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Old 02-07-2004, 01:10 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 14096
Join Date: Jan 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: CT, USA
2014 Forester
Pearl white

Default UTEC v. Stock computer upgrade

OK, I'm not a techie, but I'm confused about how the UTEC (basically piggyback computer) compares with say, a Cobb stock ECU upgrade. Is the biggest difference the programmability of the UTEC? I'm interested in low-RPM torque and around town driving, not max power for track use, and I'm not computer-savvy enough to change the programming on my own. Does that mean I'm better off going with a Cobb Stage 1 (or something similar)?

I hope some of that makes sense.

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Old 02-07-2004, 01:53 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 16876
Join Date: Mar 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: St Paul, MN
2002 Impreza WRX
WR Blue


Well, the Cobb product costs about $400 at the moment, while the TurboXS UTEC costs over $1000. Much of what you are paying for with the UTEC is, as you surmised, the ability to alter multiple maps and tune as you see fit. So if you have no interest in learning how to take full advantage of the user tuning capability, or don't need maps for different scenarios (summer, winter, street, track, etc), I would not recommend their product.

The advantage of reflashed ECU products is that they are "set and forget" solutions for people who don't want or need to tune multiple maps. However, you do encounter the possibility of "outgrowing" your reflashed ECU if you continue to make modifications that require different parameters than what your ECU has, in which case you might end up paying a second time for a new reflash. I believe in the very near future Cobb is offering a companion product to allow users to do these subsequent reflashes themselves (AccessPort).

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Old 02-07-2004, 01:57 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 29735
Join Date: Nov 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Westminster,MD
2011 JSW TDI - DSG
2008 EVO X MR


utec has a great knock monitoring system.
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Old 02-07-2004, 04:04 PM   #4
Scooby Guru
Member#: 35081
Join Date: Apr 2003
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: CT
2012 WRX


Well said above,

The reflash, set and forget

The UTEC, you will need to play with it.

And, this has been covers 1,000,000,000,000 tims in the past

The ECU comparo sticky at the top is a good read
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Old 02-08-2004, 09:57 AM   #5
Scooby Guru
Member#: 15106
Join Date: Feb 2002

The problem with the ECU upgrade is you can't go back to
stock mode on the fly as you can on the utec. Plus, if you
live in extreme cold areas in the winter, i think you'll want
the ability to change parameters now and then.
kenchan is offline   Reply With Quote

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