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Hondata K-Pro Seminar
March 13, 2004, Torrance, CA

Notes by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer ([email protected])

On Saturday, March 13, 2004, Hondata held a tuning seminar at the Torrance Hilton in Los Angeles. This was a free one day seminar meant primarily for existing and prospective Hondata dealers, but also open to enthusiasts and others as long as space permitted. Almost 40 people were present in the morning, fewer in the afternoon.

The seminar covered general Honda tuning concepts and the use of the Hondata s200 system in the morning, and an introduction to the new Hondata K-Pro system in the afternoon. The seminar was presented by Doug MacMillan who, together with his partner Derek Stevens, owns Hondata. Doug was assisted throughout the presentation by Matt of the Hondata staff.

Both MacMillan and Stevens are New Zealanders who relocated to the United States about four years ago to start Hondata. MacMillan has racing experience and still holds the New Zealand land speed record in a 1.6 liter class that he set with a B16 CRX. Now having small children, MacMillan has pretty much given up racing and is concentrating on the tuning of Honda ECUs. His partner Stevens holds a degree in commerce and is the primary author of the Hondata ECU software. Matt is a tech support person who moved from Arizona and has substantial tuning knowledge, both hands on and with the Hondata software. Never having seen MacMillan (Hondata’s avatar on ClubRSX shows a Martian from the movie “Mars Attacks!”) I didn’t know what to expect. Turns out MacMillan is an eloquent man with a dry sense of humor, and much more reminiscent of a computer technologist than of a road racer.

Seminar participants received a CD-ROM that contained the afternoon (but not the morning) presentation in pdf format, a demo version of the s200 ROM Editor, a working version of the s200 datalogger, a working version of the new K-Series ECU Manager, and a few video clips that show the working of VTEC and such.

What follows is my recollection of Doug’s presentation:

Goals of tuning:
- The overall goal should be having educated customers: they should know what to expect and not have unrealistic expectations
- Reliability is important: what is safe and what isn’t, depending on the project
- Repeatability (know all the factors that affect it; synthetic gear oil, for example, takes longer to warm up, water temp, air temp, etc.)
- Maximum power is really only “marketing power.” A complete tuning package also includes easy starting, steady idling and good drivability.
- Road tuning is just as important as dyno tuning; the dyno only tells part of the story and real world conditions are very different.
- Part throttle is very hard to tune (and also to sell as it takes much longer!)
- Tuning for economy/emissions. It IS possible to have BOTH power AND economy. Same for emissions.

Some education:
- A road car is at WOT (Wide Open Throttle) only 0.1% of the time and part throttle 99.9% of the time.
- Part throttle tuning takes much longer (and costs a lot more), but done right makes for much better responsiveness and fuel economy. Some of the replacement chips out there only go for WOT top power. Some of those chips are very specialized, offer no ignition control, and generate error codes. Simply switching those codes off is not a good thing. Doug said 80% of the non-Mugen chips are really just copies of Mugen chips.
- Psychology of VTEC: The VTEC “kick” really shouldn’t be there if the engine is well tuned. Then the curve should be totally smooth. Interestingly, some people think the car with the VTEC “kick” has more power when, in fact, it has less.

Does more peak power always mean faster?

No! Acceleration depends on the power under the dyno curve. Higher peak power can actually generate less acceleration than a car with less peak power. Torque matters! More power between 3,000 and 6,000 is extremely important. The only time when that may be different and peak power becomes an issue is in drag racing.

- Doug asked how high do people rev? Some said as high as 10,500. Doug said that this is hardly ever needed as power drops off with most cams well below that. Hondata usually sets the rev limit about 500 rpm past the power peak. That way when you shift you drop back to a good high rev point, but one with lots of power left. How high should you rev? That depends on the strength of the rods and pistons. And valve bounce can damage pistons.
- Running rich/lean? Proper rich/lean tuning is extremely important. Interesting point brought up by Matt: The Mugen thermostat and similar do not let engine ever warm up all the way so that tuning gets because the engine keeps adding fuel.
- Ignition advance knock: If the spark is fired too soon, the piston is still coming up and the flame front bops into the piston. That can mean broken rods, worn bearings, or blown head gaskets. Sacrificing the last five or ten hp in a highly tuned engine will greatly increase longevity.
- Knock: one problem is that knock sensor reporting to the computer is not very good and the computer isn’t well equipped to accommodate. The knock sensor is actually a microphone; you can put headphones on and hear the knocking and which cylinder knocks.
- Altitude: table columns 1-10 must be tuned for higher altitude operation (Doug went through that quickly)
- Fuel pressure: Some people think higher fuel pressure is better. That is not always so. Low pressure means cooler fuel, pump and injectors. Some pumps actually move lower volume at higher pressure. Basically, higher fuel pressure does not appear what Hondata recommends. 50-60 psi is the max Hondata recommends.

