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Old 01-06-2003, 11:49 AM   #1
Dussander
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Default STX with reprogrammed ECU

This is sort of a poll of opinions for what you (the STX competitors) what you think about someone running a reprogrammed ECU in STX.

It is technically legal, but makes proving that you are not altering the boost very difficult. At the moment I'm going with a tuned Unichip, but I think the ideal solution would be a reprogrammed ECU. With the Unichip I can avoid protests by showing the Unichip without boost controller. I believe at least one person is already running a reprogrammed ECU (ChrisW ??)

Would you run it? Would you protest it?

I think it would be cool/ideal if say a tuner could make a reprogrammed ECU version number that could easily be read and also stand by his programming of that version stating that the stock boost table was used. Say Shiv creates a new ECU map, he gives it his version number and publically states, this map is for STX cars (with X and Y mods) and does not alter the stock boost map. I imagine we would need at least a lap top to read the version number.
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: STX with reprogrammed ECU

Quote:
Originally posted by Dussander

Would you run it? Would you protest it?

No. Yes.

After the NA guys flew off the handle about the Vishnu Chip at Nats last year, I'd avoid it personally to just not have to deal with their crying.

Basically it's too easy to make changes to boost with a software map. If it was a hardware issue, like the Vishnu Chip, I'd be interested in it. With the hardware you could CLEARLY see that the boost was/wasn't altered and you would know that the ECU is still unaltered. Just about every retuned ECU I've investigated had boost altered so I'd be prone to protest regardless of anyone's claims on the map.
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Old 01-06-2003, 01:20 PM   #3
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Well, I am going to try it.

I have tuned my ECU to keep the stock boost levels and stock boost curve.

Power levels? Not much more than I had with the unichip. The unichip was 205 at the wheels, I am now at 210. There is absolutely no hesitation with the reprogrammed ECU, no racheting of your timing as you build boost... It's all good..

To give you an idea of the power locked inside the ECU, I watched Shiv unlock 20hp on ignition map changes alone...

If you were to drive the car, it would not feel like it has an extra ~50hp over stock until you look at the speedo.

The problems we are going to have with protests is going to center around "what is the stock boost level?" How do you determine the stock boost level when you have an adjustable wastegate? For those that don't know, the wastegate actuator is adjustable from the factory. There are no specs that I have found to tell you what the proper actuator length is supposed to be. That is an easy way to cheat. You can get 1-2psi by doing this. Also, the exhaust you use will alter the stock boost curve.

Another point is that Vishnu Tuning has detected at least 5 different "stock" ECU's from the factory. That is, same ECU, different boost maps. Also, I don't believe you can just plug in the ECU and read the maps off the ECU memory. You have to datalog it. Another point is the '03 ECU is more conservative in it's ability to learn than the '02 ECU. I have personally witness this on Vishnu's dyno with someone's stage 2 tuning.

If you hook up a calibrated boost gauge and brake load the car, the curve looks stock maintaining stock boost levels. In some respects this can be a disadvantage becuase I have to "erase" what ever performance gains in boost levels that you would normally get with a 3" vishnu stage1 turbo back exhaust.

Keep in mind I gave Shiv strick instructions to go with a conservative STX map. The boost levels are stock accross the RPM range. If there have been changes to maps that are "off limits" the changes were made with in the range seen accross the different ECU's that Vishnu has seen.

So I don't know... This will kind of be the "grand experiment" assuming I can get my suspension back together

There are a couple of other people running the reprogrammed ECU in STX. I am not going to say who they are...

If we happen to meet up at the nationals, and you want to go for a drive, we could work something out...
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Old 01-06-2003, 01:28 PM   #4
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How about a signed affedavit by shiv, and notorized that it has the Stock boost maps?

--kC
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Old 01-06-2003, 01:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by KC
How about a signed affedavit by shiv, and notorized that it has the Stock boost maps?

--kC
Well, if kC is gonna run one then I'll change my mind.

Honestly though, I think it's a can of worms I'm not ready to deal with. I'd be happy with a Shiv tuned Unichip setup that way there's no "grey" areas to contend with. Either the boost module is there or it isn't.
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Old 01-06-2003, 02:12 PM   #6
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Right. However, the proof is on the protester that it's illegal. If we can do anything to help them realize that we went out of our way to get the stock boost maps... DOCUMENTATION... then it will help alleivate their fears.

And just them 'saying' it's illegal won't cut water. If we can back it up with documentation from Shiv, at the protest booth, that it has the stock boost maps, that may be enough for the protest committe to see we actually thought about it, and went out of our way to make sure we were legal.

And how is a protester going to prove that it's a reprogrammed ECU? Where are they going to send it to be read?

--kC
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Old 01-06-2003, 02:45 PM   #7
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For a lot of racers the choice to run the flashed ECU will be determined by budget. I haven't looked into the pricing, but if it will give me better (smoother) power gains than a Unichip for a like price then I might do it. If there is no way to show proof of the altered boost maps I would not bother protesting. It would be a mute point. I think that could possibly be a bad situation.
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Old 01-06-2003, 03:06 PM   #8
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If there are different Boost tables for various ECUs, couldn't Shiv go and get the best and use it for all of them?

