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Frequently Asked Questions - CAN based Management Systems 9A4, 9A8, 9A9
 
When purchasing second hand ECUs, please note the following;

If the ECU is still a current issue i.e. advertised on our web site, it can be reprogrammed, costs from £90.00 + VAT per unit.

If the ECU is an older model, it is recommended that the ECU be only used for the type of engine it is already programmed for. If you require an older model reprogrammed, costs are from £140.00 + VAT per unit dependant on the age of the ECU. It can cost more for the unit to be reprogrammed than the purchase of new ECU. In addition, if the unit breaks, the older units (e.g. 900 to 967) are irreparable.


Output improvements using MBE ECUs over standard ECUs
MBE Management System installation instead of upgrading cam profiles
2.5L V6 power dip with standard management system
Auxiliary function loss after adding MBE ECU
Sensors required for MBE ECUs
Stand alone Management system for 2.0L 16v Turbo engine
Base map required
CAN Protocols
CAN Bus data stream on MBE9A9 ECUs
Powershift set-up issues
Differences in injectors when programming
Engine swap issues
Adaptive control problems
Input pin suitability
Crank sensor problems
Current Faults & Logged Faults
SBD Throttle Body kit on Fiesta ST150
Problems starting engine after 5 months non use
Mapping Questions
Alterations to ECU maps
Accel Fuel
Lambda & Auto-tune systems
Using Lambda
Lambda sensor types
 
Current Faults & Logged Faults

Question: I'd like to understand the relationship between Current Faults and Logged Faults in Easimap 6. Presumably a fault will disappear from Current Faults as soon as the condition is resolved, but does it then remain in Logged Faults?  How long do they remain in Logged Faults for?  And is there a way to clear or reset the Logged Faults?

Answer: But the 9A4 has the option to display current faults and logged faults. The current faults will only exist while it actually has that fault and then the status will return to being ok. The logged fault will only log the fault until the ECU power has been cycled.

This way if you wish to diagnose a fault and the fault is intermittent, you may miss it in the current faults section, but it would be obvious in the logged fault provided you do not cycle the ECU power.

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Using Lambda

Question: If I want to check the engine on the track, can I fasten my laptop in the car, then start the logging in the software and drive the car for about 15 minutes. Then save the log on the computer and send the log to you. Is it then possible to analyse the log and then verify the mapping, without a Lambda?

Answer: Without the reference of lambda, the information you would get would not tell you whether the engine mixture is rich or lean. The kind of information you are able to log is useful for fault finding e.g. if a misfire occurs and is related to an engine sensor. If you want to be sure the mixture is correct, then potentially the cheapest option is an Innovate system as these are easily available on the internet for a cost of around £250. You could either log it as a standalone using its own analysing software (depending on level of unit you buy) or with the correct calibration in the ECU, log it within the laptop. 

All this is worthwhile, but involves a lot of time and effort on your part and cost involving buying the equipment and setting the ECU up with calibrations to suit. Then either you need to analyse the data or you would need to send the data to me, which again obviously involves more cost. The Suzuki engine is an extremely tough bit of kit and can cope with a reasonable range of fuel mixture and even if your engine is not optimised, there may only be very small gains from the amount of work you put in. If your engine was running dangerously lean or dangerously rich, due to say a badly designed exhaust system, the engine would not be as quick as it is, the driver would have almost certainly noticed this and you would have had an engine failure by now with damaged pistons as a result.

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Lambda & Auto-tune systems

Question: I have a question for you, can we buy a Lambda sensor and connect it to our MBE system. And does our system contain a auto-tune system?

Answer: As far as lambda systems are concerned, all MBE ECUs of the current spec are able to run closed loop mapping. The MBE9A4 can either run a narrow band lambda sensor, which is only suitable for emissions (Lambda 1) or an external device such as an ETAS, Bosch (professional lambda equipment for calibration) or a system such as an Innovate, which is a club level lambda sensor and controller.  Both use a wide band type lambda sensor, which will then transmit a voltage directly to the 9A4. The maps can then be set up in the ECU to allow the ECU to do closed loop adjustments (auto-tune). This facility is available on the high end motorsport MBE ECU, the MBE9A9, which you can directly connect a wide band lambda sensor to.

The only time we use closed loop fuel mapping (Auto-tune) is when we are initially mapping each car/engine. The system is normally disabled after that time and on our high spec ECUs only allow limited changes to occur. This is to prevent damage if the sensor reads incorrectly. Various things could go wrong in competition conditions and if full trust if placed in the sensor reading correctly, this could be disastrous, for example, if a fracture occurs in the exhaust system or part of the exhaust falls off, the sensor could read lean and the ECU could make adjustments based on incorrect information potentially causing engine failure. Also if the sensor reads rich due to the fact that it is beginning to fail or becomes contaminated, the mixture could be leaned off again causing engine failure. So although it is a useful tool, it is only safe when correctly controlled or under mapping conditions, not during a race.

MBE9A4 ECU

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Powershift set-up issues

Question: One of our trade customers was having problems with a powershift set-up on one of their customers cars and asked for some help, he had set up the map using the settings from another car which has worked well.

The car was an Escort with a VX and Elite IL300 box and the description of the symptoms was; "Just been out in the car and it still isn't working correctly, it's very harsh when it comes back on power, not a nice smooth cut at all. It all seems too harsh and needs smoothing out. The setup is just using an ignition cut, cutting the spark, so it's very on and off. The setup allows for torque reduction + recovery, can you tell me a bit more about these settings and also why these aren't been used? There isn't any information available about the MBE settings and if I fiddle with them without knowing their functions, it will end up causing issues."

He also asked: When we have spoken in the past you said you had not found the need to use the torque recovery and that ignition only worked very well.  Hence my using the same options. Could you provide any advice as to possible solutions.  I notice on the paddle shift set ups I have looked at the "Finish Upshift Drum Rotation Threshold" is at 70% but on the flatshifts its 100% - could this be the issue?

Answer: Always make sure you are using the latest software, please check our website.

I suspect you have 2 potential issues; the first problem will be how the power shift is triggered. Quite often some of the gearboxes have an adjustable switch or sensor and what the manufacturer quite often does to ensure the powershift works is to make the switch trigger too early. This means that when the gearstick is pulled that instead of triggering just at the point of disengagement, it is triggered much earlier, this effects both single cut time set ups and full closed loop set ups. When used in the single cut time, it means that the time has to be extended to cover the fact that when the driver pulls the gearstick, there can be quite a length of time from the spark being cut before the dogs of the gearbox are actually disengaging and by the time the gearbox has completed its change, the driver will be able to feel this huge delay making for quite often and uncomfortable gear change. When using the closed loop version the same issue applies, the trigger again will be too early and although the gear change time is able to vary due to the ECU knowing the drum position and able to complete the gear change when it reaches a pre-programmed position, it is extended due to the early trigger.

In order to alter the trigger point, you will need to discuss with the manufacturer of the gearbox how this is done and experiment with the trigger point according to the manufacturer's instructions. This could be done by shims or adjustable screw to move the switch.

Once you have sorted the start point, then you will be able to adjust the cut time if using a single cut set up but because no gear changes are ever the same, care must be taken not to shorten the cut time too much. A single cut is also not suitable for cars that could potentially be wheel spinning during gear change.  It is always best to use closed loop set up using the trigger to initiate the gear change and drum rotation to complete the gear change. This way the MBE system self-adjusts to the variation in time taken for each gear change.

Due to the fact that every manufacturer of gearbox works slightly differently, therefore the gears drum rotation will also vary. You should experiment with the percentage of drum rotation for completing the gear change.  When set to 100%, the power will only re-instated once the gearbox drum has completed its rotation. You can experiment with shortening this value and it will speed up the gear change. Again great care must be taken if the value is set too low, although the gear change would become very fast, if the dogs have only just engaged there is a possibility that damage will occur due to the fact that the power is being re-instated too early. We find that most car gearboxes can go down to 70% of drum rotation and bike gearboxes down to 79%, but it is suggested that you start at 100% and slowly reduce this value due testing.

The difference between cut and retard; cut simply removes all the sparks and retard will retard the ignition so the engine produces no power. Cut is simpler and if all the above are set up correctly, the gear changes should be very nice. If you use retard, it can be smoother but produces other issues; whilst retarded the engine will be producing more heat and if the engine itself is prone to any issues, it could amplify an inherent problem with the engine. Also when the ignition is in a retarded state, the fuel is no longer ignited in the combustion chamber, it will be ignited in the exhaust producing additional noise because of this. A combination of cut and retard can be used but more information, as far as suggested settings are concerning, are within Easimap 6.

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CAN Protocols

Question: I have Ford Fiesta Mk7 power steering unit (TRW Column Drive EPS CAN control) and I would like to use it on my Fiesta Mk2 Duratec HE 2.0 Race car. Can any MBE ECU control this unit?

Answer: The only problem you are going to have is getting the CAN protocols, no manufacturers release their CAN protocols.  In the past MBE have done development work for large manufacturers themselves and even then they would not release protocols outside.

The problem with anything that is CAN controlled, is that you have no idea what the messages should be and even if you discover some messages that get a system working, there may be other hidden safety messages that are being used to check that the system is working correctly.  If these messages are either not received or transmitted, the system may appear to work correctly for a short period of time and then simply switch off assuming there is a  fault.  Hunting for any CAN data messages is like looking for a needle in 100 haystacks, so without the original CAN datastream protocols, it would be cheaper to fit a completely different system.

Obviously in the event of you being lucky enough to get the information required, if you are running an MBE ECU to control the engine then some protocols could be written to do the job required.  We also need to know what other functions are necessary associated with it, to decide which would be the suitable ECU for your needs.

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CAN Bus data stream on MBE9A9 ECUs

Question: Is it possible to configure your own CAN bus messages to be sent out on the CAN interface on the MBE 9A9 ECU ?
Is it capable of receiving CAN messages and acting on them?

Answer: The CAN Bus data stream is designed for use to transmit data to either external devices, such as data loggers or data to other MBE systems. It would be possible to control other devices that are CAN Bus controlled.

For example, if you have a gearbox that has a CAN Bus system on it, it can indeed control it. The problem you have is that the manufacturer of the gear box is unlikely to release the protocols required to control the gearbox and the same would go for any other systems fitted to production cars. If you are able to get the protocols, the software could then be written to control them with the MBE CAN data stream and depending on how complex the system, would depend on how much time was required for the software engineer to write it. This may only be a matter of a couple of days of work, which would then need to be charged to the customer requesting it.

Unfortunately, if the data stream information is not available from the manufacturer, it would be virtually impossible to write controlling software to control the CAN Bus of each product, since you have no idea of what the information requires to control it. It is like looking for a needle in a hundred haystacks. It is potentially months of work just trying to decode what is required and the cost would be far too expensive.

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Base map required

Question: I have a CAN based MBE ECU and I was wondering if you hade a base map for a K8 GSXR 1000 Suzuki. Any help would be appreciated, just want enough to get it up and running to make sure the loom is ok?

Answer: Within Easimap 6 there are 3 sample base maps for each type of current model of MBE ECU (9A4, 9A8, 9A9), select the most suitable map and then load into your ECU and make small changes to suit your engine specification e.g. sample bike map is 24-1, yours may be 24-2.  All the information you require is detailed within each section relating to trigger wheel type and offsets.

If the ECU was supplied by us, it will normally be provided with a base map which is as close as possible to your engine specification or contact your supplier, if you require further help.  We can provide more detailed support but this is chargeable at a rate £50 per half hour.

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Differences in injectors when programming

Question: The base calibration you provided mentions a "690P" injector in the comments section.  On the engine dyno, we utilized the Bosch "Green Giant" injector that is fitted standard in  the Caterham CSR, and increased fuel pressure to 4-bar, instead of the standard 3-bar.  The engine made good power/torque, and injector duty-cycle remained less than 80%.  The engine dyno used a Pectel engine management system.

Besides making adjustments to the injector on-time map, is there anything else related to the characteristics of the two different injectors, that I should consider, and need to change in the MBE calibration to support the Bosch injector?

Answer: I take it you are now going to place the MBE ECU on the dyno and map your engine with the MBE ECU using the base information you have achieved with the Pectel system.  I quite often have to do this kind of work when converting from other makes of ECU.  The injectors that were used to build the base map you had were effectively a 690cc injector at 3Bar and you were using a Bosch Green Giant injector which is normally rated at 440cc, I believe.  If I was about to begin on the dyno, the way I would start would be to work out a percentage of change for swapping between the two injectors, but this is only a crude first quick step to get me up and running. 

I would divide 690 by 440 (if this is the flow for the injector) at the pressure you were using  =  1.57 (57%), I would then take the fuel map and multiply it by 1.57 which would make it 57% greater fuel delivery, which is effectively the difference between the 2 injectors.  That would then give me my starting point.  I would also modify the throttle start fuel map by the same amount and if I wanted to be very accurate, I would obtain the battery voltage compensation from the injector supplier and modify the battery voltage comp map.  Once I have done this, which would be normal standard preparation for the dyno or rolling road, I would then begin mapping the MBE.

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Engine swap issues

Question: We are swapping the engine on our car to another engine which has E-gas, dual E-throttle, continuously variable valve timing on inlet cams (CVTC), electromagnetic valve timing on exhaust cams (E-VTC) and trigger wheel 36 -1 -1 -1.

We have the original ECU + engine harness + body harness + key & ignition lock + NATS + E-gas, but not the instrument harness and instrument. Is it possible to run this engine with this components in this car? If not, what do you suggest to make this swap possible?

Answer: We only deal in motorsport management systems so we would have no information about your standard management system.  The kind of enquiry you have made is quite common as far as removing an engine from one vehicle and fitting it into another.  The management systems that control the engine and indeed many of the car systems as well are becoming more integrated all the time, which is why when it is removed from the original vehicle and placed into another, difficulties arise.  Quite often the original management system being so integrated would not function correctly without all the original systems being connected to it and the information required that could allow the user to make it work as a standalone system is never released by the manufacturers for many reasons.  Not only the cost involved in developing the system, which they do not want copied, they are also safety issues and emission issues which the manufacturer has to consider. 

Your engine, being EGAS and variable cam control is not uncommon nowadays and certainly the MBE9A9 ECU should be able to control the functions you have.  The difficulty is that each manufacturer and even model of engine requires different strategies, which is the time consuming part of developing the software and then the programming of the engine afterwards.  I believe MBE have done some development work on the production car engine similar to yours using one of their production based ECUs, this may help to reduce some of the development costs, but it is quite a considerable amount of work to get a one-off engine project up and running. 

If you wish to progress further with your project, this would be the normal procedure.  The engine would need to be fitted to the vehicle, plumbed for fuel and oil, throttle body and throttle pedal would need to be supplied to use for calibration on the bench, then your vehicle would need to go to one of our recommended wiring harness manufacturers where a custom harness would need to be built.   Then the vehicle would go to MBE to have its initial start up to get the engine to tick over and run and initialise the variable cams.  To keep costs down, some of the standard components such as lambda sensors would need to be replaced with our commonly used Bosch wide band sensors, since the time required to calibrate any unknown sensors would cost more than replacing the sensor themselves.

To give you an approximate guide on costs, the ECU would be £1200.00 + VAT, wiring harness costs between £1000 - £1600 + VAT, lambda sensors £160 each + VAT, software writing time £600 per day + VAT, estimated time required for initial set up work will be about 5 days then anticipate rolling road time between 3 and 5 days depending on functionality required estimated cost £1200 per day + VAT. (Prices correct at February 2014)

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Accel Fuel
Question: How does the Async fuel factor come in to play, this is per throttle site and an exponentially curving slope. I am really tempted to play with this (increasing it) but wanted to check in with you first.

Answer: The chances are your AFR will read lean.  You do have to be a bit careful because if you make the mixture too rich, the AFR will read lean again because the fuel will not burn correctly if the spark is put out and then you will have excess oxygen showing a lean AFR again.  Slowly increasing the value as you have done is the correct way to do it.  As you experiment further you may find certain areas e.g. speed sites require extra fuel, the Async Accel Pulse Width map is actually temperature vs speed, not throttle vs speed. 

The other map you have found the Async Accel Fuel Factor, which shows an exponential curve is actually the rate of throttle change, the column running down the left shows the percentage of fuel that will be added to the overall fuel pulse width.  This basically takes the value you have in your Async Accel Pulse Width map and then applies the percentage from the Async Accel Fuel Factor e.g. if the map has 10% whatever the map 'TPS vs Speed Fuel Map' has let's say 10ms so for example 10% of 10ms is 1ms, then depending on the rate of throttle change would depend on the percentage of the 1ms that is added to the overall fuel pulse width.  If the throttle is moved extremely fast, it will look at the right hand end of the Async Accel Fuel Factor map which says 100% currently and therefore 1ms will be added.  If the throttle is not moving at all, then the left hand end of the map is accessed and the percentage is zero so therefore no fuel is added.  If the throttle is moved at a rate between these 2 points, then the fuel quantity would depend on the percentage applied. Although you can modify the Async Accel Factor it is normally best to modify the pulse width of Async Accel Pulse Width map as this is easier to understand and simpler to experiment with as each engine will vary.  If you then wish to experiment later with the the Async Accel Fuel Factor, do so after you have experimented and understand what effect you can achieve with the information described above.

Please take great care when modifying the Async Accel Factor map.

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Mapping Questions
Question: How do we modify the fuel map? How do we send the modified map to the ECU and have the ECU run that map? How do we know the ECU is actually using the map we have modified? We are trying to do this statically before we run the engine because the map that is currently in the engine if far too lean.
Unfortunately when I play with the maps and settings and click on the panels in the system, the information about how to save the data, and how to send that data appears to be missing. I have installed a lot of software in my life, and have taught myself how to use a lot of software, so I'm fairly intuitive about learning software. I am not used to having instructions in the help manuals tell me to do something and then finding that the software doesn't have the commands to follow the instructions. It's a bit frustrating to say the least.

Answer: Any ECUs we send out directly to our customers come fully programmed and ready to use, there is information within the device info which normally helps with the set up of the engine.  Easimap 6 has all the icons that are normally required across the top of the software, as you pass your mouse across the icon it describes what each function does.  Because the  software is continually evolving on almost a daily basis, it is impossible to make the help file anything more than a basic guide as improvements are added to the software itself, the information is added to the .ec2 file next to each new function added.

