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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever heard of UPsolute or Chiptronics? I heard that they have ECM/ECU upgrades for like $325-$375 or so for the newer models. They are based in Austria and Individual reps here in the U.S. that can chip your car in about an hour. Has anyone gotten their car UPsoluted? I went to their webpage at www.upsolute.com and looked at their database and searched for Volvo and found the #'s in Kw. Any one know the conversion from Kw to HP? I called a rep here and he told me that he does them for $350 installed and if they don't have a file yet that he could read my file send it out to be modified and have it back in about a week or so for the same price. He said if I have any problems he can request them to do a revision on the file to correct and it would cost me nothing extra.

Anyone else heard of these guys or had this done? The price tag seems pretty good for the amount of HP gain! (at least from what I could tell)
 

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quote:

Originally posted by yield2Dshield:
Has anyone ever heard of UPsolute or Chiptronics? I heard that they have ECM/ECU upgrades for like $325-$375 or so for the newer models. They are based in Austria and Individual reps here in the U.S. that can chip your car in about an hour. Has anyone gotten their car UPsoluted? I went to their webpage at www.upsolute.com and looked at their database and searched for Volvo and found the #'s in Kw. Any one know the conversion from Kw to HP? I called a rep here and he told me that he does them for $350 installed and if they don't have a file yet that he could read my file send it out to be modified and have it back in about a week or so for the same price. He said if I have any problems he can request them to do a revision on the file to correct and it would cost me nothing extra.

Anyone else heard of these guys or had this done? The price tag seems pretty good for the amount of HP gain! (at least from what I could tell)

1HP equals 1.36Kw

I checked their site...I think the old adage that "you get what you pay for" wouod be apply here. I still think the best tuners for a Volvo would be Sam Steffansson, Scandinavian Car Tuning and IPD/TME.

Yannis
 

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Ive read alot about them on another forum and they are supposedly very good. The chips should bump the ponies up from 5 to 20 depending on the vehicle. From all I see, they have great results.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by vinmanC32:
Ive read alot about them on another forum and they are supposedly very good. The chips should bump the ponies up from 5 to 20 depending on the vehicle. From all I see, they have great results.
There is a very good post, regarding chips and quality, on the S60 Forum. I tend to agree with that post, that you get what you pay for. And I wold not submit my ECU to a company that solders chips onto the ECU. I would only go to a company that uses flash technology...

Yannis
 

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Hello again Volvo enthusiasts,

Fun that my post on the S60 thread was so appreciated. On request from the S60 thread I'll paste the post I made there also here, so here is is:
/daswede

Hi guys,
Fun to see that there are true enthusiasts in the States.

I'll let you in on some history and basic truths about chiptuning your volvos.

Most if not all of the chips or (s/w upgrades) naturally originates from sweden. And here (in Sweden) one very simple rule applies. You get what you pay for!

Basically you have to choose from SCT, SAM & TME (=ipd). Both SCT and SAM use soldering techniques (big risk of ECU damage in the long run). TME uses flash technology which leaves the HW intact (better). SCT & SAM have had fairly good programs for 850 and SVC70 up to 98, but driveability/reliability is better if you choose TME. In 99 when the new Engine management system (ME7) was introduced every tuner was stunned. The new system was so complex that they just could not crack it. After a while Superchips came out with a chip that promised the whole world but delivered just about nothing! SAM started to sell this chip and they still sell successors of it (so there's a confirmation of that, yes SAM = Superchips, I actually dissasembled a SAM ECU and I could read "Superchips" on the sticker under the "SAM" sticker). SCT chip hold about the same (poor) standard as SAM. Even TME (they are usually the most proffesional tuner) didn't know what to do. The result was that many really poor chips entered the market AND they are still around - so be aware. About a year ago TME announced they were finally ready to release their first ME7 upgrade and now they are unbeatable in driveability and performance. Therefore they (TME/ipd) are also more expensive


If you think about it for a while though it might actually be more economic to choose the high quality and more expensive upgrade anyway!

Experiences in sweden, by both me and poeple I know and have heard of, have proven that going with a cheaper upgrade that is soldered in sometimes provide good power but poor driveability OR ok driveability but no power increase (almost stock) but never have one provided both at the same time! With their latest tech TME was the first to provide both good driveability and significant performance increase at the same time.

On top of this I have also learned that the soldered in type not seldom refuse to start, lights the check engine light, runs on only 4 cans for longer periods of time etc.etc. This doesn't happen every time with a soldered in chip but how does one know if it's going to happen on my precious volvo or not?! If this happens one will have to spend three or four times the money that was saved buying the cheaper upgrade on things as new ECU, insurance liability, towing etc. etc. Most people that have had this experience get so tired of it that they simply decide to go back to stock or go with a TME type upgrade instead.

