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Old 04-14-2016, 03:44 PM   #1
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Default Best ECU for ME, and for my MSM

I'm looking for advice on how to choose a stand alone ECU for my MSM.

I have a 2005 MSM with the FM little enchilada kit. Daily driving it has become unbearable with the fuel delivery delay. I'm ready to go to a stand alone ECU and my head is spinning from reading all the options and opinions. I was all set to go Hydra from FM because of the plug and play and support, but then I learned about other options like Megasquirt.

I'm a tinkerer, and I LOVE working on my cars. I also have a fair amount of computer knowledge. On the flip side of the coin, I don't have much free time these days.

I would like something that is plug and play, and i don't mind a trip to a dyno for some fine tuning. Beyond that, I don't really want to dump much more time or money into the car. I just want to get in it every day, start it up and drive to work. Oh, and be able to safely run it on the racetrack for HPDE a few times per summer.

Given the above, I was all set to buy the Hydra, but the steep price tag kept me away. Then I learned there are cheaper options that I would be willing to try if they aren't too demanding and finicky (cold start problems, AC control, idle problems, etc...)

Any guidance you all can provide would be appreciated.
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Old 04-14-2016, 03:45 PM   #2
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the answer is always the same

megasquirt
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Old 04-14-2016, 03:46 PM   #3
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MSPNP Pro. Cheaper, easier to tune on your own, more support.
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Old 04-14-2016, 03:50 PM   #4
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MS3 Basic. Cheapest fully-featured MS3 product on the market, constant development, world-class support.

Product Link - MSLabs MS3 Basic @ Trackspeed Engineering

Last edited by Savington; 04-14-2016 at 05:29 PM. Reason: derp
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Old 04-14-2016, 03:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
the answer is always the same

megasquirt
That seems to be dependant on which group of people you talk to. On the MSM board there seem to be a lot of people who favor the Hydra. that's why I wanted to ask here.

And, I am having a difficult time understanding where to procure megasquirt. There seems to be several different kinds/brands/flavors. Is there a prefered place that offers plug and play and offers at least minimal support for tuning?

Thanks.

Edit: damn you guys are quick. Studying up on the two suggestions above that came in while I was typing.
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Old 04-14-2016, 03:55 PM   #6
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I try to visit M-S often and see tons of people with megasquirts there.
the easiest/simplest is to order one from DIYautotune.

I think the biggest reason people there run hydra is because they just buy the big enchilada or stick with all FM parts or FM recommended parts.

for the price of the insanely overpriced hydra unit, you can have the most fancy megasquirt, installed, and tuned, by a professional, in your car.
also hydra charges you for literally everything, and doesn't support you unless you keep sending them your money.
years down the road when the now-current hydra is outdated and they no longer support it, you will be stuck without support from either companies, with your thumb up your butt, needing to learn to tune a terribly set up interface

seriously. do some research. I've yet to see anyone pick a hydra for any other reason other than "FM recommends/supports it"
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
I try to visit M-S often and see tons of people with megasquirts there.
the easiest/simplest is to order one from DIYautotune.

I think the biggest reason people there run hydra is because they just buy the big enchilada or stick with all FM parts or FM recommended parts.

for the price of the insanely overpriced hydra unit, you can have the most fancy megasquirt, installed, and tuned, by a professional, in your car.
also hydra charges you for literally everything, and doesn't support you unless you keep sending them your money.
years down the road when the now-current hydra is outdated and they no longer support it, you will be stuck without support from either companies, with your thumb up your butt, needing to learn to tune a terribly set up interface

seriously. do some research. I've yet to see anyone pick a hydra for any other reason other than "FM recommends/supports it"
Thanks. I agree with you, FM is the easy button but you pay for it.

I'm researching constantly, and every time I dig into it I get more confused. I'll spend some time on the DIYautotune site.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
MS3 Basic. Cheapest fully-featured MS3/MS3X product on the market, constant development, world-class support.

Product Link - MSLabs MS3 Basic @ Trackspeed Engineering
MS3 Basic uses its own expander board. The MS3x is a B&G product meant to be used with the MS3 daughterboard.

An MS3 Basic isn't an MS3/MS3x. It is in its own little world.

Only way to get an MS3/MS3x is to buy one from brain or build your own.
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:29 PM   #9
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MS3 Basic uses its own expander board. The MS3x is a B&G product meant to be used with the MS3 daughterboard.

