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Old 01-21-2018, 10:10 PM   #1
93ImprezaLFWD
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Default Standalone and Piggyback tuning???

Iíve searched this a bit and havenít come up with anything leading me to believe this is or is not possible but I do not see why it wouldnít be possible.
Iím interested in using an engine management system that is not Subaru specific, such as a hondata or something of that nature. Possibly even a later model ECU that can be used with COBB. I ran across a website called DIYtuning.
They sell ECU plugs and I just wanted some advice or pointers on weather or not it should be done. Iím not looking to base this on any specific engine just Subaru in general.

Thanks in advance for any advice or pointers.
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:38 AM   #2
bobjr94
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It all depends on what year and model you are working on. Like a 96 impreza would not have a flashable ecu, but a 2003 wrx would. I don't think an aftermarket ecu marketed for hondas (or nissans, toyotas...) would work on a subaru, unless you can setup the cam, crank and other sensors and outputs like ignition and avcs in the standalone ecu.

Since subaru ecu's are so easily programmed there isn't much need to most people to use aftermarket systems anymore. If you are thinking about a turbo engine swap to an older car easiest thing it get a ecu and harness from a vehicle supported by cobb if you wish to use an accessport. But you can also use opensource tuning on most turbo subaru ecu's, even from non US markets (jdm), if you are looking at buying an ebay turbo motor and ecu.
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:47 PM   #3
93ImprezaLFWD
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I honestly didnít even consider sensor outputs being a problem so thank you for bringing that to my attention. Iím still interested in tuning somehow on an OBD1 engine. Everything Iíve found says VERY few ECUís are supported for programs such as evoscan unless itís a WRX and STI ECU. Which is fine if needed Iím sure one of those could be sourced I just wasnít sure if anyone had heard of the for-mentioned site and thought about using different ECUís. And by Honda Iím referring to a Hondata ECU or just about any other aftermarket ECU for manufacturers as well. I just found the plugs and didnít know if it would spark an interest or if someone had attempted it before.
And thank you again for your input
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:17 PM   #4
Vancouver98STi
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I don't know what engine you have exactly, or what it is you wish to control... but some of us with older JDM WRX/STi vehicles have been waiting patiently for RobTune to come up with something for our cars. Have a look HERE... and if this might apply to you, please send Rob a message to help spur him on.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:09 PM   #5
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You've essentially described MegaSquirt as well as any motorsport-quality ECU (MoTeC, Pectel, etc.).

On older (GC-era) fuel injected cars, your biggest concern is sensor compatibility with the old cam/crank sensors.

Newer cars (GD-era), you've got drive-by-wire and cam control to think about.

Modern cars (GR and newer), you've also got CANBUS to worry about (and MORE cams to control/monitor). At this point, you may quickly hit a price wall for aftermarket options that have enough I/O to control your platform unless you start gutting OEM features like ABS, etc. Running out of I/O is a hard limit that usually either requires a massive hardware upgrade ($$$) or making some concessions on what sensors you want vs. what sensors you need, etc. A MegaSquirt box *might* control a motor in a newer car... but it would be a stretch (you might end up removing so much that it would be akin to dropping a carburated motor into an FD RX7).

One little side detail that always puts a big smile on my face is how many dead ECU wires you end up having when you convert to a standalone on anything made after 2000, or so (particularly cars sold in the USA). The number of emissions-related sensors you will no longer be using is absolutely astounding... especially around the fuel tank.

My biggest suggestion - if you don't intend to learn the platform like the back of your hand, make damn sure you have a local, available, and reliable tuner for it. It was EXTREMELY difficult to book my initial MoTeC tune locally but I now understand the M800 platform pretty damn well and would be a lot more comfortable tuning on a dyno using the base fuel map I've come away with. Also beware that this is a slippery slope... I have ~5-6 hours of tuning time in my mapping from John Reed, and about 200-300+ hours of my own refinements including anti-lag, intercooler auto-spray, diff. control, launch control, traction control, etc... your tune will never be 100% complete once you fully understand your tuning software.

