RMA'd the LC1 - Considering AEM UEGO - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 04-07-2008, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default RMA'd the LC1 - Considering AEM UEGO

So I RMA'd the LC1 this last week. Since I got it it's been nothing but unreliable. Work for a while, be weird for a while, Error 8's for a bit, then more weirdness.

I now know that the Error 8's were probably due to it being in the stock location + no heatsink (doh), things did get better after I moved the ground (it's on a separate ground from the MS) - but damn this thing just isn't instilling confidence in me. Plus now I'm looking at picking up the heatsink/having a bung installed on my stock exhaust as well as a stand alone gauge.

All of this is making it awfully appealing to jump ship to the slightly less configurable (I hear) but much more forgiving (I also hear) AEM UEGO.

So I'm curious.
A) Can I run it in the stock location? Turbo downpipe? (less of an issue)
B) What would I be giving up that the LC1 can do?
C) What would I be gaining that the LC1 can't do?
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotaku View Post
A) Can I run it in the stock location? Turbo downpipe? (less of an issue)
Not recommended for any wideband sensor. Put it in the downpipe just before the catalytic converter, pointing straight up. Run the cable through a slit in the shifter boot. (The rubber boot which is visible after you remove the center console)
Quote:
B) What would I be giving up that the LC1 can do?
1: The AEM has only one output, whereas the LC1 has two. This is of absolutely no consequence with a MS.
2: The AEM cannot be user-calibrated
Quote:
C) What would I be gaining that the LC1 can't do?
The AEM supposedly does not require any calibration, ever.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:22 AM   #3
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No you cannot run it in the stock location. Heat kills widebands, end of story, they can't handle it. 36" or 3' to be trouble free.
The LC1 is configurable and you can simulate a narrowband but once you connect it to MS and a gauge you run out of outputs anyway so its pointless.
The AEM gauge is the controller, it makes for a cleaner install.

Get a bung installed before your car, 36" or so down from the head. Run the wideband cable down under the shifter boot and it will be a direct shot for your bung if you place it right. Then zip tie the plastic connector piece on the UEGO somewhere so it doens't melt or get banged around all over.

+ Joe had the quickdraw on this one. The AEM never needs recalibration as it has a calibration resistor that takes care of that. You have to buy sensors from AEM if your's ever dies but they're really no more expensive than the regular bosch wideband sensor for the LC1 so it's not a big deal.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:27 AM   #4
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Put it in the downpipe just before the catalytic converter, pointing straight up.
This is likely not a job for JB weld eh? haha... Obviously this is less of a problem with the BEGi S as I can have them add one there... but I'd like to get the MS somewhat dialed in before getting that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
1: The AEM has only one output, whereas the LC1 has two. This is of absolutely no consequence with a MS.
Other than no narrow band output to the ECU for lack of CEL action eh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
2: The AEM cannot be user-calibrated
As in no open air Calibrated or as in you can't set the range/curve like you can with the LC1 (the whole 0v=10 - 1v=20 or what have you action)

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The AEM supposedly does not require any calibration, ever.
I'm so sick of those, that's a fantastic thing. haha.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Not recommended for any wideband sensor. Put it in the downpipe just before the catalytic converter, pointing straight up. Run the cable through a slit in the shifter boot. (The rubber boot which is visible after you remove the center console)
1: The AEM has only one output, whereas the LC1 has two. This is of absolutely no consequence with a MS.
2: The AEM cannot be user-calibrated
The AEM supposedly does not require any calibration, ever.
He pretty much sums it up here. Like he said, since you are running ms, you don't need to emulate a narrowband. Although, you could probably just run both the narrowband and wideband.

I just switched from the LC-1 to the UEGO and I love it. I actually trust it! With my LC-1 I was getting all kinds of readings and it got to the point where I didn't believe it anymore. Don't get me wrong, I have heard a lot of good things about the LC-1. Take a trip over to the innovate forums, there are a lot of unhappy people. That is what made me decide to go with a UEGO instead of another LC-1. The UEGO was easier to hook up and I've had far less problems.

