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Old 04-29-2005, 04:05 PM   #1
HydraEMS-NA
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Exclamation ATTN: Hydra 04-05 STI EMS Recall

At this time, for those that are unaware of the issue. It seems that some 04 and 05 Stis have a weak Ign switch output which feeds power to the Hydra ECU. Most cars when running will show anywhere from 12.8-13.8 on the real time battery volts window. However on some 04-05 Stis, they are only showing anywhere from 10.2-11.5v.This problem seems to be more pronounced when additional gauges or accessories are tapped off the factory Switched IG power. If the Voltage drops below 11Volts, the Hydra ECU can have problems with the DBW Circuit safety circuit. At this time we will like to have all 04-05 Stis units sent back to us ASAP for additional hardware and software to fix this problem. The hardware and software fixes will prevent the ECU from dropping down to 11 volts and if it ever does for whatever reasons,the safety circuit will cut in properly. We have already upgraded a bunch of ECUs that had this problem and just want other STI owners to be aware of this problem even if they are not currently experiencing this issue. Please email or call us to arrange for the product upgrade.We will take care of shipping both ways. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Hydra EMS America
510-870-1550
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Last edited by Scooby South; 04-29-2005 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 04-29-2005, 04:15 PM   #2
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Wow, that sucks.

Good on you for alerting people and for paying for the shipping. That's very professional.

Aaron
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Old 04-29-2005, 04:26 PM   #3
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Thanks Andrew!

This is excellent responsiveness on the part of a manufacturer. You will have the unit we are working with first thing Monday morning.


Jason Porter
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Old 04-29-2005, 06:32 PM   #4
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So how do we know if we have the problem or not?

Does this show up on the Hydra dashboard or do I have to tap the wire with a multi-meter?
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Old 04-29-2005, 07:50 PM   #5
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Contact Andrew at Hydra USA for more details. He posted his number above.

Last edited by TopSpeed; 04-29-2005 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:44 PM   #6
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Everyone really needs to have this looked at. This is VERY serious. The car can go full throttle on its own from idle if the voltage drops.

Last edited by dlowman; 05-05-2005 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:55 PM   #7
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My car would actually spike to only about 2500rpms or so; but I am glad to have mine fixed. Phil and Andrew both were super helpful and very quick when I called them to get an idea on the fix and ask for me to ship it back (on their dime which is appreciated). Definately shows some great customer service for a great product in my book. Thanks again Andy.

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Old 04-30-2005, 12:20 AM   #8
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The problem usually arise when voltage of the ecu drops below 11 volts. You can monitor this on your Nemesis Software in the real time data window on the far left. We have only found a handful of cars that had this problem, but we feel more comfortable as a manufacturer if we fixed this problem on all STi boxes regardless if you are having a problem or not at the current time. Element Tuning has done an excellent job promoting the product and we just like to give our continual support to him and all his customers.

Hydra EMS America
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Old 04-30-2005, 03:12 PM   #9
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This problem is not with the STI's voltage it's a problem with the Hydra and you know it!!!!.

You can swap Hydras and the problem disappears. It's because the problem lies in the Hydra, that's why a recall makes sense (think about it folks). More evidence of obfuscation......there's not just one power line for the Hydra, maybe for the DBW system (something Hydra-USA is glossing over is how the Hydra has spliced or omitted power and ground wires that "seem" redundant). I'll send anyone the Hydra's pinout map if they would like to see it, a simple voltmeter test and/or the STi service manual can provide the STi's voltage/power information very easily to prove or disprove Hydra-USA's unsupported conjecture)

Offset, your service may have been admirable, but in my opinion it's only due to your proximity to Hydra-America. This problem had been documented repeatedly for MONTHS, and only after Andrew could "see it for himself" was it addressed. Meanwhile we had cars with serious problems all over the USA, and an extremely arrogant manufacturer insisting (and this continues) that the problem lies with the STi. I'll give Andrew about as much credit as I do Ford for blaming Firestone for their rolling Bronco, Explorers.........