I guess that this may sound like commercials for ipd/TME but it's not. I just wish to share the experiences we've had in sweden since we're a bit ahead of you in this jungle and I've become so dissapointed my self from poor chips that I've wasted money on. It's just a fact - there is only one sure bet when it comes to SW upgrades for Volvo turbos - and that is TME/ipd.

I'm riding an R AWD 2000 with a TME upgrade and I'm pulling even with the 400hp BMW M5 on the quarter mile, thanks to enormous torque and AWD. (It's fun to dissapoint a bimmer owner)

I could go on and on about this, but this post already got a lot longer that I intended it to be, so I'll just say good luck with your selection of chip and remember to doubt the torque/hp number that the tuners promise you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I hear everything is dyno tuned in Austria and the numbers are accurate. However the dyno machines that are available in Europe are a bit different than the Dynojets here in the States. In addition, the gentleman I spoke to said that most of his customers are VW's and Audi's and has seen the ME7 and ME7.1 ECU/ECM's and has not had any problems desoldering, flashing the eprom, and resoldering. He also stated that UPsolute is willing and eager to make good on the file your car is programmed with or they will revise to cure any problems you are experiencing.

For example he said that he had a customer that wanted a High Output file. So he requested one and got it back in about 3 or 4 weeks but the file was not much better than the previous. Then the customer went straight to the Director of UPsolute NA and requested it personally and UPsolute did 2 new High output files and the customer now has 1 of the 2 and was very pleased. All of this was done in order to make the customer happy and at no additional cost to him. This UP-rep also stated that he had the same ECU/ECM number and checked out the new high output file as well and confirmed that the file was much better by doing some data logs or something with a Vagcom tool from Ross-Tech.

Which leads me to my next passage here . . .
This guy is local he has some experience under his wing doing this sort of upgrade. I can also have this done while I wait in about an hour and not have to ship my ECU/ECM out and my vehicle be down for several days while I wait in angst for it to return. If everything he says is true . . . then I'm game. He also said something about going to a website called vwaddiction.com and ask around there or vwvortex.com about UPsolute if I needed more information on some of the strides this Austrian company goes to satisfy their customers needs.
Maybe worth while looking into? anyone?
 

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First, I want to say, I have no previous experience with Upsolute beyond one of our staffers upgrading his GTI 1.8T with their ECU and I never drove the car.

That said, Upsolute is an advertiser on our sister site VWvortex.com and some of their staffers are active on those forums. Further, there are plenty of owners using their products who frequent that site, so it might be worthwhile for you to do some investigation over there.
 

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UpSolute was the FIRST company to modify a chip in the 2001 Volvo S40 last year mid-summer, it was actually August of 2001 to be exact because I remember putting it to the test, driving the car from Texas to Washington and back! Granted this was phase 1 of the chip (yes I worked with them for the previous month to get this chip together) the only problems we ran into were hardware problems that we quickly resolved.
You get what you pay for? I worked in the electronics field for four years dealing with NASA equipment and hanging around programmers and design engineers and learned that the way the hardware performs is up to how good the hardware is and the software that it utilizes. With that said UpSolute uses nothing but the OEM chip that comes in the Volvo, how much better can you get than the one Volvo chose??? Soldering and desoldering?? It's called rework in the industry and is done all the time, with the proper equipment and talent using the equipment there should be no problems.
Now on to tech support. From UpSolute it's the worst (I hope those Upsolute guys dont get mad at me but i'm just being honest) and some of the reps may be hesitant to modify your chip because apparently I am the only real Volvo owner who has been satisfied from the start, then again I knew what I was getting into. (if there are any other UpSolute Volvo owners please post)
Flash technology is cool, if you're going to be constantly swapping out code and doing R&D work with your car, I have nothing against it but here's my point;
a flash chip will run you about 100$-175$ (in bulk it could even get cheaper!), labor for chip uninstall/install you're looking around 100$ at the most, programming time (which is a one time fee since once they have the code from one particular model it just needs to be copied again) could be about 200$-300$ depending on how much you pay your programmer. So overall you're looking at about (at the most) 600$ and is it really necessary to charge anything above 700$ for "chipping"? (Also remember there is no uninstall/install labor charge for those who use Flash technology as it's well... Flashed and is instant (okay about 5-10 seconds))But think about how much money is made off of this, I'm not bashing the other companies as but being realistic and the reality is the chip is only as good as the code which in turn is only as good as the programmer.