Dyno repeatability
- Water temperature should be 180-195 degrees, and use datalogging
- Gearbox must be warmed up, especially with synthetic oil
- Keep intake temperature consistent
- A plug here for the Hondata intake gasket (now available for makes other than just Hondas). Intake manifold is aluminum and heats up when it really should be cool. The intake manifold is NOT a heat sink and the gasket does NOT hurt. Bypassing the heating on the throttle body (which some people do) amounts to perhaps 20% of the lowered temperature and the Hondata intake gasket 80%.
- Turn off the knock sensor and switch to open loop.

Tuning for torque
- Rough rule: 10% fuel change = 1 Air/Fuel point
- At peak torque engine needs most fuel and is least sensitive (to what?)
- The fuel curve is shaped very much like the torque curve
- After the torque peak, remove fuel
- For extended high speed running (endurance, etc.) run richer
- 2D curves must be smooth over the rpm range (lines in the graph should be parallel and have no sharp drops and rises). Load lines should never cross each other

Tuning for max power
- The top one or two rows matter most (rightmost one or two columns in the table?)
- Use the 2d view extensively to get it right

Stock Honda fuel map
- They are loaded in the software and you can pull them up
- They are nice and smooth and parallel

Optimize starting and idling
- Unplug idle control valve and adjust screw
- Cranking ignition values are in the first two rows, columns 8-10 in the table. Note that ignition is actually retarded there
- Idling control opens or closes the IAC
- For bigger injectors increase the target idle
- Advance ignition and lean via emulator
- Best idle around 830

Road tuning
- Dyno is different from road and different dynos load the engine differently
- Underhood airflow is different between dyno and road tuning
- WOT air/fuel seems richer on a dyno than on the road
- G sensor can measure horsepower during road tuning

- The knock sensor is a tuned microphone. You can build one from a speaker amp ($30).
- A knock processor will retard ignition by 12 degrees when it detects a knock, then adds 1 degree per second until it bumps into knocking again
- Knock sounds like a sharp ticking

Economy and emissions
- Add more ignition advance in part throttle
- Hint: add 5 degree timing around 1200-3500
- Don’t forget to switch back to closed loop after tuning!
- Doug mentioned examples of cars that failed to pass with the stock ECU but passed without problems with Hondata
- Doug feels that a well tuned OBD-1 computer does better than a OBD-II computer

- Use saturated injectors (12 ohms) like the new 440 and 550s from RC Engineering
- 550 cc injectors at 50psi fuel pressure can handle approximately 320-350 whp
- The Honda stock fuel pump is good for 250-290 whp

Tuning procedure
- Take your Helms service manual
- Set ignition timing to stock
- Set VTEC high (7000) and tune WOT and part throttle
- Set VTEC low (2000) and repeat WOT and part throttle
- Set the VTEC crossover RPM
- (Note: this was covered much too quickly)

What does Datalogging do?
- Measures intake system efficiency with MAP
- Shows short and long term fuel trim (computer adjusts short term according to Oxygen sensor readings to a long term fuel trim value over a period of time, days, weeks) Watch for bad Oxygen sensors! Resetting the ECU sets the long term fuel trim back to zero.
- Shows intake air temperature compared to outside
- Shows injector duty cycle (should be under 90%). 100% means they’re always open.
- Monitor TW > 180 and TA = consistent
- Set launch RPM and ECU type

Tuning with A/F ratio
General hints:
- Use a COLD AIR INTAKE! Hondata tested the Comptech Icebox. It has better flow and is better than the stock airbox, but does not perform as well as a CAI.
- Use the Hondata heatshield gasket
- Insulate/wrap your intake
- A CAI can provide an additional 0.3-0.7 psi more boost underhood. Hot air costs boost pressure.
- The JRSC needs very little timing retard vs. stock
- Turbo retard 18-20 degrees from 12 psi up
- (Note: this was covered very quickly)

Doug mentioned Erick’s Racing 9.99 second ¼-mile Civic that has 300+ wheel hp on a 2.2 liter engine with the stock ignition and 10,500 rpm limit.

