Tune vs piggy back

Lead Head

Registered Member
24
8
3
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G80 Sport
Hey guys,

On the fence about getting my vehicle tuned at a local shop. I've been considering getting a piggyback (eyeballing JB4 after hours of research) and CAI, in addition to sparkplug swaps for Denso of course. I'll be running on 93, but I'm curious if I need to get my G80 Sport tuned after attaching these mods. I don't live in a city that has many options for tuning, only a few shops and even then not quite as well reviewed as I'd like to see. The charge for tuning the car would be around $500 in addition to the cost of the JB4/Fuel wire Bluetooth setup and CAI package which will already set me back about a grand. Anyone who has experience with the 3.3t, or really this situation, have any guidance and suggestions?
 

MoonDoggy-X

Registered Member
47
20
8
Genesis Model Type
No Genesis Yet!
Depends on your priority.

A good tune will give you better, more stable, safer performance. Your car will be faster with a tune, hands down. However, you will void your warranty instantly. A dealer-lever scan tool will will be able to to detect that the ECU has been tampered with, even if you flash it back to stock. All other performance mods should be done before you tune, so that the tune can take full advantage of the upgrades. Make sure your tuner is reputable, a bad tune can be debilitating.

A piggyback tricks the car into giving you more performance by altering the signals/values between the ECU and sensors. The disadvantage is that you're not actually tuning the car, so you won't be getting a lot of the benefits that come with tuning. The advantage is convenience. Car starts acting funny or need to go to the dealer for warranty work, just take the piggyback off. No need to get reflashed to stock, and since the ECU software was untouched, there is nothing to detect at the dealer. Warranty safe, as long as you remember to remove the unit. Also, most piggyback units nowadays have different maps you can run, allowing you to add performance parts over time. Again, convenience.

If you don't care about your warranty, tune all the way. Otherwise, go with the piggy until your warranty is up, then tune the car.
 
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Acpantera

Registered Member
105
32
28
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G80 Sport
I've been running Racechip piggy back, no draw backs what so ever other than needing a colder/better spark plug(i used denso for $60 a set) and 93 octane gasoline.
paid $500 for the bluetooth controlled GTS unit. car really wakes up in a big way. No other warranty voiding tunes required.
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Lead Head

Registered Member
24
8
3
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G80 Sport
Depends on your priority.

A good tune will give you better, more stable, safer performance. Your car will be faster with a tune, hands down. However, you will void your warranty instantly. A dealer-lever scan tool will will be able to to detect that the ECU has been tampered with, even if you flash it back to stock. All other performance mods should be done before you tune, so that the tune can take full advantage of the upgrades. Make sure your tuner is reputable, a bad tune can be debilitating.

A piggyback tricks the car into giving you more performance by altering the signals/values between the ECU and sensors. The disadvantage is that you're not actually tuning the car, so you won't be getting a lot of the benefits that come with tuning. The advantage is convenience. Car starts acting funny or need to go to the dealer for warranty work, just take the piggyback off. No need to get reflashed to stock, and since the ECU software was untouched, there is nothing to detect at the dealer. Warranty safe, as long as you remember to remove the unit. Also, most piggyback units nowadays have different maps you can run, allowing you to add performance parts over time. Again, convenience.

If you don't care about your warranty, tune all the way. Otherwise, go with the piggy until your warranty is up, then tune the car.
This was an awesome explanation, thank you kindly for taking the time to respond in detail, really helps me put things into perspective.

I wonder, what kind of tuning that cost ~$500 you talking about? For the G80 sport 3.3tt, there isn't anything out there, except the piggyback JB4 and RaceChip.
The local tuning shop near me stated that a dyno custom tune runs $500 :/ , but a piggy back tune really just seems the best bet for me right now.

