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Old 01-27-2005, 02:55 AM   #1
Fly~n~StI
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Default EcuTek or Hydra E.M which is better?

Hi I was going to decide which fourm of E.M to use with my 2004 STI

I was looking into both but the Hydra seems to be Expensive about 1,700 then dyno time right? so I see it gettin towards the I cant afford range

From my stand-point I seem to think the EcuTek is a better system along with Delta-Dash.. the results I have read seem endless, Ecutek is also less expensive
right correct me If I`am wrong.

I had a few questions about the Ecutek & D/D you have the ability to switich between map`s right? and If so how many can you have. and can you switch them on the fly-- Like without restarting your car.. because that would be great

I would like to hear from some one with the EcuTek and tell me how they liked it

Thanks
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:46 AM   #2
joshd
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Ecutek is a reflash of the stock ECU, Hydra is a full stand alone EM system. You can't compare the two, it's apples and oranges. If you want a full stand alone for the ultimate control of all parameters, you go with something like Hydra. If you want to stay closer to stock and retain the factory ECU, you can get a reflash like EcuTek or piggyback like UTEC/XEDE.

And no, at this time, Ecutek for USDM STi is not capable of map switching. As far as I know, they're working on it ...

- Josh
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:51 AM   #3
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Neither is better. EcuTek based on the stock ECU is very stable, fix it and forget it. Custom dyno tuning, by a professional tuner only, will get you more than a "tune by mail" programming, but not a whole lot more. As far as I know, you have one map with EcuTek. I know there was/is a goal to be able to have two maps. DD permits very limited tweaking of the tune. Certain tuning parameters are harder to alter on the EcuTek because you are working within the stock program parameters.

The Element Hydra is a full blown stand alone unit. You can change anything. Almost all Hydra functions are at the user's finger tips. A consultation with Phil could probably get you all functions provided you gave up any liability. There are certain things the Hydra cannot currently do--batch fire starting, cruise control, OBDII. The reason to own an Element Hydra is for you to tune now or tune in the future.

If you are tuning your car with any regularity, I think that the expense is about the same (the price you quote includes a wide band, it's less if you don't). If you are tuning once or even twice, the EcuTek has the edge in cost.

Whether the Hydra is a better solution than UTEC is debatable. I would say that the Hydra is certainly more flexible and has some advantages. You'll never get more than that from me on a public board.
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:09 PM   #4
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I recently bought a ecutek for my 04 wagon. From what I understood from people is that ecutek is one of the safest ways to go for EM. I also know very little about EM and have finished putting mods on my car for a while. So tuning myself is way out of the question.

However I've heard good things about of forms of EM, plus you usually dont hear too many bad things about most EM, unless your really pushing some ponies. I'm running stock boost with the ecutek which gives me around 225-235whp. I like how smooth my car accelerates before EM my car would have a surge of power about 5500rpms. Now the power seems to be balanced really well. Since I like mine so much I'd recommend it for the daily drivers out there that want to tune their cars for its mods.

I considered the noob factor for myself and decided to get something that the professionals tune, and I leave alone. Since they maximized my power, I dont need to touch anything. Makes me happy.
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboy
(the price you quote includes a wide band, it's less if you don't)
Actually I believe the price he quoted does NOT include the wideband O2 sensor (although I would love to be wrong on that). That is my one complaint is that Phil doesn't actually show any type of price breakdown on the Hydra right now. I was told that it is $1650 for the Hydra alone. If I wanted the Autotune feature that would be an extra $300. I have asked Phil yet if that included the O2 in the price of the Autotune, but I sure would hope so. So if you wanted the Autotune feature and the Wideband O2 sensor, you are looking at almost $2k after shipping. Maybe Phil could jump in here and elaborate on this stuff though since right now I have only put in my order for whatever is actually included at the $1650 price.

