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View Full Version : in the market for an ECU tune, looking for opinions



busychild424
08-12-2011, 09:31 PM
I haven't touched the car mechanically since I bought it, but here is the PO's list of engine mods:

Engine Mods:
PWR top mount intercooler
HKS ssq bov
Samco hoses
AVO turbo inlet tube
APS map adapter
Megan Racing header/catless up pipe combo
Helix catless down pipe
Espelir JGT500R 3" cat back system
Hallman MBC set at 13 psi
Walbro 255 fuel pump
ARC belt cover
ARC 1.3 bar radiator cap

(I know some of those aren't relevant to the ECU, just wanted to include the whole list.)

My CEL is on almost constantly, and a friend who had an 03 WRX (mine is an 02) says it should be making a lot more power than it is. I was told on another forum that I needed an ECU tune.

I don't want to DIY, so I'm looking for opinions on what route to go (AP or something else), and what shop or who to go to around KC to get it done?

Thanks.

WRXNFX
08-13-2011, 03:23 PM
What is the CEL code?

why is the MBC set to 13 PSI?

busychild424
08-13-2011, 03:54 PM
I'm about to go get the code read right now - I haven't bothered before.

The MBC is set to 13 because that's how the PO set it. I think he said something about putting it there to be conservative/safe. What's it supposed to be at?

busychild424
08-13-2011, 05:25 PM
Got the code read, it's the P0139: O2 sensor, bank 1 sensor 1. Almost certainly a result of my exhaust mods, I would think. I figure that can get fixed up with a tune, right?

AWD Bishop
08-13-2011, 09:39 PM
I hope that the PO had the car tuned after a few of those mods. The turbo inlet, header, up pipe, down pipe and cat back system pretty much require a tune for a decent running car. anytime there is a CEL, it almost always seems to be an O2 sensor. I would guess that after a tune, the CEL would be gone and your power would have a nice jump. I don't know if there are any good tuners in Lawrence but MKC is your option in Johnson county.

busychild424
08-14-2011, 11:57 AM
I don't think he had it tuned at all. That's why I need to get it done. Do you have any opinions/experience with MKC?

Hydrolix
08-14-2011, 06:49 PM
Your car shouldn't be out driving, especially hard with those mods. You REQUIRE a tune. As for how to get one, an AP isn't a tune. It's a device that will allow you to load tunes onto your ECU. Check with COBB before you buy one to see if they have an ECU Map for your mods. If they don't, or can't/won't create one for you via email, then you need to take it to a tuner to have a custom one done.

That o2 code is normal with your mods because the o2 sensor that used to be in your up-pipe is removed. A tune will disable that CEL.

Justin 05 Sti
08-15-2011, 08:01 AM
Chad @ MKC knows his stuff.

If it has stock injectors still I'd say it's safe to drive around. But you're definitely leaving a lot on the table without getting it tuned.

busychild424
08-15-2011, 08:39 AM
Your car shouldn't be out driving, especially hard with those mods. You REQUIRE a tune. As for how to get one, an AP isn't a tune. It's a device that will allow you to load tunes onto your ECU. Check with COBB before you buy one to see if they have an ECU Map for your mods. If they don't, or can't/won't create one for you via email, then you need to take it to a tuner to have a custom one done.

That o2 code is normal with your mods because the o2 sensor that used to be in your up-pipe is removed. A tune will disable that CEL.

I'm aware, mostly of what an AP is - I did try to do my research before posting here.

It sounds like I'm right to assume that I need a tune pretty badly. My car doesn't have any non-stock gauges installed, not even a boost gauge, so I probably will have to take it to a shop to get tuned. (Yes, getting some gauges is on the to do list.)

I'll give MKC a call today.

Any wild guesstimates as to what kind of difference I'll be looking at?

busychild424
08-15-2011, 11:16 AM
Got an appointment at MKC for Wednesday the 24th. Dropping the car off at 2PM for compression, leakdown, and boost leak tests, and the tune is scheduled for 6 PM. I have to figure out getting a ride from KC back to Lawrence at 2, and from Lawrence back to KC by 6.

Also, $350 for the tune isn't bad, but adding $319 for the tests.... ouch.