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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
*This thread is to help provide useful information and tips on successfully tuning any FULL standalone EMS and help resolve some of the common issues there are with running standalones. Please lets not turn this into another Standalone vs. piggyback discussion, there are already plenty of these threads. Also please keep opinions to a minimum*

State what standalone you are using or any standalone that you have tuned before (AEM, Haltech, Motec, Electromotive, ect). Include any useful tips on tuning correction tables, knock correction, idle and start up tables, ignition and fuel tables and anything else to help others in tuning for optimum drivability, safety and reliability. Feel free to ask any questions and post any current issues.



It is understandable if some do to wish to post specific information. As many people do this for a living. Hopefully this thread can provide plenty of useful information and give others confidence in self tuning standalones.
 

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A few tips I would suggest are:

1. understand the fundamentals of a 4 stroke internal combustion motor and the importance of fuel, air, and a spark

2. read the engine management tuning guide to understand what each table does

3. make use of temperature based tables especially ones that use your coolant sensor this could help a lot on cold starts and getting the car to actually idle after it's started up

4. make use of any fuel enrichment tables, there are tables for acceleration, deceleration, fuel cut off, etc

5. in order to use your intake air temperature correction table, you need a base temperature that your tune was made from. If you found your IAT temperature to be around 30C then add fuel to the temperatures that are lower than that

In theory all you really need are sensors that give you a load and engine speed reading to get a motor to run. It's the additional sensors like the throttle position, coolant, and air intake that will give you feedback to ensure smooth drivability so make use of them. They are there for a reason.

Honestly this thread might be better as a Q and A where we can be civil and share the reasoning behind tuning in certain ways.
 

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Whatever Lambchop says, I 2nd.

Ignition discussions. I'm tired of hearing the word "weak" or "powerful" used to describe ignition. Specify do you mean accurate? Strong spark?

With 12volts and a stock coil, spark is only going to be as strong as OE (which is apparently good for 400'ish horse). And this is regardless of what standalone used, unless said standalone actually steps up voltage directly to the coil, and I have yet to hear of one capable and thus wired in that way (usually its battery, fuse/relay, coil, standalone/OE igniter grounding coil, this would have to be in reverse for the standalone to somehow boost the 12v going to the coil).

If one is having weak spark issues, I would say to investigate the following: Your standalone's dwell time, and/or the voltage signal your standalone is sending to the OE igniter if your using it (true PNP setup). If one or the other is below spec, your coil is not charging to full potential. If dwell is longer than spec, your not increasing spark, your just overheating your coil. If the signal is below spec to the igniter, the transistor is not fully saturating and again, the coil is not fully charging. If your using a "pull down" method of activating spark, you may not be diverting the signal good enough.

In the Tecs and AEMs case, I would highly doubt ignition output signals to the OE igniter are software adjustable. You would have to bust out the schematic, soldering iron and finger out if its a direct signal, or a pull down signal, and what resister should be used to provide the OE igniter adequate voltage. If its a direct signal from a chip and it turns out to be too weak, you would need to build a circuit that uses that signal to activate a properly spec'd transistor for that signal, and then use said transistor to then send a stronger signal pulled from 12 volts to then be the signal going to the OE igniter.

B.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Honestly this thread might be better as a Q and A where we can be civil and share the reasoning behind tuning in certain ways.
its mostly just spin off of SRTs thread about the AEM and low impedance injectors. a few had suggested a good standalone thread.
 

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Whatever Lambchop says, I 2nd.

Ignition discussions. I'm tired of hearing the word "weak" or "powerful" used to describe ignition. Specify do you mean accurate? Strong spark?

With 12volts and a stock coil, spark is only going to be as strong as OE (which is apparently good for 400'ish horse). And this is regardless of what standalone used, unless said standalone actually steps up voltage directly to the coil, and I have yet to hear of one capable and thus wired in that way (usually its battery, fuse/relay, coil, standalone/OE igniter grounding coil, this would have to be in reverse for the standalone to somehow boost the 12v going to the coil).

