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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I owned a Skyline GT-T ( single turboed ), and wished to upgrade my power output. After reading lots in this forum, i decided to go the safe way to increase boost with ECU upgrade cause most does boost upgrade along with the ECU upgrade. Now i need help in choosing the best reprogramable ECU there is in the market.

I was gonna go boost up with no ECU upgrade. Is this a wise choice if i ONLY wants to do a 0.9 bar daily use with up to 1.2 bar scramble boost? I need a lot of inputs so please do not hesitate to give me any knowledge you have.

Please state the ECU recommended and please rate the user friendliness grade. I am particularly interested on APEXi POWER FC and HKS F-CON V pro or F-CON S.

I have some additional question:
1. Are ECU upgrades self reprogramable? or does it has to be remapped by tuner technician?
2. If it is self reprogramable, will i need additional tools (laptop, tuning software,etc) to remap those ECU? or it can be done with the provided parts?
3. Are any of the ECU i mentioned above has a self learning mode that optimize whatever upgrade setting i have on my car without me having to input the map data myself?

Thanks in advance to those who are willing to help me.


PS: any additional advice will be appreciated, i need all the things i need to know, i am a newbie in tuning.

2 Posts

Jim, the APEX PFC is not a piggy back, it's a replacement for your ECU. I'm looking into purchasing a R33 so my response here is based on my experience with the Apex PFC on my RX7 TT and the Haltech which I'm about to order for my Supra TT.

The PFC is probably the best value for money solution on the market today for turbo cars. Considering that it replaces at least 4 vital accessories for a turbo car (fuel cut defender, speed limiter, boost controller and fuel computer) its actually quite a bargain. Its ability to hold boost and prevent boost creep is phenomenal. If I dial in 0.85 bar for the primary and 0.9 for the secondary, they'll stay at those numbers. In addition, the FC Commander provides all info you need with record of peak values. It also replaces the water temp guage (I still prefer a large analog boost guage despite the PFC showing boost info) and provides other vital info such as fuel injector cycle and even your O2 reading (albeit of limited use given the stock O2 sensor I'm using) to let you know when your injectors are running out of safety margin and need bigger ones.

The only complain I have with the PFC is with ease of tuning. Straight out from the box with its basemap, it gives me at least 50rwhp seat of the pants. Setting boost and solenoid duty is piece of cake. But if you want to play with ignition maps, you have two choices. Either go to an authorised Apex dealer with the proprietary Excel software to program your PFC through a PC and dyno or copy your friend's similarly equipped car's settings cell by cell which is going to take you a couple of hours.

Installation is straightforward though, it's just plug and play.

Compared to the PFC, the Haltech is a lot more tunable. You can tune it with your own laptop by manipulating points on a graph (so I was told as mine's not installed yet). Installation however is a lot more work depending on the model of the vehicle. Whereas you don't need a dealer to install a PFC, you'll most likely need help on installing a Haltech. Your Haltech also comes with a set of 3 new sensors and optionally you can get 3 bar sensor for up to 26psi boost and 4 wire O2 sensor (still not wide band).

Many out there would argue Haltech is the hands down winner and I don't dispute that when you look at it from the point of tunability. Apparently, the Haltech also looks into more parameters which the PFC don't. However, as my cars never do any tracking and I don't need 100% performance from my equipment, I'd prefer the PFC to the Haltech just because professional help is not readily available where I live (Hong Kong). Unfortunately, they don't make PFC for Supras and hence my decision to go with Haltech.

I'm looking into a R33 now and when I do get it, I'm sure I'll go for the PFC again unless some experts on this list advice me otherwise. In case you wonder, I'm in no way associated with Apex and am not helping them to sell their products. Hope that helps.


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