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Old 06-25-2008, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default Why the hell would you do it that way?

Over on m.net there's a FFS coldside for sale. Less than 100 miles on it, and he sold the car it was on. Several major extras included, as I'll explain.

This guy (mybluec5 there, not sure if he was a member here) bought the coldside used. He then goes and gets a MSPnP system. Okay, I understand; a lot of guys bash the PCPro piggybacks. Since the MS doesn't support the 5th injector (that's the explanation, anyway), he decides not to use it. But, to prevent knock, he then goes and gets a Devil's Own WI system, complete with tank for the trunk. He also gets larger injectors to offset the loss of fuel added by the 5th injector. He then spends big bucks and lots of time trying to get it all tuned. By the time he's done, he's given up and bought a Mini. So, now it is all for sale, for a pretty decent price. There was a fairly long thread on m.net about the whole saga, and another one when he gave up and left.

Now, to my mind, the beauty of the FFS system is that it's pretty straightforward. Bolt it on, some minor tuning and you have roughly 200 horses. Not a lot that even a fairly inexperienced shadetree guy can't do with basic tools. No muss, no fuss. You may not get the best tune, and certainly without the options the MS provides, but it gets the job done. By switching to MS, he's got a lot more work, and the dyno only said he got about 206HP if I remember correctly. That's a lot of money, screwing around and effort for 10-15HP.

So, some questions:
Doesn't that system defeat the whole purpose of buying a ready -made system? Would it make sense to get a kit from FM and substitute Begi parts? Aside from the PCpro haters, is there any huge advantage to doing it the way he did? Assuming I bought it, should I try to install the MS first (plus tuning), then the coldside later, or all at once?

From what I've read, methanol is not so kind to aluminum. So, meth injection sounds to me like just begging for trouble in the intake, head, etc. down the line. Am I off base? Are the concentrations so low (usually 50% mix with water) that it won't make a damn bit of difference? Anyone here using it, and have you noticed any effects? How much better is it for anti knock vs. plain water? I'm not talking super boosted race engines, but a standard MP62 or M45 SC, street driven.

Could I use this sysyem with just water? Maybe not as much HP, but still helps control detonation? Or, are methanol and water injection two different systems?

Assuming I buy this system, can MS support the 5th injector (intercooler? ). If not, can you use a piggyback with it to do so? Is that just completely retarded? With the larger injectors, it the 5th one even necessary? I understand it helps cool the charge somewhat, being after the SC, but is it enough to be worth the trouble?

Last, does anyone have any interest in buying the MSPnP or the DO injection systems? I'd really like to get this, but I'm sweating the hassle. I know I can do the FFS system, no problem, but adding in the MS and DO on top of it all makes me nervous. Plus, selling some of the stuff would help defray the costs, which are making my wife nervous (i.e. pissed off at me for "wasting money")

Edit: excuse the noob questions. I didn't even see the WI forums, which I'm reading. Sheesh, I'm still confused by all the MS stuff!

Last edited by rleete; 06-25-2008 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Noob needs to do more homework
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:32 PM   #2
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I'll give ya 50 bucks for the MS...

But seriously, s many problems as people have had with the powercard crap..i would stay away, i can't give you any first hand-information, but from what I've read tom from FFS is an ***-hat and the powercard blows nut...plus if you sold the DO kit and bought an IC setup you could prove tom's a true ***-hat and that joe perez (i think he's the one always ranting about tom and FFS) right with positive reslts from an intercooled FFS kit run by MS
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:50 PM   #3
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If it was a hotside, I'd just IC it, and the WI would go on later. But it's coldside, which pretty much eliminates the option of intercooling.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:03 AM   #4
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The only reason I can see for adding an MS to the FFS is if you are looking to go BIG on your pulley. So big that you need bigger injectors. Regardless of what KPLAFIN says the PC pro is a very easy to tune Piggyback. Take a look at the PC-PRO section of the FFS forum here http://www.fastforwardsuperchargers....splay.php?f=29 See how many problems people are having with it? Now take a look at the MS forum here and tell me there aren't some problems.

