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SlowLane
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:29 am    Post subject: MegaSquirt? Reply with quote

I noticed a brief side discussion on MegaSquirt between two members (r39o & wbx) on another thread. I too am interested in the MegaSquirt system on a Vanagon (though mine's aircooled) and have mooned over the project's website many times over the last couple of years, but I've never taken the plunge and ordered a system. Now that I see other Vanagon owners implementing MegaSquirts, I'm getting motivated to look into it again.

r39o and wbx have already raised some of the topics that I've been thinking about (ie. fitting a TPS, knock sensor). Just thought I'd contribute a link to a fellow who built a breakout PC board to interface his MegaSquirt to his Rover's Lucas wiring harness (the Lucas is actually a rebadged Bosch). The foil pattern is given as a Paintshop Pro file (??), but once printed it should be usable as an etching template.

I'd be interested in hearing about other MegaSquirters.
Damon, since we're in the same neck of the woods, perhaps we could link up at some point and chat about MS. I'd love to see your system.
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McHuntley
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does a MegaSquirt do for you?
Better performance? Better Mileage?

I am curious,

Thanks,
Matt
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am still considering the MS option. I have so much going on, that it may not be practical for me to get an MS system up.

What I have been thinking is the following:

-MUST PASS CALIFORNIA SMOG!
-CHANGE AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. (So little that only a true expert might suspect)
-MS PCA in an old Bosch box just like the Rover guy did.
-Use a MAF instead of the AFM. (Modify AFM to house MAF sensor?)
-NO TPS, use switch on TB and MAF to decide stuff in the firmware.
(EX: Low airflow and TB switch ON means idle.)
-Use a motor idle valve that sits just like it does on the Digifant.
-Knock sensing (still a mystery to me.)

If we came up with a group recipe on what to get and what to do to make it something like the above work in a Vanagon, I would be happy.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aircooled:

alsehendo34 has a 80 Vanagon 76mm stroked megasquirt
This settup should be close to your 81 also:
http://tbone2091.tripod.com/megasquirt/

So others have done this. Wbx and I would want to do it to an 83.5 - 85 watercoolers with bigger engines installed.
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[email protected]
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject: megasquirt vs haltech Reply with quote

I hear a lot about megasquirt. How come not much about haltech engine management? That is what I'm going to be running.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother builds extreme Type IVs. Big ones, 2.7L and up. He has used various injection systems. Some seem harder to deal with than others. Some are picky about connections. He had issues getting his Haltech to work right. Sensors had to be specific. Grounding just so. Ectera....

His is working fine, after we did a lot of work with grounds and reading and whatnot. BUT, it is not very tweakable. You can go into the code of the MS and change it to suite your own needs. You have source level control over most aspects of the MS. You can not say that of the various ones you can buy.

PLUS the cost and support factors, make the MS a very appealing solution.
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[email protected]
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:36 pm    Post subject: Haltech engine management Reply with quote

Hopefully I won't have those problems with my Haltech system, already have purchased it. Will keep the forum updated as the motor progresses.
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SlowLane
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
-MUST PASS CALIFORNIA SMOG!

Not so much a concern for me, but must pass our less stringent emissions testing here in BC.
r39o wrote:
-CHANGE AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. (So little that only a true expert might suspect)

Yup. Using the stock wiring harness is a big step in that direction.

r39o wrote:
-MS PCA in an old Bosch box just like the Rover guy did.

The spare Bosch box I have is too small for the MS mainboard, but it's good to know there are larger boxes out there. The environmental conditions are still a concern, though, since the ECU box stock location on my '81 is outside the cabin.

r39o wrote:
-Use a MAF instead of the AFM. (Modify AFM to house MAF sensor?)
-NO TPS, use switch on TB and MAF to decide stuff in the firmware.
(EX: Low airflow and TB switch ON means idle.)

I haven't kept up to date with their latest, but I don't think MS supports a MAF or AFM. Rather, they use manifold pressure (MAP) as their primary input, along with the O2 sensor for feedback. I'll need to add an O2 sensor to mine. We didn't have them on Canadian market Vanagons back then.

r39o wrote:
-Use a motor idle valve that sits just like it does on the Digifant.

Not familiar with the unit, but I think MS can drive a Bosch Idle Air Controller (IAC). Might be the same thing.

r39o wrote:
-Knock sensing (still a mystery to me.)

Me too. I understand sensor placement is critical here. Probably needs to be tuned to match the third or fifth harmonic of the fundamental frequency of the ping as well. Would make an interesting research project...Smile
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Back in the day:
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"With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine." - Internet RFC 1925

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Witless Joe
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not think that MS would be worth while, unless you were making significant performance additions to the engine. But if you were going in that direction, then MS is far cheaper and more flexible than the "name brand" options like Haltech.

