anyone get into doing thier own tuning?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ttocs, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. ttocs

    ttocs Legend

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    I have been weighing all the possibilities for tuning when I get the car back together with my biggest problem being the most reliable tuner nearby is nearly 3 hrs one way and I do not get around well... Thought about the datalog/email option but I have also been reading about more people doing their own through something like the megasquirt or the Anderson ford piece. Obviously with a 94/95 I am limited and I only put it in the garage section with the thought maybe someone was doing it and then moved on the modular/obd2 world so I put it in the garage hoping to get as many responces as possible. How hard is it to learn to use and how easy is it to mess up my motor? I am not going to be tuning it to max the boost/power as much as just for a reliable running tune but the idea of having to email/depend on someone else either hours away or that I may never see just doesn't really appeal to me. I am fairly technical with computers and software and would be willing to do the reading needed to learn as much as I can. Any good resources to look at for this?
     
  2. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    I haven't started tuning yet but I am using a megasquirt and the program for it is called Tuner Studio. When you download it, there is the option for the paid, full version and that has something called VE analyze. That is basically an autotune. Then you fine tune off of that. Being a 94/95 you can get a megaquirt plug-n-play option and tune your own.
     
  3. cameron57

    cameron57 Active Member

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    Id like to learn the holley stuff looks interesting.

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  4. ttocs

    ttocs Legend

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    I agree but can't really find much info about them or reports from people using them which is what I really want. They always make it out to be the piece that will align the planets and make angels singe when you finish hooking it up but the real world reports are always more important. Holley had a booth at the hot rod show I went to Friday but they didn't have anything about this there.
     
  5. cameron57

    cameron57 Active Member

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    Ya ive had the same issue and honestly thats why i went carb. No one to worry about to tune but your self. I would love to spend the money but at the same time I hate to spend the cash and not be able to figure out how to tune it. Dont waste your time with qh its very confusing and alot of the formulas having nothing to do with real data plus very limited resources. Big stuff and fast is the way to go but again its alot of cash im not sure if the holley acomplishes the same thing.

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  6. cameron57

    cameron57 Active Member

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    Also everything ive read and heard on the holley stuff is hit or miss.

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  7. kb1982

    kb1982 Active Member

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    The megasquirt isnt that hard to tune once you learn what the function in Tunerstudio is and what changes to them will make on a running motor. Make your ve number higher for a load cell, and the injector will squirt in more fuel. A load cell consist of an x and a y axis. X in the ve table is map pressure read in kpa, and y is the rpm range . On a naturally aspirated car 100 kpa will be full throttle. Add 6.894 kpa past 100 kpa for every psi of boost for force inducted cars on your ve table and timing table. As the boost comes up, start pulling out timing. Features such as boost control will let you tune without fear of getting into boost on a beginning tune. With it enabled, it can cut fuel and spark, fuel, or just spark to whatever limit you set it.

    Thats the easier part of it. Getting your cold startup curves and afterstarts and your idle are the most fidley. Anything after 160 degrees of water temp, i have my tune set not to add any warmup enrichment. Warmup enrichment is basically added extra fuel for a cold motor. As the motor comes up to operating temp, it doesnt need any extra. The best way to approach tuning a megasquirt vehicle in my mind is this. Get it running no matter how rough or crappy and bring it up to temp. Avoid excessivly rich afr, or excessively lean, or stupidly retarded tuiming... unless u wanna punish your valves and make the headers glow cherry read. Who cares how its running, as long as its not gonna kill itself reaching operating temp. Once you get to operating temp, start making adjustments to make the motor happy, idles at the afr you want along with the rpm you want. Once you have the warm engine at idle as your baseline, you know the ballpark for cold starts, which will be a slight higher rpm and richer afr, and still makes the motor happy. Its a pretty interesting journey into tuning, and in the end you will learn the madness behind it that makes it work. Just like the old days of changing out powervalves, and jets in carbs
     
  8. rz5.0

    rz5.0 Legend

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    I did the QH and BE when my 95 was running. . I thought it was fun. .
     
  9. ttocs

    ttocs Legend

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    the more I read about the megasquirt the more it sounds like the way to go. I have heard hit/miss about any of the others from not being able to figure it out(which I do not necessarily put on the program) to not being able to get stuff to work. I am not looking to get absolute max power for a system to add/pull power for my street outlaws race each weekend. Just looking for something reliable that if there is a problem I do not need to depend on someone either hours away or that I have never met. Obviously with this being new a good help line will be good to know if anyone has talked to the manf to get things working.
     
  10. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    Which MS are you using? Everyone seems to be using MS3 on their modulars and I can't find any info on using an MS1 or 2 like I'd prefer.
     
  11. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    I am using the MS3 with expansion card. It does full sequential fuel and spark. Why are you wanting the MS1 or 2 instead of getting the MS3?
     
  12. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    Cost, mainly. I've looked into it, and I know the ms3 technically offers more than the 1 and 2, but what is really needed? AFAIK, the MS1/2 can handle fuel, edis-8, a crank position sensor, a tps, IATs, and has a built in MAP (which I want to use over MAF)... but I feel like I'm missing something, since everyone seems to be opting for the MS3, despite its 200 dollar (unassembled) price jump from a 1 Or 2.
     
  13. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    I don't know a whole lot about the 1 or 2 but I do know that with the 3 and 3X card you can control each cylinder individually. But it also has a bunch of different options like control nitrous or boost control or flex fuel. There are just so many things you can do with it. I chose to build my own board also.
     
