Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1. #1
    zal_kindi's Avatar
    zal_kindi is offline Site Donor
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    369
    Images
    55
    Downloads
    41
    Uploads
    0

    Question Can someone explain ECU Fashing/Programming?

    There is so much mention here of ECU flashing and programming with EVO, REVO, GIAC, etc. Can someone explain to those of us who are less technical, how this works and what does it affect (throttle, ignition, fuel injection, vario-cam, etc)? Is the ECU the ME7.8 engine management system Porsche mention in the manual? and are there any components replaced, or is it just simply programming? Don't worry, I'm an engineer and I can take it . Sorry for the dumb question but I somehow feel that it is on other members' minds as well.

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    mtbscott's Avatar
    mtbscott is offline PCA Member
    500 post club
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    872
    Images
    2
    Downloads
    3
    Uploads
    0
    In the old days (5 years ago), the tuners would take your ECU and physically replace the chip in it, nowadays, they just go in through your OBD port and reprogram it. Chip tuning makes a huge difference on a car with an electronically controlled turbo, much less so in a naturally aspirated car. I can see a small gain possibly retuning your ECU to headers/exhaust and new intake, but don't understand why a Porsche reflash is $1000 and VW/Audi flashes are $500.
    Scott
    2012 991 Carrera

  3. #3
    craignyc's Avatar
    craignyc is offline NE Track Junkie
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    489
    Images
    3
    Downloads
    3
    Uploads
    0
    basically they are remapping the trottle and air/fuel ratios.

    It is more expensive because people with Porsche's are willing and able to pay more money.

    Craignyc
    Cayman S 2006 - Sold
    2010 GT3 White
    Boxster 2001 - race car and current track toy.
    www.nycs4.com/cayman_track_times.html

  4. #4
    davew's Avatar
    davew is offline Porsche Activist
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    466
    Images
    8
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    Not a dumb question at all, but you did already answer most of if yourself. The ECU has a rewrittable EPROM in it that contains software and datatables which store parameters for controlling various engine functions you described above. The tunners modify this data to maximize performance vs other considerations written in by Porsche such as fuel ecomomy, marketing, etc... the new data is then flashed to the EEPROM and either overwrites the old data, or is written to unsused space and alternately accessed by the ME software...depending on the tuner and the approach taken. Each tuner has their own method for doing this and each modifies the various parameters differently and to different extents. This is where their expertise and artistic talents set them apart from eachother. There are also a number of non-performance related security features they must program around such as anti-theft immobilzer codes, encryption keys, and flash counters, etc.. to make it all work. These keep the flashed program unique to each vehicle, and is why we are not all trading programs on the net. If done right it also keeps the modified data invisible to the dealers. Though this invisibility is a point of contention that comes up, as well.

    all of this has been made even easier with the advent of the ASE J2534 API which creates a standard interface for reading and flashing the ECU firmware in all cars since 2004. Now manufactures have use the standard API and let independent mechanics (tuners) be able to read and reflash the ECU data with simple PassThru hardware devices through the OBDII dataport without removing the ECU from the car.

    http://engineers.ihs.com/document/ab...FSGBAAAAAAAAAA

    and yes, ME7.8 is the current Bosch Motronic firmware version with variations for model, country, and vehicle specific components. Flashing is just programming, no additional components replaced. But is often sold in conjunction with other mods such as intake, exhaust, etc.. as these systems all work in concert with eachother.

    hope that answers your question...

    dave w

    Atlas Gray Cayman S

  5. #5
    davew's Avatar
    davew is offline Porsche Activist
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    466
    Images
    8
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    the increased costs are also a function of increased R&D (as the programs are a bit more complex) and decreased sales volume. Revo or GIAC for example sell magnatudes more VW flashes than they do porsche flashes.

    Atlas Gray Cayman S

  6. #6
    chows4us's Avatar
    chows4us is offline Super Moderator
    3,000 post club
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,929
    Images
    9
    Downloads
    90
    Uploads
    1
    There are two fundamental ways to "chip" a car. First, a piggyback computer can be used. In this application a computer chip is placed before the computers ECU. It changes sensor variables and essentially "fools" the computers ECU to achieve its results. A major advantage of a piggyback chip is that they are usually plug and play (PNP) and can be easily removed as required. An example of this is UNICHIP. Second, is a computer flash of the ECU, in effect, changing the original car's software with its own. GIAC is an example.

