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Hey I am curious about stage 2. We have now seen pictures of the Random Tech parts as well as some promising figures put out by RX8Friend in anohter thread. Obviously it's very soon to speculate and one should take this as such (240 or 260 at the rw) but maybe some insight on how stage 2 is going would be great.
I understand that some of your time was devoted to perfecting the "L" flash as well but any updates would be great.
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We are probably going to do some more technology for Stage 2 now. So we can get closer to the edge safely. The variations seen by gear have caused some rethinking. When we installed timing control Maurice thought Stage 2 was superflous as Stage 1 was now reaching Stage 2 power levels. Now we have other ideas on how to get more with safety. It will take a few months to perfect and produce, I suspect. "Canzoomer reserves the right to improve the product at any time" .
That being said, the Stage 1 box with the high flow cat (and resonator) and cat back will get you into previously discussed Stage 2 power areas (but not the peak ones I mentioned recently - they are not practical for street use - too close to the edge). Back them off 10-15 HP and it will be streetable.
I will say once again, the peak power numbers are rather useless. They are obtained at 8500 RPM or so. How many of you operate up there? More important is the improvements we are getting throughout the rev. range.
Now, I've seen several owners wondering if the "new" Stage 1 box is doing anything. You can no longer feel any surges (by design - Maurice and crew spent hours smoothing out the power delivery). Well, yesterday Maurice "convinced" a local owner it works - Stage 1 made a six car length difference on a side by side test with and without Stage 1 on - test done at "legal" speeds in just a block long accelleration.
Why did we spend so much time getting it smooth? This allows the most power throughout the rev range, keeps the wheels from unexpectedly spinning, and is easier on the hardware!
If you are sensitive enough, you may notice stock "L" flash is quite "jerky".
dam i wish maurice would of let me know this ,i ordered stage 2 and was very happy when i heard it would be making over 40 hp i emailed him and his son and no one got back to me.so are you saying right now stage 2 has it little shares of problems. is stage 2 going to give me any improvement on torque ,what hp did you guys get on dynos with stage 2 as i never seen any dyno charts?
I have definitely noticed the jerkiness that is mentioned in this thread from the L-flash. I don't really like it, especially when the car is cold. It does some funny surging at low throttle inputs that it never did before. I do think the car is faster though. My stage 1 should be here tommorrow here in Atlanta, looking foreward to it.
Originally posted by RotaryFeeling I have definitely noticed the jerkiness that is mentioned in this thread from the L-flash. I don't really like it, especially when the car is cold. It does some funny surging at low throttle inputs that it never did before. I do think the car is faster though. My stage 1 should be here tommorrow here in Atlanta, looking foreward to it.
Are you in Atlanta? Your profile says CA I think.
I'm in Alpharetta and if you're close by I would love to help/see you install the Stage 1 and get your impressions.
Yes sir, actually I didn't realize I was signed on as rotary feeling(?) rather than my actual screen name. I am located in downtown atlanta, and will probably install the Stage 1 tommorrow in my garage in Marietta. Or, if you want, and you don't go to bed at 8:00, I could come over to your house and we could install it together. One way or the other, maybe we can get together. Now that all assumes that fedex will deliver it tommorrow like they say it will. Otherwise, we can plan on sometime next week. Maybe we can do some side by side runs like Maurice and company have done in canada. Got a video camera? Anybody else wanna join in the fun?
BTW I am decently handy and am not suggesting this meet because I am worried about the install. This is cake compared to the rotary powered Triumph Spitfire that I just recently completed. I just like getting together with like-minded enthusiasts. I was lucky enough to meet Omnicron and his cronies in colorado when I was there. Hope to get together soon, and I also hope that my Stage 1 comes tommorrow!!!!!!
Winning Blue MT, Moon spoiler, Sirius Radio, Borla Exhaust
My NEW addition: 12a Rotary & Nitrous Powered Triumph Spitfire. Little Beast!
RX-8 LP: MYRX8U
The biggest improvement the current Stage 1 program gives is above 6000 RPM. The HP increase grows with RPM. We had to back off to close to stock from 4500 to 6000 (I think) to compensate for the change in air/fuel Mazda makes vs gear selection. We did smooth out the "L" flash bumps, at least most of them.
Stage 2 is in the "rethink" bin right now. Rest assured it will give more power than the current Stage 1. It will do it reliably on the street. It is a combination of the box and the exhaust (high flow cat, resonator and cat back). We are going to compensate for the difference in air/fuel by gear. We are just deciding exactly which method we will use. The Stage 1 box will still be modifiable/upgradable to Stage 2.
Hey RX8Friend, can you get the official word from Maurice about stage 2? It seems that some people have purchased stage 2 when it might not even be released for another few months due to the re-engineering of it. I may get a stage 1 now if this is the case and upgrade later.
I don't think anyone has Stage 2. There are orders on the books, but that is not my area of work. I'm the one who builds most of the boxes, so I should know if I've done a Stage 2 yet. Fact is, we spent the better part of the day yesterday working on Stage 2, or at least improvements to the box that will allow a safe Stage 2. We learned a lot, but we're not there yet.
As for needing the cat back, the major restriction in the exhaust is the cat. Changing the cat back to aftermarket has little effect in reducing restriction (unless you have done lots to the rest of the exhaust). Aftermarket cat backs have two major effects - they are usually noisier (haven't seen a quieter one) and they often weigh less (Maurice dropped 30+ lbs when he put his Greddy Stainless one on - and that's after adding in the weight of the resonator). Oh, and lots of people think they look nicer.
If you just get the high flow cat and resonator, you will get almost the full benefit of HP increase from Stage 2 (once it comes out). Oh, and your car will be quiet. I like quiet. My car is not quiet <- .
