TDCi 115 thoughts after testdrive.....

Anyone got a 115 TDCi and had it chipped?
Test drove one today (used to a 1.8 petrol) and whilst on song with the turbo blowing fiercely over 2000rpm it went like a train, but was VERY flat
when pulling away and sub 2krpm. Am not one for lots of revs and smoking the clutch to get around this; does a chip give it abit more verve low down and / or wake the turbo abit sooner?
The car I drove seemed quite unusually clean (7500miles on clock) from the tailpipe, so may have been uncharacteristically sluggish at low revs.
Comments??
Tim..
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Sadly not, but have driven a few.

Yes, in isolation, they do, but the effects are more significant over 3,500 rpm... :)

Hmm. Sluggish at low revs compared to other Focus TDCi models? Part of this response is the turbocharged diesel thing, but they're no worse than any other engine at the end of the day. It's just the huge heave over 2,000 rpm that makes it feel worse than it really is! :)
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Yes it did begin to loose interest after about 3800rpm- classic symptoms of poor breathing and/or fuelling being less than ideal at these rpms. A look under the bonnet shows an intercooler way too small to be efficient at higher engine speeds on an installation which runs 1-1.1bar of boost.

You're right about the slightly uncontrollable torrent of torque when the turbo does come on song, could see tyre wear/ sudden loss of traction being a problem as the electronic throttle seemed to lack any sort of progression- my used-to-petrol driving style not withstanding...
Tim..
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I find anywhere from 1500 and up it's fine. I'm not sure I would want to drive any small 4 cylinder, even a diesel, consistently below 1500. There is also very little chance you will smoke a clutch pulling away at 2000. My Corolla GT-S, a *very* cammy engine which only made power above 4500, survived 250'000 km of driving on the original clutch, and I usually moved off with at least 2000 revs, often launched it hard with 3-4000.
Stephen
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I am used to being able to feed in sufficient power to balance pulling away load and maintain the revs at ~1000-1200rpm and then having full response available from here, on a normal speed pullling away manouver. You shouldnt need to slip the clutch. If you have driven a VAG TDI PD 90,100,115 you'll know that they pull hard from tickover with no dead zone whilst you wait for the turbo to spool up...
The diesel just didnt give me confidence especially in circumstances as a rolling T-junction/ roundabout where you'd approach, see its clear, slip into 2nd at sub 2krpm and then expect repsonse to accelorate away safely.
Tim..
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I checked this morning and I can consistently drive off with about 1200 from a stop in my Focus. I haven't drive the VW PD for a while, so I forget where its torque bubble starts. The TDCi makes peak torque at 1800 rpm, and I find it has good response down to about 1500. The one problem I have is a feeling that it is about to stall in certain rolling stop-and-go traffic, where it's difficult to choose between 1st and 2nd.
Stephen
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MY TDCi has recently had the EGR valve replaced and the software upgraded at my local dealer - WOW.
Before, it used to feel like it was going to stall at the drop of a hat, but now it seems to puu like a train from just taking my foot off the clutch. I've always found that the diesles that I've driven are good in heavy traffic - will crawl along just using the torque of the engine - but the TDCi was getting to be a nightmare in traffic before the EGR valve/software update.
As far as tyre wear is concerned, I got 26,000 out of a front pair of P6000's, I'm pretty happy about that.
I have to admit that the TDCi is *not* that fast off the mark, but 2nd and 3rd gear performance is fantastic (at least IMHO).
It's interesting that you say the test car had 7,500 miles on the clock, my TDCi really went off the rails at about that sort of milage and resulted in me getting the new EGR valve and stuff sorted out just this month. Maybe the car you drove had old software or a dodgy EGR??? I don't know, I'm certainly not an expert in these matters, but driving style plays a huge part in driving diesels, they are simply not as quick off the mark that petrol cars.
Ive heard of people having TDCi's chipped and getting 150+ BHP from TDCi's but hell, why bother - buy an ST170.

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Why bother? Over 40 mpg is one reason, masses of low down torque is another, and "the unexpected" is the third reason. :)
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course. My original query was whether a chip improves low down repsonse, and helps with the fading power over ~3500rpm, which apparently it does. - see the Focus owners club, www.ffoc.co.uk site.
The EGR valve is blank off-able with abit of cunningness so the computer doesnt flag up a fault.
Tim..
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Previous car Focus 2002 TDCi 115, now on 2003 Audi A4 TDi(130). Very very different engines, comparison:
Focus: Pulled poorly from low revs and easy to stall BIG and SUDDEN surge of power at just under 2k revs: 3mph, wait 7 mph, wait, Wheeeeeee we're off, hit the brakes to avoid that van, 30 mph.... Then goes very flat when revving higher.
Audi: Pulls well from low revs and hard to stall. Smooth power delivery across the rev range, though doesn't feel as fast as the Focus at any time. Continues pulling well up to the red-line.
I probably stalled my TDCi 20 times in the 6 months I had it. I think I have stalled my A4 once. I used to find with the Focus that you could floor it off the line, little would happen and then you would suddenly get power understeer as it took off!!
I'm not criticising the Focus, it was a bl**dy great car, but it had to be driven and you have to keep it in the power band. Conversely, my Yorkshire Terrier could probably drive the A4. I can pull away in second in the A4 with a wee clutch slip, while the Focus would go BANG and stall, every time, regardless of clutch control.
If chipping increases power across the rev range then this would improve. If it improves 'peak' power then my criticisms would be exaggerated.
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