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    NO CLIFF NOTES or it all because the one thing you fail to learn about may be your downfall.
    I've learned when in a debate one of the best things u can do is argue for the opposite side. The thing about this is...i was never on a side. I believe a great plan for tuning a car is to street tune to get the basic a/f ratios downpacked, get idle and cruising parameters corrected with no surging, coughs, or weird drops in power, and set the ignition timing to where the car actually DOESN'T feel powerful (conservative timing). However, Forced Induction wise there is absolutely no amount of tuning that can prevent ringland failure especially with the stock pistons...none. The amount of cylinder pressure you subject your internals to is completely up to you the user. All horsepower is not good horsepower.

    Dyno Tuning:
    Dyno Tuning is by far the best way to show power output and notice potential problems with detonation, pinging, and etc. under wide open throttle conditions. I highly recommend it to everyone. However, valuable information about your engine can be overlooked if you do not know what to pay attention to. One thing is peak hp and tq. For instance when companies give hp claims about a product that gains 7whp...they neglect to mention the rest of the power curve where lots over power could have been lost. The area under the curve is most important. I'll try to get a couple of calculus equations to aid in the comparison from one powerband to another. If gain 7whp like 200rpm before redline but lost power everywhere else under the curve you may be able to claim your car has more hp...but it will be slower. Other mistakes would be only taking a print out of the dyno sheet. Although u may not be able to see it with the naked eye there could be very small fluctuations in your power curve that could indicate pre-ignition or detonation. I've witnessed this in person. In Atl, Ga. i was watching a GSX make 378 All-wheel hp. We were so excited, the power curve looked smooth, the car sounded great, and we thought that was the end and everything was cool...wrong. The technicians working the dyno saw a very very small fluctuation at about 7000rpm that was barely noticeable. After magnifying the curve about 100x-1000x the true nature of the engines performance showed itself. What seemed small and irrelevant at first turned out to be a very rapid and utterly repulsive spike pattern. It wasn't even a straight up and down spike it kinda moved left to right and did look terrible. Its not something you could feel in the car or hear from the engine. It could only show up on the dyno (possibly a knock sensor also). There was another guy with a gsx i believe that dyno'd his car as well. His car was street tuned just like the previous one but this guy wasn't nearly as knowledgeable about street tuning and it showed. You could hear his car miss firing, stumbling, and 25psi+ boost spikes...and other weird noises that should really never come out of an engine lol. His dyno graph looked like they'd given a 3 year old a crayon and a sheet of paper and told him to draw ( was that bad). The techinicians could do nothing with the car until the power was somewhat stable.

    Dyno tuning can also be used to make more usuable power given the accessories. One such accessory that comes to mind is a cam gear. Cam gears have the ability to move the torque curve around. Remember the area under the curve i was talking about? Follow closely. I've datalogged my engagement points on the track:

    1st gear shifting at 6000rpm = 4000rpm 2nd gear engagement
    2nd gear shifting at 6000rpm = 4150rpm 3rd gear engagement
    3rd gear shifting at 5800rpm = 4235rpm 4th gear engagement

    What this means to me is if my engine is only running between 4000rpm and redline on the track...guess where i'm going to pay the most attention to on the dyno graph? If peak torque for the f22 is made at 4100rpm and you are able to move that curve well into the 5000rpm range then you now have more usuable torque on the track because the area of the torque curve is stretched well into the middle of powerband that you use on the track and not just the very beginning. There is such thing as going overboard with adding to and subtracting from these bands. This is once again up to the user's discretion. In this case you run the risk of making too much power and burning the valves from opening or closing to early during the crank cycle.
    Assuming your a/f ratio is already where you want it to be another accessory is an adjustable fuel pressure regulator. This unit has the ability to raise the fuel pressure coming out of the injectors. What you want is a "misting" effect out of ur injectors not a spitting effect. Misting fuel covers the entire combustion chamber evenly and allows for a much cleaner and well rounded burn in the chambers resulting in more power. The idea isn't to add more fuel but rather spread it out.
    Ignition timing has a major MAJOR influence in power. Too retarded of ignition timing can cause very high exhaust temperatures resulting in burned valves, melted pistons and other internal failures. Too much ignition can result in spikes of detonation and knock. Power is found in advancing the ignition(usually). And safety can be found either in running conservative timing patterns or in running race gas with slightly advanced ignition since it has a very high combustion point ( i think its called "kernal" or "kindel" point... i've forgotten)

