While I was in Singapore, I made an appointment with my buddy Dean Ong to tweak my car’s ECU (Electronic Control Unit)
Dean was supposed to tune my car on his 2 previous trips to Kuala Lumpur, but due to some technical difficulties we couldn’t, so since I was planning to drive down we decided to get everything done in Singapore.
Dean booked some time on a friend’s dyno and there we went!
A chassis dyno (dynamometer) is a device to measure a vehicle’s torque and rotational speed (RPM) … once you have those 2 figures, you can calculate a car’s power output (i.e. horsepower)
Before dynos were readily available to the public, the old school way of tuning a car’s ECU was on the road, but that of course has its limits.
With a dyno, you can accurately test each rev range of the car in a safe and secure environment.
What essentially Dean did was to twiddle with the settings inside my car’s computer (air/fuel ratios, turbo boost pressure, etc) to increase the performance.
Once the fuel map was opened, we found out that the previous tuner (Links) had done a pretty shitty job in mapping the car and there was a lot that could be done to not only increase the car’s performance but to increase the fuel efficiency as well.
Dean played about with some numbers and fixed some ills that were plaguing my car before, all in under 2 hours. Considering that dyno time in Singapore costs around SGD200 an hour, every minute saved is precious!
Good tuners are always able to find a balance between outright power versus reliability (obviously the more power your car puts out, the more stressed parts of your car are, hence the easier it is for stuff to break)
Dean managed to increase my engine’s power but didn’t increase the turbo’s workload (it is still running 1.1 bar of boost pressure only) and to me that is a truly amazing thing and a huge testimony to Dean’s skill.
And the result of Dean’s twiddling was … 280hp at the wheels (equivalent to around 365hp from the engine) … so not bad. Hahaha
The final power output was not the sweetest thing about Dean’s tuning but it was the way in which the power is now delivered that is the best.
Torque has been increased all across the rev range and the car pulls all the way to 8000rpm. Before Dean’s black magic, once the RPM went past 6000, torque seemed to disappear and the car didn’t seem to want to move at all.
Anyway, it’s hard to explain in words how the car performs so here is a video that I shot while Dean was testing some settings on the car. Dean put the car in 5th gear and accelerated from standstill.
Remember, this is in FIFTH GEAR: