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Are Chip Upgrades Worth It?

2

Comments

  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Posts: 215
    Actually, that doesn't sound unreasonable to me. Aftermarket tuning chips don't typically add fuel, they usually remove fuel to lean out the fuel mixture at WOT. The OEM settings are generally quite rich at WOT to avoid any detonation issues. The aftermarket chips will remove some of this conservatism by leaning out the fuel mixture and/or being slightly more aggressive with timing. So you don't need more air, you are just optimizing the power of the combustion process and playing a little closer to the line on detonation.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Well that's sound reasonable but they must enrich at some point in the power band or how would one justify the claims of HP in the mid-range? If a chip just gave me power at WOT I'd find that rather useless for anything except nutso driving--which I LIKE but which I can't be doing 95% of the time. I'd like a chip to give me the "sweet spot" when I'm pulling 3,000--4,500 rpm.

    Also if a chip is leaning out at WOT and you are adding boost to the turbo, that sounds ver-y risky. Fuel is also a coolant as I'm sure you know.

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  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Posts: 215
    I said WOT, not just at redline. A good chip will give you power throughout the rev range, not just at redline. But chips can only influence the open loop part of the engine control, which is typically anything over 90% throttle position. Below that, the ECU is in closed loop mode, constantly adjusting the fuel delivery to keep the mixture near stoiciometric (14.7) as indicated by the O2 sensor. The chip can't mess with that and you wouldn't want them to. If you are at partial throttle and want more power, you just push a little harder with your right leg. It's when you have it mashed to the floor and still want more that the chip will provide it.

    And, yes, if you are increasing boost, the chip programmer needs to take that in to account. If you have a chip programmed for stock boost and then you crank it up, you may have the opportunity to rebuild your engine sooner than you had planned. A number of MR2 guys found that out the hard way. Heck, the programmer even needs to know what octane gas you are running. If you are in California and running 91 octane gas on a chip that was set up for the 93 octane gas available in other states, you may well be on the wrong side of the detonation limits.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Oh, the expensive side of detonation limits.....I've been there.

    Okay thanks for the clarification....yes, I was equating WOT with redline...duh....

    I've heard 14.7 is not really ideal....more like 13.1 or so....

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  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Posts: 215
    At partial throttle, closed loop operation, you have to run at 14.7. That is the ideal for low emissions. Any lower and you'll have excessive hydrocarbon emissions, any higher and you'll have too much NOx. The O2 sensors on every production car I am aware of are Lambda sensors and can only detect a narrow band around 14.7.
    But at high throttle positions, when you go into open loop mode, the ECU will determine fuel requirements based on predetermined tables or maps. The mixture ratio will vary depending on several factors like load (or throttle position), air flowrate, engine speed, etc. Typically, the mixture ratio will be higher at low and high RPMs and lowest in the midrange RPMs where detonation is most likely. 13:1 is probably a reasonable value for a normally aspirated car. 12:1 or maybe 12.5:1 is the highest you'd probably want to go on turbo-or super-charged car.
    Every factory ECU equipped car I have seen runs below 10:1 in the midrange RPMs, which is why a little leaning out produces some fairly significant horsepower gains.
  • keanukeanu Posts: 2
    I just recently purchase a chip for my 01 Tundra but I can find the IAT, MAF, or the CTS sensors to install it. Can anyone help me?
  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Posts: 215
    keanu - you really need a set of shop manuals to make sure you have the right connections . I'm not sure if you have the 6 cyl or 8 cyl but if you have the V8 and the Tindra layout is the same as my Sequoia, the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensoris right next to the big black box to the left of the engine that the air filter goes into. There is an electrical connector right on top with five wires coming out it. I'd guess that the signal for the Inlet Air Temperature (IAT) sensor is also in the connector. I'm guessing that CTS stands for Coolant Temperature Sensor but I'm not sure where that is. You really need the manuals and electrical schematics to be sure.
    That said (and of virtually no use), I'd be very, very leery of using that "chip" on my car. It really isn't a chip so much as a device that is external to the ECU. I honestly don't think it is possible to properly design a chip and sell it for $27.50. Real chips go into the ECU and alter the programming of the ECU. They require a lot of reverse engineering of the ECU programming and a lot of time on a dyno with a wide band O2 sensor. This is time consuming and expensive. That is why real chips typically cost around $500.
    The ads for that "chip" don't tell you anything about what they do. I would suspect that based on the fact that they are connecting to the MAF, IAT and CTS, that they are merely altering the airflow input to the ECU causing a slight leaning of the mixture ratio and advancing of the ignition timing. This could be a recipe for disaster. It's not a matter of thinking, "Well, it is only $27.50. If it doesn't work it is no big deal." If you start detonating, it could get to be a big deal very quickly.
    Frankly, I'm surprised that ebay let's them advertise on their service. The ads state that it doesn't affect your warranty because it can be easily removed before you bring it to the dealer. To me that is recommending fraud and I wouldn't think ebay would want to expose themselves to that.
  • Has anyone installed tuning chips in a 2003 A4 3.0 Quattro Tiptronic? If so, what chip manufacturer did you use, what was the cost and how much HP and torque did you gain?
  • ricviricvi Posts: 1
    Your return on investment is low. E.g. Jet Performance Stage 1 investment is $249; advertisement states a result of 20 horsepower boost; not true. Maybe 5 to 10; is that worth it...; it is when a hundredth of a second means winning; in ten quarter mile runs with and without the chip i found no difference; i went for nitrous which added 75 horsepower for $600...; now that is a return on investment...; I believe if you can program your own chip for BMWs and Porsches or Vettes you might see a difference...; there's so much you can do to out perform chips...
  • stix818stix818 Posts: 4
    New to the forums so I was wondering if anyone had any thought on using a hypertech III on the 05 duramaxs??
  • I have an Infiniti FX45 which has the same mill as the Q45 and M45 but makes 20 less horsepower for what reason - no one at Infiniti can say... I have hit a brick wall trying to find out if I can swap a Q45 chip with the one in my FX45 and recapture the "lost" horsepower. Does anyone know why this would not work and who can help me?
  • Does anyone know if there is a programmer module for an Infiniti G35? If so, do you have a link? I haven't been able to find anything.

