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Old 03-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #1
Brent22
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Default Is COBB AP worth it for generic Cobb tune?

My logic is Subaru puts the stock tune on there to make sure the car will run in 110f as well as -5f since they need to cover a broad range of customers and environments. They also limit it for the sake of selling STI's but I don't want to focus on that.

My question is, is a generic Cobb map still beneficial because they will have to use the same logic? They don't know if the user is in upper New York or Texas so wouldn't they have to apply the same "better safe than sorry" logic when making a stock stage 1 tune?

If that's the case, wouldn't they only be able to make gains from where Subaru detuned in the WRX to make the STI more attractive?
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:54 AM   #2
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Yes and no....

The main and largest difference is the removal of the federal government from.the ECU of our cars. And yes, that alone makes it worth it. More power, smoother!

A protune will get you a custom tune to your car/environment, but if you only want to go so far, stage 2 for me, then you may prefer the AP. If I choose to protune later, my tuner can use the AP to tune my car.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:57 AM   #3
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Yes and no....

The main and largest difference is the removal of the federal government from.the ECU of our cars. And yes, that alone makes it worth it. More power, smoother!
What do you mean "removal of the federal government"? Tuning it for cleaner emissions?

I see the Cobb dyno charts on the website but is there any documentation to what fuel economy increase some may expect to see? I know it all comes down to driving habits but just a ball park assuming the driver is shifting and applying pedal pressure with fuel economy in mind.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brent22 View Post

What do you mean "removal of the federal government"? Tuning it for cleaner emissions?

I see the Cobb dyno charts on the website but is there any documentation to what fuel economy increase some may expect to see? I know it all comes down to driving habits but just a ball park assuming the driver is shifting and applying pedal pressure with fuel economy in mind.
EPA. You will likely see a decrease slightly in MPG because tunes richen at lower rpms vs. the factory tune that stays lean until the stratospheric rpm range. Lean is bad. Look at the cobb charts with A/F checked.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:40 PM   #5
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This kinda relates to the thread I started in reliability and longevity.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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This kinda relates to the thread I started in reliability and longevity.

I read a few threads relating to the Stage 1 tune (yours rings a bell) but I didn't see anything solid regarding fuel economy.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:03 PM   #7
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I lost 2 mpg, stage 1+intake 93, at 60 mph and below, i gained about 1.5 mpg at 65+ crusing average, no boost. But i stilk think it's worth it for the extra kick in the pants i got from the tune. When i put my downpipe on those numbers will likely change again.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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For the money, you could buy a tactrix cable and an E-tune or just a local Opensource tune for alot less than the cost of an AP and get ALOT better results!

Steve@Pullz-On Tuning
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:43 PM   #9
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E-tune is not worth it unless you use a wide band. I did two e-tunes from two VERY reputable e-tuners and lets just say it was a waste of $$ IMO. Pro-tune fixed all my problems and zee car drives much better. Maybe it was my car - who knows. Put your $$ towards an etune.

Currently have an AP and I switch between my STX and stage 2 tune - the best combo for me.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:25 PM   #10
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I have both the tactrix and the AP. I like the AP a lot more, partly due to it having more functionality than the tactrix but my favorite feature is the ability to do live tuning on the AP with the free software.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brent22 View Post
My logic is Subaru puts the stock tune on there to make sure the car will run in 110f as well as -5f since they need to cover a broad range of customers and environments. They also limit it for the sake of selling STI's but I don't want to focus on that.

My question is, is a generic Cobb map still beneficial because they will have to use the same logic? They don't know if the user is in upper New York or Texas so wouldn't they have to apply the same "better safe than sorry" logic when making a stock stage 1 tune?

If that's the case, wouldn't they only be able to make gains from where Subaru detuned in the WRX to make the STI more attractive?
Besides certain strategies that may be designed to reduce emissions (but may not actually do so by any notable amount) but definitely hamper performance/driveability, Subaru also has to deal with only a single tune to work with the worst possible gas quality in the country and the fact that some of the customers will not put in the required high octane gas (use 87 octane instead for example). They are dealing with the lowest common denominator, basically. The combination of all these factors results in less than ideal factory mapping.

With our off-the-shelf mapping, we retain all the safety features of the factory ECU (knock detection/correction, boost limits, rev limiters, etc) but we modify the calibration to not only give better performance/driveability, but also to mitigate some of the more potentially damaging strategies in the stock tune, such as the factory's extended closed loop to open loop delay in most Subarus (causing you to run what would be considered lean well into boost).

