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 Post subject: Megasquirts
Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:07 pm 
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No, not the Peter North variety :P

In my continued quest for tuning on a (a***) budget I'm looking into megasquirt as a solution. For those that aren't aware, it's an engine management kit that you build yourself and only costs a few hundred in parts.

unclewoja, you've mentioned you have one. What are they like for programming ? Did you do it yourself ? Pretty straight forward ?

Anyone else used them in a falcon ?

 

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Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:53 pm 
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I was always going to use one on the cleveland in my Ute, but since I bought the EF I've given up on it. If I ever get another Clevo it will be EFI and probably MS.

 

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Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:12 pm 
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They seem like a pretty cost effective solution. The IT comparison would be, I guess looking at open source vs commercial software (eg, Linux Vs Windows).

I'd often say that theres no such thing as cheap performance parts, and that you get what you pay for.. but the big cost saving here is that its basically open source, and DIY.

I've spent quite a bit of time reading about them, and they seem reasonably well equipped, and they do have quite a bit of support for those of us using Fords EDIS coilpack system (both 6 and 8 cyl).

EMS's 8860 is a very good value for money engine management system, at around $2000 installed its probably well worth a look. The tuning software which comes with it is quite good, and Im not sure if the MegaSquirt system would come close to comparing. If youve spent as much as you have on the engine trying to chase good figures, it would be a shame to turn into a tight-a*** for the engine management.

An engine is only as good as the system which controls it.

 

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Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:24 pm 
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I haven't really spent THAT much on the engine. The old one was shagged so it needed replacing anyway and I didnt spend that much more than what a standard rebuild would have cost. I'm happy with my new engine and the power it has, but if I can make it a little better for a few hundred then I'll do it. Spending 2k for a little extra is definitely not an option with an up coming home loan and other not car related money pits :|

In your research Brad did you find anywhere to suggest that it wasn't a piggy back style unit ? I assume from what I've read that it controls just what you feed through it, but somone on another site (from a few years back) was talking about them being a stand alone ecu and not supporting everything else the stock ecu does...

 

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Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:41 pm 
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Well, remember that the megasquirt only does fuel mapping.. No spark work. Thats one big downside. I'm not sure when they plan to incorporate spark.

Most of these 'Standalone' ECU's still need to be run in parrallel with your cars exisiting ECU to maintain your factory accessories such as instrument cluster, trip computer, climate control, smartlock, electronic transmission and god knows what else. I'll be running both the MoTeC and the EEC-V next to each other in the waggin so I can keep my accessories :)

the MoTeC will handle all spark and fuel requirements, plus idle control, thermo fans, a/c clutch requests, traction control and whatever else i feel like running. The EEC will still receive power, and access to ECT Sensor, TACH, VSS, etc so it can feed those details to my various factory accessories via the DOL

 

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Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:44 pm 
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Hyena

The megasquirt is a true blue standalone ECU, it is generally used for adding EFI to older engines. It is not a piggy back system.

If you want spark then there is the Megaspark (or megajolt, can't remember). I think there is a new megasquirt being worked on that does fuel and spark.

If you are looking for a cheap piggy back system look a the digital fuel adjuster on the Jaycar website.

The advantage of the Megasquirt is it can control what ever you program it to control. If you are not a computer nerd like some of us on here I sugest you stay away from it.

 

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Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:16 pm 
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Like mentioned teh megasquirt DOES DO spark. Megasquirt II is out soon and this will also handle spark.

For something more powerful, Ultra megasquirt is on par with Motech.

Megasquirt have support for wideband oxy, but you need a wideband controller. The megasquirt guys are working on the PWC (precision wideband controller) which will be a kit like Megasquirt.

Tuning is very powerful. These things are packed full of features. The tuning software out there is excellent! These things will controll PWM down to 0.01 seconds, but the ultra megasquirt will control PWM down to 0.0001 seconds which is the same resolution as Motech.

