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  • Gave up on Tuning 500T

    Well guys, I posted in BFC but feel I need to post this here.

    I gave up tuning my 2015 500 Turbo automatic.

    Bought it over a year ago and immediately bought an EC tuner to go on it as I've always been happy with the tune and service on my Abarth. However, from the very first day, the car rejected the tune. First the tune crashed during the first load. It would hesitate horribly. Then once I managed to restore it, it loaded correctly, but there was a Check Engine Light that stayed on for the first 3 start cycles after. That would happen EVERY time I flashed the car.

    Very first drive, it took off quickly but almost immediately started hesitating at WOT. I began spending the money - I'm not new at this. Coils, plugs, wastegate solenoid, wastegate actuator, BOV, new vacuum lines, intake, boost leak tests, front mount intercooler, etc. Multiple revisions from Toby.

    To keep this from being too long and belaboring the point, I believe I flashed 6 major revisions of phase 2, and several times went to TF695, Phase 0 and Phase 1. All exhibited the same problem. I sent logfiles to Toby and it seemed like he had no idea what was going on or even what boost was being targeted as the revisions either lowered or raised target boost seemingly randomly.

    At the end of the day, I spent a lot of money, a lot of time flashing the PCM, and still had a car that on its best day pulled a 8.4 second 0-60 time and after adaptation - with Phase 2 - would normally run around a 9.5 0-60 time. yes, THAT slow. With Phase 2. Logs showed it pulling a lot of timing out and closing the throttle.

    I have been a long time supporter of EC, but enough is enough. Frustrated, I sold my tuner handheld. Probably should have given another shot but I was sick of just flashing over and over and nothing getting better.

    I did ask another un-named tuner if he could tune it - but was turned down because apparently that tuner feels I am an EC shill and was merely trying to copy the tune.

    So right now I have a cheap piggyback on the car - a Racechip. And guess what? It pulled its fastest 0-60 time EVER - a 7.99 - which is still slow, but much faster than any EC tune was on my car. And it's not pulling timing or closing the throttle.

    So at this point I just wanted to share this here on the board. I am extremely disappointed in the tuning experience I had with my 500 Turbo.
    Last edited by aelfwyne; 10-29-2019, 11:00 PM.

  • #2
    Glad you found a little bit of speed at least.

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    • #3
      That is unfortunate - it does make sense that the piggyback worked given how a piggyback operates. Something clearly wasn't typical of your car's ecu/map. Seems like the map/index configuration isn't what Toby was expecting (and therefore the parameters intended to be changed weren't being modified..). I wonder if other 2015 automatic turbos have encountered the same on an EC tune? Possibly it's a really really small sample size. I'm sure with some in-person time with your car Toby could figure out what was up, but I get that you're frustrated and over it at this point (and I get the impression Toby is a little overloaded these days). Unfortunate that you couldn't get the other tuner to have a stab at it. Seems a little silly that you'd be "copying" it - aren't the files encrypted? If it was as simple as having access to an ECU with the tune on it and there was any intention to copy, it would already be done. Clearly this isn't the case. No one wins in this "war of the tuners".

      PS - it's been pretty quiet over here, miss all you guys from the old forum - come visit more often!
      Last edited by bsd103; 10-30-2019, 05:04 PM.

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      • #4
        Unless this happens to ALL 500Ts, I would think there has to be something unique to your car that's preventing the tune from executing,
        Phase 0, 4C Coils, Rear Konis, Neu-f rear bar, El Gato Braces, Craven shifter, Corza Forza Fazool Fizzle Fazzle

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mp3Guy View Post
          Unless this happens to ALL 500Ts, I would think there has to be something unique to your car that's preventing the tune from executing,
          To be clear the tune IS loading and the car makes boost tuned. It just runs terribly and pulls timing and closdd throttle. This can be seen in the datalogs. It does not do this untuned or on a piggy.

          Completely consistent with torque limiting not being set up correctly.

          What's unique? It's a 500 TURBO AUTOMATIC so a very different PCM revision than EC normally sees.

          I do not believe at this time there is anything wrong with the car. It runs BETTER on a piggyback than it ever ran tuned and it does not pull timing or close the throttle. The hardware is fine.

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          • #6
            Missing my point here. I have to believe you're not the only 500T owner who installed an EC tune. If this is happening to ALL of them, then there's a problem with the tune. If you're the ONLY one this is happening to, something about your particular car is preventing proper performance.
            Phase 0, 4C Coils, Rear Konis, Neu-f rear bar, El Gato Braces, Craven shifter, Corza Forza Fazool Fizzle Fazzle

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mp3Guy View Post
              Missing my point here. I have to believe you're not the only 500T owner who installed an EC tune. If this is happening to ALL of them, then there's a problem with the tune. If you're the ONLY one this is happening to, something about your particular car is preventing proper performance.
              Pretty sure you're missing the point. The tune does not work. Not the car. Car fine.

              And no, "any" 500T is not the same. Auto and Manual have different maps, and every ECU revision requires a different tune.

              I only know of one other 500T AUTOMATIC with an EC tune. And oddly enough, it was given a "special" low power tune that's around stock Abarth performance. Coincidence?

