Big hp XR8: From Unichip to Stealth/Edit - results may surprise
My car: 2003 BA XR8, with Capa supercharger kit, intercooled, etc. I originally had the Unichip fitted. The car made 389rwkw. This was dyno proven at both Dynomotive (Bayswater) and AVO Turboworld (Cheltenham).
I decided to go the "Edit" because my car had the infamous 'stalling/cutting out' problem that plagues many BAs (see related threads). Ford admitted it was a known problem (several stock cars had the same problem) but didn't have a fix. The problem was driving me crazy, and when a certain workshop said they could fix it, as well as give me even more power ("yeah mate we'll get you 400rwkw no worries!!"), I decided I had to go ahead with it.
The workshop that installed the 'edit/stealth' features quite prominently on these forums. I will not disclose their name for reasons that will become apparent.
The result of moving from a Unichip to Edit? The car felt more responsive, the idle is slightly higher and smoother, and there is more bottom end torque. The stalling/cutting out problem was fixed. But here's the catch - the car makes significantly less top end power - it's down 69rwkw and now makes only 320rwkw.
Now I'm still happy because the stalling/cutting problem was finally fixed. And the car had heaps of power anyway, and the increase in low down power kinda compensated for the drop in top end power. After 10+ trips to Ford service, the problem was finally fixed.
But here's what leaves a sour taste in my mouth:
1. The workshop that installed the edit was dishonest about the power output. When the car was being worked on, I checked to see if they had run a 'before' dyno. They said "nah mate look we just got straight into it". I thought "ok, what could I do". But then, upon picking up the car and asking what power it was making:
Me "So how much power is it making?"
Workshop "Ah shitloads more mate. It's doing 320!!"
Me "um it was doing 389 with the unichip"
Workshop "nah mate that's bullshit we dyno'd it at 220rwkw"
Me "what?! how can that be - it's heaps faster than a stock xr8, and I have the dyno chart"
Workshop "i dunno what's going on here mate, but that other place is bullshitting ya. It's easy to make a dyno read whatever you want it to. We ran it and it was only making 220. but she's GREAT now!!! Drives f***in beauutiful etc etc etc"
I'll admit I was stupid then by not arguing the point, by failing to mention that it had been dyno'd at two different places, by not asking for that 220rwkw graph, and most importantly forgetting that these people contradicted themselves - only a few days ago they had admitted they never did 'before' run!!
Other things that left a sour taste in my mouth:
1. Intercooler hose blew off. 'Edit' dealer blamed the other workshop, even though it had been working fine for months before he had worked on it.
2. Injectors had to be upgraded when the edit was done. Was quoted $1500 by 'edit' workshop. Checked with other workshop, who without me haggling, supplied them for $800 (FFS i KNOW the cost price is under $500!!!!)
3. Asked about a certain Ford forums discount. Was denied. ("nah man that doesn't apply for this, there's nothing in it" (or words to that effect))
My conclusion: This overhyped 'edit' product made LESS top end power than the unichip. Torque truncation tags? Massive power increase? Super improvements in driveability? LMFAO.
Having said all that, it did fix the stalling/cutting out issue (which was unrelated to the unichip). So if your car has that factory ford problem of cutting out, then this mod is worthwhile, albeit quite expensive. Hopefully ford will come out with a fix one day - it sucks having to pay 2k for an aftermarket solution to a factory ford problem.
Oh yeah, and after my experience with what is meant to be the leading Ford "performance" workshop, and numerous ford dealerships, well, I'll never buy a Ford again.