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EQ Tuning - Stage 2 Tune for my 2002 WRX

Old 03-07-2013, 02:27 PM
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Smile EQ Tuning - Stage 2 Tune for my 2002 WRX

I don't post often on i-club. But based on all the great reviews I have read about Ed at EQ Tuning, I decided schedule an appointment to have my 2002 bugeye tuned at his shop on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

Executive Summary
Ed and his mechanics are very professional and knowledgeable. Ed's shop is large, well-equipped, and fairly clean. Ed and his mechanics spent a good amount of time working on my car. Ed is very busy but he does take the time to answer customer questions. I am happy with my Stage 2 tune; my car is noticeably more powerful. I had the $400 custom tune done. Ed settled my car at approximately 215 [email protected] RPM and 220 [email protected] RPM with Mustang dyno measurements. Max boost is around 16.3 psi.

The Details
I had my tune scheduled approximately 2 weeks in advance of the date I called to make the appointment. Ed's shop is quite popular so he gets a lot of business. So I think this is fairly common. They open shop at 10am, but I got there almost an hour late. But fortunately Ed and his mechanics were still able to accommodate me.

My car has the following power mods:
  • Perrin intercooler hoses
  • Perrin uppipe
  • Crucial Racing heat-coated divorced wastegate downpipe with a high-flow 3rd cat pipe
  • RS-R Ex-Mag catback exhaust
Ed said a Walbro 255lph fuel pump is necessary because the stock fuel pump is wimpy at above 5500 RPM. Ed also suggested a Hallman manual boost controller for improved boost control. I was fine with having both installed since I wanted my car to run well and safely.

I also asked to have my oil and filter changed since it was due anyway. Ed recommended a heavier 5W40 oil since my engine has 157,500 miles on it. And I asked for my coolant system to be pressure tested. I always smelled some burnt coolant even though I've had no coolant loss. Finally I asked to have them check condition of the gasket behind the compressor bypass valve.

All the maintenance and installs were done. And then the tuning commenced. Ed asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 what I was looking for in terms of power. I wasn't sure so he recommended something middle of the road due to my car's higher mileage. I asked for a 6, so I would have some safety, but still be able to have fun with the car.

The tuning and subsequent testing of my car was done towards the late afternoon. Ed's best run, the no.4 pull, netted 219.5 [email protected] RPM and 224.8 [email protected] RPM. But he settled in the car with approximately 5 fewer HP and 5 fewer TQ. Max boost is around 16.3 psi. Ed said my car was unusual since it made more torque than horsepower, considering it's a 2.0L motor. He also said my car made good numbers overall considering it has 157,500 miles. My car is old, but it's in very good mechanical condition and super clean.

I attached my Mustang dyno printout at the very bottom. Stock power levels from the factory are measured at the crank, 227 [email protected] rpm and 217 [email protected] RPM. With an AWD drivetrain, there's about 25% loss to the wheels. So I figured the car was about 170 [email protected] RPM and 163 [email protected] RPM stock. I got a 26% increase in WHP and a 35% increase in WTQ with my mods and Ed's tune. Not bad for an old car.

I did encounter three minor issues:
  • Ed's mechanic forgot to reinstall my ram air intake hood scoop. I left the shop and stopped at a Starbucks a few miles away. I opened the hood and noticed that it was missing. Fortunately Ed was still at his shop so I drove back and his mechanic reinstalled it. Ed and his mechanic did apologize.
  • Ed's mechanic didn't reattach the rear passenger seatback cushion to the hook on the driver side. I noticed it when I got home. It's not a big deal, since I know how to remove the rear seats and reattach it properly.
  • My AccessPort didn't have scratches before the tune. When I got home, I noticed that there were a few minor scratches on the edge of the screen. This probably resulted from it being moved and shuffled around during the tune. It's not a big deal since the same thing can happen to a smartphone without a protective case. But I'm OCD so I notice these things.
These issues were minor so it doesn't decrease my positive impression of Ed, his mechanics, and his shop. I realize no one is perfect since we are all humans.

I should mention that Ed did decrease the labor rate slightly for the installs from what his mechanic initially calculated, despite the extras that I asked for. His mechanic said the seal on my radiator cap was probably bad. No one else before him was able to figure out the source of the burnt coolant smell. He also put some extra clamps on my coolant overflow hoses as a precautionary measure. And he changed my compressor bypass valve gasket since the original one was wrinkled.

Overall I am happy with my experience at Ed's shop. He knows how to run his business well. He doesn't open on weekends, but I'm sure if he did, he'd make more money. But then he wouldn't have much of a life outside of work. I wouldn't hesitate to take my car back to his shop the next time I need another power upgrade or other type of work.

I recommend Ed's shop for tuning, maintenance, and repair needs. Ed's labor rates are very fair considering the quality of work that he and his mechanics do. It's not cheap, but as the cliché goes, "You get what you pay for". My car is my baby and so I'm willing to pay for experience, quality, and attention to detail.

-James
Attached Thumbnails EQ Tuning - Stage 2 Tune for my 2002 WRX-eq-tuning-mustang-dyno.jpg  

Last edited by dogcatfud; 04-09-2013 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Made some corrections and additions
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:48 PM
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Always nice to see someone taking their car to the next level.

Congrats
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for the nice unbiased review!

-- Ed
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:13 AM
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They also forgot to put my intake duct back on
Other than that, it's a great shop that does quality work at unbeatable prices.

Will there be any issues if I drive around for a while without the intake duct?
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by UnknownAlly View Post
They also forgot to put my intake duct back on
Other than that, it's a great shop that does quality work at unbeatable prices.

Will there be any issues if I drive around for a while without the intake duct?
Anything upstream from the airbox won't be a problem, so that includes the snorkel and the intake silencer, as long as you have the PS fender liner in place still, to keep water out.

Ed's the best tuner around. I have over 100K miles on his stage 2 tune on my car, which includes tons of racing and I even upgraded to a Perrin turbo inlet, P&P'd stock headers, and moved from Reno to sea level without a retune. Still runs great!
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