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Old 10-25-2004, 12:13 PM   #1
Tom Brazelton
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I saw this for sale on eBay. It says it increases torque and increases acceleration response time in Honda Elements. It sells for $25 bucks and install is "easy". They also claim it won't raise your MPG.

This all sounds too good to be true to me. Does anyone have any experience with these kinds of modifications?
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Old 10-25-2004, 12:32 PM   #2
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Snake Oil.
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Old 10-25-2004, 12:33 PM   #3
DrFaulken
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That sounds sketchy for a few reasons:

1) If it's an ECU bypass, then it's super low price is really suspicious. There are plent of "chip" mods for my last two cars (WRX and MINI Cooper S), and they were all well above the "retail" cost of the Juice Box, listed at $179. Both of the previous cars has a large following of performance enthusiasts, and the economy of scale wasn't great enough to bring the price down to $179. I don't believe that there could be a big enough market for Element performance enthusiasts to bring a reliable product to retail at that price.

2) Even if it is on the "up and up," unless you've done other mods like an exhaust, air intake, etc. then there isn't much for the chip to remap in the way of air and fuel mix, timings, etc. You wouldn't get much out of a chip on an Element unless you've done other mods.

3) A quick google reveals nothing for "juice box honda element." Even the seemingly vaporware turbo kit for the Element gets more hits than that.

I'd stay away. For $25 it might seem like a harmless experiment, but I wouldn't want to put that thing on my car.

Let us know what you do.

I wonder when all of the "THE ELEMENT IS NOT A DRAG CAR" folks are going to pile in.
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Old 10-25-2004, 12:58 PM   #4
Tom Brazelton
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Well, I tend to trust my instincts. So when something looks too good to be true, it usually is. Even if there was a lot of positive feedback for this thing, I probably wouldn't buy it because I don't want to muck up how my car runs.

I guess this was the first I heard about this kind of "technology" even existing. I mean, I think I've seen informercials for air intake filters that improve performance. Something called the Tornado or the Vortex? But this was the first I've seen of a little control box that would do the same...
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Old 10-25-2004, 01:05 PM   #5
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If you're interested, here's an ugly but informative article written about various ECU replacements for the Subaru Impreza. It explains what an ECU is and what it typically does. Most modern ECU upgrades are "piggybacks," meaning that they plug on top of the stock ECU so that you don't have to solder in anything. This makes it easier to return the car to stock, theoretically.
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Old 10-25-2004, 02:01 PM   #6
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Junk. This has been discussed before:

http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...pic.php?t=9330

>...ECU replacements...

An ECU replacement - even a piggyback chip - isn't going to cost $25. The thing Tom is referring to isn't a piggyback chip (i.e., refer to the link).

Piggyback chips are typically bad news, anyway. I had a deep discussion with a Ford service manager, and he revealed that the manufacturers are getting wise to "chipping". He had somebody come in with a blown engine, and the factory warranty auditor took a magnifying glass to the ECU internals. The auditor said "No warranty!" because the owner had chipped it (among other things) and tried to cover his tracks.
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