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Old 06-15-2003, 03:42 PM   #1
Programmer
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Cool MBC vs ECU reflash - no comparison!

Ditch those MBCs! Yes, they're cheap, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

I've been running with an MBC in my WRX for almost a year, set at a fairly conservative 15psi in 4th gear. Instant power gains, especially in 1st and 2nd gears, and very quick boost response. For the $40 spent, I was a happy camper. Soon enough, the part throttle/full boost problem became noticeable - audible detonation, pulled timing leading to sluggish performance in certain RPM ranges - which made the car unpleasant to drive when anything other than full throttle was needed. The gas pedal became like an on/off switch, and was very non-linear. Didn't feel nice. Felt like a cheap hack, which is exactly what it is!

Then I installed a Vishnu EMI adapter, which got rid of the lean condition at part throttle and the car felt much torquier and more responsive. Still very non-linear throttle response and odd hesitations at low rpms, very noticeable on the highway. This just felt like a slightly less-cheap hack than the MBC alone. A $35000 (CDN) car deserves better than that.

Two days ago, I received my AccessECU stage 1 reflash from Cobb tuning. Holy crap! The improvement is unbelievable! The car feels fantastic, smooth and fast. Throttle response is nice and linear, there is no hesitation anywhere in the rpm range. Full throttle in 2nd gear and it feels like being in jet taking off. For the first time since the first few weeks I drove the car, it actually feels scary-fast. And that's a good thing! On bumpy roads under full acceleration, the car feels like it's getting light and scrabbling for traction - it's awesome.

Yes, there was the odd day when the factory ECU with MBC felt scary fast for a little while, but it was so inconsistent. The AccessECU reflash produces relentless power all the way to redline, every time I go full throttle. Highway runs are much more pleasant, and 5th gear actually has useful passing power.

The only other mod on the car is a straight-through muffler, custom made at a shop for under $200. Sounds great and perks the car up just a bit more. This ECU reflash/muffler combo costs under $600 and completely transforms the feel of the car - the factory ECU with MBC just can't compare - trust me! My car feels healthy again, and it's all warranty-friendly. It doesn't get any better than that.

I'm going driving now...
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Old 06-15-2003, 05:37 PM   #2
Ianalex
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Default Boost with ECU reflash

HI Programmer:
What is max boost with the ECU reflash? That's my No.1 choise so far but don't know much about it...

thanks,
Ianalex
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Old 06-15-2003, 05:43 PM   #3
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I have the STAGE 2,

I have had it a couple of days now, and it is well over 15,, prolly around 16-17... I try to keep my eyes on the road, more than the gauge, cause once it kicks in.. whewiieeeeeee



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Old 06-15-2003, 05:43 PM   #4
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Have a Nice Day? Warranty

Warranty friendly? I'm thinking not It is better for the car than the MBC without a doubt and much less obvious to the dealer. But in the event of any serious problem they will discover the refalsh and void every warranty ever thought of on that car. It's smoother, more reliable, and fun yes. Warranty friendly, no. There is probably some young snitch somewhere who does nothing all day but troll our forums to figure out what we do to these cars and how dealers should check for it
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Old 06-15-2003, 06:03 PM   #5
03WRX83
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where can i get this ecu flash, give me some info please. And how much did it cost you, just the flash?
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Old 06-15-2003, 07:15 PM   #6
SpinAll4
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www.cobbtuning.com $395 + shipping to and from them.

Fedex will be delivering my ECU to them tomorrow, will have car back up and running Tuesday with mo power
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Old 06-15-2003, 08:34 PM   #7
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Ummm unless you tell your dealer that you have the cobb reflash there is no way they can tell you have it. The people at Cobb use the same diagnostic tools as the dealer and the reflash doesnt show up at all..Only way to tell is by buttdyno from driving the car....I just got my Cobb reflashed ECU (stage2 93 octane) and I love it.....
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Old 06-15-2003, 08:40 PM   #8
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Well, by warranty-friendly I mean that I can bring the car in for routine service or minor repairs without a worry and without pulling parts off. Most dealerships are not equipped to detect a reflashed ECU - normal diagnostics will not detect it. I actually bought a spare ECU for the reflash ($500), so I still have the original if needed. I takes 10 minutes or so to swap an ECU.

Maximum boost on the Cobb AccessECU stage 1 reflash (for a mostly stock car with just minor exhaust mods), is about 15 psi, which is fairly conservative, and it also tapers towards redline which is better for the turbo. Even with the boost taper, there's very little drop off in power!

I just got back from a nice long drive, and can't believe how smooth and powerful the car feels. It's incredible what a bit of software can do for a modern engine!
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Old 06-15-2003, 09:20 PM   #9
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I've had my stage 1 cobb reflash in since Wednesday... It's [email protected]#$ing great. On my autometer ultra-light I'm getting probably about 14.5 in first and second and it looks like I'm hitting 15.5 in 3,4,5 and I haven't noticed any drop in boost at all it just sets pegged untill I shift. Today was actually the first day I was on an open highway and wow it has a lot better pull and like someone said before there is actually power in 5th now. Great value for what you pay and better yet the reflashes are only $20. for when you upgrade in the future.
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:29 PM   #10
03WRX83
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well, looks like this will be my next investment.

