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Old 3rd January 2009, 09:06   #1
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Default How does unichip increase performance?

Hi team, long time no post...

Joined this forum back then when I was searching some information for SX4 hatch, and I've finally made up my mind to purchase the first ever non Honda car for me. So thanks to all the member who chime in on my previous post.

But anyway, I feel that the M15A engine on the SX4 really is underpowered on stop n go situation. The M16A definitely the better choice for the SX4 hatch, especially with its generous torque downlow. So here I go again with a quest to find the best way to increase low end power without much alteration to the original engine (as not to void the warranty )

A friend suggests that I installed a piggyback/unichip system on the car, as it has been proven by him that... Well, it works. A skeptic, I scour the internet for unichip installed car, and lo and behold, I found one...

Review Dastek Unichip



I can only say... Wow... Phenomenal increase below 2000 RPM, and significant increase at 3000 RPM, the optimal engine speed range on stop n go traffic. Additional modification is only intake filter changed to open element. The car itself is 1.3L VVT-i Toyota Avanza.

Looking at the above table, I'm leaning towards installing the same unichip on my car. However, things just don't add up... You can't get something for nothing, as it is the law of the world. If just installing a unichip warrants a power gain... Where does this extra power came from?

The other options my friend gave me is to install a custom build header, or install a factory option turbo. Well, the turbo just kills my wallet, and the custom header definitely kills the warranty.

The reason I need to keep the warranty is because Suzuki Indonesia is famous for its lack of quality control... To prove that, I just own the car for 3 months now, and I need to have the steering rack replaced... That's Suzuki Indonesia style of business. So, with unichip modularity and untraceability, I'm positively going for it... But at what cost? How does piggyback/unichip system increases power from the engine?
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Old 3rd January 2009, 09:30   #2
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http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...bo-ikon-2.html (Turbo for ikon)

some info available here
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Old 3rd January 2009, 13:13   #3
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@ midi amp : piggy back devices give you more power by basically altering AFR and Fuel flow rates, this is done by sending false signals to the ecu! The only COST per say this power comes at is maximum a drop in fuel efficiency, which is usually an expected side effect, also because you tend to push it more when you have more power similar to the effect of an FFE! Well don't know about the claims of better fuel efficiency with same driving style and pattern! They usually claim that they make the process more efficient but don't see how that's done, maybe the gurus can elaborate more on that!
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Old 3rd January 2009, 19:24   #4
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Hi Midi Amp, you might want to visit this thread (ARTICLE: How to Modify / Tune your car) too.
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Old 6th January 2009, 13:08   #5
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Thanks team for the input,

All around the board it seems that using this unichip device gives more power out of nothing... And local users seems to claim that way too. Now, I'm living in a place where mythical fuel saving device are regarded as the real thing... So I take such claims with a grain of salt.

@speed0mania: Yes, it does make sense that power comes from expending more fuel, especially if more power is available, one maybe lured in to the joy of "spirited driving". So I'll probably take into account that installing performance enhancing device equals worse fuel consumption.

@GTO - Touring: Will do sir!
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Old 6th November 2010, 17:30   #6
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Default This is how Unichip works

The Unichip is an extremely flexible and powerful piggyback ecu. Unlike other systems, the Unichip is capable of altering just about every type of signal that is there on modern cars - petrol or diesel.

The Tuner can adjust a variety of parameters - e.g. MAP, MAF, timing, boost, tps and many more based on a variety of inputs. It can also actuate and control other systems like valve timing (VTEC etc), nitrous, shift lights, launch control, CAN bus, water/methanol injection, extra injectors and many more.

The Tuner has the flexibility to prgramme upto 10 parameters simultaneously at 24 different speed points and 13 different load points at each speed.

The Unichip can simultaneously store upto 5 such complete maps which can be switched on the fly by a switch or even through a bluetooth phone. One map could for example, be a city map, the second a highway map, the third a driver's map and so on.

The same chip can store maps for 2 different cars (diesel or petrol) and could be swapped between cars.

The Unichip is typically mapped on a loading type rolling road dyno.