I've been running Racechip piggy back, no draw backs what so ever other than needing a colder/better spark plug(i used denso for $60 a set) and 93 octane gasoline.
paid $500 for the bluetooth controlled GTS unit. car really wakes up in a big way. No other warranty voiding tunes required.
Thanks for sharing this! I was eyeballing the GTS Black for the G80 Sport. What made you pick it over the JB4 if you don't mind my asking?
 

Acpantera

Registered Member
105
32
28
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G80 Sport
This was an awesome explanation, thank you kindly for taking the time to respond in detail, really helps me put things into perspective.



The local tuning shop near me stated that a dyno custom tune runs $500 :/ , but a piggy back tune really just seems the best bet for me right now.



Thanks for sharing this! I was eyeballing the GTS Black for the G80 Sport. What made you pick it over the JB4 if you don't mind my asking?
Just seemed EZer, didn't have to string wires from engine compartment to cabin. Doesn't have all the gauge info the JB4, but I didn't want that. Racechip seemed to be closest to plug and play as you get.
 

Lead Head

Registered Member
24
8
3
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G80 Sport
Just seemed EZer, didn't have to string wires from engine compartment to cabin. Doesn't have all the gauge info the JB4, but I didn't want that. Racechip seemed to be closest to plug and play as you get.
Right on, is there any other mods you've added?
 

Lead Head

Registered Member
24
8
3
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G80 Sport
Not Yet, might put on Racechips XLR throttle tuner, my son is currently using one one his 19' Camaro with 2.0 turbo, so far it looks like a winner too.
I would like a little more exhaust growl, but undecided on how to do it.
Sounds like it'll be a good experience! Yeah I hear you about the exhaust. Can't find anything for the life of me for the G80 Sport there.

I asked in the n54 thread regarding regular tune vs piggy back tune, and the reply I got was that a JB4 is a tune. Do people not get their cars tuned professionally if they are already running a piggy back tune? or is that like stacking two tunes together and is redunant/ not necessary? I'm a newbie here and apologize for ignorance on the matter, just trying to make sure I'm understanding straight. I ask because I was told you'd need a tune to get the most out of a cold air intake mod, but I'm not sure something like a JB4 takes that mod into account on its maps vs dyno tune?
 

MoonDoggy-X

Registered Member
47
20
8
Genesis Model Type
No Genesis Yet!
A "regular" tune increases performance by altering the program in the ecu that regulates certain functions in the engine. Like boost, valve and ignition toming, and air fuel ratios.

A "piggyback" tune is a separate module that is place between the ecu and certain sensors and/or parts. It alters the signals running between the ecu and the engine, effectively tricking the car to increase performance.

Both regular and piggy back tunes, especially from a reputable company, are developed to modify a stock ecu to increase performance while operating within the safety perameters of the power train. Altering the signals running to a tuned ecu, and visa-versa, is not a good idea.

As far as mods go, A regular tune can be programmed to take full advantage of the modifications to the car. Piggy backs work a little differently. Instead of tuning to take advantage of specific mods, they have different levels of maps. The more agressive of which, can't be used safely and effectively without certain mods. For example, the highest level maps for the Stinger GT, can only be used by people with meth injection.
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Lead Head

Registered Member
24
8
3
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G80 Sport
A "regular" tune increases performance by altering the program in the ecu that regulates certain functions in the engine. Like boost, valve and ignition toming, and air fuel ratios.

A "piggyback" tune is a separate module that is place between the ecu and certain sensors and/or parts. It alters the signals running between the ecu and the engine, effectively tricking the car to increase performance.

Both regular and piggy back tunes, especially from a reputable company, are developed to modify a stock ecu to increase performance while operating within the safety perameters of the power train. Altering the signals running to a tuned ecu, and visa-versa, is not a good idea.