    I think it would be best to use a combination of the above mentioned strategies to make power rather than just one. All power is not good power. Although say lean mixtures may add power it also comes with great risk and stress to your engine. The combination of correct a/f ratios, cam timing, fuel pressure, ignition timing, and air velocity is where you will make the best, safest, and well-rounded power. Dyno's are done with 4th gear pulls usually starting in the 2000rpm range. But through my latest experiences i've learned that in different gears you get different air fuel ratios among other things...this my friends is where dyno tuning ends.
    Knowledge is EVERY sense of the word

    FSAE (F Series Accord Enthusiasts) ..."A dying breed thats taking it to the next level" #12

    Street Tuning:
    Tools needed or commonly used:
    Laptop or display, wideband 02 sensor, air temp gauges, egt gauges, digital ignition gun, datalogging software that records, and boost gauge.

    This is for anyone using a basemap be it hondata, uberdata, an EMS, or using an s-afc and etc. Street tuning usually begins with tackling the a/f ratios. It is not a good idea to read off of a a/f gauge seeing as you should be paying attention to the road. The best thing you can do for yourself is to have a datalogger that records the status of your engine so you can reference it at any point and time. Make sure that the air temperature is the same between testing sessions. But try to datalog in all weather conditions when given the chance. Air density changes with changes in barometric pressure, humidity and temperature. You'll want to slowly progress into the map especially if you are boosting. If you see lean conditions occur stop immediately ( have a co-pilot that is watching the engine characteristics). And add more fuel until you've completely gone through the entire rpm range. A major thing i've noticed in the past few weeks is the a/f ratio running leaner in low gears than it does in 4th gear. Even tho i can get a steady 11.9:1 to 12:1 a/f ratio in 4th gear 3rd gear was a bit higher ranging from 12.2-12.4:1...2nd gear was even leaner with 12.5-12.6:1 a/f's!!! A dyno will not show that. And seeing as most of the time on the 1/4 mile is spent in 3rd gear i tune for clean a/f ratios in that gear at the sacrifice of richening up 4th gear and losing a little power. The game here is safety for the longest and most stressful operating ranges of the engine. Another benefit to street tuning is the wideband 02 sensor. Although your local dyno may have one of these there are factors which can throw off accurate readings on the dyno's wideband. Forinstance, if the dyno sticks the wideband in the tail pipe rather than putting it in the downpipe. This will give false readings and won't be nearly as accurate as it would if it was closer to the engine.

    The next topic is digital ignition gun. I haven't been able to get my hands on one of these yet but from what i know about it it will read out the ignition advance as the engine is on. This is highly valueable information to me at the moment seeing as the basemap i have is still a guess of where the ignition should be. If this gun was used on a stock accord under WOT i could trace the ignition map and truely make my map accurate to stock levels (no dyno tuning will tell me the stock ignition curve either). If you have access to one of these please contact me.

    The egt short for exhaust gas temperature gauge is a debateable street tuning device. Some love it some think its worthless. I do know that this gauge will show where you are making peak torque tho. If you are doing a pull then pay attention to the highest temperature point that the egt hits and where it falls off. At the highest point is your peak torque. I have not confirmed this but i'd like to find theory is that if i were to hook up an egt gauge to a stock accord and datalog the output of the egt along the rpm range and mimic the readings by trial and error of adjusting the ignition curve on my map, i will be able to somewhat accurately (not pin-point) trace the stock ignition curve.

    Tips for diy tuning:

    Conservative ignition timing for low psi applications would be between 20-28 degrees btdc

    Stock should be 27-36 degrees btdc
    When tuning you will find an engine will surge (at low loads) and cough at higher loads if it is run lean.