It is probably the most flexible and powerful piggyback ecu in the market.

The other important feature of the Unichip is that you need to concentrate only on areas of the engine's performance that are of interest to you, and let the OEM ecu handle other areas like idle control, cold enrichment, airconditioner control, radiator fan control etc. Thus it is possible to rapidly install and tune the Unichip on a new car - typically within a couple of days for complex cars, as you dont have to reinvent the wheel throughout the operating conditions of the engine.

The same chip can be reprogrammed for another car at any time.

Obviously, since it is such a powerful system, only a properly trained Tuner can tune the Unichip effectively.
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Old 7th November 2010, 23:06   #7
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Torque appears to be quite high for a 1.3 l engine. Also can a chip make so much difference at 5500 RPM were the stock ecu will also be mapped for performance. It is common sense that if a person is revving his car so high what he needs is power and not fuel economy so wont the company also try and produce max power at such RPMs. Toyota is not dumb. I have a feeling the chart is biased.
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Old 8th November 2010, 01:28   #8
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First of all the Unichip does not work in all cars, which means that in some cars it locks the ECU, in others it runs even worse, in some it does make little or no difference. In some applications it does work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
The Unichip is an extremely flexible and powerful piggyback ecu. Unlike other systems, the Unichip is capable of altering just about every type of signal that is there on modern cars - petrol or diesel.
A number of other systems are capable of doing the same. And the Unichip will never beat a standalone system and in most cases (when ECUs can be re-mapped) the re-map is better when done professionally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
The Tuner can adjust a variety of parameters - e.g. MAP, MAF, timing, boost, tps and many more based on a variety of inputs. It can also actuate and control other systems like valve timing (VTEC etc), nitrous, shift lights, launch control, CAN bus, water/methanol injection, extra injectors and many more.
This is misleading information. First of all, the Unichip can't do this in all applications and any standalone can do this much more precisely. Other than that a number of ECUs will recognise the alteration and revert back to standard setting or go into emergency mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
The Tuner has the flexibility to prgramme upto 10 parameters simultaneously at 24 different speed points and 13 different load points at each speed.
This can work in some situations but it is unlikely that the tuner will be able to do so safely. In most applications they will into unmanageable problems and the ECU will not work in conjunction with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
The Unichip can simultaneously store upto 5 such complete maps which can be switched on the fly by a switch or even through a bluetooth phone. One map could for example, be a city map, the second a highway map, the third a driver's map and so on.
This part is true. However this is rather useless as a proffessional map would achieve the same with a proper re-map, which effectively can be utilized by using the load tables when driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
The Unichip is typically mapped on a loading type rolling road dyno.
All professional mapping is done with on chassis dynos/hub dynos with load cells as they are needed for the use with eddy currents for evaluation. This again is misleading information making out that everyone else is doing it on the cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
It is probably the most flexible and powerful piggyback ecu in the market.
It is not. There is other systems available doing the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
The other important feature of the Unichip is that you need to concentrate only on areas of the engine's performance that are of interest to you, and let the OEM ecu handle other areas like idle control, cold enrichment, airconditioner control, radiator fan control etc. Thus it is possible to rapidly install and tune the Unichip on a new car - typically within a couple of days for complex cars, as you dont have to reinvent the wheel throughout the operating conditions of the engine.
No piggy back system interferes in cold enrichment, idle control etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
The same chip can be reprogrammed for another car at any time.
So can most others. This isn't really a unique feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
Obviously, since it is such a powerful system, only a properly trained Tuner can tune the Unichip effectively.
It is not any more powerful than many other units and many old school tuners can show the Unichip staff how to tune them properly.

Last edited by Amartya : 8th November 2010 at 22:11. Reason: Edited this in.
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Old 8th November 2010, 08:59   #9
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Default Unichip on a Toyota Innova diesel in India

Given below are the results of live tuning a Toyota Innova with a Unichip.

Because of the ability to do an rpm and load sensitive tuning while monitoring other parameters, you can notice the phenomenal low end increases in power and torque - about 50% !

