Building a Stage Zero
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This is a discussion on Building a Stage Zero within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I'm currently working on my suspension but within a month or two will start to work on increasing power. My ...

  1. #1
    Registered User wRxOne's Avatar
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    Question Building a Stage Zero

    I'm currently working on my suspension but within a month or two will start to work on increasing power.

    My question is would it better off having a Unichip from XS or Vishnu or going with an Apexi S-AFC to control the fuel system?
    Also, I've heard a lot of great comments about stage zero upgrades from XS and Vishnu. I just don't like the price thier offering for thier systems. I'm planning to get a Apexi S-AFC, AEM Undedrive pully kit, NGK Plugs and either a Cusco or Kakimoto Uppipe.

    I've fallen in love in the tunability feature of the Apex S-AFC and don't like how XS and Vishnu's unichip are programed for a specific level and have to reprogrammed when an upgrade is made. Also I'm using AEM's CAI, I know XS's unichip doesn't work with CAI so it's kind of useless to have one. (does Vishnu work w/CAI?) Would it be worth getting either stage zero kits or be better off going my current plan. I'm planning to upgrade the fuel system (STI Injectors and Supra TT Fuel pump) along the way so which setup would you guys rather go with. Your help is greatly appreciated.

    -alex

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    Moderator Penguinking's Avatar
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    welll....the AFC stuff is more advanced - getting into the higher end of car modding...whereas unichip mods (vishnu and turboxs) are working w/ stuff geared more towards the weekend warrior - unichip is premapped (ok you can also tune it yourself...but good luck )

    and for the price of vishnu's stage zero or turboxs's 1-4 kits, they can't be beat - for a 1000 dollars, nothing else can make the wrx go faster than the stage zero or maybe turboxs stage 2 kit..

    ...ok maybe nitrous would.....(hehe, just kidding )

    -Robert
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    Registered User tekan's Avatar
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    With the ECU plug-ins (unichips), what functions are reprogammed? Fuel maps consist of fuel delivery instructions, right? Basically dictating how much fuel is delivered based on rpm and air flow readings (?). What is the 'timing' that I've heard mention of? I understand that the s-afc doesn't give the ability to modify this timing aspect, but to what possible performance losses?


    Thanks for the insight

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    I was reading on ignorant-club yesterday about this. There was a dyno day in jersey and apparently the unichip people were making significantly less power than the s-afc people with similar or identical mods.

    The unichip as previously stated is an easy plug-n-play type mod that is great for people who want to go and don't want the headache involved with doing so. S-AFC is a much more involved process that can have you car sidelined for a day or two until you figure out the best way to tune it. However, there is nothing more gratifying than tuning your own car, although i would recommend having it tuned on a dyno by professionals, because messing up can mean a blown engine.

    Another thing to think about is that the Unichip also plays with ignition timing, which the S-AFC doesn't do. Adjusting your timing can increase performance as long as it is coupled with a correct fuel map. If you want to adjust your timing, you start wandering into the realm of the Link ecu and it's buddies.

    There are also people who are in the process of setting up both in the wrx, trying to override the unichip fuel settings with the S-AFC mapping. This could be really promising.

    I would say unless you're confident in your ability to tune or get help tuning an AFC or are willing to pay to have it tuned on a dyno for you, get the unichip.

    Just my 2 cents....

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    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    It's likely that the Unichip people were running off-the-shelf (read conservative) maps, whereas there's really no such thing for an S-AFC. The Unichip requires dyno-time and expert tuning to extract the most out of it. I believe that at one point Phil @TurboXS was making 50HP over the standard Stage-4 spec, with identical components. Liberated through dyno time alone.

    I'm starting to think that if you do not live close to either Cobb, Vishnu, or TurboXS, you might be better off running a LINK and learning how to tune.

    -Pace

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    Registered User tekan's Avatar
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    Who is closest to the Atlanta area? I believe I heard of a Cobb shop in Louisiana, possibly New Orleans?

    For Vishnu or TurboXS, what seems to be the turnaround on mailing in a chip for reprogramming?

