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Old 04-07-2015   #16
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

I haven't had time this week to get performance figures with/without the MM tuning box.
I sent Pietro an email last week asking what could be done with the software or anything else to make my tuning box actually improve performance. No reply of course.
That I have done 2000km of country driving and could not determine any performance improvement is enough for me. I feel as though I am trying to talk myself into believing that the tuning box actually improves performance.
The fact is that it doesn't.
The first harness was faulty, so performance was worse than standard at first. I also cleared and reloaded the xxx software. Perhaps that was a mistake, the original software might've been okay.
With the first harness checked over and contacts re-aligned, the tuning box actually worked, in that it didn't reduce performance or set off the check engine light.
With the new harness fitted, I can't tell any difference, between no tuning box, tuning box with first harness and tuning box with second harness.
Part throttle acceleration in lower gears is where the standard TA has always been brilliant. So maybe the tuning box does improve this, but I don't feel like it does.
I keep thinking that if there is 15hp more and maybe 30Nm more, I should not have to go get performance logging equipment or a dyno test to prove it.
I am returning the MM box and will try TMC or Squadra.
Actually I am very tempted to see what a dyno tune costs because it would be interesting to see what the MM does. That seems like yet a further waste of money though.
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Old 04-07-2015   #17
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

Quote Originally Posted by AusPanda View Post
I haven't had time this week to get performance figures with/without the MM tuning box.
I sent Pietro an email last week asking what could be done with the software or anything else to make my tuning b..nce logging equipment or a dyno test to prove it.
I am returning the MM box and will try TMC or Squadra.
Actually I am very tempted to see what a dyno tune costs because it would be interesting to see what the MM does. That seems like yet a further waste of money though.
Interesting info - if you can't feel a really noticeable increase in power/torque then my guess is that there isn't one.
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Old 04-07-2015   #18
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

Quote Originally Posted by AusPanda View Post
I am returning the MM box and will try TMC or Squadra.
I wonder if you will get different results with any other box. Basically all these boxes have the same working principle. That working principle should work, and it really does on other engines, but apparently it doesn't on the Twinair. Just a wild guess, but maybe the TwinAir uses different control strategies than other engines. If that's the cause of the disappointing results with the Magneti Marelli box, then other boxes will likely have the same problem.

Whatever you decide to do, please keep us informed!
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Old 04-07-2015   #19
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

Quote Originally Posted by AGH1965 View Post
I wonder if you will get different results with any other box. Basically all these boxes have the same working principle. That working principle should work, and it really does on other engines, but apparently it doesn't on the Twinair. Just a wild guess, but maybe the TwinAir uses different control strategies than other engines. If that's the cause of the disappointing results with the Magneti Marelli box, then other boxes will likely have the same problem.

Whatever you decide to do, please keep us informed!
Given that the TA's inlet valves are computer-controlled there's quite a lot going on in the box but it's very surprising that that the Marelli unit doesn't do the biz as Marelli is a massive company and a Fiat subsidiary.
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Old 05-07-2015   #20
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

The only thing tuning boxes do is manipulate engine sensors data, and disable safety protocols to do so.
It is the worst kind of engine tuning you can choose.
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Old 08-07-2015   #21
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

Quote Originally Posted by The Pretender View Post
The only thing tuning boxes do is manipulate engine sensors data, and disable safety protocols to do so.
It is the worst kind of engine tuning you can choose.
What are "safety protocols" and what exactly do they do?
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Old 08-07-2015   #22
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

All kind of save guard's in the engine ECU software that prevent engine damage.
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Old 08-07-2015   #23
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

The safety mechanisms can't be disabled by a tuning box, but in theory they might no longer work as good as they were intended. Guys who prefer remapping always emphasize this theoretical disadvantage, as if only remapping can be good. However, not all remappings are good and not all tuning boxes are bad. That's why some highly respected tuning companies, like for example G-TECH, offer both tuning boxes and remappings.
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Old 09-07-2015   #24
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

I have driven a mate's TA before and after the fitting of a TMC box and there is no doubt that it makes a significant difference. It took about 5 mins to fit and intercepts the boost and MAP sensors only, needs no separate power or earth feeds and just does what it says. Whether you think the increase in performance (which is very obvious) is worth 400 is down to personal preference, but it's clear there's performance to be had there.

Of course it 'eats' into safety margins, but those precautions are typically there to prevent engines going wrong when owned and driven by idiots who don't run the cars on decent fuel, don't get them properly serviced, have zero mechanical sympathy and/or are unable to drive properly. Manufacturers simply have to cater for the most inept in society. I'd like to think that we're slightly different and can therefore enjoy the benefits available to us, brought about by properly developed devices such as these.

