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Old 07-08-2005, 02:03 PM   #1
Gfunk720
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Default Question about 04 WRX OL/CL modding issues

Well, I am currently at the point where I am getting ready to order some performance parts for my car. So far I have kept it pretty basic: Kartboy SS, Bosal Twin tip catback, Tires and swaybars. I was planning on picking up some perrin IC hoses and a Bosal shorty DP that eliminates the first post turbo cat.

My question is, how will my 04 WRX ECU react to the DP without any form of engine management? I know it will throw a cat-deficiency CEL, but will I have fueling issues and possible detonation? I am planning on upgrading to a UTEC eventually, should I get the UTEC and run stage 1 map w/o doing the up-pipe/DP first? I should probably do UP/DP and UTEC all at once, but that really isnt an option right now. I have enough for a UTEC, just dont know if I should get it or supporting stage 2 mods first or the UTEC itself?

Also, would this necessitate any gauges? I plan on doing some DEFI BF's soon, but was going to get the whole kit of 3. Should I buy a boost or EGT gauge before I do this mod to monitor boost or temps?

Since I am kind of a EM n00b, would anyone recommend getting an AP over the UTEC? I have heard problems with some of the COBB maps in the past, and am a little more skeptical about the AP basemaps than the UTEC ones

Any help is appriciated, thanks in advance
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:08 PM   #2
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EM first. It will make a difference on a stock car. And see what the people around you use. They will be the ones helping you...
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:33 PM   #3
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If you have money to burn get utec.
You will have more options bov, intake, FMIC, headers......
Only downside is you will need to fork over lots of $$$ to retune
if you cant afford everything all at once.

Or get a AP & follow their mod path with the option of getting tuned.
There was a poll around not that long ago that showed 40 or so people
with stalling issues. With all the AP's sold thats like 1-2% with problems
here on nasioc.

It all comes down to how much money you wand to waste.or.spend

Last edited by kevin2.5rs; 07-08-2005 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin2.5rs
If you have money to burn get utec.
You will have more options bov, intake, FMIC, headers......
OK, no offense dude, but a UTEC is really not the best solution for our cars. A piggyback system is a cheap alternative to a good standalone or even a flash. Piggyback systems were used a lot in the early OBDII days because flashable ECUs weren't supported by tuner cars back then. Since all model years WRX's natively support this I'd say go with a system that flashes your stock ECU (Cobb or EcuTek). These types of systems are much more reliable in daily drivability and allow for just as many mods as a UTEC would.

If you're really wondering which is better, I'd hold off a little on the mods and do some more reading on the boards to see and understand what each of these EM systems provide for you. Reading/research can save you serious money when it comes to modding and you actually learn something at the same time so you don't look like a fool at the next car meeting.

BTW, 04+ WRXs have fueling issues stock... let alone modded. EM really needs to be the beginning to the modding road for 04+ owners.

Last edited by JRSCCivic98; 07-08-2005 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
Well, I am currently at the point where I am getting ready to order some performance parts for my car. So far I have kept it pretty basic: Kartboy SS, Bosal Twin tip catback, Tires and swaybars. I was planning on picking up some perrin IC hoses and a Bosal shorty DP that eliminates the first post turbo cat.

My question is, how will my 04 WRX ECU react to the DP without any form of engine management? I know it will throw a cat-deficiency CEL, but will I have fueling issues and possible detonation? I am planning on upgrading to a UTEC eventually, should I get the UTEC and run stage 1 map w/o doing the up-pipe/DP first? I should probably do UP/DP and UTEC all at once, but that really isnt an option right now. I have enough for a UTEC, just dont know if I should get it or supporting stage 2 mods first or the UTEC itself?

Also, would this necessitate any gauges? I plan on doing some DEFI BF's soon, but was going to get the whole kit of 3. Should I buy a boost or EGT gauge before I do this mod to monitor boost or temps?

Since I am kind of a EM n00b, would anyone recommend getting an AP over the UTEC? I have heard problems with some of the COBB maps in the past, and am a little more skeptical about the AP basemaps than the UTEC ones

Any help is appriciated, thanks in advance
The UP is a safe mod, you can simply throw it in there and it'll run fine. The problem comes with the DP, and you should definitely get EM along with the DP.

AP is basically a set-it-and-leave-it deal. It's relatively cheap if you buy it used, and if you follow their tuning path, it will be less of a whop to your wallet. However in my opinion, it's not a perfectly safe path. I'd much rather consider the ECUTEK or UTEC, and both have their own respective pros and cons. So if you're considering AP over UTEC, go UTEC, and get it used to save yourself some cash.

