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post #1 of 25 Old 03-16-2014, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Engine management questions

Ok, right now im to the point of needing a tune in my new setup.

Stock block 5.0
stock cam
gt40p heads
gt45 70mm turbo
a9l ecu

Car starts and idles fairly well, but i know that i cannot get into boost before having it tuned. I was going to just pay someone to tune the car for me but as i was reading today i came across Stinger's PiMP Engine management.

So my question now is, can i just switch to this and run the VE analyze live and tune my car for me while cruising, then get into boost and it will still tune and be safe?

I am willing to admit i am 100% clueless when it comes to the tuning aspect.


Any help at this point will be GREATLY appreciated!!


Just another slow mustang with a single turbo....
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-16-2014, 04:09 PM
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The self tuning stuff is a little misleading like most variations it just controls the AFR ratio but does not automatically adjust timing or any of the other variables. If you want to tune it yourself its going to be a strict and steep learning curve that is going to take time and money to figure out.

With as simple as your combo is, a dynotune would probably be appropriate.


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post #3 of 25 Old 03-16-2014, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by melo yelo View Post
The self tuning stuff is a little misleading like most variations it just controls the AFR ratio but does not automatically adjust timing or any of the other variables. If you want to tune it yourself its going to be a strict and steep learning curve that is going to take time and money to figure out.

With as simple as your combo is, a dynotune would probably be appropriate.
I figured that would be the simplest, but i wanted to go with something that i wouldnt need to pay to have it retuned after every change i make, or down the road after this engine pops and i build something nice i could just retune (or have someone retune it) and go.

Just another slow mustang with a single turbo....
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post #4 of 25 Old 03-16-2014, 07:41 PM
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Do a little research into tuning in your area and then look at the cost of doing it yourself. You might be surprised . I have even found shops that for an extra one time fee on top of the dynotune will include a lifetime of retuning that vehicle(some restrictions of course).

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post #5 of 25 Old 03-16-2014, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Black87Gt View Post
I figured that would be the simplest, but i wanted to go with something that i wouldnt need to pay to have it retuned after every change i make, or down the road after this engine pops and i build something nice i could just retune (or have someone retune it) and go.
Get an Engine Management System (EMS) that is based on load aka Mass Air, like the one from Pro-M EFI and you won't have to retune it when you make a change to your setup. The learning curve is a lot easier for the novice user and in some cases no tuning will be needed.
Pro-M EFI Engine Management System for 1987 - 1989 Fox Body Mustang - Ford Complete EFI Systems - Pro-M EFI Engine Management Systems

If you get an EMS that is based on VE aka Speed Density, then a retune will be needed when you make changes to your setup. Learning curve is steep and frustrating but their cost can be a lot cheaper than a Mass Air based system.

Like it was mentioned by Melo Yelo, a chip is probably the best option for your particular mods and stk. block.

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post #6 of 25 Old 03-16-2014, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well thats the thing, i dont mind learning, which is why i was going to set my base timing to something like 10* and then let VE self tune, unless im missing something it seems like people love their megasquirt systems and i would rather just not have to worry about finding a tuner every time i make a change that would require being tuned, change setup, etc.

Ive asked in another section about any local tuners to me, i know there is one about 2 hours away, so i would have to tow the vehicle there, then pay 600-700 for the tune.

Just another slow mustang with a single turbo....
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post #7 of 25 Old 03-17-2014, 12:13 PM
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If you're clueless (your words not mine), I would highly recommend you have someone tune it at least the first go-round. You can learn as you go with the small changes, but first time out with boost I highly recommend against it or you might end up with a bunch of worthless parts. Much cheaper in the long run!

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post #8 of 25 Old 03-17-2014, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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If you're clueless (your words not mine), I would highly recommend you have someone tune it at least the first go-round. You can learn as you go with the small changes, but first time out with boost I highly recommend against it or you might end up with a bunch of worthless parts. Much cheaper in the long run!
So stick with the stock ecu for now and just have someone dyno tune it?