Demo of the Hondata s200 ROM Editor

Note: Hondata’s s200 system does not pertain to the RSX. It is for older Honda engines. However, using the s200 is fairly similar to using the new K-Series ECU Manager software, and a lot of the principles and settings discussed by Doug apply to the K-Series as well.

The Hondata ROM Editor lets you manipulate the fuel and ignition tables built into a Honda ECU. You can then upload a new or modified calibration into the ECU.

Data can be viewed either as a table, a 2D graph or a 3D graph. The rows in those tables represent engine rpm and columns represent engine load measured in pressure. Honda ECUs have separate ignition and fuel tables (and the K-Series also has cam angle tables) for the low and the high speed cams. The ROM Editor therefore lets you toggle between low and high speed cam tables. Note that low cam and high cam maps have different resolution and scaling. Even within a cam table, rpm differences between rows in the table are not always the same. The overall idea is to tweak values in cells or “tuning positions.”

You start by loading a map for a particular car. Start with one that has the most similar components as the motor you use. Some stock maps have settings for a particular feature, like an intake manifold with specific characteristics.

How do you edit data points in the table? You can change individual values. Or you can change a bunch of values all at once. Or you can select a bunch of points and then use an “interpolate points” feature. That comes in handy when a curve is rough and needs to be smoothed out. Or you can select all points of the table and advance everything by a couple of degrees and see what it does on the dyno.

Once all the desired changes are made the modified maps can be saved under a descriptive name and uploaded into the ECU.

Doug then demonstrated the injector sizing calculator. They allow you to set larger injector size, different fuel pressure and then scale the tables accordingly. He said that the K-Series runs a wide-band oxygen sensor which allows for more accurate recording.

Settings for forced induction and nitrous

Supercharged cars love low VTEC points, but that is not always desirable for daily driving, so the ROM Editor allows you to set the VTEC point so that it comes on, but ONLY at certain amount of boost (“boost-activated VTEC”). Else, the VTEC would come off and on and off and on during part throttle driving, which is very bad for economy. Doug said Hondata can set dry nitrous systems on and off automatically, depending on certain conditions. He said that nitrous is very efficient. You can get far more power from 440 injectors with nitrous than from a supercharger. Or you can use nitrous to cool the intake charge or to reduce turbo lag. Or set it so that it won’t spray under certain speeds or above certain revs.

Under Options you can turn off certain sensors which certain ECUs may not have. Under Notes you can describe what you did/changed and other particulars about a chip.

Datalogging and target lambda

Target Lambda is the air/fuel ratio you want to achieve using a wideband meter wired into the oxygen sensor. You datalog, then load the run and analyze. If it shows too rich or too lean in areas, you select those and then add or subtract fuel via a dialog box. One view shows duty cycle on selected injectors in percent. That way you can see if your injectors are adequate. Note: Stock oxygen sensors cannot be used for accurate datalogging! Also note that K-Series Oxygen sensor measures current not voltage and A/F gauge will NOT work on it, and even mess things up.

Other interesting facts:

- Interesting: air scoops and ram air should be low on car as swoopy hood and top increases air speed and thus lowers pressure, just as on an airplane wing. For best ram charging the scoop should be underneath.
- A G-Sensor can be added inside the s200 box for acceleration figures.
- MAP sensor can show you how your air intake is doing. If there is too much of a vacuum, you need more air (à CAI).
- One of the obvious pros in the audience referred to the “infamous hesitation issue” – That was Honda code relating to emission controls. Revision 37 of ROM fixed it. Apparently you can download new ROM revs from Hondata’s website
- Note that the rev limiter does NOT keep engine from over-revving during a misshift.
- Starting/cranking is in upper right part of the data table. Do not have much advance there, perhaps even zero or less.
- Honda ignition timing is very conservative to accommodate for very poor fuel.

