instructions for the mechanically challenged: installing a new chip
today, we will install a chip that will transform your bland vr6 into something fun. as with my other instructions, these instructions are applicable for MY 1996 - if your car has fifteen of everything that i tell you to look for because your car was made on tuesday instead of friday, dont bug me. this is a FYI only. though i would be more than happy to answer any questions about unclear instructions. if you have a new chip, or you know what one is, then you also know that you can kill your computer by installing/ trying to install one. SO BE CAREFUL. i have to give you the standard suggestion of how to ground yourself while dealing with your computer and its chip. so ground yourself. by following my instructions you agree not to blame/sue/ harass me if you kill your car. this install isnt a hard thing to do, but at the same time, there is not much worse that you could do to your car than fry your computer. what you will need: a chip (i have a garrett chip and it is AWESOME.) small and large phillips-head screwdriver t10 or t15 torx screwdriver PLCC socket chip remover - or small pick 10mm wrench - or pliers how long it will take: depending on how good you are, 15-40 minutes. open your hood. standing in front of the car, looking at the passenger side windshield, there is a piece of plastic that touches the windshield with four plastic phillips head screws holding it in place. removing these is one of the most difficult parts of the install. unscrew them. then keep unscrewing them. then keep unscrewing them. then they should pull out. dont spend too much time pulling on them or you will strip them. if they dont pop out, then keep unscrewing. this is difficult only because they arent really screws. well, they are.. you will see. to help, grab a fork and put the tongs just under the edge of the screw. gently apply pressure and unscrew (actually, if you do it just right, you dont even need to unscrew. yes, its confusing, and yes, its quite lame.) once removed, then pull gently pull up the weather sealer. you should only have to pull up half of it. then slide the little slide-lock thing connecting the two halves of the rain gutters (that piece of plastic on the left side that you just took the screws out of, and its mirror on the other side of the car.. kinda). it should slide to the left. gently pull up the left panel and remove. the far left side (under the hinge of the hood) might stick a little. just be careful and you will get it out. put aside. looking in the hole that you just created, you will something like this: (the thing with the big bunch of wrapped wires running into it on the right is obviously the computer.) after grounding yourself, remove the two bolts (actually, one is a screw and one is a nut). put aside. unclip the wire bundle from the frame. gently pick up the computer and move it to the left (passenger side). against the fire wall, there is a plug that connects the computer to the wall. sliding the computer gently to the side and pulling away from the wall will free the computer. now its time to free the computer so you can take it apart. looking at the computer like this: you need to detach the wires from the computer. orient yourself so that you recognize this picture. gently (or roughly, if it is being difficult) move the odd shaped piece of plastic. it should slide out a little and stop. then slide it a little more and you should hear a little click or some kind of detaching sound and the wires plug should just pull away from the computer. take the computer to a table or a flat clean area, because you have to remove a bunch of screws and open the thing up. still grounded, you will now need to remove six screws (4 torx and two phillips): after this is done, gently slide the end with the plug away from the case. you might need to gently pry the end to loosen the case. looking at the board like this you will find see the chip in the upper right hand corner. take care to look closely at the top of the chip. you should see an edge. make a note of its orientation, because you have to put your new chip in the exact same way. if you look closely, you will see that the chip is basically square. one corner is a little flatter than the others. if you look closely at the chip socket, you will notice a little arrow in that some corner. these two go together. using your chip remover, or pick, or something thin and small (perhaps a bent out paper clip?) GENTLY remove the chip. put it in a SAFE PLACE. take your new chip and GENTLY put it in the same way the old one was (with the edge facing the same way). it should sit within its seat flush with its surroundings like the old one did. done. gently pick up the computer board and slide it back into the case the exact same way you removed it (the face of my board was facing the same way as the bosch logo on the case). firmly replace all six screws. now its time to put your computer back in the car. still grounded, gently push the plug back in place. slide the odd shaped plastic lock back towards the plug, thus locking it in place. gently move the computer back into the hole, making sure you put the plug of the frame into the firewall first. tighten the nut and screw. (i would pause for a moment and try to start your car, just to make sure..) put the wire bundle back into the clips against the frame. gently put the plastic tray back in place, making sure to slide the narrow left side in first. this can be tough, so take your time. make sure that the lip against the windshield is not folded under, allowing rain and whatever to get in. insert those stupid plastic screws. make sure that the plastic tray is tight and held firmly in place. slide the "lock" back so that the two sides are connected to each other. gently replace the weather stripping over the metal lip. it should fit firmly and not move. close your hood. enjoy your new chip, and drive safe. if your car doesnt start, then walk yourself back through the steps and make sure that the chip was installed in the exact same way the previous one was. if your car still doesnt start.. call one of your computer friends and have them come over and go through all the motions. if your car still doesnt start.. it isnt my fault, so dont blame me. if you would like to get a swell garret chip, then go here: http://www.giacusa.com/ or mail them at: Sales@GIACusa.com garrett is a great guy and answered ALL my questions. (and no, i am not getting any kickbacks for suggesting his chip.) (and yes, i realize that the artwork sucks.) be well, go well..