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DIY : ECU Remap ( The Long Term Report )

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by vtlreja2, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. vtlreja2

    vtlreja2 Amatore

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Hello folks.
    First of all i am not good when it comes to writing. So kindly ignore small mistakes.

    Its been 19 month old story/post (you can call me lazy bum when it comes to writing).

    Ever since i owned my punto, i wasn't much happy with its low end performance especially with AC on carrying 5 persons on board city traffic conditions.
    I even thought to exchange with ritz/zest during my intial days of ownership but being fiat, i was aware regarding the resale which is going to be big hit on my pocket.
    Started hunted for solutions & being regular on Tfi, how can i miss the term Remap,
    that also accompained by the wonderfully written thread of Italia_linea on wolf moto.


    At that time(say begining of 2014) the wolf folks were fairly new and the hot favorite one was TOT guys.
    I do dig many such posts on various forums to get almost all sort of possible information available on a remap.
    One thing was safe to conclude, a remap changes car's whole character in a positive way, if done properly.
    That has became my favorite pass time on the holidays mid exam.
    Yes, i keep studying in mid exam but the content was different, it was due to my immense passion towards automobiles. I almost decided for remap from wolf/tot.
    Being DIY'er, the itch constantly came in my mind why not to try in DIY form (yes you guys can call me crazy). What i believe is everyone has started from somewhere, isn't it ?
    be it wolf, tot, or any other firms. Research was started again on full swing but now matter was how to do a remap.
    kept keen eyes on many blogs/forums/youtube/fb and what not. Asked couple of questions here and there, links is posted below.




    Now i was at least aware enough what is remap, how it works,how to do it, how to read the ecu file, how to flash file back, what sort of tools i will need and
    most importantly i will also need the recoded file to flash back the ecu (which isn't easy and simple as it appears).
    Asked my parents that i am interested in doing something different than others which.
    Offcourse involves the risk on our newly occupied car which is merely few months
    old by now and would be costly affair too. The kit and software were ranging skyhigh prices,
    moreover the chances of Bricking the ecu was high as its the main component, also the bcm was on risk.
    Kudos to them for allowing me

    Moreover, i thought why not to make this as the college project. Asked my faculty who gave me green signal to do it. Atleast none of my college or even from university attempted to do something like this. The result of this led to me score top in project among my classmates. So, killing two birds from 1 stone.

    Calculated the risk in such a manner :-

    I kept the keen eye for the guys who repair ecu and restores it, in both India and overseas, for the worst case scenario would be ecu going kaput and cant be repaired.
    Cost of new one was 18-20k
    Bcm was available for 18k
    i didn't bothered about turbo too much as i concluded the turbo can take much pressure than stock settings after reading many threads

    The Warranty

    Warranty, big risk was warranty of my almost newish car. Though i didn't gone for extended one .during the initial days, i atleast safely concluded that my car works well & normal and
    obviously not any kind of lemon, so i can trade off for warranty as i was sure it wont take anything more than regular service post remap too.
    Warranty risk comes only in picture only if fiat detects there is a modification or if anything goes wrong during the remap process and i have to order part from fiat
    as ecu could not give up unless any fiddling is not done so it was 50-50 chances
    Thought for some days and decided to take the plunge.

    Decision was made but was not sure how to proceed further.

    First step was to finalizing the hardware. The tuning kit.
    Many of them was available which are listed below :

    kess v2 (hot favorite in market)
    ktag ecu programing kit
    fgtech v54 galletto 4 master (option availabe for both obd & bdm)
    MPPS v16 & v13.1
    Piasini engg v4.1

    These, kits popular across the globe for sure but the real issue was which one to finalize, again uncle google came to help, did loads & loads of research and
    finalized kess v2 master one suits the best to me
    other option was mpps v13.1 or something like that. The only drawback is it supports the less no. of vehicle list.
    Has to order it from overseas as in India, at that time, there was no one who retails this kind of stuff.
    Asked almost each and every automobile shop of my hometown first, then dialed to the places of nearby cities and then even inquired some places on India level.
    still no luck, almost all of them was not aware about these things and some where even not aware about the term remap.

