Self tuning EMS questions - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-08-2017, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Self tuning EMS questions

I have some questions about self tuning EMS systems, but first a little info on my car.

I have a 68 Fastback that will be receiving a low mile stock 88 Mustang 5.0, Kenne Bell 2200 Blow/Flow, AFR 165 heads, 94 Cobra lower as well as a T56 6 speed.
I may go for a custom or aftermarket cam as well.

It may see the track a handful of times,but will mainly be a mild mannered street car until the boost kicks in. I want to be able to drive 1000 mile trips and get 20+ mpg when I'm cruising on the freeway.

Above all, the car needs to be dependable.

Are there any self tuning EMS systems out there that are very good at self tuning for good mpg and safe for boost?

Would mass air be better than speed density or does it even make a difference any more?

I will need a harness and would like to go with all new sensors as well as larger throttle body so I'm flexible if an EMS needs anything specific.

If speed density will work, be well mannered and dependable, I would prefer it for plumbing reasons, but it isn't necessary if there is something better that is mass air.

Is there anything out there that would fit my needs?

Thanks for your time.
Ken

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post #2 of 26 Old 07-09-2017, 07:48 AM
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check Holley HP it self tunes and is ready to go. uses map sensor instead of MAF sensor, very safe tunes already installed, free updates and supports both hi/low imp. injectors. plugs into ford parts too. no need for large T?B with forced induction.

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post #3 of 26 Old 07-09-2017, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your help.

I just did a quick check on the Holley website and I didn't see a kit for the 80s- early 90s 5.0 engines. Everything Ford related was modular and newer.

I'll keep looking, because I liked what I saw, but I must admit that some of the terms used are over my head and I'll need to educate myself on this technology.
Can you guess why I'm wanting plug and play self tuning?

Do you by any chance know of a specific kit for and early 5.0?

Thanks again for your help.
Ken
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-10-2017, 12:14 AM
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In a high power car application none of them autotune timing (I know of one system for the Harley but you can't use it on your car). Most if not all of them can autotune fuel. If you want maximum potential the timing needs to be dialed in for the engine on a dyno. Be very suspicious of anyone who claims that they do autotune timing (because it's almost certainly done via knock sensing which is the wrong way) or that tuning of timing is a waste of time.

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post #5 of 26 Old 07-10-2017, 12:41 AM
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FiTech makes a self tuning throttle body style for boosted applications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomschwortz View Post
I have some questions about self tuning EMS systems, but first a little info on my car.

I have a 68 Fastback that will be receiving a low mile stock 88 Mustang 5.0, Kenne Bell 2200 Blow/Flow, AFR 165 heads, 94 Cobra lower as well as a T56 6 speed.
I may go for a custom or aftermarket cam as well.

It may see the track a handful of times,but will mainly be a mild mannered street car until the boost kicks in. I want to be able to drive 1000 mile trips and get 20+ mpg when I'm cruising on the freeway.

Above all, the car needs to be dependable.

Are there any self tuning EMS systems out there that are very good at self tuning for good mpg and safe for boost?

Would mass air be better than speed density or does it even make a difference any more?

I will need a harness and would like to go with all new sensors as well as larger throttle body so I'm flexible if an EMS needs anything specific.

If speed density will work, be well mannered and dependable, I would prefer it for plumbing reasons, but it isn't necessary if there is something better that is mass air.

Is there anything out there that would fit my needs?

Thanks for your time.
Ken

86 GT, Cobra brakes, Koni, MB Competition, 3.27
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-10-2017, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by seijirou View Post
In a high power car application none of them autotune timing (I know of one system for the Harley but you can't use it on your car). Most if not all of them can autotune fuel. If you want maximum potential the timing needs to be dialed in for the engine on a dyno. Be very suspicious of anyone who claims that they do autotune timing (because it's almost certainly done via knock sensing which is the wrong way) or that tuning of timing is a waste of time.
If I went with this system, would a dyno shop be able to do anything with the ignition other than advancing it until it just started to knock and then back it off?

If the knock sensor kicked in, what would this system do to remedy the problem?

