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Old 07-28-2010, 08:07 AM   #1
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Performance chips... what do they do?

While browsing ebay.. looking for a deal on tail lights and side skirts.. I found "Boxster OBD Performance chip" http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=boxster+chip&_sacat=See-All-Categories

Price varied from 20$ to 130$

They claim 10-20 HP improvement and better mileage. Also you don't have to flush your ECU

Is it real? does it work? what are the downsides?

Can anyone please shed some light?

Thanks
Sasha

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Old 07-28-2010, 08:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasha055
While browsing ebay.. looking for a deal on tail lights and side skirts.. I found "Boxster OBD Performance chip" http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=boxster+chip&_sacat=See-All-Categories

Price varied from 20$ to 130$

They claim 10-20 HP improvement and better mileage. Also you don't have to flush your ECU

Is it real? does it work? what are the downsides?

Can anyone please shed some light?

Thanks
Sasha
An e-bay chip? At those prices?? Trust me - it's crap, and you don't want it. The term you are looking for is FLASH your ECU, and if you are going to chip the car, flashing through the serial diagnostic port is generally the preferred way to go if it's possible on that model of car, since it doesn't involve physically removing and opening the ECU and adding an EPROM, all of which carry additional risks, and potential warranty problems if you still have one.

On a normally-aspirated engine, the effects from a (legitimate, not the ones you link to) tuner's flash programming are usually pretty modest and will increase power and torque by playing with all the spark, fueling and air parameters, sometimes raising the rev limiter and removing the top-speed limiter if there is one. On these motors, which for the most part leave the factory pretty close to maxed out in terms of potential output unless you plan on turbocharging or supercharging them, I would expect the effect of even a good flash program to be even less, and probably hard to notice unless you have also opened up the exhaust and intake for the better.

If you DO want to chip your car, at least go with a tuner that has been around for a while, has a solid reputation, will back up their products and whose products actually work. That would be GIAC, APR and Revo.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:29 AM   #3
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Try it and let us know what you find!
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Y
An e-bay chip? At those prices?? Trust me - it's crap, and you don't want it. The term you are looking for is FLASH your ECU, and if you are going to chip the car, flashing through the serial diagnostic port is generally the preferred way to go if it's possible on that model of car, since it doesn't involve physically removing and opening the ECU and adding an EPROM, all of which carry additional risks, and potential warranty problems if you still have one.

On a normally-aspirated engine, the effects from a (legitimate, not the ones you link to) tuner's flash programming are usually pretty modest and will increase power and torque by playing with all the spark, fueling and air parameters, sometimes raising the rev limiter and removing the top-speed limiter if there is one. On these motors, which for the most part leave the factory pretty close to maxed out in terms of potential output unless you plan on turbocharging or supercharging them, I would expect the effect of even a good flash program to be even less, and probably hard to notice unless you have also opened up the exhaust and intake for the better.

If you DO want to chip your car, at least go with a tuner that has been around for a while, has a solid reputation, will back up their products and whose products actually work. That would be GIAC, APR and Revo.
The reputable tuners also often modify the throttle response curve on the e-gas cars to make the car feel more responsive.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #5
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reputable ECU tuning

I'd like to add Softronic to the list of ECU tuners who have a product that works. However, like the others have stated, ECU tuning alone won't add up to much of a difference. You've got to open up the exhaust and intake for an ECU tuning to make much difference...and even then, it may not be as much (or in the power band) as you hoped. And, after all of these mods, drivability will suffer. You're getting into racecar territory, and FAAAAR away from luxury touring.
Loud!
gains at 4000+ RPM
possible losses below 4000
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:10 AM   #6
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IMO, if you want a good mod you will feel, get the underpulley.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasha055
Is it real? does it work? what are the downsides?

Can anyone please shed some light?
Sasha,

The proper and best way to tune a Porsche is to get a good ECU re-map done by a tuner. Then, yes the ECU has to be reflashed and the cost will be up around $1,000. With a tune like this a professional is looking at the factory map and re-engineering the whole thing for better performance. It's kind of ground up re-engineering. So air/fuel/timing are all adjusted, giving a consistent, reliable (but also moderate) boost in power.

The cheap options you found on eBay are quite different. Welcome to the world of Honda tuning... They don't re-engineer the ECU map. Instead they trick different sensors in the car into feeding erroneous information to the ECU with the hope that the ECU will adjust to give you better performance. It's a mixed bag. Sometimes it might actually do something. Sometimes it might not. Could be bad for the car too (running too rich or too lean). Bottom line though is that you're throwing your money away on garbage like that. It's not a product that's really designed to give you consistent, improved performance.

Just my two cents...

Kirk

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