Hondata uses the PLX wideband sensor ( or the more expensive XJL (FJL?) for datalogging and road tuning.

Afternoon session: the Hondata K-Pro

The Hondata K-Pro system consists of an added circuit board to the standard ECU, the K-Series ECU Manager software, and a number of preconfigured calibration maps. How is it different from the Hondata reflash? The reflash is a one-shot recalibration of the ECU whereas the K-Pro is programmable and can recalibrate the ECU again and again. Whereas the Hondata initially tuned their static ECU reflashes for what was available at the time, i.e. basic header, AEM CAI, etc., the K-Pro, written by Derek Stevens, can be used for tuning and finetuning any supported vehicle with all sorts of add-ons. The initial product is for the US K-Series Type-S, but Hondata is also working on a K-Pro for the Civic Si and for European market Civic Type Rs.

Unlike the s200 system, K-Pro does programming and datalogging all in one. It has integrated wideband to take advantage of the Type-S’s wideband sensor. Doug feels the K-Pro is the best engine computer programming system, period. Uploading is via USB port that gets installed in the stock ECU in addition to a daughterboard that contains the interface to the Honda ECU. You can even upload a new map into the ECU while the car is running. It burbles a bit, then resumes.

What did Hondata find as they analyzed the RSX Type-S ECU?
- Runs very rich at high rpm
- Has conservative ignition timing, tuned for low emission at high mileage.
- VERY sensitive to the knock sensor (could explain dyno power differences in stock Type-S engines
- Once tuned, more power, same or better emission, better economy.

Basics: What makes power?
- The motor is really an air pump
- Put in as much air as possible
- Add proper fuel and ignite it at right time
- Make sure exhaust doesn’t restrict

VTEC = Variable Timing Electronic Control
VTC = Variable Timing Control
- 50 degree movement, constantly changing
- Settings for power and emissions.
- Cam angle can swing 50 degrees.
- There are six maps for 0, 10. 20. 30, 40, 50 degrees.
- VTC Control valve and actuator engage and disengage VTEC.
- Advance and retard chambers inside the actuator wheel moves parts inside (see video clip on CD)

K-Series ECU Manager software: frequently check for updates as there’s one every few days.

The initial download of the ECU software from a car takes 30 seconds or so and the car can’t run while doing it. Uploads of calibrations, however, only takes a few seconds and can be done while running. Here Doug mentioned that the Honda ECU has a backup processor that allows you to limp home even if the main processor fails (maybe the backup takes over while the new calibration is loaded?)

Doug emphasized that the cam angle is the most important aspect of tuning the K-Series engine. About 2500 dyno runs form the basics of the current software and maps.

The K-Series ECU Manager software has datalogging built-in. ROM Editor and Datalogger are combined here, but for now the software only has graphs and tables, and not the dials and other representations found in the s200 software.

Doug then went through some of the settings of the software. For example,

- Multiplexer off – temp gauge and some others will not display.
- Immobilizer can be turned off (not recommended)
- Fuel trim: #3 cylinder typically runs a bit hotter so you can add fuel
- For tuning, turn off closed loop because you want to be in open loop.
- Knock: you can set it so that MIL light flashes whenever it knocks. “K Count” is in the Sensors list and shows how often computer felt the engine knocked. Knock is a stored value, long-term. You can go see where the knocks occur and then see if the AF ratio is okay. If so, then check ignition advance. There can be dozens or hundreds of knock counts in a second (zoom in to see closely).

While the variable cam timing is terrific for tuning, having a constantly moving cam also means that it takes a longer time to tune all this. Doug explained that when tuning a car and developing the optimal calibrations, they actually do dynos at each angle (I think) then see where the cam likes to be for best power at each rpm.