For what it's worth, I think the TMC box IS properly developed, evidenced by the significant approval and obvious customer focus seen by the 500 Abarth folks next door. I think the fella was on this forum for a while too.
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Old 12-07-2015   #25
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

Quote Originally Posted by R1NGA View Post
I have driven a mate's TA before and after the fitting of a TMC box and there is no doubt that it makes a significant difference. It took about 5 mins to fit and intercepts the boost and MAP sensors only, needs no separate power or earth feeds and just does what it says. Whether you think the increase in performance (which is very obvious) is worth 400 is down to personal preference, but it's clear there's performance to be had there.

Of course it 'eats' into safety margins, but those precautions are typically there to prevent engines going wrong when owned and driven by idiots who don't run the cars on decent fuel, don't get them properly serviced, have zero mechanical sympathy and/or are unable to drive properly. Manufacturers simply have to cater for the most inept in society. I'd like to think that we're slightly different and can therefore enjoy the benefits available to us, brought about by properly developed devices such as these.

For what it's worth, I think the TMC box IS properly developed, evidenced by the significant approval and obvious customer focus seen by the 500 Abarth folks next door. I think the fella was on this forum for a while too.
What is your friend's Twin Air build date? Reason I ask is that I wonder if Fiat changed the ECU settings after tuning boxes were developed. My Panda TA is a 7/13 build. The MM tuning box had a 2011 manufacture date on it, although I updated software with the xxx software.

It might just be a problem with the MM tuning box but clear info is hard to find.
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Old 15-07-2015   #26
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

I emailed TMC today and they assure me that their tuning box works on the TA. I'll order one and see, I really hope it does work...
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Old 15-07-2015   #27
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

Quote Originally Posted by AusPanda View Post
What is your friend's Twin Air build date? Reason I ask is that I wonder if Fiat changed the ECU settings after tuning boxes were developed. My Panda TA is a 7/13 build. The MM tuning box had a 2011 manufacture date on it, although I updated software with the xxx software.

It might just be a problem with the MM tuning box but clear info is hard to find.
March 2014 I think - or at least that's when it was registered, so I suspect an early 2014 manufacture therefore.
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Old 16-07-2015   #28
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

Interesting to see how this develops.

I had it done on an Alfa 159 1.9 diesel, and it gave a lot more power and especially torque. This was a common thing amongst Alfa owners, but a few issues arose as a result.

First, whilst the trip computer reported about 10% improved fuel efficiency, myself and others noted that in reality there was no improvement if you calculated it manually, when refilling brim-to-brim.

Next, more enthusiastic drivers reported the gear box and clutches failing early with the 30% extra torque going through them. I didn't have that problem but I was quite light on the foot.

The power increase here seems more modest though, so maybe it won't damage the drive chain so much. I think I'll give it a miss though as the Panda TA is nippy enough for my purposes.
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Old 16-07-2015   #29
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

Quote Originally Posted by biminibob View Post
Interesting to see how this develops.

I had it done on an Alfa 159 1.9 diesel, and it gave a lot more power and especially torque. This was a common thing amongst Alfa owners, but a few issues arose as a result.

First, whilst the trip computer reported about 10% improved fuel efficiency, myself and others noted that in reality there was no improvement if you calculated it manually, when refilling brim-to-brim.

Next, more enthusiastic drivers reported the gear box and clutches failing early with the 30% extra torque going through them. I didn't have that problem but I was quite light on the foot.

The power increase here seems more modest though, so maybe it won't damage the drive chain so much. I think I'll give it a miss though as the Panda TA is nippy enough for my purposes.
That's interesting. I'm not a lead-foot but I like the idea that I can have more power on tap when needed.

Also, this whole thing underlines the different needs and wants of Panda owners. For me, I could not afford a 'toy' - that is, a sports car or high performance car - so I have the Panda. It serves a basic need as around-town car when I don't have a work car. Because it is new I don't have to constantly spend money and time fixing it like I did my previous (old) cars. It has saved me so much money, and cost me only a little more than what I sold my 2005 Alfa 166 for. So I like to have a play with it, hence the alloy wheels (and 14in steel rims painted silver) and tuning box. Next up is cruise control. Not lowering it though
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Old 05-08-2015   #30
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Re: ECU TUNING BOX UPGRADE for Fiat Panda Twinair Turbo

Quote Originally Posted by AusPanda View Post
I emailed TMC today and they assure me that their tuning box works on the TA. I'll order one and see, I really hope it does work...
hows the TMC box mate?
you will be the best resource person for panda since youve tested MM and TMC.

update us mate. thanks
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