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Practical Standalone Tuning: Step 1: ECU Configuration and Testing

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Step 1: ECU Configuration and Testing


00:00 - So the first thing we want to do is have a look at the configuration menu.
00:05 And if we go into the software here, we can see we have a menu set up for configuration.
00:10 The first thing we need to do is select the number of cylinders that we're going to have on this engine, and as I said this one is a six cylinder engine.
00:20 The engine type is still four stroke so we don't need to change that.
00:25 If we come down here, we've got our firing order table.
00:27 If we double click on this, it opens up the firing order table and in this case the firing order's already automatically set correctly.
00:36 It's 153624.
00:39 But we just want to make sure that that is set correctly before we go any further.
00:46 OK now we're going to have a look at some of the inputs to the ECU.
00:51 So if we type in analog on our ECU settings menu, we've got a list of all of the analog inputs to the ECU.
01:01 And we're going to have a look first of all at analog voltage five.
01:04 You can see that set up as a MAP or manifold pressure sensor.
01:09 In the Link G4 software it's quite easy to choose from common calibrations.
01:13 If we double click on that you can see we have a list of all of the available calibrations.
01:19 If you want, you can do a custom calibration.
01:22 But in this case the engine is fitted with a GM3 bar MAP sensor.
01:28 Probably a little bit of overkill for a naturally aspirated engine but that's what's what's on it.
01:33 Now if we go through, there's one extra process in the Link G4 software that is peculiar to the Link.
01:40 It requires that we go into the options menu here, and select MAP sensor calibration.
01:47 And a little box will pop up asking us if we want to do a calibration and we click OK.
01:52 Now what that does is it calibrates the MAP sensor against the onboard barometric air pressure sensor when the car's not running.
02:01 So that just makes sure everything's calibrated properly before we start.
02:06 So that's how we set up the MAP sensor.
02:09 If we go back and have a look at some of the other settings, we can also look at the analog temp input.
02:15 So we've got analog temp one here is set up as engine coolant temp.
02:20 And we've got analog temp two set up as inlet air temp.
02:24 So let's look at the inlet air temp now.
02:27 Again Link make this nice and easy.
02:29 If we just double click, we get a list of all of the available intake air temp sensors that we can choose.
02:36 Or again, we can choose a custom calibration from one of these cal tables.
02:40 So this engine is fitted with a Delphi intake air temp sensor so we just need to choose that option.
02:47 We'll just have a look at the engine coolant temp sensor.
02:52 And in this case the Bosch NTC standard sensor which is quite a common sensor is being used.
02:59 Now once we've done those calibrations, we want to have a look down here.
03:04 First of all we've got engine coolant temperature.
03:06 You can see that's sitting at 49 degrees centigrade.
03:09 And our intake air temperature is a 26 degrees.
03:12 That's just simply because we've already had the engine running.
03:16 But if the engine was stone cold, we'd expect both of these readings to be within a degree or two of each other, and they should be measuring about the same as our ambient air temperature.
03:28 And if we look over here, we've got our manifold air pressure, which is reading at 101 kPa which is spot on.
03:36 So we know that those three inputs that we've just set up are working correctly.
03:42 Now one other thing we're going to have a look at on the input calibration is our throttle position sensor.
03:49 Now in a conventional ECU that's nice and easy, we've got an analog voltage input set up for throttle position and that's all we need to calibrate.
03:57 With this particular engine, it's actually using an electronic throttle body and that presents a slight difference because we have a few more sensors.
04:06 You can see here we've got analog voltage eight is set up as foot position sensor main.
04:13 And analog voltage nine is foot position sensor sub.
04:17 So we've got two sensors there on the driver's throttle pedal and those are being used for a reference to make sure that both are reading the same, it's kind of a safety feature for electronic throttle control.
04:31 At the same time we've got analog voltage 10 and 11 which are set up as throttle position, so they're actually on the throttle body.
04:38 And again we've got main and sub to give us some redundancy and make sure that those readings are correct.
04:44 So with the E throttle system, we have to set that up in a slightly different way, and if we go through to the E throttle set up menu, and we change the mode to set up mode.
04:56 We can then run through a calibration.
05:01 So first of all the PC Link software has some inbuilt calibration systems for this E throttle which makes it very easy.
05:09 We'll start with the foot pedal calibration.
05:12 And if we double click on it, it'll bring up a box telling us what we need to do here.
