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Old 05-23-2006, 03:16 PM   #1
wrxin'
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Default EM choice help!

Ok, im looking at my build up i want to do here in the next few months, As it stands this will probably be my modifications list on my sti:

weisco pistons
custom GT35R install
TXS FMIC
PE850 injectors
walbro 255
DTEC-BC
Meth Injection

I talked to the Tuner/installer about this build and he was suggesting i get rid of my utec and go with a hydra. That i would probably be able to get alot more out of the hydra then the utec with a big turbo. I dont have any problem with going with the hydra if my setup will benifit from it. but if i can get just as good numbers with the utec i would like to not waist my money .

Sorry, i know i probably should have searched a bit more on this but figured it would be better to ask for my specific setup instead.

Thanks for any help or insite you guys can give me on this, i appreciate it.
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Old 05-23-2006, 03:35 PM   #2
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You probably could squeeze some extra power out of a hydra, call or e-mail Phil and see if he has a base map for a similar setup, and I'd say to go that route.

Nick
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:15 PM   #3
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The Hydra has the most support thus far for standalones, which is what I would suggest. And since you are so close to Phil, I think it is a no brainer to get it and let him tune it for you. BTW since you mention the meth kit, I will also mention (in case you hadn't seen it) that there is a Hydramist coming out really soon. Sounds like a great combo to me.

offset
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:30 PM   #4
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For rotated kit Hydra is the ONLY way to go. The UTEC would probably be fine with a good tune, but the Hydra has much more potential. Check out Element Tuning's site and read all of the things the Hydra is capable of. Plus with most rotated setups maxing out the MAF is not hard to do, with the Hydra you can ditch the MAF all together as you will be tuning for MAP. With the UTEC you are stuck with tuning with the MAF sensor, until they released the new firmware (what ever century that will be).

-Matt
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:06 AM   #5
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thanks guys!! helps making my decision that much easier .

Offset, thanks for the heads up on the hydramist

Matt, thats what my tuner was explaining to me as well. Thanks for the info!!
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Old 05-24-2006, 12:08 PM   #6
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Ehh... it's really not quite as cut and dry to me as the above posts.

The loss of OBD-II is not negligible for a daily driver street car for 10HP gain, and that's said without even considering a state with emissions testing. I suggest you don't dismiss this aspect so quickly.

If I were you, I would find people with UTECs and GT35 setups to determine what the limitation(s) were found to be and how they were solved.

PDXTuning has been making big power for 2 years now with UTEC + altered MAF setups. Tuning for MAF vs. MAP is a nitpicking argument that can be argued from both sides very well.

--Jeff, with a Hydra
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:48 PM   #7
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Yeah, I have only been tuning and running a UTEC in my Subaru's and customers cars for about 4 years so my comments wouldnt be considered experienced.

I did state that the UTEC isnt a bad choice, but there are limitations to it and you loose the smoothness of the transistion from open to closed loop fueling. If it were a choice between ECUTek and UTEC, then I would choose the UTEC. But between the UTEC and the Hydra it is a no brainer for me, Hydra all the way.

Personally tuning for absolute manifold pressure makes much more sense and there are no limitations since you can run a 3bar MAP with the Hydra which is plenty for any street car. Tuning with MAF you are using input voltage which has its limitations and with bigger turbo setups it is not difficult to max out the sensor. When going to a larger housing it can affect the idle and daily drivability. There are band-aid fixes to get around this but they are not ideal.

Even Ultimate Racing will tell you that their CAI for their rotated kit is only good for around 19psi and anything more you will likely max out the sensor. If you made an intake like theirs but larger in diameter from the sensor all the way to the turbo then it would give you more headroom on the MAF sensor. That would however, require custom fabrication as no one offers this.

