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Old 03-09-2009   #1
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Talking Installed a tuner on the 150!

After some delay (a month since I ordered it) I received the performance tuner for my 1.9 150 yesterday. Due to the delay in receiving it and concerns with the companies business practices I was hesitant to install the unit. After some thought I decided to at least give it a try. The install was fairly easy, although I was left questioning the thoroughness of the company after reading the part of the directions where it says "When it comes to connecting the plugs you may find a minor alteration is required to enable them to fit perfectly. This involves removing some ridges on the plugs with a sharp knife." Anyhow I found I was able to make the connections with little ta do. The tuner has adjustability built into it. basically its just a little screw you turn with a small straight screw driver. Mine came set at about the 1 o'clock. The directions say to turn it CW to increase power and CCW to back down the gains. With the tuner set at about 1 o'clock there was what I would call a noticeable difference in the mid range power. Seemed to come on harder and faster. I think I am going to turn the screw two more clicks CW and see what it does. I to go out with a stop watch and time the car with and without the tuner installed. Maybe try 30-60 and 60-80 timed pulls to see how much difference there is. Anyhow, guess that is all for now. I will be sure to get back with more results as they happen.
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Old 03-09-2009   #2
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Hmmm. Is this an actual remap or just a variable resistor from ebay?

Might be worth keeping an eye on fuel consumption during your testing too.
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Old 03-09-2009   #3
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Check your fuel fill up to fill up, the on board instant mpg can be as much as 20% higher when the fuel pulses are adjusted. Watch out for any black smoke, sometimes mods affect the DPF regen. If you have a lot of extra torque take care in the high gears, I expect you have a dual mass flywheel, and you can wear the gearbox.
Hope it goes well, keep us informed. My 2.4 auto does 50 to 70 in 4th close to 4 seconds, and 40 mpg.
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Old 04-09-2009   #4
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Had a look at some of these tuning boxes now. They are a bit more sophisticated than the resistors that people used to sell.

I can't understand how they work though - does anyone know? Presumably the ECU remains unaffected, so this box must "twiddle" one or more of its inputs or outputs. Does this box even know what the engine speed is from the lines it sits on (e.g. CANbus)..? Or does it just take the output from the ECU and add a bit?

Or does it in fact reprogram the ECU itself via the cable?

I'm interested in what these things do, from a techy perspective.
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Last edited by Doofer; 04-09-2009 at 22:02.
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Old 04-09-2009   #5
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

I bought one for my Rover 75 CDT from a chap called "Rover Ron". Basically made my 2.0 CDT (116hp) into CDTi (130hp) with very little work when the actual XPower upgrade was around 500 I think. Probably gave me around 1-2 MPG less but was well worth it. CDTi owners got up to 160HP from theirs.
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Old 05-09-2009   #6
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

I have only ran two tanks of gas through the car since I owned it and I didnt get to check the fuel consumption. I just filled up yesterday and reset the trip meter. I will check the mileage when I fill up again. What are others getting mileage wise and im not talking best ever, Im talking realistic daily driving.

As far as how it work. I believe all it does it trick the ECU into raising fuel pressure. But it is not supposed to raise pressure so far as to cause damage. With regard to how its done...Im not sure. I assume it could be as simple as a variable resistor. The box is small and does not require power? But then again its alot bigger than it would need to be if it was a simple variable resistor. Since all it does is tap into the fuel pressure sensor which is (as far as I know) a one way street of information be it a voltage or a resistance it is certainly not remapping the ECU.

One thing I would be interested to know is. Is the box smart enough to only add fuel pressure when demanded. As in WOT or heavy engine load?

Anyhow, I have not seen any black smoke nor have I had any other ill effects yet. Time will tell. I will post as things evolve.
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Old 05-09-2009   #7
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

A few points;

You won't see an increase in black smoke, the DPF will see to that, but the car may regenerate the DPF more often - handily negating any MPG gains.

The engine, drivetrain and exhaust components are rated at a certain power output. They will handle increased power and torque but at the expense of working life.

If you're not planning on keeping the car too long then go ahead and fit a box - if you keep the car then be prepared to replace the turbo, cat, DPF, driveshafts and gearbox sooner than you would have done normally. The effects on these components usually take years rather than weeks or months to become apparent.