Gauages aren't necessary, but they're HIGHLY recommended. The two gauages you'll need are boost and EGT, and if you have factory boost gauage then get it replaced, it's known for not being entirely too accurate...plus I hate reading things in bar.

The third gauge is up for opinions...everybody has a different one for what you should get for the 3rd gauage. I say oil pressure, others will claim oil temp, some say o2 sensor, etc etc
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltrouble
The UP is a safe mod, you can simply throw it in there and it'll run fine.
What about the EGT sensor issues... A nice flash EM solution that just eliminates that CEL code would be a cleaner solution then a resistor fix.
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSCCivic98
What about the EGT sensor issues... A nice flash EM solution that just eliminates that CEL code would be a cleaner solution then a resistor fix.
cleaner...yes...but still safe. It won't adversely affect your ECU parameters. You can simply plug the hole up with a bolt, bundle the EGT out of the way, and get it cleared when you do the downpipe with EM.
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Old 07-08-2005, 09:05 PM   #8
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seriously skip the UTEC and get reflash, like others have said, Cobb and ECUtek are on the cutting edge and just better. For stage 2 a piggy back is just a waste when we have the technology available to do better.

I say:

get the ap now, flash to stage 1. This will grab you some power, AND eliminate any possible ol/cl issues you may or may not have.

Save some duckets, and get your UP, DP, and go get a pro tune.

DONE>
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Old 07-08-2005, 09:29 PM   #9
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Seems like a lot of you are knocking UTEC, while most of the people that I know that use UTEC's find them far superior to most simple reflash programs. Ecutek is good, but not as versitile and user tunable as the UTEC. From what I have read, many people have been unhappy with high EGT's and a variety of other problems from AP. Although I once planned on getting one, I really have just seen several cases of AP problems which makes me more skeptical. Anyone that said get a simple piggy back, a close friend had poor results using a unichip so I dont really see that as an option. To me it seems like the UTEC has the most versitility while allowing user tuning and solid base maps.

The reason I was thinking UTEC was that I want to be able to use the remote map selector, and I know of another 04 WRX engine user running a stage 4 base map on his L swap with excellent results. I would rather spend a grand and have a solid EM system that can upgrade as I upgrade my car. There are also several people in NESIC who are quite handy with UTEC tuning, which could save money on tuning time...

I guess as of now, I am going to plan on getting IC hoses and a UTEC. I will start running the stage 1 map until I replace the up-pipe and downpipe and then switch to stage 2 base map. Probably will pick up the Defi BF package too before I switch over to stage 2. I have done plenty of reading over the last 2 years(sold myself a little short saying I was an EM n00b), just wanted to see the opinions of other UTEC users. I guess my question was really should I do the exhaust work first or EM first, and the difference between the 02 I have worked on and my 04 is that you need the EM first. I suppose that means more immediate power though and less potential for issues involving the new exhaust peices.

Thanks and any more opinions or experience w/ UTEC are appriciated
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Old 07-08-2005, 09:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSCCivic98
OK, no offense dude, but a UTEC is really not the best solution for our cars.
No offense dude, but I never said UTEC is the best for our cars.
If anything I was saying that its a waste of money.
= multiple tunes for the poor man.

Personally I think the AP is one of the best options for a daily driver
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
Seems like a lot of you are knocking UTEC, while most of the people that I know that use UTEC's find them far superior to most simple reflash programs. Ecutek is good, but not as versitile and user tunable as the UTEC. From what I have read, many people have been unhappy with high EGT's and a variety of other problems from AP. Although I once planned on getting one, I really have just seen several cases of AP problems which makes me more skeptical. Anyone that said get a simple piggy back, a close friend had poor results using a unichip so I dont really see that as an option. To me it seems like the UTEC has the most versitility while allowing user tuning and solid base maps.

The reason I was thinking UTEC was that I want to be able to use the remote map selector, and I know of another 04 WRX engine user running a stage 4 base map on his L swap with excellent results. I would rather spend a grand and have a solid EM system that can upgrade as I upgrade my car. There are also several people in NESIC who are quite handy with UTEC tuning, which could save money on tuning time...

I guess as of now, I am going to plan on getting IC hoses and a UTEC. I will start running the stage 1 map until I replace the up-pipe and downpipe and then switch to stage 2 base map. Probably will pick up the Defi BF package too before I switch over to stage 2. I have done plenty of reading over the last 2 years(sold myself a little short saying I was an EM n00b), just wanted to see the opinions of other UTEC users. I guess my question was really should I do the exhaust work first or EM first, and the difference between the 02 I have worked on and my 04 is that you need the EM first. I suppose that means more immediate power though and less potential for issues involving the new exhaust peices.

