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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
Sorry for any duplication of requests for info and such like.

From what I understand, if you want a flashed / tuned / whatever you want to call it ECU, then you need to package up your ECU, send it over, get it flashed (one presumes it's your ECU that is flashed?) get the flashed one sent back, pop it in and enjoy the results. If you want to go back to stock, then you need to either repeat this process, or have a spare ECU with the stock tune on it.

Is anyone willing to share the info on exactly how the ECU is flashed, and why ECU's need to be shipped to get this done. One guesses that if cash changes hands then someone could come out and do it at your location, in which case, what's to stop some kind of kit being developed / sold to allow an end user to do this? I can understand part of it being to keep those who can do this in business, and that's completely understandable.

In addition, I'm guessing there is only the ability to store a single map file on the ECU, hence the swapping?

I'm curious about all of this as, well, I'm curious about this kind of stuff. I won't pretend to know how to map, it's a dark art, and those who can do know what they are doing, hats off to them!

Some background. I used to own an Impreza, many, many years ago, and was part of the scene / community. For the earlier cars, as was mine, the ECU wasn't really tuneable. Someone did find you could whack a daughter card on the ECU and that could have a different map, and you were able to switch between the two. That's what I had, and it wasn't too bad. You could of course go all hardcore and replace the entire ECU with a third party one (PossumLink / Motec / Cobb). Newer cars were able to befit from ECUTek, which was able to tune the stock ECU, and from memory, you could have two maps that you could switch between. Very handy if you wanted to pop back to stock for any dealer visits.

I'm trying to understand why it seems Kia is making tuning the ECU so difficult. Is this the case with other marques as well?
 

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from what i understand, you take your ECU out, send it to TORK (they are the only ones that have a really good grip on the tuning right now) they flash your ecu and send it back to you, you throw it in and your set to go.

and what i continue to understand is they set new parameters for your ecu to look at... i.e. for an example they tell the computer that 20psi of boost is ok, where the max boost that was ok before was 15psi... thats just an off the wall example

basically the way i understand it is that they give the ecu a new set of rules that it can follow. I believe someone on here is also talking with diablosport in order to get a tuner...

i could totally be in left field with my info, but thats the gist of what i am understanding
 

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You pretty much got it. Tork changes all the perameters of the ecu to what you have installed on the car. They are coming out with a handheld tuner soon so we can flash through the OBDII port soon. Then they just send us the file on email and we upload it to the ecu. Tork has fully unlocked our ecu so now they have total control over what the motor does now to. As fas as my a/t tune they adjusted the power limiters like boost and torque and such and i am boosting 24psi from what my gauge says. He also adjusted the powerband of which the boost hits and how smooth it is along with my afrs. You get a better running car and drivability is so much better then stock
 

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Hello Markus

You have asked all the correct questions, and you are right on track with how this all works
it looks like @honhon and @forte5 have answered before i could get to it, but they are giving you the same info i would

Either way you have come to the right place to get the answers
@forte5 and I have been testing the tune for Tork for the past few months. Only difference is he is auto and i am 6speed manual. There are major difference between both of them due to the transmission, so this is why there are separate tunes.
I am currently in the process of doing a build on my Forte. With that being said i am Heavily involved with Tork since they are the ones supplying all of the Parts and will be tuning it as well
I have put together a Tune even in PA where Tork will be coming out for two days to Dyno tune around 15-20 vehicles, most of them being Velosters but two of us Fortes will be thrown in the mix
My build has an expectation of roughly 350hp.
That being said i have a plethora of information since i am in constant contact with Tork, and through these months of tuning and working on my build i have become to be a good source of info when it comes to this platform.
We can get you on the right track just with a few simple questions.
What are your expectations for your Forte?
What kind of power are you looking for?
Auto or Manual?
With those simple questions, i can put you on the path to meet those goals.
 

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when is that tuning session
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all for the answers, much appreciated. Sounds as though Tork's accessing the ECU map that's on the ECU and adjusting the values, likely also able to change fueling ratios across the RPM range and other such stuff.

