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Old 06-09-2005, 09:18 AM   #1
the blue thing
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Default Hydra or Cobb Street Tuner?

Hi everyone, I have a 2004 STI and I would like to get an aftermarket engine management for my car. I like both Cobb tuning ST and Hydra, but I am not sure which one is better for my car. that's why I am starting this thread to seek for help. The car is now stock with Vibrant exhaust and the following items will be installed with the EM:
1.perrin modified injectors
2.perrin boost control solenoid
3.walbro fuel pump
4.full 3 catless turbo back exhaust (thermal coated)
5.uppipe (thermal coated)

Future upgrade:
1. FMIC
2. deadbolt superzilla turbo
Based on what I read on the internet, the hydra seem to make to most horse power out of my current setup(310 whp!!! ). The Cobb ST seemed to be easier to start up, but thier 277 whp claim sounds a little discouraging. Since I am using the stock turbo for now, boost creep is another concern. l e-mailed Phil at Element Tuning and he claimed he never had that problem with the Hydra and that sounds very promising. Has anyone used the Cobb ST with the exact same set up like me? Have you experienced any boost creeps? Please help
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:22 AM   #2
happasaiyan
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what are your requirements for emissions?

personally, i would go ST.
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:27 AM   #3
the blue thing
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requirement of emission is not a concern for now, hee hee ...... and we can get 94 oct gas in here too
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:45 AM   #4
awilson529
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the blue thing
requirement of emission is not a concern for now, hee hee
It sure will be when time comes for inspection though... Hydra= no OBDII
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:51 AM   #5
the blue thing
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I get your point, I guess my concern with the ST is that it is still new and I am on my own when I try to do anything other than their stage 1 & 2.......... I am new with EM tuning and I am concern that I will blow the engine.
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Old 06-09-2005, 10:25 AM   #6
happasaiyan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the blue thing
I get your point, I guess my concern with the ST is that it is still new and I am on my own when I try to do anything other than their stage 1 & 2.......... I am new with EM tuning and I am concern that I will blow the engine.
and this is different than the hydra how? the hydra has an even steeper learning curve than the ST.
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Old 06-09-2005, 10:45 AM   #7
the blue thing
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Element Tuning seemed to give a better support than Cobb, I have read other people's post and they were havn't problems with the Perrin EBCS, boost creeps, and large injectors........ and I think Phil at Element Tuning already solved those problems....... that's why I started the post trying to find out if there is anyone has tried the ST. Please don't think that I have anything against the Cobb ST, I used their ECU flash with my old WRX and I was happy with it. I also know the benefit of keeping the stock ECU but the Hydra just sounded so good not to try.........that's all
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Old 06-09-2005, 11:18 AM   #8
Adrenalin Rush
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I just stepped off the dyno with my wrx with a ST and it is very true that Cobb uses an overly rich condition across the board .. so remember cobb's hp numbers are from a super rich condition.. I am talking in the 9's!!! once moved to the 11's .. it was a different story.. The software is easy to us and once you understand it. it is game on!!!
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Old 06-09-2005, 11:52 AM   #9
happasaiyan
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well...there are people out there running the ST. and there are people out there making good power on with it.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:06 PM   #10
Jaxx
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there is a guy local to me that has pretty much the same setup

but he has the SZ and front mount installed he is running ST and likes it
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Old 06-09-2005, 01:49 PM   #11
the blue thing
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thanks guys, I just ordered the ST for my car and I will keep you posted. I have been debating for several months and you guys helped me make make the decision in a couple of hours!! thanks all
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Old 06-09-2005, 02:21 PM   #12
ride5000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the blue thing
Element Tuning seemed to give a better support than Cobb, I have read other people's post and they were havn't problems with the Perrin EBCS, boost creeps, and large injectors........ and I think Phil at Element Tuning already solved those problems....... that's why I started the post trying to find out if there is anyone has tried the ST. Please don't think that I have anything against the Cobb ST, I used their ECU flash with my old WRX and I was happy with it. I also know the benefit of keeping the stock ECU but the Hydra just sounded so good not to try.........that's all
i think part of the issue is that most folks who make the leap (and it IS a leap) to a full standalone have a bit more experience. at the very least they are doing so with the understanding that a LOT of the mundane stuff must be attended to. as a result they are less likely to come to these boards and post about all the problems they've had. essentially, to a large extent they've "asked for them" by going full standalone.