Thanks and any more opinions or experience w/ UTEC are appriciated
good luck with that.
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin2.5rs
No offense dude, but I never said UTEC is the best for our cars.
If anything I was saying that its a waste of money.
= multiple tunes for the poor man.

Personally I think the AP is one of the best options for a daily driver
Maybe I misunderstood the "If you have money to burn line...". It sounded like you were stating that it's the most expensive/best/solid solution.

Anyway, it looks like this guy has his mind set on it no matter what anyone else says. I for one wish him luck when the weather changes from day to day or season to season. I just don't think people quite comprehend the idea behind a piggyback system and how it actually works. But I agree with the others that the flashing technologies right now are just limited when it comes to user tunability... and yes, this includes the StreetTuner for the AP since it only allows "correctional changes" within a "certain range" of the parameters on the ecu. Why is it so hard to just release the full software to the client?!?!?! Hondata does it for the KPro, AEM does it for their EMS. What the hell?
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:19 PM   #13
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This is the first thread that I have seen where some one says a standalone is better than a utec for a daily driver
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by CMJ
This is the first thread that I have seen where some one says a standalone is better than a utec for a daily driver
Damn I hate having to spell everything out so that everyone gets what I am saying. A standalone can be the AEM EMS system as well as a full Race Motec system. Pardon me for not being specific. You can easily have an AEM system tuned to work perfectly for whatever state of tune your car is in. I happen to know someone who has an AEM running his 1xxx hp TwinTurbo Viper and there are absolutely no drivablity issues with it. It drives and behaves just as smooth as a factory tuned car would, but with the additional power on tap of course. While certain types of standalone systems require individual wiring to sensors and even special sensors, it is incorrect to classify all standalones under this limitation. In today's tuning world standalone systems are beginning to have all the capabilities of the OEM system and in some cases even surpass those capabilities.

Booyakasha

Last edited by JRSCCivic98; 07-08-2005 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 07-09-2005, 12:05 AM   #15
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First- if you remove the EGT probe in the uppipe, you will lose one of the triggers for CL/OL fueling. Yes- EGTs are one of the inputs for the crossover, so if you remove the probe, you are affecting this. I don't think it's one of the 'hard' switchovers (you need another one to be beyond the threshold like rpm or TPS), however, it will affect CL/OL fueling.

Also, UTEC is not more versatile than a reflash as far as ECU functionality. You may be able to control spare solenoids and other niceties like that, however, you have control over many more parameters with either an EcuTek reflash or StreetTuner. And you also retain the stock learning/protection inherent to the ECU.

As far as the AccessPort goes, I think the earlier maps had some issues, however, the newer maps are great from everything I've seen and heard. If you are content with not getting every bit of your car's performance, go for it.

That being said, I would still highly recommend a good set of gauges before performing any other modification.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Mike
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Old 07-09-2005, 12:12 AM   #16
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Well put Mike.
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Old 07-09-2005, 12:26 AM   #17
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Oh dear God...let's not get into this again...

AP, UTEC, ECUTEK

All have their own pros and cons, which is the one for you is really dependent on what you want to do with the car...as well as your budget.
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Old 07-09-2005, 01:19 AM   #18
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See I understand my options, and am quite well read on the suggestions that everyone has made. I understand that it is more costly, but I have basically got it down between 2 choices- the Ecutek and the UTEC. The Ecutek is an excellent option, and I have been in several cars with Ecutek tunes. I have also been in a few cars that utilize UTECs, and the power their basemaps gave were quite impressive. As I have stated above, I like the general principal of the Accessport but I have heard very mixed opinions from some people that are very highly regarded in this community...

Because I dont really plan on dyno tuning yet, I think that the UTEC would be adequate while allowing me to switch maps using my laptop or remote map selector. As far as not having as many tuning parameters, would you care to explain that a little bit more? I understand the benifit of running off the stock ECU, but I think the protection systems in the UTEC would adequatly handle safety issues. My experience as far as subarus primarily are based on work on an 02 WRX, so as I go to mod my 04 many of the things that were "ok" or reasonable mods are skewed slightly.

JRSCivic- I understand your point that piggyback systems are cheap and effective. I dont know if you actually have any experience with them, but from what I have seen they are somewhat limited. I also had a friend who could not get his car to even turn over when his Unichip was installed and the temperatures were below freezing. He switched over to a Ecutek reflash and has had no problems since then. He was also getting pretty high EGT's and basically decided it was not worth retuning. Thats my only experiences with them, but maybe I dont know what I am talking about, but you can keep wishing me luck

Again, thank you everyone and I dont mean to be biased towards the UTEC. I appriciate the additional information and considerations that I may not have been aware of. I dont plan on squeezing every drop of power from my car, I just want to be thorough in my research and get the best product to fit my needs. Thanks again!
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Old 07-09-2005, 07:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSCCivic98
and yes, this includes the StreetTuner for the AP since it only allows "correctional changes" within a "certain range" of the parameters on the ecu.
Not really sure what you mean by this... you can enter whatever you feel like really into any table that's currently available... as long as the ECU can interpret that value.

