Author Topic: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza  (Read 326 times)

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Offline cheech00TS

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Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« on: June 18, 2019, 09:17:17 PM »
After speaking with an engine builder from Calgary about trying to make a previously modded 2011 STI reliable as a DD (which seems highly unlikely), I decided that keeping my NA would be much better for my sanity and my bank account. We got talking about possibilities for my 2.5i and he recommends getting a Tactrix and using RomRaider to change a few parameters to make the car a bit more lively and efficient.

I'm wondering about what kind of laptop/tablet I should use for tuning as I'm a Mac/iPad guy and don't really want to be dealing with running Windows through a MacBook. I'm thinking of picking up a cheap laptop with a recent version of Windows and having it as a dedicated tuning device. Can I basically find any Windows based laptop on kijiji (provided it's working properly) and expect that it will do the job?

I'm sure this might be a better question for the Ask Anything section, but I want to reach out to those WSC members who have a lot of experience with this. I definitely won't be doing any of the actual tuning on my own, this will simply be the conduit for the engine builder to use as he makes a few adjustments.

Your advice is always appreciated.
'06 2.5i Wagon: 60KM->sold
'01 Forester S: 217KM->sold
'10 2.5i Wagon: gone...
'07 WRX Wagon: 167,xxx really fun kms!
'11 2.5i Limited Wagon

Online RockThePylon

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2019, 10:06:36 PM »
Can I basically find any Windows based laptop on kijiji (provided it's working properly) and expect that it will do the job?

Basically, ya.

The laptop does not need to be very recent, or very powerful. I used a Dell m1530 for years, which was a circa 2007 laptop, running Windows 7.

Good battery life is very convenient, but power inverters are cheap and easy.

15"+ screen, or have an external monitor available. Looking at the tables on a small screen is brutal.

I definitely won't be doing any of the actual tuning on my own, this will simply be the conduit for the engine builder to use as he makes a few adjustments.

NA is pretty easy to tune, as in, it's not likely to grenade because you misunderstood something.
If you ever wanted to learn, it's a great place to start.
I may scream like a dainty lady, but I punch like a fairly strong 11-year-old.

Offline jellynuts

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2019, 11:00:02 PM »
NA is pretty easy to tune, as in, it's not likely to grenade because you misunderstood something.
If you ever wanted to learn, it's a great place to start.

Agreed, but I don't think any amount of modification to a stock NA motor will make a significant difference.  So, while it might be a worthwhile venture for the learning experience, don't expect to make a monster out of your engine.  And needless to say, building an NA motor is huge dollars as well. 

After speaking with an engine builder from Calgary about trying to make a previously modded 2011 STI reliable as a DD (which seems highly unlikely)...

Wasn't the car in question basically an intake/dp and tune?  Despite the BOV, I think you're overreacting...
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Offline Mason

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2019, 11:18:17 PM »


Wasn't the car in question basically an intake/dp and tune?  Despite the BOV, I think you're overreacting...

I also recall seeking a forum member posting a clean 2011 sti for under 20k with a stock bpv

Offline mojikita

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2019, 12:32:44 AM »
I don't think any amount of modification to a stock NA motor will make a significant difference. 

I can speak to this. About 5 years ago I spoke to Tom at TechWorks quite a bit about NA mods for a project. I didn’t end up tuning it, but I bumped the compression to 11.5:1 with a different shortblock and put in cams. I could tell there was a difference, but it was not really noticeable. Even if you are willing to drop enormous amounts of money, NA Subaru builds have limited potential for gains. I’ve seen one or two serious NA builds for sale on here over the years and they garner very little interest or response. When I sold my project, I got way less than what I put into the engine. It was a lot of fun building it, though.

If you do go ahead with it, check out Phatboddi Tuning. They’ve posted about H6 tuning on Nasioc so they have some NA experience.

Offline cheech00TS

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2019, 09:50:47 AM »
I know it may seems like an over-reaction, but money is a bit tight and there are other things in my life that require my extra cash if/when I have some. I'd have a really hard time trying to pay for a new engine, so for me the risk is too high. I appreciate everyone's POV on it though.

As for NA tuning, I've always been well aware that there are no monster gains to be had. I'm looking to increase idle a bit to make the car a bit more drivable after swapping in a lightweight flywheel when I replaced the clutch and timing belt (engine was out, wanted to have the car rev a little quicker). I'm also hoping to get a bit better throttle response, and maybe even find a few extra mpg if possible. I'm probably not even going to add mods like headers or exhaust because I realize that the gain/$ spent is very small and the car would be more fun to drive with continuing upgrades to suspension, brakes, short throw shifter...

I have an older macbook that I'd love to use for tuning, but I'm not a computer guy at all so this morning's reading about using a different OS like Linux or Windows on the Mac has confused me a bit. Does anyone use RomRaider and EcuFlash on a Mac, and if so can you walk me through a simple setup for it? Again, I'm not planning on editing tables myself, I just need to have a computer that can run the programs in case I need to revert back to a stock map. Any help would be great. Thanks.

'06 2.5i Wagon: 60KM->sold
'01 Forester S: 217KM->sold
'10 2.5i Wagon: gone...
'07 WRX Wagon: 167,xxx really fun kms!
'11 2.5i Limited Wagon

Offline SlowLGT

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2019, 10:15:05 AM »
You might have better gain with EZ30 or EZ36 swap, and cheaper.

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2019, 10:17:12 AM »
Jimpreza did some work on his 2014 NA Impreza and he was in Edmonton - I haven't seen him around for a while so I'm not sure where he is these days or if he still has it.
His build thread if you're interested

Offline jellynuts

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2019, 10:31:58 AM »
I know it may seems like an over-reaction, but...

