chip tuning - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Performance MODS for the R170 Tuning and Performance modifications for your SLK

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#1 Old 01-18-2015
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chip tuning

I know this has probably been done before but I would like to know if anyone can give me some specific advice regarding having my SLK 230 2004 R170 chip tuned.
I have been told that it will increase HP by around 15 % together with better mpg and overall performance but having trawled the net there seems to be more negative views than positive. For example a number of people seem to think it is is not possible to increase the performance of a supercharged engine with chip tuning.
What I would really like to know is if forum members feel it is worth having this done ? I understand that some people seem to suggest that a new pulley system is the better way to go.

Also there seems to be some guys who suggest going down the sprint booster route. Again I have seen a lot of negative comments about this with the overall conclusion that by just having a heavier right foot you can achieve the same result !

Since I would like to increase the performance of my car, I welcome advice on these two mods.

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#2 Old 01-18-2015
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Sweet04 should chime in when he logs in. or search for his threads on the subject. he has a slk 32 so is in a different category than your 230. chance are, what you have, is what you have.

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#3 Old 01-21-2015
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The way I understand it, chip tuning does a couple of things:

1. adjusts the air and fuel mixture ratio
2. may remove any top speed limiters
3. may change shift points on your transmission, depending on what kind of car and which computer controls the tranny.

Mostly, a chip tune adjusts #1 above. In some cases, it can increase horsepower by throwing any fuel economy settings out the window. Not sure how else it would accomplish this, since I'm not an engineer or anything.

Most people that have a chip tune done, do so in conjunction with some other mods so that the tune can take advantage of the mods. For example, if you increased your air that can reach your engine by means of a larger intake system and high flow filters, you would want a tune to adjust the fuel mixture to match the extra amount of air that is now available to your engine to maximize efficiency and power. Otherwise, you will have too much air and not enough fuel, or what is referred to as "running lean". If you have too much fuel and not enough air, it is referred to as "running rich". (I may have that backwards, btw).

Same thing with the supercharger pulleys. If you make your supercharger spin faster by means of a pulley upgrade, a tune will help dial in the air/fuel mixture ratio for optimal performance.

In my experience, the tune by itself does change the way the car behaves, but it's not a mod that should be expected to do wonders. It should, imo, be a mod to help make the other mods safer and more optimal. Mods that actually give you more power, like an intake or a pulley...

Hope this helps.

Again, I could be completely wrong in everything I said, all I know is what I have been told by others
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#4 Old 01-21-2015
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I see you mentioned a Sprintbooster. The way I understand it, a Sprintbooster module does one thing: changes the signal that goes to the engine computer from the pedal.

With that in mind, think of it this way:

If you push your foot down on the pedal 25%, the pedal reports to the engine computer that it's being depressed 25%. If you push it halfway, it reports 50%, 75%, 100%, you get the picture.

With a Sprintbooster inline and installed, if you push the pedal down 25%, it will change the signal and "lie" to the engine computer telling it that you pressed it 50% for example, and in effect, fooling the engine to rev up higher and add more fuel and air into the chambers. If you press down halfway with your foot, it may report 100%, or completely floored. The theory behind this is that it minimizes the time it takes your pedal to travel all the way down to 100%, saving you a few precious tenths of a second in a drag race, when that sort of thing matters.

If you don't drag race, a Sprintbooster can in some people, "fool your senses" into thinking that your car is now more powerful and faster since you only pressed it down 1/4 of the way and your car lurches forward as if you pressed it halfway down. Some people like this and there is nothing wrong with getting one installed just for this purpose.

The only thing is, once the Sprintbooster reports 100% to the computer, one would assume that the rest of the pedal travel distance physically will do nothing more, since it reached 100% before it reached the bottom of the floorboard.
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#5 Old 01-22-2015
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yes that's correct I fitted one to my bmw330ci and initially it gives the impression of more oomph but in reality its just giving more throttle than your foot is pressing you will get the same results by pressing the pedal further than you normally would .imho it made getting into tight parking spots and slow moving traffic jams a nightmare mine was an auto probably not as bad with a manual
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#6 Old 01-25-2015
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I have a fair bit of knowledge on reprogramming for the Rover V8 engines, mainly in TVRs and Morgans (both supplied by TVR Power in the UK), Range/Land Rovers and kit cars.

A brief caveat: what goes for one CPU generally goes for all but there are variations and if you are considering messing around with your car, I’d seek advice from at least a couple of tuners. Certainly don't take my advice - even I wouldn't do that.

Most RV8s have the 14CUX module fitted and the modifications you can perform are limited to, more or less, air/fuel mixture. Those requiring more control often fit after-market ones. Some are a DIY-fest, others require some form of knowledge base or a pro to do it for you.

Altering the air/fuel mixture has limited effects on power but can change the characteristics of the engine. The 14CUX, as with any CPU, is set up as a compromise for altitude, temperature, driving locations such as town or country, performance requirements and more. My experience is that this compromise is normally just the thing for the vast majority of drivers. However, if you drive in mountains all the time, or in hot countries, then lucky you of course, but mods might make it a better drive but not necessarily more powerful.

However, if you modify your engine in some way, such as a 'sports' exhaust (the definition varies), porting, a change of camshaft to, for instance, a high-lift, long dwell one, or a favourite, alter the inlet trumpets or the box they come in, then it is unlikely you will obtain all, or any, of the potential benefits of the upgrade without modifying the CPU's programming.

The only sure way of doing this is on a rolling road. Some people suggest they can do this when driving, but to get the best from any tuning, I’d say RR every time.

If you have picked your modifications with care then performance advantages await but do not expect a tremendous change for the better.

An example I know about consisted of an RV8 with a fast road cam, de-catting (actually illegal in the UK, but this chap was taking his car abroad), exhaust mods with stainless manifolds, new fully-programmable CPU and a very nice looking carbon fibre triple throttle plenum box (Ł2000 on its own but stunning. I really fancied it). The owner of this 4.3 litre Rover V8 in a TVR Chimaera got nearly half the performance improvement he would have got, and at twice the price, as if he’d replaced his engine with a 5-litre unit.

It was explained to me by a chap who produces performance parts, especially lovely carbon fibre bits, for TVRs and other sports cars for a living:

“If you are after better performance, and have a tight budget, then a simple replacement of ignition parts and, if the car is ageing, perhaps having injectors cleaned, is the best route. However, if you are after better performance and have no budget limitations, then replace the ignition parts and have the injectors cleaned.”

I said to him that this was no way to sell his tuning parts, but he said that most people buy them for two reasons: they look good, and it is something to boast about in the pub.

I drove a TVR with a 4-litre TVR Speed 6 engine and fully programmable CPU both before and after it being on a rolling road. There was a distinct improvement - the engine felt much smoother. However, I did not use full throttle before the tune (I’m not silly and nor do I have a death wish - the engine gave out more than 360bhp and there was no traction control) so any performance advantage was merely academic.

I wrote a book on the RV8 engine and I got dozens of phone calls from people asking for my advice on tuning. I'd ask them stock questions and it normally ended up with them opting for the cosmetic route, and most, if not all, were happy with the result.

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