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Old September 1st, 2004, 11:51 PM   #1
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Red face Why not reprogram the ECU? ...

I understand the whole Unichip thing and why it's on so many people's wish lists, but why not just have our car's ECU reprogrammed directly by a tuner or yourself? Granted I would rather have a pro program it, so I would go the tuning route myself. There must be some Honda tuners out there some where right? After all, Honda's are one of the most modified platforms in the world (Civic being the #1).

Aside from that, there must be a company (APEXi, Greddy, etc...) producing software and/or equipment/hardware to program our cars ECU. I have seen some, but they appear to be only for manual tranny's. I, like so many, have the piss-poor shifting 5-speed automatic. Hense, aside from Air-to-Fuel ratio's and timing, I would also like to be allowed some control as to how my car shifts... making it shift much more aggressive (without the need for a tranny-damaging shift kit if they ever come out). Dyno tuning can't really help with the shifting aspects, which would require real world trial and error... and I would rather be able to play with that on my own then have to visit my tuner all the time. However, if the Unichip addressed this, then I would so be on board, and then have the A/F ratios and timing tuned on the dyno.

Without new tranny profiles, the Unichip is not going to be the "it" mod because there are really no power adders (besides nitrous) that would take advantage of any new programming. There would be negligable affects on a CAI's performance increase. Improved timing and A/F ratios would help, maybe adding 10-15HP at the crank. But I haven't seen any improved or aftermarket MAF's, Throttle Bodies, Cams, Heads, s/c's... whatever... that could really affect the A/F ratios of our cars. It's editing the ECU to compensate and account for those kinds of mods that really give you a performance benefit to using a chip.

Sorry for the long post, just want to get a grasp on what is going on around here with ECU programming for Automatic V6 Accords.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 12:06 AM   #2
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are you saying that you want to reprogram the stock ecu?
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 12:28 AM   #3
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Yes, there is no reason why you can't as far as I can see. When I had my TBIRD I did this all the time. I didn't buy a chip, I programmed the stock ECU. However, I didn't program MY stock ECU, what I did was I bought another ECU (same as mine) on Ebay, and swapped them. Whenever I needed to go to a Ford dealership for anything or if I ever needed to revert back to my original settings (or needed to have them at hand for reference) then I always had my original stock ECU clean and in factory condition. I see no reason why this can't be done with an Accord.

Another benifit to having the 2 ECU's is if you need to send the modified one out to a tuner and you would be without the ECU for a couple of days, you wouldn't need to let your car sit while you wait to get it back. That can also be said as an advantage to using a chip too... but there are MANY more variables that you can control by programming the stock ECU then by using a chip.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 01:56 AM   #4
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the problem is there isn't any single company that is able to decode what prorgram is actually being run in there.. and then to develop hacks as well..
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 05:27 AM   #5
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I think you should have bought a manual.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 06:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brex
the problem is there isn't any single company that is able to decode what prorgram is actually being run in there.. and then to develop hacks as well
Hondata has hacked Hondas ECU, but for some reason they are not developing a reprogrammed AV6 unit.
http://www.hondata.com/quicktour.html
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 06:57 AM   #7
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working on a ford is NOTHING like working on a honda. You can go ahead and buy another ecu... and you will see what I mean. First issue is there is no data ports, and everything inside the ecu is sand blasted to hide any traces of info... another thing is a gel coating that is near impossible to remove without really taking your time. Now that we are on obd II standards, you would need to have all the sensors from your car on hand, otherwise your ecu WILL NOT be able to be flashed.... or ever re-programmed, so you would also need every sensor from your car too.... unless you want to hook the comp up in your computer. And not to mention software compatibility... most accords 98 and after were made in a way that no one else would tap into the code, and steal any of the info. But if you SOMEHOW have success.... then props to you. But I already went that route, and came back.

As for HONDATA working on civics and rsx's.... well first thing for them is MONEY, there is alot more market in that area than the accord right now. Second is, the civic ecu came with a data port for ecu modifications for some reason, I think it was for the factory or honda dealerships to be able to mess around or read the settings right from the dealership, this is how HONDATA was able to tap into the ecu without much truble. If you ask any true comp engineer/ecu programmer they will tell you its not going to remotley easy to accomplish all this. I say save yourself the trouble, and get an un-tuned unichip and have someone tune it at your local shop.... this is truley the best way to do it. And since its plug and play, you can remove it ANY TIME.. or right before you goto the dealer. Whats better than that?
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 07:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironmonkey
Hondata has hacked Hondas ECU, but for some reason they are not developing a reprogrammed AV6 unit.
http://www.hondata.com/quicktour.html
Yes, i know they do. Which is great for our i4 buddies... but they had said they will NOT work on j-series engine/ecu..

