Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Toys

Build Your Own Fuel Injection Computer 282

renaissance-redneck writes "I was searching for details on assembling a fuelie setup from junkyard parts when I stumbled across this: 'MegaSquirt is an Experimental Electronic Fuel Injector Controller for Internal Combustion engines. Its main goal was to create a simple fuel-only controller that could be easily reproduced with cost-effective components.' If you've got the time and the skills, it beats spending $2000."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Build Your Own Fuel Injection Computer

Comments Filter:
  • by Alien Being ( 18488 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @10:58PM (#6082432)
    But I'd rather be blown!
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wowbagger ( 69688 ) * on Friday May 30, 2003 @10:58PM (#6082433) Homepage Journal
    This raises an interesting question - namely, when are we going to see more hacking done on modern engine control computers?

    I don't mean the current crop of "chips" that increase horsepower by overriding emissions control code, or remove the rev limiter code, I mean real, creative hacks.

    For example, a friend of mine and I were discussion this possible hack:
    On an engine with sequential multipoint injection (one injector per cylender, near the intake valve), could one modify the ECU so that, when the engine is under minimal load, instead of firing the injector on every intake stroke, it would fire on every other intake stroke - in effect changing a four stroke engine into an eight stroke engine?

    In theory, this would allow you to run a leaner mix (leaner = hotter burning) without burning up the cylinder, and you could save fuel. When the ECU detected the engine being placed under more load, it would start firing on every intake stroke (and remap to a richer mix).

    Of course, I suppose the reason we don't see this is because hotter combustion = more carbon monoxide produced instead of carbon dioxide.

    Now, if I could just get anoncvs access to Ford...
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Juggle ( 9908 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:07PM (#6082470) Homepage
      Actually that has been brought up already on the MegaSquirt list - and Chevy is doing something similar on a vehicle in the next year or two with an engine that dynamically changes from 6 to 4 cylinders. It was done before (by Cadillac IIRC) but didn't work out well because the technology to pull it off just wasn't available.

      Oh - and it's also a technique used in some motors alreeady. The Ford Focus will do exactly what you described if it starts to overheat in an attempt to "Limp home".

      • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Informative)

        by barzok ( 26681 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:14PM (#6082504)
        Cadillac still has it, it's part of the Northstar system. But, it's only for use in emergencies - if you lose your coolant, it shuts down half the engine at a time to pump air through to cool it off.

        Word on the street is that Dodge's new 5.7L HEMI has or will have in a near-future iteration cylinder shutoff for when you don't need all 8 sucking down the gas.

        • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Informative)

          by thing12 ( 45050 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:22PM (#6082528) Homepage
          Cadillac still has it, it's part of the Northstar system. But, it's only for use in emergencies - if you lose your coolant, it shuts down half the engine at a time to pump air through to cool it off.

          The Cadillac 16 [cadillac.com] uses a similar engine and it switches on demand to run on 4, 8 or all 16 cylinders of its 13.6 liter engine. Very cool stuff...


          • That's a really cool idea, and a helluva heavy-duty engine, but when I clicked the link, all I could think was that is the ugliest car I have ever seen. That impression didn't last long, once I clicked on the links to the other vehicles on that page.

            What are they smoking?
            • all I could think was that is the ugliest car I have ever seen.

              See, there you go. I've not been smoking anything and I think it is, as Cartman would say 'Hella Cool'. Sweet modern look, kinda goth and tech at the same time. The only thing that's going to keep me from buying one of these [if|when] then come out is going to be the sticker price. Probably cost more than I've made in the last 2 years combined.

              Still, hand woven silk carpets - I guess you get what you pay for.
              • Probably cost more than I've made in the last 2 years combined.

                You are incorrect if you make more then $125,000 a year. The sticker price was going to be in the quarter million dollar range.
                • You are incorrect if you make more then $125,000 a year. The sticker price was going to be in the quarter million dollar range.

                  Ah, so if I saved everything I've made in the... last 10 years (the time I was in the Army I didn't make much at all) I could pay cash for one of these. However, with my PowerBall retirement fund [snicker], these might one day be in reach.
            • that's what concept cars are supposed to do - get you thinking in different directions. they're not (most of them) going to get made because they are just so freaking weird looking.

              Notable exceptions are the Prowler, the new Thunderbird, and the new VW Bug.