More tables are on the horizon too.... I think some people out there have some really flawed ideas on the functionality of the ST and how it works.

Does it allow you to change everything? No... not yet... but Cobb seems to be very receptive to adding all the features us users are requesting.
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Old 07-09-2005, 07:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
See I understand my options, and am quite well read on the suggestions that everyone has made. I understand that it is more costly, but I have basically got it down between 2 choices- the Ecutek and the UTEC. The Ecutek is an excellent option, and I have been in several cars with Ecutek tunes. I have also been in a few cars that utilize UTECs, and the power their basemaps gave were quite impressive. As I have stated above, I like the general principal of the Accessport but I have heard very mixed opinions from some people that are very highly regarded in this community...
Here's my feelings- EcuTek - $650 for license + $400ish for a tune = $1050 for a full custom tune. Seems like you have no interest in doing your own tuning, so I'll leave the EZEcu (or whatever it is called out of this). Generally you don't find EcuTek licenses used, so I don't think you'd get much more of a deal here. The stock ECU is truly amazing when it comes to compensating for different conditions (temperature, humidity, etc). It's MAF-based as opposed to MAP-based, which makes it more aware of its surroundings. On a race car, this might not be a good thing, on a steet-driven daily driver, show me the MAF!

UTEC - $1000 (new) + $400ish for a tune = $1400. The corrections/protection in the UTEC is inferior to using the stock ECU. Boost control is one of the most noticeable areas. UTEC is simpler, but all things being equal, if you are going to pay to get it tuned, I'd think it would still cost about the same amount. You can find UTECs used for $600ish, so if you wanted to go that route, you could probably spend about the same amount, but again, end up with a lesser of a product, IMHO.

AccessPort - $650 (new) + $400ish for a tune = $1050. Here's something that wasn't discussed, get an AP, and then later, you could always spring for a ProTune. The quality of the tune should be equal to an EcuTek tune, assuming the same tuner. There are some advantages to the AP (you could still use a valet map if you'd like, you could get a map specifically tuned for race gas). These things matter differently to different people. I personally use StreetTuner- but that's me. If you are afraid of the AP, get the gauges in, download one of the free dataloggers over at openecu.org and make sure everything is okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
Because I dont really plan on dyno tuning yet, I think that the UTEC would be adequate while allowing me to switch maps using my laptop or remote map selector. As far as not having as many tuning parameters, would you care to explain that a little bit more? I understand the benifit of running off the stock ECU, but I think the protection systems in the UTEC would adequatly handle safety issues. My experience as far as subarus primarily are based on work on an 02 WRX, so as I go to mod my 04 many of the things that were "ok" or reasonable mods are skewed slightly.
I disagree with this. I don't know how 'safe' the UTEC base maps are, however, the AP base maps are made to be run. The UTEC base maps are a starting point for tuning. If you have a problem with an AP map, you can call Cobb Tuning and they will address it. If you have a problem with a UTEC base map, I would think, their answer would be to get the car tuned. Again, the stock ECU is a piece of equipment that can make some pretty amazing adjustments. When first starting with StreetTuner, I was amazed at how I could change a value, and if the ECU was 'unhappy' with it, it would quickly adjust to do the right thing. For example, put too much timing, the ECU will lower knock correction. Some people don't like the more-complicated interface, some do. As far as maps, there are 4 maps for boost in ST (even more in ProTuner or EcuTek). Ignition timing has two maps, so you can very-granularly control how much authority the ECU has to add or remove timing at each site. Very cool stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
JRSCivic- I understand your point that piggyback systems are cheap and effective. I dont know if you actually have any experience with them, but from what I have seen they are somewhat limited. I also had a friend who could not get his car to even turn over when his Unichip was installed and the temperatures were below freezing. He switched over to a Ecutek reflash and has had no problems since then. He was also getting pretty high EGT's and basically decided it was not worth retuning. Thats my only experiences with them, but maybe I dont know what I am talking about, but you can keep wishing me luck
I've used both (I'm not pro), but the bottom line is that a lot of the tune will be decided by the capability of the tuner. The difference in tooling is a smaller percentage of the final result, but I think the differences are noticeable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
Again, thank you everyone and I dont mean to be biased towards the UTEC. I appriciate the additional information and considerations that I may not have been aware of. I dont plan on squeezing every drop of power from my car, I just want to be thorough in my research and get the best product to fit my needs. Thanks again!
Don't apologize. Many 'common' folks don't understand the real power of the stock ECU. Until recently, only EcuTek tuners could really see what was in there. With the advent of StreetTuner us mere mortals could now see what was going on in there. After seeing, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend a UTEC for most people for a daily driver. Just my opinion....OH NOEEESS- I'm biased too.

