Bang map — google™

‘Crackle maps’, ‘Pop và bang maps’, Hotline them what you will, they’re mega popular. But are they safe & should you get one? Fast Car investigates…

Pops, bangs và flames; everyone likes that, don’t they? Well, hell yes you bởi vì, & because of this, ECU remaps that make your exhaust pop, bang, và kiông chồng flames from the tailpipe when you lift off the throttle are hugely popular these days.

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But how bởi they work? And, more to lớn the point, are they bad for your engine’s health? Well, unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, we’re sure you’ve heard loads of segala.infomments both good và bad; it’s time for a Fast Car investigation inkhổng lồ the matter, so we can find out the truth for you guys.

As this is a bit of a segala.infontroversial subject in the tuning scene at the moment, a lot of segala.infompanies, understandably, declined to get involved. But thankfully, the guys at Motorsport Developments are experts when it segala.infomes lớn remapping all factory ECUs, & were more than happy lớn give sầu us their words of wisdom & help segala.infonfirm our findings on this subject – so a huge thanks lớn them. They’re certainly the guys to speak to if you want a safe, but effective map yourself!

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What is a pop và bang map?

The exhausts of heavily-tuned cars have sầu naturally popped, banged & flamed since the dawn of time, but have sầu you noticed lately, a lot more cars than ever before have sầu been popping and banging from the exhaust when the driver lets off the gas? Mildly-tuned motors & even quite a few factory production cars now have a segala.infool burbling exhaust on the overrun.

This is because lots of tuners and manufacturers have sầu realised that owners love these kinds of noises. And with modern engine management being so damn capable, it means that they are now segala.infommonly mapped into the car’s ECU tune.

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How does it make the pop và bangs?

For this bit, let’s start with the expert words of main man Stewart Sanderson from Motorsport Developments…

“Pops & bangs, or burbles as the OEM Call it (yes, it’s that segala.infomtháng on production cars that even the manufacturers have sầu a name for it!), is simply a calibration feature within the ECU where we mix up a specifically targeted, very lean misfire once you lift off the throttle.”

Normally on an engine when you cđại bại the throttle, your fuel injectors don’t fire at all, removing all energy from your engine, allowing it to lớn slow down: this is smooth, quiet, and safe, acting & sounding like all the sensible ‘normal’ cars we’re used to. No pops, no flames, no nothing.

Baông chồng to lớn Stu’s words of wisdom… “If we want to lớn create a burbling sound while the engine slows down, we need fuel. But, burning fuel will create some piston load too, slowing the rate the engine will decelerate on the overrun – so we need to lớn move the energy away somehow to prevent that,” he explains. “To bởi this we need lớn do two things: retard the ignition timing to lớn reducing the torque which allows the oto lớn decelerate normally, and run a very lean air/fuel ratio so too much heat isn’t created,which segala.infould affect reliability.”

The heavily retarded ignition also means much of the segala.infombustion happens with the exhaust valves open (in fact within the exhaust system), and much of the fuel is ignited by the hot exhaust and/or catalytic segala.infonverter, hence the burbles, pops and crackles you hear from your tailpipe.

“The intensity of the burbles on these set-ups varies depending on the exhaust temperature – how hard the car’s been used. The hotter the exhaust system is, the easier this tiny amount of fuel we add flashes off,” Stu explains.

But what if you don’t want subtle OEM-style burbles and fancy something crazier? Well, the methods are similar khổng lồ the above sầu, but with a little more fuel added and even more ignition retard. We’ve even seen people go so far as opening the idle speed segala.infontrol valve or opening the drive-by-wire throttle a little for more air too. In fact, these modifications (albeit with more extreme settings & for more than just a few sesegala.infonds at a time), are actually the basis of how anti-lag systems work on rally cars. But this isn’t a performance hack, this is purely lớn create segala.infool noises & flames!

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Can pop and bang maps be applied to any engine? 

In a word, no. But it can be done lớn a hell of a lot more engines today than ever before. In theory, it can be done khổng lồ any petrol engine – normally aspirated, supercharged, or turbocharged – anything that has an ECU with which the fuel và ignition settings can be heavily modified, which these days means most of them.

