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Re: S4 mods, IA/Hoppen/TAP (long)
OK, I'll open ye old pandora's box (ECU variety).
I did a good bit of research on ECU upgrades, both with the list, the list
archives, John Buffum, and with several "chip makers," and I went with the
slightly higher performance of Intended Acceleration @ $795. with shipping.
This is Ned Ritchie's company, and he is super helpful, and has more advanced
upgrades if you ever go truly tuner crazy. He also provides very detailed
instructions so you can remove the ECU and speed limiter (130mph) yourself.
His #(360) 754-1411, FAX (360) 956-9540
A VERY close second was Hoppen motorsports in florida, who apparently uses
the German Audi Sport ECU upgrade, @ $420. with shipping. Tel(941) 924-6380
and FAX (941) 924-6980. Both have brochures they'll fax to you.
If you plan on upgrading past the 277/270HP these upgrades offer, I'd
recommend biting the bigger bullet and working with Ned. Though his prices
are higher, Audi tuning is a small market, so I don't fault him for earning a
living. Hoppen is mearly a reseller. From list info, I'd buy manifold and ECU
from one of these, but turbo and other parts elsewhere.
T.A.P. (shields-up, Mr. Checkov!) advertises more HP with their ECU
(287-292), and is very talkative and seemingly helpful on the phone. After
speaking with boss Boivin(?) several times, I have a good bit of information.
I researched it (not with ERIC, but he IS right) and found it was often
wrong, and some suggestions possibly dangerous! Here goes, judge for yourself
the following TAP quotes......
"We supply Many Audi dealerships." I've talked to ~8 (VT,NY,NJ,PA) ?who?
"A new exhaust gives better performance and quicker boost than the RS2
manifold. We sell both, but better to do exhaust than
"Manifold only 3 hrs labor." (Hoppen and our local Libra Racing John Buffum
say 6-7 hrs.)
"Change Wastegate spring, drill out top of wastegate, and turn up or down the
boost with an Allen key." I believe Ned said DONOT on the S4's.
"With the new ECU, your Spring will fatique within about a year, and boost
will diminish." I thought with this ECU that isn't relevant(?)
On the other hand, HOPPEN gave all dyno numbers for each upgrade, and said
"better low end with manifold than exhaust." Numbers back this up.
Stock this engine is 227HP, 350NM torque @1950RPM.
"Chip adds HP43, a little at low RPM, most at top. Torque increase 30NM
"Manifold adds a little HP10, but more low end (2300-3800RPM) torque(+40,
which with ECU upgrade equals 420NM"
"Exhaust adds maybe 5HP, and very minimal torque."
I can't comment on Superchips, since I didn't reseach them after the Vendor
List demonized Peter's wares, but his posts were clear and I now think it is
worth at least looking into his products.
BTW, John Buffam uses Hoppen, "cause I've known and worked with him for a
long time...He's a good friend." ERIC will be inteested to know that he
advised me NOT to change the stock suspension, even for autocross, and
especially not here in Vermont! He warned everybody against 17" wheels,
challenging me to "try 'em on the dirt roads, you'll scare the crTAP out of
Sorry for the length. See you guys at Lime Rock Noon(?) 8/18