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Old 10-10-2000, 11:51 AM   #1
8Complex

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Post Programmable ECU vs. Piggyback Electronics

I've been thinking about this one more and more lately and have come up with some conclusions that I hope you all will critcize so we can discuss.

Now I know the programmable ECU gives you more precise control, but what does it really entail? Owning a laptop and spending hours figure out what you're looking at before you can get values right?

With piggybacks like the ITC, S-AFC, J&S, and boost controller you can dial things in, but possibly not as acurately.

Now in comparison the programmable ECU is a decent way to go, but also a pain to program... you have to drag out the laptop (if you even own one, which I don't) and then drive around and analyze numbers (until you've figured them all out, that is). Now with piggybacks if you're having problems you just reach over and turn a knob or hit a few buttons and you get them dialed in fine.

Now the other trick in the two systems... boost control. If you turn down the boost on a programmable ECU system, the ECU may compensate, then again it may not. Though with the piggybacks you're almost assured that they will not compensate, correct?

---------------------------------------------

Now to the personal part of it all... Since I don't have a laptop, would the piggybacks be the easier way to go for me? I also plan on changing my boost levels fairly often (ie. maybe once or twice every 2-3 days depending on the driving situation).

Now I only plan on running an ITC, S-AFC, & boost controller if I get into it (who needs the J&S when you can listen for it by ear and actually LET OFF when something happens?) OR if I get a line on a decent & easily programmable ECU for about the same amount, I'll go with that.

Anyone with more knowledge on the topic want to help a confused soul?
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Old 10-10-2000, 12:00 PM   #2
Tony
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I don't believe the Wolf EMS needs a laptop. Supposedly you just give it the base map on your home PC then the fine tuning is done in the car through the interface.

Tony
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Old 10-10-2000, 12:27 PM   #3
R Diamond
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8, you can get away with not owning a laptop. How? (a) borrow someone else's (work?), (b) run a power inverter and use your desktop.

Sure, it's a pain, but it works.

Also, run the numbers on the cost. Piggybacks will only save you a few hundred, but they really limit what you can do. There's no limit to what you can do safely with a programmable system.

The programmable ECU always takes into account your boost level if you set it up properly. The correct method is to start mapping your engine at the wastegate spring setting (usually 5 psi). Then you re-map the engine slowly turning up the boost with the programmable ECU's boost controller. At each step, you'd make whatever adjustments are necessary to the map before increasing boost. And at each boost level, you save a correct map. Presto! Perfectly safe map for every condition, provided you don't rush things.

It's going to be a pain to program, but once you're done you're done. Shiv's now running 12psi of T03/04 boost on his MY99 with 1500F EGTs with the injectors at 85% duty cycle. Not that I'm experienced with such things, but I bet you if it's even possible to do that with piggybacks, it'd be more difficult, not less. (And I'm not sure you could get over the maxed out injector issue).

<A HREF="http://members.home.net/gopspin/"><IMG SRC="http://216.242.153.40/MembersList/UserPics/158/tiny2.gif" HEIGHT=53 WIDTH=82 ALT="My car" BORDER=0></A>

[This message has been edited by R Diamond (edited October 10, 2000).]
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Old 10-10-2000, 02:13 PM   #4
shiv
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The stock injectors reach 100 duty cycle at 1-2psi of boost. Above that, you're just running lean. Hence, the 1650 degree EGTs at 7psi with stock 280cc njectors and 1500 degree EGTs at 12 with TEC-II and 550cc injectors. Not only is the latter configuration 50% more powerful, it's also a lot safer in the long run.

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Old 10-10-2000, 02:19 PM   #5
ColinL
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Shiv-- is that number on the stock injectors assuming you keep stock fuel pressure?

Wouldn't it be fair to assume one of the piggybacks is a boost-referenced fuel pressure riser?
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Old 10-10-2000, 02:55 PM   #6
shiv
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I assumed the subject title, "piggy back electronics" only refers to electronics, not fuel pressure regulators

With 80psi of fuel pressure at 10psi of boost, you will get 27% more fuel flow. Essentially turning the 280cc injectors into 355cc injectors. Still only considered ideal for 210-240hp. Either way, injectors don't like to go static.

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Old 10-10-2000, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
(who needs the J&S when you can listen for it by ear and actually LET OFF when something happens?)
The trick with the J&S is to get it to cut back on the timing BEFORE there is any detonation.
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Old 10-10-2000, 04:19 PM   #8
Sean McElderry
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8-

I have done both. First I had the ITC, S-AFC, and AVC-R (timing, fuel, and boost). Now, I have the TEC-II doing all three.

Personally, I will NEVER go back to the piggyback method. Not for the RS. Do the piggybacks work? Yes. Is it safe? I think so...looking at Adam and Richard (as well as man others), it seems to work just fine. Is it more stressful on the engine than the TEC-II setup? Yes.

After experiencing the TEC-II, it's the obvious choice for engine control. Sometimes I wish I never looked at the TEC-II...I'd be $3000 richer

Maybe you should just never experience the TEC-II...then you could just go with the piggybacks and be perfectly happy

One last thing - I thought that I wanted to change boost levels often like you say you do. In the end, I realized that I don't want this. I want to pick a boost level and stick with it. Lowering the boost for daily driving SUCKS! After driving around at 8psi, then switching back to 3psi, the car feels like a golf cart.

