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jimmyrc
10-04-2006, 05:25 PM
Has anyone tried a performance chip on a Sky? If yes how is the Sky running?

Russ Bellinis
12-04-2006, 05:50 PM
Has anyone tried a performance chip on a Sky? If yes how is the Sky running?

Removeable chips went out with the advent of obdII in about 1996. Since then the only way to do performance mods to a computer is by reprogramming.

Kustomkaps
12-16-2006, 10:02 AM
Don't bother buying the chip, they don't really work more than a few hundred miles at tops. You would need to reprogram the complete car and have constant adjustments- which in the end will cost you far more in $ than just keeping the performance you have now. These chips vary from junk to almost junk. Don't buy into the marketing ad, you will only end up unhappy.

Ritz
12-16-2006, 10:18 AM
On a normally aspirated engine, "chipping" has virtually no effect and is a complete waste of $$$. On turbocharged or supercharged engines, you can often get significant power gains from "chipping" since you can delay the opening of the wastegate resulting in more boost to the engine.

SCDYNE
01-02-2007, 06:07 PM
HPTuners (http://www.hptuners.com) has support for the Saturn Ion RedLine and Sky manual. It's not just a chip, but a tuner program.

Vector Motorsports (http://www.whiteautoandmedia.com/) sells modified PCM's that are proven to make impressive gains on an N/A 2.4L engine.

Ritz
01-02-2007, 06:43 PM
HPTuners (http://www.hptuners.com) has support for the Saturn Ion RedLine and Sky manual. It's not just a chip, but a tuner program.

Vector Motorsports (http://www.whiteautoandmedia.com/) sells modified PCM's that are proven to make impressive gains on an N/A 2.4L engine.

I find that extremely difficult to believe. You can "tune" things all you want, but you can't beat the laws of physics. Neither one of these sites provides any before/after dyno charts of what they are claiming to be able to achieve.

On a forced induction engine, sure, you can make gobs of power by tuning the fuel and boost maps, but I call BS on it making any significant difference on an NA engine.

Cheers,

CdnSkyGuy
01-16-2007, 11:06 PM
I find that extremely difficult to believe. You can "tune" things all you want, but you can't beat the laws of physics. Neither one of these sites provides any before/after dyno charts of what they are claiming to be able to achieve.

On a forced induction engine, sure, you can make gobs of power by tuning the fuel and boost maps, but I call BS on it making any significant difference on an NA engine.

Cheers,

Many of us have ReFlashed ECMs for our SKYs and it makes a very noticeable difference.

mac11
01-17-2007, 08:59 PM
I find that extremely difficult to believe. You can "tune" things all you want, but you can't beat the laws of physics. Neither one of these sites provides any before/after dyno charts of what they are claiming to be able to achieve.

On a forced induction engine, sure, you can make gobs of power by tuning the fuel and boost maps, but I call BS on it making any significant difference on an NA engine.

Cheers,



You must not have been paying attention for the last 10 years or so.

You can modify the fuel and spark maps to do a good deal for your powerband. You can recalibrate sensors to accomodate for extra airflow that NA modding will provide from i/h/e ported manifolds, ported heads aftermarket cam grinds, etc....much better than running a piggy back and much easier than setting up a standalone. You can also do auxillary things like turn the cooling fans on at a lower temperature setting.

I wish they would start comming out with flashing hardware/software for my car in the states.

Ritz
01-18-2007, 08:10 PM
Many of us have ReFlashed ECMs for our SKYs and it makes a very noticeable difference.

Have you now? Then I'm sure the source of the new program would be delighted to provide a before and after dyno run report in an effort to show sky owners how wonderful it is. As you can imagine, I'm rather skeptical that it makes any meaningful difference other than the placebo effect on a normally aspirated engine.

Cheers,

Ritz
01-18-2007, 08:12 PM
You must not have been paying attention for the last 10 years or so.