              I understand what you're doing here. You are refusing to believe anything could be wrong other than I have a boost leak or some other missed hardware problem. Believe me, I wish that were true. It is not. The car runs with zero hesitation, zero timing issues, zero throttle closing issues when not tuned or if using piggyback.

              Last edited by aelfwyne; 11-09-2019, 12:19 AM.

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              • #8
                OK, let me amend my statement since I was unaware that auto and stick 500Ts required different tunes. I'm not an expert on this stuff.

                So: if all 500T AUTO tunes from EC don't run properly, then indeed there is a problem with the tune. Just trying to isolate the problem, that's all.

                I never meant to disbelieve you on the matter. And yes, a tune SHOULD outperform a piggy back.

                As far as this aftermarket fan boy stuff, I'm kind of sick of this infantile behavior. And if T**k is refusing a sale because of his childish obsession with EC, it just shows how pathetic he is as a person and a businessman.
                Phase 0, 4C Coils, Rear Konis, Neu-f rear bar, El Gato Braces, Craven shifter, Corza Forza Fazool Fizzle Fazzle

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                • #9
                  like aelf was saying it's not just the 500T/auto combo, it's also ECU revision (and possibly variations beyond that). Hard to say how many have an EC tune on this specific combination. I do trust that his car is up to snuff mechanically. This is not at all a process of "tweak this to make the car run better" but more of not being able to even set the parameters intended - as the data layout is significantly different. That's why it tends to be an all-or-nothing deal in a lot of ways, and not something that would get incrementally better each time - not until a certain level of understanding of the map for this specific hardware has been achieved. In the end you'd get a better tune out of it than a piggyback, but it sounds to me like there is enough of an unfamiliarity with this hardware that this would probably require time on the dyno.

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                  • #10
                    Sorry if I came off too strongly... As I read it now it might be. You would be frustrated too if you spent the money and time to chase Gremlins that weren't there, and in the end have to basically "lose".

                    For any who don't know, btw, I also have a 2015 5 speed Abarth. The tune on it works very well, and it has had just about everything possible done to it at some point. So this is my second Fiat build, as well as helping numerous others. Pretty familiar with the common issues.
                    Last edited by aelfwyne; 10-30-2019, 09:29 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by aelfwyne View Post
                      Sorry if I came off too strongly... As I read it now it might be. You would be frustrated too if you spent the money and time to chase Gremlins that weren't there, and in the end have to basically "lose".
                      No doubt, it definitely sounds like a bad experience, hopefully everything is handled fairly

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                      • #12
                        I guess what is frustrating is that you have to take a bath on the cost of E+D for that car.

                        Eurocompulsion says it's the car but can't identify any specific issue but won't consider the possibility that their tune isn't right for your car/PCM combo. Other vendors have offered full refunds when they get stuck, but in this case you've lost hundreds of dollars and got nothing but wasted time and frustration.

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                        • #13
                          I never told him it was the car, and I certainly never blamed it on the car being the cause of the issue. Time would not have been spent making revisions to the tune if I didn't think it was the problem. I know that's a thing that people like to spread around these days as a common practice of EC, but I normally do not do this (unless I believe that it actually is something on the car). We certainly spend a lot of time helping people figure it out if that is the case.

                          I have always been willing to help Alvin out, both on this particular car and his old car as well. The last we spoke that I remember was in July, when I gave him another revision to try (by the way it 3 revisions, not 6). Since then I haven't heard anything from you in regards to this, and I would have been ready to do something had you just simply messaged me sometime in the last 3-4 months and told me you were feeling frustrated.

                          When something like this occurs and I don't have the car here, it's not easy to get to the bottom of things. I don't have another customer on this type of software variant with a 500T AT, there are a number of possibilities as to what is wrong, not as simple as something like "Completely consistent with torque limiting not being set up correctly".

                          Your piggyback is masking whatever it is the ECU would normally be looking at that is causing the disruption on a tune. But I'm glad it's working for you.

                          That's really all I have to say on the matter. I apologize that you are unhappy with the situation, and I'm not going to stop you from venting some 3-4 months later. Next time, let someone know your frustrated and wanting to shelf the process. I could have done something to resolve the situation to your satisfaction.

                          Good luck with your future modifications.

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                          • #14
                            I just went back and looked at my share folder. Counting the original tune, there was the original plus four revisions. So a total of five versions just of phase 2.

                            Did I cut and run too soon? Maybe. I spent a lot of time working on issues with the car myself before looked at the tune because I didn't want to fall into the trap of trying to tune out hardware issues. I really only have time to work on my car for major projects during summer so that is why it took so long.

                            I am confident that on the Dyno, the car could have been tuned. But I don't live in Oklahoma and can't afford timewise or moneywise a trip, hotel, and Dyno time to get the tune working. At the end of the day that looked like what it would take. Nothing that was done over the course of the revisions worked. So as the topic here states, I gave up. I'm sure that we could have continued to do revisions but it became clear that wasn't working.

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                            • #15
                              I'm only seeing (3) revisions, plus the original dual map tune. But it doesn't really matter at this point.

                              I understand your frustrations, and I apologize that we couldn't get as far as I'm sure we both would have liked to.

                              If there's a next time, let me know what options you're considering and we can make something work. I understand the distance and time/money constraints. I wouldn't have charged you for dyno time to bring the car up here to get it corrected. That would have been on me to get it sorted.

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