I could either get my Unichip tuned for $X or go with a reprogrammed ECU for $Y, but I expect X is close to Y. I couldn't however drive down to visit Shiv and get a custom map, so I would be stuck with one he has already done (like ChrisW's). Hum..

So Tom, where are you and what do you have to say about this?
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Old 01-06-2003, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dussander
If there are different Boost tables for various ECUs, couldn't Shiv go and get the best and use it for all of them?

I could either get my Unichip tuned for $X or go with a reprogrammed ECU for $Y, but I expect X is close to Y. I couldn't however drive down to visit Shiv and get a custom map, so I would be stuck with one he has already done (like ChrisW's). Hum..

So Tom, where are you and what do you have to say about this?

I actually asked Shiv to do just that. But it's not that simple. Aparently you cannot just copy one set of maps from one ECU to another. But you can manually set the curves through the ECUTEK software. That goes with what I was saying about not being able to profile a stock ECU to a reprogrammed one with out datalogging both ECU's.
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Old 01-06-2003, 08:28 PM   #10
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Not that I'll be a threat to anyone this year (as an autox noob), but I'm planning to get an STX-legal reflash from Shiv. It appears to be the cleanest & best performing option currently available. I'm planning to get a document from Shiv, stating the boost map hasn't been modified & call it good.

As for using a re-flash - why not? There are LOTS of other re-flashed ECU's being used in other cars. For instance, I had a Shark Injector reflash for my E46 BMW 3-series (very cool product by the way - I wish someone would come up with a similar product for the Rex).

--Steve

(looking forward to my stealth Vishnu reflash......)
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Old 01-07-2003, 01:53 AM   #11
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Darn this OBD-1!
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Old 01-07-2003, 09:59 AM   #12
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Well I have not determined yet which way I will go. Right now I have the vishnu unichip tuned for stock boost. Shiv told me that I can get a 20hp gain over that by a remapped ecutek with the stock boost levels.

Dilemna.
Right now with my exhaust I have a 16psi spike, then 15psi, and only a dropoff to about 10-11psi. Thats not the "stock" boost curve, but I have not touched ANYTHING relating to the boost. This is purely from the exhaust changes.

If I run the unichip as I do now, I don't have to worry about it, because there is nothing on the car that could alter boost, and a protest will NOT stand up.

If I run the ecutek, then I will have to do something about this because its just a protest waiting to happen.

I think I will run the Unichip for now. If I get beat, and I think that Im getting beat because Im down 10-15hp, then the unichip will come out and the ecutek will go in.

-Tom
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Old 01-07-2003, 11:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by trhoppe
If I get beat, and I think that Im getting beat because Im down 10-15hp, then the unichip will come out and the ecutek will go in.

-Tom
Drive better.
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Old 01-07-2003, 11:57 AM   #14
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So, will anyone protest one of us in this thread if we are running a reprogrammed ECU at National/Pro Solo events? We can start a list of names of people who swear they are running stock boost, reprogrammed ECUs. I may if I can get it in time, since it will save me the cost of having my Unichip tuned.

For those I will see in Ft. Myers, here is my name:
Michael Fiyak

If you see that name DFL on the results, then uh, that's not my name.

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Old 01-07-2003, 01:33 PM   #15
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I don't think you'd have any protests from Scooby folk... it's the other makes in STX that you'd have to worry about.
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Old 01-07-2003, 07:22 PM   #16
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The part that bothers me most is that the tuners don't seem to care much about rules. Here are a few quotes from Shiv when his "STX legal" map was discussed:
Quote:
And even then, it's only illegal if they find out. Don't know how they would though
Quote:
While I'll leave boost levels stock (with stock-like taper), I can raise the fuel cut a few hundred RPM and allow for more boost at lower throttle positions above 4000rpm.
Quote:
But I don't think anyone will be doing any partial-throttle boost level testing. And if so, any deviation from stock can be passed off as a result of exhaust mods
The rules are clear, you can only modify fuel and timing, you can't change the boost maps at all. And it sounds very much like Shiv is changing the boost maps, while tyring to keep the boost curves at full throttle similar. Even copying a stock boost map from another car would seem very questionable.

I certainly don't plan to file any protests, I would feel ridiculous to protest people who simply drive much better than I do (as almost everybody at national events will). But frankly, I won't believe that many of the cars with remapped ECUs will be legal, and it does leave a bitter taste.

#42 STX
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Old 01-07-2003, 08:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheWRX
The part that bothers me most is that the tuners don't seem to care much about rules. Here are a few quotes from Shiv when his "STX legal" map was discussed:



The rules are clear, you can only modify fuel and timing, you can't change the boost maps at all. And it sounds very much like Shiv is changing the boost maps, while tyring to keep the boost curves at full throttle similar. Even copying a stock boost map from another car would seem very questionable.

#42 STX
Well, you kind hit on a catch 22. The rule specifically does not say that the boost maps cannot be changed. It does say that the stock boost curve and stock boost levels have to remain the same as stock.

