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 Post subject: Aftermarket ECU Review :See 1st page!:
Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:52 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Hi all,
I have been looking at some aftermarket ECU's. I'm not going to buy one anytime soon but I have been looking at the software/features for each and thought I would post a summary here.

**** LAST UPDATED: 07/11/2005 *******
*****Prices are approximate and may change without notice *********

1) EMS Stinger V4. approx cost $1250, extra loom/cables = included, Needs Bosch wideband sensor ~100.

Pro's: Cheap, Adjustable tables. Core software is as functional as any other ecu (inc Motec) + has 4cy sequential, WIDEBAND sensor compatable with no extra hardware required! Excellent Autotune facility will save $$$ tuning. Closed loop control and real time tuning. Limited boost control capbility, datalogging (with laptop), Small and lightweight. Simple NOS control. Basemap for falcons! (but is crude, will start car only)

Con's: Very limited input's, 4 outputs only, Few special features. Boost control and antilag is crude. Plug is not waterproof

2) EMS 8860. Approx cost $1650, extra loom/cables = about $100 - $300

Pro's: Real time tuning, Autotune feature with wide band lambda controler built in, 8 digital outputs, 4with PWM and steppermotor. Large number of inputs, good for motorsport. More advanced boost control. Internal Datalogging. Very large size of fuel and ignition table with more compensations ( battery comp, injector trims), tables are adjustable. Simple NOS control.
Basemap for falcons! (but is crude, will start car only)

Con's: Traction control still! not avaialble yet, Still few special features and crude input/output control (no 3D tables).

3) Haltech E6. Approx cost $1600, Extra loom/cables = about $100-$300

Pro's: Real time tuning. Large tuning tables. Many compensations. True Closed loop lambda control. Many special features. Good support and comprehensive user manual. Crude boost control but better antilag control. Onboard datalogging. Simple NOS control

Con's: Fixed RPM map points. Limited number of input's/outputs. Limited support for non-haltech sensors.

4) Haltech E11v2. Approx cost $2400, Extra loom/cables = about $100-$300

Pro's: As per E6. Including more 3D tables, Customiseable RPM/load points including auxillary tables, good (3D) boost control. Many inputs/outputs (8 analogue inputs, 6 digial inputs, 6 digial out) Even more compensations! More special features. Excellent NOS control. Automatic transmission control.

Con's: Windows software is buggy, No traction control as per Motec. Wideband is only available with extra module, no autotune at this price = bad.

5) MoTeC M4 Clubman. Approx cost $2000, Extra loom/cables = about $300-$800

Pro's: Customiseable RPM load points. MANY set-up parameters, able to read multiple sensors for load, true closed loop lambda. Massive number of accessories and excellent support. Many special functions for aux input/output including 3D tables. Excelent boost control Small, Light. Upgradeable

Con's: Expensicve for features. Limited fuel/ignition compensations. No datalogging. Limited inputs/outputs. No wide band lamda. Only DOS software. No antilag or NOS. Starting to get outdated by cheaper ECU's and M400-800 range.

6) MoTeC M4 Pro (upgrade from clubman) Approx cost $2500, Extra loom/cables = about $300-$800

Pro's: As for clubman with, Traction/launch control, Wide band lambda auto tune function, gearchange ignition cut. Excellent boost and antilag control. Larger fuel tables. Many compensations. Telemetry. In general all functions have many more setup parameters than other brands of ECU.

Con's: Accessories are expensive. DOS software. Still very limited inputs/outputs (2 digital in, 4 digital out, 2 analogue in)

7) MoTeC M400 - M600 - M800 Approx cost $2800 - $3800 Extra loom/cables = about $300-$800

Pro's: Just about everything! As per M4 PRO but need to spend $$$ to get upgrades. The ONLY ecu that will control electronic throttle, Dual VCT making it the only ecu for BA falcons. Also CAN bus and more accessories than you can poke a stick at. Excellent windows software. Can integrate with Motec Dash logger ($3000), trans controller and some factory systems.

