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Old 07-16-2017, 06:12 AM   #1
PDXREALTOR
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Default Protune expectations and getting what one pays for

I'm going for a second dynotune, using access port, and I feel I need to be better prepared for the second one.

There's a lot of talk about tuners banging out garbage tunes (I may or may not have been a recent victim) and I want to hold their feet to the fire the second time around.

I really have no idea what the tuner should be doing for the money I give him.

So, exactly what should I ask for when I go in for my second tune?

What all should a 'pro-tune' address?
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:24 PM   #2
mrsaturn7085
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The answer to your question depends entirely on how deep your pockets are, and how long you would like the tuner to work on your tune. Bare minimum, you'll get a refined base map in a few hours for $600-900.

Things like wastegate mapping and full in-depth spark tuning take time, and time = money.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:07 PM   #3
GlarryHoodDIT
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Find a reputable and respected tuner first off.

Is this a complicated setup? Big turbo, injectors, fuel pump, whole nine yards? Or is this just a simple stage x tune?
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:44 PM   #4
PDXREALTOR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsaturn7085 View Post
The answer to your question depends entirely on how deep your pockets are, and how long you would like the tuner to work on your tune. Bare minimum, you'll get a refined base map in a few hours for $600-900.

Things like wastegate mapping and full in-depth spark tuning take time, and time = money.
Right ...right.... I'm not really curious on how much the tune is going to cost but your numbers do seem high for around here where dyno tunes (pro-tunes) run around 400.00. My question is based on the assumption I'm paying for a 'pro-tune'.

My question is, what should I be getting for that money. What conversation should I be having with the tuner about the goals for the tune?

Should per gear WG tables be tuned?

Should a road test be done after the dyno tune?

Should the boost target and actual boost made numbers match?

How long should a 'typical' 'pro-tune' take?

What requests should I be making? Specifics.... not broad requests like, I want a safe tune. Surely there are parts of the tune that are preference.

What additional maps should expect to get? Seems valet, anti-theft and a 91 ACN map is pretty normal. Any others that are typically included?

Let's say I wanted a low boost only map for my kid - would that typically be an up charge or would that typically be no charge inclusion upon request?




Quote:
Originally Posted by GlarryHoodDIT View Post
Find a reputable and respected tuner first off.

Is this a complicated setup? Big turbo, injectors, fuel pump, whole nine yards? Or is this just a simple stage x tune?
No, not complicated at all.

Intake, DP, EBCS, injcetors/pump, ELH and up pipe.

When I go to a new mechanic I know what to ask, and what to look for. I know how to set expectations because I know enough about mechanics to do so. I know what needs fixing and what that should entail, including approximate cost.

I'm NOT knowledgeable enough about tuning so I'm looking for some input.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:38 AM   #5
mrsaturn7085
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You're looking at this ass-backwards. You need to tell the tuner what you want, and then you'll get an accurate quote. Educating yourself on what can be done on a chassis dyno vs. what must be done on an engine dyno in a load cell is a good start. A good tuner can tweak atmospheric compensations by experience, but a less experienced tuner is better off leaving the compensations as Subaru set them.

Per gear wastegate tables are just a compensation map - leaving this stock is probably fine; I would not expect the tuner to change this with a base tune. Per gear fuel and ignition compensations are much more important for making boost creep less of a problem.

The term pro-tune is just a way to differentiate from tuning the motor yourself. Effectively, it just means you're paying for a tune. Give me 5 bucks, have me tweak one cell and technically, you've got a pro-tune.

A road test should be done after the tune, yes. This will ensure that the engine didn't heat soak on the dyno to the point of messing up the tune (I'm generalizing here, but the specifics of this are usually related to excessive IAT values).

Boost target should match actual boost... unless high boost is being commanded at high RPM to the point of exceeding the capabilities of the turbo. This won't hurt anything... it's just lazy tuning. To give you an idea of what it takes to accurately tune the part-throttle boost control maps, it took me about 6 weekends of clamped throttle tuning to fill out my whole map. You will not be getting a map tuned this well with a 4 hour dyno tune, but with an experienced tuner, you might get close if they can simply copy+paste a tune from a similar car.

I would expect 2-4 hours depending on your car. If your setup matches 80% of the Subaru's the tuner sees, you'll be much closer to the 2 hour estimate.

The preferential questions you should ask are what will determine the price tag. Do you want the AVCS tables tweaked? Do you want part throttle ignition tuning for fuel economy? All of this takes time, and again, time = money. One BIG question to ask (if you care) is whether or not the tune will be locked or if you'll be able to refine it yourself. Personally, I would NEVER take a locked tune, as your tune will only be as good as the time put into it. 2-4 hours on the dyno is NOTHING but a slightly refined base map. Period.

Other maps are rarely included - if you want other base maps (valet, etc.), just download them and flash them yourself. If you want a low boost map, just make sure you get an unlocked tune, copy it, and adjust the target boost table (hint: zero the entire table and you'll be running at wastegate pressures).

Looking at your modifications, here is what the tuner will likely be doing:

1. Starting with an OTS Stage 2 map (which has fuel pulled, AVCS tweaked, and boost raised).
2. Re-scale the injectors.
3. Tweak the MAF scaling if necessary with the intake.
4. Pull some fuel at high-load.
5. Pull a tiny bit of timing if needed - Subaru ECUs take care of most of this on their own.
6. Tune the boost table for the EBCS - possibly reducing boost a bit.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:57 PM   #6
PDXREALTOR
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I just wanted to say thank you for this reply. It is beyond helpful.

Thank you!
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