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1462 posts

Uber Geek


# 254441 12-Aug-2019 11:46
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I'm looking for a side hobbie, would like to learn how to tinker around with the ECUs of cars (have a victim car to play with), so after any tips to good links and what kit I should hunt for.

 

Thanks!


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824 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 2294768 12-Aug-2019 13:52
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You're going to need to be much more specific about what you want to do. Many modern ECUs can be remapped, some older ones require a daughterboard to be installed to remap, then there are aftermarket programmable ECUs, some plug in, some need to be wired in.

 

Have you done any research into the process of tuning?

 

 








234 posts

Master Geek


  # 2294823 12-Aug-2019 14:30
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Agree with the previous poster, some level of tuning knowledge is necessary.

 

Do you want to do it the Kiwi way?

 

https://www.linkecu.com/





Obsequious hypocrite

 
 
 
 


1823 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2294833 12-Aug-2019 14:56
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do you have a dyno so you can check power before & afterwards
how are you going to check exhaust gas's

 

do you have programming skills , car electronics skills ,or hoping to cut & paste :-)




1462 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2294850 12-Aug-2019 15:15
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yup .. ECU in mine can be tinkered with (and has been, just not by me), I'm just after some pointers to software and docs that can snoop in and see how things work, then later (much later!) see what can be tweaked and what see what changes.

 

Got to start somewhere, and I'm interested in knowing how things work beyond the "petrol goes bang and wheels move" stage of things :-)

 

 


Mad Scientist
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  # 2294861 12-Aug-2019 15:47
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what car you got?

 

I had soldered a piggyback chip onto my subaru WRX in my younger days and it did absolutely nothing.

 

i have modded some random cars too and and tinkered with non ECU "mods" and found that they made no difference to power output.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.




1462 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2294949 12-Aug-2019 17:04
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Batman:

 

what car you got?

 

I had soldered a piggyback chip onto my subaru WRX in my younger days and it did absolutely nothing.

 

i have modded some random cars too and and tinkered with non ECU "mods" and found that they made no difference to power output.

 

 

no laughing ... Smart ForTwo.

 

Had Passion Tuning give it a going over about 5 years ago, removed the rev limits, speed limits, boost limits and a bunch of other things, took it from 45kw and 80nm to 55kw and 120nm ... which is noticeable for a 0.7litre car :-)

 

It's my commuting machine and plaything to tinker with, I've done enough mechanical fiddling, now I want to see what is tinkerable inside it's brain.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mad Scientist
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  # 2294974 12-Aug-2019 18:01
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I suggest you search the Google for it. When I wanted to tinker with my subaru ECU there was a wealth of information online. But I'm too old for that sort of thing now.




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514 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2294999 12-Aug-2019 19:00
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I've played around with VAG-Com on my Skoda. Nothing to do with engine remapping but simple comfort things that were quite cool to play with. 

 

 

 

Things I've enabled that were not standard on my car that I quite like

 

  • Hill hold assist. Using the ABS system to hold brake pressure after you lift off the brake pedal for a couple of seconds until you press the accelerator
  • Passenger mirror on reverse. When I select reverse the passenger mirror dips by 10-15* so I can see the gutter for parking. It automatically returns to normal when taking the car out of reverse
  • Adjusted the sensitivity of the auto lights
  • Changed the indicator flash setting from 3 to 5 flashes for overtaking

 

 

Nothing earth shattering but fun things to play around with.


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  # 2295074 12-Aug-2019 19:30
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Senecio:

 

I've played around with VAG-Com on my Skoda. Nothing to do with engine remapping but simple comfort things that were quite cool to play with. 

 

 

 

Things I've enabled that were not standard on my car that I quite like

 

  • Hill hold assist. Using the ABS system to hold brake pressure after you lift off the brake pedal for a couple of seconds until you press the accelerator
  • Passenger mirror on reverse. When I select reverse the passenger mirror dips by 10-15* so I can see the gutter for parking. It automatically returns to normal when taking the car out of reverse
  • Adjusted the sensitivity of the auto lights
  • Changed the indicator flash setting from 3 to 5 flashes for overtaking

 

 

Nothing earth shattering but fun things to play around with.

 

 

what equipment do you need to do that? i'd like to "configure" my subaru too but i don't know what i need to do that. I'm told the dealer has all the tools but without knowing what can/can't be configured.

 

i'd like to disable my auto levelling headlights. they don't work - either too high or too low. i wish it'd stop doing it on its own.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.




1462 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2295118 12-Aug-2019 20:35
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Batman:

 

what equipment do you need to do that? i'd like to "configure" my subaru too but i don't know what i need to do that. I'm told the dealer has all the tools but without knowing what can/can't be configured.

 

i'd like to disable my auto levelling headlights. they don't work - either too high or too low. i wish it'd stop doing it on its own.

 

 

 

 

Have a look on Aliexpress for the Delphi DS150E, they'll nearly always come with an "ever so legitimate" copy of software that supports thousands of cars.  I have one that cost $50, lets me program my own replacement keyfobs for the car (saved me $300 of "labour" for a $15 key) as well as a bunch of diagnostic routines (reteaching the clutch the biting point was a good one, got rid of the car clutch slipping when in 6th and under load)

 

 

 

  


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  # 2296284 13-Aug-2019 08:20
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Mark:

 

Got to start somewhere, and I'm interested in knowing how things work beyond the "petrol goes bang and wheels move" stage of things :-)

 

 

Start by learning what a wideband oxygen sensor does, what stoichiometric ratio is, what detonation is, how a mass airflow sensor works and how a MAP sensor works.

 

I am not trying to bamboozle you, just read up on all those things and you will then have the information to know how to proceed. Screwing round with fuel/air ratios without knowing what you are doing will result in poor fuel consumption at best, a dead engine at worst.

 

Once you realise that the 'gas' pedal is actually the 'air' pedal things make a lot more sense.








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Master Geek


  # 2299098 14-Aug-2019 11:55
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gbwelly:

 

Once you realise that the 'gas' pedal is actually the 'air' pedal things make a lot more sense.

 

 

Never thought of it that way, but that is a pretty darn accurate statement. I may have to borrow that in future.


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  # 2299133 14-Aug-2019 12:29
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gbwelly:

 

Once you realise that the 'gas' pedal is actually the 'air' pedal things make a lot more sense.

 

 

i hate the electronic throttle control (drive by wire) in cars.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 2299206 14-Aug-2019 13:57
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Batman:

 

i hate the electronic throttle control (drive by wire) in cars.

 

 

Depends, it can be used for good or evil. I think it's all in the implementation (usually poor from factory). With it, the ECU can do things like give you a blip on downshift automatically, you can use it for idle control and do away with the IACV as a couple of examples.








246 posts

Master Geek


  # 2299279 14-Aug-2019 14:59
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gbwelly:

 

Depends, it can be used for good or evil. I think it's all in the implementation (usually poor from factory). With it, the ECU can do things like give you a blip on downshift automatically, you can use it for idle control and do away with the IACV as a couple of examples.

 

 

Its pretty much like early fuel injection where there was a bit of a learning curve, but now the tech is mature and rock-solid.

 

Honestly I am yet to drive a car from the last decade that has issues with the usual gremlins, snatchy throttle etc. More accurate inputs, better traction/stability control implementations, plus as gbwelly mentioned, somethings that can only be easily accomplished by doing away with a physical connection. Cable-actuated things are the devils work, I am glad I don't have to jam my fingers in tight places trying to replace them.

 

Road going cars are really growing closer towards a modern passenger plane; the operator signals an intention by changing an input (steering wheel, throttle, brake etc), and the many computers do all the actual work to make it happen.


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