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I tried to get a response for my other posts, but I was hoping a dedicated thread might be more fruitful. I am going to get a turbocharger put on my car, and I ahve the option of an standalone ECU or piggyback. I hav had a chipped audi, but have no experience with a standalone ECU. I was hoping that some people have had experience with a standalone and can relay what their experiences ahve been like. I don't care about getting eveyr last possible hp out of the car. I want a large saftey margin on the car, and I don't want to have to tinker everyday to make sure it starts. I want my car to be emissions complient, but I don't know if emissions use a OBDII port to check for these emmissions. I can get a standalone for 500 dolars more than the piggyback, but I don't want to suffer drivability issues like stalling or damage my engine. What are your thoughts?
 

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Yes the port is or can be used during smog checks. To be truly emission legal the turbo kit would have to have an EO granted. I suspect that few kits will do this due to the huge cost in time, testing, certifying, warrantying, and the paperwork. If the turbo is placed before the catalytic converter, this will drop temps hence affect the cat's efforts. If you place it afterwards there would still be an effect, but likely lower and this would also harm throttle response / lag. It would also work the cat pretty hard and drive up temps.
 

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Ok. Here is my take on this. Any standalone ecu is a PITA to get tuned. I you have it tuned professionally I think you will have very little issues. Its really hard to say. I come from the 3000GT/Stealth crowd and in that case we were having better luck with a piggyback fuel controller than a full blown aem stand alone. I know the motor for the elise certainly isnt a new engine and there is already turbo kits and other things for the engine however they may not fit on an elise. Perhaps a toyota board would be better fitted for this question. In my case the 3000GT VR4 already is turbocharged, so I can see why a piggyback would work well. In the case of the Elise, the engine is N/A from the get go and I wouldnt be surprised to see some ignition timing issues because of that. Pull too much timing and the car will be too slow. Advance it too much and BOOM. Just thinking logically I think a stand alone would be better suited for taking an N/A elise and turbocharging it.

-Glen
 

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The Lotus ECU is a very sophisticated 32 bit controller. I would imagine it is very capable of handling a turbo with the proper tuning. The reason people go with the piggybacks is bacause people have not been able to fully crack the ECU or because they have insufficient range. Or they convert the signals to work with injectors with different impedence or drive voltages.

If someone has experience with the Lotus ECU (TEC4?) then they should be able to program it, unless Lotus has encrypted the ECU code.

Just the opinion of someone without an engineering degree and enough knowledge to be dangerous:D

Greg
 

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I would try to have the existing ECU tuned. If it is tunable, I would either have the stock unit tuned or buy a replacement unit from Lotus and have it tuned.

If price wasn't a concern and the stock ECU can't be tuned, I would get a stand alone ECU. There is at least one that can be preloaded with baseline settings for a 2ZZ.

The last choice would be an aftermarket fuel controller. A fuel controller might be fine for a low boost installation, but I would always worry that the stock ECU would not adjust the timing correctly in all scenarios.

=================

Toyota tuners typically use a piggyback fuel controlers like the A'PEXi Digital Super AFC or the Greddy eManage.

Totyota tuners needing more advanced features use a replacement ECU like the A'PEXi Power FC or the MoTeC M400/M800

According to the press, Lotus uses a custom tuned ECU from EFI Technologies (Lotus T4). EFI Technologies provides software for tuning their ECU's. I hope we can tune the stock ECU/EMS.

EFI Technologies ...
http://www.efitechnology.it/

[Edited to correct URL]
 

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i have experience with retuning the ecu, and using a standalone..
theres pros and cons....
if u can retune the ecu, that is the most streetable usually...easier cold starts, most notably. now theres a few routes you can go depending what ur ultimate goal is....using a stock ecu u can tune for say 93 octane, and then hook a piggy back or a switchable chip and do a tune for 100 octane or even race gas. the key to any route you go is a good tuner. thats the whole key.
the standalones are much more versatile for higher performance applications, as sometimes the stock ecu cannot read the parameters that the mods u have are pushing. with a standalone and a laptop, u can have as many tunes as u like, ie, different tunes for different fuels. they usually provide better tuning capabilities than piggy backs because they allow u to control many more functions than piggy backs. if u spend enough time u can get the tuning perfect, as well as driveabilty. a downside is that like with the aem ems, u cannot hook the obd sensor in it so u may have to make other provisions when its time for emmission testing.
i hope i was able to answer a few questions without getting too technical
 

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Actually in my opinion "where it's at" is running a standalone in parallel. NOT piggybacked. Its how I had both my miatas set up with the Electromotive. The stock ECU controls the mundane such as cold start and idle. The TEC III runs ANYTHING out of idle. Even with large injectors the stock ECU was fine controlling the idle and cold start as it pulses them. TOG, Time on For Gamma.

I loathe Haltech. We've had Haltech on 2 our of RX7's and I think its trash. However I will sayt that we had 950cc primary and 1650cc secondary injectors( thats BIG injectors) on our big single T-88 turbo Rx7 and it cold started fine. It just takes someone with a tuning touch.

I dont believe standalones are for your average bear. It takes someone who is either mechanical inclined/techinical inclined OR someone who has the money to pay someone to do all their tuning and work for them.

Piggybacks IMHO are for people who wish to half ass it for monetary reasons or because they just dont know any better IMHO .

