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ECU option for the my99 uk2000 3 plug impreza

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Hi Guys

Beginners post so I'm a bit of a novice so bare with me. I currently have a ecutek'd ecu tuned to 350 bhp (20g turbo, 740 injectors, 57i induction kit and uprated intake pipe, FMI, 3 inch turbo back exhaust, 255 lph walbro, 3 port boost solenoid, ej207 bottom end, RCM gaskets, 6 spd gearbox, pink box clutch etc)

There are many tuners that say this set up is good for at least 380 but my mapper said my MAF wont go above 350 (spoke to two other mappers and they both said that you can rescale them fine to over 400). anyway. my question is I'd like to start mapping my self. I've contacted ecutek and they will only sell me the trade k series 99 software as a trader for £2500 with 5 keys.

What I'm after is a ecu that I can learn on that isn't going to cost me thousands, "I know you get what you pay for etc". however as my vehicle isn't DBW I cant use open source software as they only do DBW (or at least what I can find). there are options like simtek, alcatek, eculabs, but they all want your previous ecu in exchange and I would like to keep my ecu so I don't feel the need to go after power straight away when learning to map. obviously you have haltech, link etc but there all big bucks. what would people recommend? has anyone heard of eculabs and have they had good experiences? I know there a French company that offer to upgrade a standard ecu with mafless, lc, al, flat foot shifting, switchable maps,

So if there's anyone who's had the same and knows a good route to go down I'd appreciate any advise.

Kind regards


What's your goal? Is the goal to learn how to tune? Is the goal to make your car faster in some kind of application such as a drag race or circuit race? Is the goal to get 30 more horsepower cheaply?

If your goal is to learn how to tune, this isn't a good way to start--essentially recreating somebody else's tune on a significantly modified engine. I would get a different car honestly (non turbo maybe, or just less mods starting out). If you think buying a Haltech is expensive, blowing up your engine costs even more.

If your goal is to go faster in a race cranking up the boost isn't the only way (lighter weight, more practice/skill, change tires). If the goal is to tune with opensource so you don't have to spend money on a Haltech, you might be able to do a swap to a ROM raider compatible ECU. http://www.romraider.com/Documentation/SupportedECUs

Alcatek do not require you to hand over your ECU, it is a complete ECU and very cheap compared to others. Its also very easy to use and perfect for a beginner. I agree with Arghx7 that its best to learn on a stock motor but I learned much the same as you are doing, (AlcaTek/SimTek) after just about every aspect of the car had been modified.

There is no problems rescaling your MAF, however dont think that simply changing for a MAP based system will give you more power.

Without sounding silly - are "Spitronic" and "Dicktator" seriously brand names of ECUs?

Here in Australia, one local branch named Microtech used to be nicknamed "Dribbletech"...

Hi Billy,

you're in a bit of a corner regarding tuning on that age bracket of Subaru, ESL are working on a solution for them and have it fully working on their test car but have yet to release it. ECUTEK as you've found out would prefer you to become a tuner, if you were to buy that cable etc you still wouldn't be able to access the current map as their are all individually licensed now, as far as I'm lead to believe.

I've spoke with the guys at ECULABS and everything is coded, the ECU, your hardware key on your computer, even the software, I have it all for access to one customers ECU but he decided going out and doing donuts before mapping was a good idea and melted his engine.

Opensource hasn't cracked the 99/00 ECU

If you're not wanting to go down the expense of a Link plug in you can buy a header plug from the likes of RS Components and make a removable wire in ECU with an adapter loom, that way you can fit a cheaper ECU but still revert back to your original.

Personally I'd save up, get someone to install and tune a Link or the likes for you. If you're wanting to be able to make changes yourself try and come to some arrangement with the tuner that it gets left unlocked, some people are protective over their tunes like this, if it's installed professionally then it should have all the safety features activated for you which should reduce the chance of engine failure, it's not a total safety net and before making changes I'd learn how the datalogging etc works and see how the engines runs before you change anything

Just been checking the Link prices for a customer and the Subaru versions 1-6 ECU's are only £690 GBP +VAT, certainly cheaper than ECUTEK

Sorry guys I thought I'd responded, I've bought the link plug in. Wbls and iats to lose the maf. Ive wired it all up and installed but I'm just getting my head around all the software as it's so simple yet detailed. I've just done the link g4 plus ecu course.

Tbh I want to learn to map the vehicle myself, I've read umpteen books on the topic, I've done the courses. And dw I'm gonna start on actuator pressure and go up slowly.

Tbh I've been happy, rebuilt blown motors etc and enjoy it all. But after playing with a few sti's and them pulling on me until I achieved full boost etc I looked into it and from everything I've read a 20 min map on a dyno isn't really what I want. During normal driving conditions it feels like I'm towing a caravan etc and I've decided I wanna go myself.

Budget ain't really a problem, I just don't like throwing money away when I could be buying other car parts lol but the link was a good deal.

I guess I wanna set it up for track use, but id like to learn all the aspects of tuning.

It's nice to hear pete learnt from a similar background as me. And I understand it won't just give me more power lol but if my maf is pegged and I can't gain more then this is the way forward. If it's not my mappers lying to me to get me to go back for more tune ups? And I have contacted other mappers who have said they rescale the maf and I should see 380-400 But I wanna learn to do it myself.

Thanks for your advice guys


The Link will serve you good. There is plenty of webinars on using its software to see you through.

Good luck

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