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Old 10-31-2014, 08:06 AM   #1
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ECU flash for 3.4 conversion near Denver, CO

I recently completed a 99 3.4L 996 engine swap into a 99 boxster using a Cayman S MAF housing with the larger diameter. Next step is to flash the ECU to the 996 firmware. From what I've read the 1999 ECU's are re-flashable. It's the '97's that aren't.

Anyone know of someone in the Denver, CO area that can perform this ECU flash? I've called every self described "tuning" place I could find on Google but none of them have a PST-2 or PIWIS service computer (not really "tuners" apparently).
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:18 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by soccerties View Post
I recently completed a 99 3.4L 996 engine swap into a 99 boxster using a Cayman S MAF housing with the larger diameter. Next step is to flash the ECU to the 996 firmware. From what I've read the 1999 ECU's are re-flashable. It's the '97's that aren't.

Anyone know of someone in the Denver, CO area that can perform this ECU flash? I've called every self described "tuning" place I could find on Google but none of them have a PST-2 or PIWIS service computer (not really "tuners" apparently).
Only Porsche specific shops will have the programing capability for the factory programs. This requires the factory programming codes only available thru PCNA or a authorized dealer. Any 986 DME should be programable except some early 1997's.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by soccerties View Post
I recently completed a 99 3.4L 996 engine swap into a 99 boxster using a Cayman S MAF housing with the larger diameter. Next step is to flash the ECU to the 996 firmware. From what I've read the 1999 ECU's are re-flashable. It's the '97's that aren't.

Anyone know of someone in the Denver, CO area that can perform this ECU flash? I've called every self described "tuning" place I could find on Google but none of them have a PST-2 or PIWIS service computer (not really "tuners" apparently).
I work with almost all of the independent German shops around the Front Range and I don't know of any of them that have a PIWIS or PST-2, mostly because you cannot buy a legitimate PST-2 or PIWIS (or 2), as they are "leased" from Porsche. For that you will need to go to a dealer and the costs to get the factory tools is more than all but the largest shops working on LOTS of late model Porsches can afford. I do think shops with Autologic tools may be able to flash your ECU to stock 996 code. There are a few shops that I know of with Autologic tools. Even those end up costing $40k once fully outfitted. Have you checked with the good Porsche shops and asked what they would recommend? I got a couple of calls this week from shops asking if I could do this, probably in regards to your car. I declined as I have just starting playing with Porsches.

IMO, noone in the Front Range is going to be able to do a custom tune for you if that is what you are looking for. They can get a tune from their suppliers, but they don't do it in-house. There aren't many places in the country that can do that. I have done this kind of stuff with Audis and VWs, but there is a much larger market for those, especially for software tuning and engine swaps.
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Last edited by Qmulus; 10-31-2014 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:16 PM   #4
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I work with almost all of the independent German shops around the Front Range and I don't know of any of them that have a PIWIS or PST-2, mostly because you cannot buy a legitimate PST-2 or PIWIS (or 2), as they are "leased" from Porsche. For that you will need to go to a dealer and the costs to get the factory tools is more than all but the largest shops working on LOTS of late model Porsches can afford. I do think shops with Autologic tools may be able to flash your ECU to stock 996 code. There are a few shops that I know of with Autologic tools. Even those end up costing $40k once fully outfitted. Have you checked with the good Porsche shops and asked what they would recommend? I got a couple of calls this week from shops asking if I could do this, probably in regards to your car. I declined as I have just starting playing with Porsches.

IMO, noone in the Front Range is going to be able to do a custom tune for you if that is what you are looking for. They can get a tune from their suppliers, but they don't do it in-house. There aren't many places in the country that can do that. I have done this kind of stuff with Audis and VWs, but there is a much larger market for those, especially for software tuning and engine swaps.
Thanks for the input.