I am totally sympathetic to Phil's plight. He's working with a person who lacks any sense of humility when Phil has it in Spades. Phil is the amazing service professional here. Maybe something is/will rub off.

I think its great if Hydra fixes this problem, I only hope they don't ignore all the other ones that are not directly related to the occupant's safety. Hydra/Quantum has the kernal of a great engine management system and is ruining it with it's own foolish pride and stupid public relation mistakes. Are you listening yet Andrew? You can't delete posts here!!!!
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Old 04-30-2005, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HydraEMS-NA
At this time, for those that are unaware of the issue. It seems that some 04 and 05 Stis have a weak Ign switch output which feeds power to the Hydra ECU. Most cars when running will show anywhere from 12.8-13.8 on the real time battery volts window. However on some 04-05 Stis, they are only showing anywhere from 10.2-11.5v.This problem seems to be more pronounced when additional gauges or accessories are tapped off the factory Switched IG power. If the Voltage drops below 11Volts, the Hydra ECU can have problems with the DBW Circuit safety circuit. At this time we will like to have all 04-05 Stis units sent back to us ASAP for additional hardware and software to fix this problem. The hardware and software fixes will prevent the ECU from dropping down to 11 volts and if it ever does for whatever reasons,the safety circuit will cut in properly. We have already upgraded a bunch of ECUs that had this problem and just want other STI owners to be aware of this problem even if they are not currently experiencing this issue. Please email or call us to arrange for the product upgrade.We will take care of shipping both ways. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Hydra EMS America
510-870-1550

Im confused...

How can a hardware / software upgrade fix the problem you claim lies within the STi's?

Please elaborate.

~v6

Last edited by V6TurboTA; 05-02-2005 at 12:04 AM. Reason: quoted original post
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Old 04-30-2005, 05:34 PM   #11
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Guys, please don't turn this into a bitchfest.

There is an issue with the voltage to the unit dropping, whether this is an issue with the STi's wiring or with the Hydra itself is irrelevant.

Hydra has come up with a fix for the issue that beefs up the voltage supply to the unit and additionally includes a failsafe system to prevent these issues from occurring.

Just send your unit back, get the update, and drive safely. Making accusations and getting worked up over the issue does not solve anything.

That's my $0.02.


-Porter
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Old 05-01-2005, 12:00 AM   #12
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Actually I am in Ohio and nowhere near Cali (where Andrew is I think). He worked with me over the phone well past quiting time trying to help me with my idle problem and other issues. I believe you may have certain reasons for disliking him, but I have yet to hear them. Feel free to PM as I would prefer this thread not to be cluttered with that conversation. And all of my dealings, and a local buddy Aaron's dealings, with Andrew have been very good. As for the root of the voltage problem, I know electronics well enough that I believe I understand what the real problem stems from. And you may have some room to complain, but the end result isn't changed that it is being corrected (at this time at least). My opinion is not to continue bashing someone when they are actually trying to correct problems, even if it is possible they are not being fully forward about the history of the problem. Remember Hydra paid for my shipping both ways; who paid in the Ford/Firestone case?

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Old 05-01-2005, 02:06 AM   #13
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What Hydra did to fix the problem was to add a relay that provides direct power to the EMS as well as updated firmware to deal with the issue. My car had this problem with the EMS - it would see very low voltages and eventually it would not start - voltage would drop to 10.4v during crank and I guess the Hydra doesn't like the low voltages - those 3 processors are power hungy, but they're needed for the DBW control.

Hydra asked me to loan them my car to find / test / the fix. Andrew flew down to L.A. - picked up my car - drove back to Bay Area - had the engineers fly from Singapore to work on the fix and drove back my car a week after.



I have a question:
Is it OK to use a filter in the vacuum/boost line from the manifold to the ECU? I imagine the Hydra has some very sensitive sensors on board to measure the changes in intake pressure. The filter would be to prevent any debris from making their way to the onboard sensors and fouling them. I did a few runs with the filter on and so far no problems. There's no "flow" thru that circuit - only "static" pressure-like conditions so it should be ok... any input greatly appreciated...

