My Megasquirt Project

Update your progress on your various car projects.

Moderators: Basement Paul, MostMint, Fred32v, ttamrettus, wxo

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

My Megasquirt Project

Postby TireSmoker » Sun Jul 17, 2005 4:20 pm

Right now, I'm just posting a link to my 'success story' posting over at msefi.com (the megasquirt web site). But imagine posts something of that nature, maybe with pictures.

http://www.msefi.com/viewtopic.php?t=7202

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:09 pm

Well, after another round of frustration and disappointment with the computer-controlled timing, I've decided to put that project on the back burner. It's almost August and I want to drive/race this thing. I'm tired of working on it all the time.

So I went out and bought a MSD Pro-Billet (that's right, billet) # 8361 distributor. It's pretty much the same thing I borrowed from Mark, except it has vacuum advance too, although I haven't hooked up the vacuum to it yet. I'll use it for now and then sell it on eBay if/when I actually get the computer-control stuff to work.

I swapped out the heavy springs for the 'blue' springs so that all of my advance should be in by 3000, according to MSD's documentation. The amount of mechanical advance is adjustable, but I left the factory installed 'blue' bushing in, providing 21 degrees. I have the inital set at 15 degrees, which should give me 36 degrees total.

I'll be heading to Thompson tonight if the rain holds out and post some results.

-Dave

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Mon Aug 01, 2005 3:34 pm

Well, the new distributor works like a charm. I installed it last week so that I could make it out to Thompson on Wednesday.

The distributor was installed almost exactly as it came out of the box from MSD. I did change the very heavy advance springs, to the medium blue ones. According to MSD's charts, this should give me all the advance by 3000 RPM. I'm using the factory-installed 'blue' bushing to yield a total of 21 degrees mechanical advance. With 21 degrees of mechanical, I set the initial timing to 15 degrees, for a total of 36 at WOT. The vacuum advance is supposed to add another 10 degrees at 15" of vacuum. I have yet to hook it up.

The car ran decent, (13.16-13.25 on the good runs) although the need for a fuel tank baffle or sump is becoming painfully obvious. I've had too many runs ruined by a fuel starvation after a few hundred feet.

The distributor works very well. Once installed, the car started right up and has worked almost flawlessly. I say almost, because after installing it and test driving Tuesday night, driving to work on Wednesday, racing on Wednesday, and driving home, my car left me stranded on the side of I-480 Thursday afternoon. Not the fault of the distrubutor, but an apparently faulty ground on my MSD 6AL. As I was broken down in the left berm (sp?) of 480 and the MSD box is on the passenger side of the car, I was very leary about trying to repair it there. I bit the bullet and had Fade tow it home for $120. I had it fixed within 15 minutes. I drove the car the rest of the weekend without any troubles.

Paul and I were out on Saturday night when we came upon a black Porsche 944 Turbo with dealer tags. We got a couple runs in on Route 2, heading from Rt 615 to Rt 306 and I was clearly stronger than him, although once we got to about 100, I wasn't really pulling him. I almost had it fully revved out in high gear! (5400-5600 RPM) Lots of fun.

-Dave

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:22 am

Well, another day and another break-down. Fortunately I was not on the freeway this time. I was heading downtown, taking the surface streets. I had just gone down Murray Hill and was about to turn left onto Euclid Ave when the car again just died. No action from the fuel pump. The car wanted to start, but couldn't. A couple guys helped me push it out of the intersection and into a parking lot.

After poking around for a while trying to determine where the failure was, I was able to jumper the fuel pump directly to the battery. The pump worked, which was a good sign! It was real kludgy though. Bare wire wrapped around the bolt that secures the battery terminal to the post. The other end had a ring terminal that I was able to shove into the part of the fuse slot that went to the fuel pump. It was ugly (and un-safe as it was not fused or switched), but it got me home, Fade-free.

I haven't fully troubleshooted the problem, but I suspect a bad relay. When I left the house, I thought it seemed to take just a little longer than usual for the fuel pump to kick on when I turned the key. But I didn't think much of it at the time.

