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Old 08-10-2012, 08:59 AM   #1
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Default Cost Effectiveness of different ECUs

I've been doing a bit of research into cost effectiveness of pricier ECUs like Adaptronic, Hydra, Link, Motec, etc..

From what I've gathered, those brand names where countless hours of R&D from engineers whom have more insight into engine control fundamentals to developing more sophisticated functions, like for example temp correction modeling, transient fuel, overall drivability control functions, having only one single axis injector offset and being hard to control 1000cc+ injectors and more advanced boost control and data logging.

So fair enough yeah, if you were building an all engine NA build, and an optimised tune so spark and fuel (which dramatically changes with temps) is exactly what the engine requires.
But for the average guy, who isn't chasing the ultimate HP/absolute absolute perfect drivability and tune and not willing to empty their pockets, how can he justify/weighing up between spending $500 vs $1500 ECU?
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:21 AM   #2
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I think the best question here goes out to savington.

Why do you justify AEM over MSII?

(Im pretty sure he uses aem.... might be adaptronic or somthing..)

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Old 08-10-2012, 09:26 AM   #3
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Savington uses the AEM, he has a few reasons why he prefers it. I'm a strong supporter behind the best bank for the buck ECU: the ms3x.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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Was just about to text you Dann to read my thread haha

I'm more specifically shooting this topic at Motec vs Megasquirt, where a Motec is up in the $2-5K mark depending on which version, against a $650 MS3x.

I'm basing this off "you get what you pay for" ideology.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:31 AM   #5
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industrial grade connectors versus DB37.
warranties on the whole assembly not just the cpu card.
marketing and support staff versus word of mouth.
tested assemblies and harnesses vs. doing it yourself.
a single design team with the product as their full time job vs. doing it in spare time.

costs big bucks.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:35 AM   #6
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You should be able to do MS3x about $100 cheaper than $650 if you do it yourself.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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Brain and y8s basically broke it down. I will only add this analogy: buying a 2k+ ecu for a street driven miata is like buying a $600 smart phone and then only using it for texting.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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I'm not talking so much the hardware components and their assembly y8s. I'm more talking about the software and its ability to control the more sophisticated functions of an ECU.

The simple part of tuning is getting your fuel and spark tables right, but when it comes to transient functions, 3d or 4d mapped boost control, traction control, closed loop lamba control, logging etc..

edit: 18PSI, could we ever use the example of building a tough engine but using a Nokia 3315 to control it?

I guess I would like some insight into those use more pricier ECUs on the street and track and what their opinions are of it as compared to a Megasquirt
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:41 AM   #9
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With some of the top end stuff you get some really amazing data logging. The new AEM that just came out like 3 weeks ago can do some amazing things, it also has a backup processor and other crazy stuff. Most people don't need anything more than the MS or AEM EMS4, hydra is actually pretty under whelming for what you get so is the haltech s2000. MS has one of the few standalone software suites that doesnt suck, AEM is almost as good. Note that I have only used both of those without connecting to an ecu, and the ecu to computer connection is where a lot of software has the issues. Haltech will constantly lose connection or fail to connect and sometimes even doing a cold boot of the computer wont fix it (and that computer sometimes seems to never be able to use haltech again short of a re-image). And the slowness on connections and loading tunes is a pain with them too. I mean if I can flash a tune to a stock chevy ecu in 30 seconds you're built from the ground up to be tuned ecu has no reason to take 5+ minutes to flash and no reason to take that long to load the tune off the computer's hard drive.

