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engine re-mapping
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userDennisF
Posted: 13 February 2019 3:06 PM
Subject: engine re-mapping
 
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Location: Surbiton, Surrey: Benimar Mileo 301 2017


Hi all,
My 2017 Benimar Mileo 301 with overcab, well within load limits, struggles on hills so I have been looking at other forums for advice on engine re-mapping for Ducato 150bhp and have seen gerenally favourable comments although there does seem to be some talk of clutch burn out.
I have the comfort-matic gearbox and wonder if this may cause additional problems - anyone have experience on this?
userwitzend
Posted: 13 February 2019 3:31 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 


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Posts: 538
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Location: Cornwall


Is it struggling or are You expecting to much from it. After all its a loaded van Fiat or what ever manufacturer spent millions on development so the drive chain isn't overloaded I'd not consider remapping it at all.
It will improve after 10,000 mls or so as the engine loosens up
userDon636
Posted: 13 February 2019 6:13 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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Posts: 431
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Location: Darlington, 2014 Vantage Neo - 150 Comfortmatic


This motor home is not that large and is max 3500 kg although it does have a large overcab section. I am surprised that you feel it struggles for power. I have a 6.36m PVC that runs fully loaded at 3500kg with the 150 engine and comfortmatic and I have never found it to be sluggish under any conditions. It is coming up to 5 years old at 13000 miles and the engine has freed up inoticeably in the last year and gets up inclines at a fair old rate and has given some car drivers a surprise as they failed to breeze past me.
userweldted
Posted: 13 February 2019 10:42 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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Location: Burstner Ixeo 736


You not say how many miles on the clock, diesels don't start to free up for several thousand miles, two thing diesels like, clean fuel and plenty of air, I have known the odd van to have a faulty air filter in not allowing enough flow of air through it, though this can result in some black smoke. You could try a K&N mesh air filter for improved air flow. I have an Elddis Aspire 255 with the Peugeot 2.2, 130 engine. Van is uprated to 3850 kg and tows a trailer at around 1600 kg pull well has 38000 miles on clock. Now have a plug in chip to help economy ( up by around 2 mpg ) but don't let the engine labour as there is only so much torque the clutch will take.

Edited by weldted 2019-02-13 10:44 PM
userKennyd
Posted: 14 February 2019 8:49 AM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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I’ve got chips on my Motorhome & 6m van , best thing I’ve done , more torque means less gear changes especially with the MH with comformatic so easier on the clutch , they drive so much better & get more mpg
The 150 & the 180 share the same clutch so can handle the extra power
userwitzend
Posted: 14 February 2019 9:18 AM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 


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Location: Cornwall


Kennyd - 2019-02-14 8:49 AM
The 150 & the 180 share the same clutch so can handle the extra power


But aren't gear ratios are different ?
userKennyd
Posted: 14 February 2019 10:50 AM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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Kennyd - 2019-02-14 8:49 AM
The 150 & the 180 share the same clutch so can handle the extra power


But aren't gear ratios are different ?

No to my knowledge BUT would realy make little difference , it’s all about torque not bhp, I don’t think anybody is driving (abusing) there MH’S anywhere near the limits of destruction which they have been tested to , I find a bit more torque just makes them more pleasurable to drive

Manufacturers have miss matched engines to gearboxes many times over the years , most people will have had a car/van like this , perhaps having to over rev an engine in one gear so it will pull in the next

Adding extra power resolves the problems
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 14 February 2019 12:02 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 


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


DennisF’s Benimar motorhome has Fiat’s ComfortMatic ‘robotised’ manual transmission.

It needs to be asked what Dennis’s “struggles on hills” means. If it means that, when ComrfotMatic is in ‘full automatic’ mode, the vehicle’s progress is lethargic in challenging road conditions (eg. on steep hills with lots of tight bends in the road) that’s to be expected. This is when ComfortMatic’s relatively unsophisticated principles will be at their worst, and in such situations the driver should take the transmission out of full-auto mode and select (and hold) the gears manually.

If the ’struggling’ is on (say) motorway inclines that’s another matter, as the 150 motor should be plenty powerful enough to maintain a high speed on quite long steep motorway slopes even when ComfortMatic is in full-auto mode.

userLaurence
Posted: 14 February 2019 12:43 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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Location: Cornwall 2017 Laika Ecovip 600


Dennis, I also have the 150 engine with a Comfortmatic gearbox, and have done quite a bit of driving in hilly and mountainous areas. In my view it's not the best combination, but I think it's better on the newer engines than my experiences with that combination on the older 130 and 150 engines.

