ECU programming - Tuning Forum

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ECU programming
Friday, March 18, 2005 6:45 PM
I know this has been a much talked about topic as of late. I am just about to purchase a DHP powertuner (basicly it will allow me to tune my own ECM among other things). Powertuner Anyway I was reading through their FAQ and came accross this...

Quote:

#9 - You do not currently support my car. Do you have plans to? We currently plan to support ALL GM OBD-II vehicles 1996 - 2005 in V6, V8, and 4 Cylinder applications. However, as we have limited resources, we will look at market conditions and interest to determine which cars to release first. If you have a specific car in mind, please use the Contact page to inform us of your interest.


I had my 3800 computer reprogrammed by them and have nothing but good to say about them. If enough people email them then I bet we would be up near the top of the list for new products.



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Re: ECU programming
Friday, March 18, 2005 7:03 PM
I know not many people know this, (not sure why), but...

I'm also developing software, similar to HP Tuners, that will edit the 4 cylinder ECU.

We've currently found over 43 different maps (fuel, spark, etc) in the BIN dumps. I'm currently working to crack the seed/key code to be able to unlock the PCM. We've already cracked the GM V8 seed/key algorithm.

Realistically, I could have a workable product out by the end of the summer or early fall. I'm trying to write the software to work with all 4 cylinder ECU's, from 96 to 2005, on all GM 4 cylinder cars.

If you want to check out the project, go to http://www.obdproject.com and read through the forums (the forum link is on the left of the page in the menu).





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Re: ECU programming
Saturday, March 19, 2005 12:50 AM
Shifted (KickAzz) wrote:

I know not many people know this, (not sure why), but...

I'm also developing software, similar to HP Tuners, that will edit the 4 cylinder ECU.

We've currently found over 43 different maps (fuel, spark, etc) in the BIN dumps. I'm currently working to crack the seed/key code to be able to unlock the PCM. We've already cracked the GM V8 seed/key algorithm.

Realistically, I could have a workable product out by the end of the summer or early fall. I'm trying to write the software to work with all 4 cylinder ECU's, from 96 to 2005, on all GM 4 cylinder cars.

If you want to check out the project, go to http://www.obdproject.com and read through the forums (the forum link is on the left of the page in the menu).


that website is some matrix @!#$, i dont know wtf it says, but keep it up NEO. u might be the one


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Re: ECU programming
Saturday, March 19, 2005 5:35 AM
his site worked just fine for me smart as_



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Re: ECU programming
Saturday, March 19, 2005 10:32 AM
Quote:

his site worked just fine for me smart as


Uhh, I don't think thats what he meant.



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Re: ECU programming
Saturday, March 19, 2005 12:38 PM
Shifted(KickAzz). In regards to bin files, have you guys been able to decode the OBD-1 2.3L quad stuff???? If you haven't been able to get a bin file for the 2.3L , I have it. Do you think it is possible to decode that bin file or is it as hard to crack as everybody says it is??






Time to get it going again.....
Re: ECU programming
Saturday, March 19, 2005 1:08 PM
Shifted(KickAzz), do you plan on selling programmers like they sell for camaros and trucks? Or are you just going to sell the software? Maybe you dont intend to sell at all?

I was really into the idea of all this last year but I lost interest for the meer fact that the no one would want to put their car on the line for a beta testing. Also this is a very involved project for how much it would actually help the horsepower for a 4cyl engine.

I am a Computer Science major at Indiana University. I have all the resources to complete the project its just i lost interest.

How long have you been working to crack the 4cyl seed? Seems like over a yr now.
Re: ECU programming
Saturday, March 19, 2005 1:56 PM
Diesell-

There are a number of OBD-1 programmers out there, our main focus is OBD-2, but after I get something out for the OBD-2 guys I'd be more than happy to take a look at the OBD-1 stuff. As I understand its 10 times more simple than the OBD-2 stuff that I'm working on now.