Last edited by mrsaturn7085; 01-23-2018 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:22 PM   #6
93ImprezaLFWD
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Well the only ďspeedshopĒ near me will only dyno fuel injection not tune it. They only tune carbs. So unless I want to make a long trip south Iíll be tuning it myself which Iím aware is not recommended but anything can be learned with the internet a few books and a platform to practice lol. But Iím curious what all options are out there for older cars with safety measures as well
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:32 PM   #7
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Play with the software daily until you understand it - make sure you have some kind of base map for a motor similar to yours (Subaru boxer, same displacement, same style of cams, and turbo vs. N/A). That's enough to get started.

Two things that will help a TON here - having reasonable timing base map(s) and using factory equivalent cam advance maps.

Then when you finally get it on the dyno -

Watch your live AFR and listen to knock.

Start at wastegate pressure (boost control OFF) and get your WOT pull dialed-in first by watching AFR as you floor it on the dyno. Lift if you approach excessively lean or rich numbers. After a little bit, you'll get your baseline fuel curve that can help you dial in the rest of the map.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:45 PM   #8
93ImprezaLFWD
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Yeah thatís going to be the most difficult part is getting the base map for a 95 2.2L or a 93 1.8L
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:29 PM   #9
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Can you pull the OEM spark tables from ROM dumps?
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:04 PM   #10
93ImprezaLFWD
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From what Iíve read, which is quite a bit no one has been able to access those ECUís so far
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:00 AM   #11
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Yeah, i was wondering if you could just copy the base tables from the ecu/motor you want to use, then copy and paste them to the honda ecu(the numbers in the feilds for the maps ). And work it from there, but as ive learned working on a subaru...nothing is easy and every little part has a role in howit operates properly, even a diff hose size/length lol
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:49 AM   #12
93ImprezaLFWD
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See that wouldnít be a problem if you could use a piggyback and actually log the map it sees. But I never took into consideration the sensors giving and receiving different voltages/resistance to the ECU. So unless we could get that to match up the ECU probably wouldnít recognize the signals itís receiving.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 93ImprezaLFWD View Post
See that wouldnít be a problem if you could use a piggyback and actually log the map it sees. But I never took into consideration the sensors giving and receiving different voltages/resistance to the ECU. So unless we could get that to match up the ECU probably wouldnít recognize the signals itís receiving.
You are talking about reverse-engineering the entire ECU using a brute-force method. While possible, I suggest you don't peruse this path unless you have a strong background in electrical engineering AND coding.

-Logging the raw data isn't tough.
-Taking raw data and converting it into a readable format isn't tough.
-Doing both is a lot larger endeavor.
-Doing both and doing it in a manner that actually produces usable tables is where it becomes crazy.

Let's say, for instance, you log 5000 RPM, 3.0 V MAF, and 28 deg of IGN advance? How much of that is coolant temp. compensation? How much of that is air temp. compensation? How much of that is caused by accel. advance?

See where I'm going here?

Find a good tuner (really search for someone with experience on these motors) - pay for a base map (4-6 hour tune) on the management of your choice, and learn to refine it yourself. This is the most cost effective solution.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:26 PM   #14
93ImprezaLFWD
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Yes I agree I do not have the skill set to build it from the bottom up I wasnít saying Iíd want to try either really lol. Iíll probably look for someone who has a base map or can build one to start off
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:17 AM   #15
whiterabbitrexy
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So if u want to turn your old school obd1 ecu into a full stand alone ecu u can...please check enduring solution's els daughter boards..... u send them your ecu and they put a chipset so u can ad a rom and start touching all imputs....


mrsaturn7085 seems to know what he's talking about if he is tuning a motech....motech here in Australia is a hard ecu to tune ....please dont ask me why ....maybe just the software platform layout people don't know how to use?
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:12 PM   #16
mrsaturn7085
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Like any other standalone, a month or two playing with the software will get you very familiar with how to use it!

You can certainly get yourself into trouble more easily with the more motorsport-geared units due to how 'open' the parameters are.
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:05 PM   #17
93ImprezaLFWD
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I donít know of anyone closer to the states than enduring solutions that seems like the perfect route I have a 95 2.2l ECU that I can send off but I donít know if i would want to send if that far and I donít know anyone closer to the states. I mean if it boils down to doing that then I will but Iím curious if itís engine specific or not.
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