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Old 04-29-2006, 11:15 AM   #1
mindchatter
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Join Date: May 2003
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Location: Denver
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Heav en for the weat
her & Hell for company

Default Will my car even run in CO at altitude?

Hey everybody. Next week I'm trailering out an '04 STi with a turbo swap and alcohol injection that's been UTEC tuned for 93 octane. I'm going to be at about 6,000 feet, and am wondering if I can run it for a week or so before I find a tuner. I know of a few stations out there that sell 100, so was planning on getting a 94'ish octane mix 'til then.

Anybody care to enlighten me as to the effects I should/could expect due to the thinner air? TIA, and I look forward to meeting some new Subaru folks.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:25 AM   #2
Idahoser
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Shouldnt hurt anything, higher elevation will richen your fuel mix due to less oxygen in the air and it wont have as much power of course. I dont think higher octane will make much difference but it might.
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Old 04-29-2006, 02:49 PM   #3
Absubtle
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you will run your turbo harder to produce the same amount of boost as tuned at sea level (or lower elevation). Your air/fuel mixture will be alittle richer. You won't need the higher octane fuel, in my opinion. Up here in Denver, 5280ft, on up to 6200, where I used to dyno, you can run pretty aggressive tunes. Just have to watch your turbo efficiency as it could cause detonation issues, if you heat your intake charge too much. But that is why you have Alky injection!!!
Good luck, you will feel a difference in performance. Let us know what you think of CO..
Absubtle
PA
(Soon to be back in CO).
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:15 PM   #4
mindchatter
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Well, I lived there for a few yrs while I was attending school. Came back East to find a summer job and it's taken me over 10yrs to find my way back.

Any tuner recommendations for the area? I've searched but didn't find much that seemed too recent......
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:43 PM   #5
t-rex25
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I recently moved to Colorado from the Chicago area. I trailered my car out also and when I went for the first drive I immediately noticed a huge loss in power. Basically your going to be running about 2 psi less at elevation then you would at sea lever.

I'm not sure where you are moving to in CO, but there is a station that sells 93 on Parker Rd and Quincy. It wouldn't hurt to put a gallon or two of 100 in to be safe. I'm not sure where you're moving from but the quality of gas in CO is not nearly as good as in the CHI area. I have an Accessport and recently went to COBB to get in Protuned by Christian and brought out some 93 oct from that station at Parker and Quincy. Well, Christian made some base runs and the car was running very lean. Just goes to show you the quality of gas is not nearly as good.

There is shop that is listed on COBB's website as an authorized dealer for using Protuner, they are called Logic Imports. Didn't know much about them and asked Christian at COBB and he didn't know much about his tuning style so I didn't want to take the chance so I just made the drive to COBB. My buddy lives there so I just made a weekend ski trip out of it, its only about a 7 hour drive with good weather. I previously had my car tuned by Jorge (RiftsWRX) and him and Christian both have the same style in tuning. I was very impressed with the tune Christian gave me, turbo is much more responsive and driveable now.

I got a question for, why not just sell your UTEC and get an Accessport? You can save up to 10 realtime maps and the car will drive much smoother. I used to have a UTEC and at times under partial throttle the car hesitated, overall it just didn't drive as smooth as a reflash.
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:43 PM   #6
WOOKIE101010101
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Consider SuperRupair in Boulder...

Harvey tunes a lot of CO cars, just can't remember if he is an ECUTEC tuner or not...
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Old 04-30-2006, 04:28 PM   #7
mindchatter
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t-rex25 - thanks very much for your feedback - it's very helpful. How'd you trailer the car? Auto transport? I'm dragging mine behind a U-Haul. I'm running an SR40 at about 21-22 psi, so a 2 pound loss in boost is going to feel catastrophic, as it really comes alive at about 21psi. I'll mix in a few gallons of 100 per tank so my 93 maps work o.k. till I can get it tuned.

I'm not overly knowledgeable about the AP, but I've grown to like some of the features of UTEC......changing maps on the fly (93 octane w/and w/o alcohol, 100 octane w/and w/o, etc) and it retains stock knock detection and flashes the CEL anytime knock is picked up. There've been a couple times when I got bad gas (or one time when my alcohol injection kit sprang a leak) and the flashing CEL told me something was wrong and potentially saved me an engine.

I AM looking forward to cruising some of the mountain roads I miss so much though, regardless of octane available. Anybody else know of any UTEC tuners anywhere up or down 25 or 70?
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:24 PM   #8
Foxy
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Don't forget to visit www.awdpirates.net!
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:13 PM   #9
t-rex25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindchatter
t-rex25 - thanks very much for your feedback - it's very helpful. How'd you trailer the car? Auto transport? I'm dragging mine behind a U-Haul. I'm running an SR40 at about 21-22 psi, so a 2 pound loss in boost is going to feel catastrophic, as it really comes alive at about 21psi. I'll mix in a few gallons of 100 per tank so my 93 maps work o.k. till I can get it tuned.

I'm not overly knowledgeable about the AP, but I've grown to like some of the features of UTEC......changing maps on the fly (93 octane w/and w/o alcohol, 100 octane w/and w/o, etc) and it retains stock knock detection and flashes the CEL anytime knock is picked up. There've been a couple times when I got bad gas (or one time when my alcohol injection kit sprang a leak) and the flashing CEL told me something was wrong and potentially saved me an engine.

I AM looking forward to cruising some of the mountain roads I miss so much though, regardless of octane available. Anybody else know of any UTEC tuners anywhere up or down 25 or 70?
I rented a Budget truck with the carrier transport they have, which worked very well. Try them, back in Feb they were cheaper than U-Haul, rates might have changed though.