Last edited by engineerx; 05-01-2005 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:59 PM   #14
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This does not pertain to MY02 & 03 WRX's correct? I do have HID's, various gauges, water and nitrous injection. Should I be concerned?
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboy
This problem is not with the STI's voltage it's a problem with the Hydra and you know it!!!!.

You can swap Hydras and the problem disappears. It's because the problem lies in the Hydra, that's why a recall makes sense (think about it folks). More evidence of obfuscation......there's not just one power line for the Hydra, maybe for the DBW system (something Hydra-USA is glossing over is how the Hydra has spliced or omitted power and ground wires that "seem" redundant). I'll send anyone the Hydra's pinout map if they would like to see it, a simple voltmeter test and/or the STi service manual can provide the STi's voltage/power information very easily to prove or disprove Hydra-USA's unsupported conjecture)

Offset, your service may have been admirable, but in my opinion it's only due to your proximity to Hydra-America. This problem had been documented repeatedly for MONTHS, and only after Andrew could "see it for himself" was it addressed. Meanwhile we had cars with serious problems all over the USA, and an extremely arrogant manufacturer insisting (and this continues) that the problem lies with the STi. I'll give Andrew about as much credit as I do Ford for blaming Firestone for their rolling Bronco, Explorers.........

I am totally sympathetic to Phil's plight. He's working with a person who lacks any sense of humility when Phil has it in Spades. Phil is the amazing service professional here. Maybe something is/will rub off.

I think its great if Hydra fixes this problem, I only hope they don't ignore all the other ones that are not directly related to the occupant's safety. Hydra/Quantum has the kernal of a great engine management system and is ruining it with it's own foolish pride and stupid public relation mistakes. Are you listening yet Andrew? You can't delete posts here!!!!

Bboy, PM me the pinouts.

Sorry to hear about your problems, what is your car year/model?

My 05 STi had the relay upgrade, didn't fix the DBW failsafe, then I sent it in again on Andrew's coin and he upgraded the board. Fixed the issue. I do have a slightly high idle that I can't seem to get down yet, but Andrew has always been real helpful with me and so has Phil. I cannot believe that Andrew would have us send all the Hydras in for a Hardware update if it didn't help at all? I got mine back and it was the original one I bought.

If you can post your method of fixing the issue and provide some solutions, it would be much more helpful to us all instead of just calling someone out.

I'll let you know anything/everything I did to get it running right if you return the favor. That's the point of NASIOC correct?
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:40 AM   #16
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PWM Map 2 to lower your idle. Make very small changes to column 1 while "online" and your idle RPM should drop. Also watch the AFR at the idle load site (usually 800 RPM, 535 mm Hg). Raise/lower the AFR at idle by selecting all load sites around the "idle" site, and including the idle site with the Control key + arrows--->then lower/raise the pulse width collectively.

What are my problems, you ask. I'll summarize:

I've been working with the Hydra since Feb. and I've "discovered" most of the problems with the Hydra on my car with one unit or another, or one harness or another (3 units total + 3 harnesses). Hydra-USA has never shipped a totally functional unit/harness combo for my car yet.

Another gripe is that I asked reasonable and legitimate questions of members of the Hydra-USA Forum (at the time it was the only source of info other than Phil or Andrew), and had three threads deleted because they uncovered problems with the Hydra and/or with Hydra-USA's claims for the functions of it's product.

Then, I see this recall that basically blames the STI for the DBW problem, when I know the problem lies squarely with the Hydra units--(i.e. my car did not surge gratuitously with the stock ECU, and swapping Hydra units can/did solve the problem--for a time, it lowered the frequency greatly).

