for those of us new to tuning... - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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#1 Old 03-04-2010, 10:08 PM
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for those of us new to tuning...

MAKING SURE I GOT IT RIGHT
let me clarify stage 1 & 2 to make sure my understanding is correct. most people are going by COBB, which seems stage 1 is just a reflash (new map) ECU and stage 2 being the turboback being done as well.

for those light modders not planning to go crazy it seems the most cost-effective solution is to either 1.) do an opensource tune or 2.) buy an accessport. a lot of people seem to go to tuning shops (professionals) but this kind of seems unnecessary for most of us light modders. unless money is not a factor and you want only the best for your wrx.

for OPTION 1 of opensource. it seems you only need to buy the tactrix cable to use along with your laptop. i actually have a netbook but i don't see why it can't substitute and if anything a netbook's size probably makes it more convenient. OPTION 2 of accessport, it does the same thing as option 1 but in a nice convenient pre-packaged unit.


LOTS OF BEGINNER QUESTIONS
now i've been attempting to read up on all this tuning and for a noob like me it is a lot of info. i see on COBB's website they make maps for their accessport free. CobbTuning.com - Subaru AccessPORT Maps i guess these are the basic ones being shared for free. the files are *.ptm. are these strictly made for the accessport only? it seems people can buy maps also, is this really a smart option for people like me who are light modders? what gets to me if a pro tuning is customized for a specific car taking in all variables, it seems a waste to pay $100 for a map that is not custom for you vehicle.

can someone link me to where i can find free maps used with opensource? i've used the link in the "Opensource Read Up.." sticky, but can't seem to locate any maps for a 2003 WRX. also the opensource seems pretty simple (when not doing custom tuning). it seems like running a winzip program. the main appeal of accessport to me is how they have all these maps available on one location.


WHAT HAPPENS TO MY GAS MILEAGE?
if i do any tuning you are basically taking the stock ecu setup and changing it to be a more performance based ecu. i would assume this would reduce my MPG? so the price you pay for not spending $1000 on a EM, is the pain in the ass chore of going into diagnostic mode and reflashing ecu everytime you want to switch between efficiency and performance?


TAKING DIAGNOSTIC INFORMATION...
it seems everytime you want to change maps for either OPTION 1 or 2, i have to put the car in diagnostic mode and go through the process. my question is how does diagnostic data taking work? does the ecu save data on it and you can pull it off later, or do you keep the laptop/accessport plugged in while driving??
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#2 Old 03-05-2010, 12:17 AM
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Please don't take this the wrong way, but you've got some facts really backwards.

You don't have to put the car into diagnostic mode to change maps with an AccessPort. And they've reduced their price to 600-ish.

Most of us get better gas mileage running Stage 1 or 2.

You say you don't want to run a big tune, because you're just doing "light" tuning, but any tuning at all should be done professionally.

The AccessPort's maps will not work on anything but an AccessPort. They are designed for the AccessPort. The diagnostic information (Check Engine Light stuff) can be checked directly through the AccessPort while it's hooked up. The AP gives us "light tuners" something to work with in a safe way. The problem with tuning is, every car is different and will need to be tuned differently based on altitude, specific modifications, and individual targets. You can't just find a setting to turn up fuel, boost, ignition, etc. It's a little more complicated than that.

The whole point of my response is not to tear you down, so I'm sorry if it came off that way, but as you research modding your car a bit more, even lightly, you'll find that the AP is a great mod that will support future mods for a long time to come. I haven't personally used Opensource, so I can't speak to it, but I'm sure it's similar to the AP in how it works. I know where I live with a reputable place like Cobb it was about $200 to get tuned specific to your vehicle, not $100. And that's to be safe but still get the max out of the car. Cobb's not here anymore so I don't know of a reputable place to do it anymore, but I'd give you a recommendation to explore the AP. And the maps that you buy are typically designed for the AP for specific parts you're buying (like the Perrin map I have on mine for Stage 2).
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#3 Old 03-05-2010, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondafan View Post
Please don't take this the wrong way, but you've got some facts really backwards.

You don't have to put the car into diagnostic mode to change maps with an AccessPort. And they've reduced their price to 600-ish.

