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Old 03-26-14, 04:06 AM   #31
Rock-a-Lex
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So, I have narrowed my SC install shop down to (2) shops; I may just install myself with a friend and drop it off to a shop to finish up and tune it.

Now for the BIG issue. It is so unclear as there are many conflicting opinions on what would be needed for engine mgmt on a low boost application (such as a supercharger in my instance).

One shop told me that if I'm planning on only running a low 7lbs AND I have larger injectors along with a high flow fuel pump I should not need anything more than a regular piggyback like my Apexi Neo. He mentioned that the car will never run lean as I increased the injector size and fuel pump that if anything I would run pretty rich where I can lean out with the Neo. Why can this not be accomplished?

Then on the other hand some shops and forums say get a standalone and be able to lock in a tune for AFRs (including non WOT instances) as well as timing. Isn't a standalone overkill on a low boost application? Also, why is having control over timing so important on a low boost setup?

I really would like to utilize the Neo that I already have. If worst came to worst I would buy an AEM FIC 8 for $600 and a harness from Boomslang for $300...but who wants to drop another grand on top of everything already spent if it's not needed? I'm sure at one point members such as RMMGS4, Speedaddict and Vwynn used only an AFC type piggyback when first starting out.

Would a FMU help out in my situation by controlling/limiting the amount of fuel the car gets at "non WOT" instances? I think that's this issue here and the only issue with piggybacks...that the tune will eventually be overridden by the stock ECU in thes non WOT instances that could make the car run rich, mess up plugs and cats and lose performance. In theory, could the combo of an FMU and piggyback (like a NEO) work for low boost setups?

This is an important discussion as there are many threads within ClubLexus with uncertainty where people just say...just get a standalone and be done with it without thinking it fully through; it could be overkill.

Let me know what you all think.
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Old 03-26-14, 11:28 AM   #32
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Not trying to spend your money for you but at this point if you can get a stand alone for $900, just do it. I like to save money to but this is not a case of overkill. I to have read that the computer will override the tune in time so would you rather have it run poorly or constantly pay for re-tunes?

Stop trying to convince yourself you don't need it when you know you do. Yes it's low boost but you are still operating the car outside of the parameters it was designed for so you need to compensate with the proper equipment.
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Old 03-26-14, 11:33 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Rock-a-Lex View Post
I'm sure at one point members such as RMMGS4, Speedaddict and Vwynn used only an AFC type piggyback when first starting out.
You should ask those guys then. They will probably tell you tell you they prefer the standalone if they have had both. I know Jeff seems to like piggybacks but with the cost of tuning, gas (running really rich), towing.....it's seems like $900 is worth to have less headaches. I could see worrying about this if you wanted to purchase a $8k motec system.
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Old 03-26-14, 01:10 PM   #34
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I only use piggyback on daily driven street cars that make under 500-600hp. Anything higher than that, I will recommend only a standalone. You lose a lot of the OEM drivability when going standalone. When you're at higher HP then there really isn't any way around it. However, if you're still at lower power levels (under 500-600) then I would recommend against going to a standalone. The stock ecu + piggyback will yield very positive results. First crank startup every morning even when it's freezing outside, close to stock gas mileage if you're not flooring it all the time, cruise control works, traction control works, no check engine lights, pass emissions testing. That's all stuff you have to give up when going standalone. The only unit that I would consider good enough would be the FIC-8 for the UZ V8 engine. Apexi SAFC or NEO is completely inadequate.

I have done countless setups. Probably in the numbers of over 100+. I have had experience with both sides of the table, piggyback and standalone. I make these recommendations accordingly to my experience.

The reason why everyone recommends using a standalone is because it is easier to tune. You enter some parameters, start the car up, and then start tuning. With a piggyback you have to understand the way the systems in the car work and tune in accordance to them. That's the thing that most people don't understand. You have to work with the OBD2 system to achieve the perfect tune, most people fight hard against it, and the system will fight right back. I setup plenty of cars that run perfect for years on a piggyback with no need of any retune or adjustment for years. If you tune accordingly to the OBD2 and work with the system, it will reward you with OEM benefits like ECU learning and auto correction. Basically it will pretty much auto tune the car indefinitely and self adjust just like how it does from the factory. Only time they need to be retuned is if they come in for upgrades or increase the HP.

With that all said and I have said this statement MANY times in the past. Use whatever system your tuner is comfortable and familiar with. Just because I know how to successfully setup and tune these cars to retain OBD2 compliance does not mean another experienced tuner can do it. It took many years of experimentation/trial and error to perfect it. If they are not very well versed in these cars, then I can pretty much guarantee that they will fail miserably with the piggyback. They will just toss it in the scrap heap, call it a piece of junk, and then proceed to install a standalone in the car lol.

