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User Tuning


LIVE user tuning allows the enthusiast to tailor the operation of their car's ECU to the circumstances in which it is used. This allows optimum use of race fuels and adjustment of the car's performance in several ways.

NOTE: The feature is available for the following ECU versions only and the vehicle must be tuned with an EcuTek Map Switching ROM:

  • 2001/2002/2003/2004 UK WRX (af53x, ah75x)
  • 2001/2002/2003/2004 US WRX (af42x)
  • 2001/2002/2003/2004 UK & EU STI (ag82x, ah99x)
  • 2003/2004 JDM STI and JDM Spec C (ah58x & ah59x)

No other ECU versions are supported at this time. The bracketed IDs above are the ECU versions as shown on the lid of the ECU and reported by DeltaDash. The list above allows anyone wishing to have this feature added to their vehicles to check that their ECU version is supported before visiting a tuner. For example af53x, means any ECU label beginning with af53, such as af530, af531, af532.

This is an extremely powerful feature and is recommended for experienced tuners and enthusiasts only.

How it Works

The EcuTek Live User Tuning feature consists of two components:

  • An EcuTek User Tune ECU
  • The latest version of EcuTek DeltaDash

EcuTek have customised the function of the software in the ECU to allow live adjustment of several engine parameters. These adjustments may be made through the cars diagnostic socket via DeltaDash.

As with other enhancements to DeltaDash (including road dyno & external sensor logging), this update to DeltaDash is free. To use this feature you need DeltaDash and must have your ECU reprogrammed for User Tuning by an EcuTek Dealer. If you already have DeltaDash, you can download an update from the web site for free. Then simply get your ECU updated by an EcuTek partner.

Adjustable Parameters

Live User Tuning Window in DeltaDash

The screen shot above shows the live user tuning window of DeltaDash. From here, you can alter various engine parameters in real time - that's while the engine is running ! These features are for the knowledgeable enthusiast and allow accurate adjustment of engine operation for special situations. A few examples of when these features might be used are listed below:

  • Cars used on the drag strip are often run on race fuel. These higher-octane fuels allow increased ignition advance to be run. The ignition timing adjustments may be used here. Base map adjustment allows the overall timing to be advanced or retarded by up to 5 degrees. Learning adjustment allows the range of ignition advance to be scaled up or down ‒ this effectively allows the ECU to learn a higher magnitude of ignition advance.

  • As a security measure, the rev limit of the vehicle may be dropped. This is useful when a high performance car needs to be left in the 'trust' of someone else, such as a parking attendant or tyre fitter. This feature is also part of the map switching product and may be triggered from the car's dash.
  • Failing fuel pumps can cause a leaning out of fuel mixtures when on boost. The open loop fuelling adjustment allows the mixture to be richened in order to maintain the desired air fuel ratio. High capacity aftermarket pumps can often cause the fuel mixtures to become overly rich ‒ this feature may also be used to return the mixtures to the correct ratio. Air fuel ratio must be monitored with a wideband lambda system when altering this parameter.

  • If your EcuTek partner calibrates your ECU with two boost settings, these may be selected from DeltaDash. You could ask for an economy setting (e.g. 0.5 bar boost) and a performance setting (e.g. 1.2 bar boost). You may then select these whenever required. This feature is also part of the map switching product and may be triggered from the car's dash.
  • In unusual weather conditions (e.g. -35°C Canadian winters) the boost control system may find it difficult to control the turbo. Also, in cold weather, charge temperatures will be much lower and so slightly more boost may be run. The boost pressure and wastegate duty cycle adjustments may be used to optimise the parameters. Some enthusiasts run their cars as both road cars and rally cars. In this instance, turbo restrictors may be mandatory for racing. These parameters may be used to adjust boost control when the restrictor is fitted.
  • Idle speed control may be adjusted by up to 1000 rpm using this feature. This may be used to help downshifting for drivers who are not experienced in heel/toe rev control, or to stabilise idle on cars with wild race cams.
  • Live tuning is also of great use to the tuner when deciding on the final ECU calibration to be flashed into a customer's ECU. It allows precise determination of calibration data in real time. For example, wastegate duty required for a given boost pressure at a given RPM and throttle opening may easily be determined. Ignition timing may also be adjusted in real time to quickly determine optimum timing.

When using the live user tuning feature, useful engine parameters related to ignition, boost and fuelling are displayed in real time so that you can see the effect that the adjustments you make are having. Note that the EcuTek partner who calibrates your ECU may select which features are available from DeltaDash; if you only want to be able to adjust boost parameters and would rather not have access to ignition and fuelling parameters this should be discussed with your tuner.

Because these parameters are not permanently stored in the ECU, there is no limit to the number of times that the parameters may be altered. However the adjustments are permanent, until the ECU is unplugged or an ECU reset is performed. This is in contrast to reprogramming the ECU, which can only be done whilst the engine is switched off, and a maximum of 100 times before the ECU flash memory is worn out.

How to get it

In order to use live user tuning, you must purchase DeltaDash and download the latest version from the web site. You must then have your car's ECU reprogrammed by an EcuTek partner. Specify that you require the live user tuning option.

An ECU reprogrammed for by an EcuTek partner, in combination with user tune DeltaDash is truly the ultimate solution for driveability and customisation.

Map switching and user tuning software & technology is copyright © EcuTek Technologies Ltd and is only available from EcuTek partners, as listed here.


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