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Old 12-29-2011, 04:50 PM   #183
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: ncal, scal, tokyo, taipei
Posts: 14
My Ride: 2000 323i, 91 nsx
Originally Posted by Apex Neel View Post
I think you should delve a bit deeper into the specific hardware constraints before you make claims about what is and what's not possible. The stock ECUs I/Os are very hardware specific. Let me give you a very specific example. I was contracted to go to Daytona a few weeks ago to work with the new factory Dodge Grand Am effort. Dodge Viper ACR's are running factory ECUs because this is mandated. Dodge's engineer have been able to add race-specific functionality to it, but in a very limited and cumbersome fashion which is marginal at best. The ACR engineers have freely admitted aftermarket racing solution is much preferred over what they have to work with. And these guys have access to manpower & budget to do anything they want with their OEM ECUs.

The same exists in the Bosch/Siemens world. These constraints led Porsche to replace the OEM ECU as used in early 996 GT3 Cup cars with a Bosch MS3.1, which has continued through the 997 range. Again, despite having access to any code generation required, they found the hardware to be the limitation in adding functions and features.
Honestly, it sounds like they have access to whatever the "factory" has access to, but no anymore. It does not sound like these "engineers" were looking into programming in low level assemblers which would have enable them to create additional functions. My buddy is the creator of Neptune for Honda's and it is arguably the most advanced software for Honda based on the factory Honda ECU's. Have a look at its functions:


Several years ago I believe he told me he was actually looking into the BMW platform. I don't know if he actually did any research on it... but if he did, he would be able to shed some lights on what he found out...

The more time I spend on these forums, the more this frustrates me. There are many product "fanboys" out there - and this isn't about any specific vendor. Claims such as "best knock control," "best traction control," "best flex fuel" get thrown around a lot, with no reference to what specifically makes them better than competing products. Too many of these claims are made by exclusive suppliers and repeated by their vendors and customers who have little experience with other products. And too many people simply take their word for it. Suppliers that perpetuate this lose credibility to me.
Indeed, the truth will eventually come out. I'm a fan of information sharing. I have no specific brand loyalty. I like products that work as advertised, and is priced reasonably. If the custom already have $10-15,000 invested in the turbo and engine hardware, then it make sense for him to put another $5,000 into the best ECU available to him.

Recently, I was very impressed by our friends at MOTEC USA. Instead of telling me how their products were better, they gave us a call and said they'd like our opinion how are products are better than others, and how they're not. Obviously, these guys don't tune other ECUs very often, so what they hear is secondhand from their customers. The openness they showed made an impression - the completely opposite impression than other vendors who like to tell me how their products are better than something they've never personally used.

I spoke to a representative from a major European ECU company yesterday. He's not only a partner in that company, but a tuner who actively supports other ECUs - he's on the dyno with other brands on a regular basis. He flatly told me what his competition did better, and what he did better. He also told me what they are doing to beat the competition.
Now these are the guys with passion and pushing the development further!

AEM has been fantastic in their dialog about the new Infinity 10 ECU. They are actively canvassing not just me but other well known tuners for opinions on what they have to do to make their products better.

I can sat the same for Haltech & a few other suppliers, these are people that realize "marketing spin" just dilutes that value of an ECU. My point is this: Arrogance is a weakness. If you're running around telling everyone how your product is the best, but either aren't willing to show us in the context of your competition what makes your product better, or you don't demonstrate an interest in learning where you stand, I can't help but be a bit skeptical of your claims. This is NOT a criticism of any specific product or their actual capabilities, its a criticism of the marketing claims and arrogance of some suppliers.
I agree 100%.
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