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Are Chip Upgrades Worth It?

chris1638chris1638 Posts: 1
edited May 4 in Infiniti
I own a '93 infiniti G20 and am considering making
several modifications to try and add hp and beef
up the performance a bit. I found a chip upgrade
at stillen.com for about $300.
Anybody had any experiences with using these chips
in an infiniti or other small cars?
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Comments

  • rryder1rryder1 Posts: 1
    I've changed the chips in small engines and big engines. Unless, it has a turbo the change seems to be negligible, except that now you'll have to use premium. But they do work great if you've added other modifications like an exhaust, or air filter assembly, etc. For the most part chips w/o a turbo or supercharger add about 10-15 horsepower and about 5 ft-lbs of torque. On another note if your really planning on doing several changes to the engine your better off waiting untill they are done before changing the chip. Some performance shops can tune the chip to take into account the changes you've made, and really make the chip work for you and the other mods you've done.
  • joe48joe48 Posts: 1
    Anyone have any experience or info. comparing these two? Is there much of a difference?
  • dmkdmk Posts: 22
    I'd have to agree w/ rryder1. The VW Passat comes w/ 1.8L Turbo and a 2.8L normally aspirated V6. The chip for the turbo increases hp approx. 50 hp to 200 hp and the V6 increases 15 hp to 205. This is from the same manufactures and the prices are similar ($300-500). I chipped my 1.8 Turbo and the difference is amazing! Literally breaks the tires loose when the turbo kicks in.

    DMK
  • Does anyone have any information on whether chip upgrades will affect the warranty? Also, if i buy a performance chip (ie www.tap1.com), how much does it usually run to get it installed; also, where are the best places to get it installed? i assume that the dealership will not have any suggestions. :)
  • dmkdmk Posts: 22
    The warranty issue is a grey area. Go to the A4.org or vwvortex.com site for more discussion on this. Many chip tuners offer socketed chips(removable) that prevent the issues of warranty coming up. When your car has to be serviced for a problem switch to your stock chip.
    Re. install it varies. It helps if you liver near a tuner. I was lucky. Wetterauer was only a hour from my house so I drove down and was chipped in less than an hour. If you can't do that the next alternative(and most common) is to mail in your ECU. Go to Wetts site for more info on this as well. Their address is www.chip-tuning.com

    DMK
  • stsmanstsman Posts: 8
    just picked up a 96 red pearl STS,W/118,000 EASY HWY.MILES.IMMACULATE CONDITION FOR THE MILEAGE(ALSO AN OFFER i COULDN'T PASS UP).HOPE TO KEEP IT AT LEAST 5 YRS,AS WE ONLY DO 8,000 MI./PER YR.QUESTIONS OUT THERE,PLEASE!1.DOES ANY ONE KNOW HOW THE AUTO LOAD LEVELING WORKS?2.WHEN TC(TRAC CTRL) IS ON,DOES THE CAR TAKE OFF IN 2ND?do you manually have to disengage it.Thanx :-))
  • tateostateos Posts: 36
    The self leveling system uses sensors, an on-board air compressor, and air shocks to keep the rear of the car level regardless of load.

    The Traction Control permits you to start and drive normally when it is on. If you turn it off, it forces the transmission to start in 2nd gear. If you put the TC back on, it will allow 1st gear starts again.

    Richard Moore
    '97 Eldorado Owner
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    chips work on a 87 Yugo.If so what suspension modifications should I have done to handle the increased power.
  • orlieorlie Posts: 12
    ... the chip (or, better yet, computer) upgrade is definitely worth it. My friend has an Audi S4, and once he replaced the computer itself, he's able to toggle between 3 modes: stock, valet, and chip. I couldn't believe the difference that chip made ... it has more power than his '98 Vette! (Of course, the Vette still handles a hell of a lot better, no doubt.)

    I'm skipping the chip for my SUV -- it aint worth it, not even if I change the headers, exhaust, etc. (Translation: too much money for too little performance increase ... 'might as well get a sports car.)
  • Don't go anyplace else but Jim Wolf Technology. They don't use "chips" they reprograme your ECU and custom-taylor the programe to your aftermarket changes.

    Also since you have one of the older SR20DE engine, you might wanna try some JWT S2 camshafts, HotShot header, Unordothox Racing underdrive pulleys, Place Racing cold-air intake and a good exhaust system. With those changes and a JWT ECU programe, you can make 150-160hp at the wheels easy.

    You should check out freshalloy.com, se-r.net and SR20.org

    Tony
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    How many people dyno their cars before and after receiving a chip upgrade to make sure they aren't buying exaggerated products?
  • swinga7swinga7 Posts: 45
    i've seen hundreds of ads for performance chips. which companies make quality chips?
  • Companies like Superchips Diablo Jet, etc. The bigger names in ECU chip mods. I dynoed each one in my old Focus. Not one of them gained more than 2 hp and the Superchips lost torque across the board. Naturally aspirated they are a total waste of money. They are only worth it if you have an automatic or a turbo. Even so you would be better off spending more and getting the AVC-R. The only use I had for them was rev-limiter and speed limiter removal. I have heard very good things about chips for the VW but why get a chip when you can just get the AVC for the same cost?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,016
    "Little by little, cars are becoming software-rich. While this probably isn't news to engineers, it's only just now being noticed by the world at large, including programmers."

    Automakers, beware: hot rodders do software, too

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    then yes, it's worth it.
  • What about a 1997 z3 2.8? How do they fair with the chips? It takes that pesky governer off right? Does it set rev limiters and new redlines or are they completly removed? Im assuming since its a naturally aspirated motor I shouldnt buy the chip unless I have cold air induction, new exhaust, or a turbo correct?
  • jmestas1jmestas1 Posts: 4
    I have a '95 Nissan Maxima GXE, the engine is a bit sluggish, mainly due to the fact that i have 125K on the car. Would it be worth it to do some modifications on the car? i.e. new chip, exaust, intake ect...? Are Mod chips availabe for the 3.5L Pathfinder? Thanks!!!
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Try the basic maintenance routines first (tune-up, etc.) If your engine has a distributor, new wires, cap, & rotor will help also.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,016
    "With Mr. Rascon's Civic howling away on the dynamometer, Mr. Wilmizig adjusted air and fuel mixtures on his laptop while Mr. Church read out continually increasing horsepower numbers. Mr. Church figured that the Civic would be good for 220 horsepower and would be able to run the quarter-mile in just over 12 seconds, about as fast as a new $73,000 Dodge Viper or a $115,000 Porsche 911 Turbo would. Mr. Rascon paid only $8,000 for his Honda."


    Gentlemen, Start Hacking Your Engines


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    Moderator
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  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    a 1.8 liter motor with 300 hp and no turbo or nitrous. Programming a chip with a laptop isn't anything new - it's relatively simple, but you aren't going to triple the horsepower on a car no matter what kind of fuel or spark curve you're running.

    Plus, he surely didn't buy a Civic AND make 300 hp on 8 grand.
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