The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 104 Posts

·
Vendor
Joined
·
6,305 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So as many know Dave and I have recently purchased the EFI system... I don't really care about the current conceptions or misconceptions about the system, as it doesn't seem that many DIY'ers have taken the leap to give this a try. Hopefully some experience with the system will be helpful to those who are thinking ofa tunable solution...

A couple things to know:

-Dave and I are in the midwest- Far away from all the cool resources our California friends have--- like Charlie for instance.
-We both have Katana Tunes and the tune is OK. It performs well. It does what most want. It's turn-key and it's safe.
-We both want more:evil: More room to tinker and tune and more room to mod without feeling chained to a single flash or a single tuner. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not what we wanted...

The EFI is *NOT* for someone that *isn't* interested in tuning--- no standalone is. It's completely open and unlocked. Free for the end user to screw things up or make the car run wonderfully. This bit of information is most important. IMO, most will not simply buy the computer, plug it in and have it run perfectly. It comes with fuel trims that are narrow, unlike an OEM ECU. Each map is designed for a specific car that shouldn't need fuel trims that a truck can drive through... Now you can widen those trims, but be prepared to go in and close the gaps before you spend a whole lot of time at the track... That's the whole point. We opted to go with 100% closed loop system which simply entails running a wideband.

I spent a total of about 5 hours installing... maybe a tad less. My hinged clam made it much easier and faster to work on. I would add an hour or two for a clam on operation... I'll post pics at a later date...

The MAT is *after* the SC and there are tables that the user can reference to tweak fuel and spark based on MAT- Cool!

Other details. The harness was VERY well marked and very high quality. All weatherpack connectors, etc... The instructions were pretty minimal- just came with some wiring diagrams. Let's face it, what instructions do you need? If you can't solder and figure out how to disconnect your ECU, this mod isn't for you to install!

My ECU came with a Map from FF.

When I was done installing, I was [email protected] apprehensive about the first attempt to start the car. When the car started on the first attempt, I was amazed. All the splicing and wiring and it actually started:crazyeyes:D. Now the bad news... My car was running, but running poorly (lean idle)... However, I had no idea how to use the software to tinker with the idle circuit so I figured, "well, it's time to start tuning.":up:

I had a couple things about my car that were a bit different than most with all my data logging equipment, shared sensors, and the NGK wideband. We didn't have the Lambda tables for the NGK right on the initial tune and the idle was too lean for my car (note earlier poor running). So Kris from DRS called me tonight (Sunday evening) and spent about two hours with me on the phone. Most of that time was him teaching me cool stuff about the software. I felt like a kid in candy store. We built my Lambda table, which I'm happy to share in case anyone with EFI and NGK 02 need it. He showed me how to activate some controls, tinker with this and that, and basically gave me a quick software tour, which really helped me get my hands around the thinking behind it... I was able to fix my idle in jiff.

RE the idle. It was so cool. My AFRs were high 15's and hit 16. No good to idle- too lean. To fix it: As the cells lit up that ECU was using to idle in the fuel table, I hit + key. The fattened up that cell. It would then jump to another cell, and I hit + key again. I fattened up all the cells in the idle area with two + key strokes and the idle was fixed. The car absolutely purs like it never has before. The AFRs are stuck, and I mean stuck at 14.3 at and idle. It's bizarre how stable it was. I blipped the throttle and it found its spot again. I know we're talking about an idle here, but I'm try to paint the picture of just how fun and easy it can be to tune:cool:

Next step will be dialing in the fuel cells on the street. Kris showed me how to set up live charts on the same pages so that I can see my AFRs, Fuel trim, and desired AFR. I widened my fuel trims to +/- 15% since we know my car is going to be different than the one the map was made for (different gas too), which is a lot. I will narrow them as I get the fuel table dialed in... All a fun process for me...

I don't see this as a replacement for Charlie's flash though... It's just different. I can't compare the two and say one is better than the other... Charlie's flash is great. Plug his ECU in and go. No worries, just drive. You know you'll have a decent tune...

The EFI is not that. You wire it in and start tayloring it to fit your needs. Even the software needs tweaking. As a tuner, e.g. what screens you like to look at, C or F degrees, etc... All that setup takes some time. Then you have to drive a lot to tune the car and finally tune it on the dyno for peak power. It won't happen over night, but the process can be really rewarding--- and then when a change is made to the car, get out the laptop and start tinkering again...

I'll keep posting progress and pitfalls as I'm sure Dave will. So far, I'm quite pleased.... but I haven't done any real driving yet... Time will tell...

Best,

Phil
 

·
Forum Founder
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
FWIW, I ran the EFI on my car for over a year. A few minor early issues with a rough idle were quickly taken care of by Kris at DRS and we were able to tune the car to get optimum power. I was pretty happy with it. We could load alternate maps for higher octane race gas. The next step was an E-85 map with a hardware switch. The cool thing about the EFI was the ability to tune it using a laptop and serial interface. My ex-car still has the DB-9 connector in the trunk.
 

·
00 MRS - 2ZZ NA
Joined
·
1,228 Posts
:clap:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
Nice write up Phil. Will be interested in the road tests. Keep me posted.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
6,305 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Nice write up Phil. Will be interested in the road tests. Keep me posted.
Thanks. It was pretty much late night gibberish;) The car was sitting idling the entire 2 hours Kris and I were on the phone and I think the emissions were starting to impact what little bit of clarity of thought I have-eek-

I think this will be fun. My car now idles like a dream... it's simply a matter of understanding the fuel maps and tweaking a handful of cells...

There are so many things to play with that it's both intimidating and exciting at the same time:crazyeyes:D

Best,

Phil
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Thanks. It was pretty much late night gibberish;) The car was sitting idling the entire 2 hours Kris and I were on the phone and I think the emissions were starting to impact what little bit of clarity of thought I have-eek-

I think this will be fun. My car now idles like a dream... it's simply a matter of understanding the fuel maps and tweaking a handful of cells...

There are so many things to play with that it's both intimidating and exciting at the same time:crazyeyes:D

Best,

Phil
As I have said before, Kris is the man. I love the EFI. It is a steep learning curve, but it is so feature rich and robust. On the XP Frankenlotus, I have anti-lag on one map and regular 108 Octane on the other. Thus I can roll up to the line and hit the anti-lag and turn it off when I get back. I also love the soft rev limit. The car hits the rev limit and just sits there with no drama. I have the WBO2 module and run closed loop at WOT. Even on 108Octane, it idles better than stock.

-Fred
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
any updates phil?
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
6,305 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
any updates phil?
Sure...

I had a weak idle and bit of popping that I needed to iron out... I ended up lowering the accell max bits to 15 from 25. That made all the difference in the world. The car now idles better than with the katana and it comes off idle perfectly. Gear exchanges are also super smooth now. That one change fixed the car to where it's very drivable... almost trackable- but not quite...

I'd like to see some more maps that folks are using to get a feel for where people are...

My cam transition (just at the switch) is a bit garbled. Not terrible, but it's not crisp. Any pointers to clean that up?

The wide band is nice since I can target particular AFRs and the ECU tunes to them with fuel trims... I'm still memorizing lambda for the AFR. It takes a while for the brain to convert lambda into useful info right now, but it will come in due time...

Thanks for asking.

Best,

Phil
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
Cool, saw this earlier on MM. There's no substitute for learning something from scratch.
I've yet to get my hands dirty with anything but mechanical stuff but would love to learn the electronic part before stuff gets really complicated.

Which EFI setup did you go with and what did it run (ballpark)?
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
6,305 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Cool, saw this earlier on MM. There's no substitute for learning something from scratch.
I've yet to get my hands dirty with anything but mechanical stuff but would love to learn the electronic part before stuff gets really complicated.

Which EFI setup did you go with and what did it run (ballpark)?
It's pretty darn fun for sure...

Dave and I got a bit of a GP price from FF of just under 3 grand and we're running the wideband lambda 100% closed loop system.

The learning curve is steep, but it's fun...

-P
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
I ran yesterday on open roads for the first time. Considering this is an 'out of the box' tune, the car ran amazingly well. Idle is so steady with the wideband in control it's almost freaky. This base tune was done with a 3.4" pulley and I'm running 3.1", so didn't push overly hard (3.2 on order). Was a nice cool day with 94 in the tank, and did let let dogs bark a few times. I'm a bit rich as expected at WOT around 11.1. Phil and I worked over the phone with the tuning software last night...very cool.

Another nice thing is you can be back on the stock ECU literally in 15 seconds...pull one plug and connect another. Tested my bypass this morning and it ran great like nothing ever happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
Sure...

I had a weak idle and bit of popping that I needed to iron out... I ended up lowering the accell max bits to 15 from 25. That made all the difference in the world. The car now idles better than with the katana and it comes off idle perfectly. Gear exchanges are also super smooth now. That one change fixed the car to where it's very drivable... almost trackable- but not quite...

