Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Friday July 25, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC Technical > Engine Management & Tuning > UTEC

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-27-2005, 11:38 PM   #1
PDXTuning
NASIOC Vendor
 
Member#: 49831
Join Date: Dec 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: www.pdxtuning.com
Vehicle:
2008 Get Tuned Now
Knowledge is Power

Default TurboXS knock light, review and discussion

One of PDXTuning's main goals is to post information that is beneficial to the community. In a passing conversation last year we spoke with TurboXS about some products that would benefit the community, a knock light is one of the ones we discussed. Recently as part of their DTEC fuel computer they released a knock light. PDXTuning immediately asked for the KnockLite as a stand alone product so we can help people in the community with other forms of EM understand the state of their tune.



The two most common forms of engine management for the Subaru's right now are reflashes and piggybacks. I will hold this discussion to the UTEC and to reflashes. Since PDXTuning tunes AP Protuner, EcuTek, and UTECs commonly it is easy for us to give detailed information about how they all work. Since the AP and EcuTek both rely on the stock ECU to run the car this discussion will treat them as equals.


What is a TurboXS KnockLite?


The TurboXS KnockLite is a simple stand alone unit that can be added to any electronic ignition car to monitor for detonation, and indicate a given RPM to shift. Since it has built in tach drivers it works on cars like the Legacy GT that do not have a engine speed signal to tap.

Discussion:


One of the most important aspects of a tune is the safety margin. If you push a setup to the point of regular detonation it will eventually fail. Detonation results in spikes of cylinder pressure that will either mechanically fail some engine component, or cause the motor to absorb additional heat that will melt the piston top. Keeping detonation at bay is absolutely essential, and ultimately it limits the amount of power a car will make on pump gas. This limitation is the reason why race fuel makes more power than pump gas. Race fuel has a greater resistance to detonation, which allows the tuner to achieve the optimum timing, fuel, and boost combination for your particular car's setup.

One benefit the UTEC has over reflashes is it notifies the operator when detonation is detected. Unfortunately the UTEC does not have a learning system like the reflash to deal with detonation. The UTEC relies on the tuner to set up the map so that it does not regularly detonate. It does react to detonation by pulling timing, just like a reflash, but it currently does not have the ability to adapt to a problem spot. In order to make up for this the UTEC notifies the operator by flashing the CEL after a detonation event is detected.

The stock ECU has a learning system in it, which over time adapts to the octane limitations of your car and fuel. While many people prefer the learning ability of the stock ECU, they are relying solely on the hardware to detect and adapt. While this is normally adequate, there are motors out there that fail due to detonation with reflashes so the system must not be perfect.

Each model ECU is different, so I will have to make some general statements next. The 02 WRX ECU was particularly bad about reacting to detonation at times. Subaru decided to stop listening for detonation after about 5700 rpm due to a limitation in the hardware. After the cutoff RPM the ECU would run the maximum allowed timing, without regard to occurrence of detonation. Provided the map was setup properly you could still tune safely. However in order to get the maximum out of the car on 93 octane you had to be absolutely sure that the car was never operated at it's maximum with lesser fuel in it. While it is easy to say you will never put in 89 or 87 octane fuel, there is nothing you can do about a gas station having old or otherwise bad fuel in their 93 tanks.

Subaru figured out the design flaw in that system and improved the system in future cars. Now the hardware is better so it is able to listen to higher RPMs, and after the point they choose to stop listening they do not add max timing. This has to have improved motor longevity, and allows the tuner to tune your car to a higher power level more confidently.

The question still remains, how often is my car knocking? One common statement made by car owners is I never hear detonation so it must not happen. We have come across people who should know what detonation sounds like, but are not hearing it. Part of the problem is detonation becomes damaging before it becomes audible. This means you may never be able to hear it while it is taking it's toll on your motor.

If you get in a bone stock car and romp on it you may well hear detonation. The problem is there are so many variables that contribute to lowering the detonation threshold. For example if you sit at a light for 45 seconds and then take off in a spirited manner your intercooler is not as cool as it was when the car was on the dyno, getting custom tuned. In this situation the map your tuner made may no longer be appropriate. 20-30 seconds later when the intercooler cools off everything is back to normal, but what happened as you rowed through the gears?