cobb users, otoh, seem to be sold on the idea that the system is largely plug and play. in the case of AP, it's pretty much true. in the case of ST though it is less true. in the extreme case, the protuner software will be the most complex and therefore prone to issues from user error.

i guess my point is that you've got to look at the expectations of the user as compared to the promises of marketing before you conclude that one solution is easier than another based solely on # of negative threads/posts on this or other boards.

ken
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Old 06-09-2005, 04:00 PM   #13
stimpy
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My car did 200whp at 10psi on an other-wise stock JDM tune. It was dangerously lean and any more boost was not runnable. A few weeks ago the car was up to 255whp and 255wtq at 16psi; the tune was still pretty ragged. I've spent the time since smoothing out my timing, fuel, and completely recalibrating my MAF so it'll be back on the dyno in awhile. There is no boost creep, but the damn turbo is way too small for this altitude and can't hold more than 11psi above 6500rpm.

The point is that I have been able to make good, clean power once most of the key tables were completely retuned (we basically started from scratch since the factory maps were WAY off for my car). This is on an STi V7 swap with only a K&N air filter, ScoobySport downpipe, stock WRX cat-pipe and mid-pipe, and an APS 2.5" backbox. It has been a great learning experience so far. There is no limitatation in sight except all the stock STi and WRX parts still on my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the blue thing
Based on what I read on the internet, the hydra seem to make to most horse power out of my current setup(310 whp!!! ). The Cobb ST seemed to be easier to start up, but thier 277 whp claim sounds a little discouraging.
Which 277whp claim are you referring to? The Stage 2 map? A stock STi lays down 238whp and 248wtq on our dyno so a 40whp gain and a 60wtq gain sounds pretty good to me. I have not personally seen a Hydra tuned car on our dyno to have a direct comparison to, but I do know that people have reported an extra 20-30whp by getting their stage 2 STi ProTUNED versus using the off-the-shelf AccessPORT Stage 2 map (which is basically what is accomplished by going to a Hydra [user-tuned instead of a generic map]). I think both systems have their ins and outs, but they shouldn't be compared on dyno numbers.

If you want a real decision made, you need to look towards other factors like emissions, your understanding of engine management systems in general (tables, compensations, etc), then what you really want out of your car. The stock ECU, and therefor ECUTek and StreetTUNER/ProTUNER, is good for probably around 400 crank horsepower before you have to start tricking it. Tuning the ECUs in this manner is still rather new in the US so I see lots of neat things forthcoming with the factory ECU. I personally had little real-world tuning experience so StreetTUNER was a good step for me.

If you are curious about the real technicalities of what makes a standalone any better or worse than a MAF-based factory ECU, grab yourself a copy of How to Tune and Modify Engine Management Systems. It covers factory Motec, Hondata, SDS, EFI, PowerChip, Tec3, eManage (I think or some other Japanse interceptor), and many others. It goes into the gritty details of how they work and is very educational. No dyno numbers between systems are compared, it is stictly the technology itself that is written of.

-Jon
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Old 06-09-2005, 04:50 PM   #14
happasaiyan
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the power gained is more reliant on the tuner than the hardware (granted the hardware is robust enough...which both the ST, UTEC, and hydra all are).

an engine running x AFR, y boost, and z* ignition advance on ecu A will run the same amount of power as the same engine running x AFR, y boost, and z* ignition advance on ecu B.
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Old 06-10-2005, 03:57 PM   #15
offset
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Thanks to Phil's wonderful maps and amazing customer service even a n00b like me can run a standalone EM.

offset (Kinda sounds like a brochure quote huh )
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