As far as mods go, A regular tune can be programmed to take full advantage of the modifications to the car. Piggy backs work a little differently. Instead of tuning to take advantage of specific mods, they have different levels of maps. The more agressive of which, can't be used safely and effectively without certain mods. For example, the highest level maps for the Stinger GT, can only be used by people with meth injection.
Thanks Moondoggy-X, this really helps me understand things a bit better. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I've decided to go with the plug change, jb4/Fuel wires, and cold air intake system. Would one of the more aggressive maps in addition to running 93 (on 91 at the moment) benefit from a cold air intake system vs not having one on? I've read where some people say having a CAI isn't beneficial without a tuned ecu while others (including Terry from BMS) say the addition of one alone will benefit the car in general, as well as from the piggyback tune regardless. Curious to know your thoughts on this?
 

MoonDoggy-X

Registered Member
47
20
8
Genesis Model Type
No Genesis Yet!
It's not as simple as simple as engine + (insert mod) = x increased HP. I'm sure you've heard before that your engine works like a big air pump. Mostly that's an oversimplification, but it is best to think of it as a single unit that's more than the sum of its parts. Also, keep in mind, with the excetion of starting, all power and functions of the car are run with the energy produced in the combustion chamber. Especially including, but not limited to, in taking and exhausting air from the engine. Also, also, keep in mind that if and how much a mod increases performance, depends on how it compares to the function of the OEM part.

Specifically talking about aftermarket intakes, they (supposed to)increase performance in multiple ways. Smoothing the intake track, allowing air to move faster into the engine during the intake stroke increasing throttle response. Removing restrictions in the intake track, allowing the engine to use less of its combustion energy pulling in air. Finally, by feeding colder air into the engine, prompting the ECU to add fuel and advance the ignition timing.

Stock intakes are good a grabbing cold air, but they are generally restrictive and not smooth for reasons of sound deadening and keeping the intake air as clean as possible. "Short Ram" or "Hot Air" intakes have the filter exposed in the engine bay. They are great at creating smooth, fast air flow, but the suck in the hot engine air. Even with a "heat shield". A true "cold air" intake pulls fast, smooth and cold air from outside the engine department by either moving the filter from under the hood, or enclosing it in a sealed box.

A good intake does everything mentioned above, and will increase performance even if it is the only mod. However, the amount of increase will depend on how good the original intake was. Remember, your engine is one unite, so tune and exhaust mods will make that intake more effective.
 

LD5050

Zorg Industries
SUPPORTING MEMBER
43
28
18
East Texas
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G80 Sport

Lead Head

Registered Member
24
8
3
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G80 Sport
It's not as simple as simple as engine + (insert mod) = x increased HP. I'm sure you've heard before that your engine works like a big air pump. Mostly that's an oversimplification, but it is best to think of it as a single unit that's more than the sum of its parts. Also, keep in mind, with the excetion of starting, all power and functions of the car are run with the energy produced in the combustion chamber. Especially including, but not limited to, in taking and exhausting air from the engine. Also, also, keep in mind that if and how much a mod increases performance, depends on how it compares to the function of the OEM part.

Specifically talking about aftermarket intakes, they (supposed to)increase performance in multiple ways. Smoothing the intake track, allowing air to move faster into the engine during the intake stroke increasing throttle response. Removing restrictions in the intake track, allowing the engine to use less of its combustion energy pulling in air. Finally, by feeding colder air into the engine, prompting the ECU to add fuel and advance the ignition timing.

Stock intakes are good a grabbing cold air, but they are generally restrictive and not smooth for reasons of sound deadening and keeping the intake air as clean as possible. "Short Ram" or "Hot Air" intakes have the filter exposed in the engine bay. They are great at creating smooth, fast air flow, but the suck in the hot engine air. Even with a "heat shield". A true "cold air" intake pulls fast, smooth and cold air from outside the engine department by either moving the filter from under the hood, or enclosing it in a sealed box.

A good intake does everything mentioned above, and will increase performance even if it is the only mod. However, the amount of increase will depend on how good the original intake was. Remember, your engine is one unite, so tune and exhaust mods will make that intake more effective.
One of the best series of answers I've received on here. Thanks once more for sharing the above explanations. Hopefully it gives others insight, into the process of modding a vehicle, as it has myself.
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