Just another slow mustang with a single turbo....
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-17-2014, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Also, i dont want to spend money twice, the future plans for this car are after this engine decides to go, i will be building a turbo 331 with a good block, and shooting for big numbers.

Wouldnt a standalone system be cheaper/better in the long run than spending $700 now for a dyno tune (will have to buy a quarterhorse and what not) and then switch over to a stand alone in the future in spend more money to have it tuned after switching...

Idk, im stuck right now on what to do.

Just another slow mustang with a single turbo....
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-17-2014, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Black87Gt View Post
Also, i dont want to spend money twice.
Wouldnt a standalone system be cheaper/better in the long run.
Idk, im stuck right now on what to do.
My story: I didn't want to spend weeks, months and in some cases years trying to get my car to drive right. I didn't want to spend days and nights reading about how to fix this or that. I didn't want to download this program and that program from this site or that site, and I didn't want to regret about taking this plunge. So I bought a MAF based system from Pro-M EFI. Retail cost: $2195 and it's very easy to use and doesn't require retunes if you modify your setup.

Spend a 1/3 of what the Pro-M EFI cost and you will spend an insane amount of time on forums asking questions, looking for help and in the end hopefully you learned enough to get your car running correctly with no short comings. Now there's the satisfaction of learning how to tune your car and you'll be the better for it but it will come with a price.

Just read some of the threads in the Engine Management forum. You'll see a lot of threads with users that have problems that lasted for months. In some cases, the owners gave up and still live with their car's short comings (idle issues when cold, revving engine at rest, so it doesn't die, etc.)

But fear not, there are success stories too, and tons of knowledgeable people willing to help you. But the choice is yours and hopefully you make a sound one.


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Last edited by Michael Plummer; 03-18-2014 at 05:19 AM.
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-18-2014, 08:14 AM
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Megasquirt and AEM also offer Maf based tuning on their standalone systems.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-18-2014, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Black87Gt View Post
So stick with the stock ecu for now and just have someone dyno tune it?
The last time I was in the market for an EMS I considered the stock ECUs but the aftermarket software and programmer was about the same price as buying a full-on programmable EMS and they lack data logging, traction control, etc... A lot has changed, but I still think some of the aftermarket EMSs are a good value for the price.

If it was me, I'd go with something like a plug and play AEM (half the price of most other EMS's). You would have to buy one used since they're not made anymore, but you can find them for $900 or less. Then find a tuner who will build a calibration for you to get you up and running.

Once you get a baseline, you can drive the car and enjoy it and then pickup on the workings of a programmable EMS as you go. If you don't know anything now, it will take you a long time to get up to speed, you'll be frustrated and there's a good chance you'll smoke the engine or best case go through a few sets of head gaskets.

If you want to start tuning yourself there's a steep learning curve you're going to have to get over. Here's a good place to start: By Greg Banish - Designing and Tuning High-Performance Fuel Injection Systems (9/15/12): Greg Banish: 8601200913538: Amazon.com: Books

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post #13 of 25 Old 03-27-2014, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Black87Gt View Post
Well thats the thing, i dont mind learning, which is why i was going to set my base timing to something like 10* and then let VE self tune, unless im missing something it seems like people love their megasquirt systems and i would rather just not have to worry about finding a tuner every time i make a change that would require being tuned, change setup, etc.

Ive asked in another section about any local tuners to me, i know there is one about 2 hours away, so i would have to tow the vehicle there, then pay 600-700 for the tune.
They don't self tune, I hate that verbage. It only controls the AFR curve, nothing to do with timing or setting up any of the parameters. It will get your car safe to drive to the tuner or to a point where its safe for you start to tune.

Nothing wrong with that if that's what you know your getting into.

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post #14 of 25 Old 03-27-2014, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Black87Gt View Post
Also, i dont want to spend money twice, the future plans for this car are after this engine decides to go, i will be building a turbo 331 with a good block, and shooting for big numbers.