05:18 Basically we need to start by pressing the pedal all the way to the floor, then click on the next box, then we release the pedal, click on next, and the calibration of the foot pedal position is done.
05:30 Now we can bring up our run time values here, and you see that we've got our foot pedal position main and sub listed over here, and we can move the throttle smoothly through its travel and make sure that those are both moving between 0% and 100%.
05:46 Next we can do the throttle pedal calibration.
05:49 And this gets done automatically, the ECU will just move the throttle plate through its range of calibration and when its finished it will tell you.
06:00 Now once we've done that, we can set the ECU back into the normal E throttle mode and again if we go to our run time values, we've got our throttle position here, and you can see that it smoothly spans between zero and 100.
06:17 So that takes care of the input testing.
06:20 We've got a few other inputs on the engine, but that basically shows you how they all get set up and everything there gets set up the same way.
06:29 Now we're going to move on and have a look at testing the outputs on the ECU.
06:34 And there's a few here that we need to have a look at.
06:37 So if we go to our auxiliary outputs, you can see we've got all of our outputs are listed here.
06:45 Now this engine's actually running variable cam controls.
06:49 So there you can see here that auxiliary three and four are set up for VVT cam solenoids.
06:55 And that's an advanced output, advanced tuning function, and we're not going to talk about that during this tune, we're just going to basically treat the engine like a normal engine.
07:07 But you can see those outputs are set up there.
07:09 OK so let's have a look at a couple that we can easily test or we want to test.
07:15 We've got our auxiliary five there is set as fuel pump.
07:18 Now you can see all the settings there.
07:20 So the polarity and the driver type.
07:23 And we've got prime time here.
07:26 So what that means is when you turn the ECU powers up when you turn the key on, it will run that fuel pump for three seconds, and if it doesn't detect any engine RPM after three seconds it will actually shut the pump off.
07:41 So we can test that by double clicking on fuel pump, and the Link G4 software gives us a nice easy way of testing it.
07:49 We can just click on this test on function.
07:52 And we can hear the relay click on, and we can actually physically hear the fuel pump in the car running and pumping fuel.
08:00 So we know that that's working.
08:01 So we can then set it back to fuel pump and we're ready to test some of the other outputs.
08:07 Now we've got a setting here on auxiliary six for our engine fan.
08:14 So we can have a look at that.
08:16 So because it's already set to an engine fan, we've got the normal parameters for an engine fan, such as the on temperature, which is set to 90 degrees.
08:26 So the ECU will turn the fan on when the engine coolant temperature reaches 90.
08:32 We've got a hysteresis here which a lot of people don't understand.
08:36 What that means is that once the fan turns on, the temperature needs to drop by this amount, the hysteresis amount which is two degrees before it will turn off again.
08:46 So what that's there to do is to stop the fan cycling on and off when the engine temperature is sitting right on that change over point.
08:54 So those settings, 90 degrees on, and a two degree hysteresis, are pretty typical.
09:00 Again we can just test the fan by clicking the test on.
09:04 Again I can hear the relay click and I can hear the fan in the engine bay running.
09:10 So we can just set that back to engine fan and we're ready to go.
09:15 OK there's one more output that I just want to show you and test.
09:20 And if we open up our ECU settings, this is actually set up on an unused ignition channel.
09:25 So in the Link, any channels that aren't being used for ignition drives or injector drives, can also be set up as an auxiliary output to do just about anything else.
09:35 And you can see ignition drive eight here is set up as a GP or general purpose output.
09:40 And this is wired up to control a solenoid that opens some butterflies in the factory intake manifold.
09:46 And you can see here it's set to switch on condition one, and condition one is RPM is less than.
09:53 And in this case, if the RPM is less than 4000, this auxiliary output will be on.
10:00 Now an easy way to test an output like this, is to set it as a PWM or pulse width modulated output.
10:08 And we'll actually be able to hear in the engine bay, the solenoid clicking, and I can hear that now.
10:16 So if you've got a lot of solenoids in the engine bay, you can actually test which one is clicking by unplugging it.
10:21 And I've just set the test frequency there to 10 hertz.
10:25 If I set that too high, this particular output won't function.
10:29 So it's important to have the PWM output, somewhere around about 10 to 20 hertz if you want to use this technique.
10:37 So now I'll set that back to GP output.
10:39 OK so the next step in the process is going through and setting up our fuel configuration.