    Kindly do note that,
    i am talking about almost 2 years back from now when there were approximately only 10 tuners in India. Thought to get from sites called ebay/aliexpress/alibaba where they were available at cheaper rate but what's about genuinity ? who know if it will work or not ? will it harm the ecu ? what if seller doesn't sent the product ? what if item got stuck in customs ? customs could ask for 'x' amount for this as they don't understand
    what thing is this and what it does ?
    Got in contact with TDI racing.net who said they will provide me the kit only if get the dealership of them, range starting from some lac.
    That was way too steep for me.

    Fortunately, my cousin was about to leave for Hongkong for his vacations,
    i explained him my situation. He said i will ask in hk if i can get one.
    He visit few of the automotive modification shop there and came to kess v2 v2.06 named kit, that too master one. Shown me on my mail address,
    i asked him to tell the seller to show whether its working or not. Seller obliged and done the same & VOILA !!!
    That kit was working well. immediately asked him took the grab on that kit. He made the payment and get it to India.
    I got the full kit minus the BDM rig as it was costing more plus i was pretty much sure i will not going to have the bench flash.

    The kit reached at home via courier sent from Mumbai, my cousins place. Cheers to him.
    It was time to check on my vehicle.
    The plan was to do flash via obd2 port only as i was not able to understood
    the via bench flash.
    Going through the obd way was simple, convinient and hassle free though only con is its risky.
    If anything goes wrong, while flashing up the file, ecu will be bricked leading it difficult to restore which isn't in the case of bench flash.
    To elaborate this in general speaking, bench flash read the whole ecu ie map files + other essentials parameters ac,electricals.
    while obd2 method only reads the map files which involves engine parameters only.



    It was fine sunday morning,did all the preparations. Everything was double checked. Connected my laptop to the car through the kit via obd2 port.
    (Till that date i was under date blind assumption that, if we start that process we cant intrupt that & if laptop goes off due to any reasons the process will get intrupt for sure,got the air cleared after this incident, you can stop it while reading. However, it only implies while flashing process)

    Checked laptop battery which was more than 50%.
    Started reading up the ecu the time shown on the laptop was healthy 1 hr and 37 mins to complete the read.
    Voltage level was getting really low as the from 12 to 11,10, then 9.i was worried as i had even connected the charger, voltage was still keep dropping.

    later on upon diagnostics,found that, the fuse of the charger was blown of as i mistakenly touched the black and red terminal while it was on.

    I still thought let to proceed anyway.
    Slowly i was about to complete. it was about 90% done when i tool relief. time left was hardly few minutes.
    Then at 98% voltage was at 8.45v approx, and suddenly laptop gone off as i ignored the low battery warning considering the time left in reading the ecu and the time left with laptop battery.
    My stupid mistake that was. I simply got a mini heart attack . I thought everything was gone though the lights on instrument cluster were still on but the i was under blind assumption. Checked the electricals which was working though voltages were low.
    With the heavy heart i dared to crank the engine, it slowly cranked (a typical low battery voice kinda ) and voila. it fired up. What a sign of relief that was.
    Kept running idle for few minutes then took car out for a spin. It was simply normal. There was a wide grin on my face. The car was still doing same.
    So finally cleared up the air that nothing happens if the reading process is interupted.
    I was tired up too much and moreover didn't had guts left to do it again at that day
    so called it a day. !!!

    Backing off was not the option left anymore.
    it was about do or die.
    Corrected my mistakes done while first attempt, replaced the fuse of my car's battery stabilizer aka charger. Connected the charger to the laptop too & everything as per the standard procedure.
    Did double checked everything, this time more preciously.
    Started reading the ecu.
    Voltage level was now keep less fluctuating & hovers between 11-12 volts showing the charger doing its job.

