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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 6088 that I'm thinking of either going with the Ekotuning or a Steinbauer chip. Any experience with either, and if so ,which gives best performance and offers equally long term engine safety? Thanks, Jim
 

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Steinbauer... Take it up a 100hp in a hurry... Very reliable, I had plugged off my waste gate as well, added a bit more responnse
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aussie,
Send me an email with more details, might be interested. Email in my profile, thanks, Jim
 

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I vote for a ECM tune. I don't care how smart the Steinbauer chip is, it can't be as smart as the ECM since it doesn't have the same sensors.

Steinbauer actually advertise that they don't adjust timing. I don't know how that's a feature. Retarding the timing is standard practice to reduce emissions but it also reduces fuel efficiency. If they don't modify timing, there is very little room for efficiency gains, IMHO. Making more power is easy, just dump in more fuel. Actually, if I understand the Steinbauer literature, they effectively retard the timing since they add their extra fuel at the end of the injection pulse. That would likely decrease fuel efficiency vs a stock injection pulse.

A fuel chip like a Steinbauer will cause the displayed fuel use to be lower than actual use. The chip is injecting more fuel than the ECM is calling for. It's not impossible for a ECM tune to screw up the display as well but generally the fuel/timing tables that get modified result in the ECM still knowing how much fuel is being injected.

If you want something easy to install and want more power, a chip would do it. If you want fuel efficiency, I'm highly skeptical that you will get any significant efficiency gains with a chip.
 

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I vote for a ECM tune. I don't care how smart the Steinbauer chip is, it can't be as smart as the ECM since it doesn't have the same sensors.

Steinbauer actually advertise that they don't adjust timing. I don't know how that's a feature. Retarding the timing is standard practice to reduce emissions but it also reduces fuel efficiency. If they don't modify timing, there is very little room for actually efficiency gains, IMHO. Making more power is easy, just dump in more fuel. Actually, if I understand the Steinbauer literature, they actually retard the effective timing since they add their extra fuel at the end of the injection pulse. That would likely decrease fuel efficiency vs a stock injection pulse.

A fuel chip like a Steinbauer will cause the displayed fuel use to be lower than actual use. The chip is injecting more fuel than the ECM is calling for. It's not impossible for a ECM tune to screw up the display as well but generally the fuel/timing tables that get modified result in the ECM still knowing how much fuel is being injected.

If you want something easy to install and want more power, a chip would do it. If you want fuel efficiency, I'm highly skeptical that you will get any significant efficiency gains with a chip.
Well said :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is it true, some things I have heard about Ekotuning, that if the combine tech hooks their computer up for analysis, a person looses their "tune", and ECM goes back to stock? If true, kind of a waste of money, as I have my combine run through factory service each winter.
 

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A fuel chip like a Steinbauer will cause the displayed fuel use to be lower than actual use. The chip is injecting more fuel than the ECM is calling for. It's not impossible for a ECM tune to screw up the display as well but generally the fuel/timing tables that get modified result in the ECM still knowing how much fuel is being injected.
I have wondered about this. Most guys seem to just look at the number on the display and trust it.

I have used several Steinbauer chips and they do give a modest power increase as well as more torque but I do not feel that the power increases they claim are actually happening. The one I tried in my Volvo truck seemed to increase fuel consumption. I only knew this because I was repeating the same 5 hour trip over and over, filling every time and alternating with chip turned on and off. It is very hard to nail down fuel use in farm equipment because of variable conditions.:(
 

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Is it true, some things I have heard about Ekotuning, that if the combine tech hooks their computer up for analysis, a person looses their "tune", and ECM goes back to stock? If true, kind of a waste of money, as I have my combine run through factory service each winter.
Yes if a dealer does engine software updates, you may lose your tune. But since your Ekotuning dealer will have your custom tune on file, a simple "retune" would be in order when you get your machine back in your yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is a programmer available so a person can do their own "retune" if necessary ? My closest dealer will be a state away, would hate to pay for a 300+ mile service call(one way) for a retune.
 

