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Old 01-25-2015, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default Hypothetical question/rambling about other oem ecu's

As an early adopter of Hydra years ago, and someone now looking into mega squirt for my msm, I can't help but ponder whether or not it would be feasible to run our cars on another oems' "tuneable" ecu. It irks me that no one has yet been able to, or bothered to, come up with a solution for tuning on our stock computers, but with so many people swapping these cars nowadays (and the many configurable options in the oem ecus that they use) I wonder if it would be worth someone's time to work on getting our cars to run on something like K-pro without swapping to a Honda powertrain!?!

Feel free to shoot me down on any valid grounds, as I'm by no means an electrical engineer or anything other than a shade tree mechanic. The thought of retaining obd2 functionality, as well as using a popular tuning solution across the country, makes me salivate a bit...
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:27 PM   #2
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My 1st question is why? If we didn't have all the options we have, I'd be more open to this. I mean what makes it more desirable over say an AEM, or MS3?

And Kpro has been almost 2 grand for the longest time, and only in the last few years (I hear) went down to something like 1300.

That's more expensive than a balleur PNP_PRO that's completely pnp on our MSM's and really really cool. ( I have one lol)

Here's my piggy back question/comment:
If someone less terrible then BEGi (even though they're not even the ones doing it, just offering the 3rd party service) wanted to develop the tuning of our oem ecu's, and priced it appropriately (not 750 LOL), I would be completely on board with that.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:59 PM   #3
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In between my last hydra run miata, and my current msm, I owned several vehicles that could be tuned on the stock ecu (corvette, evo) and it just seems so much simpler than screwing with standalones. I'm just perplexed that one of the most raced (competitively and as a hobby) vehicles out there has to rely on a standalone system or a bandaid solution for tuning. There has to be a market for tuning the stock system, so I wonder why it has never been done/marketed.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:14 AM   #4
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They all also come with ecu's that are way, WAY more modern and newer tech.
I know cause I have developed quite the hobby tuning subaru's and evo's on the side

But overall, yeah I agree with you: really stumped that this isn't more common on miatas whereas even the ancient DSM's and Honda's have a big market for socketed OEM ecu's and tuning.

I've always wanted to get ahold of the people that do it for BEGi and persuade them to broaden their horizons and cut out the middle man
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:04 AM   #5
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Because emissions.

The NA/NB ecus cannot be easily reflashed on the fly like modern ecus. I don't think it's possible for anyone other than Mazda to release an ECU for them that will return emissions codes.

It might be possible to reflash a Honda ECU so that it will run a BP correctly, but then you've got wiring harness details to consider, across multiple years of Miatas. Sounds like an enormous headache for small potential gain for a vendor, with unknown legality questions.

And for non-emissions-related purposes, there are already proven solutions for the BP engine.
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:07 AM   #6
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Well, to be fair: the old dsm/honda ecu's can't be reflashed either. They modify the oem board and add the necessary chip(s) and a usb port and voila, you got yourself a tune-able oem ecu, which still retains it's OBD compliance and all that jazz.

It's really cool stuff.
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:08 AM   #7
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Huh. Well somebody needs to fix our **** then
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:25 AM   #8
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You will have to make sure the ECU you choose is capable of reading all the sensors of the miata and has all the necessary outputs to control things like IACV, etc. The universal ECUs such as the AEMs and Megasquirt are configurable for a multitude of different types of toothed sensor wheels and different coolant and air temp sensors pre calibrated using drop down menus. This allows them to be used with a wide range of ECUs.

An ECU developed only for a specific engine (such as the k-pro) might only have honda specific sensor pre-configured and calibrated for it. That would require you to possibly swap over cam and crank trigger wheels or other various sensors.

For example, if the k-pro uses the oem MAF sensor, the calibration curve will not match the miata MAF sensor so you would most likely need to find a way to adapt it for your car.


TLDR: It's probably possibly but not worth the hassle.
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:27 AM   #9
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A few thoughts.

OBD-0 and OBD-1 Honda ECUs are cheap, and cheap to chip/tune, but are very much dependent on the 3 variable reluctance pickups in the distributor, and the distributor itself. Working around this or retrofitting a Honda distributor makes the whole thing pretty unattractive.

Im pretty sure running an DSM ECU would put you in a similar situation to the old Honda stuff. While they do not rely on a distributor, opting for some form of cam angel sensor, they do rely on a MAS sensor. One of my few DSM tuning experiences was working with some sort of weird band-aid that allowed the car to run on a GM 3 bar in place of the MAS. It had little potentiometers and **** and it sucked dick. Yet again, I dont think it would be worth the hassle.