You can modify the fuel and spark maps to do a good deal for your powerband. You can recalibrate sensors to accomodate for extra airflow that NA modding will provide from i/h/e ported manifolds, ported heads aftermarket cam grinds, etc....much better than running a piggy back and much easier than setting up a standalone. You can also do auxillary things like turn the cooling fans on at a lower temperature setting.

I wish they would start comming out with flashing hardware/software for my car in the states.

Well, if you're going to be doing hardware mods like cams, head porting, etc, it's not really just a simple matter of flashing the firmware for gains, now is it? TANTSTAAFL.

And I have been modifying street and race engines (normally aspirated and turbo/supercharged) for nearly 30 years and current use a modified twin turbo Audi A6 as my daily driver. I do believe I've been "paying attention."

Cheers,

mac11
01-18-2007, 09:36 PM
Well, if you're going to be doing hardware mods like cams, head porting, etc, it's not really just a simple matter of flashing the firmware for gains, now is it? TANTSTAAFL.

And I have been modifying street and race engines (normally aspirated and turbo/supercharged) for nearly 30 years and current use a modified twin turbo Audi A6 as my daily driver. I do believe I've been "paying attention."

Cheers,

if you doubt reflashing on NA cars then you really havent been. the dukes of hazard have been modifying cars for years too. do you think that mean i think they know what they are talking about?

mac11
01-18-2007, 09:46 PM
would a dyno change you mind?

http://www.pcmforless.com/images/dynosheets/06SolsticeLloyd.jpg

Ritz
01-18-2007, 10:02 PM
if you doubt reflashing on NA cars then you really havent been. the dukes of hazard have been modifying cars for years too. do you think that mean i think they know what they are talking about?

Heh. I'm hardly the Duke brothers. I've been modifying BMW/Porsche/VW/Audi (and a couple of my old Saturns) in addition to a number of other cars that are quite a bit more complex that an ecotec Sky. If there was "free power" sitting there waiting to be unleashed by the ECU, don't you think the GM boys would have fixed that to make the Sky more competitive with other roadsters?

According to your dyno graph above. The difference is in the single digit horsepower and torque realm. *yawn* And were there any other mods or was it a simple software change? Also, their modified graph conveniently only starts at 3100rpm. On a 3000 pound car with only 140-150 ft/lbs of torque I'd be concerned about any change that emasculated your low end torque to get you a couple of ponies at 5-6.5k RPM. Hardly seems worth the effort. How much does this awesome transformation in power cost ya? :)

Cheers,

Ritz
01-18-2007, 11:51 PM
I'm rereading my messages and it might give the impression that I'm somehow putting down the Sky here. I'm really not. However, the fact of the matter is that there are people promoting products that promise some sort of life altering experience in performance (cough...K&N...cough) when, at best, you get a tiny benefit (if any) with a substantial lightening of your wallet.

For some folks, it doesn't matter. There are those of us that will throw all kinds of money at their car whether it makes any real tangible performance difference or not. I'm not really addressing those people since they really don't care. But to pay for performance and receive bling is something I find distasteful.

On a positive note, I would expect the redline Sky to be VERY receptive to fondling the engine management program to get a LOT more power and torque with the downside being reduced long-term drivetrain reliability if you beat on it constantly.

Cheers,

mac11
01-19-2007, 01:55 AM
Heh. I'm hardly the Duke brothers. I've been modifying BMW/Porsche/VW/Audi (and a couple of my old Saturns) in addition to a number of other cars that are quite a bit more complex that an ecotec Sky. If there was "free power" sitting there waiting to be unleashed by the ECU, don't you think the GM boys would have fixed that to make the Sky more competitive with other roadsters?

what other roadster? The comperaby priced miata that it does compete with? or the z4 that they dont try to compete with?

no, GM - nor any other manufacturer that produces autos designed for daily driver roles - gives you everything the car has from the factory. They couldnt possibly do that any maintain longevity. Yes, there is room to improve upon the spark and fuel trims to make some power.

