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ECU Suggestions. Supporting CAN and Direct Injection

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Hi all i'm looking for suggestions on what ECU to potentially use on an upcoming project i have lined up.

A more modern car and the installation ideally needs to maintain as much of the OE look as possible, with a discreet installation of the new unit. An adaptor/pnp unit will be developed for a switching the ECU in and out.

ECU is going to need the ability to communicate with the cars CAN system as pretty much everything is integrated there (dash etc..) also direct injection drivers, and some other modern odds and ends like an electronic actuator control.

Its a four cylinder engine with variable cam control on both inlet and exhaust also.

Its a progressive piece of learning for myself, especially with the CAN side of things, so would be interested to know your thoughts on which route you would go down.


If you have to integrate with an OEM CAN bus, then a MoTeC M142 or M182 and a Development License will be the ticket. You could develop your own partner package and resell that.

Thanks David, the MoTeC is high on my list as a candidate, as it will be a nice opportunity to do such a project. Only other i really know of that may be able to cover the CAN Bus is Syvecs, but i dont believe they have an open user interface to the custom CAN yet? The S7 having the third processor for such things. I have an S6i to hand nut not sure if that will suffce.

You do have User Defined CAN on Syvecs, but there are limitations when you send and receive. It will all depend on how many channels, the exact channels that they are, and what the gains/offsets need to be.

Im not a Motec user, so im not immediately aware of the cost, how much is a M1 with the dev licence? Whats your budget for the project as i may be able to suggest some other options.

You may find it more cost effective to use a separate device to do the CAN integration.

If its just simple channels that need different gains and offsets that you cant do in ECU, Syvecs offer a CAN Bridge, or use a compact dash / logger with full CAN control to flip it into the correct format needed for the car.

@Rob F, I am completely open to any suggestions you may have to be fair and it would be great to get your recommendations.

No strict budget to be fair, i will be experimenting with more than one setup/prototype as we go along.

The MoTeC kit and license look to be around $6,000.

Cosworth are launching an 'MQ12Di Lite' which is essentially a cut down version of their LMP1 ECU.

Its a DI/PFI engine controller with a chassis logging side also. The 'Lite' device has a cut down chassis logging side, but the configurable CAN side has remained.

If you watch Andre's video on the historic Williams F1 car, it uses this ECU hardware. We did all the integration with the original Marelli VCM (it remained for OE control of the active suspension, hydraulic gbox etc) on the chassis logging side of the box with its CAN power.

The ECU has more than enough processing power as its designed to run MATLAB Simulink models which is an industry standard version of custom strategy creation rather than Motec's own language they use.

Price wise, the Lite version is going to be very close to that Motec figure you've put up. Yes you wont have the MATLAB capable box for that money, but if you only need full configurable CAN with a powerful processor, i think this is your best option.

DI control is perfect as it has multi pulse capability (Syvecs/Life R dont in as much detail, just upto dual pulse I believe + you need a seperate DI driver box) so you can tune the Induction, Compression and Combustion stage delivery and angles separately, much like OE fashion.

Im at Cosworth for 2 more weeks before i leave to go it alone so to speak, but feel free to message me if you have anymore questions :)

Hi Rob, sorry its took me a while to respond. Great shout on the Cosworth system, that's something i had not considered at all. I will certainly get in touch with you on that one.

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