In Reply to: Stan, the time is upon us... posted by KevinS on October 23, 2001 at 11:39:50:
The exact black box is not the big deal it's the setup and programming that really matter.
My spark timing is set by my JC chip..so I simply decided to use hard parts for which good spark maps were known to be available. My fuel and ditching the AFM are taken care of by the Link and Motronic. I can't retune spark if I raise compresssion go fo custom cams or something though, unless there is a chip for it. There are a variety of JC chips around though for various proven parts combos. As it stands I don't think that I am too far off considering that I'm using a generic JC chip as opposed to one tuned on my exact motor. A JC chip tuned for my exact motor would be better of course, but not by a great deal.
Aftermarket boxes providing spark and fuel mgt can also do other worthwhile things besides simple fuel and spark mapping such as more accurate spark timing by ditching the distributor, coil per cu=ylinder, adding knock sensors, etc. Full sequential fuel injection, individual cylinder trim, staged injectors.. Traction and launch control. Shift lights, datalogging you name it.
Given my hardware I think that I'm getting a good chunk of the potential raw performance though. My 1/4 mile time is now down to 14.17 which is not too shabby. The car also enjoys much better in gear acceleration times.