    Thanks!!
  • I'm planning on adding an AFE cold air intake with a granitelli mass air flow sensor to my 99 sierra. I have a superchip programmer, that a rep told me not to use it with the mass air sensor. So Im leaning towards the diablo to see if I can get a coustom program to make eveything smooth. I will add the intake and sensor for a while then get a dyno test. I need to know a good place to send the dyno info to burn a custom program to fit my truck. SO Im in the same boat as you in a way, I just need some info if possible. TY for reading.
  • CAN SOMEONE HELP ME OUT.... I NEED INFO ON THE CHIP AND WANT TO KNOW IF ITS WORTH IT...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Which chip are you thinking of buying? Name of product or manufacturer? Do you have a website link we can look at?

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  • WELL I'LL BE HONEST WITH YOU...I REALLY HAVE NO CLUE... THIS IS MY FIRST CAR AND I DONT KNOW MUCH ABOUT CARS SO I KINDA CAME HERE FOR SOME SCHOOLING OR JUST FOR SOME HELP AND GUIDANCE ....MAYBE YOU CAN HELP ME OUT ON GETTING THE RIGHT CHIP ...I JUST INSTALLED AN INJEN COLD AIR INTAKE WICH MADE A REALLY BIG DIFFERENCE.. AND I WANT TO DO OTHER LITTLE MODS THAT WONT COST ME TOO MUCH.... IM ACTUALLY SELLING THE RIMS IT HAS RIGHT NOW AND LOOKING TO GET SOMETHING BIGGER 19X8.5 19X9.5 BUT I HEARD THAT CAN SLOW U DOWN SO IM THINKING OF 18'S ...ANNY SUGESTIONS?

    HERES A LINK :
    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=1044235&imageID=25- 8588582&Mytoken=C7F101CB-A0A1-4846-B5674390A9575ED22639079390
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    I wouldn't go over 18", no way. Harsh ride and heavy tire wear, not worth it IMO.

    As for the chips, you need to get their technical specs and read carefully HOW they achieve what they claim to acheive. For instance, are they trying to advance your ignition timing? Or do they merely extend your automatic transmission shifts (heck you could do that for free in manual mode). Is it a real chip or a re-flash? What proof do they offer for their claims? Who tested it for them? Are they impartial and independent testers?

    You need to do your homework and the BEST thing is to talk to someone who has installed the chip and tested it themselves.

