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Old 03-26-2013, 02:23 AM   #1
mebr89
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Default Newbie question before getting into it.

So I have read ALOT on open source tuning so far. Between my self and my friend, we both plan on getting into tuning together, we've read multiple write ups on different forums including the awesome write up stick on the complete Tuning Guide here.
My question is more of a simple question for other people's experiences than an actual how to question..


My car is still stock, but I do have a small plan set in mind. I've never dealt with a tuner or have been around tuning before, but I think with the right documents and some good hands on I will be able to pick it up. I think I'm just more nervous about the whole fact that I will be controlling what goes on in my ecu, and subsequently the whole running of everything else.

This may be one of those questions where everyone just sends me links and Ill be ok with that, but please give alittle information along with the link as well?

Out of the guys here that tune their own car, how difficult was it after running your first data log and going from there? Any books out there that you, or someone you know, has purchased that really made it " Barney style" for better understanding?

Thanks in advance guys!
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:56 AM   #2
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Tuning certainly takes alot of Balls to just jump right into. However, the guides out there will give you a great idea of how the ECU works on a logic level, which should give you enough know how to start making changes. However, there isnt some magical book out there that is going to make you a tuner over night.

There is a level of experience / confidence you need to have to really get into tuning. However, when just starting out if you are always making small changes you can start tuning and gaining confidence in tuning your car.

Also, our boxer engines are a little finicky, which is why a lot of people would just recommend you go get E tuned or Protuned. Understanding how everything works together in your tune takes a good bit of time and experience to pick up, when changing one small thing in AVCS will throw off your fueling, which will change your MBT and how much timing you should be running at that point.

In terms of a good EFI tuning books for beginners, I think the Greg Banish book(s) should help.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by endrswrd View Post
Tuning certainly takes alot of Balls to just jump right into. However, the guides out there will give you a great idea of how the ECU works on a logic level, which should give you enough know how to start making changes. However, there isnt some magical book out there that is going to make you a tuner over night.

There is a level of experience / confidence you need to have to really get into tuning. However, when just starting out if you are always making small changes you can start tuning and gaining confidence in tuning your car.

Also, our boxer engines are a little finicky, which is why a lot of people would just recommend you go get E tuned or Protuned. Understanding how everything works together in your tune takes a good bit of time and experience to pick up, when changing one small thing in AVCS will throw off your fueling, which will change your MBT and how much timing you should be running at that point.

In terms of a good EFI tuning books for beginners, I think the Greg Banish book(s) should help.
Thanks. I'd love to try and meet someone locally and have them kind of just let me hang over their shoulders to say the least.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:43 PM   #4
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Honestly, about 90% of it is doing the reading. The rest is applying it and analyzing the results. You could learn alot just from an E -tuning process if your tuner is willing to take the time to explain things and answer any of your questions. I have done this on more then one occasion as it makes the person I am tuning more aware of what is going on, which can catch a problem in datalogs before it becomes worse, or before I get a chance to look at them.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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Don't just read up on tuning Subarus. You'll get a lot of different ideas and multiple ways to achieve the same result. This makes you a better tuner and helps you to fine tune so much better.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #6
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Don't just read up on tuning Subarus. You'll get a lot of different ideas and multiple ways to achieve the same result. This makes you a better tuner and helps you to fine tune so much better.
I don't plan to JUST read. I completely agree tho as well.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:12 PM   #7
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I don't plan to JUST read. I completely agree tho as well.
I meant other platforms.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:23 PM   #8
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I meant other platforms.
Well my buddy that I mentioned, has a Evo 8 and a 240 with a fully built SR20. So that's two other platforms including my WRX that I hope to get knowledge on.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:12 AM   #9
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We have a guy we know that tunes his own car and also tunes alot of guys cars around us. Do you guys think it would be good to learn from someone that tunes Mazdas if I want to tune my Subaru? I know that's a stupid question but I'm at a loss for words for what I'm trying to say.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:23 AM   #10
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We have a guy we know that tunes his own car and also tunes alot of guys cars around us. Do you guys think it would be good to learn from someone that tunes Mazdas if I want to tune my Subaru? I know that's a stupid question but I'm at a loss for words for what I'm trying to say.
Learn everything you can.the concepts are the same. The methods differ along with the software.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:30 AM   #11
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I'm upset, my buddy already ordered his cable, which means I'm SLACKING...

I appreciate the info guys.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:49 AM   #12
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If you are talking mazdaspeeds then there are a few things that are pretty different between the two platforms mostly in knock control strategy and Timing advance, but other then that most of the concepts will overlap. But like others have mentioned it will only broaden your knowledge base which is never a bad thing.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:18 PM   #13
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If you are talking mazdaspeeds then there are a few things that are pretty different between the two platforms mostly in knock control strategy and Timing advance, but other then that most of the concepts will overlap. But like others have mentioned it will only broaden your knowledge base which is never a bad thing.
I figure that makes sense haha. Why be narrow minded right? Do you know if they are major differences or will the be the say concept for the most part?
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:41 PM   #14
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I used to tune Mazdaspeeds so I can tell you that they are both MAF / Load based tuning so they are very similar in that regard. But mazdas are Direct injected so they have a much better platform for tuning / modding then we do. They also have a wide-band O2 sensor that reads more accurately then our Front O2 especially under boost. So there are differences but conceptually are similar.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:25 AM   #15
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Youtube has a really great 16 part how to. He walks you though while he tunes an evo, with i believe, romraider. He explains tables and everything. Worth a watch to get you started.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:32 AM   #16
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Youtube has a really great 16 part how to. He walks you though while he tunes an evo, with i believe, romraider. He explains tables and everything. Worth a watch to get you started.
that's awesome.. to be honest I never once thought about YouTube. probably should have right?
thank you!
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:32 PM   #17
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I can't find any sites that sell the Tactrix cable other than Tactrix them selves.. any body have a cheaper place?
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:43 PM   #18
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I can't find any sites that sell the Tactrix cable other than Tactrix them selves.. any body have a cheaper place?
Used in the classifieds.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:11 AM   #19
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Used in the classifieds.
yeah that's what I figured... I looked around and decided to just order new from tactrix.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:16 AM   #20
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It's sad to say but I'm pretty broke right now haha. Does anyone know if I can monitor my AFR using romraider and ecuflash? I just can't afford the gauge that I wanted to order right now.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:18 AM   #21
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I don't think so, the factory o2 sensors are more or less a narrow band and in different locations than a standard wideband o2 sensor.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:47 AM   #22
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The front sensor is a wideband sensor, however in it's current pre-turbo location is is not accurate. It will also not have the full range of an aftermarket wideband. It only reads down to 11.14.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:55 PM   #23
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The front sensor is a wideband sensor, however in it's current pre-turbo location is is not accurate. It will also not have the full range of an aftermarket wideband. It only reads down to 11.14.
can I pretty much build my own wideband?
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:28 PM   #24
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can I pretty much build my own wideband?
Define build? If you mean as in, buy a used uego gauge, and an approprate new sensor for it, then yes. If you mean use the oem sensor in any way, then no.

Last edited by Cathexis; 03-31-2013 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:57 PM   #25
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Define build? If you mean as in, buy a used uego, and an approprate new sensor for it, then yes. If you mean use the oem sensor in any way, then no.
if the OEM sensor is a wideband sensor why can't I pull my downpipe drill and install it in the downpipe. then monitor it through the laptop and Tactrix cable?
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