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Old September 2nd, 2004, 07:08 AM   #9
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ecu re-program for our v6 card is like trying to get into a w2k server without knowing the admin password; and when you finally got one of those password recovery tool - you find yourself without a cdrom to boot the cd..

(this is what i had to go thru until 3am...)
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 09:54 AM   #10
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Alas!! I wish this could have been done. I too have the AV6 5AT.

Things I would like out of a modded ECU:
1. VTEC conversion point at 4,600 rpm instead of 4,850 rpm.
2. More aggressive AF ratio at WOT (and near to WOT).
3. Quicker tranny downshifts when punched (dunno if the ECU has control over this)
4. Gear shifting from 1->2 and 2->3 at 6,800 rpm
5. No speed limiter
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 10:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipribadi
Alas!! I wish this could have been done. I too have the AV6 5AT.

Things I would like out of a modded ECU:
1. VTEC conversion point at 4,600 rpm instead of 4,850 rpm.
this is doable with a VAFC or pretty much any piggy back ecu controller

Quote:
2. More aggressive AF ratio at WOT (and near to WOT).
same as above

Quote:
3. Quicker tranny downshifts when punched (dunno if the ECU has control over this)
yes the transimission has its own ecu which is located pretty close to your factory ecu, and it controlls things like shift points, upshift, downshifts.

Quote:
4. Gear shifting from 1->2 and 2->3 at 6,800 rpm
for what... at wot? what does a stock auto v6 shift at (at wot) what is redline?

Quote:
5. No speed limiter
this isnt too hard to doo, but you WILL get a check engine light, and possible a SRS system failure
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 12:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
for what... at wot? what does a stock auto v6 shift at (at wot) what is redline?
i use premium and it shifts at 6,500.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 07:44 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info guys, I just wanted to know what the deal was with it and why it seemed so hard to do. I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. I have to ask though, if there is no data port, what is the chip plugged into? Chip's for Ford's (Superchip's, Hypertech, CustomChip, etc...) all plugged into the data port on the Ford ECU.

In any case, the new question is can the Unichip modify the transmission's shift profiles? That's the biggie for me.

As for why I have an Automatic, it's the same reason I have a Sedan, and the same reason it's an EX without Navi... it was not up to me. My Tbird was totaled in a blaze of glory. Long story short some guy hit me from behind, he refused to stop, I pulled up next to him, he pulled out a gun and shot up my passanger side (while we were moving), I took the next left and floored it up the hill to get away, he pursued me, caught up to me while trying to make another left onto a busy street at rush hour at 70 MPH, hit me on my the left rear of my bumper, sent me spinning into the street. I did about 4 (or so) spins until my car came to rest wrapped around a telephone pole, the car caught fire, some guy in a truck pulled me out, and the shooter ran. Whew.

Anywho, my parents felt pitty and decided to buy me a car (I paid for my own cars previously, so I was pretty shocked). It was either this or a Camary (other cars I liked were out of my price range or too expensive to insure). They went with a sedan for insurance reasons, RI is one of the highest ya know. Besides, I've only had this car for a year and 2 months and I already put 24,XXX miles on it commuting back and fourth from school, work, home, and traveling ... an Automatic is just practical for this. I'll get my sports car when I turn 25, I can wait 3 more years (it's why I had a Tbird and not a Mustang too). I tend to work on everything I buy, I'm sick like that, and I want to see how far I can take this car just like I did with my Tbird.

I had to be patient with my Tbird too... do you think that was the platform of choice for tuner's? Not a discontinued sister of the Mustang (mine was a '96 with a 4.6 V8 and the line was discontinued in 1997, I bought mine in '99 with 44K mi. at $8K). Tbird owners banded together and worked the tuner market, and what we couldn't get made, we had done custom. There were always the group buys and what not when someone figured out how to do something to our cars. Performance wasn't an issue though because the computers, engines and components were interchangable with Tbirds once you accounted for the hood clearance issues. But suspensions and exhausts were (I don't think they ever got X-pipes for Tbirds). If you ever want to see an example of a finely oiled car club check tccoa.com out sometime.

I know what it's like to be in this boat trying to figure out how to do certain things. I know there are a lot of people out there who are determined to make their Accords unique and personalize them to their own tastes instead of driving one of the 100,000 or so other Accords on the roads all looking and performing the same.

Last edited by JoeWhoa; September 2nd, 2004 at 10:27 PM.. Reason: Just Because
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 09:49 PM   #14
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Reflashing the ECU is the best way to go. If someone wants to give me $300,000 to start a company to do it I'll have a shipping product within a year for 2003+ AV6s

Last edited by 99%StockAV6; September 2nd, 2004 at 09:54 PM..
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