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Practical Reflash Tuning: Step 3: Configure Base Tune File

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Step 3: Configure Base Tune File


00:00 - When it comes to tuning a Hondata K Pro, we've basically got two situations we may be in.
00:06 Either we've got an existing tuned car, where we've already looked at how we can download that calibration from the ECU and we can use this as our starting point to begin tuning from, or alternatively if you're fitting a fresh Hondata K Pro ECU into your car, then you'll probably have no base calibration or base file to begin with, and in this case we want to start by setting up a new calibration that's going to at least broadly match the modifications that have been made to our engine and to the car.
00:37 Let's have a look at how we can do this, let's jump into our K Manager software and on the top left of our toolbar we're going to find a little button that says new calibration.
00:48 We'll click on that, and at the moment I've got a calibration open.
00:51 I don't need to save that so we'll click no.
00:53 Now I'm just gonna move this window around and I'll manipulate it a little bit so we can see a little bit more detail about what is included.
01:01 Alright so we start at the very top with our vehicle type, and this is available from a drop down menu.
01:08 We can access that by clicking on it.
01:10 And this gives us a broad range of ECU types or vehicle types that we can start with.
01:15 Now in this case we are using the PRB ECU from the RSX type S.
01:19 So we've got that selected.
01:21 And this will now show us all the calibrations that are available for that particular ECU.
01:27 Now this is split up, we've got our calibration name on the top left.
01:31 So this is usually something relatively sensible that explains broadly what is in the calibration.
01:38 Next we have our injector size, and this is going to be important to take note of as well.
01:42 Ideally we want to start with a calibration that is suited to the same injector size fitted to our engine.
01:49 Next we've got a slightly more meaningful description about what that particular calibration is for.
01:55 So for example here we've got stock calibrations right through to engines with superchargers or turbochargers fitted and a variety of injector sizes.
02:03 So we want to come down through this table and select something that's going to be broadly suitable for our engine.
02:09 Doesn't have to be perfect because we will be tuning the engine to suit.
02:14 But this is gonna give us at least a starting point to get the engine up and running so we can begin our tuning process.
02:20 In this case what I'm going to do is select our ITR or Integra Type R with Toda header, Injen intake, Mugen twin loop exhaust, and stock Integra Type R cams.
02:31 So this should relatively well match the modifications to our engine, given the engine is internally stock.
02:36 We've got the intake and we've got the exhaust system fitted.
02:38 We'll double click on that, that will load up that particular calibration.
02:43 Now before we go and send that calibration through to the ECU and start tuning, there are also a few changes that I'm going to make.
02:52 There's a variety of potential changes here, we're not going to look into all of them, but I am gonna cover some of the most common ones.
02:59 Now this is all going to be done through our parameters window which we can see we've got open here.
03:05 Now if you don't have that parameter tab, parameter window open, if it looks something like this, we can access that again by clicking on the parameters icon from our toolbar, and that'll open back up.
03:16 So what we're going to do is start by moving across to our analog inputs tab.
03:22 Now I've actually got nothing to do here, but it is possible to run additional inputs straight onto the K Pro daughter board.
03:29 And if you've done that, we can configure these here.
03:31 These may be for example a fuel pressure or oil pressure sensor, or you could be running a zero to five volt analog external wideband into the ECU through one of these analog inputs.
03:42 The next tab we're going to have a look at is our closed loop tab.
03:46 So we can click on that.
03:48 Now in stock form the ECU will run in closed loop mode using its built in wideband sensor, and we can see that's the option that is selected right now.
03:58 And it is important to understand that the Integra Type R, the K20, is fitted with a wideband air fuel ratio sensor.
04:05 This is quite useful for us for our tuning purposes as well as datalogging purposes.
04:10 While it is a wideband sensor, it is important to understand that it isn't accurate at rich mixtures and it's only good to around about 11.5:1 So if we're running it richer than that, we're going to want to rely on an external wideband air fuel ratio sensor.
04:26 Now there are a couple of ways we can go about tuning in terms of the closed loop operation mode.
04:31 My personal preference is to disable this while we are tuning.
04:36 So I'm going to click on the disable or open loop radio button here.
04:39 Now this means that there will be no feedback from the air fuel ration sensor so this means that any error between our target and our measured air fuel ratio is real, this lets us know the magnitude of the changes we need to make in the fuelling tables.
04:55 A lot of tuners will choose to leave the engine running in closed loop mode.
04:59 If we do this, this can mask any errors, and we will be running potentially on our target, but you may find that the short term and long term fuel trims are actually getting us there.
05:11 So either way you do this, it is important just to understand the implications of the closed loop mode.
05:16 Next we're going to move over to our closed loop advance tab.
05:19 Now there are a few aspects of the factory Honda ECU operation we need to understand in order to get through to options on this tab.
05:28 Now for a start we're going to look at our full load wide open throttle compensation options and tables.
05:35 Now in stock form we actually find that the ECU is configured to run a compensation at a fixed lambda of 0.85 under wide open throttle operation.
05:44 Now this needs a little bit more explanation though because it can seem a little bit misleading.
05:50 The ECU here is not working in closed loop so it's not actually monitoring our air fuel ratio and making an adjustment, if the lambda target of 0.85 isn't met.
06:00 Instead what it's doing is just making an overall compensation when the ECU deems that the engine is running at wide open throttle.
06:08 Essentially what it's doing here is assuming that all of the fuel tables have been correctly tuned to achieve lambda one target.
06:16 In order to get from lambda one to lambda 0.85, we simply use our measured divided by desired air fuel ratio target, so we learn in our EFI tuning fundamentals course.
06:28 If we take lambda 1.00 which is our measured air fuel ratio, divided by our desired air fuel ratio target of 0.85, we find that this essentially becomes an 18% compensation.
06:41 So at wide open throttle, the ECU is simply adding 18% additional fuel.
06:46 So how we deal with this is really up to the individual.
06:49 Personally I like to leave it like this, we can however choose to run no wide open throttle compensation, which will mean that we need to do more of our work inside the main fuel tables in order to get into our desired wide open throttle operating target.
07:04 We can also choose to use our wide open throttle compensation from our wide open throttle compensation target tables.
07:12 Here we've got two tables, one for low cam and we've got another one for high cam.
07:17 This just gives us a little bit more flexibility because we can adjust our lambda targets and in turn the compensation being applied by the ECU, relative to load and RPM.
07:28 So again this becomes and individual choice, we can choose to do it through those tables or we can choose, as I do, to do it through the main fuel tables.
07:37 It's really just a case of understanding the implications of these options if you decide to choose from the stock option.
07:43 Next we're going to have a look at our catalyst protection maps here.
07:48 And essentially what's happening here is the Honda ECU is constantly modelling or calculating the expected exhaust gas temperature.
07:55 And if that exhaust gas temperature gets to a point where it deems it's going to damage tha catalytic converter, the ECU will revert to these catalyst protection maps which allow more fuel to be injected into the engine.
08:08 This in turn cools the exhaust gas temperature and helps protect the catalytic converter.
08:13 Now this is going to show up on the dyno or out on the road or racetrack where our mixture for no apparent reason, all of a sudden drops extremely rich.
08:24 So we'll have a quick look at these tables.
08:26 We'll start with our low cam table here.
08:28 You'll see that the majority of this table is set to lambda 0.85 Remember this is the same as our wide open throttle compensation.
08:35 So essentially it's doing nothing, until we get to higher RPM.
08:39 So we can see here above 5000 RPM, our lambda target drops down, and we end up at 0.80 That's not too bad but if we jump across to our high cam map, we can see things get dramatically worse.
08:51 And particularly at high RPM here, we'll end up targeting 0.75 or even 0.73 lambda.
08:58 So if we want to make these maps ineffective, what we can do is simply highlight the entire map, I'm just holding down the shift key and dragging through this map here, and then we can set it to 0.85 Now in order to do this, I'm going to hold down the control key and press J.
09:16 This will bring up our little box which we can see here which says adjust selected values.
09:22 This allows us to manipulate the numbers that we've just highlighted.
09:25 And there are a few ways we can do this.
09:27 At the moment the number that is highlighted or the tab that is highlighted is our percentage adjustment, so we can add or subtract a percentage here.
09:36 Now we're going to see that I'll be using this a lot when it comes to our fuel tuning.
09:41 If we press the tab key we'll jump down to our next option which is to directly add or subtract from our selected values.
09:47 Now again we're not going to use that for this particular option so I'm going to press the tab key again which brings us down to our set selected values two option.
