Race ECU Really Needed!? - Alfa Romeo 4C Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Race ECU Really Needed!?

There is a guy in the 4C Fanatics FB page that has a GTX3071 Gen 2 Turbo mounted up to a new manifold and is using the STOCK ECU. I believe he also plans to stroke it out to 2L. Which is awesome IMHO, but...


I don't want to put words in peoples mouth's, but It "thought" Jamie mentioned the Stock ECU has too many limitations such as boost which is why you needed the Race ECU for his Hybrid / Twin scroll applications. Otherwise you could just sell an OEM ECU Tune for these applications.


So what is what!? I know the Race ECU is good for telling the stock turbo what to do, but do you really need it in combination with a new Turbo, 2L swap, etc? Not really complaining b/c regardless you would need someone to tune the ECU for you!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 05:32 AM
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Both ways are correct, depends on what you prefer. Here is a good an easy to understand article about STOCK ECU vs. STANDALONE ECU: http://www.speedhunters.com/2015/08/...tandalone-ecu/

"And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high" A.S.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 12:22 PM
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I guess the question is: do you just want bragging rights to say that you've done all that work, or do you want to get the most out of all the mods and money you've spent?

It would not be inconsistent with what we've been told, to believe that the former is a possibility on a tuned stock ECU but the latter would require more (Race ECU).

The stock one will preserve some of the safety features built into the car regardless of tune, which are circumvented in the Race version.

I'm not an expert. I don't even play one on TV. That's why I look for trustworthy opinions from people who have gone this route and really understand the why's and how's. For me, that's Jamie Porter.

Interested to hear what others might say.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safire View Post
There is a guy in the 4C Fanatics FB page that has a GTX3071 Gen 2 Turbo mounted up to a new manifold and is using the STOCK ECU. I believe he also plans to stroke it out to 2L. Which is awesome IMHO, but...


I don't want to put words in peoples mouth's, but It "thought" Jamie mentioned the Stock ECU has too many limitations such as boost which is why you needed the Race ECU for his Hybrid / Twin scroll applications. Otherwise you could just sell an OEM ECU Tune for these applications.


So what is what!? I know the Race ECU is good for telling the stock turbo what to do, but do you really need it in combination with a new Turbo, 2L swap, etc? Not really complaining b/c regardless you would need someone to tune the ECU for you!
I believe that is Mr. Cock. He says he is modding the TCU to allow the turbo to blow more.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 05:09 AM
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I'd like to post my experience and POV on owning both versions. Standalone race ECU vs. remapped stock ECU on my 4C.

My experience:

Remapped stock ECU
  • Works flawlessly like stock ECU but with more HP
  • Limited tunability
  • Less powerful than standalone ECU with base map


Standalone ECU
  • Full of minor issues that can be sorted out
  • Full tunability
  • Will require a lot of time for research and developement to improve
  • Works good on the track
  • It feels a bit rough and underdeveloped on the street
  • Not all the auxiliary functions available at the moment (turbo cooling, cruise cotnrol, launch control, boring sound,...)

Conclusion:

Remapped stock ECU
Having a stock or lightly modded engine (air filter, exhaust with cat) there is no need for standalone ECU. Remapped stock ecu is the way to go. All the auxiliary functions work (fuel consumption BC, cruise control, additional turbo cooling, etc...). ECU that Alfa Romeo 4C is running is highly sophisticated and has tuned in much more variabiles than standalone ecu, making it far more reliable and capable for wide range of use. Cruising, track use cold weather, hot weather, good gas, bad gas, etc... Standalone ECU will never be as detailed as the stock ECU because no tuner will be willing to spend countless hours polishing the details.

Standalone ECU

Pushing the engine mods further where you actually start to benefit and can expect bigger gains (cams, turbo, high flow exhaust, bigger bore, higher rpm, etc...) standalone ECU is a must. If you are into this territory of engine moding, thant you probably don't care much about daily driving and track performance or straight line acceleration is main focus, than this is the way to go. You can bring out every last HP depending on your mods, fuel and weather, etc. I would suggest it for track focused and other hardcore users. The biggest challenge will be to get a decent tuner. The amateurs are cheap but unreliable and proper tuners cost a fortune if you want to bring the very best out of your mods, so get ready to spend big bucks on detaling out your standalone ECU.
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"And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high" A.S.

Last edited by Gale; 05-13-2019 at 05:32 AM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 06:01 AM
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I’m not a serious track addict or racer so the race ECU doesn’t appeal to me BUT I’m very happy it is available for those with the inclination to get every last bit of performance from their engine. They just need to be aware of the pitfalls. Nimo appears completely aware and is making a performance monster. No idea of how much he is spending but I bet it’s substantial. From my perspective I’m very happy with my Stage 1 Alfaworks ECU, and given Spidermans’ drag times, Rudis’ last Euro Time Attack results and the smile it brings to my dial I know it works and works well. In summary, for the average owner, the Race ecu is completely unnecessary. To be fair, I’m sure some would say the same for any modified ecu.
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Last edited by Alfanut; 05-13-2019 at 06:03 AM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 12:16 PM
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Remapped ECU as in ECU clone (Eurocompulsion)? Stand alone ECU as in new built from the ground up?


There are also warranty concerns for many...but as the old saying goes. If you want to play be prepared to pay...
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 03:51 PM
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The Race ECU was sold as a plug-and-play product which it didn't seem to be...
What was a cool name is now a term to say 'ready to develop it yourself', which wasn't my aim nor the spirit in which it was sold.
Looking back, maybe I would have been better of with a clone, or at least going over to Alfaworks to try both out.

The ease of swapping it to another car (was looking for a low mileage at the time of purchase), together with the cool of hooking it up to your computer did it to me.
I don't miss the pops and bangs as much as you guys do. Have a standard exhaust so the sound is softer already.
Mods must be tweaked with a map, but the shifting is a firmware thing, so I hope Jamie continues to develop the firmware further until she shifts like the stock ECU again.

Swapping back makes you remember the more coherent feel of the stock ECU gives.
But man, is it fast with the Race one. Never tried the clone though...
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 01:39 PM
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Who would have thought?


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Xcentric View Post
Who would have thought?


I thought it was just indigestion.

More notably, the RACE ECU comes with a tune that is not really appropriate for the street. But if you bought the RACE ECU, you did so to tune the car yourself, either because you like to play with things like this, or you have mods that could benefit from custom tuning work.

I guess, if your goal is to figure out the proper parameters to make it drive and shift like a 1989 Town Car, well, then it would be "for the street" and more power to you (pun intended). But I'll bet that's just the opposite of what most people have in mind.

If you just bought the RACE ECU for the default tune it came with, well, sorry to tell you that you probably could have gone with the tuned stock ECU clone instead and saved a fair bit of money.
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