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Yes if a dealer does software updates, you may lose your tune.
I would like to clarify this statement. The dealer can hook-up their tools and do their normal troubleshooting, maintenance and calibration as long as they are not updating the engine software.

Engine software updates usually occurs on new machine, specially when new series come out. It is unlikely in this combine that the engine will get a software update.

Most of my customer are being honest and open about it and tells the tech that the engine is tuned and the technician skips the update. But this boils down to dealer relationship and openness to tuning.
 

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Is a programmer available so a person can do their own "retune" if necessary ? My closest dealer will be a state away, would hate to pay for a 300+ mile service call(one way) for a retune.
Hand held programmer has just been introduced for CNH and Fendt machines. This was previously only available for JD. We have rolled out the hand held for iT4 magnums and their NH counterparts. Cummins powered machines are also available pending final testing.
 

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Is it true, some things I have heard about Ekotuning, that if the combine tech hooks their computer up for analysis, a person looses their "tune", and ECM goes back to stock? If true, kind of a waste of money, as I have my combine run through factory service each winter.
You do not lose the tune because a tech hooks up a laptop. In the event of a software update by the dealer, it will overwrite the current software in which case you will lose whatever was inside before the update. Most ECU software updates are released in order to fix or improve something related to engine performance so it's important and preferable to have those done. Software updates on newer machinery are common but within a few years they have pretty much figured things out and updates become less common. If you lose your Ekotune because of a software update, we will re-tune it at no cost (or very little cost) depending on when and where it was tuned. If you own a hand held programmer, it's just a matter of sending you new tunes via email including any changes the update addressed.


Other musings:
ECU remapping (or software tuning as it's often called) cannot be compared to any power modules or plug and play chips. Yes, it's true that when you purchase a chip for any given engine family it's often interchangeable with other pieces of equipment using the same engine. The advantages of a chip start and end there. If interchangeability is your main concern, then perhaps a chip or module is your best option. If you want power done right, consider the facts.

As FarmingSK pointed out, chips will indeed ramp up fuel delivery in order to produce more power. Sometimes very respectable power but the additional fuel is UN-metered. This means the ECU is requesting a certain volume of fuel to be delivered but has no clue the chip is adding to this request. You can judge for yourself if you think this is the healthiest choice for your engine or not but a couple of things are certain:

1) Fuel consumption information in the cab display will be not be accurate. This has been tested over and over again. If the description of chips below makes sense, you'll see why it cannot be accurate.

2) Other systems that rely on accurate fuel data will no longer calibrate correctly for absolute best performance . For example ivt,cvt or vario transmissions have a seperate controller (computer) which constantly communicates with the ECU in order to calculate the optimal range to be pulling in. Since ECU has no idea of additional fuel, it will continue to calculate stock torque and engine load conditions which means the transmission controller will assume the tractor is also stock. Some of you with chipped tractors running a powershift transmission might notice hard shifting, especially between ranges. This happens because fuel delivery is supposed to be derated for a split second between shifts. Of course the ECU thinks this is the case and results in a hard shift. There are other systems which rely on accurate fuel numbers as well. For example many modern systems do not have an actual EGT probe to measure exhaust gas temps but the ECU will calculate it based on other variables such as fuel rate, turbo boost etc. If calculated EGT gets too high, built in safety systems will throw a code and derate the engine. If you understand un-metered fuel, you can see why these calculations will also be inaccurate. This may not be a concern for you but at least now you know.


Let's take a quick look at how the two major types of chips on the market work:

A) Power modules or chips which do not raise rail pressure: These chips often plug into the ECU harness and have a simple theory of operation:
1) As the piston goes up in compression stroke, a couple of degrees before top dead center the ECU tells the injector to open for a certain period of time measured in milliseconds. In modern HPCR applications there could be multiple injections per stroke.
2) As the piston starts to go down in the combustion stroke(couple degrees PTDC), ECU tells the injector to close.
3) Chip intercepts this 'close' signal and hangs onto it for a moment. The actual signal it intercepts is the ground signal. ECU assumes injector is now closed but it is not.
4) After a period of time (adjustable by turning a knob or dial in the chip) the chip will release the intercepted ground signal and injector closes. As a result of extended injection open time (or injector pulsewidth as they call it) more fuel is delivered.