    You may tune your engine to stoich mixtures with a narrowband 02 sensor but not at high loads or high rpms.

    Be sure to run rich when under high load/rpm when testing.

    Tune idle for the minimum MAP reading at your chosen idle speed. This will give smooth idle and the best off idle response

    If your engine hesitates or is slow to react to throttle response then you will need to richen up the throttle tip-in. Good ranges are 13.0-13.7 for best throttle response.

    There are certain parts of the map which are rarely if ever encountered by the engine. Be sure to set these values regardless of whether they will ever be needed.

    Typically a back fire means too lean and sluggish revving means too rich. (typically)

    A narrowband 02 can only nail down 14.7:1 a/f's...anything else is just a guess for it

    If you idle speed is low it could be running lean...try adding fuel.

    NEVER butt dyno for power. Don't adjust settings to specifically add more power. That should be done on a dyno. Rather, tune for reliability and a great running car that can make it back and forth to the dyno with no troubles. In order to have a good dyno session it'd be best to have clean a/f's, conservative ignition timing and nothing else overdone.

    This is just about all of the collected knowledge i can think of right now that i know. If you have tips, suggestions, and the like then by all means add in your 2 cents. I am by no means an expert tuner and never have been. But with enough research and common sense anything can happen. Discuss...and happy tuning to all.
    Knowledge is EVERY sense of the word

    FSAE (F Series Accord Enthusiasts) ..."A dying breed thats taking it to the next level" #12


      yeah thats cool I know what your sayin and i agree with you but on the other hand when it comes to certain things i may not the reason why i also said dyno is because in certain areas people may not have the whole outback space or to run their car to get what they want out of it when street tuning this is where the dyno comes into effect.

      The dyno or an rollers they put them on it has easy acess to everything ,tools,equipment except tuning it on the street outside. The law takes things seriously out here maybe not out there being that things are comonly spread apart. You dont really want to get pulled over you can make excuses again and again which may and or result still in a ticket. When your on the rollers it makes things easier you dont have to look up everytime and worry about data logging if your by yourself you have easier access to tools and such to concentrate more on the powa! lol .

      Then you have to get it running right and smoothly for daily driving and ready for power. Then after the dynotune you go for the street-tune to see how it handles to stop and go stop and go instead of go all the time. The main reason why sometimes puttin it on a dyno would be good just incase if anything happens youll literally be at the shop and not have to wait for a tow if something really bad happens noone is perfect you know.

      But The dyno will show not only the a/f ratio but also the the power curve how it raises at each rpm aswell as the dip in power as soon as you hit boost/vtec or both for certain people. When you observe a nice dip instead of steady nice climb in power something is wrong its best to stop check everything and make sure things are set with the ignition and fuel settings. Not neccesarilly speaking about streettuning /dynotuning they both go together unless the person feels confident in tackling it if they cant afford it or such and such or may not have any good tuners in town or is scared of blowing their engines up. BUt I like the dyno it has no bumpyroads endless amount of runway makes the tuner feel more safer to tackle the problem. My boy will be street tuning after he gets it on a dyno first there is a difference then back on to a dyno. Its okay to basemap and all to get it going but overtime it really shouldnt be trusted imo because not every engine is safe.


        Thanks for the info Midnite. I see you've been busy.
        HondaFan81 For Sale Parts (LOW PRICES ON EVERYTHING)


          wow, you have officially reached tuneing king status in my book. but i feel i speak for everyone when i say, WHEN IS OUR BASE MAP COMEING???!!!!!!!
          Finally Up and Running. Numbers to Follow. Check my MR


            mrx i dont mean to sound stupid but, are refering to the tuning of a turbo'ed car, or is this also for the guy with only all the bolt-ons?? Just curious cause i have a few bolt-ons myself and was wondering wether or not I should dyno tune . just for a reference:

            h23 plenum/tb
            adj fpr
            adj cam gear
            and delta cam

            Also I dont have anyway to street tune. I have no laptop or O2/EGT gauges.. The only type of tuning for me besides Dyno, is butt. I would my engine to make reliable horsepower. So midnite point me in the right direction, and ill be happy..

