Tuner Bio: Steve
E-tunez was an opportunity to transform a passion for mechanical and electrical engineering into a harmonious relationship, a synergy inside the ECU. It was also a way for me to justify one of my favorite pastimes to my wife and kids. While I am an enthusiast as well, I do not take tuning lightly, I am a very methodical and systematic based engine tuner. I teach Automotive Science at a local College here, and you can be sure that my work is done properly. I tune both NA and forced induction tunes. I am also very comfortable with remote assistance for those that need a hand getting setup. I can take control of your computer remotely and help you figure things out for the first time, if you need it. As far as tuning goes, I prefer focusing on just a few tunes at time and making sure they are perfect. I move ahead in steps, all of the actual changes I make to a map are logged in detail in both my maps and on the site account profiles as well as general comments about what the users should expect from different revisions. I do this so changes can be easily categorized and referenced. I like to create solid baseline and starting point and then take the strengths of a vehicle and methodically build on them. Those who know me, know my personal moto has always been quality over quantity, I take the qualities of a project, and build on them meticulously.
If a vehicle is hyper fuel efficient I like to build on that in the part throttle columns, rather then just focus on turning it into a power hound at WOT, if a vehicle makes loads of power under boost, I like to focus in and build on that rather then try to hypermile it, and in the case of the K series engines, they make great power NA, and have a good mix of economy and power and I like to build on that in both aspects.
My tunes tend to progress carefully, one revision per day (unless otherwise requested), making small changes and paying attention to detail and looking for results of the previous changes in the current revisions to confirm operability. My datalog analysis and explanations tend to use screenshots to show what is going on. I like to dial a tune in bit by bit, slowly reducing knock retard until the tune is just on threshold, with no retard under light knock volume and still retarding under unusually high knock volume and then I adjust the ignition maps to reflect this. I use the same technique for fuel tuning, small adjustments, tuning Lambda tables for ideal OL/CL transition and targets and then adjusting the Volumetric Efficiency tables to reflect. I have experience with nearly all mainstream Honda engines such as the J, K series engines, L15 and L15T, Turbo R18’s and the F series Honda engines. I also have been kept pretty busy lately with plenty of work on the Subaru EJ series and Mitsubishi 4B/4G series. I started into this many years ago with a heavily modified AWD 4G63 Eagle Talon, and progressed into a Twin Turbo Legacy AWD EJ20H from Japan.
While I enjoy spending time at AutoX and Track days, I also really enjoy hypermiling engines at part throttle and extracting WOT performance in the “no vacuum” or WOT columns. The hypermiling hobby was likely caused by paying at the pump for the aforementioned gas guzzling AWD’s vehicles. You learn its not just about power, quickly. I have written many “economy maps” for users over the years, these involve keeping relatively normal AFR’s (within .2-.3 of stock) but adjusting cam angles, ignition, setting closed loop windows to form economy bands from ~2000-3500 RPM. One of the setups on my 2008 Civic Si FA5 is a NA K20 with a IPS K2 built head (supertech) with a custom port and polish, and a matched 68mm overboard throttle body and of course all the supporting mods with a self designed intake and exhaust, and a custom Kid Racing Header with a HFC and Flex Pipe, and various rotational mass upgrades throughout. It was a great machine, but the 10th gen Honda engineering blow my mind, that my nearly stock (FlashPro only) 2016 L15T Civic EX-T is slightly faster and a lot more fuel efficient using the CVT, then the modified 8thgen.
I like the peace of mind of a job well done and do all of my upgrades myself. On my personal car I try to keep the exterior as stock looking as possible (aside from the Motegi Traklites and 235 Dunlop’s) to avoid attracting attention, and I enjoy the look of surprise when I open up the throttle. My exhaust is free flowing yet quiet with custom resonated twin tips, and free flow baffling through out the system and still uses a DOT compliant High Flow Cat. My setup puts out between 240WHP(30C) to 272WHP(-30C) from summer to winter on the E-dyno when ran on level ground.
I live up North so I tend to see very cold temperatures. Actually my FA5 was not only the first to run a custom flash in Canada, but it was the first FA5 to see -40 degree temperatures as after custom ordering and taking early possession I made the trip back to home to then Thompson Manitoba, where it was already -40 degrees, in November. I am familiar with tuning in temperature extremes from -40C/F to +40C/105F.
My background as a tuner started in the late 90’s with “DSM Link” and DSM turbo tuning, progressing into tuning via SAFC/VAFC then onto standalone platforms like Mega Squirt and ECU Live and eventually to the FlashPro, HP Tuners and the Cobb AccessPORT. Over the last 13 years I have owned over 60 vehicles and worked with nearly every factory available forced induction platform available (Toyota, Nissan, GM, Hyundai, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi etc) from the 80’s to current vehicles and even a few factory turbo motorcycles like the Honda CX series and Yamaha Seca Turbo series in the early 80’s.
