I know there is a real love/hate relationship with these things, so i'm going to set the scene first and be as objectionable as possible. It goes on a bit
The GT has done 90k miles, now 5 years old, 4 of which in my possession. Have not fettled with anything else except blanking off egr with a plate. My driving is mostly 'miss daisy' as its sitting on a motorway at 65mph, or i'm heading into the city to get to the gym. Not into driving fast for the sake of it, but like a blast every now and then on an open road.
For the last year, been reading about remaps/boxes etc. Followed the mango's thing too. Did a fair bit of reading and research and realised that a reputable remap was probably the best, but I didn't wish to spend £360 on something I may occasionally get the benefit from. Read about cheaper remaps but with hit and miss success.
The boxes that only connect to the common rail bar and not individual injectors, is what the drakebox2 is. Same as the mango's one I believe. realise they are a bit crude in terms of how the results are achieved, but what helped put my mind at rest was a member on here has been running the mango's box for 23k miles and another chap has had a few of these drakeboxes for a few years ...currently his is on a GT too. Steinbauer have been selling these things for years too and they are reputable. Purchased the box from ebay, their feedback is from over 3,000 people so, again, it helps that they've sold lots and have been doing it a while. When I looked at these same boxes about 6 months ago, they were £150 delivered. They've dropped to £90 delivered so I thought i'd take a punt and if i don't like it, lesson learned, not a huge loss. A few bullet points...
-delivered from italy, recorded class, arrived in about a week. Think they accept returns etc
-heard their communication is a bit poor, so payed by paypal!
-the box is a digital one rather than analogue, the settings are digitally altered through 1 to 10. The workings are set in a resin base to protect them from water, damage etc.
-fitting was relatively easy, although some slight manipulation to the boxes common rail plug had to be done. This was described in the instruction leaflet so not huge surprise. Just a case of shaving some plastic off with a knife.
-Set the box at zero and made sure my car still worked ok!
-moved it to 1 and went for a drive. Needs to be booted in 3rd gear up to red line. If any new dash lights come on , it means there is a problem
-cautiously kept moving it up ...2,3,4, skipped 5 and have settled on 6.
Results so far after 2 weeks on setting 6 out of 10
-no smoke before box installed and genuinely no smoke afterwards
-no new lights on dash
-cold start sounds a heck of a lot better, less rattly, probably because more fuel from start. Must emphasise this is not a placebo effect.
-cold start driving is a lot more responsive, as I think these diesels naturally run lean, the box gets rid of any cold hesitation
-Overall power is fairly dramatic. Noticeable increase in every gear.
-I've not tried it beyond 6, no doubt there is more grunt, but i'm not really fussed. Would be more concerned about clutch etc.
-when you give it some beans through the gears it feels smooth, but when you move through the gears slowly, 1st and a bit in second, is a bit 'spikey'. Based on a bit of research, this comes as no big shock.
-Fuel consumption obviously gets better on the dash, due to the fooling of the ecu
-With cruise control, driving at 65mph and up a bit of a hill, you can feel the car surging slightly every 2 seconds or so. Doesn't do it without cruise control and only up hill. Any thoughts as to why are appreciated.
generally, i'm very pleased with it, for the price. The hard part to quantify is the effect of any long term issues with raising the pressure in the injectors (?) I think that right? but my view is that these boxes have been used by folk for years now, can't find anything on internet where damage was caused as a direct result, companies are giving guarantees with them in the event of engine damage, and how much more strain is being put on these injectors by using a 6/10 setting, and is it well within there capability anyway. A few
In future, I may get a good remap, but as the box is a quarter of the price of the one I would get, will it be 4 times better. Maybe?
Hope you see this as a balanced and sensible review