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Thread: REMAPS: Everything you need to know about remaps....

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    REMAPS: Everything you need to know about remaps....

    I have created this as a work in progress to hopefully act a a guide for those seeking remaps for their respective cars or assorted specifications.. Its a best first stab at capturing the main points and pitfalls and differences of the remap and tuning process and differing options out there.. It can be a minefield, and I hope this will in some way explain whats what. (as it is a work in progress, positive additions and comments will be welcomed and included into this guide)
    ************************************************** ****************

    REMAPS: Differences and Checks to make before them……..
    Something to discuss here, as the topic raises itself frequently on the forums.
    Custom Map vs Generics… which are best and why?
    Common pitfalls and Issues Pre and Post remaps? Forewarned etc…

    Firstly, some thing for Clarity.

    What actually is a custom map?

    There are many sellers of what they will refer to as “custom maps”. Many are neither custom, nor the actual map authors themselves... They are installers of someone else’s software map a lot of the time. A true custom map will be one tailored to the cars hardware, based on flashing or live emulating and logging/measuring output, and repeating this process iteration until the Tuner is satisfied with the optimisation of map is to the cars condition and specification and intended use. ( Done ideally on a dyno for safety in a controlled environment hooked up to external data loggers so measurable results are seen to gauge improvements although thorough road logging can achieve similar results to a lesser degree).
    If you get a tuner who says he can do you a custom map, without the facilities to do so or tests what exactly is custom about it? Is he just installing a map from someone else he bought in and reselling it to you as custom.. How can it be custom without the code author being there, nor logs/dynos exchanged? Was it simply done on a laptop in a car park/driveway and told to be “custom” – Ask yourself how that’s possible?
    If its as described above It’s very likely a generic map from somewhere and if not from a VAG tuner of decent reputation, inherently has high risks of being a % Tuner.. By % tuner I refer to the many who just add % increases across maps, and consider that actual tuning! You know who you are!

    What is a Generic Map?

    Well, for starters the original VW/Audi map is a generic one. It is very consistent and comes out of the factory in 100,000’s of cars… It’s a map to achieve a desired output (emissions driven these vs power target for that vehicle). After market remap from the big names in VW/Audi tuning, should be sound, as they know the brand and can build decent software maps which they will sell at different stages… with differing prices and some offering upgrade paths to ease the process of the car modding bug, or slippery slope as I call it. Be more wary of outfits which sell remaps for all vehicles of all makes.. Jack of all, master of none.. Brand Specialists have more experience of your VW/Audi.

    Stage 1 Generic would suitable for a bog std car, or one with minimal modifications, and as such should be fine from the well know VAG tuners.. (not the % tuners)
    What needs to be mentioned is the platform we’re talking about here, as 1.8t cars are 10+ years old now and have varied wear and tear and conditions. Thorough checks should be done on these cars, due to their age related gremlins. (vac leaks in the main). Would just installing a map onto one of these without checking be wise? Personally I think not. Thorough pre-checks and brand/car experience here can make a poorly performing car a good one even before a remaps applied.

    Stage 2, 2+ etc Generic is where the Custom vs Generic debate begins to diverge in opinions from tuners. Those who sell only generic code will make the case for Generics obviously, as that’s what they offer.. They will sell them on the merits that its well developed, had many weeks of development time employed to refine the software to a stage 2 level. At this juncture I ask what is a stage 2 level of hardware modification.
    This is a pertinent question as the generic stage 2 would have been done on a car with a level of hardware modifications… For example, a FMIC, free flowing induction, larger downpipe free flow cat and exhaust or decat. What size or make of FMIC was it? They are not all created equal are they.., same goes for downpipes, exhausts, cats, and induction kits.. and they will all have an effect on performance, be it positive or negative. How will a generic stage 2 accommodate the assorted upgrades that people fit?
    If the stage 2 mods are to a prescribed list which replicate the test car the development was on, then you stand a good chance of it being ok, aside from any wear and tear differences. Listen to your tuner for their advised hardware mods to go with their Generic stage 2.

