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Piggyback system other than Cobb?


Scoobiidoo
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Just a little background, I built and run Megasquirt systems on my 80s turbocharged BMWs. Currently, I am trying out the Cobb APV3 and having a hard time adjusting to the things it can and cannot do compared to the Megasquirt system. I would love to run Megasquirt on my OBXT but I don't think I have the time to spend deciphering the TCU to make it work with the Megasquirt the way I did with my BMWs

 

Someone suggested open source self-tuning and I have been doing some reading here. Is there a more reliable cable/tuning tool than the eBay vag-com cable? One that would work with Windows 10?

 

Or is there a better piggyback system better than Cobb? Something that makes use of a wideband and or MAP to self-tune?

 

Thanks

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The reliable cable would be a Tactrix cable.

 

Then you could use ECUflash to dump your rom and flash a new rom.

And use romraider or ECUflash for making adjustments.

 

Have you seen the romraider forums?

 

I'm not sure if the 06 OBXT has a 16bit or 32 bit ecu, however there are threads about MAP tunes for both (Merp mod for 32 bit, Carberry for 16bit).

 

Romraider Logger does let you take readings from a wideband, I think it's via the plugins menu.

Edited by moral hazard
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Hello Scoobiidoo,

So are you looking to get the car tuned by someone else professionally or are you looking to do it yourself. Both are valid options. If your used to aftermarket ecu options like megasquirt and AEM and the such, going tover to a factory reflash system can seem very difficult at first, but once you start to understand the factory intricacies, its not a whole lot different that a strandalone. At the end of the day your targeting the same thing, just have to go about it in a different way.

If your looking for a protune, I cannot help you there as Im from the other side of the country, but I can help with any advise on the hobbyist tuner level.

Cobb is an excellent choice especially if you look to get into the much more advanced feature set (add flexfuel sensors and and live tuning are almost cobb exclusive features on the stock ecus in our cars, as well as a VERY comprehensive speed density tuning option, which is likely what you are use to tuning if you used megasquirt).

If you want to go "open source" and ditch the accessport, then like Moral Hazard said, the cable you need is called a Tactrix cable; you can pickup one of these super cheap (under $200 new) online from tractrix. This will be what you use to read / write to ECU from. The people who make this reflash adapter also offer a program for free with the cable called ECUflash. This program will do the reading / writing to the ECU.

Romraider is an very nice free additional software for subarus. It usually has more detailed ecu defined tables, a logger built in, and some in my opinion, better visuals. You would typically read the ECU fromt he car with ecuflash, save it as a file on your desktop, then open that file in romraider.

If you have any specific questions on the stock ecus in the cars, I will do my best to help answer. Again, keep in mind I am a hobbyist tuner and not a professional. But, I tune my 2012 WRX on cobb AP w/ a speed density conversion and my daily subaru legacy GT on open source and both gave excellent results.

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Hello Scoobiidoo,

So are you looking to get the car tuned by someone else professionally or are you looking to do it yourself. Both are valid options.

 

I am looking to have both since I am new to it and the car needs to keep running. The plan is to get the stock turbo replaced with the VF52 and run it with stock fuel and equipment. No other mods. Not looking for big gains, just replacing the stock turbo and running no more than 16psi. If I can get a

initial tune for having the VF52 I think I can manage the rest. I am looking into other piggyback because I was told by a few here that I can't run the VF52 with the Cobb

 

 

 

If you have any specific questions on the stock ecus in the cars, I will do my best to help answer. Again, keep in mind I am a hobbyist tuner and not a professional. But, I tune my 2012 WRX on cobb AP w/ a speed density conversion and my daily subaru legacy GT on open source and both gave excellent results.

 

Thank you. I will definitely take you up on this. How do you run the Cobb AP with speed density? What do I need to convert it?

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I am looking to have both since I am new to it and the car needs to keep running. The plan is to get the stock turbo replaced with the VF52 and run it with stock fuel and equipment. No other mods. Not looking for big gains, just replacing the stock turbo and running no more than 16psi. If I can get a

initial tune for having the VF52 I think I can manage the rest. I am looking into other piggyback because I was told by a few here that I can't run the VF52 with the Cobb

 

That is actually not correct, you definitely can run a different turbo with a Cobb AP, maybe not run an off the shelf tune without issue, but most definitely doable with a re-configure of your tune.

