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Performance tuning on the cheap - Is it possible?

Discussion in 'Engine and Drivetrain' started by drifter, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    Everyone would like to save money whenever possible. If we can get the same stuff cheaper somewhere else we usually go for it unless going to the cheaper place will cost us so much that it outeighs the savings. Okay, there is no problem with it. And this is quite different to doing things on the cheap.

    On forums a lot of ideas float around giving all this great advise on how to tune your car for a couple of rupees. And the result are supposed to be outrageous. Interestingly the people who have done it have no prove that it works other than the word of mouth. And there is many more people talking about the gains, but they never have even tried it! This where the internet can be a real problem for the enthusiast trying to find reliable information. When so many people claiming it works it must be true

    Unfortunately this is not the case. And a lot of rough trader try to make money on such misconceptions. But it would not be fair to claim that every trader rough. Neither would it be fair to state that everyone giving wrong information does so with ill intent. However, we have to look closely and carefully and take every claim with a pinch of salt.

    We could then go to the other extreme and asking why the manufacturer hasn't done what performance tuners and suppliers of performance goods do? Well, the answer to this is quite simple. The manufacturer has got a different agenda then the performance tuner. Apart from it manufacturers do what performance tuners do too. Aud has got Quattro Sport, Mercedes has got AMG, BMW has got M Power division and Fiat has got N Technology, which is the culmination of Autodelta and Abarth.

    Performance upgrades can work, but not on the cheap.. Physics is a precise science and can't be cheated. If we try it the result will be either detrimental or a loss. Properly designed products will give advantages. The problem with properly designed performance items, packages and solutions is that they cost money.

    Another problem is that each engine due to their tolerances performs different to the next one even if they are madec on the same day on the same machinery. Production tolerances can se power output variations to as much as 15%. And this brings us to another point of cheap tuning.

    When getting a re-map for your car from a door step mapper, who either comes to you or you come to his shop without them doing the map with the aid of a rolling road, then this is cheap. Cheap from the product supply point of view and expensive for what you are paying. Some companies here in Britain offer such services with generic maps for under 7,000 rupees! So why paying even more for this service when done without the aid of a chassis dyno to measure and evaluate what is going on. The provider pays 2 lakh for the equipment and recovers it usually after 10 re-maps. A professional invests 25 lakhs in a chassis dyno plus more money into equipment and workshop around it and another 10 lakhs to start with on re-mapping hard and software.

    Why does the professional do it. Because this is the only way to make sure that the re-maps work properly. Not only that the generic re-map from the door step mapper never is the best you can get for your money, but even more important it will not support any other modifications, which require a custom re-map.

    A properly designed AIR flows more air and will additionally using effects that aid the engine increasing the volumetric efficiency even further. This extra air needs to be catered for in 2 aspects. This is because the increased amount of air requires more fuel and also an adapted ignition timong. And this needs to be done on the chassis dyno. If you add on a performance exhaust (please not an FFE is not necessarily a performance exhaust) then you alter things again . So with the 2 items you have already three different maps. One for exhaust only, one for AIR only and one for AIR and exhaust. When you now adapt your header design on top of it then you need an even more specific map. And this is not even touching any other parts of the engine yet.

    I could go on and on, but thatt would not aid the point. To sum it up. Don't think that performance tuning can be done on the cheap whatever it is. Certain things can be done without investing a lot of money but usually mean that you either have the skilss and/or a lot of time. Either of them will cost you as your time is not completely free. The point is, cutting corners doews not work in performnce tuning.
  2. Thanks Peter and appreciate the fact that you take time out of your busy schedule to enlighten us on these intricacies.

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