According to your dyno graph above. The difference is in the single digit horsepower and torque realm. *yawn* And were there any other mods or was it a simple software change? Also, their modified graph conveniently only starts at 3100rpm. On a 3000 pound car with only 140-150 ft/lbs of torque I'd be concerned about any change that emasculated your low end torque to get you a couple of ponies at 5-6.5k RPM. Hardly seems worth the effort. How much does this awesome transformation in power cost ya? :)

Cheers,


This graph was of an otherwise stock solstice with nothing more than a software flash. It makes close to 10hp/tq to the wheels.

The graph also shows no signs of losing the power differential it holds over the stock maping any lower in the rpm band. it is consistantly higher throught the entire dyno. This is not showing a mere peak power improvement but an improvement over the entire length of the graph which puts considerably more area under the curve of the graph.

This single digit *yawn* power adder is roughly a 7% increase in power.
Also roughly the same as putting on an exhaust which costs more than twice as much. And you can get new maps over and over to adapt to the mods you continue to add to your car to fine tune the fuleing and timing to get the most out of your mods. i/h/e may make 25whp on its own, but it also might through your afrs off from the increased airflow and the decreased intake temps you will now be putting into the engine. Now when you retune on top of that you are going to see more increase in power and gas milage once you get your computer looking for the new airflow parameters.

You can also do other trick things like turn the cooling fans on earlier if you are going to be running autox or HPDE, raise the rev limiter....etc.

If you really work with audi and bmw in the past 10 years you would not have any doubts about the power of flashing. Those guys are all over factory ecu tuning for power.

Ritz
01-19-2007, 10:00 AM
what other roadster? The comperaby priced miata that it does compete with? or the z4 that they dont try to compete with?

I was thinking more along the lines of an S2000 (which is a little more expensive, but faster and a bit more polished).


If you really work with audi and bmw in the past 10 years you would not have any doubts about the power of flashing. Those guys are all over factory ecu tuning for power.

Um, are you saying I'm lying? I'd be happy to invite you over and take a ride in my modified A6 and could show you pics of former modified A4, Dinan M3, 911 turbo, 930, various DSM's, etc. I'm quite familiar with the benefits of flashing on a forced induction car or on a NA car that's had substantial engine modifications. On a factory NA car like the non-turbo Sky, it isn't going to do much of anything though except make the company selling the "upgrade" happy. If you want real power from the 2.4, you've got to do more than fiddle with the fuel map.

Cheers,

mac11
01-19-2007, 12:03 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of an S2000 (which is a little more expensive, but faster and a bit more polished).



Um, are you saying I'm lying? I'd be happy to invite you over and take a ride in my modified A6 and could show you pics of former modified A4, Dinan M3, 911 turbo, 930, various DSM's, etc. I'm quite familiar with the benefits of flashing on a forced induction car or on a NA car that's had substantial engine modifications. On a factory NA car like the non-turbo Sky, it isn't going to do much of anything though except make the company selling the "upgrade" happy. If you want real power from the 2.4, you've got to do more than fiddle with the fuel map.

Cheers,



you are the first person I have EVER heard say the s2000 is polished.

no a flash is not going to release 50whp. But it is doing as much -or more- than what people are getting out of an exhaust or an intake. And its cheaper -$250- from that company whos dyno I posted.

~8-10whp from a flash for $250
- or -
~8-10whp from an exhaust for $600

If you were going to only do 1, which would you do?

Ritz
01-19-2007, 06:07 PM
you are the first person I have EVER heard say the s2000 is polished.

It is when you compare it to the Solstice and Sky.


no a flash is not going to release 50whp. But it is doing as much -or more- than what people are getting out of an exhaust or an intake. And its cheaper -$250- from that company whos dyno I posted.

~8-10whp from a flash for $250
- or -
~8-10whp from an exhaust for $600

If you were going to only do 1, which would you do?

Neither seems like a worthwhile investment on a car with that amount of weight to lug around. If it was me, I'd invest the few grand and pop on the Stage 3 or 4 kit for the 300-ish RWHP/torque. Now THAT would make a meaningful change on the street and provide some teeth to go with those looks.