For turbo VTEC tuning:
- there is greater exhaust backpressure; that means cam angles/overlap must be reduced to accommodate
- retarding cam can mean picking up 40 horsepower at high RPM.
- In general, with high backpressure you should retard the cam angles and raise the VTEC point, with low backpressure the opposite

Proper tuning at the VTEC point
Getting cam angle at VTEC point right is very important and one of the most difficult tuning tasks. If not done right, the curve is bumpy and performance suffers.
- Cam takes 0.1 seconds to rotate 10 degrees, so you have to start rotating the cam angle before VTEC so that the low cam and high cam angles are not far apart at the VTEC Point
- Done right, the VTEC switch noise is greatly reduced
- It’s better to sacrifice a bit of power before VTEC to gain it after
- Hardest to do on turbo motors!

Doug briefly talked about extreme cams. There are no really wild cams for the K-Series yet, but there are experimental ones that Hondata checked out. Add lots of timing at low end for impressive torque gains, raise idle speed, reduce overlap in part throttle.

Supercharged engines:
- Tuning is really similar to NA larger motor.
- It loves overlap.
- Cam angle affects boost in manifold
- Low cam VTC 45-50 degrees
- High cam VTC 50 degrees and then down to 40 from 7000 rpm on up
- The higher the RPM, the higher the boost. (Greddy turbo actually got less boost at higher RPM)
- However, more boost does not necessarily mean more power
- Street JRSC had 212-220 whp, went up to around 250 with Hondata.

Example of Greddy turbo K-Pro tuning on a Type-S showed 50 hp gain over simple e-manage “patches.”

Doug said the use of nitrous was much safer with the K-Pro. He recommended a dry system. Wet nitrous system not a very happy match with Type S because at redline Type S cuts off fuel whereas nitrous continues, instantly leaning things to catastrophic levels. Nitrous works quite well with boosted engines. They get higher boost (by about 0.5 psi) and the supercharger acts as a nitrous mixer. Hondata tried a JRSC with 7 PSI and N2O. The nitrous dry system added boost but they found the belt slipping at high RPM (Doug runs DC twin canister exhaust and 7psi on his car). Ignition should be retarded, the system needs larger injectors, and nitrous should be shot off before redline. With turbo engines, nitrous can reduce turbo lag by spooling up the turbine more quickly.

Tuning for intakes:
Through the presentation Doug often came back to recommending cold air intakes. For tuning purposes it is important to know the resonance point of a CAI. The AEM CAI has resonance point of 5200, the short ram AEM V2 at about 5900. There is a torque peak and often lean spot at the resonance point. You can tune for different intakes. Doug mentioned that pressurized intakes can really make a difference. Build a box around it to force air into it.

Intake manifolds:
Doug showed some dyno runs of stock Type-S versus the Integra Type R intake manifold which has slightly fatter runners, and so should do better. However, the horsepower difference is primarily at the high end.

Fuel cooling and such:
Injector positioning: They should be at the top of the runner. This would be bad for emissions but good for power. Doug also spoke of the power benefits of cooling fuel. 20 degree Celsius difference means 1% more power. A company called specializes on all sorts of cooling and insulating materials and methods.

A variety of tuning pitfalls:
- Valve spring pressure too high is bad news as there isn’t enough lubrication.
- Cams can be installed incorrectly.
- TPS and MAP sensor can be reversed.
- MAP not relocated in supercharger.

Doug mentioned which did interesting work on exhaust flow on Type-S

Effects of various mods:
A stock K20A2 engine makes between 160 and 175 wheel hp. That is quite a big difference in a modern precision engine and it could be because of different sensitivity in knock sensor. Doug went on to show dyno sheets of a variety of mods they added to a stock motor.

Hondata added almost 20 hp on top, AEM CAI another 10, Greddy catback added a bit, ITR cams another 15 hp. Raceheaders from Comptech added yet another 15 up to almost 230. ITR manifold added a bit of high-end. Titanium exhaust and pulleys added a few. Finally they installed a ported big valve head with Toda cams, for a result of almost 250 whp. A Hytech exhaust, 12:1 pistons, cams and intake raised that figure up to 270.

Another project (Hasport/Jackson Racing Civic Type R) replaced the K20A2 bottom with a K24 CRV bottom. This brought 40 pounds extra torque, but power dropped off quicker at the high end. Initial peak power was 210 whp. They added an 8psi JRSC and got torque of over 230 foot-pounds and over 290 whp.

