Tuning Chips

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mickthemaverick
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Tuning Chips

Post by mickthemaverick »

Documented elsewhere is the tale of my buy and sell in 4 hours today. I bought a 239000 mile C5 to salvage the satnav ecu but before touching it I took it for a quick spin around the farm to check GPS was working correctly etc. That was when I was astounded by the performance of the car. It leapt forward like a cat with its tail on fire and I was very impressed with the smooth consistent pull right up to 60 which was as fast as I could go down the farm lane. So when I took it back and told my mate he said let's have a squint under the bonnet before we start on the wheels. :)

Sure enough we opened up to find an ally box cable tied to the air box feed hose with two cables disappearing down and across the engine bay. My mate traced them and pronounced them to be intercepting a sensor lead "by the look of it". At that point it occurred to me that I could keep this car and scrap mine but I quickly dismissed that idea when I remembered the interior trim and the mileage!! :-D

However once I got home with a Doom Bar I began to think about a similar device for my car, which brings me to the point of this thread. I have found a possible for £54 and ordered it from Falcon Tuning in the midlands. Here is the ebay link. So anyone had any experience of these and if so all comments are welcome? :)

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Hell Razor5543
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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I know that Michel has used tuning boxes (actually, I think he has sent ECUs off to tuning specialists) in the past. As he has done this on more than one occasion he must feel they are worth the effort.

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mickthemaverick
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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by mickthemaverick »

Thanks James, it's good to get some feedback :-D I was beginning to think nobody cared :cry:

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Paul-R
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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by Paul-R »

Ah, we all care Mick!

It's just I don't think that tuning boxes and ECU reprogramming are a particularly important subjects on this forum. Dare I say that our age profile might be wrong for these sorts of things? I know I got my need for speed out of my system in my twenties and early thirties.

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Hell Razor5543
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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I think the most popular tuning boxes you can find in vehicles are the ones that take radio waves and converts them into audio waves. :D

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bobins
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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by bobins »

I think the trouble with tuning chips is that far too many of them do nothing more than alter the MAF / MAP readings to 'boost' the power. Fine - they work, but it's not really an elegant solution if, indeed, an elegant solution is what's required. The 'proper' way is for an ECU remap - either an off the shelf map for your particular car configuration, or a mornings work at the garage with a computer and rolling road. Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer pick.

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mickthemaverick
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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by mickthemaverick »

Paul-R wrote:
31 Jan 2021, 21:38
Ah, we all care Mick!

It's just I don't think that tuning boxes and ECU reprogramming are a particularly important subjects on this forum. Dare I say that our age profile might be wrong for these sorts of things? I know I got my need for speed out of my system in my twenties and early thirties.
I tend to agree there Paul, the reason I went for this to try, is that it supposedly gives you a choice of tuning, aiming for power or aiming for economy. So for the money, and being prevented from doing anything else, I thought I'd invest 3/4 of a tank of fuel cost in buying it and trying the economy tuning for the long term. Needless to say I am bound to try the power side too because I can, isn't that the modern way? :-D But if it gives the 10-15% improvement in economy without severely limiting performance it will pay for itself in 10 fill ups and then save me a few bob!!
Hell Razor5543 wrote:
31 Jan 2021, 21:42
I think the most popular tuning boxes you can find in vehicles are the ones that take radio waves and converts them into audio waves. :D
My one of them is useless until I get the screen going so I know which waves I'm getting!! :-D
bobins wrote:
31 Jan 2021, 22:07
I think the trouble with tuning chips is that far too many of them do nothing more than alter the MAF / MAP readings to 'boost' the power. Fine - they work, but it's not really an elegant solution if, indeed, an elegant solution is what's required. The 'proper' way is for an ECU remap - either an off the shelf map for your particular car configuration, or a mornings work at the garage with a computer and rolling road. Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer pick.
Can't argue with that either bobins but the morning's work at a garage is far too much money and not worth it for me as I'm only really interested in the economy side. :)

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Skull
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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by Skull »

I had this one already fitted when I bought my Xsara VTR Coupe HDi (110)

It was nippy enough but I never tried disconnecting it to see the difference :?:

I always thought the initial pick-up was a bit rough on part throttle but fine if you booted it....
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mickthemaverick
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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by mickthemaverick »

Well my unit has arrived so I went out to see about fitting it and opened the bonnet. I removed the engine cover and traced the injector pipes to locate the fuel rail which isn't obvious!! I have now discovered where the pressure sensor plug is which I need to intercept and decided that the combination of my eyes and large hands are not going to deal with it quite as easily as it is portrayed to be, so I have decided to delay the installation until I have some younger eyes and smaller hands to help!! I will report back once it is done. :-D

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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Just be aware that there are a lot of cheap fakes that do nothing and again some just increase fuel and air - not something you want happening!

I've seen plenty of these where they have fake parts inside, so I hope you have a decent one.

I bought one for a MK II C5 years ago for £499. Guess what? It was totally useless. It went back within 2 weeks and I never bothered with these again. If you want to improve increase your torque or want an 'economy' tune, you might want to consider a professional remap. But again, you need to ensure your clutch and DMF if you have one are in good condition as the increased power will likely increase wear more quickly. It's something I was also advised about when considering - in the end I decided against it and left the stock settings. I'm happy enough with that and saved the potential insurance premium hike (which you have to inform them of Mick).

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mickthemaverick
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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by mickthemaverick »

Yes thanks Marc, I have had a word with my insurance and if I fit it there will be no change to my premium for the remainder of the current term which is until mid March but an increase of £72 on next years policy. So it gives me a few weeks to test the unit and then if it doesn't perform I will not keep it installed. If it does work as specified then I shall assess the overall benefit/loss factors and decide what to do. The car I drove with the box on last week was much smoother and pulled better with minimal throttle which is why I decided to try it myself. As far as the transmission coping with extra power I am not too concerned as I have the automatic and I seldom use more than 1/3rd throttle in my relaxed driving anyway.

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Re: Tuning Chips

Post by GiveMeABreak »

You're obviously approaching it the right way Mick. :) If you can overcome any 'Placebo effect' - I really wanted to see and feel a difference when I had mine - but the more I switched it off and back on during the journeys, the more I was convinced it was doing nothing. :-D

You should be able to return it within 30 days if it doesn't seem to provide any benefits though.