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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I wanted to do a follow up post about this tune, I've had it for about a thousand miles now.

I felt that it would be good to share my thoughts as this is a very different kind of tune than what we are all used to, and the way it behaves is different from the current offerings on the market.

Overall I think its excellent, for the money and the capability you can't go wrong.

Octane learning
The octane learning is interesting, and the way it works is pretty smart. From what I understand Tim simply used the stock octane learning scheme but modified it for this specific application, so this method of octane learning is exactly the same as what Ford does in their factory vehicles. Its compensated for things like barometric pressure (elevation) IAT, coolant temp, and CAT. So exterior temperature shouldn't affect the octane measurement.

Essentially it monitors the intensity of the pinging during normal driving situations. If the pinging is below a certain threshold, the tune will make the OAR more negative (increase power) and continue to monitor. At some point the pinging will be near or at the threshold and the tune will stop making the OAR negative. The better your fuel the more negative the OAR will go, and by extension, the more power you will make. I've been wanting to try some 100 octane to see what happens.

The same is true for the opposite direction, if you fill up with bad fuel, the tune will detect the increased pinging and begin making the OAR more positive until it is at or below the threshold.

This is how the stock tune (not Cobb Stage 0 the true stock flash) operates, and why you can actually get a small performance increase by running premium fuel in a stock tuned ST.

Global ignition
The tune is also using global ignition control, which is a new feature for an ST aftermarket tune. This is another stock tune feature, and something I wanted to talk about because for me it initially caused alarm due to misunderstanding.

Global ignition is not the same as per cylinder ignition, per cylinder ignition advance/retard is really simple, and you can essentially see what the absolute ignition timing is for any cylinder at any point in time. Cyl 4 can be knocking and at an absolute timing of -0.5* while cyl 3 can be happy at +5*.

With the global system the engine is treated almost as one large cylinder, if Cyl's 1 and 3 knock and request an ignition retard of -1*, the sum total ignition correction of -2* will be applied to all 4 cylinders. This means that the risk of uncontrolled knocking is very low. This is also what is used to change the OAR and the tunes power, this means that smaller knock events have a larger effect on the OAR and will cause the tune to reduce power before something goes wrong.

The reason this caused alarm for me initially is that if you encountered a situation on a standard tune that resulted in a -1.5* timing retard on all 4 cylinders we all understand that to not be a big deal. However that same situation on this tune results in a -6* global ignition retard. This is because it is summing all of the ignition retard seen during a knock event. so (-1.5*) x (4*) = -6*. If you don't know what you are looking at it would be really really easy to freak out at that situation and think something is seriously wrong. You can expect to see larger negative ignition corrections on this tune, but that doesn't mean that the tune is knocking harder, it is all normal operation.

Other
  • The tune also supports the same modification learning ability that the previous "Stage X" monster tune had, so you don't need revisions for intakes, downpipes, or intercoolers. This can be run on a stock car or a Stage 3 car.
  • It claims to be compatible with the mustang throttle body, this is something I'll be testing personally in the coming months.
  • The tune isn't compatible with WMI at all, I wish this was different as I was previously looking forward to using WMI as a valve cleaning solution. This means that even untuned, Tim doesn't support WMI.
  • The tune doesn't support Aux fuel either, this doesn't really matter as this is a stock turbo only tune.
  • the tune isn't compatible with aftermarket WGAs
  • There are no map slots in this tune, however I found that to not be an issue as the drivability is so good that I find myself never needing a low boost slot. I'm always able to easily modulate the throttle when driving around town or in traffic. That combined with octane learning also negates the need for a low octane or panic map.
    • This may be a deal breaker for some but for me I've found it to be a non-issue.
  • There is no spark tuned TC, again, a possible deal breaker for some but a non-issue for me.
  • FFS and launch control are enabled.
  • All emissions monitors are enabled, mine are all ready, I am stage 3 with a Cobb DP and no non-fouler.
  • one step colder plugs are required
Conclusion

To wrap up this tune feels like a great choice for a stock turbo ST, its easy to use, free of revisions and seemingly very very safe. I've personally run it with fuels from 90-93 octane with no issues at all.

Here are some of my datalogs.