I'd be interested to know what / how the ECU was "locked" and what was needed to be done to unlock it. No, I'm NOT about to try and open up a rival business, really just very curious as to how all this kind of thing works.

Right now I'm staying stock, partly as I've been down the road of modifying a car before, and it's a slippery slope, and partly I'm wanting to wait until there is a semi-DIY way of doing things, and from the sound of it, that might be coming. If I could have a device to flash via ODBII, and easily switch between stock and custom maps, then that would be great. I could, without any additional mods, see perhaps a smaller increase in power (perhaps by leaning things out, and it might just be me, but I think the 1.6T is running a bit rich), with the advantage of swapping back to the stock map before taking the car in to the dealer for servicing - hey, got to protect that warranty!

Actually, I am curious to know what could be done with a stock 5 SX Auto, not totally balls to the wall performance, just perhaps maybe a little tweak to the feeling, up the boost a little.

Hmm, I've had a thought, there's that lovely "ECO" button, which apparently does change characteristics of the engine. To me that makes me think it's getting the ECU to use different settings, which does raise the question of wether the ECO map (if there is such a thing) could be tweaked. You could then have non ECO mode being the normal map, and ECO being some other map. or you switch it around - so normal mode is you're custom map, ECO is the normal map. You switch when you feel it, and then you simply upload the stock map to the normal position when you go to the dealer. That or you have a "sane" map on the normal mode and a "POWER!" map on the eco button.
No idea if that is even possible.
 

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I'm curious why when I go to Youtube for tuned Veloster Turbos, I get BTRcc a lot more than any other tunes which some of them being generic I will not recognize. Is BTR reputable? I saw that they offer pre-tuned ECU for $700 for the VT so you can swap whenever you please. Nice for those who need to run stock for inspections or whatever.

If I'm honest, I'm more of a all show, no go kind of guy. I think the 200HP is fast enough but if reliability is proven bullet proof down the road, sure why not.
 

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There is 1 forte on here that is btr tuned but the way it looks. Tork is a little more involved with the Fortes recently. I don't want to say anything bad about btr as I don't even know them but just seems tork is more involved and seems to offer more and more quickly. If you are interested in btr though, by all means. Feel free to contact them or even contact both companies. Also Diablo sport is talking about a hand held for us in the next 6 to 12 months too. I think it is good to have as many options and support as possible.
 

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I'm curious why when I go to Youtube for tuned Veloster Turbos, I get BTRcc a lot more than any other tunes which some of them being generic I will not recognize. Is BTR reputable? I saw that they offer pre-tuned ECU for $700 for the VT so you can swap whenever you please. Nice for those who need to run stock for inspections or whatever.

If I'm honest, I'm more of a all show, no go kind of guy. I think the 200HP is fast enough but if reliability is proven bullet proof down the road, sure why not.
I don't want to be that guy. But I'm going to have to be.
There is a reason why I am doing my build with the assistance of Tork. He is the only one that can be fully trusted to give a reliable, powerful and safe tune. John literally has 1000s of hours into this Ecu. He knows this ECu like nobody else, and that's becusse he's the best at what he does. There has been nobody to do what he has done. He has just recently cracked the whole ECU and that is Huge!! Nobody else is even close to being capable of what he is doing or should I say can do with the ecu now that he has full access.
You want to know the difference? I'll tell you why
John is a developer, not a tuner. He builds tunes from the bottom up. This is a fact. It took him roughly 6 months to literally build and make the tunes for this platform. And that goes for every other platform he develops for.
So how is that different you ask? Well the difference is very simple. other companys that offer tunes for the vt and forte don't make there own maps from the base files. All they do it take a premade map and tweak it a little bit. Then they go and call it "there tune" and charge you 600-700$ for something that is worth a 1/4 of that.
If you want to understand where I'm coming from. Take some time and give John from Tork a call and ask him the questions you want answered. When you end up talking to him, you will immediately understand how intelligent he is. I have never met someone like him before. This guy has made some huge progress in this platform and the sky is the limit from here now that he has the access that he does