I'm not looking for a custom tune, just a generic performance or even just stock 996 3.4L would be fine. I'm not looking for any guarantee of workmanship just need to do the one thing I can't do myself. I'll be reaching out to a dealer to get my immobilizer codes. Maybe I can get them to try the stock 996 flash if I don't expect them to guarantee it.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:44 PM   #5
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Most 99s are not tunable, not all have the 1Mb file size, some are 512Kb sized and can't be flashed (5.2.2 DME). The 996 ECU (7.2DME) is a full 1Mb file, so you can't load it onto the 5.2.2 ECU.

You'd have to have a tune configured based from a 512mb OE file. I've had luck starting with a 5.2.2 BMW file, then building my tune tables off that.

Been there, and done that.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:17 AM   #6
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Thanks Jake I you helped us both. Any word on your book yet?
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:38 PM   #7
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Thanks Jake I you helped us both. Any word on your book yet?
Finishing it for the publisher in December.
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:12 AM   #8
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Most 99s are not tunable, not all have the 1Mb file size, some are 512Kb sized and can't be flashed (5.2.2 DME). The 996 ECU (7.2DME) is a full 1Mb file, so you can't load it onto the 5.2.2 ECU.

You'd have to have a tune configured based from a 512mb OE file. I've had luck starting with a 5.2.2 BMW file, then building my tune tables off that.

Been there, and done that.
I've been looking for a 996 911 ECU online and noticed my boxsters Porsche part number is identical to the 996 ECU's I've found (996.618.601.04). Is there a bosch number or other indicator of whether or not it's a 5.2.2 vs a 7.2?
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:24 PM   #9
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This is a great topic.

I am also in the same situation, with a 2000 boxster 3.4. Assuming we have the bigger 1MB ecu, after its been tuned to a 3.4 ROW spec, how can it be flashed for more power?

Jake Raby, do you have a tune for Soccerties and I?
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:35 PM   #10
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Where is tod Holyoke when you need him. He flashed mine years ago when I did my swap. You will still have to tune with a piggyback controller or get it tuned. You afrs will be way off.
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:31 AM   #11
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This is a great topic.

I am also in the same situation, with a 2000 boxster 3.4. Assuming we have the bigger 1MB ecu, after its been tuned to a 3.4 ROW spec, how can it be flashed for more power?

Jake Raby, do you have a tune for Soccerties and I?

I don't do tunes for engines that we haven't built. I don't believe that these ECUs can be properly tuned without having the car on hand and performing a live dyno run, while monitoring OBDII and stand alone data for enrichment and spark advance. This is what we do on site, when tuning.

I see generic tune files cost people engines on a routine basis. Part of this is due to generic tuners jacking up timing and other parameters only to make power, when they don't have the proper mechanical knowledge and experience with the engine to truly know how these changes can possibly impact the engine in a negative way.

The last tuner that I talked to didn't even know the 4 strokes of a 4 stroke engine without Googling it. How the hell can he tune an engine?

I have tuned 5.2.2 ECUs, the only one that can't be tuned is the 97 Boxster.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:54 AM   #12
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You should be able to hook up a PWIS tester (jeez I hope I have the acronym right) and push the 3.4 tune.....it should be selectable on the machine. I would imagine most indies would have one if they are Porsche specialists. ......believe you also need the immobilizer codes for the ECU to allow it.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:51 PM   #13
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Where is tod Holyoke when you need him. He flashed mine years ago when I did my swap. You will still have to tune with a piggyback controller or get it tuned. You afrs will be way off.
Same here.
Todd did great job on my 99
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:42 AM   #14
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Where is tod Holyoke when you need him. He flashed mine years ago when I did my swap. You will still have to tune with a piggyback controller or get it tuned. You afrs will be way off.
He moved out of the U.S., sold all his Boxsters & sold his PST2 to me.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:44 AM   #15
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He moved out of the U.S., sold all his Boxsters & sold his PST2 to me.
So, R U going to continue his Legacy?
Btw. He was in Canada when I sent him my ECU
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:36 PM   #16
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What special computer needed for PST-2?
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