I hope the recall ends the DBW issue, and I hope the other issues (less well known) are addressed at the same time with less publicity. But more than anything, I hope that Hydra-USA/Andrew learns to respect their/his customers enough to learn from them before recall/stink is necessary, and I hope Hydra/Andrew never again uses a ploy like blaming the STi for what is a Hydra EMS problem.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:04 AM   #17
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Alright, my final thoughts on whose to blame go like this. Andrew says that the STi's have a 'weak' ignition circuit. Well, that is a comparitive word IMO. So have any of the other cars that have generally used a Hydra had this problem or something similar (since it is a DBW car, that would change how this problem presents itself)? I don't know of any of the MR2s that run the Hydra having a problem due to the ignition circuit.

With all of that said, I can still understand your unhappiness with your experiences. Maybe (hopefully) going forward things will work out better for you and your Hydra.

offset
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Old 05-02-2005, 05:05 PM   #18
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Seems to be one of those situations where everyone would have benefited from enduser input. Unfortunately it did not go that way.
I've learned alot from reading BBOY's posts, he's a great source of info on Hydra and lots of its "little" nuisances. BBOY, you're a great asset to the Hydra users .

It would have been great if things had worked differently- Hydra listening to enduser suggestions/problems - well , it didn't work that way.
As it is.... I believe Hydra is the only standalone EMS for the STi. As far as I know, AEM has not released theirs, perhaps afraid to deal with the DBW mechanism? - I don't know, just a guess on my part. So I applaud Hydra & Phil for taking on the STI EMS quest for the magic blue box. I'm learning as I go and thank all of you for your guidance and info.
See you all at the forums !

So, we have to rely on Hydra to provide us with the only means of going standalone and hopefully all the major problems will/ have been resolved

DBW Fix so far:
My car had the DBW Throttle problem, low voltage, throttle not responding, computer resetting itself, then no engine start at all.
The relay & firmware update have een working ok so far. I have not driven the car that much however. I drove it for about 30 min : freeway, stop and go city, gas station, idling at driveway with A/C, lights, stereo cranked, brake lights on... and no problem so far. So it seems the power supply issue was fixed w/ the relay. hope it continues that way.

Last edited by engineerx; 05-02-2005 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 05-02-2005, 05:13 PM   #19
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As far as filtering the MAP sensor, as long as it offers almost no resistance to flow it should be fine. Remember the MAP sensor is your fuel addition tool and at 7000 RPM that's a lot of calculating to be done based on pressure measurements. If you delay the sensing of a change in pressure it will show up as a lag in fueling. I'd leave the filter out unless you have proof that something is coming all the way down the rubber hose and affecting the MAP reading.

The Hydra's MAP sensor is going to look something like this, board mountable, millivolt output:

http://www.omega.com/ppt/pptsc.asp?ref=PX137&Nav=preb02
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Old 05-02-2005, 05:38 PM   #20
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AEM greatest problem to me is fuel pulse width resolution. With forced induction the number of load sites needs to be higher. Tuning AEM on a NA engine would not be too bad. Add another entire atmosphere of boost, and a little 16 x 16 or even 24 x24 map starts looking pretty crowded. In the upper boost areas on the Hydra, I almost wish the map had even greater resolution than it does. But when I go to a larger turbo, I'll be thankful for the nearly 15 psi of load sites that my dinky turbo never even touches.

I'm starting an idle and off boost tuning post/thread in the main section of EM&T in the 2nD Official thread. Come on over and tell us your experience with tuning the off-boost parts of the fuel and spark maps. Or talk about whats going on in that region that seems funny with Phil's map and you'd like to change. Phil has the Tuning Guide 3 out and it's a start, but I for one find tuning the idle a bit like talking to oneself, you can't remember who asked the question.

BTW, I have no stereo and pretty much no drain on the ignition. Yet my car had the DBW problem with one of the units. It's a Hydra issue. It may be compounded by folks with massive amp drains, but on a stock STI it's still a problem.

I'll send the pin-out map to those who PM me an email address. I've got it in PDF format for now. I mapped it with the STI repair manual and a voltmeter, what you do with the info is up to you, but for god's sake be careful. There is no fuse protection from the inside-->out in our cars. You cross something and current could go all over the place and blow all sorts of sensitive sensors, not to mention the Hydra itself. There is nothing wrong with having the information, using it is another matter. DC current is nothing to let follow the path of least resistance.