Most of us get better gas mileage running Stage 1 or 2.
nice disclaimer. but i didnt take offense. thats why i was asking questions because i didnt know. so the AP you can change maps on the fly. does this work for opensource as well?

and yes the AP is now 600 new shipped. wish i could find one used for 03 wrx.
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#4 Old 03-05-2010, 09:01 AM
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I don't think you can change on the fly with OS. I'm going the OS route and having a few maps made for my car which I will call FUN, Road Trip, and Daily Driver. I'm buying a Tactrix Cable for $170, and getting my maps made by Matt at 555 Motorsports for $150. They keep tweaking maps for you for 30 days and you can get as many as you want in that time frame. $320 for the same thing an AP can do and have a custom tune (not as good as a dyno or road). You can log just like the AP can through a free program called RomRaider as well. Not sure about clearing CEL's, but it's just as good.

-Chris
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#5 Old 03-05-2010, 12:59 PM
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I just did the tbe and put on the stage 2 ap and love it. It took my car from stock hp to 285 in one day. I suggest doing it. I'm a noob and have only had my 04 wrx for almost 2 months and did all the work myself. Feels good to learn how to do stuff to your own car.
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#6 Old 03-05-2010, 01:49 PM
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The AP is great for tuning, and also monitoring the car. I use it as a boost regularly and also the other options. I have ran the AP from stage 1 to now a custom map for my 20G. With my 20G I can get better gas mileage if I can drive with some restraint (which is most of the time). Mind you the numbers Cobb gives for the AP is at the crank (CHP) not at the wheels. Either form of EM is great and can only benefit the car (when done correctly).

Joshua
"2007 WRX- PPG'd, 20G- Tim Bailey tuned
Stage 2 2005 WRX
Cobbtuning.com"
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#7 Old 03-05-2010, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RcrsWetDream View Post
Not sure about clearing CEL's, but it's just as good.
You can disable CELs with RomRaider.

Ryan
2009 STi - Cobb Stage 2
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#8 Old 03-08-2010, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RcrsWetDream View Post
I don't think you can change on the fly with OS.
I'm pretty sure you can now, at least on the USDM ecus.
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#9 Old 03-08-2010, 06:07 PM
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On the fly...as is while driving is a big no. (except with the STI and the 3 programs you can switch between on the fly with SI-drive) Reflashing as often as you like without the vehicle running is a yes.
Any device that flashes the computer will work essentially the same way, the only exception being that the AP "locks" the the computer from any other device when it marries itself to the ecu. You have to divorce the AP (and that means flashing back to stock) to tune with another program.

Brad

AEM CAI, Perrin ELH wrapped, Catted Downpipe, Stage II XPT tune, K4RT30Y STS, lip, shark fin
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#10 Old 03-08-2010, 08:53 PM
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Very true Brad. But, most people stay that way and get protuned AP maps if they step outside the bounds of a OTS map. You can use COBBs AccessTUNER RACE Beta to custom tune your own AP maps if you want and have the know how. Cobb protuners can lock their maps too. That way they can't be used on other cars running APs. Its a very versitale tool and my tuner got Cobb certified because he can tune on the fly with it. Not have to log and re-adjust/tweak the map over and over again. Which is what you have to normally do with OS. Granted he normally does a dyno pull to see how it works out and can re-adjust it again.

Brad: Did OS allow you to load up maps for each SI drive setting? From what you said. It seems that way. Last time I knew, it didn't. What are you using to do that? Just asking because I don't know.

Kirt
378awhp/373wtq Custom Dom 3 & CBRD tuned 2006 STI.
"When in doubt...flat out" - Colin McRae
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#11 Old 03-08-2010, 09:03 PM
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Not technically different maps, but different throttle tables and some other minor changes. My S# is setup for a ramp up on throttle giving you 100% at about 60% pedal. Vastly quickens shifts and launches as well as a whole different driving feel. My S is similar to stock in throttle feel, just allot more power. I have yet to find a good use for economy, I have noticed while S# changes back to S on the next start, E stays on. I may program E to what S# is now, and S# to the E program. That way at autoX events I wouldn't have to put the car is S# every lap.

Brad

AEM CAI, Perrin ELH wrapped, Catted Downpipe, Stage II XPT tune, K4RT30Y STS, lip, shark fin
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