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Practical Standalone Tuning: Step 5: Initial Startup

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Step 5: Initial Startup

07.43

00:00 - Alright we're finally up to the point in our process where we can get the engine up and running for the first time and this is the part that I know a lot of tuners get worried about thinking that if we don't have exactly the right numbers in our fuel and ignition maps, we're going to instantly cause expensive damage to the engine.
00:17 As we'll find out, that's really not the case and the worst case scenario at idle is if our fuelling is too lean the engine's probably going to stall, pretty easy to fix that and likewise if our engine is too rich, then we might end up with the engine stalling as well, running rough for a little while, we're not going to end up doing damage in the length of time it's going to take us in order to make our changes.
00:40 here we're not trying to be pinpoint accurate with our tuning either.
00:44 What we're going to be doing is just broadly making block changes to our VE table so that we can get our air/fuel ratio at least in the ballpark.
00:53 This isn't the place to be actually making specific cell by cell tuning changes, we're just making sure that we can get our engine up and running.
01:01 To make our lives easier here as well, we are going to be focusing solely on our fuel table.
01:07 Remembering we've got some base numbers in our ignition table that are going to be there or thereabouts so I'll be close enough to getting our engine running and idling quite happily so we can focus all of our efforts on our VE table.
01:19 Let's head across to that VE table and we'll have a look at what we're dealing with.
01:22 Now we've got our base VE table there with our simple value of 50% across the board.
01:30 Remembering that our vertical axis over here is, our throttle position, we can vary our throttle position and that will move us around.
01:38 So at least to start with, we're going to probably expect that we're going to be operating somewhere in this region, maybe up to 2000, 2500 RPM and maybe up to 20 or 30° throttle.
01:49 So what we're going to do to start with is just make block changes to that area.
01:53 It's worth discussing some of the ways we can make tuning changes using the EMtron ECU.
02:00 Let's choose a cell to start with and one of the ways we can make changes is to use the page up and page down keys.
02:07 So if we do that we can see that every time we hit page up we're going to increase the value in the cell that we've highlighted by a 10th of a percent.
02:14 That's great if you are fine tuning but it's going to be pretty slow going if you've got large changes to make.
02:20 You can hold shift and then press the page up and page down key, that's going to make 1% increment changes at a time so good way to get you a little bit closer a little bit quicker.
02:30 Of course the other way you can do this is to directly enter values.
02:33 So if we enter a value of 55, that's going to set that cell, or however many cells we've got highlighted to a value of 55.
02:42 It's also worth mentioning here that you can use the control Z function to undo any changes you've made.
02:49 Now one of the ways we will be making changes as you'll see here is to use block changes and we can highlight a block of cells by holding down the shift key and using our arrow keys to move ourselves around.
03:00 Now there are various math functions we can use as well.
03:04 So we may want to add 5 to the block of cells so we can do that by entering the value of 5 and then we can use the + symbol, that will simply add 5.
03:15 5 and the minus key, of course is going to remove 5%.
03:19 One of the more common functions or changes I will make is to make percentage changes.
03:25 And we can do this to quickly fine tune our tuning based on our logging, how far away we are from our target so let's say we want to remove 5%, what we can do is enter a value of 0.95 and then we want to enter the little asterisk symbol and that will make that change.
03:43 So very easy to manipulate the numbers in a variety of different ways.
03:47 For now let's try getting our engine running, so we'll start by highlighting our block of cells that we're going to be operating in, we'll go up to 30% throttle and out to 2500 RPM and the main change I'm going to be making here will be to use the shift page up and page down, allowing me to make 1% changes straight away.
04:06 Now what we're looking for here is the values that will be shown in this live graph once we're up and running.
04:13 In purple we have our target lambda, so that's our air/fuel ratio target that we want to be running.
04:20 Lambda 1, in this case we've only got a single lambda sensor, in green will show us the air/fuel ratio coming from our wideband lambda sensor.
04:27 And the EMtron uses an onboard lambda controller here.
04:30 Now that will take a few moments to come live once we are up and running so in the meantime what we're going to do is just use our foot on the throttle, we're expecting the engine may not idle that nicely for the start so we're probably going to need a little bit of throttle to keep it running.
04:44 Once we've got the lambda online, we can start looking at our air/fuel ratio targets, seeing how far we are away from that and making appropriate changes.
04:53 So let's get our engine up and running and we'll see if we can make it start.
04:59 OK so straight away, our engine's actually started up really well.
05:02 You can see we still don't have our lambda live, I'm just using a little bit of throttle at the moment, we can see our throttle position's sitting at about 4% just to let the engine idle.
05:13 Everything's sounding really good.
05:15 This is a point if you've got an unknown engine here, we also want to be checking the oil pressure, making sure there's no mechanical noises coming in.
05:23 Right we've got our lambda online now so we can see we have a target of 0.95 and we are quite rich, we're currently sitting at 0.8 so not too worried about that.
05:31 While I've been talking, while we're been looking at that, so we'll hold down the shift key, press the page down key and you can see as I do that, we track pretty quickly towards our target so not really that difficult to get us in the ballpark.
05:45 Now again the reason we're not trying to be too fussy here is we are also still going through our warmup procedure.
05:52 So we are going to find that the warmup enrichment may not be quite right at the moment so there's no point until our engine is at normal operating temperature, really fine tuning this and trying to chase a specific number.
06:05 Idle speed, with a little bit less throttle has dropped down a little bit now, we're about 900 RPM so I'll just use a little bit more throttle and make sure that we are idling OK.
06:15 Now again just to reiterate from our last module, I mentioned that if you struggle to get the engine to start up but your timing is correct, quick thing to look at there is, was your timing on the wrong engine cycle? Were you firing on the exhaust stroke? So that's something that you can quickly check if you're really struggling, you're cranking the engine over and it's just not sounding like it's going to come to life.
06:37 So at the moment everything's looking good, we can also take the opportunity here to have a look at our manifold pressure.
06:46 Now this is going to give us an indication of the mechanical condition of the engine.
06:50 We can see that we're actually not pulling much vacuum here, we're only sitting at about 78 to 80 kPa, Normally that would be potentially a cause for alarm but given that we have got a more aggressive cam with a lot more overlap, the fact that that cam's there, I was expecting relatively low vacuum at idle anyway.
07:08 So at this point we're confident that everything's working, we've got our engine up and running and we're ready to move on with the next step of our process.
07:15 Before we do so, and this is something I have actually omitted to mention up until this point, to make sure the changes that we make actually are locked into the ECU or written to the ECU.
07:26 We want to press F4.
07:28 Otherwise if we disconnect from the ECU and come back to it, we're going to actually potentially lose our changes so it's really important when you are making wholesale changes to keep that in mind.