10:44 So in the Link G4 software we have a menu for fuel main and that's where we want to be for this particular setup.
10:55 And you can see the first thing we have here is our injection mode.
10:58 This is already set to sequential but if we double click on this, it brings up the options available.
11:03 This engine will run happily on sequential and that's what we want to use.
11:08 We've also got our fuel equation and this is the background fuel equation that controls the fuel injector pulse width as manifold pressure changes.
11:19 And for most instances, we want to have this set to load equals MAP.
11:25 And we're going to leave that set like that now.
11:28 The master fuel pulse width is the next thing we need to adjust and as we've explained in the course, this basically controls the resolution or scaling of the whole fuel map.
11:41 And it's going to depend on how much power the engine's going to make, and how big our injectors are.
11:47 So normally we would start with a pulse width somewhere around about 12 to 14 milliseconds.
11:53 So we'll enter that now and we're probably going to have to or may have to come back and revisit that once we actually get the engine up and running.
12:02 But for now that should be enough to get us up and started.
12:06 OK so once we've done that, we can move on and look at the output testing for the injectors, and make sure that they're all functioning correctly and we can also double check that they're wired up correctly.
12:20 In the PC Link software they give us a really nice way of testing our injector outputs.
12:26 So if we just type in injector, we can see down the bottom here we have injector test and what we can do is double click on this, we can turn any of our injector drives on and the ECU will pulse them.
12:41 Now a tip here, we've gotta make sure that the fuel pump isn't running, otherwise it's going to end up filling the engine up with fuel.
12:48 So what I would do is select each injector individually and while it's being tested you can hear it clicking in the engine bay.
12:56 At the same time if you want to check that the injectors are wired in the correct firing order, or the correct cylinder order, you can unplug the injector that's clicking and you'll hear it stop clicking and that confirms that the injector is wired to where you think it is.
13:15 So once you've checked all six injectors are operating, we know that the fuel side of our setup is complete and we're ready to move onto the ignition.
13:25 The ignition system is pretty easy to set up, again in the Link G4 software.
13:30 We want to go to the ignition main menu to start with.
13:34 And again now we've got all of the parameters, just like the fuel we've got all of the parameters to do with the ignition setup and there's a few things we need to look at here.
13:44 So the main one is our ignition mode.
13:46 And we've got all our options here from distributor through to waste spark and direct spark.
13:53 In this instance we have a coil on each cylinder, so it's a coil on plug ignition system.
13:58 And they're wired individually to the ECU, so we want to select direct spark.
14:04 Now spark edge in this case is falling.
14:07 That's the case for most engines, but we do want to check.
14:11 If you get that wrong, you can easily burn out the coil.
14:14 So it's important to check.
14:17 If you're unsure, check with your ECU manufacturer.
14:20 The dwell mode here on the PC Link software, we can choose whether the dwell table we set in milliseconds or in a duty cycle.
14:29 In 99% of instances, we don't need to touch this, and we'd leave it set in milliseconds.
14:34 And the dwell table that comes with the PC Link base maps, generally again you don't need to touch that either.
14:43 We've got ignition delay here which we'll talk about a little bit later on when we're setting the base ignition timing.
14:50 Spark duration, which we don't need to worry about here, and our maximum advance, now this basically limits all of the ignition advance that the ECU can provide, in this case 45 degrees.
15:04 Now this means that if you accidentally enter a number too large in the table, or if you've got a lot of trims active, one on top of the other, it limits the amount of total ignition advance that the ECU can provide.
15:20 So it's kind of like a little safety backup feature there.
15:24 OK so once we've done that we can test the ignition system in exactly the same way that we just tested the injection.
15:32 So if we click on ignition test, you can see we've got all of the six coils that are active and basically we can click on any one of them and choose test on, and that'll just give you a pulse width modulated output and it'll fire the coil continuously.
15:49 Now there's a few ways we can test whether we're getting spark.
15:52 You could physically remove the coils from the engine, you could put a spark plug into them and then earth them out and you'll physically see the spark occurring.
16:02 The easiest way really is these coils will actually make a clicking sound or a light tick, and that's audible if you listen carefully at the engine while this test is running.
16:15 And again by unplugging the coil that is running, you can confirm that that is the coil that's making the ticking, so you can confirm that the firing order there is correct.
16:28 So that would cover our ignition test, we know that all of our ignition channels are working, we know that we're getting spark delivered to the engine.
16:35 And we're ready to move on.