K-pro is not cheap, not even remotely cheap. It may be adaptable to work on a Miata because it is designed to run speed density with a crank hall sensor, but I doubt you would save any money and it certainly would not be easier than a standalone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
The NA/NB ecus cannot be easily reflashed on the fly like modern ecus. I don't think it's possible for anyone other than Mazda to release an ECU for them that will return emissions codes.
It is definitely not an easy thing to figure out. Nobody handed the information to the Honda community, it took many years of cooperative teamwork on pgmfi.org for those guys to crack the Honda ECU code and create software that allowed people to easily write a tune to an EEPROM that would let it all work. Fun fact: Hondata stole the code, made proprietary hardware and software and then sued pgmfi.org users for sharing "their" intellectual property.
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:37 AM   #10
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I plan to run an msm on an oem evo 8 ecu in the future. Passes the obd2 tests and tons of capability out of the box. My daily galant passes oregon emissions with a 3 inch catless turbo back with wastegate dump with a tuned oem evo 8 ecu and I see no reason a jumper harness couldn't allow this for an msm. Plus you could run an evo 8 maf and keep it maf if you want or run speed density, I've done both. They are cheap ecus and i would say more capable than a lot of entry level standalone equipment. Lots of local guys running 700 +whp on stock ecus...
curly had poo pooed this idea but once I get a reasonable msm for a summer daily this will be my first mod. Already talked to local tuning gurus and the idea is not thay difficult to execute. Could still do things like launch control, flat shift, and boost by gear within the scope of oem ecu awesomeness
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full_Tilt_Boogie View Post
OBD-0 and OBD-1 Honda ECUs are cheap, and cheap to chip/tune, but are very much dependent on the 3 variable reluctance pickups in the distributor, and the distributor itself.
That's probably the largest single stumbling block. Every OEM ECU is going to be hard-coded for the particular crank and cam patterns specific to the engine class for which it was originally designed, and timings in the software which drive all subsequent events are therefore dependant on them. Changing that fact is way beyond the purview of running software designed simply to manipulate a few tables / defined variables.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:11 AM   #12
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by the time this thread ends, you could have built, installed, tuned, dynoed, and loved an ms3x setup.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:03 AM   #13
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Good info! Brain, I know, this is just an exercise in brainstorming and conjecture. I would love to see someone take the time to modify the stock ecu to accept re flash capability
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:43 AM   #14
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they can.

BEGi is working with some AU company doing this.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:33 AM   #15
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I see that they offer a reflash, but it has no user interface for tuning available. Are they working with an AU company to create the software and/or hardware that would be needed to bring that to fruition, or will they continue to suggest and rely on xede to "fine tune" things? The price point for their reflash would be fine if it was user/tuner configurable after the fact, but at this point that doesn't seem to be the case... Again, I'll probably break down and order a MS at some point next year, but in the meantime I think this is a worthwhile discussion
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:44 AM   #16
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you misunderstood his comment. they are already doing this, as in offering the service, not actually contributing to any sort of development for us.

basically (from how I understand the process), they get the ecu socketed with a different chip, and are able to have that company "program" that chip to work with bigger injectors, etc etc. So you do get a "custom tune" but it's just a one hit wonder, and not something you can go in and adjust. Any revisions would require the ecu to come out and be sent out for re-chipping or whatever. It's kind of a stupid process, and nowhere near as cool as what the honda/dsm kids are doing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greddygalant View Post
I plan to run an msm on an oem evo 8 ecu in the future. Passes the obd2 tests and tons of capability out of the box. My daily galant passes oregon emissions with a 3 inch catless turbo back with wastegate dump with a tuned oem evo 8 ecu and I see no reason a jumper harness couldn't allow this for an msm. Plus you could run an evo 8 maf and keep it maf if you want or run speed density, I've done both. They are cheap ecus and i would say more capable than a lot of entry level standalone equipment. Lots of local guys running 700 +whp on stock ecus...
curly had poo pooed this idea but once I get a reasonable msm for a summer daily this will be my first mod. Already talked to local tuning gurus and the idea is not thay difficult to execute. Could still do things like launch control, flat shift, and boost by gear within the scope of oem ecu awesomeness
interdasting....
But then your galant is a mitsu so I'm guessing a lot of the wiring is similar/same? I'll be waiting for results.

I personally have a friend that had a MK3 supra, there was some shop locally that swore up and down and all around that they could easily get it to work on a Nissan 300zx ecu. They were going to develop a harness, etc etc etc. It was going to be the next awesome low cost thing for those cars. They hacked his wiring, held his car hostage for months, and then he finally took the car back and they got nowhere with it. Bugs and little issues all over the place. It was fail and aids. He ended up selling the car
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:50 AM   #17
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it could be a cool process for us, but the people offering it gotta milk it for all it's worth.


TDR (Tuning Done wRong) was literally having customers send him their ECUs each time they wanted a tune. I think it evolved into him sending a tunign cable to hook up or something and you'd have to mail it back. Didn't care enough to stay in the know.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:54 AM   #18
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Honestly, since people are already socketing and tuning these ecus, the hard part has been done.

From here it's just a matter of getting an ostrich cable setup and a gui interface to read/modify the hex code on the fly.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greddygalant View Post
I plan to run an msm on an oem evo 8 ecu in the future. Passes the obd2 tests and tons of capability out of the box. My daily galant passes oregon emissions with a 3 inch catless turbo back with wastegate dump with a tuned oem evo 8 ecu and I see no reason a jumper harness couldn't allow this for an msm. Plus you could run an evo 8 maf and keep it maf if you want or run speed density, I've done both. They are cheap ecus and i would say more capable than a lot of entry level standalone equipment. Lots of local guys running 700 +whp on stock ecus...
curly had poo pooed this idea but once I get a reasonable msm for a summer daily this will be my first mod. Already talked to local tuning gurus and the idea is not thay difficult to execute. Could still do things like launch control, flat shift, and boost by gear within the scope of oem ecu awesomeness
Talk to turbotom on YouTube, he did it. He's underdog on this forum.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:00 PM   #20
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and I'm pretty sure Underdog on here ran a Nissan ECU on his 1.6L.
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