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I believe they're still called "piggybacks" - they piggyback on top of your existing ECU without replacing it.

 

BTW, why would you think this is better than the Racechip Ultimate?

 

Did I? So far I only use RC Ultimate. I have not tried other brands yet.

 

Piggyback I thought the tuning chip would have to be wired to the stock ecu for it to work. That's why it's called piggyback. For racechip it's strangely connected only to the MAP sensor. For some other brand I saw the tuning chip is connected to 3 sensors, the MAP, MAF sensors and fuel regulator. I think it was for a TC Alfa Romeo. Forgot the brand name coz very limited range of car model could use it.

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Did I? So far I only use RC Ultimate. I have not tried other brands yet.

 

Piggyback I thought the tuning chip would have to be wired to the stock ecu for it to work. That's why it's called piggyback. For racechip it's strangely connected only to the MAP sensor. For some other brand I saw the tuning chip is connected to 3 sensors, the MAP, MAF sensors and fuel regulator. I think it was for a TC Alfa Romeo. Forgot the brand name coz very limited range of car model could use it.

 

any dyno done on RC ultimate on the hp and torque gains?

 

so far my butt dyno feels good

 

:D

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Did I? So far I only use RC Ultimate. I have not tried other brands yet.

My apologies, I misinterpreted the last line in your previous post. I thought you meant that if you had known about the RS Chip, you wouldn't have got the RCU, but what you actually meant was that you were happy the safety features of the stock ECU were left intact. Chalk it up to the perils of early morning rush reading of MCF. :D

 

Piggyback I thought the tuning chip would have to be wired to the stock ecu for it to work. That's why it's called piggyback. For racechip it's strangely connected only to the MAP sensor. For some other brand I saw the tuning chip is connected to 3 sensors, the MAP, MAF sensors and fuel regulator. I think it was for a TC Alfa Romeo. Forgot the brand name coz very limited range of car model could use it.

Piggyback is a more generic term, and it covers anything that works with the stock ECU to modify the engine characteristics without altering any data in the ECU. You can see from this site: http://www.enginebasics.com/EFI%20Tuning/Piggyback%20Vs%20Standalone.html that there are two broad types of "logic" used in piggybacks. The type of piggyback that you're probably thinking of uses the second type, i.e. intercepting the signal post-ECU manipulation to change the injector duty cycle, etc. But the first type, which do pre-ECU interception of signals, are also called piggybacks. The RS Chip and the RCU fall into this category.

Edited by Turboflat4

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My apologies, I misinterpreted the last line in your previous post. I thought you meant that if you had known about the RS Chip, you wouldn't have got the RCU, but what you actually meant was that you were happy the safety features of the stock ECU were left intact. Chalk it up to the perils of early morning rush reading of MCF. :D

 

 

Piggyback is a more generic term, and it covers anything that works with the stock ECU to modify the engine characteristics without altering any data in the ECU. You can see from this site: http://www.enginebasics.com/EFI%20Tuning/Piggyback%20Vs%20Standalone.html that there are two broad types of "logic" used in piggybacks. The type of piggyback that you're probably thinking of uses the second type, i.e. intercepting the signal post-ECU manipulation to change the injector duty cycle, etc. But the first type, which do pre-ECU interception of signals, are also called piggybacks. The RS Chip and the RCU fall into this category.

 

It's amazing how tuners can figure out how to manipulate signals sent before or after the ecu does it.

 

any dyno done on RC ultimate on the hp and torque gains?

 

so far my butt dyno feels good

 

:D

 

Is there a need to? LoL...

 

Feel good not enough?

 

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Is there a need to? LoL...

 

Feel good not enough?

Whenever someone anonymous on the net asks for a dyno proof for an off-the-shelf tune or piggyback (rather than a full reflash/standalone ECU and custom tune), I always wonder if they think I own a workshop and dyno or if they're offering to pay for a dyno session or what. :D

 

The manufacturer's figures are dyno proven and that's good enough for most. It's only if you're going the custom route that you would benefit from having a dyno on your own car.