              Concept cars are to the auto industry what concept code is to us - it gets us thinking in new and creative ways so that we can keep on top of the competition.
          • This is also a part of 600 grade of Mercedes-Benz's with 6L V12's.

            The difference between this and the Northstar system is that the engine uses 6 cylinders when driving lightly, and all 12 when pressing down on the accelrator a little harder.
          • This is a bad idea. It was a bad idea when it was proposed in the '70s, and it's still a bad idea. Do the math. The engine has the exact same friction losses whether it's firing on 4, 6, or all 8 cylinders. The car has the same mass and drag, too. It takes the same amount of energy to move the car at X miles/hour no matter how many cylinders you shut off -- the remaining cylinders just have to work that much harder. At best you burn the same fuel; in practice you could burn more, but you won't burn less, an
        • Word on the street is that Dodge's new 5.7L HEMI has or will have in a near-future iteration cylinder shutoff for when you don't need all 8 sucking down the gas
          Mercedes S560 and S600 already have this
      • Displacement on demand is NOT just a selective removal of injector and spark events. There also an oil bypass system that reduces the oil pressue on the lifters for the cylinders not being fired.

        Corvettes have a Limp home mode similar to the Cadillac system mentioned elsewhere. When it happens, it make the car a PIG. Like it can't maintain 50 mph on the highway PIG.

        The older V8-6-4 system mentioned elsewhere actually decoupled the valvetrain and the crank when it went in 'less cylinders' mode. It was a ni
      • Actually that has been brought up already on the MegaSquirt list

        Well, I hope so, since it is an existing MegaSquirt feature [bgsoflex.com]:

        Input trigger events (compared to ignition events) can be divided by any number between one and eight (number of cylinders must be evenly divisable by this injection number) - this means that there can be an injection event for every ignition event, or an injection event for every other ignition event (skip one), and so on depending on selection. The user can switch which injectio

      • Chevy has done that for a long time. I used to have a Grand Prix GTP which would switch from six to three cylinders at steady highway speeds.
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pr1000 ( 646922 )
      In response to your question of when we're going to see (much) more hacking of engine control computers, my guess is that it won't happen soon, if at all. I think most people (including very knowledgable computer people), lacking a strong mechanical knowledge of cars, don't have the time or inclination to learn all the ins and outs of car computer systems.

      That being said, I agree with you and think it would be great if more interesting hacks come out.
      • Been going on for years....USA... Europe....Japan.... It's what's known as the kamakazi dyno. That's when you want to swing big mod's on the home-built car computer control system you just hung in the BMW, but you can't afford the money for hours and hours on a real dyno. You use the next best thing, right?

        It's called 'the street'. Makes for tons of fun as you try to work on the software and drive the car at the same time...and the throttle is wide open!

        There are literally thousands of stories of guys
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by barzok ( 26681 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:22PM (#6082532)
      As the government takes more control (with OBD-III) along with the carmakers, expect to see less "home-tuning" as time goes on. Even with recent OBD-II vehicles things are getting difficult. And it requires deep pockets, plus a lot of equipment.

      Really, if you're into this sort of thing, you're probably better off restoring an older car, and dropping in a crate engine with a bolt-on fuel injection kit like Edelbrock [edelbrock.com] offers, then tuning that.

      • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Saturday May 31, 2003 @12:27AM (#6082753)
        Ok; It seems that engine tuning isn't the biggest geek topic. That suprises me, since a few years ago when I got my first car, I learned everything I possibly could about every nook and cranny in it, engine included. There's a lot of interesting things.

        This project isn't of interest to most big engine tuners right now, but it could be. The Megasquirt - which only has fuel injection controllers, you still need to time your ignition spark, a much more difficult problem. Replacing your cars computer right off will not get you much - it will probably cost you HP, because cars have many, many R&D hours into them and are already running at close to maximum efficiency. You can trade a little emissions for power, but in a modern Honda engine, it isn't much.

        The big power comes when you use something like this in combination with a supercharger or turbo charger, then use additional control software to monitor your engine. Think of it like overclocking - you trade safety margin for speed, or in an engine's case, power. Instead of upping the voltage; You shove more air into the engine, allowing you to burn more fuel - added by a device like this, or something that's missing - a true, open source ECU replacement. It is a very difficult problem.

