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2010 Forester XT LTD 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, First Post but I've been lurking since June when I bought my '10 FXT w/ 33k on the ODO - first Subaru and loving it!

I have so many questions as this is the first tune-ready car I've owned (my last Civic didn't count (HX) and my prior Civic (Si) was when I was broke), and my first turbo. I can tell there's more fun to be unlocked from it, engine-wise, but I'm a bit hesitant. I've lusted after WRXs/STis for years, and this is my practical little taste of them...

I'm not new to working on vehicles (audio, LEDs, regular maintenance, etc.) but I am new to engine modding.

HOWEVER, I fell upon Mighty Car Mods when they had the '10 Foz, and I've read lots here and at NASIOC and feel I'm ready to dip my toes into the water...

So talk me out of getting the Cobb APv3. :icon_wink:

This is my daily driver, so I don't plan on getting crazy with it. Better, but still safe, is what I'm shooting for. I'd say my goal is around what the '14s are making - 250-ish (I know that's not at the wheel).

So can the Cobb APv3 truly, safely, without much muss or fuss allow me to have more fun on my daily commute (only when needed, of course!), without worrying about blowing my 4spd or wrecking the engine too soon? Can Cobb's stage 1 or 2 easily help my HP envy regarding the '14s?

I'd like to hear something more than, "it's the jack of all trades, master of none - get a custom tune." I live in Memphis and the closest Subie tuners I've found are in St. Louis or Dallas. I will almost certainly head down the downpipe or TBE/swaybar/endlink route soon, but a custom tune/VFxx/uppipe/GFP BPV/injectors/FP/wideband/TMIC route is a ways off.

Everything will all hinge on how this initial dive in the pool treats me.

I am the type that can easily catch the bug, but more so if I get only a taste of the bug. If the initial bug is "good enough" I can live with that until a bigger bug bites my a**. However, I am 40 years old and realize the value of moderation!

Thanks for reading and trying to talk me out of the APv3.
 

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2010 Forester XT LTD 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I may have answered my own request:
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f95/ap-stage-1-dam-dropping-127976/

But I'd still like to hear some informed opinions!

An e-tune wouldn't be out of the question, especially since I recall seeing several guys here praise one e-tuner (forget his name/email? Ray?!?)

An e-tune would require some form of flasher, so would the APv3 be simplest for this? I'm not sure about trusting myself with a cable and a laptop yet.

But would using the OTS Cobb maps LIKELY cause this sort of issue in my flat city with good top-tier 93AKI available? Have there been many reports here like RadcommTxx?
 

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2008 XT Sport 5 MT
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213 Posts
You are in America! With sweet American gas! To top it off you are at like 0 elevation with nice, dense air. Go for it!

The cobb ots maps were developed in conditions similar to yours so imho as long as the rig is mechanically sound you should be good to go.

I very much like the results of the tune and missed it when i originally got rid of my unit.

You need to learn up on ecu parameters and how they relate to he physical parameters of your intake, ignition, and exhaust systems, and how those systems regulate fuel ratios, AND how fuel ratios are related to knock (and of course knock sensors).

Anyways I`m just a newb myself so hit the books and scour the datalogging section here. I`m more interested in off-road mods so good luck!
 

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2004 XT 4eat
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325 Posts
Get it, and get an actual tune or a couple to choose from. Youll benefit more from that and have safer power
 

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2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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4,150 Posts
Get it. You'll have much more fun if that's what you're looking for. You won't be blowing up anything unless you go for big turbos etc... That TD04 doesn't have enough oomph to hurt anything as long as everything else is normal. The cobb tunes are a start and worth a ton of smiles. Sure you can get more out of a custom tune but you can hold off on that for a bit and live with the Cobb Tunes.

Ray is a great tuner for sure with good prices compared to many dyno tuners.

You won't typically have issues with the DAM dropping unless you get a bad batch of gas.


So have some fun. I've smoked many a Civic Si with just a nice tune on the stock turbo. Then you'll get the bug and go after bigger fish like many of us have. Sure a civic Si will race anythng and they're a dime a dozen. After you get a bit deeper you'll find yourself trying to nudge V8 Mustangs, SRT Chryslers, Corvettes and the like into playing around.
 

