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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm relatively new to VWs and passats. My question is can a 1999 vw passat be tuned on a dyno? I'm curious because the chip is $400, and from my experience, not one tune fits all, I mean it may be close to perfect, but mail order tunes or in passats case, chips, are usually on the very safe side because every car is a little different.

My other car was a trans am, and it could be dyno tuned without needing to take out the ecu or anything. Does the passat ecu have any way of doing this? It seems to me like it's very limited. You only have stage 1,2,3 and 91 or 100 octane, but no real custom tuning, just preset tunes.

I'm hoping someone can inform me of another way, besides going megasquirt, or standalone fuel system. I don't really even have any intentions of making the car fast, I'd just rather have a dyno tune than the $400 chip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess you have no idea how much a dyno tune will cost you.
look for the chip thread and spend the cheaper $400 for a stock chip(they flash the eprom).
I already know about the $400 chips you can buy, which I stated in my first post. I'm just asking another question out of curiosity. And actually a dyno tune for most cars if the software is available and the licensing is there is about $300 to $500, so I'd take a dyno tune for $400 over a chip for $400 any day.
 

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2004 GLS 1.8T
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I don't really even have any intentions of making the car fast, I'd just rather have a dyno tune than the $400 chip.
No, you wouldn't. Companies like APR and Unitronic have developed a variety of tune levels through countless hours of performance and reliability testing. A modern car doesn't vary sample-to-sample as much as you'd think; unless it's absolutely necessary to wring the last half-horsepower out of the engine, you're MUCH better off without something created ad-hoc for your car.

This, of course, is assuming you can interactively tweak the parameters in the Passat ECU at all. As far as I know, the way it's done is to create new engine management software and upload it to the chip, replacing the factory program.

Short story is, in five years on this forum and at PassatWorld, I've never heard of anyone dyno tuning a Passat B5.
 

· I'm just itching to be Banned
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I already know about the $400 chips you can buy, which I stated in my first post. I'm just asking another question out of curiosity. And actually a dyno tune for most cars if the software is available and the licensing is there is about $300 to $500, so I'd take a dyno tune for $400 over a chip for $400 any day.
No, just no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, you wouldn't. Companies like APR and Unitronic have developed a variety of tune levels through countless hours of performance and reliability testing. A modern car doesn't vary sample-to-sample as much as you'd think; unless it's absolutely necessary to wring the last half-horsepower out of the engine, you're MUCH better off without something created ad-hoc for your car.

This, of course, is assuming you can interactively tweak the parameters in the Passat ECU at all. As far as I know, the way it's done is to create new engine management software and upload it to the chip, replacing the factory program.

Short story is, in five years on this forum and at PassatWorld, I've never heard of anyone dyno tuning a Passat B5.
Yes, I would rather have a dyno tune... See the vw world is not very performance oriented. It's more of a style world. Don't think you know better than me about what I want. I'm sure the $400 chips are well mapped, reliable chips, and I'm not disputing that it would probably be best for my setup.

Based on what I've read and seen on the forum, I'll assume it's safe to say there is no dyno tuning available for the passat.

Hang out on the ls1tech forum and all of you will learn quite a bit ;)
 

· Grinding Gears...gone fishing!
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Hang out on the ls1tech forum and all of you will learn quite a bit ;)
we know all there is to know about passats, why hang on a gm forum?
you hang here and we will learn ya something you may want to know or hear. we are here to help you, not hurt you.
Also gm's are naturally aspirated, how can you compare that to your passat? that is why no tune needed. not changing internals so no reason to specific tune to match anything on a stock motor..Forget all the LS1 crap, this aint that, not even close.
here is what my Passat engine bay looks like..;)
I turn my own wrenches and used to build 1/4 mile cars..fastest went 6.94.
hows that for experience?

 

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Yes, I would rather have a dyno tune... See the vw world is not very performance oriented. It's more of a style world. Don't think you know better than me about what I want. I'm sure the $400 chips are well mapped, reliable chips, and I'm not disputing that it would probably be best for my setup.

Based on what I've read and seen on the forum, I'll assume it's safe to say there is no dyno tuning available for the passat.

