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Where to start?

General Tuning Discussion

Discuss all things tuning in this section. News, products, problems and results. 


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Hey my name's Jon (Jonno)

I am a qualified mechanic in Australia trying to dip my toes in to what my original passion for cars was ( tuning).

I currently have a stock rx7 fc in the shed ( somewhat running). And am wondering if rebuilding this and buying a cheap stand alone ecu would be the best place for me to start practicing or if buying a different car to start would be easier / cheaper.

Also what is a cheap and easy ecu to begin learning on or if you have any other suggestions I am diefinetly open to them I want to learn as much as possible.

Thanks Jonno.

I would suggest that you look around at your local enthusiast scene (Street, Drag Strip, Road Racing, local shops, etc). What ECU is popular that they have that might need tuning? If you can run your RX7 on a version of that ECU, then that would be a great place to start. It may be that learning to reflash OEM ECUs is the direction you need to go.

Thanks heaps for the quick reply, I have messaged a couple of local car clubs but there seems to be a wide variety of ecu's In the rx7's (most a bit out of my price range haha (in saying that I don't mind saving for the cause )).

As for reflashing I understand the concept it's just been drilled in to me from day 1 that a factory ecu is read only and to mod u need to buy an aftermarket one. Obviously this is wrong but it's just something I will have to shake. And research into more.

Is this something that would be cheaper/ more practical to learn on over tuning the rx7 ?

Say maybe buy an old Hyundai or ford and try reflash the ecu ?

Sorry for the barrage of questions. I really do appreciate any and all help I am so excited to get started and want to get my hands dirty

I would say a turbocharged rotary is not a great choice of engine to learn to tune with. They are easily broken and not very forgiving. On top of that there are very few plug-in ECU options for the FC and no re-flash options or other tuning options. So this would mean you will have to fit a standalone ECU and make a custom harness.

My personal advice would be to go for something that is cheap and common locally, something like a '90s Honda or Nissan as there are then many low cost plug-in ECU's and other tuning options such as Nistune or Hondata. In NA form they are also bullet proof so you can really give them a hard time while learning to tune with little risk.

That sounds like some solid advice I really appreciate it thank you for all your help =)

I'd second Adam's advice - Rotaries are quite an advanced engine to tune. Given that you're in Australia the Haltech would be a sensible option to learn on given that it's so popular but realistically any of the brands we use in our courses will be a great option. I learned initially on a stock N/A 4AGE which was a great option for me given that it is pretty difficult to hurt these engines in stock form.