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3point8 Performance
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2,614 Posts
Idk why people are talking as if we expected massive gains.

What I was expecting was sharper throttle response and a slight increase in power and power delivery (smoother). Rereading OP's post, it seems like he was expecting similar results.

I guess that means we don't know anything about NA V6s. Lol k @AKGC.
The V6 power curve is already very linear, it won't get any better with the exception of that dip. I fully understand being underwhelmed by a canned tune. As some one mentioned, it's most likely that the canned tune is just not enough for the mods listed.

It's also possible that the throttle mapping was not changed. I had similar issue with my first custom tune, I was very underwhelemed with the throttle response. I chalked it up to my experience with 1:1 on other cars so it wasn't that big of a change for me. The second time though, Jay applied an update he had with a new mapping and it made all the difference. Very noticeable.

Talk with the tuner, be respectful and if you can, provide data logs. Ask them to reflash it or make it more aggressive.
 

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Cone Killa
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375 Posts
The V6 power curve is already very linear, it won't get any better. I fully understand being underwhelmed by a canned tune. As some one mentioned, it's most likely that the canned tune is just not enough for the mods listed.

It's also possible that the throttle mapping was not changed. I had similar issue with my first custom tune, I was very underwhelemed with the throttle response. I chalked it up to my experience with 1:1 on other cars so it wasn't that big of a change for me. The second time though, Jay applied an update he had with a new mapping and it made all the difference. Very noticeable.

Talk with the tuner, be respectful and if you can, provide data logs. Ask them to reflash it or make it more aggressive.
I'd be pretty pissed if I didn't get the upgraded throttle map lol.

I'll reach out to Jay to see if there is a possibility that my ECU didn't get the throttle map flashed or something. Honestly the only difference I have experienced is the 7,200 RPM redline. That's it. Kinda disappointing considering it feels as though I paid $270 just for a higher redline lol. Car feels good though and runs flawlessly. Just no real improvement. Rev hang is still there but that wasn't a big irk for me to begin with. Throttle response is still ok, I just wanted it sharper; I can still heel-toe no problem. Power is still good and power delivery, while it's still linear, I was just hoping for a bit more pull up top.

Can't say that I can recommend the canned tune for the money.

I'll let you guys know if Jay thinks my flash missed out on anything. We've talked about my disappointment with the tune before, but he pretty much just said it is what it is. Worth a second shot though.
 

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3point8 Performance
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2,614 Posts
I fully understand. Throttle response can be improved with test pipes and the 3.91 swap will provide that desired pull across the power band. Lighter tires and an Engine leash will also help quite a bit.
 

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(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
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3,077 Posts
Test pipes and headers cause you to lose wtq and that can only be corrected with cvvt adjustments (of course it's a trade-off) and at the moment, only so much can be fixed. So loss of torque on n/a car is harsh.
I've seen you make that comment about test pipes before and I'm sorry but on the BK2 V6 all the evidence points to the opposite, including dynos and many user's personal experience, it would be true of the BK1 V6 though. Headers are a whole other ball game since they require tuning to work correctly.

Now, I do know that sometimes tunes "take a while to kick in". This sounds really stupid, but I've experienced it first hand. On my Cruze, I had a custom road tune and it wasn't until 100+ miles of driving that i started to notice. Not sure what this is (legitimate car issue or just butt dyno issue), but sometimes driving the tune for a while, then going back to stock tune will help you notice the small differences.
This was my experience, it wasn't until the next day that I had a holy **** moment punching it out onto a busy street, up until then I was also underwhelmed. Canned tunes for the 3.8 are definitely not pointless but the expectations have to be managed, they are great at improving driveability though improving throttle response and correcting the wonky factory power curve. They're also more effective if you have bolt-ons to open up the car more, intake mods, test pipes, etc.
 

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(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
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I've seen bored TB's without a custom tune cause issues. If you have a spare stock TB, try it. I'd also dyno it
That has only been when they added the bored TB after they had already been custom tuned, I have never seen a report of adding one to a factory or canned tune causing issues, and there are a lot of owners with bored TBs on canned tunes myself included.
 