Everyone always wants to put a boost gauge in their car. Others ask what are the three most important gauges to add to the car. Typically the response is some combination of boost, EGT, oil temp, and oil pressure. If you think about it a knock detection system is as important as any one of those, if not more. None of the systems in there will kill a motor as fast as detonation. In fact one of the main reasons why you want to know what you are boosting at is to determine if you may be detonating. If you are boosting beyond the capability of the fuel you will detonate, if you are boosting beyond the level tuned for you may be detonating.

What about fuel and timing? They have as great of an effect on causing detonation as boost does. Rarely do people add wide band O2 sensors, and even fewer people monitor the timing they are running at any given moment. This is where a knock indication system is so valuable. If you rely on the engine management to do it's job you do not have to know what AFR, timing, or boost you are running. What may be more important that the exact AFR, boost, or timing you are running is if you are detonating. The TurboXS KnockLite is an inexpensive tool to help you understand more of what is going on in your motor. It is easy and clean to install, and perhaps best of all it only cost $129 MSRP.

Yes, it also is a shift light, so anyone out there wanting the extra little coolness of knowing when to shift you have that built right in. I can say personally that the shift light helps me out a lot, since I seem to have the habit of driving down the freeway in third gear cause I can not hear my motor with the stock CBE installed.



Jarrad
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
PDXTuning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2005, 11:39 PM   #2
PDXTuning
NASIOC Vendor
 
Member#: 49831
Join Date: Dec 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: www.pdxtuning.com
Vehicle:
2008 Get Tuned Now
Knowledge is Power

Default

Now for the installation into my Legacy.











Installation is very easy, there are only 4 wired to hook up: power, ground, tach, and knock signal. We just tapped the signals at the stock ECU to keep wire routing to a minimum. I will put up the pinout for anyone who wants to install this as soon as I have a chance to make it all pretty.



As I said above the electronics inside will convert a coilpack signal into a a tach signal, so on our cars all you do is pick up one of the 4 coil pack signals off the ECU and you are set.



If you want you can install a separate knock sensor, but most people will want to just use the factory one, since it is optimally placed on the motor.



Hope that helps,

Jarrad

971-221-7825

sales@pdxtuning.com

PDXTuning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2005, 01:08 AM   #3
coolcougar
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 19674
Join Date: Jun 2002
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Copenhagen
Vehicle:
2006 Baja Turbo 4EAT
Brilliant Silver Metallic

Default

Cool! Thanks for the review Jarrad.
coolcougar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2005, 05:38 PM   #4
shemoves
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 80663
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Glendale, AZ
Vehicle:
1997 Outback

Default

Would a high quality bosch knock sensor working independently be better than the stock one? From what I here, the block is already tapped for it and it is a simple install. I am def. gonna get a knock sensor. I just want to make sure it is accurate and will work at the very least up to 7k rpm.

Note: I will not be using the tach signal as I don't want to confuse 'shift' and 'knock' (and the STi has a shift light )
shemoves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2005, 05:51 PM   #5
fogdor
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 45726
Join Date: Oct 2003
Vehicle:
2007 Mazdaspeed3
Cosmic Blue

Default

Cool tool!

How do you set the rpm for the shift light feature?

How can you tell the difference between the shift light and a knock event?
fogdor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2005, 06:16 PM   #6
cdvma
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 21980
Join Date: Jul 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Central MA
Vehicle:
2002 PSM WRX (Sold)
2009 BMW X5

Default

I'd use a sepereate sensor if possible unless TurboXS put in circuitry to prevent loading the stock knock sensor circuit. You can do it yourself with a capacitor but its just good to not mess with it.
cdvma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2005, 09:13 PM   #7
hondaeater69
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 60324
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: a pillow.
Default

is there anyway to calibrate the sensor?
hondaeater69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2005, 09:31 PM   #8
Jon [in CT]
*** Banned ***
 
Member#: 2992
Join Date: Nov 2000
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Connecticut, USA
Vehicle:
02 WRX Sedan
Silver

Default

This device appears to be a simple engine noise meter, a far cry from a knock meter. No method to adjust gain. No method to specify frequency. No method to specify "knock window."
Jon [in CT] is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2005, 10:44 PM   #9
Wombat North
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 21267
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Eats, roots and then leaves
Vehicle:
STI, EWG 8cm Green
UTEC/ECUtek/WI & SD tune

Default

I was fortunate enough to pick up one while at TurboXS Australia back in april for testing on the QT.

