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First tune on my own car. Scary!

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Greetings to all the community and thank you for having me.

I’ve wanted to tune my own car for a while and after purchasing a standalone ECU this Christmas, I decided to take make the step and purchase the course here at HPA.

the insight was great and I felt like I could try to mess around with Tunerstudio after that.

Installed the P&P ECU (MS2) and their proprietary wideband and Started to input all the settings of my car.

After a while, I managed to make the car start. I need to push the throttle to prevent it from dying but other than that it runs.

I used the data I had from a previous dyno session I’ve done to create an AFR table on the internet. Dialed the engine displacement, the max power and torque at given RPMs and burned that AFR table on my ECU. Now that I’m trying to tune the VE table, I just can’t get good idle and the AFR values are always jumping around between too rich (10ish) and too lean (18) and the car just dies when idle is at lows 900s.

I decided to come here to prevent damaging anything and try to get a push in the right direction from the community.

my car is a 84 bmw E30 with a E36 318is engine. M42 1800cc with Coil on Plug being the only modification from stock.

I appreciate all your comments and wish you all a great 2021!


Hard to guess what is wrong. You might want to post your configuration, or at least pictures of your AFR Table, and Fuel Table and ignition table.

Depending on the location of your wideband sensor (i.e. it's bad if located at the end of the exhaust tailpipe), you can get lots of false lean readings at idle, but it should stead down with a bit more RPM.

Have you verified the base timing with a timing light?

Does your car have an Idle Air Control (IAC). You should probably disable this initially.

You should keep the car running until it reaches normal operating temperature -- unless it really horrible, don't waste time trying to do much tuning until it's warm, our you'll just have to re-do it at normal temps.

I would have expected the PNP to come pre-configured and able to start and idle without too much trouble. Can you re-load the original config that came with the ECU?

Hi David, thank you so much for the reply and sorry for the information shortage.

Well, Wideband sensor is located right after the exhaust manifold, at the start of the exhaust.

I didn't verified the base timing with a timing light. I don't have one but I might be able to borrow one. However, I expected that those Basic engine and sequential settings were already correct, since I bought a P&P ECU for my specific engine.

My car uses IVC (idle control valve) for IDLE control. Should I physically disable it?

I have the original configuration that I can share here.

Also the ignition, VE and AFR tables that I have loaded right now are attached. AFR table I got from a generator, VE table I got generated from Tunerstudio. Ignition I didn't touch still.

Again, thank you for all your time!

Attached Files

Have you watched the Megasquirt MS3 Pro worked example in the Practical Standalone course?

I just watched that last night in preparation for a customer bring a car with a Megasquirt ECU for tuning on my dyno this week.

I noticed you are using TPS % for load. Does your engine have a single throttle, or is it individual throttle bodies (ITBs)?

If I can find some time, I will try to look at your configuration.

I've seen the webinar on the MX5 regarding the MS3 Pro.

My engine has the stock single throttle and intake manifold.

Thank you very much for your support. Id want just to get the car going safely so I can tune the VE table on the road as I go.


If you're going to stay with Alpha-N load, then I would use the original Fuel VE Table 1 from the configuration file. That looks much more reasonable (especially the breakpoints for TPS%) than the VE table you generated and have pictured.

If it were me, I would probably change the General Settings->Primary Fuel Load to be Speed Density. Use this for ignition also (Primary Ignition Load).

Then the setup would be like the MX5 example in the videos.

Good Luck!

Thank you David.

I will most definately try that and see if there are improved results.