Engine Management Comparisons

Discussion in 'Product & Service Reviews' started by moose, May 15, 2005.

  1. moose

    moose Infina Mooooooose!

    Let's hear your opinions on various forms of engine management. Pros/cons and cost. I'm a n00b when it comes to this stuff, so any information will be helpful!
  2. 5spdfrk

    5spdfrk Active Member

    Well, this is what I considered at the time of my purchase:
    COBB AP:
    Pros - Cheaper than other EM
    Fast and reliable
    Easy install
    No tuning fees
    Multiple maps, plus an anti theft feature
    AutoX map
    Can be sold

    Cons - Not a real tune
    Certain upgrade paths (unless you buy street tuner)
    Have to take the AP with you if you want to use other maps
    Can't think of any other

    Pros - A real tune for your specific car and mods
    Fast and reliable
    Any upgrade path you could imagine
    Can easily switch between maps

    Cons - Almost twice as expensive
    Tuning fees
    Cannot be sold (unless you sell/trade your ecu with someone else)
    Can only switch between two maps iirc

    Pros - Staged maps
    You can tune it yourself
    Everyone tunes these things
    A real tune
    Any upgrade path
    Can be sold
    Switchable maps (if you have the remote switch)

    Cons - Cannot tune as many areas as Ecutek
    Probably need a hot and cold weather tune
    Tuning fees

    These are the things which first came to mind. I'm sure I could think of more, and that not everyone will agree with me. I chose the AP, because at this point in my life, I don't have time to mess with tuning (although I hope to in the future). It is cheaper than others and can be sold when I feel like it. The Cobb upgrade path is fine for me, because I dont have the money to go to crazy with mods right now. Plus by the time I decide to go crazy the Pro Tuner will be out for the AP and I could get a custom tune then. The autoX map was a huge plus too!
  3. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    i first had UTEC and then switched to ECUTEK... though both are tunable, ECUTEK has more lookup tables and thus u can get a better tune with a good tuner... a couple of other things i noticed:

    1) UTEC is a piggyback and ECUTEK is a reflash... ECUTEK operates real smooth... with UTEC, it felt like the UTEC and the ECU were fighting for control

    2) ECUTEK retains the factors ECUs adaptability and thus adapts itself to changes in weather, etc... UTEC holds fixed maps... so basically, ur UTEC can go out of tune based with changes in weather but the ECUTEK will only need tuning when u add more parts

    From what i hear, accessport also maintains the ECUs adaptability... however the drawback is that the maps are off the shelf and not fine tuned to ur car... in order to get a true tune, u need the street tuner... then $(AP) + $(ST) = expensive again
  4. 5spdfrk

    5spdfrk Active Member

    Thanks Milo. Glad you could put in advice since you have been the other two routes that I haven't.
  5. Weapon

    Weapon 90lbs of dynamite Supporting Member

    can a moderator please move this to reviews
  6. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

  7. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    no problem at all... i STRONGLY recommend ECUTEK over UTEC... the car runs much smoother... almost feels like it came from the factory like this... also i experienced a LOT of knock with UTEC... car has not knocked even once with ECUTEK since i got it in january
  8. moose

    moose Infina Mooooooose!

    Appreciate your input. Yeah, I don't care for the UTEC concept... in fact, I don't like any of the 'piggyback' type setups. Better to get the ECU to do its job better, IMO.