            My Ride


              Originally posted by mayberry4thgen
              wow, you have officially reached tuneing king status in my book. but i feel i speak for everyone when i say, WHEN IS OUR BASE MAP COMEING???!!!!!!!
              Eh, simmer down man. Why should he do all the work for you? We all have to grow up sometime and do our own research and quit getting the silver spoon.
              HondaFan81 For Sale Parts (LOW PRICES ON EVERYTHING)



                I'm proud of you guys

                You managed to turn a seemingly endless debate into a helpful discussion. Midnite, I see absolutely no flaw in your descriptions there. Sparkle, you have a point, and it just strengthens Midnite's 'argumet' (used in the descriptive sense now, and not the belligerent sense). The dyno CAN be used to do all the same tuning you can do with a street tuning setup. The fact that you're on rollers does make it a bit more of a controlled environment. With all the datalogging tools, ECU programming tools, and all the other street tune stuff, you can tune your engine perfectly given enough time.

                Midnite's main reason for street tuning, however, is because he's like 99% of the members of this board... poor By learning what to do to get the car safely running (with strong fuel and ignition curves) WITHOUT the expense of a dyno is important. By getting a turbo F22 running smoothly at 8psi, but maybe only making 180hp, you set yourself up for a much cheaper dyno experience. You can then take that stable map and adjust it while the car is on the dyno. This would allow for power tuning only on the dyno. No wasted money doing all the stuff you don't NEED the dyno for.

                However, you can look at it another way too... Sparkle's point rings true here, and my argument strengthens that. Suppose you spend 100 hours of your spare time learning to tune your ECU by yourself. Suppose you know of a great shop that you trust fully... that could do that work you're learning as good or better if you pay them. If you make $8 an hour, and are able to work 100 hours extra over X amount of weeks... it could be just as feasible to pay someone to do the work. That 100 hours can be spent any number of ways.

                Of course, to go back to Midnite... I personally would rather spend the 100 hours learning, do it myself, and then have all that valuable knowledge that will never leave me.

                Sorry for the rant. I just wanted my piece
                This is a very valuable thread, I think.


                  Nice write up. I'll help out with my area of expertise ....

                  To compare the areas under the curve you will have to take an integral of them. To make the most use of this you should do like midnite did, and find exactly what rpm's you will be using when racing, and integrate only between those rpm's. Now this is kind of hard to generalize because there are a few different scenarios.

                  Steep curves in your powerband can be good IF they don't increase or decrease dramatically in the rpm's you use. Say the curve jumps up quickly around 3500 and you don't go below 4000 rpm's when racing that can be a good thing. On the other hand if it jumps up at 4500 and you start at 4000 in each gear then you have problems because you have decreased the total area under the curve of your dyno graph.

                  Less sloped curves can also be good in certain instances too, but most of the time they aren't because cars don't make power across a broad range. If your car started out making 200 hp at 4000 rpm's and peaked at 215 hp at 5500 rpm's then that would be pretty good. The problem is that it's hard to get a car to have close to linear power bands.

                  So, getting a high peak horsepower is good, but there is an optimal point where you maximize the area under the curve between the rpm's you will be using. Leaving it too flat could leave out some horsepower, and getting the peak too high could cost you horsepower in other rpm's in your range.

                  I'll make an attempt to explain how to do this ...

                  First, you need to find the slope or the best approximation of the slope of the curve up to the peak horsepower. The curve will not be linear, and if you try to make it into a linear curve it will screw up the results ... so it shouldn't be something like 3x but more like x^2.

                  Here's an example of how a steeper curve will result in less area.
                  x^3 is obviously steeper than x^2 so ...
                  int(x^3) dx = x^4/4 ... when evaulated from 0 to 1 on a graph it results in an area of 1/4 under the curve.

                  int(x^2) dx = x^3/3 ... when evaulated from 0 to 1 on a graph it results in an area of 1/3 under the curve.

                  and say theoretically you could get a straight line equal to 1 as your powerband then ....

                  int(1) dx = x ... evaluated from 0 to 1 would equal an area of 1!!

