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Discussion and questions related to the course Road Tuning
So I've mustered up the courage to give tuning my car a go as it has been running the wrong AFRs for some time due to some changes in the set up.
I tried giving this a go tonight but I found it very difficult to try and get steady state going, fortunately I have a lot of quiet roads near me at night though it's still very difficult to pay attention to the laptop to ensure you are hitting all the load cells in the RPM column while obviously paying attention to the road.
Andre I know you did your road tune on a closed track in the road tuning course, just wanted to know if you have any other tips for steady state tuning while on the road and facing my dilemma. I have now familiarised myself with left foot braking which is great but obviously even if I'm datalogging it's still very difficult to know where I am on the load axis without paying full attention to the laptop to ensure I get every cell dialled in.
I tried just doing slow open throttle runs but I found with an unstable AFR table my values are absolutely everywhere presenting other issues. Is my best bet to just datalog for 10-15 minutes of continuous driving, then sit down at my desk and make all the necessary changes using have/want as best as possible and rinse and repeat?
I have the same issue road tuning, i will be testing a setup that involves using a USB-C Screen thats attached to a modified Armor X Suction cup mount setup that sits in my line of sight so i can keep an eye on the crosshairs (I use a Link G4+) and ensure that its travelling down the column i have highlighted. I will also be using a Bluetooth Keyboard so i Don't have to keep picking up and putting down the Laptop.
Could give something similar a go maybe?
Hope this helps :)
I know this is not the safest solution but I use to put my laptop on the dash and lock it in place with my GPS. Adjust the brightness so it doesn't effect your vision. Like I said not the safest but it worked for me. That way I could see things at a quick glance and never really had to look away from the road to long to get a quick view of what the engine was doing. but you could always got in 500 rpm increments and hit each rpm range and hold it for 5 -10 seconds Example hold 2000 rpm for 5 -10 seconds slowly increase the rpms while driving in 500 rpm increments to 2500 for 5- 10 seconds then 3000 and so on. I have found that it will populate most of the important cells that way. That is a little safer than the laptop on the dash solution. Those are some of the things I do maybe it will help you also.
Hey Grant. That sounds brilliant and like it would work perfectly. I will look into it.
Richard, thats what im doing right now (500 rpm increments), though my laptop is quite large so it would rock back and forth on my dash, not to mention my dash isn't really big enough, and even if that wasn't an issue there'd be a lot of trouble if a cop saw me doing it.
Sounds like you guys need a driver. As the tuner, I like to sit in the passenger seat. The driver can concentrate on the driving.
I'm going to be buying these to use,
The suction mounts hold up to 3kg so should be good for a USB monitor. I'll be mounting it directly above my centre console to comply with regs here in NZ, also so I can watch the crosshairs without taking my eyes off the road.
Add the bluetooth keyboard and a power pack and I'm good for a repeatable tuning setup. I will let you know how I get on.
Tried having a driver for myself but that proved problematic when they got a bit to into WOT and wouldnt back off when I told em too, too much time delay between me hearing knock, telling them to back off and them actually backing off.
I did the laptop on my lap and found it way too distracting as I had to fully look away from the road to see the laptop and found that to be really unsafe.
Hey Grant, that set up looks pretty promising, I could see that working for me.
Doing it last night the way I was doing it wasn't ideal and not sure I could ever iron out a good tune doing it that way. Any chance you could share what USB C type portable display you were looking into? I've had a quick look through the internet but have only been able to find rather large displays.
@David, a driver would be nice, but pretty much what Grant said here. I'm not really comfortable nor fast enough to be wasting someone else's time driving my car around all day. If all else fails I may ask a friend but even while I was doing it yesterday with use of datalogging I just wasn't getting through it fast enough. Also I'm very nervous about going into untuned areas so I'm not sure how I'd react if someone else was driving the car at this stage.
So apparently there's a Teamviewer for tablet which I've just downloaded, and I have used to successfully connect to my laptop with.
Doesn't seem too laggy and the refresh rate looks really good. Just letting you know if you want to try this before you purchase a screen as it may work out to be cheaper if it works for you. I won't try it till tonight when it's quiet again, but if it works then this is going to be great, will just have to go out and find a suitable suction cup or magnet that will hold my tablet (in a pinch, but will probably end up purchasing the armor-x stuff you linked since that will be a more suitable permanent solution).
Pic below so you can see what it looks like on the tab. Let me know what you think!
My thoughts too I can wait to try it because I am having those problems with my tune. I need a reliable and safe way to steady state on the road, especially with the boost control. My AFRs are all up the wazoo but the GTR is still happy thankfully.
I'm finding most monitors are about 14" or bigger but that's not a bad thing in my books, means I can stay focused on the road and use the corner of my eye to track the crosshairs.
I will be logging an entire column, stopping, going over the data and adjusting lambda in each cell then repeat. That way I'm not trying to tinker whilst the vehicle is in motion.
I am looking at getting this AOC because it's cheap and functional, it uses USB 3.0 which is great because my current laptop doesnt have USB-c. That way I can test if it actually works well.
If it does I'll upgrade to an ASUS usb-c monitor when I get a new laptop, some of the ASUS montors come with an internal battery which will help preserve laptop life.
I found powering my laptop to be the biggest challenge as it only tends to give me an hours tuning.
Dont stress about going into the unturned areas of your map. As long as you follow Andre's instruction around a safe starting point on your ignition map you will be fine. I had the same fear but now I just send it, GTR is still alive and kicking harder than ever!