Megasquirt comes with an 8x8 fuel map with USER DEFINABLE values. This is something that most other after market ECUs don't have. Motech for example has load points every 125rpm and 5kPa (I think) resulting in about 500 or so load points to tune and that's just stupid!

Megasquirt 'n' spark comes with 12x12 fuel tables and spark tables along with a load map for people with wideband.

With Megasquirt, you can use a program called MSTweak 3000. What this does is take your datalogs and adjusts your fuel maps (not spark maps) for you to target 14.7:1 AFR. From there you can do some easy sums to get 12.5:1 for max power and 16.5:1 for best fuel economy.

With wideband it's even easier! MSTweak 3000 with use your load map to adjust your fuel map for the target AFRs you specify!

Because you can tune in this way, you don't need a dyno which costs money and it's far more accurate than a dyno. A dyno can't take into effect the wind resistance of you car, or ram effects in the induction or even the drag caused by the non-drive tyres.

Anyway, I'm waffling now. The MS is fantastic. It's just as powerful as any other aftermarket ECU IMHO and it comes at a fraction of the cost.... I payed about $300 all up.
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Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 8:50 pm 
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It sounds like a great unit for the money, good sales pitch unclewoja :)
As you say they're bringing out the new ones with spark, and they've already got add ons for the current one to handle it. Still, even if I only got to play with the fuel ratios and the like it's still pretty good for $300.

Raiki, although it is a stand alone unit it'd stll run as a piggyback with my current ECU wouldn't it ??
What are you running yours on ?

edit: Is THIS the jaycar unit you're talking about ?

That looks like an even cheaper solution again if it turns out I have fuel problems.
I'm dynoing on monday so I'll see how the A/F ratios look after that.
I suspect I'm leaning out a little at certain revs...

 

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Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:45 am 
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Hyena, I am not using an MS at the moment but have done a lot of research for when I was going to use one on the cleveland. My EF still has the EEC5.

There is no reason why you can't leave your EEC online for auxillary functions. This isn't really a 'piggyback' as most people think of it in regard to EFI.

That is the Jaycar device I was talking about. I think all that does is intercepts various signals, like MAF, Temp and the like and change them before they get to the computer. Not real sure. It would be fun to play with thats for sure.

 

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Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:11 pm 
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The problem with the Jaycar thing is that it only adjusts analoge voltage signals. Where our Map sensors use a digital frequency signal. -So no dice with that unit I'm afraid.

Mega Squirt looks cool but very much DIY, expect your car to be off the road for a while while you get the bugs worked out.

And I'm pretty sure that it's not as good as Motec. I used an M4 and M800 at uni and they are pretty powerfull, you can set up the number of load sites however you wish. and have lots of functions for controling electronic throttles, DUAL VCT, gear change ignition cuts (and retard timing for auto's), built in datalogging, launch control, traction control. And wide band lambda tuning where you just put in what lambda you want at a certain MAP/RPM and it tunes itself!

Plus their just about impossible to blow up. Expensive but very very good.

my 2C.

 

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Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:16 pm 
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Well, I'll eat some of my words. Megasquirt II sounds tops. I may just have to consider it for the EB 5.0

How many injector and spark outputs will it have ? For the 5.0 1 spark output is fine, but for the EF 4.0's, 3 spark outputs will be required for those who wish to keep their coilpacks.

Does someone want to build one of these up for me? :P I don't think I'd have the patience to do the component level buildup. hehe

 

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Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:30 pm 
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Just a few fuzzy points on the MoTec M800

It has 40 RPM sites, 21 Load Sites and 21 Efficiency sites. Each of thses sites is toally user definable. I could set 10 sites at 500rpm to 550rpm (500rpm, 505rpm, 510rpm, 515rpm, etc, etc). The rpm sites can be incremeted by as little as 1rpm! If load and efficiency are calculated by Trottle Position, resolution is at 10% intervals. If you are using Flow or Pressure type mesaurements, then you have 21 load sites which again, are user definable.