                  - The numbers you are evaulating from, or your ranges which in this example are 0 to 1 would be the rpm's on your dyno graph. The area under the curve would increase to reflect a larger average horsepower, and vice versa.

                  Now that's just a real simple solution because I'm hoping most people will understand what I did. In reality it would get a lot more complicated because the curves won't be that simple, and they wouldn't be on a graph from 0 to 1... The more points you take to evaulate the curve the more accurate your results will be too.

                  So the main point here is maximize the area under the curve of your dyno graph ONLY in the rpm's you use when racing. A very steep jump that comes in during your effective rpm's is bad if it doesn't start to flatten out and provide a large area, or if it doesn't slope up early enough in your power band.


                    Originally posted by 92accordf20a
                    mrx i dont mean to sound stupid but, are refering to the tuning of a turbo'ed car, or is this also for the guy with only all the bolt-ons?? Just curious cause i have a few bolt-ons myself and was wondering wether or not I should dyno tune . just for a reference:

                    h23 plenum/tb
                    adj fpr
                    adj cam gear
                    and delta cam

                    Also I dont have anyway to street tune. I have no laptop or O2/EGT gauges.. The only type of tuning for me besides Dyno, is butt. I would my engine to make reliable horsepower. So midnite point me in the right direction, and ill be happy..
                    92accordf20a - Sorry for the late reply, sir.
                    This is for ANYONE with a car practically lol. U live in Miami with bustedlx. I believe he may have tuning tools. I personally would love to get ahold of ur car and tune it myself. You already have a great setup and i could probably squeeze some nice power out of that thing myself. But first i'd need a stock f22a basemaps (its in the works). Its not terribly difficult to tune the motor urself especially if your on a dyno.

                    deevergote - I think you should explain in detail how advanced/retarded cam timing can help and/or hurt an engine.

                    Fearit22 - Nice addition. For anybody thats confused he's using calculus and is basically just calculating the area from one point to another on two dyno graphs.

                    I'm actually looking for bustedlx and zigen to chime in here and grace us with their experiences and know-how.
                    Knowledge is EVERY sense of the word

                    FSAE (F Series Accord Enthusiasts) ..."A dying breed thats taking it to the next level" #12


                      Originally posted by mayberry4thgen
                      but i feel i speak for everyone when i say, WHEN IS OUR BASE MAP COMEING???!!!!!!!
                      as soon as i get a new programmer...which means if u want it so bad you'll have to contribute to helping me buy a new one. Paypal addy is The programmer only costs $60 shipped. Help me out and i can get it sooner.
                      Knowledge is EVERY sense of the word

                      FSAE (F Series Accord Enthusiasts) ..."A dying breed thats taking it to the next level" #12



                        Damn Antoine... callin me out

                        Ok, to go into a little detail about cam timing:

                        I haven't done anything but research myself, so all I know is from what I've read and confirmed from reliable sources. I'll be tuning my own engine soon enough. I just got my cam gears 2 weeks ago!

                        SOHC engines and DOHC engines can both benefit from soem cam adjustment. There is often a 1-2 degree variation in stock cam grinds (part of the explanation why some cars of the same model and trim have different power). By adjusting cam timing with an aftermarket cam gear(s), you can find that "sweet spot" where you can make more power. Tuning the cam gear(s) will also move the powerband around.

                        As a warning, cam tuning can be very dangerous. Staying within 6 degrees is usually safe, but beyond that you can have valve clearance issues (intake cam/lobes especially).

                        So, to get into it:

                        DOHC engines are much easier to tune, and you have more options. SOHC engines can benefit as well though. Most of what I know involves 2 cams, though.

                        For a SOHC, on a dyno, your best bet is to adjust the cam in 2 degree increments. This should be enough to show changes. Advance the cam first, then retard it. Play around till you find the spot where the power is highest in the usable RPM range.

                        DOHC has more options. 2 degree increments again are useful.
                        Start in this order to get your bearings faster: Advance intake, retard exhaust. Advance intake only. Retard intake only. Advance both intake and exhaust. Retard both intake and exhaust. Advance exhaust only. Retard exhaust only.