Edited by Turboflat4
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Whenever someone anonymous on the net asks for a dyno proof for an off-the-shelf tune or piggyback (rather than a full reflash/standalone ECU and custom tune), I always wonder if they think I own a workshop and dyno or if they're offering to pay for a dyno session or what. :D

 

The manufacturer's figures are dyno proven and that's good enough for most. It's only if you're going the custom route that you would benefit from having a dyno on your own car.

 

No lah. LoL...

 

A lot of ppl still have the old school thinking of how tuning is done and a dyno to see the power gains is a must for them. That piece of paper result means a lot to them. Maybe can show it to their grandchildren some day.

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Actually there isn't much performance gains for NA cars, as compared to TC cars. So generally speaking, for NA cars, upgrade hardware is better than upgrade software, for TC cars, will be upgrade software first to reap max benefits from existing hardware, not enough then upgrade hardware to cope with the improved software. Just my own 2 cents..

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Actually there isn't much performance gains for NA cars, as compared to TC cars. So generally speaking, for NA cars, upgrade hardware is better than upgrade software, for TC cars, will be upgrade software first to reap max benefits from existing hardware, not enough then upgrade hardware to cope with the improved software. Just my own 2 cents..

 

There's no end to tuning. That's why such business can make money. Just dun get to distracted by power figures else you will become broke. LoL...

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There's no end to tuning. That's why such business can make money. Just dun get to distracted by power figures else you will become broke. LoL...

 

That's right, once you get started, there is no end. Been there done that [sweatdrop]

 

Now happily driving a stock car, only thing not stock is the audio haha

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Actually for modern TC cars other dan software mod the other can consider modding is the performance air intake. Becoz now TC engine actually comes with a wastegate or blow off valve as standard. If you want to hear it go off you may want to remove the stock airbox and swap for an aftermarket open pod air intake. You will be able to hear the wastegate go off every time you let go of the accelerator. LoL...

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No lah. LoL...

 

A lot of ppl still have the old school thinking of how tuning is done and a dyno to see the power gains is a must for them. That piece of paper result means a lot to them. Maybe can show it to their grandchildren some day.

Their grandchildren (who will presumably be driving 1000hp electric vehicles) will have a quiet chuckle at grand-dad and his quaint little 400hp antique POS. :D

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Actually for modern TC cars other dan software mod the other can consider modding is the performance air intake. Becoz now TC engine actually comes with a wastegate or blow off valve as standard. If you want to hear it go off you may want to remove the stock airbox and swap for an aftermarket open pod air intake. You will be able to hear the wastegate go off every time you let go of the accelerator. LoL...

Please don't advise people to do that. In the first place, modding for sound is a real ricer-ish thing to do. Secondly, an open pod kills the low end, which is a big part of the joy of street driving. Thirdly, an open pod often causes the car to run rich especially if the ECU is running off MAF. Running rich wastes fuel, fouls plugs and can cause backfires if you're catless. Finally, the open pod is much more sensitive to both heat soak and actual soak (from rains and floods) than the standard air filter box.

 

You don't need an open pod unless you've got a really big project planned, i.e. a top end monster. But in even a moderately modded car, the open pod does more harm than good.

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How does tapping 4 wires into your OBD port help give you additional power and torque?

 

I rather do a proper remap for a little more money which will give me the additional power and torque. At the same time people who drive JDM cars can get their speed cuts removed. I'm very sure RS Chip doesn't remove the 180km/h or 250km/h speed cuts. People will always cite warranty as a problem but who gives a shit when you want to mod your vehicle. Doing a dyno run before and after costs $160 in total but at least you know whether or not your car gained power.

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How does tapping 4 wires into your OBD port help give you additional power and torque?

That's a fallacious reduction. You can also use a fallacious reduction to argue that reflashing can't change anything, because it just involves changing some 'zeroes' to 'ones' and some 'ones' to 'zeroes' in an EPROM.

