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Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:09 pm    Post subject: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

I figure enough questions are going to arise regarding the conversion of my 90' MV 2.1 to Megasquirt from the incredibly unreliable (to me) Digifant, that I'm making a dedicated thread for it. I figure this is going to wind up being a very popular alternative to engine swaps. My main complaint with my stock WBX was the complete unreliability of the Digifant. I have had this van for 4 years and it's never run right, despite dozens of hours chasing everything under the sun. Particularly bad grounds, O2 sensor, etc etc.

With Megasquirt I can see instantly if something is not working, so troubleshooting is much faster.

Here are 4 pictures I took today of the engine (someone asked). I have been driving it since June. I also tuned it on a dyno, which cost me $250 since I had nobody's MAPs to clone.

The parts costs I have not totaled up, but I'd guess just shy of $1k.

I retained the stock

fuel pump
fuel injectors
air filter assembly
air boot
throttle body
AFM (re-clocked spring to hold the flap open for 0 resistance to airflow)
breather tube heating element

and got rid of the

wiring harness
distributor
ignition coil and wires
entire FI and ignition harness

I had to buy

wasted spark coil
wasted spark plug wires
crank position sensor
install trigger wheel and re-balance pulley
air temp sensor (drilled and tapped the AFM for this to thread right in)
universal wiring harness
Megasquirt Kit

A lot of guys junkyard acquire some of these parts, but I don't have time for that.

The engine is bone stock, with the exception of a SS muffler and tailpipe.

I could do this conversion a lot faster now (no I'm not interested in doing any, please do not ask). I spent too much timing staring at wiring diagrams (MS and Bentley), because I couldn't find anyone else who had done this. It would have been a lot easier to simply replicate what someone else had done. But no, I had to blaze trail.

The stock fuel pump wires were pulled forward from the relay box, then extended to reach the new relay board location under the rear seat along with the ECU.

One mistake of mine was not IDing the tach wire (it's green), PRIOR to tearing out the old system. I would have saved time had I done this.

I bought a new universal harness, because I knew that my 30yo harness and connections were a lot of the problems I was having with the stock Digifant. I saved all the injector and sensor connectors, and simply connected them to their corresponding wires. Building the harness only took around 3 hours, including the harness sheathing to protect it (it's double wrapped).

I drilled 2 holes in the firewall to route the electrical wires through. I did this to isolate the high voltage wires running to the coil, from all the other wires, to prevent noise and feedback. Obviously holes were grommeted, and I was very liberal with the use of ties to keep everything in place.

My other recommendation is to mount the ECU and relay board to the SIDE under the rear seat. Mine was initially mounted to the body itself, but I had clearance issues which I didn't discover until I was "done" and put the rear seat down. Only to find it didn't clear, and I had to relocate it. Which was a major PITA because now the harness was too short. Don't do that! Leave yourself a 12" loop "just in case".

Initially I kept the stock distributor and drive pinion in place, until I drove it around a while. Then I pulled them and put the distributor block off in place, which is around $30 from CB Performance.

http://www.cbperformance.com/product-p/dhp.htm

Black, red, or blue, I got blue (you can see in the pictures).

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The MS stuff was purchased from Mario at Thedubshop.com

http://thedubshop.goodsie.com/wasser-oxy-boxer-crank-trigger-package

He also got me a harness and the IAC (Intake Air Sensor).

You can go with either a complete harness, or just the 2 with his crank sensor and IAC. I made the rest myself.

Also get Mario's coil and plug wires. I think he can also sell you the ECU, and get it tested prior to sending to you, that way you don't have to buy the testing gear. I also chose to get the relay board, it is way more than worth it for the time it saves you overall. Ask him.

https://www.diyautotune.com/product/megasquirt-relay-board-assembled-unit/

https://www.diyautotune.com/product/megasquirt-relay-cable/

https://www.diyautotune.com/product/megasquirt-ii-ems-system-smd-pcb3-57-assembled-ecu/
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

Welcome to the club! You could also gut AFM, and install MAF innards into it. Takes a bit of surgery.

Did you get it running and driving yet? $250 for dyno? yikes.

Let me know if you need injector dead time and voltage correction. Another board member assisted me with actual values from Digifant ECU. Changing those numbers now will screw up with your tune.

I used microsquirt for my build.

Let me know if you need help with cold starts. I got it down to a science. (almost)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

I spent 2 hours on the dyno getting the ignition curve perfect (fuel was easy, ignition timing was not). Dyno time was AFTER driving it for 2 months tweaking stuff. I picked up 10% in power in that 2 hours, so it was worth it.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

Wow, nice job both of you guys. So how is drivability, fuel economy, etc? Inquiring minds want to know.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

Hey John: Congratulations on getting the MS up and running. My son and I installed an MS system on a project truck some years ago, a 1st generation 4Runner that we turbocharged from scratch with an Audi KKK K-24 turbo. I ended up leaving the stock Toyota ECU controlling the spark and used MS only for fueling and boost control. I added a J&S Safeguard knock control system (used from Craigslist) which was the best $400 I ever spent on tuning anything.

I am curious whether the MS ignition and wasted spark will allow you to use the J&S system or even whether today's MS (I used one of the earliest versions) has knock control capability. When you ever tear that engine down to freshen or rebuild it, adding higher compression really wakes up the WBX and an effective knock control system allows this to be done.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:06 am    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

So how has has it affected the MPG?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

Thanks for taking the time to post this John.

Would you be willing to divulge the financial outlay?

I really like this idea BTW.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

CdnVWJunkie wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to post this John.

Would you be willing to divulge the financial outlay?

I really like this idea BTW.