Blare-
We will be selling software and cables. I definately intend on selling, this is not a personal project. Personally, I could run out and get the GM Supercharger reflash from GM and be perfectly happy

As far as how much horsepower you can gain, I really can't say. The GM vehicles are dumbed down from the factory so some fuel remapping and ignition advance at a dyno session could possibly yield 10-15whp or more on an LD9. The main purpose for writing this software is for the boosted or highly modified crowd who aren't looking to squeeze a couple ponies out of a stock engine, but tune a custom built monster on a stock computer.

I've been working on cracking the seed/key algorithm for 2 months. I have a guy in Canada working to get me bin files (currently I'm up to 4 different engines).

If I cannot crack the seed/key algorithm, there is still a chance that I will release something that will work. It would just require people to send me thier stock ECU's so I can remove the EEPROM and take out the seed/key stuff (set it to 0's), and send it back. After that it would work exactly like what HP tuners is (was) promising to get us.

If anybody is wondering about what this magnificent software will cost, my target price is under $300. So honestly, that blows HPT right out of the water (I believe thier basic package is $499). I don't know that my software will be VIN locked yet or not, I have to judge what I can and can't do in the timeframe that I want to get it done.

Right now the biggest thing is getting the cable designed, parts are very difficult to source.





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Re: ECU programming
Saturday, March 19, 2005 5:42 PM
Shifted(KickAzz), thats music to my ears. Please keep us 2.3L OBD-1 guys informed. Thanks a ton.





Time to get it going again.....
Re: ECU programming
Saturday, March 19, 2005 11:39 PM
I'm basically waiting to throw $$ at the 1st group to market with this, my dreams are waiting on something to tune with besides a standalone.


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Re: ECU programming
Sunday, May 29, 2005 7:21 PM
just wanted to bump this up. I dont get on here much so maybe I missed any current news on this. Shifted.. hows the progress going on this?? Im hoping to get some tuning software and equipment for my turbo project. Hopefully somthing is done by the time i get back to the US.
99z24 overseas in the sand!

Re: ECU programming
Sunday, May 29, 2005 8:05 PM
Its moving forward, thats really all I can say. We are working on cracking the security right now, its quite a bit farther than it was a month ago, but its still a couple months out before I'm even ready to beta test it at the very least.





4cyltuner.com - Information Source For 4 Cylinder Tuners
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Re: ECU programming
Sunday, May 29, 2005 10:33 PM
Quote:

Shifted(KickAzz). In regards to bin files, have you guys been able to decode the OBD-1 2.3L quad stuff???? If you haven't been able to get a bin file for the 2.3L , I have it. Do you think it is possible to decode that bin file or is it as hard to crack as everybody says it is??

There's no magic in "cracking" the 2.3 OBDI code. I have an older file that I started disassembling years ago. It's time and work, and lots of it. I was disassembling one for a single purpose: to determine how or if DIS and distributor based code are different. When I learned what I wanted, I stopped with the 2.3L code. You can't possibly imagine how much time this takes, especially if you're doing a good job with the code.

Quote:

We will be selling software and cables. I definately intend on selling, this is not a personal project.

That's exactly the reason I haven't gotten involved. There's no way to make compensation fair in a group project. But at least you've said from the beginning that you're selling the software. There aren't any hard feelings for those who choose not to work on the project.

Quote:

If anybody is wondering about what this magnificent software will cost, my target price is under $300. I don't know that my software will be VIN locked yet or not,

That's a reasonable price. The lower the cost, the less likely people are to try and pirate your software. But please don't play the vin lock game. It's greedy, and not all that effective. Once the software is out there, the security seed will be available to read with a good sniffer package, the same way it was done during the development of at least one other OBDII package. Once the seed is available, adapting a working "vin change" utility is a small matter. You'll make plenty of money selling user friendly software at $300 a pop. Follow a pricing scheme similar to Tunercat and all will be happy.

imo.

-->Slow
Re: ECU programming
Sunday, May 29, 2005 11:05 PM
The only problem with not VIN locking the software is the companies who would abuse it. For example, company X buys the software for $300, and starts offering performance tuned ECU's for $800. They sell 100 units, thats $80,000 (minus $300) of profits for them, $30,000 of potential sales lost for me.