    Common modifications which will cause issues to all generic maps will be those like Actuator upgrades & hybrid turbos. Generic maps will not control boost well where stiffer actuators are employed for example and will result in dangerous boost spikes and levels left unchecked. At times like this the Generic only providers may mention alternate boost control options as their suggested fix.. It is not a defacto required fix but probably the only one they are able to offer, as the generic map isn't something they can adjust, as they likely only install it, they don’t write it. Their only recourse to boost control is by external means…. Its not how it has to be, only what they are able to offer remember. N75 control can be told to do whatever you want of it. Boost spikes are entirely avoidable with suitable mapping methods.
    Warning bells should be ringing at this point.. Is this a sales pitch for selling some additional hardware to accompany the fixed Generic software, then perhaps at this point you should consider a tailored, custom map. A Generic Stage 2 or above map, plus higher load actuator, plus external boost controller = more money.. Probably more money than a custom map by some degree too. EBCs are not cheap. Ask the right questions of the vendor in advance so your desired outcome can be achieved.

    It is also the custom tune that allows you to remove emissions based components, of various deletes people do, instead of replacing them at huge costs, whilst still leaving safety based strategies still active within the ECU as the OEM intended albeit with adjusted values to suit the new custom hardware.

    What about Hybrid turbos, Larger Framed turbos, larger injectors, larger MAF’s etc….
    There is often only one solution and that is Custom map. Some will try and sell a Generic Stage 3 or 4 code, with a MAF size specification, a specific injector size specification, and no doubt advise boost control is done by other means… MBC, EBC etc.. Why this need for external boost control? Plain and simple is its not possible to create a single generic stage 3 code for the wide ranging setups folks have. It will be a compromise at best and no where near optimised. Custom remains the only practical answer.

    Choose your tuner wisely, base it on them having experience of the car you have, and the modifications you desire. Listen to their advise and take what you read on the great “tinternet” with a huge pinch of salt. The web and the forums are a great resource for us all, but within this information are many armchair (keyboard) experts who have read it, and thereafter repost what they read as fact without any actual experience.


    Pre-Remap Checks you can do to avoid Disappointment on the day.
    1. Any known running faults must be fixed. Remaps do not fix an engine which has running issues before hand.
    2. Look for leaks, especially under inlet manifolds associated with PCV breather system. Any of these pipes which look oily are oily because of a split close by more than likely. If you know of a local garage who have a smoke tester, get it checked.
    3. Engine oil topped up, water levels topped up, tyres in good condition and at correct pressure and the engine in good overall service condition.
    4. Make sure your choice of fuel is in the tank and you have half a tank or more. Tell your mapper the fuel grade you intend to run on. Stick to that fuel grade once mapped also. VPower 99 ftw!
    5. Make sure vehicle ride height if lowered is compatible with the tuners dyno (where they have one). Ask in advance. Too low may result in not being able to run on the dyno.
    6. Make sure wheels are fitted correctly, and if spacers are used they are correct for the vehicle and don’t create wheel wobble.



    Post Remap issues which may Arise
    1. Coil pack failure(s) If you get a misfire after remapping most frequent cause is a coil pack and weak spark. Peak boost/Torque and spark gets blown out. Ideally replace all 4 with New Coils.. If one is old and expired, they will all likely be weaker spark than they should be. Excessively worn and wide open gapped spark plugs will also cause this coil failure prematurely.
    2. MAFs may be under reading un be known to you.. You may require a Fresh new Genuine Bosch MAF during the remap process. Airflows when logged will usually confirm health or not
    3. Clutch slip can occur post remap if its near end of life before hand. If the clutch is at the top of the pedal on biting point, it may be at near end of life. A remap will increase torque and potentially clutch slip will then appear. Want more power and torque, expect worn out components to show themselves.
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    Very informative post Bill

    I completely understand about the Stage 2/2+ custom map getting the most out of the hardware added compared to generic, what with brands/quality/flow of the products added being slightly different, but I would also argue that from even a stage 1 remap as well (only if the car is not 100% standard.)

    I remember reading about all of the extra gains the B5 TIP gave over the standard one when it first came out a couple of years ago no- however were there any comparisons on how much more bhp a custom map would get over a generic map, so say a Revo stage 1? I know all the tests were against the OEM TIP or Forge at the time- but not sure if you tested the TIP against generic maps vs custom.