Sorry this is the AOC Monitor
That looks promising I was wondering if I could connect a tablet! Might work pretty well actually!
The Armor X range appears designed more for tablets too so that would work well. I've had shit go flying off magnets under WOT so I'm not too keen to put too much weight (like a tablet) on magnets as it might end up flying thru the back window hahaha.
Legend, thanks so much Grant. I made this post feeling a bit silly but so glad I did.
Lol! Sending the GTR, seems like I need a little bit of that in my life. This car was already tuned before so the ignition tables are (should be) ok thankfully fuel is all I need to adjust. On the bright side I am running E85 so knock is a little less concerning, but hopefully one day I can rent a dyno for a few hours and fiddle with a few other things.
I will be changing the turbo in a few weeks so I'm not too concerned about this being perfect, just driveable and not having crazy oscillation is the goal.
Oh yeah.. tell me about stuff going flying. I had an oopsie with left foot braking last night my left foot thought I was on the clutch and absolutely hammered the brake laptop went flying... I'm grateful it still works lol. Suction cup it is.
I had the same silly feeling making a post last night about connecting my Innovate LM2 to the ECU to log AFR that way (see I'm still tuning by trying to remember what the meter said when I was in xyz cell and that's painful). But I was glad I did, super helpful reply.
Also with GTRs (I have a 33) you have to use 4D so bit of a mish. Chuck in closed loop boost control that sends me up to 1.2bar of boost in 3rd gear and 1.3bar in 4th LMAO all on factory turbos........I dont know how it's still alive #sendit
Heres my stand for laptop, in place for car stereo
There's a couple of tips I can add to this thread. Obviously safety is the #1 priority and I can't stress that enough. One way of effectively road tuning is using a helper to drive or make the tuning changes. This way communication between driver and tuner can get you where you need to be. The other option that's quite easy is to align yourself in the middle of a column and take note of your rev counter. You can then slowly and smoothly increase your throttle opening while maintaining the same rpm with the brake. This works well in conjunction with data logging.
The last option is really only suitable if you're very experienced and have the use of a closed road or race track. In this situation you can glance at the laptop screen to make sure you're in the right spot. The ideas in this thread about getting the laptop screen viewable on the dash are a great idea though which would make this much safer.
Hey Andre, thanks for the additional tips.
Just wanted to point out Grant's idea hit the nail on the head. I got a tablet mount and put it smack bang in the middle of my windscreen where I can see the road and can momentarily and very safely glance at the tablet to see where I am in the load cell, which I teamviewered to my laptop with.
Worked an absolute mint and can't thank Grant enough for making this idea apparent. A mini monitor connected via USB would definitely make this idea even better (as he also already suggested), as I found teamviewer sometimes froze and I'd have to restart the app and try again, but this worked too well and the car is now almost dialled in.
Would've been no way I could have done it the way I was trying to do it before.
Hey Andre & Dana,
Sorry Ive taken what two years to come back haha, I thought I may add to this for both your references, my process met the requirements under the Health & Safety Act here in NZ as long as I have adequate signage on the front and rear of the vehicle, much like a rubbish truck has to or a Road Inspection Vehicle that alerts other road users to things like "This vehicle may brake suddenly and/or have the brake lights operational without stopping"
There are plenty of signage places that can manufacture these with soft backing to protect the rear of the vehicle.
Applying your hazard lights throughout the process is also required on Public Roads, also ensuring the monitor is mounted in the centre console area (still using that window mount with an extended arm) and that it is a static display that you cannot adjust whilst driving, will pass a Police check here in NZ!
Obviously you must stick within the posted speed limits but the Police who pulled me over (because they could read my monitor through my back window) were very impressed with how this fitted within the regulations at the time.
Sadly my GTR was stolen two years back, but I am restarting this journey and diving straight into my C6 RS6, obviously I cannot do steady state on the road thanks to the ZF Gearbox and WOT Pulls would be license loosing in a flash but the above process netted me at least 300kW at the wheels on a near factory setup on the GTR (Running Link ECU, Fast Response IAT Sensor, Boost Solenoid & Decatted exhaust with HKS catback exhaust system), the rest was completely Factory.
I would strongly advise checking your local State's H&S regulations for working in the Roading Corridor as this is where you will find applicable rules that can be applied to road tuning. Also ensuring that you are doing this during non peak times and away from other enthusiast groups that are out at the time will reduce the chances of Police trying to make an example of you.
Hope this helps!
Well done, Grant, especially considering some of the BS we have to deal with!
Another option may be to simply record vocal notes to one's smart-phone as one is driving, then pulling over and making the changes noted?
Best thing, as previously mentioned, is to have someone else drive, preferably who can give good feedback and actually take instruction on what you want him/her to do.
Sorry I should add that you shouldn't live tune on the road, road tuning needs to be treated like reflashing an ECU.
Set your preferred program to record the data in the column you want to tune, so should only be glancing at the screen (must impress it has to be a static display) momentarily like you would your mirrors.
You then find a safe place to pull over and review the data log and make the adjustments.
So treating it like reflashing a factory ecu where you can't live tune!
If your making adjustments whilst the vehicle is moving that is just plain dangerous.
The only thing you cannot do legally is a WOT pull and my recommendation there is to make calculated adjustments based on the overall pattern of your map until you can get dyno time to do it properly (as I had to do).
Again the above process met H&S as well as Land Transport regulations here in NZ back in 2020.