No, that's fair.

You might have better gain with EZ30 or EZ36 swap, and cheaper.

Man, if I had the know how and ability, I'd love to do an H6 into an old wagon.
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Offline ultimatt

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2019, 10:55:49 AM »
You're going to spend more money modding an NA, to get less performance than a non modded wrx / sti, than you would spend making a turbo car "reliable."

Just drive the NA hard and enjoy it.
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Offline Canuckrz

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2019, 11:02:04 AM »
You're going to spend more money modding an NA, to get less performance than a non modded wrx / sti, than you would spend making a turbo car "reliable."

Just drive the NA hard and enjoy it.
This would also be my position. The Subaru NA motors are not worth dropping any amount of cash on unless your expectations are just for it to sound better. It's just burning money.

You would be better off focusing on suspension, or finding a well maintained and documented turbo car if you want to stick with Subaru and want more performance.

You might have better gain with EZ30 or EZ36 swap, and cheaper.
OP isn't confident in doing an oil pickup, I don't think an H6 swap into an Impreza chassis is a realistic option.

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2019, 11:07:20 AM »
Man, if I had the know how and ability, I'd love to do an H6 into an old wagon.
I'd put my money and time into one of these. Cars with Mpower, xdrive, and 6 speed manual occasionally come up for sale.

Offline cheech00TS

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2019, 12:52:34 PM »

Man, if I had the know how and ability, I'd love to do an H6 into an old wagon.

I actually started poking around a bit about this, to see if there was a way to stay NA and get a whole lot faster. I think the motivation came from buying a '17 Outback 3.6R for the family ride... That thing is so fun to push the pedal down on. Anyways, you all know how that research ended... $$$$$.

You would be better off focusing on suspension

I've installed Perrin front end links with Whiteline F sway bar bushings, changed out struts (albeit to KYB again), replaced front tie rod ends, added rear subframe lockdown kit, STi rear sway bar and Kartboy rear end links, so I'm getting to the end of the suspension mods unless I decide to go to a stiffer spring like Swift (so I can keep ride height the same). I also upgraded brakes to Stoptech pads and rotors. Next would be a Kartboy short shift kit, then maybe a pitch stop. I feel like I've taken care of a lot of the non-engine related improvements that can be made within reason, now I'd like to see what a bit of tuning might be able to accomplish. Again, I don't expect much nor do I plan on spending much.

Does anyone have any insight to offer on the Mac tuning idea? Is it pretty straight forward to just run Windows or Linux and avoid buying another laptop?
'06 2.5i Wagon: 60KM->sold
'01 Forester S: 217KM->sold
'10 2.5i Wagon: gone...
'07 WRX Wagon: 167,xxx really fun kms!
'11 2.5i Limited Wagon

Offline tracker

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2019, 04:12:54 PM »
Sunny helped me some time ago when I got my first DBW Subaru and though something was wrong with the engine... the difference in throttle behaviour was very noticeable and annoying, especially if you are into any kind of "winter sports" that need a more responsive throttle.

He didn't change any tuning (it was an NA EJ25) but changed the throttle curve to 1:1 - simulating a cable-driven throttle body as close as possible.

The difference was night and day. I highly recommend it!
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Offline cheech00TS

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2019, 05:22:09 PM »
Sunny helped me some time ago when I got my first DBW Subaru and though something was wrong with the engine... the difference in throttle behaviour was very noticeable and annoying, especially if you are into any kind of "winter sports" that need a more responsive throttle.

He didn't change any tuning (it was an NA EJ25) but changed the throttle curve to 1:1 - simulating a cable-driven throttle body as close as possible.

The difference was night and day. I highly recommend it!

That's the kind of thing I'm interested in exploring. I'm really going in with low expectations, so any positive change will be appreciated.
'06 2.5i Wagon: 60KM->sold
'01 Forester S: 217KM->sold
'10 2.5i Wagon: gone...
'07 WRX Wagon: 167,xxx really fun kms!
'11 2.5i Limited Wagon

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2019, 12:29:21 PM »
Y'all need to chill. Tuning NA isn't going to show huge gains on the dyno. Everyone knows that.

But the improvement in feel can be amazing.
I may scream like a dainty lady, but I punch like a fairly strong 11-year-old.

Offline cheech00TS

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Re: Tactrix and RomRaider/EcuFlash for 2011 2.5i Impreza
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2019, 07:56:36 AM »
So I took a drive to a trusted engine builder yesterday to make a few slight changes to the stock maps for my car. I was very clear about my expectations, and also my limited understanding of tuning in general. I told him about my issues with the lightweight flywheel being much more difficult to engage smoothly, so we increased the idle rpms slightly when the car gets up to operating temp and it has definitely helped reduce shudder.

He also took a look at the timing and advanced it slightly at lower rpms. It seems to drive a lot more smoothly now, and I’ve even seen an improvement in fuel mileage from 8.2 down to 7.0 l/100km (per on board display). Power from 3000 rpm up feels more responsive as well.

I would love to do some logging to make sure that these changes aren’t having any ill effects, even though I’ve been assured that they are well within acceptable ranges. I’m still very new to this process and I haven’t logged at all, so if anyone with some logging experience would like to help me out I would really appreciate it.
'06 2.5i Wagon: 60KM->sold
'01 Forester S: 217KM->sold
'10 2.5i Wagon: gone...
'07 WRX Wagon: 167,xxx really fun kms!
'11 2.5i Limited Wagon