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    So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Champion sells GIAC for $3500:

    http://www.championmotorsport.com/products/ecu/ECU997T.htm

    Are there others that I should consider?

    I want to at least get the break-in miles done first & get a feel for how the car responds in the higher rpms before doing an ECU, just so that I can appreciate the difference.

    - Since my Turbo Cabrio. has a Tubi & an IPD plenum are there other considerations?

    - What kind of total crank power would my car produce w/ an ECU if the combined HP/TRQ gains from my exhaust & plenum is say conservatively 35HP at the wheels now? / Is there any ECU that is custom for cars w/ just an exhaust & plenum?

    - What kind of install costs am I looking at?

    - Or is it really stupid to throw out my drivetrain warranty on a brand new car?

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    STRADALE said:
    Champion sells GIAC for $3500:

    http://www.championmotorsport.com/products/ecu/ECU997T.htm

    Are there others that I should consider?

    I want to at least get the break-in miles done first & get a feel for how the car responds in the higher rpms before doing an ECU, just so that I can appreciate the difference.

    - Since my Turbo Cabrio. has a Tubi & an IPD plenum are there other considerations?

    - What kind of total crank power would my car produce w/ an ECU if the combined HP/TRQ gains from my exhaust & plenum is say conservatively 35HP at the wheels now? / Is there any ECU that is custom for cars w/ just an exhaust & plenum?

    - What kind of install costs am I looking at?

    - Or is it really stupid to throw out my drivetrain warranty on a brand new car?



    If warranty is an issue, perhaps it would pay to invest a bit more and get the Ruf kit w/o exhaust.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    Crash said:
    Quote:
    STRADALE said:
    Champion sells GIAC for $3500:

    http://www.championmotorsport.com/products/ecu/ECU997T.htm

    Are there others that I should consider?

    I want to at least get the break-in miles done first & get a feel for how the car responds in the higher rpms before doing an ECU, just so that I can appreciate the difference.

    - Since my Turbo Cabrio. has a Tubi & an IPD plenum are there other considerations?

    - What kind of total crank power would my car produce w/ an ECU if the combined HP/TRQ gains from my exhaust & plenum is say conservatively 35HP at the wheels now? / Is there any ECU that is custom for cars w/ just an exhaust & plenum?

    - What kind of install costs am I looking at?

    - Or is it really stupid to throw out my drivetrain warranty on a brand new car?



    If warranty is an issue, perhaps it would pay to invest a bit more and get the Ruf kit w/o exhaust.



    Which kit are you referring to? I really dont want to mod internals.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Ruf website

    I'm referring to the Ruf 510 kit. $6950 for ECU w/ air filter and warranty. With exhaust and plenum already in place, your car should be about on-par with the Ruf 550, or maybe even a bit faster.

    Of course, it all depends on whether you're ready to pay that amount.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    Crash said:
    Ruf website

    I'm referring to the Ruf 510 kit. $6950 for ECU w/ air filter and warranty. With exhaust and plenum already in place, your car should be about on-par with the Ruf 550, or maybe even a bit faster.

    Of course, it all depends on whether you're ready to pay that amount.



    Besides the air-filter/warranty what's the difference from their for $6950 vs. a GIAC ECU for $3500?

    Since I live w/ in a short drive of AWE maybe I should let them do a GIAC ECU & AWE headers? I realize headers only add maybe 12hp when used w/ an ECU/Exhaust but... How much of a difference in sound would headers add vs. just an exhaust? Is there any difference?

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    STRADALE said:
    Quote:
    Crash said:
    Ruf website

    I'm referring to the Ruf 510 kit. $6950 for ECU w/ air filter and warranty. With exhaust and plenum already in place, your car should be about on-par with the Ruf 550, or maybe even a bit faster.

    Of course, it all depends on whether you're ready to pay that amount.



    Besides the air-filter/warranty what's the difference from their for $6950 vs. a GIAC ECU for $3500?

    Since I live w/ in a short drive of AWE maybe I should let them do a GIAC ECU & AWE headers? I realize headers only add maybe 12hp when used w/ an ECU/Exhaust but... How much of a difference in sound would headers add vs. just an exhaust? Is there any difference?



    Not familiar with headers, but from what I've heard (note: heard) the stock headers are fine as they are.

    On the Ruf/GIAC comparison, I don't think there is an appreciable difference besides the warranty. If you live close to AWE, the GIAC isn't a bad idea at all, especially if you can live without warranty.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Warranty is also a concern for me as well. That's stopped me from jumping on the ECU tweaking bandwagon. There are a few tweakers who claim that their ECU mods can be made invisible from the dealership but nobody has actually tested it thoroughly and I'm not willing to be the guinea pig on that. There's options from GIAC to use a handheld unit to revert to stock mode supposedly undetectable and then there's the option of actually swapping out the ECU with a "backup" stock ECU when taken in for service but there's supposedly a backup ECU in the car that detects when the master ECU is removed. Where does it end? In the end, I decided to just stay with the stock tuning for now.

