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Practical Standalone Tuning: Step 5: Initial Startup

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Step 5: Initial Startup


00:00 - Alright we're finally at the point where we can attempt to start the engine for the first time.
00:05 Now this is an area that I know a lot of enthusiasts get quite nervous about, thinking that if they don't have the right numbers in their tables then the engine's going to instantly be damaged.
00:17 As you'll see, absolutely nothing could be further from the truth and particularly at such low load and under idle conditions, it's difficult if not impossible to actually damage the engine, irrespective of how rich or lean you're running it.
00:29 Worst case scenario if it's too lean, it probably won't run at all.
00:33 If it's too rich you're probably going to end up fouling the spark plugs and that's something we want to avoid, it's not necessarily immediately dangerous but we don't really want to needlessly have to be replacing or cleaning spark plugs if we can get away from it so key is going to be monitoring our air/fuel ratio pretty closely.
00:51 We can focus during this step almost exclusively on just getting our fuelling dialled in.
00:57 We shouldn't need to worry about our ignition timing because we're already got those pretty conservative base ignition timing values.
01:05 So because we don't have onboard lambda in this particular application, we're going to be relying on the lambda sensor on our dyno, and if we head across here we can see we're actually already registering 0.87 lambda and obviously as we start or crank and start the engine, that's going to change.
01:24 I'll just mention as well that the sensor is actually fitted to an auxiliary weld boss in the exhaust, probably about maybe 500, 600 mm off the back of the turbocharger so it's important to note because it's very common for people to just temporarily fit the lambda sensor in a tailpipe extension kit at the end of the exhaust system.
01:46 It's nice and quick and easy to fit.
01:48 But particularly under idle conditions or very light load, the sensor in that application is very likely to be affected by ambient oxygen.
01:56 Essentially it will read leaner than it actually is so this way there's no real chance of getting any ambient oxygen into the exhaust system so we should be getting a true indication of the actual air/fuel ratio.
02:10 Let's jump into the tuning software and I'll just talk through what we're going to be doing here.
02:15 So we've got our fuel map which is what we're going to be concentrating on and essentially we should probably be operating somewhere around about this region of the map and you'll recall at the moment we've got everything set to a value of 40 so we're not going to get too granular at this point, what I'll do is I'll just highlight the table from -100 kPa, 0-2500 RPM and we'll come all the way up to 0 kPa so this incorporates the entire area that we're going to be operating in.
02:44 While it's probably a little tricky to see with the colours, I can just turn the colour gradient off for a moment and we can see we've got this yellow crosshairs which shows where the ECU is currently accessing.
02:57 Obviously once we start up, that's sort of going to kind of take a path somewhere around about there which we'll see but that crosshairs shows us exactly where we are accessing.
03:07 Let's just turn our colour gradient back on for a moment.
03:09 So how are we going to make these changes? Well there's a variety of ways and we can start by simply entering a value, so if I enter a value of 50 and press enter, that makes the change to 50, pretty straightforward.
03:21 So if we go back to where we were at 40, the way we want to make changes is going to depend on really how far from the ballpark we are.
03:30 I'm going to pick here, just because that base map had values of mid 20s in here, chances are we're probably going to be more than a little bit too rich so I'm probably going to need to reduce those.
03:41 If we're really really rich, let's say we start it up and we're off the scale and registering maybe 0.65 or 0.70 lambda.
03:47 Maybe I'll just directly enter a value of maybe 30 to pull us down.
03:52 Otherwise what we can do is use the Q and that will increase by 0.1, the A which will decrease by 0.1 or for this we're obviously going to want to make coarser changes so if we hold down the shift and A key, that will make a reduction of 0.5 at a time.
04:08 So we can actually make those changes pretty quickly.
04:11 Other things to consider while we're doing this, when we first start the car, because we haven't got our idle speed settings dialled in, there's a pretty good chance that we're going to find that the engine isn't going to idle nicely by itself so probably for this first step we're going to have to keep the engine idling using our foot on the throttle so that's one consideration.
04:30 The other element here is just some common sense.
04:33 Obviously if it's an engine of unknown origins, we're going to want to monitor and maybe having a helper will be beneficial here.
04:41 Make sure that we haven't got any massive water or oil leaks as soon as the engine starts up.
04:45 We also want to monitor for any abnormal sounds, any mechanical sounds that could indicate something's dramatically wrong.
04:53 And if we've got the ability to monitor oil pressure, obviously we want to do so.
04:57 In this instance, we've only got the factory oil pressure light on the dash so we're monitoring that, making sure that that switches off essentially as soon as the engine starts up.
05:05 Alright so at this point we're ready to get going so what we'll do, we'll just get my foot on the throttle here and we can see we've got our throttle position sensor being monitored here.
05:16 So if I go all the way through to wide open throttle and actually that's a good point, at this stage we can see we're only registering 99.1% and I didn't go through and configure this during the other configuration so let's do that now and just show you.
05:31 We'll come up to our ECU controls here, open that menu and normally I do this at the same time I do the MAP sensor calibration considering they're right beside each other but this was an oversight.
05:43 It's OK, we can deal with that now so we'll click on TPS setup.
05:45 Go to wide open throttle and essentially just do exactly what it tells you to do, press OK, close throttle, OK and now we've got a nice full calibration through to 100% so we'll just press F4 and store that.
05:58 Alright so let's try cranking our engine, we'll just hold maybe 5-10% throttle here and just see if we can get the engine up and running.
06:07 As soon as I've got it fired and I'm confident that we've got oil pressure, I'm going to be monitoring the air/fuel ratio on the dyno and making those changes so let's see if we can get it to start for a beginning anyway.
06:22 OK so that actually started really easily.
06:26 If we look at our dyno we can see that 0.77, 0.79, 0.80, we're rich, we're not well out of the ballpark, I'm just going to bring my throttle setting back down because we're still a little bit high in the RPM, come down through 1500.
06:43 And 0.75 so what we can do here is I'll just use the shift and A key to reduce some fuelling out of this.
06:52 And at the moment I'm looking for maybe 0.95 or thereabouts.
06:59 I'm not really getting too granular at the moment, I just want to make sure that the engine will actually idle and I'll just close down my throttle a little bit further.
07:08 So we can see as I've closed the throttle, it's not really too happy idling down there.
07:13 We're sort of 750 RPM which is a little bit light.
07:15 0.84 let's just pull a little bit more fuel out, 0.85, 0.86.
07:20 Again just shift and A key.
07:22 Again not being too fussy at the moment, there's going to be plenty of time for getting this all dialled in but at this stage, we're idling 0.95 lambda, 750 RPM which is a little lower than I'd like but that's OK and basically I've got my foot completely off the throttle.
07:36 We've got oil pressure, there's no unusual noises so at this stage we're happy, we've got our engine up and running for the first time, we can allow it to warm up and we can move on to the next step of our process.

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