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Old 06-30-2006, 01:22 AM   #1
FletchMY98
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 6395
Join Date: May 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: New Baltimore, NY, USA
Vehicle:
2006 WRX STI
Steel Grey Metallic

Default Noob Impressions/Experience with AP - Long

Well I guess to start, my goals are fairly modest, I'm really just looking for faster spool and better drivability. The only engine related mods that I have are a K&N intake and ScoobySport axle back.

Prelude: Annoying quirks/characteristics that drive me crazy.

1) Idle: I would notice now and then that when sitting at a red-light I could hear and feel the engine skipping. It wouldn't do this on a regular basis and I could never correlate any conditions or driving patterns that would cause it. I had it at the stealership and they couldn't find anything wrong, but did note they witnessed the engine skip. I notice the skip almost on a daily basis.

2) Lag: Coming from a nicely modified 98 2.5 RS that was very responsive and had lots of torque, the STI was a bit of a shock. The lack of low end power took a while to get used to. I was used to being able to mash the throttle regardless of RPM and have the engine pull hard. While the STI is a beast above 3000 RPM, below is just a abysmal. The transition from no boost to boost in my opinion is quite harsh. While the "kick in the ass" feeling you get is nice at first, loses its initial wow factor quite rapidly.

3) Drivability: I'm not a number whore and think the stock HP & torque from the STI are quite respectable. A decent stock suspension and great brakes make a nimble/agile performer. The engine, while being relatively smooth and powerful, definitely has its quirks. Partial throttle/boost situations seem to never feel quite right. My car is a daily driver with mixed city and highway driving. I find an annoying level of unpredictability in partial boost situations. Sometimes the engine just pulls away nice a smooth, other times if feels like its hunting and just can't find the power. I find myself in varied driving conditions always choosing a lower gear to keep the RPM levels higher, which seems to help.

AccessPORT: I received my AccessPORT on Monday and, of course, couldn't wait to get home from work and flash my ECU. While being in the IT field, operations of this sort always make me nervous as I'm keenly aware of what happens when things go wrong. Here are some tips/suggestions, please feel free to provide constructive feedback:

1) Voltage: I have a Braille battery and was concerned about voltage drop over the course of the flash. I took the precaution of connecting a battery charger on its lowest setting to keep voltage up where it should be. I have a high frequency computer controlled charger that outputs a very constant charge. I would be somewhat hesitant about using an older low frequency pulse type charger.

2) Accessories: Make sure you have everything turned off. Vent fan, radio, interior lights, trunk light, headlights, etc. I also recommend rolling down your windows and commencing the flash process from outside the car.

3) Flashing: The diagnostic port plug has no locks or latches to hold it in place and accidentally pulling it out during the flash process could be catastrophic. I plugged everything in and stood outside of the car for the actual flash. You don't want any interruptions to the cables while the flash in progress. Considering a flash can take upwards of 30 minutes, the urge to move around or fiddle with things is just too great. Reaching to answer a cell phone or open the glove box, etc. could leave you with a dead ECU.

Post reflash impressions: (Stage 1 93 v110) Well its Thursday and I've only been driving the car since Tuesday AM and already love the results. Random idle problems are gone, boost comes on sooner and smoother and partial throttle/boost is very consistent. The overall performance of the car has been refined and improved. I have no idea why it didn't come like this in the first place. If your expecting a huge gain in HP that will send your butt dyno reeling, your going to be disappointed. The gains in HP and torque are modest, but definitely noticeable. The real benefit lies in the greatly improved overall performance of the engine. Power delivery comes earlier, smoother, more linear and easier to modulate. Top gear highway acceleration no longer surges but rather pulls nice and smooth. No boost to boost transition is much smoother, which results in a care that's much easier to drive in stop and go traffic. The added low end responsiveness is also a great benefit in emergency situations when a down shift just isn't possible.

I'll try to update this thread as my impression/opinions change as I continue to gain experience with the AccessPORT. Many thanks to Cobb for all their efforts and expertise.

*** Update ***

So I've been driving on the Stage 1 reflash for a couple of weeks now. All I can say is that the car should run like this from the factory. The engine runs smoother, boost builds faster, everyday driveability is way better. Like previously stated, the biggest improvement in my opinion is in partial throttle/partial boost situations. This is very nice in stop and go city driving and heavy highway traffic. It quickly becomes a great improvement when on a back road romp. Throttle adjustments while exiting the apex are much easier to modulate. Prior it seemed like the boost was either on or off. Now boost is comes on earlier, smoother and has a more refined output. My right foot apprehension when apexing or leaving the apex of a corner is gone. Prior I was always a little "gun shy" about how hard/fast boost was going to kick in and found myself not driving thru and out of turns like I used to.

I have a Cobb turbo back exhaust coming and will be flashing to stage 2 this coming weekend. Depending on how that works out, this may be my last update to this thread. Hopefully some of your have found the information useful. Thanx for looking.