Though hopefully with the MS being more and more impressive and with the newer AEM's that came out the rest of the ecu companies will have to get off their laurels and make some really cool ----.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:51 AM   #10
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I have used the adaptronic, its not bad but I was not impressed. At all.
I have used Hydra, I thought it was terrible.
I've tinkered with an AEM ems on a couple different cars, not enough experience to give it a proper review, and I was kinda unimpressed with how some of the things are set up (software/interaction wise) but overall was pretty nice.
I have also tinkered with a few different MS ecu's: its more crude. Its more basic. Not as fancy. But overall I am VERY happy with it, and unless something more cost effective comes out soon (unlikely), will be using it again. Its simple, easy to use, tons of support, and the features are MORE than adequate for proper control on a miata.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:51 AM   #11
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Y8s went from Haltec to Hydra to MS3x...

I went from MSI to MS2 to MS3 to MS3x
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
Haltech will constantly lose connection or fail to connect and sometimes even doing a cold boot of the computer wont fix it (and that computer sometimes seems to never be able to use haltech again short of a re-image). And the slowness on connections and loading tunes is a pain with them too.


Yep, agreed 100%.

Pathetic.

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Old 08-10-2012, 09:57 AM   #13
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Speaking of MS again. I'm pretty sure its the only ecu that isn't stupid expensive that can run a 2 stroke 2 cylinder odd fire engine with a 263 firing separation angle. Course that engine doesnt exist but it also means it can tune a 4 stroke 2 cylinder odd fire with 270 separation, which does exist.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:03 AM   #14
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it can run a miata very well. that's all i care about.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:36 AM   #15
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I went from OEM to Emanage Blue w/autotune and stayed there. Maybe there is more power available, but I haven't needed to play with it for years and it maintains a 12.0~12.5 AFR whenever I am in boost at any level to 14+ psi
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:39 AM   #16
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A local shop that charges $1000 who once told me "I won't let you put a car with MS on my Dyno(jet)" just convinced someone he needed a $4000 Motec computer and not to run MS3. Lol @ that faggette.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
A local shop that charges $1000 who once told me "I won't let you put a car with MS on my Dyno(jet)" just convinced someone he needed a $4000 Motec computer and not to run MS3. Lol @ that faggette.
You'd be surprised how common that is/was. Especially when MS first came out I heard and saw a lot of push back from dyno shops. Mostly because they cars that cheap MS used to get put on were the most likely to blow up on the dyno. I mean they went on cheap shitty civics and saturns and stuff. Its a lot of work to clean oil of of a dyno, especially when fwd throws a rod. Well that and mega tune supposedly really sucked back in the day, though I have no first hand knowledge of it. I bet it couldnt be worse than the really old haltech that you tuned using the dos prompt.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:30 AM   #18
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Every dyno that I have been to would laugh when I told them that the car had an MS (they either didn't know the ECU and thought the name was funny, or they thought that the ECU itself is a joke).

Of course, every single time, after the typical couple of pulls, the shop owner didn't find it very amusing that all cars performed well, nice curves, spot on AFRs, etc, on a $700 standalone ECU.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:30 AM   #19
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The MS pushback from the shops came from the horrible installs that often come in for "tuning" that never work right.

I know many local shops lost money/customers over idiots bringing hackjobs running Megasquirt that the shops fixed and then obviously charged for their time, then said idiots ran their mouths.

Unfortunately, when you cater to the "cheap" market, that's what happens. It's great for us, not great for shops, because it also attracts a lot of people who don't know what they're doing, because it's so easily attainable.

I must be a glutton for punishment.

I have Hydra on my MSM. (And i'm not pleased with it.)

Haltech Platinum Sport is going on my Escort.

My Mx6 will probably see MS3X at some point.

Celica will get either Haltech or MS3X, depends on which ends up working better between MX6 and Escort. There is a Hydra PNP for the Celica, but it can go ---- itself with a rake.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverant View Post
Every dyno that I have been to would laugh when I told them that the car had an MS (they either didn't know the ECU and thought the name was funny, or they thought that the ECU itself is a joke).

Of course, every single time, after the typical couple of pulls, the shop owner didn't find it very amusing that all cars performed well, nice curves, spot on AFRs, etc, on a $700 standalone ECU.

Pretty much.
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