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Old 08-22-2006, 03:31 PM   #1
Back Road Runner
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 60082
Join Date: Apr 2004
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minnesota
Vehicle:
2004 Forester STI
Silver

Thumbs up Just got my I-Speed reflash for my ol' Forester

I have to give this product a nice thumps up.

I've owned a couple Foresters in the last two and a half years. They always seemed unrefined and poorly tuned. You could tell there was more power there that just wasn't being output. It had odd, very noticable points in the rpm band where it would switch settings. Sudden changes in throttle seemed to confuse the computer. The last half of the gas petal range seemed somewhat uselss and actually letting off the throttle to a specific point would actually provide a gain in power. The tuning always felt like a mess. I'm sure they try to be conservative to some extent, but I've owned quite a few older cars and test drove several dozen of the latest cars available in the sub $20K price range over the last couple years, excluding Kia, Hyundai, and Suzuki cause they scare me. Subaru always seemed behind the rest in refinement of their engine management.

I have long been interested in I-Speed's reflash since it was introduced around a year ago(maybe a little longer). They were going to have two buy options:
Option 1 - you send in your ECU, they test, flash, and send back, $350 + shipping charged to you
Option 2 - they send you a flashed ECU for your car, charge $350 + shipping + core charge for your old ECU(maybe $300 or so), and you get refunded the core charge when they receive your old, stock ECU.

I wanted Option 2 as I didn't have to go out and buy a second ECU and I would have no down time if I didn't. It never came, so recently I buckled down got a second ECU for cheap and sent mine in. It's not the route I wanted to go, but I still end up with a flashed ECU and a happy man.

For those of you considering a little bit or retuning or just plain find your stock configuration annoying, this is a wonderful reflash.
Pros:
-smooth, refined powerband.

The odd switching between Ail/Fuel modes are pretty much unexistant.

-slight gain in power overall.

It's nothing vast, there is a tad more power that just seems to exist, from idle on up. It's just a good, efficient air/fuel tune that's smooth and responsive all the way up. The result is more power. Think of it as unlocking that little bit of oomph that you always knew was there. Bottom end seems to get the most benifit as power is right there. There is still a slight gain of power around 3k rpm, but it's no longer as profound. As well, top end extends out a little bit further, feeling relatively strong up past 6k while tappering off slightly. You don't have that big leap at 3k and quick drop above 5500 rpm, just smoother and flatter all around.

-throttle response and positioning is more accurate and progressive.

Throttle behavior just feels more "correct" Throttle positioning in relation to power gain is actually smooth and prorgressive. Power comes on from idle quicker but highway speeds throttle position seems little farther down. Yet, when you press down farther, power actually gains. Response to throttle position changes are more accurate and instant. The ECU no long gets "confused," and the engine and throttle seem better in tune with each other. Don't confuse this as no more bucking as there is still driveline slop, but throttle behavior and a stupid ECU no longer amplifies the issue.

-no more large drop in power with AC on

I'm not sure about this one. In stock form, the ECU seemed to have problems when the AC was on: quite a bit less power, very noticable setting changes, and just all-around worse behavior. With the reflash, the difference in power between AC and no AC is quite a bit less. There is no stupidity or fluctuations in the powerband. There is still a slight loss of power and the engine drops down quicker as it normally should, just not as much, and there's no more side effects associated with having the AC on.

-milage increase

It's my first day, so I can't comment personally on this one quite yet. Basically, it seems you gain about 5mpg from what I've read. Expect a bump from around 25mpg to around 30mpg, at least that's what I'm expecting anyways from what others have said. It's pretty nice as it'll pay for itself in fuel savings in less than 2 years for the average driver. I'll comment on this further when I run a tank or two through it.


website if you find any of this interesting:
www.i-speed.us

I'm using the 2.5 RS reflash (SRS-10 flash on a stock engine). They do also have flashes for WRX and STI models as well.

Anyways, thought I'd share.
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Old 08-22-2006, 06:15 PM   #2
teiva-boy
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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Location: Seattle, WA
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While I don't have an RS, and probably never will I've read about this for a long time, and the reviews were very minimal. Always plagued with delays and other issues from both i-speed and users.

I'm glad you got this done, and can comment on this.

Thumbs up for you and i-speed.
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Old 08-23-2006, 01:10 PM   #3
Back Road Runner
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Member#: 60082
Join Date: Apr 2004
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minnesota
Vehicle:
2004 Forester STI
Silver

Default

Delays? Besides them never getting their "Option 2" purchase method going, I'm not really aware of much issue. I recall reading some over on www.rs25.com where people had to wait a little bit, but weren't they moving into their new, now current facility?

They were a tad slow on my reflash, but they were also doing quite a few events at this time with their cars and are apparently working on a wide body kit for our cars as well.

As I said, they do offer reflashes for WRX and STI cars as well. I'm not sure what years, but it's worth a look. They seem quite happy to custom tune the mapping to any specific engine build-ups as well and are happy to do dyno work as well.

I put a fresh tank of gas in the car last night, so now all I have to do is wait and see how far it gets me.
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Old 08-25-2006, 09:25 PM   #4
Crawford/I-Speed
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Oceanside, CA
Vehicle:
ECU ReProgramming
Dynapack AWD Dyno

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Back Road Runner,

Thank you for sharing; it is not often that our customers offer an in depth response about our products and services. We appreciate the feedback, the time it took to write your response and glad to see you are happy with the vehicle. We hope the tune provides some improved gas mileage but have never suggested that it will.

As for the LGT's, FXT's, WRX's and STi's the same can be said about these engine management tunes. Every one of our programmed ECU's are designed to be linear, smooth and unobtrusive to the driver. This is not a simple task by any means (especially high horsepower setups) but is a very important factor to our customer base. Just drive the car and have fun...

Cheers,
Crawford Performance / I-Speed USA
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:45 PM   #5
Back Road Runner
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Member#: 60082
Join Date: Apr 2004
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minnesota
Vehicle:
2004 Forester STI
Silver

Default

Yep. It's also nice to see companies being interactive with their customers. It gives the experience a family feel.

You guys do good work.

As for milage, it's a little tough to say. My current driving habits are a little different from the norm at the moment: having a little fun with the car and new tune, heading off to school, went on a camping trip, etc., not the normal to work and back routine. Still, milage gains seem to be around the 2-3 mpg range, nothing vast but still a noticable gain that adds a small chunk of miles to each tank full.

I am still suprised with how well the gas petal relates to engine throttle now. It just feels so in sync, linear as you stated, and doesn't get confused by throttle changes. Now I just have to fix up the drivetrain slop and the accel/decel behavior should feel nice and snug.

You guys should really have a talk with Subaru and see if you guys can get the cars to come from the factory like this. That'd be nice.
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