        I love to irk people with big V8s - they are silly in the age of forged engine internals, ECU control, and modern design. You haven't lived until you've seen the expression on a Z06 corvette owner's face when he gets is ass handed to him by a built and tuned 1.8L Acura Integra. My current project is an engine buildup for my 2.2L Prelude, and I have ~300HP as a reasonable target. It's amazing what a little thought and hacking can do. You can't run much more power than that on the street feasibly, so penis issues aside - if you can make 300HP+ from a 1.8L engine - why bother with more? Troll in the extreme - you can design 1500+ HP V8's, but they're not driveable. IMHO. YMMV. YHBT. etc.

        Engine tuning is a great hobby - if you can assemble a PC, with proper tools and the manuals, you can probably assemble a car engine. It might even run!

        OBD-III scares the hell out of me. I don't plan on owning an OBD-III vehile, though.

        There is another sister project or sorts to this one, called MegaSpark. I'll let you find the links, because I don't want to slashdot the poor guys. Ignition timing is a very difficult problem because you need very, very precise control. This is difficult to do. I have played around with this, but the approach I favour is to piggyback a microcontroller onto the computers stock signals and modify them how you want. Complete standalone systems can be very, very difficult and expensive to dyno tune and test.

        • by Desert Raven ( 52125 ) on Saturday May 31, 2003 @12:45AM (#6082809)
          I love to irk people with big V8s - they are silly in the age of forged engine internals, ECU control, and modern design. You haven't lived until you've seen the expression on a Z06 corvette owner's face when he gets is ass handed to him by a built and tuned 1.8L Acura Integra.


          Yeah, and those Accura owners nearly have strokes when I toss them into the weeds with my 8 year old motorcycle. No computer control, just a 15+ year old block, piston and head design so refined and advanced that I can run 85 octane fuel at 12:1 compression, in 110 degree temperatures, up to 13,000rpm, without it even thinking of pinging.

          Can you say "1005cc generating 122 hp measured at the rear wheel"?

          Can you say "absolutely bone-stock"?

          Can you say "53 miles per gallon"?

          I thought you could.
        • And then the Acura owner meets up with a Lingenfelter Vett owner and shits bricks. Can you say 550HP/550Lb/ft of torque on a body that is actually designed to use it and can corner at over 200Mph, yeah lets see a hopped up Prelude do that =)
          • The Ligenfelter package itself costs around $23 thousand dollars. Add in the price of the Corvette, which starts at $44 thousand, and you're look at at least a $67 thousand dollar cost of admission.

            The beauty of small engine tuning is that you take a car that almost anybody can afford and turn it into something better.

        • They are out there (Score:2, Interesting)

          by GnarlyNome ( 660878 )
          I used to work for an AUDI dealer we sold a lot of parts by Fed-EX to an outfit in Alabama including so many Controllers that Audi contacted us to find out if there was a failure prob. Seem that these people were modifing the new controllers to pump that little 2.5L V-6 to about 450 Hp (street and very driviable) drove one later it was a sweet mod.
        • 300+ HP?
          repeat after me "THERE'S NO REPLACEMENT FOR BIG DISPLACEMENT"... My Buick 455 Stage 2 Year 1 (1970 Buick Wildcat Custom) idles at 300 HP... and lights the tires at 50 MPH. It had (factory) 370 HP and 510 Ft.Lbs. of torque... at the rear wheel. I've added a little, like a bigger carb, HEI, true 2.5 inch dual exhaust (with headers), and a single plane intake (next step is either 2x4 or a 6 pack :D). Dino'd at 600+ HP and 800+ Torque. I plan on actually building it up one day... I haven't restored the
        • Your talking about two different classes of cars. Sure you can squeek 300hp out of some 2L 4 banger in an import thats al nice and they drive fairly well. Granted I smoke the little imports regularly on friday nights but with a car that wieghts twice to sometimes 3 times theres but puts out 4+ times the HP (a very modded Smokey and the Bandit limited ed TA)

          But all in all you are correct go over 500hp and it's a monster to drive and generaly not street legal. The import classes make good dialy drivers /
        • I love to irk people with big V8s - they are silly in the age of forged engine internals, ECU control, and modern design. You haven't lived until you've seen the expression on a Z06 corvette owner's face when he gets is ass handed to him by a built and tuned 1.8L Acura Integra. My current project is an engine buildup for my 2.2L Prelude, and I have ~300HP as a reasonable target. It's amazing what a little thought and hacking can do. You can't run much more power than that on the street feasibly, so penis is
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Informative)

      by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) <scott@alfter.us> on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:36PM (#6082591) Homepage Journal
      On an engine with sequential multipoint injection (one injector per cylender, near the intake valve), could one modify the ECU so that, when the engine is under minimal load, instead of firing the injector on every intake stroke, it would fire on every other intake stroke - in effect changing a four stroke engine into an eight stroke engine?