The pin-out is in color and gives you the Subaru coordinates of each wire in the Hydra harness plus a few goodies. I'm working on a basic Hydra manual so that people can refer to specific sections when they need to and one that also has a index so finding out what you need is quicker. I've not yet committed to this endeavor since it's bound to be easily 50+ pages and that's a lot of editorial work. The Official Unofficial thread already has quite a bit, and Phil has very concise notes, so maybe a cut and paste job could yield something pretty quick, then index it and have a pretty good guide to the Hydra. I feel like I'm working with MegaSquirt when it come to Hydra documentation, except MegaSquirt's is lot better. My favorite EM manual is the TEC3 manual, it's incredibly detailed and useful.
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Old 05-02-2005, 05:40 PM   #21
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Aahh ! I see the sensor - $55 for similar sensor yikes!

True, there shouldn't be much - if any- particles coming up the hose. I'll remove it then. - the filter itself is not that restrictive as tested by the "blow with lungs" test - a differential pressure test would be better hehehe !!

Which data log column wold show the difference if the filter presents a pressure sensing retriction?

Thanks for the input
-Roland
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:37 PM   #22
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BBOY.

Thanks for the explanation man.

I've got the relay fix, and the hardware upgrade. Had it on and today it starting dying again. Here's my particular issues, idle will not drop to target. If you go past 22 min on 0 load in PWM2 it will trigger dbw failsafe, so I can't get any lower.

Also, when my car dies here's what it does, under the throttle settings, and observing the TPS cal box. Normal at idle is 34-35, the car will idle then all the sudden, and VERY random, it will drop to like 22 and die. Then, with the car still off, if I floor the gas the tps cal box goes crazy, like 30 to 150 to 70 to 60, etc. basically flipping all over, I beleive this is the DBW safemode kicking in.

Me and Andrew messed with it for an hour over the phone today to no avail.

So, I'm gonna swap units and see if that fixes it. Either way I'll let you know.

Are you up and running now? Can you reach your target idle?

Thanks,

Aaron
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:49 AM   #23
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well damn what should i do i have a hydra on order chould i cancel my order ??
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:00 AM   #24
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I've been running for a long time. I just keep futzing with everything and learning how the STi ticks. I'm having fun, but it was an epic install.

Check your air temp and coolant temp in the data logs or monitor, if you can keep the car idling. I'd also watch your AFR while idling. It will hop all over the place but it should have a mid point, and that mid point is............dependent on the tune. I start with something in the 11-12:1 range.

I'd open the throttle back up in PWM Map 2 to around 26-28 for now, sounds like that's not the problem. You'll idle fast but that's OK, at least the car is running.

I'll post my idling tribulations on the Official Unofficial tomorrow. Jblaine has lots of experience with the idle stuff, more than I do.

Quote:
Then, with the car still off, if I floor the gas the tps cal box goes crazy, like 30 to 150 to 70 to 60, etc. basically flipping all over, I beleive this is the DBW safemode kicking in.
The car is off, right? Pop the hood, get out, and put your ear down by the throttle. If you can hear the throttle "twitching" (the DBW throttle is a somewhat circular black thing on the throttle body (left side, facing car) just in front of the intercooler hose). If you hear clicking, random opening and closing of the throttle, PM me I'll give you more tests. If you hear that (and you've already seen the fluctuation), then there are some very important things you need to know.
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:08 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkpeterpan
well damn what should i do i have a hydra on order chould i cancel my order ??
Well I would not go that far. The Hydra is a hell of a EM system despite the PR problems and, in my experience, general disdain for customers. Phil Grabow has always taken car of me and that's who I bought it from.

I'm upset not so much with the Hydra-EMS, but rather with the way that significant product launch problems have been dealt. I just cannot stand deceit of any kind. Phil has always told me like it is............others, I would not believe a single word.
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