Tuning advice (which company to go with)
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    1. #1
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      Tuning advice (which company to go with)

      Hello all,

      This is my first post. I have owned my 07 V50 MT AWD for a little over 2 years now. In that time, I have acquired all the mods to accommodate a stage 2+ - 3 tune. I have a 3 inch turbo back exhaust, do88 FMIC with hard pipes, elevate intake, ipd HD tcv. My question is, which company is the best tuner? Please let me know what you think and also why you believe it. Thanks in advance for the help.

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    3. #2
      Member EngTech's Avatar
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      I Guess that would Depend on If Your going to 412cc Injectors and High Speed Balanced Turbo like over in UK
      or a K16

      Nothing is Ported ?
      ** V50 AWD - Handling & Performance Tweaks = New Stance / VW CC - Handling Tweaks - Testing & Porting - Intake Mods
      A Garden Gate will Last You a Life Time . http://s261.photobucket.com/user/Eng...0Trim%20%20etc

    4. #3
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      Nothing is Ported ?[/QUOTE]

      Most likely not changing the turbo. Considering porting and polishing the lower manifold and doing airspeed upper, but that's later. Right now I'm just in need of a tune. I can do larger injectors and pump if necessary.

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    6. #4
      Junior Member BigJim9254's Avatar
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      I’m going with Hilton for my 04 V70R. Vast for my son’s 97 850 T5 monster RN swap. Lots of good reviews for both that I’ve read.

    7. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by BigJim9254 View Post
      I’m going with Hilton for my 04 V70R. Vast for my son’s 97 850 T5 monster RN swap. Lots of good reviews for both that I’ve read.
      Hilton is one I've been considering. Thanks.

    8. #6
      Global Moderator MyNameIdeasWereTaken's Avatar
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      Hilton, Shark, and Elevate are the only companies you should consider for tuning a US-spec P1 Volvo.
      There are strongly mixed reviews on all three companies, so do some research first. I've had experiences with all of them...

      Quote Originally Posted by V50unicorn View Post
      I have a 3 inch turbo back exhaust, do88 FMIC with hard pipes, elevate intake, ipd HD tcv.
      You need to ditch that iPd TCV and revert to an OEM pierburg unit. The iPd part is prone to dangerous boost spikes and it's much harder to accurately get the timing right with it. There's a reason why Shark and Hilton require/prefer OEM TCVs for both K04 and K16 builds.

    9. #7
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      You need to ditch that iPd TCV and revert to an OEM pierburg unit. The iPd part is prone to dangerous boost spikes and it's much harder to accurately get the timing right with it. There's a reason why Shark and Hilton require/prefer OEM TCVs for both K04 and K16 builds.[/QUOTE]

      Thank you for letting me know that. I trager been considering all 3 companies that you listed and IPD as well. Internet drama aside, Do you have a favorite?

    10. #8
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      Im using the porsche HD TCV pierburg variant since a week or so. Seems to be doing its job very wel.. The TCV itself feels much heavier. So far so good

      It was also half the price of the volvo pierburg TCV

    11. #9
      Has anyone here actually tuned their own car? Or is everyone going off the word of the people doing the tuning?

      I know people like Hilton and Shark and all them SAY it's hard to tune with a mac valve due to the way it functions, and they've essentially got us over a barrel for being some of the few guys out there tuning volvo's, which should make us less inclined to believe them IMO.

      I have a hard time believing Volvo's ECM program can handle switching between OEM, HD Porsche, and iPD/Elevate's HD, and the timings therein WITHOUT an issue, but the tuners out there have a hard time working out the issues. It sounds to me like their solution is semi-janky and doesn't play well, and they're eliminating the need to improve their product in exchange for "can't do it, can cause issues." Damnit Jim, they're mechanics not programmers!
      Last edited by avenger09123; 11-26-2019 at 05:31 PM.
      2006 Volvo S40 AWD T5 M66 - Dusty Rusty
      2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT - Slowmobile - CAI only, Powerstop Rotors+Pads.
      1996 HD Electra Glide - Big Bertha - 10:1 Wisecos; EV13 Cam: Ultima Digital Ignition; Buell Head Conversion; E85 Carb Tuned;

    12. #10
      Global Moderator MyNameIdeasWereTaken's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by avenger09123 View Post
      Has anyone here actually tuned their own car? Or is everyone going off the word of the people doing the tuning?
      I know of a handful of people who claim to have tuned their own cars. But of course, none of them were willing to share what they did or how they did it. Two of these individuals made some local appearances to show off their work, then completely vanished a few months after their claimed results and never followed up with their potential customers. Makes me question if they broke their cars... We know ARD was having some problems with "modern" Volvos and that's when they stopped advertising their tunes. But I fully agree, software programming isn't the hardest thing in the world and now that P1s are mostly disposable cars, I truly hope we get some more adventurous individuals who start playing around with self tuning.

