"Best" way to tune a low PSI NA-T Setup? - Page 2 - Lexus IS Forum
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hodgdon Extreme View Post
I doubt there is any tuning solution that is NOT going to require time/effort/experience to sort out discrepancies - even the so-called "plug and play" units. This is speculation on my part, I've no direct experience with PnP units for IS300. Other PnP stuff I've messed with in other applications always had issues and anomalies to work out - which have always been time consuming.

I have extremely high expectations for how well my cars run/drive. 15 years ago, I was pretty satisfied as long as the car started, generally idled, and ran strong at WOT without blowing up. Not anymore. Now I demand the car start perfect hot or cold, idle correctly regardless of fans on/off, AC on/off, battery voltage, coolant temperature, inlet air temp, etc etc etc. The throttle response must be crisp, it must rev cleanly, I must be able to achieve my desired AFR at all times. Etc, etc, etc.

...which is not achievable with a piggyback. They simply do not have enough inputs or adjustments in the software to achieve it. It's kind of like a carburetor; you can get it set up to run the engine and make good power, but the calibration will always be a compromise in some regard and the "drivability" will never be as good as a properly configured ecu.

A quality, fully-featured ecu will allow the calibration to be as good as factory-stock, if (and ONLY if) the schmuck doing the calibration work has the knowledge and puts in the time. Which implies that you'll need to shop around for the right person to do the tuning, and be prepared to pay them for their time. Which also implies that you should be strongly considering their opinion on what tuning solution you get.

Obviously cost is a big factor in all this. My advice is to spend some time writing down very specific goals and outcomes you are trying to achieve - and then shop around getting "quotes" on what it will take to achieve those outcomes.

It's been said many times but bears repeating:

Choose any 2: Fast, Cheap, Quality
I don't like hearing it, nevertheless, I know it's true. Writing down my goals is a good idea and I probably shouldn't slack any longer to do so. I have heard of people using the AEM INFINITY before so I'll look into it. I found a used six-pin on eBay for a reasonable price and Mofab is a pretty reputable shop here if you ask around. I'm not as picky as you are when it comes to performance, I'll be aiming for it to run at the beginning and work off of that. I guess the only way I'll learn is to jump into major pain. What do you think about this listing?


Too old? Looks sketchy? Just right? Thanks to all for being courteous and worthwhile in this endeavour!
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:53 AM
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That harness looks sketchy to me. Need more pics/angles to tell. The problem with PnP, is most of the time they are basic/generic configurations. It’ll have the injectors/ignition/sensors (map, ect, iat) and not much else. Just barebones, “get it running” kind of set up. So you end up running a lot of wires on your own. Honestly it’s not rocket surgery to build your own harness. You will want to use ALL the Infinity features (that’s what you bought it for, right?) like boost control, traction control, oil psi, oil temp, CAN data, MAF clamp, UEGO, 2step/antilag, etc. If you get a PnP, be informed what it will and won’t do. These new standalones have a lot of engine protection integrated in to the control. The more sensors you have, the more protection schemes you can set up. You can still outsmart it and blow things up, but it makes it a bit harder lol.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FRaCTioNaL View Post
I think most of us that have been here for some time agree on that. We can also agree that it probably takes some age to achieve that mentality. Not ragging on you OP, just calling it like I see it (for all I know you could be my age).

I remember I too went through that phase of having tha legendary 2jz and not having the money for a supra but calling it *cringe* a 4dr soopra.

The fact is that the car can be had for pennies but making it fast and reliable is not cheap or economical in any way. Taking into account your local tuners preference is a good recommendation...you could then try to source a used unit if money is an issue.

Good luck!!
No sir, you are spot on. I'm seventeen but I was very lucky to buy this car and have enough time and money to learn with it. Buying a used unit is a good idea but what is the potential for that to go wrong? How should I look for a good, used, item?
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 11:26 AM
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Its kind of a crap shoot. Used stuff I will buy off of people I know...and even then....how can you be 100% sure that a something you cannot see the insides of will work correctly? That the item looks in good conditions could be a good indicator but who knows, other than testing it. Maybe ask whether the stuff has been removed from a good running car? Stuff like that. Unfortunately, there really isn't much you can do.

Originally Posted by Squareback View Post
1-8-7 on the undercova i-s-3-hundgy
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