Who uses Hondata?
Honda America Race Team (HART). Erick’s Racing got 9.99s ¼ mile. DC Sport RSX-S Turbo.

Doug said they also have what he called a “Show Car Special” K-Pro. It comes with flashing blue LEDs (which do absolutely nothing but flash) and a clear plastic case for twice the price.

K-Series Bang-for the buck list of mods:
- Intake Gasket
- ECU Reflash
- Header/Exhaust
- K-Pro and tuning
- Nitrous and/or boost
- Cams
- K24 bottom end swap

The Calibration Verification Number
There is a Calibration Verification Number (CVN) that in the future may be used to see if an ECU program has been modified. This number is not currently checked even in California. Setting a reflashed ECU back to standard by Hondata sets it back to original. That factory program was not in the K-Pro when it originally shipped, but will be added shortly. Doug says they could, however, fool the computer into returning the stock number (which is really a checksum). Simply reloading the stock calibration in a K-Pro modified ECU will NOT return the original CVN number. For that, the K-Pro-modified ECU would have to be completely reset to stock.

Q&A at the end of the seminar:

How long does it take to tune a K-Pro system?
A vehicle that is fairly close to stock, not too long, but as soon as you try to be very precise it can take a day or more, and even more for turbo vehicles. Compared to OBD-I it takes at least twice as long.

At what point should one go from the Hondata reflash to the K-Pro?
Doug seems to think primarily when you get into more serious mods.

Are there plans for a G-Sensor like the one available for the s200?
Not a high priority.

Will the K-Pro become available for other engines?
First the Civic Si and the Euro Civic R, then possibly the US RSX base.

They fit a JRSC to a base! Cables on throttle body are reversed on base. They turned the whole thing around. Sounds like it’s just a theoretical project.

Will Hondata do something for the Honda S2000?
Problem is that the S2000 ECU is non-programmable. So they’d have to replace the ECU. Also, the S2000 sensors and pickups are very different.

Does it make sense to use peak&hold injectors:
Doug says saturated injectors fit much smoother into standard engines. Peak & holds require extra drivers and can be made to work, but it takes quite a bit of extra work.

What’s that big black chip on the upper left of the ECU?
That controls the wideband oxygen sensor. It’s almost its own computer. Doug says it took them almost a year to figure out what it was.

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More notes found

Hondata Notes

These notes were taken by darren kattan and wiliam davidson.

Myth Busters
• Performance wise, backpressure is never a good thing.
• Cold Air Intakes work well, opt for plastic instead of metal. Metal intakes conduct heat. AEM V2 intakes are good because of the Resonance Point and also the heat shield.
• Headers decrease backpressure and are great to tune on RSX motors because you can set valve overlap for cylinder scavaging.
• A good exhaust system also helps decrease the backpressure.
• Mugen Chips disable most error codes so problems won’t get detected. They run extremely rich and can cause damage to engine.
• JET charges $300 for a sticker on the chip inside your ECU
o The processor inside of OBD 2 ECUs is read only, non reprogrammable
• VTEC should be a very smooth transition. VTEC feels faster when it “kicks” because a person is better at feeling an instant change in horsepower than an overall increase in horsepower.
• Peak horsepower isn’t nearly as important to going fast as average horsepower.
o Peak Horsepower is the highest point on the graph
• Average horsepower is the area under the entire graph
• Stock Honda fuel pumps can support up to 400 hp at stock rail pressure
o They can only support 200 hp at 75 psi. rail pressure
o FMUs and Aftermarket Fuel pressure regulators can raise fuel pressure to 75+ psi. This is why aftermarket fuel pumps have to be used in conjunction with an FMU.
o FMUs also overwork injectors and fuel pump, causing them to heat the fuel, and decreasing their lives.
• High Octane fuel doesn’t vaporize immediately; it will melt pistons on the exhaust stroke. Always use the lowest octane possible for your application to ensure complete combustion.