We also create different octane maps for different fuels across the country (91ACN, 91, or 93). So, we've created a 93 map with more performance than if we were forced to create only a single map that had to work with the worst 91 octane available in the country. The 91ACN is a special map to work with the poorer quality 91 available in Arizona, California and Nevada.

For most models, we also offer the low, normal and high wastegate versions of the maps, which allows you to switch between these maps if you happen to be overboosting (use lwg) or underboosting (use hwg). Variances between cars and conditions they are used in can cause different levels of boost to be seen at times, so this gives you the option to switch if that happens. Again, something Subaru can't do with a single map.

The ultimate performance/driveability can come from a custom tune, which can also be accomplished via a professional tuner (or yourself if you are also experienced with tuning).

Bill
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post
Besides certain strategies that may be designed to reduce emissions (but may not actually do so by any notable amount) but definitely hamper performance/driveability, Subaru also has to deal with only a single tune to work with the worst possible gas quality in the country and the fact that some of the customers will not put in the required high octane gas (use 87 octane instead for example). They are dealing with the lowest common denominator, basically. The combination of all these factors results in less than ideal factory mapping.

With our off-the-shelf mapping, we retain all the safety features of the factory ECU (knock detection/correction, boost limits, rev limiters, etc) but we modify the calibration to not only give better performance/driveability, but also to mitigate some of the more potentially damaging strategies in the stock tune, such as the factory's extended closed loop to open loop delay in most Subarus (causing you to run what would be considered lean well into boost).

We also create different octane maps for different fuels across the country (91ACN, 91, or 93). So, we've created a 93 map with more performance than if we were forced to create only a single map that had to work with the worst 91 octane available in the country. The 91ACN is a special map to work with the poorer quality 91 available in Arizona, California and Nevada.

For most models, we also offer the low, normal and high wastegate versions of the maps, which allows you to switch between these maps if you happen to be overboosting (use lwg) or underboosting (use hwg). Variances between cars and conditions they are used in can cause different levels of boost to be seen at times, so this gives you the option to switch if that happens. Again, something Subaru can't do with a single map.

The ultimate performance/driveability can come from a custom tune, which can also be accomplished via a professional tuner (or yourself if you are also experienced with tuning).

Bill
Interesting... This ties into my thread as well (not trying to hijack thread. maybe combine them?)

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2481386

Bill, You state that Cobb tunes increase drivability and performance, but what are its effects on reliability? does it increase because of bad stock tune? decrease due to increased performance? or the same because of a smoother tune but with increase performance?
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by pkluong View Post
Interesting... This ties into m thread as well

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2481386

Bill, You state that Cobb tunes increase drivability and performance, but what are its effects on reliability? does it increase because of bad stock tune? decrease due to increased performance? or the same because of a smoother tune but with increase performance?
I have that question too. I've heard people say both are true.

Problem is when people say something they don't say "I think it's this way because", they say "This is how it is". When you try to find info from other resources you just don't know what to believe.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:24 PM   #14
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if you have an opensource tuner the cost is less. whatever the tuner charges for tune.

or you could buy AP for 400~500 and the pay for custom tune.
yes you can switch between maps.

but it is your car and you can spend your money however you want.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:07 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by pkluong View Post
Interesting... This ties into my thread as well (not trying to hijack thread. maybe combine them?)

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2481386

Bill, You state that Cobb tunes increase drivability and performance, but what are its effects on reliability? does it increase because of bad stock tune? decrease due to increased performance? or the same because of a smoother tune but with increase performance?
I don't think anyone can really answer that with absolute certainty - there are a lot of variables at play. There have definitely been stage 1 and stage 2 cars with high miles before, some who have been modified (with appropriate mapping) for most of the car's life. My personal opinion is if you stay at the stage 1 and stage 2 level, you should at least expect the same level of reliability as stock, assuming you are not abusing the car with, for example, hard launches and hard shifts. Regardless of whether you are stock are not, some general suggestions to improve your chances of increased reliability:

1. If something doesn't feel or appear right with your car - a hesitation, a check engine light, notably down on power, much lower peak boost than normal, etc., don't continue to beat on the car with wide open throttle pulls. Instead, drive conservatively until you get it checked out.

2. Use a high quality synthetic oil and check your oil level at each time you stop for gas. Even stock cars can consume some oil between oil changes.

3. Use a high quality gas. The so-called "top tier" gas brands seem to work best. Some no-name brands can have problems.

4. Get a WOT data log (if you can do so safely) when you are first running a new map (or changing maps) or when dealing with new extremes that you have not data logged before (extreme hot or cold, high altitude).

