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1998 ECU Conversion to Megasquirt/Haltech


98 Esprit

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Hello all! Just joined and looking forward to learning a great deal. I purchased my 98 Esprit in 2015 and was trouble free until October when it would not start. We have determined that the ECU is the culprit and I have been looking for an OEM replacement to no avail so now we are considering conversion to either a Haltech or Megasquirt system.  Any experience with these out there? I've seen a few 4 cylinder conversions with success but I've not come across any V8  conversions on the forums that describe any detail with regard to mapping etc. Any help and opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers!

 

JP

 

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Hi Jason and welcome to the lotus forums , 

I would strongly suggest finding the OEM unit or having it repaired,  Installing a custom ecu can be done, but its not just the fact that the install is not only difficult depending on your electrical skills there is also the matter of of tuning the custom ecu,  you can easily damage an engine with over fuelling etc, wrong igntion, and even worse on the lotus v8 as you need to take into account the turbos.  

Anything is possible but i would say that the install of the loom mods,custom ecu and paying for a the car to be mapped and tuned would far outway the costs of finding a factory ecu and also the factory ecu will be less dangerous in terms of it will be more reliable and also consider if you ever sell the car on, most folks are not happy with aftermarket ecus due to if it breaks, your stuck if you have lost the software etc. 

Mike skelinger on here would be the man to talk to regarding the custom way,  I am pretty sure he had a custom ecu in his lotus gt1 replica , But maybe more folks do,  Also pop Hilly on here a pm he is very good with ecu software and will give you an idea of what is involved, Hopefully more people will answer up also . Also give BarryKearly a pm on here as i am sure he had drama with an ecu, think it may of been the imobilizer seems to ring a bell  ?

Good luck on what ever route you choose 

Regards Dan

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A

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As Barry already mentioned, Exige S1 ECU with a re-flash is a good route.  Check these guys - [email protected]

They had two Exige S1 ECUs earlier in the year.

 

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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Hi Jason, I installed a Link ECU in my V8 last year. The Link model was the 'Thunder'. http://dealers.linkecu.com/G4PlusThunder  

The reason for a Link was purely around a local experienced installer / tuner lived close to me. I am sure there are better brands out there this was just the way I went. It was a very straight forward installation, took about 10 hours to remove the old unit and install the Link.  As Dan mentions the work is really in the mapping. We has a few niggles along the way but these were sorted out and the car performs really well and I am glad I went this way. The reason for the standalone install is to have tuning flexibility for when I install a modified engine next year, but that's another story....

If you decide to go the stand alone route and decide on a Link ECU PM me and I can forward on more details around who I used as I am sure he could talk to your local Link dealer and supply the maps he used for my car.     

Off course the less complicated, practical and more cost effective option is the one Mike mentions above!

All the best with your decision making

Greg

 

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58cc7f1504832_20160520_160834(Large).thumb.jpg.6cfe51a756893d719b5b1816d821d1dd.jpg

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Thank you for the warm welcome! Lots to think about here and just priceless feedback. I'll be following up on these suggestions to determine what the best path will be for me. The reflash of an OEM Exige ECU sounds like the short term solution but long term I am looking for the flexibility of a standalone system. I appreciate your comments and expertise. JP

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  • 1 year later...
  • Gold FFM
On 3/18/2017 at 00:30, Greg D said:

Hi Jason, I installed a Link ECU in my V8 last year. The Link model was the 'Thunder'. http://dealers.linkecu.com/G4PlusThunder  

The reason for a Link was purely around a local experienced installer / tuner lived close to me. I am sure there are better brands out there this was just the way I went. It was a very straight forward installation, took about 10 hours to remove the old unit and install the Link.  As Dan mentions the work is really in the mapping. We has a few niggles along the way but these were sorted out and the car performs really well and I am glad I went this way. The reason for the standalone install is to have tuning flexibility for when I install a modified engine next year, but that's another story....

If you decide to go the stand alone route and decide on a Link ECU PM me and I can forward on more details around who I used as I am sure he could talk to your local Link dealer and supply the maps he used for my car.     

Off course the less complicated, practical and more cost effective option is the one Mike mentions above!

All the best with your decision making

Greg

 

 

 

Hi Greg,

Are you still planning to install a modified engine? Do you have any details you could share?

cheers

-Chris

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Here's what I did on my 4 cylinder Esprit. 

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/910-megasquirt-339834/

I assume that an install for a V8 would be easier, due to more of the sensors already being fitted. The well moderated Megasquirt forums are full of help, and the MS3 and up ECU's can do whatever you'd like them to do.

