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Old 02-16-2012, 02:25 AM   #1
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Default Not a question, But a Megasquirt Tuning Experience...

So this happened to me about a month ago...

A little background...

I started a car build in late summer and worked on it through the end of January, and the idea was to finish the car before I had to go back to school at the end of January. I was getting towards the end of the build and was on track to finish the mechanical work on time, but it would not be tuned properly. I have a megasquirt in the car, and this this is where my megasquirt related story comes in....

So rather than trusting my own abilities to tune it (which I have no prior experience with tuning as I am 20), I would bring it to a professional. So my father knew of a few locals who are known for their tuning abilities, and a reputable shop that came to his mind was Jannetty's Racing. He called around to a few places but they all said they had no experience in tuning Megasquirt. So he talked to the people at Jannetty's, and the guy asked the typical questions: what kind of car, what kind of turbo, what kinda of engine management, etc. And when he got all his answers the man said "SURE!! we can tune. we have a guy who can tune ANYTHING, and he has tuned turbo Miatas before, and he has tuned SEVERAL megasquirts." So when I heard this I figured, "wow this is great, just gonna button a few things up and it will be good to go."

So my date to leave for school was January 27th. I had a scheduled dyno day for January 26th, the day before I left. I was ecstatic figuring that I would have everything perfect for when I went back to school.

So I stop in the shop to talk to the guys down there a few days before my dyno date to put down a deposit. I start talking to the guy at the desk , and he explains that he is the one that does all the tuning, and he is also the owner. He started asking the same questions that my father had discussed with the last guy that he talked to previously (different guy), but this time I received slightly different answers. When I told him the kind of car, his response was "well, I've never tuned one of those before, but I have tuned that particular motor before, it shouldn't be an issue." Then when I explained that I had a megasquirt he stopped me right when the words came out of my mouth and said "hmm, Megasquirt, I don't tune Megasquirts." So I said "I was told that you did, and that you can tune any ECU?" He responded with "well, I can tune it, but I only have about 2-4 hours prior experience with Megasquirt. It would take me 8-12 hours to tune it and at the price you would pay me to do it, you'd be better off getting an AEM and having me tune it with that. Would take me no time at all." (Which by the way, he is an AEM dealer). So this kind of made me curious and I asked the stupid question of "Well why don't you tune Megasquirts?" and his response, verbatim, was this "Because the Megasquirt is an archaic piece of junk" and he then went on to stand his ground and defend his opinion as to why it is "junk". He seemed to know absolutely nothing about them is what it came down to. When I explained to him the popularity of it among this community, he didn't have much to say in response, and I think he realized that I may have been 20, but I wasn't completely stupid.

When I related the story to a fellow MiataTurbo member (who warned me NOT to go there beforehand) his response was "When it comes to imports, I would trust a monkey in banana pajamas to tune my car before I let him touch it."


Just a little rant that I have been holding back on sharing, but when thinking about how I am at school, with no miata sitting outside my dorm, I thought a short rant was acceptable...
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:30 PM   #2
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Guy's a muppet, he just wanted to sell you an AEM because Yes he can tune it "quicker" but you will have to go back for him to do any checking and re-tuning. IIRC they are code locked and only dealers have the codes. (Might be wrong there but not sure).
Once the basic set up is loaded, it should be just a case of dyno run and tweak.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:57 PM   #3
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Wow.

BTW, you should be studying. I recognize a procrastination break when I see one.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:08 PM   #4
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I would have punched him straight in the dick and dropped a steamer on his desk.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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Where is this shop? Thats bs. Typical people claiming something they dont know as being ----. There are so many "tuners" out there that dont know ----.

Unfortunately megasquirt is not as common and main stream as others, so its hard to find people willing to work on it.

I might be able to lend a hand. No promises tho, I am still in the middle of my own project and helping Astroboy get his crap tuned.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:52 AM   #6
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the tuner I brought my car to has had limited experience with MS, however he says it's pretty standard in terms of tuning, etc. He did express to me that, when I told him I had a megasquirt, he was thinking, "oh crap, another do it yourselfer cutting corners", except for when I got there he was pretty impressed with the install, unlike the other people who had brought their cars to him with a megasquirt. Those cars were a mess and frankly, didn't deserve to even have a megasquirt in them. They were literally a wiring mess with the harness all hacked up, sensors, etc. all messed up and nothing labeled, and of course dirty as heck. MS just got a bad rap right now since it is technically the most cost efficient way of not blowing up your car
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Wow.

BTW, you should be studying. I recognize a procrastination break when I see one.
That was exactly what it was, engineering student, late night doing work, what else is new? basically what this is right now haha

Quote:
Where is this shop? Thats bs. Typical people claiming something they dont know as being ----. There are so many "tuners" out there that dont know ----.