Look, I don't want to get into the whole which-can-do-more debate. The PC system is a simple solution for low-horsepower setups. Bill (Former Datsum510 Man) is putting down 240whp with a PCpro and loves it, but for ~200whp it is very efective.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by socal pat View Post
The only reason I can see for adding an MS to the FFS is if you are looking to go BIG on your pulley. So big that you need bigger injectors. Regardless of what KPLAFIN says the PC pro is a very easy to tune Piggyback. Take a look at the PC-PRO section of the FFS forum here http://www.fastforwardsuperchargers....splay.php?f=29 See how many problems people are having with it? Now take a look at the MS forum here and tell me there aren't some problems.

Look, I don't want to get into the whole which-can-do-more debate. The PC system is a simple solution for low-horsepower setups. Bill (Former Datsum510 Man) is putting down 240whp with a PCpro and loves it, but for ~200whp it is very efective.
+1 My MS is sitting on my floor in my bedroom after my car refused to run one day out of nowhere. MS decided to fall on its face one day and I had to reflash firmware to make it run... After 3 days of ******* with it. Finally got it going and then it ran so poorly I had to remove it so I could drive my car. I'm SURE their are more people with MS problems at 200whp then PC PRO people.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
Over on m.net there's a FFS coldside for sale. Less than 100 miles on it, and he sold the car it was on. Several major extras included, as I'll explain.

This guy (mybluec5 there, not sure if he was a member here) bought the coldside used. He then goes and gets a MSPnP system. Okay, I understand; a lot of guys bash the PCPro piggybacks. Since the MS doesn't support the 5th injector (that's the explanation, anyway), he decides not to use it. But, to prevent knock, he then goes and gets a Devil's Own WI system, complete with tank for the trunk. He also gets larger injectors to offset the loss of fuel added by the 5th injector. He then spends big bucks and lots of time trying to get it all tuned. By the time he's done, he's given up and bought a Mini. So, now it is all for sale, for a pretty decent price. There was a fairly long thread on m.net about the whole saga, and another one when he gave up and left.

Now, to my mind, the beauty of the FFS system is that it's pretty straightforward. Bolt it on, some minor tuning and you have roughly 200 horses. Not a lot that even a fairly inexperienced shadetree guy can't do with basic tools. No muss, no fuss. You may not get the best tune, and certainly without the options the MS provides, but it gets the job done. By switching to MS, he's got a lot more work, and the dyno only said he got about 206HP if I remember correctly. That's a lot of money, screwing around and effort for 10-15HP.

So, some questions:
Doesn't that system defeat the whole purpose of buying a ready -made system? Would it make sense to get a kit from FM and substitute Begi parts? Aside from the PCpro haters, is there any huge advantage to doing it the way he did? Assuming I bought it, should I try to install the MS first (plus tuning), then the coldside later, or all at once?

From what I've read, methanol is not so kind to aluminum. So, meth injection sounds to me like just begging for trouble in the intake, head, etc. down the line. Am I off base? Are the concentrations so low (usually 50% mix with water) that it won't make a damn bit of difference? Anyone here using it, and have you noticed any effects? How much better is it for anti knock vs. plain water? I'm not talking super boosted race engines, but a standard MP62 or M45 SC, street driven.

Could I use this sysyem with just water? Maybe not as much HP, but still helps control detonation? Or, are methanol and water injection two different systems?

Assuming I buy this system, can MS support the 5th injector (intercooler? ). If not, can you use a piggyback with it to do so? Is that just completely retarded? With the larger injectors, it the 5th one even necessary? I understand it helps cool the charge somewhat, being after the SC, but is it enough to be worth the trouble?

Last, does anyone have any interest in buying the MSPnP or the DO injection systems? I'd really like to get this, but I'm sweating the hassle. I know I can do the FFS system, no problem, but adding in the MS and DO on top of it all makes me nervous. Plus, selling some of the stuff would help defray the costs, which are making my wife nervous (i.e. pissed off at me for "wasting money")

Edit: excuse the noob questions. I didn't even see the WI forums, which I'm reading. Sheesh, I'm still confused by all the MS stuff!
Lemme see if I can dissect this query piece-by-piece (got your PM btw)

It's not that the MS won't support the 5th injector, it's that it doesn't need it, because the 5th injector is a bandaid solution. I'm not sure what you mean by he added larger injectors to compensate for the "loss" of fuel caused by the 5th injector, the 5th would add more fuel overall.