09:57 So this is what we want to do here, and I simply want to set everything to 0.85 lambda.
10:02 So again what we need to understand here is this is not additive on top of our wide open throttle fuel compensation table.
10:09 When these numbers are the same as our wide open throttle fuel compensation table, we're going to essentially have no effect from them.
10:17 So that's deemed this table to be completely ineffective.
10:20 And this is because we have removed our catalytic converter on this engine.
10:24 We're going to simply highlight the changed values in our low cam map here as well and using our control J we're going to set those also to 0.85 lambda.
10:35 Alright we can close that down.
10:37 The last option we'll look at in this tab is that we do have the ability to run the engine in closed loop mode continuously, if we're running the K Pro 4 and this will enable low cam and high cam lambda target tables which we can tune to suit our desired lambda targets and then the ECU will use the wideband air fuel ratio sensor to achieve or track those targets.
11:00 Again this is personal preference, I'm going to leave the ECU operating the way Honda intended and we'll leave this option disabled.
11:09 Let's come across now to our digital input tab.
11:12 This tab is really essentially identical to the analog input tab, we've already looked at, we can set up additional digital inputs that are going directly into the K Pro daughter board.
11:23 We've got nothing to do here, we've got no additional digital inputs, so we can move on.
11:28 And the next tab we're going to look at here is our fuel compensation tab.
11:32 We'll click on that, and here we've got the ability to adjust our fuel delivery versus intake air temperature as well as water or coolant temperature.
11:42 For both our intake air temperature and coolant temperature compensations, we have two sets of tables.
11:47 We've got one for light load and idle, we've got another one for medium load and wide open throttle or high load operation.
11:55 Now with our inlet air temperature table, as I do like to make some changes here.
11:59 And what we find is that in stock form the scaling of these tables is a little bit unique in that we can see we're spanning between minus 30 degrees C all the way out to 98 degrees C.
12:12 And I'm certainly not expecting to see air temperatures anywhere in this range.
12:16 So what I'm going to do is start by making these values a little bit more sensible and give us a little bit more resolution inside these tables.
12:25 You can do as you wish with these of course.
12:27 I've just adjusted these to range between minus 20 and 60 degrees centigrade.
12:32 We're gonna need to do the same changes here to both our tables so that they both match and we've got resolution in both of them.
12:40 Now we can actually enter some numbers into these tables for our adjustments.
12:44 So if you've gone through our EFI tuning fundamentals course, you will remember that we expect to see a change of around about 2.5% to 3% fuel delivery for every 10 degrees C our air temperature changes.
12:57 Now if we do use those numbers in a Hondata K Pro ECU, we're going to actually find that we end up over compensating.
13:04 In this case what I'm going to do is make a change of 3% here per 20 degrees, and I'm just going to apply that and I'm going to use our 20 degree C point as a zero point.
13:17 So when we come down we want to add fuel, so we're going to start with 6% at minus 20, 3% at zero.
13:24 When we're at 20 degrees, as I said, we've got that as our zero point.
13:28 Then as we heat up or increase the air temperature form there, we're going to reduce our fuelling by 3% and then 6%.
13:35 Now of course these are only starting points, we can come back and revisit this table later.
13:40 Now that covers our medium and high load operating table.
13:42 However under light load and idle, we want to actually reduce that, and if we don't reduce that, we're going to find that particularly under a hot restart, the engine will run quite lean.
13:53 So essentially what I'm going to do here, is just halve the magnitude of the changes that we've made there and we should have some numbers that will at least be pretty close and get us up and running.
14:07 Moving down, the next area we'll look at is our water temperature compensation.
14:10 Essentially this allows the ECU to provide some cold start enrichment.
14:14 We can't really do a lot of tuning in these tables until the rest of our fuel tables are calibrated correctly.
14:21 And interestingly we'll find that if our engine is relatively standard, these tables usually don't require a lot of work.
14:28 What we do want to do though is just have a quick look through these tables and make sure that at least under normal operating temperature range, we don't have any compensations present.
14:37 Now particularly with a race engine, it's quite common to fit a cooler thermostat which will have the engine running a little bit colder.
14:45 And we can see here in our medium and high load table, that at 75 degrees C we've got a trim of 4.7%.
