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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 - The first step in the HPA 10 step process is to configure the ECU to suit our engine and all of the inputs and outputs that are connected to it.
00:09 We also want to test all the outputs, making sure that they are wired correctly and test all of the inputs making sure that they are reading sensibly.
00:18 Now in the case of our Syvecs Plug and Play ECU kit, because it is a plug and play kit, everything comes preconfigured to suit the Mach 6 VW Golf.
00:26 So essentially we can plug this ECU in and the engine should start and run.
00:32 Regardless of this we are going to cover off some of the configuration settings we've gone through, just so you can see how exactly this is dealt with in the Syvecs SCal software.
00:41 We also have made a couple of changes to the base configuration, we'll discuss those and see exactly how those have been dealt with.
00:48 Let's start by diving into our SCal software, and the first thing we're going to have a look at, is we're going to come down to our engine configuration menu which we can see down near the bottom of our menu structure.
01:00 If we click on this we can access all of the settings that are available.
01:04 In this instance you can see that all of these settings that we've currently got displayed are displayed in blue.
01:11 Now this is an important distinction in the Syvecs software.
01:13 Anything that's blue like this requires that the ECU is programmed before that change takes effect.
01:21 In comparison if we open up our menu structure here for single gap, single cam setup, we can see that we've got a couple of settings here, or parameters here that are green.
01:32 Anything that is green In the Syvecs ECU, the changes take place live, we can program these live or make changes live and the effect of those changes will be noticed instantly.
01:43 Now if we're changing any of these blue parameters, we do need to program the ECU as I've said, that's really easy to do though.
01:49 If we come up to our device menu which we can see at the top, we can either click on this with the left mouse button, or the other way that's really important to get familiar with using in the SCal software is to use the keyboard shortcut.
02:01 There's hot keys for everything so we don't need to use the mouse and it pays to get familiar with the commons ones that we're going to be using.
02:09 So for example all of these menu structures across the top here, you can see that there is a letter underline, and that is the hot key that will get you into that menu.
02:18 So for example there if we press the D key, that opens the device menu and what we want to do here under the device menu is we want to click on the program function or program option.
02:29 We can again either click that with the left mouse button, or we can just press P and that's going to program the ECU.
02:36 You can see that a little box comes up saying calibration flash program passed.
02:41 So that means that those changes have now been effected onto the ECU and they will be live.
02:47 OK with that out of the way, let's have a quick look here.
02:50 What we're going to do is just cover off two of the important aspects here which is our number of cylinders, in this case we can see that this is selected to be four, and if we press escape and go back to our main menu structure, also going to look at our firing order.
03:06 We can see that's displayed graphically, but also numerically down here, 1342.
03:11 So we want to make sure that that is correct.
03:13 Now there are some other aspects in this engine configuration menu that we will be revisiting because this is also where we select the trigger setup for the particular engine we are tuning.
03:25 For now we're not going to delve any deeper into that.
03:29 Let's move on and we're going to have a look at the input configuration in the Syvecs S8 ECU.
03:35 And we can get to that by going down to the IO configuration submenu and we'll start by looking at our pin assignments.
03:44 Again you'll notice that that was a blue parameter, remembering that if we make any changes here, we are going to need to program the ECU for the change to take place.
03:53 Let's just move down and we'll have a look at a couple of the configurations we have in here.
03:58 For a start we've got our engine coolant temperature one input, and you can see that that is connected to AN number 24, which is on P C1 83 on the ECU header plug.
04:11 Now with any of these or if we want to add additional sensors or inputs to the ECU, we can simply double click and we see a list of the available inputs comes up and is displayed.
04:22 We can just choose from that list.
04:24 You can see here that a number of these selections are in red, this means that they are predefined for other inputs, we aren't going to be able to touch those.
04:32 We'll just escape out of that.
04:35 One other aspect that we're going to have a quick look at while we are in this input, output pin assignment menu, is we're going to cycle down until we get to our pit lane, or pit limit switch input.
04:49 We're going to have a look a little bit later at how that's configured.
04:52 So this is a switch that we've added for this particular application because it is a race car, allows the driver to function a pit lane limiter so that they don't speed in pit lane.
05:02 So you can see that that is configured on AN number nine, again showing the pin number there as C1 39.
05:09 Now if we cycle down further through this menu, we're also going to be able to see all of our outputs, so let's just do that now.
05:23 In particular here we can see we've got the configuration for our injector outputs.
05:29 We've got our four cylinders selected there, and we've got our primary injector configuration set up there so we can see which fuel output each of the cylinders is connected to as well as the pin on the ECU header.
05:42 Likewise moving a little bit further down we have exactly the same functionality here for our ignition drives.