Con's: Very expensive but no competitors at this level. $2800 still does not get you datalogging as standard! M400 is only really suitable for 4 cylinder engines.

8) Microtech LTX-12s. Approx Cost $1250, Additional Cables/ ignitors = $225 for falcon

Pro's: Cheap! Comes with base map for your car installed!, Small, Australian design/support, Has optional hand controller so not laptop needed ($150). Good accessories. Datalogging (laptop). Real time tuning.

Con's: Poor value compared with Stinger. Cannot edit maps while not connected to ECU (laptop or hand controller) only 256 mapping points. Only one aux digital out/in. Special features non existant. No boost control (as far as I can tell). Very Limited compensations (only air temp, coolent temp). No ISC control, or NOS control.

9)MS-II. Cost approx $250-$300, extra looms/cables - DIY

Pros: Very cheap, user definable RPM/MAP points, Alpha-N (throttle) or MAP tuning (uses volumetric efficency tuning method), wideband support, can be configured to use any temp sensor, laptop only datalogging, off-line auto-tuning, realtime tuning, 3 loadbands for wideband closed loop (requires seperate wideband controller), standard set of compensation tools (battery voltage comp, barometric comp, either at start-up or continuous, air temp, coolant temp). Dual table for fuel and spark. Can be user reprogramed and upgraded!

Cons: DIY construction takes time and is not suited to a lot of people, no sequential (2 stage banked), Most tuners will not know how to program. No warranty or official help (reliability??). No (real) traction control. No closed loop (narrowband). No special features (except fuel only revlimit) Very limited expansion outputs/ inputs availaible (ie not enough for PWM idle control and PWM boost control and fuel pump and thermofans). May not be compatable with all ignition systems.

10)Wolf 3D Version 4. Approx cost $1095 Extra for Cables ~$100 - $400

Pros: Fine resolution of 125RPM but RPM/load points are fixed. Many compensations however implementation is basic. Real time tuning. Has data logging. Hand controller can be used to program and be permenantly set-up in car. Support for many sensors, built in 21psi map sensor. Closed loop O2, Basic Boost control. Many accessories. Support for wide band O2 (seperate controller).

Cons: Inputs and outputs are limited (but there is a 'plus' version with more) however there are few special functions ie. no Aux table with PWM control, or antilag, Nos. Can only control 4 injectors sequentially (actually this is the case for all ECU's untill the EMS8860). Laptop kit cost extra (~$50). Hand controller is confusing and basic.

11) Autronic SMC2, SMC4: Approx cost $2400??

Pros: As per motec. Excellent tuning functions. Another ECU to control electronic throttle and VCT. Links in with autronic 4 gas analyser to determine VE table, allows accurate user tuning of A/F ratio without dyno (as long as engine config remains the same) - excellent for 'on track' tuning. Closed loop boost control! Good selection of inputs and outputs as per motec, generally cheaper if you include motec upgrade costs. A professional racing ecu.

Cons: Not as widely used as motec, less accessories. expense? Software not as polished.


Well that's it. If you have any corrections or want to add info about an ECU you have had experience with post below. Hopefully this could become a database on ECU's

 

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Last edited by Spork on Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:49 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:05 pm 
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Why does no one like microtech? There are about $1000 and easy to tune.
YOu dont need anything to special. MOTEC are great but money is better spent elsewhere. A friend with a racecar uses microtech and says he would like to get motec but for the .001 of a second he would gain on the track his $3000 is better spent elsewhere.

Has anyone used a Microtech on a falcon before?
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Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:39 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Ok I hadn't seen microtech before. here is the review

Microtech LTX-12s. Approx Cost $1250, Additional Cables/ ignitors = $225 for falcon

Pro's: Cheap! Comes with base map for your car installed!, Small, Australian design/support, Has optional hand controller so not laptop needed ($150). Good accessories. Datalogging (laptop). Real time tuning.

Con's: Cannot edit maps while not connected to ECU (laptop or hand controller) only 256 mapping points - similar to Stinger. Only one aux digital out/in. Special features non existant. No boost control (as far as I can tell). Very Limited compensations (only air temp, coolent temp). No ISC control, or NOS control.