      That'd be more like turning your V8 into a 4-banger. Cadillac tried something like it ~20 years ago with the V8-6-4, which ended up not going over too well with drivers. (Their current Northstar V8 has a similar capability, but while the V8-6-4 used it in normal operation to try to squeeze better mileage out of a big engine, the Northstar only uses it as an emergency measure. If the engine loses coolant and starts overheating, the engine computer limits vehicle speed (to 50 mph, IIRC) and shuts down half of the cylinders at a time, cycling through them in turn so they can cool down a bit. Basically, it allows what's normally a water-cooled engine to run as an air-cooled engine long enough to get to the nearest garage and fix the problem.)

      Unless you had a way to hold the intake and exhaust valves open when you didn't want the cylinder to operate (really big solenoids, perhaps?), running each cylinder half as often would rob lots of power...you'd compress a chunk of air, but wouldn't have a combustion cycle to make any use of it. With some engines, holding the valves open would more than likely result in the piston slamming into them on the compression and exhaust strokes, which would be a Bad Thing. (My understanding is that some imports have this problem when the timing belt breaks.)

      • by realdpk ( 116490 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:53PM (#6082650) Homepage Journal
        Only wankers reply to sigs.

        Ha, who would fall for that.
      • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Gonzoman ( 39290 )
        I vaguely recall someone doing research on using solenoids to run the valves. I think the problem was with getting the solenoids to run fast enough. I thought it would be a cool idea to be able to change valve timing on the fly and have the whole thing controlled by a computer.

      • Its called free wheeling if you can spin it over and not clang up the valves. High compression engines are often not free wheeling.
      • It is interesting that you mention this - there are engines now that no longer have camshafts - they have computer controlled, solenoid driven valves.

        with this very cool tech, you can create an engine that can dynamically and very completely adjust its own timing, giving you mileage timing for long hauls, and power timing for when the pedal is to the metal. These engines can also hold open the exhaust valve on every other cylinder and go into uber-mileage mode, running on 4 cylinders instead of 8, or thre
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DonFinch ( 584056 ) <s2djfinc.vcu@edu> on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:43PM (#6082614)
      Fuel flow curves and mix balencing is fairly complicated stuff. Most of the chips you see just alter the full throttle intermix curves. and that is about all you can do for power with injection control, and that only gets you a small gain. The stock computers at non WOT (wide open throttle) are designed to keep the engine at the most effective mix, by very quickly qhanging the mix from lean to rich. The best way to get more fuel into the engine is to get more air to the engine. You need more air to make more fuel burn effectivly, simply increase the fuel, you wont have the air to reap the rewards. Get more air to the engine, and the air sensor will compensate by injecting more fuel to the chambers. This is the basis behind forced induction.

      Now, at WOT, you want lotsa fuel, since there is the max amout of air getting to the motor. Engineers know this so when your gas pedal hits the floor, the computer quits computing the best mix. It reverts to pre-programed mix curves from the factory., now if your motor is getting more air than it was originally designed to get, you need new WOT mix curves. this is what your aftermarket chip does. Now, you could program these curves yourself, but you better KNOW your shit. Get this fuel mix wrong, and manage your engine poorly, or make a typo, and you'll be debuging by rebuilding your cylinder head, or worse, replacing pistons and rods.

      if you want to see great examples of automotive stuidity, go here www.overboost.com
      • Now, you could program these curves yourself, but you better KNOW your shit. Get this fuel mix wrong, and manage your engine poorly, or make a typo, and you'll be debuging by rebuilding your cylinder head, or worse, replacing pistons and rods.

        How is this any different from turning valves on a bigger than design carborator? Give me a break. If you program your computer wrong, your engine won't work, but I doubt it will explode or burn up.

        This project is cool. It looks [bgsoflex.com] like free software and so, we can

        • As the owner of an old VW, I would have thought you were familier with stories of explosions/thrown rods in high performance mods.

