Explain all this techno stuff to me....
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This is a discussion on Explain all this techno stuff to me.... within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; OK total newbie here. Not to cars, just to all this techno stuff. Just a quick resume of my automotive ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Super-G's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Doylestown PA

    Explain all this techno stuff to me....

    OK total newbie here. Not to cars, just to all this techno stuff.

    Just a quick resume of my automotive experience. I have 30 years of experience in working on cars. My first car was my 68 Pontiac Firebird and I still have it today. I have built and installed several motors for the car. I've totally rebuilt the car from the ground up myself. Other than paint and rebuilding the transmission, I've done ALL the wrenching.

    I just bought my first WRX. It's an 02 wagon that I bought from the original owner and it only has 57,000 original miles. It's bone stock and unmodified. It's also my daily driver so I don't need to run 10's in the 1/4 mile but if there is a quick easy way to make this car drive and handle better, the hot rodder in me is all for it.

    BUT, when I tune my cars, I use a timing light, and a vacuum gauge. I can tune a carb (that's a carburetor for you computer guys...ha ha)like nobody's business. But obviously a WRX doesn't have a carb.

    So can someone explain all this techno mumbo-jumbo to me?

    What is a Stage 1, furthermore...what is a Stage 2? What the Hell is a Cobb Accessport?? HA HA I'm assuming that this stuff all refers to a custom tune by an outside computer? Or something like that.

    Anyone want to enlighten an old school kind of guy??? Don't be afraid to talk to me like I'm a child.
    2002 WRX wagon bone stock 57,000 original miles
    68 Firebird 428, 4 speed, 12 bolt rear w 3:73 gears
    29 Ford Pickup 350, Tremec 5 speed, 9" rear 3:89 gears

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  3. #2
    Sammich Makin' Pwincess wrxtreme06's Avatar
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    May 2007
    orlando flawduh
    I Support ClubWRX

    stage 1 is reflashing the ECU on a stock car
    stage 2 is reflashing the ECU on a car with an aftermarket downpipe
    an accessport is a handheld tuning device

    read this:

    First Modifications - what to do and not to do

    and this:
    Unabomber's Manifesto - NASIOC

    your friendly, neighborhood subaru girl

    abbigale : 06 impreza wrx tr: cobb stage II

  4. #3
    slow no mo' ! Shoopster's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    I Support ClubWRX
    welcome! ^ all the links! up-pipe job is essential.

    fairly newb myself, happy to help when i can - which isn't often - and i am fluent in newbspeak!

    reflashing = reprogramming / installing a new (or stock) 'map', or settings, to optimize a car's performance (or return it to stock) depending on the needs/wants; for the computer to understand what modifications have been done to the car and thus, how to be best utilize them. I guess this also describes what a tune is for.

    ECU = electronic control unit, the car's computer

    I'd like to add that, the mods that 'stages' refer to, may vary slightly according to the performance shop.

    Best n00b advice I can offer is, stay up all night, read all the "sticky" threads and the builds.

    hah? hah? aahahahahaa
    -Stephanie 2004 WRB WRX | Blobeye Syndicate Member #104
    "I can't see the Shoopster from here; I'll wait for you outside."
    Shoopsterbuild 2.0: Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster. And such JDM, yo.

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  6. #4
    Registered User wrx frog's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Welcome to the world of Subaru bud, I think you can put away that timing light lol. Cobb is pretty big in the Subaru community, I believe that's how they started. An accessport is essentially a tiny computer that connects to the obd port and can be used to change your tune and look at how your engine is running. Things like air fuel ratio, certain temps, engine load etc etc. If your looking for a bit more power and don't mind shelling out the money, the accessport is the way to go

  7. #5
    Registered User Monk_Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Stage 1 = Reprogramming the cars computer for more power/torque/throttle response/gas mileage/etc than stock. No physical parts are replaced (or they don't have to be)... only the "map" (programming) on the computer is changed.

    Stage 2 = Installing a larger, more free-flowing downpipe (the part of the exhaust coming out of the turbo) and then tuning (reprogramming) the cars computer to take advantage of the increased airflow for increased power/torque/etc.

    All of this tuning can be done in a number of different ways... including in person by someone with a computer connected to your car's computer. One of the most common ways is to buy an Accessport that is preloaded with software... all you do is plug it in and push a few buttons and it will program the car's computer for you.

    One of the cool things about these turbo cars is you can really make some significant gains with just an exhaust and a tune. When I went to Stage 2 with my car (03 WRX) I gained ~65% more HP and ~85% more torque... and about 3-4 mpg better as well. Plus it's generally considered that you don't really lose any of the stock reliability at that power level.

  8. #6
    Registered User wrxnguyen's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    714 Orange County

  9. #7
    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Rocky Top
    Cobb Accesport is tremendously easy compared to carb tuning or OpenSource tuning on a laptop. I've been involved with tuning a couple carbureted chevy 350's and a 396's...yeah, I just watched.

  10. #8
    Registered User kprugbyplaya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Lansdale, PA

    Take note that AccessPorts are pretty expensive. Another solution to tuning your car is through a tactrix cable(around $150) and a windows laptop, unless if you have a MAC OSX then you can run a virtual machine.

    If you are lazy and are looking for convenience, then the AP is good for you.

    In the end, it all depends on personal preference. There's a thread in here somewhere that goes into detail with the comparison. I suggest you take advantage of the search engine in this forum and dig it out

    If you go towards the tactrix cable, please contact EJ257 regarding prices and packages. He's a great help.

    Kunal - Ordered 2015 DGM WRX
    Photographer | Dancer | Tech Nerd | The Stink-Eye Mob #7
    First Mods: What and what not to do
    2011+ Big Mod Thread
    How to Buy a Used WRX or STI
    Complete USED WRX Buying Checklist

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