If you'd like to talk more, feel free to IM me as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSCCivic98
Well put Mike.
Thanks!

Mike
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:51 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikie
Here's my feelings- EcuTek - $650 for license + $400ish for a tune = $1050 for a full custom tune. Seems like you have no interest in doing your own tuning, so I'll leave the EZEcu (or whatever it is called out of this). Generally you don't find EcuTek licenses used, so I don't think you'd get much more of a deal here. The stock ECU is truly amazing when it comes to compensating for different conditions (temperature, humidity, etc). It's MAF-based as opposed to MAP-based, which makes it more aware of its surroundings. On a race car, this might not be a good thing, on a steet-driven daily driver, show me the MAF!
Doesnt the UTEC utilize MAF for fueling parameters, but just uses MAP for load reference? However the UTEC does have the knock detector and fixes OL fuel problems, and I have been looking around and there are lots of used UTECs for sale in the $600 range. There are several Ecutek tuners in my area, I just dont want to have to reflash every time I change my mods, which is going to be often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikie
UTEC - $1000 (new) + $400ish for a tune = $1400. The corrections/protection in the UTEC is inferior to using the stock ECU. Boost control is one of the most noticeable areas. UTEC is simpler, but all things being equal, if you are going to pay to get it tuned, I'd think it would still cost about the same amount. You can find UTECs used for $600ish, so if you wanted to go that route, you could probably spend about the same amount, but again, end up with a lesser of a product, IMHO.
I am not questioning you in anyway, but I know of several very experienced tuners some that have been in the Subaru world for near a decade, and many of them run UTEC's. Yes, they self tune and are quite good at it, but I have never heard it described as less of a product or not as good as the other options until this thread. I wouldnt pay to get it tuned, but hopefully I would bargain with some of NESIC experienced UTEC tuners for a road tune.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikie
AccessPort - $650 (new) + $400ish for a tune = $1050. Here's something that wasn't discussed, get an AP, and then later, you could always spring for a ProTune. The quality of the tune should be equal to an EcuTek tune, assuming the same tuner. There are some advantages to the AP (you could still use a valet map if you'd like, you could get a map specifically tuned for race gas). These things matter differently to different people. I personally use StreetTuner- but that's me. If you are afraid of the AP, get the gauges in, download one of the free dataloggers over at openecu.org and make sure everything is okay.
How have you found the street tuner? I actually have not read much about it since it came out, and I am a little curious about it. I would consider running AP I suppose as long as the Street tuner allows me to work out some of the quirks in COBB's maps. I know you said that the issues may have been resolved, but I would like to be able to start learning how to tune my own EM for future reference. Would I be able to jump in and start playing with fuel levels as well as boost and timing etc...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikie
I disagree with this. I don't know how 'safe' the UTEC base maps are, however, the AP base maps are made to be run. The UTEC base maps are a starting point for tuning. If you have a problem with an AP map, you can call Cobb Tuning and they will address it. If you have a problem with a UTEC base map, I would think, their answer would be to get the car tuned. Again, the stock ECU is a piece of equipment that can make some pretty amazing adjustments. When first starting with StreetTuner, I was amazed at how I could change a value, and if the ECU was 'unhappy' with it, it would quickly adjust to do the right thing. For example, put too much timing, the ECU will lower knock correction. Some people don't like the more-complicated interface, some do. As far as maps, there are 4 maps for boost in ST (even more in ProTuner or EcuTek). Ignition timing has two maps, so you can very-granularly control how much authority the ECU has to add or remove timing at each site. Very cool stuff.
See I really dont see how UTEC basemaps would be more unsafe than an AP basemap, unless they for some reason are tuned too aggressively. As I said, I have a friend running a stage 4 base map on his VF-34 w/ FMIC on his L swap and he can hang with my buddies Deadbolt 16g w/ full dyno Ecutek tune. Again, I dont see how these would be much different from an AP basemap...
Straight from TurboXS:
Five (5) maps plus “stock mode” selectable with a flick of the switch
Create custom maps for street gas, race gas, nitrous, or whatever

Fuel, ignition timing, and boost are programmable in 250rpm increments up to 9000rpm over 10 load sites
Complete ignition timing control
Fuel control Controlled via MAF sensor signal offset

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikie
I've used both (I'm not pro), but the bottom line is that a lot of the tune will be decided by the capability of the tuner. The difference in tooling is a smaller percentage of the final result, but I think the differences are noticeable.
My friends Unichip was tuned by the great Shiv formally of the Subaru community which is why I am confused. Although it may have been an over-aggressive tune, I was a little dissapointed to see it react like that in cold weather, thus making it not an option for me..