I also have knock link. The knock lite works better/consistent and very easy to setup and calibrate.

IMHO
Going to be some fun with reflashes now that people will know if their car is knocking or not and not just putting blind faith in some tuners reflash ability.

If ya can't see/hear it knocking it ain't.
Wombat North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 12:06 AM   #10
fogdor
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 45726
Join Date: Oct 2003
Vehicle:
2007 Mazdaspeed3
Cosmic Blue

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon [in CT]
This device appears to be a simple engine noise meter, a far cry from a knock meter. No method to adjust gain. No method to specify frequency. No method to specify "knock window."
Have you taken a look at one or are you just guessing?
fogdor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 12:09 AM   #11
cronic
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 9749
Join Date: Aug 2001
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Vehicle:
-

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fogdor
Have you taken a look at one or are you just guessing?
Does it matter? He will rain on any parade he can. I think we should start a nasioc pay-pal donation to get Jon laid so he can stop being so uptight.
cronic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 12:13 AM   #12
fogdor
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 45726
Join Date: Oct 2003
Vehicle:
2007 Mazdaspeed3
Cosmic Blue

Default

Oh my let's try to keep this thread on track. With my shadetree mechanic skills, my 02 is in constant fear of its life already.
fogdor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 11:17 AM   #13
serendipity
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 54597
Join Date: Feb 2004
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Vehicle:
08 'Busa, 08 ML63
10 Multistrada, 996 Targa

Default

You can set the shift point by holding the button down till the light comes on green, then revving to 1/2 the desired shift point, and pushing the button again.

Shift is indicated with a Green light. Moderate knock with Amber (Red + Green together), and Heavy knock with Red.

It's not possible to hook it up without the tach signal - it needs to know the RPM so that it can "filter" background engine noise. Otherwise it would just be lighting up constantly at higher RPMs like a KnockLink. The light is calibrated by letting it record engine noise by reving to idle, half of redline, and near redline in turn - the sensor then interpolates the points to come up with an engine noise "curve" that it uses to distinguish between background noise and knock events (a knock sensor is just a microphone, after all). The sensitivity can then be adjusted up or down from there.

It's a pretty trick unit. If you have a DTEC, it'll supply Tach and Knock level inputs to be logged or displayed as well.
serendipity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 11:38 AM   #14
jblaine
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 8512
Join Date: Jul 2001
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: St. Pete, FL
Vehicle:
2002 WRX chassis...
stage-infinity.com

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon [in CT]
This device appears to be a simple engine noise meter, a far cry from a knock meter. No method to adjust gain. No method to specify frequency. No method to specify "knock window."
*golf clap*

Yes, it also "appears" to be just an empty shiny container with some wires and a blinky light. When you buy one, crack it open, and reverse engineer it, be sure to let us know what it actually is and what its logic is.

That said, I'll wait until the incredible price gouging subsides to the point where this product is available for a reasonable price with reasonable profits still plentiful for TurboXS and distributors.
jblaine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 01:09 PM   #15
shemoves
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 80663
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Glendale, AZ
Vehicle:
1997 Outback

Default

Is there any other place to intercept the signal that in not near the ECU?
shemoves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 01:15 PM   #16
fogdor
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 45726
Join Date: Oct 2003
Vehicle:
2007 Mazdaspeed3
Cosmic Blue

Default

+1 to serendipity for the details!

