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Engine Re-maps - any good?
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userBolehill
Posted: 21 December 2015 10:31 AM
Subject: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 
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Hi there
I'm new here, so please bear with me.
Have just heard about engine re-maps from a friend (neitehr a motorhomer nor caravaner) and they sound interesting.
Has anyone actually had one done? if so, which company did they use and why that one?
Have you seen any benefits yet?
Does the next service change the Engine Management System back to what it was before the Re-map? Why not?
I've got a Bessacarr E460 on Fiat Ducato, 100 M-Jet 2200cc engne. The one company I have googled so far suggests a Power improvement of about 10%, and much better lower end torque.

Thanks in advance for all informed responses.
Cheers.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 21 December 2015 1:53 PM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 


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Location: MODERATOR - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


Welcome to the Out&AboutLive forums.

This link is to a forum-search on “re-map”

http://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/search/query.asp?action=search&searchforumid=all&keywords=re-map&author=&days=&Submit=Search

and you’ll see that over the years there’s been a good deal of discussion about this that will provide you with plenty of light reading.

I’ve no personal experience of remapping a motorhome’s motor, but if you find your Bessacarr’s present performance inadequate it will be the cheapest means of improving its motor’s power/torque.

Regarding your question "Does the next service change the Engine Management System back to what it was before the Re-map? Why not?” - it all depends...

A remap replaces the ‘software’ of a vehicle’s ECU (Engine Control Unit), overwriting it with new software that can provide increased power/torque (or may improve fuel consumption). If a service happens to include a manufacturer’s ECU software revision to, say, address an issue that the manufacturer has recognised and that an ECU software ‘tweak’ can address (eg. to improve torque at low revs to make the vehicle less prone to stalling when moving off) then it should be anticipated that the ECU software revision will overwrite the remap. If a service does not include a manufacturer’s ECU software revision, then the remap should not be affected.

There is also the potential, if a motor is remapped and then the vehicle is taken to an agent of the vehicle manufacturer’s for servicing (or to deal with a problem), that the agent’s ‘official’ diagnostic equipment will recognise the ECU’s ‘unofficial’ software and may be unable to deal with it.

Any remap is most unlikely to be approved by a vehicle’s manufacturer. Although this probably won’t be relevant in your case, if there were a problem that might be dealt with under warranty (eg. the engine blows up after 1000 miles!) and the manufacturer discovers that remapping has taken place, there will be the opportunity for the manufacturer to reject the claim.
userDave Gomersall
Posted: 23 December 2015 10:35 AM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 
Having a look around

Posts: 30
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Hi
I had my engine re-mapped after 500 miles and noticed a large increase in mpg. It went from 24 to almost 29 mpg. Now after 3000 miles it seems to settled down to 26.5-27 mpg. I use my van for regular short journeys of about 60miles at a time on A roads and for shopping.
The main improvement that I have noticed is that I don't have to keep dropping out of 6th when going up gentle inclines and a much better acceleration when starting off.
I used Quantum to do my re-map and it cost £299.
I am driving the new Fiat Ducatto 130 BHP and the remap has put this up to 150 bhp.
Will I get my money back through using less fuel? I don't know but driving is much more pleasurable.
Hope this helps
Dave

usertonyishuk
Posted: 11 January 2016 8:16 PM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 


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Location: Horsham, SX.(10 Rapido 7090F)


I was speaking to my local garage guy, and he was enthusiastic about remapping cars. I said that I was thinking of remapping to help with towing.

His mood changed slightly , as held the opinion that you would have to have good working knowledge of the clutch and plates as you could easily be into clutch slip territory depending on design.

He further said with motorhomes, there could be a further problem if the vehicle was not used a great deal. The rust build and rub off onto the clutch plate, might be a further problem causing slip. Also m/homes tended to be more heavily loaded then a commercial van around which the engine /gearbox was originaly designed.