Comments, questions, smart-ass remarks please email me at [email protected]

Regards,

Carlos
 

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quote:

Originally posted by cs40racing:
UpSolute was the FIRST company to modify a chip in the 2001 Volvo S40 last year mid-summer, it was actually August of 2001 to be exact because I remember putting it to the test, driving the car from Texas to Washington and back! Granted this was phase 1 of the chip (yes I worked with them for the previous month to get this chip together) the only problems we ran into were hardware problems that we quickly resolved.
You get what you pay for? I worked in the electronics field for four years dealing with NASA equipment and hanging around programmers and design engineers and learned that the way the hardware performs is up to how good the hardware is and the software that it utilizes. With that said UpSolute uses nothing but the OEM chip that comes in the Volvo, how much better can you get than the one Volvo chose??? Soldering and desoldering?? It's called rework in the industry and is done all the time, with the proper equipment and talent using the equipment there should be no problems.
Now on to tech support. From UpSolute it's the worst (I hope those Upsolute guys dont get mad at me but i'm just being honest) and some of the reps may be hesitant to modify your chip because apparently I am the only real Volvo owner who has been satisfied from the start, then again I knew what I was getting into. (if there are any other UpSolute Volvo owners please post)
Flash technology is cool, if you're going to be constantly swapping out code and doing R&D work with your car, I have nothing against it but here's my point;
a flash chip will run you about 100$-175$ (in bulk it could even get cheaper!), labor for chip uninstall/install you're looking around 100$ at the most, programming time (which is a one time fee since once they have the code from one particular model it just needs to be copied again) could be about 200$-300$ depending on how much you pay your programmer. So overall you're looking at about (at the most) 600$ and is it really necessary to charge anything above 700$ for "chipping"? (Also remember there is no uninstall/install labor charge for those who use Flash technology as it's well... Flashed and is instant (okay about 5-10 seconds))But think about how much money is made off of this, I'm not bashing the other companies as but being realistic and the reality is the chip is only as good as the code which in turn is only as good as the programmer.

Comments, questions, smart-ass remarks please email me at [email protected]

Regards,

Carlos
Well, it seems that the smart-ass comments came from you! Somehow, I wonder why you bash flash technology since I would call it a "non-invasive" technology because no one messes up, physically, with the ECU. True, if you had the time and money to play with soldering and desoldering, you can play with that all the time and it may yield good results, IN THE LONG RUN. But there is much more chance you are going to have problems with someone soldering a chip on your ECU rather than flashing it. The flash did not work? They can reflash it or, worst case scenario, they can easily bring back the orginal specs. WIth the soldering, it is like an operation...it may come back or may not. I have spoken to quite a few people (equally Volvo owners and equally owners of other European cars) and the majority do support flash technology.

I, personally, do not care how much money "someone makes on me"...that is ridiculous. If someone provides me with a product that performs EXCELLENT and I term the $$$ I paid as a good value, who cares? And I want SUPPORT! It seems that IPD gives great support...same goes for the folks at SAM. But in the long run, IPD/TME can charge a heftier price (I wish they did not) since rarely (I personally have never) hear complaints about their upgraded ECUs. And, obviously, they have been qorking for quite a long time in trying to brake through the complex programming of Motronic's ME7 electronics.

I have been researching for the last 2 weeks companies so I can upgrade my personal car. The latest breakthrough from IPD/TME came as a complete surprise to me (pleasant, I guess) since I contaced more than 7 companies (all in Europe). Only 4 came back with an initial reply, and from those 4 only 1 "stuck" with me in trying to answer my questions. Their websites (with the exception of SAM and SCT) were nightmares so that does not give a good first impression. On the other hand, as soon as the guys from Sweedespeed.com posted the latest from IPD, I fired an e-mail to IPD, they e-mailed back to me answering several times several e-mails and then when I called, a fella by the name Jarred Irsch was more than happy to talk me through the whole process, even e-mailing me all that in a .pdf format. Naturally, such treatment and explanation of procedures (along with many customers we have who used IPD upgrades on 1998 or older Volvos) make me feel more secure and leaning towards choosing as to who is going to upgrade my beloved Volvo!

Yannis
 

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quote:

Originally posted by cs40racing:

Comments, questions, smart-ass remarks please email me at [email protected]
Regards,
Carlos
That line itself called out for some attention. Not sure if you need to use THAT word to emphasize your point.
We all are pretty civil on this site (Ha! that includes me), none of us is as hardcore volvo tuning guru, so probably I think it's up to daswede to defend himself.

Just like to point out that not all of these tuners have as much experience in soldering or NASA eletronic background as you, so that might pose some issues. The you-know-who garage job soldering really worries most of the people. Moreover, with the stories I've heard about the other tuners, I don't think I'd like them to mess around with my ECU. If you have some knowledgeable guy doing the soldering, sure...it sure is cheaper than flashing.

