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Old 08-31-2013, 12:32 PM   #1
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Boxster S tuning

So, I have bee searching regarding options as far as ECU tuning for my wife's boxster.

Maybe I am out of line, but I have a 996tt, and it seems like there are a TON of tuners out there.

So who are the tuners?

Powerchip
Fabspeed
Kevin at UMW
Evo MS

Who am I missing?
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by stilov View Post
So, I have bee searching regarding options as far as ECU tuning for my wife's boxster.

Maybe I am out of line, but I have a 996tt, and it seems like there are a TON of tuners out there.

So who are the tuners?

Powerchip
Fabspeed
Kevin at UMW
Evo MS

Who am I missing?
If you go in this direction, mostly what you will be missing is $. Most reflashed DME's add very little in he way of actual performance, regardless of what their ads say. And while they do trick the DME into not throwing codes, more than one of those in your list cause problems at annual emissions inspection time because of the way they keep the car from throwing codes.

So let's see: Large expense, little real gains, lots of problems; not a recipe for a good nights sleep.............
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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Interesting...

I guess I expected something a little better than that.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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Interesting...

I guess I expected something a little better than that.
Most people do, but that is the lay of the land. We recently had a 996TT with one of those reflashed DME's in because it would not pass the state "advanced" emissions test for inspection. State said they could not read one set of the O2 sensors, yet on the Durametric system, the car looks fine. We reflashed the car back to stock, and the car passed without problem. Some these aftermarket flashes do some weird things to keep the car code free, but the state system catches it.

Over the years, we have had a chance to see cars run on the dyno, then re flashed and run on the dyno again. The real world differences were not all that great. When we questioned the companies sell the flash, the response was always the same: The car still needed this, that and the other thing before the flash would deliver big numbers. Even with everything they said the car needed, the numbers were still not all the big.

The owner of 996TT that failed inspection decided to leave the OEM program in place, and after multiple track sessions, the car's track numbers were no different, the owner said he did not feel any difference in the car.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
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While I respect your advice, I feel like the second post sort of groups all tuners and cars in the same boat.

I realize what is done to turn off O2 sensors and state emissions reading as "not ready"

I am by no means a newbie to the tuning world.

However, if the owner of the 996t didn't think there was much of a difference and (I am assuming you run a repair shop, maybe I am incorrect) you didn't either.

You need a different tuner.

I have found in the world of Porsche, there are many who are purists, and while I respect that as well, I am not one.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:23 PM   #6
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In the case of a normally aspirated engine like the boxster, there's really nothing to be gained from an ECU tune alone. In fact, even in cases when a complete exhaust modification has been performed, to include plenum, throttle body, air intake ect..., the only real benefit to having an ECU tune at that point, is to adjust the air/fuel ratios in order from the ECU to adapt to the new changes. With that said, the only performance gains that one should expect to see, are perhaps an improvement in throttle response, better fuel economy, along with a slight blip hp/torque figures.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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ok...that's more inline with my experience...

crossed my fingers that the boxster had something left from the factory. Oh well
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:27 PM   #8
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FYI, all things considered, FVD/Brombacher provides one of the best ECU tunes for the 986 boxster.

FVD, Porsche Tuning, Motorsport, Accessories, Motortuning, Sportfahrwerk, Felgen, Bremsen, Leistungssteigerung, Boxster, Carrera, Turbo
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:29 PM   #9
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Now...I've had VERY different experience with FVD on my 996tt.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:30 PM   #10
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Now...I've had VERY different experience with FVD on my 996tt.
Hmm .. how so ?
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:33 PM   #11
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crossed my fingers that the boxster had something left from the factory. Oh well
Oh it does, once you punch it out to 4.0 liters. Until then there is not much performance tuning that is easy to find. ECU tune on a stock Boxster motor is a well documented dead end.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:37 PM   #12
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My 996t is an FVD stage 4 car...er was.

Originally I contacted them about updating the tuning. They told me "no need" even though the tuning was quite old. (I came from a heavily mod'd BMW 335i with all bolt ons +meth and n2o)

In BMW world...tuning updates were happening all the time, so I thought I'd check.

FVD told me nothing left except cracking open the motor...first doubt crept into my mind.

