Beginner Flashing to 03 with Tactrix Cable - safety? - Subaru WRX Forum
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#1 Old 10-21-2007, 07:25 PM
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Beginner Flashing to 03 with Tactrix Cable - safety?

Hey all,
My first post on these forums but after spending a week reading various forums this one seemed like the best one to join first!
I was reading about the tactrix cable and open ecu software and it sounds like the perfect solution for me - I do not have the money to buy the accessport.
In fact, my car is totally stock except for the SPT Short Shifter (dealer purchased and installed). It is an 03 wagon.
Here's what I was thinking:
Install COBB v2.0 Map
"Stage 1 91 oct Stage 1 for Stock Vehicles. 91 octane fuel. 255HP (+12%) / 255lb-ft (+18%)" from their website.

Is this safe to do on a bone stock car? As in no decrease in reliability? Do I need to own gauges now? Or could I put off that purchase for if/when I become more interested in tuning/upgrades - I would be leaving the map exactly as Cobb has it.
Also, would I be able to unmarry the map to the ecu and return to stock? Would this mean saving the stock map as a backup on my harddrive? I read somewhere that someone had trouble overwriting the cobb map with the stock one.
Well, thanks to anyone who can answer these questions!
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#2 Old 10-21-2007, 07:45 PM
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Leave the ecu alone for now. You still need to do other things to fully optimize the use of a reflash. I JUST reflashed my car and love it. Spend the money on a exhaust, guages that type of thing.

Look at it this way, you can only push so much air though a restricted pipe regardless of how hard you try to.

I went with the tactrix cable and the xpt download stage 2 map.

Yes, I do believe that was a wagon that passed us!
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#3 Old 10-21-2007, 08:36 PM
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While those things would fully optimize the use of a reflash, the benefits of the reflash I see are:
1) Low Price (this is number 1 - really, anything more than 100$ and I cant even consider it for many months)
2) reusability - if I do get bolt on upgrades many months down the road this cable will still be useful to me.
3) legality - I am not a fan of the illegality of the various mods that people do.. the horsepower is cool but I'm going to try to stick close to the law. + My subie sounds sexy already and its plenty loud!

So yeah, according to Cobb (and I assume any well done maps results will be similar), I can get another 25 hp and torque from a $90 upgrade? That sounds like the best thing I could possibly do for $100 assuming no other investment later.

I do thank you for your opinion, though - to me it is totally logical for anyone with more than a couple hundred bucks.

If i have the answers to my questions above about safety, reliability, usefulness, and backups...then maybe I'll be able to weigh the pros and cons of it

Edit: I don't have to use cobb maps, they just seem more likely to be safe than something a random person made up?
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#4 Old 10-21-2007, 09:27 PM
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The XPT's are not "made up", ALOT of people use them and they have been known to be reliable.

It appears however you already have your mind made up, you not worried about horsepower or full performance potential. The 3 things you want re-affirmation on you have managed to already prove to yourself, ya know.

The stage, 1, 2, 3, 4 maps regardless of who made them require certain things to be done to the car so as long as you have done them then you will be just fine.

Are you using something other than stock exhaust, my stocker was far from sexy and loud.
At least consider a K&N panel filter and a new up pipe, together you would have 100$ spent. Some folks are worried about the cat in the upipe breaking up and grenading your turbo, think of it as preventive maintenance.

Yes, I do believe that was a wagon that passed us!
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#5 Old 10-21-2007, 11:11 PM
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Well, I didnt mean the XPT expensive ones, I meant something like the osecurom free stage 1 stuffs:
E.g. this one: http://www.xpttuning.com/osecuroms/viewtopic.php?t=261
They claim this one works on stock setup, while the XPT says its designed for having several basic upgrades.

I have not made up my mind, beyond the idea that I will not be changing the exhaust or removing cats from the turbo back. I am considering an uppipe, though. Is it dangerous to do a stage 1 map (designed for a stock setup) with the precat still in place? I mean, there cant be much boost increase with these maps, e.g. osecurom, cobb stage 1, etc, right?

And yes, I like the way the stock exhaust sounds. Sure, I like the tone of say, an invidia g200, but I dont look the big ricer look or the incredibly high decibel levels. And the cost makes it out of the question for me.

My dealership told me that they had to replace the mass airflow because of a K&N filter only last week, and strongly recommended against installing it.

Basically I see three possible choices with a ~$100 budget(again assume NO upgrades ever again):
Catless uppipe
Upgraded ECU
No safe, legal (or at least no chance of getting caught at emissions inspection...) option
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#6 Old 10-22-2007, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobySnacks View Post
Hey all,
My first post on these forums but after spending a week reading various forums this one seemed like the best one to join first!
I was reading about the tactrix cable and open ecu software and it sounds like the perfect solution for me - I do not have the money to buy the accessport.
In fact, my car is totally stock except for the SPT Short Shifter (dealer purchased and installed). It is an 03 wagon.
Here's what I was thinking:
Install COBB v2.0 Map
"Stage 1 91 oct Stage 1 for Stock Vehicles. 91 octane fuel. 255HP (+12%) / 255lb-ft (+18%)" from their website.

