»Fully programmable ECU using Windowsbased software
»OBDII port flash loading and data logging module
»MAF or MAP tuning logic modes for NA or forced induction
»20 hours of high-speed data logging with largecapacity storage
»CAN-BUS vehicle compatible
»Online downloadable programs for common hardware configurations
»Custom laptop gauges
»Dual calibration storage upload from one of two user-defined calibrations stored in the FlashPro
»Check and clear diagnostic codes
As much as K-series engines were a boon to the world of tuning Hondas and engine swaps, the introduction of CAN-BUS-operated variants of these engines with integral e-throttles and chassis controls-like in the new Civic Si-became the tuner's bane. Suddenly, we had a wonderful engine, but no way to control it without resorting back to primitive piggyback systems or costly stand-alone computers.
Hondata, the leader in tuning Honda ECUs, saw this problem long ago and worked tirelessly to create a painless solution for tuners unwilling to hack and slash away at wiring harnesses to get their coveted K-Pro ECU to work with the new engines.
The concept is simple. Instead of sending your ECU in for a generic off -the-shelf reflash or splicing in another tunable ECU onto your wiring harness, the FlashPro offers the simplest solution: It simply alters the existing software in the stock ECU and allows the tuner to now tune most relevant portions of the ECU software. The process is both undetectable (depending on how the vehicle is tuned) and completely reversible. We now have all the capabilities of the old K-Pro ECU in a software format for newer CANBUS-based Hondas. This opens future tuning possibilities for just about any new four-cylinder Honda vehicle.
Most importantly, the package consists of a simple software CD for your laptop and an upload interface. There's nothing to break, cut, splice or circumvent all while retaining the wonderful driveability of the original Honda factory-tuning algorithms. Another major advantage of the FlashPro is that the software allows the user to tune an engine using either the newer MAF-style metering system that the stock ECU operates on or through the backup MAP-style sensor and control the engine like older Honda engines.
Testing our FlashPro on a completely stock vehicle doesn't nearly begin to show its utility. (We used our stock '09 Civic Si sedan because it's the only relatable baseline.) In a before and after test, we dyno'd the car on MD Automotive's Dynojet chassis dynanometer. Afterward, we reflashed the ECU with the provided FlashPro reflash map for the stock vehicle and monitored its performance and A/F ratio to evaluate where our performance gains came from.
While peak power only increased by a mild 6.9 whp, the change in the VTEC engagement point, the smoothness of its engagement, ignition timing and fuel tuning resulted in a car that was hugely different to drive on the street. Low-end torque was much more immediate and came in at lower engine speeds, making the car far more rewarding to drive on the street without any sacrifice to peak power.
But these power gains found with just the software retune is only the tip of the iceberg. To further show the true tuning potential of the FlashPro, we then installed a Weapon R short ram intake on the car. By nature, short ram intakes will make more power, but often lose low-end torque due to the short intake runner geometry.
Oftentimes, badly designed intake kits also have adverse effects on A/F ratios due to improper MAF meter placement and can result in dangerously lean or rich operation. We chose Weapon R's Secret Weapon short ram intake system without the optional external cold air ducting as an addition to see the tuning capabilities of the FlashPro. The intake features a secondary concentric tube place prior to the throttle body to help smooth airflow into the engine and reduce turbulence that often alter MAF meter readings. The Weapon R intake didn't show unsafe changes to the A/F ratio.
We optimized the intake's performance by uploading Hondata's short ram intake tune and retested the intake and software combination. This downloadable tune operates the engine using the factory backup MAP sensor instead of the stock MAF meter for more consistent control of the A/F ratio and thus power. Low-end torque was slightly affected, as we expect from a short ram intake, but we did see another 4.5 whp more near redline with sufficient cold airflow.
While our test only shows some basic functionalities of the FlashPro, the new software really does open up more sophisticated tuning and engine modification options for most new Hondas.
Forced induction tuning is made simple while using MAP mode tuning, while all of the car's original functionality is retained (with the exception of the service light odometer while tuned with MAP operation). The bottom line is that tuning newer Hondas has become a simple matter, and now that a system for the Si exists, expect to see other CAN-BUS Honda applications showing up in the near future.
With Hondata FlashproGains Made
+ 6.9 hp
+ 7.6 torque
Before 189.8 whp and 140.1 ft-lbs
After 196.7 whp and 147.7 ft-lbs
With Weapon R Short Ram IntakeGains Made
+ 4.7 hp
+ 0.1 torque Before 196.7 whp and 147.7 ft-lbs
After 201.4 whp and 147.8 ft-lbs