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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok my friend and i are getting exhausts for our cars (he has a 2003 chevy cavalier and i have a 2000 mercury cougar) and a guy he talked to said that to get the hp gains or notice any difference you have to get a tuner because the car is run by a computer... is that true? I've never heard about having to have a tuner before....:confused:
 

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no. You'll want an intake to go along with your exhaust so your engine can breathe better..however HP gains will still be minimal. Tuning will be beneficial down the line once you've heavily modded, gone Forced Induction or will be using nitrous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats what i thought, but i wasnt sure about it.... i'm getting a AEM short ram intake this month before i get the exhaust. the tuner is like.. 500.00 and i wasnt sure if it was something i needed.
 

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Lots of guys are running very well with stock engine management. Aftermarket tuning devices are great, but cost a LOT (as you have discovered). They also require professional tuning on a dyno (also expensive) to make them work. You could add one later - WAY later, when you start having problems keeping enough fuel in the mix. You will know when you're ready. Until then, don't listen to those jerk-offs.
 

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Originally posted by: KillerCougar
Thats what i thought, but i wasnt sure about it.... i'm getting a AEM short ram intake this month before i get the exhaust. the tuner is like.. 500.00 and i wasnt sure if it was something i needed.
Look into getting a CAI extension to get better gains, you won't get much from a short ram intake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
lol ok thanks for the help. does anyone know about a turbo or supercharger for my car? i've seen a turbo on arizonadynochips.com but nothing else.... i know this isnt inthe forced induction section.... sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
my friend says you guys are thinking of something else because he's talking about a user friendly thing that requires no professional knowledge and the guy he talked to does this for a living...
 

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Nothing else is required. If I were you I'd find out EXACTLY what he's referring to. At $500 it sounds like a tuning chip, period. Either way, for just exhaust its not going to help you.
 

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Maybe he's talking about a tuned chip where they go off the mods you have for some extra grunt under the hood compared to an EMS.

Engine Management System that controls every aspect of the car and would need a tuner and dyno tune to get the car to run properly with the correct air/fuel ratio.
 

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I would highly recommend on modifying your Cougar with bolt ons first. Intake, Exhaust will net you good gains. Headers are by far the best bang for the buck.

Wait on the chip until very last. You'll know when you are ready. Until then read around. Check out the CEG (Contour) forums to gain further knowledge.

Educating yourself is by far the best thing you can do.

Just so you know I left my car performance wise alone (just basic bolt ons) until I was ready and did a 3L swap.

Getting a chip will net you good gains, but will have more of a cumulative effect with more bolt ons you have.

Wait on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The thing my friend is talking about it called a PTM(Power Tuning Module) not a chip, just a little thing that you plug into the computer of the car, and it communicates with it telling it what mods you have, so that it runs more efficient with the mods becuase otherwise the computer woul'nt know that it had them.
 

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I don't think they make a plug-in deal for this car. If you find one, it's probably a joke and a ripoff.

Hah, LOL Ty - why do you have an IMRC for your avatar?!? :)
 

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Originally posted by: Bennett9000
Hah, LOL Ty - why do you have an IMRC for your avatar?!? :)
Jealous? :evil:



:rofl:
 

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Originally posted by: LostRacer
Originally posted by: Bennett9000
Hah, LOL Ty - why do you have an IMRC for your avatar?!? :)
Jealous? :evil:



:rofl:
<--- Doesn't get it :confused:

Either way, the guy your talking to is referring to a chip. It's basically just a rom chip that plugs into your computer, and over rides the stock ecu's (computers) tables w/ more aggressive tables.
 

