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Guidance with Hydra and emissions testing

 
Old 05-13-2019, 10:34 PM
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Default Guidance with Hydra and emissions testing

I have an 04 MSM (60k miles) with the Flyin Miata Big Enchilada with Hydra Nemesis 2.7. It was tuned by FM as well and they finished the install of their kit. That was 4 years ago. Car ran and still runs pretty well.
However, I now need to get an emissions test done. The testing facility here will put me on a dyno and do the tailpipe sniffer test when they see that their computer can't communicate with my (connected to nothing) OBD2. So as long as my numbers are good, it'll pass.

It's failed twice in the last week. First time, NOx was high. I cleaned out the EGR valve and ports well, put on a fresh air filter and fresh spark plugs, tightened up a loose exhaust manifold nut and put in fresh gas (gas was 6 months old, I drained the old stuff out) and added some injector cleaner.
After all that I took it back to retest today and NOx was a tiny bit lower but it still failed for that and now also high CO.
I emailed FM a week ago after the first fail and haven't heard back. I don't know if it's a tuning problem or a hardware problem. Could be bad cat, bad wideband or something else, or the tune is just out of wack.
I also emailed today Boost Creep in Longmont CO. Only tuner around here who I know of. I doubt he has much experience with the Hydra though. Also I guess Ken isn't doing tuning anymore, so don't know where else to turn. I know nothing about this stuff.

So I'm just looking for any advice or suggestions. If I'm better off getting a MegaSquirt I don't mind buying it but don't know if that's just opening another can of worms.
Thanks for any helpful thoughts.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:30 AM
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The tuning system doesn't matter, but the tune matters a lot. That's why manufactuers spend millions on dialing it in.

I found this resource that may help you:
https://www.crypton.co.za/Tto%20know...emissions.html

You need an EGT and O2 sensor at a bare minimum to attempt to get close.

Very generally:
NOx means EGT is probably too high
CO means mixture is probably too rich

But leaning mixture can raise EGT and increase NOx. See the graph on that page? You have opposing goals. As CO goes down, NOx goes up.



I would start by making sure your O2 targets are right at 14.6-14.7 and advance your timing by a small amount. And wire your wastegate open so you're not getting into boost (and richer AFRs).

But of course without knowing where on your map the dyno run will fall, it's kind of a crap shoot. You might want to just make a copy of your current map to change to a "no boost, pass emissions ONLY" map.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:56 PM
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Thank you for your reply.
Yeah, the tricky thing is both NOx and CO are high, so it's like, where do I begin. Usually when one goes up the other goes down. I think that the catalytic converter could have been warmer, and that is probably the difference between the first test where CO passed, and the 2nd test where CO and HC were up. So I think I will focus on just the NOx and next time I will go in with a good and hot cat.

What I just read here
https://www.redorbit.com/news/scienc...can_lower_nox/
and here
https://proceedings.asmedigitalcolle...icleid=2500831
is that to lower NOx you want to retard timing. Also, yes, I will look at fuel tables and see if it's running lean. I might need some help with that from you guys. I've heard some cases where the Hydra runs leaner than what the tables indicate. I can't play too much with AFRs I don't think because richer AFRs (which tend to reduce NOx) means more HC and CO where I have very little headroom.
Question: does changing spark timing have any impact on AFRs? Someone said so but I don't see the connection.

And wire your wastegate open so you're not getting into boost (and richer AFRs)
Yes, thought of that. The kid testing my car was a doofus who likes to hear the blow off valve on the dyno. He even chirped the tires both times he moved the car. Is turning the manual boost controller all the way down effectively the same or no? If I do need to actually wire the wastegate open, anyone know exactly where the wastegate is on the IHI turbo in the Mazdaspeed? It's so tight in there I can barely even see the turbo.

without knowing where on your map the dyno run will fall, it's kind of a crap shoot.
I'll try to link or attach some images of their dyno run. They go up to 55 mph and I think I they take the average of the 240 second test. You can see some big spikes in emissions, not sure if that's just during acceleration or what.

You might want to just make a copy of your current map to change to a "no boost, pass emissions ONLY" map.
That is a great idea that I intend to do before making any changes.

https://imgur.com/DwJD1XE
https://imgur.com/SJqSs5H
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:21 PM
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I found this on FM's website. This is hugely helpful but
1.) I don't trust myself to do some of these things correctly
2.) Apparently my maps are locked and I can't make any changes or even see values. I emailed FM to see if they can give me the password. Also, there is a new firmware (I'm on .36 I think) and the Hydra software on my computer says I should update or the program won't work well, but updating may create issues I can't resolve.