    It's all very well saying certain mods will get you x bhp over OEM- but I'm assuming that in order to get the x bhp, you would need a custom map as apposed to a generic map to see those gains; as I can only presume that Revo (or other generic map companies) would not have taken that particular mod into consideration when they were spending months on developing the map seeing as though it's pretty new for the 1.8t K04 but a very common mod for all of us to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwistof View Post
    Very informative post Bill

    I completely understand about the Stage 2/2+ custom map getting the most out of the hardware added compared to generic, what with brands/quality/flow of the products added being slightly different, but I would also argue that from even a stage 1 remap as well (only if the car is not 100% standard.)

    I remember reading about all of the extra gains the B5 TIP gave over the standard one when it first came out a couple of years ago no- however were there any comparisons on how much more bhp a custom map would get over a generic map, so say a Revo stage 1? I know all the tests were against the OEM TIP or Forge at the time- but not sure if you tested the TIP against generic maps vs custom.

    It's all very well saying certain mods will get you x bhp over OEM- but I'm assuming that in order to get the x bhp, you would need a custom map as apposed to a generic map to see those gains; as I can only presume that Revo (or other generic map companies) would not have taken that particular mod into consideration when they were spending months on developing the map seeing as though it's pretty new for the 1.8t K04 but a very common mod for all of us to do.
    Personally, the code if fixed and based on a hardware spec it was developed on, will unlikely be optimised for Different, higher performing hardware. The original tests done, on Danes, on the V1 were on a stage 1 map from rtech.. bolt on TIP/Induction showed a real measurable logged gain in airflow and corresponding measure power on dyno. 19bhp gains.. No map change. So the answer is yes and no in terms of that particular bolt on example.
    I did alter the map and gained power over and above its previous stage 1, but that was'nt the point of the test for 3" induction at the time and never publicised.

    Not all maps will achieve the same gains or not have issues. Some very spikey boost delivery type maps, may encounter surge such is their overboost, and the surge is only hidden/masked by a std tip as its cavitating normally (screach sound on k04 spool) as the turbos inlet is choked which alters the compressors surge line. Open up the induction and the cavitating screach can sometimes turn into a chuff chuff surge... The cause is the boost spike, and the map being overly aggressive. Increase airflow, then the parameters have changed and in these instances, so should the map. Not possible on something generic of course without recourse to mbc's in parallel to n75 to cap the unwanted spike in herant in the map.

    Old cars now. They are no longer all equal in power/torque nor mods or wear and tear, so the one size fits all generic maps are being applied to assorted engines essentially. Some will be great, some not so much because they're different now. Old.. Varied mods, wear and tear...

    The same is progressively going to occur on the early 2.0tfsi motors.. they too are aging. Remember only 18months or more ago, 2.0TFSi coil packs were being heralded as the best thing for sparks since.... (insert something witty here) Now they are going pop and causing misfires just the same as ANY old aging coil pack which lives in a very hot enviroment, which vibrates... Age, wear and tear at play again.
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    Hmmmmmm - I think i'll still stick with my comment then, that unless you have a 100% standard car with perfect health, with all the pipes and parts that can affect a remap brand new; then realistically a custom map would be the best way to go if you wanted more power/torque than a generic map.

    Ohhh, and the B5 TIP sorted my screeching K04 sound out completely
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    Should make this a sticky.
    Handling mods++. GTX30 soon-ish. Hiding parts from the mrs since 2011. Build thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_ View Post
    Should make this a sticky.
    Its in the stickies FAQ section but nobody reads them as you know

    Hopefully if its in the main forum people will actually notice it to discuss/post etc

    <tuffty/>
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    Very informative post, thanks Bill!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_ View Post
    Should make this a sticky.
    it was.. however my request was it be here, so folks can actually read it.. it can gather some more input and +ve additions where suitable, and then go into stickies once its done.
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    Nicely done, thanks Bill

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    any contributions to add to this before its parked in the stickies?
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    Quote Originally Posted by badger5 View Post
    any contributions to add to this before its parked in the stickies?
    I think this is a very useful thread with some great information in it from some very well respected tuners

    TiV mapping
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    Emulation:

    An incredible way of tunning a car in real time.. 99% of mappers will use the standard way of mapping your car.. Ie take a map file, adjust it, run the car on a dyno, log the variables, decide on changes to be made, modify the map, re flash and test.