Maurice has been running the Stage 1 setup with the high flow cat, resonator, and Greddy cat back. In fact all units are tested on his car before shipment. So those parts are compatible.
The Stage 2 setup is the same basic box as Stage 1. It wants the high flow cat/resonator as the tune is done to benefit from it. If you didn't have the high flow cat/resonator you would still get an improvement, just not very much of one compared to Stage 1.
As for the improvement appearing to climb higher in the rev range, that was an effect of the "L" flash leaning out the car from 4500 to 6000 (attempts to improve mileage). There is still an improvement below 4500, and above 6000. Once we finish our Stage 2 work, Stage 1 will probably also benefit, as we can then compensate for the leaning change by gear and safely get back the improvements from 4500 to 6000. As I said elsewhere, HP improvements come from tuning to the correct A/F, increasing A/F in the engine (forced induction or nitrous injection), reducing friction, and increasing RPM. There are no other magic ways to increase power output. Mazda leaned out one area, thereby temporarily removing our ability to improve HP there. They made it worse or made no changes in other areas.
As Maurice has said, when you buy an RX-8, you are automatically entered into the "flash of the month" club.
Well, we were partially successful at compensating for the map differences between gears on Sunday. A little more work to be done, but almost there.
While doing this Maurice managed to break the switch. We couldn't understand how people were breaking them, now we do. It gets worse when you have a USB cable connected and the wideband hardware and wiring that Maurice needs.
So a little engineering research (after recovering the broken toggle and ball from Maurices' PCM box - the spring is still in there somewhere), and I discover you can safely remove 3-4 mm from the end of the "toggle". I use a bench grinder. Mark the toggle using a knife before you start. Put a line along the side of the toggle 3-4 mm in from the end. Then just grind till you get there - I find grinding perpendicular to the switch operation direction works best. It only takes 10 sec. or so. Concentrate on keeping the toogle perpendicular to the grinder wheel. For our grinder it was easiest to just leave the switch in the box and hold the box.
All units will ship with the toggles shortened starting with todays.
As for "Stage 2", it currently really isn't much different than Stage 1. Same electronics (the box) with high flow exhaust. Some tuning enhancements may be done to extract more power. It may change as we do more work.
Stage 3 will add the in-car display unit. It holds three programs on a memory card. You can purchase more memory cards and replace them for even more programs. The box runs from the selected program on the display, not the one in the box. You can change parameters "on the fly", which might make it hazardous for some. A wideband O2 sensor is strongly recommended. You can get yourself in really deep with this unit if you mess with it too much. Nice feature is you can display A/F, timing, RPM, etc. with it.
The programming cable and program adds another dimention as well. Be aware that once connected to a laptop with the program running, you are running on the flash in the laptop, not the one in the box.
Lots of options!
Last edited by RX-8 friend; 04-13-2004 at 05:29 PM.
Yes, the box is currently the same in all stages. You can add the display to any of them at any time (and remove it when you want to as well) - provided you have the updated box, of course. We are hoping that the box will stay the same. It makes it a lot easier to handle just one hardware build. It's bad enough with our improvements occuring every few weeks. Not to mention the programming changes!
So the hp gains from stage 2 are not looking as promising with the high flow exhaust as originally expected? I would have thought that adding all this equipment that everyone has been promoting and talking about would have made a huge difference.... I was hoping to go directly to stage 2 and think that more people would opt for stage 2 instead of 3... IMO.
No, I mean the current box hardware (with the USB port visible in the front). The display unit plugs in there (as does the programming cable). The map has no effect on the display. In fact, just the opposite. When you plug in the display it takes over the box, and the map in use is the one the display unit has selected. What we've done in Maurices' car is plug a USB cable into the box and run it into the cabin. Then we plug the programming cable into that (beware, the "USB" port on the box is not a real one, and you need the programming cable to adapt it to your laptops USB - otherwise, I'm told, you could burn out your laptop USB port).
As for effectiveness of Stage 2, if you read Maurices' previous intentions on that, it's for racing, where you can guarantee the fuel will have high octane rating, and the user will probably have a wideband O2 sensor and the knowledge to use it. In this case Stage 2 maps take you to the "edge", which gives somewhere around 20 HP extra. We have tuned Stage 1 as far as we can based on variations in fuel, air pressure, altitude, etc, in order to avoid detonation in "all" cars, and keep the cat. from melting .
We may be able to get more yet in Stage 1 (and 2), but we'll have to wait and see. We have not dyno'd either Stage 1 or 2 for some time now, so trying to claim some specific HP number would be irresponsible.
This is a little off topic but have you or Maurice looked into using the ECU with an intake (i.e. K&N or RE)? Seeing that you know how the engine normally behaves it would be nice to get your "take" on what the issues are with using one of the intakes that is currently available.
IF I owned an RX-8 (I don't) I wouldn't use an aftermarket intake. MAF sensors are too sensitive to turbulence in the intake, which aftermarket intakes may produce. We have seen this with the K&N we think. We don't think an aftermarket intake will give you any benefits anyway. At least that's the current thinking.
We will definitely comment once we try one on Maurice's instrumented car.
I haven't heard Maurice talk about an economy map, but I'm sure it can be done rather easily. In fact, Mazda is trying to do it!
I have seen the improvement over the Stage 1 map. It was rather impressive, as the power was at stock 3rd gen RX-7 levels, with NO turbos! It was also scary, as the car was very close to detonation (we had not learned what we know now about safer ways to achieve that level of power). When he took the car on the road to test what it would do, he could make it ping (and go into a "safe mode") whenever he wanted! Or he could spin the tires whenever he wanted . It was winter, and there wasn't much traction.