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Old 10-11-2002, 02:03 AM   #1
xfactor834
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Default I'm Worried About the UTEC Because...

Well, when I order my Stage 4 TXS kit, I'm also gonna order their TMIC and the UTEC.

I've learned so much over the past six months just by being a member of I-Club, but I'm nowhere near confident enough to manually tweak the UTEC.

All I know is that it's great because it's like a "quasi-ECU" in the sense that it doesn't do ALL of the ECU's chores itself...only some. I've also read that lengthy UTEC thread that spanned about 11 pages. It's a boost controller as well as controls timing and air fuel ratios.

However, I have no idea how to tweak these numbers. I know that I can download maps and ask Phil or Nathan to send me my UTEC with their Stage 4/TMIC map (theirs is based on 93 octane gas...here in CA we get 91...very rare 76s offer 100 octane).

Anyway...

I just feel like I don't know anything about the intricacies of the UTEC before I buy it. I mean, I have no idea what "pulls timing" means or "advances ignition" or "pulls ignition" or "advances timing"......I dunno what they mean.

I know that if the UTEC detects knock, it automatically "retards or pulls timing" in order to [prevent knock]??? Is that right?

And when the UTEC pulls timing, what does the car feel like? Like it's being pulled back like a rubber band? Feels unresponsive? What?

As far as air-fuel ratios, I know that too much air = lean and too much fuel = rich. Well, how can I guarantee that I'll be right in between lean and rich. I don't want to have a Stage 4 with Uncle Buck-style smoke coming out of my exhaust (had to get John Candy in there).

I just feel clueless when buying this $1,000 piece of machinery. I'm getting pretty knowledgeable about exhausts and intercoolers...but I still feel "left-behind" with what the UTEC does.

I like the idea of it having 5 maps (valet mode, normal mode...)

I don't think I'd ever 'downgrade' to a Unichip because at the very least, the UTEC is acting as a boost controller as well, and a very accurate one at that from what I've read.

So, all in all, I just hope that I understand these things more as I buy my kit.

Thanks for listening everyone.
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Old 10-11-2002, 02:47 AM   #2
teiva-boy
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A Unichip is not at all bad. Times are changing as maps get better, the harnesses get better, etc. Vishnu even has a proposed fix that solves the hesitation problem with unichips. It's a little circuit board that I got to see and touch while he was tuning my car on the road. So I wouldn't call a unichip a downgrade.

Shiv was sayin that a unichip is still plenty good for the average person if they dont want to tune. And the main diff between a unichip and a tunable ECU as far as power is the ability to tune in more midrange power/torque.

Personally I want the UTEC or Shiv's new ECU, or even a LINK. But at the same time I dont want to tune the darn thing myself. There are no AWD dynos in my state, and the roads are not long enough to do WOT runs.
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Old 10-11-2002, 09:20 AM   #3
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whyd ya order it then?

Well be carefull is all i can say.
Ajay
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Old 10-11-2002, 09:38 AM   #4
silvercharged
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What maybe a lot of us are looking for is the better engine management of the UTEC , together with the plug and play of the Unichip....Now don't flame me....I know the UTEC is plug and play, but some of us don't need 5 different maps, data logging, laptop tuning, etc.

We're seeing the huge advantages and technology of the UTEC, but we don't see the Unichip keeping up. Has Dastek ever upgraded the Unichip to address some of the issues people are having with them, are are they leaving it all up to the tuners (Vishnu, TurboXS) to solve their problems for them?

I'd personally like to have a "stripped down" version of the UTEC, have TurboXS tune it for my specific car, and drive away happy...

Not that I'm lazy, or don't want to tune for myself.....I'm sure I could learn it, if only I had the time....Being on 24 hour call at work, leaves precious little time to go out and enjoy the car....

Hope TurboXS (Mark, Nathan) are listening and would chime in, as I always enjoy reading their insights....
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:04 AM   #5
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Subaru spends millions on getting the ECU just right. So the car starts in the cold, hot, runs well in all conditions and with all different types of gas.

It's very difficult to manage an engine and people building little ECU replacements and add-on computers are not likely to have the R&D money to make something that runs flawlessly. For this reason an add-on that tricks your factory ECU under some very specific conditions to make more power is going to be the least painful but still not flawless.

