I am writing this essay because I often see a lot of request from 3/S owners on how to begin flash tuning, what equipment is needed for accurate tuning, what approach should I take to tuning, etc….All the info in this particular thread only pertains to Chrome V2. As I release future chrome versions, I’ll be frequently come back to this thread and updating it. NJ1266 from EVOm posted a thread like this over there and did an excellent job. Much of what you’re reading here will derive from his thread and is adapted to Chrome. Full credit for this essay is given to him!
Aside from the equipment and approach, the two most important elements to have are PASSION and TIME. If you want to learn how to flash tune your car simply to make money out of tuning, then IMO you will suck at it. Passion should come first and making money out of tuning is a distant second. If you do not enjoy tuning, then do not do it. You will end up very frustrated and maybe mess up your motor.
The second important element to learning how to tune is TIME. You must read a lot and test a lot. The best place to visit and read is the Ecuflash forum on Evom. This is the hub for Ecuflash tuning. I spend hours reading threads over there…. Some of the stuff that I read is highly technical to me. I get confused, so I read and re-read and read again. Sometimes I read threads three to four times before the concepts sink in. I get very frustrated at times since it’s such a different concept than what most are used to. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, see link at the bottom of every page to 3SGTO. Start your own thread or post in the linked threads from the Tech Manual! When you first start reading you will be confused. The learning curve is steep and the task seems daunting. There is simply too much to read. Some of the posts are top notch and some are pure crap. You will have to figure out which posts to believe in. But do NOT give up, persevere. You CAN do it. It is NOT hard to flash tune your own car. It is not black magic or rocket science.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who have this strange delusion that the Chromed Flash ECU is some amazing fix all ecu which doesn’t require any tuning at all. Nothing could be further from the truth! Chrome comes with all 100% stock tables for an American spec 99 VR4. If you car isn’t a 100% stock 98/99 with 3 cats, stock MAF, stock exhaust and all emission equipment, then some changes need to be done. While the closed loop feature of the ECU is very good at compensating for many of these changes, it’ll really only get your motor to start, run and cruise. That’s about it. Don’t believe anyone who tells you anything different!
If you have PASSION and TIME, then the next step is to get the best possible equipment that you can afford. So what will you need?
You WILL NEED a OEM ’98-’99 3000gt VR4 to utilize all the features of my patched ROM, or a Jesters Chrome Plug and Play Ecu for VR4s/GTOs for other years.
Also please read the Software page to better understand the software you will be working with.
You need the following:
1 Laptop: You must have a laptop. Modern tuning is all about computers. W/O a laptop, it is very hard to tune accurately with consistent repetitive results. There are many cheap used laptops on ebay. Make sure that you get one that is powerful enough for your tuning needs. I also recommend that you get a small laptop with a small screen. All of these instructions are for a PC. I highly suggest a 11″ screen. It seems the perfect size.
2 Logging hardware: You will need a logging/flashing hardware cable. The one that all of us currently use is the Tactrix Cable (http://www.tactrix.com). DO NOT BUY THE 1.3 CABLE!! We need the voltage regulator from the 2.0 cable for flashing. Also if your car is 94 or newer you will need the Mitsubishi flash connector. The 91-93 ECUs come with a obd1-obd2 adapter and the mitsubishi flash adapter is not needed.
3 Wideband O2 meter (WBO2): Do not attempt to tune your car if you do not have a WBO2 meter. Do not use the narrowband O2 sensors to tune the car. The NBO2 was not intended for tuning purposes. It is used for emissions and it is only accurate under stoichometeric conditions and even then it is barely accurate. Logging them only tells you if the ECU is in closed loop or not.
Tuning with a NBO2 was used back in the DSM days when WBO2 were very expensive and no one could afford them. Today, you can get a WBO2 meter for as little as $180. I use Innovate products. I have an LC-1 wired directly into the ECU. AEM Uego is another great WBO2. Basically any quality wideband with an analog 0-5V output can be logged through the ECU. More details in setting this up later.
4 Logging Software: The most widely used logging software is Evoscan (http://www.evoscan.com). It uses the tactrix cable to log data from your ECU port. It also allows you to integrate data from your WBO2 with the data from your ECU port. It costs $25. It is a one time fee that entitles you to later updates of the software. It is very user friendly and easy to set-up. After you purchase, download and install EVOScan, you’ll need to add my custom 3000GT log file. NO other logging program available will support my patched ROM.
5 Tuning Software: The tuning software is known as Ecuflash. It is for free and you can download it from http://www.tactrix.com
6 Chrome V2: Unlike V1, I won’t be releasing different patches for different setups. There is 1 universal ROM now which can be tailored to your needs.
After you purchase the ChromeV2 from the shop you will have a link in the upper left of the screen. Inside is a folder with 8 files inside. The most important is the readme file. Read it Please! There are five .bin files or ROMs. One is the Chromed ROM (23862006.bin file) for a 99/98 VR4. The other four ROMS are the same ROM with different periphs turned depending on supported emission equipment depending on the year of the VR4. Another file is the definition file for the EcuFlash (23862006.xml file) and the other is the definition file for EVOScan(Mitsubishi MUTIII 3000GT.xml file). All 8 are tied together and are meant to be used in conjunction with each other. You’ll find many of the features in these definition files won’t work with a stock ROM or previous versions of Chrome.
Extract the 23862006.XML fileto:
C:\***File Folder you installed EcuFlash***\EcuFlash\rommetadata\mitsubishi
All five of the 23862006(XXXX).bin are the ROM itself. This is the file you modify & flash to your ECU. Extract this anywhere you’d like. It doesn’t matter where you put it, what you name it or how many copies you make of it. It will always reference the 23862XX6.xml.
Finally, the Mitsubishi MUTIII 3000GT.xml file is the definition file to convert EVOScan to work with our cars. Extract this file into:
Note: Sometimes there’s an issue with installing ECUFlash/EvoScan. Windows 7 and Vista have a feature called UAC. It makes a duplicate copy of your program files. This means when you try to install the EvoScan and EcuFlash .xmls, the changes won’t take effect, instead the duplicate .xml will be used
Try this! Uninstall EVOScan and ECUFlash and don’t reinstall them in C:\Program Files. Instead install to another directory created by you. For example C:\CarPrograms\
After EVOScan is installed, you’ll need to install the 2.0 cable drivers. Usually it will work by itself when you plug in the tactrix cable. There are also instructions on the EVOScan website for this.
After both definition files are installed you can open EcuFlash and Evoscan.
Now with ECUFlash open, open the 23862006.bin. This file is a stock tune for a 99 VR4. If you’ve flash tuned your car before, you’ll need to copy your tables to the new “Chromed” ROM. Sorry. I can assist with this if needed. It’s a good idea to save this file under a different name. It’ll still be linked to the correct definition file no matter what you name it or however many copies you make of it.