          This is different than tweaking a carb. Imagine making a mistake that goes into an infinite loop in WOT. I can easily imagine something exiting happening.

        • You wonder what EFI and some new heads could do for your 1970 VW Van? Well, if you approach the problem with the ignorance you just displayed in your post, it would probably blow a hole through the side of your van's engine.

          Apart from actual hardware failure (your injectors seizing or fuel lines rupturing), misconfigured electronic fuel injection systems are the first, last, and only reason a computer-managed motor will blow up these days. And it does happen. A LOT.

          What happens if you accidentally prog
        • How is this any different from turning valves on a bigger than design carborator? Give me a break. If you program your computer wrong, your engine won't work, but I doubt it will explode or burn up.

          If you program your fuel curves too lean, you WILL burn holes in your pistons. I've seen several guys do it on their DSM's and 3000GT's. Additionally, when modifying turbocharged cars, you need to be careful that you don't run out of fuel because of small injectors or a weak fuel pump. The Eclipse can run
      • fuel curves (Score:2, Informative)

        by automag_6 ( 540022 )
        side note on air-fuel mixture ratios. Many people have heard that you need a mixture reation of 14.7:1. 2 important notes about this fact, first, that ratio is by mass, not volume, and so per unit volume, an engine uses thousands of gallons of air per unit of fuel. Most underestimate the amount of air needed. Second, that 14.7:1 is the stoicheometric (sp?) correct, or chemically correct mixture ratio. As in, that ratio is what should occur under lab conditions. Under real world conditions, you get your
    • I'd definately be interested in building something for my car that would let me make the adjustments without having to replace a chip. These days I drive rather conservatively (99% of the time at least) but my car is a gas guzzler.

      When I was shopping for my car I decided I wanted three things. 1) A car I could pay cash for 2) A convertible 3) A car that would still be exhilirating to drive when I step on the pedal. After looking around I found a 1986 Mustang GT ragtop that fit the bill. The previous ow
    • Others have already mentioned the Cadillac V8-6-4. It used solenoids to make the valves on certain cylinders stay closed. The energy wasted on the compression and exhaust strokes was mostly recovered on the downstrokes.

      AFAIK, this technique only work for combinations of cylinders which balance against each other. The 8-6-4 dropped the two inner cyls on one bank, and the two outers on the other. I don't think you would ever want to drop just one cylinder.

      It's true that drivers didn't like it. Caddy onl
    • "On an engine with sequential multipoint injection (one injector per cylender, near the intake valve), could one modify the ECU so that, when the engine is under minimal load, instead of firing the injector on every intake stroke, it would fire on every other intake stroke - in effect changing a four stroke engine into an eight stroke engine?"

      It's been done by ford and other companies for years for limp home modes. It doesn't save you anything on gas, infact it would hurt your mileage. To drive the same
      • Yes, but when the engine is producing much less than maximum power, the engine is not in it's most efficent operating mode - you are moving a smaller air charge with lower velocity, thus less turbulance in the chamber, thus less efficent propagation of the flame front from the spark.

        By making the cylinders that are firing "think" they are running harder, you move the engine nearer to the sweet spot of efficency. True, you lose some efficency due to pumping losses from the dead cylinders, but the question i
    • Actually depending on your vehicle you have been able to do stuff like this for some time. I know a guy who races a Viper and with his laptop onboard he can not only monitor everything about the engine but he can actually change things like fuel/air mixture, boost, etc. One of the coolest things is onetime when rally racing he lost partiall cooling capabilities, so his onboard mechanic (two man rally team) turned off half the cylinders in alternating sets until they could get to the next pit area thus avoid
    • For me, this is an important hack not only because it holds the promise of possible increased performance/gas milage, but also because of the attempt to sneak WinCE into cars and not tell us which ones run it. Cars running Windows are unsafe and do not deserve to be on the road. I would prefer the realtime systems that have heretofore been used but if it is WinCE or something I hack then I would prefer to proudly display a "This Truck Powered By Linux!" bumper sticker :).

      I think the article describes a s

    • For example, a friend of mine and I were discussion this possible hack: On an engine with sequential multipoint injection (one injector per cylender, near the intake valve), could one modify the ECU so that, when the engine is under minimal load, instead of firing the injector on every intake stroke, it would fire on every other intake stroke - in effect changing a four stroke engine into an eight stroke engine?