As far as effort per HP goes, look at it this way (similar to Socal Pat): With the PC, you're pretty well maxxed out, but with the MS there's room to grow. Bigger pulleys, WI control, full control of your timing and fuel, etc. are all things the MS can do.

It may defeat the purpose of a ready made system, but who cares? I bought a ready made turbo (Greddy) but I for sure wasn't going to slap it in and call it a day. FWIW, if you bought a used FM kit, chances are it already has Begi parts in it If I were you, I'd get the car going on the MS and then install and tune for the SC. That way you have a shallower learning curve (no FI) and fewer variables should a problem arise.

I'm not sure how much corrosion to expect with a high meth mix, but if you're concerned, just run (distilled) water. It works fantastically (so well it was banned in F1 and WRC) and it's a perfect solution for SC setups where plumbing an intercooler might be a challenge.

Yes, installing the 5th injector with MS would be retarded, that's what the bigger injectors are for. As for the cooling properties, that's what the WI is for.

Don't sell the MSPnP or DO systems. Get the MS in and tuned (if I can do it, anyone can, and the support for it here is fantastic), toss in the SC and DO, get it running well (VE analyzer is your friend) and see how you like it. If you want more you can always install a smaller pulley.

$0.02
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the response. I've started writing up a rather long email to the guy. If he can answer my questions (mostly about the condition of components), I think I'll dive in.
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by patsmx5 View Post
+1 My MS is sitting on my floor in my bedroom after my car refused to run one day out of nowhere. MS decided to fall on its face one day and I had to reflash firmware to make it run... After 3 days of ******* with it. Finally got it going and then it ran so poorly I had to remove it so I could drive my car. I'm SURE their are more people with MS problems at 200whp then PC PRO people.



I'm sure there are way more support issues with a dell computer than a bic pen too. Doesn't mean the MS sucks or that the PCPro is awesome.
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:31 PM   #9
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Doesn't that system defeat the whole purpose of buying a ready -made system?
Depends on your personality, level of competence, and tolerance for / enjoyment of tinkering. Tom pretty much caters exclusively to the sort of crowd that just wants to bolt it on and call it a day. Truthfully, I can understand that. Not everyone is a tinkerer, and some folks just want to drive.

Some of us, however, are the sort who won't be satisfied until everything is absolutely 100% optimal and perfect, and will tolerate a lot of crap to get there. Or perhaps we just enjoy tinkering and building things. Personally, I derive nearly as much satisfaction from being able to say "I built it all myself" as I from actually driving the car. This forum in general tends to lean towards that side of the fence, as evidenced by the large number of us who are DIYers.
Would it make sense to get a kit from FM and substitute Begi parts?
Surprisingly, yes. Owing to the two companies' years of cooperative business, there is a large degree of parts interchangeability between them, even on the newer systems. In particular, the design of Bell's current divorced-gasses downpipe is quite lovely, and would be considered a signifigant upgrade for someone who has purchased an older FM kit.
Aside from the PCpro haters, is there any huge advantage to doing it the way he did?
Giving up and buying a heavy FWD car? No.
Assuming I bought it, should I try to install the MS first (plus tuning), then the coldside later, or all at once?
It's my opinion that, when dealing with such a project as you describe, the ideal order of operations is to first install and learn the ECU, then upgrade to larger injectors, and lastly install the forced induction system.
From what I've read, methanol is not so kind to aluminum. So, meth injection sounds to me like just begging for trouble in the intake, head, etc. down the line.
In high concentration and for prolonged periods of time, yes. In the context of meth injection however, a relatively small amount of liquid is used, and it does not linger on the metal. Once you're out of boost, the meth pump shuts off and any residual liquid on the inside of the manifold and head will vanish pretty much instantly.