This is no way intended to bash any of companies out there that offer a tunes for this platform. I am speaking 100% facts that
there is no one out there that can touch the type of files John makes for us.
I suggest you take some time and go on Vt forums and do a little searching and reading when it comes to Tork and what he has to offer
Over there he is all the rage. He easily has 95% of the market, and sooner than later that will be changing.
All do the development of bolt ons has been done by Tork
He has spent endless hours on the dyno developing the best of the best when it comes to his intake, the tune and many more parts that are soon to come and be offered.
You want a questioned answered about a bolt in and how much power it makes. He can answer.
I could keep going with this but I think I have made my point

Thanks
Max
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
James,
Thanks a million for the link to the thread. Explains why you need the ECU, and it makes perfect sense now. Question for you, what is involved in pulling the calibration file from an ECU? Is it something that could be done easily? I'm guessing probably not, as you'd likely be asking people to download some app, connect up a computer to their ECU, run the app which will pull the calibration file, and then you email that over, thus allowing you to build up a lovely database of calibration files, and through that perhaps have some kind of master list, or even a master calibration file.
I sense this is a road that has been traveled before, and extensively, only to meet a dead-end.
 

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James,
Thanks a million for the link to the thread. Explains why you need the ECU, and it makes perfect sense now. Question for you, what is involved in pulling the calibration file from an ECU? Is it something that could be done easily? I'm guessing probably not, as you'd likely be asking people to download some app, connect up a computer to their ECU, run the app which will pull the calibration file, and then you email that over, thus allowing you to build up a lovely database of calibration files, and through that perhaps have some kind of master list, or even a master calibration file.
I sense this is a road that has been traveled before, and extensively, only to meet a dead-end.
They pull and save your cal file from your Ecu when you send it to them
Therefor if there is any reason you need to go back to stock, john will flash your original stock file
 

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James,
Thanks a million for the link to the thread. Explains why you need the ECU, and it makes perfect sense now. Question for you, what is involved in pulling the calibration file from an ECU? Is it something that could be done easily? I'm guessing probably not, as you'd likely be asking people to download some app, connect up a computer to their ECU, run the app which will pull the calibration file, and then you email that over, thus allowing you to build up a lovely database of calibration files, and through that perhaps have some kind of master list, or even a master calibration file.
I sense this is a road that has been traveled before, and extensively, only to meet a dead-end.
No there is no easy way without specific hardware to pull them off unfortunately. We have built up quite a data base and still continue to see new ones from time to time. We are very close on a handheld that will do just that. but going through the obd2 port has proven to be quite the complicated process
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
James,
Do you see different files even for the exact same model type and spec of car? If so, any theories as to why? You would have thought that for the identical cars the ECU config would also be identical (barring perhaps different countries, I could see US vs Canada being different).
 

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James,
Do you see different files even for the exact same model type and spec of car? If so, any theories as to why? You would have thought that for the identical cars the ECU config would also be identical (barring perhaps different countries, I could see US vs Canada being different).
The files will vary throughout the years
As far as the Veloster there were drastic changes for the 15 veloster to address LSPI
As far as the Forte I have confirmed the cal files were slightly altered beggining of 14'
There is a hesitation issue in the Forte that can be felt
If you have a Forte made after the date 3/20/14 and there is also part number change that will seperate these ecus
Besides that the forte files are quite similar
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Is the hesitation issue specific to MT, AT, or both? Only fixable with a flash or is there some TSB or other DIY fix?

Thanks for the detailed info, really does help me understand what's going on.
 

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It's specific to the ECU cal you have
Most likely if you don't have the frustration of dealing with the hesitation. You have the original cal file
You would know if you had it, trust me
 

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The files will vary throughout the years
As far as the Veloster there were drastic changes for the 15 veloster to address LSPI
As far as the Forte I have confirmed the cal files were slightly altered beggining of 14'
There is a hesitation issue in the Forte that can be felt
If you have a Forte made after the date 3/20/14 and there is also part number change that will seperate these ecus
Besides that the forte files are quite similar
Yes and no. Even though on your side you only see one calibration there is many that don't per say change information but just the way it is placed. So yes we have seen similarly optioned and year cars have different cal files. There is only a few reasons for that and the biggest on is to make our lives difficult to tune.
 
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