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  • THANK YOU. I'LL DO SOME RESEARCH AND ASK AROUND... BUT YEAH IM STICKING WITH THE 18'S AND PROBALBY BRINGING THE CAR DOWN ABOUT AN INCH. OR MAYBE 1.5 NOT SURE YET.. BUT IF THERES ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN HELP ME OUT ON ID BE STOKED.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Well don't bring the car down TOO much or you'll hammer the stock shocks to pieces.

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  • A shop was charging me $450 to lower it with different shocks...dont remember the name. should i even lower it ? and if so how low?
  • Hopefully you will get some good lowering springs to adjust your ride comfortbility. 18s and cheap springs will really make your car bouncy without even going over 45mph. For the shocks, if you don't lower it too much, you'll probably get by them in several yrs or so IMO./ I have stock shocks right now and still doing fine for about 2 years now. Car is lowered 2 inches front and 1.5" in the rear. Also, get a camber kit if you need one.
  • FYI: For those of you who own B7 A4 2.0t's, ECU tuning for these cars is not what it seems. Tuners such as APR and REVO are seeing massive gains just by flashing the ECU. APR is showing 232hp, 273lb-ft estimated to the crank on 91 octane, and 241hp, 292lb-ft estimated to the crank on 93 octane. Stock numbers are 200hp/207lb-ft from Audi, but these numbers are very conservative. APR dynoed a stock B7 2.0t and found on 93 octane, it pulled 178hp to the wheels. If you assume that you are losing 20% power to the drivetrain loss (this is pretty conservative), that would equal 220+ hp to the crank. I own a 06 A4 2.0t quattro and I have to admit, this thing pulls as hard if not harder than my 98 Mitsu Eclipse GSX (210hp, 214lb-tq) I owned previously.

    Also, the new Civic was first advertised with 200hp, but since SAE changed the way it measured hp, they legally had to post 197hp. Funny how Audi didn't have to lower its hp rating.

    Word of advise, if your gonna chip your car, it will definately increase power/torque. But the fact of the matter is, if your car is not forced induced it turbo/super, I would imagine the gains won't be that impressive and therefore not worth it.

    The solution? Force induce your car! :shades:
  • Kloud9: Doyou have a chip recommendation for 2.0t A3 DSG. Thanks.
  • ...and I certainly do feel the extra torque. The B7 might not look like much of an upgrade from the B6 but, man, what an improved car. I've had my '06 B7 since August and even with the cold weather here in NE Ohio, the car hasn't had a burp or squeak.

    And naturally it's Quattro with the sports suspension and manual tranny :)

    My only regret is that I only average 30 mph on my short drive to work. I used to be able to nearly do that on a mountain bike.

    B.W.
  • has anyone heard any good news or results from these performance modules im goin to put it in a 99 cavalier 2.2 l engine. any feed back would be appreciated thank you
  • Trying to chip my vehicle, i have read all the posted messages and i am indifferent about what to do. Is it a good idea or a bad one and who should i work with?
    Please give me some information thanks, I have done a little homework on this, but gettin confused about the 1.0 and + numbers and so forth. Thanks?
    please email if possible
    Josh@mega1.net
  • Here is some information, what are the differences and does anyone have any further guided info.

    http://www.ecstuning.com/stage/edpd/pagebuild_v2.cgi?make=Volkswagen&engine=1.8T- &model=Passat%20B5&submodel=FWD&category=Engine&subcategory=Chip%20Tuning

    thanks
    Josh@mega1.net
  • flash11flash11 Posts: 98
    Just heard from the Chrysler salesman you can mod the new 2007 Sebring 3.5L from 235hp to 280hp with a simple upgrade to a larger air manifold and change out the chip to a Chrysler 300 performance chip. Maybe just hogwash but I will do a little more research. Just test drove the production line version, nice power with the 3.5L with the auto stick and sport tuned suspension, 18" wheels, she flies, imagine at 280hp on that midsized car. He also mentioned the new Chrysler Caliber SRT4 will have 300hp with a turbocharged 4 banger, wow,how will that thing stay together,thats a kids car, so cheap for so much horsepower.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,471
    45 hp on an NA car with a chip and intake? I don't buy it for a second.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • I have 2002 chevy with a programmer and dual exaust im wanting to add more after market parts but I dont want to dump a hole pile of money into mods that r not going to do anything can anybody help me!Perferablie sombody who has gone though the same problems and has found the best results.
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