I wasn't very knowledgeable about the AP either until I starting to read more about it and someone at a meet showed me his. I always wanted a reflash, but no companies had the ability to saved multiple maps like you can with the UTEC. I wanted to go with the Ecuteck, but their map switch was still in development. So when the Protuner software came out it was a no brainer. Instead of having the remote switch on the UTEC, all you have to do with the AP is connect the cable to your OBDII and chose your map then flash. It takes about 10 seconds to flash between realtime maps and you can save up to 10 realtime maps. To your point I did like the UTEC with the CEL flashing twice when it detects knock, but the AP is very good at pulling timing and adjusting. You could always get a knock detection light.

When you move out shoot me a PM and we can hit some cayon roads. A friend of a friend has a Suby and knows of some good canyon roads. I will be putting my coilovers and summer tires on soon.
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:17 PM   #10
mindchatter
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Hey man - I appreciate the hospitality. I checked w/a few diff't movers, and it seemed only U-Haul offered a carrier that my car would clear. I'm on coilovers myself, and only have about 4" of clearance on the front fascia. They're in need of a rebuild, and I'll need to get tuned, so I don't anticipate seeing much of my STi for a 2-3 week period till I'm all aligned and everything. With the #'s in your sig (and me on an SR40) I wouldn't think I'd see much of yours, either. Keep your eyes open for a PM in a month or so though.

Anybody offer any tuner recommendations for the UTEC, or does nobody run that particular EM in the mtns for some reason? Till I get settled I'd like to get a 91 map up and running......here in CT 91's hard to find, and the altitude is difficult to compensate for, obviously. I'm not about to mix to a 93 octane blend all the time either, as it limits mobility far too much. I appreciate all the responses so far. Thx guys.
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:07 AM   #11
hotrod
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You shouldn't have any problems at all other than the drop in performance which is unavoidable. I would strongly suggest you drop in at Super Rupair in Boulder and talk to Harvey about your situation and what you want out of your car. He is one of the most respected tuners in the Denver Metro area and runs their dyno.

He is where I go when I need some dyno time, and he will be doing my next ECUTEK reflash. He can help you with your utec too I'm sure.

Larry
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Old 05-09-2006, 10:18 AM   #12
WRX Harvey
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Hello, I am the tuner here at Super Rupair. I have plenty of experience with the UTEC, ECUTek, Autronic, AEM, and unfortunately the E-manage too.

I would be happy to help you out and tune your car right here at 5800ft. I am a careful tuner and have had great results with every car. Even if you just want to pick my brain about altitude issues I can help.

Not to argue, but one thing I disagree with is the theory that our cars will automatically run richer up here. Our cars use a hot wire MAF sensor to measure exactly that, the mass of air. This enables them to meter fuel and what timing to use by computing load based on this. Therefore, when the engine is moving less air at the same rpms compared to a lower altitude, it is immediately apparent to the MAF and thus, the ECU. The car will automatically meter less fuel accordingly. Older carbureted vehicles suffer from richness up here (so does my dirt bike), but a MAF sensor and the front and rear 02 sensors keep this from happening. Even if the car ran richer, the fuel trims would accomodate it and the long term trims are even used in open loop/WOT.

My tuning does not revolve around these esoteric debates though, I use the dyno, wideband, and logs to help calibrate cars and try to forget physics and engineering theory as these tools are much better at finding real world performance.

303-442-6508x108
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:41 PM   #13
Matt Monson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absubtle
Absubtle
PA
(Soon to be back in CO).
Good news. We will have to hook up... The Rimmer project is on the verge of moving forward...

Sorry to OT the thread, but the answers appear to be forthcoming, and +1 for teh Harvey tunes...
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:48 PM   #14
mindchatter
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Thk you everybody for the responses. Haven't had access to the internet in almost a month, but have spoken with Harvey at length (nice knowledgeable guy) and will be making my way up there in the next week or two.

trex-25 - I met you at Chipotle in Golden (W. Colfax) a day or two after I arrived. It occurred to me after I left you must've been the guy that posted here, as I saw your plates......I was asking about tuning and had the black WRX winged STi that I pointed to. Too coincidental. Thx for taking the time to respond, and hopefully next time we can grab a beer or something.

Harvey - PM sent, and thx to you too for taking the time to speak w/me and enlighten me on some of the effects the altitude will have......it's much appreciated, and hopefully we'll have an occasion to tip glasses as well. Mountain Sun meet anyone?

Stu
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Old 09-14-2006, 05:04 PM   #15
Bonjo2
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I just towed my wrx with vf30 from 65ft above sea level in MA to 6200ft in cheyenne with regular drives even higher. I really can't stand it as only 91 oct is available, my boost doesn't come in until much later, and I get boost spikes w/rich to lean on highway. It's like sticking a sock in the intake and running 87 oct.

Even with a 91 octane map it's no fun. The stock STI isn't as bad, but I imagine with that big turbo you'll have similar ailments as I have with the 2.0.

Best of luck.
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Old 09-14-2006, 11:33 PM   #16
SVTHorsnake
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do you CO people have 93 octance fuel?
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Old 09-14-2006, 11:48 PM   #17
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Some stations carry 93 octane, but pretty rare--mostly 91. Although there are a few places that carry 100 octane pump gas also!
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:26 PM   #18
COwannago
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I thought folks in Colorado still rode around in horse drawn carriages. Don't bother tunning the horse.

Nick C.
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:51 PM   #19
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I'"ll ride you like a horse Nick!
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:06 AM   #20
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Don't threaten me with a good time!

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