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Thread: piggy back versus full control ecu.

  1. #1

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    piggy back versus full control ecu.

    I'm thinking about going to a small turbo with only 4 or 5 psi of boost. What would be a better choice:piggy back or complete control ecu.
    I want to keep everything running stock. ie the speedo..tranny etc but control of the timing and spark.
    Budget is a factor and it's still a street vehicle not a race vehicle.

  2. #2


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    I don't think a Piggy back will afford you enough tuning. I used a Apexii SAFCII and was able to get something out of a Normally Aspirated config, I don't know if there is enough there to take on a Turbo, Injector size etc...

  3. #3

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    We're yiu able to keep your speedo snd transmission function normal with a full on tunable ecu?

  4. #4


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    no trouble there, speedo is cable off the trans. I have a 5 speed manual so ecu didn't matter.

  5. #5

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    In my case the speed sensor is in the speedometer...
    I would also like part throttle kickdown so I need the ecu to speak to the tranny control unit.

  6. #6

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    look into the aem fic

  7. #7

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    Piggy back tuners are horrible. You can make do with a safc or something but its still a horrible tuning solution. Full standalone is the way to go when boosting a n/a in my opinion. I run a safc on my boosted n/a and i absolutely hate it. Wish i would of known what i do know when i made that move and just gone Megasquirt.

  8. #8

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    But....without the factory ecu many factory items will not function.
    How would I use the OD and lockup with the factory computer. .what about the gauges? Etc...

  9. #9

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    Without the factory computer...***

  10. #10

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    I am with Mischif, While piggy backs work. Every one is always dissatisfied with the lack of options and functions and they always graduate to Full Engine control units like AEM. You will spend more money in the long run with piggy backs.

  11. #11

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    As long as you retain your factory engine wiring harness and either just repin it for your standalone ecu or make an adapter to connect then everything will continue to function normally. Except the check engine light and obd functionality.

  12. #12

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    SAFCII's are quite effective. The trick is to really understand what you are doing
    Too bad Matts website gone now
    He detailed how adding a T04 turbo + 440cc + SAFCII + hacked stock AFM, turned the stock V6 into a 12sec porsche eater
    Lotsa Toyota JZ guys live by the SAFCII. Many over 500hp daily

  13. #13


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    Used a vafc2 in a 2000 Nissan Sentra se with a sr20. Added turbo, bigger injectors, used a Nissan maf from a 300z twin turbo. Runs pretty decent and is fast. Safc only has 12 points of correction. Vafc has 24, 12 in low cam and 12 in high cam. It can only get you so far as it only alters the load sensor input to the ecu based on throttle pressure and rpm allowing fuel to be removed. Does not change timing at all.
    1989 Mitsubishi mightymax; 1990 4g63 6 bolt swap: malhe 9.0 pistons, eagle h beam rods, acl race bearings, rebuilt head, evo 3 16g, aem afpr, Maft, 3" gm maf blow through, walbro 255 fuel pump, hks ssq bov, fmic, coil over plug, FIC 750 injectors, dsmlink, apexi avcr, AEM eugo, s90 throttlebody, JMF FIAC block off plate. LT1 T56 in the works.
    Why a mightymax? Why not? 18 psi FTW.

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