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2010 Forester XT LTD 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the encouragement.

So in city-dwelling 0-1500ft altitude, 93AKI available scenario, there's no particular rash of problems with the Cobb 91 or 93 stage 1 tunes?

I've read elsewhere that once the ECU is flashed, the dealer/warranter can tell. But is this strictly due to checksums, or is there an engine run count since ECU flash? I assume a checksum issue could easily be solved by flashing back to stock prior to service/inspection.

Does anyone have a good "engine management/ECU tuning for dummies" link that helped them learn the most important flags to watch in tuning for safety? I've read Unabomber's FAQs at NASIOC but there wasn't one specific to the details and nitty-gritty of terminology,etc. Looking for something that I could refer to in order to learn that DAM dropping below xx is B.A.D., bad, and other indicators.

Superacerc, I read most of your build log and what you've done to your Fozzie is absolutely sick. I doubt I'll ever get the bug that bad, but everyone probably says that. :) Also saw your Big Bend picts - two of my buddies and I went to BBNP in '11 and BBSP in '12 on our motorcycles. Love those parks. Makes you feel like Clint fricken Eastwood.

Thanks again for any advice you guys can offer.
 

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2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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4,150 Posts
Most people don't have any issues with fuels in your area or altitudes. Sometimes you may find a station that your car doesn't like. For me in the East US it was chevron stations. Always caused knock for me(on a super aggressive custom tune running timing as high as possible) In the West Most people think the chevrons are better than others. Just depends on where they blend the fuel and what with.

I'm not sure about the dealers getting picky with reflashes on the subarus. I've heard of the ford dealer not honoring warranty after a reflash on an ecoboost but it seems most people who have an issue and flash back to stock are never bothered by the subaru dealers.

ECU for dummies....Well that'd be a tough sell I think. Most people aren't ready to tune on their car after just reading up. Theres a lot of common sense stuff that won't get told anywhere and you'd just have to figure out etc... I've been tuning nearly non stop for one reason or another since about March of 2012. Even after all that tuning with Ray and me asking tons and tons of questions I'd never consider myself a professional about it. You can really mess a car up if you don't tune it right so be careful. I'll always answer questions as will many others on here if you need it.

When I bought my Subaru I had no intentions of doing anything drastic. I was originally happy with a reflash to Cobb Stage I and then 2. Then shortly thereafter, I had a custom tune from ray and did mild suspension mods. Then I got another turbo, injectors, fuel pump, intercooler, another turbo, e85, tuning for all these things, etc... and it hasn't stopped yet.

Glad you enjoyed the Journal. Big Bend was awesome. So far from anything and big crowds of people. Exactly how I like places. Thats why I enjoy Juneau so much.

Any questions you've got ask them here, or on someones journal who's experienced whatever you're asking. We're pretty friendly here (unlike other forums).

Ryan
 

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2010 Forester XT LTD 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, well since you guys did such a great job of talking me out of it, I have a shiny new APv3 on the way.

Expect questions. LOTS of questions.
 

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2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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Fire away. Gives us something else to keep us from our real jobs.
 

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2008 XT Sport 5 MT
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213 Posts
Lol no doubt!

Ignatz now go fill up on +93/94 and load the 93 map
 

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2010 Forester XT LTD 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, FedEx says it's arriving tomorrow :)bananapartyhat:), so here's the first question:

I plan on trying out the Stage I 91 and 93 maps over the next few days, so what monitors should I display on the AP?

I'm already planning on Boost, DAM, and maybe Fine Knock Learning. I can have 6, so are there any others I should keep my eye on to assess the health of these maps on my Foz?

Thanks all.
 

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To monitor visually? Boost and boost target will show you where youre at vs what it wants. Theres lots of good things to data log but watching visually will just distract you and make you paranoid.

Datalogging at full throttle completely through 3rd gear is the best way to check out the tune. 2nd works almost as well and will keep you away from getting tickets since 3rd gear goes to ~116mph.

At a dead stop switch to manual shift mode and bump it forward once to put it in 2nd gear. Start the data logger on the access port and then floor it until it forces a shift at redline. Do this somewhere safe and empty and dont endanger yourself or anyone else.

Stop the logger when youve done this and go home and look on your computer to see whats going on.

The main things to check are:
A/f correction- 0s are good at full throttle. Thw car isnt having to do major fuel corrections.
Boost- obvious reasons

DAM- 1 is what you want. Immediately after changing maps its probably at .8. It does this to test the waters so to speak and checks to see if iy wants to run full timing advance. After a few minutes a few throttle applications and the car is at operating temp it will go up to 1.

Feedback knock- this is worse than fine knock. Too much will drop the dam back down. It indicates bad gas or a bad tune with too much timing for the fuel you are using. 0s are good, however youll see -1.4 and sometimes -2.4 during throttle transitions. That's fine and dandy. What you dont want is to find it partway through a full throttle run to red line.

Fine knock- the car learns and adjusts timing slightly as it detects fine knock. Too much leads to feedback knock. 0 is good but a little during the first couple full throttle applications is ok while the car relearns.

There's lots of other good info but these are good indicators of bad tunes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Woohoo! APv3 in the house!

I've installed the APv3 with "Installed stock mode" just to watch some of the onscreen gauges, and everything looks cool. I think I hit 13.11 boost max on some brief runs in the neighborhood and DAM was solid at 1. So at least on the factory tune my Foz seems to be performing up to snuff.

I'll be installing the Stage I 93 map after rush hour dies down so that I can get out there and feel the difference.

I'm a bit pissed that Cobb has this silly web form in the way of downloading Access Tuner Race, I'd love to load the maps and test data logs I've pulled to look at. So far the web form has rejected my serial number once, I'm hoping that's because I didn't capitalize.

Back soon with more excited newb jibber-jabber...
 

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2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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Just email support if you have a problem. You don't need access tuner to see a log. Its just an excell file. Go to monitor on the accessport, go to data log. Start it up and hit the ok/enter/center button to stay and stop the log. Go back home and plug it into the pc and just drag and drop the datalog to the desktop and open it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Got Accesstuner Race downloaded, it was a capitalization issue in the s/n entry. I really just want to play around with this. I'm not about to start modifying maps.

Well I flashed the Stg I 93 map to the Realtime map, and without doing an official 2nd gear data log run all my gauges looked fine. DAM was solid at 1, boost seemed a little harder to get to, peaking at 11.7 but that may be because I'm paranoid pushing it at night (can't see the po-po). AFR seemed high still, mostly around the 14s - thought this would drop to 11-ish.

Who knows. I may just need to wait until the weekend to find a nice, flat, secluded road where I can do some real runs during the day for logging and inspection.
 

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2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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Afr should drop to 11.1 at full throttle only. Partial throttle will get you in the 11-13 range depending on load.

Keep in mind that with this turbo it dies off in the mid 4000 rpm range. If you pressed the throttle from a good speed in 2nd, @ say 35 or so, by the time the car loads down you're already out of the turbo's efficiency range and it likely won't have hit peak boost. Try loading the car down in 3rd. 3rd is sufficiently long that if you start around 35mph it will load down and you'll see peak boost. 3rd is a better indicator of tune quality.

Starting from a dead stop in 2nd can give decent results too
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Didn't get a chance for power runs today, I was on the road to Nashville and back to buy an XR650R.

I did have the AP hooked up during the drive, and while my DAM was rock-solid at 1 the whole time, I did get quite a few Knock Feedback events. They seemed to be around -1.4 each time, and no more than one every 100 miles or so. Never got any fine knock and all of this was under cruise control or gentle acceleration (I don't think I went WOT the whole day trying to conserve fuel).

Is this groovy?
 

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2009 2.5xt 6 Speed Swap version 8 6 speed sti trans with r180
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Youre fine. Anytime you are cruising and mash the throttle a bit it will have a tendancy to pull knock events. Some knock during throttle changes are normal. Just under wot you dont want them.
 

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Hes already got one.
 
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