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Review of the Adaptronic Select NB8A plugin

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Review of the Adaptronic Select NB8A plugin

 
Old 12-11-2018, 12:55 AM
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Default Review of the Adaptronic Select NB8A plugin

My review of the Adaptronic Select NB8A plugin


Installation:

Can’t fault this. It was stupidly easy, literally plugs right in.

The only changes I had to make were because I chose to use a wideband (and tbh, who wouldn’t) and that I swapped the stock air temp sensor for a GM one.

WBo2 was as simple as wiring the sensor and gauge in as per the manual for it, and then plugging the 2.5mm serial plug into the jack on the ECU.

The temp sensor was as simple as removing the OEM one, screwing in the GM one (I just made up a tube where the AFM would normally be) and then clipping the wires off the OEM plug and attaching the pigtail for the GM one.

Stupidly simple.



Software:

The ECU can use WARI or Eugene.

Personally I much preferred Eugene, easier to navigate and looks a lot nicer than the “homebrew win95” aesthetic of Wari.

As far as using it to tune, seemed find for load tuning, although I did only a little bit of that.

Cranking fuel seemed stupid, even massive fuelling changes seemed to not make much difference.



Base tune:

The one Adaptronic supply is shitful.

Seriously, the crank map they give you consists of “**** it, let’s open the injectors until it hydrolocks”

The ignition map, according to my tuner, was weirdly aggressive and the only reason it wasn’t pinging was that it was so rich.

Fuel map was rich as hell, but frankly, that’s expected.

Transient throttle was pretty much left blank, no accel enrich at all.

Seriously, it seems like someone just started to plug figures in and then halfway said “**** it, it’s Friday, I’m off to the pub”



Other tune stuff:

Idle control is ****, especially with any elec load.

When the thermos fans come on the idle drops for a moment, then the revs rise.

If you’ve also got the interior fan going, or lights on, the idle drops even lower, before then jumping by about 1000rpm, then dropping to normal.

If the engine stalls (yep, sometimes the idle drops that far) the restart usually involves flat footing into flood clear mode, and a shitton of cranking.



Tuner:

Tuner I used was an Adaptronic approved one, and supposedly has done quite a few MX5s with them.

Also has a name as apparently one of the best in the state. (wont say the name publically, but PM if you're in Vic and want to know the full story)

Car cam back after the 4th visit, where he’d supposedly sorted out all the issues, with the following issues:

Idle issue as above

2000rpm and ~20% throttle would lean out to 17:1

Cold starts were ****, but it at least started on the 8th crank or so

Transient throttle would spike lean, then spike rich (oh fun, 18:1 then suddenly 9:1)

Light throttle would make the car buck and jerk so hard I swear it was about to rip the engine mounts off.

The second the weather warmed up it went back to not starting…



Support:

Ha, good luck.

Their recommended tuner was crap, not sure if it was lack of skill, or lack of giving a ****.

Because there have been so many versions of the Adaptronic ECU most of the stuff online is out of date.

And their website doesn’t have info anymore since they’ve been bought out by Haltech.

I can only imagine this would be far worse for the majority of you guys since you’re in the USA.





End result:

After having owned the Adaptronic and running it for over a year, I eventually sorted it out and got my car running properly again.

The solution was to rip the POS out, and sell it to some poor ****** who can learn the hard way like I did.



So yeah, save the headaches and the shockingly bad base maps, and the crap idle control and don’t buy an Adaptronic Select.
Go buy a Megasquirt and get a better ECU in every way for a similar price, or spend the extra on a Haltech since they're supposedly good too (although i've never used one)
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:07 AM
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Base maps are only to get the car cranked so it can be tuned. They aren't really supposed to be ready to go anywhere except the tuner.

Deficiencies that may or may not exist in the hardware and software are something I cannot speak to.
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:37 AM
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Sounds like the car needed to be tuned.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:23 PM
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I can back his statements, lack of any documentation which is up to date, accurate or uses consistent terminology makes it hard even for someone who has tuned hundreds of miatas to get a car which consistently runs right.

There are software features that even the owner of the company doesnt remember the specifics of, and can only tell you "Just leave that box unticked, we put it in for one guy with a weird lotus problem.".

No documentation to explain anything, for the most part.

You are left fiddling and hoping to fall of settings which work, and its anyones guess if it will stay working in different conditions because you cant find out how the functions work without having andy's personal mobile number.

Dann
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by hks_kansei View Post
Go buy a Megasquirt and get a better ECU in every way for a similar price, or spend the extra on a Haltech since they're supposedly good too (although i've never used one)
I picked up a Haltech Elite 1500 recently. I will be setting it up in my car sometime in the future. The plan is to do a good comparison between it and a MS3.
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
Base maps are only to get the car cranked so it can be tuned. They aren't really supposed to be ready to go anywhere except the tuner..
I totally understand that, but generally you'd expect the base map to also be pretty conservative, timing a little more retarded than normal, and fuel a little rich.
Not have a timing map that's more advanced than factory and then just dump fuel it so it wont ping.

And yeah, you'd expect the crank map to need work, but not just literally fill a cylinder with fuel.



Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
Sounds like the car needed to be tuned.
yep, but the fact that the professional, that the ECU manufacturer says they recommend, had it for 4 separate visits, each one usually for 2 days and the final result was something that would sort of start in cold, and MAYBE start on a hot day, and would lean out when the throttle was pressed quickly.

Ran great at flat throttle, but that's not exactly hard to do.

But yeah, the fact that a guy with years of experience with these ECUs (among others), and obviously WAY more than myself, couldnt even get it to 80% drivable, then yeah...
Maybe he sucks at tuning? maybe he just couldn't be bothered? Maybe the ECU sucks harder than I think?
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Old 12-11-2018, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by nitrodann View Post
I can back his statements, lack of any documentation which is up to date, accurate or uses consistent terminology makes it hard even for someone who has tuned hundreds of miatas to get a car which consistently runs right.

There are software features that even the owner of the company doesnt remember the specifics of, and can only tell you "Just leave that box unticked, we put it in for one guy with a weird lotus problem.".

No documentation to explain anything, for the most part.

You are left fiddling and hoping to fall of settings which work, and its anyones guess if it will stay working in different conditions because you cant find out how the functions work without having andy's personal mobile number.

Dann

Pretty much.

Random toggle boxes like one that just says "1/64", which apparently needs to be ticked so that an NB will idle or something..... that the documentation doesnt explain, it just says "use this"

NB Installation manual that tells you to install the MAP hose to a line that doesnt exist on an NB.

Arbitrary unlabeled options in the software (especially WARI)



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Old 12-11-2018, 07:32 PM
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Manual which uses different terms for the same thing in different places, including a different term in the software than in the manual making it impossible to know for sure how it works, mistakes in wiring because hardware changes on the ecu years ago have never been updated in the manual, etc

Dann
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