What is E-Tuning?

28 Oct


Dyno-Tune Versus E-tune

You know how it works – you’ve spent some money on a few bolt on mods and a programmable ECU.  Now, you’re looking to get the entire packaged tuned for optimal power and efficiency.

Unfortunately, now you’re at the mercy of your tuner and you’re reliant on them to produce streetable, reliable power.  We’ve all heard the horror stories of poor tuning for even the most seemingly simply combination of parts.

Back in the day, finding a dyno tuner in your area was tough enough!  These days, it seems that dynos are everywhere and for good reason…dyno-tuning generates quick cash and the machines can be financed.  But who is to say your local tuner is reliable, safe and educated?  Do they know how to tune your specific motor?

Modern motors such as the K20 series from Honda brings even more challenges.  Hondata’s Kpro (RSX) and FlashPro (Civic SI) are easily the most popular applications and while they are easy to use, the nature of the K20 brings it’s own challenges in selecting the proper VTEC point and cam angle according to the mod list.

This brings us to the topic of internet based tuning.  K20 loyalists don’t have to travel the country to get a safe tune from a knowledgeable source.

There are a handful of these E-tuners in the K20 community – some are even using some pretty sophisticated torque graphing software designed around Hondata’s ECU’s.  As long as you log on the same road each time (to account for road slope) you can get a fair estimation of the power curve before/after mods/tuning.

The attached graph reads a bit optimistically according the mods, but the road is at a slight downward slope.  Results are repeatable, and graphs from logs in the opposite direction of the same road result in a graph that reads 20 peak hp lower.

A mix of street tuning and dyno sessions with a GOOD tuner is best, but E-tuning may be the answer for those in areas lacking in knowledgeable people.

A/F still being optimized in the 4500-5500 area, but you get the idea.  Our 2006 Civic SI has the following power-mods:

-Vibrant Race Header w/ High Flow Cat

-Vibrant Gen 2 Catback exhaust (true 2.5″).


-Unorthodox Racing Pulley Kit


Tuned K20's with I/H/E commonly put down 210-220hp on dynojets.

2 Responses to “What is E-Tuning?”

  1. Engine Management October 30, 2009 at 5:12 AM #

    I would definitely recommend dyno tuning as the best way to ensure you have the most power, and the best mixtures.

    And one of the most important reason, is that doing high speed runs over and over again on the same piece of road can be very dangerous, and you will probably need to go above the speed limit.

    • Jonathan October 30, 2009 at 11:05 AM #

      Agreed – the combination of a dyno and a good tuner is best…someone that knows your motor. While dynos are everywhere, the availability of truly good tuners is far more rare. Those living in areas without good tuners may be better off with E-tune from a reliable, knowledgeable source.

      The point is, with knowledge of what works best for your motor/mods, you may be able to extract safe, streetable power from an E-tune if you don’t trust your local dyno tuners. 5 calibrations were used to tune our SI, which meant 5 WOT 3rd gear runs over the course of a few days.

      For N/A motors running bolt ons, you can get very very close. Nobody can argue that a dyno effectively takes some of the variables of street tuning out of the equation. That said, any good tuner I know of uses a combination of street/dyno in a comprehensive tune.

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