Wouldnt a standalone system be cheaper/better in the long run than spending $700 now for a dyno tune (will have to buy a quarterhorse and what not) and then switch over to a stand alone in the future in spend more money to have it tuned after switching...

Idk, im stuck right now on what to do.
The quarter horse will cost about what a dyno tune does.

Price of the quarter horse($249 (w/o tune)+ Binary editor flavor of the day program($100)+ a cheap or good wideband($209 for LC1 innovate wideband)+ if you plan on doing this yourself get the lasota tuning manual($75)=$633 before taxes and shipping on the appropriate pieces.

prices obtained from the moates website, price for the manual The Lasota racing site so please don't forget to add the cost of installation of the wideband(welding the bung in),I don't know your skills or what resources you might have available. If your a frugal shopper you can probably shop around and find some good deals but in the end a dyno tune almost always makes better sense.

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post #15 of 25 Old 03-27-2014, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by melo yelo View Post
They don't self tune, I hate that verbage. It only controls the AFR curve, nothing to do with timing or setting up any of the parameters. It will get your car safe to drive to the tuner or to a point where its safe for you start to tune.

Nothing wrong with that if that's what you know your getting into.
I agree, I read an article on these self tuning systems and it seems like a bunch of crap. Plus a TBI, what the crap??? Seems like many steps backward, but I guess it works for some people.

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post #16 of 25 Old 03-27-2014, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered a PiMP. Made the most sense to me, has a ton more features than staying with a factory ford ecu, and i would imagine i can take it further than the factory ford ecu.

Just another slow mustang with a single turbo....
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post #17 of 25 Old 03-28-2014, 08:28 AM
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I hadn't seen that one before. Looks like he's taken a Megasquirt 3.0 ECU with his own daughterboard. Cool idea. I've considered doing something similar to build a plug & play ems for my daily driver. Too many other projects to tackle that one at the time but nice to see other people doing cool stuff like that!

Just curious: What does the PiMP offer that the DIYAutoTune PNP EMS not offer?

Keep us posted on how it works out. The Megasquirt community has really grown.

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post #18 of 25 Old 03-28-2014, 11:25 AM
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I ordered a PiMP. Made the most sense to me, has a ton more features than staying with a factory ford ecu, and i would imagine i can take it further than the factory ford ecu.
Curious as to why you feel this system made sense. It was stated above that the learning curve is immense and I thought you were looking for something that was going to be easier to learn and use, based on your comment "I'm 100% clueless when it comes to tuning". I look forward to reading about your progress and wish you good luck.

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post #19 of 25 Old 03-28-2014, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Curious as to why you feel this system made sense. It was stated above that the learning curve is immense and I thought you were looking for something that was going to be easier to learn and use, based on your comment "I'm 100% clueless when it comes to tuning". I look forward to reading about your progress and wish you good luck.
Because i have talked to numerous people that stated the megasquirt was a much easier system to learn than a quarterhorse. I want to slowly learn and in time be able to tune my own vehicle (Most likely have someone who knows what they are doing tune it the first time). Also i never stated i wanted something easy to use, and never said i wasnt willing to learn. I just said at this point in time i have no idea how to tune a car with any of these systems. But my #1 goal is to learn over time.

I felt as though a megasquirt stand alone is much more capable than the stock ford ecu at higher hp levels and obviously has much more to offer as far as the capabilities it has.

So i could have had it dyno tuned for about $700 now with the stock ford ecu, then later down the road when i build my boost engine i would have had to go with a standalone then which would have been another $700 at that time, then have it dyno tuned again with the new system for another $700. Doing it that way it would have cost me $2100 in the long run over time.

This way i will now have a standalone system to begin with for $700 (Actually only spent $400 on it after selling my ecu + maf) and can have it dyno tuned for another $700 and be done with it for right now, and slowly over time mess with it and begin to tune things myself. Total being only $1400 in the long run this way. If any of this makes sense..