 

It is valid to state that the power potential from a full reflash is likely to be significantly higher than a piggyback of any sort. That's because all the parameters, *including the failsafe features* are completely modifiable in a reflash. But that's also the biggest downside: you're intrinsically trusting that the guy who designed your map and the other guy that actually tuned your car really know what they're doing. Because overboosting, setting the wrong AFRs, not reacting properly to raised EGTs or knock, etc. are very easy to do with a bad reflash. At least with a piggyback, you know that the ECU is untampered with and fundamental safety features like the EGT monitor and knock sensors are still being read directly by the ECU and the car will pull boost and/or timing when appropriate. Moreover, undoing a piggyback is as easy as pulling out a wiring harness, so it's the option to use if you're not planning to keep the car long-term (and no one in Singapore really keeps the car long-term compared to other countries). With a reflash, you've already overwritten your original ROM. You can reflash it back, but I always feel "icky" when risking this. If I were going to change the ECU itself, I'd rather go with a full aftermarket replacement that bypasses the stock ECU completely. That has the advantage of being removable, but also gives full control of engine parameters.

 

I rather do a proper remap for a little more money which will give me the additional power and torque. At the same time people who drive JDM cars can get their speed cuts removed. I'm very sure RS Chip doesn't remove the 180km/h or 250km/h speed cuts. People will always cite warranty as a problem but who gives a shit when you want to mod your vehicle. Doing a dyno run before and after costs $160 in total but at least you know whether or not your car gained power.

Disregarding the warranty is easy when it's as sh!tty as the ones you get at Ah-Bengs-R-Us...I'm sorry, I meant MotorImage, where I bought both my WRXs. But when you have a 5-year all-in warranty (full parts and labour covered, you don't even pay for an oil change or a brake pad change during that time) like the one given as standard by Munich Auto, you'll be a lot less ready to ditch that warranty completely. That's where something as easily removable as a piggyback (a five minute job to take off, and the same to put back on) really proves its worth in a lightly modified car. There's no way they can definitively prove you modified the car if you've taken off the chip. But with a reflash, the checksum is altered, and that's quite easy for the dealer to detect and it's incontrovertible proof. Bye bye, 5-year warranty.

 

Regarding dynos, running a baseline and post-mod plot on the same dyno with the same parameters has value in proving a car has gained power and torque (that is not subject to the placebo effect of the butt dyno). But the actual figures are quite meaningless, as they depend so much on the dyno they use and the settings they've programmed in, including the really big one, which is the estimated drive-train loss percentage. Unless all you're interested in is wheel hp and torque, of course, and even then you can only compare those figures with other cars that have been dyno-ed on the same machine with the same settings, and wheel figures make for poor "bragging rights", since they will always be much lower than the popularly known crank figures.

Edited by Turboflat4
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That's a fallacious reduction. You can also use a fallacious reduction to argue that reflashing can't change anything, because it just involves changing some 'zeroes' to 'ones' and some 'ones' to 'zeroes' in an EPROM.

 

It is valid to state that the power potential from a full reflash is likely to be significantly higher than a piggyback of any sort. That's because all the parameters, *including the failsafe features* are completely modifiable in a reflash. But that's also the biggest downside: you're intrinsically trusting that the guy who designed your map and the other guy that actually tuned your car really know what they're doing. Because overboosting, setting the wrong AFRs, not reacting properly to raised EGTs or knock, etc. are very easy to do with a bad reflash. At least with a piggyback, you know that the ECU is untampered with and fundamental safety features like the EGT monitor and knock sensors are still being read directly by the ECU and the car will pull boost and/or timing when appropriate. Moreover, undoing a piggyback is as easy as pulling out a wiring harness, so it's the option to use if you're not planning to keep the car long-term (and no one in Singapore really keeps the car long-term compared to other countries). With a reflash, you've already overwritten your original ROM. You can reflash it back, but I always feel "icky" when risking this. If I were going to change the ECU itself, I'd rather go with a full aftermarket replacement that bypasses the stock ECU completely. That has the advantage of being removable, but also gives full control of engine parameters.

