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Bubba James 05-16-2014 06:43 AM

Local-ish Tuner recs?
Greetings, killers. Anybody that can recommend a local tuner for a custom tune for my stage 2 03 wrx? I'm willing to go the e-tune route if need be. Just want to know some info on some of the shops that are relatively close to me too. I'm in Johnson City, TN but am open to a bit of travel. (i.e. Knoxville, etc.)

boo-key 05-16-2014 07:18 AM

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Im in knoxville and know some locals go to fastech. I can't tell you how good or bad they are because I have no experience with them. I considered them when I got mine but, could not find enough info to make me decide to use them. I was gunshy after getting a bad tune from another tuner and wasn't going to settle for anyone that didn't have anything but rave reviews so, I went etune. Do some research on them and make your own decision. If you find another tuner or decide you don't want to use them and go with a etune I would highly recommend phatbotti or torqued performance. I have experience with phatbotti and sent a few people there. Never heard a complaint or read a bad review. I am extremely happy with them. You will need a wideband for etuning though. Let me know if you need contact info for them. Tell Ron that adair sent ya ;)

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Bubba James 05-16-2014 07:22 AM

Torqued is Minehart (sp?) right? He said he could help me out even without a wideband. Some folks recommended him to me from the local subbie group here. I've heard bad things about fastech from a few. Some contact info for phatbotti would be primo.

boo-key 05-16-2014 10:27 AM

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brfatal 05-16-2014 12:04 PM

[quote=Bubba James;453713]Torqued is Minehart (sp?) right? He said he could help me out even without a wideband. Some folks recommended him to me from the local subbie group here. I've heard bad things about fastech from a few. Some contact info for phatbotti would be primo.[/quote]

Tuning without a wideband is incomplete.

Boxer4Racing is in the Asheville area. An in person tune will net better results than e-tuning. E-tuning is last resort.

boo-key 05-17-2014 09:34 AM

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I agree with brfatal. You should never tune without a wideband. At the same time I disagree that etuning is a last resort. Off the shelf maps and unknown tuners should be a last resort for someone who desires a modified vehicle.

Road Tuning/E-Tuning vs Dyno Tuning

Road/E-Tuning Pros
- loads and environment are exactly what the car is going to see everyday
- hood is down, heatsoak is exactly how it will be daily, underhood aerodynamics are accounted for
- you get in the habit of monitoring your own vehicle
- you get an understanding of the tuning process and can see whats being changed
- you get a better understanding of when it is/isnt a good idea to beat on your car
- more involved process. you are the one driving the car. you have control of when to get out of a pull if you think something is wrong.

Road/E-Tuning Cons
- time. the process can take 1-2 weeks or way longer....some people send 10 logs a day....some send 1 log a month.....some people pay then take 3-4 weeks to get a tuner there AP serial #. 95% of the time the tuner is waiting on logs from customers...the 5% where they have to wait is because the tuner is either driving or seeing family on a holiday....exct.
- speeding. traffic tickets are a possibility.
- traffic, accidents, old ladies, animals, weather can all come into play on the road
- troubleshooting mechanical issues via the internetz sux teh ballz

Dyno Tuning Pros
- You're at a shop with mechanics who can troubleshoot real time
- Greater level of detail and consistency of power measurement
- Dont have to worry about traffic tickets, traffic, weather, etc
- you get a pretty dyno chart

Dyno Tuning Cons
- load/environment replication. personally i've never seen a car driving down the street with its hood popped and a fan mounted in front of it.
- since the tuning is done with the hood open underhood aerodynamics arent taken into account at all. intake air temperatures are not close to being on the road. coolant temps can also get really high on the dyno.
- Dom @ MPS on road tuning after dyno tuning. "(Detuning on the road) is because you tuned the car with high IAT (on the dyno) and now you need to compensate for the cooler IATs you got in the real world. This is the same misconception most other tuners/shops have in this country. They don't realize that you get more airflow over the car, through the engine bay and radiator at 20mph than you get on the shop floor with 3 fans in front of it. You have to look at the air over the car as a difference in pressure. The under-tray creates a low pressure region under the car and draws air through the intercooler and radiator. Floor fans alone can't provide enough pressure to do this."

brfatal 05-17-2014 11:04 PM

The biggest cons to e-tuning:

Less attention to detail. E-Tuners work on multiple maps at once where as with an in-person tune your car has their full attention. Not only that, but you get better attention to detail. There are things you can only see or feel by being in the car when it's being tuned. Local tuners know the local environment and the quality of local gas, which contributes to safer tunes and better results, the later of which you should expect anyways over e-tuning.

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