    At approximately 68%, the laptop again turned off. Heck, this time it was the blue screen issue in the laptop which i face from sometime.
    I was frustrated like anything.
    Again made sure the car was working normally, though i know, but still making myself double sure.
    Decided it was hook or by crook, will take the reading on today itself only no matter how much times i have to try

    Attempt 3 (The final one)

    Started the reading process again,
    Everything was as per attempt no 2,
    Started praying that laptop don't show any kind of tantrum again
    and finally i was succeed to take the reading
    Immediately saved the file on the desktop.


    I came to know that to recode the file few software were essentials like winols,ecm titanium 1.61, etc but even if i get the software, i don't have the knowledge to recode the file before.
    I watched many videos for that but still no luck. Even i follow those videos there were the fair chances that anything could go wrong or beyond the threshold values of various parameters like turbo boost, injection at part throttle, torque limiter, etc. which were still unknown to me.
    So decided to get this work done from tuner itself

    Now this was one of the most frustrating task for me. None of the Indian tuner/firm was ready to provide me that file. even i offered them the double or
    thrice the price of it. I asked them to help me as it was for the project purpose too, but still all of them refuse.
    I guess there were more than 10 tuners available at that time in india.
    I could have got the file from the foreign tuner at the moment, the issue that time was neither i had credit/debit card nor i had paypal account at that time.
    Tried to get the paypal account linked to my account but there are some issues in it.
    Tuned files were/are readily available with the foreign tuners & they even can arrange it for you if u seek customized file within the span of some minutes.

    I was really dippressed at that time as i was ready to trade off, i got the kit now but not getting the file which was essential part of the process.
    Then it came the new entrant in the market in the field of remaping business. The viezu, the only dealer of viezu was a guy in banglore named Gowrav.
    He had remaped a car or two at that time.
    I with the heavy heart called him keeping in mind that he will too refuse. On calling upon him, he reverted back affirmatively, said yes he can arrange the file, but i have to pay him the full charge of the remap (i was more than happy hearing that) as i was even ready to pay double the amount of it to others.
    i asked him many questions, regarding the viezu, about files, plus i mentioned will need more than 1 tune which he obliged too.
    Did lit bit research on viezu too and found positive.
    E confirmed with him the steps involved in the process which were almost same. He was using the same kit though, his was slave and mine is master one.
    What a sign of relief that was, that i am atleast on same track.
    had a long chat with him and deposited the amount of full remap in his bank account on the same day and said i will send you the file within a day or two.
    Got the recoded file within 2-3 days after sending file from my side after sending file.

    Everything was set. had the kit, had the recoded file, had the essentials ( car's battery charger. I had watched in videos that to connect the battery to the stabilized
    power supply that voltage of the battery doesn't go down, if it goes down beyond the certain level the ecu will stop getting supply which could be nasty during the flashing
    time. I read that critical point is beyond 6 volt. However, in my case voltage keep toggling between 9-12 volts) still it was on safe side to use charger.
    I was also aware for the ecu could behaving weirdly like odo keep blinking, needles goes up and down, ecu making up noise (yes have saw in video too) during read and write time


    It was time to flash now.
    I have to make sure to not to make any sort of mistake as its going to be one shot try make it or ruin it. Only single attempt was allowed.
    If anything would intrupt, fair bit the chances of ecu going for a toss.
    I was under lot of pressure. I remember i was literally sweating being confused to the core.

    Then it was on 18/9/2014.
    At around 6 pm followed the same procedure as the videos states. The estimated time remaining show 18 mins only. Shocked as i didn't expected it will be done so soon
    luckily, completed the 100% in one try. Immediately & with shaking hands, hit the crank and she fired up to its glory. Gosh, finally the taste of success. Thought like had won millions in a gamble.

    Kept running it on idle, removed the kit in hurry. Checked if i encounter any kind of error on cluster, but found none.

    Everything was turned up joyful. There was the widest possible grin on my face.
    It was time to hit the road. Took the car out of parking & headed to the state highway which is nearby my home. Difference was simply visible. I could feel the improvement down in lower range.
    Within no time i was hitting 120-130.i was in for a surprised when i looked on speedo. slowed down immediately considering it was state highway.
    Took almost an hour on that highway moving here and there again and again.
    I then realized that my family could have been worried as i haven't informed them about my leaving that also without my phone,wallet, & heck, even chappals.
    LOL !!!

