Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
4/28/10 3:47 p.m.

I understand the awesome power of full control and have researched all of the various things to install/configure one but the topic never comes up... What is the consensus on:

a) Fickleness

If I megasquirt my race car will I spend the rest of my days parked in the paddock fiddling with parameters to adjust for variations not taken into account by my naiveté when setting it up?

1) Reliability

Do these love to operate in high heat, high vibration environments for years with out failure or am I going to need a bag of parts and a soldering iron with me at all times to patch it up?

Or... are they the same as any other Bosch/Siemans type unit where they live forever as long as you don't zap 'em incorrectly?

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones Reader
4/28/10 4:08 p.m.

I put a MSPNP in a customer's SCCA FP miata about 2 years ago & havent touched it. I had to switch it over to alpha-N (not MAP based load) due to the long duration cams, but the owner is not a techie & it always started / ran / etc just fine.

I even threw a laptop & logged his 1st session (and found he was hitting 9400 rpm on downshifts!).

Kendall

Sparetire
Sparetire New Reader
4/28/10 4:57 p.m.

Generally regarded as very relaible and easy to tune. I am on a steep learning curve for turboed Miatas right now and a huge portion of that community run MS units either bought as a plug and play setup (PNP) or a homebuilt version of their own. With a basic speed density system, you dont have to really get too complex with the mapping. You're basically looking at absolute pressure and temperature to determine fueling and spark. I used to play with DSMLink all the time and MS appears t be similar or even simpler in terms of use, which is a good thing. Just about any ture management system tends to be LESS fickle in terms of changing conditions than a set of bandaid measures IME.

itsarebuild
itsarebuild Reader
4/28/10 5:28 p.m.

i think it depends on the application. the hardest thing i hear of is setting up an initial map for an engine that isnt common just because the sensors ms has used as a basis for the design from the get go are based on GM units. they have added a lot more standard programs that you can download for the cars that get used the most, but throw something really obscure in the mix and it could be tricky.

jwx
jwx New Reader
4/28/10 6:54 p.m.

As with most stand alones, it will depend upon the install and tune. The biggest plus side with the MS is that if something does fry, its easyish to fix yourself.

Sparetire
Sparetire New Reader
4/28/10 7:30 p.m.

If this is for the E30, then I will be shocked if there is not a subforum somewhere out there of MS dwebs who have a set of collective base maps that work to start with.

njansenv
njansenv Reader
4/28/10 8:51 p.m.

Plenty of E30 maps out there....

I've used Megasquirt on a number of (only car) daily drivers. It never left me stranded, but I never got the cold start tuning 'quite' right, and it would run a little rough at -20. It did always start though.

I'd say, if anything, a car that will normally be driven under more controlled circumstances (IE: race) would be somewhat easier to tune.

Raze
Raze HalfDork
4/28/10 9:28 p.m.

helped build and tune ours for our 2.3Turbo. It's been dead nuts reliable, all the 'issues' that cropped up were described in detail in the appendices and fixes were readily available. We soldered the whole thing together ourselves, set up the initial maps as per instructions, read deeper and spent some time testing and perfecting cold start as well has hot start conditions. Tuned by ourselves just by driving and doing specific testing under load, part power, and idle. The older MS's have fewer points in the tables so you have to get good at improving resolution in certain areas and allow other areas to be more 'generic' therefore it does require some sense of how you want the overall performance to be. Newer MS's have far larger tables which eliminates much of this 'guesswork'. For more information maybe Matt (MadScientist on this board) from DIYAutotune can chime in, otherwise go over to MSEFI.com and start reading/asking as everyone on there is either contemplating, building, installing, tuning, or just enjoying their unit.

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 Reader
4/29/10 8:31 a.m.

a) Depends on how well you tune it, and now close to the 'limit' you need/want it tuned. The more you're willing to leave on the table in terms of hp the less fickle it'll be. I'll agree that getting very cold starting, warmup right is the hardest part.. however that's true of any standalone I've worked with.

However, just having the ability to change something might make you endlessly play with it regardless.

1) Don't mount it in the engine compartment, but other then that I've never had a problem (20+ installs, and have sold many units through that got installed by folks that might not have the best judgement!).

My current test unit literally sits on the floor of my car without the top half of the case with a ribbon cable that runs to another daughter board that controls a bunch of stuff I should have no business playing with. It starts every time

modernbeat
modernbeat HalfDork
4/29/10 11:02 a.m.

I considered one for the Subaru rally car and fears of vibration damage kept me away.

But, the Microsquirt might be ideal. The internals are potted, which solves the vibration issue, but makes repair nearly impossible.

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 Reader
4/29/10 11:21 a.m.

PA roads have to be worse then most stage rally conditions.. I have about 10-20k on them.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
4/29/10 12:01 p.m.

I've got over 50K on the 20 valve Rolla and about 25-30K on the RN Truck.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
4/29/10 1:10 p.m.
Sparetire wrote: If this is for the E30, then I will be shocked if there is not a subforum somewhere out there of MS dwebs who have a set of collective base maps that work to start with.

Its an E30 with an S52, COP, VANOS, etc so I have some tinkering ahead of me.

angusmf
angusmf Reader
4/29/10 1:15 p.m.

The only "reliability" problems I've ever had were actually caused by bad grounds. That can kill components, although I've always been able to replace them. So make sure that a) it's actually a good clean, solid ground and b) it's attached very securely.

Knurled
Knurled Reader
4/29/10 4:45 p.m.
modernbeat wrote: I considered one for the Subaru rally car and fears of vibration damage kept me away. But, the Microsquirt might be ideal. The internals are potted, which solves the vibration issue, but makes repair nearly impossible.

The 3.57 board is all surface-mount stuff. Harder to mod but should be quite reliable.

I'm still having no problems at all with the 1.01 board I bought from a GRM'er in 2007.

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 Reader
4/29/10 8:23 p.m.

My first V2.2 still lives on as well. The car it's currently in got flooded out at one point and the ecu saw a few inches of water. Dried it out, cleaned it with alcohol and it still works fantastic.

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