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    Moderator Penguinking's Avatar
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    Originally posted by pace
    It's likely that the Unichip people were running off-the-shelf (read conservative) maps, whereas there's really no such thing for an S-AFC. The Unichip requires dyno-time and expert tuning to extract the most out of it. I believe that at one point Phil @TurboXS was making 50HP over the standard Stage-4 spec, with identical components. Liberated through dyno time alone.

    I'm starting to think that if you do not live close to either Cobb, Vishnu, or TurboXS, you might be better off running a LINK and learning how to tune.

    -Pace
    very true - shiv tells everyone taht he purposely runs very conservative maps on the unichips because he's going the safe and sturdy route. he admitted that there probably is a few more hp to be gained w/ the stage zero, but doing so would put the car into high maintainence territory, and we'd all hafta be keeping a closer eye on our engines...something i'd rather not be doing...yet
    Silver 911
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    You're probably right about the unichips being off the shelf. As with the AFC, dyno tuning it is really the only way to get the best results.

    As far as proximity goes, if you go to the Turboxs website, they have a list of dealers that have their products. I'm not sure if this also means they have a dyno and can tune the unichips too, but it's worth asking about.

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    Moderator Penguinking's Avatar
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    no-all their registared dealers don't have dynos

    example: Westhouston subaru sells turboxs parts, but doens't have a dyno
    Silver 911
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    Ok then nevermind!

  12. #11
    Moderator Penguinking's Avatar
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    i mean, it would be cool if all the turboxs dealers had an AWD dyno, but we don't live in heaven....
    Silver 911
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    I figure I'll throw in my 2 cents on the subject. I was there at the NJ dyno session on Saturday and there are some details that were left out.

    There was 1 WRX there using a SAFC and he had the most mods out of the whole group (catless, 3" exhaust, AEM CAI, UDP, MBC and Samco IC and intake hoses). He managed to pick up 18HP for a total of 243.6HP after getting his SAFC tuned which was pretty damn impressive.

    There were 2 WRX's running a Stage 2 setup. 1 had the full TXS exhaust, Unichip, uppipe, samco IC and intake hoses. The other had a BPM GT turboback, uppipe, and the Unichip. I think both of these guys were making 215HP, which seems low for the mods.
    Both were using the ABC supplied with the Unichip and were experiencing some SERIOUS boost tapering off at higher RPMs.

    I dyno'd at 205HP and 218lb/ft. with only a TXS Stage 1 and an MBC at 15.5psi. I also managed to pick up 14HP by switching from the ABC to the MBC, which may explain the low numbers for the Stage 2 guys.

    Here's my dyno plot:

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    Registered User wRxOne's Avatar
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    So how far can you actually take the Stage zero Unichips? If I'm planning to upgrade my turbo and fuel system sooner or later would be worth the time to hook up? For now I'm set to go with a Joe P MBC and getting an Apexi S-AFC to tune the WRX. I already have a AEM CAI and next month will have a turbo back exhaust. I don't want to be stuck with a unichip that can't be upgraded less it's necessary. I'm pretty dam impressed with what you guys are getting out of your WRX's with these simple mods. I just don't want to make an expensive mistake like others have and spending time and money on stuff that doesn't work or help out in the end. Thanks

    -alex

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    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    I have said this before, but just wanted to reiterate. The turnaround time for Unichip remapping is fast.

    I had sent my Stage-2 mapped Unichip out on a Monday morning via next-day air. I included a check to cover return shipping and requested that TurboXS 'next-day' it back to me. At Wednesday lunchtime, a package arrived on my doorstep containing my Unichip with a new sticker saying 'VF30. Stage 4'.

    -Pace

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    Registered User wRxOne's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    That great, TXS is on top of thier service! I'm just curious about the increased performance using the S-AFC vs. Unichips (TXS or Vishnu). Has anyone gone heads up with the same exact mods? What about realworld ass-dyno testing, is there a noticable difference? What 1/4 mile times are you guys getting from the Unichip Stage 0?

    -alex

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