Thats just my .02
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:36 AM   #6
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I run both the stock narrowband and the UEGO just for the purpose of keeping CELs at bay.
The AEM has two outputs; one for an ECU like MS and one more so you can directly datalog what it is outputting if you wire it into a DB9 cable apparently. I think you use hyperterminal or something bogus like that. (I never used this feature, its pretty worthless)
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:43 AM   #7
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I run both the stock narrowband and the UEGO just for the purpose of keeping CELs at bay.
That's a great call. With the problem being the bung position and needing to add another I can just keep that sucker in place and that'd free me up to use output 2 for the gauge... niiiice.

Anyone know how much it runs to get an extra o2 bung installed?
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:45 AM   #8
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In your stock exhaust or in the BEGI S kit? I'm pretty sure they by default install one bung for the narrowband and one more for the wideband.
To get one welded in your stock exhaust it could be anywhere from 20-100 bucks depending on where/who/how they do it. My local shop does it for 30 but only if they don't have to remove any of the exhaust. To do it right you will want to mark the spot on the downpipe that the sensor can be mounted vertically or 12 o-clock. Then remove the stock downpipe, drill a hole and get the bung welded in.
FWIW, the UEGO comes with a bung that can be welded into the stock exhaust so that expense is saved.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:53 AM   #9
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In your stock exhaust or in the BEGI S kit? I'm pretty sure they by default install one bung for the narrowband and one more for the wideband.
To get one welded in your stock exhaust it could be anywhere from 20-100 bucks depending on where/who/how they do it. My local shop does it for 30 but only if they don't have to remove any of the exhaust. To do it right you will want to mark the spot on the downpipe that the sensor can be mounted vertically or 12 o-clock. Then remove the stock downpipe, drill a hole and get the bung welded in.
FWIW, the UEGO comes with a bung that can be welded into the stock exhaust so that expense is saved.
Yeah, stock, BEGi is a complete non issue. Looks like I may look into doing something like that myself depending the price range around here.

Sadly I shipped the bung off with the LC1 to Innovate so I'll have to wait for that one to come back before I attempt mangling the thing with JB Weld or worse, complete noob welding skills. Ah well.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:58 AM   #10
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I attempt mangling the thing with JB Weld ...
really? really? Let me tell you, i've seen people try to use jb weld on exhaust. No dice.
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:06 AM   #11
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really? really? Let me tell you, i've seen people try to use jb weld on exhaust. No dice.
Haha, I'm kidding. I've heard heat does wonky things to the stuff.

Though extra encouragement to stay the hell away is always appreciated.

=D
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:01 AM   #12
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Mabye I'm lucky, but my LC-1 has been in the stock location in the DP since I installed it (12-13k miles) with no issues. It goes wacky every so often in really cold weather (sub-35), but it hasn't done that since I moved the ground to the stock ECU grounds by the TB.

If I had a properly-angled bung on my DP, it would be there.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:35 AM   #13
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Mabye I'm lucky, but my LC-1 has been in the stock location in the DP since I installed it (12-13k miles) with no issues.
Same here, stock headers with a JRSC though. I've got REALLY beefy (overkill really) power and grounds to my LC-1, maybe that is the key?

I've got some copper to make up the heatshield but it's not finished yet.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:26 AM   #14
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Same here, stock headers with a JRSC though. I've got REALLY beefy (overkill really) power and grounds to my LC-1, maybe that is the key?
In many cases, yes. LC-1s are sensitive to ground issues and, to a lesser extent, problems with their power supply. But once they're wired up like that we've had pretty good luck with them in our own project cars.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:35 AM   #15
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In many cases, yes. LC-1s are sensitive to ground issues and, to a lesser extent, problems with their power supply. But once they're wired up like that we've had pretty good luck with them in our own project cars.
I know I've heard that. Do you guys run separate power and grounds exclusive for the LC1? Or do you just tap separate ones that are going to the ECU? (Edit: By separate I mean ones not going to the Megasquirt)

If the former are running wires all the way to the back of the engine for ground and where do you get your power? I seem to recall someone mentioning getting 12v from the ignition or something a while back for their LC1.

Basically I'm willing to re do this whole sucker if it means I'll have less problems.

Last edited by sotaku; 04-07-2008 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:52 AM   #16
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I'm RMA'ing my UEGO for the second time. Got it Christmas. :(

They didnt fix it the first time.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:01 AM   #17
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I run a nice fat ground directly to the same point on the block that the ECU gets it's ground from. That's a big deal. Then I get a good 12v switched source, generally from the fuel pump relay. That's what I did on my '90 Miata. I can honestly say I've never had anything put perfection out of my LC-1's. Some may choose not to trust me because I sell them and that's cool. Those that know me know I don't BS regardless of what I sell. If it was a bad product there's too many others out there, I'd sell there's instead. But it's just not, like anything it must be properly installed, and it's bar none the most accurate affordable wideband on the market.

