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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
WOT Box installation & review

WARNING
This is not meant as a full installation how-to. For complete information on installing for the SRT4 Caliber, please use this official guide from the manufacturer.

This is merely an account of my installation and some tweaks I have made for this project.

WOT Box for noobs

The WOT Box is an ignition inhibitor whose purpose is twofold, depending on the car you have.

First, it's a 2-Step Launch control for helping launches from dig (full-stop). This can greatly improve 0-100kph and 1/4 Mile times. Alas, this feature is not possible on CSRT4 because on the torque limitation in first gears.

Secondly (and IMHO, this is where it's interesting), it's a Wide Open Throttle rev-limiter that, under specific condition, limits the RPM of the engine by cutting the power from the ignition coils.

Under normal engine operation, nothing happens It's as if the WOT Box wasn't installed. But when it detects a Wide Open Throttle condition AND sees that the clutch is engaged, it then limits the RPM to a determined RPM. It comes pre-set at 4500RPM.

This allows interesting things to happen:

  • You no longer have to release the gas pedal when shifting
  • It keeps the engine in it's power peak curve
  • More importantly, it keeps your turbo spooled and pressurized.
This last thing is where this is interesting. Without adding more HP to your car, it's suddenly making better use of the power it can already generates and allows for quicker times.

Why would you need that?

Stop asking silly questions and read on.

Weather-proofing

Because the firewall is not easy to penetrate for even a single pair of wires, running the WOT Box full assortment of 6 wires was rather impossible without drilling. Because I didn't want to drill through my car, I decided to install the WOT Box inside the engine bay. But now before weather-proofing the box.

Now, I did say weather-proof, not water-proof.

So, I disassembled the WOT box and used 3M foam tape to close the gaps around the connectors. This resulted in a sealed box.

For the top button, I punched a washer in a small piece of tape which I then placed around the button and then covered with another piece, creating a sealed soft top button.

Exploratory

After printing and reading the manufacturer installation notes for the CSRT4 (see above link), I decided to make some exploratory surgery in the car to make sure I could locate all the wires I'd have to tap into.

In locating the C1 and C2 connector, you can see that the C1 connector is that big plug (disconnected in the photo) towards the front of the car, on top of the ECU/PCM module. The C2 connector is the one facing the rear of the car (still plugged in the photo).

You'll need to tap into two wires in the C1 connector, and one in the C2 connector.

Under the both connectors, such as the C1 underside, wire pinouts are numbered on the row edges.

You can then easily find the right wire in the incredible mess on the top side.

Digging in

Once you've located what you need, isolate the wires and mark the wires with some masking tape. Then proceed with the other wire in the C2 connector.

As suggested in the installation instruction, and because i'm paranoid about cutting wired, I has reconnected the battery and used a voltmeter to make sure I was using the right wires. I had only partly exposed the wires so that I could test with the voltmeter, having marked my wires with masking tape.

After confirmation, and a brief meditation period, I re-disconnected the battery, cut the wires and began surgery.

We used shrink tube to seal the splices we had made, here using something (old sock!) to protect the other wires.

We then measured up the ignition coil wires and exposed where we would tap the coils to.

Unlike in the C1 and C2 connectors, we opted not to use shrink tube in the ignition coils. This was because there wasn't much wire length to deal with and having used shrink tube would have removed any flexibility in the finished wire harness, making it near impossible to reconnect. instead, I used copious amount of tape, as in the factory setup. You wouldn't tell there were two extra wires in there, making this installation rather stealthy.

Another powered test

The WOT Box has simple diagnostic procedures that allows you to monitor wether it's sensing the pedals all right. For a quick test, we reconnected everything, turned on the car without starting it and monitored the WOT box blue (bleh) LED as we activated the gas and clutch pedal.

Stealth

In the above photo, you can see I have given me some leverage as to where I would put the WOT Box. I've got enough wire length to route under the inlet tube and hide the box under the engine cover. This would produce a completely hidden (stealth) installation. The nay thing that would give away the presence of the WOT Box, other than it's blue LED, is the "interesting" pair of blue and green wires coming out of the C1 cable assembly, and the not-so-discrete yellow one, coming out of the C2 assembly.

In the end, I decided to install the WOT Box on the back side of the air box. The wired were tucked in neatly on the side of the ECU/PCM for now.

I used, again, 3M trim foam tape (3 strips) to hold it on there, after having cleaned it's surface with alcohol.

Feathering cardiac arrest

We finished the process after a healthy 5 hours installation time, my buddy and I, having taken all due necessary precautions and time to do a good job and make sure we wouldn't have to do it again or repair some screwup.

So, at 3AM, I wasn't about to go out the highway and try this out. I just make sure the car was drivable and let it at that for the night.

On my way to work this morning, occasions were few to actually try this baby in, but a couple of "spirited" highway passing caused me to skip a heartbeat or two. The car had a weird reaction when the ignition cut off unexpectedly. It happened 3 times in all, after which I had realized what was going on.

The SRT4 reaches Wide Open Throttle condition at 87% throttle. During my highway passing, i was reaching WOT. Where it surprised me was that the car had cut off ignition just mere moments BEFORE I actually clutched!

What was happening is that without realizing it, I was feathering the clutch pedal with my left foot, causing the WOT Box to reach it's two conditions for engaging: WOT and Clutch.

So, not only does the WOT Box improves performance, it actually made me realize a`nod correct a bad habit of mine. Kudos for that!

WOT WOOT

Now, on my way back from work, I had all the perfect conditions to try this out. I ended up on the front row of the stop light at the entrance of the highway. What more could I ask for?!

While WOT-shifting is something to acquire (still have the reflex to lift my foot off the gas), the actual operation of this actually makes power shifting WAY more easy smoother and produces phenomenal results.

This gadget is AB-SO-LU-TE-LY is amazing.

I wholeheartedly recommend this mod.

WOOT, I say:

 

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now just get your old track times and new track times to see how much of a difference.
I am afraid "track season" is fini for the season
in the Montreal area.Maybe a hot run down Dorchester Blvd
at night then check the performace pages Eh Mouser!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am afraid "track season" is fini for the season
in the Montreal area.Maybe a hot run down Dorchester Blvd
at night then check the performace pages Eh Mouser!
Been wanting to do this all week but occasions are few, given it's my week with the kids.

Watch out next week! Avoid the north shore!
 

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But Dude,
can't you do the same thing with pedal work?

When you power upshift, if you release the throttle a bit so the engine doesn't race, and better yet you can get the RPMs to be about 800 RPM lower if you release the throttle just right so that it is matched to the speed and then once the clutch is engaged in the new gear, floor it.

I can get a 6.0 sec 0-60 mph if I get this right. (See picture).

I've never driven a car with a WOT box, just tried to power shift the regular way.

Does the WOT box make this easier to do? Or make the engine rev down faster?:Racing:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's both easier and faster. If you throttle down, the engine ramps down but with the WOT Box, the ignition coils are instantly adjusted.

It's also configurable. You can program the thing for a specific RPM.
 

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I see what you're saying. I took my car out for a spin, and now I realize that it takes too long for the revs to go down, even if you let your foot completely off the gas pedal. I am always engaging the next higher gear with the revs TOO HIGH! The clutch has to suck the revs down to match the RPM. I mean I can shift much faster than the engine can rev down.

So I am jealous, sounds like with your WOT box your engine loses spark and revs down real fast.

Also, I hear that power shifting is much easier on your transmission with the WOT box. I guess because you can actually match the RPMs, where I am slamming the tranny with too much RPMs.

Maybe that box pays for itself!:Racing:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah it can actually protect the engine and transmission.

At least, that's what I told my service rep at the dealer ;-)

The best way to describe it though is that the engine went from

WROOO-pshhh-WROOO-pshhh-WROOO-pshhh

to

WROOO-wrooo-WROOO-wrooo-WROOO-pshhh

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
WOT Box update

I thought I'd make an update on my WOT Box install and usage. I've been asked to comment on it's usage.

A bit of caution

I had previously mentioned something about Launch Control using the WOT Box, a feature that is not available to the CSRT4 (it throws a cell).

When I got mine through a group buy, they made sure they ordered the proper version of the WOT Box from the manufacturer. If you buy direct of through some other source, DO specify this is for a CSRT4. otherwise, accidental 2-step launch using the WOT Box will cause your car to throw a cell and go into limp mode.

This is not an issue if you got the right WOT Box.

Weather Proofing

I had mentioned I had weather-proofed the box by using some 3M automotive double-sided foam trim tape. Also, this same tape was used to fix the WOT Box on my air box.

While the original idea was good, the use of some silicone cleaner on the air box caused the tape not to be able to stick very much. I had also wired the review to the manufacturer for curiosity. They were happy of the good build but cautioned that their box is not water-tight.

As a reminder, if you decide like me to put the box in the engine compartment, make sure you weatherproof the WOT Box as I did (or using other sealants). The manufacturer does recommend to install it in the cabin.

You can run the wires through the door and fender. It's easier than through the firewall.

For myself, not having cut the wires to length, I might have relocated it inside but I can't stand blue LEDs and am quite happy to have it inside the engine. It's more of a sleeper car this way.

So, I've re-opened up the WOT Box and applied a half-width trim of 3M foam tape inside the casing. you can see in the photo, through the translucent casing, the foam tape sealing the box when screwed back to a shut.

Also, I've run 3 thin line of foam tapes under the box to let water seep out from under. On that photo above, we can see a tape line on the right and vaguely see the center one.

Given the tape didn't stick well to the armorall-ed air box, I've decided to bolt it on. Those are small galvanized bolts, not screws. There's plenty room in the air box for the nuts, and I used blue LocTite to make sure vibration wouldn't make the WOT Box come loose. Got to love LocTite.

Unseen in the photos: I taped-sealed shut the serial connector on the box. I don't use it for now and this will suffice until I find a rubber cap for these connectors (they exist).

Normal driving with the WOT box

Driving around with the WOT Box for normal commuting is a no-brainer. Mostly. The car just runs and acts normal. If you're careful, no one would suspect it's installed.

I emphasize on careful but that really depends on how you drive. I had a tendency to run the engine high and smoothly shift gears, when I didn't really had the intention to power shift or doing anything of the sort.

Ask my sister who rode with me the next day :-/

If you ever wanted to know how it would feel to have your head driven off the headrest with a two by four log, this is it.

Because the WOT box detects a WOT and Clutch signal, it assumes you're power-shifting and rev-limits the engine during your transition, for the short time the engine is still in WOT as you throttle down.

So, once you've had a couple of jolts like that, you learn not to do it again.

Power shifting with the WOT box

Once you get the hang of it (takes only a few times to really get used it it), power shifting is a real blast.

The best way to describe it is that my engine went from

WROH-pshh-WROH-pshh-WROH-pshh

to

WROH-wroh-WROH-wroh-WROH-wroh-pshh

:D

Throughout gear shifts, the throttle is way more responsive. No more shift turbo lags, exceedingly smooth shifting.

The worse thing is trying to loose the throttle back-off reflex you normally do while shifting. It's a bit of a conscious effort.

So, with this installed, I decided to work on my launching technique. I've already asked the pros on how they do this, with ESP full off (2009 model only), and I have managed to better my time from 6.1 to 5.9.

At this point, there's no reason I shouldn't be able to reach 5.4-ish, but weather is a bit cold for that these days.



My rating: a solid 10 out of 10 for this very cool gadget.
 

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Thanks Mouser, I installed mine sunday using your photos as a reference side by side with the directions.
I foam-weatherproofed it, painted it black minus a pinstripe to see the LED, and then wrapped a little electrical tape around the outside.

I placed mine between the computer & fuse box, wires are very well hidden:

>>(below) one inch of yellow visible behind computer bracket, because I'm to lazy to remove it and tape it.>>

>>half inch of blue&green wire visible at start of wire loom for c1 connector, way below fuse box>>

>>you can see where i put the Box in this shot... also I unwrapped and ran wire in factory harness, highlighted with dashed blue line, yet to re-wrap coil-pack wires>>


Close-up of wotbox, yet to wireloom the colored wires to the left:


All photos can be seen in high-res at:
http://print.spitsnaugle.com/srt4
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Way to go! Thanks for sharing your pics ad experience. :rep:

Glad my docs and review served someone.
 
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