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  1. #1
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Question about piggyback tunes

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    So far, it seems Apr and Epl cant crack the Ecu open and we have to remain on piggyback tunes. My question is aren't they dangerous to the engine or gearbox? Because all of what they are doing are cheating the engines ecu to add more air and boost but there is no talk about protection routines, like allowing the ECU to make constant adjustments to airflow and fuel to cool and protect the engine?

  2. #2
    Established Member Two Rings aistis72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logtec View Post
    So far, it seems Apr and Epl cant crack the Ecu open and we have to remain on piggyback tunes. My question is aren't they dangerous to the engine or gearbox? Because all of what they are doing are cheating the engines ecu to add more air and boost but there is no talk about protection routines, like allowing the ECU to make constant adjustments to airflow and fuel to cool and protect the engine?
    Piggyback systems also can be detected, donít trust if someone sais otherwise, if you start mess with ecu you take all responsibility and if something happens you will take all responsibility, so I say stay stock and drive without any pain in your head ( maybe exhaust system you can change to have better sound)


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  3. #3
    Stage 2 Banner Advertiser Two Rings Aaron@DTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logtec View Post
    So far, it seems Apr and Epl cant crack the Ecu open and we have to remain on piggyback tunes. My question is aren't they dangerous to the engine or gearbox? Because all of what they are doing are cheating the engines ecu to add more air and boost but there is no talk about protection routines, like allowing the ECU to make constant adjustments to airflow and fuel to cool and protect the engine?
    It really depends on the piggyback philosophy and what sensors they are modifying. The DTE unit modifies the boost and intake signal based on the RPM. Since AFR and fuel are not being modified, the ECU creates the safest environment for the additional flow by adding more fuel as required. All factory safeguards remain in place including knock and AFR modulation by the ECU,

    If you modify the AFR from a piggyback standpoint, you can create a dangerous environment where the ECU cannot use all its safeguards to ensure the car does not run too lean.

    Finally, the piggyback unit cannot be detected as long as it is removed prior to service. This has been confirmed by many Audi master techs and now two years of service and warranty visits all around the globe. This is a misconception that continues to be incorrectly propagated throughout various outlets. Several outlets have disclaimers when joining explaining that this topic is no longer up for discussion as it has been proven time and again that the piggyback unit being detected after removal is not true.
    DT Power - Official US distributor for DTE Systems


  4. #4
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by aistis72 View Post
    Piggyback systems also can be detected, donít trust if someone sais otherwise, if you start mess with ecu you take all responsibility and if something happens you will take all responsibility, so I say stay stock and drive without any pain in your head ( maybe exhaust system you can change to have better sound)


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    I'm not saying its 100% NOT possible but I've yet to hear of a single person (in the Audi car world) to be detected with a piggyback unless they didn't remove the device before service (duh) which I have heard believe it or not. Even if the car records an "over boost" error there are other variables that can trigger this on a completely stock car.

    To the OP I have followed Burger Motorsport and their JB1/4 units for sometime now so I will only talk about them as I know limited info about DTUK, CPA, etc. I'll guess that all piggybacks work similarly though.

    The JB4 keeps all of the stock safety parameters in place. The unit works by tricking the ECU that it hasn't reached its targeted boost and adds boost to meet those numbers. The unit can monitor boost, timing, and fuel and adjust those as needed too. All its doing is using the stock ECU parameters to requesting higher values all while using the same stock safety parameters. Obviously there is a limit to the amount of boost you can run while keeping the stock ECU parameters happy. I believe this is also what makes the JB4 and possibly other piggybacks, safe as it doesn't trick the safety parameters. A piggyback will never produce as much power as a true ECU tune because its impossible for it to be as aggressive as an ECU tune. People on here have had great results with them and I'm sure they will chime in as well.

    As for the transmission I'm sure the ZF 8 speed can handle power at a significant amount over stock. No one has complained about transmission behavior after a piggyback that I have read.

  5. #5
    Established Member Two Rings aistis72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -LoneStar- View Post
    I'm not saying its 100% NOT possible but I've yet to hear of a single person (in the Audi car world) to be detected with a piggyback unless they didn't remove the device before service (duh) which I have heard believe it or not. Even if the car records an "over boost" error there are other variables that can trigger this on a completely stock car.

    To the OP I have followed Burger Motorsport and their JB1/4 units for sometime now so I will only talk about them as I know limited info about DTUK, CPA, etc. I'll guess that all piggybacks work similarly though.

