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Old 09-28-2010, 10:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Scangauge vs. programmer with fuel mapping

I was looking at picking up a Scangauge II when I ran across some programmers that have some nicer displays, the same features, plus boast fuel mapping and improved performance. The price isn't that significant to me, but the lack of flexibility when I go to replace my car in 2-3 years is a little irksome. That said, I'll probably go with another Honda so it might not matter. I'm currently driving a 2002 Acura RSX-s; an engine that seems like it could be tuned down far easier than tuned up anymore.

Here's what I'm looking at:
Jets Power Programmer model #67021 (can't post links because I'm a noob, but google should get you there)

Will fuel mapping and the other features actually help, hurt, or are they just a waste of money over the Scangauge for adjusting the nut behind the wheel.

Thanks!

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Old 09-28-2010, 11:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Some folks have done some neat things adjusting there cars fuel maps, others not so much. It takes a specific amount of energy to accelerate a mass, overcome aerodynamic drag and power all the things that are needed/desired in a car. The rules that govern this can not be changed. What can be changed is how we chose to operate within those rules. There is a pretty narrow window of mixtures that work to produce power efficiently, your car already gets really close on it's own. With out a deep understanding on what you are doing messing around with the fuel maps you can make your mileage much worse, a bit better, or you can tell it to run slightly too lean when on the power and cook valves, burn holes in pistons or the like.

I think you are wise to look at how you are running the vehicle and getting instantaneous fuel consumption information will help with that a lot. If you have the knowledge to properly mess about with you fuel mapping go for it, if not then I would stick with monitoring rather than programing.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a programmer and write my own tunes. Mine does not have a fancy display however. With computerized tuning you can get the best of both worlds, better fuel mileage and more power at the same time. For instance advancing ignition timing. Unless you have forced induction or a diesel, de-tuning really won't help. I have switched from 87 octane to 93 octane and advanced the ignition timing which really helped increase partial throttle power and overall fuel economy. Since I have more power at partial throttle positions, I need less throttle to get moving. The extra gas mileage from the 93 octane outweighs the cost plus as an added bonus you have more power. You can also tune other things which will help with gas mileage sch as lowering your idle rpm values and leaning out the open loop fuel mixture closer to Stoich. If you have an auto, a programmer can work wonders.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The programmer CAN help but to do it right you will need to be able to do logging so you can see the exact places you want to change. You will also need to take the time to learn how the car operates in different conditions and how to adjust those while monitoring the changes.

Since you are in CO having a few things calibrated might help make the tune more accurate but the stock PCM should be able to correct for the differences in air density. What would be best is to look into and Ultra-Gauge and search local Honda/Acura clubs for a tuner that can help out if you really want it tuned.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom View Post
"search local Honda/Acura clubs for a tuner that can help out if you really want it tuned."
I definitely second that. You must find a tuner who specializes on your vehicle. Once you find one, give him very specific details of what you want done or else you will end up with a generic tune which is probably better than no tune but not your money's worth (I am a lead foot). IMO a programmer is worth much more if you have an automatic transmission.

On a side note, I am not sure how much a programmer for your vehicle costs but for mine it was $400 US for a programmer. I went ahead and bought the package deal which includes the programmer and computer program to write new tunes myself which costs $750 US. With just a programmer I might have recovered the cost in fuel savings but with the package deal I will never recover that much in fuel savings.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The problem with Honda/Acura is there ECU programing is very closed , not open like other makes so reflash/programmers are very limited . Hondadata has best support for Kpro/FlashPro and reflashes but only for specific models and yrs .

JIf you look at instructions on the ET 67021 JET V-Force Plus Performance Module , you will see it reads the TPS and optional O2 sensor and then intercepts the MAP/MAF sensor .

So IMO its more like a VAFC ,I don't see how ignition timing can be modified by itself . Also I don't see any listing of adjusting but maybe thats missing from there online doc's .
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the common sense answers. I'm no techno-geek mechanic and while I might try to find a good mechanic who will help me along the way, odds are I'll get my best ROI on the scangauge.

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