Then i started digging...my DME's VIN was different than my car and there was no fueling provisions for my 5 bar fuel pressure regulator on a tune that was running nearly 1.2 bar!!!

No negative direct dealing with them what so ever, but I just felt my car could be much better. I have slowly started replacing FVD stuff, like I built my own exhaust for it and now it's tuned using bigger injectors, rather than the band-aid FPR approach.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:38 PM   #13
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Oh it does, once you punch it out to 4.0 liters. Until then there is not much performance tuning that is easy to find. ECU tune on a stock Boxster motor is a well documented dead end.
Ditto. In fact, a person would be better off tossing the $800- $1000 for an ECU tune out the window in hopes that a homeless person got it.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:39 PM   #14
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I contacted Kevin at UMW and he straight up told me without race fuel...not tons of improvement.

Although I am sure I could get some throttle response from it. His is priced at 545.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by stilov View Post
My 996t is an FVD stage 4 car...er was.

Originally I contacted them about updating the tuning. They told me "no need" even though the tuning was quite old. (I came from a heavily mod'd BMW 335i with all bolt ons +meth and n2o)

In BMW world...tuning updates were happening all the time, so I thought I'd check.

FVD told me nothing left except cracking open the motor...first doubt crept into my mind.

Then i started digging...my DME's VIN was different than my car and there was no fueling provisions for my 5 bar fuel pressure regulator on a tune that was running nearly 1.2 bar!!!

No negative direct dealing with them what so ever, but I just felt my car could be much better. I have slowly started replacing FVD stuff, like I built my own exhaust for it and now it's tuned using bigger injectors, rather than the band-aid FPR approach.

Sorry to hear that you had a less than positive experience with FVD. In my opinion, they're one of the every few highly regarded tuners that still continues to provided high quality performance solutions (albeit expensive) for the 986 boxster.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:45 PM   #16
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I contacted Kevin at UMW and he straight up told me without race fuel...not tons of improvement.

Although I am sure I could get some throttle response from it. His is priced at 545.
What mods have you done to your boxster so far ? Or, what plans do you have ?
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:08 PM   #17
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While I respect your advice, I feel like the second post sort of groups all tuners and cars in the same boat.

I realize what is done to turn off O2 sensors and state emissions reading as "not ready"

I am by no means a newbie to the tuning world.

However, if the owner of the 996t didn't think there was much of a difference and (I am assuming you run a repair shop, maybe I am incorrect) you didn't either.

You need a different tuner.

I have found in the world of Porsche, there are many who are purists, and while I respect that as well, I am not one.
We are specialty shop handling mostly performance oriented vehicles, including Porsches; and yes, we lump most tuners together (including some you have not mentioned) simply because experience with their products for M97/97 and Metzger engine Porsches have led us to that conclusion. On normally aspirated Porsches, most tunes simply do not do much; on the Turbo cars, jacking up the boost, changing the injector pulse width and playing with the ignition timing are kind of standard stuff. But when an owner, who also happens to be a DE instructor ( so he knows how to drive), cannot get a consistently faster lap time out of a very expensive DME flash on a 996TT with extensive mods over the same car with the factory program, you have to start asking yourself if they are really adding all that much................
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:02 PM   #18
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Boxster S tuning

I'm sorry, one anecdotal experience of someone I have no knowledge of and hearing second hand does not justify saying tunes don't make much difference.

Obviously every car and every tuner (meaning person who writes programming, not some generic flasher product) are different.

A tune is also related to what changes someone makes on a car. In fact many rewrites of programs are required on many modifications. Ex. You can't run different fuel systems, different turbos, different cams without programming.

A lot depends on a ecu's range of values whether it can compensate adequately for a given modification.

As I see, a nearly stock boxster with minor bolt ons does not benefit much from tuning.

My other porsche would not run without reprogramming.

I have built several vehicles in which the "flash" as you call it made drastic differences and I have had cars that the benefit was non existent. (My e39 m5 for example)

Last edited by stilov; 08-31-2013 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:09 PM   #19
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What mods have you done to your boxster so far ? Or, what plans do you have ?
It'll just have full exhaust and intake. Not a big deal. Ill probably leave it at that.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:33 PM   #20
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It'll just have full exhaust and intake. Not a big deal. Ill probably leave it at that.
Do you mind me asking what specifically you've done ?
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