Regards,
Chris
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Last edited by FletchMY98; 07-12-2006 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Updated Information
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:59 AM   #2
IIdiceII
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Location: New York
Default

id say get a protune and you will love it.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:28 AM   #3
Picard
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Member#: 100204
Join Date: Nov 2005
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Vehicle:
2006 STI (retired)
WRB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FletchMY98

I'll try to update this thread as my impression/opinions change as I continue to gain experience with the AccessPORT.
I'm looking forward to reading more
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:36 AM   #4
FletchMY98
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 6395
Join Date: May 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: New Baltimore, NY, USA
Vehicle:
2006 WRX STI
Steel Grey Metallic

Default

dice,

I plan on getting a Cobb DP in the near future. After that's installed I'll definitely look into getting it pro-tuned.

Chris
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:58 AM   #5
jdgrimm
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02- 2.5 Hybrid
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Picard
I'm looking forward to reading more

this stinks of facetiousness..

and i love it.
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:02 PM   #6
Freon
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Member#: 88322
Join Date: Jun 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Vehicle:
2009 BMW 135i

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FletchMY98
1) Idle:
I'm amazed idle is different at all. There is little reason for Cobb to mess with idle on a stock turbo, stock intake, stock injector car. You'd have to ask Cobb, but I doubt they touch idle. I wonder if this is in your head, or just a result of differeing weather conditions. It seems the car takes some time to adjust to humidity differences. Also, like many cars, when not warmed up it suffers from a bit of hesitation.

Yes, the idle sometimes sounds like it skips or is going to die. It's just the sound. The feel is probably due to stiffer engine mounts on the STI than typical cars.
Quote:
2) Lag: Coming from a nicely modified 98 2.5 RS that was very responsive and had lots of torque, the STI was a bit of a shock. The lack of low end power took a while to get used to. I was used to being able to mash the throttle regardless of RPM and have the engine pull hard. While the STI is a beast above 3000 RPM, below is just a abysmal. The transition from no boost to boost in my opinion is quite harsh. While the "kick in the ass" feeling you get is nice at first, loses its initial wow factor quite rapidly.
It's a 4 cylinder turbo. Yeah, keep it in the proper rev range. It comes with a 6 speed standard for a reason.

Though on the highway at 65mph+ in 6th gear you should still be able to smash it and the car will move. Just not nearly as much as if you downshift to 4th.

Quote:
3) Drivability: I'm not a number whore and think the stock HP & torque from the STI are quite respectable. A decent stock suspension and great brakes make a nimble/agile performer. The engine, while being relatively smooth and powerful, definitely has its quirks. Partial throttle/boost situations seem to never feel quite right. My car is a daily driver with mixed city and highway driving. I find an annoying level of unpredictability in partial boost situations. Sometimes the engine just pulls away nice a smooth, other times if feels like its hunting and just can't find the power. I find myself in varied driving conditions always choosing a lower gear to keep the RPM levels higher, which seems to help.
Maybe spend some time with a tuner and get a road tune? The car can be tuned to drive nicely, short of maybe some drivetrain clunking/slack in traffic in 1st and 2nd gear ~5-10mph.
Quote:
3) Flashing: The diagnostic port plug has no locks or latches to hold it in place and accidentally pulling it out during the flash process could be catastrophic.
The connector should fit very snuggly into the OBD port. It shouldn't feel like a bump will cause it to pop out. I dunno, never been nervous myself.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:39 PM   #7
Picard
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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2006 STI (retired)
WRB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdgrimm
this stinks of facetiousness..

and i love it.
I was not being facetious at all. I'm not ready to get an AP just yet, but when I do get enough cash that's what I want. Reading other people's impressions of it allows me to enjoy it vicariously .
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:53 PM   #8
jdgrimm
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02- 2.5 Hybrid
GrimmSpeed

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Picard
I was not being facetious at all. I'm not ready to get an AP just yet, but when I do get enough cash that's what I want. Reading other people's impressions of it allows me to enjoy it vicariously .

lol, ok.

it still gave me a good laugh.
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:02 PM   #9
Master2192
RIP 10/12/83 to 02/10/08
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 83254
Join Date: Mar 2005
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Roy, Washington
Vehicle:
98 2.5 RS
04 WRX

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FletchMY98
1) Idle

2) Lag

Post reflash impressions: (Stage 1 93 v110) Well its Thursday and I've only been driving the car since Tuesday AM and already love the results. Random idle problems are gone, boost comes on sooner and smoother and partial throttle/boost is very consistent. The overall performance of the car has been refined and improved. I have no idea why it didn't come like this in the first place.
1. I too have noticed a better idle on the 04 WRX after going stage 1, no change on stage 2. The biggest difference? Car starts on the first crank when cold, before this it would always start on 2nd or 3rd crank. After its warmed up though its back to its normal 2-3 crank start ups. But it starts up so much more confidently now

2. You think lag was bad on a STI? The 04 WRX was TERRIBLE. Its my girlfriends car but I hated driving it, and I own a 98 RS. After gutting the uppipe, and putting a full TBE on it, lag is almost nothing. It is actually a pleasure to drive now.

You are right, these cars should have come this way from the factory. The Accesport makes a huge difference. Recently made a trip to eastern washington with the Economy map loaded. Slightly over 27mpg with a cooler in the back and lots of mountain climbing. The AccessPort is a much better system than the UTEC IMO, because the accessport fully tunes the ECU which enables you to get better fuel mileage and power. We've noticed 2-3mpg better in the city as well. And since most of my g/fs driving is in the city, it will pay for itself in a couple of months.
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