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JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/22/21 7:00 a.m.

In less than a generation–so, in little more than a couple of decades–the image of an engine tuning expert has shifted completely. It used to be a guy in greasy overalls armed with a set of vacuum gauges and a great ear. Now it’s someone–maybe not even in the same room or state as the machine they’re tuning–hovering over a …

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Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/22/21 7:12 a.m.

It might just be me, but I'm getting the "oops, we're lost" page

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/22/21 8:44 a.m.

This article came at a good time.  I'm looking into the what/why/how for the ECU for my project.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/22/21 4:43 p.m.

Been remote tuning a car in the UK and another in Alaska this week. Both from the comfort of my lab in Pa. 

Junghole
Junghole SuperDork
10/22/21 11:51 p.m.

Or do like me:  step 1) buy aftermarket ECU. 
 

Step 2) ask GRM for help  

step3) sell Ecu to a cringey kid on Facebook. 

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
10/23/21 12:04 p.m.

In reply to Junghole :

Or what I did 1) buy a megasquirt for a turbo project

2) lose interest

3) most recent 5 vehicle purchases are all diesel or carbureted

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/23/21 1:33 p.m.

Did I miss the elephant in the room? Any car newer than a quarter century runs OBD-II. No aftermarket ECU supports it. This can limit your ability to register the car and your resale market. It may also mean that your supplier may not be around to support you in the future if they are run out of business for selling emissions bypass parts. 
 

Buying an ECU from a supplier that has deep experience in your specific application is far better than relying on forums. Forums are populated by hundreds of people with experience on one car. A specialist like AIM has experience with hundreds of examples. It makes a massive difference in the quality of the base map, especially since most individuals just accept driveability problems because it's hard. Think about all the test drive reports you've seen of a car with an aftermarket ecu where it's acknowledged that the tune "isn't finished". 

Aftermarket ECUs definitely have their place. I have them on a couple of my cars. I would much rather work with an ECU than a carb because I can ask it questions :) But it's a bigger step than a lot of people make it out to be. 

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
10/23/21 1:45 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I would much rather work with an ECU than a carb because I can ask it questions :) But it's a bigger step than a lot of people make it out to be. 

That's funny. Reminds of of every conversation I've had with older enthusiasts who look at my car and say it's too complicated to deal with when something breaks, then I show them the scan tool tied to my phone that tells me precisely what's wrong with the car when I have a problem. Every time my car has failed me I've been able to diagnose the problem perfectly on the first try, and I'm a complete amateur.

 

 

Run_Away
Run_Away Dork
10/23/21 1:46 p.m.

In reply to BA5 :

I vote FuelTech for your Lude!

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/23/21 8:14 p.m.
Run_Away said:

In reply to BA5 :

I vote FuelTech for your Lude!

Might be a little rich for my build. I'm looking at MS.

Plus they're the only one I've looked at so far that even suggest they support the Honda J series crank trigger, which is apparently a kind of oddball setup.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/24/21 6:33 a.m.

FT is workable for guys that hit the gas, then pull the chute. It annoys me for much else. 
 

The j trigger is supported by a few but def not common. We have done two on ms3 pro so far one na and one boosted. 

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/18/22 11:05 a.m.
Cactus said:

In reply to Junghole :

Or what I did 1) buy a megasquirt for a turbo project

2) lose interest

3) most recent 5 vehicle purchases are all diesel or carbureted

Step 1. buy megasquirt

step 2. give up and carb it

step 3. try megasquirt again

step 4. giveup and go haltech

step 5. everything is fine

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/18/22 1:34 p.m.
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) said:

Step 1. buy megasquirt

...

step 5. everything is fine

Even in 2002 this is how it went for me. More than a few installed over the ensuing decades. It's not hard.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/18/22 6:12 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

1. Buy a car with a new-in the box Megasquirt. 
 2.   Go on their Jaguar web site and no one explains where to start or has actually got a Jaguar V12  running.  But oh boy can they debate.   Apparently everything in the ECU is analog rather than Digital   which makes  it like speaking Chinese.  
3. Visit Jaguar forums, GRM, U Tube  etc etc and slowly some things sort of make sense.  
 4. Give up and buy Six  1 &1/2"  SU carbs.  Lay out the carbs and realize  the intake path is terrible.   
5.  Steal 3 and buy a 4th 2" SU's  to run with SVRA group 6  attend 2 of their events only to find no one to explain rules.  Text questions to tech inspector, E-mail questions to tech inspector, go on their web site and ask for help. 
 6.  Give up on running group 6, accept I'll be running in group 10.  Still no response. 
7.  Watch every UTube I can about Megasquirt. Finally see a couple of V12's running on Megasquirt. 
8.  Learn that Megasquirt is self learning. Means if properly hooked up. It will start without having to learn computer programming. First real piece of joy.  
 
 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/19/22 6:59 a.m.
frenchyd said:

8.  Learn that Megasquirt is self learning. Means if properly hooked up. It will start without having to learn computer programming. First real piece of joy.  
 

Sort of. The 'self learning' assumes you have everything setup reasonably correctly to begin with and it's only helpful sometimes. I don't (usually) use it at idle or high loads, but it works nicely on steady state and mild transients. The initial setup usually isn't too bad unless there is an odd trigger arrangement being used, or some strange hardware, or unknown injector properties, etc. Things usually have a wide range of acceptability and still be startable, once you have verified all inputs and outputs and synced timing.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/19/22 8:17 a.m.

In reply to Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) :

You spelled it out perfectly.  However every engine builder knows that joy when the engine first roars to life.   
 I completely understand the limits of "self learning".  Plus the massive difference between what the Megasquirt will produce and what the factory programs produce. 
   For the street it would be very hard to improve on the factories program.  Luckily I'm focused on Racing and a stumble or flat spot  in low RPM ranges won't earn any time from me.  All my focus will be from 3500rpm to 8000

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/19/22 10:12 a.m.

Depends a lot if its a "factory program" from 1978 or 2022.  laugh It's nice to have the additional degrees of freedom a race car provides in the calibration in any case.

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/19/22 10:58 a.m.

In reply to fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) :

Big differences between haltech and MS for you? 

mke
mke Dork
1/19/22 11:03 a.m.

I didn't see it in the article but a big plus for aftermarket ECU is they are also data-loggers.  The one I have will log about 500 channels at 1khz, I don't use anywhere near that but all the engine parameters, wheel speeds, and such.

 

For a budget friendly option you might also want to have a look at:

rusEFI

I've never used one but kind of follow the forum and they have up to 12 cylinder options and its open source so you could in theory add any feature you want and many do.  They are very willing to add any trigger pattern any user many need, if you actually have one of their ECUs and an engine you just need to ask, they respond a lot slower (as in never) to hypothetical setups but watching the forum I've never seen them say no to supporting an actual existing setup.


I've had great luck with Haltech and AEM, and have friends that swear by link as good fully tech supported options for those that are less electronics gifted.

For the experienced types I just love the   enginelab    I have in the frankenferrari....not sure I could go back to anything else but it does require more, like a lot more upfront work/knowledge to create a "model" to tell the ecu what exactly you are wanting it to do...this is baked in and locked in other ECUs.  The AEM infinity is actually made by enginelab and is running AEM's model but you can clear it and run the full enginelab software, that is what I did, used a cheapish AEM on ebay, load the new SW.  

I keep finding new things to let the ECU do for me...it runs my gauges that needed with NLA sending units, it corrects for out of sync ITBs...I just love it.

OBDII - With an ECU like rusEFI or enginelab that allows you to make changes....you can set the CAN buss to output whatever signal you please so if you wanted to send signals to the OBDII port for...ummm...."diagnostic purposes",  you certainly could, just sayin wink

mke
mke Dork
1/19/22 11:11 a.m.
yupididit said:

In reply to fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) :

Big differences between haltech and MS for you? 

SUPPORT!!!!

Haltech sells a finished product that they fully tech support, you call/email with a question,  they give you the answer.   They also are real enclosures, very rugged.

MS is forum supported for the most part and stuff like a case is optional, real sealed locking connectors are optional, the tuning software is 3rd party and requires a subscription to access the nicer features....this is why they cost less up front but not necessarily in the longer run.  Its a fine option for a lot of people, but you do generally get what you pay for. 

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/19/22 11:23 a.m.

In reply to mke :

Okay. I do have a current TunersStudio subscription. I'm looking to run itb's on my Mercedes 190e. It's currently ke-jet and my initial go-to is MS but I certainly know nothing of tuning itb's etc. This will be a jump in the deep end for me lol

mke
mke Dork
1/19/22 11:32 a.m.

In reply to yupididit :

Have a look at rusEFI too.....it also used tunerstudio and may be more bang for you buck.  Again, I've not used it but spec and cost wise it looks better.

also have a look at

quadramap

It looks like the same thing as the multiMAP I had designed and use.....personally I think something like this is just flat re3quired for ITBs on the street.  On the track  you can just use alpha-n and move on but if you want it to idle and cruise nice, speed-density is much better and needs a good MAP signal like you get for one of these devices.  

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/19/22 9:59 p.m.
yupididit said:

In reply to mke :

Okay. I do have a current TunersStudio subscription. I'm looking to run itb's on my Mercedes 190e. It's currently ke-jet and my initial go-to is MS but I certainly know nothing of tuning itb's etc. This will be a jump in the deep end for me lol

I do systems for these types on itb conversions all the time. Shoot me a pm or email me from the site. 
Street use just blending map/tps works pretty well don't need anything crazy. 

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/20/22 3:04 a.m.

In reply to Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) :

I'll def send you a message. I may have found a shop out of England that does itb kits for this engine. I'm no stranger to busting knuckles but the less work for me the better. Time! 

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/20/22 6:30 a.m.

In reply to yupididit :

You're soon going to be localish to Paul as well...

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