Engine Mgmt. Options (TOPSPEED / SS) CHIME IN)

Discussion in 'Modifications & DIY how-to' started by AirMax95, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. AirMax95

    AirMax95 Active Member

    Gonna lay this out there for discussion.

    I have a good friend of mine who suggest one EM over the other (UTEC over ECUtek). I would like GOOD opinions on the two.

    If you are not running the particular EM, do not bash it or clog the thread with "I heards". I think this will help many of us who are needing EM or are thinking of changing.

    Let's get it rolling. Below is their feelings. I believe Doug tuned this particluar STi, I could be wrong. His comments are not meant to be taken out of context, just used as a starting point for discussion. I have known him for about 3 yrs and trust his opinion and tech talk.

    Originally Posted by
    UTEC is cheaper,jsut get a used one, has more functions than ecutek like important stuff DATALOGGING and KNOCK WARNINGS, can be self tunned, is cheaper to have tuned by a prof,

    Ericas car made WAAAAAAAY more TQ and more HP than any other person on those forums with similar mods and still more than half the people with huge turbos. And she had alll the damn parts that everyone else says do not get, gheeeeeeeeeeey

    need to think outside the box and not follow that WRX path to slowness

  2. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    i had UTEC and hated it... i switched to ECUTEK and loved it... now im running AP and in my opinion its the best product out there... i will also support enginuity over UTEC

    both ECUTEK and AP have hundreds of tables for tuning... compare that with 3 tables that UTEC offers

    when i had UTEC, it made power on the dyno cuz the three tables (fuel, boost and timing) can be set for the current conditions... however there was no temperature compensation or anything like that so the moment the weather changed, it didn't run right... even erica experienced misfires because of the UTEC

    my recommendation, stay away from UTEC unless u are willing to keep tweaking it all the time... even then, access to more tables allows you access to possibly more power with the other 2 options...

    UTEC was the cool thing to do at one time when it was the better option available... now i would not bring a UTEC anywhere near my car...

    now to answer your friend's points

    all are true except the fact that UTEC has more functions than ECUTEK... u can download TARI for free and log everything with ECUTEK or AP... if i remember correctly, UTEC allows you to log only boost, timing and fuel (i might be wrong)... the knock warnings are provided by UTEC for good reason... cuz mine used to knock all the time with UTEC :p... one big advantage of UTEC is the immediate map awitching... but i'll take a single map which is tuned better any day

    absolute power made on the dyno doesn't justify quality of the EM software... it speaks more about the quality of the engine, the ability of the tuner, the type of gas being used, etc...

    it is good that you are considering all options before buying... but i really dont think u will be happy with UTEC
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  3. andy251203

    andy251203 Member

    I have AccessPort V1 and never had any problems. The old ones can be somewhat cheap now thanks to the V2s being out. A stage 2 flash for your car is simple, easy and reliable.
  4. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    that is not all true

    i did have UTEC on my STi and my bugeye

    my bugeye made more power and over 300lbs of tq, wich is waaaaaay more than anyone else with similar mods at the time, not sure now since i havent kept up after selling my STi.

    i did have a faulty Utec on my STi, but it was one out of a million, and i jsut got unlucky.

    AND Utec DOES have temperature adjustment, there is a whole list of variables it can adjust for, jsut have to type in what you want them to be. EASY, and i never had a problem withthe car running diff at diff times, alwasy 100%

    And finally, the bugeye Utec WAS better than my STi utec, mainly becuse they never came out with a new revison if the STi utec, idk if they have now, but back then they didnt.

    But, its all what you want, i am not the person that jsut wants my ecu flassed and thats it, i like to know whas going on, and i like to look and make changes, and if you dont want to change anything you dont have to.

    This is an endless discussion, but what you have to keep in mind is that alot of the reveiws and feedback you get from people is false or they just have no experiance with cars or dont really know what there talking about. I SEE THIS ALOT WITH THE WRX COMMUNITY. You have to weed out whats real or not. Thats all im going to say on teh subject, cause i know everyone is about to jump in and be like ooooooohhhhhhhh nooooooooooos UTEC IS CRAPPY AND ECUTEK WINS. Well tell that crap to my timeslips and my 507AWHP daily driver or the very low 12 sec bugeye i had with little mods. Suck it i say
  5. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    I was unaware of any temp compensation with UTEC... if im wrong, i apologize... but i'll look it up if i have time

    i'm gonna forward this thread to SS and see what his opinion is

    say that again or anything like that and be banned for ever... if u wanna post here, grow up... or get out
  6. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Active Member

    I have had both and prefer Ecutek over Utec.