Blow Through MAF requires quite a bit of tuning to make it work, though I have not tried the blow through setup with the UTEC. I have heard that getting a Blow Through MAF setup to work with the UTEC is a real pain though. I have personally tried Blow Through with ECUTek and it takes several hours to recalibrate the MAF sensor map and then tuning on top of that. With the amount of tuning I have done in the past at the shop, it takes ALOT out of you. Anyone who tunes cars for a living will agree with me on that. So, I had no desire to try and make the ECUTek work when the Hydra can solve 90% of the issues I am having with getting my setup dialed in. There were also a few others that went the same route I did with the blow through MAF, got it all calibrated everything looked good but then a few days later they were right back where they started. We have even talked with the guys at ECUTek in the UK and they said they have never heard of anyone running the MAF in the intercooler piping before, so they couldnt help us out.

I agree that the Hydra is not for everyone, if your running a basic setup or a stock location turbo setup then the Hydra is definitely not for you. But for those who are going with a rotated setup, built motor, ect. then I would have to strongly suggest a Hydra as it only makes sense. You will find there are alot of people out there who are budget racers looking for the cheapest way to make alot of power who will insist on running the least expensive Engine Management solution. Those are the cars I would not want to tune, been there done that......

-Matt
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Old 05-24-2006, 02:26 PM   #8
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The hydra can control avcs which the utec cannot and that helps out with spool up time especially on a big turbo. Also you can run a vent to atmosphere bov
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Old 05-24-2006, 02:33 PM   #9
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<Deleted lots of typing>

wrxin: I hope you do some homework. Good luck with your buildup.
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jblaine
<Deleted lots of typing>

wrxin: I hope you do some homework. Good luck with your buildup.
I am not trying to argue with you, I just wanted to be more clear since I guess I wasnt in my first post.

-Matt
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Old 05-24-2006, 05:14 PM   #11
wrxin'
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jblane - the state emissions do not bother me as much (ive dealt with them for my dakota with a built motor. pay my 120.00 a year an am done with it). I see you have a hyrda as well but seem not to be as fond of it as others???

I know i absolutely hate the hesitation that you get from the utec and the hydra would clear that up as well from what i hear .

thanks for the info guys, an anymore info please feel free to share. I wont be making a decision for a few months yet .
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Old 05-24-2006, 05:31 PM   #12
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I'm fond of my Hydra.

I just try to get people to carefully consider what it means to lose OBD-II and go to a standalone. For all of the nuisance codes it generates for enthusiasts, it is INCREDIBLY valuable to have. What, for instance, do you plan to do when your car starts tripping all over itself one day and you have no idea why? If you've got a plan, cool. If not, you should be considering it. I doubt your stock ECU's mapping is even going to start your car, and the codes aren't going to be sitting there for you to retrieve without causing them to happen again with the stock ECU swapped in somehow. Gonna just tow it into a local shop, start replacing parts and pray? Fair enough if you have that kind of time and money. I'm not judging, nor trying to scare you. But think through it all or you may be in for a rude awakening one day. The failsafes in the stock ECU are comprehensive, well-engineered, and extremely hardened.

The Hydra is an absolutely excellent standalone ECU for that small percentage of people who need to take things to that level. Judge if you're in that small percentage with care. If that's what you really need and not what your local tuner says you should get because it's pleasant to tune with for cars like yours, go for it!

I have not heard of any CL -> OL hesitation with the stock ECU and UTEC that cannot be tuned out and dealt with completely.
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:07 PM   #13
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I definitely agree with you on the fact that the stock ECU can sometimes give you clues as to what may be wrong with the car. For me, having worked on cars most of my life, I can pretty well diagnose a problem without checking codes because I know what things to look for and how to test for problems. I can't say that I have ever used the stock ECU to help diagnose any of the problems that I have ran into in the past with the LGT. There was a problem but it wasnt throwing a code for it, so I had to use my experience and knowledge in order to find the cause of the problem.

I also agree with you in that unless you either have a good amount of experience with working on cars and tuning or you just have alot of money to pay someone experienced to take care of problems then the Hydra is not for you.

I have yet to hear of anyone eliminating the cross over hesistation with the UTEC on the '04-'05 STi's yet, so that is news to me. The new firmware update is supposed to have a solution for the hesistation problem. I have yet to hear any more about the new firmware and wouldnt hold my breath that it will even be out this year.