 

 

Disregarding the warranty is easy when it's as sh!tty as the ones you get at Ah-Bengs-R-Us...I'm sorry, I meant MotorImage, where I bought both my WRXs. But when you have a 5-year all-in warranty (full parts and labour covered, you don't even pay for an oil change or a brake pad change during that time) like the one given as standard by Munich Auto, you'll be a lot less ready to ditch that warranty completely. That's where something as easily removable as a piggyback (a five minute job to take off, and the same to put back on) really proves its worth in a lightly modified car. There's no way they can definitively prove you modified the car if you've taken off the chip. But with a reflash, the checksum is altered, and that's quite easy for the dealer to detect and it's incontrovertible proof. Bye bye, 5-year warranty.

 

Regarding dynos, running a baseline and post-mod plot on the same dyno with the same parameters has value in proving a car has gained power and torque (that is not subject to the placebo effect of the butt dyno). But the actual figures are quite meaningless, as they depend so much on the dyno they use and the settings they've programmed in, including the really big one, which is the estimated drive-train loss percentage. Unless all you're interested in is wheel hp and torque, of course, and even then you can only compare those figures with other cars that have been dyno-ed on the same machine with the same settings, and wheel figures make for poor "bragging rights", since they will always be much lower than the popularly known crank figures.

Wah ... Thanks turboflat.. very detailed indeed.

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That's a fallacious reduction. You can also use a fallacious reduction to argue that reflashing can't change anything, because it just involves changing some 'zeroes' to 'ones' and some 'ones' to 'zeroes' in an EPROM.

 

It is valid to state that the power potential from a full reflash is likely to be significantly higher than a piggyback of any sort. That's because all the parameters, *including the failsafe features* are completely modifiable in a reflash. But that's also the biggest downside: you're intrinsically trusting that the guy who designed your map and the other guy that actually tuned your car really know what they're doing. Because overboosting, setting the wrong AFRs, not reacting properly to raised EGTs or knock, etc. are very easy to do with a bad reflash. At least with a piggyback, you know that the ECU is untampered with and fundamental safety features like the EGT monitor and knock sensors are still being read directly by the ECU and the car will pull boost and/or timing when appropriate. Moreover, undoing a piggyback is as easy as pulling out a wiring harness, so it's the option to use if you're not planning to keep the car long-term (and no one in Singapore really keeps the car long-term compared to other countries). With a reflash, you've already overwritten your original ROM. You can reflash it back, but I always feel "icky" when risking this. If I were going to change the ECU itself, I'd rather go with a full aftermarket replacement that bypasses the stock ECU completely. That has the advantage of being removable, but also gives full control of engine parameters.

 

 

Disregarding the warranty is easy when it's as sh!tty as the ones you get at Ah-Bengs-R-Us...I'm sorry, I meant MotorImage, where I bought both my WRXs. But when you have a 5-year all-in warranty (full parts and labour covered, you don't even pay for an oil change or a brake pad change during that time) like the one given as standard by Munich Auto, you'll be a lot less ready to ditch that warranty completely. That's where something as easily removable as a piggyback (a five minute job to take off, and the same to put back on) really proves its worth in a lightly modified car. There's no way they can definitively prove you modified the car if you've taken off the chip. But with a reflash, the checksum is altered, and that's quite easy for the dealer to detect and it's incontrovertible proof. Bye bye, 5-year warranty.

 

Regarding dynos, running a baseline and post-mod plot on the same dyno with the same parameters has value in proving a car has gained power and torque (that is not subject to the placebo effect of the butt dyno). But the actual figures are quite meaningless, as they depend so much on the dyno they use and the settings they've programmed in, including the really big one, which is the estimated drive-train loss percentage. Unless all you're interested in is wheel hp and torque, of course, and even then you can only compare those figures with other cars that have been dyno-ed on the same machine with the same settings, and wheel figures make for poor "bragging rights", since they will always be much lower than the popularly known crank figures.

 

Yes I may have simplified RS Chip to a box with 4 wires. However RS Chip promises so much with just 4 wires. Hard to believe it actually works. Also RS Chip is generic and can be used on various cars. This means that the changes that RS Chip makes to my car may not bring out the full potential compared to what a proper reflash can do.