The money is well spent only when a company actually takes time and puts in lots R&D to get some products in the market.
 

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Yannis,

I am not bashing Flash technology (as I pointed out in my post) I just made a comment and my goal was to show my support for UpSolute, sure they may not have tech support now, sure their reps may be afraid to work on a Volvo, but that's why I've been working hard to get my car where it is, who knows maybe someday i'll be an UpSolute rep? And I intend to provide great service, regardless of who I work for or what I do.
I think of $$$$ because I'm not rich, and I have to watch my $$$$flow carefully, sure I know that money is nothing compared to the service you receive from somewhere, I know I travel 30 miles to a car audio shop to buy my hardware because they are great to deal with, and their prices aren't always the lowest but the service is something I just can't buy somewhere else.
I've never dealt with any of the other chip tuners but I just wanted to post MY experience with UpSolute, and if that makes people angry, upset, or jealous then that's their problem, not mine. Last time I heard, forums were made to exchange information.

Comments, questions, smartass remarks please do email me, [email protected]

Carlos
 

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one n only,

I know it's nuts that I have to include that but I always get some smartass remark, your reply was much more mature and something I would expect from a real Volvo owner. I agree with you that not everyone is qualified to solder/desolder chips (I should know but I wont name names!! LOL!)
As I mentioned I am just showing my support for UpSolute and pointing out a few things most people wouldn't think of when choosing a chip tuner, that's all.

Carlos
 

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I'm really going to try to stay completely neutral here as most of the technical aspects have been pointed out above and don't need resaid.

I've upgraded two car's ECUs now (VWvortex's Project Golf 1.8T and our own Project 854R). I did so after doing a lot of homework on the manufacturers to the point where I was satisfied with the results.

As I said, I have no experience with Upsolute, and Carlos, it sounds like you are our expert here on that (and from the sounds of it, pretty honest with your assertions).

I know two aspects of IPD's product that swayed me in our choice for the 854R was long-term reliability and IPD's satisfaction guarantee. Long term piece of mind was paramount for us, even if we didn't end up keeping the 854R in the family as long as we thought we would.

This more conservative aspect to ECU upgrading, I find, appeals more to the bulk of our readers.

There are those who are more performance fiends who aren't worried as much about seamless driveability and long term drivetrain wear, and more about hardcore performance, a completely custom setup or being the first (such as Carlos's S40).

I've also found that upgrading different componentry can totally change the program needed for an engine. One other manufacturer I've found out there is GIAC (sold through PES, again, one of our advertisers). I've known the whole Garrett history, as a once memeber of the VW GTI VR6 listserver where he got his start. I don't know if he still does this, but I think he will program chips to work with a specific component set (for an added price). From the sounds of it, Upsolute seems like they might do the same.

That said, no slight on the manufacturers above, but these one-off setups, while more in tune to that motor, have not had the R&D levels that something like the IPD setup, or even moreso like the stock Volvo setup.

I guess in the end it comes down to your priorities and the economics of it all. There is no RIGHT answer, but it is important to figure out which one is best for you.

Did I stay neutral enough?
 

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What other Volvos does Upsolute make chips for?

Who are the major chip players for Volvo then. I know there's

IPD/TME
SAM/Superchips

but who else? Upsolute sounds like they just have S40 stuff.
 

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quote:

Originally posted by Evolvo:
What other Volvos does Upsolute make chips for?

Who are the major chip players for Volvo then. I know there's

IPD/TME
SAM/Superchips

but who else? Upsolute sounds like they just have S40 stuff.
There is also RICA (from The Netherlands), Scandinavian Car Tuning (from Sweden), Kalmar Union (from Great Britain) and some other company from Germany whose name I do not recall.

Yannis
 

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Then just how risky, how unsafe, how unreliable is the soldering technique? I mean, do 50% of the people who've used Upsolute come back with problems here and there? Just what kind of problems would soldering bring and are they very common? (I have to say, the $300 for Upsolute really grabs me)

By the way, is UPsolute one of the "you-know-who" garage jobs, said by the_one_n_only?

[This message has been edited by bfavre4 (edited 01-28-2002).]
 

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There is another company called WETTERAUER. They also make a wide range of chips for Volvo, but they use plug-n-play socket technology.

-Drew
 

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UpSolute has "reps" across the U.S., i'm not too sure how well they select their "reps" but as I mentioned before I am the only satisfied customer they have, all of their other attempts (as far I know) have failed.

I can only recommend Garret Franklin in Wisconsin as he's the guy I deal with direct and is pretty reliable (although sometimes goes MIA HAHAHAHA)
You can email him at [email protected]

Regards,

Carlos
 
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