I was thinking of VIN locking to 1 car, and being able to buy additional cars for some amount (not outrageous, like $50 - $75 per vehicle). And on top of that, having a completely open version for a company such as the one described above for some amount, like a commission per vehicle.

Like I said, pricing structure is the furthest thing from my mind right now. The only thing I know, is that the hours of work and time that I and some others are putting into this, I can't give it away. I'm not going to be greedy such as some other companies out there, but on the other hand I don't think it would be fair to me for a company (like the example above) to make $80,000+ off of me, while I lose $30,000 in potential customers. There has to be some sort of per vehicle structure there to protect my time, effort, and investment in this.





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Re: ECU programming
Sunday, May 29, 2005 11:24 PM
I completely agree with you wanting to VIN lock it to one car and personally I don't think I could tune my car knowing that I got a pirated version of a tuning software that someone has put so much time into. I hope the best of luck to you and your work.

dam you company X, dam you



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Re: ECU programming
Monday, May 30, 2005 2:07 AM
Quote:

The only problem with not VIN locking the software is the companies who would abuse it. For example, company X buys the software for $300, and starts offering performance tuned ECU's for $800. They sell 100 units, thats $80,000 (minus $300) of profits for them, $30,000 of potential sales lost for me.


That's greed. You're worrying about losing money you haven't even made. So what if they do sell that many units If they're selling them for $800, then someone like PCMforless will come along and start selling retuned pcm's for $100 at a 7:1 ratio to the expensive guys. And when 2 or 3 of every 7 PCMforless customers get fed up with not getting the tune they want, they'll buy your software and do it themselves. They'll turn to the .org for help. The .org will have to create a separate forum for "tuning" because there will be an increasing amount of discussion that will overlap performance, boost, transmission, and 3rd gen forums. And with a dedicated forum, people searching for tuning software will invariably find the .org listed in the results, and they'll see your software being used by everyone there, so they'll buy copies. So the guy charging $800 per tune will suddenly find that his initial rush of business has dropped waaay off. Which is good because his tune wasn't any good anyway.

Think about the last time you fired up an Apple computer. Or when was the last time you heard of someone using "Kalmap" tuning tools? Locking things too tightly impedes growth.

I'm gonna give my perspective. I can see which way you're leaning, but I'll do what I can.

I spent years learning to tune cars. There's still plenty to learn, but I'm good enough to make $$ at it when I need to. Mostly, I do the work for free or cheap for friends, or on interesting cars. There are 2 things needed to be able to tune efi engines effectively. 1) the tools to modify the computer calibration and evaluate the modifications, and 2) the skills needed to actually make the right changes. It takes many, many hours to create the tools, but it takes years to learn to make a good tune. In fact, a certain company that has developed engine modeling software for OEM use in designing calibrations actually acknowledges that engine tuning is still, in part, somewhat of an art. It's the time spent tuning that makes all the difference.

When I was looking for tools to modify calibrations, tuning shops gaurded their software like it was gold. I actually bought software for $1k that promised to tune "everything." It was junk. After I found and used some good tools, I looked through what the "big" tuning companies were doing and realized much of it was garbage. Yet there were plenty of talented guys at the local level who could have, and would have done at least as good a job as the pros if they'd had access to the tools. And like me, they may charge a few dollars for their time or they may not. There are now software tools for many of the older GM vehicles which are very inexpensive and are very effective, and there are large numbers of people helping the car hobby progress by learning to use those tools. It's all good.

You're already 9 years behind... your "kickass project" is old news. I'm not being negative or taking away any credit, 'cause what you're making is a good thing. But the best we as "car guys" can do is get things worked out just as the whole game is going through another major change. 1995 and 1996 Cavaliers are available in this area for $600 and less. Those prices are going to become more typical of the rest of the country over the next three or four years. It's a little hard to justify another $300 expense to tune the pcm, especially if it's on a car that you may or may not keep for a couple of years. And unless you're going to make a long term business of writing tuning software, this is a relatively short lived project for you. Your vin locked tuning software will become obsolete when the vehicles it's locked to are no longer in service.