  14. Michael Plummer

    Michael Plummer Active Member

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    MegaSquirt: The price is attractive and some people have had success with it but the majority of it's users will tell you, the learning curve is very steep, I'm going to repeat this because it's important. The learning curve is very steep and you'll spend an insane amount of time reading online and driving around with your laptop as a passenger working on your tune to get your drivability and cold idle correct. If you find that appealing than the MegaSquirt is for you.

    This site doesn't have a section for Engine management systems so you may want to checkout the Corral (http://forums.corral.net/forums/engine-management-systems/) and you'll find numerous threads on MegaSquirt and the difficulty people have and are continuing to face with using it.

    Finally, with any Engine Management System you need a mechanically sound engine, good injector data, quality OEM sensors and no vacuum leaks. This will help so you're not chasing gremlins caused by poor quality parts or an engine that is not mechanically sound.
     
  15. ttocs

    ttocs Legend

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    there needs to be an easy button but I knew there wasn't...... I assumed there would be a lot of reading and learning to do with it since I know little about it. On the other hand it will take a 6 hr round trip just to get to a good tuner. My fear is just getting out there to find for some reason that it can't be ran that day for one reason or another in which case it leads me to ask how much would 6-10 hrs of reading get me with one of these DIY options? But then not even sure if I should consider it with my plans for meth and everything I have moved/changed but just trying to check all my options. I mean being disabled and not able to make road trips all that easy I have the time to invest in reading/learning and could find it interesting enough to get into.
     
  16. lutter94

    lutter94 Well-Known Member

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    But there is an easy button, see below. We wired in a MegaSquirt in to a 280Z Turbo. In autotune mode you just drive around while it learns the car. you tell it your target AF ratios, and it does the rest.....

     
  17. Michael Plummer

    Michael Plummer Active Member

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    People often think, "autotune" just switch the thing on and no matter how bad the base map is the ECU will just run perfect and tune itself. That is just not the case and it isn't just as straightforward and instant as people think. Corrections of +/-10-15% is large enough to cause flat spots or noticeable running problems. With that said, I have never used MegaSquirt or the Auto tune/Tuner Studio feature but I have seen MegaSquirt and other VE based EMS in action and talked with tuners such as Mike Dez, Mike Freedman and Mike Post to know those VE based EMS are tough to get tuned correctly in a couple of dyno appointments. You have to do all the work. You have to learn practically every little nuance of the system, every circuit that connects to the MS you have to make sure is correct. You have to make choices about every aspect of the install. MS puts everything on the builder / end user.

    From my experience: You'll always have some people that, smart or not, don't put the effort into it to properly install and tune the system. And again, you get out of it what you put into it.
    As for cold start/warmup issues... you've got to tune your fuel/ignition tables, and then tune the cranking pulsewidth and warmup enrichments. You do this across all temp ranges you'll run into, and you won't have cold start problems, ever. If you expect the system to just fire the car up at 40 degrees when you tuned it in 95 degree weather and never tested/tuned at lower temps-- chances are you'll have a problem, because you didn't tune the car fully. You get out of it what you put into it.

    In closing, if you are looking to educate yourself in EFI MS is great. If you just want to "tune" your car and drive it and not really learn what the computer is all about MS is not for you. Not sure how much research you've done on other EMS but there are better and easier ones (Holley and Pro-M EFI) to tune on the market but they cost more money.

    Better: Components used and code already written thus making startup easier (Pro-M EFI).
    Easier: Holley's (VE based) auto tune is actually very good and does fine with correction over 25%. The Pro-M EFI is the only MAF based EMS that is self-correcting.

    Good luck with whatever you decide
    Michael Plummer
     
  18. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Very good info posted above. I chose to use the MS because of how versatile it is. EVERYTHING is up to the builder. You determine what you want to run with it, you decide how you want to wire it, and you have to put in the effort to make it run correctly. While I haven't started tuning mine yet, I have spent countless hours reading about the different ways to tune and what would best suit me. If my system fails, i can assure you, it will not be from lack of effort. On that note though, If it does fail, theoretically I should know where to go to fix it because i built everything. I wanted to run my car without a MAF and with the MS I can do that. I will be tuning it with the MAP and TPS. I also opted to remove my stock O2 sensors, I will be running with 1 wideband O2. The options are truly endless, if you are willing to put forth the effort.
     
  19. lutter94

    lutter94 Well-Known Member

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    For the 280z, we found a lot of good info where people had already installed the same. Found some base tune numbers to make it run, and let VE Analyze do its thing. Didn't really have to start from scratch like most would.
     
  20. Michael Plummer

    Michael Plummer Active Member

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    Q) Very good info posted above.
    A) You're to kind.

    Q) I chose to use the MS because of how versatile it is.
    A) Agreed

    Q) EVERYTHING is up to the builder. You determine what you want to run with it, you decide how you want to wire it, and you have to put in the effort to make it run correctly.
    A) Agreed

    Q) I wanted to run my car without a MAF and with the MS I can do that.
    A) Not sure why everyone wants to get rid of the MAF but to each their own. If calibrated correctly, it's the most important sensor in the car next to the ECU.

    Q) I will be running with 1 wideband O2.
    A) In my opinion, BIG MISTAKE. Are you going to run in open or closed loop? What happens if one side of the engine goes lean, how would you know if you have a problem.

    Q) The options are truly endless, if you are willing to put forth the effort.
    A) Agreed