Unsure of other features since website has limited info.

 

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Mods: Crow Stg3, Chiptorque Dynotune. Lukey Exhaust. DBA slotted rotors, EBC Pads. Whiteline Low Susp. EL GT Swaybars, ROH Envy 17 x235 wheels. Vehicle Datalogger Display V2.0,

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Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:32 pm 
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Nice Review. Puts it all into perspective nicely.

As stated, you need atleast a M400 isn't suitable for the falcons.. M600 upwards is the go.

While the MoTeC Mx00's are feature packed, sadly alot of the good features cost more ontop of the already big pricetag. Want wide-band lambda? Add $800 plus the cost of the sensor :)

I'd say if you can't afford the Mx00's, the EMS 8860 has to be the next best option :)

 

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Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:10 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Waggin wrote:

I'd say if you can't afford the Mx00's, the EMS 8860 has to be the next best option :)


I'd say also have a GOOD look at the Haltech E6, has alot of options and even more fuel and ignition trims than the Motec M4 Pro. The only downside is you have to run their MAP sensor. The EMS has more outputs but the haltech has more options and special features.
If they would ever get around to adding closed loop lambda and traction control to the EMS it would be excellent but for now I think the haltech's are the best value for money.

Anyone who has tuned their car with any of these systems, post here with how easy/hard it was to use. What you think etc.

 

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Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:12 pm 
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Well, anyone running a MoTeC on a speed density EEC can't use their MAP sensor anyway :)

My neighbour works at Haltech, should have a word to him :D

 

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Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:14 pm 
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Some nice info there, should be a sticky.

 

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Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:15 am 
Getting Side Ways
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I'd like to post a bit about Megasquirt-II if I may:

MS-II. Cost approx $250-$300, extra looms/cables - DIY

Pros: Very cheap, 12x12 3D fuel and spark tables, (capability to go up to 24x24) user definable RPM/MAP points, Alpha-N (throttle) or MAP tuning, 24Mhz processor, wideband support, can be configured to use any temp sensor, datalogging, off-line auto-tuning, realtime tuning, 3 loadbands for wideband closed loop, stepper motor control, enormous support, capable for tuning up to 250kPa (21 Psi boost), full set of compensation tools (battery voltage comp, barometric comp, either at start-up or continuous, air temp, coolant temp) Dual table for fuel and spark (i.e. you can run two sets of injectors used at different stages, say 1 set used below 3000RPM and one set used above 3000RPM) Very stable windows, unix and linux tuning software, rev limiter, traction control.

Cons: DIY construction takes time and is not suited to a lot of people, banked injection, traction control is crude at this stage and analyses engine RPM to determine wheel spin.
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Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:00 pm 
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Yeah I think the MSII is a good buy (not MSI since you can buy a fuel only computer for about $400 these days). Especially on a budget. I didn't include it in the original post becasue I was comparing prebuilt packages. The downsides are also that it has very limited aux inputs/outputs. Ie no boost control or PWM control built in and limited spare ports to implement it. However since the source code is available I suppose you can write your own functions to suit your application.

Adding the Wolf 3D:

Wolf 3D Version 4. Approx cost $1095 Extra for Cables ~$100 - $400

Pros: Fine resolution of 125RPM but RPM/load points are fixed. Many compensations however implementation is basic. Real time tuning. Has data logging. Hand controller can be used to program and be permenantly set-up in car. Support for many sensors, built in 21psi map sensor. Closed loop O2, Basic Boost control. Many accessories. Support for wide band O2. Looks very good against a stinger or unichip

Cons: Inputs and outputs are limited (but there is a 'plus' version with more) however there are few special functions ie. no Aux table with PWM control, or antilag, Nos. Can only control 4 injectors sequentially (actually this is the case for all ECU's untill the EMS8860). Laptop kit and software may cost extra (~$180).

Overall: A very good unit at a bargin price. Not as fully featured as upspec ECU's but you have to spend another $600 - $1000 to beat it. Australian support looks great.