If you can give us more information as far as an invoice number, when the ECU was purchased and any relevant information will help us to help you. We try to give as much help as possible to our customers but unfortunately with the many thousand of ECUs that we sell every year, it is impossible to have engineers available to give detailed free support as the cost of the initial ECU is literally the price of the ECU itself.

When you install Easimap 6 from our website, it should install correctly. We have occasionally seen some firewalls block part of the installation and therefore not all files are installed correctly. You could reinstall Easimap 6 as many times as you wish without any problems. When first downloaded, it is in its basic form and this is for the beginner so as to make things as easy as possible. This should normally be all that is required for any ECUs that we have programmed since the most that should normally be needed is to set the throttle pot. If the engine has been tuned then access to the fuel and ignition maps would be needed but this is available even in the basic access. As you become more skilled you can access the advanced level by clicking on the profile at the bottom of the screen and then Master level has a password which is only normally required by accessing more complex functions, not normally associated with the running of the engine.

There will be a new release of Easimap 6 for Christmas, which has all the later software and some improved functions.  Once you give us further information as far as the ECU software is concerned, which will appear at the top of the screen in the panel marked ‘no device’ when the ECU is not connected.  Easimap 6 will identify the ECU software and then automatically load the closest matching .ec2 file (for example if your ECU id is #9A4bd600, the .ec2 file it will load will be 9A4bd60a [could be anything from a to z depending on release]), which will then appear in the box to the left.  If no ECU is connected, it will remember the last .ec2 file that was loaded by Easimap 6 which may not match the ECU you have connected.  Once the ECU is connected If you confirm this software version, if it is later than the version on the website, we will email you a zipped copy for you to install into Easimap 6.

Easimap 6 Download

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Input pin suitability
Question: Could you please confirm what input pin would be desired for a pull up or pull down 5v digital signal.

Answer: The easiest way to confirm which pin is suitable is simply to plug into the ECU with the MBE985 USB/CAN interface (basic mapping equipment). Easimap 6 will then automatically select the correct .ec2 file to match the software as the ECU you are proposing to set up gearbox control with. You will then be able to go to programmable pins and look at the drop down option for each of the pins and see if this option is available. Because software is continually updated and changing, new functions and options will become available over time and there is always a possibility that the software version that your customer's ECU has, has different functions available and therefore this can only be confirmed by plugging into the ECU or having a copy of the map from the ECU along with knowing the software version the ECU is currently using.

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Crank sensor problems
Question: I have a problem with the crank sensor it showed bad crank tooth pattern and wiring error. Initially I thought it might be due to the fact that I did not use the trigger wheel supplied by you but one that was supplied by QED (one piece with front pulley). I have replaced it with the one supplied by you with the Ford crossflow kit. Still shows bad crank tooth pattern as well as wiring error. Crank sensor is the one supplied with the Ford cross flow kit (Magneti Marelli). Loom is the standard rear wheel drive. Extension to link it up to the crank sensor was supplied by you.
I had to make up a bracket for the crank sensor because the twin cam front cover is quite different from the ford crossflow, but I went into pains to get the position and gap right so I think there should be no problem there. I haven´t started measuring through the wiring yet because frankly I did not know what to look for yesterday. I would be grateful for some tips.

Answer:The warning you are getting is to help point you in the right direction, it is impossible to get the software to diagnose the exact fault, it simply means that it is struggling to read crank teeth correctly in order to start the engine. It could be any number of things but I have listed them in order of which they should be checked:

1. If battery voltage is too low during cranking, the time between each tooth may be inaccurate due to speeding and slowing down of the engine. To eradicate this possible cause, get a separate battery and connect the positive and negative terminals of our wiring harness to it, place the switched ignition wire directly to the positive post when attempting to start, make sure there is no connection with any other part of the car, connect the fuel pump directly to the car's battery and not our system during this test. This means that the ECU, injectors and coils are the only drain on this battery, then when you attempt to start the car, the car's battery has no connection and cannot cause voltage drop. Even if this does not fix the problem, I suggest you leave it wired in this way until the problem is fixed, make sure you maintain the batteries in a full charged state otherwise you may find that you have actually fixed the problem but due to low battery voltage, the engine will not start and you will assume you haven't fixed the problem. This is particularly important when you are starting a new engine for the first time on fuel injection.