Engine mods like a turbo, hot cam, big bore engine, higher-capacity fuel injectors, etc. will throw off the air/fuel tables in the stock EFI so much that you would need aftermarket EFI to get it running right.

You'd also have to do a lot of tuning with a wide-band O2 sensor, not just the (relatively cheap) O2 sensors that were used with the factory EFI.

The hot-rod Volvo crowd has gone pretty far with MegaSquirt, and they all share tables with each other. Worth checking out their forum to get some ideas: http://forums.turbobricks.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21
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wbx
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:01 am    Post subject: Re: MegaSquirt? (long) Reply with quote

SlowLane wrote:
I'd be interested in hearing about other MegaSquirters.
Damon, since we're in the same neck of the woods, perhaps we could link up at some point and chat about MS. I'd love to see your system.


First of all, i apologize this is so long.

When i get back to Vancouver, in... oh... July, I'll gladly chat with you about it. I'm currently on Parental leave in Ecuador Rolling Eyes However, it has not been installed yet... only built.

Anyway, I have put some thought into this that i will try to outline as best i can (and best as i can recall).

For me, keeping it stock looking is pretty important, too. Things that will need to change include:
1.TPswitch to TPsensor (actually measuring throttle position, rather than idle/full throttle)
2.AFM to MAP sensor (measuring manifold pressure rather than air flow past a flap)
3.Probably the ECU housing.
4.Wiring (but only slightly).

All other sensors and locations are fine. Even things like the idle control works fine because it is essentially a standalone unit. If everything in your vanagon is stock, MS does not offer significant advantages... yet. What is purported is an improved driveability since the MS ECU is smarter about fuel enrichment and has a better idea of what you are trying to do with the engine (because of the TPsensor)

As for the ECU, the megasquirt ECU will not fit in the black plastic digijet/digifant ECU housings - only in the early model silver digijet housings. However, for digijet, this is kind of moot, since the MS board can not handle the temperatures "under hood".
For the wiring, the obvious sticky spots are the MAP sensor and the TPSensor. The stock TPSwitch is only a two wire deal, while the new thing is 3 wires. The MAP sensor, however, can be remotely mounted near the engine with wires running to the ECU or it can simply use a little vacuum hose that goes to the MS ECU. I plan on the former.

Reasons for MS (in no particular order, and oriented for me and my '84 camper)

-I can eventually get rid of the distributor and control spark and fuel together
-I can customize the engine management system to fit my modified engine
-I can run a wideband 02 sensor (there is development on a MS add-on to use a $35 VW wide band 02 sensor)
-I can hook it up to a computer and datalog/look at what might be causing me troubles
-I can ditch the aging and problematic/expensive AFM
-The whole system is cheaper than many of the larger components in digijet/digifant.
-And the biggest thing for me is the development of the system. What people are currently talking about is amazing. Adaptive engine control, cylinder per cylinder tuning, etc...

There is a small army of people who know way more than i ever will about engine EFI who are developing this in probably the best possible way - real people solving real needs. No corporation can do that.

Anyway, my plan is to keep components in the stock location (even the AFM which i will modify to keep open). I will then use a dead vanagon ECU to act as a connection box to the MS ECU and what ever other add-on boards come out (like the sequential injection board), and remote mount the MS ECU somewhere on the rear cabinet (probably make a little cubby especialy for it so you can't see anything). With a TPsensor placed under the throttle body like the later model switches, and the MAP sensor under the AFM, all the stock connector locations can be used and fool all but the most trained eye.

All this is fine in theory... Im just hoping i can tune it fine when i get it installed Wink

-Damon
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wbx
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:01 am    Post subject: Re: MegaSquirt? (long) Reply with quote

oops... double post. Embarassed
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[email protected]
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject: haltech vs mega squirt Reply with quote

The reasons I chose haltech:

get rid of the VW AFM.
Wideband O2 sensor.
Complete tuning ability.
Ability to connect to a laptop and datalog.

I will be tuning this system on a dyno.

downside:
complete new harness
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r39o
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: haltech vs mega squirt Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
The reasons I chose haltech:

get rid of the VW AFM.
Wideband O2 sensor.
Complete tuning ability.
Ability to connect to a laptop and datalog.

I will be tuning this system on a dyno.

downside:
complete new harness

What Damon (wbx) and I want to do, is to use an old ECU as a sort of breakout box / interface to the existing wiring. That way you change as little as possible. It is a good systems engineering rule to only add things and not mess with stuff that works. Much less risk that way.