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Old 01-27-2005, 03:35 PM   #6
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SO... when you get the HYDRA you have to Tune it right then and there... But what happens If you dont live near PHIL!!!! are you screwd???
I was lookin to use a nice sice turbo I would like to throw down around 445-460whp
and 435-440 t/q.. so it looks like the Hydra is the way to go
do they have map switichin ability with the hydra? if so.. how many?
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Old 01-27-2005, 03:57 PM   #7
offset
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Well, Phil has devised several different base maps that should get you up and running right at the time of install. It is more a matter of 'fine' tuning the system to get that extra couple of ponies. And yes, if you are going for that much HP I would suggest a Hydra. And I am pretty sure the Hydra does have some type of map switching ability but I am not sure how it works yet. Let me rephrase that a little though, I know the Hydra can switch maps, but I don't now if it can store multiple maps and recall them at the flip of a switch. I think Phil should use the CC button to cycle maps. Maybe flash the cruise light in accordance with the map number (third map, three flashes).

offset
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Old 01-27-2005, 04:03 PM   #8
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also make it known that hydra means:

-No cruise control
-No ODBII (which you need to pass emissions... not a big deal unless you have different injectors... then its a very big deal)
-05 STi ...no imobolizer


*disclaimer: i got this out of a few threads i read about the hydra serveal months ago. i may be wrong.
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Old 01-27-2005, 04:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronWRX
also make it known that hydra means:

-No cruise control
-No ODBII (which you need to pass emissions... not a big deal unless you have different injectors... then its a very big deal)
-05 STi ...no imobolizer


*disclaimer: i got this out of a few threads i read about the hydra serveal months ago. i may be wrong.

NO cruise Control!!!! NOOOOOOO I love crusie control
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Old 01-27-2005, 05:43 PM   #10
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offset: you are correct. When I purchased it was $1450 and after the closed loop AVCS and the "new" software Andrew pushed it up $200 dollars (I have this straight from Andrew's mouth). Personally, I would gently complain about the price increase and have him take the battle to Andrew. Let's just say that VOLUME, speaks volumes. The wide-band option is inexpensive or expensive depending on how you look at it--I think everyone would like to see Bosch sensors instead of the NTK.

Fly~n~STI: Phil is bringing the Hydra to us, not the other way around. Phil has done a great service to the Suby community by developing this great tuning tool. Yes he has tons of maps, yes he's a great tuner, yes he can assist you in tuning your own car (within reason), but in the end adoption of the Element Hydra as a platform will rule the day. Many of us put a bet on Phil that he would do a great job and that his initial tuning and reputation would draw many other tuners to the platform. I know at least a few very prominent tuners who can't wait to get their hands on the Hydra. You'll see custom Element Hydra tuning all over the nation very soon (I predict). It's just to good of a tool to not have a following.

My Element Hydra is in my car and I'm stuck in DC on business. Can't wait to get back.
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboy
offset: you are correct. When I purchased it was $1450 and after the closed loop AVCS and the "new" software Andrew pushed it up $200 dollars (I have this straight from Andrew's mouth). Personally, I would gently complain about the price increase and have him take the battle to Andrew. Let's just say that VOLUME, speaks volumes. The wide-band option is inexpensive or expensive depending on how you look at it--I think everyone would like to see Bosch sensors instead of the NTK.

Fly~n~STI: Phil is bringing the Hydra to us, not the other way around. Phil has done a great service to the Suby community by developing this great tuning tool. Yes he has tons of maps, yes he's a great tuner, yes he can assist you in tuning your own car (within reason), but in the end adoption of the Element Hydra as a platform will rule the day. Many of us put a bet on Phil that he would do a great job and that his initial tuning and reputation would draw many other tuners to the platform. I know at least a few very prominent tuners who can't wait to get their hands on the Hydra. You'll see custom Element Hydra tuning all over the nation very soon (I predict). It's just to good of a tool to not have a following.

My Element Hydra is in my car and I'm stuck in DC on business. Can't wait to get back.
Thank you for the good info, yea I wana learn how to tune very bad
do you know how much dyno time cost for about 2 hours??
and why do you loose cruise control? will they fix this in years to come i think i want to use they aem ems.. does aem loose cruise controll...
i dont want to loose my driveability factors

i would look into aem maybe but i dont have a clue on whats better
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:40 PM   #12
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Cruise control is a "safety" issue on the Hydra. It will take time to do it safely. I'd say it's low priority to Phil according to his previous posts.

There are some AEM users here, but personally I would never start there, just too many variables and calibration issues. I'm not sure I'd trust just anybody to program cruise control either. The Element Hydra is the only stand alone I would consider as a novice tuner. www.elementtuning.com It would be a hell of a tool to start with.

If cruise is that important to you, maybe one of the other systems is better for you.
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboy
Cruise control is a "safety" issue on the Hydra. It will take time to do it safely. I'd say it's low priority to Phil according to his previous posts.