As Derek suggests, one option is to take it out of the auto mode and operate in manual, but funnily enough I tend to do this more coming downhill because the engine over-revs in auto mode, so coming downhill I am constantly manually changing up, rather than down.

An alternative with hill climbing in auto mode is to use the 'Up' button, which is located just behind the gear lever. When I an on the verge of an uphill climb I engage 'Up' and find it works really well. The system engages a special profile specially designed for driving in mountainous areas. It's rather like have a set of sports ratios on the auto box of most auto cars, and I find it makes a considerable difference driving in hilly areas. When you are out of the hilly areas, you just, of course, turn the 'Up' function off.

You might have tried this already, but if you haven't, you might want to give it a go.

Hope this helps. Regards,
userDon636
Posted: 14 February 2019 4:25 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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Location: Darlington, 2014 Vantage Neo - 150 Comfortmatic


I would be very surprised if there was a lack of power on hills with the 150 bop engine and I agree with Derick about the Comfortmatic gearbox. It is fantastic 95% of the time and I would not be without it but it has a problem on hills whereby it waits until the last minute before changing down by which time the power has dropped off and by the time it changes hear you can lose a lot of momentum. The box will change down maybe a couple of gears but quickly has to change up then you bog down again. The best thing is to anticipate the incline and change down manually before the engine starts to bog down then you should have no problem. This issue gets better as the miles pile on and the amount of pulling power seems to increase. Some will say this means the Comfortmatic box is a waste of money but if you want an auto there is no option so you just need to get used to it but honestly I don’t find it a problem at all, just an idiosyncrasy.
userdavid lloyd
Posted: 14 February 2019 7:14 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 


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Location: Guisborough Cleveland - 2013 Autosleeper Worcester


A couple of years ago we had a 2015 Fiat based motorhome with comfortmatic gearbox and 150 engine. It had a MTPLM of 3850kgs and was always at that weight. For the most part it ran really well but on long inclines would slow quite considerably and never seemed to know when to change down before too many revs were lost.

As Derek says, it would be a simple matter of knocking it into manual and taking over. However, I had it remapped by Quantum at Newbury show. They offered three different levels of mapping RED (for more performance) BLUE (for more torque) and GREEN (for better economy). I chose the middle blue option at a cost of £225. On the road to Newbury from the north there is a long long incline that proved difficult for the gearbox which eventually decided to change down but with revs so low it had to change again to 4th. On the way home, after the remap, the van took the hill at the same speed (60mph) without changing down. It subsequently proved to be a great improvement overall and I am certainly thinking of having it done to our (new to us) Mercedes based automatic motorhome.

One of the reasons I eventually decided to have it done was the knowledge that all the base vehicles are mapped to a single type of mapping to suit a generic use across Europe. I honestly believe that having it remapped to more suit its particular use as a fully loaded motorhome really does make a difference.

Incidentally, the March 2019 edition of MMM carries an article on page 197 which cites engine remapping as one of the 5 top accessories to buy.

David

Edited by david lloyd 2019-02-14 7:17 PM
userDennisF
Posted: 14 February 2019 9:03 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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Location: Surbiton, Surrey: Benimar Mileo 301 2017


Hi and thanks to all for the responses and comments to my initial request for feedback on re-mapping.

This was prompted by the article in MMM March 2019 referred to by David which cites engine mapping as one of the top 5 accessories to buy and which gives 'more power and torque... makes driving more effortless uphill and when overataking... more relaxing and peasurable'

It seems it is a bit or 'marmite' modification with the pros as above and the cons as mentioned by others and that the manufacturer's settings shouldn't be messed with.

It would seem from other forums that the trade off for more torque and power could be that it puts more strain on other components ie; drive train and clutch.

I am no engineer but it seems rather like those who have the comformatic box, most people who have the remapping done seem to endorse it with qualifications on driving style, plus possible complications with warranties and insurance.

My driving experiences seem to mirror those by David in his post that the van slows down going up long inclines when the gearbox tries to stay in 6th and reluctantly changes down when the revs drop and it loses momemtum then changes up again so I have to have to change manually as I do when faced with really hilly parts.