I think you can do that with the Haltech too. No need for a big production of a harness that will, most likely, cause you more headache than it is actually worth.

This is our idea and I hppe you might be able to use it too.

-Walt...
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Colonel_Brown
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:27 am    Post subject: e: haltech vs mega squirt Reply with quote

Hey all,

I'm installing a Megasquirt II into my '84 Westy sometime in the next month. I'm hoping this will eliminate a lot of the electrical/sensor problems that plague the digijets and make troubleshooting easier in the future. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:52 am    Post subject: Re: e: haltech vs mega squirt Reply with quote

Colonel_Brown wrote:
I'm installing a Megasquirt II into my '84 Westy sometime in the next month.


Hi There,

I will be very curious to hear your progress as i haven't made much at all. Basically, all I've done is have a throttle body modified to fit a new TPS and picked up what i believe to be the last bits of wiring. I switched my ECU location plan to be under the seat like the Dijifant, but i just need to get it all hooked up and running before the finish work (like cutting holes in the van) come about.
My van really isn't happy now with the state of its engine electronics, so I might have the incentive i need to finally make real progress (although i'm sure you'll be done before i even start Smile )

-Damon
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading all this highly impressive information, accomplishments comments, wouldn't it be easier to install a Subaru or a Zetec and be done with it ? It seems that those Halltech and MS system are not cheap and require additional expenditures to make them work and keep them working .. when that is possible.

Might even be not only easier but also cheaper to convert at least for the H2o cooled guys, because in the end even gold plated it is still a water leaker, bleeding head WBX.

But as Baron De Coubertin said: It does not matter if one wins or not. What counts is to participate,
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'll be watching this thread.

bump Smile
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kudos to all of you people trying to get MS working in Vanagons. I have often thought that for those who love the WBX engine, having complete control over fueling and timing would be great and finally allow the WBX to achieve its true potential. This, of course, could only be achieved with knock control, since maximizing compression ratio and ignition advance requires knock control or consistent use of racing gas. Nobody wants the latter.

I used to follow MS when I built one for my son's Toyota 22RE Forerunner to which we added a turbo (an Audi K24!) to control fuel only. I used the stock Toyota ignition since the curve was okay and it had a knock control system. Back then, (six years ago) nobody had added knock control to MS that I knew of. If someone has done so, that would be great.

If not, J&S has add-on anti-knock systems. See:

http://www.jandssafeguard.com/
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This, of course, could only be achieved with knock control, since maximizing compression ratio and ignition advance requires knock control or consistent use of racing gas.


Nice to have, but not required. It's been internalised in the tuning world that knock-sensing is a central part of an enhanced tuning arrangement, but it just offers you a built-in fudge factor for when you overshoot your mark in tuning. With careful tuning and real world testing after the dyno sessions you can accomplish real gains in performance well short of where you would absolutely need knock-sensing correction. Do you want to run right out at the ragged edge of timing? Well you'll need a reliable knock-sensing feedback for that. Do you want to optimise the tune above the factory's overly-cautious parameters? Then it's not necessary to have. Nice, but not necessary.

Given the lack of beta on knock-sensing a wet-sleeve design, or any design where it hasn't been used extensively, may be a fool's game; having the sensor may give you a false sense of security, thinking you can trust it to protect the engine when there is very little real-world experience with the reliability of the sensor you chose, applied as you chose to apply it. When you start with a factory knock-sensor where the OEM has done the extensive testing for you that assures that that sensor as mounted in that engine will sense reliably, then you can use that as a starting point for an aggressive tuning regimen, but lacking that kind of solid background, bought at great expense by the deep pockets of the OEM, you are pioneering new territory by installing a sensor in an untested arrangement, so you had still beter be conservative in how far you push the tune, because the sensor may not deliver as you expect it to just when you need it most.

But there's a lot of room between the factory tune and the ragged edge where substantial gains in driveability can still be attained. I won't be worrying about knock-sensing when I explore alternative engine control systems, I'll be concentrating on building engines that are inherently knock-resistant, and working on solidly accurate timing and especially mixture control so i know the tune is always, in real life, running within the bounds I have set for it. And if I can get a knock sensor to work, it'll be a nice gadget to have as a minor part of the system, but i'll be damned if I'll put my trust in it.
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GeorgeL
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those who are interested in engine management systems should also look over this website:

http://www.sdsefi.com

This is another turnkey system and you'll find all of their manuals online and even if you go another route they are very instructive about how these systems work.

The advantage to this particular system is that it doesn't need a laptop to program. Everything can be done through the little control head provided with the unit that can then be disconnected if desired. It also has a nice "rich/lean" knob that is handy in dialing in the mixture.
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