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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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switching between ECU programmes

Hi

I intend putting in a 2 litre twin spark with ECU into my Alfetta but wanted to know if with the other engine management systems you can arrange it so it can switch between the original chip (programme) and a secondary high perfromance programme (maintaining two programmes or a 2nd chip)?

As the car is intended as a daily driver with the occassional track work it would be good to be able to switch between two programmes at the press of a button instead of just settling with one or the other option.

Can this be done ? Is one Engine Management system better than the other? Any advice would be appreciated.



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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 07:49 AM
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What differences would you expect between the two calibrations?

Considering that the two driving modes are so different, it's not all that hard to make a calibration that makes best power also drive really well.

The only real difference between the two, I could see, is if you were to run super premium fuel in one, and regular in the other so that you have to adjust the spark with the lower octane fuel.

But since you would be able to define the tune, you can do what you want at the top end. Which is nowhere near the normal driving areas.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 11:54 AM
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There has been talk with ITB's running TPS based for race but MAP for day to day.
but both can be tuned very good for ether. but it seems for non-perfect maps TPS based has faster response. but MAP based is better at the low load stuff.
now a good ECU will have mixing between the two. so if you get it set up right you get the best of both. but is the hardest to get right.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by slyalfa View Post
There has been talk with ITB's running TPS based for race but MAP for day to day.
but both can be tuned very good for ether. but it seems for non-perfect maps TPS based has faster response. but MAP based is better at the low load stuff.
now a good ECU will have mixing between the two. so if you get it set up right you get the best of both. but is the hardest to get right.
It's always easier to make peak power than it is to make the car drive really, really well.

Peak power calibrations take 1-2 days for a production car.

The rest takes a good year of a small fleet of cars, and tons of various conditions. Although, you can do it well within 3 months, as long as you can fit hot, cold, high, low, dry, humid- etc within some environmental rooms.

Regardless of the source of air estimate- it's just the way it is.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 02:31 PM
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True. but with a good closed loop it can be quiet good as long as you have it close so it will run untill the O2 gets warm. And used the O2 data to fix your maps.
My ECU runs a ton better then the L-jet ever did at all the strange start ups temps but I never tuned it in bad weather. but when I have went to reno in the winter it start right up first try. some of the guys in real cold places have to muck with the cold enrichment a tad where temps are like -20 to -40.
getting the warm (normal)map has taken a lot of time. but most of it is just driving logging and run the log thru a program to touch up the ve maps. the spark map is hard as there is no feedback like the O2. and I did have to detune the low RPM advance curve to make bumper to bumper driving better. with a tuned spark map the car just wants to take off and is very hard to keep it slow. It would be fine for say track. But having it detuned would not hurt track as you should never be down there at low RPM at a track.
So for the most part street tuning will not hurt track tuning. but track tuning can hurt street tuning. as track tuning has a lot of holes in the map mostly just WOT tuning. and everything else badly tuned. while street tuning would want the VE tuned at all the loads not just pedal to the metal.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 04:54 AM
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Still, a really good calibration will put all together.

It amazes me how often you see OEM calibrations re-tuned for more power. Most people think that we (I am a Ford calibator) leave on the on the table intentionally. That is partially true- but just to make sure the vehicle will last 15 years- over enrichment keeps the exhaust components from expiring, spark retard keeps the engine from a premature death, etc.

It's a lot harder to find that sweetspot to preserve the engine than it is to make the best possible power.

And I personally think that a good driveabilty calibration works well with a best track calibration- they tend to be so far apart in reality that it's easy to deal with.

Still, in this case, it should not be all that hard to have a calibration that is perfect on the track, and very, very good on the road. (and perfect over time).

BTW, what you call a wideband o2 senor (I call a UEGO) is one of the main keys to a killer calibration. Especially if you can turn it on before the engine starts.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for getting back to me. The idea was to maintain the original programming to make the best of fuel efficiency and overall driveability but to have a more high performance programme when doing track work. I assume the later would require the input of more fuel to get more performance. So what you gain on the round about you lose on the swing.

From your comments the general opinion seems to be to just have the one programme which is somwhere inbetween the standard programme and a high performance one.

I was considering the ITB's, just depends on budget.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marks alfetta View Post
Thanks for getting back to me. The idea was to maintain the original programming to make the best of fuel efficiency and overall driveability but to have a more high performance programme when doing track work. I assume the later would require the input of more fuel to get more performance. So what you gain on the round about you lose on the swing.

From your comments the general opinion seems to be to just have the one programme which is somwhere inbetween the standard programme and a high performance one.

I was considering the ITB's, just depends on budget.
More fuel does not equal more power. There are some OEM cals where the peak power is underfueled, but MOST are over fueled- to protect hardware. Once you modify the engine, the original calibration isn't normally valid anyway...