I've been running a DevilsOwn progressive system for close to two years, at appx. 50% concentration of VP M1 and distilled water, with the injector just upstream of the throttle body. There is some slight corrosion on the outside of one brass fitting on my pump where I had an imperfect seal and some liquid continuously drizzled out for several months, however there is no obvious damage to the throttle plate, manifold, head or pistons.

With 91 octane fuel, I found that in general I could run approximately 5 degrees more ignition (or specifically, 5 less retard, as this test was done on my EMU) at maximum boost without audible knock.
Could I use this sysyem with just water? Maybe not as much HP, but still helps control detonation? Or, are methanol and water injection two different systems?
Plain water is also commonly used, and there is no difference in the design of the system. You could pour plain water in one week, and 50/50 the next. I have no specific data comparing the anti-knock properties of plain water vs. Methanol/Water mixture. As cheap as Methanol is, I consider it to be free insurance.
Assuming I buy this system, can MS support the 5th injector
It could, however it would be a stupidly huge step backwards. The 5'th injector is principally a way to supply the extra fuel that the engine needs to maintain a good mixture in boost. FFS does it this way because their control system cannot accomodate larger-than-stock injectors in the primary injector locations. Any cooling effect that is claimed with such a setup is purely secondary to the role of simply putting fuel into the mix.

A much more elegant solution with any forced induction application is to size the primary injectors appropriately and use an engine management system capable of controlling them. For instance, I replaced the stock injectors in my car with use 465cc/min injectors. Initially I used the EMU piggyback computer to scale them, and then later upgraded to a Megasquirt.

With the larger injectors, it the 5th one even necessary?
No, for the reasons noted above.
Last, does anyone have any interest in buying the MSPnP or the DO injection systems? I'd really like to get this, but I'm sweating the hassle. I know I can do the FFS system, no problem, but adding in the MS and DO on top of it all makes me nervous.
You have all the pieces of a really good engine management system, and you want to get rid of them?
Edit: excuse the noob questions. I didn't even see the WI forums, which I'm reading. Sheesh, I'm still confused by all the MS stuff!
I grant you, the MS is intimidating at first. The basic principles are actually very simple, but they're shrouded in the mystery of MegaTune with its scary and unfamiliar units of measure like VE and kilopascals. Once you actually get into it, it really starts to make sense.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:25 PM   #10
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Joe, thanks for taking the time to type all that. I especially liked the "Giving up and buying a heavy FWD car? No." comment.

My FM/Begi example was probably a bad one to use. I just thought it was kind of counterintuitive to get a bolt-on kit, and then go messing with it before he got the basics worked out. I tend to be DIY, but I also tend to dive into huge projects, and never complete them. I guess I am just intimidated, as electronics have always been foreign to me. So, knowing that (the first step is admitting you have a problem...), I now try to be more cautious and realistic in my plans.

I've been getting a bunch of PMs about the MS after my first post. I think, at this time I'll try the system the way it is, installing the MS first (as it says to in the MS FAQ), and then the rest. Maybe doing it a piece at a time will motivate me to learn the tuning faster, in order to get to the boost part.