      Quote Originally Posted by avenger09123 View Post
      I have a hard time believing Volvo's ECM program can handle switching between OEM, HD Porsche, and iPD/Elevate's HD, and the timings therein WITHOUT an issue, but the tuners out there have a hard time working out the issues. It sounds to me like their solution is semi-janky and doesn't play well, and they're eliminating the need to improve their product in exchange for "can't do it, can cause issues." Damnit Jim, they're mechanics not programmers!
      I would not say the stock tune is capable of handling switches between the varying TCVs.
      I put an iPd TCV on a stock tune, completed with learning procedure, and the car would consistently hit 21psi peak and hold around 19psi with all stock parts. It felt like it was going to pop. Sometimes it would hold at 14psi and randomly spike up to 21psi at varying RPMs. The hoses were all routed correctly. Swapped a stock TCV back on and boost went back to a smooth 10psi with no spikes.

      I put an Elevate TCV on a stock tune and it would peak at 12psi, but behaved mostly like it should have otherwise. Though that's still overboosting for stock software.

      I had a reliable Elevate tune for the stock TCV and swapped on an Elevate TCV, boost was all over the place and not very linear.
      I had a reliable Shark tune for the Elevate TCV and swapped on a stock TCV, it would over boost at 22psi and then continuously drop down to low boost at 13psi where it would level off.
      It took Shark 7 tune revisions for the Elevate TCV before it finally behaved predictably.

      We had Shark do some data logging and live road tuning on K04 and K16 cars, swapping TCVs, Intakes, and intercoolers to test the outcomes. The most controlled and consistent outcomes all came from the stock Pierburg TCV.
      Now I don't know the science behind how each of these TCVs function differently, but the results spoke for themselves. I'd go as far as saying the "improved performance" from upgraded TCVs is the semi-janky practice, as it seems to trick the car to make more power, rather than actually making reliable power.

      Beyond that, Shark and Hilton write some of the best performing tunes for these cars and their suggestion of using a stock part (which is also the cheapest on the market) says something about the Pierburg engineering. But then other companies who have their own TCVs and their own tunes claim that you need to upgrade to their TCV for the best results, sounds like a marketing scheme.

    13. #11
      That was pretty cool to read about. It's almost like each one has a sensitivity range and it's not a one size fits all, and you have to hope you get a good one that plays nice with your oem/aftermarket tune, otherwise custom work is needed to fix it. And yes the claims of faster wastegate operation and longevity on Elevate and iPD's website could be marketing bs to overlook the jankyness (low QA, or defect return rate)of the product they sell.

      As for Pierburg OEM's, I think it speaks more to quality control than engineering standards, given how they ALWAYS go bad around 100k+/-, but always last to that point. It's like the engineers stayed within the design budget to ensure all were built to QA standards and the planned obsolescence folks weighed in before product was sent for manufacturing.

      I used HP Tuners software back in the day. I do wish we could get some support, as their system is by far the most user friendly. And yes, it wouldn't shock me if many of those self-tuners borked their stuff. I remember reading in forums of people changing their AFR to stoich across the rpm range, because it was "&*#$ GM's gas guzzling nature" and then you don't hear from them that summer.
      Last edited by avenger09123; 11-27-2019 at 09:57 AM.
      2006 Volvo S40 AWD T5 M66 - Dusty Rusty
      2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT - Slowmobile - CAI only, Powerstop Rotors+Pads.
      1996 HD Electra Glide - Big Bertha - 10:1 Wisecos; EV13 Cam: Ultima Digital Ignition; Buell Head Conversion; E85 Carb Tuned;

    14. #12
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      @mynameideasweretaken

      I appreciate your information about the tcv's. I have had zero issues with my ipd tcv, it holds a constant 8-9 pounds of boost (according to my cheap guage). However, if it needs to be swapped back to a factory unit for a quality tune, I'll do it. Hilton and Shark are the companies that I have looked at multiple times. Hilton offers data logging software which intrigues me. I know that using a data logger will get me the closest thing to a dyno tune without a dyno. My question is; is it worth spending the extra $200 for that software, or are their off the shelf tunes dialed in enough that it's pointless?

    15. #13
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      Bump

    16. #14
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      I tuned my 850 with an aftermarket ecu- and worked on it with a laptop program I had one of the IPD TCUs a mac valve and it did fail and went to a Pierburg my V50 has a BSR tune and the factory tcv I am sorting other issues before I work on the intercooler and piping

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