    See http://home.comcast.net/~grim/images/chips.htm the draft version of the FAQ on chipping

  7. #7
    chows4us's Avatar
    chows4us is offline Super Moderator
    3,000 post club
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,929
    Images
    9
    Downloads
    90
    Uploads
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
    In the old days (5 years ago), the tuners would take your ECU and physically replace the chip in it, nowadays, they just go in through your OBD port and reprogram it. Chip tuning makes a huge difference on a car with an electronically controlled turbo, much less so in a naturally aspirated car. I can see a small gain possibly retuning your ECU to headers/exhaust and new intake, but don't understand why a Porsche reflash is $1000 and VW/Audi flashes are $500.
    I suspect because it may be more difficult to hack the software. In fact, for example, has MTH or anybody else yet hacked the 05/06 MINI ECU?

  8. #8
    tach miami's Avatar
    tach miami is offline PCA Member
    1,000 post club
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    1,404
    Downloads
    51
    Uploads
    0
    Chows,

    I see you over at NAM. Is this want you want? http://new.minimania.com/ECU/

    Tom

  9. #9
    zal_kindi's Avatar
    zal_kindi is offline Site Donor
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    369
    Images
    55
    Downloads
    41
    Uploads
    0
    Thank you very much for the feedback. It is a bit similar to how we program downhole oil well tools.

  10. #10
    UTICaymanS is offline Porsche Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    233
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    0
    Davew covered it spot on

  11. #11
    chows4us's Avatar
    chows4us is offline Super Moderator
    3,000 post club
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,929
    Images
    9
    Downloads
    90
    Uploads
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by tach miami View Post
    Chows,

    I see you over at NAM. Is this want you want? http://new.minimania.com/ECU/

    Tom
    oh no sorry. I was just trying to explain or justify the higher prices for one car than other.

    BTW, that chip is a complete new chip. MTH reprograms through the OBD port using a laptop

  12. #12
    davew's Avatar
    davew is offline Porsche Activist
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    466
    Images
    8
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    not to get too far off track but the evotech programs for new mini's are bench flashed. Same as doing it through the OBDII port but done on a bench with the ecu out of the car. They only do this for mail order...if you go there they flash via the port. The conforti shark injector is a repeatable and reversible flash tool that works really well. You can flash back and forth from stock to modified as often as you like....until you wear the memory out. (about 100 flashes).

    Nobody solders chips (or sockets) on boards any more, as they new boards are all surface mount and there is no need. Though some reflashes require you to access the board and power certain circuits in order to defeat the flash counter...but this does not apply to Porsche-motronic.

    Atlas Gray Cayman S

  13. #13
    chows4us's Avatar
    chows4us is offline Super Moderator
    3,000 post club
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,929
    Images
    9
    Downloads
    90
    Uploads
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by davew View Post
    not to get too far off track but the evotech programs for new mini's are bench flashed. Same as doing it through the OBDII port but done on a bench with the ecu out of the car. They only do this for mail order...if you go there they flash via the port.
    Understood. It says to mail in your chip. MTH (a European company) is the only one I know that does it via the OBD port. In fact, the most popular ones for that car looks like a piggyback (UNICHIP), simply because you can pop it off going to the dealer. Can do whatever reflash it wants and you just pop the unichip back on.

  14. #14
    davew's Avatar
    davew is offline Porsche Activist
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    466
    Images
    8
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    piggy back systems are convenient for that reason, but they are very limited in functionality because they intercept the signal into the ecu and change it based on some algorithm to get some presumed output. This approach was more sound when ECUs did little more than control injectors and ignition timing. But now that they adaptively run just about everything from throttle response to cam timing its really not the best approach any longer. You are left trying to trick the ECU into thinking things are not what they really are, which seems to lead to trouble. Most piggybacks are also limited in resolution and sample rates as well...while many tuners actualy increase both of these in their flashed software edits.

    Atlas Gray Cayman S

  15. #15
    kimchang's Avatar
    kimchang is offline Porsche Purist
    1,000 post club
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Plano, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,130
    Images
    104
    Downloads
    9
    Uploads
    0
    For ECU flashing, what are some of the common trade-offs? Lower gas mileage? Anything else?

    2006 Porsche Cayman S, Lapis Blue, Tiptronics, Bose, 997TT-style wheels, Sprint Booster, HIP clear engine cover, Schild trunk liner, Milltek catback exhaust, CF aerodynamics, BumperPlugs painted interior trims.
    2011 Audi S4 - Prem+, Brilliant Red, DSG, Sport Diff, B&O, Nav, Nappa leather, Eurocode Alu Kreuz, Stvbek CF Aero Front Lip, DEVAL CF Rear Valence.

  16. #16
    Santa Fe's Avatar
    Santa Fe is offline Cayman Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    10,001
    Images
    61
    Downloads
    41
    Uploads
    4
    kimchang, that is one of my reservations about the ECU change. The people that sell them will not explain the exact compromises made. So for a 5 to 8 hp gain it seems risky to spend a grand or so on something that cannot be understood by the buyer. It would be wonderful to see the changes made in some detail.