Load and efficiency can be calculated by TP, MAF, MAP, EMAP, BAP or combinations of these.

Traction Control is standard and can be implemented using the existing ford ABS sensors.

8 sequential injector outputs, and 6 sequential spark outputs, 6 Temp Intputs, 8 Voltage Inputs, 2 Wideband Lambda Inputs, 4 Digital Inputs (ABS Sensors for traction control!!! :D), 8 Auxilary outputs, plus unused fuel/spark outputs can be used as aux outputs also.

Each of the input functions have associated compensation maps which you can run, to allow for things like A/C request (bump timing by 1 or 2 deg at certain rpm).

Then there are 2 compensation tables for Fuel AND spark for the following measures: ECT Comp, ACT Comp, Boost Comp, Fuel Temp Comp, Fuel Pressure Comp, Injector Timing Comp, Gear Selection Comp, Battery Comp, MAP + MAF Comp. Dual wideband lambda aim is also standard.

I guess the pricetag which is set at more than 20x of a megasquirt is a bit of a turnoff but there isn't much that you couldn't do on a MoTeC. Perhaps when it comes down to comparing an EMS, Haltech or Wolf the score is a bit closer, depending on ones requirements of course!

 

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Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:44 pm 
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Hey Spork, thanks for the info on the jaycar kit. I've been hunting around for more detailed info on their operation but the whole digital/analogue thing you outlined sounds like it's not up to the task. Sounds like I'll can that idea!
For others interested, there's an autospeed article on it here
http://www.autospeed.com.au/cms/A_2418/article.html


Brad, chew those words 20 times before swallowing :P
I've just signed up on the megasquirt forum and am digging through the mountains of info at the moment.

I'll be fitting this to my daily driver so I don't want it to be off the road for too long, preferably no more than the weekend. If I make up some sort of a plug in connecter with the existing ECU wiring it should be the sort of thing I can easily unplug and revert to stock EECV control if I run into extended dramas. ...provided I don't cook any non-MS car components!

If I go ahead and get one I can order 2 kits if you want to save on shipping from OS. (I don't know how much it is or if it's worthwhile doing)

I'm somewhat of an electronics geek so I should be able to tackle putting one together. If you're a n00b in the area I advise buying sockets for the ICs if it doesnt come with them as they're easy to cook if you heat them too much. People are also selling them premade, but some are pretty expensive ($500 US!) as I guess most of the cost is in the labour of actually making them.

check out www.msefi.com

 

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Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 3:36 pm 
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Waggin wrote:
Well, I'll eat some of my words. Megasquirt II sounds tops. I may just have to consider it for the EB 5.0

How many injector and spark outputs will it have ? For the 5.0 1 spark output is fine, but for the EF 4.0's, 3 spark outputs will be required for those who wish to keep their coilpacks.

Does someone want to build one of these up for me? :P I don't think I'd have the patience to do the component level buildup. hehe


Ultra Megasquirt is even better and I will solder one up for you if you want. The one I made for myself was my first ever electronic kit and everything went flawlessly. It does take patience, but it's not hard.
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Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 3:42 pm 
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Hyena,

There is an Australia MS group in teh MS forums. Join that aswell. They have group buys every now and then.

Also, since you'll be needing to cut wires to integrate your MS, and the MS works off a DB37 interface, you can very easily do the following:

1. Cut your existing wiring near the ECU.
2. With the wires coming out of the ECU, solder them into a DB37 female plug .
3. With the wires going to the engine solder a male DB37 Plug. This needs to be male to plug into MS.

All you need to do is solder the wires coming out of the ECU into the plug the same as they're going INTO MS. That way if you want to go back to teh EEC V, you just unplug MS and plug the two DB37s together and voila! your original wiring is back to normal and fully functional.
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