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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm brand new to the EVO forums. I've been a member of DSMtuners.com for a few months now and i have a pretty good understanding of 2G Turbo DSMs. I might be getting a new job and i'm debating on whether to buy an EVO, buy a WRX, or mod the hell out of my GST.

I've been browsing some posts and people are talking about "flash". what is that? Is it a tuning device like DSMlink? One post said the best 3 mods for a IX are turboback exhaust, boost control, and Flash.


Just a generalization about EVO tuners and DSM tuners... EVO tuners are WAY more in depth in explanation. DSMers are straight to the point.

If i asked how to open my door a DSMer would say pull the handle.

Someone on this site would probably say, first- stick out your hand. 2nd-grab the handle firmly. 3rd-pull the handle. 4th-pull the door open. 5th-let go. 6th-get in car. 7th-grab door. 8th- pull door shut.

Everyone on this site seems A LOT smarter too. There are no newb questions like, What's a turbo? What's an intake? What's an exhuast? Those are the kind of questions i'd expect to see in a honda forum. ROFL


Sorry for the long post. lol. looks like i belong on this site according to what i've noticed.:rolleyes:
 

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A flash is like the TMO chip. Have you heard of that? TMO hasn't been around for a while, but we used to use those on DSMs back in the day. Similar with chips on other cars, too, except there is no chip changed. The ECU is just reprogrammed by being flashed with new instructions. This does a number of things:

- Optimizes the AFRs (stock tune drops into the high 9 AFRs)
- Optimizez timing (gives a big bump in timing at peak boost for more torque and maximizes it through the powerband in conjunction with the AFRs)
- Removes fuel cut
- Raises the rev limiter (RPM of choice)
- Adds launch control (RPM of choice)
- Removes top-speed limiter
- Provides idle speed control

My preference is Dynoflash. He provides all of those features for every year USDM Evo at a very low price. You can either do a mail-in flash where you send your ECU, he flashes, then returns it for a low price, or you get custom road or dyno tuned in person if he travels to your area. He is in LA this weekend, then will be in AZ next weekend followed by GA, UT, and CO. He's all over the place. There are other flashers around the country, too.
 

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Dynoflash prices (tuning trip prices in parentheses)

VIII:
- Mail-in flash = $199 ($175)
- Custom road or dyno tune = $399 ($375)

IX:
- Mail-in flash = $299 ($250)
- Custom road or dyno tune = $450

Repeat customer (VIII or IX):
- Mail-in flash = $100
- Custom road or dyno tune = $300

I went [email protected] on 93oct with my mail-in flash using a TBE, MBC, BOV, fuel pump, and K&N drop-in filter.

PM me for product details. I try to be vendor-independent here on EVOtuners as a Mod, but I'm far from it in person and on other forums. =P I only gave the Dynoflash specifics, because I know them all by heart.
 

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just like warr swears by a flash, i wouldnt touch one for the life of me. im old school SAFC.

(i actually dont care which you choose) these are the pros for the SAFC, best i can figure

dont have down time every time you add a mod (ie. you modify something, if you cannot drive to a flasher, you send in your ECU, 1-2 days to get there, 1 day for the flash, 1-2 days back home.) now if you got cams, would you like to just stare at your car sitting in the garage for a week not moving because it has to be tuned? not me. when i modify something, tune as quick as possible, and go take it out to feel the power

after a couple hours of informal instruction or reading you could tune a SAFC yourself. albeit it wouldnt necessarily be the best tune, but it'd be free

you dont have to worry about your ECU being totally jacked up (read what happens if the flasher closes the ECU without a program in there)

SAFC's have harnesses that just plug in. dont want the SAFC, unplug the harness. good if you're going to sell the car or trade it in. otherwise you'd have to have it flashed back to stock (i'd assume more money spent)



for me, the SAFC is the economical solution. to have my car tuned all these times (and in the future), its cost me $220. bought the SAFC used, and had friends tune it. by my calcualtions that would get 1 mail in flash on a VIII, then you're in the hole. since i plan on modifying my car more than once, the SAFC is far cheaper. although, if you want to tune yourself, you'll have to get a pocket logger (or something similar) but again those cost around what 1-1.5 flashes cost (or less, depending on how you go about it)

are there limits to the SAFC? sure, just like everything. it wouldnt be the best for tuning a big turbo or huge injectors. in my case, i am tuning a GT2835 with the SAFC, no problems. flashes can control timing, so i guess that is a plus. but what is that worth to you?

i dont work for apexi, or anything. you buying a SAFC doesnt effect me in any way. hell, you could use a GReddy eManage for all i care
 

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I'd like to clear up a few misconceptions about both the flash and SAFC. It appears Matt is highly against flashes, but I believe half of it is from lack of education. He also understates the limitations of the SAFC and the cost factor, but since I am both an SAFC fan/user as well as a flash fan/user, I can provide what I think is a more accurate response. Keep in mind that I have run my Evo with an SAFC by itself, with a flash by itself, and with a base flash and SAFC fine-tuned on top of it. All of my SAFC tuning has been done by me alone, and most of what I learned was right from THIS site. I have also taught many people how to tune their SAFC. However...

Flash concerns that Matt overstated:
- Downtime: With Dynoflash, as long as you overnight the ECU, you get it back in 2 days. He receives the ECU on day 1, flashes it immediately, then sends it back overnight via UPS red label. It's not 5 days or a week or whatever. It all depends on when you ship it and how you ship it.
- Cost: remember that mail-in reflashes are only an additional $100. Also, if you get a custom tune at any time, then your subsequent mail-in flashes are free for life.
- Required retunes: No, you don't have ot get a reflash each time you add a mod. There are only certain fuel-related mods that require a reflash, such as cams, injectors, and of course a larger turbo. You can add plenty of mods after a flash that won't affect the tune nor require a retune
- ECU danger: I don't know where that comment came from. Dynoflash has done over 2000 flashes and has over 1000 individual customers, yet nothing like this ever happens. If Dynoflash fries the ECU (hasn't yet), then he covers the cost of a new one.
- Flash to stock: poor assumption. Dynoflash reflashes back to stock at no charge. You wouldn't need to do it when selling the car anyway, but if you were worried about going to the dealer even though they'll never know you have one, Dynoflash will flash to stock for free, then flash you back to where you were after the fact if desired.

SAFC benefits that Matt overstated:
- Self-tune: Ok, I used my SAFC because I already had one leftover from my old DSMs. I learned how AFRs, timing, and boost all work together to form a well-tuned car and learned how the SAFC can SORTA get you there. What I find ironic is that Matt swears by the SAFC, yet he doesn't tune it himself. I don't know how many people out there are lucky enough to have friends around them who are expert SAFC tuners and who will do it at no charge. That is a very rare situation, so you have to approach this as if you have to do the tuning and learn it youself, which leads me to...
- Cost: Ok, you need the SAFC and the harness. New, that is around $400. You can find the combo used for around $250 usually. Then, you need a datalogger, which will be no less than $100. Lastly, and most importantly, you will need a wideband o2. Tuning without one can be done, as I have shown and as we have discussed many times on here, but it is not recommended and is not very accurate. Flashers don't tune based off narrowband, nor should you.
- Ability to tune immediately: Ok, yes, you can do this without sending your ECU somewhere...IF you tune it yourself. I don't know how Matt installs something and immediately gets retuned unless his friend is on call at all times to tune him.

Understated Flash benefits:
- PERFORMANCE: the power numbers are vastly better with a flash mainly in the torque department. The reason for this is quite technical, but in a nutshell our stock tune is LEAN at peak boost (~3500rpm). Because of this, we get fairly weak timing. With an SAFC, you would normally want to add fuel here to keep the AFRs normal, but if you do that, it lowers timing. You can't get timing to rise at peak boost, because the SAFC doesn't control that and only indirectly causes it by REMOVING fuel. You can't remove fuel at peak boost when it's already a 12.5 AFR, so you're stuck unless you use race gas, alky injection, or upgrade your injectors unnecessarily. The flash can lower the AFRs while concurrently RAISING the timing right where you need it. Because of this, you usually see about 30 more peak WTQ, which of course means a lot more area under the curve and much more fun daily driving.
- Features: The flash gives launch control, removes fuel cut, raises the rev limit, removes the topspeed limiter, and provides idle control (important for cams). The SAFC provides none of the above.

Understated SAFC downsides:
- Power: You can get close to the same peak WHP, but the WTQ is way off, which affects daily driving greatly. I consider using an SAFC with an upgraded turbo to be quite foolish. That's a lot of money to spend on mods only to leave a lot of power on the table. At the very least, Matt should get a base flash, then fine-tune on top of it with the SAFC. That's the best $199 he can spend.
- Control: the SAFC is the most cruce possible tuning device for the Evo. It can only manipulate AFRs by fooling the ECU into thinking more or less air is crossing the MAF. Then, according to this tomfoolery, the ECU chooses by itself to use different timing profiles. You cannot control this with the SAFC, so if you are trying to remove fuel due to being rich, you may cause too much timing, which still can cause knock at certain boost levels even if your AFRs are good. Not having direct control of both timing AND AFRs makes the SAFC very limited.
- Price: You can expect to pay closer to $700 for a proper SAFC setup, and that's if you tune it yourself. If you pay someone else to do it, then it's a total waste when compared to a flash.

My 200 cents...
 

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so i guess ill be getting a flash then. Quick question though, if i were to get a turbo back and get the flash, would i still leave the stock airbox on there? or would i change it to the buscher intake?
 

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You can do whatever you want, but I prefer the stock intake until you overrun it's flow capability. Ironically, I now have the Buschur intake (only $80), because I'm running cams, alky, 26psi, header, o2 housing, etc, on a daily basis, so that put me in the 400whp/400wtq range where the stock box becomes a restriction.

PM'd for more details on mods.
 

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FQ_EVO said:
I might be getting a new job and i'm debating on whether to buy an EVO, buy a WRX, or mod the hell out of my GST.
Hands down stick with the 4g63. :dsm: Dollar for dollar your going to make more power than if you get a WRX. It's just how to you want to beat a; triple catted, heat soaked top mount, knocking like a popcorn machine, car... off the line, or blow by him half way down the 1/4 mile. :D

Some Evo owners are a trip. :laugh:
 

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I use a S-AFC. :thumb:
Some people want more control of tuning their cars than others and I'm one of them. Is an AFC crude, out dated, old school? Yes, I guess... but the bottom line for me is that it works, and it gives me the control I need. It can be learned from our guide and a logger.
http://www.evotuners.net/forums/showthread.php?t=315
... and yes to take full advantage of an S-AFC, larger injectors are needed.
http://www.dsmtuners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105569
There are a two points I'd like to respond to too;

Warrtalon said:
- ECU danger: I don't know where that comment came from. Dynoflash has done over 2000 flashes and has over 1000 individual customers, yet nothing like this ever happens. If Dynoflash fries the ECU (hasn't yet), then he covers the cost of a new one.
I know where it came from. PM this guy and he can expain all the details of a fried ECU, no help from Dynoflash, and a $1000+ bill from the dealer.
http://www.socalevo.net/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=26&action=profile;u=296

Warrtalon said:
I don't know how many people out there are lucky enough to have friends around them who are expert SAFC tuners and who will do it at no charge. That is a very rare situation, so you have to approach this as if you have to do the tuning and learn it youself...
No, not everyone has a tuner for a friend. However if someone is willing to learn they could post a log and ask for advise, much like they do here (great source of info too);
http://www.dsmtuners.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=17
That is why we're here; to help each other. :thumb:
If someone is looking to get into tuning and not have to depend on anyone, then S-AFC is the way to go.
 

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You all suck, get a stand alone AEM EMS like me!

Keith

PS: Just kidding :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i could also drive an hour on over to AMS and have them build me a 2.3L 800AWHP monster...

...and then i woke up from that dream and realized i need to stop watching EVO videos online until 6am.
 

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Warrtalon said:
It appears Matt is highly against flashes, but I believe half of it is from lack of education.


Required retunes: No, you don't have ot get a reflash each time you add a mod. There are only certain fuel-related mods that require a reflash, such as cams, injectors, and of course a larger turbo. You can add plenty of mods after a flash that won't affect the tune nor require a retune

ECU danger: I don't know where that comment came from. Dynoflash has done over 2000 flashes and has over 1000 individual customers, yet nothing like this ever happens. If Dynoflash fries the ECU (hasn't yet), then he covers the cost of a new one.

Flash to stock: Dynoflash reflashes back to stock at no charge. You wouldn't need to do it when selling the car anyway, but if you were worried about going to the dealer even though they'll never know you have one,

Ability to tune immediately: Ok, yes, you can do this without sending your ECU somewhere...IF you tune it yourself. I don't know how Matt installs something and immediately gets retuned unless his friend is on call at all times to tune him.