2. Due to the fact that your engine is new to fuel injection, the fuelling may be out by a factor, this makes it much harder for the engine to start because of the possibility of the incorrect amount of fuel being available during starting and this cannot be accurately determined until the engine is running (catch 22). The software itself shows the potential for an error in crank trigger wiring because it's unable to calculate the tooth pattern to it's satisfaction, therefore it will not fire a spark until it is happy to do so. If the engine is slowing down in this period and speeding up due to compression or other issues, this could take it outside its operating window for safely starting. Remove the sparks plugs and see if this fixes the crank trigger warning, obviously once the plugs have been removed the engine will turn over easier and give a more consistent speed allowing the ECU to calculate the tooth pattern more accurately. Because the warning you see on Easimap needs to say on the screen long enough for you to read it, there may have been a time during cranking that the ECU was able to calculate the tooth pattern correctly but due to the fact that the fuel was totally incorrect, the engine was unable to start and the engine slowed down due to poor battery voltage and therefore wouldn't start because of 2 separate problems.

3. Crank sensor wiring, normally if you are using a 36-1 trigger wheel, the crank signal is on pin 1 of the crank sensor, if your trigger wheel was 60-2, the signal would be on pin 2 of the crank sensor (this is MBE specific). You may not actually know which is pin 1 and which is pin 2, but the easiest way to test it is to simply swap the 2 wires around and carry out the test twice. This is easiest to change in the ECU connector hood taking only seconds. See the link to the hood information and the crank sensor wiring. Since you are running 36-1, just confirm by looking inside the software in basic engine set up that the trigger wheel is configured for this, provided when you ordered the kit you confirmed that you were running 36-1, the ECU will be configured correctly.

4. Crank sensor position, ensure the sensor is mounted correctly. The sensor that you are using in combination with the trigger wheel should run directly over the centre of the tooth with a 0.5mm to 1mm gap.

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SBD Throttle Body kit on Fiesta ST150
Question: I am researching ITB's for the Fiesta ST150, but had a question which I wondered if you could help with. I've been looking at your TP203bhp kit, and also saw that a chap called Dyrr Ardash has a kit fitted to his Fiesta ST here. My question, how would you go about the fly-by-wire throttle on the Fiesta ST? Does it need replacing with a cable? If so, is this all included in the kit?

Answer: All of our systems are now motorsport based due to the costs involved of interacting with the standard management systems, I did look at the kit that was produced by DRM and think that it was an extremely well designed product and couldn't imagine how much money they had spent developing the kit to interact with the standard management system. The reason we don't do anything like that on road based cars is that you can spend many of thousands of pounds if not tens of thousands of pounds for something that only has a short life before Ford stop producing it or change the design. This means that you have little if any chance in re-cooping your development costs, which has to be spread across the number of kits you sell. This is the reason why we stick to motorsport, since we can replace the standard management system where we can control every part of the system and not be hampered by what the road based and every more complex systems which are continually monitoring to see if the car in every aspect is performing correctly. If anything is picked up by the standard ECU and not operating as it should, as a minimum it will turn an engine warning light on and normally put the engine into 'limp' mode. Finding all the information that the stock ECU requires is a massively complex job, taking many thousands of hours to decypher with possibility that the next time your car is serviced Ford update software and maps completely changing everything you have already deciphered.

When fitting a motorsport management system none of this becomes a problem, the only problem as far as you are concerned being the end user is that the standard management system not only controls the engine, but a mass of other accessories fitted to the car, which again is expensive to be developed for a road car.

The car you have been looking at on our website belonging to Dyrr is a pure race car and therefore none of the problems mentioned above apply. Obviously if you are using a totally stripped out car for fast road and track use only, then this kind of conversion would be the route to go.

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Problems starting engine after 5 months non use
Question: Hello. I recently went to start my vehicle after 5 months and when turning the ignition on I have a clicking relay for up to 5 seconds. I have changed the relay and the same thing happens. I think the power may have been left on feeding the ECU until the battery went dead. Would this have damaged the ECU?

Answer: It should not have caused any damage by leaving the ignition feed on. On very rare occasions, if people attempt to start their car with a flat battery & a jump pack, the ECU gets confused every time you attempt to start the car. The starter motor takes all the current & the flat battery leaving nothing for the ECU, so the ECU shuts down. As the current spikes & dips during this period, the ECU randomly wakes up & then shuts down again causing it to misfire fuel & charging of the coils. In most cases you simply get wet plugs which makes the problem worse, the plugs then track & will not spark properly. if you remove the plugs & test them, they would appear to work fine even when dry, but under compression in the engine they will not work properly.

You should fully charge your battery or replace it, buy a new set of spark plugs & then attempt to start the engine. The engine should then start correctly. The only potential damage you could have done is cranking with a very flat battery with the ECU in it's confused state, it could have overcharged it's internal amplifiers. The ECU would need to be returned to us for testing & repair at a cost of £150 + VAT, however if the ECU is found to be in perfect working order, there would only be a £90 + VAT testing charge.