    If you are thinking about getting a Utec you should consider OpenEcu. If you have a UTEC you will need to adjust it at some point even with the temperature compensation it has. If you going to adjust a Utec you might as well just adjust the ecu directly.

    Its a different story if you want to go speed density. For that you'll need the newest version of the UTEC or a standalone. The stock ecu flashes cannot support it.
  7. don't have any experinces with either of them.... but im happy with my AP
  8. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    could you elaborate?
  9. Intrigue2727

    Intrigue2727 Member

    i love my ap v2
  10. Jake

    Jake Active Member

    i chose ECUTEK after much consideration because I DO want my car flashed and that's it. That way I can leave all the tuning worries to the tuner. If I had a UTEC or AP, and modified anything after the tuner than I would be responsible for any mishaps. I wouldn't feel comfortable with that.
  11. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    u cant self tune AP unless you buy street tuner
  12. Weapon

    Weapon 90lbs of dynamite Supporting Member

    I had the exact same experience with UTEC that milo had. I ended up switching to Ecutek and never looked back. All things said and done, I wish I would have saved myself all the money I spent on UTEC and tuning it and just went with Ecutek from the beginning.
  13. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    Are you freaking kidding me? How is that even remotely worth baning someone over? This is why i hated positng on WRX forums, everyone is so sensative. I said suck it and now i got people wanting to ban me. Thats was a joke anyways. I have more knowledge about and know waht im talking about more than laot of people on here, and you threaten to ban me for saying suck it, in a joke context. All i have to say is WOW.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  14. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    And, how do you you know your ECUTEK isnt knocking? Cause it dont tell you, thats why, all cars have some sort of knock, jsut cause that light flassed a little for a 1 count dont mean anything. That is the biggest missconception over Utec there is. Turn off the knock flash light function and that should fix your problems with you worrying about the knock.

    I liked Utec, dont ahve anything bad to say about it, especially with the bugeuye version, the STi version is a diff story though. Anyways at the end of the day, my motor is still in one peice making more power than most, so something has to be workign right. who knows
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  15. Deke

    Deke Active Member

    yeah...not to get into it much, but I'm going to have to kind of agree that seemed like a dissproportionate reaction to the comment. Maybe there is an inside joke that I'm missing :dunno

    Back on topic, I would definitely look into AP as well as the other options. One good thing about AP and Ecutek is that you will have more tuning options around Atlanta (or at least it seems that way).
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  16. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin


    u don't make any rules here... alex and i do... if i think its worth banning u over, then it is

    actually we behave like adults here... if you don't like it, then bye

    first off, i don't think u meant it as a joke... also if u did, your jokes don't come off as friendly... look at the rules if u want... if u don't like them, then nobody is forcing you to come back here...

    my threat to ban is not based on this one comment here... u have caused issues before as well and your general attitude has not been along the lines of what is respected here at WRXatlanta... i don't care how much knowledge u think u have... there are enough people here who know enough and don't have your attitude

    if u plan to post back, please keep it related to a discussion on EM... if you want to question our policies, please take that up with me via PMs... now back to the discussion at hand

    i have the ECUTEK data monitor... i watch knock correction at all times

    its not about just seeing the flashing CEL... its about feeling the car shake when u floor the gas and how often it happens... in my experience, it has been the worst with UTEC

    do u really think ur car is making that power just because of your UTEC? do u have any experience with ANY other EM?
  17. BrianGT

    BrianGT Banned

  18. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    I never said the car made the power BECAUSE of the Utec, that would be dumb to say that, i said i have had no problems like you described you had. My car trapped 120+ in the 1/4 everyday, never a hiccup, and ran perfectly, that is what im saying.

    See the issue is people trying to learn about these things see one person say something bad, and then a few others jsut agre with that person having no real knowledge. Then that person that came to learn just assumes he should follow what that ONE persons opinion was. Most people talk about the bad things, not the good, so you dont hear as much good as there really is, i am saying jsut that. Utec is not the worst thing ever if you understand how it works. And im glad you have some data reader thingy, i dint feel like spending no extra money so i didnt, i have a laptop i can change stuff with, look at stuff, or whatever. I think the Utec is more raw and requires the user to understand jsut that. In the WRX world if something dont work 100% its considerd a POS and thats jsut stupid.