Hang out on the ls1tech forum and all of you will learn quite a bit ;)
There are some who are interested in performance, but Passats are less performance oriented than an ls1 powered anything. Still, it is pretty easy to make them into a fun daily driver with pretty much just a chip and a few bolt ons. The engines are robust if properly maintained, and can make a lot of power if you want. The cars are in general limited by the turbo, the k03 is a teeny little thing which can only do about 210 hp or so, a k04 can do about 240 according to the published Borg Warner information. Some people have been able to get a lot more out of them, but because they are limited by the same piece of hardware, an off the shelf tune is just fine and you won't get more power per se.

What you will get with different vendors is different driving characteristics -- Revo tends to be more aggressive, APR drives smoothly (I had one) and makes good power, GIAC has a good reputation and so forth. But with a k03, they all make about the same power.

If you want, you should be able to use "vtune" on your turbo 4 banger and get something more out of it if you're sitting on a chassis dyno and have your laptop handy. You can also vtune the thing on top of an existing chip tune. But if you go to a much bigger turbo without increasing displacement, you'll significantly change how the car drives. If that's what you want, however, more power to you (but only at high RPM).

Cheers...
 

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Don't think you know better than me about what I want. I'm sure the $400 chips are well mapped, reliable chips, and I'm not disputing that it would probably be best for my setup.
(Chortles) "Don't tell me what I want! I know what's best for my car and I don't want that!" Let's just amend that to you shouldn't want a dyno tune, OK?

Aaany way, I know quite well the Passat is German family sedan. I have zip interest in hanging out on a GM V8 forum; got that stuff out of my system in the 70's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, you guys are sitting here trying to tell me what's what. I just wanted someone with some technical info about whether you can hook up an damn cord to the obd2 port and tune it on a dyno.

And to the guy who says he set up a 6.94 car. you don't know what you're talking about. The pcm on the trans am does need to be tuned when you change the cam from a stock 202/208 duration to a cam with 224/230 duration with more lift, the ecu has to be retuned to add more fuel on the top end as well as increase the rev limiter because power is made about 1000rpm higher. So regardless of turbo or not, when you install a way bigger cam, retuning is required otherwise it's a pointless mod. And plenty of guys supercharge or turbocharge their camaro's on stock pcm's. So, comparing na to turbo isn't that much different. I'm just asking about the ecu being able to be custom tuned in car with a laptop.

All I was saying is guys at ls1tech fab up their own stuff and tune things on their own, where as the vw world is a lot more materialistic, which makes sense because vw's are about style and not speed.

Look, I don't expect to even do much if anything to my car, especially since it's a tiptronic and is slow as balls, but it was just a question out of curiosity.

The passat is a nice clean car, but the whole idea of chips is just annoying to me, what if someone wanted to put on an oddball sized turbo or a really big turbo that the pre-programmed chips wouldn't work right with? So, the only people who could dyno tune the car would be APR, or GIAC right? the companies that actually make the chip programs.

I have no intentions of ever making my passat fast, but this is just all hypothetical. I sold my trans am for a reason, that was to go slow, which is why I picked the passat.
 

· Grinding Gears...gone fishing!
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You can get 500hp out of a passat. when you get to those #'s then you need dyno tunes(new internals). stock..not so much.
also, you really read my post wrong to give me an answer like that.
you tune to what is done. My ecu is tuned for the sc and bigger injectors. nothing stock about that part.In your case( a stock 1.8) all it needs is a tune made for it.
if you read up on here you will see all different turbo setups done through the years and tunes made for those specific applications, or a dyno made tune that takes days or weeks according to what is needed. No dyno tune happens overnight.

And yeah, I do know my shiznit, but do not have to prove it to you. My time slips say it all. ;)
Been wrenching since 11 and now am 42.
 

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The short answer is yes, you can get a custom tune on a stock ECU. It's called a Maestro system, Eurodyne makes them and it's $850 for a base tune. That said, the smallest turbo that they make Maestro base tunes for are GT2860's with 630 injectors. Could you reconfigure a 630 tune to work with a K03, certainly. By the same token, you could teach an Elephant to sprint. The question is, why bother?

Fact is, Bosch Motronic is a difficult system to learn and tune. If you want to learn to tune it yourself, go to Nefmoto.com and go nuts. However, you'll be spending a lot of time there to even learn the basics.

As for the Passat not being a performance oriented car, here's my build thread, 'nuff said http://www.passatworld.com/forums/42-club-b5/323219-do-i-smell-60-1-build-pics.html
 

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Even mentioning the Passat's 1.8T motor in the same sentence as GM V8 is describing 2 extremely different styles and philosophies.

