Megasquirt for dummies

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Yoshi
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Megasquirt for dummies

Postby Yoshi » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:31 pm

I've seen quite a few people asking the same questions over and over again about how to megasquirt your E30. The general answer is to read the mega manual. I for one read through that thing hundreds of times just to get simple answers and pointers. In an attempt to explain things very E30 specifically and clear up many of the reposted questions, heres my guide to megasquirting your E30 for dummies. (for now this write up is fuel specific)

What IS a Megasquirt?
A Megasquirt is a DIY electronic fuel injection system (EFI) and sometimes spark management system intended to give you customizability over your stock system. This means that your Megasquirt is a good substitute for just getting a better ECU in order to gain more horse power. This hardware gives you the ability to regulate the amount of fuel your engine gets and the ability to change your spark timing.



There are two types of Megasquirt setups: fuel only and fuel/spark control. If you do a fuel only setup, your stock computer will still do spark timing but at a default because it is no longer receiving the input from the fuel. If you do fuel and spark, the stock computer is only used for things such as gauges and turning on components when the car is turned on.

Why get a Megasquirt?
Megasquirt is a DIY project. Not just putting it in but many people solder it together themselves in order to gain the experience. If you aren’t one of those people, fear not, there are other reasons to get a Megasquirt. Compared to Autronic and many other systems out there, Megasquirt is relatively cheap. About $400 will get you a good Megasquirt and a stimulator from [url="http://www.diyautotune.com"]www.diyautotune.com[/url] while you can spend more than $1000 on many other systems. In short, it’s cheaper and is still a very good product.

Should I build my Megasquirt or buy one pre-made?
If you are experienced in soldering, by all means make your Megasquirt yourself. For the rest of us I suggest spending the extra $50 to know it works. Do not trust ebay with buying Megasquirts. They are not guaranteed to work. Buy a pre-made kit from [url="http://www.diyautotune.com"]www.diyautotune.com[/url] or another reputable seller.

What are all the different types of Megasquirts?
The question comes up all the time and there is much confusion over the versioning of the Megasquirt. It is actually very simple. There are two types of Megasquirt ships: I and II. The II chip is faster and can do more calculations than the I chip. There are two types of Megasquirt hardware that the chip can go into: V2.2 and V3. The V2.2 board is great for fuel only setups while the V3 is almost perfectly setup to do both fuel and spark control. If you are deciding on which type to get, the most common combinations are V2.2 with the MS I chip for fuel only and MS I/II chip with the V3 board for fuel/spark setups. It is possible to do spark with the V2.2 board but it requires modifications. I am not sure if the MS II chip will work with a V2.2 board.

What is a Stimulator and why do I need it?
Notice it says “why do I need it” not “do I need it”. I firmly believe that regardless if you build your Megasquirt yourself or buy a pre built one, it is worth the extra $70 to make sure your Megasquirt works and that you know how to play with Megatune. You can interface with the Megasquirt and get used to playing with the settings before you put it on your car. If you build it yourself, it is required by the build guide.
http://www.diyautotune.com/catalog/megasquirt-stimulator-assembled-unit-p-33.html will explain the stimulator in more detail.

What should I know before Megasquirtting my car?
Megasquirt uses a manifold absolute pressure (MAP) system instead of a mass air flow (MAF) or an air flow meter (AFM). The MAP system requires a vacuum tube to the Megasquirt from the intake manifold. With this simple addition, the AFM the E30 uses can be removed without harm.

In addition to the MAP system, the Megasquirt is readily compatible with General Motors parts. It is possible to calibrate a Megasquirt for other sensors but it is easier to simply get the GM parts.

What do I need to Megasquirt my car?

Needed:
A complete Megasquirt and stimulator ([url="http://www.diyautotune.com"]www.diyautotune.com[/url])
Obviously you need a complete Megasquirt to get your car running. The stimulator is for your benefit so that you can learn to use the Megasquirt before its on your car and can cause damage.

Vacuum lines (3-3.5mm will work) and plastic T’s
Since Megasquirt runs on a MAP system, you can “T” into your existing vacuum system or tap the intake manifold. The length of this line does not necessarily have to be short but at least keep it away from extreme heat locations.

A lot of varying gauged wires, Soldering iron, Electrical tape
If you go the DIY route, you can create your own wiring. I soldered wires together and used electrical tape to prevent shorts. Even if you buy a pre-made wiring harness, you will still need to do some soldering and taping.

Coolant Temperature sensor (Part # MSD-2310 (comes with connector))
This part you can get from summitracing.com. It requires no calibration and works perfectly with Megasquirt. There are two ways of placing this sensor. You can drill a hole in the thermostat and place it there or “T” into an existing coolant line. Taking off the thermostat requires the fuel rail to be taken off and even then I couldn’t find a ¾ inch drill bit or near that size anyway (I forget what size you need). I “Ted” into a coolant line that comes from the #6 cylinder and goes to the TB then to the thermostat. It is best to tap as close to the #6 cylinder as possible because the Megasquirt needs the engine temperature not the coolant temperature. It is also possible to “T” into other coolant lines but I picked up brass fittings from a local hardware store for $5.

