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Old 02-20-2005, 11:40 AM   #1
erggy
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Default Hydra experiences pros/cons

I am extremely interested in getting the Hydra, would appreciated if those who have installed it can let me know what are the pros/cons that you've experienced so far?

Also, what would be another product similar to the Hydra in terms of available functionalities? Both current products and future releases (Cobb ST, EcuTek user self-tunable, etc.)

ps: I've also heard that the Hydra is universal and is compatible with EVOs and older WRX/STIs, have anyone heard of this?

thank you so much
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:31 PM   #2
pux888
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you need to decide on what your own goals are and how far you want to go before anyone can help you make a decision, also i would make sure that you have a tuner near by that knows what ever system you choose. its not alot of fun when you cant get your car going and the nearest tuner is 10 hours away. and yes the hydra is compatible w/ many platforms.
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:37 PM   #3
bboy
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Both the Element Hydra and UTEC are the only systems that currently provide user tuning ability, comparing them is like comparing champagne to beer. They are both fine sparkling fermented products. They both require commitment of time and resources. They will both intoxicate you, but is that really the point.

You are greatest variable in engine management. If you don't want to participate in the tuning go with something other than Hydra to UTEC (caveat: it could be plug and play, see below)

Engine Management is just that, management, you can't manage what you ain't got. The Hydra controls everything except cruise control and no OBDII, plus it can control things the stock ECU cannot (EcuTek, UTEC, Cobb are all based on the stock ECU functions).

Nothing is in the Hydra league in terms of functionality, configurablity, or tuning interface. And it has most of the basic functions already worked out by Phil at Element Tuning. If you want a fix it and forget it system, the Hydra could be for you, but only with a tuner's help. If you adopt the Hydra, right now, you are in for some configuration on your own unless you live near one of the three dealers. This will change as more people begin working with it.

Hydra is universal, but not universally configured. If you want to run it on another car, you'll have to send it back for reworking of the outputs and maybe even algorithms (I'm not sure this can be done). It's the same box, not necessarily the same innards.

If learning to tune is your thing, I think the Hydra will spoil you with quick learning in a great environment. If having your car tuned is what you want, I think many, but not all, of the tuning systems can provide that in the hands of a knowledgeable tuner and at a lower cost.

My blanket advice to you is to read a whole lot more so you know more about the you component of EM.
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Old 02-20-2005, 08:00 PM   #4
typhoon663
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Well said. EM and which one you choose seems to depend a lot on what your mods are, what your goals are, and what your aptitudes are for tuning. I wouldn't do an Ecutek reflash, for example, if I wasn't real sure I was done modding my car, but that's me.
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:36 AM   #5
boxerboy
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I am useing the Hydra. It is new to me. I drove my car (2002 wrx) for some time sunday. I am liking the Hydra so far. It runs my new engine set up smoother than it ran with the piggy back before. My new set up is a built 2.5 with built heads and cams. I am in break in so, I do not run any boost and not over 4000rpms. I don't intend to tune my own car at this time. I will spend a lot of time learning what it does. The Hydra seem to be the best choice to run this engine.
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:48 AM   #6
typhoon663
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Yeah, but is it THAT much better to the point that it justifies the increased expense (it's almost 3x as much as an AP)???
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:03 PM   #7
pux888
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you cant really compare the two, thats why i always say that you need to access your goals, that decision alone will point you in the right direction. the ap may be less but you cant control avcs or bolt up a gt30r if you decided to.
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:22 PM   #8
SilverSurfer04STi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoon663
Yeah, but is it THAT much better to the point that it justifies the increased expense (it's almost 3x as much as an AP)???
For good reason. These are two TOTALLY different animals. However, if you compare the StreetTuner to the Hydra w/o the wideband it is not that much more expensive. That is more of an apples to apples comparison since they are both tuneable systems without wideband in that comparison (StreetTuner does not come with wideband at this time). In that comparison it is ~$1600 for the Hydra compared to ~$1100 for the Street Tuner. Yes, still more expensive for the Hydra, but you can do alot more with the Hydra too.

Like the previous post says, it really all depends on your goals, how much $$ you are willing to spend, and how much you want to be able to tune the car yourself.

I chose Hydra b/c I know I'm going to continue to modify my engine and I was willing to spend more for a stand alone. This EM will give me consistency (with the caveat that I have to tune for the environment myself instead of letting the ECU do it) while the piggy-backs generally have transition issues and the reflashes have the inconsistencies (for safety reasons) associated with the touchy stock ECU. It all really boils down to preferences, not which one is better or worse.

Oh by the way, tell me that's not some cool ****... LINK

Last edited by SilverSurfer04STi; 02-21-2005 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:00 PM   #9
jblaine
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Well-said, bboy
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:20 PM   #10
erggy
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sweet!!!!!
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:37 PM   #11
typhoon663
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Oh very good, Silversurfer. I've been curious about this Hydra (and yes, those shots were very cool) and your summary gave me what I've been looking for, although I now have another alternative to consider. Too many choices, ouch!!
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:54 PM   #12
SilverSurfer04STi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoon663
Oh very good, Silversurfer. I've been curious about this Hydra (and yes, those shots were very cool) and your summary gave me what I've been looking for, although I now have another alternative to consider. Too many choices, ouch!!
Yes, making decisions on all this crap really sucks. Sooooooo much research is required. This was the second toughest decision I made on my STi (after turbo selection of course). I sold my AP to upgrade to the Hydra.

PS - I loved the AP, it just does not allow me to tune for my parts so I had to sell it...
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Old 02-22-2005, 07:46 AM   #13
typhoon663
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I really don't think I'll ever get a turbo; the TBE and headers are about it for me. I guess the AP will fit my needs with those parameters.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:11 PM   #14
n2xlr8n
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboy
Both the Element Hydra and UTEC are the only systems that currently provide user tuning ability, comparing them is like comparing champagne to beer. They are both fine sparkling fermented products. They both require commitment of time and resources. They will both intoxicate you, but is that really the point.

You are greatest variable in engine management. If you don't want to participate in the tuning go with something other than Hydra to UTEC (caveat: it could be plug and play, see below)
Nice. My vote for response of the week.

...fine sparkling fermented products.... Mmmm. Humor good.
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