93 octane - 3 knocks total, 3rd gear datazap.me | Junits15 | Adapt-x 3rd gear, final rev, 93, OAR = -1
90 octane - 1 knock total, 3rd gear datazap.me | Junits15 | Adapt-X 3rd gear final logs 90 oct
93 octane - 2 knocks total, 4th gear datazap.me | Junits15 | Adapt-X 4th gear rev 4
 

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2018 Ford Focus ST1
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What do those data logs turn into on a vdyno graph? How much did the 90 octane hurt you? I saw your OAR was -.42 instead of -1 as it was with the 93 octane, and it looks like it pulled around 3 1/2 or so lbs of boost. That's got to be a decent amount of power.

Pretty cool it adjusts quickly, though.

I really want/need to go with WMI due to the garbage fuel around here as well as the high temps/single-digit humidity in the summer, but then that makes this tune impossible for me currently. Kind of a bummer because it would be cool to try out.
 
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Unfortunately, since completing my last logs for Tim last month, winter has set in and I have not been able to get much seat time in the ST. I can vouch for the drivability of the calibration and like the confidence in not having to worry about fuel quality. It's not as "raw" feeling as Stage X is, but is making the same power when loaded into v-dyno; it just feels more like it should, if that makes sense.
 

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Great write up, I’m planning on getting tuned in the next month or two and this tunes at the top of my list. My ST is my daily and only car so reliability is top priority.

Have you been tuned by anyone else? If so how does it compare power-wise?
 

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So I wanted to do a follow up post about this tune, I've had it for about a thousand miles now.

I felt that it would be good to share my thoughts as this is a very different kind of tune than what we are all used to, and the way it behaves is different from the current offerings on the market.

Overall I think its excellent, for the money and the capability you can't go wrong.

Octane learning
The octane learning is interesting, and the way it works is pretty smart. From what I understand Tim simply used the stock octane learning scheme but modified it for this specific application, so this method of octane learning is exactly the same as what Ford does in their factory vehicles. Its compensated for things like barometric pressure (elevation) IAT, coolant temp, and CAT. So exterior temperature shouldn't affect the octane measurement.

Essentially it monitors the intensity of the pinging during normal driving situations. If the pinging is below a certain threshold, the tune will make the OAR more negative (increase power) and continue to monitor. At some point the pinging will be near or at the threshold and the tune will stop making the OAR negative. The better your fuel the more negative the OAR will go, and by extension, the more power you will make. I've been wanting to try some 100 octane to see what happens.

The same is true for the opposite direction, if you fill up with bad fuel, the tune will detect the increased pinging and begin making the OAR more positive until it is at or below the threshold.

This is how the stock tune (not Cobb Stage 0 the true stock flash) operates, and why you can actually get a small performance increase by running premium fuel in a stock tuned ST.

Global ignition
The tune is also using global ignition control, which is a new feature for an ST aftermarket tune. This is another stock tune feature, and something I wanted to talk about because for me it initially caused alarm due to misunderstanding.

Global ignition is not the same as per cylinder ignition, per cylinder ignition advance/retard is really simple, and you can essentially see what the absolute ignition timing is for any cylinder at any point in time. Cyl 4 can be knocking and at an absolute timing of -0.5* while cyl 3 can be happy at +5*.

With the global system the engine is treated almost as one large cylinder, if Cyl's 1 and 3 knock and request an ignition retard of -1*, the sum total ignition correction of -2* will be applied to all 4 cylinders. This means that the risk of uncontrolled knocking is very low. This is also what is used to change the OAR and the tunes power, this means that smaller knock events have a larger effect on the OAR and will cause the tune to reduce power before something goes wrong.

The reason this caused alarm for me initially is that if you encountered a situation on a standard tune that resulted in a -1.5* timing retard on all 4 cylinders we all understand that to not be a big deal. However that same situation on this tune results in a -6* global ignition retard. This is because it is summing all of the ignition retard seen during a knock event. so (-1.5*) x (4*) = -6*. If you don't know what you are looking at it would be really really easy to freak out at that situation and think something is seriously wrong. You can expect to see larger negative ignition corrections on this tune, but that doesn't mean that the tune is knocking harder.