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Stand alone Management system for 2.0L 16v Turbo engine
Question: I would like some information for a stand alone engine management system for a MK3 VW Golf with a 2.0L 16v Turbo engine?

Answer: Our MBE9A4 ECU can run a turbo charged engine, including waste gate control.. We can also provide a wiring harness to suit a front wheel drive golf with manifold pressure input. We would need to know the chassis number and engine number since VW vary their sensor types (mostly speed sensor either use hall effect or inductive).

Links: MBE9A4 ECU

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Output improvements using MBE ECUs over standard ECUs
Question: I know you can never predict how much extra output you would get from any one ECU or engine, but what would you expect to see on average from a standard 1400cc Vauxhall engine that has a MBE ECU attached to it?

Answer:As you say it's very difficult to predict the likely gains you would get, all I would say is that General Motors & all other production based car manufacturers have a different goal to yours. They are trying to achieve emissions, fuel economy, long engine life & all at low cost, because you are after performance by fitting the MBE allows you to optimize fuelling & ignition to produce the best performance at every speed & load. If you were to change other components, e.g. CAT & exhaust, there are potentially more gains to be achieved & the MBE can be programmed to achieve the best results.

When we used to produce the systems for Opel for the Group N cars (showroom class cars) back in the mid-nineties gains varied between 10 - 20bhp, but it would be impossible to predict what you could expect to see.

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Alterations to ECU maps
Question: I would like to make some alterations to the standard map to improve cold starting (the car struggles to idle when cold). However, I've just realised that my laptop (being fairly current) doesn't have a serial port. Is it possible to connect the ECU to a USB port (and if so can you supply the Farnell parts list) or do you know if the regular serial coiled leads that you supply can be used with a USB to serial adapter?

Answer:If your laptop is not equipped with a serial port you will need to purchase an adaptor with the appropriate software from a computer supplier. This will allow you to convert your USB port to run serial.

Once you have downloaded the software & have everything talking correctly, your ECU will almost certainly ask you for a PIN code, all our Ecus are coded with 1111. I would suggest before you attempt to make any adjustments that you look at the device info, as the throttle bodies & fuel pressure must be correctly set and the settings for this are written within this section.

Most importantly of all, is before you make any adjustments make a copy of the maps stored in the Ecu. This way if you make any mistakes you can restore your original map, if you lose your original copy we would have to make a charge to replace it. You should find sufficient information within the help file to carry out any modifications you think necessary & you should familiarise yourself with the system before attempting any changes.

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2.5L V6 power dip with standard management system
Question: I have had my 2000 W Vectra SRI 2.5v6 with a de-restricted air box with panle filter and cat back manex s/s exhaust system on a rolling road and it ran 175bhp with 156bfl, however it has a dip in power in mid range. Can you advise me whether a chip and a 4bar fuel pressure regulator fix this?

Answer: The main problem you have when tuning further than you already have, is the limitations of the standard management system. Having a custom built chip will help to a degree, but the air flow metering limits what you can do (look at our web site for more details). We did do work in the past on a few rally cars with a special MBE 970 ECU which was very successful and more recently some throttle bodies are being developed to allow the engine to breathe a lot better. Provided your standard management system is fitted to a car which is a few years old, you should find that the ECU only controls the engine and doesn't control many other accessories as a lot of the newer cars do. The MBE970 ECU has now been superseded by the MBE9A8 ECU, which would be suitable for your requirements.

Links: MBE9A8 ECU

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MBE Management System installation instead of upgrading cam profiles
Question: I have bought a 2.0 16v engine with the following work done, Coscast 2.0 16v skimmed, polished & ported head, new lifters, Schrick 268 cams, 2.1 bottom end using 88mm forged Omega pistons, compression ratio of 11.8:1, knife-edged lightened & balanced crank, new shells, ARP bolts & new oil and water pumps. I’m looking to up the cam profiles. What would you suggest?
Would your basic MBE unit be sufficient? Can it be supplied with a 'map' to get me started?

Answer: I would think the cam profiles you are currently running are about the most aggressive you can safely use on the standard intake and management system. If you were to fit the MBE management system, this would give you the ability to tune the engine still further without the problems that you would get from the air flow meter on the standard system. But if you were to pick a too aggressive cam profile, lets say over 290 degrees and still retain the original intake manifold with a single butterfly, the engine would become difficult and unpleasant to drive. The effect would be similar to what was achieved on group A engines, in the early to mid 90s. You would have to set your idling speed higher and higher and the engine would pull much later up the rev range. If you intend on achieving over 200bhp, I would suggest you add throttle bodies to the MBE management system in the very near future. As the four individual butterflies would overcome the problems mentioned.