Can you spot any limitations with this method of increasing performance ? Consider this: Assuming you have two identical engines such as a FPT 8.7L factory set at 235hp vs an 8.7L set at 290hp then why is it that a chip cannot produce the same power out of the 235 as it does from a chipped 290 ? It must be noted that this parameter can also be adjusted with software without tricking the injector to behave this way because injection parameters are visible in the mapping and can be easily changed.

B) Rail pressure chips: Just as the name suggests, this type of chip raises fuel pressure in order to deliver more fuel. They plug into the rail pressure sensor and work like this:
1) ECU commands rail pressure to a certain psi and confirms this by receiving a signal from the rail pressure sensor.
2) Chip intercepts rail pressure signal from the sensor and feeds a false reading, up to 20% lower to the ECU
3) ECU interprets this to mean rail pressure is too low and commands injection pump to raise pressure.
4) That's it. Job done, more fuel = more power.

Of course similar limitations apply to this style of chip and as a result, they offer a fixed or slightly adjustable power gain but cannot get chip a 225hp engine to the same specs as a chipped 270hp engine. If they were to try raise rail pressure that much, it would trip the rail pressure relief valve, or cause injector related trouble codes. Again, rail pressure maps are visible in the tune. It's easy to raise pressure in the software without any trickery. In fact many amateur software tuners do just that but an experienced tuner will almost never touch rail pressure and if he does, it will still be within factory specs for the engine family.

Of course chips are who we compete against and this what makes a free market beautiful. Healthy competition gives consumers choice. Some people are very happy with their chip performance. We offer an alternative.

Thanks.
 

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Is it true, some things I have heard about Ekotuning, that if the combine tech hooks their computer up for analysis, a person looses their "tune", and ECM goes back to stock? If true, kind of a waste of money, as I have my combine run through factory service each winter.
That certainly is possible depending on both the ECM and what the service guy does. I believe Ekotuning will reprogram for free or a minor fee if that happens, ask before buying. Also, you could ask your service guy to not mess with the ECM, making changes to it yearly really should not be necessary.

BTW, regarding fuel efficiency and injection timing, the timing is a really critical parameter for the engine. A modern ECM has a large number of factors that go into the determining the injection pulse timing and duration. New engines even do multi-point injection (multiple per each power stroke). While advancing the timing can improve efficiency, it can also dramatically increase the peak pressure in the cylinder. Screw it up and your engine will suffer or die. The Steinbauer chip approach does has the advantage of relative safety. If they only add fuel at the end of the normal injection pulse then they shouldn't be drastically increasing cylinder pressure. Aside from increasing torque beyond design limits, the modification should be relatively safe for the engine. I really can't believe it does anything significant for fuel efficiency though.

I guess it depends on your goal. If you want fuel efficiency, I think a ECM modification is the only hope. Ask on the heavy truck forums if you don't believe me, those guys live and die by MPG and they measure very carefully. If you just want more power, I think a chip could be okay. I'd prefer a ECM tune by a competent company but depending on the cost I could be convinced to go with a chip.

Europeans have been tweaking their diesel autos for a long time now. If you do a Google search you will find lots of opinions.
 

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I haven't used either eko tuning or steinbauer. One thing I am familiar with is a chip vs a programmer. The Edge chips that we have had on some trucks only last a few years. They malfunction after a while. Didn't hurt anything. Just no more HP. I use a Smarty programmer on my 5.9 cummins now and no trouble after a lot of years. It is a handheld programmer that I can update over the Internet. You can damage connections and wiring harnesses if you are always plugging them in or out too.
 
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