    Another thing is that it seems the WRX community is shelterd, have you had any other car that actually made some power? And had to use an aftermarket EM? Its called modding a car, nothing is 100% like the factory made it, there are gives and takes. Eventually thigns break, something gives, and your car is never 100% perfect. That is the real problem here. Once you md your car, its never the same.

    And i still dont understadn why you would ban me for saying that, you must have some pent up agression towards me ot something, becasue i havnt even posted on here in awhile and the first thing i say gets me banned, whatever, even another person jsut said that was rediculous. If you ban me you do, but im not gonna change who i am for you. I dont jsut follow people and agree with everyone, thats what it seems you want, just a bunch of "yes" men.

    I think i have done ABSOLUTELY nothign wrong, and i am sure others agree.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  19. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    Another thing MILO

    your first post on this thread was all opinions and some jsut untrue

    UTEC logs EVERYTHING you can thinkg of, not jsut those 3 things you listed

    Utec on his bugeye is alot diff then Utec on your car, so youhave no experiance with that

    And lastly you say he will not be happy with it, but you ahve no idea, because you dont even know the Utec well at all, and i say that because you didnt even know the basics of it, so your bashing something you dont know enough about, you had your bad experince. Yu talk to bad about it but in reality dont know anything about the UTEC and its functions or how it works. You showed that in your first post.

    but so many people have many issues with there ECUTEK, I have a few freinds that had had horrible experiance with ECUTEK. SOOOO it goes both ways. Everyone has there troubles with both, UTEC is not for everyone, but for some reason you cant even agree on that.

    ECUTEK i think is good for people looking to bolt something on and not want to learn about there car, Utec is different, you get to learn and understand how it all works, and from my experiance it was very helpful.

    See Milo, i think we are two diferent type of people, for example you seem to jsut want something that is like buying a faster car from the factory and not even know the EM is there and want to ignore you have it almost, wich is good, but the fact is to make power you have to make sacrifices, that is true on any car and any platform. You would be happy with an STi with 40-70 more HP. Me, i strapped on an FP Red on a stock block some injectors and a UTEC and HMFB (thats haul mf balls), thats me. I dont see oyu doing that.

    To wrap it up, if your not the type of person to bolt down a fat ass turbo and want to go as fast as possible and say screw what other people think, then ECUTEK is for you.

    And no Milo, that is not an insult, nor has ANYTHIG else i have said, so take me lightly i guess
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  20. WRX-WRC

    WRX-WRC Active Member

    fried pistons are always fun
  21. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Active Member

    You can now ditch the maf sensor and go speed density


    Also the Utec has launch control and ecutek does not.

    I still prefer the stock ecu reflash whether its ecutek / ap or the openecu tools. I had issues with my car with the coil packs going bad. It was not uncommon for a while to hear of people running UTEC's to have similar issues. The UTEC has its own drivers for the coils and it was suspected that they contibuted to the problem. It was never definatively linked and it doesn't appear to be an issue anymore. Maybe a software upgrade patched it or maybe it was never really a problem. I just prefered not to deal with it so I sold mine and got Ecutek'd. That and the fact that with OpenEcu, Ecutek and AP there are more tuneable parameters available makes it an easy choice for me.
  22. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    you know what, i dont care really, its too much to argue about.

    everyone should get ECUTEK its better
  23. WRX-WRC

    WRX-WRC Active Member

    hey now, dont get mad.... get glad :)
  24. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    im glad

    i figure everyone canmake there own judgment
  25. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    im happy for you... its rare that people can find an EM that works well for them

    i have had a decently modded bugeye and now i have a decently modded STi... i haven't had a different make before this... but i don't see why that affects this discussion since all the things u said apply to subarus too

    in the past you have brought a lot of the "my car is better than your car" attitude to this board... realize that this is a friendly community... other who agree with you were probably not around back then... PM me if u want, i could send you links to those threads

    now we're getting back into a discussion :)
    i said in my post that i might be wrong about UTEC logging only those three things... thanks for clarifying

    i had UTEC on my bugeye... but did u have ECUTEK or AP on either of your cars?

    im not up to date with it... if they have upgrades i am totally unaware... i'm basing this off my experience when i had it a while back and i was highly dissatisfied... but at the time, there were enough people getting rid of their UTECs who had the same complaints as me

    i too know of some people who have had issues with ECUTEK... but the number of people i know who have had issues with UTEC far outweighs the former... i agree UTEC is not for everyone... but i can see how it can work for some.... its obviously working well for you

    you couldn't be more wrong about me... read my journal... i have a decent setup on my car with the SZ65 among other things...

    once again, i ask that you please keep this thread to discussions on EM and leave personality issues out of it
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  26. Doug@DBW Motorsports

    Doug@DBW Motorsports Active Member

    Here is my take, up to 450hp run any type of stock ecu reflash, ecutek, AP, or openecu. They will all work fine, once you go above 450hp you will need to run something else. Be it AEM, Hydra, or a UTEC/Ecutek combo.

