Well, it’s finally time to get Project STI started and tuned. As with many of our projects, we enlisted the help of Shawn Church of Church Automotive Testing to get this critical task done. Shawn is super well-versed in the tricky art of tuning the OEM ECUs of modern cars and has often straightened out the mistakes of other tuners on our cars.
With a brand new motor, it is important to get it started and up to 2000-3000 rpm quickly to break in the cams and seat the rings quickly. It’s not good for break in to grind the motor on the starter and not have oil pressure either so we wanted to have the best assurance that the car would start off the bat. Lucky for us Shawn is close enough to us to do a house call. Shawn also has enough experience that he can get really close right off the bat. Important since we are running big 1300cc injectors and are converting from Mass Airflow load calculation to Speed Density. Shawn flashed our ECU with his best estimate and guess what, our car started right up!
After running our car with no load between 2000-3000 rpm for about 30 minutes, while Shawn did more adjustments to the fuel map and tweaked the warm-up enrichment curve. We went out for a test drive, and Shawn did some more adjustments while leaving our boost control solenoid wide open to limit boost. We did some short wide open throttle bursts to check for detonation and to help seat the rings. The car’s tune including the difficult part-throttle driveability stuff was pretty damn good. After the initial tune, we changed our oil to get rid of the dirty break-in oil and drove the car for 500 miles, changing the oil and filter again. In the meanwhile, Shawn did some minor tweaks to improve the cold start and cold after-start warm-up driveabilty.