That said, I echo the above advice to find an OEM ECU if you can. It's relatively easy to road tune with a wide-band O2 meter to get the beast running and the cruise and power settings right, but the devil is in the details like cold starting and boost & idle control. Tuning can become another time-consuming hobby/burden by itself. If you enjoy DIY and have the tools & your labor is free you can't beat the price and satisfaction, but otherwise don't consider it unless the parts are truly unavailable and you have acce$$ to an experienced tuner/installer.

Edited by snowrx
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On 14/04/2018 at 03:38, cweeden said:

Hi Greg,

Are you still planning to install a modified engine? Do you have any details you could share?

cheers

-Chris

Hi Chris

Yes, still intend to do the modifications. I managed to get another complete V8 engine which we have now stripped down. Its a part time project between myself and a friend (engine builder) and is fitting in around our day jobs over the course of this year. I have now got all the major parts I need for the rebuild (this took me 5 years to get the parts I wanted!) so we just need to get on with it now, but we are finding it challenging as things are pretty busy with work for both of us. The Link ECU install was the first step on the road to preparation for the modified engine. As far as the engine goes it will have forged coated pistons, billet rods (Saenz), Billet crank, Hybrid T-25 turbos using the internals from TB2804 turbos and water/methanol injection. Also using ARP head studs and bottom end kit.

Cheers

Greg

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  • Gold FFM

Hi Greg,

That sounds like a fun project and a familiar story trying to find the time to play with it. Keep us posted when you do manage to get cracking on it.

I played with water injection on my previous V8 but completely lacked any real science. It was a kit from http://www.aquamist-direct.com/aquamist-systems/ probably about 15 years ago (maybe more), it took a pulse trigger from  the fuel injection and for certain boost pressures only. It was fun to do and seat of the pants felt better but I was too green to monitor and measure, in hind sight I was lucky not to squirt too much water and damage the thing. :-)

cheers

-Chris

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Hi Chris

Will do. I can tell its going to be a long road to doing this engine as a spare time project but will keep updates coming. Your water injection story sound interesting! I settled on an AEM kit in the end for the water/methanol injection. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Did I hear someone say megasquirt?  Would love to share thoughts with someone on this adventure. After initially buying my v8 2 weeks back that had just had the ecu fixed, I immediately started thinking into a replacement. 

I've been Megasquirting on/off for the last 15 years and am no stranger to pioneering with a new platform where no base map is available. 

All I need to figure out is the trigger wheel on the crank/cam and I can get started. Install my own IAT and i'm sure the existing CLT sensor is a GM part with GM threads which can just be swapped over to the recommended "default" GM sensor if it's not already there from LOTus. 

Edited by v8GTmac1
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I feel like one could make things easier by getting a diagram from the Esprit manual and just make a patch harness to get the wiring part of the puzzle figured out. I honestly considered buying this https://www.diyautotune.com/product/ms3-pro-module/ and putting it in a GM case that has the same connector as the Esprit. Then you essentially have a plug and play unit that fits in the factory spot and uses the factory wiring harness. 

I'm thinking most of the sensors were GM anyways and those should translate right over. I actually thought there was an IAT sensor already on the engine. 

I run MS3Pro on another project, that's the only reason I'd  consider going down this route. I don't have a real reason to start the project of figuring all this out right now. But I am more than willing to collaborate ideas with the group.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 14/05/2018 at 11:30, Ruff Ryder 6 said:

I feel like one could make things easier by getting a diagram from the Esprit manual and just make a patch harness to get the wiring part of the puzzle figured out. I honestly considered buying this https://www.diyautotune.com/product/ms3-pro-module/ and putting it in a GM case that has the same connector as the Esprit. Then you essentially have a plug and play unit that fits in the factory spot and uses the factory wiring harness. 

I'm thinking most of the sensors were GM anyways and those should translate right over. I actually thought there was an IAT sensor already on the engine. 

I run MS3Pro on another project, that's the only reason I'd  consider going down this route. I don't have a real reason to start the project of figuring all this out right now. But I am more than willing to collaborate ideas with the group.

yup, it should be strait forward once the pinout is figured out. 

this is the V8 connector img_08061.jpg

THis is from DIYAutotune....https://www.diyautotune.com/product/diybob-breakout-adapter-bosch-88-pin/

And after looking at the CLT and IAt sensors on the motor, they are definately GM sensors. So 99% chance they are default for MS temp inputs so no calibration needed. If the 1% chance they are different, they can simply be swapped. The IAT is on the turbo outlet of the right turbo, I would prefer a reading from both turbos so dual IAT and Dual WIdeband would be ideal. 

Edited by v8GTmac1
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