These results have been obtained on a stock Innova without doing anything to the boost. However, for most road tunes, one would go with less aggressive tuning.

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Old 8th November 2010, 09:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajivc666 View Post
Torque appears to be quite high for a 1.3 l engine. Also can a chip make so much difference at 5500 RPM were the stock ecu will also be mapped for performance. It is common sense that if a person is revving his car so high what he needs is power and not fuel economy so wont the company also try and produce max power at such RPMs. Toyota is not dumb. I have a feeling the chart is biased.
The increase shown is about 11Nm or about 8%. The modification he has mentioned is that the intake filter has been changed to open element. In some street cars, dramatic increases in performance can be seen by freeing up air flow, especially at high rpm. With the combination of a Unichip and free intake, better results than what is shown can be achieved.

However, the curve is far from smooth/progressive.
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Old 8th November 2010, 10:51   #11
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Sapl my question was on a stock car wont the ecu itself compensate for that extra flow due to the air filter. I have one on my car and only high rpm is were I could detect any kind of difference. Also in a stock car can a unichip have any difference at higher rpms.
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Old 8th November 2010, 11:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajivc666 View Post
Sapl my question was on a stock car wont the ecu itself compensate for that extra flow due to the air filter. I have one on my car and only high rpm is were I could detect any kind of difference. Also in a stock car can a unichip have any difference at higher rpms.
Most cars (with a few notable exceptions like the TATA Indica petrol) do not work in closed loop at high rpms and full throttle conditions. Hence, the fuelling will remain the same even with higher airflow. Therefore, it may be necessary to compensate for the additional air flow at high rpm or open throttle conditions. This is not a golden rule - will definitely vary from car to car.

However, at part throttle and lower rpms, the factory ecu will automatically compensate for the increased airflow.

We have noticed between 6 to 12% improvement in a stock car with the Unichip.

Hope this clarifies.
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Old 8th November 2010, 14:28   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
Most cars (with a few notable exceptions like the TATA Indica petrol) do not work in closed loop at high rpms and full throttle conditions. Hence, the fuelling will remain the same even with higher airflow. Therefore, it may be necessary to compensate for the additional air flow at high rpm or open throttle conditions. This is not a golden rule - will definitely vary from car to car.

However, at part throttle and lower rpms, the factory ecu will automatically compensate for the increased airflow.

We have noticed between 6 to 12% improvement in a stock car with the Unichip.

Hope this clarifies.
The first part in bold is not correct. The lambda probe is not the only sensor metering. In open loop only lambda is ignored. And there is good reason for it. If AFR remains the same in open loop even with increased airflow you will be soon in for a head gasket change when the car is driven for long periods in open loop (i. e. driving on highway or up the mountains).

The second part indicates that the Uni chip will be overridden by the ECU. Yhis does not make sense.

Also, an AIR is evenly tunable as an exhaust is. Depending on how it is designed it can increase torque at low rpm dramatically. Just in cas you want to doubt it I have hundreds of graphs to prove it.

@ rajivc666 - It appears higer than it is because the graph is only a section. Unfortunately the Dastek rolling road is smoothing out the graphs too much. I much more prefer to work with the Land and Sea, Dyno Jet and TATs. Even the Dyno Dynamics is in my opinion better, despiite the fact that I do not rate it all that high.

Also the AIR will improve low end torque.

Would be interesting to see the Uni chip on beofroe and after on the KSM dyno.

Last edited by CPH : 8th November 2010 at 14:31.
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Old 8th November 2010, 15:12   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapl View Post
Most cars (with a few notable exceptions like the TATA Indica petrol) do not work in closed loop at high rpms and full throttle conditions. Hence, the fuelling will remain the same even with higher airflow. Therefore, it may be necessary to compensate for the additional air flow at high rpm or open throttle conditions. This is not a golden rule - will definitely vary from car to car.

However, at part throttle and lower rpms, the factory ecu will automatically compensate for the increased airflow.

We have noticed between 6 to 12% improvement in a stock car with the Unichip.