So in the strictest interpretation, this actually would hurt those of us who decide to do the ECU reprogram because we would be forced to negate any changes to the boost curve changes due to exhaust mods (such as trhoppe's boost spike).

yes I am uncomfortable with what Shiv was saying, especially because the rule is so new. Shiv and I talked at length on this issue, but I made it clear on what I wanted. Until I can verify this independantly, we will just have to trust that the ECU was tuned the way I asked it to be. To develop this map took alot of dyno time (2 hours and a lunch break), paid for by yours truely. Shiv found it challenging to get the most out of the ECU with the restrictions I placed upon him by the STX rules.

You cannot say that the stock boost maps cannot be changed because Vishnu has already seen a variation of the stock boost map between the '02 and '03 ECU. Further more, there are variations between '02 maps. So which do you use? If there is so much variance, what is stock? Tell me that answer and I will make sure the ECU is apropriately programmed. but you have to be 110% sure of that answer.

If you tell me that I have to use stock boost map A I can easily show you stock boost map B that is significantly different. Both are from the factory, unmolested. Which is correct?

I guess this is all part of racing, trying to figure out the limits of the rules. I do wish that the rules were more specific, but they are what they are.
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Old 01-07-2003, 09:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChrisW
Further more, there are variations between '02 maps. So which do you use? If there is so much variance, what is stock?
My immediate reaction would be: Stock is the map that was on your ECU when you bought your car. But that raises an interesting question: Can you replace a part of your car with an "identical" part that isn't really identical? If the same car came with different software/map versions on the ECU, could you swap ECUs? Well, if your ECU was broken, they couldn't stop you from replacing it...

When I said that you couldn't modify boost maps at all, that came from "no changes to [..] or boost controls are permitted" in rule 17.10.D. I interpreted changing the boost maps as changing boost control.

Thanks for making such an effort to conform to the rules! This seems like a tricky one, I'm somewhat beyond my level of knowledge here. It certainly sounds like you're trying very hard to figure it out and do the right thing.
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Old 01-07-2003, 09:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Thanks for making such an effort to conform to the rules! This seems like a tricky one, I'm somewhat beyond my level of knowledge here. It certainly sounds like you're trying very hard to figure it out and do the right thing.
Chris is definetly doing his part to be legal. If everyone was like this, we would have ANY problems.

IMHO this is how a protest will go because this is what happened to ME when I got protested for higher boost last year at Nationals.

1) put a standardized SCCA boost gauge on a car that both drivers agree is stock. In my case it was the protestors (Larry Fine's) car. We agreed that if my car had lower or the same boost as his, he would drop the protest. In your case it could be a brand new WRX off the lot. They will even test 2 different new cars off the lot to make sure there are no variables.
2) have a SCCA official hook up the boost gauge and ride in the car while the protestor drives the car and the protestee sits in the back. Check the boost levels at 4, 5, 6K RPM in 1st and 2nd gears
3) put said boost gauge on the protestees (my) car
4) repeat test drive in my car with the same variables. Larry Driving, Heyward in the passenger seat, me in the back. Check boost levels at same RPM levels.

If the cars are different, how MUCH are they different. 1 psi or so can be attributed to "differences". If the car that is being protested makes 16-17psi then it tapers to 12, you know its illegal. If it spikes to 16, drops off to 14.5 and then tapers to 10, its good to go. You will see the same behavior, without the spike, on a stock WRX. The spike will be there because of the exhaust.

In my case my car made 8psi in 1st and didnt really drop off. In 2nd it make 13.5psi, dropped to like 11 and then 8 by redline. Larry's made 10psi in 1st and didnt really drop. In 2nd his made 15psi, dropped to 12-13 and then 10 by redline.

-Tom
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Old 01-08-2003, 09:35 AM   #20
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Old 01-08-2003, 10:12 AM   #21
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Old 01-08-2003, 10:27 AM   #22
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Edit: Thank you.
--kC

Last edited by KC; 01-08-2003 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 01-08-2003, 10:33 AM   #23
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Im not trying to call names or anyhting, I forgot I quoted his post.

Anyways, it doesnt matter if its a scooby driver or whatever. If someone is cheating, I don't care WHAT car they are in, I will be protesting them.

I posted the procedure for the way that a protest will go. I asked Howard about this and he backed me up. If you plan to be nationally competitive, are new at autoxing, are fast, and are running an ECUtek, prepare to get protested for higher boost.

-Tom
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Old 01-08-2003, 10:41 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by KC
Guys? Can you please edit your posts? We don't need no stinking fights within the class. If anything this name calling and finger pointing will only make it MORE difficult. And AWMIII? Aren't you going to or already are in SM? This isn't your fight. Within the class, I'd like to be friends 1st, competitors second.

Please?

--kC
damm straight KC.
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Old 01-22-2003, 06:28 PM   #25
ChrisW
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Default dyno session scans

Hey all,

due to unrelenting presure, I have tracked down a scanner and scanned the dyno plots that I have

check it out the plots

if you have question or comments I encourage you to speak up. The last thing I want to do is get up to the nationals and get DQ'ed over a misunderstanding.
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