How to Order VCMTUNER II


Updated 12/16/2023

 

We get many e-mails on a daily basis on how to order our VCMTUNER II product as it has been in a backordered status since 2022.  The VCMTUNER with manual adjustment is available to order and generally ships same/next business day.  This page serves to further clarify these questions.  It also answers most questions we get over e-mail.  Please read this page in it's entirety. 

On mondays at 9am pacific time, we add VCMTUNER II inventory to our shopping cart system based on our anticipated weekly production and the 'add to cart' button will appear.  When the product is sold out the 'SOLD' button appears.  Recently we are selling out our weekly production batches in less than 10 minutes.  This means you need clearly know which product you want to order (e.g. 2007+ VCMTUNER II or 2005-2006 VCMTUNER II), be on that particular product page a few minutes before 9am and re-fresh the page until the 'add to cart' button appears.  Then add to cart and check-out.  The product ships by the end of the same week as ordered.

At this time we can only produce a limited number of units per week based on the current design as it is labor intensive to build and finish.  There is a limited number of parts available we can utilize based on SMT market conditions, our pcb assemblers also have a limited staffing and our internal labor takes some time to scale up due to the skilled labor required in finishing these units (e.g. soldering, specialized crimp tools and calibrations, testing).  The parts shortages have historically limited production since 2021.  That will be changing in early 2024 based on our estimates.  We are currently in process of doubling production by the end of Q1 2024 which will hopefully allow us to have product 'in stock' on a daily basis through the website for this product.

ORDER FAQ / GENERAL FAQ

1. Why don't you allow pre-orders through your website and ship at a much later time?

- We have done this already in 2022 and it was a constant issue of people asking for updated shipping dates and being upset - plus the number of orders coming in well exceeded and the backordered times could go out a month or more due to market demand.  Our e-mail box was flooded with these e-mails for updates which takes away from the time we could spend on production.  This was not a long-term solution and we started limiting orders to what could be produced the same week and shipped.  The current system has been the best system so far under these conditions. Until we can meet market demand, not all customers will be happy with this situation.

2. When will my order for a VCMTUNER II be shipped?

- All units are shipped the same week as ordered through the website unless otherwise noted on the product page (e.g. holiday).  You will receive an email notification with a tracking number 24 hrs before your package arrives at the post office. Check your spam folder as Gmail will send these notifications to the spam folder often.

3. Can I place an order by phone?

- At this time all orders must go through the website.  This ensures you place an order with the correct mailing address and contact information.  In 2022 we had a phone number listed and the volume of calls to place orders or ask questions was an all-day job, dramatically reducing our product production.  Thus we removed it and just utilize e-mail for communication at this time.  For wholesale orders (e.g. resellers, automotive shops, etc, we can do custom order invoices based on 5 or more units with a discount.)  For those having any technical issues we will reach out by phone in some circumstances after conversing over e-mail.

4. If I placed a priority mail expedited shipping order, will this bump up the priority in your queue for shipping?

- No, we fulfill orders in the order they were received regardless of status.  We do not mark up priority mail shipping in terms of cost and pass-through these costs directly from the post office to the consumer.

5. I was in process of placing an order the monday morning at 9am, and when I went to checkout the items were removed from my shopping cart?

- When the batch is sold out all of the inventory is allocated and our merchant shopify automatically removes the items as there is no longer any available and thus the order cannot complete.  This causes confusion for some customers during the checkout process due to how quickly batches are now selling out.

6.  Why are there two different products for the VCMTUNER II and how can I determine if these fit my vehicle?

- We have two different connectors on the VCMTUNER II units - we define this by 2007+ connector style and 2005-2006 connector style.  This is a general reference.  The 2007+ denotes 2007 and up, including up to 2024 models.  Generally, if your vehicle is newer than these models listed below, you will utilize the 2007+ connector style.

Models which utilize the 2005-2006 connector style-

2005-2006 Honda Odyssey

2006-2008 Honda Pilot 2WD

2005-2007 Honda Accord Hybrid

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Models which utilize the 2007+ connector style (works for up to 2023-2024 models with vcm 3.5L engine.) Note: Some 3.0L Acura vehicles with VCM can also utilize the VCMTUNER II.

2007+ Honda Odyssey

2009+ Honda Pilot (2WD/4WD)

2017+ Honda Ridgeline

2008-2017 Honda Accord

2009+ Honda Crosstour

2013+ Acura MDX/RDX/TLX/RDL

2019+ Honda Passport

-- This information is also referenced under 'connector compatibility' section on each product page if you scroll down near the bottom.

7. How long do I have to evaluate the product and initiate a return?

- You have 10 business days from the time you received the item to e-mail us at info@vcmtuner and initiate a return.  Beyond this time we can no longer sell the unit as 'new' and must sell them on a different marketplace (e.g. eBay or other).  

8. I am confused about the different terminology used (e.g. vcmuzzler, muzzlers, vcmtuner, etc). What is the difference between the VCMTUNER and VCMTUNER II?

The first device designed to disable vcm was a simple resistor based device from a Canadian individual known as 'verbatim' on the piloteers forum, later this became the vcmuzzler II which had several different swappable resistors in 2015.  The VCMTUNER is a manually adjusted unit with a dial and can utilize a screwdriver to adjust the resistance instead of swapping out resistors like the original vcmuzzler/vcmuzzler II.  The VCMTUNER II is an automotive grade microcontroller which automatically adjusts the resistance dynamically to keep the vcm disabled in all conditions and climates while also providing for 'overtemp protection' which means the unit will restore the real operating temperature to the computer if the real ECT temp exceeds 212F.  This is a critical feature for most owners; as in-line resistor based solutions without active adjustment will always have a 15-20F temperature reported lower than actual.   In general, the VCMTUNER II is a set it and forget it device, no user intevention is required after installation.

9. Will this unit fix my spark plug fouling, oil consumption issues?  My Mechanic or honda dealer recommends a 5k dollar ring job.

- Generally disabling VCM will reduce oil consumption by as much as 50% and sometimes up to 90%.  If you have spark plug fouling issues repeatedly we suggest replacing the plugs shortly before installing the unit.  Disabling the vcm system stops uncombusted fuel from slightly fouled plugs and oil mixing in the cylinders which go into shutdown (e.g. generally cylinders 1-4 on 2008 VCM-2 engines and cylinders 1-3 on VCM-1 engines).  As the plugs are slightly fouled some fuel is not combusted and mixes with the oil sucked up into the cylinder due to engine vacuum during deactivation;  This mixture of uncombusted fuel and oil during vcm operation causes a loss of cylinder lubrication in those affected cylinders as well as this mixture causing premature failure of catalytic converters due to uncombusted fuel/oil sticking to the ceramics of the said catalytic converters.  Spark plug fouling is a known issue for these engines due to the mixture fouling the plugs with oil and uncombusted fuel.  When plugs are partially fouled, added resistance to the plug on coil (also known as coil packs) can also cause premature fail of these coil packs.   

10. How is the vcm system causing my engine issues?

Our theory after speaking with engine rebuilders, honda dealership mechanics and studying the vcm operation is the following- the pressurized injectors are leaking a small amount of uncombusted fuel into the cylinder during vcm shutdown as they age (no spark) as they are pulsed from ecu, the timing between shutting off fuel and spark is not exactly perfect as they are pressurized;  the low viscosity of the fuel mixes with the oil on the cylinder walls and combusts the mixture effectively washing out the oil/gas when six cylinder operation is restored dramatically increasing the oil consumption.  This is why the plugs get blackened and fouled, as well as lower compression in the cylinders which go into vcm shutdown (1-4 on VCM-2) from tests and referenced by some mechanics who have rebuilt vcm-2 engines. Just having the cylinders sucking up more oil from engine vacuum while the valves are closed should not reduce the cylinder lubrication during cylinder deactivation; our theory is that uncombusted fuel either from partially fouled plugs or leaky injectors is another factor in the reduced compression of those cylinders because an oil soaked cylinder by itself should not cause additional wear. The data we have gathered is the cylinders not going into deactivation all have higher compression by 20 or more psi.  

 Honda's explanation based on their TSB is related to the rings slipping out of alignment on the piston, which may be a factor but does not explain the entire phenomena.  A top end engine rebuild generally has the same customer having the same problem 50k miles later with plug fouling.  Our product is one of the few true solutions - to keep all six cylinders active as much as possible to avoid these issues.  Before the vcm system was introduced, 3.5L V6 engines which were well maintained could reach 400k miles with very few issues.

11. Is this product street legal and can it be left on for smog checks or state inspections?

- Both the VCMTUNER (VCMT1000) and VCMTUNER II (VCMTD1000) are carb exempt (E.O. D-809 and D-809-1) and have been tested by an accredited emission lab at SEMA garage to meet emission standards for all 3.5L V6 honda engines equipped with VCM from model years 2005-2017.  States like California mandate any device which could change the emission limits to be tested and go through a review process.  Testing and evaluation showed this product did not change the emission limits based on CARB guidelines and an Executive Order (E.O.) was issued making the product street legal in all 50 US States and Canada in 2021. In 2021 the EPA also has issued millions of dollars in fines to manufacturers who blatantly fail to provide testing data and ignore the EPA federal laws who do not obtain a carb e.o. or do not follow SEMA's recommendation of providing EPA emission data as proof of their compliance with federal law.  Our product(s) are currently the only ones in the marketplace to date to disable the Variable Cylinder Management System (VCM) which are CARB and EPA street legal based on federal law by connecting the said unit to the ECT sensor.  Emission compliance testing is quite expensive and it's not unusual to spend upwards of $50k or more to complete the process per class of vehicle.

12. Can a Honda dealership deny a warranty claim with use of this product?

The Magnussen-Moss act is a federal law in which any dealership or manufacturer would need to prove an aftermarket part caused a specific problem to deny warranty coverage.  To date no Honda dealership has denied a warranty claim to owners who utilize our product(s) since it's inception.

13. Is this still a problem on the latest honda models?

Honda has reduced the switching time of the vcm system in the newer models to help the engines and catalytic converters reach 150k miles before most major problems occur- as EPA/CARB mandate 150k miles as the threshold to warranty emissions equipment.  However, we have reports from owners with vehicles with less than 3 years old already burning over a quart of oil and fouling plugs at the 80k mile range.  The vcm technology is still utilized by honda on the newest models as they receive billions in cafe credits and meet EPA fleet mpg standards by employing the vcm technology.

14. What is the Product durability of these units?

We estimate owners who have purchased our product over the last 5+ years have driven over 1 billion combined miles in that duration with less than a 1/10th of a percent failure rate (.1%) over that period.

Additionally, ISO automotive ESD immunity testing has been used against the VCMTUNER II units (iso 7637-2, iso 7637-3) and it survives these harsh tests in the automotive environment under the hood.  Every revision of the product continues to support a higher amount of ESD discharge as we are continually improving the product to eventually make it immune to this energy at more than 3-4x the standard.  Some vehicle models can couple higher ESD than others well exceeding the iso standards, usually from the starter motor but is rare.  The unit exceeds the ISO automotive standards of both iso 7637-2 (power line testing) and iso 7637-3 (signal line testing of +/-300v).  The unit survives repeated strikes of +/-700v, exceeding the iso standards on both 12v power lines and 5v sensor signal lines.

15. How can I tell if the product is working?

On many pre-2018 models, the eco light would pop up about 5-10 seconds before vcm activation.  On most post 2017 models, you will need an obd2 reader to validate the reported temperature is between 161-165F on the ECT1 sensor when the vehicle is running, fully warmed up and in-motion.  Any ECT1 sensor temperature above the 166F threshold will have the vcm system enabled.  You can buy an inexpensive scanner like a veepeak and connect it to an android phone or tablet to validate.  The google play store allows you to download and install the 'torque lite' app for free.  This app allows you to connect to a bluetooth obd2 dongle attached to your vehicle and clear check engine codes as well as utilize the hundreds of other sensor data available.  

16. Does the eco button on my dash turn on/off the vcm?

The eco button does not have anything to do with the vcm system, it reduces the throttle response in an effort to save fuel, leans out the air to fuel mixture and reduces accessories like air conditioners to only be switched on when needed.  This 'eco' button has caused much confusion for vehicle owners believing this would turn off the vcm system.  

17. Why does Honda not provide a software update to turn off the vcm system?

Honda cannot disable the vcm system legally on their vehicles due to the EPA/cafe credits they claimed for the fleet mpg ratings. This is why they did not give the customer a button or option to turn it off.

18. Will modifying the reported ECT1 temperature cause the car to run rich?

The vehicle will no longer utilize the ECT1 sensor as it's primary fueling sensor once out of open loop (e.g. 158F ).  Upon an ECT1 sensor reporting above 158F the vehicle ECU will utilize the o2 sensors and air intake sensors to regulate the air to fuel ratio, not the ECT1 sensor- this is known in the automotive world as closed loop mode.  The VCMTUNER II will report a 161-165F override temperature to the ecu when fully warmed up on the ECT1 sensor.

19. Will the cooling fans still run normal?

The ECT1 and ECT2 sensors are both triggers for the fans to run at higher speeds, as well as the a/c status.  The ECT1 and ECT2 sensors will trigger the fans to cycle when reaching a 194F temperature or higher.  The ECT2 sensor is unmodified when using these products.  Additionally, if the vehicle sits for more than 2+ minutes at idle while stopped and the real ECT1 temperature exceeds 194F, the auto diagnostic mode designed into the VCMTUNER II utilized to run a throttle position re-learn procedure will restore the real ECT1 temperature to the ECU.  It will maintain that position until the vehicle is no longer at idle, the real temp drops below 194F or the vehicle begins to go into motion and re-engage the vcm override temperature between 161-165F to keep the vcm disabled.

20. What are the blue and green wires with the spade terminals for on the VCMTUNER II?  Why is the blue wire removed on the VCMTUNER II I have?

The green wire on the VCMTUNER II can be utilized to turn on/off the vcm from within the cabin by wiring in a toggle switch underneath the dash, as well as activate or deactivate certain feature codes in the user manual.  When the green wire is connected to ground, the vcm system is enabled.  When it's disconnected the vcm system is disabled by the VCMTUNER II.  The blue wire is available on pre-2022 VCMTUNER II produced and was removed on the rev 2.0 due to ESD concerns, and the fact that we have not produced the coolant level sensor in production at this time due to parts shortages and labor shortages after covid pretty much destroyed the automotive parts supply chain. Components for that part would take away from the number of VCMTUNER II that could be produced. Removing the blue wire does not affect any of the vcm disabling functionality, only an optional feature we hoped to add down the road.  More details are in the product changelog on each product page for the VCMTUNER II.

21. Is this product patented?

Yes, the product(s) have been issued a patent by the USPTO and are the personal intellectual property of the inventor of the VCMTUNER and VCMTUNER II.

22. What company runs this site and business?

Eastman Research LLC (2017-2023) and now Eastman Research, Inc, an S corporation in the State of California as of June 1st, 2023.