I don't think you were being entirely clear with what you were talking about to begin with!
All I am trying to do is dispel the myth perpetuated by misinformed forum posters simply repeating what they have read, that goes along the lines of...
tuning boxes = bad
'remap' = good
As I've said already, a bad ECU 'remap' is worse than a bad tuning box for several reasons - the main one being that you will pay more for it because you will be under the misapprehension that it is a remap therefore it must be better because everyone says so, and then you will have to pay again to have the bad work undone, whereas with a bad tuning box you will have forked out less money and when you realise what a waste it was you can simply unplug it, throw it in the bin and put the loss down to experience (or, depending on your scruples, put it on ebay....)
IMO a good quality digital reprogrammable tuning box (around the £100 - £200 range) offers the best price/performance balance, giving 80-90% of what's available from the tuning for 50% of the price. After that value dips greatly as you are into the crap remap and unnecessarily expensive tuning box territory, and then the law of diminishing returns kicks in when you get to the professional remap price bracket at £300+ which will give the ultimate performance but at much greater cost due to the time involved.
Pays your money and takes your choice, but not everyone has that much money to throw away and those that don't shouldn't be denied most of the benefits just because the naysayers say they shouldn't!
(Of course, another boost to the tuning box's value is if you choose wisely you can have it re-programmed at lower cost for another vehicle, or you can always sell it on).
WRT the 'torque holes' you describe, again that is minimised by choosing a box that has a matched programming to the engine, plus a lot of people make the mistake of running these boxes at 'maximum' setting which does (by design) produce a big hump in the torque curve to give that impression of massive extra power (I know, because I've made that mistake in the past....)
Last edited by agent smith; 04-03-11 at 15:55.