February 25, 2021

Tuning Solutions- By [SPOOLIGAN]

If you even start to think about modding your DSM, whether it be a 4g63 or a 420a, you should put some time into thinking about a tuning solution. Now, I know there are many choices and you can easily get confused. Well, I’m here to break it down for you.


This is considered a piggyback because it runs off of the stock ecu. You have full control over everything though. I don’t really consider it a piggyback because of everything it can do. There are so many support
forums out there for link, and ECMtuning even has their own forum, so you get help right from the developers. Link allows you to adjust fuel tables, timing tables, adjust anti-lag, launch control, DTC’s (diagnostic trouble codes), allows you to run speed density, etc. The only downfall is the price tag. This is by far the most commonly used form of tuning in DSM’s.

ECUflash: Ceddy Mods with 2G Blackbox H8 ECU

Piggyback. Used in 98-99 4g63 DSM’s and EVO’s. This requires purchasing EVOscan, and obtaining the free program ECUflash, as well as purchasing a open port 2.0 cable. You must have a “black box” H8 ECU to use this method. The H8 ECU’s can be found in the late 2Gb turbo DSM’s. This can do everything link does, for less than half the price. Ceddymods is an add on that allows for NLTS, stutterbox, speed density, and more.

ECUflash: Tephra Mods with Evo 8/3G Eclipse ECU

Practically a standalone. This method is my personal favorite and is what I run in my 1G. It requires an Evo 8 or 3G ECU. If you use a 3G ECU, you must make sure the ECU is from a 2001-2005 Mitsubishi Eclipse with the 4 cylinder engine and manual transmission. Once you flash an Evo ROM onto this ECU, it essentially becomes an Evo ECU. The EVO/3G ECU is far more superior than the DSM EPROM ECU’s and is, in my opinion, a better option compared to DSMlink. The only downside to using this method is the learning curve involved with it. It requires a lot of reading online to understand how to use ECUflash. Tephra mods, is an add on for the Evo ROM that you use on your ECU. More information about this method can be found in my “Evo 8 ECU Swap in DSM” tech article.


Standalone. This is mainly used on 420a’s. It allows for control of ignition, fuel and idle air. This requires a megasquirt ecu, and there are many tuning programs to use with it.


Piggyback. This only allows control for fuel. It can be used on 4g63 or 420a. The biggest injectors that can be safely used with this are 650cc. Being that you cant monitor or control knock, a data logger is almost a necessity when using a safc. Being that there are so much better tuning solutions out there, the SAFC is outdated and rarely used. This requires tapping into the stock ecu.


Piggyback. This is used on EPROM ecu’s in 1g or 2g DSM’s. This requires a burnt EPROM chip, and basically, you burn the chip every time you change something with your settings. Jackal is for 1g DSM’s only, and its purpose is for speed density. There isnt much support on the web for these two, so people
are afraid to use it. Jackal itself is still beta, and the owner doesn’t even own a DSM anymore. You will use TunerPro to mod your settings.

AEM Standalone:

Your pretty much in control of EVERYTHING. Be warned though, you can easily mess something up.  There are pre-made maps you can upload to the ecu to get started. Recommend only for professional tuners or people who really know what they’re doing. Like link, only downfall is the price tag.