MD: Got the HYDRA Element
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This is a discussion on MD: Got the HYDRA Element within the Mid-Atlantic States forums, part of the Regional Discussion category; Ok, I have finally gone to a stand alone ECU and away from the UTEC. Phil from www.elementtuning.com tuned my ...

  1. #1
    Registered User stretch_wrx's Avatar
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    MD: Got the HYDRA Element

    Ok, I have finally gone to a stand alone ECU and away from the UTEC. Phil from www.elementtuning.com tuned my car this week. Holy crap, what a hell of a difference it makes. I'm not sure if I really gained any peak hp (I certainly didn't lose any) but I gained mid-range hp, spool at 3800 instead of 4500 and maintain that level all the way to redline.
    I was at 286 whp running 22 lbs... now I am at the about the same power (if not more) at 18 lbs. It doesn't matter what the load is... it drives like a champ. I hope to go in the next couple weeks and hop on the same dyno at Agile to see what the power difference is. I'll let you guys know.

    I'm about to go out for a little bit, but if you have any questions about the Hydra, let me know and I will try to answer them all.

    Oh, BTW... this also means that a UTEC is for sale . I don't have the version number right off hand, but let me know if anyone is interested.

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    Registered User silversti's Avatar
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    What car is this on and what mods?

    Todd
    04 STI
    FPGreen

  4. #3
    Registered User stretch_wrx's Avatar
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    '03 WRX

    Engine:
    PE 1820
    STi Pinks
    Hydra Element Stand Alone
    Turbosmart E-Boost
    UP
    Turbo Xs DP
    Greddy EVO catback
    cat delete pipe
    Blitx SUS intake
    Blitz FMIC
    Perrin fuel rails
    Turbosmart Vee Port BOV
    B&M short Shifter
    Samco collant hoses
    Samco MAF pipe and turbo inlet hose

    Suspension:
    Tein Flex coilovers
    Cusco front and read sway bars
    front end links
    Cusco STB front and rear
    Energy bushing kit
    Rotora front big brake kit

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  6. #5
    Registered User
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    Good stuff. Phil will be tuning my Element as well. Just curious, are you using the W/B?
    FS: 02 WRX with JDM V7 RA-C

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    Registered User Wrinkleboi's Avatar
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    hey i have a Q... i know that the hydra is self tuning, so i assumed that getting a custom tune done wasnt necessary. can the automated tuning only get you to a certain point, and if you really want to dial it in then you should still go have it tuned somewhere?
    bryan

    -2003 Blue WRX, complete 2007 STi Engine/Drivetrain transplant - Pic 1 | Pic 2 | Pic 3 | Pic 4 (new!)
    -1994 Black Supra TT 6MT - Pic | Build/Restoration Thread: 67mm, Fuel, Painted Engine Bay, Fuse Box Relocation, Wire Tuck, etc.

    www.TriStateTuners.com

  8. #7
    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrinkleboi
    hey i have a Q... i know that the hydra is self tuning, so i assumed that getting a custom tune done wasnt necessary. can the automated tuning only get you to a certain point, and if you really want to dial it in then you should still go have it tuned somewhere?
    bryan

    What it means by "self tuning" is that you can set target AFR's across your load sites and with the WB O2 option it will shoot for those by correcting fueling.

    You have to have the setup dialed in initially to make your car run/idle, etc because the nature of a standalone requires a lot of tweaking to set it up. When I talked to phil, he said it would take about an hour of tuning just to get everything nice. From there, based on what turbo setup you have, you choose what AFR's you want across your load points and make a conservative timing map. You drive around and it corrects for fuel, then you start adding in timing and boost inch by inch.

    Unless you know how to setup a standalone ecu (which I sure as hell don't) you'll need someone to set it up for you. Phil said that when he does the install, he spends 4 hours road/idle tuning it to get it properly setup. I would be plenty happy with that as my only tune, but would be concerned with less than that considering the guy who sells it says he needs 4 hours.

    If you wanted someone else to custom tune it for you later down the road, it's basically the same as any other engine management, with it's own quirks and features, and you'd basically just need the proprietary software and a laptop.

    That being said.....if you knew what AFR's you wanted and had free time, you could get phil to set it up and get you running, then spend all the time in the world tinkering with it yourself.

    btw, if you call element, phil will talk to you on the phone as long as you want. If you leave a message, he'll call you back. It's like magic, he's really good about responding to customers.

  9. #8
    Registered User Wrinkleboi's Avatar
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    thanks for the reply, got all the info i wanted and some...
    bryan

    -2003 Blue WRX, complete 2007 STi Engine/Drivetrain transplant - Pic 1 | Pic 2 | Pic 3 | Pic 4 (new!)
    -1994 Black Supra TT 6MT - Pic | Build/Restoration Thread: 67mm, Fuel, Painted Engine Bay, Fuse Box Relocation, Wire Tuck, etc.

    www.TriStateTuners.com

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    Registered User InfamousDX's Avatar
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    Whejre's phil located these days? Or did he just fly out to tune it for you?

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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    Gaithersburg, MD.

  12. #11
    Registered User ReXoRaMa's Avatar
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    You guys going to standalone, what are you going to do about emmissions tests, seeing as a standalone setup doesn't have OBDII. Or am I wrong or missing something?

  13. #12
    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXoRaMa
    You guys going to standalone, what are you going to do about emmissions tests, seeing as a standalone setup doesn't have OBDII. Or am I wrong or missing something?

    yeah, that is an issue...a lot of people keep a tuned UTEC and stock ECu on hand for emissions, or just sort of cross their fingers. NY didn't use OBDII last time I got checked, so I think as long as you can find someone "sympathetic" it's not a big deal.

  14. #13
    Registered User ReXoRaMa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timdog1650
    yeah, that is an issue...a lot of people keep a tuned UTEC and stock ECu on hand for emissions, or just sort of cross their fingers. NY didn't use OBDII last time I got checked, so I think as long as you can find someone "sympathetic" it's not a big deal.
    NY has nothing to do with me since I live in MD.

  15. #14
    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WRX_Wagon
    He was just speaking from his own experience in NY.

    If the MD emissions inspection is anything like the PA one (and it probably is) then its a simple OBD2 scan and visual inspection. As long as all of your sensors read "clear" and your car isnt belching black smoke, you should pass. Note that using tricks like the Pony Express MIL eliminator or the "disable dash CEL" feature in a UTEC (or other piggyback systems) will not get you anywhere.

    I recommend reading this thread (link) for details.
    That wasn't the point of his question. WHen running a Hydra, you have no OBDII....if you plug into the port under the steering wheel, nothing happens....at all. So if someone goes to plug in, the OBDII reader won't even know it's hooked up to a car.

  16. #15
    Registered User ReXoRaMa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timdog1650
    That wasn't the point of his question. WHen running a Hydra, you have no OBDII....if you plug into the port under the steering wheel, nothing happens....at all. So if someone goes to plug in, the OBDII reader won't even know it's hooked up to a car.
    Exactly. Thanks for clearifying Tim.

    I already know how an OBDII test works thanks wrxwagon


    Tim, I believe they are changing how NY inspects. I moved from Buffalo last year and there was talk about statewide OBDII scans for every inspection.

    It's too bad there wasn't someway someone could develope a standalone that was OBDII compliant. I know, I'm in fantasy land now
    Last edited by ReXoRaMa; 01-23-2005 at 03:52 PM. Reason: because

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