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikie
Don't apologize. Many 'common' folks don't understand the real power of the stock ECU. Until recently, only EcuTek tuners could really see what was in there. With the advent of StreetTuner us mere mortals could now see what was going on in there. After seeing, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend a UTEC for most people for a daily driver. Just my opinion....OH NOEEESS- I'm biased too.

Mike
Well, thanks for your help in this discussion with me. I would like to hear more about the Street Tuner program, and will do some reading on it over the weekend. I know I have been writing some pretty long posts here, so thanks for bearing with me. It seems that I havent really heard anything though from any people using UTECs or that have experience with them. Any other opinions or thoughts are appriciated, thanks again Mike

-Greg
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:54 AM   #22
JRSCCivic98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
JRSCivic- I understand your point that piggyback systems are cheap and effective. I dont know if you actually have any experience with them, but from what I have seen they are somewhat limited. I also had a friend who could not get his car to even turn over when his Unichip was installed and the temperatures were below freezing. He switched over to a Ecutek reflash and has had no problems since then. He was also getting pretty high EGT's and basically decided it was not worth retuning. Thats my only experiences with them, but maybe I dont know what I am talking about, but you can keep wishing me luck
I never said piggybacks are cheap and effective. On the contrary, since the UTEC is a piggyback (which you might not have realized) it's not that cheap and it's not as powerfull as the stock ECU is... just as Mike has pointed out.

What I don't think you understand is that the UTEC was designed by a company that had no idea how to retune the OEM ecu short of making it work just like in the old days by implementing a piggyback system on it. The safety margines on these types of systems suck and while you can ride in someone's car with a UTEC and state that it's fast you cannot equally state that a matching car with identical mods but a different EM solution would be slower... all the power on these cars is strickly dependant on the Tuner.

Do the current Cobb provided maps for the AP make major power over stock... NO. This has been proven by HarmanMotive when they ProTuned an AP equipped car and compared the stock AP Cobb maps with theirs. These cars were putting down 20+ more hp after the dyno tunes.

I guess my goal here is not to deter you from doing what you want to do to your car. After all, it's your car and you can do whatever you want with it. My goal here is to give you the heads up when it comes to EM so that I don't have to read a future post from you when you're complaining your UTECed car is running like crap. I just don't want to see you waste and then I don't want to see myself quote this thread and state the "I told you so" line... Know what I mean.

There are things you can get away with on 02-03 cars that you just can't on 04+ cars and from what you stated, you've come to realize this. EM is a much more important thing when it comes to 04+ cars. The current OEM coding on the ECUs are very touchy when it comes to intercepted and rereported signals to and from the ECU which is how a UTEC works to control everything. You have to remember that when Subaru set out to make the 04+ USDM ecu coding they knew the UTEC was a widely used aftermarket EM and did everything they could to help hinder its performance and usability on 04+ cars. While it may be true that some of these things might have been ironed out by current software versions from TXS, why risk it.

Did you know that the UTEC maps aren't used all the time while the vehicle is running? There are certain crossover points that triggers the ECU to start relying on the UTEC maps as apposed to the ECU maps. Maybe it's just me, but using a UTEC instead of a flash or standalone to me is like using a manual boost controller instead of an electronic one. You cannot overlook the complexity of the logic on these EM systems.

Again, I'm not here to hate on you... I just want to make sure you don't have to learn the hard way about things that cost money. If you don't care about this, then by all means... go for it. Good luck either way man.
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Old 07-09-2005, 11:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Gfunk720
Straight from TurboXS:
Five (5) maps plus “stock mode” selectable with a flick of the switch
Create custom maps for street gas, race gas, nitrous, or whatever

Fuel, ignition timing, and boost are programmable in 250rpm increments up to 9000rpm over 10 load sites
Complete ignition timing control
Fuel control Controlled via MAF sensor signal offset



My friends Unichip was tuned by the great Shiv formally of the Subaru community which is why I am confused. Although it may have been an over-aggressive tune, I was a little dissapointed to see it react like that in cold weather, thus making it not an option for me.
OK, just to give you an idea... an Apex PowerFC ECU (standalone) has a 20x20 grid for load sites which equates for 400 load sites that represent fueling and timing for vacuume and boost sections of rpm in increments of 500rpm. (400 load sites for fuel and 400 load sites for timing) A stock ECU has much higher resolution then even this.