I enjoy tuning Honda engines as in most cases the same power or sometimes more can be made without the need for forced induction and the complexity and engine stresses it brings. Of course turbo charging a Honda engine really opens up some serious power and on some engines (like the D16 or the R18) no amount of NA tuning comes close to a good turbo tune. Turboing these engines can be a lot of fun, and while I have tuned quite a few R18 turbos, one of my favorite projects was on an Integra AWD with a D16 that was right for a Turbo. That’s right factory AWD! Having a solid understanding of the Honda engines, I am currently expanding my knowledge base taking up personal studies in this field and also I am now starting to tune turbo diesel engines as well. Now that I have 4 growing children, even my FA5 is growing a little tight. For a time my “family vehicle” is a JDM Import Mitsubishi Delica with a 2800 Intercooled Turbo 4M40 diesel engine, but recently was move up to a Mid-Engine Supercharged 4WD Toyota Previa that hugged the corners a little tighter 🙂
I view myself as an enthusiast and time spent tuning is an opportunity to enjoy my hobby. My formal education is in the Electronic Engineering field.
Tuner Bio: Dan
To date little is known about Dan the tuner. Rumor says he has been spotted at race tracks up and down the East Coast of North America, but yet no one has heard him speak a word and most spotting’s are unverified. He is known to habitat moderate to warm climates with low density altitude and high octane ratings. It is assumed he drinks E85 with a shot of Methanol instead of coffee and exhales un-catted exhaust fumes. With a steady diet of Mopars, Fords, and Chevys in his rear view mirror in an email he once wrote, “I just want to go as fast as I can, then go faster. I also like to help others do the same.” Said email mysteriously disappeared from all servers moments after it was read. Some say he has never been passed on a racetrack, highway, back road, sidewalk, hiking path, or even as an infant in his stroller pushed by his mother. Last spotting was behind a keyboard at a classified location of which google earth has blacked out from both their overhead and street views. Updates to come.
-The E-Tunez Team
Tuner Bio: Richard
As an Electrical Technologist with background in aviation, I’ve spent a huge part of my life focused on sensors and inputs with a strong attention to detail. My day job has me as a crew member on an aircraft travelling all over the country diagnosing electrical systems problems while under high pressure for over 12 years. During this time I worked directly with Steve forming a great lifetime friendship while playing Starcraft until the wee-hours of the night while we ate Chinese food helped to pass the time while we were both stationed in a remote northern community. After that Steve moved on to other career paths but we kept in touch.
After calling up Steve randomly one day after I saw an epic JDM import car that reminded me of the imports he typically drives, we got to talking and when he described he was looking for someone to help out I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Steve is a legend when it comes to tuning so learning from the best was definitely something I wanted to take on.
I wanted at the very least be able to tune my personal project, my first car I’ve owned for 20 years a Mirage to Mitsubishi Lancer EVO III coupe (yep, you heard that right, EVO coupe) that I built with the help of my Dad, taking a damaged Evo and swapping the AWD into a Mirage chassis was the start of where I learnt everything automotive related. From re-wiring, converting from MAF to SD and running ECMLink (aka DSMLink), I’ve done tons of work to this car. My how times have changed from the primitive tuning solutions from then to how things are today. Tuning this thing has always been a challenge for me but I’ve managed to at least make it drivable and even do a few track/autocross days with my local car club. I’m currently in the process of swapping in a 2.3L stroked and built 4G63T w/ FP Green turbo (it’s been a long project, haha).
My daily drivers have always been Hondas, my first was a ’04 Civic Si coupe, it wasn’t a performance vehicle but got me where I needed to go with long road trips regularly, it never let me down. I later traded it for a ’06 TSX which was very reliable and now finally I just traded that for ’19 Insight which is a super comfortable commuter car. I hear you already saying…. “Whaaaat, Richard?! You drive a hybrid and tune cars!?” Yeah! I like to save gas, and we all need to be focused on the Environment as well. I would have purchased a fully electric car if the range was just a little bit better for my budget. I know my next daily will really be a true Electric but this hybrid will be good enough for now. I’m also the guy of guy who likes to hold onto cars for a very long time.
Working with Steve and the rest of the E-Tunez team has been a game changer for my personal tuning life, definitely looking forward to spending lots of years working with the guys here, we have a great team that works hard to help each other out and put out the best tunes possible for all of you.
Staff Bio’s: John
I began working for E-tunez with a background in computers, I enjoy working with information systems. As complicated as that sounds the reality of restoring my 1991 Honda Accord CB7 by hand, means being constantly reminded that a 30 year old automotive tends to drift more to the mechanical side than the computer side. However, the winters up North here tend to be incredibly cold, so this leaves a great deal of time to perfect these interests and get good mechanical sorted out perfectly. Whether it’s time working the keyboard, or time in the garage turning wrenches and solving mechanical or electrical issues. My CB7 is my current favorite project where I can keep growing some of my passions for these older Hondas while picking up knowledge here and integrating the knowledge that both our tuners and our customers can bring to the table. However, I still like to remind the guys here from time to time that “software guys” put the “E” in E-tunez 🙂
Thanks for reading!
John @ E-Tunez