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Old 03-17-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
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Default Bentwrench's build thread

Not sure if I should start a thread or a blog... I'll start it here, and we'll see where it goes.

I'm starting this thread to document the modding of my MSM. My goals were low cost, high DIY. The car is daily driven, but I'm hoping to start autoxing this summer. I'm in Canada, so useability both in 100F+ temperatures and -0F temperatures is a consideration. That said, my commute is really short, and I can work from home, so I can take some risks with reliability.

I have probably better than average mechanical skills for a backyard mechanic - I rebuilt a motorcycle engine, and usually do all of my own maintenance on my vehicles. And I have (rusty) electronics skills, which will come in handy as I'm planning to use a megasquirt to handle the fuel, spark and boost control on the car. I'm toying with the thoughts of barometric pressure correction, water injection and launch control, but that will have to wait until I can at least get the car running.

Parts acquired so far (all prices in USD, and don't include shipping):

Ebay IC (the 5.5" one) $80.00
Begi Separated Gases Stainless DP (new in box) $334.00
FM midpipe and exhaust (used) $400.00
AEM intake (used) $75.00
Hallman MBC (in case the squirt doesn't work out, used) $75.00
Begi TB inlet (used) $50.00
O2 signal mod (in case the squirt doesn't work out, used) $50.00
Forge replacement DV (used) $100.00
Total: $1164.00

Parts on order

Everything required for a Megasquirt II v3.0:
1 x PCBv3 and v2.2 -- Boost Control Mod-Kit (MK-Boost) = $7.00
1 x EBC Electronic Boost Control Solenoid Kit (EBC_Sol_kit) = $38.00
1 x Lead Bending Tool (T-LeadBend) = $5.50
1 x JimStim v1.4 MegaSquirt Stimulator w/ Wheel Simulator -Unassembled (jimstim-k) = $59.00
1 x MegaSquirt-II Programmable EFI System PCB3.0 - Kit w/ BLACK CASE (MS230-K_BL) = $253.00
1 x 18" MegaSquirt Pigtail Harness (MSPiggy) = $48.00
1 x GM Open Element IAT Sensor with Pigtail (IATwPiggy) = $22.25
1 x USB to Serial Adapter - Works with MegaTune! (USB-2920) = $20.00
1 x PCBv3 and v2.2 -- Pullup Resistors 'ModKit' (mk-pullup) = $1.60
Sub-Total: $454.35

Additional stuff I had to find for the Squirt:
Components so the MSII can read the NB cam and crank signal
connectors and wires to build a boomslang harness.
All told: about $20.00

Innovate LC-1 Wideband sensor and gauge kit $205.00

Need to get eventually:
550cc injectors

This is an engine build only. Suspension, roll bar, frame rails and wheels will come later.

I'm also starting this thread on I figure I'll need the support of this forum for the megasquirt, and the support on that forum for the hardware. Worlds colliding!
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bentwrench View Post
Worlds colliding!
George is getting upset!

I replied to your intro thread ( before discovering this one.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:22 PM   #3
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Jimstim is complete, and the Megasquirt base is done. Miata and MSM mods not yet done, but I'm going to take a bit of a break from the electronics to get back under the hood.

Also, my O2 sensor arrived, and will go into the car as soon as I have the time. I'm looking forward to getting some baseline data on how the car really runs unmodified.

On building these things on your own: the Stim took about 3 hours (and counting, as I'm modifying as I test the megasquirt), and the MSQ has taken about 8-9 hours so far. Research has taken probably more than 40 hours all told, and I'm still looking stuff up. Oh, and building the harness will be a couple of hours. But it's all very rewarding - every time I test out a set of components, and they work (or don't work, and then I fix it), I get a little thrill, and understand a little bit more about how this thing will work once it's hooked up.

Last weekend I tried to install the Begi Separated Gases Downpipe. What a pain! I drive year round, so corrosion is an issue, even more than normal. I got two of the four heat shields off in 6 hours, and had to stop due to time limitations. Next time will be much quicker getting to that point. The big slowdown was figuring out how to remove intake, strut tower bar, washer fluid, and various other things to get into the exhaust pipe. I'll try again next weekend (and the downpipe has the O2 bung for the wideband sensor).

Today was spent mostly with my motorcycle, getting it ready for spring. However, I also installed the TB inlet tube and Forge Diverter Valve. Two lessons learned:

1. When installing lots of things, do them one at a time and test before doing the next. The inlet tube had a loose clamp that I discovered while driving, but I didn't know if it was the tube or the DV. Small, but a good reminder.

2. Traction is going to become an issue. With the upgraded tube and DV, 2nd gear pulls on the street are breaking my rear tires free. I'm still on the 5 year old stockers, but this is a new phenomenon (with only 2 non-power producing mods!)
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:44 PM   #4
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An update on the harness. I can't build my own boomslang harness from new components, so anyone looking for MSQ their MSM should not purchase the connectors in my shopping list. I had made the assumption that the MSM at least used the same connectors as the 2001 Miata, which is wrong. And the connectors that our cars use I can't find from any supplier.

So, I'm looking through the junkers for a scrapped set of ECU connectors. If I have to, I'll purchase a boomslang. I'll still have to splice in the Megasquirt, and it will cost a bit more, but if nothing shows up, Boomslang will be it.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:59 AM   #5
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I'm really interested in your build. I'm torn b/w selling my 1997, which I am/was planning on turboing w/ the assistance of some of the guys on miataturbo. I'm kind of leaning towards selling my 97, buying a Mazdaspeed, and then going from there. I don't know what's involved and would love to see what works w/ your setup.

Fingers-crossed that it's relatively pain-free in terms of mistakes and whoops-didn't-need-that-piece...

Good luck!

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Old 05-05-2009, 12:16 PM   #6
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Are you saying the connectors for the MSM are not the same as the 99-00 or the 01+, that's hard to believe as we have sourced connectors for both.

You can just buy a boomslang harness premade from boomslang US.
Boomslang Fabrication - The Performance Wiring Specialists
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