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if i wanted to buy a motec - what extra costs are there? (or @Adam from link - can you advise on my questions from a link perspective?)

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I think I'm running into the limits of the firmware in my battle for cam control - and for a street car - i want it nigh on perfect.

And much to the dismay of my younger self - I actually need to drive at less than full throttle everywhere and want economy at less than full throttle from a car these days.

As no-one else was able to answer me about my cam control forum question apart from a couple of people with motec systems that made me envious of the results they had - I'm half thinking of swapping from my current ecu to the m130 platform as it obviously runs the k series engine nice and accurately.

I was checking out prices for these compared to what I currently have

an m130 with a gpa licence from the local dealer is $3,663.33 inc GST

the wideband controller for it seems to be a Motec Lambda To CAN (LTC) which works with the LSU 4.9 sensors and is another $706.80 inc GST (+ the cost of a sensor)

the ecu I'm thinking of replacing is an haltech elite 2500 for $2936 inc gst

the can wideband for it is $450 inc grab snatch 'n' take - but I'd be keeping the sensor as i doubt someone would want a used o2 sensor

So I might be able to sell my current ecu and wideband controller for $3k and spend a "bit" more and get a motec or something that will give me the results I want from an aftermarket ecu.

I don't know much about motec - but I've heard horror stories of needing to update firmware and licenses all the time and getting charged for things left right and center - but now it seems to be simpler than that..

So - if someone purchased an m130 with gpa license you get the ecu - the usb key - the gpa firmware license and thats it?

ignoring the wiring loom - are there any other costs you'd need apart from the wideband controller?

Does it use special logging cables or just a normal usb cable?

If you get the wideband controller will it wire in directly to the ecu or do you need an additional can controller module or something like that?

I don't need GPR firmware from the sounds of things or advanced logging stuff because the standard GPA firmware and logging looks from the webpage like it'll do more than enough for a street car.

Are there any additional costs if I just want to run a road car with a wideband and knock control?

Is buying the motec ecu and wideband controller and gpa license a one time cost or does it ping you down the line later on?

Are motec GPA firmware updates free if they do them like haltech/link firmwares are?

@Adam from Link - any advice on how accurate the k series vtc cam control is on a link ecu compared to motec / haltec and how the costs would compare at all?

All I want is *accuracy* for fueling / ignition / cam control that stays accurate everywhere in the rev / load ranges and doesn't get flaky if load and rpm changes and by accurate i mean cam control that is really spot on accurate + or - "a few degrees" is not acceptable

I also want to have the option to revert my car to factory at any time so irreversible hondata isn't an option for me for various reasons.

If anyone has things they would like to opinion on but dont want to post in a public forum - you can email me at 9fpwh40h at duck.com (love duckduckgo email filtering and throwaway email addresses)

Hi Lawrence,

The LTC will wire into the M1 through the CAN Bus, the LTC has a DTM4 that has CAN Hi and Lo, Batt+ and Batt- wired to it, you do not need a separate CAN Controller.

Firmware updates are free. Once you have the hardware (M1 and LTC) there are no ongoing yearly licensing fees. The yearly and monthly licences that MoTeC has are for the specialised i2 functions.

The M1 uses Ethernet for communications, you can get a Ethernet adapter that can be wired into the connector, or you can modify a standard Ethernet cable and wire that directly into the M1.

The USB Key just contains useful information, it does not have the licences for the M1 on it, these are applied by the dealer when they supply the M1.

I would budget for a connector kit to replace the ECU connection on your current harness. And if your laptop doesn't have an Ethernet port, you will need a USB-Ethernet adapter.

You'll likely need to budget for some dyno time to optimize the fuel, ignition and Cam maps.

I cant really comment on how our VVT control compares to Haltech as I have never tuned a haltech on a VVT engine. I've done a couple of M1's with VVT and it certainly gives acceptable control without being too complicated. This is some of the problem though - there is a fine balance in how much control you give the end-user Vs making it too complicated for the target market. In Link we have tried to cover a wider range of users both by having a "default PID" setting which hides a lot of complicated settings and loads a set of settings that should give an acceptable control for most engines of that type. If the user wants better control then he can change that to "custom PID" and then has access to many other control settings to allow optimising control.

I dont know how "bad" your control is, but your comment must be "spot on accurate" makes me wonder if perhaps your expectations may be higher than what is achievable. There are mechanical limitations in how fast things can move, 4 cylinders especially have lots of valve train resonance and need significant filtering, oil pressure is highly variable, setpoint is highly variable, oil viscosity is highly variable with temp etc. In steady-state it should be near bang on, but during transients there will always be a delay and hence offset. With PID control loops there is always a compromise between response speed and stability. Sometimes when im tuning cam timing on the chassis dyno steady state you can move the cam in say 10 deg steps and barely see a change in torque between some of those steps so Im not even sure how accurate it needs to be...

