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This is a discussion on "The BIG BOV thread" (Where all bov question threads get merged) within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I would respectfully disagree. I spoke with a few reputable shop guys (who you are familiar with) and they said ...

  1. #106
    Registered User Quantum-Racing.com's Avatar
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    I would respectfully disagree. I spoke with a few reputable shop guys (who you are familiar with) and they said that Unichips are possibly dangerous. They give you extra power by leaning out the mixture. Some, in moderation, would be helpful, but you don't wanna do this with a fixed map (not tuned for your situation) unless you have an EGT to know what it is doing. Also, the big problem with the Unichip, from what I have been told (not direct experience) is that the mid throttle fuel levels are too lean. That is where you will get your high EGT's and in a few cases, blown bits.
    If you guys want a safe system, buy an Apex'i S-AFC ($300) and EGT ($210 for Greddy Peak/Hold/Warning 60mm). You can then constantly retune it for changing mods and climate conditions. If you want to run something that leans the system out to run borderline-too-lean, you need to be able to monitor and adjust it instantly.
    Here is my opinion on fuel management:

    Unichip: Dangerous with fixed maps and no way to monitor the EGT's and O2 sensors. If your setup isn't common/popular, it is a PITA to get a map for your mods.

    Unichip+MBC:Tempting and can be dangerous. 1.0 psi more than you should and you have costly repairs on your hands.

    Unichip+EGT/AirFuel:A bandaid and more limited than some options, but if you plan to do a certain set of mods, it is cheaper than EMS+gauges, but not as cost effective as the Apex'i+gauges solution. OTOH, if you don't know how to tune much, this is probably easier to deal with.

    Apex+EGT/AirFuel: Much safer and can be adjusted while driving the car. If you are playing with your car enough to need fuel maps (paying someone to do it for you) you should learn enough about your car to be able to do the tuning yourself.

    EMS+EGT: You can constantly adjust/monitor the system and tune as close to the edge (or far away) as you want. Safe as many maps as your PC will hold. Gives you a ton more options to improve power/driveability/etc.

    Note that an EGT is on all of them...
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  3. #107
    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    Originally posted by WizardBlackWRX
    I would respectfully disagree.
    ..
    And I respectfully disagree with you. First, before you go badmouthing the Unichip based upon what some tuners - whom themselves probably do not sell it - may have told you; speak to those who do and express your concerns for them to address. TurboXS and Vishnu are emerging as the top WRX tuners, and certainly the most respected. They both tune and sell Unichips, but both take very different approaches as to how they use the device to increase HP.

    Secondly, get your facts straight. The power gained from a Unichip is not sourced from leaning out the A/F alone. Ignition timing is a large part of it, as is moderating the boost levels according to various engine variables. The Unichip is a very sophisticated piece of electronic equipment able to intercept and manipulate the data passing to and from the ECU. It is not a simple programmable A/F ratio device.

    The one sensible thing you did say is that an EGT gauge is a must-have.

    -Pace

  4. #108
    Banned dark_rex's Avatar
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    wizard, you realize that a unichip is a blank slate before a distributor gets it right?

    becasue most places (those of any worth anyway) remap their chips for whatever mods you have. TXS will let you mail it to them with a list of your mods, and make the chip optimal for your situation. if you get a new mod, like an intake and a new turbo back, they'll remap it again.

    aps cobb tunes their chips depending on your specific mods also. i don't think they mail them, but if your at a regional dyno, they'll set you up.

    the purpose of a chip is NOI to lean out your mix. it's just the opposite. better intake charge flow and cooler temps would lean you out. the chip allows your computer to compensate with more fuel in the mix. every time you mod your car needs to understand what's happening to run optimal. THAT's what the unichip allows.

    the apexi is a far less complete and thourough EMS than a custom tuned unichip, and they are certainly not be a blanket map for all cars. that's why you go get it tuned properly.


    dR

  5. #109
    S-K
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    Advice From Those Who Have A MBC, Please...

    Just wondering what psi you have yours set at? 16 seems to be pretty common, but I'm looking for a safe level on the stock turbo.

