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Old 09-24-2020, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default After market Sprinter performance booster

Owl Van Engineering has made a business selling equipment and add-ons for Sprinter Class Bs. One of their latest offerings is a performance engine tune module. To me it's a really interesting concept, but I'd probably want to hear from someone who had used one for a while before committing my own engine to it.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:59 AM   #2
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It is almost certainly either:
a) Snake oil; or
b) An illegal emissions-defeat device.
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:13 AM   #3
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the sign on the hot rod shop said

How Fast?
How Long?
How Much?


Pick 2!


--------------------------

without doing mechanical modifications, you'd be asking components to work beyond the design parameters, eventually a failure


5:40 "overbuild the heck out of them"...oh yeah?


BTW one of these on your ECM will throw any warranty out the window






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Old 09-24-2020, 01:16 AM   #4
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Tuners can be good, bad, or anything in between and unless you know what they actually are doing, it is hard to tell.


As he said turbo engines get more power from more air, but the fuel has to match just right, especially with a diesel, to keep from running rich or lean and keep from carboning up or running hot spots. With expensive DPF to worry about that gets important. He also mentioned it holding gears longer and that could be from the increased power or it could have changed in the tuner, so would be good to know that. Changing shift points can make a motor feel more powerful when it hasn't changed sometimes.


He also mentioned turbo lag much less, which is surprising as you normally can't change that much unless it is variable vane turbos. It may be that MB had an intentional delay in the system to help preserve the transmission at lower rpms and if that is the case you would want to keep it that way.


Of course you never really know the consequences until you run one for a length of time, and then it is too late. Hopefully, there will be some high mile per year users that get some real world on them and post results. It would also be useful to see it before and after on the wheel dyno to see the actual gains in power vs shift points.
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:45 AM   #5
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I repeat:
ANY modification of any aspect of the emissions system (including software changes) is considered "Tampering" under the Clean Air Act and is unambiguously illegal under federal law.
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:50 AM   #6
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This is the wrong crowd and the wrong fleet.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:29 PM   #7
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In the past whenever I have "tinkered" with an OEM setup of a vehicle, I have always had remorse afterwards and felt that I really should have left things the way the manufacturer intended - and so for many years now, that has been my policy!
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by <<B-Guy>> View Post
In the past whenever I have "tinkered" with an OEM setup of a vehicle, I have always had remorse afterwards and felt that I really should have left things the way the manufacturer intended - and so for many years now, that has been my policy!

The days of just taking stuff off or unplugging something to "fix" emission related problems or to improve performance are long gone, from all I have seen.


Now all the tampering is done in the computer systems done by people who know what they are doing so they don't "brick" the electronics. This is not to say that this makes things better all the time and much of the time, as Avanti said, you can get into emissions issues that could include legal problems. The changes are always touted as "offroad only" by the shops to protect themselves, but they know better, as that is rarely how they are used. Some places have started to cut slack to the older cars that qualify for "collector" license plates sometimes even when the owners don't get the plates. Some of the later muscle cars that did come with seem to be left more alone than they used to be around here. My 1996 Buick Roadmaster qualifies for using the non oxygenated premium fuel reserved for offoad and classic cars here in Minnesota and it certainly runs a lot better and gets significantly better mileage as it wasn't really designed to use the ethanol fuel very well.



It would have been very interesting to see what the exhaust looked like, and smelled like, coming out of the Sprinter in the video. I don't know if the DPF would catch all the soot that many "tuned" diesels generate or not. The smell could probably change more, especially if they are turning off things like EGR and/or DEF to get the power gains. We have seen what happened to VW when they got caught. If the emission stuff was on all the time the mileage and power both got much worse. They basically had a power tune running all the time except when being tested.


I have a tuner for our gas Chevy Roadtrek (07 vintage) and it is amazing, and quite overwhelming if you aren't used to it, to see just how many things that happening all the time when driving and how they interact with each other. For instance, when the EGR valve opens various amounts, they change the spark advance curve by various amounts based on rpm/load/temp to put just the right amount of extra advance on because they know that the EGR is going to slow down the combustion burn that amount. They also change the fuel mixture to match the dilution from the exhaust gas being added the same way. If they don't do that stuff, the engine will either go lean or rich and ping and or increase emissions. It is very common for the power tuning folks to disable the EGR and adjust the fuel and spark to how it would be without it as they can make more power in the EGR ranges and improve throttle response, but at the cost of emissions.