There are some AEM users here, but personally I would never start there, just too many variables and calibration issues. I'm not sure I'd trust just anybody to program cruise control either. The Element Hydra is the only stand alone I would consider as a novice tuner. www.elementtuning.com It would be a hell of a tool to start with.

If cruise is that important to you, maybe one of the other systems is better for you.
naaa cruise isn`t that important I`d rather Get some good base-maps from the hydra and do some tuning my-self. I have a nice laptop to tune with!!
Can you use a laptop with the Hydra... can you road tune with the thing, or would dyno time give best result in the end!!! I plan on buying the Hydra I
looked at the element page... it sounds like a very rewarding tool

along with the Hydra i will buy these mod`s umm... just post and tell me what should be changed...

1.Perrin 816cc Injectors
2.Perrin STI Fuel Rails
3.Walbro Fuel Pump--larger than 225lph
4.Magnus Intake Manifold
5.Perrin Front-Mount-Intercooler----does this give less lag than APS -F/M
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:38 PM   #14
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that's a good mod list....
keep in mind the Sti stock turbo is limited to an additional 70hp at most before it runs out of air...

For those looking for 450WHP +
good luck running reliable.....
better to have usable power than a dyno queen
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineerx
that's a good mod list....
keep in mind the Sti stock turbo is limited to an additional 70hp at most before it runs out of air...

For those looking for 450WHP +
good luck running reliable.....
better to have usable power than a dyno queen
yea A turbo and new drivetrain, axels, LSD will be on the parts list once I complete my research but for now... that`s what I have made my mind on.
I heard the FP-Green is a good choice

but drivetrain and LSD I`am lost on...I guess I`ll wait until that stuff gets proven and tested.
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:45 PM   #16
offset
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STi_Guy04
along with the Hydra i will buy these mod`s umm... just post and tell me what should be changed...

1.Perrin 816cc Injectors
2.Perrin STI Fuel Rails
3.Walbro Fuel Pump--larger than 225lph
4.Magnus Intake Manifold
5.Perrin Front-Mount-Intercooler----does this give less lag than APS -F/M
My advice is to consider waiting just a little longer on the manifold. I think during this year we will see a lot more options in that area. Also I think I am holding out on the Air-Water IC that CBRD is developing. Less lag and more power than the stock IC equals a truly winning combo in my back. Finally, the rails may be a waste of money. Getting your stock injectors modded by Perrin is the way I plan on going, and the Walbro is almost a no-brainer. Take the money you would have spent on the mani and look for a nice header instead.

offset
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Old 01-28-2005, 01:18 AM   #17
STi_Guy04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offset
My advice is to consider waiting just a little longer on the manifold. I think during this year we will see a lot more options in that area. Also I think I am holding out on the Air-Water IC that CBRD is developing. Less lag and more power than the stock IC equals a truly winning combo in my back. Finally, the rails may be a waste of money. Getting your stock injectors modded by Perrin is the way I plan on going, and the Walbro is almost a no-brainer. Take the money you would have spent on the mani and look for a nice header instead.

offset
GP-Moto equal Length Header not good enough??? I was wondering about this for a while... LOL

Why are the Perrin Fuel Rails a waste of Money?? can you give a few reasons
I also am looking at this turbo Please post if anyone has any thing to say!!!

Kingpin GT35R turbo kit. .82 AR housing. T04S compressor.
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Old 01-28-2005, 07:17 AM   #18
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fuel rails are simply not necessary even on big HP setups
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Old 01-28-2005, 08:13 AM   #19
offset
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STi_Guy04
GP-Moto equal Length Header not good enough??? I was wondering about this for a while... LOL

Why are the Perrin Fuel Rails a waste of Money?? can you give a few reasons
I also am looking at this turbo Please post if anyone has any thing to say!!!

Kingpin GT35R turbo kit. .82 AR housing. T04S compressor.
That should be a nice header for you. Me personally, I will sacrifice a few HP to retain the sound of the boxer I like so much. And as pux888 said, even really big HP setups aren't using fuel rails (unless it is because they switched out from top feed to side feed or vice versa).

offset
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Old 01-28-2005, 06:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offset
That should be a nice header for you. Me personally, I will sacrifice a few HP to retain the sound of the boxer I like so much. And as pux888 said, even really big HP setups aren't using fuel rails (unless it is because they switched out from top feed to side feed or vice versa).

offset
Cool thanks alot.. So if I have big enough injectors I`ll be fine.. hey it will also save me like $400 with the install.. that`s alot of money which could be spent elsewhere
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