 

While reflashing the ECU might seem risky as your dependent on the person tuning the car, it does give you more power in the long run. I rather go with something that is guaranteed to give me extra power instead of relying on the butt dyno. I'm not sure why you have the impression that people go to the dyno to brag about how much power their car has but that certainly wasn't the point I was trying to make. It's more about how much more power the car has made through the reflash or adding one of those chips and whether the difference was significant enough to be felt.

 

Regarding warranty, I remember that COBB Accessport allows you to keep a copy of the stock map while running a custom map on the car. This means being able to switch back and forth when you send the car back to the dealership. Furthermore, unless I have a full parts and labour warranty like the one you mentioned, I wouldn't bother with it. Most of the time, a brand new car hardly gives problems. So I don't mind risking it. Servicing and changing of brake pads can be done cheaply outside. How fast the parts on your car wear depends on how you drive it. If I'm like one of those jackasses that revs their car super hard only to slam on the brakes 100m later, I'm pretty sure my car will go off really quickly.

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Yes I may have simplified RS Chip to a box with 4 wires. However RS Chip promises so much with just 4 wires. Hard to believe it actually works. Also RS Chip is generic and can be used on various cars. This means that the changes that RS Chip makes to my car may not bring out the full potential compared to what a proper reflash can do.

Is it generic though? Don't you have to put in your car make and model before they take you to the right page? If it's generic, I share your concerns. The RaceChip is anything but generic - the module you get is highly specific to your make and model. The module for my F10 M5 is worlds apart in configuration from the one I used for my F20 M135i.

 

So, having no experience with the RS chip in particular, I cannot speak for or against it. But my point was that at least some piggybacks can work well and increase HP/torque, they're not snake oil.

 

While reflashing the ECU might seem risky as your dependent on the person tuning the car, it does give you more power in the long run. I rather go with something that is guaranteed to give me extra power instead of relying on the butt dyno. I'm not sure why you have the impression that people go to the dyno to brag about how much power their car has but that certainly wasn't the point I was trying to make. It's more about how much more power the car has made through the reflash or adding one of those chips and whether the difference was significant enough to be felt.

The thing about "guaranteed power" is this: piggybacks from a reputable manufacturer, with good reviews in the enthusiast community are just as "guaranteed" as a reflash. Think about it: a reflash is just a stock program you upload into your ECU EPROM. That program has been QC tested by the makers to work for your particular car taking into account make, model, year of manufacture and variant. They've tested car(s) very much like yours on their own dynos and put up the advertised power and torque gains from the car(s) they've tested. But that's exactly what the reputable piggyback chip manufacturers do as well. They put their gizmos (which may be model-specific, like the Race Chip) on various cars and assess the gains on each model. So the advertised figures are no less "guaranteed" than those of an off-the-shelf reflash.

 

Now, if you're going the full custom tune route, that's a different story. Usually the tuner will start with a baseline remap, then tweak parameters until the engine cannot "tahan" anymore (high EGTs, knock etc.) then dial in an extra safety margin. Yes, this way, you can really see the extra power and torque the car is making over its stock condition, at least as measured by that dyno with those parameters.

 

So if you're talking about a custom tune, then I fully agree that a dyno is not only beneficial, it is essential (without it, you can be oblivious to flat spots and dips in the power/torque curve). But that was a point I already made in a much earlier post. If, on the other hand, you're getting an off-the-shelf map (including the COBB AP), there's no benefit to a dyno other than self-satisfaction or possibly impressing others (the "bragging rights" I was alluding to). Ditto with a piggyback.

 

Regarding warranty, I remember that COBB Accessport allows you to keep a copy of the stock map while running a custom map on the car. This means being able to switch back and forth when you send the car back to the dealership. Furthermore, unless I have a full parts and labour warranty like the one you mentioned, I wouldn't bother with it. Most of the time, a brand new car hardly gives problems. So I don't mind risking it. Servicing and changing of brake pads can be done cheaply outside. How fast the parts on your car wear depends on how you drive it. If I'm like one of those jackasses that revs their car super hard only to slam on the brakes 100m later, I'm pretty sure my car will go off really quickly.