I only got the tuner to change the shiftpoints and converter lockup points to address the hot running transmission issues the 4 speed Chevy transmission have, so does not have any detriment to emissions. I can actually run a driving data log over time for almost all the engine parameters, including the air fuel mixture and timing so it is easy to see if stuff is working the same. The transmission actually is programmed by speed and not rpm, probably so they can change gears and tire sizes easily with speed changes only and not mess with any engine settings. I would not mess with engine controls as it runs well as is and is very forgiving of gas quality (which normally get more critical on gas engine power tuning), even beyond the legal issues of messing with emission controls.
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
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The changes are always touted as "offroad only" by the shops to protect themselves, but they know better, as that is rarely how they are used. Some places have started to cut slack to the older cars that qualify for "collector" license plates sometimes even when the owners don't get the plates.
You are right that these so-called "tuners" often add an "off-road only" disclaimer. This is meaningless, however, since the Clean Air Act contains absolutely no exemption for off-road use. It just as illegal to tamper with a dune buggy as it is a street vehicle. The ONLY exemption is for engines that were built from the bottom-up for exclusive use in racing. Any engine that has ever been used in a street vehicle (and even stationary engines) must have their original emissions configuration maintained as it was originally certified. Moreover, it is just as illegal for the end owner to make such changes as it is for commercial businesses.

Collector cars aren't exempt, either. What IS true is that most states exempt them from mandatory emissions testing, so as a practical matter the law is rarely enforced for such vehicles.

Obviously, enforcement of this law is sketchy as it applies to end users. But this is not so for the "tuners". The EPA enforcement folks eventually catch up with these guys, and the consequences are not trivial. There is a company (ironically) called "Green Diesel Engineering" who was a well-known emissions-defeat device supplier for Sprinters. They got nailed good about a year ago.
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
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non oxygenated premium fuel reserved for offoad and classic cars here in Minnesota and it certainly runs a lot better and gets significantly better mileage as it wasn't really designed to use the ethanol fuel very well.

nothing really is-

methanol added to gas lowers emissions as it contains a higher % of oxygen and helps promote a more complete burn of the hydrocarbons in the gas.

a 10% methanol blend will reduce mpg by about 3%- as power producing gas has been replaced by poorer performing ethanol


Booster can you detail exactly what you have done/changed in your 4L80E tranny map?


( BTW I do use a tuner on my Harley - to raise the idle speed- marketing dept has idle speed set low for "traditional exhaust note"- oil pressure and internal cooling depends on idle speed, so mine is increased to increase cooling of the internals. ignition timing is also slightly retarded at idle speed to increase torque when leaving a stop. the Harley/Delphi engineers did not make best use of the system they had available)




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Old 09-24-2020, 04:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
nothing really is-

methanol added to gas lowers emissions as it contains a higher % of oxygen and helps promote a more complete burn of the hydrocarbons in the gas.

a 10% methanol blend will reduce mpg by about 3%- as power producing gas has been replaced by poorer performing ethanol


Booster can you detail exactly what you have done/changed in your 4L80E tranny map?


( BTW I do use a tuner on my Harley - to raise the idle speed- marketing dept has idle speed set low for "traditional exhaust note"- oil pressure and internal cooling depends on idle speed, so mine is increased to increase cooling of the internals. ignition timing is also slightly retarded at idle speed to increase torque when leaving a stop. the Harley/Delphi engineers did not make best use of the system they had available)




mike

You certainly don't want any methanol in the fuel systems as it is way too corrosive unless lots of precautions taken. Top fuel only and the van doesn't quite do a 3 second quarter mile. Old Heat gas line antifreeze is methanol, or used to be, and caused all kinds of problems if overused. Ethanol here in 10 and 15% and maybe more later. Van is fine on 10% with very minimal differences in anything compared to pure gas.


Details on the transmission program changes here:


https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...icks-7158.html


Six speeds don't need the change, as they come programmed to lock up almost all the time.
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Old 10-01-2020, 04:49 PM   #12
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Does anyone think that the engineers at MB overlooked this tweak? Or, has a geek garage genius out-smarted MB, including running real-world million-mile stress tests? Probably not. Conclusion: MB would have incorporated in into the engine computer - if it had merit.
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