Upgrading the ECU

Over the past few weeks I’ve been looking for an ECU upgrade for my Porsche 911 turbo (997TT). Searched all over the web and found there were 2 basic approaches to ECU tuning.

The first, and in most cases more expensive, is to find a local tuning shop, arrange an appointment and drop off the car for the day. In this case they would remove the chip, bench flash it with a new tuned map then insert the chip back into the car.  In cases where a shop was not local it was also possible to remove the chip yourself and send it, via mail (or other delivery service) to the shop where they would again bench flash it and send back to you for insertion back into the car.

The second is loading the map dynamically through the OBDII port. In this case an OBDII cable with a USB connection is sent via mail (or other delivery service) to you and connected to your PC and the car.  The PC reads the current ECU, sends current map to a server / service and in a few hours or a day a new map is provided for uploading into the ECU. With this approach you don’t need to give up the car for a day, or longer, and you retain control of loading / reloading the map.

I decided to go with the OBDII approach.  Searched the web and found Softronic and their distributor SoftronicTuning (Vivid Racing). After checking out their websites and positive responses on the Rennlist and 6Speedonline forums, I decided to go ahead with the softronic tuning. Worked directly with Dan at Vivid Racing – he fedex’d the OBDII cable and sent me a link to download the software.  I connected my laptop to the car and the software started gathering information about my current ECU settings, reading the current map and sending it, via the internet, to Softronic’s servers.  A few hours later I received an email containing both my original map and a new tuned map. Within 5 minutes the new map was upload via the OBDII cable and flashing software.

Immediately took the car out for a drive and went to the nearest highway, accelerated up the on-ramp, quickly moved over a few lanes – with so much torque, and amazing responsiveness of the throttle, I was pushed quickly into the back of the seat and reached an amazing speed without even realizing it. So much smoother. My only reaction is WOW!

I’m heading to the Laguna Seca next week and can’t wait to see how it does on the main straight and exiting the corners.

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