worth of differential costs on a personal preference in hardware.

In closing, I just love all the sensor data, maps, and other gadgets that the AP has and I don't have to ride around with a laptop in the passenger's seat when I go for a long ride. You may be the one with many misconceptions about most AP users...

Generalizations about groups of people and all that stuff...
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #25
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I've had both open source and cobb ap. Cobb ap v1 sucked. Cobb ap v2 is a lot better and I'm glad I got it over my open source tune. To each his own whether the cobb ap is worth $500 or not.
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