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ECU choice

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Hi Guys!

First post on the Esprit part of the site.  I'm considering building a turbocharged 912.  I have a free choice over which ECU to use (I would make my own loom).  Do you have any suggestions?  What is the factory unit like - how easy is it to get at and modify the maps:  how good is it with knock etc... or should I go for something like an Emerald, for example?  All advise welcome!

Thanks

Pete

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I'm a bit late to the party here but I put an MS3/X in my GT3. For you, I would absolutely go after market; don't even contemplate using the standard one for a custom setup. You would be extremely limited when it comes to mapping and the chips need to be burned, they can't be done live on the dyno (which would mean literal thousands of £ in dyno tuning). The only thing I would say is to check out what the tuners near you support. Looking back, that's for more important (IMO) than whether it's a few hundred £ cheaper than a different brand, which has better support.

There's only one tuner near me that supports my ECU and they are very expensive. Also, while assembling the ECU myself was a good learning experience, I definitely paid more in tuning time (because of mistakes I made) than just buying something like a Haltech. The MS is great but TBH, probably not the best thing for your first foray into aftermarket ECU's unless you have access to cheaper dyno time.

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Thanks very much Cam.  Having talked to a few other people I've decided on an Emerald - it seems to have pretty good support.  I'm actually going to build a 2.5 naturally aspirated engine first for the Elite rebuild I'm doing and then see if I think the car will handle more power/torque after that.  The NA engine will be about 220/230 hp.  It's low down torque I'm after (I miss the V8!!).  I'd love to keep the original 14" wheels so getting the power down will be the limiting factor probably.

Pete

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The standard Delco ECU can be live tuned on a dyno, you just need to use a ROM emulator. It is easier to tune an aftermarket ECU as few people have access to the parameters in the standard ECU.

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I also built a Megasquirt MS3X for my Esprit. Inexpensive unit that can pretty much do anything, but that capacity comes at a price of many, many settings options. A good online forum of helpful tuners/programmers helps a lot. No one nearby  to tune it, so have been gnawing at settings for years as I learn how.  Getting it up and running was fairly quick, but the little details take some time to refine.

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On 27/12/2019 at 14:49, sailorbob said:

The standard Delco ECU can be live tuned on a dyno, you just need to use a ROM emulator. It is easier to tune an aftermarket ECU as few people have access to the parameters in the standard ECU.

Interesting. I didn't know that.

Pete, I've heard good things about Emerald. One thing I would say though, actually call around and ask tuners near you what they prefer and what they charge. Unfortunately there is only one place anywhere near me that does MS and they are £120 +VAT an hour. They also said they will only work with later model MS ECU's. The tuning is what will cost you the money and you may find a place that's cheaper but prefers Link or Haltech etc.

Edited by cammmy

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Thanks very much guys!  Hope you had a good Christmas/New Year!

Cam - That's good advice about phoning around my local tuners - I'll get on the case next week.  One of the members on excel.net is already running a tuned 912 and using an Emerald so I'm hoping to "borrow" his maps as a starting point and fine-tune from there - that should at least get me started and hopefully reduce the rolling road time needed.  If I go on to build the forced induction engine (again a 2.5l 912) I should "just" be able to re-map it.

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Should you go on to building a forced induction engine, do take the greatest care with fuel and spark settings. Be conservative with total spark advance figures, stay on the rich side for mixtures under boosted conditions, run highest octane readily available and look for indications of knock. In addition build a high energy ignition system and run colder spark plugs. If the mechanical build is sound you should enjoy lasting reliability.

Borrowed maps from a similar engine should get you going well enough, given comparable injectors, sensors and fuel pressure. Loads of tuning advice and opinions on forums devoted to the subject and tuning/set-up manuals from the manufacturers can be quite comprehensively helpful. Haltech's from the Platinum series some 15 years or more back are truly instructive, and you may find benefit looking into the American forum EFI101. 

Cheers

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Nice. In my experience, a decent tuner should be able to dial in the maps pretty quickly. It's all the other config and settings that take time to configure/work out. Once I had those sorted, I just slapped an MR2 turbo map on mine and added fuel/pulled timing to get it to the tuner. If you can get it to cold and hot start, idle and gently drive okay then you're well on the way. Just don't get tempted to put the boot in until it's been mapped properly.

I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself a copy of this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Performance-Fuel-Injection-Systems-Cramer/dp/1557885575/ref=asc_df_1557885575/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=310848077451&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3944336198620213426&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045888&hvtargid=pla-434352630633&psc=1&th=1&psc=1

These guys distribute MS ECUs but they have written the book to apply to all types.

Edited by cammmy
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I believe co-author, Matt Cramer, is one of the principals at Haltech. Seems to be entirely sound AFAIK.

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