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Actually I imagine that he is talking about something like and SCT Xcal or Xcal2(think of those Hypertech Ads on TV) . Which you can do some programing yourself to net some additional gains from you mods if you know what your doing, but not much. But to really net some gains it should be professionally tuned and dyno tested, this should be done when you are done adding mods, because you pay big bucks each time you need to have it re-tuned. Like other people have said, your money would be better spent somewhere else at this point, such as headers.:thumbsup:
 

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Originally posted by: nadthomas
Actually I imagine that he is talking about something like and SCT Xcal or Xcal2(think of those Hypertech Ads on TV) . Which you can do some programing yourself to net some additional gains from you mods if you know what your doing, but not much. But to really net some gains it should be professionally tuned and dyno tested, this should be done when you are done adding mods, because you pay big bucks each time you need to have it re-tuned. Like other people have said, your money would be better spent somewhere else at this point, such as headers.:thumbsup:
Actually, you don't need ANY tuning experience to use the Xcalibrator tuner/chip "reflasher."

Superchips (SCT) manufactures the actual Xcal1 and Xcal2 units. Independent dealers then develop tuning programs (software files) for specific vehicle/powerplant applications. The tuning program is then loaded onto the Xcal unit so your vehicle Powertrain Control Module (PCM) chip can be reprogrammed in about 3 minutes via the onboard diagnostics II (OBDII) port under your dash.

The beauty of this setup is you get all of the advantages of a high performance chip but, you don't have to remove the PCM and replace the chip. Better yet, the vehicle can be returned to stock condition and performance reflashed any time you want.

I contacted SCT directly about a tuning program software developer for the 1999-2002, 2.5L Cougar (also Contours/Mystiques). SCT recommended Lonnie Doll at Blue Oval Chips Blue Oval Chips - XCalibrator 2.

I have used the xcal2 on my Zetec Focus, with a tuning program provided by an independent dealer, and got a very nice performance increase with absolutely NO "programming" or decision making on my part.

I'm so happy with Focus "reflash" I plan on purchasing an xcal2 for my Cougar!
 

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The more complex the modifications, the more a "custom tune" would be beneficial...

For instance... basic bolt ons to a NA car, no huge need for a custom tune. Adding N2O, or other forced induction, custom built block, shanging cam profiles, etc, a custom tune would help.

The Cougar's ECU can adapt quite well, and the standard programming, though not 100% aggressive, isn't all that bad. Resetting the ECU after you add modifications can help the ECU adapt minorly to the new mods. It's good to reset the ECU every so often anyhow. (Just disconnect the neg battery cable for a prolonged period of time).

Todays fuel injected cars, plus with the use of environmental safety features, safety restraint devices, ABS, Traction Control, etc are all controlled by a computer. Every time you step on the gas, all you do is pull a cable (unless its a Drive By Wire DBW) which opens a butterfly in the TB that turns basically a potentiometer called the TPS (throttle position sensor), and the ECU translates that voltage and then alters ignition timing and fuel flow, and the car moves. By then monitoring sensors like the MAF, O2's, Cam/Crank position sensors, and other sansors to read faults, the engine will adapt itself based upon the live readings opf the sensors.

Cars today are basically totally controlled by the computer. Automatic Transmissions also have their own control too.

To "tune" a car you'll need a method of erasing and rewriting (a reflash) info onto the main chip in the ECU, or bypassing it (chip into an expansion slot, or piggy back computer, or standalone), with a user controlled programming device. Changing bits of info and parameters in the coding will help create power. Running a car on a Dyno and the road, and building a tune from logging numbers on both will again help create more power, more usable power, smoother power graphs, etc. A tuner can add ignition timing in one place and pull it from another, rescale the injector sizing and control the IDC and pulse width of the spray, create different tunes for use of different types of Fuels with different AKI (Anti Knock Index), etc...

Real tuning should be done by professionals...

Again...as you increase the complexity of the mods, a custom tune would be beneficial for both optimal power gains, and safe running conditions... For an intake and an exhaust on a cougar... just doing a standard ECU reset will be just fine...
 

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Are you talking about the Venom 400 Power Control Module? My friend has that on his Civic, I can feel a bit of a difference. But IMO its too "general" for how much it costs. IIRC, it costs like, $300 or something.

Do all your bolt-on mods, THEN do the ADC chip, made speciically for your mods. It makes the most out of the mods you have. Also, it can be reflashed if you do something big like a 3L or something. It costs money, but not as much as a whole different chip.
 
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