Rgds
userMcrGraeme
Posted: 17 January 2016 5:12 PM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 
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Location: Manchester


We own a Hymer TEC on a MK 6 Ford Transit chassis 07 plate, I got the engine remapped a couple of weeks ago and the cost was £200. Do your research in your area and find a reputable re mapping service as if done incorrectly it can cause serious damage. There are several options for remapping, more power, better economy, more torque that can be placed anywhere in the engines range. I went for economy and better torque at lower rev's as I was getting an average of 22 mpg.
After remapping I could tell the difference immediately, better lower rev torque and better throttle response, I have checked and on average I am getting better mileage to the gallon of 14% (25 mpg) obviously this will fluctuate with differing usage.
The re mapping service should do a full diagnostic check on your engine prior to remapping as it is a waste of time and money to remap an engine with say a slight misfire as it will only exaggerate the problem.
Hope this helps.
userEJB
Posted: 21 January 2016 11:45 AM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 
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Location: Suffolk Burstner Nexxo T620G 2009 Transit Mk 7


It seems that various owners get 10 to 20% better fuel consumption.....I wonder why 99% of vehicle owners don't upgrade to these magical systems??
Of course they have a use but!!!!!
userCharles
Posted: 22 January 2016 3:54 AM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 
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In my opinion if an engine is producing more power it's using more fuel, end of, unless remapping very cleverly circumvents the first law of thermodynamics.

People often report better MPG and smoother running with premium diesel, which in my opinion is also nonsense.

The vehicle placaebo effect?
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 22 January 2016 8:28 AM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 


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Location: MODERATOR - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


Remapping is equivalent to old school basic tuning where a motor’s intake and exhaust ports were smoothed and a less obstructive exhaust system was fitted. The motor became more efficient and produced more power with no increase in fuel consumption.

When a modern diesel-fuelled vehicle is manufactured it gets a one-size-fits-all engine ECU ‘map’ that the manufacturer will have tested and is confident will work well on every vehicle of that type/specification that rolls off the production line. This may not be the optimum ECU map but it can be guaranteed to deliver the correct emissions and adequate power output for the thousands of engines that the manufacturer installs without having to mess around mapping each engine individually.

As independent tests have proven, there’s no doubt that it is practicable to improve the power output and efficiency of most diesel motors by revising the original map to suit the characteristics of an individual engine. (Whether this can be done without compromising the emissions output may be another matter though.)

McrGraeme mentions the importance of having a full diagnostic check carried out prior to a vehicle being remapped, but it would be wise for the vehicle also to be tested on a rolling-road dynamometer before and after remapping. Where ‘conventional’ tuning is concerned it was said (I believe by Harvey Postlethwaite) that after the tuning had been done a driver should be able to notice immediate performance gains, otherwise the money expended on tuning has just been wasted.

As became evident in a 2011 ProMobil test involving Ducato Euro 5 motors, there’s no guarantee that a motor will produce power/torque figures that match the manufacturer’s data. If a motorhome is dynamometer-tested prior to remapping a base-line will be obtained and any gains in power/torque after remapping can be established. If a motor is dynamometer-measured at, say, 130bhp/320Nm (maxima) before remapping and, say, 150bhp/370Nm after remapping, and those levels of increase are what the remapping company has predicted, at least you’ll know you won’t have thrown away your money. (This won’t help with anticipated fuel-consumption improvements, of course.)

This link to a remapper’s 'Eco Tuning’ webpage may be of interest

http://vantuner.co.uk/eco-tuning/

I’m certain that, if I deliberately chose to drive ‘economically’, I could improve my motorhome’s fuel-consumption by over 10% without this having much impact on journey times. But my vehicles’ fuel-consumption has never much concerned me (except when there have been fuel shortages!) and the two motorhomes I’ve owned that could be remapped have both had sufficient performance for my needs and their fuel consumption has been no worse than what I anticipated it would be. In my case there’s just never been persuasive reasons to take the remapping route, but (as I’m not a trusting soul) there have been sufficient reasons not to.
userAgaric
Posted: 22 January 2016 5:25 PM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 
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Charles - 2016-01-22 3:54 AM

In my opinion if an engine is producing more power it's using more fuel, end of, unless remapping very cleverly circumvents the first law of thermodynamics.

People often report better MPG and smoother running with premium diesel, which in my opinion is also nonsense.

The vehicle placaebo effect?


Think about this then, my 1971 Range Rover had 97kw of power and averaged 12mpg, my 1989 Range Rover with basically the same engine but 400cc bigger and dragging a few hundred kilos more around with 136kw and averaging 20mpg.

A lot of the energy in a litre of fuel is still very much untapped. We've over the last few years been tapping into more of it that's what remapping does, that's also what engine manufacturers do.

userCharles
Posted: 23 January 2016 11:35 AM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 
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Your 1989 range rover is a different car.

All remapping does is turn up the turbo pressure and inject more fuel. How is that making it more efficient? I don't think it will necessarily make it less efficient either but it may run slightly hotter, and heat=inefficientcy.

Tuning an engine physically is a different procedure which involves changing exhaust manifolds and other components. This can make an engine more efficient and can give more MPG.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 23 January 2016 1:00 PM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Motorhomes are based on light commercial vehicles, and their original ECU map reflects the realities of this kind of use, and is the result of extensive prototype testing over extended timescales. However, unlike motorhomes, few LCVs spend 100% of their life at 80% or more of their MAM. The engines of motorhomes (but also the whole power train plus turbo and cooling and braking systems) are thus being worked harder, on average, than LCVs - albeit they do so less often, and for shorter periods.

So, my very simple response to re-mapping the engine of a motorhome, is instead to buy a van with its power train designed from the outset to develop the desired power output, and not to try to "soup it up" post-purchase.

It is possible to extract power from a diesel engine to the point at which it violently self-destructs, but few would wish to flirt with that threshold in practise. All a remap does is to raise the engine output a little closer to that threshold - while leaving the ancillary systems and components unmodified.

Higher performance is not generally synonymous with longer life or standard maintenance regimes. The ability to retain higher gears uphill is not necessarily kinder to the power train, or even as kind as an original map which required a downshift and a few more revs. Easier for the driver yes, but not necessarily so for the mechanical components. Avoid if possible, and proceed with great caution if you really feel you must.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 23 January 2016 2:08 PM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 


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Location: MODERATOR - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


Charles - 2016-01-23 11:35 AM

...All remapping does is turn up the turbo pressure and inject more fuel. How is that making it more efficient?...


Rather like your earlier comment about remapping for improved fuel-consumption conflicting with the 1st law of thermodynamics (which would only be true if a motor were 100% fuel efficient to begin with) that’s an overly simplistic view.

Although companies offering remapping services tend to skate over the theory behind the software revision that they impose on a vehicle’s ECU and what that revision actually DOES, the principles are explained fairly adequately on-line. For example

http://www.dieselcar.com/features/2013-guide-to-tuning/

http://avontuning.co.uk/technical/

There is plenty of discussion on motorhome forums about remapping and lots of people have chosen to have it done, but I’ve never read anything saying that, after remapping, there were mechanical problems that could plausibly be attributed to the remapping exercise. Obviously there is a need for care regarding the professionalism of whoever carries out the task (cautionary tale on following link) but ‘gentle’ remapping of a motorhome’s diesel powerplant seems unlikely to cause mechanical harm.

http://www.practicalmotorhome.com/advice/31902-remapping-your-van-is-not-a-diy-job
userAgaric
Posted: 23 January 2016 3:13 PM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 
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Charles - 2016-01-23 11:35 AM

Your 1989 range rover is a different car.


First generation Range Rovers 1970 to 1996. Different body panels but still the same basic unit. I know I owned 4 Range Rovers and 1 LWB 3.5 Land Rover during that time and worked them hard on my farm doing most of the maintenance myself as farmers tend to do.
usertonyishuk
Posted: 24 January 2016 5:30 PM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 


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Location: Horsham, SX.(10 Rapido 7090F)


Makes me wonder what Mr VW will do when he "" remaps"" my Vw engine,

I have a " If its not broke, it dont need fixing "" feeling

(Although to be fair, in my younger years, grinding out my mum's mini cylinder head to the point I reached the water gallery was not a high point in my motoring voyage of discovery)

Rgds

Edit, I should point out that the polishing of the ports WAS TO aid fuel consumption

Edited by tonyishuk 2016-01-24 5:32 PM
userStuartO
Posted: 25 January 2016 9:21 AM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 


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Brian Kirby - 2016-01-23 1:00 PM.....So, my very simple response to re-mapping the engine of a motorhome, is ... to buy a van with its power train designed from the outset to develop the desired power output, and not to try to "soup it up" post-purchase....


I get the impression that manufacturers map the engine to meet regulatory (eg emission control) requirements and then to stay within the bounds of what will serve for operational requirements.  Surely the "tune to self destruct" tuning stage is quite a long way from what any sensible tuner of MHs would be attempting to do?

I had my 2.8 JTD remapped shortly after taking delivery because I wanted more poke for towing - and it worked very well.  I used TB Turbo of Lancaster (sadly now closed down) and they had become Fiat Agents, having been offering performance tuning specialists for some time prior to that.  Mine is a LHD MH, imported from Germany and was apparently more powerful to start with that the UK equivalent, because it had a more powerful turbo.  Anyway they did some remapping and raised the BHP by 20 or so and it was noticeably more powerful. I was very pleased and ten years later have had no engine problems as a result.

Maybe I've just been lucky but it worked and made quite a difference to pulling away when towing, especially on hills.  I don't think I use any more fuel overall either.  Still on the same clutch too.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 25 January 2016 6:50 PM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Many have shared your experiences, Stuart, but a few others have reported premature clutch failures due to exploitation of the extra torque. IMO, it much depends on where you go, and when. The problem with generalised advice on an open forum is that it is likely to be based on one's own experience, which is limited. Others may not use their vans in the same ways as those who have chosen the remap route, and may encounter problems as a consequence. My take is that the mechanical elements of any motorhome have more demands placed on them than those in a white van. The motorhome will probably do far less mileage, and will probably lead a more cosseted life, than the van, but due to its weight and added bulk it will work harder when it is used. On that basis I would be disinclined to go the remap route. However, I'm just cautious!
useraandncaravan
Posted: 2 March 2016 1:08 AM
Subject: RE: Engine Re-maps - any good?
 
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We do remaps. If you ask an engine to deliver more power it will place more strain on that engine and drive train. You can't have one without the other in a remap.

We advocate a remap not for extra power, but better fuel economy and the benefits can be significant.
Most MH remaps work by increasing turbo pressure which raises efficiency and power goes up as a result. If you then don't use the extra power you will find that the accelerator pedal position will be more raised than 'on the floor', giving better mileage. But this seems to be easier said than done and many usually end up going faster.

Using the power now and again to overtake is unlikely to do any harm to the drive train.

Some modern engine ranges are often delivered in a single state of tune with the bottom range engine 'clocked down' so they don't realise the potential of the top range engines.
As stated above by others many engines have the ability to develop more power within the design.
So just removing this 'restriction' can bring power up to that of the similar top line engines in the range.


However, Brian is right in his cautionary words. Motorhomes run around permanently on the maximum weight limit, when the average delivery vehicle the MH is based on will run around less than half empty.
For example a Royal Mail van picks up it's load first thing and by midday, half has been delivered. Likely that even the 'full load' at the start of the day was any where near an unladen MH?


But the fuel savings can be big. One local MH owner uses his vehicle to attend Classic Bike events around Europe. He wanted a remap done so he could drive to Luxembourg on a single tank, then fill up there before continuing. Prior to the remap he was about 80 miles short of the border.
After the remap he not only made it safely into Luxembourg but believed he had well over 50 miles worth of fuel still in the tank.


Our suggested guide is consider a remap if -
1 : The engine you have is at the bottom of the power tree in the range. For example you have the 120bhp version but 140 and 160 versions of the same basic engine are available.

2 : It is not the biggest engine in the range. For example a 2.2 and a 3.0 version may use the same basic mechanicals so the 3.0 version may already produce power that is already at the limit of the gearbox/Clutch, whereas the 2.2 may be well under? Boosting a 3.0 might take it closer to the limits.

3 : Your primary aim is better mileage.

4 : You are prepared to shorten the normal service intervals to compensate for the extra strain on the Oil, etc.


Edited by aandncaravan 2016-03-02 1:11 AM
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