Just one last question regarding the water/meth injection: how much do you guys normally use in a week (or per x number of miles)? I haven't found anything specific on it. More importantly, what happens when you run out? Is there some safeguard so that you don't hit boost with no fluid, and hence detonate? Or, is there just a warning light you have to heed?
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:55 PM   #11
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I'll blow through about 1 gallon per fuel tank with my 3 gph nozzle. My safeguard is that I had the WI off when it was tuned, so I don't need it on, but it aids with spool from 5-14 psi (only noticeable in 4th and 5th really) and the butt dyno says it adds maybe 10-15 hp.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:14 PM   #12
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My FM/Begi example was probably a bad one to use.
Yeah, I assumed you were trying to make a point, I just thought it was a good setup for an ironic comment.
I just thought it was kind of counterintuitive to get a bolt-on kit, and then go messing with it before he got the basics worked out.
Well, I understand your reasoning, but at the same time I disagree. Given that his intention was ultimately to transition to a Megasquirt, I don't think that starting out with a PowerCard and 5'th injector system would have been a good idea. It would have consumed a fair amount of time to install and tune, and then another fair amount of time to remove when it came to the MS install. On top of that, it would have meant installing a Megasquirt onto an already modified engine. This is certainly not impossible (many of us, myself included, went MS long after our initial turbo install) however I feel that the most optimum situation is one in which you must contend with only one variable at a time. Hence the order of operations would go:
1- MS and WBO2
2- Injectors
3- FI
I guess I am just intimidated, as electronics have always been foreign to me. So, knowing that (the first step is admitting you have a problem...), I now try to be more cautious and realistic in my plans.
I understand completely. I try to restrain myself when doling out advice in such matters, as electronics and software are quite second nature to me, given that I'm an electrical engineer. On the other hand, I try not to underestimate people's actual abilities too badly. The MSPNP is targeted at the non-engineering audience, and has proven itself to be a perfectly viable solution for anyone with a reasonable mechanical aptitude and a willingness to tinker.
Just one last question regarding the water/meth injection: how much do you guys normally use in a week (or per x number of miles)?
Now that's a hugely multivariable question. During our most recent hardcore mountain run, I went through just about one gallon of 50/50 mix in ~150 miles. This was an extreme situation. In regular daily driving, I'm probably much closer to one gallon per 300 to 400 miles. It's hard to say precisely since I tend to top off my tank whenever I've got the trunk open and notice that it's an inch or two low.
More importantly, what happens when you run out? Is there some safeguard so that you don't hit boost with no fluid, and hence detonate?
This is largely a matter of DIY. Taking the DevilsOwn system as an example, there are no safeguards at all in the basic kit.

In my system however, I have a number of safeguards. First, while my primary tank is the windshield washer bottle, I have installed a second 5 liter tank in the trunk, with an automatic transfer system. There are two float switches in the washer bottle, and when the lower one closes, a windshield washer pump comes on to transfer mixture from the rear tank to the front tank, stopping when it reaches the upper switch. Whenever the pump is running, a light on my dashboard comes on. If it stays on for more than 10 seconds or so, I know that either the reserve tank is empty or the transfer pump has failed.

Then, I installed a pressure switch into the main line just before the nozzle. Whenever pressure is not present in the water line, my boost controller is bypassed and the MS runs an ignition map which is extremely conservative in the boosted areas. This protects against potential failures of the main pump, blown lines, etc.

Here are some links which depict my setup in detail:
https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6932
https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9256
https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9083

Last edited by Joe Perez; 06-26-2008 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:14 PM   #13
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Wow, very nice info. I like the idea of the pressure switch in the line. I didn't know you could switch maps like that, so I'm obviously going to have to do some reading.

I just got off the phone with Mark (the seller), and he was very straight forward. Told me everything I asked in my very long email to him. He's either an extremely accomplished BS artist, or he's being open about ther whole thing. Told me a couple of things I forgot to ask, and even some I didn't know to ask about. I think I'm gonna just bite the bullet and get it. Wife is gonna kill me!
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:21 PM   #14
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One key question from your original post which I failed to address was this:
Doesn't that system defeat the whole purpose of buying a ready -made system?

To my way of thinking, the FFS supercharger package, as delivered with e-cool, is not a complete system. By virtue of the design of the intake manifold, placing an auxiliary fuel injector at the throttle body location virtually guarantees uneven fuel distribution amongst the cylinders. Some will tend to run leaner than others, thus requiring that the mixture be set overly rich to accommodate the leanest cylinder. Not only is this wasteful of fuel, but it is non-optimal from a performance standpoint as well.

It's also dangerous, quite frankly. In a worst-case scenario, a failure of the second powercard (the one driving the aux injector) would leave the engine with just enough fuel coming out of the primary injectors to destroy itself rather rapidly and catastrophically.

FFS isn't the first company to have used such a contraption to deliver extra fuel for boost, but they are the only one I'm aware of that's still doing it. Bell, as an example, abandoned this concept years ago, first for rising-rate fuel pressure regulators and later for properly sized primary injectors and piggyback / standalone engine management computers capable of dealing with them.

