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Tuning?

 
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:39 PM
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Tuning?

Someone please explain to me what tuning is. What is "Hondata"? Does it involve hooking your car up to a computer? Or is it just the general idea of making your car fast by putting in aftermarket parts? Either way, I wanna know what this "Hondata" thing is that I see everywhere, and if it does involve connecting your car to a computer/machine, where do you take your car to have this done/how do you do it yourself?

Might be a stupid question, I don't care.
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:11 PM
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Re: Tuning?

tuning = re-programming your cars ECU

so you need ecu which is socketed and/or chipped so it can receive new fuel/air/ignition maps, basicly you hook your car to dyno/computer and use some computer software to make a new chip into your ecu. so its re-program your ecu.

hondata is one chip

"The s300 is a plug in module to the factory Honda Engine Computer (ECU) which vastly expands the capabilities of the factory ECU. Forced induction, datalogging, real time updating of parameters, engine protection are but a few of the s300 features. "

I think its useless, too expensive... I just bought chipped ecu + OBD Conversion Harness and then one dyno place made everything else.

Of course you can do everything by yourself, but then you have to buy other things as well like moates emulator & chip burner that you can make the changes by yourself. and you have to be kinda pro about ecu stuff (dont really think that youre ready for this yet, if you have to ask that question). its more accurate when you do it with dyno anyway

its just useless to bolt on things (upgrade parts) into your engine if you dont do anything to your ecu. think it like this way: your ecu controls everything and if you change things, it cannot control your car anymore and it become a mess.

Last edited by TypeT; 11-05-2011 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:27 PM
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Re: Tuning?

There's more and less to it than that.

Tuning, in a general sense, is adjusting things to maximize performance. Since maximum engine performance involves maximizing fuel/air mixture through the engine, making combustion as efficient as possible, and extracting as much mechanicial work as possible from that combustion. Most production engines have design compromises for reasons of production cost, space, or noise -- for instance, the stock intake airbox is designed to make the intake quiet, and to use an air filter common to several different Honda models. Finding those compromised areas and adjusting them or replacing parts to maximize performance is tuning.

Prelude engines were generally pretty well tuned from the factory, especially the H-series engines in the later cars. It's possible to extract a little extra through bolt-on changes to the intake and exhaust, but not alot -- maybe about 10%. It's possible to extract a little by making changes to the fuel/air mixture mapping, too -- that's where ECU chips. The ECU basically governs fuel metering and ignition timing based on a data matrix, or map, that matches fuel flow and ignition timing to measurements such as throttle position, measured and calculated intake airflow, and engine rpm. In stock form, it's designed to run mixtures that are both fuel efficient (so not too rich) and not prone to compression detonation under a wide range of heat conditions (so not too lean). Modified chips offer the opportunity to customize the mapping, plus some other functions like increase RPM limits (in stock form, there's a pretty large safety margin built in). Hondadata is one of the better and more experienced companies producing modified chips for Hondas.

Because Honda did a pretty good job with our stock engines, changing the chip without additional modifications that increase air and fuel flow through the engine (the same intake/header/exhaust bolt-ons discussed above, plus things like larger throttle bodies, fuel flow regulators, larger fuel injectors, modifying the intake and exhaust ports in the head) usually doesn't yield too much, but in conjunction with such mods, you can extract additional torque and power. How much depends on what modifications you've combined and how well you've combined them, but 30% is possible if done well. Decreased performance is possible if not. Serious tuning is as much art as science, and best done by making one change at a time, then measure the effects, typically on a dynomometer. That makes breaking new ground slow and expensive -- it can be someone faster and cheaper if you're using modifications (and combinations thereof) already tested by other people.

Bottom line: There's more to tuning than changing the ECU chip. It's not entirely useless to change things without changing the chip. It's also possible to change the chip and realize no gains at all.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:35 PM
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Re: Tuning?

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Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
There's more and less to it than that.

Tuning, in a general sense, is adjusting things to maximize performance. Since maximum engine performance involves maximizing fuel/air mixture through the engine, making combustion as efficient as possible, and extracting as much mechanicial work as possible from that combustion. Most production engines have design compromises for reasons of production cost, space, or noise -- for instance, the stock intake airbox is designed to make the intake quiet, and to use an air filter common to several different Honda models. Finding those compromised areas and adjusting them or replacing parts to maximize performance is tuning.

Prelude engines were generally pretty well tuned from the factory, especially the H-series engines in the later cars. It's possible to extract a little extra through bolt-on changes to the intake and exhaust, but not alot -- maybe about 10%. It's possible to extract a little by making changes to the fuel/air mixture mapping, too -- that's where ECU chips. The ECU basically governs fuel metering and ignition timing based on a data matrix, or map, that matches fuel flow and ignition timing to measurements such as throttle position, measured and calculated intake airflow, and engine rpm. In stock form, it's designed to run mixtures that are both fuel efficient (so not too rich) and not prone to compression detonation under a wide range of heat conditions (so not too lean). Modified chips offer the opportunity to customize the mapping, plus some other functions like increase RPM limits (in stock form, there's a pretty large safety margin built in). Hondadata is one of the better and more experienced companies producing modified chips for Hondas.

Because Honda did a pretty good job with our stock engines, changing the chip without additional modifications that increase air and fuel flow through the engine (the same intake/header/exhaust bolt-ons discussed above, plus things like larger throttle bodies, fuel flow regulators, larger fuel injectors, modifying the intake and exhaust ports in the head) usually doesn't yield too much, but in conjunction with such mods, you can extract additional torque and power. How much depends on what modifications you've combined and how well you've combined them, but 30% is possible if done well. Decreased performance is possible if not. Serious tuning is as much art as science, and best done by making one change at a time, then measure the effects, typically on a dynomometer. That makes breaking new ground slow and expensive -- it can be someone faster and cheaper if you're using modifications (and combinations thereof) already tested by other people.

Bottom line: There's more to tuning than changing the ECU chip. It's not entirely useless to change things without changing the chip. It's also possible to change the chip and realize no gains at all.

Okay that makes sense. Where is the ECU chip located? Just curious. Also, the back of my car reads "VTEC Tuning." Is that something special or do all 5th gens say that?
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:16 PM
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Re: Tuning?

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Originally Posted by wiz2418 View Post
Okay that makes sense. Where is the ECU chip located? Just curious. Also, the back of my car reads "VTEC Tuning." Is that something special or do all 5th gens say that?
Nearly all Hondas have "vtec" or some form of it

it's variable valve timing and lift electronic control - basically it's all in the cams, so 5300 rpm's or so you'll feel a kick and the car will get louder and a bit faster.

The ECU is located under the passenger side dash under the angled part of the carpet.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:16 PM
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Re: Tuning?

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Originally Posted by wing8806 View Post
Nearly all Hondas have "vtec" or some form of it
.
Well...nearly all Hondas after 1995. In Preludes, first applied to JDM 4th gens with introduction of the H22 engine in 1992, spreading to the rest of the world in 1993. The H22 became the only engine in the Prelude starting with the 5th gen, although non-VTEC engines were available in other markets. All H22-powered Preludes have a simple "VTEC" decal on the butt. Anything else is probably from a previous owner.

Not all VTEC is for extra power, either -- some of the earliest production versions were applied to high-mileage versions of the Civic.

VTEC is a method of tuning, though -- controlling the valve lift and duration (amount of time the valve is open) affects how much air/fuel mixture gets into the combustion chamber, and how well the chamber's purged of exhaust gases after combustion. The optimum lift and duration changes with engine speed, so if you only have a single cam lobe to operate the valve, you either optimize it for a very narrow operating range (race engines), or compromise to get better performance over a wider rev band (production car engines). VTEC and other valve control systems provide a means of using multiple profiles, so tuning the valve timing and lift for more than one optimum point. The VTEC system on Preludes literally shifts between two cam lobes. The ultimate will be getting rid of the camshaft altogether and infinitely varying valve operation to suit conditions -- several manufacturers have been working on electrical or electromagnetic control, but it's nowhere near ready for production cars.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:19 PM
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Re: Tuning?

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Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
Well...


It's all pretty much just the optimum point of power for that motor... The motor will run at a lower end point of power for better gas mileage/ more efficient running car etc and once reaching that point in the RPM's it will give the "kick" which - is when it gives more power.

Many manufactures have some form of "vtec", it's really nothing special.

He asked a simple question - I gave a simple quick answer. No history lesson was needed. "nearly all" isn't an assumption to say every honda on the road has it (as every ricer fanboy thinks)
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:33 AM
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Re: Tuning?

Spending $ to tune a bolt on honda is like paying $500 for a car wash.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:17 AM
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Re: Tuning?

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guess thats what you get when you dream of 10s instead of doing it.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:52 AM
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Re: Tuning?

^^^ x2

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