My best recommendation is to stick to the best system available to you and your builder/tuner locally.
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Old 03-26-14, 01:28 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffTsai View Post
The only unit that I would consider good enough would be the FIC-8 for the UZ V8 engine. Apexi SAFC or NEO is completely inadequate.
Hello Jeff,
Can you expand on the statement above? Why is this? Easier to tune? More precise control?
Thanks,
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Old 03-26-14, 01:50 PM   #36
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The SAFC adjusts only by changing the MAF signal. That's all it does and nothing else. This is a problem in newer cars due to the OBD2 self learning computer. For simplicity sake, the car is used to seeing airflow for 300bhp. There is enough factory parameters to allow for 250-350bhp and still be within spec. Once you exceed this range, which even a low boost SC kit will, it will see it as a fault condition. It will try to pull the fuel or timing down to compensate to get the engine back into normal operating range. The SAFC adjusts by manipulating the MAF sensor only. It tells the ECU to add more fuel, but then the ECU detects that too much is going in and will start to cut it back. So that's why a lot of people get frustrated with piggybacks because it never does what they want it to do. It will work great for a little bit, then the next time you start the car it will run like crap.

The FIC8 has direct control over the injectors so it does not have to fool the MAF sensor to give the engine more fuel. The MAF sensor will still report the same amount of air as a stock 300hp engine. The FIC is adding fuel behind the scenes that the stock ECU cannot detect. This is how you get around the learning issue. However, you have to set targets, limits, and many other parameters for it to work properly. I have spent years perfecting the methods, but when done correctly. The car will run like a OEM boosted car from the factory. No worry about the computer relearning after a day. The car can be driven for years with no re-tuning needed. This also requires some modifications in the wiring harness, and the addition of a couple of signal generators and simulators.

Also, remember the FIC can pull timing whereas the SAFC/NEO does not have this capability. The stock timing map is way too aggressive for the high factory compression 10.5:1, even if you're only running low 5-7psi boost. Combined with the weak rods and pistons from the factory, it's a quick formula to a blown engine. The stock engine puts out around 21-22 degrees of timing when going full throttle. With the factory high compression plus boost, the timing must be backed down 5-8 degrees. Most people say that it's fine and just run the SAFC/NEO are relying on the knock sensors to detect knock. The computer will pull timing down when knock is detected, but the damage is already being done if the knock sensors are picking up knock!

I have to reiterate again, these methods are well beyond the scope of most tuners and builders. They will usually get frustrated to no end with the piggyback systems due to the auto learning, trash it, and install a standalone. Or it may be within the scope of their abilities, but most of them will not want to spend a few weeks into diagnosing and figuring out the system for what the customers are willing to pay. I doubt the average customer is willing to pay $5-10k for an engineer to reverse engineer the system and get everything to work properly lol. I just did it because it's my hobby and I spent my spare time figuring it out.
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Old 03-26-14, 02:40 PM   #37
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Damn... that's a WHOLE lot of really good info. Let me make sure that if I ever decide to buy a GS in the States and want it tuned, I just take it straight to you lol.

But on a MUCH simpler note: based off of all of the information that you provided with the factory parameters allowing for 250-350HP and still being within spec: I am about to install a set of PPE headers to go along with my intake (RMM) and exhaust (cat back... Top Speed Y-pipes and HKS Hi-Power axle backs) on my GS430. I went ahead and purchased an AFC Neo along with a Boomslang harness with the idea that it would benefit my setup to get the Neo tuned alongside the other engine mods. Would you recommend this course of action, or would it be better to just install the headers and let the stock ECU compensate for everything?
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Old 03-26-14, 03:51 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffTsai View Post
I only use piggyback on daily driven street cars that make under 500-600hp. Anything higher than that, I will recommend only a standalone. You lose a lot of the OEM drivability when going standalone. When you're at higher HP then there really isn't any way around it. However, if you're still at lower power levels (under 500-600) then I would recommend against going to a standalone. The stock ecu + piggyback will yield very positive results. First crank startup every morning even when it's freezing outside, close to stock gas mileage if you're not flooring it all the time, cruise control works, traction control works, no check engine lights, pass emissions testing. That's all stuff you have to give up when going standalone. The only unit that I would consider good enough would be the FIC-8 for the UZ V8 engine. Apexi SAFC or NEO is completely inadequate.

I have done countless setups. Probably in the numbers of over 100+. I have had experience with both sides of the table, piggyback and standalone. I make these recommendations accordingly to my experience.