Hope this clarifies.
I have to start by telling you that I have no experience modding cars, and have only basic knowledge of the working which got from reading on the internet, so my knowledge is something like a block diagram ,would like to clear some doubts anyway. Also is there a 6 to 12% improvement in max power produced.

I believe the oxygen sensor is insensitive outside the ideal a/f ratio so why is Indica using it at wot. Does it run 14.7 A/F at wot for fuel economy or it uses some other sensor to calculate a/f ratios.

In open loop WOT I believe the ecu uses inputs from MAF and IAT sensors mainly (lets ignore other inputs for keeping it simple) and no feed back from o2 sensor. Also some long term adjustments learned is stored in memory is applied as corrections (I am not sure about this whether they are applied in open loop). So assuming company has done a good job with stock air filter in calculating a/f ratios from these inputs at WOT, the increased airflow due to aftermarket filters will be picked up by the MAF and fed to the ecu resulting in increased fuel input and correct a/f ratio as with the stock filter. Also do a ctr-alt-del of the ecu to remove the earlier learned long term corrections. So where did I go wrong.

I am saying all this because I could feel some definite improvement in my car after 5000 rpm. If the ecu was not increasing fuel then it should have just leaned out at 5000 rpm and reduce power.
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Old 8th November 2010, 15:42   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPH View Post
The first part in bold is not correct. The lambda probe is not the only sensor metering. In open loop only lambda is ignored. And there is good reason for it. If AFR remains the same in open loop even with increased airflow you will be soon in for a head gasket change when the car is driven for long periods in open loop (i. e. driving on highway or up the mountains).

The second part indicates that the Uni chip will be overridden by the ECU. Yhis does not make sense.
The first part:
The only way an engine measures AFR is using the lambda probe. It has no other means of measuring the AFR. In the case of a narrow band sensor, the only ratio it can sense accurately is the stoichometric ratio or 14.7. If the AFR is higher (leaner) the signal drops to near 0 volts and if it is lower (richer) it switches to around 0.8 volts. The ecu will keep adjusting fuel so that the AFR oscillates around the 14.7 mark as long as it is in closed loop (which is typically in part throttle and lower rpms). If one observes the lambda signal with an oscilloscope while in a closed loop condition, this will be very clearly visible.

In open loop conditions most cars switch to very rich AFRs, since it is always safer for the engine to run rich rather than lean. We have seen AFRs as rich as 9.5 in some Honda Accords at full throttle, 5000+ rpm. The fuelling at a particular point remains the same (given that other variables such as ambient IAT, engine temperature, barometric pressure etc are constant) even when airflow is increased, thus the mixture will become leaner than the excessively rich mixture. For example, the 9.5 AFR mentioned above could drop to about 11 with an increase in airflow of about 10%. A rich mixture beyond a point will result in dropping of power and that is where a piggyback can alter the AFR to get a better power output.

The ecu (with a narrow band sensor) has no means of sensing the AFR when it is not in the 14.7 range. Hence it has 2 choices - maintain 14.7 (which it does in closed loop) or run ignoring AFR (which it does in open loop and does so with abundant caution by running richer than needed).

The engine will not only need a gasket change, but also experience head problems and more (due to detonation/knocking), if it is run extra lean for extended periods of time. However, since most cars run excessively rich under open loop, this is rarely a likely situation.

The second part:
Under closed loop conditions, not only the Unichip, but any piggyback will get over ridden by the factory ecu unless the O2 sensor signal going into the ecu is manipulated. This can be done if required. As long as the O2 signal is untouched, there is no way that the factory ecu in closed loop will accept any AFR other than 14.7. Any extra fuelling will only result in either short term or long trims being applied by the ecu so that the AFR is brought back to 14.7. If excessive correction is applied, the ecu will presume this to be a problem with the fuelling system and get the CEL on.

These will be immediately apparent when you experiment around on a loading dyno.

Of course, the above do not hold good for cars with wideband sensors (BSIV onwards).

The dyno:
A dyno is certainly one's own preference. I do not intend getting into a discussion about which dyno is better, because each type of dyno has its own strengths. The most important features in a dyno are sensitivity and repeatability.
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