      That sounds similar to this [bgsoflex.com]:

      Input trigger events (compared to ignition events) can be divide

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:00PM (#6082440)
    Does this mean I'll have to gas up my computer now? The oil companies are controlling everything nowadays...
  • Insurance (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:02PM (#6082446)
    Would my auto insurance cover any injuries sustained while doing this?
    • If you increase the power output of your engine beyond the street spec, you normally have to declair it to the insurers. A major mod like an after market turbo vhargers is rather obvious but an ECU tends to be less so. Chipping should be declared, but often isn't. However, a non-standard ECU would be rather obvious to an insurance claims adjuster after an accident.
  • by Fazer ( 636882 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:02PM (#6082447) Homepage
    ...does it run Linux?
    • Not yet - but there is a Linux based tuning program being written for it. It's still in the early stages at this time but the guy working on it has made a lot of progress the past week or two. Anyone got some good guage widgets for GTK+ they care to donate to him :)
      • Not to be a troll, but I find this to be clearly gimmicky.

        This thing is neither multi user, nor multi tasking, nor protected memory addressing, nor io bound really... Why on earth would you want linux to be adapted to it, let alone even any sort of OS (aside from basic firmware).

        To a certain extent, everytime I see about these very 'cool' little pieces of electronics said to be running on linux, I cringe and shake my head in disbelief... Sure linux is nice and all, but recognize what it's good for.

        Th

        • Actually, the MS does multitask. It uses interrupts to run timers and kick off events when the timers expire. This device uses a Motorola 68HC908, a fairly low end processor. The lowest end processor you could run linux on is the 332, which the EFI-332 uses and many GM ECMs. Really though, an MPC555 is the realistic target for such an OS. The 555 and 565 are being used by the next generation ECUs because they have lots of everything.
    • Beowulf cluster, etc...
    • Not exactly, although this guy [enjoysmart.com] seems to have gotten a TCP/IP stack onto the same chip.

      The MegaSquirt uses the Motorola MC68HC908GP32 [motorola.com], which has only 512 bytes of RAM, so it's a bit tough to get much done (you try booting your linux system with "mem=512" sometime).

      If you really want to run Linux on an embedded system, you might look into uClinux [uclinux.org] on a bigger processor.

    • Even geekier and more elegant...

      The firmware is written in assembler, a la Steve Gibson'esque

      Gibson Research [grc.com]

  • by nich37ways ( 553075 ) <slashdot@37ways.org> on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:03PM (#6082450) Homepage
    However I would much prefer my car to continue operating afterwards.

    Seriously though how long till you see *Hacked with Megasquirt* stickers on all the rice mobiles going around?
  • by Juggle ( 9908 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:04PM (#6082456) Homepage
    Not this weekend! I build my MS back in December but didn't get my new motor together until about a month ago. Now I'm about ready to start putting it all together and /. finally notices the project.

    So of course just when I need the site the most it will probably be overrun and unavailable ;)

    Seriously though it's a great hardware hacking project. Quite a few revisions to the basic system have been made by the users and there are even a few spin-off projects (MegaSpark, MegaSquirtAVR, MegaJolt, MegaView, MegaTune, MSTWeak3k....) all of which were created by users of the system.

    It's based on a stripped down simple version of the DIY EFI-32 project that aimed at building a homebrew version of the GM computer but was getting so complex it was turning some people away.

    If the main site does get slashdotted there's the Yahoo Group: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/megasquirt

    The MS FAQ:
    http://members.shaw.ca/megasquirt/MS%20FAQ.h tm

    And a few photos of my own project for those of you you just want to see the pretty pictures:
    http://www.americansandassociation.org/ phpBB2/modu les.php?set_albumName=album43&op=modload&name=gall ery&file=index&include=view_album.php

  • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:07PM (#6082469)
    confidently expect to see a lot of geek car enthuasiasts being nominated for Darwin awards after this mod.
  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:22PM (#6082529) Homepage
    Am I the only one who saw that and thought to themselves "I know about watercooling, but how in the world will fuel injection help people's computer performance?"

    That aside, that's pretty cool. I wouldn't be willing to put one in my car, but it's still cool. Plus you could hack up the monitor circuit so you could connect it to your incar Linux PC with a little LCD panel to watch your engine in real time, or maybe use you're engine's performance (rpms, mix, etc) to somehow controll the music being played. The pointless add-on possibilities are endless.