An MS3 Basic isn't an MS3/MS3x. It is in its own little world.

Only way to get an MS3/MS3x is to buy one from brain or build your own.
Derp, yes. I should know better. Dimitris (Reverent) builds his own expander, adds unique circuitry, better filtering circuits, better power/ground management, etc. He takes an MS3 and polishes it to a level that an enthusiast with a solder gun would struggle to get to.
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Old 04-14-2016, 06:28 PM   #10
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I like reverent's ms2e. Yes it's not as new as the ms3 but comes with majority of the features of the ms3 without the cost. Save you a few hundred bucks.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Derp, yes. I should know better. Dimitris (Reverent) builds his own expander, adds unique circuitry, better filtering circuits, better power/ground management, etc. He takes an MS3 and polishes it to a level that an enthusiast with a solder gun would struggle to get to.
^Right here.


MS3, whatever configuration Dimitris deems necessary (likely MS3 Basic).




When planning to VVT swap my 94, I had the same questions. 100% of my prior experience was with OEM systems, repairing OEM problems, on largely OEM setup cars (Mechanic). I have a great grasp of how, say, Launch/Snap-on/dealer scanners work and how to interpret and use them, but zero knowledge of anything aftermarket.

Dimitris held my hand, and gave me a great ECU, with INSTRUCTIONS and a plug and play wiring harness. To install the MS3, I only had to wire in my wideband 02 sensor, 3 or 4 wires, and run a vacuum line to the MS3 inside the car, which I did by drilling a small hole by the shifter, and running the line along the speedo cable. That is it.


My wiring diagrams (via all-data), were written mirrored: instead of labeling the pins 1/2/3, it had them 3/2/1 in the description page, but on the color chart they were in the correct 1/2/3 order. Dimitris (and the forum) helped me sort all that out, and the car is running happily. There's still a bit of work to do for sub-20*F starting, and I need to lean the idle out a bit, and lower the rpm a tad. But I have 100% faith that my car could cross the country and back; with zero issues what-so-ever.




Tuner Studio is fairly well laid out (if you have zero experience with OE systems, I'd say it's very well laid out) and adjustments are simple. I'm very happy I went with MS3, and I'd recommend it to anyone. Dimitris and the forum are amazing resources if you need any help.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:53 PM   #12
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Hydra is going out of business from what I hear. Would avoid like the plague.

MS3 has so much support its a no-brainer.

That said I'm running an Adaptronic 440 in my MSM and its been great. I find the WARI software very intuitive, but it is more difficult to find forum support. It's a bit more money than the MS3 too.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:49 PM   #13
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This, this, or this are what you want. All 3 can basically do the same things and should get you started quickly.

Last edited by shuiend; 04-26-2016 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:55 AM   #14
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FYI the DIY link is bad
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_boone View Post
FYI the DIY link is bad
This is the correct one.

https://www.diyautotune.com/product/...daspeed-miata/

Keep in mind with MegaSquirt distributors, you're picking who supports your build as well as what specific hardware version you will be running.
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:42 AM   #16
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I compare ECUs to smartphones. The way I look at it is Android vs Apple vs Windows phone. Hydra could be Windows phone, AEM Apple, megasquirt Android.

For Android they are all running the same OS (But maybe different versions) just like we have a variety of megasquirt chips (MS3, MS2, MS3pro). But they all are in a slightly different package from a different vendor. They will all do the same thing just like all Android phones will do the same thing, but you will have different hardware configurations and different support systems.

Take your time to do the research and pick the platform that best suits your needs.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:51 PM   #17
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:39 AM   #18
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I like the analogy between smart phones. Makes a lot of sense.

I'm set on MS, and I've located a tuner in Indy that is comfortable with both the MSM and with MS. I've reached out to Reverent and will likely buy through him. Just trying do a little bit more research before I pull the trigger.

He has recommended MS2e for the MSM an my tuner says get the newest available, the MS3. Seems like the MS2e has more features but just has a slower processor.

Any thoughts on which would be a better fit for the MSM?

Last edited by SpeedracerIndy; 04-26-2016 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:44 AM   #19
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I'd personally go for a MS3.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:09 AM   #20
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ms3 is definitely better
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