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Old 09-18-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
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Default ok Cat pigeons socialising ! Megasquirt Query

Now then, before everyone shoots me down in flames.
I have a factory approved MX5, the BBR MX5. This to my, limited, knowledege is the only aftermarket turbo equipped car that Mazda approved and fully warranted. The fuel and ignition on this car is modified by piggyback ECU. Reading a variety of posts this appears to be frowned upon and I am curious as to why. Mazda themselves were prepared to offer a 3 year 60,000 miles warranty on these cars. Which production car currently uses a megasquirt? surely if they were that good then all manufacturers would be fitting them as OE. I am sure that megasquirts are fantastic for certain applications I am simply curious as to why piggybacks are such a no no.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:37 PM   #2
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Odd to ask this question about a UK only car on a US based forum...

The BBR intercerptor is prone to failing, but if the car is left absolutely alone, it's absolutely fine and won't break anything.

But try to increase the power much and it'll stop you by cutting power above 7.5psi IIRC.

It's the propensity for them to fail and their inability to allow you to increase power much over stock that people remove them.

Aftermarket ECU's (be that MegaSquirt, Wolf, Hydra, TEC etc etc.) aren't fitted to OEM cars as then any old joe bloggs could remap them and cause absolute havoc.

OEM's use their own ECU's that perform the jobs they want them to do.

Suggesting an aftermarket ECU is no good because OEM's don't fit them is an strange statement.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:47 PM   #3
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The question was based upon the reasoning behind preferring MS as opposed to say an Apexi Neo, for arguments sake, and had nothing to do with being a UK only car I was merely pointing out that this arrangement was approved by Mazda. The propensity for the item to fail again is questionable as they were included in the three year warranty, which aftermarket ECU offers such a warranty. Is there some discrimination behind a post from someone in the UK? The vast majority of people would not touch an ECU in a car especially if it was factory sealed which negates the argument why manufacturers dont fit them as OE. The question regardless remains the same why is it bad to piggyback. As far as manufacturers using other companies componants, how many high performance cars use Brembo these days rather than their own brakes.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:09 PM   #4
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There is nothing wrong with going piggyback... A lot of us use MS because it costs $200 to make, and the software is open source. Here at MT.net we prefer the most potential for the least amount of money.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:19 PM   #5
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Also, it's more flexible. Along with fuel and ignition control, there are a myriad of other features one can delve into.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:20 PM   #6
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Hi, thank you kindly that makes perfect sense and I appreciate the open and honest answer, best regards
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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Lordrigamus, can I just say 20 psi ! holy **** reading the specs, damn I mean damn, that baby is gonna fly!
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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Yeah, it will get up and go pretty well. I'm looking into a few upgrades from the current build and might bump it up to 24 soon. I really need to get it on a dyno and do some proper tuning but it doesn't run that bad at all right now.

Actually I owe it all to the Megasquirt's VE Analize Live feature. I've been using it for the past week and it dialed my tune in very well.

I have to admit, though, if it wasn't for all the guys here at MT.net blazing a path for me to follow, I would have never gotten this far.

Thanks to MiataTurbo.net for showing the way to boosted bliss!!!
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:54 PM   #9
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Cool, i'm reasonably happy with mine the way it is though thinking of upping the boost to over the bbr limit only up to about 10 psi and was going to use a bipes with an apexi neo. Megasquirts over here are generally silly money, treasure island to some haha, but may have a shot at building one :-)
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:19 PM   #10
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I would. For all the capabilities the Megasquirt series of controllers offer, they are well worth every penny. The limits of their ability would far exceed what any piggyback could deliver, as far as I know. Also, any future upgrades should be well within the realm of what the Megasquirt can handle.

The only regret I have is I didn't get one sooner.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:21 PM   #11
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Cheers and thanks for the good advice.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:34 PM   #12
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You're very welcome.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geordie5858 View Post
The question was based upon the reasoning behind preferring MS as opposed to say an Apexi Neo, for arguments sake, and had nothing to do with being a UK only car I was merely pointing out that this arrangement was approved by Mazda. The propensity for the item to fail again is questionable as they were included in the three year warranty, which aftermarket ECU offers such a warranty. Is there some discrimination behind a post from someone in the UK? The vast majority of people would not touch an ECU in a car especially if it was factory sealed which negates the argument why manufacturers dont fit them as OE. The question regardless remains the same why is it bad to piggyback. As far as manufacturers using other companies componants, how many high performance cars use Brembo these days rather than their own brakes.
Discrimination? WTF? I'm from the UK noob...

It's a fact the BBR Interceptor is prone to failure, to hell with the 3 year warranty (which expired 10 years ago btw, the BBR MX5 turbo kit hasn't been available for a LONG time, and try asking BBR about it, they washed their hands of it a long LONG time ago).

As I said, left untouched it's fine, but if you want more power it's not which is why people replace them. You won't get 10psi with the BBR Interceptor in place, it cuts fuel above 7.5psi. But if you replace it the world is your oyster*.