    This is time consuming !

    An emulator basically replaces your flash memory chip on the ecu and allows you to make instant changes to the map via you laptop. Certain Emulators also allow, data tracing which will display the exact visualisation of the data being used by the ecu.

    The benefits of this is the tuner can makes instant changes to the map whilst the car is on the dyno, he can also more precisely control timing and boost as he can make 10s if not 100s of small changes in the time he can normally make maybe 1 or 2..

    With such advancements in maps like GBB and boost multimaps, fine adjustment of the maps now means that a specific and tailored map can be made for your setup, bespoke to you..

    I can also guarentee that if tuner has an emulator he has more than a little interest in getting your car running right!
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    Excellent post mate.

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    www.badger5.co.uk

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    Good addition Dan.
    Emulators very much help dial in ecu's to hardware in real time.. BT cars benefit from this a lot.
    .... and yes Badger5 has ols300 emulator facilitys as does niki @ rtech & Dan also.
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    Wow very impressive write up, very informative

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    Dan
    Are you doing maps nowdays?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jezzy View Post
    Dan
    Are you doing maps nowdays?
    Jezzy

    i think this what the whole thread comes down to.

    Without a dyno its a pointless task.

    Doing a map for someone on the road and then saying " you have 250grams on the maf that's 315bhp" happy days is nononsense

    i can map a car but I don't as I don't have a dyno so have nothing to compare it against. If they weren't so dam expensive I might buy one ! There a serious lack of good VAG tuners in the SE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachbuggy View Post
    There a serious lack of good VAG tuners in the SE.
    I quite often say I'm going to do things.

    Then never do them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beachbuggy View Post
    There a serious lack of good VAG tuners in the SE.
    I can vouch for this

    However it does mean you get a great drive back from when you do travel to get it mapped
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    pity you cant rent dynos for the day.
    yes we suffer from not having a decent tuner down here.

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    Say I've got a standard s3 8l bam engine and would like it up there around 280 bhp . What mods would I need to work on before I bring it to someone like bill for mapping . Total new to mods and remapping . Cheers everyone . Doesn't need to be massive gains just a bit more poke . A small list of required mods would b great cheers .

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    Great post Bill. Hope the nasty men with shotguns stay away from this very knowledgeable badger…you're an endangered species in Gloucestershire it would seem?

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    Is there a complete pre-map checklist that someone could work through? I.e. taking things out, cleaning them up, checking for leaks etc. I'm worried that I'll waste time with not having checked something before.

    I.e. what are the questions that are asked first when seeing a car for re-map?
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    Just to add, I've done the mods in the 'first read this stickies' thread
    TIP upgrade, S2000 filter, A3 brakes, tidied, cleaned up. Mines a 1.8 2k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fanta View Post
    Is there a complete pre-map checklist that someone could work through? I.e. taking things out, cleaning them up, checking for leaks etc. I'm worried that I'll waste time with not having checked something before.

    I.e. what are the questions that are asked first when seeing a car for re-map?
    That will depend on the tuner.

    For me.. Any known issues should be told to the tuner.. in advance of turning up on the day.
    ride heights not silly low vs the rollers on the dyno...
    arrive with >1/2-full tank of Quality fuel you intend to run. Vpower advised
    check oil, fluids are correct levels, tyres properly inflated

    probably forgotten something.. I'll add it if I remember
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    I guess things like the ride height are what in talking about, things that will either make the remap pointless or that halt the remap completely.
    Thanks for any time spent thinking and responding to this. Maybe the outcome can be added to a sticky

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJC View Post
    Hope the nasty men with shotguns stay away from this very knowledgeable badger…you're an endangered species in Gloucestershire it would seem?
    Here's hoping he survives the cull.... I'm pretty sure he'll be OK
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanta View Post
    I guess things like the ride height are what in talking about, things that will either make the remap pointless or that halt the remap completely.
    Thanks for any time spent thinking and responding to this. Maybe the outcome can be added to a sticky
    ride heights and dyno friendlyness does depend on the dyno.. mine's not great for low cars and small diameter wheels.. Others are more tolerant but worth mentioning as some cars I see are decked big time, and wont go on at all. frustrating for everyone
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachbuggy View Post
    Jezzy

    i think this what the whole thread comes down to.

