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#1 lostboyz

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:55 PM

I have no interest in buying one but my friend keeps telling me to get one. They seem like complete BS to me. When they advertise better performance and increasing fuel economy my instinct is to call shenanigans. I could see doing one or the other, not both.

Otherwise I know nothing about them, any ideas?

#2 Alex548

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:56 AM

If you're talking about those lame performance "chips" they sell on ebay, don't buy it.
It's just a resistor (or two) that fools the computer into thinking you're getting more (or less) air than you really are so it adjusts the air/fuel ratio of the car for more power. They're crap and you can buy the resistor at Rat Shack for pennies compared to what they sell them for. Some are just resistors and generic instructions for your car while others come pre-assembled in a small project box to make them look more expensive.


If it's an actual programmable chip and engine management equipment . . . that's a different story smile.gif

Edited by Alex548, 21 February 2009 - 01:00 AM.


#3 mysticrider92

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 11:56 PM

^ What he said is quite true.

An actual performance chip can easily net you a very good boost in power and gas mileage. For example, a basic chip swap in our Porsche 944 Turbo will bump the horsepower from ~218 (stock) to ~250. Expect to spend no less than a few thousand dollars for a good one though.

Controlling the air/fuel ratio, certain emissions/power limits, etc.. are all the purpose of the computer in the car. Stock computers are built to give decent performance, good gas mileage, and high reliability, all with low emissions. Changing it around improves one or two categories while possibly sacrificing in another (better performance means less reliability, very good mileage means less performance, you get the idea).

As a side note, it is easily possible to improve performance and gas mileage at the same time. Depends a lot on the engine though. My VW engine is set up with a very small carburetor, actually not enough for the car/engine. Moving to a bigger carb (or duals) will get more power out of the engine, making it easier to get the car going, so it spends less time at high RPMs, which obviously improves gas mileage along with power.

Edited by mysticrider92, 21 February 2009 - 11:57 PM.


#4 commandersafi

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:14 AM

QUOTE(Alex548 @ Feb 20 2009, 06:32 PM) View Post

If you're talking about those lame performance "chips" they sell on ebay, don't buy it.
It's just a resistor (or two) that fools the computer into thinking you're getting more (or less) air than you really are so it adjusts the air/fuel ratio of the car for more power. They're crap and you can buy the resistor at Rat Shack for pennies compared to what they sell them for. Some are just resistors and generic instructions for your car while others come pre-assembled in a small project box to make them look more expensive.

If it's an actual programmable chip and engine management equipment . . . that's a different story smile.gif


He speaks the truth...Those ebay chips are worthless.

Also..In my opinion programmable chips arn't that great unless you get one that has a bank selection switch so you can change tunes on the fly.

What i use for my mustang is a handheld tuner. With it you can store 3 preset tunes, 3 custom tunes, and do all sorts of datalogging you may want. You just connect it to your computer and load up the file and you can see all the info about how your car is running and have adjustments made

Heres mine:
IPB Image



#5 twistedsymphony

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:58 PM

QUOTE(mysticrider92 @ Feb 21 2009, 06:32 PM) View Post

Expect to spend no less than a few thousand dollars for a good one though.

I agree with you completely except for this.

professional race bread stand-alone systems can cost you a couple grand... but you can get a good piggy-back ecu or factory ecu reprogrammer for $600-$800... even less if you're buying a used one or going with an option source solution like Mega Squirt.

there are 3 types of REAL "chips"

1. those that reprogram the factory ecu, this device might be as simple as plugging a PC into your car and reprogramming the computer, or as invasive as opening the computer module up and physically swapping out a chip... basically it reprograms the computer for some new set of parameters... don't under estimate the benefits that can be hand with this.. some factory computers are VERY well built... most people who tune Chevy LS1s use the LS1edit software which can setup the computer to do just about anything you'd want it to do... most shops that work with these motors will setup your computer to your parameters using this application for a couple hundred bucks. This is the cheapest option costing about $100 at the low end and $800 at the high end.

2. "piggy-back" systems... factory ECUs that aren't reprogrammable (either they're locked out by the manufacturer or designed such that they can't be reprogrammed) might use this type of system, it's a section car computer that attaches to the main computer, it basically acts as a converter taking certain functionality away from the factory ecu and just feeding it enough data to keep it happy. These are good because they can let the ecu handle stuff like cold start, Air Conditioning and other "comfort" features that might be controlled by the computer while the piggy back handles the actual engine tuning. The one I see used the most is the greddy e-manage, which is fairly cheap and easy to program. it's not the most feature filled but it's a great platform to get your feet wet with. This is option is priced typically between $600 - $2000 depending on the system and the functionality.

3. "stand-alone" systems... these replace the factory ECU completely... and in general they're built for strict racing applications... these systems typically wont include the functionality you'd need to drive the car on the street, rather they'll assume you've stripped out all of the car's creature comforts and work specifically for running the motor and nothing more... in general these offer the most flexibility in terms of HOW you tune your car and they use extremely high speed processors so that they can react quicker. these systems cost typically between $1200 and $10000 depending on the system and the functionality

---------------

I had a WRX and used the Cobb tuning Access ECU which is a handheld device that can reprogram the factory computer, it cost me about $600 and they had "maps" on the website that I could download for different part configurations (for instance I had a turbo-back exhaust, and bigger injectors so that matched the stage 2.5 map that I was able to reprogram) if you had a setup that didn't match up with a map on the website then you could take it to a tuner who would create you a custom map for about $400-$500)..

with this I got an extra 85hp at the top of the powerband and an average of 15tq across the entire band... worth every penny IMO.

With the LS1 I'm building the factory computer is actually designed like a stand-alone system so I'm going to have it reflashed with a pre-determined map for about $150


#6 mysticrider92

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:08 AM

QUOTE(twistedsymphony @ Feb 23 2009, 03:34 PM) View Post

I agree with you completely except for this.

professional race bread stand-alone systems can cost you a couple grand... but you can get a good piggy-back ecu or factory ecu reprogrammer for $600-$800... even less if you're buying a used one or going with an option source solution like Mega Squirt.


Hmm.. I haven't looked at ECU tuning that much, so that price was a bit more of a guess. Wouldn't do much good for my car. smile.gif Thats a lot cheaper than I would have thought, pretty cool...

#7 twistedsymphony

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 02:17 PM

Mega Squirt is a good option for Xbox-Sceners ... it's an Open Source/"Homebrew" engine management system.

I know a few people who run it and it's quite powerful for it's price... it will cost you a few hundred bucks to buy all the necessary parts to construct your own, or there are several companies who sell pre-built units.

it's very much for racing applications though, since it doesn't include the kinds of functionality you'd need in an ecu for day to day driving (though theoretically you could build that in yourself if you have the know-how)

#8 Dano2k0

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 04:24 PM

Mega squirt aint a bad budget ECU, but there are much better options also..

My brother has a DTA stand alone ECU, not a bad bit of kit, we have also learned alot about mapping, his car has our own map on it at the moment, and it just gets better each time we tweak it.

Its something i may consider in the future, or go for the 'piggy back' option to run along side the original...

Having said that you need good reasons as the ECU i'm going to be running is great for remapping

#9 xboxhackern00b

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:53 AM

i recently found out you can use the Evo 8 ecu in a 2g dsm
found an evo 8 ecu for 150$ bought a cable and the logging program for 125$ and the tuning program is free all in all it costs me 275$ and i have complete tuning capabality with the ecu + some extras like launch control and no lift to shift + the functionality of a stock ecu




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