FWIW MegaSquirt's are not silly money over here, they're cheaper than any other full ECU you can buy. it's all relative.

I personally prefer standalone ECU's over piggybacks as you get full control, with a piggyback you tend to have to fight the stock ECU to do what you want. Although the flipside is the boring stuff like idling is already done for you, you pays your money....

*The IC location isn't great, it's more of a heat soak than a heat sink - I'd suggest either replacing it with a FMIC or using a Civic Rad and exposing the BBR IC to fresh air.
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geordie5858 View Post
The vast majority of people would not touch an ECU in a car especially if it was factory sealed which negates the argument why manufacturers dont fit them as OE.
Negates? No. Many OEMs go out of their way to try and seal ECUs from the factory. They know someone's going to come along and crack the code, but they have to pay at least lip service to the various regulatory bodies.

As for why MS isn't used, it's not legal for public roads and it's marketed as an experimental fuel controller (and who wants to buy a new car with an "experimental" computer?).

As for the lack of warranty, the MSPNP comes with one, but IIRC the build-it-yourself units don't. Why would they, anyway? If you sold something people are meant to solder together themselves, would you put a warranty on it?
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:07 PM   #15
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Strangely enough I do know where Birmingham is, been to the motor show a few times. BBR Turbo's were only available 90-91 it is so actually nigh on 20 years old and still going pretty strong. I asked the question on this site as the members, on the whole, are very knowladgeable. Thats a very interesting statement from Kotomile with regards to the MS being not legal for public roads as the insurance industry in the UK can be reluctant to pay up in the event of an accident so that clinches it, not road legal will use alternatives thank you all for your help and best regards
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:13 PM   #16
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MS along with all the other standalone/piggyback ECU's are legal to use on the UK roads, you just have to inform your insurance company of the modification (as you would wil all modifications from standard).

I'm fully insured.

BBR's were available for much longer than that too, 90 to 94 :P they did a very rare 1.8 version.

P.S. there's a Birmingham in the US, so presumed you'd gotton confused from that.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:58 PM   #17
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Hmmm records show nov 1990 - sept 1991 only in 1600cc and only allegedly in red with the option of nice wheels and a not so nice spoiler. with the Monaco turbo again in 1600 may 96 - jan 97 with 450 built, but hey thats just internet info, how accurate is that. Usually its the 1600 thats turboed as it was designed with a turbo on the 323 rally car. Theres even a warrington in the USA I had already heard of Birmingham Alabama but warrington is in Pennsylvania :-) At the end of the day now got it just about spot on and given the age and miles 6-8 psi will do. cheers
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:47 PM   #18
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We commonly use the MegaSquirt because we are tinkerers and many of us like to build things ourselves. We are also quite frugal, so anything that works reasonably well gets implemented in our circle.

The new Americans brought many city names they were proud of with them when they settled here. In Florida, I am within 70 miles of Dover (which is not on the coast), Inverness, Dunedin, Sydney, Odessa, St. Petersburg, and a few others I am surely missing.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geordie5858 View Post
Hmmm records show nov 1990 - sept 1991 only in 1600cc and only allegedly in red with the option of nice wheels and a not so nice spoiler. with the Monaco turbo again in 1600 may 96 - jan 97 with 450 built, but hey thats just internet info, how accurate is that. Usually its the 1600 thats turboed as it was designed with a turbo on the 323 rally car. Theres even a warrington in the USA I had already heard of Birmingham Alabama but warrington is in Pennsylvania :-) At the end of the day now got it just about spot on and given the age and miles 6-8 psi will do. cheers

Ha, well my mate had a 93 SE BBR in black. Search for a member called 'KFC' on www.mx5nutz.com he has a black 18. BBR.

The 1800 (BP, the 1.6 is a B6), also was in the 323 and has all the 'turbo' upgrades (oil squirters, strong rods, low compression etc etc.) it was also used in turbo form (BPT).

If you search this site, you find far more turbo'd 1.8's than 1.6's
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:07 PM   #20
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Haha a 93 black 1.8 must have been an early one as I didnt think the 1.8 came out till 1994.

Yep the BP has the goodies as well including a forged crankshaft I believe.

May have to do a conversion at some point in time, or buy a 1.8 and turbo that time will tell, happy with this one right now.

BBR still do Mazda tuning but the development and kit was based around the 1.6 as the 1.8 wasnt around then.

I didnt say the 1.6 was any better than the 1.8 the 1.8 overall has a stronger transmission and better brakes it had more time to develop and for Mazda to see where the weaknesses in the design were.

Doing a bit of research it would seem you can get a fully built MS in America for the same price as a kit in the uk.

I will have a chat with my insurance underwriter as to where they stand on non CE marked home built ECU's.

Hi sixshooter, I think America has a quite a few things of their own to be proud of as well, the constitution for one wish we bleedin had one rather than changing laws to protect the wealthy.
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