Thank you for your information.
Ken
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-10-2017, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shaqer74 View Post
FiTech makes a self tuning throttle body style for boosted applications.
Would this be a throttle body that just regulates air or something like a 4 barrel carb with fuel injectors in it?

Kenne Bell doesn't recommend running fuel through the blower, just air.

Thank you for your input.
Ken
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-10-2017, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by seijirou View Post
In a high power car application none of them autotune timing (I know of one system for the Harley but you can't use it on your car). Most if not all of them can autotune fuel. If you want maximum potential the timing needs to be dialed in for the engine on a dyno. Be very suspicious of anyone who claims that they do autotune timing (because it's almost certainly done via knock sensing which is the wrong way) or that tuning of timing is a waste of time.
I am seriously considering building a diy a2a for the car and on this side of the mountain, the temperature is pretty mild. Most of summer is 55-75, a couple weeks in the 80s, a few days in the 90s and a rare 100 every once in a while, so the inlet temp should rarely be over 100.

My car will spend nearly all of its time on the street and realistically 5 minutes a year at full throttle.
Would the lack of being able to auto tune the timing be a big problem for me?

Would injecting straight alcohol while under boost for the octane be a good safety measure?
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-10-2017, 10:59 AM
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I believe this is the kit you'd want for your engine. Looks like you'd need to just solder a factory TPS and IAC connector to it (super easy).

https://www.holley.com/products/fuel.../parts/550-606

there are a few systems aside from this that are plug-n-play with auto-tuning features. I'd say that none of these are really as easy as it seems to the unfamiliar novice. You can't really just plug them in, fire them up, and start romping on it with oem drivability. The auto-tuning only modifies fuel tables, which is maybe 1 out of 10 or 20 settings you'll need to polish up to have true OEM drivability.

Like you've discussed previously, the ignition table can't be auto-tuned and is typically only really dialed in on a dyno where you can find MBT after extensive testing. Probably 95% of people just get their ignition tables "safe" and keep it there. I only see people really fine-tuning ignition advance when they're seeking quicker ET's at the track. For the driving style you described above, I don't see it necessary to really push the envelope.

I'd see if you have any world-renowned tuners in your area, talk to them about what engine management systems they prefer, then find one for your car that matches their criteria. Have them tune it and you'll be good to go.
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-10-2017, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Zoomschwortz View Post
If I went with this system, would a dyno shop be able to do anything with the ignition other than advancing it until it just started to knock and then back it off?

If the knock sensor kicked in, what would this system do to remedy the problem?

Thank you for your information.
Ken
Yes they would. What your dyno operator is looking for is Minimum timing for Best Torque (mbt) using a load-bearing dyno. The dyno will hold the engine at a steady state, and then the operator begins to increase timing starting at a conservative value. Output increases with timing but then actually flattens out. If you keep increasing timing you won't have any more output, but you will then start to encourage knock. There is a some buffer in timing between maximum output and encouraging knock. If you tune timing based on knock you won't have any more output but you remove all the buffer and so the tune is "on the edge" and in a boosted application you are 1 bad tank of gas away from damage.

After the tune, if you use a knock sensor it is there to basically help mitigate damage from something going wrong. Knock sensors don't protect engines from a proper tune where everything is working correctly, they try to cover your butt when something isn't right. Long story short since you're talking about a street car, if they detect knock you want the system to yank timing out.


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post #11 of 26 Old 07-10-2017, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Zoomschwortz View Post
I am seriously considering building a diy a2a for the car and on this side of the mountain, the temperature is pretty mild. Most of summer is 55-75, a couple weeks in the 80s, a few days in the 90s and a rare 100 every once in a while, so the inlet temp should rarely be over 100.

My car will spend nearly all of its time on the street and realistically 5 minutes a year at full throttle.
Would the lack of being able to auto tune the timing be a big problem for me?

Would injecting straight alcohol while under boost for the octane be a good safety measure?
I don't think it will be a problem. Just run conservative timing and don't succumb to the temptation of possibility that you're leaving 5% on the table.