 

The problem you will have is MOST tuners will not unlock the tunes they sell. Cobb protuners often leave their protunes locked (a feature by default with Accessports) and even some open source tuners lock their tunes. I see this ALL the time in the Evo world where the tuners will change the ECU calID to some random number with a binary editor just before flashing so that if someone goes to pull the rom, they will not see any defined tables. Its a crude but effective trick. But, I digress. So unless you get a very friendly tuner to do your car, you probably still out of luck here with being able to make your own changes down the road without starting out from scratch.

 

My advise is choose a path and stick with it; do it yourself from the beginning or just pay for protunes and be sure every time its a good tune.

 

 

Thank you. I will definitely take you up on this. How do you run the Cobb AP with speed density? What do I need to convert it?

 

When you load up accesstuner, the first question it asks you is "Choose a tuning strategy:" and one of the options is speed density.

As for doing the conversion, all thats REALLY necessary is the software (aka accesstuner). You can buy an aftermarket IAT sensor and upgraded MAP sensor and splice into your factory harness and modify the calibrations of those sensors in the tune, but I have seen people run speed density tunes on 100% stock cars.

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I'm not sure if the 06 OBXT has a 16bit or 32 bit ecu, however there are threads about MAP tunes for both (Merp mod for 32 bit, Carberry for 16bit).

 

Any DBW Subaru ECU is going to be 32 bit...

 

 

OP, as far as Romraider/ECU Flash/Tactrix vs. Cobb Accessport, it is essentially the same tool to get the same job done. You just pay Cobb a lot more to get not much more than you can get through open source. Neither is a piggyback solution, you're actually flashing the ECU with a new calibration.

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It seems the best option down the road is to stay with Cobb AP, bite the bullet, take the Accesstuner test and pay the fees for the software that should been included with the unit.

 

I could be open to the open source tuner idea except I would still need the tuner every time I need something changed or tested because the tune would be locked by the tuner. Until I put together my own tune, having the $200 cable is nothing more than just for monitoring and logging.

 

Please tell me if I am wrong, with the Cobb AP and Accesstuner, I have access to OTS tunes that I can use and make changes to suit my car and driving style?

 

Thank you all in advance.

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Going with open source tuning via Tactrix/Romraider. Can you guys recommend a SoCal tuner? I was looking at Infamous but their website list mostly tuning with Accessport and only Stage 1 open source.

 

My set up is stock fuel and exhaust, Grimmspeed EBCS, DW65C and VF52 with billet compressor wheel. Staying under 16psi.

 

Thanks

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There are “stage 1” open source tunes you can get for free. If you’re headed down the road of open source tuning I’d suggest getting one of those tunes and comparing it to your stock one so you can learn what people are changing and what the function of the different tables does.

 

There is more information to read about open source tuning than you probably have time for (in other words, a lot!). Start reading and learning. :-)

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There are “stage 1” open source tunes you can get for free. If you’re headed down the road of open source tuning I’d suggest getting one of those tunes and comparing it to your stock one so you can learn what people are changing and what the function of the different tables does.

 

There is more information to read about open source tuning than you probably have time for (in other words, a lot!). Start reading and learning. :-)

 

Thanks. Where can one find a free stage 1 open source tune? I have been busy reading up on the Romraider software, it is quite similar to the Megasquirt but the self-tuning part is very basic

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Quick question ahead of my reading though, are MT tunes swappable with AT tunes?

 

No. There are things going on in the software that you can’t control/change, and some of these things relate to transmission differences.

 

This goes back to my original suggestion. Take the file from your car and alter it if you can’t find a suitable replacement file. You know that one works. Besides, I’d never put someone else’s file in my car without knowing what they did to it and determining that it was suitable/safe.

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No. There are things going on in the software that you can’t control/change, and some of these things relate to transmission differences.

 

This goes back to my original suggestion. Take the file from your car and alter it if you can’t find a suitable replacement file. You know that one works. Besides, I’d never put someone else’s file in my car without knowing what they did to it and determining that it was suitable/safe.

 

 

Got it. Will investigate how to import and compare tables when the time comes. Thank you

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