Unfortunately megasquirt is not as common and main stream as others, so its hard to find people willing to work on it.

I might be able to lend a hand. No promises tho, I am still in the middle of my own project and helping Astroboy get his crap tuned.
Yeaa it is no biggy if you can't lend a hand, I am in no rush at this point to get it tuned, but I am looking to do a little work on it over my spring break in March, not really sure yet though. But you are correct, it was total BS. It's a shop in Waterbury. And speaking of it not being as main stream as others, he had another thing to say about that. He said something to the affect of "Well Megasquirt is such a small company and nobody really uses them or tunes them for a reason. They don't even have good tech support, I don't even think they have a website. I think people just talk about it on forums and stuff." Apparently he has never heard of DIYAutotune. And he is also under the impression that all of them are made by some guy in his basement. Can't think of the quote on that one, but another irritating one.

Quote:
the tuner I brought my car to has had limited experience with MS, however he says it's pretty standard in terms of tuning, etc. He did express to me that, when I told him I had a megasquirt, he was thinking, "oh crap, another do it yourselfer cutting corners", except for when I got there he was pretty impressed with the install, unlike the other people who had brought their cars to him with a megasquirt. Those cars were a mess and frankly, didn't deserve to even have a megasquirt in them. They were literally a wiring mess with the harness all hacked up, sensors, etc. all messed up and nothing labeled, and of course dirty as heck. MS just got a bad rap right now since it is technically the most cost efficient way of not blowing up your car
Yea, I was getting the same vibe from this guy, that he had seen them before and that he assumed that the project was a hack job because I am a kid from Waterbury and didn't want to touch it. He made mention of the fact that it is "the cheapest" thing as far as ECU, and how slow the processor was, and a whole bunch of other reasons as to why he hated it. Just a very frustrating and irritating experience overall. And pretty much everything he had to say about Miatas, megasquirts, and cars in general pissed me off.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:59 PM   #8
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this sounds like my experience with a local shop when i first got into ms and was trying to find a place to tune it. they swore up and down how much ms sucked and it blew up cars, and never worked and anything else they could come up with. it started a ---- show on a few local forums i asked around on when people started telling them how imcompetant they are to talk like that, and refuse to touch anything but thier prized/pricey aem. hell they never even wanted to touch mazdas in general untill they got the cobb tuning stuff for the new mazdaspeed cars....lol.. hell i even got an unworking ms, they couldnt get to work for 200 bucks for a local buddy, wired it up for our car from what ever ford contraption they tried, and it fired up the first crank like it was stock....lol.... i still wont go to that shop, but i got dragged there last year for a dyno day, and they barely wanted to run my car, then they went soo slow reving it up they only got 256 on thier mustang dyno off it...lol... how im not sure, but my bov leaked the whole time i was there, never did before, never did after...lol... i had 18psi when i got there, 10 when it ran and 18 again when i left... ill stay away from thier fail shop from now on.... i just dont get people who if they dont understand, or cant tune something, its garbage, way to bring in customers...lol....
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by yunvmyegt View Post
this sounds like my experience with a local shop when i first got into ms and was trying to find a place to tune it. they swore up and down how much ms sucked and it blew up cars, and never worked and anything else they could come up with. it started a ---- show on a few local forums i asked around on when people started telling them how imcompetant they are to talk like that, and refuse to touch anything but thier prized/pricey aem. hell they never even wanted to touch mazdas in general untill they got the cobb tuning stuff for the new mazdaspeed cars....lol.. hell i even got an unworking ms, they couldnt get to work for 200 bucks for a local buddy, wired it up for our car from what ever ford contraption they tried, and it fired up the first crank like it was stock....lol.... i still wont go to that shop, but i got dragged there last year for a dyno day, and they barely wanted to run my car, then they went soo slow reving it up they only got 256 on thier mustang dyno off it...lol... how im not sure, but my bov leaked the whole time i was there, never did before, never did after...lol... i had 18psi when i got there, 10 when it ran and 18 again when i left... ill stay away from thier fail shop from now on.... i just dont get people who if they dont understand, or cant tune something, its garbage, way to bring in customers...lol....
Glad to know that I am not the only one that this has happened to!
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:44 PM   #10
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once you learn how to tune pretty much any EMS, you can learn how to tune most of them after just learning how they implement the functionality.

I put a Tec3 in my miata and learned how to tune it. Then I put a Hydra in. Then I put an Adaptronic. Now I've got a Megasquirt3.

Aside from some minor differences in enrichments and idle tuning, they all control fuel and spark with 3D maps pretty much the same way. And tuning fuel takes about 5 minutes on a dyno because they ALL autotune in some way.