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3point8 Performance
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2,614 Posts
I've seen you make that comment about test pipes before and I'm sorry but on the BK2 V6 all the evidence points to the opposite, including dynos and many user's personal experience, it would be true of the BK1 V6 though. Headers are a whole other ball game since they require tuning to work correctly.
I stand by my argument, but should point out I'm referring about BK2 3.8 only. My own personal dyno showed a loss of 6wtq with test pipes and I've spoken with others who shared similar results. It can be corrected with the tune, but there is no tq gain to be had on BK2. I still recommend them as the small hit is outweighed by the improved upper end, sound and throttle response. I would say they would fare better on BK1.

I only wish the set realistic expectations, not discourage (or make excuses), so I will settle to say that I am aware of a few builds who have been successful with headers and test pipes, and I am not all knowing of all builds or setups and I welcome more information to counter my claims.

This was my experience, it wasn't until the next day that I had a holy **** moment punching it out onto a busy street, up until then I was also underwhelmed. Canned tunes for the 3.8 are definitely not pointless but the expectations have to be managed, they are great at improving driveability though improving throttle response and correcting the wonky factory power curve. They're also more effective if you have bolt-ons to open up the car more, intake mods, test pipes, etc.
I did edit my post to say that they are worth while for enhanced drivability features, but as for power gains and making it feel like a rocket, that won't happen (though I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder in this regard). I will re-edit my post to make this a bit more explicit. 1:1 throttle response by itself can make the car feel completely different with or without power gains.

Having spoken to at least a hundred 3.8 owners in the last few months, I think in general they set themselves up for being underwhelmed. For example, I had a guy who told me he is expecting 320whp from his BK1 A/T with only a manifold, TB and some heat mods based on past experience with some other car he had.

This platform is particular and doesn't respond to the defacto upgrade path as well as other platforms, but when done right, these cars are a blast to drive regardless of power levels.

Back to the point of this thread, try doing the key-dance and also try a power cycle (pull the batt, try to start it a few times, let it sit for 30min, connect batt) and put a few miles on it and see if that fixes anything. Not sure how this ECU works, but I know on with my SRT4 the LTFT, LTKR and some other learned data is stored long term and not reset by a flash so a power cycle is necessary to speed up the relearn. Though, you'd think that pulling the ECU would have the same effect.
 

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3point8 Performance
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2,614 Posts
I just got the BTR Canned Tune for my 2013 3.8 A/T 93 octane and I've got to say, there is either something wrong or I just can't tell the difference.

After getting the tune I thought I felt the 1:1 throttle difference, but it seems I just got use to my brother's '12 5.0 Rspec after 3 weeks and the coupes throttle just felt snappier in comparison. Aside from that, I don't feel any difference in power, though I didn't expect much, and that "drivability" that everyone raves about is about as absent as it is vague. A lot of people have also posted about getting better mpg, but I've gotten the same if not worse mpg. If anything, I thought maybe the butt dyno was off, so I took it to the 1/4 mile and ran slower than usual. Best time I got was almost as good as stock. Out of the two track days, the first had weather similar to the stock tune track day I'm comparing to, and the other was actually 15* colder. Again I wasn't expecting much difference, and I know it's not a custom tune, but slower is unacceptable.

Now I'm pretty ticked, considering the reviews/posts for both BTR/SFR tunes have been overwhelmingly positive, claiming it was like night and day, with little-to-no indication of negative feedback or duds.

That being said, what I'm asking is if anyone has had a similar experience and if/how you got this problem resolved, or if you have any insight as to what the issue may be.

As far as having contacted BTR, they first blamed it on my IAT sensor relocation (on top of air box) and overbored TB, but then they offered to take a look at it if I sent it back, which is fine I guess. but first I'd like to try and get this resolved here first before having to park my car again for another 2-3 weeks.

Thank you

Mods:
- 80mm Overbored TB
- IAT Sensor relocation
- TB coolant bypass
- GS phenolic spacer
- Catch Cans
- Ark Grip Catback
- Depo Test Pipes
Went back and re-read your post. You should notice the change in throttle sensitivity, but cannot compare it to an M/T as the M/T will always "feel" snappier since there is no torque converter.

I'm curious if they offered any additional info as to WHY the IAT relocation and bored TB would be an issue. The IAT relocation is easily reversible to do a test and if you want, I can ship you an unmodified TB to test.
 

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(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
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3,077 Posts
I stand by my argument, but should point out I'm referring about BK2 3.8 only. My own personal dyno showed a loss of 6wtq with test pipes and I've spoken with others who shared similar results. It can be corrected with the tune, but there is no tq gain to be had on BK2. I still recommend them as the small hit is outweighed by the improved upper end, sound and throttle response. I would say they would fare better on BK1.