Where is the ecu located? what tools needed to take it out.
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by SilverBoosted
Ummm unless you tell your dealer that you have the cobb reflash there is no way they can tell you have it. The people at Cobb use the same diagnostic tools as the dealer and the reflash doesnt show up at all..Only way to tell is by buttdyno from driving the car....I just got my Cobb reflashed ECU (stage2 93 octane) and I love it.....
Well, you can set yourself up with that expectation and cross your fingers if it suits you, but I wouldn't. If you experience major engine damage they are going to be suspicous. Just because the dealers don't have the equipment to examine the maps on the chip at arms reach doesn't mean they can't mail the ECU off to someone who does with little difficulty. Also doesn't mean they can't pop your ECU into another car and go for a drive. If they don't have a reason to dig deep, they'll probably never know (unless they need to test acceleration as part of the repair work )

Still, I'll probably go with a reflash just because I don't want a piggy-back's drivability reduction and environmental sensitivity..
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Old 06-15-2003, 11:04 PM   #12
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03WRX83 - the ECU is under the carpet in the passenger footwell, and you just need a 10mm (I think) socket to remove it. It's really easy, except for the 5 little plastic connectors which were a bit of a pain because I was being very careful. If you don't buy a spare ECU (and don't live in Salt Lake City), you have to send your stock ECU in to Cobb and you obviously can't drive your car while it's gone. With overnight shipping, it's only gone 3 days. I bought a spare ECU, though - it's an extra $500. Still well worth it!

Here's a link to the Cobb AccessECU web site which has lots of good info. Apart from a great product at a good price, they also have excellent customer service, so I can't recommend them highly enough.

http://cobbtuning.com/wrx/accessecu.html

I'm going out for one last evening drive while the air is cool and the traffic is light. This is becoming an addiction!
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Old 06-16-2003, 08:08 AM   #13
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will the stage 1 work for my mods... TXS uppipe and GFB Hybrid BOV.. i also have the 3/16 mod, should i remove that?
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Old 06-16-2003, 09:31 AM   #14
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One really nice thing to mention in regards to those worried about warranty is the ECU can be reflashed to STOCK if REALLY NEEDED. Cobb is going to make it extremely easy once the Access Port is realeased in a couple of weeks. Then you can reflash to your heart's content!

edit for grammer...
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:28 AM   #15
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I've got the Stage 2. The car simply hauls arse now. As far as warranty, any time you mess with your car you are running the risk of a dealer not covering certain repairs. They cannot void your ENTIRE warranty though, that is quite illegal. If my windshield washer pump burns out at 10,000 miles and they know I've got an ECU reflash, they'd better be replacing the pump. I don't try to conceal mods from my dealer anyhow, if they ask I tell them flat out. Its the people trying to screw them over that ruin it for everyone else trying to get legitimate service work done. Just MHO.
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Old 06-16-2003, 11:32 PM   #16
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The ECU maintains a record of flashes. Mine should say 1 but after Cobb it will say 2. I am ok with this but if anything in the engine or tranny goes I have to expect them to check for aftermarket "tampering". Not like they won't see my turbo back exhaust and figure I'm not above modification. My dealer told me they have to send ECUs out to be reflashed (this does get done for "legit" dealer reasons to correct issues sometimes) so I'm betting they can't detect it in house. But Macabre is right, they can send it out if they want. B4 your SOA rep puts several grand under your hood, what's a day or two in rental fees for you so they can check it out. I'm NOT saying that it's a bad idea, I just want you to go into it with open eyes.
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Old 06-17-2003, 12:29 AM   #17
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Great price at $395..... a lot better than some vendors charge you for ECU reflash.
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Old 06-17-2003, 05:43 PM   #18
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Whats the deal with the 93 octane? They don't sell it at he pumps around here?
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Old 06-17-2003, 06:43 PM   #19
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Not sure what you're asking.. fuel octane availability varies regionally. Can't get 93 in California either. They have a 91 octane map for us poor suckers.
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Old 07-02-2003, 12:40 AM   #20
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Programmer,

That's the best description I've ever read of my exact frustrations with my car. I started with an MBC and the tried a Unichip. Yeah, sometimes it hauls like a banshee outa hell. Other times I just can't count it. I want a car that's consistant, reliable and fast. Shouldn't be too much to ask.

How about a follow up. Are you still as satisfied after a few weeks?
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Old 07-02-2003, 08:28 PM   #21
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On the warranty topic:

If you completely destroy the motor and/or tranny, they might try to take the effort to look for engine management changes. Short of that, they don't have the time or the need to send out your car and/or ECU to check for a mod that is completely indetectable by a dealers service tools.
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Old 07-02-2003, 10:01 PM   #22
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This is looking more and more like something I could use. Now up here we only get 92 (with a few exceptions) So is this some thing they could tune for? I would much rather have the stg 2 93 map but dont wanna make a 25 mile drive evry time I need gas. And what about octane boosters? Ive been running with the stuff that claims it will raise it by 2 whole numbers (20 points)
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Old 07-03-2003, 12:08 AM   #23
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Any track numbers or dynos with the reflash?
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Old 07-03-2003, 12:57 AM   #24
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There is a dyno chart on Cobb's site.

http://cobbtuning.com/wrx/accessecu.html

josh
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Old 07-03-2003, 10:38 AM   #25
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I'll be going to the track soon and will have comparisons between the Stage II reflash vs SBC-id and the same exhaust stuff as before the reflash.

WELL worth the money IMO.
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