Spark you can just copy from someone's conservative map and be 90% done.

Tuning idle and enrichments (driveability) takes time and I wouldn't pay a tuner to do that because it'd cost $4000 in labor.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:41 AM   #11
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Once you learn how to tune any speed density EMS you can tune any other speed density EMS.

Mass airflow does require some re-learning.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
once you learn how to tune pretty much any EMS, you can learn how to tune most of them after just learning how they implement the functionality.

I put a Tec3 in my miata and learned how to tune it. Then I put a Hydra in. Then I put an Adaptronic. Now I've got a Megasquirt3.

Aside from some minor differences in enrichments and idle tuning, they all control fuel and spark with 3D maps pretty much the same way. And tuning fuel takes about 5 minutes on a dyno because they ALL autotune in some way.

Spark you can just copy from someone's conservative map and be 90% done.

Tuning idle and enrichments (driveability) takes time and I wouldn't pay a tuner to do that because it'd cost $4000 in labor.
What he said.

The tuner told you the truth, I can tune MS significantly faster than I can tune Adaptronic...because I've "lived and breathed" for a few years, only done two cars on Adaptronic.

As for MS being archaic...if he's talking about MS1, he's right. However, it's done a fine job on my car and hundreds other cars. I highly suggest you learn to do this yourself. I took the car to three tuners before I gave in, man'd up, and did it myself. I chuckle when tuners tell me they either charge $1000 for a dyno tune or tell me they can make the car do everything perfectly in a few hours. Idle, enrichments, and cold start take time, more time than most of us can afford.

I'm working on Jeff's car now (and perplexed). I told him I could road tune it in about an hour and it would take a few hours to get idle and enrichments ready for the dyno. Then, cold start will have to wait until next winter. Dyno tuning is really the easy part once you understand the reasonable parameters of spark angle and fuel tuning.

MS is about the hobbyist, you owe it to yourself and everyone here to take the knowledge on this forum to tell people "I tuned it myself".
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:01 PM   #13
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With Megalog and Tunerstudio, you will achieve MUCH better fuel tuning results DIY on the street than a pro tuner can achieve with limited time on a dyno.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:17 PM   #14
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If it's any consolation, I hear the same thing from a couple of friends of mine that tune factory ecus (one's a bimmer/subie tuner, one's a GM tuner). "MS is a piece of junk" and them some babbling about cost and slow processors, crappy resolution, etc...

ultimately, to me, the proof is in the pudding. if a large number of people are getting solid reliability out of it, then where's the real argument?
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:46 PM   #15
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Open source subaru tuning isnt all that great... but its MAF based not MAP and it has a very very very very different logic behind fuel and spark and OL/CL transitions, so some people may not be able to see both sides of the tuning world. they also cant make changes on the fly. They need to pull over, shut the car off, edit their map, load their map in, drive again, log (which by the way is very limited), and then analize with crappy DIY excel sheets because no one has one good well thought out program like megalogviewer or tunerstudio. They call us dinosaurs... LMAO

MAF scaling vs VE tables are two very different ways of tuning...but in the end do the same thing.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:04 PM   #16
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In general, most people have no clue what they're talking about in the first place. I am among this ignorant group.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:05 PM   #17
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MS is about the hobbyist, you owe it to yourself and everyone here to take the knowledge on this forum to tell people "I tuned it myself".

You have a very good point...It would be nice to say that I tuned my car myself...it's not like I'm really in any rush to get it running perfect anyway. Perhaps I will do some more research and do some tuning myself before I spend a bunch of $$ at a dyno. I mean after doing everything else myself you're correct, I owe it to myself to at least give it a try.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:46 PM   #18
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My only complaint with the MS is the main board which IMHO is archaic. This is less of a problem with MS3 though since most of the load is taken off the main board. That being said, however, a properly setup MS system can function just as well as most aftermarket EFI systems.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:20 AM   #19
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My only complaint with the MS is the main board which IMHO is archaic. This is less of a problem with MS3 though since most of the load is taken off the main board. That being said, however, a properly setup MS system can function just as well as most aftermarket EFI systems.
No doubt about it, the processor speed of the MS is MUCH slower than the factory ECU, but that doesn't take away from the versatility of the MS vs. factory ECU. that being said, in my opinion, a properly tuned MS can function just as good than any aftermarket ECU.

Last edited by cwall424; 02-25-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by cwall424 View Post
You have a very good point...It would be nice to say that I tuned my car myself...it's not like I'm really in any rush to get it running perfect anyway. Perhaps I will do some more research and do some tuning myself before I spend a bunch of $$ at a dyno. I mean after doing everything else myself you're correct, I owe it to myself to at least give it a try.
It took me just over 1-hour to do my first tune, on my car.
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