I have a passing familiarity with the COBB AP because when I was into the Subaru scene many years back, they were all the rage in the US. I don't think they were available in Singapore then - I think the ECUTek was just being introduced here (and that involves both a reflash and a custom tune). As far as I am aware (no personal experience so correct me if I'm wrong), the COBB AP is a device that allows you (once paired to the ECU) to flash one of a number of off-the-shelf maps into the ECU, but no custom tuning is involved (so no need a dyno, as I said). But yes, you can reflash the stock map back into the ECU anytime you want.

 

I have read somewhere that the ECU keeps a count of the number of times it's had a ROM flashed to it. I am not sure if the COBB AP can overwrite this value. So caveat emptor, because if they are determined on denying your warranty by proving modification (and they will be very determined if you're trying to claim warranty for a blown engine), this will be a smoking gun.

Edited by Turboflat4
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Is it generic though? Don't you have to put in your car make and model before they take you to the right page? If it's generic, I share your concerns. The RaceChip is anything but generic - the module you get is highly specific to your make and model. The module for my F10 M5 is worlds apart in configuration from the one I used for my F20 M135i.

 

So, having no experience with the RS chip in particular, I cannot speak for or against it. But my point was that at least some piggybacks can work well and increase HP/torque, they're not snake oil.

 

 

The thing about "guaranteed power" is this: piggybacks from a reputable manufacturer, with good reviews in the enthusiast community are just as "guaranteed" as a reflash. Think about it: a reflash is just a stock program you upload into your ECU EPROM. That program has been QC tested by the makers to work for your particular car taking into account make, model, year of manufacture and variant. They've tested car(s) very much like yours on their own dynos and put up the advertised power and torque gains from the car(s) they've tested. But that's exactly what the reputable piggyback chip manufacturers do as well. They put their gizmos (which may be model-specific, like the Race Chip) on various cars and assess the gains on each model. So the advertised figures are no less "guaranteed" than those of an off-the-shelf reflash.

 

Now, if you're going the full custom tune route, that's a different story. Usually the tuner will start with a baseline remap, then tweak parameters until the engine cannot "tahan" anymore (high EGTs, knock etc.) then dial in an extra safety margin. Yes, this way, you can really see the extra power and torque the car is making over its stock condition, at least as measured by that dyno with those parameters.

 

So if you're talking about a custom tune, then I fully agree that a dyno is not only beneficial, it is essential (without it, you can be oblivious to flat spots and dips in the power/torque curve). But that was a point I already made in a much earlier post. If, on the other hand, you're getting an off-the-shelf map (including the COBB AP), there's no benefit to a dyno other than self-satisfaction or possibly impressing others (the "bragging rights" I was alluding to). Ditto with a piggyback.

 

 

I have a passing familiarity with the COBB AP because when I was into the Subaru scene many years back, they were all the rage in the US. I don't think they were available in Singapore then - I think the ECUTek was just being introduced here (and that involves both a reflash and a custom tune). As far as I am aware (no personal experience so correct me if I'm wrong), the COBB AP is a device that allows you (once paired to the ECU) to flash one of a number of off-the-shelf maps into the ECU, but no custom tuning is involved (so no need a dyno, as I said). But yes, you can reflash the stock map back into the ECU anytime you want.

 

I have read somewhere that the ECU keeps a count of the number of times it's had a ROM flashed to it. I am not sure if the COBB AP can overwrite this value. So caveat emptor, because if they are determined on denying your warranty by proving modification (and they will be very determined if you're trying to claim warranty for a blown engine), this will be a smoking gun.

 

I think there might have been some misunderstanding. I'm questioning RS Chip's ability to improve a car's performance not so much piggybacks in general. Race Chip seems to have their own wiring harness to plug into the various snesors in the car and not just tapping 4 wires from the OBD 2 port. Now that's legit. Don't get me wrong, I am aware of the gains a piggyback can give. I remember doing research on JuiceBox4 meant for the N54 engine when I was contemplating getting an E92 335i. At least that showed significant power gains and made sense.

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