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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody. I have finally came up with a partial decision as to what I am going to do with my car. So far, I have ordered the SILA aluminum cold air intake and a SOLO performance dual tip exhaust, which both happen to be on back order until next week.

Now, the ultimate question is, should I retune my ECU and TCM? This decision, while I will probably make on Sunday and Monday, has left me with many questions. Will a tune hinder the life of my car? For example, will the engine and transmission wear at a quicker rate now that I am going to tune my car? I have heard the story go both ways in that it will increase the life of your car and also decrease the life of the car and some have suggested that the car's service interval be cut in half due to an increase in performance wearing quicker on the engines' internals. What do you guys think and if I go with the ECU and TCM tune and install the cold air intake and exhaust, what should I expect in regards to peppiness and overall driveability?

Unfortunately, I will not be ordering a turbo for quite some time because I have lost my summer job and obviously will have a heavy burden after college so I need to start working on money management. Hope to hear from you all!
 

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Increased wear-and-tear definitely....but how much...I do not know...
When I worked in automotive industry (briefly)...I was told that there is no such thing as free RPM's or HP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Excellent points Benjamin and thank you for your comment. Now we just have to figure out how much wear-and-tear really occurs, but seeing as how turbos are being installed and have tens of thousands of miles on them already, it can't be that much unless the tune is so dramatic that it eats your longevity.
 

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Having the additional hp is one thing, using it (adding load) is something different. Naturally it will be used (or why bother?) and so it will wear a vehicle at a faster rate.....BUT it's very worth it IMO :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your input rustech. I know the extra ponies is going to wear a vehicle faster, but I am sure the torque jump will do even more wear than the horsepower jump itself.
 

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Depends how you drive me thinks!!!
If you are a nutjob and thrash the car everywhere then yes the extra hp will shorten the life of the engine.
If like me, you drive steady most of the time as you are stuck in heavy traffic, then when the road is clear have a jolly old thrash, then the extra engine wear will be negligable.
Having a turbo, I always warm up the engine before thrashing it, and also do a cool down for the last few miles before I get home, that way after 6 years of driving like this I have had no trouble whatsoever with the little smartie, only the rubbish aftermarket zorst I had made that I eventually swapped back for stock, so you can't blame the car for that.
El

Do it, do it!!!
 

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Now, the ultimate question is, should I retune my ECU and TCM? This decision, while I will probably make on Sunday and Monday, has left me with many questions. Will a tune hinder the life of my car? For example, will the engine and transmission wear at a quicker rate now that I am going to tune my car? I have heard the story go both ways in that it will increase the life of your car and also decrease the life of the car and some have suggested that the car's service interval be cut in half due to an increase in performance wearing quicker on the engines' internals. What do you guys think and if I go with the ECU and TCM tune and install the cold air intake and exhaust, what should I expect in regards to peppiness and overall driveability?

Before I would spend the money to flash the ECU & TCM...I would want the vendors to provide a recent dyno chart...proving their claims...additionally I would want to speak with at least 5 retail customers...once again to judge the effectiveness of vendors claims...my motto...prove it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Excellent points willow and headless. I have seen a dyno by Smart-car performance that shows only about a 5hp increase and a torque adjustment to make the car peppier whereas an undisclosed tuning website shows gains as high as 20hp and around 20 ft. lbs. of torque so finding a recent dyno chart is crucial. I talked with two customers that have had this done, and well, I might need to speak to at least five more people.

Also, I read these two passages with lots of salt:

"You would think that improving the car's performance would take miles of a car's life, but in fact, your engine's life expectancy is not affected by chip tuning. What's more, you'll use less fuel. Because? The tune up can be done much more accurately because all necessary power fields in the EEEPROM (short for electrically erasable programmable read-only memory. A special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to an electrical charge) are adapted, at all numbers of revs and/or accelerations. (This is very important for automatic cars). Last, and probably least, unlike that chrome air scoop your uncle put in last week, chip tuning is invisible from the outside."

and

"If you get the ECU settings wrong it is easily possible to destroy your engine. A miss timed spark, over fueling or other issue can literally tear an engine apart."
 

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Buying these services from a proven retailer like Smart Madness or another reliable vendor...would allow a certain degree of confidence...and access to a solution if a problem should arise...just my 2cent...

Ask Barney O for his opinion...he seems to be very knowledgeable...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Buying these services from a proven vendor like Smart Madness...would allow a certain degree of confidence...and access to a solution if a problem should arise...just my 2cent...

Ask Barney O for his opinion...he seems to be very knowledgeable...
I did ask Barney O and he was nice enough to inform me about his experiences. Also, since I am dealing directly with the tuner versus buying it through Smart car performance who endorsed DPTune, I have a certain degree of confidence seeing as how Cisco likes DPTune and I know Boris got a tune for his Smart car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cisco, I would appreciate the customer feedback after you guys are done with his vehicle. Also, I know some engine mounts might rattle your car so much it will "make your dentures fall out" so I am withholding on my purchase of those currently.

BTW, how hard is the install on those engine mounts? ETA in minutes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
One more thing Cisco, if I buy the DPTune package from you, you offer free shipping. Is that one day air and where is that free shipping to and from? Do you send me a free one day air box and DPTune sends me my parts back or how does that work? I was planning to get it Monday, but we negotiated that I was to chip in a bit for shipping :(. Not that bad though considering a one day air is only about $30 both ways through usps, but I want to hear from everybody now until I start pulling more triggers than I already did.
 

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Cisco, I would appreciate the customer feedback after you guys are done with his vehicle. Also, I know some engine mounts might rattle your car so much it will "make your dentures fall out" so I am withholding on my purchase of those currently.

BTW, how hard is the install on those engine mounts? ETA in minutes?
A lot of people like to exaggerate how much vibration the engine mount makes. The truth is, it does vibrate more because it is a racing application. But after awhile, you do get used to it. You end up with a little more vibration at lower RPM's but you gain a lot of torque. Enough torque to beat a car with Turbo.

Now, installing it can be done in 15 minutes or less.
 

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One more thing Cisco, if I buy the DPTune package from you, you offer free shipping. Is that one day air and where is that free shipping to and from? Do you send me a free one day air box and DPTune sends me my parts back or how does that work? I was planning to get it Monday, but we negotiated that I was to chip in a bit for shipping :(. Not that bad though considering a one day air is only about $30 both ways through usps, but I want to hear from everybody now until I start pulling more triggers than I already did.
The deal is, you pay to ship it to DPTune then they pay to ship it back to you. They will ship to you using next Day Express so that you get it back quickly.
 

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A lot of people like to exaggerate how much vibration the engine mount makes. The truth is, it does vibrate more because it is a racing application. But after awhile, you do get used to it. You end up with a little more vibration at lower RPM's but you gain a lot of torque. Enough torque to beat a car with Turbo.

Now, installing it can be done in 15 minutes or less.
Back the truck up! Are you saying replacing an engine mount will add torque? Please explain the physics behind that claim.
 

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Back the truck up! Are you saying replacing an engine mount will add torque? Please explain the physics behind that claim.
Sure. If you compare how much a stock motor moves with our stiffer engine mount, you will see that the stock engine mount moves a quite a bit compared to our aftermarket product.

From the flywheel to the rear wheel there is a percentage of loss. Using a stiffer engine mount simply decreases that loss. It is a very noticeable difference that all our customers notice right away.

We do have a 14 day return policy, if for some reason it does not work out for you.
 
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