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This is a discussion on Stage 1 Tuning?... seriously. within the Tuning: Electronic Engine Management forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Originally Posted by Ingo You're not wrong, but not quite all the way there, either. My car is tuned for ...

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingo View Post
    You're not wrong, but not quite all the way there, either. My car is tuned for the elevation it lives at, Colorado Springs, at 6 or 7 thousand feet. I went on a trip to Iowa and it promptly overcharged to the point where it blew the intake piping apart at the connections. No damage, but for the moment the car was dead, until I had things put back together. The compensation works only so far and then it's done. Our turbos are used not to keep things at sea level, but to actively boost to well above, mine goes to 19.5 psi. (It's a stage2)
    I probably was unclear in my post. More accurately I should have said that a TC should boost to a preset limit which I assumed would take into account component limitations, not just the max the turbo is capable of. I know that a TC in cars boosts well beyond sea level. I meant more that the theory behind both AC and car TC is the same just used for different ends. So does a tune not have a limit set on how far it will allow the turbo to boost. Its that kind of thing that worries me. Chicago is as flat as a 3 day old keg and, while I don't have any cross country road trip plans at the moment, I don't want to have to worry about blowing a gasket should I decide to do so. I'm not a tuner and I don't do much more than a brake job myself. That said I'd love to be able to get better performance (more than anything just a power curve that started a little earlier in the rev range) but it would have to be "set it and forget it." Is that possible or is the stock tune the only one that allows for a one time and done?

    It always amazes me how far tech has come and yet how it seems to fail in some areas. Back in the analog days, on a NA plane we had to set our own mixtures but it was a pretty simple process all based on cylinder head temps. If the temps were too cool, lean it out. Too hot, enrich. On a TC aircraft (with a couple of other variables thrown in) you looked at manifold pressure and boost levels to make sure everything was in line. With all the computing power these days I'm not sure how onboard processors can't do this job in milliseconds. You would think we would have enough computing power onboard to run the car up to its limits without letting the driver exceed them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingo View Post
    You're not wrong, but not quite all the way there, either. My car is tuned for the elevation it lives at, Colorado Springs, at 6 or 7 thousand feet. I went on a trip to Iowa and it promptly overcharged to the point where it blew the intake piping apart at the connections. No damage, but for the moment the car was dead, until I had things put back together. The compensation works only so far and then it's done. Our turbos are used not to keep things at sea level, but to actively boost to well above, mine goes to 19.5 psi. (It's a stage2)
    In your specific instance, shouldn't the waste gate have opened to keep the turbo from overboosting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by crjwingman View Post
    In your specific instance, shouldn't the waste gate have opened to keep the turbo from overboosting?
    And how does the wastegate open? It's controlled by the EBCS. If the EBCS doesn't signal to open the WG (vastly oversimplified), the WG isn't opening.

    Matty: Keep in mind that relative pressure is a function of absolute pressure and ambient pressure, and ambient pressure is read by the MAP sensor right before cranking. So if you are going from sea level to 10,000 feet without stopping and shutting the car down... the ambient pressure will be incorrect and relative pressure targets will not be correct.
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    I've been running stage 1 from a Cobb AP for a year now. I've seen no difference in MPG or performance. When I first flashed to stage 1 I did notice that the power band was smoother, without the slight hesitation somewhere on the way to redline. But no performance increase.

    I just took my car to the dealer for a service this morning. Before I left home, I uninstalled the AP and flashed back to stock... just in case. I travelled the 30 miles to the dealer, took the car to redline once and noticed no difference at all to the stage 1 map.

    I think the fuel you use might have an effect on the difference you'll see between maps. I'm running on California's weak 91 octane. If you're running on something else, you may have different results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    And how does the wastegate open? It's controlled by the EBCS. If the EBCS doesn't signal to open the WG (vastly oversimplified), the WG isn't opening.

    Matty: Keep in mind that relative pressure is a function of absolute pressure and ambient pressure, and ambient pressure is read by the MAP sensor right before cranking. So if you are going from sea level to 10,000 feet without stopping and shutting the car down... the ambient pressure will be incorrect and relative pressure targets will not be correct.
    This is the kind of info I'm looking for. Thanks. Why would the car need a real time measurement of ambient pressure to determine turbo boost? We aren't looking for inches of mercury, just the pounds per square inch. Maybe my physics theory is wrong but it should be able to measure PSI without knowing ambient pressure. If I fill a scuba tank to 2000 psi, it might go up or down as the ambient pressure changes but the gauge is always going to read accurately.

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    I feel, if you're covered under warranty, then the stock tune is better. Especially if all you are doing is daily driving. Just for the fact that if anything were to happen, you don't have to worry about not screwing up your warranty. But I mean if you don't think that anything will happen, by all means stage 1 that bad boy. I know I have heard good and bad about OTS tunes, but mostly good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soobvirgin View Post
    I've been running stage 1 from a Cobb AP for a year now. I've seen no difference in MPG or performance. When I first flashed to stage 1 I did notice that the power band was smoother, without the slight hesitation somewhere on the way to redline. But no performance increase.

    I just took my car to the dealer for a service this morning. Before I left home, I uninstalled the AP and flashed back to stock... just in case. I travelled the 30 miles to the dealer, took the car to redline once and noticed no difference at all to the stage 1 map.

    I think the fuel you use might have an effect on the difference you'll see between maps. I'm running on California's weak 91 octane. If you're running on something else, you may have different results.
    So then if you aren't seeing any difference in performance or MPG, why do the tune at all? When you say "performance" are you talking about pure numbers or how the car feels?