                        These adjustments often have these effects:

                        Advance intake only. Helps bottom end and midrange power, and doesn't affect top end too much. Can give a lopey idle. Works best on a stock head, and is a good first thing to try. Increases overlap, and starts the overlap period earlier.

                        Retard intake only. Reduces overlap, and starts the overlap period later. Not a great thing to do to stock engines. A good option for turbo, though. Turbos like as little overlap as possible.

                        Advance both intake and exhaust. Good for low end power, but chokes up high. The exhaust valve closes sooner, and the intake valve opens earlier. Exhaust gas scavenging is increased at low RPM. Moves the overlap period earlier. Pretty much one of two choices for SOHC.

                        Retard both intake and exhaust. Moves overlap later. Basically the opposite of advancing both cams/lobes. Good for high RPM. Your other choice for SOHC.

                        Advance exhaust only. Another thing stock engines don't like much. Reduces overlap and increases blowdown by opening the exhaust cam earlier. Good for top end, but hurts low an dmidrange.

                        Retard exhaust only. Increases overlap and adds a lopey idle. Not a bad thing to try on a stock engine. Usually, engines only like a couple degrees of exhaust cam retard.

                        Advancing the intake cam 4-5 degrees and retarding the exhaust cam1-2 degrees is usually good on stock motors.

                        A lot of this info comes from Honda/Acura Engine Performance by Mike Kojima (SCC editor). It's a great book, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about the basics of their car.


                          The before Dyno...

                          Managed to pop off 212whp with only my wideband tuning. After magnifying the graph we found absolutely no signs of detonation. Power was smooth and kept climbing. The guy that was doing the pull stopped at 6k for some reason...she still had more in her and would have pulled till about 7K but oh well. I got 2 quick runs in since they got the dyno up on tuesday. The dyno is literally 5 mins from my house now and i can get to the dyno faster than i can get to burger king! lol.

                          quick glance at setup:
                          f22a1 with a6 intake mani
                          uberdata with custom tune
                          2.5-3" exhaust
                          2 and 3" charge piping
                          Things to tune:
                          1. Notice the drop in torque at 4K rpm. Thats EXACTLY where i pulled the timing as a precaution to not grenade the motor. Well i'm gonna add it back in to make the curve smooth. I took out a total of about 1.5 degrees of timing from 4k-4.8k and lost 10-15ft/lbs. of torque!...u see what timing can do now right? There was maybe like a 5-7whp loss in that same section

                          2. With no signs at all of detonation i can start adding more timing all over the powerband by .5* at a time.

                          3. I'd rather not like the power pulling past redline so i'll see if i can get it top out around the 5500-6Krpm range by adjusting the cam gear which is currently set to stock.

                          4. I didn't know the guy was gonna do a second pull and the engine just sat there getting heat soaked for about a minute or 2 cause i still haven't fixed the radiator fans and they don't come on automatically...trying to fix it today.

                          5. I'm running on stock fuel pressure until i can get an adjustable fpr.

                          For the most part i'm pretty happy with the output but i know i could make another 30-50whp when i'm done tuning it. Those were just base runs. And i got 115 ft/lbs. of tq at 2000rpm!!!
                          And i still can't believe he cut the pull at 6K...power was still friggin' climbing
                          Last edited by MRX; 12-04-2004, 02:58 PM.
                          Knowledge is EVERY sense of the word

                          FSAE (F Series Accord Enthusiasts) ..."A dying breed thats taking it to the next level" #12


                            Nice results so far Antoine! You've got me by at least 30whp!


                              my iab's are wide the freak open too i can't believe it just starts with that much torque. Next will be dyno TUNING...i'll test alot of things and definately run the car with the iab's closed to see how it affects the motor.

                              And is it just me or did they set my gear ratio off??? I swear its not a 3.970 ratio
                              Knowledge is EVERY sense of the word

                              FSAE (F Series Accord Enthusiasts) ..."A dying breed thats taking it to the next level" #12