    Headed back to home. Then had longish drive in a city. I was happy with the lower end of revs. Pulling cleanly from lower revs.
    Car was working fine even after 100s of kms of usage. That proved the remap was indeed successful.

    But still i was not pretty much sure regarding the improvement over stock. Car was making progress but was it enough.
    decided to get it checked with my friend. Its always better to accompanied by the fellow friend having same modeled car. He has 2013 black punto mjd dynamic
    called my friend and decided to meet. Venue was fixed on nearby highway.
    he came on time, drove my car first and confirm that's a remap. He was mighty impressed. car has became good. Driveablity was improved vastly.
    I then drove his car back to back and immediately noticed the difference. i was now way too happy.
    Finally was able to gauge the difference between stock and mapped. Had a drag race complimentary and obviously i was ahead of him though he was sure he wont able to match

    The memories of those day

    I then tried mileage tune from that b'lore dealer but didn't liked it much especially after using the performance one.
    Moreover, there wasn't significant improvement in mileage too.

    ODO WAS approx 11k kms, car was doing rather well. had few highway trips too without any single issue.
    I was itching to get my car dyno'ed to atleast clear up the picture. Found only 4 dyno centers were available in India. 3 down in south and 1 in Mumbai. Mumbai being nearest to guj, booked appointment at KS motorsport, went there all the way from Guj. 800 odd kms

    The dyno of that performance version of tune is attached in below pic.
    dyno graph for punto.JPG

    WHP : 74 Whp
    TORQUE : 122 ft/pound = 122*1.35 = 165 NM
    I was pretty much shocked by seeing such a low figures. I was claimed to show high.
    Mr. karan Shah himself explained me about the losage in drivetrain which he assumes
    is approx 18%. if we calculate according to his theory then no weren't isnt too bad in his opinion. If i see the torque figs. comparing to other car's dyno, (found from Tbhp)
    my car was still making a healthy 30nm over stock but the hp figs were only 7 odd ones.

    Here is the comparision pic :


    NOTE : I know figures vary between many factors but i only used here just for reference.
    No intention to make debate on this

    NOTE ;
    It may happen that the air filter would be clogged as the odo was 11k kms, and i am even not sure whether it was cleaned at 5k kms. That may have led to
    such a low figure in hp, but thats just a possiblity. I now generally clean up air filter by myself at 1-2k kms and find considerable difference post cleanup.

    I had used viezu's performance tune for approx 10-12k kms.
    Then one fine day i got the mail from the tuner named paul. which was supposed to be tunes the files for viezu, now working as a free lancer don't know if had got the database from the veizu and now using it from his own contacts.
    He said he had explore more in tuning field and if i may be interested he can fine tune my file which will make my car a true beast. I showed my dyno graph to him and
    added that i am unhappy with viezu guys and surely not meeting up the expectation of claimed hp was not meeting simply by half. He added, trust me i will not disappoint
    you and to pay the money after u try the tune if i like. I thought to give it a try. He then sent me the updated tune with bit more modifications which make my car even more powerfull.
    I can now simply pushed back in the seat whenever rpm hits 2.2k rpm mark & seems like turbo kicking bit earlier at 1.5k rpm. Driveablity has became good too.
    Less difference is observed in performance while driving with ac on and without ac, it simply flies. I then make him the payment through western union & and got the spare file with egr off too, which i could try in my near future.
    I am simply way too happy with the current file provided by the paul.


    The car is utterly reliable same as stock car. I had used car extensively between Guj-Maharastra-Rajasthan clocking max kms of 900 odd ones in a day and many 800 kms
    a day trips which can be found on my ownership thread. I kept the record
    had a habit to ideal the turbo for a min while on highway trip.
    Though i keep keen eyes on all the fluids.

    Still intact till jan 2017.


    The kit = 1 lac + some mis. expenses.
    Viezu tune = approx 13k.
    Tune from paul = 10k.
    Software for recoding ( The ECM Titatium 1.61) = 8k IIRC. Yes, i do purchased this too later.

    Though i recoded files by myself using emc titanium keeping the benchmark of those used files but cant find enough courage to flash it back to ecu

    My thread on various tuners available in India
    : http://www.teamfiat.com/threads/no-of-tuners-remaping-centers-in-india.15549/

    My ownership thread could be found here : http://www.teamfiat.com/threads/punto-my-highway-mile-muncher.12566/

    ODO was at @ 7858 kms at the time of remap
    ODO now stands @ 37878 kms

    Thanks for reading it guys !!! hope i am not forgetting anything to mention in post.

    I am still not sure whether to call if a DIY or a partial DIY as i got the soft copy from the other tuner.

    Do let me know if i should post the step by step procedure for attempting a remap. (if anyone interested in knowing it)


    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 14, 2016 ---

    ^^odo on that day.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 14, 2016 ---
    i don't know why i can't upload the bigger sized pics in simple one go.
    anywhys, the pic during dyno posted below
    below taken few moths back pic

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
    KPR, Deepak, sanjay_mugur and 9 others like this.
  2. gpunto75

    gpunto75 Amatore

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Brave heart, I would say and a costly one, I thought reading initially (as it was a DIY), it might be a more economical option.
    What you would recommend now for a newbie looking for a economical remap.
    vtlreja2 likes this.
  3. limraj

    limraj Superiore

    Linea 1.3
    Congrats on the widest possible grin from your enthusiasm and hardwork, can't be matched.
    Would you post some more on how you became topper at the lab?

    From the cost shown above, contacting Paul for a 10K remap would be the cheapest one !
    vtlreja2 likes this.
  4. gpunto75

    gpunto75 Amatore

    Grande Punto 1.3
    vtlreja2 likes this.
  5. Sujit508

    Sujit508 Amatore

    Bangalore , Karnataka
    Retro / Classic FIAT
    I take a bow Vicky !!!

    Great going there !! A great achievement this. fascinating read .
    Have you ever thought remapping other puntos ? Tfians would queue up, if you could give them a remap at economical price point.
    you too can claw back your investment you made in the kit :)
  6. Anwar Hussain

    Anwar Hussain Timido

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    @vtlreja2 buddy went trough ur guide, very well written & explained, hats off to u for ur work, i own a 2015 punto evo dynamic, & plannin for a ecu remap i still hav a few doubts about how it works, are all the remaps same i spoke to only one dealer for petes yet, which one is best remap for our car, plz enlighten me or mayb u can help me tune mine & other team fiat guys interested.... What say
    vtlreja2 likes this.
  7. vtlreja2

    vtlreja2 Amatore

    Grande Punto 1.3
    I always suggested remap for fiat cars. not sure regarding the new gen ones, but previous ones definitely needs for sure.
    regarding economical remap, i had posted turners :

    ^^just go through.
    just settle for who offers you more flexiblity and N no. of adjustment in tuning.;)

    @limraj , thanks mate. i had consulted regarding this to my faculties for the. They said yes & exempted me to submit it:happy:
    gone through the via-va of project subject. Had submitted good report covering every possible info on remap including its pros and cons too. Thats it. They were way to impressed giving me awesome marks as it was out of the way thing.

    @Sujit508 , i never intent to this commercially. As the investment is concerned, i can remap my probable next car(s) in near future or even can sell the kit anytime soon to recover the amount.
    No plans to do this commercially.:)

    @Anwar Hussain
    no plans to went commercially mate. I had watched & believe, how new entrants have to just pray to the parties to get the remap from them. Thats simply not me. thats the thing taking me back off. Moreover, i have lost all the interest remap now.
    if you wanna decide then go through the list of available tuners posted below :


    Ha ha. @gpunto75 , brother it seems you haven't gone through the complete post.
    10k was just for the fine polished file.
    you will need hardware to flash/read.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 15, 2016 ---
    Forget to mention in total break up cost

    Dyno - 2k bucks
    Charger - 1k odd bucks


    varunrtr likes this.

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