I only wish the set realistic expectations, not discourage (or make excuses), so I will settle to say that I am aware of a few builds who have been successful with headers and test pipes, and I am not all knowing of all builds or setups and I welcome more information to counter my claims.
Again all the data I have seen is the exact opposite, dynos for just adding test pipes for the BK1 show no gains or a loss of power, an often discussed topic with the BK1 guys and what caused many BK2 owners to automatically dismiss them early on. With the BK2 however they've been shown to make more power all through the power band, your own dyno experience may have been due to a culmination of the other mods you had done prior to the tune? I don't know for sure. Also are we talking peak power or the total space between the lines?

Here's a BK2 V6 dyno with three back to back 5th gear dynos on an untuned car, first (blue) with just and axleback exhaust, second (green) adding test pipes, third (red) adding intake. The test pipes added torque through the entire range with the most gains down low, and not an insignificant amount either and certainly enough to feel from a launch, which was my personal experience with installing them.



I have seen one other BK2 dyno where they did back to back runs with just test pipes with identical results, unfortunately I cannot find that other one or the thread it was in but I remember Snoopy even commenting at the time how impressive it was and that the BK2 clearly behaves differently than the BK1 to that mod.

Having spoken to at least a hundred 3.8 owners in the last few months, I think in general they set themselves up for being underwhelmed. For example, I had a guy who told me he is expecting 320whp from his BK1 A/T with only a manifold, TB and some heat mods based on past experience with some other car he had.
Completely agree here, I think a lot has to do with seeing dynos from people like you who did all the work prior to tuning and they expect similar results by just picking one or two similar mods, that and every car is different because these are not precision built motors we're dealing with.

I was expecting more of a night and day difference the first day of my tune, I was a little let down too but the more I lived with it the more impressed I was with it. To anyone disappointed give it some time, a few months, then put your factory ECU back in, I guarantee you'll notice the difference then.
 

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3point8 Performance
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2,614 Posts
Very interesting dyno indeed. May simply be environmental, but the starting numbers are impressive for only axle back with the average (that i've seen at least) being between 275-280 stock for BK2 3.8. I'm curious now as to why the scenarios I've seen have resulted in less than desirable results. As I mentioned, this car is quirky and mods don't stack as expected so it seems something else that some other mod may interfere with the potential gains of the test pipes. Either way I think we can both agree that they are recommended regardless of result, but I digress.

I posted the exact same statement as the OP, "I expected night and day based on what everyone was raving about" only to be disappointed. But after the map change the 2nd time around, it was night and day for sure. I drove around on the first tune from feb to aug with no change in result.
 

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(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
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Very interesting dyno indeed. May simply be environmental, but the starting numbers are impressive for only axle back with the average (that i've seen at least) being between 275-280 stock for BK2 3.8. I'm curious now as to why the scenarios I've seen have resulted in less than desirable results. As I mentioned, this car is quirky and mods don't stack as expected so it seems something else that some other mod may interfere with the potential gains of the test pipes. Either way I think we can both agree that they are recommended regardless of result, but I digress.
The dyno was done in the fall in Washington state at 82' above sea level so there's probably something to the environment explaining the high-ish starting numbers, could be a number of things, even ECU firmware version as the car in question was built in 2012 and the 2013 MY cars have had several ECU updates. But I'm curious now too as you're the first to say they've seen it have a negative effect, this was one of those mods I wish had been dyno tested more to show what it can do in combination with other mods, unfortunately it was skipped by the few guys who were doing staged builds and it's usually done in combination with other mods which why there are so few before and after dynos for just them.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
First of all, Id like to thank everyone for all their input, this got a lot more feedback than I expected.

I especially want to thank you Titan because Ive closely read a lot of your guides and experiment threads and most of what Ive done to my car is a direct result of that.

Went back and re-read your post. You should notice the change in throttle sensitivity, but cannot compare it to an M/T as the M/T will always "feel" snappier since there is no torque converter.