Cheers,

mac11
01-19-2007, 06:13 PM
It is when you compare it to the Solstice and Sky.



Neither seems like a worthwhile investment on a car with that amount of weight to lug around. If it was me, I'd invest the few grand and pop on the Stage 3 or 4 kit for the 300-ish RWHP/torque. Now THAT would make a meaningful change on the street and provide some teeth to go with those looks.

Cheers,

So you argument is that nothing is worthwhile unless you are going to see upwards or 300whp out of it?

I can't say that I agree. for the f/i kits you are going to pay ~$60/hp. for a flash you are paying ~$25/hp. Which is more reasonable?

Nor can I say that i agree with your comment about the s2k. In what ways do you think the s2000 is at all refined? The Kappa is a boulevard cruiser compared to the S2K.

mac11
01-19-2007, 06:16 PM
A flash also isn't going to void your powertrain warranty like adding a f/i kit, its not going to put anymore undo strees on the car in anyway and it is not going to require any other supporting mods and extensive installation.

If you think a turbo is the way to go for you, thats wonderful. but you do have to realize that 99% of people out there dont modify their cars in any way and a majority of those that do modify them don't dump a lot of parts on the car and look for cost effective ways to make small adjustments.

Ritz
01-19-2007, 07:59 PM
A flash also isn't going to void your powertrain warranty like adding a f/i kit, its not going to put anymore undo strees on the car in anyway and it is not going to require any other supporting mods and extensive installation.

If you think a turbo is the way to go for you, thats wonderful. but you do have to realize that 99% of people out there dont modify their cars in any way and a majority of those that do modify them don't dump a lot of parts on the car and look for cost effective ways to make small adjustments.

I just find it rather interesting that someone thinks that 5-10hp in a 1.5 ton vehicle is going to have any real effect. If the end game is to have a performance car, the chip is statistical noise (as is the exhaust alone). So if you're into the bling factor, sure, it seems like the "biggest bang" for the buck. If you actually want to make your car faster, it seems like (to me) a waste of time even though it's cheap.

Again, the sky is a smart looking car. And it *could* be a real corner carver and it could be quite fast. However, this "performance chip" isn't going to accomplish either of those goals, but it will lighten your wallet. If I end up getting a sky project car, it will more than likely be a 2.4 with the Hahn turbo kit. Now THAT would be a real hoot to drive.

Cheers,

mac11
01-20-2007, 02:29 PM
I just find it rather interesting that someone thinks that 5-10hp in a 1.5 ton vehicle is going to have any real effect. If the end game is to have a performance car, the chip is statistical noise (as is the exhaust alone). So if you're into the bling factor, sure, it seems like the "biggest bang" for the buck. If you actually want to make your car faster, it seems like (to me) a waste of time even though it's cheap.

Again, the sky is a smart looking car. And it *could* be a real corner carver and it could be quite fast. However, this "performance chip" isn't going to accomplish either of those goals, but it will lighten your wallet. If I end up getting a sky project car, it will more than likely be a 2.4 with the Hahn turbo kit. Now THAT would be a real hoot to drive.

Cheers,


in a low hp motor that 10hp at oem power levels is going to make a difference. Again, its not going to drop a second off your 400m times but it will change the way the car feels when driving around on a daily basis. And if you are purchasing the flashing hareware along with it you are getting what you need to have to setup a proper forced induction setup anway. So I really dont see how you find that to be unjustifiable. Having control of the ECU is one of the best things you can do in the modification process of any car - regardless of induction type. Once you hit a certain power level you will run into the law of diminishing returns fairly quickly. Espically when you couple that car with the typical driver.

I am still very interested in hearing what ways you think the s2000 is a more polished car than the kappa platform?

If you want to talk about lightening your wallet go get a mallet conversion kappa.