    The JB4 keeps all of the stock safety parameters in place. The unit works by tricking the ECU that it hasn't reached its targeted boost and adds boost to meet those numbers. The unit can monitor boost, timing, and fuel and adjust those as needed too. All its doing is using the stock ECU parameters to requesting higher values all while using the same stock safety parameters. Obviously there is a limit to the amount of boost you can run while keeping the stock ECU parameters happy. I believe this is also what makes the JB4 and possibly other piggybacks, safe as it doesn't trick the safety parameters. A piggyback will never produce as much power as a true ECU tune because its impossible for it to be as aggressive as an ECU tune. People on here have had great results with them and I'm sure they will chime in as well.

    As for the transmission I'm sure the ZF 8 speed can handle power at a significant amount over stock. No one has complained about transmission behavior after a piggyback that I have read.
    Piggyback also can be detectable never mind if you remove it before Audi dealer visit, piggyback also trigger ecu and all is left for Audi mechanics to see it


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  6. #6
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by aistis72 View Post
    Piggyback also can be detectable never mind if you remove it before Audi dealer visit, piggyback also trigger ecu and all is left for Audi mechanics to see it


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    Got some links or any evidence of this happening or is this just speculation?

  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings Nez136's Avatar
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    Iíve read a while back some cases on VW forums where piggyís backs were detected after removal. Also read a link a while back about an S3 that blew a turbo and Audi wouldnít warranty it bc of a piggy back....

    At the same time Iíve heard of service recalls going thro just fine when people have taken the dtuk box off their b9. Some fan replacement situations as well.

    Itís a gamble, right now Iíd say 50/50. Tho the current tunes on the market only adjust boost which isnít gonna make as much power as having timing adjustments as well.



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  8. #8
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Mine was not detected. DTUK. Now if Iíd thrown a bunch of codes from over-mapping, maybe. But if these were actually dealer-detected the company would not be so successful. Iím happy to change my mind if you can tell me precisely how (rather than just stating it as fact), and also why my car has been through dealer diagnosis 2x (hesitation issues with ac on) without detection.


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  9. #9
    Active Member One Ring
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicyclefitguru View Post
    ... Iím happy to change my mind if you can tell me precisely how (rather than just stating it as fact), and also why my car has been through dealer diagnosis 2x (hesitation issues with ac on) without detection.


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    An Audi Tech weighed in on similar B9 S4 discussion over at the other Audi forum. In theory if the piggy has been removed they likely wouldn't flag your vehicle under normal service or warranty conditions. But if you blew a turbo or an engine gasget, fly wheel... something big in other words, a regional Audi rep will need to see your car before Audi will authorize the dealership to complete the repair under warranty. The Audi rep will pull logs from the car, from the various sensors (e.g. log of your boost) before the engine popped. Even if the hardware is gone they will see that the engine has been running around 16-20psi for extended periods, and that ignition temperature has been elevated. These are conditions a stock ECU is programmed to avoid without some meddling by the owner. They would then investigate for any signs of tampering in the engine bay (e.g wiring harness left in, roughed up sensor clips). Audi would need very little evidence of tampering to deny the warranty work, the logs themselves would probably be enough. So theoretically no, in practice yes - it's detectable.

    It's a risk, not a certainty, but it is naive to think there is no risk of voiding part of the drivetrain warranty.

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  10. #10
    Established Member Two Rings aistis72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -LoneStar- View Post
    Got some links or any evidence of this happening or is this just speculation?
    It does also alter operating parameters which are also recorded. So to say that no one could detect is incorrect.


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  11. #11
    Established Member Two Rings aistis72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmeads View Post
    An Audi Tech weighed in on similar B9 S4 discussion over at the other Audi forum. In theory if the piggy has been removed they likely wouldn't flag your vehicle under normal service or warranty conditions. But if you blew a turbo or an engine gasget, fly wheel... something big in other words, a regional Audi rep will need to see your car before Audi will authorize the dealership to complete the repair under warranty. The Audi rep will pull logs from the car, from the various sensors (e.g. log of your boost) before the engine popped. Even if the hardware is gone they will see that the engine has been running around 16-20psi for extended periods, and that ignition temperature has been elevated. These are conditions a stock ECU is programmed to avoid without some meddling by the owner. They would then investigate for any signs of tampering in the engine bay (e.g wiring harness left in, roughed up sensor clips). Audi would need very little evidence of tampering to deny the warranty work, the logs themselves would probably be enough. So theoretically no, in practice yes - it's detectable.

    It's a risk, not a certainty, but it is naive to think there is no risk of voiding part of the drivetrain warranty.

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    This ^^


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  12. #12
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by aistis72 View Post
    It does also alter operating parameters which are also recorded. So to say that no one could detect is incorrect.