With a standalone in parallel you can run different maps for different things. I tuned to 290rwhp on BP 93 octane pump gas. From 300 and up I used a mix of pump and race gas. I have low boost maps and high boost maps. Downloading is as easy as hooking up my laptop. Its been my experience that you DONT need more than one map unless you're a hardcore racer type tuning for different climates and tracks.
There are so many values you can control its insane but you MUST know what you're doing and many self proclaimed tuners dont even understand it all. Also EGT's are where its at. EGT at half throttle, EGT at WOT, EGT period. I cannot say that enough. Air fuel is a subject that came up too. Tail pipe sniffers are a joke. AIr/Fuel ratio gauges are a joke too and mainly for show. They give as accurate an estimate as say a "dummy" oil pressure gauge. You know if its high or low but you have NO idea how high or low.

I think this car would do well with something like a TEC III, but depending on how serious people go with this turbo/supercharger aspect it may not be needed.
 

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aletes said:
According to the press, Lotus uses a custom tuned ECU from EFI Technology (Lotus T4). EFI Technology provides software for tuning their ECU's.
I posted links to "EFI Technology" in a previous post ... The EFI Technology I linked to is not the manufacturer of the Lotus T4 ECU.


Here is the correct link to the manufacturer ... I corrected the previous posts.

http://www.efitechnology.it/

Have a look at the following links and you will see why I was confused ...

http://www.efitechnology.com/aboutus.html
http://www.efitechnology.it/Presenta_Eng.html
 

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Great info aletes!

It looks like only a couple EFI units have OBD-II via K-Line, so that might imply we get something like the EURO-12 or MT-501.

Can someone take a picture of the Fed Elise ECU? I'm just curious to know if it looks anything like these regarding connectors and shape.

Pictures of part numbers, labels, connectors, all good for bonus points!
 

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ofl- i didnt know u could run parallel ecu's...sounds like a great setup, but i guess u still need to use the maf sensor etc ...anyway, i agree about piggy backs....they are kinda the poor mans way to go, but they can work, and it is a decent option for certain applications. not my route of choice, but figured i would throw it out there...
the bottom line here is they can all be effective but u NEED a good tuner any route u go.
 

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Some MKIV Supra Turbo owners use standalones, some use piggybacks, and they've gotten great results with both (>1000 rwhp). I haven't used either yet, because of that monetary issue OneFastLotus mentioned. :)

One thing to consider when looking at what other vehicles are using is whether the vehicle came with some sort of forced induction from the factory. The Supra Turbo ecu was designed to control a turbocharged vehicle, so piggybacks are just fine-tuning that. OTOH, most NA-Turbo conversions I'm aware of go with standalones.

I suggest checking with some of the Celica GTS boards to see what they're doing. Speaking of which, what does Toyota do when they install a TRD supercharger on a Celica?

Jim
 

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Ground Loop said:
Great info aletes!

It looks like only a couple EFI units have OBD-II via K-Line, so that might imply we get something like the EURO-12 or MT-501.

Can someone take a picture of the Fed Elise ECU? I'm just curious to know if it looks anything like these regarding connectors and shape.

Pictures of part numbers, labels, connectors, all good for bonus points!
Days later ... Lotus is most likely using the MT-501 in the Federal Lotus Elise. Although I don't have confirmation from EFI Technology that the MT-501 is used in the Toyota powered Elise, I do know that Lotus used the MT-501 in the Esprit. Given that the initial development time for the 111R ECU was only two weeks, it would stand to reason that Lotus used off the shelf equipment. Until, I or someone else contacts one of the EFI Technology distributors this is just speculation.

I could only find the MT-501 documentation in one place:

http://www.efitechnology.it/Documenti/EFI_presentazione.PDF

· 4-6-8 cylinder full sequential fuel injection and ignition with 8 built-in ignition high power inductive
modules.
· 32 bit micro-controller technology.
· Staged injection in 4-cylinder mode.
· Knock control acting on individual cylinders and boost control.
· Individual cylinder correction for injection and ignition.
· Sealed aluminium enclosure with a 88-pin connector and surface mounted devices.
· Full filtering of all inputs and outputs for maximum EMI protection. All components are extended
temperature range.
· Programmable via CAN bus and full on-line mapping.
· Communication via a CAN line, 1 serial and 1 K-line.
· Automatic fuel self-mapping using a lambda target map
· Closed loop lambda control for environmental control.
· Closed loop self-learning boost pressure control.
· Closed loop idle speed control.
· 2 complete calibration maps runtime selectable by the driver.
· Speed-Density (manifold pressure versus RPM) or Alpha-N (throttle position versus RPM) mapping for
aspirated or turbo charged engines.
· Electromagnetic or Hall effect speed sensor triggered by EFI Technology standard configuration.
Electromagnetic or Hall effect synchronisation sensor on camshaft.
· Full throttle gearshift.
· Programmable outputs for variable camshaft timing, variable inlet length etc.
· Launch and traction control.
· All sensor inputs are user configurable.

Here is a picture of the stock ECU ... It is kind of fuzzy.
 

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Based on the connector type there are only two EFI Technologies models that it could be ... The MT-501 or the Euro-1.

I really doubt that Lotus used the Euro-1. According to EFI Technology, the Euro-1 is not OBD II compliant. That leaves the MT-501, which is OBD II compliant. Also, according to a member of the Pure Sports Car forum, Lotus was recently doing testing on a proof of concept supercharger design for the 2ZZ-GE which required a fifth injector. The Euro-1 on only has 4 high impedance injector drivers.

I guess it is time for me to make a few phone calls and confirm once and for all ... Wish me luck. I'll have to wait till next week due to the time difference.
 
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