Is this safe to do on a bone stock car? As in no decrease in reliability? Do I need to own gauges now? Or could I put off that purchase for if/when I become more interested in tuning/upgrades - I would be leaving the map exactly as Cobb has it.
Also, would I be able to unmarry the map to the ecu and return to stock? Would this mean saving the stock map as a backup on my harddrive? I read somewhere that someone had trouble overwriting the cobb map with the stock one.
Well, thanks to anyone who can answer these questions!
You cannot flash Cobb's maps with the Tactrix.Their maps are coded.Thats why you need an Accessport to use them.Spend some time reading the links below.Should answer alot of questions.Yes you should purchase some gauges.Mainly boost and wideband 02.The Tactrix cable will allow you to datalog the vehicle as well.
http://www.scoobypedia.co.uk/index.php/Knowledge/ECU
http://www.enginuity.org/Documentation/EnginuityFAQ

Homebrewed tuned with Opensource!
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#7 Old 10-22-2007, 08:13 AM
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Dum Dum couldn't be more correct^. As I'm reading down this whole thread I'm thinking "Am I missing something, this guy/gal wants to flash a cobb map with a tactrix cable?" Definitely will not work, COBB would be losing a ton of money if it did. As for replacing the UP, not necessary for a stage 1 as you will not be pushing near enough air through the UP to free the cat and have it granade your turbine. And for Scooby Snacks, definitely upgrade to a K&N drop in filter b4 flashing to stg1 opensource map (yes the free one).

Mike
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Last edited by Longshot; 10-22-2007 at 06:22 PM.
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#8 Old 10-22-2007, 06:07 PM
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Thank you guys for the responses. Perhaps all I can afford right now is the K&N filter.
I do wonder why it is such a necessary upgrade, but I'll search around for a detailed review of it. So far what I've seen are just people saying "maybe it has a couple more hp, i cant tell" and things like that.
I will also do a search for gauge reviews. If I have any other questions, I'll return to this thread. We'll see what I can afford and I'll update on the decision.
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#9 Old 10-22-2007, 06:33 PM
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Budget build ups are what make things like the OpenECU and tactrix cable possible. Listen to dumdum he has the knowledge on these things.

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#10 Old 10-22-2007, 07:06 PM
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I have a opensource stage one compilation map I guess you could call it that I got off the osecuroms site for free and it is amazing, I would not fear this map at all it is very smooth all around but the boost comes on so much earlier and harder, for a 90$ cable and free map I couldnt be any happier, and It was super easy to do.
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#11 Old 10-22-2007, 09:53 PM
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Hey KHoff, you have an 04 wrx so the free map for 03 could be totally different? Are you stock?

Does anyone know if this is the correct map for my car: http://www.xpttuning.com/osecuroms/v...6c224e62f28900

As far as gauges go, so far I am interested in the Blitz DC IV Dual Turbo Timer/Boost Gauge, although its a little out of my price range. Are there any standalone boost gauges that are reliable (at least at lower boost numbers) and affordable?
Looking up wideband O2 sensors...whao, 500$!
Thanks again, all.
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#12 Old 10-22-2007, 11:40 PM
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For gauges check out http://www.prosportgauges.com/. Cheap and reliable gauges. And for a wideband check out http://www.innovatemotorsports.com/products/db.php. Its like $289.
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#13 Old 10-23-2007, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobySnacks View Post
Hey KHoff, you have an 04 wrx so the free map for 03 could be totally different? Are you stock?

Does anyone know if this is the correct map for my car: http://www.xpttuning.com/osecuroms/v...6c224e62f28900

As far as gauges go, so far I am interested in the Blitz DC IV Dual Turbo Timer/Boost Gauge, although its a little out of my price range. Are there any standalone boost gauges that are reliable (at least at lower boost numbers) and affordable?
Looking up wideband O2 sensors...whao, 500$!
Thanks again, all.
Turbo timer is a waste and not needed sense we have water and oil cooled turbos.LC-1 wideband is $200.You maybe should spend ALOT of time reading about the Opensource stuff before jumping in.You need to be able to log the vehicle and kinda understand what your looking at.Even for a stock car,gauges are a just a smart thing to have.They are more than just bling,they are there to let you know something bad might be happening.Oil pressure,voltage,boost are a must have.Wideband and EGT would be next,but wideband definatly for running EM.Catlessup-pipe is good for faster spool and the stock one has been known to take out a turbo or two from the cat or the EGT probe.The free maps are base maps that are just a starting point.Personally i think that particular stage 1 map is very aggresive.It runs more timing advance and higher boost than the stage 2 free map.It needs to be detuned before use.

Homebrewed tuned with Opensource!
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#14 Old 10-23-2007, 08:57 AM
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Sigh, theres no easy or cheap routes apparently, besides the faster spool up of an uppipe.
I guess I will see if any of my car enthusiast friends know about EM - I don't know almost anything about mapping, and I'm not sure I feel comfortable teaching myself and trusting my engine to it. I really need to find a cheaper hobby I guess I can just race autocross bone stock!
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#15 Old 10-23-2007, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobySnacks View Post
Sigh, theres no easy or cheap routes apparently, besides the faster spool up of an uppipe.
I guess I will see if any of my car enthusiast friends know about EM - I don't know almost anything about mapping, and I'm not sure I feel comfortable teaching myself and trusting my engine to it. I really need to find a cheaper hobby I guess I can just race autocross bone stock!
Modding cars are definitely not cheap. If I were you I'd invest time rather than money to learn how to do this stuff. That is what I'm doing. In no way am I even half as experienced as a lot of people on this site but I read a TON. And when working on the car 1st hand I don't take no for an answer...LOL...If there a will theres a way, but to each their own.

Mike
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