    Thats the only advice I could give, yes you can make more than 450hp with the stock ecu reflashed. But your giving up alot by not running on of the above systems.
  27. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    why does the 450hp mark make the difference? is it because of the ability of these units to be MAP based, or for other reasons

    (i have no experience with standalone units)
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  28. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Active Member

    Damn. It never ends. Now once I get the new heads put on I'll need new EM.
  29. blindfold

    blindfold Active Member

    no AEM for STi, at least no plug-n-play version that's currently avaliable...unless it came out recently
  30. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

  31. Alex

    Alex Community Founder Staff Member

    Play nice :)
  32. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    Thank you

    i was about to mention the ECUTEK and UTEC combo, that is what i was seconds away from doing with my STi, just never made it back to Topspeed in time because of school

    That was my plan

    Also, Milo, i have used probally over a dozen diff EM systems on all kinds of cars, inlcuding WRX's.

    and i never ragged on people saying i was better, i beleive i tried to race someone on here and then everyone freaked out saying i was being an ass cause i had some HP, excuse me for trying to use my car.

    Either way, doug said what i was trying to convey.

    See when im reading and typing a post, if i go more than 2 minutes wihtout seeing somthing about racing or blowing the doors of soemthing or someone HMFB i loose my focus and go on a rant. Thats what happend in this thread. I dont put an FP red on an STi to say WOW everyone i got an 65lb/min compressor, i put it on there so when im at the 1320 im going about 125mph.

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2007
  33. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    I think i want another STi after this duscussion

    start all over agian, with a UTEC.......again, but seriously, i want another STi.

    PS: Doug, you feel confident in tuning a RB26 with power FC? might make a trip back to good ol Topspeed if so.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2007
  34. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    i have only run 3 on subaru... thus your experience far exceeds mine... you probably also know much more than i do about the different EMS, hence allowing you to make the best use of your UTEC... i would gladly change my view on UTEC if you can convince me that it actually is better than the reflash options rather than simply state that it is... could you list specific points that you like about UTEC vs a reflash? so far we have discussed the following:

    Advantages of UTEC
    1) UTEC allows map switching. So does AP (it is slower with AP)
    2) UTEC allows MAP based tuning? (this is something im not very familiar with)
    3) UTEC has a knock indicator.

    Advantages of a reflash
    1) Many more tunable parameters than UTEC.

    UTEC can be user tuned... But so can the openecu tools. So i dont particularly consider this an advantage of UTEC.

    Anything else?
  35. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    thats the 'fast and furious' attitude that we dont want here
  36. Doug@DBW Motorsports

    Doug@DBW Motorsports Active Member

    Above 450hp normal engine noises can trigger off false knock events. There is no way to scale the knock threshold in the stock ecu. Its at this point that you need some sort of other EM that can scale the knock sensors. Like I said before yes you can run just a Flash at power levels above 450. However the timing can be erractic from pull to pull even when there are no knock events. Secondly to make over 450hp most cars are going to require over 23psi. Which is at the limits of what the stock ecu can see for boost.

    The Utec now has the ability to run Speed density there is no reason to have the maf before the turbo. So you can free up alot of power, it has 2step launch capabilites, no lift shifts, revlimit, multiple maps, and you can run their external map sensor so you can tune for very high boost levels which you can not do with the stock ecu. Honestly once you run a flash/Utec combo there is no reason for a full standalone on the subaru's. I can make just as much power from that combo, and you don't have to worry about what to do when your inspection is due.


    I would never recommend a UTEC to anyone that didn't allready have some sort of Flash. I also don't recommend a utec until your pushing the limits of what the stock ecu can control. The Utec just by itself lacks a bunch of fuel abilities for starting and closed loop, idle control, maf scaling, and it will not delete codes to keep your cruise control working.

