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Old 02-08-2006, 09:22 PM   #1
Patman015
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Default nooB with an ECU upgrade

Boy, a lot of nooB's on this site! Im proud to be one of them, but I definitely feel stupid.

Okay, so here's my story:

I have a while before I put an engine into my car (for those of you who may have read in the Member's ride section, I bought an 02 WRX with no motor and NO TURBO) and the car has Link Engine Management. I don't know what kind of ECU was upgraded into the car, but the owner before me gave me his laptop with the tuning program. The program in the laptop is called PCLink.

I'll be flat out honest, I took one look through the program, and I found out I don't have the fondest idea how to work this program. Undeniably it won't crucially matter until I get a new engine and turbo put in my car, but the owner did say that he had the ECU tuned with a VF22 turbo and he recommends I go with another one.

From what I've read on this site, a VF22 turbo isn't the turbo to upgrade with to make some real horsepower. Since I have to learn all about this PCLink program and my Link Engine Management system (which I am hoping to learn ALOT from all of you!), how would I go about finding out what kind of ECU I have in the car and in the long run, tuning it for a different kind of turbo?!

I was hesitant about asking this question, but I have to start somewhere right? Do they have tutorials somewhere for this program? I did a seach for PCLink and I just found threads on how PCLink has been updated with new versions. Any information would be helpful at this point as I am trying to learn the basics! Later, I'll fine tune my learning abilities and use them in the long run.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:37 PM   #2
tmarcel
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Unless I missed this part, do you have experience tuning an engine...any engine? If not, you should take it to someone to tune for you and learn as you go later on (providing you've got that kind of skill-set).

For a basic turbo, the VF22 is fine and will far out do TD04 and the like. It sounds like you want to make thisthing go fast though, so you will want to go with a rotated mount turbo set up. You've already got a standalone ECU so why not?
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:59 PM   #3
Patman015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarcel
Unless I missed this part, do you have experience tuning an engine...any engine? If not, you should take it to someone to tune for you and learn as you go later on (providing you've got that kind of skill-set).

For a basic turbo, the VF22 is fine and will far out do TD04 and the like. It sounds like you want to make thisthing go fast though, so you will want to go with a rotated mount turbo set up. You've already got a standalone ECU so why not?
To answer your questions, and I really don't mean to sound like a dick because I know that you know waaaaaaaaaaaaay more about this stuff than I do!

I have NO experience in tuning an engine. How would somebody go about getting this experience other than asking your peers how to do it? That's one reason y I am getting my questions started. I have until August 2007 to put an engine in my car and a turbo.

Yes, I want my car to be fast, but I don't mean to sound like a kid who's lookin to blow up his engine again. That rotated mount setup you are referring to is an SR55RMT kit? For my 02 WRX that utilizes a 2.0L that's far more horsepower than I am looking at without spending $4k on more engine parts and drivetrain upgrades to support that kind of power (rated at 650hp??!!). But I don't know anything about an SR55RMT, so I will have to learn more about that. That sucker's $4k.

I especially appreciate the feedback. I am going to take my time to make sure I get this right. BTW, I am in a mechanic program where I learn all about cars. My last class starts in August 2007 where we do everything we can to an engine, such as rebuild, performance, what have you.

Fortunately, I have a teacher who's a "retired" race car builder. It's not one of those UTI places, it's a local Community College that deals with this stuff on a more "personal" level if you know what I mean. My teacher is like my best friend and I can use his superior knowledge to my advantage up to a point, but he doesn't have a Subaru, and this is the only place I can turn right now.

Trust me, if I don't feel that I know enough about engine tuning by the time I'm ready to drop my new engine and turbo in, I will get it tuned by a professional. Again, I want to do this right, so this site is my #1 source for information and advice. I hope you read what I type in full and carefully because I am just starting out.
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:16 PM   #4
tmarcel
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Wow, man, you've got a LONG ways to go! And, certainly not to say that in a derogatory way, but you do (and will).You first need to understand how a combustion (piston) engine works. This is very important!

So, once you're ready, then you start tuning, and YOUR car is the best for this LOL! You may likely blow it up unless you truly understand what changes you are making and what they affect.
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:48 PM   #5
Patman015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarcel
Wow, man, you've got a LONG ways to go! And, certainly not to say that in a derogatory way, but you do (and will).You first need to understand how a combustion (piston) engine works. This is very important!

So, once you're ready, then you start tuning, and YOUR car is the best for this LOL! You may likely blow it up unless you truly understand what changes you are making and what they affect.

Pistons are the located in the oil pan, next to the rotary-shaped bearings right?? I mean c'mon, im not THAT far behind with cars (in fact I may know more about a combustion engine than most people will ever know). I know how to upgrade engines, tear one apart and fix it and put it back together in two days, and I understand tuning basics. But I haven't ever messed with a piggyback ECU before, and this program that I have called PCLink I don't understand how it works because I've never used it before.
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Old 02-09-2006, 10:05 AM   #6
ride5000
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2003 GGA MBP
12.9 / 105+

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first order of business:

find/steal/copy/download the manual for the link and read it at least 5 times.

basically you will be adjusting three things with the link:

injector on time/fuel delivery/air fuel ratio
ignition timing
manifold pressure/boost

the way you will be adjusting those is to know the user interface of the link inside and out, know the capabilities of the box and what it can and cannot do, and you will be taking tens of thousands of lines of datalogs.

posting the datalogs here will be a big step in determining the baseline tune you're running with now, and how safe or aggressive it is. no matter which ems you run, it always boils down to the three inputs: boost, timing, and afr.

hth
ken
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Old 02-09-2006, 10:44 AM   #7
Jaxx
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i have a suggestion
buy a new stock motor w/ stock turbo/bodyharness/ecu
sell the harness
unplug the link
plug in the stock ecu
-profit!
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Old 02-09-2006, 11:26 AM   #8
tmarcel
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Location: Charlotte NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patman015
Pistons are the located in the oil pan, next to the rotary-shaped bearings right?? I mean c'mon, im not THAT far behind with cars (in fact I may know more about a combustion engine than most people will ever know). I know how to upgrade engines, tear one apart and fix it and put it back together in two days, and I understand tuning basics. But I haven't ever messed with a piggyback ECU before, and this program that I have called PCLink I don't understand how it works because I've never used it before.

Sorry I've I came across insulting in anyway. That wasn't my intention FYI.

Jaxx may have a good point
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Old 02-09-2006, 12:40 PM   #9
Patman015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmarcel
Sorry I've I came across insulting in anyway. That wasn't my intention FYI.

Jaxx may have a good point

oh no no lol dont worry, i think everyone on this site is great. I havent met an a$$hole yet, and like i said, you know waaay more about this stuff than I do im sure, so i respect you for it man! :thumbsup:
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Old 02-09-2006, 01:33 PM   #10
ride5000
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Vehicle:
2003 GGA MBP
12.9 / 105+

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patman015
i think everyone on this site is great. I havent met an a$$hole yet...
oh, just stick around for a bit longer.


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Old 02-09-2006, 02:13 PM   #11
mcowger
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Wait till you meet Scotty or Dave .
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:43 PM   #12
hondaeater69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcowger
Wait till you meet Scotty or Dave .


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