05:49 OK let's move on and we'll have a look at some of the inputs and how we can actually calibrate those.
05:56 We'll start by moving to our sensors menu.
05:59 And we are currently looking at the defined sensors and trip setups.
06:04 We'll have a look at a couple of parameters here, we're going to start with our air charge temperature.
06:08 Or inlet air temperature sensor.
06:11 In this case if we just close down our menu structure, we can see that we actually have the option here for two air charge temperature sensors.
06:18 In this case we are only using one, we can double click and open that up a little bit further.
06:22 This can also be done by pressing the enter key.
06:24 First of all we have our input configuration, so let's open that up.
06:28 On the vertical axis here we have the type of sensor that we are using.
06:33 You can see that this is currently selected as a thermistor, and this would be the common option here, if we are using a two pin, two wire, negative temperature coefficient thermistor.
06:43 This just tells the ECU that an internal pull up to five volts is required.
06:49 OK moving down we also have some default settings, so this just let's us define the minimum and maximum voltage that the ECU will accept from that sensor before it defines that sensor as being in fault.
07:00 Likewise we also can define the actual reading that the sensor will output if it is deemed to be faulty.
07:07 Moving down we have our linearisation which is the calibration or conversion table between voltage, the voltage that the ECU is reading and the actual air charge temperature.
07:18 We can see that's displayed graphically as well as below this we have a two dimensional table of voltage versus our air charge temperature.
07:27 Now if we have custom sensor, we can set this table to whatever it needs to be to suit our sensor.
07:33 However we can also choose from a drop down menu of common sensors.
07:37 We can get to that by going to our linearisation menu option here.
07:42 Again we can click on this, or we can use the end key to open that menu.
07:47 What we want to do is come down to the sensor Db selection at the bottom of that dropdown menu.
07:54 And then we want to go to load sensor.
07:56 And this will simply bring up a table of the common sensors that have been predefined by Syvecs.
08:02 In this case we've got our sensor configured.
08:05 We want to now just confirm that the sensor value that we're reading in the SCal software is sensible, it does make some sense.
08:14 In this case we can see our air charge temperature one is sitting currently at about 31 degrees.
08:18 Now it is a hot day here and we have previously run the engine so this does align with what I'd expect the sensor to currently be reading.
08:27 Let's move on, we'll close our air charge temperature sensor calibration down and what we're going to do is move down to our engine coolant temperature.
08:37 So we can find that here, press enter, and we can open that up.
08:40 Again we've got the ability to have two sensors.
08:43 We are only using engine coolant temperature sensor one.
08:46 Now input configuration is exactly the same, we're still using a two wire, two pin thermistor here.
08:52 Let's move down to our linearisation table and this really is dealt with exactly the same as what we're already seen.
08:59 We can see that our engine coolant temperature is currently showing 25.9 degrees.
09:04 Again that really stacks up with what I would expect to currently be seeing.
09:09 An important point here is that if the engine hasn't run and it hasn't run for a reasonable period of time, perhaps 24 hours, we should see that our engine coolant temperature and our inlet air temperature align reasonably closely, perhaps within around about two degrees.
09:24 That's a good sanity check to make sure that your sensor readings are where you'd expect them to be.
09:32 Let's close down our engine coolant temperature sensor setup, we're gonna move down to one of the sensors we have changed which is our manifold absolute pressure sensor, so let's just move down and find that particular setting.
09:45 Now in this case the stock VW Golf engine doesn't actually include a manifold absolute pressure sensor instead it has a boost pressure sensor which is fitted to the charge pipe between the turbo charger and throttle body.
09:58 So this means that we can't read negative or vacuum negative values, or a vacuum from that particular sensor.
10:05 This isn't particularly helpful for us when we want to run a proper speed density system.
10:10 So we have added our own manifold absolute pressure sensor straight off the plenum chamber.
10:16 In stock form the VW Golf engine uses the mass air flow sensor for scheduling both fuel and ignition.
10:24 We are obviously not using that now with the Syvecs.
10:27 So we've added a three bar manifold absolute pressure sensor and we need to configure that so that the ECU knows what the input is.
10:36 Again we can have multiple pressure sensors.
10:38 You can see in this case we've got four options.
10:41 We are using sensor 1A.
10:44 So we come down to our input configuration.
10:46 Now this time because we are using a zero to five volt sensor, we are using the five volt configuration, this just tells the ECU what to expect, it tells it that it doesn't need to use a pull up resistor.
10:58 Again we have our default values, or our fault values for high and low voltage.
11:04 Moving down to our linearisation table, and in this case we have simply taken the data from the manufacturer of the sensor, set a zero volt point here, and we've also set one at the other end of five volts, and we've simply performed a linear interpolation between those two points.