UPDATE: After further investigation, the wolf hand controller interface is quite confusing and will take a while to lean. Important if you are taking it to a tuner who may not have used it before. In comparison the other ECU's have very similar software. The PC software is an extra cost item also and is not available on the web.

 

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Mods: Crow Stg3, Chiptorque Dynotune. Lukey Exhaust. DBA slotted rotors, EBC Pads. Whiteline Low Susp. EL GT Swaybars, ROH Envy 17 x235 wheels. Vehicle Datalogger Display V2.0,

Last edited by Spork on Mon May 02, 2005 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:00 am 
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Awesome info this will help in the next year or so

Cheers

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Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 2:01 pm 
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I have also looked at Autronic. I cant post a full review because its hard to get information. However they appear to have very similar functions to Motec. Although they program very uniquely. Its all designed to get somene setup and tuning as fast a possible. Basically take your car to an engine dyno and the Autronic works out your engines VE (similar to MS) automatically using the Autronic gas analyser (that the dyno operator will have). According to the website this will take between 20min and an hour of dyno time. Then you can adjust the desired air fuel ratio any time so long as the engine stays in the same mechanical configuration.

If you do a mod you just pop back on the dyno for 1/2 hour and the ecu will relean the VE table and maintain the desired air fuel ratio. Very cool and easy! Alternatively you can program in a similar way to other ECU's

Other functions are very intuative and powerfull although it doesn't have as many compensation factors as say the haltec. Also inputs and outputs are limited in some versions (like only 4 user inputs/outputs). However it is the only ecu other than MoTeC to offer real traction/launch control and propper closed loop boost control. They also support our PWM Idle speed controllers (in propper closed loop) and closed loop O2 control. There is also alot of support and excellent wiring diagrams showing how to install. Its also Australian based.

Overall it looks very good. But I cant find any decent pricing information. It seams to range from $1600 to $2600 according to other forums so who knows? Anyone want to post with more info?

 

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Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 10:15 pm 
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Spork wrote:
The PC software is an extra cost item also and is not available on the web.


Software is available on their website http://www.wolfems.com.au/products/engi ... pcsoftware

They charge $50 for the data cable, and $50 for the software if you buy it from them.
Given that you can download it for free, seems a bit silly to charge $50 to get a copy from them.
Also the data cable is very simple to make, it is just a standard serial cable with a different connector on one end. If anyone want to save themselves $50 send me a message and I’ll give you the details to make your own cable..

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Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 2:03 am 
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i have a autronic sm2 computer which i paid 2600 for the computer and 150 for the new loom and now i am waiting for someone to put it in for me... another grand.... so it works out pretty exspensive!!! but they guy that is goin to tune it tunes race cars as well with the autronic and motec so he know what his doin :)
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Posted: Mon May 16, 2005 8:29 pm 
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slycruza wrote:
i have a autronic sm2 computer which i paid 2600 for the computer and 150 for the new loom and now i am waiting for someone to put it in for me... another grand.... so it works out pretty exspensive!!! but they guy that is goin to tune it tunes race cars as well with the autronic and motec so he know what his doin :)


Autronic is serious stuff. You haven't tried installing some/all of it yourself? $1000 for install sounds like alot how many hours is it going to take them?

Let me know how it goes with the autotune thing! Also if you hook up traction control (sounds like you'll need it with that setup!) it would be interesting to hear how that goes too!

Good point with the tuning. A well tuned stinger will still outperform a poorly tuned motec so make sure you factor in the $$$ for tuning. What are the going rates?

 

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Mods: Crow Stg3, Chiptorque Dynotune. Lukey Exhaust. DBA slotted rotors, EBC Pads. Whiteline Low Susp. EL GT Swaybars, ROH Envy 17 x235 wheels. Vehicle Datalogger Display V2.0,

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Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:22 pm 
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the EMS Stinger is due for a new software realise soon. the new software is based on the 8860 software and will provide moveable RPM and LOAD points
as well as a few other things.

the 8860 software is almost done. 8 ignition drivers are now functional,

they are now working on commodore stepper motor controll (i know useless for us)
although it is not available

 

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