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ECU basics

 
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:01 PM
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ECU basics

How do ECUs work. I see a lot of different posts about them but is it plug and play BAM now your engine races better? Do you have to make changes to the tuning? I know I'm a :: but I would like to learn and understand how these work. Plus then I can refer the next guy like me to this thread instead of him making a post.
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:43 PM
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Re: ECU basics

it truly depends what Gen / year vehicle you are talking about. The newest cars have a much more powerful ECU that is incredibly interactive.

A 92 honda prelude, while still being active, has less it does...if you can call it less.

Your "Basic" ECU is simply a computer with a specific task. To ensure the engine is within a set operation parameter. It really is a two step process, the first:
It does this by receiving signals from "sensors" through-out the car. The sensors have a few basic varieties:
1) On or off - aka it sends a signal to the ECU or it doesn't. period. this can be a ground signal, or voltage. Most commonly they operate on a ground base.
2) Variable - depending on the type of sending unit, it can send a predetermined resistance to ground (or even voltage) depending on the environment it "senses"

the ECU takes these inputs and becomes a comparative machine, if you will. Think of it as one of those "tree charts" you see that give you a decision, A or B. If the answer is yes then go to XXX // if the answer is no then go to EEE.

Now that the ECU has a "view" of the vehicle, we now rely on the second part of it to "adjust" certain parameters. Let's use the Heated Oxygen Sensor for example. It is a variable resistance sensor that lets the computer see how rich, or lean, the exhaust gases are. In doing so it will regulate the air/fuel mixture entering into the cylinder. Improving fuel mileage, "power" and emissions. Now there are times when the ECU cannot make a correction. This is when it tells on itself. You know this as the "CHECK ENGINE" light. It lets you know what it is having problems with, or what it cant 'fix.'

Because it has the ability to sense changes and make corrections, this is where the "tuning" part comes in. Even tho our tuning for performance may not be the best for fuel mileage, we can tell the computer what to do within a set of given parameters. It is just a computer after-all and ONLY does what it is told/programmed to do.

Other operations are sensing safety features and warning the user of errors, and of course, it has evolved, and continues to evolve into a source of entertainment, navigation, manuverability, etc.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:39 AM
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Re: ECU basics

There isn't enough storage capacity on this forum's server for all the info that can be had about ECUs. lol.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:32 AM
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Re: ECU basics

pgmfi.org mother ****er!

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Old 09-05-2010, 11:37 AM
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Re: ECU basics

pgmfi.org is a great source of information you can even know how to chip an ecu there lol
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:58 PM
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Re: ECU basics

1) LilMsLude Thank you so much your wisdom/experience/uberness with all things electrical is hereby appreciated.
2) bb4 kuwait and dbd6604 your resource is amazing and really informative, though I need way more time to go over it to give it justice.

Confirm or deny or ADD stuff:
The ECU interprets inputs (sensors) and modifies engine timing and mixture to improve power and efficiency. Chipping allows you to change the ECU's outputs, ie input A and B have dropped, so add more gas to the mixture. Does it control shifting on auto transmissions?
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Last edited by SnowTaipan; 09-10-2010 at 09:59 PM. Reason: spelling wisdom wrong was unacceptable.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:17 PM
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Re: ECU basics

I honestly could not answer that question. HOWEVER, I do know that cars equipped with automatic transmissions also have an extra computer with the sole purpose of controlling the transmission. Take that information and run with it.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:05 PM
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Re: ECU basics

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Originally Posted by dbd6604 View Post
I honestly could not answer that question. HOWEVER, I do know that cars equipped with automatic transmissions also have an extra computer with the sole purpose of controlling the transmission. Take that information and run with it.
this is troof... there are many sub systems... brains if you will, tasked with a very specific job, that then interact with the primary ECU.
Especially in the newer vehicles. That's where all your push button 4WD, traction control, "environment" control comes from.


p.s... thanks for the compliment and you are VERY welcome. (/me is just a wanna be, incomplete, never got to graduation, electrical engineer with a propensity for sharing in hopes of educating others)
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People say the biggest difference you can change to your system is to add a subwoofer. Which is true, it is the most noticable difference. But running an amplifier to a good set of speakers makes the BEST difference.

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Old 09-11-2010, 09:04 AM
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Re: ECU basics

About the auto transmission in the H22A prelude
I saw something in Crome when opening a P13AT ECU map BIN file.
I did go to
Plugins -> Enhancement -> Edit Gear Correction ->Threshold for 1st 2nd 3rd 4th gears in Auto transmissions
I think the shift points in the Automatic transmission can be edited or altered by editing these values ...
of course shifting point in the new OBD2 Ecu cars will have more parameters and conditions to effect the shift points.
I toggled between my F22A TCU and a JDM H22A TCU
I noticed a minor difference in acceleration barely unnoticeable. (from 3rd to 4th).
Of course with the editing that am constantly doing to the AFCneo vtec engagement I couldn't have specific explanation or proofs.
I hope that I did give you a hint about what you are asking.

and finally everyone will ask you to do a manual transmission swap :D
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:32 PM
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Re: ECU basics

the sky's the limit when talking ecu's...... one way to have your vtec, and eat it too, is to get a obd1 p06, p28,.. etc. type ecu, and chip it.., then add the hardware to make it a p72.. (p06 with vtec and IAB's) or (p28 with IAB's) is what a p72 is...

then you can put it into any obd1 honda..., even obd0, and obd2 hondas (with proper conversion harness's) ..

just throw the proper map for the motor type, get yourself a Ostrich 2.0 or other emulator, data logger, wideband, and your choice of editing software...., and now you have a tuning platform that never has to be upgraded..., just the software, and drivers from time to time....

this is the ONLY way (in my opinion) to have complete control over your tune.... and by the time you figure out what each of these components are, and what they do..., "wa-la" you have now taught yourself the basics of tuning.....
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:12 PM
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Re: ECU basics

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_deez View Post
the sky's the limit when talking ecu's...... one way to have your vtec, and eat it too, is to get a obd1 p06, p28,.. etc. type ecu, and chip it.., then add the hardware to make it a p72.. (p06 with vtec and IAB's) or (p28 with IAB's) is what a p72 is...

then you can put it into any obd1 honda..., even obd0, and obd2 hondas (with proper conversion harness's) ..

just throw the proper map for the motor type, get yourself a Ostrich 2.0 or other emulator, data logger, wideband, and your choice of editing software...., and now you have a tuning platform that never has to be upgraded..., just the software, and drivers from time to time....

this is the ONLY way (in my opinion) to have complete control over your tune.... and by the time you figure out what each of these components are, and what they do..., "wa-la" you have now taught yourself the basics of tuning.....
he's not asking how to tune the ecu, he's asking how one works as a function.

basic functions of an ECU:

The ecu is tied to a bunch of sensors on the engine. It receives signals from these sensors and interprets the information. After the interpretation it sends a signal to the injectors, ICM..etc to change the way the engine is running based on a set of "rules" the engine is supposed to adhere to during closed loop operation. It does all this 1000x faster than you can blink your eye.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:08 PM
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Re: ECU basics

Epic, I feel more educated and I think this basic info will help other :: like myself!
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