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    Quote Originally Posted by crjwingman View Post
    So then if you aren't seeing any difference in performance or MPG, why do the tune at all? When you say "performance" are you talking about pure numbers or how the car feels?
    Some people chase numbers and think those who don't are weird. Some people are all about feel, care less about numbers, and don't understand why others obsess over them.

    So the two answers you might get to "why go stage 1" might be: "I'm up XX horsepower over stock and dropped my time in the 1/4 by 2 tenths!" Or, "The car feels so much better driving my commute."
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    Take your car to a tuner and ask away. Then decide what you want to do. We are not here to convince you of if you should go stage 1 or not. We can only give our personal experiences, and also refer you to research done by COBB, Perrin, etc. Unfortunately most people on a stage 1 tune are not getting dyno'd so we don't have much to show you as far as graphs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 11blackSTi View Post
    Take your car to a tuner and ask away. Then decide what you want to do. We are not here to convince you of if you should go stage 1 or not. We can only give our personal experiences, and also refer you to research done by COBB, Perrin, etc. Unfortunately most people on a stage 1 tune are not getting dyno'd so we don't have much to show you as far as graphs.
    Sorry if I came off as rude. That wasn't my intention. I'm actually just curious and trying to learn all the pros and cons. I realize there is always some risk involved in altering your car in any way. I'm trying to measure the extent of the risk and I keep reading some very contradictory things. My background makes me the type that needs to understand even if I can't do the complex math. Trying to wrap my head around the theory. I've got a pretty solid handle on how it applies to aviation but still very green on how that transfers to land based modes of transportation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 11blackSTi View Post
    Take your car to a tuner and ask away. Then decide what you want to do. We are not here to convince you of if you should go stage 1 or not. We can only give our personal experiences, and also refer you to research done by COBB, Perrin, etc. Unfortunately most people on a stage 1 tune are not getting dyno'd so we don't have much to show you as far as graphs.
    Luckily, this discussion was mirrored in a thread from yesterday so I didn't have to go far to get a link.

    ANother stage 1 thread : several question for 2011 WRX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvinball View Post
    Luckily, this discussion was mirrored in a thread from yesterday so I didn't have to go far to get a link.

    ANother stage 1 thread : several question for 2011 WRX
    Ya, I read that thread. I was more looking for specific risks and limitations like what Ingo posted about blowing a line on the intake piping. I had mistakenly thought that the ECU would limit boost no matter what the ambient air pressure was to avoid those kinds of occurrences. Getting to know the car's and the ECU's parameters will help me decide. I realize that my best bet is to go talk to a pro tune shop but I'm not sure how chatty they'll be with a guy with a million questions that doesn't even own the car he wants to tune yet. Part of my catch 22 is that getting a 2013/14 as opposed to waiting on the '15 debut is based on whether to tune it or not. I love the current car but just wish it had a touch more on the low end. If I can safely get that in a tune that, once set up, doesn't require me to keep retuning for various situations, I'll probably pull the trigger now.

  14. #28
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    And if you're happy with the performance as is, by all means just keep it there and don't worry about stage1 or 2. The WRX's and STI's have more pop than 95 or more percent of the cars out there. Enough that you can leave all of them behind when taking off from a stop light. I used to sometimes not be able to keep up with traffic, that's when I decided to get something better but still have some economy...

    P.S.: the older 2.oL engine is even worse with no-lo-end torque. THere's really nothing that can be done for that, it just comes really alive after 3 or 3.5 K rpms, not before. Only way to solve that is a bigger displacement, as in v8's. then you loose the economy...
    Last edited by Ingo; 09-13-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingo View Post
    And if you're happy with the performance as is, by all means just keep it there and don't worry about stage1 or 2. The WRX's and STI's have more pop than 95 or more percent of the cars out there. Enough that you can leave all of them behind when taking off from a stop light. I used to sometimes not be able to keep up with traffic, that's when I decided to get something better but still have some economy...

    P.S.: the older 2.oL engine is even worse with no-lo-end torque. THere's really nothing that can be done for that, it just comes really alive after 3 or 3.5 K rpms, not before. Only way to solve that is a bigger displacement, as in v8's. then you loose the economy...

    A lot of the graphs I've seen on the forum for stage 1 are showing way more torque coming in at around 2500RPM as opposed to 3500 or later. I used to have a 5 liter Mustang and I realize you're not gonna get that kind of low end grunt out of a turbo 4 but it would be nice to have it kick in a range that's accessible in normal everyday driving. I love my '07 WRX. It is 100 times the car my mustang was. It corners. Its communicative. The steering is precise. The car is quick and a reliable daily driver. Besides having to hold high revs to get into the power band, the car is perfect for me. I dig the jump when the boost comes on, I just wish it would happen a little sooner. Maybe that something a tune alone won't get done. Finding out is part of the reason I posted this. I posted about that a couple of days ago. I test drove a 2013 and my only complaint was that the car felt slower because there was no real rush of boost. I know its faster and more powerful than mine but the turbo seems to spool with less suddeness so ride was less intense. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Can't have everything I guess.

  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by crjwingman
    I dig the jump when the boost comes on, I just wish it would happen a little sooner. Maybe that something a tune alone won't get done. Finding out is part of the reason I posted this.
    There's really not too much you can do. Notice how the graphs follow pretty much the same shape in the beginning?


    The more drastic difference in the beginning portion of the graph is due to the run being started 150-200 RPMs sooner (so disregard that initial difference), but that gives you an idea.

    However, there is more to a tune than boost alone, which will mean that this type of graph can be misleading in terms of the benefits. There are other tables you can edit to get the car to feel a bit "snappier" in earlier RPMs.
    Last edited by EJ257; 09-13-2013 at 12:40 PM.
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