Quote:
Originally Posted by TT460 View Post
I hadn't seen that one before. Looks like he's taken a Megasquirt 3.0 ECU with his own daughterboard. Cool idea. I've considered doing something similar to build a plug & play ems for my daily driver. Too many other projects to tackle that one at the time but nice to see other people doing cool stuff like that!

Just curious: What does the PiMP offer that the DIYAutoTune PNP EMS not offer?

Keep us posted on how it works out. The Megasquirt community has really grown.
Well you can get the MS2pnp for $650 or something like that, but as far as i know it doesnt have any "extra" capabilities, where as the PiMP for $50 more comes with the fully licensed version of VE and then these capabilities:

-Ignition Spark Control
-Fuel Control
-Idle Control
-Table Switching
-Electronic Boost Control
-Rev Limiter Control
-Launch Control (2-Step)
-Flat-Shift (Maintains boost between shifts)
-Two Stage Cooling Fan Control
-Nitrous Control
-Supports Low Impedance 4 Cyl Injector Control
-Supports High Impedance Injector Control
-4 Bar (44psi) Internal Map Sensor
-Full Datalogging
-DB-25 Internal Expansion Connector
-and many other features and capabilities...

I just felt like it was a better system for me right now. (Not trying to say diy stuff is bad or take away from it in anyway!!)

Just another slow mustang with a single turbo....
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post #20 of 25 Old 03-28-2014, 06:14 PM
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Scroll down to post #17 here and a couple posts after that and you'll get good info from the horse's mouth on both the PiMP and MSPNP units and how they compare. The differences are pretty minor.

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post #21 of 25 Old 03-28-2014, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Scroll down to post #17 here and a couple posts after that and you'll get good info from the horse's mouth on both the PiMP and MSPNP units and how they compare. The differences are pretty minor.

https://forums.corral.net/forums/mega...egasquirt.html
Yeah they both essentially do the same things from what i gather, except the $650 version of the mspnp doesnt offer any "extra" features like the PiMP does for $700. BUT you can get the mspnp with those features for like $800 (could be a little wrong on price). Which is why i opted for the PiMP and i was talking to Shannon at Stinger which convinced me.

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post #22 of 25 Old 03-28-2014, 08:01 PM
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You can safely use the A9L if you limit the boost level just to get started. Anything up to about 6lbs should be okay. The MAF will send the corrections to the EEC which is good for about 300 hp with 19lb injectors.

I was all stock & saw 13lbs from time to time with 19lb & FMU. This was about 20 years ago before there were any alternate ECU options.

You didn't state what injectors you have now.

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post #23 of 25 Old 03-29-2014, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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You can safely use the A9L if you limit the boost level just to get started. Anything up to about 6lbs should be okay. The MAF will send the corrections to the EEC which is good for about 300 hp with 19lb injectors.

I was all stock & saw 13lbs from time to time with 19lb & FMU. This was about 20 years ago before there were any alternate ECU options.

You didn't state what injectors you have now.
I have 42lbers, this is just the baby setup. I went standalone for my future build / builds.

What i plan to do after the stock block lets go is an aftermarket block 331, turbo, and shoot for big numbers.

Just another slow mustang with a single turbo....
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post #24 of 25 Old 03-31-2014, 10:44 AM
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Yeah they both essentially do the same things from what i gather, except the $650 version of the mspnp doesnt offer any "extra" features like the PiMP does for $700. BUT you can get the mspnp with those features for like $800 (could be a little wrong on price). Which is why i opted for the PiMP and i was talking to Shannon at Stinger which convinced me.
To clarify, the $650 system is an MS2 V3.57 with an adapter harness - it is not an MSPNP, which is its own board.

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post #25 of 25 Old 04-02-2014, 07:38 PM
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So what about a FAST set up? It doesn't seem to be to hard to figure out.

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