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    Thatís the thing. As far as I understand its just telling the ECU it hasnít reached its targeted boost and commands it to add boost until it does. So lets say that the stock S4 has a max boost of 15 psi (Iím guessing I dont know for sure but its just an arbitrary number for discusssion anyway). The piggyback tells the ECU to increase boost until it reaches 15 psi. So it may say your only at 12 psi and need to add 3 psi to get to 15. Its not actually telling it to reach 18 psi (Which the car would log as an overboost and be suspicious)

    "TD1- Modification to engine control unit
    TG1- Modification to gearbox control unit
    TE1- Modification to power electronics
    TB1- Suspected tuning with tuning boxes"

    This was copied from another forum when I was looking for answers. The whole ďsuspectedĒ thing for the TB1 sounds like a steep slope. The other flags are given and this one is sort of a ďcover our arses with no proofĒ

    Iím just saying as of right now no one knows definitively if they can be detected. With out a doubt ECU tunes have been flagged. Iíve yet to see a single person flagged for a piggyback.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Im not worried about getting flagged, I have heavily tuned all of my cars and no warranty problems so far. im only interested are these piggyback tunes dangerous to the cars engine and gearbox?? will all of the factory safeguards still control everything as needed??

  14. #14
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logtec View Post
    Im not worried about getting flagged, I have heavily tuned all of my cars and no warranty problems so far. im only interested are these piggyback tunes dangerous to the cars engine and gearbox?? will all of the factory safeguards still control everything as needed??
    I have yet to see an S4 have any problem with one of these piggybacks. When we had our S3 I never saw anyone have any problems with a piggyback either. From what Iíve read and been told these boxes keep all of the factory safety guards in place. I have seen some people comment about getting some sort of CEL with these boxes and while thatís not ideal that just shows that the factory safe guards are being triggered and doing what they are designed to do.

    I will say I read of some of the Gulf R guys with the manuals comment on clutch slip but those clutches are known to be garbage and that doesnt apply in this case anyway. Some of the S3 guys with the dual clutches commented on the transmission not being as smooth as it should but that doesnt really apply to our torque converter trans either. Iím confident that our ZF trans can handle a good chunk of power. Iím not sure of our exact version of the 8 speed ZF trans we have but they make versions for everyone from the 600+hp Rolls Royce Wraith, to the 700+hp Hellcats to the 800+hp Demons. These ZFís can take a beating as Iíve yet to here of anyone having any issue.

    I say if your on the fence then go fo it. Talk to the vendors that offer them and pick which one you like best.

  15. #15
    Established Member Two Rings aistis72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -LoneStar- View Post
    I have yet to see an S4 have any problem with one of these piggybacks. When we had our S3 I never saw anyone have any problems with a piggyback either. From what Iíve read and been told these boxes keep all of the factory safety guards in place. I have seen some people comment about getting some sort of CEL with these boxes and while thatís not ideal that just shows that the factory safe guards are being triggered and doing what they are designed to do.

    I will say I read of some of the Gulf R guys with the manuals comment on clutch slip but those clutches are known to be garbage and that doesnt apply in this case anyway. Some of the S3 guys with the dual clutches commented on the transmission not being as smooth as it should but that doesnt really apply to our torque converter trans either. Iím confident that our ZF trans can handle a good chunk of power. Iím not sure of our exact version of the 8 speed ZF trans we have but they make versions for everyone from the 600+hp Rolls Royce Wraith, to the 700+hp Hellcats to the 800+hp Demons. These ZFís can take a beating as Iíve yet to here of anyone having any issue.

    I say if your on the fence then go fo it. Talk to the vendors that offer them and pick which one you like best.
    Stock zf transmission can hold over 900 of torque, near 1000 nm


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  16. #16
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by -LoneStar- View Post
    Thatís the thing. As far as I understand its just telling the ECU it hasnít reached its targeted boost and commands it to add boost until it does. So lets say that the stock S4 has a max boost of 15 psi (Iím guessing I dont know for sure but its just an arbitrary number for discusssion anyway). The piggyback tells the ECU to increase boost until it reaches 15 psi. So it may say your only at 12 psi and need to add 3 psi to get to 15. Its not actually telling it to reach 18 psi (Which the car would log as an overboost and be suspicious)
    However the piggy-back tuning boxes I have seen only do that, they don't "interfere" with fuelling. So the extra fuel is only added when the ECU detects that the engine is running lean. If (and I don't know if) the ECU logs this fact, then that is a very strong clue that a box has been used.
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  17. #17
    Established Member Two Rings Nez136's Avatar
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    ďThe picture of the parameters the ECU sees are mostly stock so there is nothing it can adapt back. At all times the ECU is targeting its programmed torque target and will log like a stock car.Ē

    This was written by George from BMS when asked about the JB4 adaptation


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