chipping 3B's

Mihnea Cotet c_mihnea at
Mon Mar 31 02:47:56 EST 2003

Hi Ken! As you might have expected, I'll chime in with
some comments/thoughts... :-)

--- auditude at wrote:
> I was just thinking.  If chips are something that
> can be burned/programmed by anyone with
> the right equipment, which I hear isn't
> unattainable, is it just the content of the chips
> that is
> what people are paying for?

Yup, exactly. The chip itself barely costs 5 bucks a
piece when you buy them 1 piece at once but the
contents are much more expensive, especially if you
buy it from someone who developed it himself...

> Is this stuff technically protected (locked,
> encrypted, etc.) in some manner that would
> prevent someone with a chip from a tuner from
> copying that onto another chip?  Or, is it that
> it is copywritten and the reason I haven't heard
> about it more related to intellectual property
> issues?

Even if it might be bad for my business, I'll say the
truth because lots of people around don't know it!

The actual intellectual property on a chip, wether
done by MTM's Peter Link, Herr Heinz Lehmann, Tom
Schmalz, myself or whomever BELONGS TO ROBERT BOSCH
A.G., not the actual tuner. Why is that? Because the
chip contains 1) firmware or program code that affects
the way the ECU interprets the data and 2) data or
lookup tables that contain the values for ignition
timing, fuel inejction corrections, intake air temp
correction, oxygen sensor correction for WOT and part
throttle and so on.

A tuner never modifies the actual firmware part of a
chip, only the lookup tables, and thus he couldn't
ever claim any intellectual property on a chip's

So basically, nothing except your morals could ever
prevent you from making and selling copies of someone
else's chips, but the point is that you won't ever
know for what setup the chip is made and you risk to
blow your engine. I've recently seen a chip sold in
the US as a chip for a 2.5 Bar MAP but that was
actually made for a 3.0 Bar. This way, the only
problem is the lack of performance but the other way
around the risk is to ruin your stock turbo... The
copyright issue is also the reason why big names such
as MTM sell their chip upgrades with coded sockets,
but a coded socket isn't a problem for a very good
quality eprom programmer, and oh yeah, there are also
some very clever people out there who've found out
that removing the 3B ECU's sockets (ALL 3B ECUs have
socketed chips from the factory, this is written in an
official document I have at home from Bosch) and
soldering the chips in (sometimes even glueing them to
the PCB) was a very nice way of avoiding having other
people find out what they use in their chips (I can
only say it's not their own chips). I won't go any
further by provinding names and such because it isn't
fair to say publicly the unfair things others do,
especially when I don't do such things myself. :-)

> I understand the chip mods for 3B's consist of a
> pressure transducer upgrade from 2.0 bar
> to 2.5 or 3.0 bar, and two eproms.
> I read that Mihnea is programming his own chips,
> which is one thing that is interesting.
> What else I find interesting is burning chips with
> known programs.  Is that possible?

What do you mean with "known programs"? The whole
point about programming the chips isn't the software
one is using in order to modify the maps, but knowing
what the data looks like, where it is (depends on ECU
types and software versions) and knowing how to alter
the various parameters in order to get a good result.
The software one uses in order to do that has nothing
to do with reprogramming as one can use just about any
hex editor software when he knows what to modify and
how. Before having the software I now have, I used to
use a simple hex editor and excel in order to do
spreadsheets with the maps, and I have done chips like
that for a few months before having my current hex
editor and interpretor.
Then, some people in the US might know where are the
modified areas in a chip but I am almost 100% positive
*no one* in the US has access to the original Bosch
data in order to see real-world values for what
they're modifying. Just ask any US chip vendor how
many degrees (BTDC) is the ignition timing correction
programmed at 19 and 42 degrees Celsius for a "stage
1" 3B chip and you'll see for yourself how much the
famous and reputable US vendors know about their
stuff. The only exception *might* be Hoppen because
MTM *might* give him that information if he requests
it. I for one can tell exactly how my chips are
programmed and what values they contain if there's
need for such information. Of course, there's nothing
bad for these people to resell other people's chips
but then they should resell them for cheaper than they
do and for some of them, they should also stop
claiming it's *their own* chips when it's not!

> Also, it seems like the 3.0 bar pressure transducers
> are used in upgrades that tend to have
> more torque but the same horsepower (using the same
> hardware, namely a stock K24) as
> the upgrades using the 2.5 bar transducers.  I take
> that to mean that the turbo is cranking
> out more hp at lower rpms and is backed off as the
> rpms increases to keep the turbo from
> running out of breath.

Correct, a 3.0 Bar sensor only has the advantage of
providing with more torque (because of the increased
boost pressure that the ECU can measure and therefore
control) but the HP a stock K24 can give is limited by
its physical limits, which is about 280-285 HP
depending on the fuel and the ambient temps. Any more
than that and the turbo can simply blow up in smoke,
in 200 or 20.000 miles...

> What sensor are most people on the list using, the
> 2.5 or the 3.0 bar transducer?  Is this
> translatable to a certain tuners chips?

I dunno and I'll let the others answer this one but
one thing is certain, Bosch doesn't publicly sell the
2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 Bar transducers anymore.

> software does ECS use?

I think ECS is using MTM software but I'm not sure.
Simply go and ask them or whomever in the US a 3B chip
for the following hardware upgrades: 7A cams, RS2
exhaust manifold, AAN intake manifold, RS2 injectors
with 5 Bar fuel pressure (stock 3B is 3Bar), a K26 #8
hot side, K27 compressor housing with a K29 compressor
wheel and a huge front mount IC. I am ready to bet my
engine that they won't be able to supply such software
and won't be able to modify your ECU in real time on a
dyno for the aforementioned hardware setup. This
provides you with a nice answer in case you wonder if
someone does their own software in the US :-)

Hope this helps and sorry for saying the truth out
loud, I guess some people will hate me now...


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