Wow, that's quite a feature set
fogdor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 08:09 PM   #17
drees
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 25905
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: San Diego, CA
Vehicle:
2003 Silver Wagon
Tuned with Enginuity

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jblaine
That said, I'll wait until the incredible price gouging subsides to the point where this product is available for a reasonable price with reasonable profits still plentiful for TurboXS and distributors.
It's still a bit cheaper than a KnockLink and the MSD knock light, isn't it? I would like to see it drop below the $100 mark.
drees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 10:52 PM   #18
SuperSubie81
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 22965
Join Date: Aug 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Mad City, Sconsin' (X-STL)
Vehicle:
2008 BMW 135i
SGM

Default

So if this unit just goes off the stock knock sensor, how is this better then the flashing CEL that the UTEC provides off the stock knock sensor
SuperSubie81 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 11:02 PM   #19
PDXTuning
NASIOC Vendor
 
Member#: 49831
Join Date: Dec 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: www.pdxtuning.com
Vehicle:
2008 Get Tuned Now
Knowledge is Power

Default

Sprry for the delay in response, and thanks Serendipity for getting good information out there.

You can use a separate knock sensor if you want, although it does not pull the signal down going to the stock ECU so you do not have to.

I thought $129 shipped was pretty reasonable. jblaine if you think that is unreasonable call me and we can talk about it.

Jarrad
971-221-7825
PDXTuning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2005, 11:49 PM   #20
Davenow
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 23676
Join Date: Aug 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: de_dust and Orgrimar
Vehicle:
.

Default

I dont see the point of this, the UTEC already flashes the CEL when there is knock
Is this able to be used as a standalone thing without a utec? Is that the point?
Davenow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2005, 12:23 AM   #21
drees
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 25905
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: San Diego, CA
Vehicle:
2003 Silver Wagon
Tuned with Enginuity

Default

Yep, you can use it with any EM, no UTEC required.
drees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2005, 02:00 AM   #22
jstbstn
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 35020
Join Date: Apr 2003
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: jameson@dalesmotorsport.com
Vehicle:
02 WRX - Stage WTF
04 WRB WRX Wagon - Stg 2+

Default

I would think this would be more reliable than the utec for knock detection as it reads directly off the knock sensor and would hopefully be faster reacting. I think it would also be a good safety measure for those adjusting the utec knock sensitivity settings as it should help tune a good sensitivity level in the utec settings.... I'm running a utec and I definately want to get one of these to add to my arsenal of tuning safety measures. Jarrad you may be hearing from me very soon!
jstbstn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2005, 03:56 AM   #23
shemoves
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 80663
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Glendale, AZ
Vehicle:
1997 Outback

Default

a big, flashing, dedicated light will get my attention much better than a CEL.
shemoves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2005, 05:44 AM   #24
ilivas
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 56056
Join Date: Feb 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Hickory, NC
Vehicle:
2004 wrx
T04R Turbo / 8k rpm 257

Default

interesting product
ilivas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2005, 08:24 AM   #25
Davenow
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 23676
Join Date: Aug 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: de_dust and Orgrimar
Vehicle:
.

Default

ok after reading the thread more in depth I can definately see a point in this (speaking as if you already have a UTEC, if you dont have a UTEC I would say this is a GREAT idea.)
Seems like basically a knocklink BUT also a shift light. In a much nicer, more compact package...

Its def not something I would use as my cel flash is plenty for me but I guess its not a bad idea...

Last edited by Davenow; 09-01-2005 at 08:38 AM.
Davenow is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ATP stock location Turbochargers review and discussion EFI Logics Proven Power Bragging 360 12-29-2013 07:27 PM
turboxs knock light anthonyrb98 Interior/Dressup/Audio & Security 6 03-14-2007 10:11 PM
TurboXS knock light hook up in a 2006 bcarleton Factory 2.5L Turbo Powertrain 0 11-30-2006 04:06 PM
turboxs knock light? anyone runnin it? kessler89 Factory 2.0L Turbo Powertrain 35 05-03-2006 01:11 AM
Installing TurboXS Knock Light?? ScoobySnacker Electrical & Lighting 4 03-09-2006 12:54 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.