For the record my 'van is just under 2 years old and has around 6000 on the clock, so I will not do any remapping until the manufacturer's warranty expires and it may be that I wait until the engine matures after 10000 as mentioned by others.

My query regarding the comfortmatic is whether any remapping puts any additional strain on the clutch being automatic rather than a manual box.

Thanks again for the responses and comments
Dennis
userBrock
Posted: 14 February 2019 10:34 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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Location: Wirral - 2013 Hymer BClass 504 130bhp


Dennis, has your van got an 'Up' button which you can press to better control the revs through the Comfortmatic? Following Brian Kirby's advice, pressing this button before you hit the hill [you have to be in auto] you should find, according to Fiat's blurb. "With the UP active, the system will select the most appropriate gear on the basis of vehicle speed, engine rpm and pressure on the accelerator pedal, with the aim of overcoming steep gradients in the easiest, most comfortable manner."

I use the Up button regularly. The Comfortmatic isn't perfect in that it can get confused. Also, my 130bhp is never going to be a ball of fire. I have, despite temptations, not gone down the re-mapping route.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 15 February 2019 9:29 AM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 


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


DennisF - 2019-02-14 9:03 PM

...My query regarding the comfortmatic is whether any remapping puts any additional strain on the clutch being automatic rather than a manual box...

Dennis


It’s probable that increasing the output of a Ducato motor with manual transmission is (in principle at least) more likely to result in clutch damage than if the Ducato has ComfortMatic transmission. This is simply because the driver of the manual-gearbox Ducato controls clutch operation, whereas - with ComfortMatic - it’s the transmission that controls the clutch not the driver.

Where recent Ducatos are concerned there are significant ‘mechanical' differences between the 2.3litre 150 and 180 powerplants, and remapping a 150 motor to provide similar bhp/torque figures to a 180 won’t magically convert a 150 into a ‘genuine’ 180.

You are being wise to leave remapping on the back-burner until your Ducato is out of warranty and has a higher mileage. If you then find that manually selecting gears on hills, or exploiting the ‘UP button’ feature have still not addressed your present criticisms, you’ll be in a better position to decide if remapping may be worthwhile.
userDennisF
Posted: 15 February 2019 11:18 AM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
Just joined

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Location: Surbiton, Surrey: Benimar Mileo 301 2017


Thanks Derek & Brock,

I hadn't tried the UP button for inclines when general driving but will give it a go
thanks
Dennis
userBrock
Posted: 15 February 2019 12:08 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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Location: Wirral - 2013 Hymer BClass 504 130bhp


Dennis, if you want a Comfortmatic manual either PM me with your email address and I'll send you the pdf or follow this link

https://tinyurl.com/j9j8px7

userTall_Mike
Posted: 15 February 2019 12:22 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 
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From experience (and I know it goes against the grain of the thread) - With a comfortmatic gear box I would not seek to re-map the engine

Why - The comfortmatic gearbox functions using an electrical pack which is mapped to the engine, the ECU, the brake's accelerator etc. These maps decide when the thing will change gear according to speed, torque etc etc, - and changing the ECU parameters but without changing the Gearbox parameters could have unpredictable results, - it might be great, but it might not.

There is a question about the fragility of these gearboxes, - the engine would take the change just fine, not sure about the gearbox, - discovered that it does have a dual mass flywheel in there, know it has a clutch, - could these take the strain, and if not the repair bill could make me cry.

We have the euro 6 - 150 bhp comfortmatic, - I have never driven a vehicle with an engine that is so tight, and reluctant to rev, we have covered only 750 miles in the van and can really feel it, I understand that this is feature of Euro 6 vans and others have commented. I am expecting to have to cover at least 10k for it to fully loosen.

I would learn to use the gear box, there are options such as manually changing all the time, or manually changing just once plus hill start, hill decent etc, for me the way forward is to use the gearbox as it was designed, find out what works best. The comfortmatic is a compromise at best, turn the radio up and enjoy the ride.

userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 15 February 2019 1:50 PM
Subject: RE: engine re-mapping
 


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


Euro 6 Ducato 150 and 180 2.3litre motors have a dual-mass flywheel whether or not the transmission is manual or ComfortMatic. As far as I’m aware the same clutch unit is also used, irrespective of the transmission type.

As Mike says, there’s no certainty how ComfortMatic would react to the motor being remapped.
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