I'm curious if they offered any additional info as to WHY the IAT relocation and bored TB would be an issue. The IAT relocation is easily reversible to do a test and if you want, I can ship you an unmodified TB to test.
The only info they gave me was "the ECU expects certain readings in certain places and changing things only fool the ECU" and "many people have done the throttle body mod without issues but sometimes it can be an issue". I was very skeptical of those explanations but managed to move the IAT back and borrow a stock TB. I disconnected the battery for 30 minutes, gave the car a couple days to adjust, but it just ended up feeling the same as before 80mm TB.

And again, they did offer to take a look at it again but i really cant park my car for a couple weeks right now :( But I will eventually take them up on that offer and ask about a mail-in TCU tune or if I can get the TCU tune at a local event they will host soon.

Also, Im aware that my expectations shouldn't be held against M/Ts or other's dyno results, BUT based on my research I did expect some sort of improvement; either butt dyno or measurable. Of course i was hoping for a "night and day" difference but I believe that I kept my expectations realistic. I dont care too much about numbers or times, I just wanted the car to feeel better because, come on, its all just about having fun with the thing. Now I did give the ECU time to learn all the while driving HARD but I just didnt feel much difference. So I took her to the 1/4 mile two weeks in a row and got slower times than before the tune during similar weather( 13.9s) and similar times as before the tune dure btter weather (13.7-13.6 15* cooler) So given that she doesnt feel any better or post different times, I think its reasonable to be disappointed.
 

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3point8 Performance
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2,614 Posts
haha, I don't believe that BTR believes those statements. Sounds very much like a bs answer to get you off their back. While it's common for customers to blame the tuner for problems, I've seen it many times before where tuners blame the customer instead of offering service. This seems like one of those times. I've even had one company tell me, "well your car must have been built on a friday". I provided him data logs proving they had not given me the correct tune. (I later reverse engineered their software and shared the details with the community)

I'll be spending next sat at the socal SFR event, so will have plenty of time to bug jay and ask questions :) so I'll ask him for input about all this.
 

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Premium Member
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14,842 Posts
It's how hyundai programmed their algorithms. They put a dead spot at no throttle as far as what data the ecu will take in. Pretty sure all the hyundai turners just set the resistance for zero throttle to be something like 2% throttle of what the ecu sees.

Hyundai also set the ecu so that with the peddle to the floor is 90% throttle. (I'm guessing all this is in an indirect response to toyota's "stuck peddle" lawsuits, and never bothered to change it)
 

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Bill
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546 Posts
the good news is the custom tune gave me 12 hp over the canned tune. fun factor dialed up nicely.
bad news is the baseline was way lower than i thot. hard to make sense of dynojet numbers.
i'm thinking i must be in the 400 crank hp neighborhood. anyway that's my story and i'm sticking to it...
the driving feel is all i care about anyway.
it feels twitchy, anxious to be unleashed.
Titan might say that's your problem right there...
 

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This seems like it turned into a general discussion on tunes so I can throw my $.02 in. I just put a canned tune on my 3.8 from SFR. What I noticed right away is improved driveability and better throttle response. Rev limiter was also increased. One thing that went away for me was a faint "surge" through the rpm range. In other words when you increased speed in a gear you would feel a surging as the rpm's went up. That completely disappeared. Car feels snappier and is even more fun to drive than before so I am happy. Oh yea, my fuel mileage has gone up a bit
 

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I just got the BTR Canned Tune for my 2013 3.8 A/T 93 octane and I've got to say, there is either something wrong or I just can't tell the difference.

After getting the tune I thought I felt the 1:1 throttle difference, but it seems I just got use to my brother's '12 5.0 Rspec after 3 weeks and the coupes throttle just felt snappier in comparison. Aside from that, I don't feel any difference in power, though I didn't expect much, and that "drivability" that everyone raves about is about as absent as it is vague. A lot of people have also posted about getting better mpg, but I've gotten the same if not worse mpg. If anything, I thought maybe the butt dyno was off, so I took it to the 1/4 mile and ran slower than usual. Best time I got was almost as good as stock. Out of the two track days, the first had weather similar to the stock tune track day I'm comparing to, and the other was actually 15* colder. Again I wasn't expecting much difference, and I know it's not a custom tune, but slower is unacceptable.

Now I'm pretty ticked, considering the reviews/posts for both BTR/SFR tunes have been overwhelmingly positive, claiming it was like night and day, with little-to-no indication of negative feedback or duds.

That being said, what I'm asking is if anyone has had a similar experience and if/how you got this problem resolved, or if you have any insight as to what the issue may be.