I can't really speak to alcohol injection. AFAIK it works, but I don't know to what magnitude it works and I don't know the drawbacks if any.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.0thunder View Post
I believe this is the kit you'd want for your engine. Looks like you'd need to just solder a factory TPS and IAC connector to it (super easy).

https://www.holley.com/products/fuel.../parts/550-606

there are a few systems aside from this that are plug-n-play with auto-tuning features. I'd say that none of these are really as easy as it seems to the unfamiliar novice. You can't really just plug them in, fire them up, and start romping on it with oem drivability. The auto-tuning only modifies fuel tables, which is maybe 1 out of 10 or 20 settings you'll need to polish up to have true OEM drivability.

Like you've discussed previously, the ignition table can't be auto-tuned and is typically only really dialed in on a dyno where you can find MBT after extensive testing. Probably 95% of people just get their ignition tables "safe" and keep it there. I only see people really fine-tuning ignition advance when they're seeking quicker ET's at the track. For the driving style you described above, I don't see it necessary to really push the envelope.

I'd see if you have any world-renowned tuners in your area, talk to them about what engine management systems they prefer, then find one for your car that matches their criteria. Have them tune it and you'll be good to go.
5.0thunder is right. Unless your goal is to dig in and figure it all out yourself, the best and easiest solution for your car is the one that you have kickass local support for.
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-11-2017, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.0thunder View Post
I believe this is the kit you'd want for your engine. Looks like you'd need to just solder a factory TPS and IAC connector to it (super easy).

https://www.holley.com/products/fuel.../parts/550-606

there are a few systems aside from this that are plug-n-play with auto-tuning features. I'd say that none of these are really as easy as it seems to the unfamiliar novice. You can't really just plug them in, fire them up, and start romping on it with oem drivability. The auto-tuning only modifies fuel tables, which is maybe 1 out of 10 or 20 settings you'll need to polish up to have true OEM drivability.

Like you've discussed previously, the ignition table can't be auto-tuned and is typically only really dialed in on a dyno where you can find MBT after extensive testing. Probably 95% of people just get their ignition tables "safe" and keep it there. I only see people really fine-tuning ignition advance when they're seeking quicker ET's at the track. For the driving style you described above, I don't see it necessary to really push the envelope.

I'd see if you have any world-renowned tuners in your area, talk to them about what engine management systems they prefer, then find one for your car that matches their criteria. Have them tune it and you'll be good to go.
Thank you for the link and information.

Is there a good reason that the kit with the NTK o2 sensor is more expensive than the one with a Bosch?

I have some friends that have tuned their race cars at a place in Tacoma, but they seem to break a lot of parts on the dyno and very few at the track. Last I heard, they were going to stop going to the dyno.
Of course their goals at the dyno were max power and mine would be good power, dependability, drivability and decent mpg.

I guess my goal would be similar to the expectations of someone that buys a factory new supercharged Mustang. Good power and the ability to drive anywhere without the fear of breaking down or breaking the bank buying gas, only I want to do it with a 49 year old classic car.

Thanks again
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Originally Posted by seijirou View Post
Yes they would. What your dyno operator is looking for is Minimum timing for Best Torque (mbt) using a load-bearing dyno. The dyno will hold the engine at a steady state, and then the operator begins to increase timing starting at a conservative value. Output increases with timing but then actually flattens out. If you keep increasing timing you won't have any more output, but you will then start to encourage knock. There is a some buffer in timing between maximum output and encouraging knock. If you tune timing based on knock you won't have any more output but you remove all the buffer and so the tune is "on the edge" and in a boosted application you are 1 bad tank of gas away from damage.

After the tune, if you use a knock sensor it is there to basically help mitigate damage from something going wrong. Knock sensors don't protect engines from a proper tune where everything is working correctly, they try to cover your butt when something isn't right. Long story short since you're talking about a street car, if they detect knock you want the system to yank timing out.
I want to thank you guys for all of your help.

What could I expect to pay to get my car dialed in at a dyno?

It sounds like the self tuner would allow me to safely drive to the muffler shop about 12 miles away with some short pipes for the o2 sensor to mount on so I could get an exhaust system installed and then another 25 miles to a dyno as long as I take it easy.

Thanks again.
Ken
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post #14 of 26 Old 07-11-2017, 09:33 AM
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the NTK Sensors are just better. The bosch sensors work perfectly fine for most tuners, from the common DIYer to the Professionals. Some just prefer the NTK's for their higher quality. I use bosch sensors without issue.

People break things on the dyno all the time, mostly because their cars aren't prepared for flogging in the first place, but also sometimes because they want to squeeze every fraction of a horsepower out of their engine and end up finding their limit sooner than they thought. If you keep your AFR conservative and timing just at MBT or less, you'll make reliable power. Ford Small Blocks are so common that there are good reliable ignition tables and AFR tables out there for you to use that won't kill the motor. You could likely use them as-is and never have a reliability issue. You could maybe find a bit more power with some tweaking but that's up to your tuner and how well they determine your engine's limits.
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the NTK Sensors are just better. The bosch sensors work perfectly fine for most tuners, from the common DIYer to the Professionals. Some just prefer the NTK's for their higher quality. I use bosch sensors without issue.

People break things on the dyno all the time, mostly because their cars aren't prepared for flogging in the first place, but also sometimes because they want to squeeze every fraction of a horsepower out of their engine and end up finding their limit sooner than they thought. If you keep your AFR conservative and timing just at MBT or less, you'll make reliable power. Ford Small Blocks are so common that there are good reliable ignition tables and AFR tables out there for you to use that won't kill the motor. You could likely use them as-is and never have a reliability issue. You could maybe find a bit more power with some tweaking but that's up to your tuner and how well they determine your engine's limits.
Thanks again.

What should I expect to pay for a dyno tune?
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post #16 of 26 Old 07-11-2017, 11:37 AM
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Thanks again.

What should I expect to pay for a dyno tune?
$400 to $600 is normal where I live. I've seen less but the quality in that instance was terrible. There are also a couple of trusted remote tuners as well, which would require you to upload tune, datalog, send datalog to tuner, then upload new tune. Process will take more time but comes out cheaper most of the time. They'd use your datalogs to see how the car is responding to changes. They'll be less likely to get close to MBT but can still yield a solid tune.
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post #17 of 26 Old 07-11-2017, 12:25 PM
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I'd use the stock ECU and put a Moates Quarterhorse in it. Tune it yourself or take it to someone that can tune it.
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-11-2017, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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I'd use the stock ECU and put a Moates Quarterhorse in it. Tune it yourself or take it to someone that can tune it.
Unfortunately, I don't have an ECU or even a harness for that matter.

I've tuned a lot of cars the old fashioned , but I have never tuned an ECU.

Once I get the engine and new 6 speed in, I will need to drive with no mufflers and a couple feet of exhaust for about 20 minutes to get an exhaust system installed.

How hard is it for someone that is less than a novice to safely tune a blown engine with a Moates Quaterhorse?

Thanks
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Originally Posted by 5.0thunder View Post
$400 to $600 is normal where I live. I've seen less but the quality in that instance was terrible. There are also a couple of trusted remote tuners as well, which would require you to upload tune, datalog, send datalog to tuner, then upload new tune. Process will take more time but comes out cheaper most of the time. They'd use your datalogs to see how the car is responding to changes. They'll be less likely to get close to MBT but can still yield a solid tune.
Thank you for the information.

Looks like by the time I get a kit and then get it tuned I'll be looking at $2500
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-19-2017, 01:39 PM
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Have you looked at the MegaSquirt PNP ECM for the Foxbody's? It looks simple to install (replaced stock ECU), has the auto-tune feature to help set up your VE tables to get your target ARF numbers......and it's only $800.

I'm thinking about getting one for my project foxbody daily driver with an FI setup.

https://www.diyautotune.com/product/...d-mustang-5-0/
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Have you looked at the MegaSquirt PNP ECM for the Foxbody's? It looks simple to install (replaced stock ECU), has the auto-tune feature to help set up your VE tables to get your target ARF numbers......and it's only $800.

