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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong place - still rather new to this.

When I purchased my Commander, I was told of a K&N Air intake/filter and some kind of computer gizmo, both of which could help with performance and efficiency. The chap said that the filter not only made the engine sound more throaty, but gave him a couple of extra MPG. The computer gadget he used to amend the setup of the car to be more fuel efficient or for towing or better acceleration - that sort of thing.

The K&N filter I have found online (looks a bit like a letter 'J' with a filter cone on the end) but, for the life of me, I can't recall what the computer thingy was, that could be attached and used to change the setup of the vehicle.

If anyone could let me know
  1. a) if these things actually make any difference at all; and
  2. b) what the computer adjusting gizmo is
I would be most grateful!

Cheers :thup:
 

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The K&N Air Filter does offer less restriction to air inflow than the stock air filter and induction system. If will create more induction noise, that the stock system is designed to deaden, and people interested in performance do usually enjoy that sound. BUT, a couple of MPG increase or 10HP increase from a K&N air filter? I doubt it, it might make a barely noticeable power increase, and it might produce a barely measurable increase in mileage. Biggest increases in mileage will be gained by modifying your driving habits. You can argue the low restriction air filter does NOT filter as well as a conventional air filter, and there is some evidence of that, but I have YET to see anyone show or complain of extra engine wear from using a K&N air filter. The only real drawback is the extra effort of removing, cleaning and re-oiling it much more often than you have to replace the stock paper air filter (and the cleaning/re-oiling kits cost money so it costs more in the long run).

I have no experience with the ECU reprogrammers/tuners, Hypertech makes them and I think they may be only available for the V8 engines, NOT the V6 (I could be wrong).

Its an electronic box that connects to the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and modify's the programming or tune of the engine. The "tune" of the engine (parameters set in ECU to operate the engine by) is set by the manfucturer as a design compromise between performance, economy and safety (safety as in to the motor itself NOT getting damaged and lasting a long life). Using this will obviously void any warranties on your engine. And changing the engine tune will give gains by shifting those design compromises more toward one result than the other.

If you're the kind of driver that has no idea what Detonation is, and will drive around for thousands of miles ignoring that popcorn sound coming from the engine, these programmers might NOT be for you. At least do NOT pick the most aggressive profiles from the list of options for reprogramming. (Believe someone with more experience than myself with these reprogrammers, they may tell you I'm worrying more than necessary, they are plenty safe for your motor).

The stock tune set by the manufacturer, to make the motor the reasonably reliable, assumes the lowest common denominators, that is, the driver is an idiot that doesn't know the first thing about cars or engines. Sure you can squeeze another 30hp out of the motor, just by making the tune more aggressive, but the slightest thing malfunctions on the motor, the day is unusually hot, etc anyone or several of the hundreds of parameters that determine the conditions of burning that fuel in the motor gets outside of ideal, it can cause detonation/pre-ignition, exhaust gas too hot, oil too hot, etc that can cause damage or excessive wear on the motor.

You don't get something for nothing, changing the tune of the motor to be more aggressive will get you more power or better mileage, it will also reduce that built in margin of safety for the motor the manufacturer designed into it. If you're smart about cars and engines and can recognize the symptoms of pushing your motor too hard and back off, hey no problem, a smarter more experienced operator can operate with a lower margin of safety. If you don't know these things, you can oblivously damage your motor.

I think people more experienced with these reprogrammers will tell you, they are safe to use, if you're NOT that experienced with engines, etc, stay away from the more aggressive tune/profiles/changes and go with more mild ones to keep enough margin of safety for any lack of knowledge or experience.
 

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I have no experience with the ECU reprogrammers/tuners, Hypertech makes them and I think they may be only available for the V8 engines, NOT the V6 (I could be wrong).
DiabloSport and SuperChips also make programmers for the Commander - they may be engine specific.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The K&N Air Filter does offer less restriction to air inflow than the stock air filter and induction system. If will create more induction noise, that the stock system is designed to deaden, and people interested in performance do usually enjoy that sound. BUT, a couple of MPG increase or 10HP increase from a K&N air filter? I doubt it, it might make a barely noticeable power increase, and it might produce a barely measurable increase in mileage. Biggest increases in mileage will be gained by modifying your driving habits. You can argue the low restriction air filter does NOT filter as well as a conventional air filter, and there is some evidence of that, but I have YET to see anyone show or complain of extra engine wear from using a K&N air filter. The only real drawback is the extra effort of removing, cleaning and re-oiling it much more often than you have to replace the stock paper air filter (and the cleaning/re-oiling kits cost money so it costs more in the long run).

I have no experience with the ECU reprogrammers/tuners, Hypertech makes them and I think they may be only available for the V8 engines, NOT the V6 (I could be wrong).

Its an electronic box that connects to the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and modify's the programming or tune of the engine. The "tune" of the engine (parameters set in ECU to operate the engine by) is set by the manfucturer as a design compromise between performance, economy and safety (safety as in to the motor itself NOT getting damaged and lasting a long life). Using this will obviously void any warranties on your engine. And changing the engine tune will give gains by shifting those design compromises more toward one result than the other.

If you're the kind of driver that has no idea what Detonation is, and will drive around for thousands of miles ignoring that popcorn sound coming from the engine, these programmers might NOT be for you. At least do NOT pick the most aggressive profiles from the list of options for reprogramming. (Believe someone with more experience than myself with these reprogrammers, they may tell you I'm worrying more than necessary, they are plenty safe for your motor).

The stock tune set by the manufacturer, to make the motor the reasonably reliable, assumes the lowest common denominators, that is, the driver is an idiot that doesn't know the first thing about cars or engines. Sure you can squeeze another 30hp out of the motor, just by making the tune more aggressive, but the slightest thing malfunctions on the motor, the day is unusually hot, etc anyone or several of the hundreds of parameters that determine the conditions of burning that fuel in the motor gets outside of ideal, it can cause detonation/pre-ignition, exhaust gas too hot, oil too hot, etc that can cause damage or excessive wear on the motor.

You don't get something for nothing, changing the tune of the motor to be more aggressive will get you more power or better mileage, it will also reduce that built in margin of safety for the motor the manufacturer designed into it. If you're smart about cars and engines and can recognize the symptoms of pushing your motor too hard and back off, hey no problem, a smarter more experienced operator can operate with a lower margin of safety. If you don't know these things, you can oblivously damage your motor.

I think people more experienced with these reprogrammers will tell you, they are safe to use, if you're NOT that experienced with engines, etc, stay away from the more aggressive tune/profiles/changes and go with more mild ones to keep enough margin of safety for any lack of knowledge or experience.
Many thanks for that detailed response, Mongo - really appreciate it.

I fear I may be one of the idiots that the manufacturer aims at (!) but am willing to learn - that said, it sounds as though the level of tinkering may be a step too far for me at this stage.

As for the K&N filter, can I be bothered with the increased maintenance for a touch more noise? Probably not...
 
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