Lessons learned: I thought my wiring was reasonably sound. I'm beginning to wonder. Keep several lengths of wires in your toolbox. Posi-locks make stringing lengths of wire together very easy -- worth their weight in gold when stranded. Time to add a couple relays to the toolbox.

(most) Cops are worthless. I'm standing outside my car trying to get it out of the intersection (before the guys stopped who helped me push it) and a cop car just turns around and goes the other way. Literally. Had I squealed the tires, I'd get pulled over. (and during my 2 hours on 480 the other day, I saw *one* Sherriff's car drive by the entire time).

-Dave

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:16 pm

I thought I posted this already, but I'm now running the MS-II processor and have been since early August.

I think most of the bugs have been worked out. I'm actually to the point where I'm just getting in and driving it. I'm not carrying the laptop with me on every trip -- but the toolbox is still in the trunk.

I bought a Wideband oxygen sensor, an Innovate Motorsports LC-1, that interfaces directly with the Megasquirt computer. Megasquirt now knows the exact air/fuel ratio. I have my fuel map tuned so that at light cruise, I'm running a nice, lean 16 or 17:1, and at WOT, I'm in between 12-13:1.

I've found out that I'm at the limit of my injectors flow capabilities. I have 30 lb/hr now, and really need 36-38. I'm not gonna mess with trying to further refine the top-end of my fuel map until I get new injectors, which probably won't be until winter.

Since I have the fuel side of the injection pretty well dialed in, I may take another stab at the computer controlled timing. Many other people have made it work with the setup I'm trying to use, so it must be something I'm doing wrong in the setup.

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:15 pm

I think I can finally call the setup bug-free. The past several times I've taken the car out, as mentioned, have been without the laptop. I feel I can get in the car at any time, just start it up and drive away.

I drove to Tony's house in Avon today. Except for the first 15 minutes on the way there, it rained the whole way, and it was a mess on the way home. The remains of Hurricane Katrina. The engine never missed a beat. Probably 80+ miles roundtrip. I feel my wiring is fairly sound.

-Dave

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:23 pm

Just another update.. a few days after I posted my 'bug-free' post, I had another failure -- this time a power wire through the firewall shorted out and blew a fusible link in the harness. This was 'legacy' wiring that I did years ago and didn't properly grommet. I completely re-did this section of the wiring, adding an auxillary fuse panel under the dash for all my accessories.

Last weekend I upgraded to 42 lb/hr injectors (Ford 'Green tops'), from the 30 lb/hr units I had in there. The problem with the old injectors was that they were being maxed out in the top of the rev range, with Megasquirt reporting duty cycle at over 100%. Hopefully this is the reason I was having trouble hitting 12s earlier this season.. (as well as losing 2-3 MPH over the carb).

Mark and I went out for a tuning session the other night, and even at the top of the rev range, duty cycle isn't going over 80%. Perfect. And it feels plenty strong on top end.

I will be at Thompson or 42 tromorrow (11-6-05), weather permitting.

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:12 pm

Well, since I'm completely convinced that Megasquirt is my future, this is how I plan on re-installing it in the car.

The engine is out right now and I am building a completely new (and *much* cleaner) wiring harness.

This is the start. http://www.tiresmoke.org/images/megasqu ... iring.html

The device on the right is the MS Relay board. There is a main cable that runs from the MS to the relay board. It provides a main power relay, fuel pump/o2-sensor-heater relay, and a fast-idle-solenoid relay. I will convert the fast-idle relay for controlling my electric fan. It also has fuses for the different circuits. My setup was functionally equivalent to this, just a lot messier. I should've used it on my original install, but I was trying to draw the line somewhere on cost before I got it running.

I'll be posting another project thread about the other big change with my car...

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:03 am

Well, I've been going back out to the garage the past several days and working on a few things. First, I added the necessary resistor and transisitor so that Megasquirt can trigger my MSD box on the white points-wire, as part of the ignition control. I also modded my Megasquirt's case to mount the calibrate button + LED for my wideband O2 sensor (LC-1). I had been having some issues with the output on my wideband which rendered it un-usable. Having this LED in place will alert to me to any trouble codes from the LC-1 controller. I've also permantly wired in the serial connection to the LC-1 controller so that I can quickly connect to it when the LED signals a problem.