FQ-Evo, i honestly dont care which way you choose, either way will probably work. hell, if you want a real FQ system like your s/n suggests, get a motec M800.

lack of education? or maybe abundance of undesired-result education. of people that i personally know that dont use EMS or AFC (ie flashes) people use a works p2 flash, and they're happy with it; they use a vishnu flash, he seems to be ahppy with it due to budget constrants. but the guys that i know that have or had dynoflashes, hate al, or have cylinders full of gas becuase the tune was jacked up and open the injectors all the way without closing, or a paperweight that used to be an evo ECU. look at larry's link, and ask that guy (im assuming its moogle - oh, moogle loves al)

always need a retune; adding an exhaust, MBC, injectors fuel pump, and cams/cam gears like everyone does. if done in one step requires one flash. but in my example, i put on a MBC, then later put a GT turbo on, got injectors a while later and turned up the boost. cams are in the future, but by my calculations thats at least 2 flashes then another for the cams, and another if i turn the boost higher than my current 1.3bar. definately not economical for me and my situation.

see larry's post

so say i have a fully built car (cams and turbo) and i strip it back to stock to trade it in. i dont need to reflash it? so i'll just dump all the fuel from those mods into a stock configuration. ok, but i dont think the car would run very well with a sub 8.0 afr

well, i guess this is another situation that i took advantage of. there are 3 people that live less than 45 minutes from me who are very good at tuning AFC's. as for them being right there during the install. ya, they do that too. when i put on my turbo, in the course of the day, 2 of the 3 came by. just my luck

FQ-Evo, just get the flash. I honestly tried to help, but just like on socalevo, helping gets you nowhere. i just dont feel like sticking up myself constantly or for a dinosaur in this case; this is what i feel is the best choice, and here are my reasons, is it the end-all answer, hell no.

bottom line, i went with what was more convenient for me, the AFC and couldnt be happier. just get what you want, what will be the most convenient, and most accomidating to your wallet, whether it be a flash, AFC, EMS, or a motec, or somethign in between
 

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The problem is you say you couldn't be happier, but you probably have no idea how much more power you could make on your setup with a real tuning device. The SAFC is very basic and is only decent for stock turbos. You are probably leaving an ABUNDANCE of power on the table with that big turbo. We didn't even do that in the old days with DSMs unless we absolutely had to. There is no reason to rely on an SAFC with a big turbo upgrade when there are such far superior tuning devices available, and I'm not talking about a flash. This is why I refer to the lack of education on the situation. Pretty much anyone knows that with a turbo upgrade, you need something that can give you full control of AFRs and timing - that is a no-brainer.

As for FQ-EVO, an SAFC would be "ok," but it would certainly not make the most power for his money even with successive flashes that only cost $100 each time.
 

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turbolarry said:
Not anymore;
400whp on 91 :barf: octane;
http://www.socalevo.net/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=26&topic=20406.0
It's cheap, it's crude, it's barberic... it works.
I think the point is that you get similar peak HP numbers with the AFC, but you leave a LOT of area under the curve. Low end torque is much more useful in an autocross than a drag race, but it is still nice to have for day to day driving..... so why do without it when you don't have to?

I am not partial to any particular flash, and in fact skipped over getting a flash direct to a stand alone system.... if you could still get the old school (really old school here) Apexi ITC (ignition timing controler) to go along with the SAFC I would agree 100%..... but I havn't seen one of those since 1999, and that one was purchased by the guy using it many years before that.

Keith
 

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Yes, just like Keith is saying, I used the SAFC by itself and did quite well, but when I'd dyno, I would have similar peak WHP as similarly-modded cars, but my peak torque would be a good 25-30 lower. This also meant that I had much less area under the curve, and my curves didn't meet until high rpm. This was ok for drag racing, but for autox and road racing, not to mention basic daily driving, it sucked. Injectors help remedy this, but I've already explained that I think it's foolish to have to upgrade such an important part as injectors when the stock ones are perfectly good for the stock turbo.
 

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Imrmental, calm down and slow down for a second. You absolutely do NOT need an intake manifold, and I have no idea why you'd even mention it. Your car is stock, so you shouldn't mention the words "intake manifold." That would be a mode you do much, MUCH later down the road after you've upgraded the turbo and everything.

As I just answered in the other thread where you asked, a flash is just an ECU tune. Your ECU gets reprogrammed to make more power. It's especially useful on a IX, because they can make a ton of power over stock with a flash, since the flashes can manipulate the new MIVEC head. It can be done on a dyno...or on the road...or through the mail...or even email. But I don't want you to think a "dynotune" is some magical tuning method. No, a dyno tune just means you get tuned on the dyno, but there's nothing related to the dyno that tunes you. The tune has to be done by a tuning device and a tuner, so that means a flash, a piggyback device, or a new standalone ECU. For cars up to 500whp, a flash is usually the best option.

The way you get flashed is you go get flashed by a flash tuner, or you mail your ECU to a flash tuner with payment and a list of mods, then he mails it back tuned. There is another way in which you get the tune emailed, but you are not quite ready for that yet.
 
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