Heres how I did my radiator temperature sensor. Not the best way but it works.
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Air temperature sensor (Part # MSD-2320 (comes with connector))
Your Megasquirt uses the ambient air temperature in order to calculate the best fuel mixture for your engine. Since you are removing your AFM anyway, you should tap this into the new tubing you are going to have to create to replace the stock rubber hose.

Throttle position sensor (TPS)
The stock TPS is unsuitable for the Megasquirt. It has three settings: closed, open, wide open. This is terrible for tuning purposes because your Megasquirt needs to know exactly how open the throttle is. Any variable TPS will do (GM works best) but the stock throttle body would need some modifications to fit properly. The easiest method is to get an E36 TPS and to create a simple plate mount to replace the stock TPS.

Recommended:
Innovate LC-1 with controller
The LC-1 is a wide band oxygen sensor system that will greatly aid in creating good fuel maps in your Megasquirt. Your stock narrow band basically tells you that you are lean, stoich, or rich. It does not tell you how rich or lean you are. The wide band will.

For installation instructions in an E30, see [url="http://www.jdturbocharging.com"]www.jdturbocharging.com[/url]

For information on building your Megasquirt or just in general, see [url="http://www.megasquirt.info"]www.megasquirt.info[/url] (not .com)

For information about tuning, see
[url="http://www.e30tech.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15166"]http://www.e30tech.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14907[/url] and http://www.e30tech.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13247

If you liked this article, we have more and help information at http://www.slidewaysonline.com
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby bottlecape30 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:52 am

I never took the time to read this sticky before but that is a great idea for the coolant temp sensor.
I hacked the main line going into my rad and spliced on a piece of pipe and welded a bung on the pipe.
yours looks much better. :roll:
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby Yoshi » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:54 am

lol mine works. I figured a hose directly off of the hottest cylinder would be good.
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby justin_l_ » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:59 am

I won't lie to you, as much reading as I have done on this I still don't think I can handle it. I was looking at a screen shot and I am just like ahhhh..... I'm not dumb by any means but I just don't understand what half the things are and do. I an not great saudering. I know there are pre made boards I can buy. I guess I just dont want to get in over my head. Got some pointers?
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby bottlecape30 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:33 am

I was totaly the same way. I just read the mega manual over and over again till things started to sink in. I'm still pretty lame on the whole thing, but it is easy to work out once to jump into it. I'm more of a 2 hammer lengths and eye ball guy then a T square and slid rule guy, and i figured it out.
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby Yoshi » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:24 pm

Megasquirt is simple in it's essence. One wire goes out of the MS and into a sensor, then it either comes back to the MS or just gets grounded somewhere. Simple as that.

If you want to make the MS plunge but don't want to mess up and take months do the following:

0) Get prebiult if you can't solder. Don't "save the money"
1) Get a STIM!!! that way you can verify if your car is broken or your MS. You can also preload msq files and settings outside of the car AND test it on your laptop
2) Get the starter loom. Soldering the connector that comes with the MS is near impossible for me and I've been soldering for a while. The 12' loom is already coded too!
3) Toy around for a while with the stim before you put it on your car.
4) wire one thing at a time and verify it works on the MS. EG: Wire up the IAT and turn on the MS to make sure it reads about right

other than that, everything else is really simple. You CAN get into things like noise in your signals, braided lines for the VR sensor and stuff but just start off small and tackle what comes as it comes.
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby justin_l_ » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:57 pm

See...maybe I am stupid! I don't even know what a vr sensor is lol
You have some links to some of the stuff you have talked about? Stuff like the stim board, mega manual, starter loom, ect? Prolly some good info to have in here anyways.
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby Yoshi » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:56 am

justin_l_ wrote:See...maybe I am stupid! I don't even know what a vr sensor is lol
You have some links to some of the stuff you have talked about? Stuff like the stim board, mega manual, starter loom, ect? Prolly some good info to have in here anyways.


VR sensors how the MS knows where the crank is in its stroke. Not just when its TDC but where it is.

all the parts you need are at:http://diyautotune.com/

megamanual is at megasquirt.info

Ask questions, we will answer. Altho, it would be better to make a new thread. You know, post whore some.
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby redmist » Wed May 13, 2009 6:15 pm

Any chance of seeing your msq Yoshi?
Thanks
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby Yoshi » Wed May 13, 2009 6:21 pm

tada

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Keep in mind it isn't tuned in the least and I'm still not 100% on all of the settings. my car runs but resets on boost past 4krpms.
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby ten2doyle102 » Wed May 13, 2009 6:29 pm

That's alot of jiberish to me.....
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby Yoshi » Wed May 13, 2009 6:30 pm

makes 2 of us
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby M20_fever » Thu May 14, 2009 3:38 am

I need to learn this stuff, Turbo time is coming as soon as I get a job. I tired of having traction in 2nd gear... :)
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby Yoshi » Thu May 14, 2009 2:22 pm

haha with my M20T I didn't have traction in 3rd gear. Damn 4.10...
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Re: Megasquirt for dummies

Postby ten2doyle102 » Thu May 14, 2009 3:47 pm

M20_fever wrote:I need to learn this stuff, Turbo time is coming as soon as I get a job. I tired of having traction in 2nd gear... :)



You should buy swimmerskidude's (Nick) turbo kit. He's looking to sell the whole thing soon for about $1800. I rode in that car and holy crap was it fast!!!
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