    The RUF option is a good one albeit costly and their warranty isn't as long as the factory warranty so I'd wait until the length of the coverage overlaps before considering it.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Hey Gregg, hope you're enjoying the car. You may also want to look into Protomotive. If I were you I'd wait a bit and put some miles on your car. While some dealers are more "mod friendly" than others, PCNA is not. Have an issue where they need to get involved and you may have trouble. Better to wait and get any issues you may have ironed out.

    Here's a horror story about warranty being denied on an E55 for a completely non-related problem to the mod, which the dealer most likely caused. Really makes you wonder if it's worth it. While we're all protected under the M-M act, and the burden of proof is on the manufacturer, it can take a LONG time.

    http://www.mbworld.org/forums/showthread.php?t=230979

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    chrisNY said:
    Hey Gregg, hope you're enjoying the car. You may also want to look into Protomotive. If I were you I'd wait a bit and put some miles on your car. While some dealers are more "mod friendly" than others, PCNA is not. Have an issue where they need to get involved and you may have trouble. Better to wait and get any issues you may have ironed out.

    Here's a horror story about warranty being denied on an E55 for a completely non-related problem to the mod, which the dealer most likely caused. Really makes you wonder if it's worth it. While we're all protected under the M-M act, and the burden of proof is on the manufacturer, it can take a LONG time.

    http://www.mbworld.org/forums/showthread.php?t=230979



    Greg, protomotive is an option although they don't offer the ability to switch from program to program yet, it is an aggressive tune meant for race fuel but will run fine on pump gas, it also increases the redline to 7300, GIAC does not.
    I just turned 24k miles yesterday of which almost 20k miles since the tune and no problems whatsoever.
    with your setup adding giac or protomotive tune will increase your hp considerably, I would say at least another 50-60hp on race fuel if not more.
    Eclou here has the AWE/GIAC setup and is pretty happy with it. All US tuners will be a lot cheaper than RUF but without the warranty. I would go with the closest reputable tuner to you for practical reasons.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    I would think long and hard before you go down that road in your brand new car. The relatively minimal gains are not worth the warranty loss imo. You don't want to turn your car into one of those frankencars, don't go too crazy with the mods, jmho.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    There is no way that the ecu mod is invisible to dealers, as soon as you flash the ecu, it says on the porsche obddII scan system that your ecu has been flashed 2 times, my car has been flashed and went into the dealerships garage to get rid off the speedo chime and seatbelt chime, via the porsche scan tool, i told him how do you know if my ecu is modified he went on the ecu menu and told me your ecu has been flashed since it showed that its been flashed 2 times 1 which is porsche program and the other is the Ruf flash, he also told me that an ecu can be flashed a maximum of 20 times then it needs to be changed.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    TT Surgeon said:
    I would think long and hard before you go down that road in your brand new car. The relatively minimal gains are not worth the warranty loss imo. You don't want to turn your car into one of those frankencars, don't go too crazy with the mods, jmho.



    minimal gains , you obviously have never driven a tuned 997tt

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Minimal gains my car tranformed into another animal by just Ecu, exhaust and filter from RUF

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    AAHTT said:
    Quote:
    TT Surgeon said:
    I would think long and hard before you go down that road in your brand new car. The relatively minimal gains are not worth the warranty loss imo. You don't want to turn your car into one of those frankencars, don't go too crazy with the mods, jmho.



    minimal gains , you obviously have never driven a tuned 997tt



    +1

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    My opinion (after having done this 10 times or so in 2 turbos) is to find a tuner who knows what he is doing and have your car custom programmed on a dyno. My experience again and again suggests that that's the only way you can get 100% of the possible result for your engine regarding power, delivery, torque etc.
    The reason is that every engine is a bit different and in your case you also have mixed and matched components from different manufacturers.
    In europe you can certainly do this but not sure in the US.
    I could elaborate on actual numbers I ve seen in all the times I tried a "stage x" software vs subsequently custom tuning the ecu on the dyno, but don't want to bore anyone here..

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    GT - I 'would' agree about the customized tuning but I haven't found a tuner who could do so without disconnecting the front wheel drive system first to do the 'wheel' dyno analysis. If there was someone who could do a customized map on an 'engine' dyno then I would be all over it.

    Also, do you really want to get 100% power out of your car? Surely this would significantly shorten its life-span.

    Lastly, I know there is a big risk in losing your Porsche warranty - but I don't see the difference between doing an ECU upgrade straight away or waiting after the warranty runs out.

    Surely either way, if the car's engine is going to blow up after the ECU flash you are going to have to pay for it whenever that is. So I don't see the point in waiting if that is your intention. It's like waiting for the facelift 997, just get one now and start enjoying!!