The reason why everyone recommends using a standalone is because it is easier to tune. You enter some parameters, start the car up, and then start tuning. With a piggyback you have to understand the way the systems in the car work and tune in accordance to them. That's the thing that most people don't understand. You have to work with the OBD2 system to achieve the perfect tune, most people fight hard against it, and the system will fight right back. I setup plenty of cars that run perfect for years on a piggyback with no need of any retune or adjustment for years. If you tune accordingly to the OBD2 and work with the system, it will reward you with OEM benefits like ECU learning and auto correction. Basically it will pretty much auto tune the car indefinitely and self adjust just like how it does from the factory. Only time they need to be retuned is if they come in for upgrades or increase the HP.

With that all said and I have said this statement MANY times in the past. Use whatever system your tuner is comfortable and familiar with. Just because I know how to successfully setup and tune these cars to retain OBD2 compliance does not mean another experienced tuner can do it. It took many years of experimentation/trial and error to perfect it. If they are not very well versed in these cars, then I can pretty much guarantee that they will fail miserably with the piggyback. They will just toss it in the scrap heap, call it a piece of junk, and then proceed to install a standalone in the car lol.

My best recommendation is to stick to the best system available to you and your builder/tuner locally.
I agree with everything you said Jeff! I may go with the FIC 8 now.

However, why is it then that the original RMM supercharger kit for the GS400 didn't come with engine management? It didn't need it! In it's standard form it was only to produce around 320-330whp and it was said that since the stock injectors and stock pump stayed then engine mgmt wasn't needed.

I guess it has everything do to the injector size and the hi-flow fuel pump; which unfortunately is needed when making more power.
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Old 03-26-14, 03:54 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock-a-Lex View Post
I agree with everything you said Jeff! I may go with the FIC 8 now.
Why is it then that the original RMM supercharger kit for the GS400 didn't come with engine management?
Notice I reiterated many times. If your tuner or shop does not know what they are doing with the FIC8, then I would not go with that system. Let them use what they feel comfortable with using. I spent many years perfecting the system I use. Unless they have the dedication to it, I highly doubt they are going to put the man hours into making it all work proper.

As for the stock RMM kit. Yes they got away with it by allowing the stock ecu to pull timing when the knock sensors picked up detonation. Not really ideal, but it can still hold for a little while if not driven super aggressively. Eventually, something will give because the pistons and rods can only take so much detonation before giving way. Just because it worked doesn't mean it's the best way to do it, and it's only a matter of time before something breaks. I've noticed that a lot of the boosted GS400 guys don't really drive the cars very hard compared to the GS300 2JZ guys. Maybe that's another factor why the RMM kit worked ok with no extra management originally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthStyle View Post
Would you recommend this course of action, or would it be better to just install the headers and let the stock ECU compensate for everything?
It's best to have it dialed in for your particular setup. I would say to leave it stock controlled if you just hand an intake only or exhaust only. Since you're doing headers, intake, exhaust. I would suggest you get it dialed in to get the maximum benefit. You could leave it all stock controlled and it would run fine but you may not get the maximum benefit of all those parts combined.
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Old 04-02-14, 08:48 PM   #40
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Jeff do you still do any tuning?
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Old 04-03-14, 02:02 AM   #41
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Rock, any update to your build?
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Drone is overrated......let the V8 breathe!
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Old 04-04-14, 04:14 AM   #42
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Rock, any update to your build?
Decided to install myself with a fellow CL member either next weekend or the following.

This weekend - getting bung for oil return welded to oil pan

Next couple of days, order:
Walbro 255 fuel pump
Wideband gauge
Boost gauge
AEM FI/C 8
Dual gauge pod

Following weekends - install everything myself with the exception of gauges and AEM piggyback

Weekend thereafter - bring to tuning shop to install gauges, piggyback and tune

I'm shooting to be completely done a month from now. Then I will eventually bring it to a good transmission shop and get a valvebody upgrade. Still another $2 - 3k to spend and I already spent $3,200 on the kit itself (used) and another $400 in a few additional parts and fluids.
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Old 04-04-14, 04:24 AM   #43
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i think its still not a bad price for what your doing... i figured on about 5-6k to get everything done and then a few odds and ends... looking forward to pics and maybe a vid... This is years in the making lol....
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Old 04-04-14, 02:40 PM   #44
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i think its still not a bad price for what your doing... i figured on about 5-6k to get everything done and then a few odds and ends... looking forward to pics and maybe a vid... This is years in the making lol....
It really is. Lmao. I have been doing a couple of other things like polished a crap ton of engine parts by hand (while on the car)...over 70hrs of work by hand. Intake manifold, throttle body, cam covers etc etc. I had to get it clean and all for the charger install. 👍
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Old 04-10-14, 04:03 PM   #45
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Found a shop that I like! They also deal with tuning all AEM products and have dealt with forced induction on Lexus in the past; well mostly the IS line. CLEAN, decent size shop and seems like he knows what he's doing...researched him a bit as well on-line and had good reviews.

I may have him do the entire install...or he may just finish it up for me and tune it. Dropping car off on the 28th if all stays on track!
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