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Old 03-05-2006, 04:09 PM   #1
UndertoW101
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Default Options for an 06 TR?

Alright guys/gals….it’s time to get serious. So I have a serious question. I have an o6 TR various suspension mods and gauges and a full catless TBE in the mail. Now it’s time to get some engine management. I really wanted to get a full featured program like “UTEC”…but also like the ease/modesty of the AP. My friend with an o4 sti has an Ap and a boost controller on his car and advises me to go Utec (what he plans to do soon). So all signs point to UTEC….that is until I read about how the o6’s ECU and UTEC system don’t get along well.

So the questions

A) Should I just wait for the UTEC to adjust to the o6 changes? (how long might that be?)
B) Would a ap with a boost controller be just as effective as a UTEC?

Just look for some more info and advice from the community….

Thanks
CHris
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:02 PM   #2
JRSCCivic98
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Get an AP, run a protuned map (if there's a reputable tuner in your area). Forget the boost controller idea. Get tuned for a safe/reliable boost level and you won't have to worry about the ever popular "Oh, I had my controller on low boost." when you get surprised by someone. If you don't care about chaning maps that much, then go with EcuTek... piggyback systems like a UTEC are a little wacky, but that's just my personal opinion. Flashes use the entire logic of the OEM ecu which is a lot more dynamic in it's capabilities.

Like I said... my personal opinions from a performance/reliability standpoint.
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:22 PM   #3
UndertoW101
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So then a protuned map for an AP is equivalent to a EcuTek right? From what i have read i understand a EcuTek to be when a tuner reflashes your ecu. But with an AP i could use multiple maps? So...if i have a reliable tuner who works with the AP system...that would be my best bet?

sorry if i missed something
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:41 PM   #4
JRSCCivic98
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Both the AP and EcuTek EM technologies are flash type. The benefit of the AP one is that you can flash your own map with the device... so if you have good maps then it saves you the trip to the tuner or the sending of your ecu off to a tuner (via mail) to get it flashed. The custom maps for both EM technologies are only as good/safe as the tuner that made them for your respective application. Since you're not as up to speed on self-tuning (and don't take this personally) it sounds like you'll be better off with EM that imployes a flash rather then something like a UTEC. You have to sometimes tinker with a UTEC to get it to run perfectly from time to time. Others will argue against this, but it's just the nature of the beast.

Find a good tuner in your area and see what they use. If there isn't one (which I doubt since you're in Tampa) you can get your hands on an AP and do some custom maps from PDX Tuning via email. Just another option. I think in the end it might be good to do a little more reading and make up your own mind. It took me a long time to decide on what I wanted to do for EM and from whom. Good luck.

BTW, a bit of advice to save you some headaches... hold off on the turboback exhaust until you can do EM. An EcuTek or AP flash will take care of some stock fueling issues with the OEM tune (read up on this) as well as check engine lights from not running cats and such. No need to waste your money on CEL fixes if the flash you'll be running for EM already employes these by default. Just FYI since you seem new to this. Trying to cover all the bases for you.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:12 PM   #5
UndertoW101
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Look like it the AP for me. The only reason i was even considering the Eutec was that my friend is quite car savvy and it's what he recommended. He said that the AP was too conservative. I just don't want to have to buy the Eutec later down the road (like he is going to do)?
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:51 PM   #6
JRSCCivic98
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The AP alone is conservative in what terms? The limitation of the tunes it comes with... yes, absolutely. Alone it will not allow you to tune your own car... with the ST (Street Tuner) software on top of it, you could tune your own AP maps and flash them. (It really doesn't sound like you're too savvy to tune your own car... at least at the immediate moment.) That being said, your immediate uses with the AP will probably be to try running the OTS (off the shelf) maps that Cobb bundles with the AP. Those make pretty good power and you should notice a difference with that tune + your turboback rather then just the turboback alone... not to mention it'll be safer in the sense of solving the OL/CL (open loop/closed loop) fueling problems that 04+ WRXs have with stock tune from the factory. Now, as you progress you will have two choices... go ProTune (a tuner dyno/road tunes your car and builds you x amount of maps for your specifications which you can flash with the AP to your ECU at your leasure or as you need the changes... i.e. Race gas, lower boost, whatever). Another option would be to order the StreetTuner software and you can tune your own maps once you've gotten to the point where you know how to do such a thing safely and correctly.

Like I said, the capabilties are there with the AP solution... you just don't have it immediately out of the box, but then again 600 for AP or 1000 for utec. By the time you buy the ST software you'll be close to the 1000 you would have spent on a utec, but you'll have the dynamic learning/tuning capabilities of the OEM ecu. People will argue (and they have against me on this in the past) that the utec works very well and it's not a piggyback in traditional terms, but in the end it's still intercepting signals and such in order to make the engine run at a specific tune. Not only that, but you have wires everywhere with it under the carpet. A flash based EM solution is clean and no one will know you have it. Not only that, but with a flash based EM you can disable CEL codes (check engine light) for whatever you need. With the utec you have to have external CEL fixes for things like an O2 sensor (if you take the cats out with a turboback). Would you rather have little resistors wired into the factory wire harnesses or would you rather just have code in the actual brains of the car (ecu) that basically turns down the sensativity of those sensors or disables them completely? When it comes down to a visual inspection (if you have to pass smog) wired in cel fixes don't always allow you to pass.

There are many aspects as to why I suggest people use flash based EM solutions rather then others... in the end it's basically this. You have the ability to flash the stock ECU, why bother with wire-in solutions. If you couldn't flash the OEM ECU, then yes... you'd have to go the wire-in route or change the EM to a standalone of some kind. The technology is there... USE IT.
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Old 03-06-2006, 01:35 AM   #7
UndertoW101
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First off…let me say thank you for your time…and you patience. Just for the record I never thought I could tune my car myself…I know my limitations. The only reason the EUTEC even came up…was that my friend recommend it and said that he could help me with the tuning.
I plan on going with my original plan…that of getting a cobb AP. Then when I get some -additional mods…look into getting a pro-tune.

Thanks again
Chris
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:20 AM   #8
noahrexion
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JRS offered very good advice, I just want to add one more thing.
You should be going with what you feel comfy with. Now this is not to say that you shouldn't listen to those savvy individuals and maybe your friend really will help you. But will he be there all the time for you? or those times when you do need slight adjustments cause all of a sudden you got some bad gas or what have you?

I made that promise to a friend of mine back in my DSM days; we did a lot of AEM tuning over a period of about 2 weeks. His car ran awesome and he felt at least "somewhat" comfy playign around with his AEM. Well after that I moved... He has paid for custom tunes 3-4 times now in the last 2 years cause he still doesn't feel confy enough you know?

Anyhow, my point is that you should go with what is best for YOU atm, because your friend prolly wont always be there for ya. The AP is a great way to go and if you get more in depth later on then maybe consider the street tuner upgrade that should be available

G luck!
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