    I should be receiving my MBC tomorrow
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  6. #110
    Registered User Root's Avatar
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    I have mine set to 15PSI, works well for me. I had it at 16.5 and would get a CEL indicating a wastegate malfunction.

    Good Luck
    Justin
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    and experience comes from bad judgement.

  7. #111
    S-K
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    Hmmm...I was thinking of setting to 16...But I don't want to drive around w/a CEL on all the time
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  8. #112
    Registered User michaelwrx's Avatar
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    Originally posted by S-K
    Hmmm...I was thinking of setting to 16...But I don't want to drive around w/a CEL on all the time

    Go 15 I say. Got mine at 15
    01 WRX World Rally Blue

  9. #113
    Registered User TristineLim's Avatar
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    I have mine set at around 15.5 Works well for me.

  10. #114
    Registered User PlatinumWRX's Avatar
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    You can set it at 16psi in third gear without worrying about a CEL, unless you drive at high altitudes, in which case even 16psi can trip a CEL.

    -Jim

  11. #115
    Registered User Quantum-Racing.com's Avatar
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    Well I guess my additions that I relayed from some heavyweight tune shops got blown out of the water. As I said multiple times, they aren't my facts.

    from what I have been told (not direct experience)
    I was simply throwing some cautions in there that came from other tuners. I did not mention any tune shops whatsoever. I was not badmouthing anyone. I am simply saying:

    Unichips are possibly dangerous
    I realize what a Unichip can do. ( I study E.E. and M.E. ) The Apex unit does the same interception and manipulation. I would expect an S-AFC and ITC would be roughly equivalent.

    I agree that the Unichip is a blank slate and some guys don't have any way to monitor what it does. That is where it is dangerous. I don't need to address Cobb because they are tuning the chip for the car. I know the guys at a shop locally who do that for them, actually. I said the device itself is possibly dangerous, not "Cobb can't tune a Unichip worth a darn" or something like that. AFAIK, they have a base map (for your mods) and then have you take it to one of their approved dealers who will tweak it for your situation when they install it.

    I simply wanted to add some caution for some guys just like RaCinWRX did for boost controllers set to 17 psi.

    Ah well, I meant no harm directly at any particular vendor. My statement that "Unichip leans out in mid-throttle" is from a tuner who has seen it. I didn't bother to ask who tuned the chip for the guy. My bad. I am a bit surprised that some moderators seem to have taken it to me personally.

    Peace guys. Just don't attack the messenger. Sheesh.
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  12. #116
    S-K
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    Well, Florida isn't exactly known for high altitudes, heheheh

    So I'm guessing 16psi won't be too harsh?
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  13. #117
    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    We weren't attacking you, we were just disputing your statements and arguing our case. Just healthy discussion - it's all good!

    -Pace

  14. #118
    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    I run at 15psi. If I was at sea-level I'd probably go a half or one whole psi higher. I'd definitely not go over 16psi unless you have an EGT gauge and a knocklink.

    -Pace

  15. #119
    Banned dark_rex's Avatar
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    i'm not sure where you took offense, but there was no personal attack here man. just trying to keep our info accurate. no ones gunning for you

    sure, a chip that is mapped by some schmo in his garage is dangerous. the point is, if you buy from vendors that know what they are doing, there is no danger. it goes without saying that companies making chips just for the wrx are the ones you want to buy from. shiv, txs, cobb are all good examples.

    The Apex unit does the same interception and manipulation
    sure, but it just doesn't control the engine in more ways than air fuel, where the chip will control timing, injector pulse, intake charge, boost, etc. the chip is just more all encompassing.


    I simply wanted to add some caution for some guys just like RaCinWRX did for boost controllers set to 17 psi.
    yes that IS risky. sure, you'll be screaming when boost hits, but you'll be screaming harder when you've wrecked your car.

    take it easy ladies

  16. #120
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    i'd have to agree with the majority. 15psi for regular daily driving. anything more, and i'd wanna be at the track.

    --RaCinWRX

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