Oh and stop quoting and comparing issues with the Unichip. That way of tuning is WAYYYYY outdated and no longer used by anyone. It was a POS when it came out and it will always be a POS so you can't really argue with that EM solution... if you can even call it that. Currently used piggyback EM solutions for the Subarus are XEDE and UTEC. Write that down... hehe
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Old 07-09-2005, 11:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Gfunk720
Doesnt the UTEC utilize MAF for fueling parameters, but just uses MAP for load reference? However the UTEC does have the knock detector and fixes OL fuel problems, and I have been looking around and there are lots of used UTECs for sale in the $600 range. There are several Ecutek tuners in my area, I just dont want to have to reflash every time I change my mods, which is going to be often.
Exactly. The UTEC uses MAP load reference instead of MAF. This means that it doesn't account for the density of the air being shoved into the engine. You could have 18 psi with air at 200 degrees or 18 psi with air at 100 degrees- there's a bit of a difference there. Using MAF reference allows the car to understand more of its environment and do the right thing in accordance with environmental changes. People who race may not want this- they would rather change their tune based on the conditions they see and know exactly how the car will behave since the tuning isn't as dynamic.

If you are looking to change your car a lot, then I would change my recommendation a bit- I think your choice comes down to UTEC, StreetTuner or EcuTek EZEcu. Now, cost becomes more a factor since you are probably shelling out an additional $400 for ST or EZEcu (I'm assuming EcuTek's pricing will be in line with Cobb's...I don't know for sure). So now the big question is what do you get for that additional money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
I am not questioning you in anyway, but I know of several very experienced tuners some that have been in the Subaru world for near a decade, and many of them run UTEC's. Yes, they self tune and are quite good at it, but I have never heard it described as less of a product or not as good as the other options until this thread. I wouldnt pay to get it tuned, but hopefully I would bargain with some of NESIC experienced UTEC tuners for a road tune.
You should question me...I'm some wacko you met on the internet But seriously, the UTEC was the only option for self-tuning for a while. You could go to a standalone, but that's a whole different discussion. Now, if you are interested in tuning your car yourself, you have StreetTuner and/or EZEcu. UTEC is more understood at this point. Reflashing the stock ECU is more complicated but there is more there if you know how to use it. That is the big gap as I see it right now- not enough people who generally talk about how to tune the stock ECU.

Many people understand how it works, but when it comes down to actually modifying knock correction for example, there is no 'right way.' I know of three different methodologies- all from people I respect as tuners. Each has it's pros and cons. See the complexity? Most would agree that tuning boost is the most complicated part of the ECU- but at the same time, you have a lot of power- you can control boost targets, wastegate duty cycle and how quickly the turbo ramps up. More power, more complicated or simpler with less power...pick your poison. I like to tinker, so I enjoy the flexibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
How have you found the street tuner? I actually have not read much about it since it came out, and I am a little curious about it. I would consider running AP I suppose as long as the Street tuner allows me to work out some of the quirks in COBB's maps. I know you said that the issues may have been resolved, but I would like to be able to start learning how to tune my own EM for future reference. Would I be able to jump in and start playing with fuel levels as well as boost and timing etc...?
I like StreetTuner. I had to overcome a lot of initial frustration of what to do with it- again, I understand how the ECU works, but how do you modify it to make it do what you want. You can definitely jump right in, the interface is great. Be aware that you can't just set boost targets and go. You would have to adjust wastegate duty cycle as well. It's not hard once you understand it, and more and more people are starting to do so. As more and more people can use the tool well, the tool becomes more powerful. Cobb has added some online help/tuning tips to the latest StreetTuner which is getting things moving in the right direction.