CdnSkyGuy
01-21-2007, 01:53 AM
I just find it rather interesting that someone thinks that 5-10hp in a 1.5 ton vehicle is going to have any real effect. If the end game is to have a performance car, the chip is statistical noise (as is the exhaust alone). So if you're into the bling factor, sure, it seems like the "biggest bang" for the buck. If you actually want to make your car faster, it seems like (to me) a waste of time even though it's cheap.

Again, the sky is a smart looking car. And it *could* be a real corner carver and it could be quite fast. However, this "performance chip" isn't going to accomplish either of those goals, but it will lighten your wallet. If I end up getting a sky project car, it will more than likely be a 2.4 with the Hahn turbo kit. Now THAT would be a real hoot to drive.

Cheers,

People do not get a ecm reflash for the 5-10 HP gain. They get it to make the other Mods come alive. It is one thing to enable your engine to breathe better...it is another thing entirely to have a vehicle that knows how to maximize the benefit that you can get from all of that extra airflow.

It really smoothed out my powerband and the difference was so noticeable that I had to admit to the wife that I had spent even more money on my car because she knew instantly that it felt different.

You say a "chip" is statistical noise and in the same breath you say you would get a 2.4 with the Hahn kit...do you not realize that if they just slapped the Hahn kit on a sky without reprogramming the ECM it would run like a dog? the ECM is the brain of your vehicle and if you plan on modding your car at all it needs you to teach it how to run at peak efficiency. I would argue that, if your end goal is a fast sky, the MOST IMPORTANT mod you can do is to reflash your ecm.

FWIW I learned all that on www.skyroadster.com too ;)

CdnSkyGuy
01-21-2007, 02:05 AM
So if you're into the bling factor, sure, it seems like the "biggest bang" for the buck.

And why are you talking about BLING? have you ever seen an ECM? the re-flashed one looks the same and in some cases IS the exact same as the one the car came with. The service techs would not even notice you changed it out.

Ritz
01-21-2007, 02:43 AM
And why are you talking about BLING? have you ever seen an ECM? the re-flashed one looks the same and in some cases IS the exact same as the one the car came with. The service techs would not even notice you changed it out.

I mean bling in terms of you can "brag" to your friends about it, but it really serves no useful purpose in terms of day to day performance. Kinda like painting your brake calipers bright red or getting racing stripes. :) I have definitely seen my fair share of ECU's. I have reflashed every turbocharged car I've ever had to great effect.

Cheers,

Ritz
01-21-2007, 02:47 AM
People do not get a ecm reflash for the 5-10 HP gain. They get it to make the other Mods come alive. It is one thing to enable your engine to breathe better...it is another thing entirely to have a vehicle that knows how to maximize the benefit that you can get from all of that extra airflow.

That's just dandy. But the other poster was marketing the software flash as this panacea of performance all by itself. I agree with you. By itself, it does virtually nothing. If you make other mods and THEN tune the ECU to specifically account for those mods, then it can achieve something useful. But then it's also a LOT more expensive than just a software flash as the other fellow was trying to make it seem.

Spare me the "lesson" on ecu flashing. I've been modifying turbocharged vehicles for a long time. I know the drill and you and I are actually in agreement.

Cheers,

mac11
01-22-2007, 11:13 AM
That's just dandy. But the other poster was marketing the software flash as this panacea of performance all by itself.


Its pretty obvious you are not listening...

This is what I initially said.


You can modify the fuel and spark maps to do a good deal for your powerband. You can recalibrate sensors to accomodate for extra airflow that NA modding will provide from i/h/e ported manifolds, ported heads aftermarket cam grinds, etc....much better than running a piggy back and much easier than setting up a standalone.

and then i said....

you can get new maps over and over to adapt to the mods you continue to add to your car to fine tune the fuleing and timing to get the most out of your mods. i/h/e may make 25whp on its own, but it also might through your afrs off from the increased airflow and the decreased intake temps you will now be putting into the engine. Now when you retune on top of that you are going to see more increase in power and gas milage once you get your computer looking for the new airflow parameters.




after that i said...



no a flash is not going to release 50whp. But it is doing as much -or more- than what people are getting out of an exhaust or an intake. And its cheaper




I am pretty sure the entire time I have maintaied you get roughly the same gains as adding an exhaust only this is cheaper. If you don't believe and exhaust and flashing will do anything for the car, thats fine. But I will go by the comments from a few hundred owners that have done it. You let me know when your kappa arrives.