    I myself did decide to wait until I had run in my engine - to check there wasn't any major issues with stock before I did the re-map.

    Oh, and I personally would only have gone with Ruf, RS-Tuning or Manthey.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    Alex_ said:
    GT - I 'would' agree about the customized tuning but I haven't found a tuner who could do so without disconnecting the front wheel drive system first to do the 'wheel' dyno analysis. If there was someone who could do a customized map on an 'engine' dyno then I would be all over it.

    Also, do you really want to get 100% power out of your car? Surely this would significantly shorten its life-span.

    Lastly, I know there is a big risk in losing your Porsche warranty - but I don't see the difference between doing an ECU upgrade straight away or waiting after the warranty runs out.

    Surely either way, if the car's engine is going to blow up after the ECU flash you are going to have to pay for it whenever that is. So I don't see the point in waiting if that is your intention. It's like waiting for the facelift 997, just get one now and start enjoying!!

    I myself did decide to wait until I had run in my engine - to check there wasn't any major issues with stock before I did the re-map.

    Oh, and I personally would only have gone with Ruf, RS-Tuning or Manthey.



    Alex, I think the point he was making was that it would be prudent to wait, so that if there are any factory defects in the drivetrain, the warranty will cover them, as they usually appear early on. You would get majorly screwed if the engine would have blown anyway, but Porsche denied your warranty, based on you reflashing the ECU. Not a problem with you since you've had it for some time, but on a new car, this is significant.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Agreed, I wouldn't ever consider flashing straight from the factory!

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Yes regarding the decision of flash or no flash I agree. Its down to personal opinion. Generally waiting a few months (while you drive the car hard to see if there s any problems) is not a bad idea.
    Re the dyno custom programming, disconnecting the front axle drive is indeed the way mine was done. That is really not a problem and it takes very little time (like 30mins or so) and is hustle-free and safe. Now regarding your other point re getting 100% or not this is how it works;
    The tuner will start with the default stage x software they've developed and use that on the second dyno run (first will be with stock ecu tune to see default power- hint; its never 480!). Then they ll modify that stage x software further to get the optimum power/torque etc delivery given the parameters that they have decided are safe for the components you car has. These are things like AFR, EGT, ignition timimg etc. The other advantage is that you can also specify what you like; ie I like overboost and non-linear torque delivery etc etc.
    You can bet you can get an extra 10-15 hp and 30-50nm of torque like this with a smoother torque curve etc vs the standard. Actually I got more than that depending on level of mods and stage.
    Hope that helps a bit.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    GT said:
    Yes regarding the decision of flash or no flash I agree. Its down to personal opinion. Generally waiting a few months (while you drive the car hard to see if there s any problems) is not a bad idea.
    Re the dyno custom programming, disconnecting the front axle drive is indeed the way mine was done. That is really not a problem and it takes very little time (like 30mins or so) and is hustle-free and safe. Now regarding your other point re getting 100% or not this is how it works;
    The tuner will start with the default stage x software they've developed and use that on the second dyno run (first will be with stock ecu tune to see default power- hint; its never 480!). Then they ll modify that stage x software further to get the optimum power/torque etc delivery given the parameters that they have decided are safe for the components you car has. These are things like AFR, EGT, ignition timimg etc. The other advantage is that you can also specify what you like; ie I like overboost and non-linear torque delivery etc etc.
    You can bet you can get an extra 10-15 hp and 30-50nm of torque like this with a smoother torque curve etc vs the standard. Actually I got more than that depending on level of mods and stage.
    Hope that helps a bit.



    The main problem with the way these type of tuners do it is the rolling road they use and/or the technique they use (particularly to do with the loading but also the intake air temperature management) rarely mirrors what happens on the road but rather just for that super 8 second power run where you gain your extra 10-15hp and 30-50NM of torque - Wind the car up to 300kph and your "extra" performance will disappear but thankfully now days there is usually no harm done since the ECU can effectively protect the engine from knock.....
    I have seen loads of evidence for what I describe in the shape of underperforming (for their stated "custom tuned" hp) turbo Porsches when they have to max out in 1.6 miles on the runway !
    But hey - it makes great business for the "custom mappers" and plenty of people believe them - because they have a nice graph print out

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    atomic80 said:
    Quote:
    AAHTT said:
    Quote:
    TT Surgeon said:
    I would think long and hard before you go down that road in your brand new car. The relatively minimal gains are not worth the warranty loss imo. You don't want to turn your car into one of those frankencars, don't go too crazy with the mods, jmho.



    minimal gains , you obviously have never driven a tuned 997tt



    +1


    If the gain is less than a 100 hp then it's minimal in my book, and not worth flushing the warranty. The only viable option imo for a street car would be the Ruf 550, at least you have some warranty protection.
    How do you guys know I haven't driven one? In fact I have and WASN'T impressed, sorry. If you're so keen on it Jason, why don't you do it? +3

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Toby makes a great point in that unless the dyno setup can replicate the load on the cooling systems that would be faced in sustained runs then increasing intake air temps and exhaust gas temps may be missed - both of these would signal the car to actually reduce ignition timing, boost and power.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    - more reasons for going for Ruf/RS-Tuning/Manthey IMHO

    Chris - from my (albeit limited) experience, if you had driven a stage 2 tuned Turbo with close to 800Nm torque (like the RS-Tuning 544bhp powerkit) then you wouldn't be saying that it's not much different! The difference is truly massive.

    I will do a full report on my Cargraphic (RS-Tuning) powerkit conversion in the next couple of weeks. I will either get my car back tomorrow or just after the Easter weekend. I seriously can't wait.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    Crash said:
    Quote:
    Alex_ said:
    GT - I 'would' agree about the customized tuning but I haven't found a tuner who could do so without disconnecting the front wheel drive system first to do the 'wheel' dyno analysis. If there was someone who could do a customized map on an 'engine' dyno then I would be all over it.

    Also, do you really want to get 100% power out of your car? Surely this would significantly shorten its life-span.

    Lastly, I know there is a big risk in losing your Porsche warranty - but I don't see the difference between doing an ECU upgrade straight away or waiting after the warranty runs out.

    Surely either way, if the car's engine is going to blow up after the ECU flash you are going to have to pay for it whenever that is. So I don't see the point in waiting if that is your intention. It's like waiting for the facelift 997, just get one now and start enjoying!!

    I myself did decide to wait until I had run in my engine - to check there wasn't any major issues with stock before I did the re-map.

    Oh, and I personally would only have gone with Ruf, RS-Tuning or Manthey.



    Alex, I think the point he was making was that it would be prudent to wait, so that if there are any factory defects in the drivetrain, the warranty will cover them, as they usually appear early on. You would get majorly screwed if the engine would have blown anyway, but Porsche denied your warranty, based on you reflashing the ECU. Not a problem with you since you've had it for some time, but on a new car, this is significant.



    I think I'm coming to my senses. It would be kind of dumb to throw out a drive-train warranty on a $180k car, especially during the first couple of years. I'm going to wait and see what tuners develop, take my time & see what happens with different tuning packages, see if one stands out as being the best/ most reliable & enjoy my car for a while & the piece of mind of a warranty. Maybe when the warranty is closer to expiring by then it will be worth the risk but it would be foolish for me to do an ECU now, it's not like I need the extra power for racing. The exhaust & plenum is as far as I want to go. Thanks for the comments, this is a very interesting thread.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    I still think exhaust and plenum is plenty enough for Porsche to invalidate your warranty anyway.

    So I don't see the difference myself. As soon as you change just one thing I think the can of worms is already wide open...

    For example, I had a senior Porsche guy tell me that changing even the exhaust, changes the back-pressure, which 'can' mess up the engine. He said as soon as you change any component then you would almost certainly lose the whole warranty unless you could prove conclusively that the mod wasn't to blame (which is very hard to do).

    - this is one of the reasons why I wanted an ECU map that had been developed in conjunction with the exhaust mod.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    I try to take my service reps out to lunch on occasion. Never hurts to have a good relationship with them

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    Alex_ said:
    I still think exhaust and plenum is plenty enough for Porsche to invalidate your warranty anyway.

    So I don't see the difference myself. As soon as you change just one thing I think the can of worms is already wide open...

    For example, I had a senior Porsche guy tell me that changing even the exhaust, changes the back-pressure, which 'can' mess up the engine. He said as soon as you change any component then you would almost certainly lose the whole warranty unless you could prove conclusively that the mod wasn't to blame (which is very hard to do).

    - this is one of the reasons why I wanted an ECU map that had been developed in conjunction with the exhaust mod.




    Guess it's different for different places but the exhaust & plenum wouldnt effect warranty work where as the ECU definitely will. Had this conversation w/ my Porsche dealer (w/ the owner of the dealership) when he installed my exhaust & plenum.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Then you would be fine as long as the car/ecu wouldn't have to shipped off to Germany or Porsche USA HQ (if here is such a place).

    No OPCs here in the UK would have anything to do aftermarket installs, especially not installing the parts for you!

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    Quote:
    Alex_ said:
    Then you would be fine as long as the car/ecu wouldn't have to shipped off to Germany or Porsche USA HQ (if here is such a place).

    No OPCs here in the UK would have anything to do aftermarket installs, especially not installing the parts for you!



    I know, thats what I heard re: UK OPC's. How about some pics I just came across.

    Re: So whats the low down on an ECU?

    PX2

     
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