I'm thinking about getting one for my project foxbody daily driver with an FI setup.

https://www.diyautotune.com/product/...d-mustang-5-0/
Thank you,
I did check it out last week and it does look good.
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In a high power car application none of them autotune timing (I know of one system for the Harley but you can't use it on your car). Most if not all of them can autotune fuel. If you want maximum potential the timing needs to be dialed in for the engine on a dyno. Be very suspicious of anyone who claims that they do autotune timing (because it's almost certainly done via knock sensing which is the wrong way) or that tuning of timing is a waste of time.
I really have to wonder if any companies will be adding auto tune ignition timing to their EMS systems?

Once they add this feature, then they truly will have a hi performance engine management system.

It seems to me that using knock sensors, it could self learn where the maximum timing advance should be at all rpm and driving conditions, giving the car not only the best performance, but also the best economy in non performance driving as well.

I bought a J&S Electronics system when I bought the KB2200 several years ago.
Would it work in conjunction with any of the self tuning EMS?
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FYI, since KB is a draw through setup (throttle body before blower), you want a larger unit, 80 - 90 mm to minimize HP losses.
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FYI, since KB is a draw through setup (throttle body before blower), you want a larger unit, 80 - 90 mm to minimize HP losses.
Hello Cougar,
I have been planning on buying a 90 mm TB and I'm happy to see that they are now offering progressive ones.

I first joined Corral around 17 years ago.
You may remember me as Ken R.

Life and kids and work etc, etc. happened and my project went on hold for a few years.

When I tried for a week or so to get back online, I no longer had an AOL account and forgot my password. I had no luck in getting my old user name and account back, so I AM now Zoomschwortz.

I was very happy to see that you and a few others are still here and wonder what ever happened to Don and his KB 5.0 Miata.

Now that I'm retired and my son has a 97 GT as well as a recently purchased 94 Cobra, not to mention that my daughters fiancé builds 60's race cars for the Sovren Race Series, I am once again collecting parts for my car and hope to actually get the 68 Fastback on the road.

Take care and thank you for your help.
Ken
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Originally Posted by Zoomschwortz View Post
Hello Cougar,
I have been planning on buying a 90 mm TB and I'm happy to see that they are now offering progressive ones.

I first joined Corral around 17 years ago.
You may remember me as Ken R.

Life and kids and work etc, etc. happened and my project went on hold for a few years.

When I tried for a week or so to get back online, I no longer had an AOL account and forgot my password. I had no luck in getting my old user name and account back, so I AM now Zoomschwortz.

I was very happy to see that you and a few others are still here and wonder what ever happened to Don and his KB 5.0 Miata.

Now that I'm retired and my son has a 97 GT as well as a recently purchased 94 Cobra, not to mention that my daughters fiancé builds 60's race cars for the Sovren Race Series, I am once again collecting parts for my car and hope to actually get the 68 Fastback on the road.

Take care and thank you for your help.
Ken
I do remember your old user name, though it's been a little while. I had a hard time getting my account back also and had created another one, but they finally got me my old account back. Stinks loosing an account you've had since the beginning.

Interesting about the progressive TBs - got a link?

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post #26 of 26 Old 07-23-2017, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cougar5.O View Post
I do remember your old user name, though it's been a little while. I had a hard time getting my account back also and had created another one, but they finally got me my old account back. Stinks loosing an account you've had since the beginning.

Interesting about the progressive TBs - got a link?
Edelbrock Pro Flow and Holley Sniper are 2 that I saw when I was looking for a self tuning EMS. They use a progressive pulley

The Corky Bell book Supercharged shows how to make some progressive linkage as well.

Years ago, I kicked around the idea of doing away with the Flowzilla and building an intake for a progressive 4 TB, but for a street car it would be a lot of work for a little gain.

As for former names, this is the second time I couldn't log in. After Ken R, I was 68KBFastback.

Now that I'm retired and since my Son has a 97 GT and 94 Cobra, as well as my daughters fiancé building vintage road course cars for the Sovren race series, I have a lot more time and incentive to get this thing on the road.
Zoomschwortz is offline  
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