Sean
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Old 10-10-2000, 11:23 PM   #9
doripreza
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8- the wolf3d runs about $1250.00

and yes mine is a Wolf3D

it does require a laptop to make the initial base curve but after a basic map is made it can be modified with the led console without an laptop. unless you want nice datalogging and pretty graphs the laptop isn't necassary
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Old 10-11-2000, 01:03 AM   #10
8Complex

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Tony - I've taken a look at that before, but I haven't heard of anyone using one or even developing one. Do you have any clue who sells/installs/uses them?

R Diamond - You're correct about the saving of maps, but I'm talking cranking it up during an autocross (or to play on the street) and turning it down for normal driving. This can only be done with the laptop though, correct? I mean if I want to change it for 20 minutes, thats a helluva hassle, right?

Oh and about running the desktop in the car... my monitor is a 20incher so there is NO WAY I'm even considering that one. I could probably get a cheap pI system for like $200, but thats just added costs. *shrug*

You're right about the duty cycle and running out of injector abilities, though. IIRC it was at 10psi when you absolutely needed to upgrade them, right? I think at 8psi you just needed to upgrade the fuel pump & regulator.
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Old 10-11-2000, 01:20 AM   #11
doripreza
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I just ordered my Wolf EMS
!! !!
should be here in 2 weeks.
its very simple to use compared to an Motec or something else. they even have an subaru harness with it..

Byron uses a wolf computer and some other Rx7 people but i don't really know anybody else.
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Old 10-11-2000, 01:21 AM   #12
8Complex

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doripreza - How much did the Wolf EMS run you? And was it the Wolf 3D?
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Old 10-11-2000, 01:32 AM   #13
Gambit
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Or is it Wolfenstein?
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Old 10-11-2000, 06:38 AM   #14
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Hey 8-
Depending upon what is needed for the laptop, check out e-Bay and get yourself an old laptop for like $100. Just a thought...

-Rez


[This message has been edited by Rez (edited October 11, 2000).]
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Old 10-11-2000, 09:12 AM   #15
8Complex

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doripreza - Cool sounds like it's not too bad of a system.

Rez - Yeah, I've been checking out the <a href="http://www.pricewatch.com/1/247/2491-1.htm" target="_blank">refurbished notebooks</a> at www.pricewatch.com lately to see what they've got. Not too bad of deals, either.
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Old 10-11-2000, 09:43 AM   #16
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what about for a stage I what would you need?
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Old 10-11-2000, 09:52 AM   #17
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doripreza (or anyone else), would you mind elaborating more about the Wolf3D (are you sure you are not talking about Wolfenstein 3D?)

-who resells it
-website, if any
-what it comes with - I like the fact that the Vishnu TECII replaces many of the sensors.

thanks...
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Old 10-11-2000, 02:39 PM   #18
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8, if you need a cheap lap top let me know.i manage a major electronic store in the schaumburg area,should be no problem getting you a cheap reliable laptop under a warrenty. let me know,im local to you....
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Old 10-11-2000, 02:55 PM   #19
doripreza
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TR-
About the Wolf EMS.

I got mine through byron who i think is the only reseller out right now that i know of..
http://www.b-specusa.com
(dispite all the rumors he still sells dope parts)
anyway you can find out about the computer at http://www.wolfems.com/Products/EMS/...D/wolf_3d.html
hope that helps some

[This message has been edited by doripreza (edited October 11, 2000).]
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Old 10-11-2000, 02:57 PM   #20
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Well on the EFI system I got you can swap maps with a switch. The ecu has two memory "locations" that may or may not be different chips. When the switch is open the ECU runs map 1, shorted it runs map 2. Then it also has the ability to have a 10K ohm pot wired in which will allow a 0-10 degrees of ignition timing to be removed. You could in theory make a switch to cut the 10 degrees of out and have a valet mode w/o using the second map.

As far as laptops go, I got mine for free, but its a old 486Sx33 w 4MB of ram. Not critical as the efi tuning software will run on a 286.

Also while it is not as powerful as the TecII and does not include the coils, it was only $630+ shipping when I bought it.
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Old 10-11-2000, 03:01 PM   #21
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yeah, the piggybacks work. Is it idea? Nope, but its easier IMHO. The choice on my car was simple..I have aTEC2 on another car, and while it was the sinlge biggest improvement I ever made to it (its o my ZX Turbo), I wanted to do this one abit differently...I am happy with th piggyback method.

No info on the Wolf, but I don't think its widely used here in the states. At the time I got my TEC, I looked at a bunch of others (Motech, Haltech, DFI, SDS), but the TEC wsa the best bet. And for a 4 cylinder, its downright inexpensive (on a cost basis at least, not sure what the resellers charge...something my wallet thankfully didn't have to confront)
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Old 10-11-2000, 03:08 PM   #22
shiv
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Adam,

Has you ZX ever bent a rod?

Shiv
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Old 10-11-2000, 03:53 PM   #23
8Complex

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I'm still drawn between the two, though I have to admit that the entire problem is the price difference. I would go with the TEC-II setup if it was $1000 less, but $2500 for what I can spend around $1200 on just doesn't seem right (300 ITC, 300 S-AFC, 200 boost controller, 500 injectors - ok I left off knock detection, but there is a stock sensor and my ears work fairly well too).
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Old 10-11-2000, 05:05 PM   #24
ColinL
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So get a haltech E6K! Trey will sell you one without coils and with whatever crank trigger you want.
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Old 10-11-2000, 05:20 PM   #25
Sean McElderry
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8-

But how do you control larger injectors with the stock ECU?

Sean
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