The Hydra-powered engine does have the ability to produce clean tailpipe emissions when it's properly calibrated. The fact that Hydra-powered cars generally get as good or better gas mileage than stock cars underscores this. The basis of this is that first you must have your base fuel table dialed in as close as you can so that any day-to-day variances in fuelling can easily be trimmed out by the closed loop O2 sensor system. Beyond that, here are some hints to improve your engine's emissions. Start by saving your working map before making all these changes for your emissions map so that you can revert easily after the test. A) The factory NBO2 sensor is better at regulating stoichiometric emissions than the WBO2 sensor is. Switch the Hydra control back to the left narrowband sensor under Settings -> AFR target settings -> Left module sensor source (assuming you still have the NBO2 sensor installed). Make sure the left module closed loop & long term trim are both enabled. B) In your AFR target table, assuming you are doing this for tailpipe testing & not for normal driving, set your target to 14.7 across the board. This will ensure that no matter what the worker at the test station does with his right foot the computer will be trying to trim it for stoichiometric. C) Set your throttle pump fuel trim table, throttle tip-in fuel trim table, post-start fuel trim decay & your post-decel cut fuel trim tables to 0 across the board. This will prevent the worker's digital right foot from throwing rich spikes into the test. Also drop your Closed Loop Start Delay table to 0. D) Drop your base idle speed target down to the target RPM on the emissions sticker under your hood. E) Drop your maximum boost down to around say 4 PSI / 128 kPa so that the ECU won't let the engine go into boost. F) Turn off air conditioning (including defrost on 2001-05 cars) and other electrical loads. G) Zero out your post start idle speed target trim, post start fuel trim, post start throttle pump fuel trim & (closed loop) start delay maps to keep it from being rich when the operator runs the test immediately after stalling your engine & restarting it. H) Make sure the car will still hot restart smoothly after doing all of these things. I) Set your fan temperatures hotter so that the engine runs hot, say 105C / 221F. J) If you have a well-developed LTT table you should apply it back to your base fuel table, and zero out your LTT table. We have a spreadsheet available for doing this manually- email us if you need a copy.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:23 PM
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I posted another post that should have appeared as #3. Either it disappeared into hyperspace or needs mod approval or before appearing.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:56 AM
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E-mailing FM doesn't seem to work very well. I tried that to be "polite". I wound up calling and asking for tech support. I got help immediately. Your maps should not be locked, you own them. you might need to change your "experience " level from Novice to Apprentice or even Expert. That unlocks some controls. Open your map and go to TOOLS > EXPERIENCE LEVEL > APPRENTICE.
Be sure to post when you solve your problem. The Hydra community is getting smaller and we need everyone o. board.

Paul
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:47 AM
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It is unlikely that your car will pass with the Hydra installed, as the Hydra does not support EGR (nor am I aware of any other aftermarket MIata ECU that does).

--Ian
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:54 PM
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Your maps should not be locked, you own them
I think they're just locked so I don't inadvertantly mess things up. I will try calling them.
you might need to change your "experience " level from Novice to Apprentice or even Expert. That unlocks some controls. Open your map and go to TOOLS > EXPERIENCE LEVEL > APPRENTICE.
Think it was set to expert already.

It is unlikely that your car will pass with the Hydra installed, as the Hydra does not support EGR (nor am I aware of any other aftermarket MIata ECU that does).
Yeah, learned yesterday the Hydra doesn't control the EGR. Wish I knew that before I took everything apart to clean it. I'm determined to keep trying though, swapping everything back to stock and then back again would be a bigger pain, probably.
It makes more sense to me now why it's failing; if the EGR doesn't work that really raises NOx, so I hear. I was worried there was an issue like the engine running lean. I wonder if I can just rig the EGR open for the test, it's easy enough to access. What side effects would that have?

As I said in the post that is I think currently awaiting moderation approval, I believe the cat wasn't warm enough for my tests and that getting it nice and hot will drop the CO and HC. So I'm just going to focus on NOx. I wonder if just turning the boost down to zero and rigging the EGR valve open will be enough, combined with a hot catalytic converter. If that fails I can retest once for free and would have to resort to some of the tuning suggestions FM recommends f9r the next go.

Thanks to everyone for your help. I promise to report my results in the end.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:33 PM
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I'm not help with the fix, but I did pass a sniffer with my hydra ECU car. I had just a single magnaflow high flow cat. Was close but passed.

Probably worth the hassle to go buy a nice OEM quality cat and run it for your sniffer test. You can probably find an exhaust shop to make you a little section to bolt in and out the cat / straight pipe.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by StillSlowMSM View Post
It makes more sense to me now why it's failing; if the EGR doesn't work that really raises NOx, so I hear. I was worried there was an issue like the engine running lean. I wonder if I can just rig the EGR open for the test, it's easy enough to access. What side effects would that have?
I've never tried it, but I suspect it would make the engine run like total crap.

EGR dilutes the intake charge with exhaust gas -- gas that does not contain oxygen. This means that your entire fuel map is wrong, because the MAP sensor is going to record a value higher than you'd normally get at a given RPM & throttle angle, but much of that gas is not going to have any oxygen in it, so normal fuel map will result in it being stupid rich.

The stock ECU's EGR control algorithm consists of using both the MAF and the stock MAP sensor (there's one on the firewall that goes up to around 1 bar) so that it can figure out how much exhaust gas has come through the EGR valve at any given time. It then uses a control loop to regulate the position of the EGR valve to get the amount of exhaust gas that's ideal to get the improvement in emissions (and fuel economy!) that the Mazda engineers were targeting. In short, it's pretty complicated and difficult to implement and tune, and that's why nobody bothers to put it in an aftermarket ECU. I'm not even sure if it's possible to implement EGR without having both a MAF and a MAP sensor. (I guess stock Hondas of the 90s do, but I have no idea how).