5. Periodically take a peak at your long-term fuel trims. If you have an Accessport, this can be done via the live data function by looking at your A/F Learning 1 A,B,C,D values. For 08+ STi, each individual value should be within around +/- 8% and for all other turbo Subarus, they should each be within around +/- 5%. If any one or more of the trims is well outside of this, it could indicate a fueling issue. It isn't necessary to check these weekly, but say every oil change take a peek at them to make sure they look good.

6. Make sure you are diligent about your maintenance items.

7. Don't install parts that the tune you are using is not designed for. Especially key is using the correct intake. It must be the exact brand and part number that the map is tuned for. With our off-the-shelf (OTS) maps, we have a "map notes" in the maps section at cobbtuning.com that tell you the hardware requirements for each map.

Bill
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:27 PM   #16
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I bought the AP for my 2011 and it really woke things up just by using an OTS tune. Plus, it gives you options in the future. IMO, it was worth it.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post
I don't think anyone can really answer that with absolute certainty - there are a lot of variables at play. There have definitely been stage 1 and stage 2 cars with high miles before, some who have been modified (with appropriate mapping) for most of the car's life. My personal opinion is if you stay at the stage 1 and stage 2 level, you should at least expect the same level of reliability as stock, assuming you are not abusing the car with, for example, hard launches and hard shifts. Regardless of whether you are stock are not, some general suggestions to improve your chances of increased reliability:

1. If something doesn't feel or appear right with your car - a hesitation, a check engine light, notably down on power, much lower peak boost than normal, etc., don't continue to beat on the car with wide open throttle pulls. Instead, drive conservatively until you get it checked out.

2. Use a high quality synthetic oil and check your oil level at each time you stop for gas. Even stock cars can consume some oil between oil changes.

3. Use a high quality gas. The so-called "top tier" gas brands seem to work best. Some no-name brands can have problems.

4. Get a WOT data log (if you can do so safely) when you are first running a new map (or changing maps) or when dealing with new extremes that you have not data logged before (extreme hot or cold, high altitude).

5. Periodically take a peak at your long-term fuel trims. If you have an Accessport, this can be done via the live data function by looking at your A/F Learning 1 A,B,C,D values. For 08+ STi, each individual value should be within around +/- 8% and for all other turbo Subarus, they should each be within around +/- 5%. If any one or more of the trims is well outside of this, it could indicate a fueling issue. It isn't necessary to check these weekly, but say every oil change take a peek at them to make sure they look good.

6. Make sure you are diligent about your maintenance items.

7. Don't install parts that the tune you are using is not designed for. Especially key is using the correct intake. It must be the exact brand and part number that the map is tuned for. With our off-the-shelf (OTS) maps, we have a "map notes" in the maps section at cobbtuning.com that tell you the hardware requirements for each map.

Bill
Great Answer Bill! Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:43 PM   #18
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Agree, good info here! Thank you Bill
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post

3. Use a high quality gas. The so-called "top tier" gas brands seem to work best. Some no-name brands can have problems.

Bill
May I ask what tier of gas you recommend?
Which ones to avoid?

The reason I ask is although I have never had a long conversation about it, a friend of mine who works for the CA BAR and has told me all gas is the same. It comes into the LA Ports, gets seperated there and goes to the different stations....but now that I think of it he may have meant all grades are the same. Could you maybe elaborate on that?

Thanks for your input.

Last edited by fastman; 04-04-2013 at 12:19 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:18 AM   #20
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Your going to here every side from every tuning method out there. I've ran both(stage 2's) XPT, and COBB on my 03' WRX. I finally just went with a good old tactrix cable and an XPT map(130 bucks versus the Cobb) not saying you shouldn't buy the COBB over XPT maps because Cobb's AP's "are" the best....but, for a $130 bucks(excellent logging and ratios/values), @ 295HP for the XPT map Stage 2.5; no complaints here, at all. P.S. when I had the Cobb AP it's cool, good quick easy features, but I rarely ever switched out maps let alone used the device..
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by fastman View Post
May I ask what teir of gas you recommend?
Which ones to avoid?
Most of the map makers will have specific Octane rating, just look on the maps, both Cobb, XPT, etc, have different, 91,93, and I think even a 95. I try to run 93/91 in my car(premium, never cheap gas in turbo applications)
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:01 PM   #22
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Put it this way, for an apsiring tuner, the cobb AP, plus their tuning program (accesstuner Race) is an excellent starting point.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:22 PM   #23
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^^ this.
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