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Hi! everyone .
We are group of students preparing for Formula Competition.
Currently, we using Duke 390 cc engine for our car ( roughly 230 kg).
We are planning to upgrade from stock engine ECU to PE3-8400 ECU to improve our performance.
Do anybody have experience on PE3-8400 ECU or the combination of both(duke 390 cc along with PE3-8400 ECU ).
If there is a good alternative within or around the same price tag , please let us know .
Suggestion are welcomed!
So does the (Go Kart? bike? etc) run ok now with a stock ECU and you want to change out for a tunable/programmable ECU in the hopes that you can get a better performing tune? The first thing I can tell you is that it will run worse before it will run better. You will struggle debugging everything (wiring, software, etc). It will take a while to just get it to perform at the same level as the stock ECU did for a while. If you guys don't have a lot of time and manpower available, and nobody has ever tuned anything before, you will find yourself with a performance decrease at first.
It's a big project. You're taking something that works, installing something that doesn't work, and then taking that thing that doesn't work and trying to make it work better than the thing that was in there before. It's going to take a lot of time. Are you prepared for that? If you don't have the time and manpower and dedication to do it, don't bother.
I agree with Arghx7 that getting your first standalone ECU tuned well enough to drive the car on a racetrack is a difficult task, especially for college students with limited time and resources.
I was part of an FSAE team during college, we used an older model of Performance Electronics ECU on a 4-cylinder engine and it worked pretty well. The documentation was good enough to get us going when none of us had previously tuned a standalone ECU, and there are other Formula SAE teams using that brand so we were able to find additional info that had already been posted on the FSAE-related forums. I agree with the recommendation keeping the OEM ECU to run your engine, at least as a backup plan.
The only downside of that brand is they are not very popular outside of Formula SAE, so you are not likely to encounter another PE ECU later in your career. Many of the skills you learn from one standalone ECU can be applied to others, but there will still be an additional learning curve when switching to other software.