--Ian
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:38 PM
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Yeah I came to the conclusion that was probably a dead end. Some older EGR valves are vacuum actuated, only opening from say 5 lbs to 10 lbs vacuum, but rigging one up to see if it works seems more trouble than it's worth. The only thing I think of that's easy enough to try is setting the idle as high as the emissions place will allow, maybe 900 rpm, and just cracking the EGR valve open like 35%. Probably won't bother though. That would be in combination with turning the boost down to zero of course. Although... if I still let the car make boost, wouldn't it blow fresh air backwards through the EGR into the exhaust system? Wonder what effect that would have. The more they spool it up the cleaner the exhaust gets lol. Might have the opposite effect from cooling off the cat I don't know.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tyhackman15 View Post
I'm not help with the fix, but I did pass a sniffer with my hydra ECU car. I had just a single magnaflow high flow cat. Was close but passed.

Probably worth the hassle to go buy a nice OEM quality cat and run it for your sniffer test. You can probably find an exhaust shop to make you a little section to bolt in and out the cat / straight pipe.
Do you know what numbers constitute a pass where you are? Here in Colorado I have to be under 1.2 GPM Hydrocarbons, 15 GPM Carbon Monoxide, and 1.5 GPM NOx. My car's last test was 1.07 for Hydrocarbons, 16.9 for Carbon Monoxide and 2.13 for NOx. Would you be able to post your numbers?

I currently believe my catalytic converter is working. It's the stock unit, everything else in the exhaust is from Flyin Miata's turbo exhaust but we left the cat alone. I think I just need to get the cat warmer and my HC and CO will come down.

Originally Posted by y8s
But of course without knowing where on your map the dyno run will fall, it's kind of a crap shoot.

It's a 240 second test from idle to 30 mph, come to a stop, then go up to 55 mph and hold for about 40 seconds. I think they take an average of the whole run.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:11 PM
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Just got off the phone with Mike at Flyin Miata. He was helpful and apologized for not responding to my emails (for the record, The Boost Creep in Longmont, CO never replied either).
He says they don't lock maps and that it's probably the result of a communication error from me using the wrong USB to COM cable. The correct one to use is called this:

USB to RS-232 DB-9 serial adapter COM port retention

An internet search should bring the product up from usbgear website. It's currently 24.95 USD. It does look quite a bit different from the one I had in the glove box.
So I'll order that and follow their emission suggestions above and we'll see what happens. Oh he also said updating the Hydra to the latest firmware shouldn't create any issues since I'm just going from one version of 2.7 to another.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:16 PM
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Update: I made some tweeks and failed emissions again.
Here's what I did this time:
Rig wastegate open. Car makes maybe 2 psi.
Followed FM's emissions tuning instructions posted above. Copied my LTT over the base fuel map and other adjustments.
Switched to the alternate "safe" timing map to retard ignition timing and further retarded timing .5 to 1.5 degrees across most of the grid. This is based on reading several scholarly articles on the effects of ignition timing on NOx production.
Warmed the car up well and went in for testing on a cold morning.
I have to be under 1.2 GPM Hydrocarbons, 15 GPM Carbon Monoxide, and 1.5 GPM NOx. My initial test, weeks earlier, was 1.07 for Hydrocarbons, 16.9 for Carbon Monoxide and 2.13 for NOx.
Today's numbers were 0.08 for Hydrocarbons, 1.4 for Carbon Monoxide and 2.39 for NOx, so I failed on the NOx which hasn't gone down at all. As Codrus said, not having a functioning EGR is a big problem.

If you have only HC and CO to pass, it can be easily done by doing the above items. I'm surprised how low they actually are. Might be the open wastegate blowing tons of fresh air down the exhaust lol.

The next thing I'm going to try is running straight E-85 and bump the fuel up 30-40%. FM actually has an E-85 base map so I'll just copy that over. It might not start well cold but otherwise it should run well enough. I think I will use the retarded ignition timing map with the E-85 for emissions testing, my research says that's the best for lowering NOx. I just hope the testing facility doesn't detect I'm using E-85 and fail me for that reason, and I think it will pass.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post

But leaning mixture can raise EGT and increase NOx. See the graph on that page? You have opposing goals. As CO goes down, NOx goes up.



I would start by making sure your O2 targets are right at 14.6-14.7 and advance your timing by a small amount. And wire your wastegate open so you're not getting into boost (and richer AFRs).
When I updated the base fuel table, it cut fuel across the board. Not by much, but a few percent probably. Target is 14.7. I think leaning out the fuel is what made my NOx go UP despite all my efforts. Since my CO and HC is so low now, I wonder if I should richen everything up. On that chart it looks like about 13.4:1 is a sweet spot. I don't know how accurate that chart is though.
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:59 PM
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Yes, too lean means you have spare oxygens floating around and lots of heat, so they latch onto the nitrogens and make NOx.

--Ian
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