Hey, ill be getting mods done soon, and whats a way to flash your ecu say for an open box intake. Besides buying a ems or a a/f comp. If buying either of those is way better let me know. But right now im lookin to just get a bov, exhaust, intake, and b/c on and im lookin to reflash deffinetly after the intake. Help me out
Ok, let's have a chat. :|
You are talking about 3 different tuning methods here: flash (e.g. Dynoflash), Standalone ECU (AEM EMS), and Piggyback (S-AFC).
Flash - You either send your ECU to a specific flash tuner (DynoFlash or TurboTrix), and they send it back after reprogramming it to suit your mods, or they custom tune you in person (you drive to them or they drive to you).
Piggyback - In this case, you don't send your ECU anywhere, and no one messes with it, but you install your piggyback device by splicing into the ECU wires. The ECU still does everything, but your device (e.g. S-AFC) is able to control certain functions within the ECU while also monitoring many ECU readings. I use an S-AFC, and with that, I'm able to tune my air-fuel ratios at 500rpm intervals in order to maximize power with my mods. I can change my settings on the fly whenever I want, but I have to have a loggind device (pocketlogger) to keep track of everything. This is useful at the track for using race gas, for changing the settings when the weather changes (hot vs cold, dry vs humid), and for whenever I put on a new mod.
Standalone ECU - this is for SERIOUS tuners making SERIOUS horsepower. This type of mod COMPLETELY replaces your stock ECU and requires a serious amount of knowledge to make it work. This is far beyond any level of tuning I've ever reached, so I can't say much about it. I don't think you want to take this route.
Now, to answer your question, you have to first decide whether you plan on getting flashed and letting your tuner of choice decide your settings, or if you want an S-AFC so that you are in control of your AF ratio. I prefer the S-AFC, because I like to be in control, but if you don't know much about tuning, then you should consider a flash. A flash can do much more (control a/f, timing, set boost, remove boost taper, raise rev limit, remove 5k launch limiter in 05s, etc) than an S-AFC (ONLY controls A/F), but you have to keep getting reflashed if you change your mods.
Why do you want to get a flash after just an intake? What type of intake do you want, and why is that your first mod? It's a pretty standard mod in most cars, but in the Evo, the stock intake has been proven to flow very well, and in some cases BETTER than some aftermarket intakes. This is because the stock intake only draws air from OUTSIDE the engine bay (good ole snorkel), and because the stock airbox keeps the air smooth so that the MAF isn't disturbed. Open-air filters draw in hot engine air, and the air is more turbulent, which bothers the sensitive MAF. This doesn't mean aftermarket intakes aren't useful or that they can't be good, but they are generally not worth the money for the minimal gain. The best mods for gaining power are exhaust and boost control. When you raise boost, an aftermarket BOV will become useful, but the stocker is fine for stock boost. If you still decide to get an intake first along with a flash, remember that you will have to pay more to get RE-flashed after adding more mods. Each time you add a mod, you will need to get re-flashed, depending on what the mod is (exhaust, mbc, fuel pump = reflash; bov, plugs, grounding kit = no).