Also, if you go ITB's, the base system isn't going to work too well.... Or at least will take a whole lot of tinkering.

Still, for best fuel, air, and spark at wide open is easy. And very possible to blend that with the best fuel, air, and spark at light loads. That's the beauty of a computer.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 11:40 AM
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I totally agree with Tubolare spider except for one area - you might be able to get more power at the track if you use race gas (what we call 100 Octane here...normal is 91 or 93 octane for premium) which would require a separate map with more ignition advance.

Tubolare, I wish I could pick your brain and see how the OEM's pair good throttle response with good low-end driveability. My car running VEMS has good response with Alpha-n, but worse than OEM response when running MAP. The original ECU blended TPS and MAP I believe, but I'm not sure how exactly.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 06:39 AM
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There is an ECU which has a switch for 3 stored maps that can me changed on the fly. It's the Emerald K3. I have acquired this ECU for my Twin Spark, but have not installed it yet. I've been reading through the huge manual and am amazed at the capabilities of the thing. They give the reason for the 3 maps as some of the things that people here have been saying. They suggest a map for street gas, one for race gas, and a "guest" map, in case you let a friend who is not a racer to drive your car and don't trust his/her abilities.

It also has the wide band O2 sensor with adaptive learning. It's its own logger so you don't have to log separately. After a time of driving, it will suggest the most efficient map and you can just instruct it to accept that map and overwrite the base map.

My intention is to do this as the first map for normal driving, copy it to the second map and have a dyno shop modify that for performance driving, and for the third, a map that will pass smog here in California for a "Smog" map. If the first map passes smog(which it might very well do), maybe I'll do a high octane map.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2010, 06:03 PM
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Some thing else to consider is a very lean cruise map setting. For years, here in Australia, the 2 major manufacturers were using lean cruise modes for their cars and getting very good open road economy. Big cars getting better than 8 litres per 100kms.
When the emission rules changed, more recent models (with upgrades like 4 valve per cylinder heads and continuously variable valve timing) weren't able to utilize any form of lean cruise mode and have suffered quite substantially as a result.

So rather than tune for cruise AFR's of 14.7:1, an economy map could uses as little as 17:1 for highway work. Obviously attention to exhaust gas temperatures and detonation is a very good idea when tuning.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 06:42 AM
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i have this exact thing going on my 75 TS, its really simple, I have one ECU stock and one with a performance chip mapped for super unleaded. I plug in whichever one I want and go! Of course it does mean lifting up the carpet every now and then, but thats probs the quickest thing you will do before a track day compared to switching out brake pads etc. To be honest though, I tend to run the chipped ECU all the time any way as its cheaper (in the UK) to run, balancing the difference in price between reg and super unleaded and the extra performance, if I drive more sensibly, I get way better mileage on super with the chipped computer.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 07:29 AM
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That is a good approach as long as all the engine ancillaries are still the same. If one puts a Twin Spark in as I did or as the original poster (Mark) did, they are likely to either change the AFM or the throttle body out. Certainly at a minimum rip out the AFM and drill some ports for a MAP. And even if maintaining the one throttle body, one would certainly change out the position switch for a position sensor that way you can take full advantage of the mapping functions of the new ECU.

This has been my approach. The AFM will be gone and I'm putting in individual throttle bodies ported for a MAP. I am using the Bosch wiring and the AFM plug is rewired to the MAP and a separate IAT sensor. The plug in the cabin will be the same and I'll make a patch cable for the new ECU, but I would not be able to plug the old one back in without changing back the intake plenum and AFM.

It is hard for me to imagine spending close to (or more than) 1000 pounds/euros/dollars on an ECU and not changing something in the engine. If you didn't make a substantial change in the engine parts, wouldn't you just spend a few hundred on a chip? Maybe the more modern engines don't need anything changed? Maybe they don't use AFMs anymore?

I have to admit the the 8V Twin Spark is the most modern engine I'm familiar with, so I don't know how good the successors are.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 01:15 PM
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The 8v twinspark is surely to be considered the most modern alfa engine period! ...No General Motors blocks here! lol
I agree, aftermarket ecu's are a waste of time / money if you're not running serious modifications, although, in fairness, even a sport exhaust or high flow filter need mapping to make full use of them. A STOCK twinspark in a spider / 105 should fly with the right gear ratios though!

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 03:30 PM
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I am using a Dtafast after market ecu and it has two maps that I can switch back and forth . The only real use I have made with the second map is for drive-ability tuning. I can make a change to one map and then road test . Try one then the other.

When I get the car on the road in the spring I think I will need good gas bad gas maps as I am putting in 11:1 pistons .


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