• Need new young blood in salt flats for racing in Bonneville.
• Resonance point (bottle blowing) on AEM 3500rpm V2 is 5900 rpm. The longer the pipe, the lower the resonance point. At 4000, will also help 8000.
• Knock Sensor Retards Timing. It is very sensitive in the RSX.
• Forged Pistons can cause knock sensor to retard timing.
• Air Fuel Ratio Determined on Dyno will generally run 1 half point richer on the street.
• On an RSX, the wideband sensor doesn’t give out a linear voltage output, it is current driven (digital). Don’t hook it up to an Air Fuel Ratio gauge. Hook the gauge to the Narrowband sensor instead.
• When tuning, set the Rev limit 500 rpm above peak horsepower
• 03 Civic SI 0-60 time can decrease by an entire second by raising the Redline 500 rpm above the peak horsepower. Change Redline to 7600.
o This increases the Average horsepower because you are adding a huge chunk of area to the chart.
o Don’t set past 8300. Valves will start bouncing.
• 03+ RSX Type S Valves bounce at 9300; Redline can safely be set to 8600. Internals are the same as the Type R. 8600 is the Type R redline
Injectors and Fuel Pumps
• Use Saturated injectors whenever possible
o Huge Peak and Hold injectors don’t respond fast enough on Hondas and can cause rough idle.
• Use bigger injectors on superchargers especially because they take more fuel than turbos to make the same amount of power.
Part Throttle Tuning

• Part Throttle tuning is very important and hard to do. Most street cars spend 99.9% of their lives at part throttle.
• Part Throttle Tuning results in overall better gas mileage.
o A turbocharged GS-R can retain 33 mpg fuel economy when part throttle is properly tuned.
Dyno Tuning Procedure with Hondata
• Set distributor to stock setting (16 degrees on B series)
• Disable closed loop.
• Set fuel pressure to stock.
• Tune low VTEC first (Refer to VTEC tuning)
• Make sure water temp is between 180-195 degrees according to the ECU
o There are two coolant temperature sensors on B series, one for ECU and one for gauge.
• Let Transmission warm up.
• Watch Intake Air Temperature, keep it consistent.
o Hondata intake manifold gasket keeps manifold temperatures consistent
o Heat transfers very quickly from the aluminum intake manifold to the air going into the engine. Run car at 3000 RPM for 10 seconds to cool intake manifold before dyno run.
• When tuning, use computer to disable knock sensor. Knock sensor can and will retard ignition timing causing false readings.
• For Naturally Aspirated cars, ideal Air/Fuel ratio at Wide Open Throttle is 13.0 – 13.5

