Durametric 996 ECU Tuner (Programmer)
I thought this car was stock…?
On a trip to Estes Park, I noticed the built-in boost gauge was registering 1.0-1.1 bar while under heavy load in 2nd and 3rd gear. Stock 996TT’s typically do not exceed 0.8 bar. What gives?
The previous owner was not aware that the car had been tuned, which means it must have been the original owner that tuned it. He lived at sea level. I was advised by the local 996TT experts to get a Durametric data logger and do a few runs to see what the fuel and spark values looked like under high boost. This is because at high altitude (not just a mile high in Denver, but 8k ft+ in the mountains which I frequent), going lean under too high of boost could destroy the engine.
I confirmed tuning had been done by pulling the subwoofer out and accessing the ECU. This is what I found:
Name written on ECU. This leads me to confirm it was done by the original owner since the name isn’t who I bought it from, and putting the name on it means it was likely removed and mailed to the tuner (early 2000’s before OBDII tunes were possible).
Durametric purchased - $295 shipped.
I got some 3rd and 4th gear pulls going uphill at 8,000ft & temp in the mid 70’s.
1. Engine RPM
2. Engine Load
3. Ignition Angle
4. O2 sensor lambda (I chose bank 2)
5. Lambda set point (bank 2)
6. Boost pressure at sensor
Logs here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjpXd3LgWrlqdEdCYVpFb2NlV2xidWotTk5Scms0N2c
General consensus is above 3000rpm the car is getting too lean (as expected) – whenever air/fuel ratio exceeds 12:1 (as lean as these cars like to go under full boost), the computer pulls timing like crazy and is basically playing catch up all the way to redline. No good!
Kevin @ Ultimate Motorwerks agreed to re-tune my car correctly for my altitude and setup. This took several weeks of pulling my existing tune with his OBDII dongle and flashing new tunes onto the car.
During one of the flashes, the car would no longer start with the error message it had been locked down due to theft detection. I figured out by unhooking the battery for 10 minutes, the car would start one time but only once – any time after would say theft detection again. I was able to drive the car to the dealership (don’t stall!!!). Turns out if the ECU detects a checksum error (occurs with crappy tuning, or when changing a tune several times), the theft deterrence system in the car will no longer recognize the ECU and thus believes the car has been stolen – locking it down.
Thankfully, the dealership replaced my tune with the OEM one which Kevin could then successfully use to base my new tune off of.