  17. #17
    kimchang's Avatar
    kimchang is offline Porsche Purist
    1,000 post club
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Plano, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,130
    Images
    104
    Downloads
    9
    Uploads
    0
    Thanks Santa Fe...I agree with you: I'd love to know the exact compromises made for the mod.

    2006 Porsche Cayman S, Lapis Blue, Tiptronics, Bose, 997TT-style wheels, Sprint Booster, HIP clear engine cover, Schild trunk liner, Milltek catback exhaust, CF aerodynamics, BumperPlugs painted interior trims.
    2011 Audi S4 - Prem+, Brilliant Red, DSG, Sport Diff, B&O, Nav, Nappa leather, Eurocode Alu Kreuz, Stvbek CF Aero Front Lip, DEVAL CF Rear Valence.

  18. #18
    Alias's Avatar
    Alias is offline Porsche Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    143
    Downloads
    7
    Uploads
    0
    Has anyone had any issues or grief from the Dealers with this reprogrammed chips? I am thinking about getting one with the exhaust, etc. and adding 15 to 20 more hp...but I am concerned about warranty issues, dealers refusing to service the car, etc. I hear that they cannot tell that the car has been reprogrammed, but when I chipped my M5 with Dinan, the BMW techs knew immediately...luckily, Dinan has an agreement with BMW and they were okay with it. Also, any thoughts on which chip is best? GIAC seems to be the most popular. Thanks!

  19. #19
    davew's Avatar
    davew is offline Porsche Activist
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    466
    Images
    8
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    well most tuners don't freely discuss this only because most people have no idea what the heck they are talking about and tend to oversimplify things greatly. taken out of context oversimplified info can be very dangerous. (insert political pundit joke here)...for example most people say that tuners just edit ignition timing and fuel maps to make peak power. This is only partially true, what is left out is that there are up to 12 ignition maps of varying levels of agression which the ecu jumps between depending on such things as engine temp and load...among many others. and ignition and fuel are only two parameters of about 30 that are edited. They just happen to be the easiest to understand so that is what gets talked about the most. There is also Feedback Controls, Knock Sensor Maps, Injector Latency & K value, Theoretical Pulsewidth Scale Timing, Valve Timing Control & Throttle Enrichment Tables, to name just a few...also, most good tuners spend nore time tuning part throttle load values than at WOT. Street cars see less than 1% of driving time at WOT afterall...well, most of them anyway. I know ist more like 50% for some of you guys

    European Car has a decent article in their tech section that discusses some of the different ways that different tuners approach the task. Its i also a bit oversimplified and assumes a lot of "guess work" by the tuners. I'd suggest that given the experience and talent that most of them have, its less of a guessing game and more of an informed decission making process. But I suppose that is what seperates the good tuners from the bad.

    http://www.europeancarweb.com/tech/0507ec_chip_tuning/

    dw

    Atlas Gray Cayman S

  20. #20
    chows4us's Avatar
    chows4us is offline Super Moderator
    3,000 post club
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,929
    Images
    9
    Downloads
    90
    Uploads
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by davew View Post
    piggy back systems are convenient for that reason, but they are very limited in functionality because they intercept the signal into the ecu and change it based on some algorithm to get some presumed output. This approach was more sound when ECUs did little more than control injectors and ignition timing.
    True. Most have a set number mappings designed to specific, common, aftermarket bolt-ons. However, for example with Unichip, the can program it to exactly your bolt-on with a custom tune.

    Quote Originally Posted by Santa Fe View Post
    kimchang, that is one of my reservations about the ECU change. The people that sell them will not explain the exact compromises made. So for a 5 to 8 hp gain it seems risky to spend a grand or so on something that cannot be understood by the buyer. It would be wonderful to see the changes made in some detail.
    Check out http://autothority.com/products/ECU-Upgrades.html. If you call them, I bet they will answer you. They have been doing this for many years and claim 17 hp increase, not GIACs 5 - 8. Of course, its more money.

    Take a look at the claimed gains on the TTs. Awesome

    This is their own chip assumming 92 Octane gas ... which is available in VA.

    There is another reason for chipping the car and that is everytime you do some bolt-on, your changing the way the car breaths, its backpressure, etc. While the ECU adapts to a degree, its not going to be optimized for the most HP but for the least common demoninator (like 91 octane gas in CA).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias View Post
    Has anyone had any issues or grief from the Dealers with this reprogrammed chips?
    Mine said they would not do it and it may cause warranty issues.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •