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Standalone ECUs?

Posted by Gravity Fed 
Gravity Fed
Alex Staidle
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Standalone ECUs?
January 23, 2012 11:51PM
So after idaho rally, the miata engine will be going in. For whatever reason, people think Miata parts are freaking gold, as opposed to spending money on stock, likely frail, wiring harnesses and an ECU, I have considered a standalone ecu.

Now, the poor person in me says "Go megasquirt" The new version is out and its almost half the cost of a more "reputable" option.

The Miata does have a turbo, so i would like to have more control than the factory ecu provides. On top of limiting the use of 20 year old parts.

Another advantage would be getting rid of the Cam sensor which is a space issue with the firewall. I could opt for a trigger wheel and block off the protrusion.

Another option would be using the AEM that plug and plays to the miata harness.

so anyone with experiences rallying with standalones?



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2012 11:54PM by Gravity Fed.
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phlat65
Sean Medcroft
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 23, 2012 11:57PM
Co drove in Adams Megasquirted Corolla, and it runs pretty damn good for something ziptied together..... Love ya Adam!
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Gravity Fed
Alex Staidle
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 12:17AM
well the Megasquirt 3 is about 690, whereas the AEM EMS-4 is 760. I am rather tempted to go with the more reputable brand. Ill have to see what the used market has as well.

I would like to have the open to control a solenoid or stepper motor for antilag as well.



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frumby
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 12:56AM
Check out miataturbo.net That's a pretty good forum... they love MS. The big bottom line is that you don't want to go with the stock ECU if it's turbo. There are some bandaid options like rising rate fuel pressure regulators etc, but you're leaving a bunch on the table. I run a Link on mine... it was top o' the line a few years ago, but now they say MS2 is way better, and the new version even better. There are people on miataturbo that put those together to be plugnplay also.
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Gravity Fed
Alex Staidle
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 05:41AM
after reading the Megasquirt is still more adaptable and capable for the price than the lower AEM products. Especially since i want to try and develop an anti lag down the road. Plus the input sensor options are more varied so i can get rid of the Cam sensor in favor of a trigger wheel.



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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 06:57AM
I've got a MS built for the subie that I have played with but never really had the time to tune and work the kinks out of. It worked ok. MS for miata seems to be pretty figured out so you wouldn't have to spend a huge amount of time on a custom setup.



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Towona
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 09:03AM
We're rebuilding the Golf and will be going with a ViPec. I'm anxious to see how it works out.



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Gravity Fed
Alex Staidle
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 09:19AM
Quote
KTurner
I've got a MS built for the subie that I have played with but never really had the time to tune and work the kinks out of. It worked ok. MS for miata seems to be pretty figured out so you wouldn't have to spend a huge amount of time on a custom setup.

which MS?



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wildert
Brian Klausen
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 09:46AM
I've been running MS in the Golf for several years now - very few issues - and more importantly: every time I've need help figuring something out when I wanted to try something new out, there's always been plenty of help and support available. Somebody out there has almost always tried what you want to try before you AND shared it on the interwebz...

Plus as far as I know, for Miata specifically, there's tons of advice - much like with the Golf's.
Actually I think I've seen a plug'n'play solution for MegaSquirt on a Miate - though I'm not sure.

Do make sure that you do an apples to apples comparison though - the price of the ECU is one thing... but what does it come with in terms of sensors, wires etc. - can it be made to work with existing sensors (if you want to), idle control valves, trigger wheel setup, etc. etc. If not - are the price of the additional sensors included, etc.?



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Gravity Fed
Alex Staidle
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 10:03AM
my previous experience was Megasquirt II, so its more familiar to me. While im not a circuitry genius, there is plenty of information out as you stated. Apparently then, MS does fine on vibrations. I know pete had very few problems as well.



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alkun
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 10:06AM
I don't know much about it, but the turbo volvo people who are into megasquirt (there are a bunch) went through a bunch of trouble to make CAM sensor adaptors, so they could ditch the sensor wheel. The sensor wheel seems to be a hot spot for problems, and there were many posts of "I got the CAM sensor in there and now it finally runs well!"
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Gravity Fed
Alex Staidle
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 10:10AM
ill look into that issue more.

i think ive heard of people using the flywheel ring gear as well by removing like two or three teeth then having the sensor read that. might have been a theoretical discussion more than a "look what i did and it works wonderfully!"



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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 10:32AM
I have ms3 in my daily driver doing fuel only duty. The tuner studio has an auto tune function that is pretty darn sweet. Set your target AFR's and go drive. I have an older haltech (essentially ms2 if the internet is to be believed) sitting on the shelf along with MSD for ignition. I've never hooked it up, but I've heard that while limited it's pretty bulletproof.

The audi guys are pretty excited about VEMS as far as having great capabilities for low cost, $700 IIRC...

Here it is http://www.vems.us/
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Do It Sidewayz
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 10:43AM
Who's going to tune it?

This is the single most important question.

What i've found, is your tuner needs to be comfortable and familiar with whatever system you choose. When they are familiar with a system, and know all the ins and outs, it runs like a top. They will be able to apply their knowledge to whatever system you choose, but you won't get the same results.

If you are planning on tuning yourself, great!

I have a couple of friends who have worked out the bugs of MS, and learning to tune themselves. They have been through some motors, but have learned alot and got it to work.



IMHO, if you are ok with experimenting, learning, and blowing some stuff up, the MS is a good way to go, it's cheap and works.

If you want a great ECU package, which will start every time, and get you good durability out of your motor, then find a good Tuner, ask then ask them questions, and take notes. Shell out the $$$ for whatever system they recommend, and pay them to tune it, you will not be sorry!


FWIW, running and tuning a turbo car for the street, is a whole different kettle of fish from running and tuning a turbo car for Rallying and racing. A guy on the street might really only spool the thing up and run it "hard" 5% of the cars life. A race/rally car gets beat on 100% of it's life, and even running just a little bit lean will give you big problems in a short period of time in a race, while it might run for years on the road.

The knowledge of a good tuner is worth it's weight in gold!



Chris
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Gravity Fed
Alex Staidle
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 10:54AM
i tuned my Rx7, which was naturally aspirated, on the MS2. I learned a fair amount from that experience. I know enough people who, while not proficient with MS per say, they can assist me "knowing what needs done"



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wildert
Brian Klausen
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 11:08AM
Any damn ECU will allow you to blow up your engine if you don't know what you're doing... Hasn't got much to do with the ECU as such.
If you're an idiot and want to tune for yourself, then you're likely to damage things regardless of what it says on the lid of the box.

But it all boils down to what one wants to do with ECU. Do you want to be able to most stuff, if not everything, yourself, then MS is absolutely the easiest. If only because of the vast amount of info available.

If you want to turn it over to a tuner, then obviously you need to agree with him on the ECU. Buying cheap here, can easily be expensive if the tuner is going to bill you for research, learning while doing, etc.



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Jay
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Jay
Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 11:22AM
I've been running a Haltech e6k I bought for cheap and am gonna replace it with an Adaptronic cuz WBO2 autotune. That and it's just sitting here on the shelf so I might as well. You can get an older haltech (like maybe mine!) or something similar for less than MS and it'll be bombproof.



Jay Woodward
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john vanlandingham
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 11:25AM
Quote
Jay
I've been running a Haltech e6k I bought for cheap....

You can get an older haltech (like maybe mine!) or something similar for less than MS and it'll be bombproof.

Do tell. I need something for this Volvo that is ready.
N.a. high comp 2350cc 16v on 48 ITBs

What are you thinking "less than MS"?? How much......????????

Do you have the "Programming Disc"?



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2012 11:46AM by john vanlandingham.
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Do It Sidewayz
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 11:46AM
Quote
wildert
If you want to turn it over to a tuner, then obviously you need to agree with him on the ECU. Buying cheap here, can easily be expensive if the tuner is going to bill you for research, learning while doing, etc.

FWIW, a good tuner, was probably the best investment I ever made on my car.



Chris
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Tim Taylor
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 12:00PM
Quote
Do It Sidewayz
Quote
wildert
If you want to turn it over to a tuner, then obviously you need to agree with him on the ECU. Buying cheap here, can easily be expensive if the tuner is going to bill you for research, learning while doing, etc.

FWIW, a good tuner, was probably the best investment I ever made on my car.

And I'll give that another endorsement as the best advice in this thread. I just traded my old GTX to Neel at Apex Speed Technology for a Pectel SQ6 and professional tuning of the new engine. Not blowing up an expensive new engine or taking weeks to get it tuned properly is well worth the money to me. I spent weeks back in about 1996 trying to get an Electromotive TEC-II working properly. Just an infuriating process start to finish...turns out those ECUs just didn't have full control of the injectors and could not be made to idle by pro tuners. I have enough aggrivation in my life without that crap.

-Tim
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Jay
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Jay
Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 12:40PM
How bout 4 bills out the door with flyinglead harness, negotiable maybe. New and updated programming stuff is on the intarwebz but I have suff here that seems to work.



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Gravity Fed
Alex Staidle
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 12:48PM
i would certainly try to acquire it if JVL doesn't!



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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 01:07PM
Quote
Jay
How bout 4 bills out the door with flyinglead harness, negotiable maybe. New and updated programming stuff is on the intarwebz but I have suff here that seems to work.


I like the negotiable maybe..
Like can we negotiate you dropping it by?
I almost never get out of here (except UPS)....



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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 01:07PM
Quote
Gravity Fed
i would certainly try to acquire it if JVL doesn't!

Go away!!!!

Wait! Where you are now: go pound sand!



John Vanlandingham
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aj_johnson
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 04:45PM
I might be interested in giving up my haltech. It's fuel only though
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john vanlandingham
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 05:03PM
Quote
aj_johnson
I might be interested in giving up my haltech. It's fuel only though

I need ignition too for this thing to run. And run right.

Where's that Jay!!????



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Jay
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Jay
Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 05:30PM
I could be talked into running it down there. Not this week though. Next week is easier and that even gives me time to take it outta the car and get me off my ass installing the new one...



Jay Woodward
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john vanlandingham
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 06:47PM
Quote
Jay
I could be talked into running it down there. Not this week though. Next week is easier and that even gives me time to take it outta the car and get me off my ass installing the new one...

Sounds good. I'm here most all day long if beating the traffic is important..
Just let me know.
And thanks



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acrane
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 08:33PM
SpitfireEFI - My Mega guys

My buddies at SpitfireEFI talked me out of the new hot MSv3 they know what they are talking about and have done miatas and turbo mazdas http://spitfireefi.com/projects.shtml

the ecu is now attached with a bungie cord.
I like it because I can tune it using Linux on my OLPC!



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KTurner
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Re: Standalone ECUs?
January 24, 2012 08:35PM
Quote
Gravity Fed
which MS?

it was a diypnp unit running ms2 3.x.x and MAF(it's based on a microsquirt though). It's pretty up to date, thought about putting it back in once I do another engine upgrade since there has been a semi recent update in ms2 MAF support. I just never had the time or place to tune and play so I went with an eeprom expansion on the subie obd1 board.



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