  • I'd rather see a Mass Air Flow version of this. Maybe because I'm a little biased towards Ford's system, but MAF seems to be easier to modify. Supercharger? Turbo? No problem! Just make sure you plumb the MAF sensor before the blower or turbo inlet.Of course this is on a stock system, stock or mild cam, and good exhaust. No other modifications necessary.

    OTOH, with access to the assembler code for the EFI controller, you can run any setup you want, but you'll have to spend a couple days driving around wit
  • by Radi-0-head ( 261712 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:27PM (#6082550)
    Sounds like one of those pills advertised in the back of mens magazines or through spam...
  • Other options (Score:5, Informative)

    by vsigma ( 154562 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:32PM (#6082568)
    They do sell other standalone setups which we use for Rallying (Yes, like you see on SpeedVision, or what you have played on GranTurismo or other Rally racing game) - examples: Link ECU, MoTec, AEM-EMS

    All of the above allow control and modification of all elements of the car via a serial link to a laptop. You can even data log and so forth.

    Depending on where you buy it and so on, it's not going to be as cheap as the product listed here - but, you gain boat loads more functionality. For Rally racing like we do - we need the control/fine tuning ability to change fuel maps, ignition timing, Anti-lag for the turbo (amongst other things) to squeeze out every bit of performance that we can to go against much better funded teams.

    -victor
  • Hackers. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:39PM (#6082598)
    This is very cool. The success stories [members.shaw.ca] page has some interesting real life applications of the thing. Reading it is very like reading overclocking stories.

    Some people are replacing stock computers in more modern cars for performance reasons, and some are putting them in older cars, and getting some impressive results. And, yes, you can hook up a laptop for on-the-fly tweaking. Now I want a car.

    • You have no idea. I've been (trying) hacking at computers for 10 years. Then a few years ago I got into SCCA solo racing. The 30yr-old analog injection on my Porsche 914 (you can pick up a decent one for $5k and be competitive in solo racing and drive it to work on weekdays) was getting problematic due to deterioration of all the components. Last year I planned very carefully and was able to convert the engine to full digital engine control (injection and ignition) for only $500! Emissions are down, power
  • Here's why... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:41PM (#6082611)
    The reason you would want to do this: If you do significant engine modifications, generally to increase engine output, you'll need to tell the injectors to supply a non-standard amount of fuel. Add a turbo, for example, and you can easily double your engine's horsepower -- assuming the engine's internals are up to it -- but you'll need to remap fueling and timing or the engine goes boom.

    It's a pretty cool way to get supercar performance from lesser (read: cheaper!) vehicles. My daily-driver Miata has the factory 1.8L engine, force-fed 15psi boost by turbo. It puts out 250hp/250lb reliably (up from factory 120hp or so) and, thanks also its low weight, it outperforms 'Vettes -- except for top speed, and excluding the awesome Z06, of course. But then I paid about $20k for my car, not $50k... (Check out Flyin Miata [flyinmiata.com] for more info, no affiliation except as a happy customer.)

    I'm not using the MegaSquirt (using Flyin Miata's Link ECU instead) but the concept is the same. There is a HUGE need for an affordable programmable ECU among us automotive tinkers.

  • by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:42PM (#6082612)
    Is it *that* obvious that all computer geeks computers less valuable then their automobiles?
  • If all you get is the injector pulse, you can buy a system for much cheaper than $2000 US!
  • by Tweakmeister ( 638831 ) on Friday May 30, 2003 @11:48PM (#6082637) Homepage
    The modern ECU's control more than just the air/fuel (by reading 02 sensors, etc.). They alter things like timing and monitor a host of things.

    Many in the Honda crowd use an Apex'i S-AFC (or similar) to attach in line with the computer to adjust various things. Additionally you can buy other controllers and the like to adjust realtime at will.

    This thing is impressive, but is no replacement, it's a piggyback, and has a long ways to go.
    • That's the beauty of the MS approach - it's like the Unix tools philosphy. Build a tool that does one thing really well then build another to do something else and keep building.

      The MS is by choice fuel only. The same guys who designed it are also working on the MegaSpark which will take care of Timing. From there who knows where they'll go.

