During my time employed with COBB Tuning, I worked with their mechanical engineering team to design a comprehensive high flow fuel system package for 2008-2021 Subaru STI vehicles. The new system resolved a core fuel pressure instability issue of the stock components, while also providing a dramatic increase in fuel delivery potential. The physical components were paired with a necessary suite of performance engine calibrations I created. This effort led to one of over 50 CARB EOs I’ve been a part of as COBB continues to lead the industry into a compliant future.
While I was happy with achieving a CARB EO on a package including injectors flowing over 1050cc per minute, that success was years ago and the natural progression of the package was flex fuel. I performed R&D to determine the best package of COBB components to include and the NexGen Stage2+ Flex Fuel power package was born.
From the factory this group of vehicles can only run pump gasoline, but COBB’s flex fuel conversion allows the use of gasoline and ethanol fuel blends, from 0 to over 85% ethanol mixture. For those not familiar, high ethanol content is found in E85 fuel available at select gas stations, and offers potential performance improvement if the vehicle is optimized to make use of it.
Through a combination of physical upgrades, engine calibration, and creative electronics work by skilled COBB employees, COBB Tuning pressed onward towards creating the first SEMA Emissions Certified aftermarket flex fuel kit. As you can see in the image above from SEMA’s certification database, this product is currently in a category of its own.
I started on this project while I was employed as Senior Calibration Engineer at COBB, and continued my efforts for COBB as a contractor. My work on this project included parts selection and development, electronics, software, and calibration development and testing, engineering document creation, liaising with emissions compliance officials, and more.
Meeting or exceeding emissions standards is one of the biggest milestones on the path of a product to emissions compliance. Demonstrating emissions results better than EPA standards in a series of laboratory dyno tests, plus on and off road testing is required.
Any first of this magnitude is not without challenges, but the engine calibration Innovative Tuning created for COBB, on a standard dyno without emissions test equipment, was able to achieve successful results in the certified emissions lab without further calibration development. While skilled labor isn’t cheap, each day spent in an emissions lab trying to turn a failing calibration into a passing one, is massively more costly.
Innovative Tuning’s years of calibration experience have repeatedly avoided tens of thousands of dollars of R&D testing, our problem solving has removed project blockers outside of calibration, and helped COBB’s in house team get their products to market sooner.
As COBB continues to lead, Innovative Tuning is proud to continue supporting their engineering efforts on select projects, including another flex fuel conversion kit!