• For Forced Induction cars, ideal Air/Fuel ratio at Wide Open Throttle is 11.5-12.5
• 10% change in fuel will change A/F Ratio about 1 point.
• Listen for knock; don’t rely on stock B series knock sensor.
• Fuel Curve will be shaped very similarly to the torque curve.
o The most fuel will be needed at peak torque
o Remove fuel after peak torque
o On K-Series engines, 5+ horsepower can be realized by removing fuel from the top end.
o However, if the car is made of long distant high speed driving, more fuel will increase reliability. (That is why Honda put the fuel there in the first place)
• When tuning for emissions, add 5 degrees timing between 1200-3500 rpm, use launch control to heat cat.
• When using ROM Editor, always check for newest versions of ROM files. (File, Convert Rom)
• Numbers on fuel map represent how much fuel is delivered per revolution (Representative of Injector Duration).
• Restrictive intakes cause torque (fuel) to drop out at higher RPMs.
o Watch map sensor value at high RPM to see if it goes into vacuum.
o By installing a better flowing intake, more air can be crammed in the cylinder and therefore more fuel will be needed at higher RPMs. This will increase high end performance.
• Forced Induction vehicles generally have flat fuel (torque) curves.
• Fuel curves in 2D mode should be flat not bumpy. They should never intersect. Usually a 4-2-4 ratio. 4 lines on bottom, 2 in middle, 4 on top. Boost curved will be very flat and smooth.
VTEC Tuning
• Tune low VTEC maps first, then tune high VTEC maps
o Set VTEC very high (7000) then set VTEC low (3000)
Nitrous Tuning
• Dry kits are easier to tune with Hondata than wet kits.
• Begin tuning by adding a lot of fuel and measure air/fuel ratio. Cut back fuel until ideal air/fuel ratio is achieved.
• On cars where rev limit is fuel based wet nitrous systems can provide enough fuel to keep the engine spinning beyond the redline, but not enough to do this safely. The engine can lean out and severely damage your car. To prevent this, set the nitrous to shut off before hitting the redline.
Data Logging
• Rom Editor has 10 channel data logging across top of screen.
• Hondalogger has 40 channels of data logging
• Map sensor drop off because of Ventury effect or restrictive intake. Plug map sensor close to the #4 intake. Bigger throttle body, non restrictive intake.
• Intake manifold acts as a big heat sink. Disperses heat into the intake air. Hondata gasket reduces intake air temperature, gives more part throttle power because air in the manifold is colder and denser.
• Clean IAT sensor. Sometimes can get covered in oil.
• Ram air effect measured by map sensor.
• Hondalogger can read long and short term fuel trim. Also can log multiple recordings in one file.
• Fuel trim is dependant on O2 sensor. Make sure you have a good O2 sensor after you are finished tuning. Fuel trim gets screwed up with bad O2 sensor
• Don’t run injectors past 80% duty cycle.
• IAT sensor adjusts fuel.
• Wideband
• Can plug in numbers for LSU sensor.
Auto tune
• Good tuners don’t use auto tune. Requires a set amount of time at each RPM.
K-series Tuning
• Look up cam angle, then look at ignition at that cam angle, then look at fuel at that cam angle.
• To do high cam, set all cam angles to 50, then tune fuel and ignition. Ignition doesn’t change much; fuel can change up to 10% between all maps.
• When engine is cold, cam is set to fully retarded position. Takes 10 seconds from start for engine warm up procedures to take effect and for cam to unlock.
• .5 degree per click for ignition timing for K series, .25 degree per click for OBD 1
• RSX wideband is very accurate.
• Don’t let anyone believe that setting VTC (cam timing) at one fixed point will help anything. (VTC killer cam gear)
• Set Closed loop to 110 kPa for boost
• Honda doesn’t trust Americans to put good fuel in their cars, so they tune for crap fuel.
• Increase overlap accordingly; see VTC and Turbo, NA and SC.
• Honda planned for 3-2 shifts by tuning the exhaust springs.
• Retard for emissions, advance for power.
• With header and intake, advance cam timing 5-10 degrees.
• Overlap allows for header to pull air throw intake and into cylinder.
• Cam and Camcmd is a sensor that tells the ECU where the cam is.
• Put cam at maximum advance when VTEC engages.
• Take baffle out of exhaust before dyno tune.
• Bracketing, raise cam timing (+5), and then lower it (-5), see at what points you gain and lose horsepower.

VTC and Turbos
• Retard VTEC and raise VTEC for high backpressure
• Just before VTEC switch, start moving the cam to where it needs to be after VTEC (needs to be all the way advanced for VTEC so start advancing) so that it doesn’t have to move 30 degrees at the VTEC engagement point.
• Really hard on a turbo motor.
Wild Cams
• Raise Idle Speed, Retard VTC.

VTC and Superchargers
• VTC likes to be at 50 degrees for superchargers all the time. High and low cam. Loves overlap. Advance means more overlap. More boost doesn’t mean more power, because the pressure in the manifold is building when the cams aren’t set right. This is why other vehicle manufacturers use MAFs.

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1 Posts
There’s a hell of a lot of generalisations there wow, specially that real tuners don’t use auto tune that’s a great one. I’ve seen clever autotune setups net PT as well as WOT head to head there was very little between human pro calibration and the auto tune with the right EMS.

Maybe this is more about the iteration time per cell on the Kpro and the fact it could never safely auto tune.

superchargers like overlap? why?


· Registered
151 Posts
Both MacMillan and Stevens are New Zealanders who relocated to the United States about four years ago to start Hondata.
i spent the afternoon with mr macmillan when he drop in at work about 4 weeks ago among holiday travels back to NZ. Top guy!

supafly said:
MacMillan has racing experience and still holds the New Zealand land speed record in a 1.6 liter class that he set with a B16 CRX.
unfortunately cant run land speed days here no more. by his crx was very competitive mostly due to his complete understay and suspension set up.
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