    Without a dyno its a pointless task.
    Not sure I agree with you 100% there... (Nomex coveralls on)

    I just read an article about 9 Excellence who reckon there's only so much you can do on a dyno.
    They measure their tuning in real world 60-130mph & 0-200mph figures which I have to agree are the ones that really count, (although these days everyone seems to be driving at 40mph, so maybe 40-100mph would be more appropriate)
    I mean, its pointless claiming "I've got 280bhp" if its all up at the red line.

    From a personal perspective, I'd rather have a noticeable boost in performance in the mid range for over taking, than having to have the engine screaming its nuts off to get anywhere.

    Not meaning to hijack the thread Bill & all of the above info is greatly appreciated!

    To me, it looks like this emulation business is the way to go.
    Dyno to start with perhaps? Then out on the road for final tweaks?
    ...... Waiting Paitently...

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    ...as long as you can find somewhere to legally do 100mph on a road of course...

    Road testing for part throttle and drivability yeah, I know Bill does this... emulating on the road is next to impossible though... you can do steady state on a dyno to emulate road driving, log/track load sites in the map and make live adjustment using the emulator on a dyno... there is no real need to do this on the road...

    Don't confuse inertia dynos with eddy braked setups...

    Sure a road test can reveal certain stuff but mapping on the road is not easy, safe and most of the time legal...

    In context of Dans post, you can get much closer to final mapping with a dyno than on the road even with a generic map... the cars particularly in this section vary so much in how a 'map' affects the way it drives that doing this on a dyno is essential... the runs Bill does for example typically hit speeds of 150mph on the average 1.8t... this is required to get the right amount of data 'safely'... he is looking at AFR, boost, timing pull plus a few other things... logs just about everything he can to make sure what he is doing is making a safe map for the car he is working on... I have never seen an instance where he can reuse maps across cars... all lrequire a little fine tuning on boost and timing to take into account engine wear, modifications and other variables...

    A dyno is a tool... its one that in my mind is essential to map a car safely and properly...

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    ....I don't understand why you think a dyno doesn't represent use on the road??? eddy braked dynos will load the engine properly as it would trying to drive up a small gradient or dragging a1.5 tonne lard arse S3 up the road...

    Yes you get peak figures out of it but the area under the curve and the increases you see from a before and after run are measured and evident... you won't get that from a butt dyno and airflow increases mean nothing...

    If you start with a std power/torque curve and its mapped to its full/safe potential then you will see where the increases are... on a dyno you will also see the negative effect of turning the boost up too high... yes it can hit 28psi but should it?? what are the knock on affects? this is all measurable on a dyno...

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    Fair enough, you make a good case for it.

    I must confess, I've only ever seen them used for power runs & only seen what I assume are the inertia type...



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    Quote Originally Posted by S3quatt View Post
    Not sure I agree with you 100% there... (Nomex coveralls on)

    I just read an article about 9 Excellence who reckon there's only so much you can do on a dyno.
    They measure their tuning in real world 60-130mph & 0-200mph figures which I have to agree are the ones that really count, (although these days everyone seems to be driving at 40mph, so maybe 40-100mph would be more appropriate)
    I mean, its pointless claiming "I've got 280bhp" if its all up at the red line.

    From a personal perspective, I'd rather have a noticeable boost in performance in the mid range for over taking, than having to have the engine screaming its nuts off to get anywhere.

    Not meaning to hijack the thread Bill & all of the above info is greatly appreciated!

    To me, it looks like this emulation business is the way to go.
    Dyno to start with perhaps? Then out on the road for final tweaks?
    Dyno shows exactly where the power's served up... no mystery... and not something you can remotely achieve on the road.. Been there done that. bought a dyno!

    the on the road bit is the part throttle stuff, tip in, tip out type stuff which is hard to replicate on a dyno.
    loaded tests, the dyno remains the best tool imho. You cannot log on the road safely with all diagnostics and sensors hooked up. Its also mightly unsafe. I laugh at those who say they have access to private roads and runways for their mapping, as its 99% BS and they are ripping up to high speeds on public roads more likely...

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