If one is having weak spark issues, I would say to investigate the following: Your standalone's dwell time, and/or the voltage signal your standalone is sending to the OE igniter if your using it (true PNP setup). If one or the other is below spec, your coil is not charging to full potential. If dwell is longer than spec, your not increasing spark, your just overheating your coil. If the signal is below spec to the igniter, the transistor is not fully saturating and again, the coil is not fully charging. If your using a "pull down" method of activating spark, you may not be diverting the signal good enough.

In the Tecs and AEMs case, I would highly doubt ignition output signals to the OE igniter are software adjustable. You would have to bust out the schematic, soldering iron and finger out if its a direct signal, or a pull down signal, and what resister should be used to provide the OE igniter adequate voltage. If its a direct signal from a chip and it turns out to be too weak, you would need to build a circuit that uses that signal to activate a properly spec'd transistor for that signal, and then use said transistor to then send a stronger signal pulled from 12 volts to then be the signal going to the OE igniter.

B.
Cool advice, but most people will not know what you are talking about. Hence the reason we speak in more laymen terms, such as "weak", "powerful" and "accurate". Since I started that thread, I can elaborate on what these terms mean.

Weak IGN system-- system is somewhat slow, cannot keep up with high revolution speeds and higher boost pressures. (ie. the stock Ignition system of the IS. AEM's with no DLI's or separate CDI boxes and so on...)

Powerful IGN system-- system CAN keep up. Kinda the opposite of the above. TEC3's already have a very strong ignition system. It is much stronger than the stock system, does not need any piggyback ignition amplifiers. If paired with DFU's, you can throw anything you want at the system and open up the spark plug gap.

Accurate IGN system-- well, from what I have seen, AEM's tend not to be as accurate as systems like the TEC3. When you use the term, accurate IGN system, it means its spot on. If you verify the IGN reading of the standalone against a timing light, you will see that it is spot on, even in very high engine speeds and load. Systems that utilize the stock crank trigger wheel and sensor are probably going to be alittle less accurate compared to those that use their own 60-2 wheel and sensor. Once setup properly, you're golden.

Also bro, if you have a problem with a thread or are "tired" of the basic terms people use, you can start your own thread.
 

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Edited for lameness and length.

Since I started that thread
I don't know what thread you are talking about.

Also bro, if you have a problem with a thread or are "tired" of the basic terms people use, you can start your own thread.
I don't know how to interpret this comment, it took it the wrong way possibly and went on a rant. Are you that oblivious to how you come off? If not and thats a jab at me, keep it pm unless you want to be public about it.

If a peep needs a break down, google is a damn fine place.

Back to OT.

So what you are saying by "weak", sounds the same as less "accurate", so this still doesn't clear the air up.

I think weak should mean the actual spark is lower voltage/colder than it should/could be.

Accurate should be both your description of weak and accurate.

Therefore the Tec3 is a more accurate EMS, but not "stronger"/more "powerful" than the AEM, unless some of the AEMs out there by the different tuners are not calibrated perfectly to work with the OE igniter.
 

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Wow, that was lot to digest for a newb! The TEC3 is a pull down system. It provides a ground to the 12Vs sitting on the coil. Yes, you are at the mercy of the secondary coils ability to amplify the 12Vs supplied. How much is neccessary is the real question. A better question would be what is the secondary voltage of a GE coil vs GTE coils? This would tell you if going to a GTE or aftermarket coil is going to yield a 'hotter' spark.

In the TEC3, the dwell time is non-user adjustable. It is automatically adjusted by the unit (at least that is what the product manual says).

In the case with the TEC3, it's ability to provide a hotter spark is based on the stored energy of the inductor which is the type of storage it uses vs Capacitive as is the case with the AEM, Haltech, MOTEC, etc. E-motive claims that they use Inductive to eliminate the issue of spark scatter by providing an exact charge time to the coils rather than multiple sparks that can result in said scatter.

The following was taken from E-motives site. It is a good explaination of how an ignition system works and the advantages of one vs another.