FM's approach to engine management on the NB started out along a similar vein. Rather than a single injector at the TB as in the FFS system, their link piggyback drive four aux injectors, placed parallel to the main injectors to assure even fuel distribution. They too have seen the light however, and their upper-end NB turbo kits now utilize the Hydra ECU, along with a set of properly sized primary injectors.



Anyway, table switching is only one of the extraordinarily cool features of the Megasquirt. It's described (along with everything else) in this link, down at the bottom under "Map Table Switching" http://www.msextra.com/manuals/MS_Ex...nual_Index.htm


Oh, and congrats on joining the Boost Club. As much as I'd have liked to sway you in the direction of a turbo, I think you'll find forced induction in general to be a rather pleasing experience.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:45 PM   #15
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Yeah, I've been torn. I know I can get higher absolute numbers from a turbo, but I'm not really looking to be in the stratosphere. And, I've just always wanted a blower. Basically, I really like the Miata, except for it's rather lackluster acceleration. If it had the power of a V-6 right off the bat, I'd probably not be looking to boost at all. I just don't like being pwned by some soccer mom in a stock minivan.

Once I get the MS, you can expect many more questions in the appropriate forum. For now, just one: I get the system, plug it in. Do I Have to dyno it at that point, and again with new injectors, and yet again with the SC? Or, are there plenty of base maps that will get me in the ballpark (with maybe some tweaking) that I can run, and only dyno at the boost stage?
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:58 PM   #16
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One other thing: the first sentence of your post is damn near word for word what he said on the phone.

He did mention the problems with the powercards (he went through several), but was never able to pin it down, and so was hesitant to say too much against them. In the end, he decided that larger injectors and the MS was a better option.

However, he praised Tom at FFS for the assistance and patience. So, he may not have the best system, but he's definitely got the customer service angle down.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:00 AM   #17
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For now, just one: I get the system, plug it in. Do I Have to dyno it at that point, and again with new injectors, and yet again with the SC?
Absolutely not. In fact, the truth is that I still haven't dyno'd mine, and I've been running 13 PSI for months. (And mine isn't even a Plug-N-Play)

Basically, with the MSPNP you'll get a set of base maps that you can drive to the moon and back on with stock injectors. It might not be dead-on-***** perfect, but it'll be real close. Assuming you have a wideband O2 sensor, the MS will dynamically correct mixture just like a stock ECU, except that unlike a stock ECU, you can tell it in an 8x8 AFR target map exactly what mixture to seek under different conditions. This is an amazingly useful feature. When combined with the MegaLogViewer software and its built-in VE table analyzer, you can autotune the fuel maps just by driving and logging.

Once you step up to bigger injectors, you'll change the "Req Fuel" constant, which is basically a number that determines the "base" fuel pulse for a given injector size. All the other numbers in the VE table scale off of that one datapoint. So in theory, you can change injectors and not have to significantly retune, though some fine-tuning will be necesasary. Again, let MLV do its thing on the logs and it'll get you 99% of the way there.

By the time the supercharger goes on, you'll have the non-boosted section of your table (everything below 100 kPa) tuned, and you'll have a starting point for boost fuel. The cool thing about the MS that seperates it from the piggybacks is that there's really no difference between boost and not boost. It's all just one big table that scales linearly from idle to WOT. So just take the numbers at the 100 kPa row and scale them up in the boosted rows. Start rich, and let MLV auto-lean them for you gradually.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BenR View Post
I'm sure there are way more support issues with a dell computer than a bic pen too. Doesn't mean the MS sucks or that the PCPro is awesome.
Exactly, the Bic Pen is a marvel of simplicity, and therefore does its intended job so well.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:43 PM   #19
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I've spoken with Mark on quite a few occasions and I feel pretty confident that 100% of his problems were due to the "tuner" who he hired. Everything he told me about was pure ***-hattery, from incorrect WI fittings to rotating the CAS instead of tweaking the spark table. WTF kind of "tuner" does that?

I thought Mark was going to drop the car off with me for a week, but I guess he said F-It and moved on.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:53 PM   #20
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I was under the same impression. This is one that can't be blamed on the PC-Pro or the MS. Doubling your horsepower is fun, but it is serious business mechanically.
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