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Old 11-23-2005, 10:51 AM   #1
Trunk_Monkey
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Default Does the Hydra have any shortcomings?

Are there any useful features or tuning parameters that the hydra is missing and others have (AEM, etc.)? Or is the Hydra EMS considered the benchmark?
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Old 11-23-2005, 11:23 AM   #2
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The one drawback for me and the reason I don't have one, is you lose the OBD2 function of the stock ECU. Where I live you can't pass inspection without an OBD type test if the car orignally had OBD.

TMS
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:13 PM   #3
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I wouldn't consider it "the benchmark". From what I can tell using it, it's as good as any other.

Not having OBD-II, as TMS said above, is a big thing. Not only for passing inspection, but it's awful useful in its own right.

Up until I threw a hissy fit about how stupid it was, the Hydra required Microsoft Excel(tm) (NOT an alternative) for saving any data logs. It now will export text.

There are a lot of small improvements I would make to the Hydra that seem totally obvious to me, but are not problematic/lacking items that detract from the unit.

Here's an example: There's an option "[] Lean under load backup spark" which, when checked, will use your ultra-safe spark map when you are leaner than 14.7:1 (hardcoded AFR) under load. Why the hell can't I specify the AFR threshold to trigger this? No reason.

I could give you 10 more. Unfortunately, I have given up indicating these sorts of things in the Hydra EMS forums. They're never going to get around to implementing such insignificant things.
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Old 11-23-2005, 01:48 PM   #4
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I should add that the ODB thing is not just the Hydra. With any engine management that you remove the stock ECU this will happen. That is why the reflashes and piggybacks are so popular for street driven cars.
I am sure that you will find that whatever EM option you look at is going to have strong and weak points, features that you will use and features that you won't. Some people like to combine reflashes and piggybacks to take advantage of the strong points of each. With that set up you basicly have a standalone ECU with OBD.

TMS
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Old 11-23-2005, 01:50 PM   #5
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So could I just run the hydra until I need to pass emissions and then just flash stock ecu when I need to pass it?
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Old 11-23-2005, 01:58 PM   #6
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That is another option I think.

TMS
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Old 11-23-2005, 02:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunk_Monkey
So could I just run the hydra until I need to pass emissions and then just flash stock ecu when I need to pass it?
You can use stock injectors, a stock MAF housing, and a stock ECU to pass an OBD inspection... just stay out of boost!

1. start and warm up car.
2. drive at >50mph for over a minute.
3. pull over and turn off car, wait for ECU to completely power down
4. repeat 3 more times.

After this, all but one of the OBD-II tests *should* have passed, with one test remaining as "incomplete"... You're allowed to have one (or two?) tests showing as "incomplete" (federal law), as long as none are "failed".
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Old 11-23-2005, 02:57 PM   #8
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One other big thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that cruise control currently isn't working. Not sure it works on any other standalones for the STi either. But it is supposedly on Phil's list of things to make working (although I am sure it is far down the list).

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Old 11-23-2005, 03:55 PM   #9
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I think most EM systems have their merits, and the Hydra is no different. I can't really compare it to other systems since I've not used any. It's interface is very nice and with software improvements gets nicer. I agree there are some quirky things and some of the toggles are hard to find. That said, from what I know of the stock ECU programming it sounds overly complicated compared to the Hydra.

Phil Grabow is excellent and I would not have bought it without his expertise and programming. I have enjoyed a great deal learning more about tuning, and the Hydra makes my learning more efficient because I spend less time tripping on the interface. Both having Phil as a resource and a simplified, graphical interface are huge benefits to me.

Additionally, now that I'll be running a much larger turbo, I really don't see another EM system that will have the fuel and spark resolution (32 X32) to effectively map all the additional load points. AEM does not have this resolution, but some other much more expensive systems do.

Plus MAF just gets much more complicated after you reach 5V. I'd have to factor in those costs. For me speed-density (MAP) is the way to go.
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Old 11-23-2005, 05:33 PM   #10
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With a hydra standalone will I still get CEL's for vital issues? If so, can you remove CEL's like misfires from lightweight flywheels?
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Old 11-23-2005, 06:54 PM   #11
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Sean

You might find the answers to many questions here:
http://www.elementtuning.com/main.htm

or maybe contact Phil directly. Many posts I read before concerning the Hydra clearly stated that Phil was very open to questions about his product and worked very closely with his customers.

Just send him a picture of the Technicolored Trunk Money Car and I'll bet he'll answer all your questions.
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Old 11-23-2005, 07:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunk_Monkey
With a hydra standalone will I still get CEL's for vital issues? If so, can you remove CEL's like misfires from lightweight flywheels?
You will get a CEL when you have exceeded the knock count threshold (configurable) -- meaning your tune is crap.

Other than that, I am unaware of any other CEL flashing or signaling.
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Old 11-23-2005, 11:18 PM   #13
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One more quick question, what resolution can this run in? I am planning on using it with my carpc currently 800x600 (but capable of more).
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Old 11-24-2005, 09:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunk_Monkey
One more quick question, what resolution can this run in? I am planning on using it with my carpc currently 800x600 (but capable of more).
You can use 800x600 resolution but you loose the gauges at the bottom of the tuning screen.



This isn't a major draw back as you have a digital readout on the left side of the tuning screen. You'll also likely have to use the "floating grid" option which blows up the numerical tuning grid vs. viewing the grid and the 3D map at the same time.



Thanks,
Phil
www.elementtuning.com
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Old 11-24-2005, 10:32 AM   #15
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I can boost the resolution but that would mean the writing would be smaller and I would need to change other program's settings/skins. What is the minimum resolution required for the gauges?
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Old 11-24-2005, 11:20 AM   #16
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Here's a copy of the 2.14 software so you can play with different resolutions

http://www.hydraems.com/downloads/Hydra2.14V11.zip

The size of the screen also makes a difference.

Thanks,
Phil
www.elementtuning.com
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Old 11-24-2005, 11:21 AM   #17
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Thanks!
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