Outside the box, I mounted a standard HEI module on my MS case. The HEI module is for converting the distributor's VR-sensor output into a standard tach-out signal that Megasquirt can use. Previously, the VR-sensor was hooked directly to the MSD box, which then provided a signal to MS via the tach-out terminal. All HEI (and most MSD) distributors use a VR sensor.

Image

I also locked out the mechanical advance on the distributor. When you're doing computer controlled ignition, the computer needs to have a timing signal from the distributor at a fixed position in relation to TDC. ie-- 10* BTDC) This is referred to as the Trigger Angle. Based on RPM and acceleration calculations, the computer calculates exactly when to fire the coil to achieve the desired advance.


So I'm at the point where I need my neighbor to come down and help me get the timing (trigger angle) set. I also need to physically swap O2 sensors, as the narrowband is currently installed. From there, I should be able to start the car and have complete timing control from the laptop. I should also have a precise Air/Fuel ratio readout.



Image

So compare that picture, with this one here and you'll see how much the wiring mess has been hidden away.


Despite the fact that I didn't get to race it and barely got to drive it this year, I feel rather optomistic that all of this is going to work.

-Dave

User avatar
ttamrettus
Posts: 844
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:59 pm
Location: on the edge

Postby ttamrettus » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:13 am

Dave,


Not to open a wound but, where do you stand on the fuel pressure?

matt
Matt Sutter

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:38 am

ttamrettus wrote:Dave,


Not to open a wound but, where do you stand on the fuel pressure?

matt


It's not fixed yet, but it'll start and drive. I figured I would work on something less frustating.

-Dave

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:35 pm

Worked on it more tonight.

I got the distributor locked out, and timing set to 10* BTDC. Ignition control isn't working yet. Can't get the car fired with it hooked up. It takes seconds to switch the wires back to the MSD box, which allows the car to run, but with only 10* timing. Posted a question on msefi.com for help.

Wideband O2 sensor appears to be dead. I am contacting the manufacturer, Innovate Motorsports, to see if I can get an RMA.

-Dave

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Progress, success!

Postby TireSmoker » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:06 pm

So far it's been a great weekend. The Buckeyes beat Michigan to play for a national title, the Browns are beating the Steelers in the 3rd quarter, and today I started my car with Megasquirt controlling the timing! (at halftime) It only ran for 10 seconds or so, I didn't have the laptop hooked up, but it was running and firing on all cylinders.

I swapped out my MS-II processor (16-bit) for my MS-I processor (8-bit) that I loaded with the Extra v.029T code. The MS-II is what I had been running most recently. However, I just couldn't get the ignition control working.

The wideband is officially dead -- it will ship out this week.

Work continues... more to come.

-Dave

markss327
Posts: 687
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:23 am
Location: Twinsburg, Ohio

Postby markss327 » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:30 pm

Nice to hear. I thought MS-I didn't have ignition control.... anyway, congrats for stepping back into it :)

Any idea as to what killed the wide-band?
-Mark
2012 Impala LT 3.6 VVTDI
300hp - a bit much for FWD!

User avatar
TireSmoker
Site Admin
Posts: 2127
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:45 pm
Location: hunting for 11s
Contact:

Postby TireSmoker » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:47 pm

markss327 wrote:Nice to hear. I thought MS-I didn't have ignition control.


Well, on each processor, there are two versions of firmware, B&G and Extra.
B&G is Bowling & Grippo, the two guys who primarily developed Megasquirt. It's the 'stock' code, if you will. And MS-I B&G doesn't control timing. But MS-I Extra does. MS-I/Extra is the most feature-rich firmware on either processor. However, in the past, Extra frequently required various mods to the main board that I didn't want to do.

... anyway, congrats for stepping back into it :)

Any idea as to what killed the wide-band?


Not sure what killed it. It's not an uncommon problem with the LC-1, though. While I don't have my RMA yet, it looks like Innovate is going to repair/replace it under warranty.

-Dave


Return to “Projects”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest