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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, since I purchased my '96 850R I knew I'd want to upgrade the ECU. Since the beginning of September, I've scoured for information on upgrades, companies and horsepower claims. Thus far, I have to say that I'm very dissapointed with the whole process...here's my thoughts/experiences with several chip/ECU upgrade companies:<p>BSR/Engstrom -- great promises of hp increase; but unfortunately they are very non-reponsive, first told me two weeks but now don't return calls or emails (I've heard from others this is the norm for them).<p>RICA -- again, great promises of 300+ hp gains but very difficult to deal with from the U.S. I called them, emailed them...they twice requested my Bosch ECU number only to never hear from them. Sent another email tonight asking why the problem with confirming an order.<p>IPD -- great company and regarded as dependable ECU upgrade...but come on!...275 hp for $895 when I can get the same or more for less?? I have trouble with paying that much and not getting over 300 in neither hp or torque!<p>There's several others out there I've contacted...Unichip, SAM, Upsolute-Dallas. Of these, they either didn't respond to email, didn't know what "854" meant, quoted European-manual version hp numbers, or had never *really* done a Volvo.<p>Wetterauer may be an option...they quote same hp gains as IPD but torque is over 300. Plus, you keep your original chip and can switch out yourself...for $100 less than IPD. There turn-around is quick and they sound ready to go. Anyone have dealings with them??<p>Many thanks for thoughts and input on experiences with the above...or suggestions on others I haven't mentioned!
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (854R)

I would go to IPD, sure, 895 is a lot of $, but for a REALIABLE 40hp gain its worth it.<p>You can be confident that they have tuned the chip to perform reliably and actually does what they claim.<p>Just think about how much you need to spend for a 275 hp car with the same performance and safety if you sell your 854.
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (854R)

Have you looked into <A HREF="http://www.pes-tuning.com" TARGET="_blank">PES</A>? They were very good about responding to my emails and prompt return of my ECU. They use GIAC programming, which has a good solid reputation as well. And if you're into the "switchability" of the Wett chip, PES can do this for you too for $50 extra. Hope this helps.<p><br>[Modified by swdracr, 12:53 AM 11-3-2002]<BR><BR>
[Modified by swdracr, 12:53 AM 11-3-2002]
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (swdracr)

Patrick, thanks...just sent PES an email. After I posted I recalled you had used them and that was one still to contact. Sounds like it's worked out well for you, will keep you posted.<p>Thanks
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (854R)

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR><p>IPD -- great company and regarded as dependable ECU upgrade...but come on!...275 hp for $895 when I can get the same or more for less?? I have trouble with paying that much and not getting over 300 in neither hp or torque!<p>Wetterauer may be an option...they quote same hp gains as IPD but torque is over 300. Plus, you keep your original chip and can switch out yourself...for $100 less than IPD. There turn-around is quick and they sound ready to go. Anyone have dealings with them??<p><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><br>With IPD you can keep your original chip, and can switch out yourself. $100 isn't that much money, and the difference in torque is what? 15? For me that would not be worth it, I would go with the company I know is top quality. Good luck with your decision and let us know how it turns out.
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (Kaizai)

IPD probably is the most reliable, and they have good customer service. I've heard good things from those who have PES and BSR chips (don't have myself). IPD only flashes your chip (which could even be reversable, if you are interested in that). Most other companies open up the chip and solder something on the inside.<p>Keep in mind that you will probaby need a higher flow cat back for most ECU upgrades, otherwise there will be a problem with backpressure at WOT and full boost (i.e. engine damage). Some companies, such as BSR, ask that up upgrade your air intake as well.<p>Keep in mind also that the more you push your car (no matter way), the more maintence it will probably require. Words from experience, I'm a performance fiend too.
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (petew)

I never said anyone was lying...simply that several of the companies are non-responsive. Believe me, I agree IPD is a great company...I'm glad we have a strong company committed to Volvo in the U.S. which I've made purchases from for years (most recently strut tower brace). But the facts are clear...BSR for instance...290 hp for $495 or IPD's 275 for $895. How can you look at those numbers and say I'm talking "poop?" I may wind up going with IPD for many of the reasons stated above (which I thank you all for your input)...but we should all evaluate each company based on the facts, costs and customer service...not just because they're within our border.<p>Thanks gang...
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (petew)

psss<br>go buy yourself a clue instead, you have no clue on how to be polite petew<p>The guy is just trying to shop around and wondered why IPD charges the most for the least HP, if you got nothing informative to say then don't post.
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (petew)

Well, gee guy, I just wanted input on a good ECU. And yes, price, customer service, quality, dependability and truth in numbers are all what I'm looking for...is that too much? It shouldn't be. I balance all those things together before making any informed purchase.<BR><BR>
[Modified by 854R, 1:47 AM 11-4-2002]
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (854R)

well said<p>back to the topic, IPD probably does have the best quality ECU upgrade there is, and most realiable. But how unrealiable are the other ones though? Does IPD's high price really justisfied? Just because they are a respectable company doesn't mean we should pay more than we should for something. I would buy a Kia too if they had quality cars (which they don't... yet)<p>after searching around, it seems like many people have used different brands of ECUs with relatively good results. Haven't heard of someone saying they blew out something because they used such and such's ECU.<p>Do you have any links to reports of a ECU related engine failure on a 850?
 

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Re: ECU Upgrade experiences thus far - gotten nowhere (xtremepsionic)

Here's what I know. Not sure if it has any bearing or not.<p>1) I know that some engineers at Volvo looked at modded 850s way back when. I heard the magic number is 300hp. Above that, things start to break, primarily in the automatic tranny. This of course would be variable upon the torque and how the driver drives. <p>2) Some chipmakers run the cars very lean, with no changed fuel delivery. THe higher the hp, the more likely it is to be running lean. That may not be something that shows itself right away, but will shorten the lifetime of the motor.<p>3) exhaust is a good idea. If you run wide open throttle or pull things, it's necessary. If you run a more aggressive chip, it's probably also necessary. We went over it in our Project 854R project series on this site. Check the Features section.<p>4) Generally, you pay to play. If you want a nice easy reliable setup, then I'd push for a more moderate chip upgrade. The more power you need, the more upgrades you ought to do to do it right. Just ask Kai.<p>5) IPD has a money back guarantee. I'm not sure if the other guys offer that or not.<p>I have zero experience with any ECU upgrade for Volvos besides IPD.
 
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