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Old 06-03-2010, 08:16 PM   #1
Chasey
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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2004 WRX Wagon
Aspen White

Default Question about open source tuning

So i want to start modifying my car, but i can't do it in big chunks. ill start with a CBE then a month down the road get a UP/DP, then maybe a month or two later an intake etc etc. and every time i dont want to pay for a tune, nor do i want to pay for the AP.

So i started looking into opensource tuning, and being the type of person that would genuinly enjoy tuning his own car i found it appealing, regardless of the risks involved with being an inexperienced tuner.

Before i even begin to tune, beleive me, i will read every possible article and thread on the subject, but reading only takes me so far. And in preperation ive read up on some of the tools needed.

Tactrix cable
Knock sensor
laptop
open source software

With all this being said i am looking to you other open source do it yourselfers to give me a rundown on your experience with the different opensource options out there, as well as what precautions i should take. other tools (Such as knock sensor) and perhaps where you got these items from.

Tl;dr

What open source tuning software do you like, what tools do i need to do it correctly? (of course the person doing the tuning is the biggest variable on it being done correctly or not)

thanks.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:24 PM   #2
Byzantium
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What about a wideband? If you're looking to learn, a UTEC may be an easier start for you.
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:33 AM   #3
Chi_San
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I've used ROMRaider and ECU Flash. Worked well for me.

I will be getting a protune when I build my stroker motor, I think, though. Too many variables, such as 9:1 compression, 2.15 liters (or 2.2, I can't figure out exactly what the displacement will end up being), different cams, and possibly a twinscroll turbo will make self tuning it a huge challenge that I won't have the time to deal with I'm afraid.
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:36 AM   #4
jonnylin1
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i'll be doing this soon as well, it'd be great to learn some things before i start haha

perhaps we could share some ideas too after we start getting a hang of things...
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:11 AM   #5
OUScooby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasey View Post
So i want to start modifying my car, but i can't do it in big chunks. ill start with a CBE then a month down the road get a UP/DP, then maybe a month or two later an intake etc etc. and every time i dont want to pay for a tune, nor do i want to pay for the AP.

So i started looking into opensource tuning, and being the type of person that would genuinly enjoy tuning his own car i found it appealing, regardless of the risks involved with being an inexperienced tuner.

Before i even begin to tune, beleive me, i will read every possible article and thread on the subject, but reading only takes me so far. And in preperation ive read up on some of the tools needed.

Tactrix cable
Knock sensor
laptop
open source software

With all this being said i am looking to you other open source do it yourselfers to give me a rundown on your experience with the different opensource options out there, as well as what precautions i should take. other tools (Such as knock sensor) and perhaps where you got these items from.

Tl;dr

What open source tuning software do you like, what tools do i need to do it correctly? (of course the person doing the tuning is the biggest variable on it being done correctly or not)

thanks.
Never heard of an aftermarket knock sensor. But if you are serious about tuning yourself you'll need a wibeband o2 sensor. As for software, romraider and ecuflash are the only ones available that i know of for subarus.

As far as my experiences with OS tuning, well I came into it all bright eyed and busy tailed like you, expecting to tune my car myself. The reality of it is that if you don't know what you;re doing you can do some serious damage to you're engine.
Now I just use OS software for datalogging, and to switch between a few different map, basically using my laptop like an AP. I've learned enough to tweak my OTS map for my own car, but I am by no means a tuner.

My advice, leave your tune alone until you are sure you know what you're doing. Learning the basics of tuning can be done by reading forums and articles, but it is no substitute for practical real world training.

If you are serious about learning how to tune then hook up with an experienced tuner who is willing to show you the ropes. But don't expect to be tuning cars overnight, there is a lot of things you need to know, a lot of concepts you'll need to grasp. It'll take a lot of time and patience to learn these things before you are ready to try you hand at a tune.
One piece of more practical advice, is most newbies read a few forums and think they understand what changing each of the parameters does, but only in an academic sense. Don't just learn what each parameter does, but also learn how this affects the mechanics in the motor, and how it works with all the other parameters you are changing.
Good luck, wish you the best.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:17 AM   #6
quazimoto
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Your car already has a knock sensor and the software can use it. And I totally agree with what was said above. This isn't going to happen overnight and will especially take longer or be more riskier if you know nothing about internal combustion engine operations and OBDII systems. Most people tuning there own cars have been turning wrenches and building motors for years/decades. Some more info that might be helpful :

http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/tuning...hp?t=134322320

http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/tuning...hp?t=134322905
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:56 AM   #7
TiredGXP
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OP, like you, I'm looking for an opensource tuning product. I've been perusing the tuning threads here and over at the Romraider site.

Up to now, I've only tuned na vehicles, but I'm working on a base tune for a different turbo project. Some basic concepts apply in both situations:

Data logs - it's important to understand what information you need to log, what's relevant for the area of the tune you are working on.

Get a wideband - necessary to obtain good fueling data when in open loop. The factory O2 sensor has limitations, especially if mounted in the up.

Only change one thing at a time - Much easier to see, and interpret, the effect of a single change.

Make small changes - if you goof, small changes are less likely to cause *boom*

Log data after each adjustment to the tune - learning to interpret the data is key - what was the effect of the change, did it improve or not?

Rinse and repeat as often as necessary until satisfied.

There appear to be some great tuning spreadsheets and utilities on the Romraider site to help interpret data. I'm currently playing around with the Road Dyno spreadsheet using data logs from my Grand Prix.

Good luck with your tuning efforts.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:54 AM   #8
Chasey
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Location: So Cal
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
Aspen White

Default

Thanks for all the tips!

Yeah, I maybe sounded a bit like i was planning on super tweaking things myself from scratch. I was more in the mindset of using a laptop like an AP and then once i learned the software and became more familiar with the vehicle maybe tweaking some things myself.

Im guessing alot of people that use open source create their own maps for specific brand parts? such as a map for a XXX model Catback exhaust?

I by no means expect to learn how to tune overnight, but gotta start somewhere
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:02 AM   #9
quazimoto
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasey View Post
.

Im guessing alot of people that use open source create their own maps for specific brand parts? such as a map for a XXX model Catback exhaust?
Sort of. Certain parts call for retuning or just turning off/defeating a DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code). Turboback exhausts, intakes, bigger turbos/injectors generally require retuning. Not so much the brand name matters. For intakes certain intakes have certain problems so that's why most list the brand of intake. But regardless someone elses map should always be used as a starting point not an end product.
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