An explanation of each item from the list:
You feel like you need a base map
On a new unknown engine, with good hardware, and correct calibration and setup, you can have a drivable, safe, powerful setup, from a blank sheet of paper, in much less than an hour. An experienced tuner of stand-alones is very unlikely to care about base maps as they know how easy it is to reach that state. The time sink is in getting it good, and a pretty looking map may hinder this process through distraction, rather than help.
You want to use OEM tune data as that base
How long will it take you to gather and translate that data, IF it's available and IF it's translatable (compatible algorithm wise, most is not)? A lot more than to start from scratch! Even then, if your engine is no longer stock, it's mostly meaningless anyway! Clearly this doesn't include sensor calibration data such as thermistor and MAF curves.
You think closed loop is required
Anyone that's ever used a good, or even mediocre open-loop tune can and likely will tell you otherwise. If open loop isn't working for you, your tune is shit, or your setup wrong. Furthermore, Any good closed loop system is founded upon an excellent open loop setup. Without that it causes FAR more problems than it solves. Caveat: If you're running fuel that varies a lot in composition you'll likely need to tweak an open loop tune for that.
You're excited by knock sensors, a lot
Knock sensors are there to monitor for bad fuel and other abnormal and potentially harmful conditions. IE, if you're careful with your fueling and coolant level and so on, it's not much use, really. Additionally, the strategy of advance till knock, then retard will be a costly one if your engine is not NA. IE near useless at high power levels. That's not to say that they don't have their place. They do, they're just of limited use for a typical standalone owner who pays close attention to their car and has a quiet valve-train.
You've got to have sequential and/or COP
- Batch/Bank: Can be less smooth than you'd like, makes power, is drivable, gets economy, etc just fine.
- Semi-sequential: Smooth, slight economy/emissions/responsiveness benefits at low RPM
- Sequential: Smoothest, can tune per cyl IF you have data, slight economy/emissions/responsiveness benefits at low RPM
Caveat: outboard injectors with ITBs need sequential, BIG injectors benefit from sequential.
- Dizzy: 4cyl to 8k
- Wasted: to 10k
- COP: to 20k
Basically, you only need it if you need
it, otherwise you just want it. Most engines will run just fine (smooth, powerful, economical) with wasted spark and semi sequential.
You think auto-tune really exists
You're totally wrong. Things marketed as such by others are typically auto-calibration
, which is very very different. Tuning your engine is the process of finding the optimal lambda and timing combination for each and every load and RPM site. To complicate this, there is a range of combinations (less timing, more fuel, and vice versa) which will work well for each site on a given engine. Assuming stable weather conditions and a warmed up engine in good condition, the process 4 dimensional (load/rpm/afr/timing). If you have a coarse map at 8x8 and test 8 variants of each, you're looking at 8*8*8*8 = 4096 combinations and a LOT of time spent.
You don't bother calibrating your hardware
A foolish and costly mistake indeed. Failure to properly setup your engine's physical parameters before calibration and tuning effort is expended is just wasteful. When you do get around to setting up your config properly, your tune will be wrong. Additionally, in some cases the wrong config will make it difficult, or even impossible
to actually reach a good state of tune.
You need two tunes: power & economy
This may seem obvious, but at WOT you want best torque. Torque requires fuel. WOT uses fuel. Best economy = drive more gently. If you drive gently, you'll be in parts of the map where leaner more advanced operation is possible and will get good economy. Whilst it is true that you may want different tunes in some areas
, it's mostly not true and just an optimisation over a state of tuning finesse that most of you will never reach.
You think adjusting VE (or MAF) is tuning the engine
This is the process of calibration
, not tuning. This lets the EMS know (approximately) how much air is entering the engine, not how much fuel to put with it. This step is a necessary prerequisite of tuning, but is not actually tuning at all. It's equivalent to setting up the base timing such that when the ECU thinks it's at 10* BTDC it really is.
You didn't enjoy reading this list :-p
I'm not a shrink, look elsewhere for this information :-p