Marauder - XCal 2 with Lidio's Tune

As soon as I read about the Xcalibrator2, I knew I had to have one. But it took a while to finally come out... A long while... Months, that felt like years.

In the event you don't know what this does, The XCalibrator2 is you typical handheld tuner, but instead of just loading a tune, it also has both end user adjustment (well, this capability isn't enabled yet - a firmware update will come out later this year) and high speed data logging capability (luckily I have a laptop to help out).

There are only a few guys that specialize in Marauders. It was a logical choice to pick the one closest to me. Lidio, of Alternative Auto, is definitely highly regarded in the Marauder community. So that was it. My order was placed, and a few days later, a box with my name on it arrived.

Since it was sent to Canada, I'm VERY impressed with how quickly it got here. All I can think is that Lidio must have sent it out, immediately after hanging up the phone. I was really impressed with how quickly it crossed to border, and without any tax / duty issues. Anyway, back to the good stuff - I quickly opened the package, to look at my new toy:

Obviously, I wasted no time getting the tune installed! Read further for my thoughts, then scroll back up, and order one from Alternative Auto!

Go here for a tune for the Marauder

So, was it worth it? You bet! The car feels much stronger. Just the transmission operation would be worth it, but more power is a good thing, too ;) Put to the test, it showed a healthy gain. I performed a before / after test, to validate the increases that this kit provides. I used a Beltronics VectorFX2, for the purposes of these tests. It should be noted, my test procedure will not elicit the car's best results possible. The plan is to remove as many variables as possible and make the tests as apples-apples, to identify the net change, caused by the tune.

  • All done on the same day, with virtually same conditions - it should be noted it was 88* at time of testing (both times)
  • Full tank of gas, to remove any weight differences
  • Drive a set route (~10 miles) to bring the car up to full operating temperature visit private track
  • Average of (minimum) 4 0 - 60mph runs, alternating direction (consistent launch technique, launch off idle)
  • Go home and install the tune and allow for a short break
  • Drive same set route as before, bringing the car back to full temp, again visit private track
  • Again, average of (minimum) 4 0 - 60mph runs, alternating direction (same launch technique as before)

End results:

 
60'
0-20
0-40
0-60
1/8 Mile
Stock Average
2.38
1.55
4.10
7.42
10.15
XCal2 Average
2.34
1.44
3.80
6.73
9.84
Difference
0.04
0.11
0.30
0.69
0.31

 

DATA LOGGING

I've finally played with the data logging, a little. You need a standard USB cable, to connect a laptop to the Xcal2, which is then connected to the ODB port.

The software is easy to install... Just download Live Link off the SCT website (http://www.sctflash.com/downloads.php), and follow the prompts. I strapped down the laptop to the passenger seat (seatbelt through the handle of the targus laptop bag).

I was ready (and anxious) to connect everything, and start playing around with it. This is where I encountered a problem...

The SCT Instruction Manual leaves a little to be desired - it's really just an 8.5x11 sheet, with a few details on it. What it doesn't tell you, is that if the ignition is not in the ON position, error messages will be received. Unfortunately, these error messages don't really help diagnose the problem, either.

After I figured that one out, it was smooth sailing. You are prompted to pick which variables you would like to capture. As I'm just playing around, I didn't pay too much attention to it, and selected the following:

  • Coolant Temp
  • Intake Air Temp
  • RPM
  • O2 Voltage Bank1 Front Sensor
  • Spark

Here's a screen shot, from the SCT Live Link software:

With my equipment, I captured 20 data points per second. It's pretty interesting to see what goes on - for example when the engine is heat soaked the IAT went UP, while under heavy acceleration... I would have thought it would go DOWN, with the air rushing past so quickly.

I need to figure out what all the variables are that can be logged, and what they mean to me. I've got a lot more playing to do, but so far it's been very easy to use, and fun to play with. So far, I likey-likey!