Remember this-- a precision instrument requires precise installation. You want it to read and function perfectly? Install it perfectly. It's a garbage in garbage out principle. (<--not aimed at anyone in particular, but this is so true, particularly with widebands and EMS's.)

I've got a Motec PLM in my dyno. To be fair it has an older firmware on it from a couple years back, but Motec wants to charge me to upgrade it so I haven't. But I've had both the Motec PLM and an LC-1 on my 90 Miata at the same time when dynoing, and when I tried to push 15psi on the stock ignition and started blowing out spark, the LC-1 was fast enough to show the lean spikes for each and every misfire event. The PLM missed nearly all of them. I was able to datalog and repeat this time and time again. I'm also able to calibrate both units and the PLM reads about .75 AFR leaner than the LC-1 on average it seems. I can tell the LC-1 is the more accurate as when tuning a turbo car to say 11.8:1 AFR on the LC-1 at 15psi, it's nice and happy, clear exhaust for the most part. If I target the same 11.8:1 AFR using the PLM, because it reads .75 ish lean, then I'm really ending up tuning closer to 11:1, and the car is a bit down on power, and blows black smoke on the pull which means too much fuel. The LC-1 is all around better. Guess what I'm pulling out of my dyno soon and guess what I'm putting in it instead?

Believe me, I fully expected the PLM to be superior with the reputation the maker has, and I'm still surprised as the results of my testing, and maybe I just got a bad one or the older firmware is the issue, but I've seen with my own eyes repeatedly the LC-1 just plain does an awesome job time after time. Accurate and fast.

I don't know much about the AEM. I do know that I'm glad I have to calibrate my sensor. Any instrument that is supposed to provide that fine level of detail, and that you're expecting perfection and accuracy out of, using a sensor that will be effected by usage, time, and abuse in some cases, will need to be calibrated. Do you think the lab quality widebands never need calibration? No way, actually they calibrate using specific lab grade gases that signify an exact AFR the instrument should read. Most of us don't have those gases laying around so we use the atmosphere, which does the trick fairly well for the average user. IMO any argument against this is just a marketing appeal towards the users laziness and a likely compromise in the performance of the system.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:18 AM   #18
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I run a nice fat ground directly to the same point on the block that the ECU gets it's ground from. That's a big deal. Then I get a good 12v switched source, generally from the fuel pump relay. That's what I did on my '90 Miata. I can honestly say I've never had anything put perfection out of my LC-1's. Some may choose not to trust me because I sell them and that's cool. Those that know me know I don't BS regardless of what I sell. If it was a bad product there's too many others out there, I'd sell there's instead. But it's just not, like anything it must be properly installed, and it's bar none the most accurate affordable wideband on the market.

Remember this-- a precision instrument requires precise installation. You want it to read and function perfectly? Install it perfectly. It's a garbage in garbage out principle. (<--not aimed at anyone in particular, but this is so true, particularly with widebands and EMS's.)...
I totally agree, and also, if you want to buy another lc-1 buy it from diyautotune.com. Their support is impeccable.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:25 AM   #19
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I run a nice fat ground directly to the same point on the block that the ECU gets it's ground from. That's a big deal. Then I get a good 12v switched source, generally from the fuel pump relay. That's what I did on my '90 Miata. I can honestly say I've never had anything put perfection out of my LC-1's.
This is some excellent information. When I get mine back I think I'll try doing this and see how I fair. Thanks a ton for chiming in.

I guess I hadn't thought of it, I could have called you guys when I had problems since I bought it from you, eh? Doh! Now I know.

From all of the replies so far I'm thinking I just had my install jacked on the LC-1. I'm going to give it another go when it comes back before writing it off. It was just unbelievably frustrating to have no trust in such an important piece of equipment.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:26 AM   #20
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I totally agree, and also, if you want to buy another lc-1 buy it from diyautotune.com. Their support is impeccable.

I second this. I received better support from DIY than I did from the company I actually bought my MS from... makes me regret being a cheap-***.
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