The main reason the J's are not highly supported, even though there is an extremely large number of the vehicles, is that the J owner is perceived as not spending $$. With J owners suddenly able to tune thousands of vehicles with a relatively inexpensive purchase, don't you think the performance parts market would take notice? How about the companies that develop J parts? Do you want them to pay for commercial software to develop one part? The higher the cost of the software, the less money available to R&D the part. And in the end, the part price is higher to offset the initial investment. Yet they make nothing directly from, and may never again use, your software.

I'd consider wrinting software that could be used to work on other vehicles. If my first tuning experience tuning was with "Shifted's Kickass Tuner" on a J, then I would want to use that same tuner on my next car. I know how it works and what to expect from it, and getting over the learning curve is a big deal with computer tuning. There's no reason you can't add some of the more popular vehicles to your software to increase market share rather than increasing the cost and supporting relatively few platforms. You know the old saying about building a better mousetrap. Heck, you could write and debug portions of the software right now by offering versions to tune some of the OBDII pickup trucks. Heck, you could even begin to generate an income that way in order to make money while you're dumping even more hours into the J specific code.

Just some alternate thoughts to consider.

-->Slow
Re: ECU programming
Monday, May 30, 2005 8:16 AM
I can't believe I read through all of that post.
It sounds good in theory, but it's just jibberish. The guy is spending countless hours on a part that may not work in the end. He deservers to be compensated for his time and effort. Lock it so only one car can use it and if you want to use software on another car, buy it again but at a cheaper price. People are too damn stingy with their money. If you want something, you got to pay for it. Stop trying to around that.




Is that a...a...a... a Cavalier?
Re: ECU programming
Tuesday, May 31, 2005 12:42 AM
slowolej wrote:

Think about the last time you fired up an Apple computer.


well im writing this from an iBook G4, lol

lol i dont quite think that analogy was well placed, but i understand what your getting at.. maybe a microsoft analogy would be better.. you can buy office pro (you shouldn't, just get openoffice.org but hear me out) for $287 then when you realize you cant use it on your other computer you have to go get another copy for the full price. thats balls.. hense why everyone steals it. now if they had office pro for like $100 and addition activations for $35 then 90% of people might not steal it, and in the end you make money. i dont mind the whole VIN thing. just make a product that does what it says and dont charge an arm and a leg for it and youll do just fine. hell what i would do, is only make money on the VINs. charge for the cables obviously but with low profit, and charge for each VIN. that way who cares how many cables you sell your interested in the VINs. saves money if you and your buddy split the cable but buy 3 VINs between ya. also then the tuning shops pay you $$ per car they service and are able to off shoot that cost to the customer directly and everyones happy.. good luck man



Sven you totally quarterloafed your computer..
Re: ECU programming
Tuesday, May 31, 2005 3:41 PM
... And! I am using my trusty G4 Powerbook.

Keep up the good work Shifted a slow but sustained effort is all you need to maintain to reach reach the end game. I personally will have no problem paying the suggested fee for usable software and there are many others this side of the pond looking for said intended offering.



Power Curve
Re: ECU programming
Tuesday, May 31, 2005 7:01 PM
Maybe that is the whole problem with our j-body plataforms, many people (specially import car's people) thinks that our cars are garbage. Remember something: the strongest and more efficient systems are the simplest ones.

Like the efforts of GM to demostrate that the Ecotec is an engine that demands respect, people like him demands respect too.

Excelent work Ron.


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Re: ECU programming
Tuesday, May 31, 2005 7:45 PM
Yeah, Good Work, seriously, I'm just barely into Computer Programming and I know how difficult it is just to make something move across the screen, much less completely dissassemble a comple ECU. The whole VIN lock thing is a good idea, IMO. It's a difficult task, and you should be justly paid for you work. And with that price, it sounds like a good deal, I would be interested in one sometime.







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