-Michael
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:14 AM   #6
silvercharged
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Quote:
Originally posted by d00f

It's very difficult to manage an engine and people building little ECU replacements and add-on computers are not likely to have the R&D money to make something that runs flawlessly. For this reason an add-on that tricks your factory ECU under some very specific conditions to make more power is going to be the least painful but still not flawless.
Oh, I'm not bitchin', in fact, it's amazing to me that these products are even available to us given the complexity of it all....

It's said that ECU's like the one on our Subarus have like 100 times the computing power of the computers that were aboard the spacecraft that took the first man to the moon......
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:15 AM   #7
Mach V Dan
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Default Re: I'm Worried About the UTEC Because...

Quote:
Originally posted by xfactor834
Well, when I order my Stage 4 TXS kit, I'm also gonna order their TMIC and the UTEC.
I'll address your general feeling that you don't know what you're doing, and then your specific questions.

First, I think you're well on your way to knowing enough to run this thing. It appears you've done your homework, and the terms you are using indicate you know a lot about the car and the parts you've selected. This indicates to me that you can learn. (I know that sounds dumb, but there are customers that I CANNOT recommend the UTEC to because, well, they just aren't up to that level of sophistication...)

It may seem intimidating and scary, but I think with patience and doing your homework, you can become more than knowledgeable enough about this to tune your car yourself. It's really not very complicated.

Quote:
...I mean, I have no idea what "pulls timing" means or "advances ignition" or "pulls ignition" or "advances timing"......I dunno what they mean.
"Pulling" timing means the ECU is igniting the mixture in the cylinder LATER in the combustion cycle. This has several effects: Power is decreased, as the "push" on the cylinder does not happen at the best time; EGT's go up, as there is much more hot flaming gas present in the cylinder at the time the exhaust valves open; and there's much less chance of detonation, because the mixture is under less pressure as the cylinder leaves top-dead-center.

Quote:
I know that if the UTEC detects knock, it automatically "retards or pulls timing" in order to [prevent knock]??? Is that right?
Yes. Knock or detonation is an uncontrolled combustion event (the flame front in the cylinder expands supersonically) that can do a lot of damage at high rpms and boost pressures.

Quote:
And when the UTEC pulls timing, what does the car feel like? Like it's being pulled back like a rubber band? Feels unresponsive? What?

This usually happens at full throttle, and to me it feels like the car just sort of dies off in power. Also, there's a distinct change in the exhaust note, like the tone or timbre changes.

Quote:
As far as air-fuel ratios, I know that too much air = lean and too much fuel = rich. Well, how can I guarantee that I'll be right in between lean and rich. I don't want to have a Stage 4 with Uncle Buck-style smoke coming out of my exhaust (had to get John Candy in there).
It takes a bit of work to get it PERFECTLY in the middle, but you can easily get in the ballpark with a few simple tools (air/fuel and EGT gauges are great) and your "butt dyno." The most important part of tuning is care and patience.

I'm not trying to drum up business -- sounds like you're already buying from TurboXS directly -- but feel free to call us if you would like to learn a little more. We sell and use the TurboXS Unichip and UTEC. We think the UTEC especially is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and would be happy to talk with you about tuning them.

--Dan
Mach V Motorsports
FastWRX.com
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:25 AM   #8
silvercharged
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We need a UTEC 101 forum (UTEC n00b?) with guest lectures by Professors Nathan, Jorge and Pete among others....
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Old 10-11-2002, 11:25 AM   #9
RiftsWRX
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8complex has been trying to do that for us for months now. Alex and Nick basically told him to make up a FAQ... just the other day he's been in here asking for our help to make that possible.

You should go contribute your opinion in his thread, since it's our input that will make it a reality!

Jorge (RiftsWRX)
www.ProjectWRX.com
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Old 10-11-2002, 11:35 AM   #10
8Complex

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I hate time! It goes by far too fast!

I need a brainstorm session where I can sit in peace and just get it done, I've just been ransacked by a ton of other things recently that will hopefully be coming to an end soon (or, as the saying goes, it could just be a new beginning).

