HKS F-Con V Pro

Just like how ladies find a piece of bargain in a crowded massive sale at Zara, I managed to chance upon a HKS F-Con V Pro in a Malaysian junkyard. Why do i compare it to Zara? Well, usually ladies might not consider it due to its price tag, but since its on sale, why not? I purchased this with the exact same mentality.

This particular piece that I held in my hands came off a R33 GTS and was only going for a song.

It was a 3.2 version model, which is considerably still fashionable, and it came complete with the HKS wiring harness. Like music to my ears, the owner of the junkyard was telling me that he has a lot of these there as no one can use them. I believe what he meant to say was that no one would be able to tune them (and thus no one buys them). It is almost like finding a piece of limited edition Zara piece amongst the discount basket which everyone else had missed!!

Perfect condition!

Anyway, I pretended a bit and then managed to haggle down the price on the unit and harness for the change in my wallet. I believed if i had worked harder on it, the owner might even have paid me to help remove his “scrap metal”. For myself, I just wanted to take a closer look at it as this was one of the most elusive standalone ECU there is. I have heard so many different versions of how good, or how bad this is. All the forum wars, with the many supporters and dejectors. How only 1 person could tune it. How it is so easy to tune, etc etc. Oh well, what is a better way than to learn it yourself first hand especially when sometimes end users do not even know what they are talking about. Many a time, the keyboard warriors in the forums that chime in the most, are by and large the empty vessels.

It was also lucky that I had a customer’s Supra that I needed to do. I offered him the F-Con and told him that I will need to make out a new harness for his car as the harness I had was for the Rb25 and will not fit his supra with the 2JZ.

After spending a good many hours on my soldering station, I managed to wire it up to have it how I would like it. I made it nice and short so that there will not be a unnecessary snaking bunch of wires that are always the case with the original HKS harnesses. It is like they are expecting you to install the ecu in the trunk. Or maybe the designers were trying to model it against a bowl or ramen. “Shall we design this neat and tidy? No, then owners will not feel exclusive. All good designs must be complicated. Oh great, how about we make it look like my bowl of ramen then. Sounds good!”

An example of a HKS snaking harness

The shortened one that I custom made with some spare Honda OBD1 couplings

Beaming like a cat that just caught a mouse, I plugged it into the car and loaded a map in. The next part is always the most stomach tingling part for all tuners. The crank. Followed by the firing up of the engine! Here i would like to give credit to the ECU. It was a nice change from most other standalone systems which normally requires you to set it up to get it to crank and fire up. A process that can easily take up a large chunk of your time that would be better off spent tuning the car to perfection. Especially if you are not blessed with an engine with a common trigger pattern for which there are decent startup maps.

Having said that, I haven’t had much trouble with the F-con even with an engine that did not have a start up map provided from HKS.  I am refering to the Toyota/Lexus 1UZ which I have also been playing about with of late (I’m becoming some sort of a Toyota fan I must say).  A custom harness, and some simple tweaks in the software brought the giant 4000cc V8 motor rumbling to life.  Music to my ears when it started up as I was rather apprehensive on tackling this project.  As for the tune, it is a piece of cake once the setup is done.

As for the mythical software, the HKS Power Writer, I was lucky to know some right people, who knows some other people, who knows other people, who knows some other people, who knows…. Its kinda hard to explain. Its like a Facebook sort of thing. Your friend my friend his friend, mutual friends and you end up with 5000 friends in your list. Half of which consist of hot sexy girls whom you added in a moment of desire, who you know you have absolutely no chance because they are actually residing in the mountains of China. You would be happy if they do not turn out to be a nun.

Overall, I am happy with what it has to offer. The happiness is multiplied by the fact on the price I landed it for. I would definitely recommend it to someone who is looking for an standalone system if the F-Con supports it.

The only down side to it is for those who always like to DIY themselves (pun intended). You will not be able to make any tweaks to it yourself, which might be a good thing to have to prevent all the itchy fingers “Freelance tunas” from blowing up engines with their home made experimental tuning.

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