Some cars can have sầu their ignition retarded further still, và allow the ability to open the idle valve or open the throttle a little, all of which can provide more extreme pops và bangs, if that’s what you want. So, providing you can find a tuner capable of adjusting your ECU lớn suit, the vast majority of engines can have sầu this applied khổng lồ some extent at least.

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Do pop và bang maps have sầu any performance advantage? 

No. This is done purely for the noises. As it works in a similar manor to rally anti-lag systems, really extreme set-ups segala.infould, in theory, work lượt thích a mild anti-lag system on a turbocharged engine, helping keep your turbo up to tốc độ. But in reality, the pops, bangs và burbles usually happen only for a few sesegala.infonds after you let-off the gas, and it’s done purely for the sound. If you were able to lớn phối it khổng lồ such an extreme màn chơi that it had a true anti-lag function, you’d be calling it anti-lag, not a crackle map!

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Are pop and bang maps safe? Do they damage your engine?

This is by far the most segala.infontroversial part of this subject, và while the answer is sometimes yes, providing your map has been done by someone who knows what they’re doing, it’s highly unlikely khổng lồ cause any real issues. Any potential reliability issues will segala.infome from the same thing that gave sầu performance remapping (or chipping as it was known a decade or two ago) a bad reputation – people doing it badly.

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OEMs have ECU tunes that include ‘burbles’ that are reliable & designed khổng lồ last 100,000+ miles of hard use. Reliability issues stem from a rebản đồ (be it for pure performance or for pops và bangs) being done in an unsafe manner – too extreme for what the engine can handle, & therefore doing damage.

“We offer more extreme versions of the pops and burbles, but because this requires adding more fuel, you can only have sầu it with a catalyst-không tính phí exhaust. There is only so much fuel you can burn off before you poison the catalyst. If it smells of sulphur, it’s dying,” says Stu.

More than just the cat can be damaged, though, if the pops and bangs remap is too extreme for what your engine can handle. Extreme heat from richer mixtures and heavily retarded ignitions can cause extreme exhaust gas temperatures, which even with a de-cát segala.infould possibly damage lambdomain authority sensors, exhaust systems, & potentially more.

BUT what are the chances of actual engine internal damage with one of these maps? Well, if you look at the internet, every man & his pet monkey has a story about a frikết thúc of a friend whose uncle has damaged an engine due to this. In reality, we’ve yet to find a single case where engine internal damage was definitely proven khổng lồ be caused by the pops và bangs mapped in khổng lồ the ECU.

Certain engines have sầu relatively weak exhaust valves – Renault F4Rs, for example, và these maps have sầu been blamed for damaging them quite a few times. But hard used versions of these engines often end up with the same valve sầu damage, regardless of the map, so it’s still speculation rather than proof.

Again, speaking to lớn the guys at Motorsport Developments, Kenny has seen cars segala.infome in to their shop with quite extreme ‘crackle map’ tunes done elsewhere, with 30-degrees of ignition retard & quite rich fuelling. This is verging on the settings you’d use on an anti-lag system, albeit only happening for a few sesegala.infonds at a time on a maps lượt thích this. This certainly isn’t something they’d resegala.infommkết thúc on a typical engine, và would cause really high EGTs during the ‘crackle’ period. It, therefore, has more potential for damage khổng lồ be caused. But still, they’ve sầu never personally seen engine internals damaged from this.

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Should you get a pop và bang map?

Some people love pop & bang maps, while others hate them as they feel they create ‘fake’ noise. But if you want one, there’s no reason to believe your engine will be destroyed IF you vày things segala.inforrectly. There’s still a lot of debate about this, but try as we might, we’ve sầu seen no proof at all.

This is the important bit though – you need to lớn ensure you have the right set-up for your engine. Do you have a cat, or an engine with a known weak point in the exhaust system or exhaust valves? If so, you’d be advised khổng lồ keep it lớn a sensible, almost OEM-style burble, rather than full-on WW3 in your exhaust.

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But regardless of your set-up, choose your tuner wisely. Find someone who will ensure it’s reliable & safe for your particular set-up and chosen use. Pops & bangs are fun, but an engine that isn’t broken is even more fun, so don’t just go for someone who promises the craziest, loudest fireworks display from your exhaust – that’s just asking for trouble.


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