By adding the management system now, at the very minimum you would be able to optimize what you have currently got. This would make the engine far more driveable and should give you good improvement in torque and bhp. I would then suggest you went for throttle bodies, followed by a larger camshaft at that point.

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Lambda sensor types
Question: You folks seem to be the experts that know the most about the MBE ECUs and Easimap software, so I was wondering if you could help me. I am converting a Triumph TR-3 to fuel injection (don't ask why) using an MBE 967 ECU. I would like to enable the lambda control function using a Bosch oxygen sensor. However, to do so, Easimap wants to know if the sensor is an LA type or an LSEU type sensor, but the help files don't tell you how to identify which type of sensor one has. Do you have any idea which choice I should use? Also, what would be the best target value to set? I was thinking of using 0.47 V to start with, unless you have another suggestion.

Answer: Unfortunately lambda control is extremely complex. There are at least a dozen parameters that need to be set up. We have carried out extensive testing in trying to develop a sensor that was suitable for programming. Unfortunately every 3 or 4 wire sensor we found became inaccurate, as they got hot. So over the years of developing the software has changed considerably from software version to software version. Eventually we gave up trying to use this type of sensor and are now developing our own lambda sensor controller, for use with the latest 5 wire sensors. Because of this the software over the past couple of years has been slowly modified to accommodate this change. The only other type of sensor system that would work is a system such as a Bosch LA system. But these are in the region of £2,000. We are hoping to produce a system for around the £300 mark that you could use to map your engine on.

So I would advise you to leave the lambda system disabled. If when you have completed the task of getting your engine running, you wish us to map it for you, we can fit one of these lambda systems to the car which will allow you to take the car out driving while the system maps itself. We would be quite happy at the time to show you how this is done, so once our own affordable unit is available, you could use one for yourself.

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Auxiliary function loss after adding MBE ECU
Question: What auxiliary functions does the standard management system controls, that would cease to function after adding your ecu?

Answer: Unfortunately, every car model in different countries varies. it depends on what accessories have been fitted by General Motors to your car and can only give you a guide. You would need to check into which systems are controlled by your engines ECU. For example, some cars only have trip computers, this would no longer function. If your car happened to be an automatic, some of the later gearboxes receive information from the engine ECU. Unfortunately, the list is endless and in current and future models, the problems will only get worse.

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Sensors required for MBE ECUs
Question: I am going to use a MBE 941 ECU on a Ford Escort Cosworth. It would be great if you could tell me what for sensors i need? And do you sell any coils so i can run distributor less ignition?

Answer: The 941 ECU has been discontinued. You will need to use the current MBE9A4. You would need to fit a 60-2 or 36-1 trigger wheel to your Cosworth engine. You can usually use the original Cosworth sensor or we can supply a special one (CRK-SEN5), boost pressure sensor, air temp sensor and a distributorless coil pack (COIL-4). We would normally recommend replacing the water temp sensor, we would use a Bosch version. This keeps things simpler than trying to match your Ford sensor. We would also recommend you use high ohmage injectors i.e. 12 - 14.

Links: MBE9A4 ECU | Crank Sensor | Boost Pressure Sensor | Air temp sensor | Coil pack

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Adaptive control problems
Question: I have a 967E ECU which you supplied & the Easimap software etc. I’m trying to get the adaptive control to work, but according to the help file the lambda target needs to be set at a value other than 0.00. (i.e. 0.00 disables adaptive control). I have been unable to modify this value & my engine is currently running with a lambda of 0.79 –> 0.83 which is borderline for the SVA emissions requirements – hence it would be helpful if I can get the adaptive system working to try and target it nearer to stoichiometric (lambda 1)….I can then get the car on the road, run the engine in & then I’m looking forward to a full mapping……. Can you provide any information?

Answer: The adaptive control is a memory which stores the corrections and the lambda target value controls the target value that the lambda will attempt to trim to. Now that's the easy part. All the under lying functions that you cannot see are very complicated and up until recently, we have used two types of sensor. The first which is extremely accurate but requires a very complex piece of electronics to give an accurate output (approx. £2,000 - £3,000) has to be calibrated with underlying maps which you cannot see and are far too complicated to explain. The other type of sensor is using the ECUs software to control a fairly cheap sensor. This has been even more complicated due to the inaccuracies in the sensor and trying to accommodate these problems within the MBE ECU (effectively trying to get a £400 ECU to do the job of a £3,000 piece of equipment). But what has happened in the last 6 months to a year, is that a new range of sensors which are far more accurate and cheaper, have been produced. But they need a processor to control them. There are a few systems coming on the market, but most of these are around the £1,000 mark. We are hoping to produce our own system, which we expect to be finished soon. We are hoping the price to be around £300 - £400

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Please check our customer cars section which may help answer your questions
 
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