    Erica I have allready done a few of those
  37. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    thanks for the highly informative response doug... i only wish u would had given this response earlier... when you say 450hp, i'm assuming you are talking about wheel hp...

    isn't a new realease of AP2 supposed to be capable of supporting launch control and flat shifts? if so, then these won't be solely available with UTEC... AP also has the ability to switch maps

    so correct me if i'm wrong in summarizing below:
    To sum it up, the UTEC has 2 additional functions that a simple reflash wont offer: knock sensor scaling and speed density. These functions become useful only after you run beyond the limits of the stock ECU. However, a reflash has the ability to tune a LOT of parameters that the UTEC, by itself, can not, and hence outweighs the positives of running UTEC alone.

    i do see now why UTEC may be helpful after running beyond the limits of the stock ECU (i'm coming close to those limits now)... based on my past experience and your opinion, i wouldn't run UTEC unless i had passed those limits and i already had a reflash...
  38. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    Milo, that was a joke again
  39. BigBoosting

    BigBoosting Member

    Good we compromised
  40. Weapon

    Weapon 90lbs of dynamite Supporting Member

    if you're happy and you know it clap your hands!
  41. moose

    moose Infina Mooooooose!

    Doug: I'm wondering if you've tried electrically scaling the knock sensor... I am not entire familiar with the Suby one, but I do recall from my domestic v8 owning days that the GM sensor could be 'scaled' with an inline resistor to reduce noise and false knock events. Basically you just dropped the sensitivity a notch. There was also some gizmo out there that did more 'intelligent' noise filtering on the sensor... but either approach let you retain the stock ECU knock sensing/correction when running more noisy valvetrains and other things.

    Also wanted to mention an openecu related thing: they're starting to step beyond just changing map parameters. A few guys on Enginuity.org have been mucking around with the actual ECU code to add things like launch control... it'll be interesting to see if they can use any of the existing ECU inputs to connect other external sensors/hardware like a wideband, better knock sensor, and whatnot. Heck, maybe we can even get speed density available through this fashion. :) The only real limitation will be what the ECU hardware is capable of supporting.
  42. BelvnAWD

    BelvnAWD I'm Vin, Bell-Vin...

    Let me know when I can drop a Core 2 Duo in....I am amazed at how much some people are able to do with this stuff!
  43. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    i'm not at all knowledgeable about the stock knock sensor but a little reading online leads me to believe that its a piezoelectric microphone that outputs a voltage and spectral analysis is used to detect the expected frequency of a ping at various RPMs... if thats the case in our cars, then in theory, i'd expect a simple voltage divider circuit (2 resistors: 1 inline and one in parallel) to scale this output voltage as desired... in fact one of these resistors could be a potentiometer so u could adjust the scaling... the spectral analysis that follows would only be affected in that the amplitude of its output at each frequency bin could be scaled according to the chosen voltage divider circuit...

    i bet its more complicated than that, otherwise i would expect a lot of people to have done it by now
    wow... need to start reading those forums... hope they are successful
  44. Doug@DBW Motorsports

    Doug@DBW Motorsports Active Member

    Problem with that is you need to adjust the knock threshold based on rpm. By running a resistor you aren't doing that, instead it would be a global change which isn't the best way to do it.
  45. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    yes, it would be a global multiplicative change with a voltage divider... i can see how that could be a problem if you want to keep stock like threshold at a certain RPM and modified threshold at other RPMs
  46. moose

    moose Infina Mooooooose!

    Well... in that case:

    + a cheapo controller like an Atmel Mega16, and you could probably roll your own for pretty cheap and easy... just have a table to scale the signal based on RPM.

    Now that I think about it, if you use the circuit to just output a voltage corresponding to RPM, you can probably use that to regulate the scaling of the knock sensor signal...
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2007
  47. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    using a lookup table within a controller or only basic hardware?
  48. moose

    moose Infina Mooooooose!

    Well, the controller I looked at has like 1k for program+data so would be sufficient.. but you could skip that thing entirely if you can figure out how to use a linear voltage-from-RPM feed to regulate the knock sensor by building that first circuit from the page I linked. I'm not particularly great with this stuff, but it can't be very hard to do... either need a circuit that can do it with some basic components, or a potentiometer that's adjustable by a voltage input.

    Just thinking out loud here. :)
  49. miloman

    miloman Retired Admin

    i'll give this some thought and see if i can come up with something
  50. moose

    moose Infina Mooooooose!

    I'll PM you...

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