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RE: Aftermarket ECU

To: "'Joel Wolcott'" <>, <>
Subject: RE: Aftermarket ECU
From: "John L Staiger" <>
Date: Sat, 7 May 2005 09:01:24 -0400
I would have to agree with Dave.  Both ECU's are good units, however I
believe they are targeted at different markets.  For what it is worth, my
personal opinion is the ECU is the last choice, not the first.  For my MS
car, I started with a list of what I wanted to accomplish:
   1) I picked the engine, fuel system (EFI x? injectors, TBI, turbo, NOS,
???) and ignition system (CDI, Distributor, ???)
   2) I picked the sensors and data streams I wanted to use (MAP, Air Temp,
Cam angle (hall effect?), Crank (magnetic?), O2, EGT, wheel speed, ride
height, ??? -- yes some of these inputs are not engine specific, however
many top end ECUs have extra data logging capability for other feeds (i.e.
Autronic SM4).
   3) I picked the Dyno -- Dyno?, yes without the availability of a good
dyno and dyno operator, tuning a high end ECU is a very frustrating and
disappointing adventure.
   4) Identify your support options -- friends, dealers, etc that WILL be
helping you with questions and issues.
   5) I picked the ECU software - Other than the basic IO mentioned above,
the software is the primary difference between the units.  It is also where
you will spend most of your effort.
   6) Then I picked the ECU...
   7) Then I replaced all the stock wire with Mil-Spec... but that's a
different story...

One last thought, I can't emphasis enough the importance of a good support
source and the software.  Most units are very similar on the inside.  They
all use Motorola 8 or 16bit CPUs, Cherry drives, etc.  The biggest
difference is usually in SUPPORT and SOFTWARE!  Compare the software
features, get an understanding of what it does and why (or if) you would use
the feature, and then download the software and take if for a test spin (yes
- most suppliers allow you to down load there software as it only works with
their ECU.  
"...those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty or safety. Nor, are they likely to end up
with either."
                             -- Benjamin Franklin


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