      The whole thing is a offshoot of the DIY EFI-32 project which was designed to be an all in one engine management solution - but is so complex and more than what mos
  • Coincidence? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Scary....I was just talking to a friend about attempting to make an OSS version of Ford's EEC (IV or V) with nothing but software and some jerry-rigged type of wiring harness. I definately think it is possible.

    I haven't had time to get into trying it just yet, but after recent issues with my car (fixed now), I thought up the idea. If time permits and I actually do get something hacked up, I will surely post it as OSS for all the world to play.

    Then again, if I or somebody did make something like this...w
  • by BJZQ8 ( 644168 ) on Saturday May 31, 2003 @12:06AM (#6082688) Homepage Journal
    Go to this link and see what people have done already. [diy-efi.org] Lotsa hacking going on there...the entire GM Engine Computer has been reverse engineered. I drive a GMC Typhoon...and there are several guys on the "syty list" that have really taken apart the code, and made it possible to change all sorts of things. There is even a programmable box you can use to flip through various programs of timing and fuel.
  • by Y2K is bogus ( 7647 ) on Saturday May 31, 2003 @12:13AM (#6082714)
    The main places you want to look for MegaSquirt stuff is:

    Yahoo MegaSquirt Group [yahoo.com] This has the message archives, files, and links to MS related sites.

    MegaSquirt FAQ [members.shaw.ca] This is the place that you should look for answers before sending to the list. If it hasn't been asked here, Lance is more than happy to add the Q/A to the FAQ. It's very well organized and will take a novice through the whole process.

    Since Bruce and Al's site was already linked, I'll forego that link. The best place to start is the Yahoo group, since it really is the nexus.

    Just a couple of quick bits. If you are planning on using GM TBI injectors, get some 2 ohm 25 watt ballast resistors FIRST.

    Second, if you are planning on using a distributor for the tach signal, you are best off by using the hall sensor directly. A lot of VAG vehicles have reported noise problems on the tach signal.

    These are really the only 2 things I'd want to caution about first.

    All in all, the MegaSquirt is a good system for DIYers because it bypasses all of the complexity of factory systems. You can use it with most factory sensors and it performs great. One of the bread and butter applications is replacing CIS with EFI, many people have done it.

    BTW, my engine is the 1991 CBR 600 F2 engine on the IT Runs! page.

  • MegaSquirt? (Score:4, Funny)

    by PHAEDRU5 ( 213667 ) <instascreed@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday May 31, 2003 @12:34AM (#6082774) Homepage
    Am I the only one seeing the pr0n possibilities?
  • by Lewie ( 3743 ) on Saturday May 31, 2003 @12:57AM (#6082845)
    This device would be good for converting a carbed vehicle to throttle body EFI. With only two injector drivers though, it's ultimate usefullness is pretty limited. They claim you can batch fire several injectors at once (non-sequential EFI), but that is hardly 21st century technology and has all the disadvatages of carbs and TBI like crappy emissions, fuel economy, and idle quality. If your mullet-mobile's Quadrajunk needs another rebuild, then this might work for you. If your tastes reach any higher, though, you'll need one of those "expensive" EFI computers.

    No animals were harmed in the making of this .sig
  • by Ogerman ( 136333 ) on Saturday May 31, 2003 @01:41AM (#6082984)
    Yeah, yeah.. Who needs all this fancy engine computer stuff.. Ever since I painted my Civic bright yellow (everyone knows yellow is fast), cut off the exhaust pipe, and added a 3 foot high spoiler (have to keep the wheels on the ground), it goes like twice as fast. You can clearly hear that my car has TEH POWER when I rev the engine at red lights. I am so fast you cannot even read my decals.
  • That's the fuel we're talking about, right?
  • This is just the tip of the iceburg for Open Source outside of computing... It would be nice to have a central repository for things like OSCar and some of the "open source" plane and other ideas out there... I wonder if there are opensource housing plans (I realize the Amish have had OS-barns for years, "pair programmed" even)..
  • The aftermarket car modding industry is nice, when you've got chips & whatnot to put into your car and run more fuel, but for older cars, you do need that extra oomph. I run a turbo volvo, and while I generally get laughed at by civics, mustangs and its ilk, I can outrun em :) No megasquirt yet, but 15lbs of boost and around 220rwhp. Guys over at turbobricks [turbobricks.org] run very wild setups and there are a few success stories involving megasquirt.

    Forced induction will cause a need for an additional amount of fu

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

Working...