-Matt
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:33 PM   #14
wrxin'
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I definately understand what your saying jeff. And the hesitation part, i had my utec tuned by jermaine at txs and he was unable to smoothe out the hesitation no matter what he tried. I is better then it was before the tune but still definatly still there. Ive already contemplated keeping the utec as backup just for that "situation". get a base tune just to run the car with on the utec. My tuner did not say it was impossible to get the utec to work, just suggested that i look at the hydra for the avcs control and better overall setup. Plus im close to phil and might even request him to come do the tune if possible when the car is done an ready.........like i said, a few months away so im doing my research now. But i like to hear both sides of things to weight out the "worth" of it.
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Old 05-26-2006, 01:19 PM   #15
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Hydra all the way
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:59 AM   #16
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If you're willing to spend the money, I'd recommend it. It seems the other problems related to the Hydra don't bother you.

I really feel Phil is one of the best tuners in the country, if not THE best. His support is fantastic and the Hydra is an awesome stand alone.

BTW, I'd ask Phil about his GT65 kit before you buy your GT35R.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:41 AM   #17
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Just want to chuck an example in here, because it's timely and happened to me, then I will let it go. Not indicative in any way of *the Hydra itself*, but of a lack of information:

Car's been fine. Zero problems ever like this below.

Drove 50 miles Saturday. Cruise, WOT pulls, steep long bridge, etc.

Sunday, I shift 2-3 slowly (around-town mode), accelerate at part throttle for a second or two (no boost even seen), and the engine falls flat on its face.

Not a 'hesitation'.

A few milliseconds after the cut-out in power, I hear a nice single 'clack' sound. Perhaps just something knocking on something else due to jerking the engine from load to zero load due to power cut out? Who knows.

I immediately lift off the gas partially to stop accelerating at least and I notice what I feel is the tachometer dropping WAY faster than it should be, then it catches again.

I look at my radar detector which is set to display voltage unless it's warning me. 13.6v. Fine.

I go out and datalog an hour later, trying my best to reproduce this weird event I know nothing about. No luck. Logs look perfectly fine.

Now I get to wonder and worry:

a) What happened
b) Why
c) When will it happen again
d) Where will I be when it happens
e) How fast will I be going when it happens
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Old 06-05-2006, 04:00 PM   #18
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Yep, the lack of EASY diagnostics will no longer exist once you go standalone. It definitely has it downsides for some.

-Matt
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaggyGT
Yep, the lack of EASY diagnostics will no longer exist once you go standalone. It definitely has it downsides for some.

-Matt
I agree but for many highly modified cars the lack of annoying CELs and misguided diagnostic procedures is a blessing Engines are simple all they need is fuel spark and air. Often fault codes for instance can show failures in certain cylinders but really it was a failure in another resulting in the "closed loop" system over fueling causing faults in the good cylinders. I've had MAF codes come up that werenít related to a bad MAF at all but a bad front 02 sensor. Iíve spent way too much time in the past chasing OEM ECU ghosts.

Proper maintenance and basic diagnostic procedure usually wins out when you own a stand-alone EMS. Race teams etc choose stand-alone systems for complete control over engine parameters and I understand this can get some into trouble. Choose an EMS that suites your modification path and will support your modifications effectively and safely with proper tuning technique. Account for tuning whatever it may end up costing into your overall budget. Last but not least put a premium on technical support if you encounter problems you can speak with someone who not only specifically understands your EMS but how it relates to your specific vehicle.

Thanks,
Phil
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:40 PM   #20
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Oh yeah I am with you Phil. As I said before I prefer to use my own techniques and skills to diagnose any problems. If you have alot of experience with working on cars and diagnosing problems then doing without the OBDII system is not a problem.

I will say that a Hydra is NOT for someone who doesnt work on their own car. If you take your car to a shop and say here is my money get me XXX amount of horsepower and its a daily driver then the Hydra is probably not for you, unless its a dedicated track car. I would say the Hydra is better suited for those who are experienced mechanics, tuners, or someone who has some background with tuning cars.

-Matt
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