The LS1 is the typical large capacity V8 that America has become world famous for, a true disciple of the "there ain't no replacement for displacement" school of thought. Whereas the 1.8T motor is typically European; small and very efficient.

As much as I love the feel sound of a V8 (I still miss my Mustang GT very much) the world is a changing and lots of car manufacturers are going with smaller engines assisted by boost. Ford is very proud os said tech in the new Eco Boost engines.

Even hyper performance manufacturers are adding boost from turbos to supplement their already large capacity engines to get even more insane HP numbers.

Also coming from the world of motorcycles I understand the dyno tuning arguement as a way to get your bike running absolutely perfectly across the full rev range using your new air filter and exhaust combo.

The 1.8T motor is pretty low budget and a cheap $400 - $500 chip is an amazing hit of power for very little time and money in what is in all reality a very comfortable grocery-getter.
 

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Well, you guys are sitting here trying to tell me what's what. I just wanted someone with some technical info about whether you can hook up an damn cord to the obd2 port and tune it on a dyno.

And to the guy who says he set up a 6.94 car. you don't know what you're talking about. The pcm on the trans am does need to be tuned when you change the cam from a stock 202/208 duration to a cam with 224/230 duration with more lift, the ecu has to be retuned to add more fuel on the top end as well as increase the rev limiter because power is made about 1000rpm higher. So regardless of turbo or not, when you install a way bigger cam, retuning is required otherwise it's a pointless mod. And plenty of guys supercharge or turbocharge their camaro's on stock pcm's. So, comparing na to turbo isn't that much different. I'm just asking about the ecu being able to be custom tuned in car with a laptop.

All I was saying is guys at ls1tech fab up their own stuff and tune things on their own, where as the vw world is a lot more materialistic, which makes sense because vw's are about style and not speed.

Look, I don't expect to even do much if anything to my car, especially since it's a tiptronic and is slow as balls, but it was just a question out of curiosity.

The passat is a nice clean car, but the whole idea of chips is just annoying to me, what if someone wanted to put on an oddball sized turbo or a really big turbo that the pre-programmed chips wouldn't work right with? So, the only people who could dyno tune the car would be APR, or GIAC right? the companies that actually make the chip programs.

I have no intentions of ever making my passat fast, but this is just all hypothetical. I sold my trans am for a reason, that was to go slow, which is why I picked the passat.

As T said, you can do just that if you want to, however with a stock turbo and an automatic transmission it is not very cost effective. People do fab up their own stuff here, too. Just as with an ls1, speed costs money and the question is how fast do you want to go. With the Passat, you're starting with a much slower car. You are correct when you postulate that if you put a turbo the size of your head from some Mitsubushi earth moving equipment along with 147.458 #/hour injectors on your 1.8 turbo engine that you'll need an engine control system that can be custom tuned for the hardware. At that point, you have a lot of choices, you can ask someone to tune it for you "custom" and keep the stock ECU (just like the GM ones), go with 034 motorsports system, Motec, Accel DFI, Big Stuff, the list goes on and on.

But the question you need to answer is what do I want out of this? What do I expect the outcome of spending my hard earned cash on my car to be?

The answers you've received have been that a chip is cost effective, and that you can do what you've proposed and tune on a chassis dyno, but there is no software that you can download that will let you get really far into your ECU and do a full tune. Not really too much of a market for it, so it is not all that cost effective for you.

It is unclear what you mean by "materialistic" -- to quote Indigo Montoya, I don't think that word means what you think it means. The Passat is a family sedan, seats 5 comfortably, does not come with a big screaming chicken painted on the hood, etc. The VW world is different and the emphasis is on different things, however the substance is still the same.

By the way, when changing the cam you don't really need to change the fueling unless the air/fuel ratio is off. You may need to change slightly when N/A when you change the heads, but you do need to change the injector timing when you open the intake valves earlier. You don't want to inject raw fuel into the cylinder (at least on PFI engines) because it makes them idle like crap. But you'll always make best power N/A around 13:1 plus or minus a little bit (mine liked 13.1:1, some like 12.5:1), and if your MAF is properly calibrated you shouldn't need to change anything. But the engine wants what it wants, it doesn't care what you want.
 

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Oh and since you have a 98, it's a little different. You cannot flash load a tune on it. Even getting a Chip requires a socket to be soldered onto the board. Unless they changed something lately....
 
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