It's about a $1000 - insignificantly less if you go down the junkyard route.

microsquirt ~ $375
ign4 wasted spark coil ~ $80
ignition coil driver ~ $89
trigger kit ~ $124
quality 1bar map sensor ~ $50
iat sensor ~ $15
clt sensor ~ $43
wideband o2 and controller ~ $100
pigtails and other misc wiring items - $140
optional cam trigger ~ $149
optional TPS - $80

There is just no way around a grand it if you go with off the shelf items. The crank trigger is worth it.

For my project, I ended up copying well behaved SVDA distributor curve, with a slight advance.

John, would you mind sharing your ignition map, and AFR map?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:46 am    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

You should do a separate thread, because it's a completely different system than what I did.

With mine I didn't need

cam trigger
coolant sensor (used the stock one)
MAP sensor (included in MS)
Coil driver (included in MS)

It was around $1k, + my time. This is cheaper than junkyard diving for parts (FOR ME).

I did not use a AFM or MAF, I simply mapped via manifold pressure. It works fantastic, far better than the stock system.

I'll post an A/F MAP when I can, but I'm dealing with computer problems and access to files, so may take some time.

a1fa wrote:

It's about a $1000 - insignificantly less if you go down the junkyard route.

microsquirt ~ $375
ign4 wasted spark coil ~ $80
ignition coil driver ~ $89
trigger kit ~ $124
quality 1bar map sensor ~ $50
iat sensor ~ $15
clt sensor ~ $43
wideband o2 and controller ~ $100
pigtails and other misc wiring items - $140
optional cam trigger ~ $149
optional TPS - $80

There is just no way around a grand it if you go with off the shelf items. The crank trigger is worth it.

For my project, I ended up copying well behaved SVDA distributor curve, with a slight advance.

John, would you mind sharing your ignition map, and AFR map?

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Last edited by [email protected] on Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

Also, did you configure squirt to Incorporate AFR Target? How about EGO?

A good way of achieving maximum MPG, is to not include AFR target, and tune your VE for best driveabiliity; followed by enabling EGO, and changing your AFR targets for maximum lean below 80 kPA past 2500 RPM, and aiming for (RPM < 1200, and kpa < 75) 14.7 at idle.. Once you do this, you need to make sure to shuffle your AFR tables prior to any kind of tuning, otherwise, you have to start over.

I've had good results with this setup.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
You should do a separate thread, because it's a completely different system than what I did.

With mine I didn't need

cam trigger
coolant sensor (used the stock one)
MAP sensor (included in MS)
Coil driver (included in MS)

It was around $1k, + my time. This is cheaper than junkyard diving for parts (FOR ME).

I did not use a AFM or MAF, I simply mapped via manifold pressure. It works fantastic, far better than the stock system.

I'll post an A/F MAP when I can, but I'm dealing with computer problems and access to files, so may take some time.



John, my buid thread, and settings are over at Itinerant Air Cooled.

Technically, you didn't even need IAT since you retained AFM box. AFM has air temperature probe as well. The optional CAM sensor would be crucial for sequential fuel injection, and coil on plug timing; that is if you want to squeeze every little bit out of your engine.

Did you do anything with TPS? TPS is very useful for idle tuning, and cold-starts.

How did you configure that fast-idle valve? Did you use Idle Control? Or Programmable On/Off outputs to control it?

I find it much better to use programmable outputs, because you can make the valve turn on for 30 seconds at startup, or until the engine reaches certain temperature. I have it set for 30s, and 100F. Helps with cold and cooled off stars.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

a1fa wrote:
Welcome to the club! You could also gut AFM, and install MAF innards into it. Takes a bit of surgery.

Did you get it running and driving yet? $250 for dyno? yikes.




What do you get with the MAF innards? Doesn't a Megasquirt use a MAP sensor?

What are the dyno cost in your area? My v-8 engine dyno time started at $500
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

IAC is used for cold, and for fast idle when the AC is on.

I'm still tweaking the cold weather settings, since it just now got cold.

My AFM and stuff was in rough shape, so it's just there to hold the air filter housing on!
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

I wonder if MS could be installed in such a way that the engine would still pass a visual smog inspection where such things are common. Could a turbo be added to the engine after the fact without having to start over from scratch with the tunings?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

tjet wrote:
Doesn't a Megasquirt use a MAP sensor?


It can use MAP, MAF, TPS or combination of any two for load sensing.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

Sensing that this is going to be a classic post, I added it to the FAQ's already.......

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

a1fa wrote:
tjet wrote:
Doesn't a Megasquirt use a MAP sensor?


It can use MAP, MAF, TPS or combination of any two for load sensing.


Even only one is needed sometimes. When I MS'd my high compression rabbit with ITB's years ago, I had to use alpha-n (TPS only) because even 5% throttle looked essentially like full throttle according to the MAP.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

I didn't see where you mounted the trigger wheel. If you have those maps can you send them to me please syncro at outlook dot com . Thanks
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

Quote:
My AFM and stuff was in rough shape, so it's just there to hold the air filter housing on!


Did you gut it out?


To the person asking about the trigger wheel. There is a 60 minus 2 ring inside the crank pulley. You can see the crank sensor bracket in the one picture posted above I believe.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Converting Waterboxer to Megasquirt Reply with quote

I removed the cover, and re-clocked the spring to hold the flapper wheel wide open. That and drilling/tapping the AFM for the intake air temp sensor are all I did to it.

thedubshop's trigger wheel fits on the front side of the WBX pulley

http://dxkdul4cprxwx.cloudfront.net/736b7f42301a4e02aa0605a46e00cf9d_820x820.jpg

MarkWard wrote:
Quote:
My AFM and stuff was in rough shape, so it's just there to hold the air filter housing on!


Did you gut it out?


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