14:52 We may run into that, we may end up hitting that, so what I'm going to do is just set that to zero just so it's gonna have no chance of affecting our fuelling.
15:00 Let's move over to our next tab which is our fuel injectors tab.
15:04 We'll click on that al this allows us to adjust the fuelling for a different set of injectors.
15:10 So this is pretty straightforward, we have the ability to adjust our injector size, so this should be the rated flow value for your particular injector.
15:18 And then we can also set up our injector voltage compensation table.
15:22 So depending on your injector supply, this may be referred to as injector latency, injector dead time, or injector offset.
15:30 Now for a relatively limited range of injectors we can also select from a drop down menu just to speed up that process.
15:38 Again we are using stock injectors so there's no work for us to do here.
15:42 We'll move across now to our fuel trim tab.
15:46 And this allows us to trim fuelling, in stock form this is all set to zero.
15:50 We can choose to provide an overall fuel trim or below this we have cranking fuel trim.
15:57 This is somewhere we may want to make a small overall adjustment while we are checking to see how the engine responds to a particular air fuel ratio for example.
16:07 But we wouldn't want to leave this trimmed.
16:10 If we do find the engine want a trim then ultimately we'd like to apply that into our main fuel tables.
16:15 Also we've got our individual cylinder fuel trimming capabilities.
16:19 So this allows us to adjust the fuel delivery to individual cylinders to suit any air imbalance or fuel flow imbalance that we may have across our engine.
16:28 This becomes particularly important in very high output engines where we want to be very sure that the air fuel ratio is matched on all of our cylinders.
16:36 The next tab we're going to have a look at is our gear compensation tab.
16:40 Pretty straightforward here, just allows us to make an overall broad tune change to either our fuel or ignition based on the gear the car is currently running in.
16:50 What we do need to understand with these trims is that they are irrespective of load so while we may use these to help safeguard the engine under very high load operation in 6th gear, these same trims will be still present if we are cruising in 6th gear as well.
17:06 Next we're gonna come over to our idle control tab.
17:10 And the idle control system in the K Pro is actually incredibly simple, there's not a lot to do here.
17:16 We need to start by setting a sensible target idle speed.
17:20 Now in stock form this is 750 RPM, this will work well for a stock engine.
17:25 But of course if you are running a set of aggressive cams, we may need to bump this up in order to achieve a stable idle.
17:31 Next we have our idle valve duty cycle adjustment which is pretty straightforward.
17:37 This essentially sets the base air bypass for our idle speed control system.
17:41 So if we find that our engine is idling a little low and struggling to idle, what we can do is just grab this little icon here and drag it across to the right.
17:51 So we're essentially just trying to set this up to get us to our idle speed, without any excessive idle surge or our idle speed dropping too low.
18:01 Moving down we also have the ability to use idle ignition control adjustment here to help with our idle speed control.
18:08 So this allows the ECU to advance or retard the ignition timing depending on any error between our current engine speed and our target idle speed.
18:18 This works out to be incredibly effective coupled with the air bypass valve as well.
18:24 So again we've got stock settings in here, we don't need to really make too many adjustments at this point.
18:30 Next we're going to move over to our ignition compensation tab.
18:33 Now on this tab we can use various ignition compensation based on inlet air temperature or engine coolant temperature.
18:42 Now in particular we want to take note of this and make sure that the values are sensible.
18:48 So for example here under idle and light load, we see we've got no ignition compensation present at all.
18:54 Under medium to high engine load, we can see that once the air temperature exceeds 55 degrees centigrade, then we will start retarding the timing.
19:02 And in this case 5.25 degrees.
19:04 So we need to keep this in mind because if we do start running into this, we may end up with our ignition timing being retarded with no real understanding of what's going on there.
19:15 This table can also be used to help safeguard our engine.
19:18 if we find that the engine is very prone or sensitive to detonation as the air temperature creeps up.
19:24 We've also got our coolant temperature or water temperature compensation tables here.
19:29 And in this case we've actually go four sets of tables.
19:31 We've got compensation for both low water temperature and high water temperature.
19:37 And again these are split up among idle and light load, and then medium to high load.
19:42 Now it's quite common here as we can see, when the engine coolant temperature is low, for a little bit of additional ignition advance to be used, I'm not going to adjust that.
19:53 And we can also retard our timing as our engine coolant temperature climbs.