I'd like to see some more maps that folks are using to get a feel for where people are...

My cam transition (just at the switch) is a bit garbled. Not terrible, but it's not crisp. Any pointers to clean that up?

The wide band is nice since I can target particular AFRs and the ECU tunes to them with fuel trims... I'm still memorizing lambda for the AFR. It takes a while for the brain to convert lambda into useful info right now, but it will come in due time...

Thanks for asking.

Best,

Phil
Sorry no real tips on tuning the EFI. Forcedfed is local so I leave it to the experts. I will however have Casey give me a run thru the software next time I see him. Not that I will do the tuning its just the geek in me that wants to know :)
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
6,305 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Well I bit the bullet and tried the new EFI at the track.

I did 4 20 minute runs at heartland tonight... the first with the Katana and the other 3 with the EFI... I was way nervous about my new EFI, but figured that I'll just monitor things extra close since this was my maiden voyage out with it...

Here's what I found. My katana was doing the normal gig it does on my car... Smooth and pingy... Yes, pingy. I was running a half tank of 100 octane and half 91. Still the katana makes the engine sound like a can of marbles in the mid rpm range on my car... NOTE: I have all the things the Katana tune WAS NOT DESIGNED FOR, no cat, exhaust, open intake, and 3.2" pulley... The marbles issue (read, detonation) is the driver behind me going with the EFI...

In less than a minute I switched from Katana to EFI. I must say the following track drive was great. I'm still running a bit rich with the EFI, but no more marbles (I can tune out the riuchness). The base tune I'm working with seems really close. Kris:bow: sent me another tune last night to fix the cam change blurble. There are a couple other really cool things about the new tune. 1 is that the came change is super smooth now, and it's adaptive similar to the katana. 2 is that the rev limiter is SOOOOOOOOOOOO smooth. The EFI uses a timing cut rather than fuel cut to contain RPM. When I hit the rev limiter with the EFI, I get this light suggestive tap that says "hey, time to shift", not the old abrupt fuel cut of the Lotus ECU that it like a hit to head with baseball bat...

From a tuning standpoint, the pic of the datalog below tells an interesting story. The Lotus ECU has a real hard time naily down the AFRs. Lotus ECU is "run 02" on the left. AFRs are on the top. Notice that as I go up through the RPM range, the Lotus ECU is driving AFRs south and a jagged line. The EFI, on the right, has nice table tops and a much smoother AFR line--- less hap-hazzard. I could actually feel the more linear accelleration of the EFI over the Lotus tune...Pretty cool really...

After tonight, I must say that I'm even happier than before since I know the tune is stable and I'm not worried about the car survining the track:nanner2:

Best,

Phil
 

Attachments

·
Forum Founder
Joined
·
29,081 Posts
When I hit the rev limiter with the EFI, I get this light suggestive tap that says "hey, time to shift", not the old abrupt fuel cut of the Lotus ECU that it like a hit to head with baseball bat...

Exactly. I had the same experience. At first I was wondering if the fuel cut was working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Phil and Dave,

Anxiously watching your progress.

Question....how much timing advance are you running at idle?

Phil, didnt get the Xede installed yet....still f'ing with broken Jeep motor (dont EVER buy an AMC product). Should get it installed next week.

thanks,

Tony
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
6,305 Posts
Discussion Starter #18

·
Vendor
Joined
·
6,305 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Phil and Dave,

Anxiously watching your progress.

Question....how much timing advance are you running at idle?

Phil, didnt get the Xede installed yet....still f'ing with broken Jeep motor (dont EVER buy an AMC product). Should get it installed next week.

thanks,

Tony
At idle? Not sure off the top of my head and the laptop is at home. Why do you ask?... BTW, just a FYI- The Xede doesn't start mapping until 4,000 RPM if I recall correctly--you may be able to lower that though... Let me know if you need any help getting it wired in.



BTW- For those interested, I put some better pics with some highlighting of what to look for of the above charts on Monkey. Found in the technical section. It's basically a carbon copy of this thread, but I had time to add some more chart pics. I realize the above is hard to read, so it may be worth checking out...


Best,

Phil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
664 Posts
Thanks for the progress report Phil...I am possibly looking at an option to my Xede. Is all engine management done by the EFI amd the Lotus ECU acts like a hoste or interface with the dash and other non engine related functions of the car?
 
1 - 20 of 104 Posts
Top