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Practical Standalone Tuning: Step 5: Initial Startup

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Step 5: Initial Startup


00:00 - We're now at a point where we can actually start the engine for the first time and this is an area that a lot of novice tuners get worried about, thinking that if we don't have everything absolutely perfect, that we're going to do instant damage to the engine and the reality is that that's simply not the case.
00:15 At the sort of load and RPM that we're going to be working at during our initial startup, it really doesn't matter what we've done with our fuelling or to a degree our ignition timing, worst case is the engine's simply going to stall so we've got no risk of damaging it.
00:32 Also, given that during our base table configuration we've already put a base ignition table in there that we know is going to be safe, we're not going to need to worry about that so this cuts down on our workload and really we can focus solely on the task of getting our fuelling dialled in.
00:49 And at this point, given that we're only just getting the engine up and running for the first time and we're not trying to be pinpoint accurate here and we're going to be making block changes as you'll see.
00:58 Another point here that is worth keeping in mind when we are starting an engine, particularly one that we've got no prior experience with, it obviously pays to keep an eye on the engine for anything that is not normal.
01:10 So what I'm talking about here is making sure that we haven't got any fuel or oil leaks, making sure that during cranking when the engine does start up that we haven't got any unusual mechanical noises.
01:21 Ideally we'd like to have an oil pressure gauge or sensor fitted so we can see what the oil pressure is.
01:28 At a minimum, we always want to pay attention to the oil pressure light on the factory dashboard to make sure that's going out, indicating that we have in fact got good oil pressure.
01:36 So let's have a quick look into our software and we'll take note of what we're going to need to focus on during this initial startup.
01:44 So looking at our gauges on the right hand side, we have here our measured lambda versus our current target lambda.
01:52 We'll just key the engine on so we have real data there.
01:55 So this is going to be our two key elements that we're going to be focusing on.
01:58 The lambda of course will show us the current measured air/fuel ratio and we're going to be adjusting that so that we are within our target.
02:06 Now again here, we can be a little bit broad at the moment so doesn't really matter where we start, it's going to be very quick and easy to make block adjustments to our fuelling until we're on our target.
02:16 Now speaking of that, we're going to come over to our fuel table here and we've still got our flat table with fixed values of 50% in there.
02:24 What I'm going to do for a start is just highlight all the way from 0 kPa, 0 RPM out to 100 kPa, 3000 RPM.
02:32 And this is going to be the area that we'll be making our changes in.
02:36 This way, we're going to encompass the entire area the engine's likely to operate in while we're doing this initial startup so it's going to be very quick and easy to do.
02:44 It's worth mentioning here a few of the ways we can make adjustments to the numbers in the table so the first way we'll look at is a direct entry so of course if we enter a value of 60 and press the enter key, it will lock that new value in.
03:00 On the other hand we can make smaller changes or more accurate changes using the page up and page down buttons.
03:08 So page up will increase the value in those cells by 1%, page down of course will subtract 1%.
03:15 Using the control and page up, that will make a smaller change of 0.1%.
03:19 It's unlikely that we're going to want to make a change that small at this point in time.
03:23 Also worth mentioning, up the top left hand corner we do have an undo function so every time we press that undo function we'll go back one step.
03:32 This is quite helpful if you accidentally make a large block change that you weren't intending to, you can use that to undo.
03:38 Or alternatively redo the change that you've just undone.
03:43 Another technique I frequently use for making changes to my tables is the percentage function.
03:48 We can access that by pressing the P key, that'll bring up this add or subtract percentage box so if we want to add 10% we'd simply enter a value of 10, press enter and you can see, that's added 10% to our fuel table.
04:02 Again we'll undo that change.
04:04 So these are the broad changes, or broad techniques we're going to be using to make changes.
04:09 For the moment, simply using the page up and page down keys should be enough to get us started.
04:15 It's also worth mentioning here that during this initial startup where we really don't have any of our tune dialled in, we're quite likely to need to use a little bit of throttle to keep the engine running.
04:25 So just keep that in mind, know that you may need to keep your foot on the throttle during this initial startup.
04:31 Alright so let's turn the key and we'll see whether we can make our engine run.
04:39 Alright so straight away our engine runs but you can see there it stalled pretty quickly as well and if you were paying attention to the lambda you would have seen that it was actually quite lean, about 1.1 to 1.2.
04:50 So no problem there, no damage done and it's pretty easy to make a block change there, we'll just highlight our same set of numbers and let's start by just adding 10% there.
05:00 And it's simply a guess here, we don't need to be too pinpoint accurate.
05:03 Let's give that another go and see if an extra 10% fuelling helps us.
05:10 Alright so now we've actually got our engine up and running and we're just looking at our lambda here.
05:16 Obviously we're a little bit high in the RPM at the moment at about 2200 RPM.
05:20 You can see that we're actually pretty close to our target, although as our warmup enrichment, our post start enrichment starts to decay, we are seeing that the lambda starts to track a little bit leaner.
05:31 I'll just close the throttle a little bit and bring us down closer to our idle and as we move down in the RPM we can see that our lambda is actually tracking a little bit richer so we're there or thereabouts at the moment, about 5% rich but I'm not at all worried about that.
05:46 This is a good time to do a bit of a safety audit of the engine as well, have we got oil pressure, any unusual mechanical sounds, any oil or fuel leaks, anything that could cause alarm? Also a good idea at this point to just take a little note of our inlet manifold pressure and our battery voltage.
06:02 We'll be paying a bit more attention to these in the next step of the process but just making sure that we are running reasonable vacuum, particularly on a piston engine that can be an indicator that we've got a problem with our cam timing.
06:13 So we'll just close our throttle down a little bit here.
06:16 We are a little bit rich still but not too bad so we've got our engine running at about 1500 RPM, seems pretty happy there, not doing anything unusual.