The Direct Ignition Advantage
A "Direct Fire" ignition fires the spark plugs directly from the coils and not through a distributor cap and rotor. This is accomplished by using multiple coils, each with two spark terminals. The coil terminals are connected to the spark plugs, allowing one cylinder to fire on compression while its companion cylinder fires simultaneously on exhaust. Open spark gaps in the rotor and cap are eliminated, making wear and moisture problems a thing of the past.
What sets XDI apart is the ability to charge multiple ignition coils at the same time. This increased dwell time means that full spark energy is available over the entire RPM range (up to 9600 at 12 volts). Unlike Capacitive Discharge systems that only put out one very short spark, the XDI puts out a full energy, long burning spark at your highest and most critical engine speeds. Long burn times assure effective burning of even lean fuel mixtures.
The brain of the XDI includes dual digital microprocessors using patented spark algorithms (patent number RE 34,183), which takes the electrical signal from the crankshaft sensor, identifies the two missing teeth and then keeps track of the remaining 58 teeth. The XDI determines engine speed and computes the spark advance from your knob settings. Setting the timing advance curve is a simple task that anyone can understand.
In addition to synchronizing and firing the plugs at the correct advance angle, the XDI also computes the exact dwell to produce 9 amps of coil current. Coil charging is measured dynamically, so changes in RPM, battery voltage, or temperature are all accounted for on every spark. This corrects any errors that are caused by battery voltage or coil temperature changes and insures maximum spark energy.

High Resolution Single-Crankshaft-Sensor Decoding
Some OEM direct ignition systems use both a crankshaft and a camshaft sensor assembly, making the system more complicated and more expensive than it needs to be. Other systems use low resolution, four to ten tooth trigger wheels on either the crankshaft or camshaft; these are not enough teeth to assure that the coils are firing without timing errors. The XDI solves these problems with a single, high resolution, 60-minus-2 tooth crank trigger wheel. This affords resolution unheard of in any other electronic ignition available today, offering spark accuracy of ¼ degree of crankshaft rotation. This accuracy makes the system ideal for the most demanding engines.
 

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Good post htekwo. The Tec is by far more accurate than the MS using my OE wheel. Actually thats just f'ing sick reading about the tec algorithm, mine is much more basic than that. But you get what you pay for right? For the price of an emange blue, I'm not complaining, yet... supposed to be good in the 10K+ rpm. Down to 1/4 of a degree, sheesh.

What I mean about pull down is not just in regards to the coils themselves, but how the trigger voltage is sent. Internally on the Tec it shouldn't be a worry, as thats all built in and R&D'ed to work properly. But for applications made PNP, you are now needing to send a "high" to the OE igniter through the IGT wires in the ECU box to charge the coil, then a "low" to discharge the coil/s to make a spark. So there are two ways, you can have the chip's output directly too it, but is most likely too weak, or you could use the chips signal to trigger a transistor to send a voltage to the OE igniter, in one of two ways. Its hard to describe it shortly in laymen terms. One either sends a "high" by acting like a switch from a high source. One sends a high and then makes a low by grounding the high source (with a current limiting resister to prevent a "short" condition of course). It is important to know how one's PNP setup is sending that high to then figure what resister may be at fault. The one taking from 12v to be a signal to the OE igniter? The one going to ground? In the pull down type (grounding type) both?

In Malek's case if he is PNP in the way that one uses the IGT wires, then he most likely opened up the Tec box, disconnected the "highs" coming from small transistors using a high from the chip that were going to the Tec igniter transistors and wired them to be sent to the OE igniter instead, the voltages are probably very similar, nothing a pullup, pulldown or current limiting resister in the right place can't fix.

Finding a better coil would be hard I suppose, as I don't know the math of figuring primary coil ohm / 2ndary coil ohm= ? yet, but other than that I think its fairly easy to find a coils primary and secondary ohm ratings, do the math on how they effect each other (less ohms, less resistance, more current, larger/stronger field), and then that would figure is the spark is "hotter", more voltage, or worse than the OE.

I hope this thread stays on a good note, and post 8 could have been shorter and nice.

I hope to learn from this, my knock values among other things can use some help, and in the following weeks of testing I will do, hope I can provide some help.
 