    Seems like the AP is a good path in that you can use the off-the-shelf maps initially, and get some fairly cheap engine management. Then if you want to tune more specifically to your car and/or add mods not supported in the standard maps, you can go with the StreetTuner. Probably still won't be as good as a professional ECUtek tune, but how much would ECUtek license + several tunes cost?
  9. Weapon

    Weapon 90lbs of dynamite Supporting Member

    go ecutek..you cant go wrong..i had pretty much the same experience that milo had with utec..lots of knock..made good power but my car is so much happier with ecutek
  10. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    at SOG, ecutek costs $850 which includes 2 hours of tuning... additional tuning is expensive (i believe $150 an hour... scott: correct me if im wrong)...

    if i had accessport and bought street tuner, i still would take it in to a tuner to get a professional tune... i dont know anything about tuning and would not mess with it... similarly, UTEC has user tuning capabilities but i never messed with that... the ecutek data monitor that i have allows me to tune the car also... i have not messed with that feature yet... im happy with the tune scott did on my car
  11. sol drums

    sol drums Active Member

    i agree with kris & milo, my car runs so much better now. very solid all the way to redline. scott does a great job tuning. if you have the money i highly recommend ecutek.

  12. moose

    moose Infina Mooooooose!

    OK, let me throw a curveball.

    How about something like the Apex-i AVC-R electronic boost controller? How far can you go with that alone? At what point do you need to mess with the ECU?
  13. married05gt

    married05gt starting over

    I could be wrong but I think that only alows you to adjust gear spasific boost and not all the extra stuff, With ecutek scott can tune every thing so that your car is very happy. Just adding boost is not a very good idea. Plus the AVC-R is $500.00 I would keep saving for ecutek thats what im doing
  14. Weapon

    Weapon 90lbs of dynamite Supporting Member

    yea..dont mess with that..save up for ecutek..it does everything you need! the Apex-i AVC-R electronic boost controller does only that..controls boost..what about fuel and change in temperature..knock correction..etc..
  15. Doug@DBW Motorsports

    Doug@DBW Motorsports Active Member

    Doing just and AVC-R without any EM is a bad idea. Reason being is that under partial throttle you will be seeing full boost with the AVC-r, something that the ecu is not programmed for causing a lean condition(not good). You would be better off saving the money and getting your car ECutek'd.

    As for the pros and cons for the EM's, I do not see anything else to add that hasn't allready been said.
  16. rsxkiller

    rsxkiller Member

    I have UTEC and sure it has its downfalls but it has been proven with several very High Horsepower applications. Not as stable as some of the other EM but the software upgrade is out so its much better and I plan on keeping it. Hope that helps and changing map's on the fly is so cool and having valet mode anti-theft mode just my opinion on it.
  17. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    i know that BigBoosting made >500 whp with a UTEC... however, i personally didn't like UTEC when i had it... blame it on the tuner or the software version at that time... i have been very happy with ECUTEK and AP
  18. crashtke

    crashtke Member Supporting Member

    AP with street tuner is fun stuff. It not only allows you to tune, but you can datalog and while doing so it has a feature called live trace that allows you to see what the ECU is accessing at any given time. This is pretty cool in that it lets you see what the ECU is looking at in any given situation. For me it is a learning tool. I am sure it also is invaluale in tuning out flat spots, rough idles, etc.
  19. slowwrx

    slowwrx Supporting Member

    Cobb AP can be protuned just like Ecutek, you can also get the stree tuner version which will aloow you to tune it youreself.

    I personally think this is the best option but for the sti right now.

  20. moose

    moose Infina Mooooooose!

    Wow, this thread is pretty old. :)

    Matt: I don't think Protuner was out when he made that post...

    For the record, today I advocate OpenECU for those who want to DIY, and think Cobb is probably the best commercial solution.
  21. Mad Mallard

    Mad Mallard the mad mallard

    is there an easy to read chart? or spreadsheet comparison of features and what they mean for the user available?

    if not, lets make one
  22. crashtke

    crashtke Member Supporting Member

    Have never seen one. I just researched all over the place trying to decide if I wanted to keep my AP and go with street tuner, or switch over to some other engine management system. In the end I really liked what I saw with ST and decided to stick with it.
  23. Mad Mallard

    Mad Mallard the mad mallard

    well, i'm so noob, i dunno what features there are to even compare. My nahlej stops at piggyback vs reflash.
  24. slowwrx

    slowwrx Supporting Member

    sorry I wasnt even paying attention to how old it was

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