As far as having contacted BTR, they first blamed it on my IAT sensor relocation (on top of air box) and overbored TB, but then they offered to take a look at it if I sent it back, which is fine I guess. but first I'd like to try and get this resolved here first before having to park my car again for another 2-3 weeks.

Thank you

Mods:
- 80mm Overbored TB
- IAT Sensor relocation
- TB coolant bypass
- GS phenolic spacer
- Catch Cans
- Ark Grip Catback
- Depo Test Pipes

I got a stage one SFR tune in may. Went to the keys with my GC 3.8. First im with you as far as not really feeling a big difference. Guess I was impressed with my TORK ECU dyno tune on my 2014 Veloster R Spec turbo (32hp). I expected the same,Oh well. So the thing that bothered me was the cruise control. As long as the road was strait or up hill the cruise worked fine. But any road that was slightly going down hill and the car kept going on-off because the cruise control was trying to keep me at the same speed and bucking me back and forth slightly. So I called SFR and we figured it was caused by the throttle opening and closing to fast. I told them if they could just reflash my spare ECU I bought from them to just take off the speed limiter and make sure the traction control is fully shut off when I shut it off and put every thing back to stock. I like the idea of being able to run regular or high test if need be. They said send it back. I got it back and now my GC would not start with my push button. I called them up and they said maybe the ECU got encripted in that fuction and I sent it back. I got it back a third time and my GC still won't start with it. So I put my stock ECU back in and now I have a total of about $800.00 in the spare ECU just sitting on my garage shelf. All I really want is my top speed limiter removed and the traction control to shut off when I shut it off. Im kinda hesitant to send in my ECU to any one just for that for $500.00. Its a shame we can't get a hand held tuner for those simple mods.Im getting my new FZ10'S ECU reflashed in two weeks, Thats worth it for $315.00 (11+HP). But ill leave my GC as is for now.:nerd:
 

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Premium Member
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14,842 Posts
I got a stage one SFR tune in may. Went to the keys with my GC 3.8. First im with you as far as not really feeling a big difference. Guess I was impressed with my TORK ECU dyno tune on my 2014 Veloster R Spec turbo (32hp). I expected the same,Oh well. So the thing that bothered me was the cruise control. As long as the road was strait or up hill the cruise worked fine. But any road that was slightly going down hill and the car kept going on-off because the cruise control was trying to keep me at the same speed and bucking me back and forth slightly. So I called SFR and we figured it was caused by the throttle opening and closing to fast. I told them if they could just reflash my spare ECU I bought from them to just take off the speed limiter and make sure the traction control is fully shut off when I shut it off and put every thing back to stock. I like the idea of being able to run regular or high test if need be. They said send it back. I got it back and now my GC would not start with my push button. I called them up and they said maybe the ECU got encripted in that fuction and I sent it back. I got it back a third time and my GC still won't start with it. So I put my stock ECU back in and now I have a total of about $800.00 in the spare ECU just sitting on my garage shelf. All I really want is my top speed limiter removed and the traction control to shut off when I shut it off. Im kinda hesitant to send in my ECU to any one just for that for $500.00. Its a shame we can't get a hand held tuner for those simple mods.Im getting my new FZ10'S ECU reflashed in two weeks, Thats worth it for $315.00 (11+HP). But ill leave my GC as is for now.:nerd:
cruise control issue has been there since the bk1 turning.
 

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3point8 Performance
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2,614 Posts
SFR ups the MPH limiter from 150 to 160. TBH, I've hit 160 and it was too fking fast to be driving. Even on the track. Just my opinion anyway.
 

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Premium Member
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14,842 Posts
SFR ups the MPH limiter from 150 to 160. TBH, I've hit 160 and it was too fking fast to be driving. Even on the track. Just my opinion anyway.
needs more front end downforce.

If you removed all the plastic from the bottom of the engine bay, put it back on. That's not just a splash shield.

Part of the reason why belly pans on first gen datsun Z cars are still going for $200+

EDIT: Meant "stock" belly pans
 

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BTR tune

If it's not a custom tune to the mods you have made to your eng, your wasting your time and $$$$ Custom BTR tune is good bang for the buck. Don't change anything on eng AFTER tune! you WILL get a check eng light. It's all just smoke and mirrors if it's not custom.
 
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