Other
  • The tune also supports the same modification learning ability that the previous "Stage X" monster tune had, so you don't need revisions for intakes, downpipes, or intercoolers. This can be run on a stock car or a Stage 3 car.
  • It claims to be compatible with the mustang throttle body, this is something I'll be testing personally in the coming months.
  • The tune isn't compatible with WMI at all, I wish this was different as I was previously looking forward to using WMI as a valve cleaning solution. This means that even untuned, Tim doesn't support WMI.
  • The tune doesn't support Aux fuel either, this doesn't really matter as this is a stock turbo only tune.
  • the tune isn't compatible with aftermarket WGAs
  • There are no map slots in this tune, however I found that to not be an issue as the drivability is so good that I find myself never needing a low boost slot. I'm always able to easily modulate the throttle when driving around town or in traffic. That combined with octane learning also negates the need for a low octane or panic map.
    • This may be a deal breaker for some but for me I've found it to be a non-issue.
  • There is no spark tuned TC, again, a possible deal breaker for some but a non-issue for me.
  • FFS and launch control are enabled.
  • All emissions monitors are enabled, mine are all ready, I am stage 3 with a Cobb DP.
  • one step colder plugs are required
Conclusion

To wrap up this tune feels like a great choice for a stock turbo ST, its easy to use, free of revisions and seemingly very very safe. I've personally run it with fuels from 90-93 octane with no issues at all.

Here are some of my datalogs.

93 octane - 3 knocks total, 3rd gear datazap.me | Junits15 | Adapt-x 3rd gear, final rev, 93, OAR = -1
90 octane - 1 knock total, 3rd gear datazap.me | Junits15 | Adapt-X 3rd gear final logs 90 oct
93 octane - 2 knocks total, 4th gear datazap.me | Junits15 | Adapt-X 4th gear rev 4
How do you change between the e30 and 93 tunes in this ? And also you’re saying I can buy a downpipe after the fact and it’ll just learn the mod itself ?
 

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Great update. Good to hear that this is working out so well for you. I think a lot of the confusion associated with this tune has to do with how the AP monitors work, as compared to what most "tuned" people are used to monitoring with Strat, Freek, etc. I always have monitored boost, OAR, and ignition correction on all four cylinders with my Strat E-Tune.
What parameters are you monitoring on your AP screen with the Adapt-X tune?
 

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Great update. Good to hear that this is working out so well for you. I think a lot of the confusion associated with this tune has to do with how the AP monitors work, as compared to what most "tuned" people are used to monitoring with Strat, Freek, etc. I always have monitored boost, OAR, and ignition correction on all four cylinders with my Strat E-Tune.
What parameters are you monitoring on your AP screen with the Adapt-X tune?
Swap out Ign Corr 1-4 for Ign Corr Global and then whatever else you want
Actual AFR
CAT
Coolant temp or Oil temp
 

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Great update. Good to hear that this is working out so well for you. I think a lot of the confusion associated with this tune has to do with how the AP monitors work, as compared to what most "tuned" people are used to monitoring with Strat, Freek, etc. I always have monitored boost, OAR, and ignition correction on all four cylinders with my Strat E-Tune.
What parameters are you monitoring on your AP screen with the Adapt-X tune?
I monitor OAR, boost, global ignition correction, charge air temp, load (there is a load window where the calibration "learns") and water temp (calibration only "learns" above 170* water temp).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What do those data logs turn into on a vdyno graph? How much did the 90 octane hurt you? I saw your OAR was -.42 instead of -1 as it was with the 93 octane, and it looks like it pulled around 3 1/2 or so lbs of boost. That's got to be a decent amount of power.

Pretty cool it adjusts quickly, though.

I really want/need to go with WMI due to the garbage fuel around here as well as the high temps/single-digit humidity in the summer, but then that makes this tune impossible for me currently. Kind of a bummer because it would be cool to try out.
I dont really like using Vdyno because i can't ever get consistent results, the roads around me are just so terrible that its very rare that i can get a good run. I also live in a city area so the traffic is dense at all hours of the day, short of taking a purposeful drive out to less populated areas, its downright impossible for me to get a good log in.
However, Vdyno is showing like a 10hp difference between 90 and 93, which doesn't make sense. I expect the difference to be much greater in reality.
93 - 255hp 320 tq
90 - 240hp 310 tq

Seems too close, but i've never been able to get Vdyno to work right on any tune i've ever had.


Great write up, I’m planning on getting tuned in the next month or two and this tunes at the top of my list. My ST is my daily and only car so reliability is top priority.