Before anyone has a pop, I'm not being a 'doom and gloom' merchant or trying to spoil anyone's fun - it's a simple fact that when you reach the level of tune that the JTD engines are at, even small changes make a difference to component life.

Simply put, you don't get something for nothing, or to look at it another way; do you think there's a reason why Fiat didn't give their engines a higher power output in the first place (and not just so they could 'upgrade' the engine later )?
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Old 05-09-2009   #8
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Quote Originally Posted by Doofer View Post
Had a look at some of these tuning boxes now. They are a bit more sophisticated than the resistors that people used to sell.

I can't understand how they work though - does anyone know? Presumably the ECU remains unaffected, so this box must "twiddle" one or more of its inputs or outputs. Does this box even know what the engine speed is from the lines it sits on (e.g. CANbus)..? Or does it just take the output from the ECU and add a bit?

Or does it in fact reprogram the ECU itself via the cable?

I'm interested in what these things do, from a techy perspective.
You are on the right lines - some recieve, modify and resend the commands over CANBUS to increase fuel pressure (on some vehicles) and on others some connect between the pump. Hence the box model coverage is down to the diesel pump used.

They use a microcontroller of some sort to do this. There are more advanced units around nowadays that can be fine tuned using a laptop for better results and preventing numpties from cranking the potentiometer to max and creating loads of smoke.

The dumb units tend to overfuel at lower revs and under and higher, the programmable units do not have to follow a fixed curve so can have small changes made to prevent this (like a simple map).

Im a fan of normal remapping myself - but have seen excellent results from these units too.
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Old 05-09-2009   #9
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Interesting info. Sounds like a re-map is the "proper" way to get extra out of it.

Having said that, 150BHP is a heck of a lot for a 1.9 engine already. My 2.3 petrol (non-turbo) only gave 150BHP, and that was only about 10 years ago.

I seem to remember a 1.9 diesel was generally thought of as being equivalent to a 1.6 petrol in the old days.

My engine sounds like a bag of spanners as it is. I wouldn't like to give myself any more worries about it.
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Old 08-09-2009   #10
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

DoIdon'tI, I appreciate the input and agree to give a dance you have to pay the band. Reality is im only here in the UK for three years and will be selling it when I head home. The car has 48K miles on it and I will probably put another 20K on it in the next three years. As far as im concerned thats just getting broken in for a modern diesel. My guess is it will make it that long and if it doesn't its quite likely the tuner will have nothing to do with whatever happens.

In the end for the extra power I feel in the car im willing to take the risk and thats all the matters. Even better...reality is I can repair the car a few times and still have saved money from what I was looking at paying for a comparable Audi or VW! GO FIAT!

BTW, over a week now and no problems. The most recent tank of fuel I put in it is still at more than 3/4s so it looks like it will be at least another week or more for the next fill up...did I mention I love this diesel.
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Last edited by jadento; 08-09-2009 at 20:31. Reason: grammer correction
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Old 18-09-2009   #11
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Its Quiet in here!

Anyhow, I filled up the tank yesterday...only 31 MPG...American gallons that is. I got 421 miles on a full tank. I think thats pretty low. I would have expected a little more. I might unhook the tuner for the next tank and see if it gets any better as Ive never tested it before the tuner. Other than that everything is going fine after a couple weeks.
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Old 18-09-2009   #12
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Jadento, How much fuel did you put in, must have been in litres. If you calculated a conversion to US gallons then that would be over 38 MPG (UK), which may or may not compare with your trip MPG.
It would be interesting to see if the mod upsets the DPF regen, which most of get about every 300 - 500 miles.
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Old 18-09-2009   #13
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Do modern engines "learn" in some ways? Just wondering whether there may be a hangover from using it with/without the tuner box, perhaps not giving entirely unrelated results?

I know nowt by the way, but I did once read up on chipping and saw that the ECU needed to be cleared and given time to re-learn before getting the best out of it.
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Old 19-09-2009   #14
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Keithglos...I did purchased the fuel in liters and then converted liters to US gallons and divided by the number of miles on the trip meter which I reset when I filled it up. I didnt use the cars MPG gauge. Anyhow, I think it was about 55 liters or so that it took to fill it up. As far as the DPF. I have no idea. How can I tell when its doing it?
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Old 20-09-2009   #15
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Re: Installed a tuner on the 150!

Just a point, US gallons are smaller than UK gallons. A British gallon is 4.54 litres, US gallon is 3.78 litres.
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