If you want to post a log from the haltech I would be happy to give my opinion on how it compares to what Im used to seeing from Link. We have had a K20 test car for many years but I have never done much tuning work on it so I've never looked at how good the VVT is. It is for sale at the moment so the car now has a stock ecu back in it. I will see if any of our other engineers have some old logs from it.

A couple of other things to consider about M1 GPA: You may want to consider level 2 logging - Level 1 logging really is almost useless for anything but the most basic diagnostics in my opinion. When you have a laptop connected you do have all the data you need (@50Hz max I think but it is live only - you can pause it - but you cant save it to review later), if you want to do any track tuning or tuning from logs you really need level 2 logging. Another thing that you may not have noticed is GPA is also quite locked down in for example what variables you can have on your VE table and other auxiliary control etc - so have a good play around with a GPA package in M1 tune to make sure it can do all you want. You cant for example put VVT angle on the 4th axis of the VE table and I dont think you can have a separate VE table for the high cam Vs low cam which is common for Vtec engines. VTEC activation can only be RPM based etc.

Where abouts are you in NZ?

thank you, all of you for the information and ideas, its VERY helpful to find out things i didn't know :) Cheers!

@BlackRex - cheers for clarifying what things it comes with and the logging stuff - and confirming how the firmware works so i understand it a bit better - and yup - ethernet would be a LOT better for the potentially very high speed logging the motec is capable of doing and cheers for the info about how the wb would be wired in - all valuable information for decision making - thank you :)

@David - if i go ahead with the change - i was going to repin the connectors in the haltech adapter loom i have that plugs into the factory harness as from what ive read - the e2500 and the motec both use the same physical connector but would have different pinouts - Yup - i'd need to either spend a LONG time on road tuning or get some dyno time to sort out a new ve map but cam angle, ignition, lambda target and the injector data should transfer across fairly painlessly (HAAAAAAAAAhahahahah - thats jinxed anything i want to do now - doh!)

@Adam - yup - I didnt include any datalogs or screenshots of the haltec stuff i had gotten so far - as im always changing things around fiddling with different theories i come up with after testing the stuff i find out from webinars / forums / youtube about what bits of pid to change to affect the stuff thats bugging me - so heres a screen shot from motec , hondata and the haltec where ive tried to match up the time scale a bit so you can see why i dont like my haltech results by comparison - yes it could be made better if i had a few hours on a dyno - but its something i want to achieve myself - and theres nowhere i know of offhand that would let me use their dyno for a few hours here in auckland where I live - Pity I'm not in chch - the dyno cell at nzefi is awesome :)

I only really get to make changes on the way to or from work and have to fiddle on the settings from the datalogs after ive stopped moving - and im pretty much ignoring anything before the engine is up to temp (80c min temp) for now as i figure once i get it accurate at operating temp i'll scale it down to get colder temp stuff sorted out



nice control - hovers around the desired angle - no overshoots on sudden large changes



nothin to say - what i'd call "nigh on perfect" control

and with embarrassment - my haltec results so far :\


or scaled to close to the same screen size as motec for time and resolution to make it look nicer


now i dont *hate it but im annoyed that i cant get it to track as fast as the factory ecu or the motec on large transitions - theres roughly a 0.15 - 0.2 sec lag between a commanded angle and the actual angle (motec and hondata dont look like they have that much delay) and there's overshoots that if i remove them i get other issues like even slower response or not achieving the desired angle

its even worse if i zoom in


if i crank the pid values up to force it to achieve the angles - then it can get into nasty oscillation situations if say i change from 6th at 3000rpm to 3rd at 6000rpm due to pid being too aggressive - if i lower the pid settings to prevent that - i get this sort of result.

The haltech stuff is from a drive earlier today.

Am i being too picky - is this "good enough" ?

The MoTeC isn't 'perfect', but you need to keep all things relevant. The distance from the oil solenoid to the camshaft gear plays a massive role in the latence of the system, as does oil temperature, oil pressure and viscosity.

This is why most more modern engines run the cam control actuator through the timing cover directly into the gear, of everything from golfs, mercs to the GR Yaris engine.

As you can in a zoomed in portion there is latency, overshoots and everything.

Attached Files

Cheers for that Nathan, its looking like I should be happier with my results and not so ocd about it lol.

I guess that to improve things more - going from what you and Adam both said about oil temp/viscosity/pressure/latency etc - I'm going to have to at the very least get working oil pressure and temp sensors into the ecu to fine tune things some more.

I tried it once before and ended up with a faulty bosch pressure/temp sensor - i could read pressure but not temp so i pulled it out again as it was also leaking from the adapter fitting i used at that time.

Thanks heaps for your screenshot and info :)

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