Have you been tuned by anyone else? If so how does it compare power-wise?
I've previously been tuned by stratefied and freektune, both were good tunes. I only had the freektune Dyno'd and as per my previous reply to rob99rt I haven't had good luck using Vdyno to estimate.

In terms of feel, it pulls just like the freektune when you mash the throttle, but it has better control when you dont.

Great update. Good to hear that this is working out so well for you. I think a lot of the confusion associated with this tune has to do with how the AP monitors work, as compared to what most "tuned" people are used to monitoring with Strat, Freek, etc. I always have monitored boost, OAR, and ignition correction on all four cylinders with my Strat E-Tune.
What parameters are you monitoring on your AP screen with the Adapt-X tune?
I monitor:
OAR
Boost pressure
AFR
CAT
Global ignition
Coolant temp
 

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Great write up, I’m planning on getting tuned in the next month or two and this tunes at the top of my list. My ST is my daily and only car so reliability is top priority.

Have you been tuned by anyone else? If so how does it compare power-wise?
I agree- great write-up! My intended usage is the same as yours- my ST is my only real car (I have a few others, but none I can actually drive and park at work or a store for example, because they are insured as "collector" cars). I would like some / all of the fun of a tune, with the safety and conservative design of the Ford factory system. I do not yet own an AP, but this is on my mind for this spring if I feel confident that I will be staying employed. Once I have an AP and a tune loaded, I'll monitor the parameters for a few weeks, but after I feel confident that the system works consistently and reliably I likely will not even have the AP mounted so will not be monitoring the statistics- not because I do not care, but because I think it will be a distraction and will drive me crazy looking for issues and problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree- great write-up! My intended usage is the same as yours- my ST is my only real car (I have a few others, but none I can actually drive and park at work or a store for example, because they are insured as "collector" cars). I would like some / all of the fun of a tune, with the safety and conservative design of the Ford factory system. I do not yet own an AP, but this is on my mind for this spring if I feel confident that I will be staying employed. Once I have an AP and a tune loaded, I'll monitor the parameters for a few weeks, but after I feel confident that the system works consistently and reliably I likely will not even have the AP mounted so will not be monitoring the statistics- not because I do not care, but because I think it will be a distraction and will drive me crazy looking for issues and problems.
Some local guys near me call it the “Cobb anxiety port”
 

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I am a detail-oriented type of person (I work in a science-related field). All of the parameters will be information overload for me, and I will want to know what all of it means. Driving (for me) is supposed to be fun- so I think once I can establish that a particular tune is safe to daily (I'm not drag racing, autocrossing or doing DE's these days) too much info may not be such a great thing.
 

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I am a detail-oriented type of person (I work in a science-related field). All of the parameters will be information overload for me, and I will want to know what all of it means. Driving (for me) is supposed to be fun- so I think once I can establish that a particular tune is safe to daily (I'm not drag racing, autocrossing or doing DE's these days) too much info may not be such a great thing.
You don't have to run 6 gauges all the time.
 

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On the Adapt-X you don't really need to monitor anything. If the fuel is causing excessive knock OAR will adjust and performance will be reduced on it's own. Just don't beat on your car until coolant temp is 170 or higher and oil temp is 160 or higher. Check plug gap every 6-8k miles, and check oil level once a month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am a detail-oriented type of person (I work in a science-related field). All of the parameters will be information overload for me, and I will want to know what all of it means. Driving (for me) is supposed to be fun- so I think once I can establish that a particular tune is safe to daily (I'm not drag racing, autocrossing or doing DE's these days) too much info may not be such a great thing.
Same here, I'm an engineer and I have the same mindset, which is that at some point you'll have seen every situation and how the tune responds to them, at that point there's no real need to monitor anymore.

I ran my previous tune with no AP, and its a much nicer experience to not constantly be watching the thing while driving.
 

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I suspect this is a pretty uninformed question, but for people who do not want to monitor parameters for one reason or another using the AccessPort, does this tune function like / with the factory system to tell you something is amiss?
 

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I suspect this is a pretty uninformed question, but for people who do not want to monitor parameters for one reason or another using the AccessPort, does this tune function like / with the factory system to tell you something is amiss?
Car should still throw any CEL it would on the stock tune.
 

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2017 ST cp-e fmic ,invidia hi-flow downpipe, awe track exhaust , steeda Cai. Monster adapt x tune
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I’m looking forward to trying this tune I was wondering about the cel with a downpipe as well
 
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