Ritz
01-24-2007, 02:40 AM
Its pretty obvious you are not listening...


*shrug*

Whatever you say. I stand by my commentary above. No need to add to it any further.

Cheers,

mikecronis
01-24-2007, 03:19 AM
A normally aspirated car, such as my Pontiac Firehawk, can gain 5% Hp by advancing the spark timing and using higher octane faithfully via OBD-II programming modules, such as Hypertech, JetChip, and Vance Hines' tools, as well as LS1-Edit which interfaces a laptop PC/Mac to the OBD-II input for fuel-mapping.

Ritz
01-24-2007, 04:56 AM
A normally aspirated car, such as my Pontiac Firehawk, can gain 5% Hp by advancing the spark timing and using higher octane faithfully via OBD-II programming modules, such as Hypertech, JetChip, and Vance Hines' tools, as well as LS1-Edit which interfaces a laptop PC/Mac to the OBD-II input for fuel-mapping.

5% of how many horsepower? C'mon. If that was 5% of an LS1's power I'd say "yeeha!" 5% of 177hp (at the crank) is what...9hp? At the wheels, you're talking what...7hp? I don't think that's going to make much difference in day to day performance at all. But it will result in you spending a lot more on fuel.

Cheers,

mac11
01-24-2007, 11:44 AM
*shrug*

Whatever you say. I stand by my commentary above. No need to add to it any further.

Cheers,


I still am curious to hear what grounds you justify the s2000 as more refined than the kappa.

quiksc2
01-24-2007, 04:21 PM
A normally aspirated car, such as my Pontiac Firehawk, can gain 5% Hp by advancing the spark timing and using higher octane faithfully via OBD-II programming modules, such as Hypertech, JetChip, and Vance Hines' tools, as well as LS1-Edit which interfaces a laptop PC/Mac to the OBD-II input for fuel-mapping.

What year is your Firehawk? My friend is big into Pontiacs. He has a 91 Formula, and was trying to get me to buy a Firehawk he found for sale.

CdnSkyGuy
01-24-2007, 07:28 PM
5% of how many horsepower? C'mon. If that was 5% of an LS1's power I'd say "yeeha!" 5% of 177hp (at the crank) is what...9hp? At the wheels, you're talking what...7hp? I don't think that's going to make much difference in day to day performance at all. But it will result in you spending a lot more on fuel.

Cheers,

Ritz...all of us who have had the tune done to our Kappas have experienced a marginal increase in fuel economy. Of course if your car is breathing better you are probably going to be into the pedal alot more so any gains in fuel economy will be off-set by the harder driving.

I think it is clear that you don't see the value in having your ecm tuned. That is fine. Many of us DO see the value and actually have real life seat experience with the car before AND after the tune. It DOES make a difference...is it a $500 difference? maybe not, but it was noticeable to me and I am happy with my purchase.

Ritz
01-27-2007, 03:25 PM
Many of us DO see the value and actually have real life seat experience with the car before AND after the tune. It DOES make a difference...is it a $500 difference? maybe not, but it was noticeable to me and I am happy with my purchase.

Perception is everything. If you feel like it was a useful addition and it makes you happy, then it is by definition a worthwhile purchase.

As for seat time in a kappa and ownership of a kappa, I've got to sort out another garage space. Perhaps an expansion of the garage to 4 bays will precede the addition of a kappa project car. I'd probably have one to play with already, but it would be stuck outside, which is not my preference and my wife likes her VUE to be nice and cozy on those 5F days.

Best regards,

Ritz