11:20 Now if you are configuring a custom sensor that you expect to use a number of times in the future, we can actually save that.
11:28 So if we go to our linearisation drop down menu, and we go to sensor Db, you'll see that we have a save sensor option.
11:35 So this just allows you to save your custom sensors into that list so we can utilise them at a later point.
11:42 Now once we have configured our manifold absolute pressure sensor, we want to again just confirm that the values that we're reading are sensible.
11:49 So if we look here in our map one value, we can see that's currently sitting at 970 millibars.
11:56 That's another important point here, by default the Syvecs ECU displays manifold absolute pressure in millibar so you need to take that into account, if you're more familiar with looking at pressure in units of kPa.
12:10 So currently we're sitting at about 350 metres above sea level so this matches, with the engine not running this matches our current barometric air pressure, so again I'm comfortable with the reading from our manifold absolute pressure sensor.
12:25 We'll press escape, we'll close down our manifold absolute pressure sensor, and we're going to move on and have a look at how we set up the digital switch that we've connected for our pit limit.
12:36 We've already looked at the input configuration for our pit limit switch.
12:40 What we want to do now is we want to come up and see how we need to set that up.
12:44 So we'll close down our sensors for the moment.
12:46 We're going to come up to our limiters, and we can see we have our selection here for pit limit.
12:53 Now you'll notice here that again some of these parameters here are in blue, remembering that those will require the ECU to be programmed.
13:00 In particular the two aspects we want to look at here are our pit switch input pull up.
13:05 Now with a switch that is connected to zero volt or ground, we do need to have that pull up active.
13:13 You can see that that currently is turned on.
13:16 If this is not turned on, the ECU will not be able to distinguish between the on and the off states.
13:21 Moving down we also have our switch polarity.
13:24 This just tells the ECU which polarity or position of that switch will be considered active or on.
13:31 In this case we want that pit switch to be active when the switch is in the on or the low position when it is connected to ground.
13:39 Now with any of these settings, once we have made these adjustments, it's always a good idea just to confirm that that particular input is working.
13:46 Now I have actually already added a gauge here at the bottom for our pit switch, and this is just a numeric display of our pit switch position.
13:56 We can now turn that pit switch on, and we see that the state changes from off to on.
14:02 So we're comfortable that our pit switch is wired up correctly, configured correctly in the ECU.
14:08 I'm not going to go into the actual settings or configuration for that pit limit, we just want to focus on the actual configuration of the switch itself.
14:18 The last aspect once we've configured all of our outputs into our ECU, we've already looked at our ignition and our injector outputs, but these may also include outputs for turbo wastegate control, maybe fan control, maybe even driver shift lights, and functions of that sort of nature.
14:35 We also want to go through and test each of these.
14:38 Now the Syvecs ECU makes this possible if we go down to the bottom of our menu structure, we can see that we have an option for output testing.
14:46 Now at the top here we have two options for ignition timing.
14:50 We've got reference ignition timing mode, and a reference ignition timing angle.
14:54 This is something we're going to use a little bit later when we are checking and confirming our base ignition timing.
15:00 Moving down further we've got our input output test mode.
15:03 So this is the overall enable for our output test mode.
15:06 We do need to be a little bit careful because before we enable this, we want to make sure that our output testing is set up correctly.
15:14 If for instance we set one of our ignition drives to be constantly active, this can very quickly damage the coil.
15:21 In some instances we may also end up damaging the drive on the ECU.
15:26 So we wanna be very careful when we are testing this.
15:28 Now basically we have some options here on how we're going to test our outputs.
15:33 We have here for our ignition and our fuel base state modes.
15:38 So this is where we want to turn a particular output completely on all the time.
15:44 So this would be useful for testing a function such as maybe a fuel pump, or perhaps a fan where we want to physically just operate that function and test that it works.
15:54 Moving down, we can also set a pulse duration.
15:58 So we have again the options here for both fuel and ignition.
16:02 So this is a good way of testing a pulsed output such as a fuel injector or a coil.
16:07 Once we've set a duration there, we may choose something in the region of maybe three milliseconds for a coil, maybe somewhere in the region of four to five milliseconds for an injector, we can then move down to our ignition and our fuel pulse request, and we can select pulses and physically listen and make sure that that output is functioning.
16:27 So the aim of our output testing there is to confirm first of all that all of the outputs that we have configured in the ECU are operating correctly and doing what we want.
16:35 Just as importantly though, we also want to test that the correct injector and the correct ignition drive channels are connected to the right output on the ECU.
16:46 This just simply ensures that we have control over the correct fuel injector and the correct ignition drive when we get to the point of starting the engine.