19:57 We can see that in this case, this is occurring once our engine coolant temperature exceeds 106 degrees C.
20:04 We just again want to make sure that there's no compensation present in the areas that we're normally expecting our engine to run at.
20:12 The next tab we're going to have a look at is our miscellaneous tab.
20:16 So let's click on that.
20:18 Now this has a few ECU options which we can see at the top.
20:22 These are going to be specific or dependent on your particular setup.
20:26 Not gonna dwell on those, but there is one option here which you do want to just cover off.
20:31 And this is our ignition timing retard here.
20:33 So if you have removed the catalytic converter as we have here, then you want to tick this little box here and this eliminates the ignition retard when the engine is cold started, which is normally used to help heat up the catalytic converter and get that functioning quicker.
20:49 Now with a catalytic converter removed, that's not essential, it's not necessary, and it also tends to sound horrible with a free flowing exhaust system too.
20:59 We'll move over now to our rev limits tab.
21:02 And this is pretty self explanatory.
21:04 What we want to do here is make sure that our overall rev limiter is set sensibly.
21:09 In this case we've raised the rev limiter slightly to 8600 RPM, and this is quite suited to our modifications to the engine.
21:18 It's also going to be quite safe.
21:21 Next and last we'll look at our VTEC tab here.
21:25 Now this is something that we will be looking at in more detail as we get into the tuning.
21:31 Now with the Honda ECU it does use a window for the VTEC changeover point, so it's not just RPM based, it's also RPM, and load.
21:40 So for example here we have a lower boundary, which at the moment you can see it's set to 3800 RPM.
21:46 That's actually been dropped significantly from stock.
21:50 And essentially this will be the changeover point if our manifold pressure is above 96 kPa.
21:56 In other words if we're at high load.
21:58 However there is also a upper boundary here which you can see is set to 5500 RPM, if our manifold pressure is at 30 kPa.
22:08 And this basically gives us the window of where our VTEC changeover point is going to be.
22:14 Now we will definitely want to lower our VTEC changeover point if we are dealing with 100% stock calibration.
22:20 It is set quite high up around 5600 RPM, and there's a lot of power in the mid range to be gained by optimising this.
22:27 3800 though is a little bit low so what I'm going to do is start for the moment by setting that to 4500 RPM.
22:34 As again this is just a starting point, we'll see how easy it is to correctly dial in our VTEC point.
22:40 OK so at this point we've made the changes that I want to make to this base calibration.
22:45 What we're going to do now is come over and we're going to click on the save as option from our drop down menu.
22:51 And we just want to give this a sensible name.
22:54 So we'll call this ITR Endurance start, and we can now send this calibration through to our ECU.
23:03 So we'll power up our ECU.
23:06 We can see our ECU is now connected, and what we want to do is click on the little upload icon from our tool bar.
23:13 We can see that upload in progress, and the calibration is being saved.
23:17 So at this point we can also click here on our little lightning bolt icon, and that will go live with our ECU.
23:25 So we'll see live data.
23:27 OK so we can try starting our engine for the first time, and we see our engine starts straight up, we can see we're getting all of our live data, we've got our engine RPM showing here.
23:36 We can also see though that an error code has just popped up.
23:40 So we need to deal with that.
23:42 Pretty straightforward though, let's click on error codes to see what we've got.
23:47 So we can see that we do have an error code that's come up here for secondary O2 circuit heater, circuit malfunction.
23:54 Now there's a pretty straightforward reason for this.
23:56 This particular model car is not equipped with a secondary O2 sensor.
24:01 And this is a situation we need to understand when we are dealing with the Hondata K Pro.
24:06 We've got a generic ECU that is suited to a wide range of different vehicles in different markets and the option between these markets does vary quite a bit.
24:15 So what we want to do there is disable our secondary O2 circuit.
24:19 That's pretty easy to do so let's go back into our closed loop tab under parameters.
24:24 And if we cycle down through this, we've got our closed loop options here, and we can see that we have the tick box ticked for secondary oxygen sensor enabled.
24:34 Fixing that is as simple as unticking that box, we can save our calibration, we'll power up our ECU again, and we'll send that new calibration through to the ECU.
24:45 Let's start our engine one more time and we'll make sure that that error code doesn't come back.
24:54 Alright we've got our engine up and running again, we can see that we have no error codes present.