Jorge - Maybe if you're interested in helping out, we can sit down one afternoon and get this thing popped out. I've got wireless set up at home, so it'd be pretty easy to get it together and up.
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Old 10-11-2002, 11:38 AM   #11
xfactor834
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Default Re: Re: I'm Worried About the UTEC Because...

Quote:
Originally posted by Mach V Dan
[b]
I'll address your general feeling that you don't know what you're doing, and then your specific questions.

First, I think you're well on your way to knowing enough to run this thing. It appears you've done your homework, and the terms you are using indicate you know a lot about the car and the parts you've selected. This indicates to me that you can learn. (I know that sounds dumb, but there are customers that I CANNOT recommend the UTEC to because, well, they just aren't up to that level of sophistication...)

It may seem intimidating and scary, but I think with patience and doing your homework, you can become more than knowledgeable enough about this to tune your car yourself. It's really not very complicated.


"Pulling" timing means the ECU is igniting the mixture in the cylinder LATER in the combustion cycle. This has several effects: Power is decreased, as the "push" on the cylinder does not happen at the best time; EGT's go up, as there is much more hot flaming gas present in the cylinder at the time the exhaust valves open; and there's much less chance of detonation, because the mixture is under less pressure as the cylinder leaves top-dead-center.

[b]
Yes. Knock or detonation is an uncontrolled combustion event (the flame front in the cylinder expands supersonically) that can do a lot of damage at high rpms and boost pressures.


This usually happens at full throttle, and to me it feels like the car just sort of dies off in power. Also, there's a distinct change in the exhaust note, like the tone or timbre changes.


It takes a bit of work to get it PERFECTLY in the middle, but you can easily get in the ballpark with a few simple tools (air/fuel and EGT gauges are great) and your "butt dyno." The most important part of tuning is care and patience.

I'm not trying to drum up business -- sounds like you're already buying from TurboXS directly -- but feel free to call us if you would like to learn a little more. We sell and use the TurboXS Unichip and UTEC. We think the UTEC especially is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and would be happy to talk with you about tuning them.

--Dan
Mach V Motorsports
FastWRX.com
Thank you very much. I could read this stuff forever. Very insightful stuff. Posts like these make me excited and not wary of buying a UTEC. I just might give you guys a call.

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Old 10-11-2002, 11:38 AM   #12
RiftsWRX
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Quote:
Originally posted by 8Complex
I hate time! It goes by far too fast!

I need a brainstorm session where I can sit in peace and just get it done, I've just been ransacked by a ton of other things recently that will hopefully be coming to an end soon (or, as the saying goes, it could just be a new beginning).

Jorge - Maybe if you're interested in helping out, we can sit down one afternoon and get this thing popped out. I've got wireless set up at home, so it'd be pretty easy to get it together and up.
I'm there bud! I don't THINK we're doing anything on sunday.. stop by for dinner and we'll pound it out.

Jorge (RiftsWRX)
www.ProjectWRX.com
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Old 10-11-2002, 11:41 AM   #13
xfactor834
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Default

Quote:
Originally posted by desiwrx02
whyd ya order it then?

Well be carefull is all i can say.
Ajay
Didn't order it yet...

Very close to though

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Old 10-11-2002, 01:58 PM   #14
CirrusWRX
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Let's also not forget the easy "upgrade" feature of the UTEC. You buy a unichip with your "current setup." You add something new, you have to go and get it re-tuned or send it back. With the UTEC, you call em up (if you don't know what to do, like me!) and have em email you the new files, load it up, and you're on your way!

Also, would I be flamed for mentioning the following:

http://www.wrxhackers.com

Just starting out, but they have some good stuff thus far!
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Old 10-11-2002, 02:41 PM   #15
xfactor834
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Default

So does anyone else share my thoughts on this issue?

As for the wrxhackers site...it's good but I think Phil realized that they put the wrong Stage 4 (????) map on their site. I dunno if it was Stage 4, but one of the maps was incorrect.
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Old 10-11-2002, 05:51 PM   #16
xfactor834
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No one?
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Old 10-11-2002, 06:27 PM   #17
gossamer_monster
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Quote:
Originally posted by xfactor834
So does anyone else share my thoughts on this issue?

As for the wrxhackers site...it's good but I think Phil realized that they put the wrong Stage 4 (????) map on their site. I dunno if it was Stage 4, but one of the maps was incorrect.
hey this whole thing (web site, UTEC, life) is "use-at-your-own-risk" it says the same right on both sites.

If someone isn`t smart enough to double-check the map before using it then shame on them.

just my .02 cents.

Bill
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Old 10-11-2002, 06:44 PM   #18
JenisonWRX
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There are books on tuning ...

I had never tuned a car before I got my link...now I don't even think about it.

Its all the same ... timing and fuel ... thats it. But on a side note ... you can spend a lifetime studying these two things ... while simple in concept they can be a very challenging puzzle at times. Its a give and take with tuning ...

And for the comment about the Stock ECU and the R&D hours ... the stock ecu is not a performance ecu. Your right ... its ment to give you good results all over the board at stock levels.

however, some don't want to stay stock
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:05 PM   #19
xfactor834
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Quote:
Originally posted by JenisonWRX
There are books on tuning ...

I had never tuned a car before I got my link...now I don't even think about it.

Its all the same ... timing and fuel ... thats it. But on a side note ... you can spend a lifetime studying these two things ... while simple in concept they can be a very challenging puzzle at times. Its a give and take with tuning ...

And for the comment about the Stock ECU and the R&D hours ... the stock ecu is not a performance ecu. Your right ... its ment to give you good results all over the board at stock levels.

however, some don't want to stay stock
What books? Do you have any general tips on timing and fuel?
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Old 10-12-2002, 12:45 AM   #20
JenisonWRX
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My advice ... know your software. Know what your changing and how it can effect the car.

Datalog the hell out of it and know those like the back of your hand. See what your base levels are for things. See what your getting now so when you change something you'll be able to reconize a difference.

For the first two weeks or so of having the Link thats all I did. just log log and log more. pour over those logs so you know what your running now. Whether its optimal or not ... just so you have a base to start from when you actually start messing with stuff.

another thing...don't make a TON of changes your first time out. Just do some simple things. A value or two here and there, and dont be extreme. See what happens to your car when you change things a bit. Again doesn't have to be the entire map...maybe change your boost or increase/decrease your fuel by a tad.

You'll learn a lot. BTW do you have an EGT gauge? this is also pretty handy to have when tuning...
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Old 10-12-2002, 01:14 AM   #21
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I'm thinking about getting a UTEC even though I already have a well tuned Unichip setup. It seems like the two can work well together? And, that I can use a couple of settings with UTEC to specifically deal with race gas and such? Does this make sense?

GoodFinder
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Old 10-13-2002, 04:00 AM   #22
xfactor834
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Default

Quote:
Originally posted by GoodFinder
I'm thinking about getting a UTEC even though I already have a well tuned Unichip setup. It seems like the two can work well together? And, that I can use a couple of settings with UTEC to specifically deal with race gas and such? Does this make sense?

GoodFinder
I would think that a UTEC does everything a Unichip does, and then some.

Right?
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Old 10-13-2002, 05:15 AM   #23
mlambert
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Quote:
Originally posted by GoodFinder
I'm thinking about getting a UTEC even though I already have a well tuned Unichip setup. It seems like the two can work well together? And, that I can use a couple of settings with UTEC to specifically deal with race gas and such? Does this make sense?

GoodFinder
nope, youd replace the unichip with the utec
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Old 10-13-2002, 07:03 AM   #24
dolbnyc1
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I am sure turbo xs can get you a standard, or average map for your climate and driving style . then you can learn from someone or them as to how to mess around with it, and what to look fo.r
As long as you know how to go back to the original map .
Just tinker in increments you should be fine.
Also you will learn alot, from messing with the utec, and getting good info from turbo xs, and from other cool users such as jorge
stage 2 utec for me for xmas
on the job training, and fun while at it
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Old 10-14-2002, 12:24 AM   #25
xfactor834
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Quote:
Originally posted by mlambert


nope, youd replace the unichip with the utec
That's what I said

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