Would I trade my ST for a UTEC? Never. Were there times when I just walked away because I couldn't get something to do what I wanted with it? Sure. But I don't regret learning about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
See I really dont see how UTEC basemaps would be more unsafe than an AP basemap, unless they for some reason are tuned too aggressively. As I said, I have a friend running a stage 4 base map on his VF-34 w/ FMIC on his L swap and he can hang with my buddies Deadbolt 16g w/ full dyno Ecutek tune. Again, I dont see how these would be much different from an AP basemap...
Straight from TurboXS:
Five (5) maps plus “stock mode” selectable with a flick of the switch
Create custom maps for street gas, race gas, nitrous, or whatever
My bad, I didn't want to imply there were unsafe. I was saying that my understand of the base maps was to get the user running until they could tune the car completely. Are they unsafe? Dunno. Have I heard of people having problems with them? Yup. Have I heard of people having problems with an AP? Yup. My point was that the AP base maps were intended to be run as is, where the UTEC maps were intended to be a temporary solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
Fuel, ignition timing, and boost are programmable in 250rpm increments up to 9000rpm over 10 load sites
Complete ignition timing control
Fuel control Controlled via MAF sensor signal offset
I think what this means is that they modify fueling by fudging the MAF signal. To add more fuel to your tune, the UTEC fools the car into thinking that the car is seeing more air than it truly is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
My friends Unichip was tuned by the great Shiv formally of the Subaru community which is why I am confused. Although it may have been an over-aggressive tune, I was a little dissapointed to see it react like that in cold weather, thus making it not an option for me..
I don't know much about the Unichip...I think I was still driving a Honda when they were popular. Seems like last year's news, though. I agree though- stay away. It's old and there are better options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfunk720
Well, thanks for your help in this discussion with me. I would like to hear more about the Street Tuner program, and will do some reading on it over the weekend. I know I have been writing some pretty long posts here, so thanks for bearing with me. It seems that I havent really heard anything though from any people using UTECs or that have experience with them. Any other opinions or thoughts are appriciated, thanks again Mike

-Greg
I'm glad to help out. You are doing the right thing by thoroughly investigating before making a decision. A $25k car isn't something to make quick decisions about....especially when they can end with the car suffering severe damage.

I'm very curious to see what the EcuTek equivalent of StreetTuner will look like. I've heard a lot of rumors about it and want to see what finally surfaces. I'm sure there will be tons of threads comparing the two when it comes out.

Time to go play outside...it's finally sunny.


Mike
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Old 07-09-2005, 05:37 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSCCivic98
I guess my goal here is not to deter you from doing what you want to do to your car. After all, it's your car and you can do whatever you want with it. My goal here is to give you the heads up when it comes to EM so that I don't have to read a future post from you when you're complaining your UTECed car is running like crap. I just don't want to see you waste and then I don't want to see myself quote this thread and state the "I told you so" line... Know what I mean.
Well, I appriciate your imput but I think some of your comments before were too general while Mike helped me figure somethings out. I did realize that UTEC is a piggyback style EM, but is much different from the traditional definition of a piggyback. I dont think that buying a UTEC as opposed to a AP etc would really make my car run like crap. The way you talk about them, you make it seem like no one is having any successes using UTEC, while many NESIC'ers that I have met are making great/safe numbers using them. I have ridden in 2 04 STIs, and a few WRX's with UTEC's and everyone seemed to praise the system. The STI's and WRX's both ran very smooth with safe EGT's, so I guess maybe you have had some bad experiences in the past?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSCCivic98
There are things you can get away with on 02-03 cars that you just can't on 04+ cars and from what you stated, you've come to realize this. EM is a much more important thing when it comes to 04+ cars. The current OEM coding on the ECUs are very touchy when it comes to intercepted and rereported signals to and from the ECU which is how a UTEC works to control everything. You have to remember that when Subaru set out to make the 04+ USDM ecu coding they knew the UTEC was a widely used aftermarket EM and did everything they could to help hinder its performance and usability on 04+ cars. While it may be true that some of these things might have been ironed out by current software versions from TXS, why risk it.

Did you know that the UTEC maps aren't used all the time while the vehicle is running? There are certain crossover points that triggers the ECU to start relying on the UTEC maps as apposed to the ECU maps. Maybe it's just me, but using a UTEC instead of a flash or standalone to me is like using a manual boost controller instead of an electronic one. You cannot overlook the complexity of the logic on these EM systems.

Again, I'm not here to hate on you... I just want to make sure you don't have to learn the hard way about things that cost money. If you don't care about this, then by all means... go for it. Good luck either way man.
Well again, I appriciate your thoughts and I think this was a much better explination of why you personally think UTEC's are not as good a choice for a daily driver. I had read about the fact that the UTEC maps cross-over and that there is a learning curve for the ECU maps. I guess I just have to accept the fact that every system has its short comings, and that I just need to settle on one. Probably just gonna spend the week reading and researching more then make my decision. It does seem to make sense to flash the stock ECU and avoid switching to a MAP system, but I would really like to read what more UTEC users have to say and what they have been experiencing with the system. And the more I look at it, the AP with street tuner does offer the benifit of running of the stock ECU as well as being able to moderately adjust settings on COBB basemaps to better fit your car.

Thanks again everyone
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