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so how much is the AEM off by if its not as accurate as the tec3?
Worst case I'd say 4 degrees then again I could be wrong. The stock crank trigger wheel is a 36-2 meaning each tooth represents 10 degrees. While the TEC3 uses a 60-2 trigger wheel where each tooth represents 6 degrees. Maybe it's me but if you're not looking for accuracy up to .1 degrees then I wouldn't lose sleep over it.
 

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I'd rep you if I could Leo. When are you going to update the sim thread? lol. Want me to update it?
 

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I'd rep you if I could Leo. When are you going to update the sim thread? lol. Want me to update it?
You know I was thinking about that for a while. I spoke to my EE friend and his take was it didn't really matter. I'm a programmer so I'm not really good with circuit theory. The main thing behind the simulator was the IGF signal needed to be grounded. It didn't really matter if the IGF voltage signal was being switched to ground or if ground was being switched to the IGF. Once they're switched the IGF would be grounded. But to be technically correct yeah you can update the thread. The worst thing is I don't think anyone has even attempted to create the IGT to IGF simulator except you.
 

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^^ I wonder why he says it doesn't matter, maybe PNP and NPN is not such a big deal, they won't burn up, get damaged or miss-function being wired differently. Maybe the IGF isn't that complicated, and if its constantly grounded it won't throw a fault rather than if its not grounded at all during certain events.

Still kinda upset you beat me to it haha. I started working on the standalone later, but via pm I bet you could tell I was already scoping that out, had the schematic, and its only a matter of time after that lol.

I'll post up.
 

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^^ I wonder why he says it doesn't matter, maybe PNP and NPN is not such a big deal, they won't burn up, get damaged or miss-function being wired differently. Maybe the IGF isn't that complicated, and if its constantly grounded it won't throw a fault rather than if its not grounded at all during certain events.

Still kinda upset you beat me to it haha. I started working on the standalone later, but via pm I bet you could tell I was already scoping that out, had the schematic, and its only a matter of time after that lol.

I'll post up.
LOL yeah I remember all the questions about the IGT and IGF voltages. Did you ever figure out the maximum voltage of an IGT signal yet?
 

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Thats proprietary ish LOL!!

Naw haha, I don't want to post anything that isn't stone yet. What I'm using has been working BUUUUT
a) haven't boosted yet, so I don't know how good my spark is yet
b) want thousands of miles on it to know the OE igniter is good for it
c) not backed up with an Oscilloscope, man I'd like to have one, would make this all easier.

B.
 

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^^ I wonder why he says it doesn't matter, maybe PNP and NPN is not such a big deal, they won't burn up, get damaged or miss-function being wired differently. Maybe the IGF isn't that complicated, and if its constantly grounded it won't throw a fault rather than if its not grounded at all during certain events.

Still kinda upset you beat me to it haha. I started working on the standalone later, but via pm I bet you could tell I was already scoping that out, had the schematic, and its only a matter of time after that lol.

I'll post up.
NPN and PNP is some dark science stuff! I know the principle behind it, but to actually believe that it is happening is a leap of faith for me.....lololol. What do the configuration of these junctions have to do with the circuits in question?
 

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NPN and PNP are to tell you where to put the + and the - involved with the circuit, the base always being a high/low trigger. They are not supposed to work the same.

So kind of like a diode as far as current flow across it, the PNP should only close like a switch when the high trigger is sent to the base, and the collector is the + side, the emitter the -(ground). Its visa-versa with the NPN, where the emitter is +, the collector -(ground).

So either its a typo in his thread, or he has what he says he has and God knows how its working then. I built it the other way, using a NPN like he mentions, but wired the "right" way, and mine works. So yeah, he has a PNP, or something else is going on here haha. In reverse it may always be grounding, regardless of the base trigger. I can test this with the multimeter later on. If its the latter, then one doesn't even need to build the circuit, just ground the IGF haha.
 

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LOL, I tried grounding the IGF and that didn't work. The only reason I could come up with on why my simulator is working is the voltage isn't high enough to cause it to fail but the way Shaun described it, his way is the proper way to wire it up.
 
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