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john elmes

megasquirt or other V8 managment, whats best?

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I'm putting a 4.2 classic range rover V8 into a new build defender. I have a old V8 loom from the LSE but no ECU. I am thinking of improving the set up with a new engine managment setup, with new loom and ecu etc. Reasons for this are,  the old loom is.... well, very  old, i would need to get hold of a standard used 4.2 ECU, and they seem to be around £400 on their own off ebay, the existing LSE loom seems to have loads of stuff on it i don't need, like aircon stuff etc.  But  the main reasons are, i want to be able to add extra fueling as I'm fitting a Sprintex super charger and given that the old system is getting on for 20 years old, i would have thought a new system would be greatly improved,  least that's what they all say on the websites, but are they?

From what i can see, there are a few to chose from, Mega squirt, Lloyd specialist V8 people, RPI engineering.

Anybody got any experience with any of these or others? I could always use the old LSE system and and just figure out how the piggy back sprintex ecu, fits into the LSE engine loom?

Oh and i'm not mud bathing in this one, so the waterproof side doesn't matter really.

 

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21 minutes ago, john elmes said:

Anybody got any experience with any of these or others? I could always use the old LSE system and and just figure out how the piggy back sprintex ecu, fits into the LSE engine loom?

Piggy-back the sprintex ECU? That sounds complicated and/or like a horrible bodge. Care to explain as that could have quite a bearing on what you actually end up with.

I am a big fan of megasquirt, run it on numerous vehicles and helped with quite a few installs and I would not hesitate to recommend it. I'm totally biased as he's a mate but I would also say Nige's kits are beautifully done for a neat install - all the laser-cut brackets etc. make a big difference.

RPI I wouldn't touch with a bargepole.

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It depends how adventurous you are and how willing to dabble.

MegaSquirt is a good option but has moved away from the original DIY EFi concept and is now dominated by commercial rather than the original open source ethic. As a result, prices have rocketed as a small number of commercial suppliers have dominated the market. Sadly it seems the only people not making a living out of it are the people that designed the hardware and wrote the firmware. If you're looking for an "off the shelf" solution then you can get close with MegaSquirt but be aware that prices are more comparable now with other bespoke solutions. That said Nige offers a good, basic product but you won't get much in the way of support for it in the main MegaSquirt community as MS1-Extra is not considered viable by many now.

If you like a bit more of a challenge, Speeduino is pretty mature now and has the advantage, over MegaSquirt of being an open source solution with cheap, easily available hardware, hardware costs around £120 for the ECU and it uses TunerStudio to tune/adjust, just like MegaSquirt. The UK supplier for Speeduino used to be one of the main MegaSquirt suppliers but appears to have switched. Speeduino uses a VR sensor board which vastly improves VR sensor reliability and precision over the older MegaSquirt design. Later MegaSquirt hardware also uses this external VR conditioner. Even assembled ECUs are significantly cheaper than MegaSquirt with an assembled and tested ECU coming in at less that £180 from the UK supplier.

There is work in progress to embed an auto transmission controller into Speeduino too which looks an interesting option.

 

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Ok a bit more detail. the Sprintex super charger is from an original upgrade  fitted by DPR (Dennis Priddle) who did a super charger upgrade to well healed classic range rover 3.9 and 4.2 owners in the 80's /90's. He did do a few 4.6's but that never worked quite so well, Dennis thought the charger was at its limit on the 4.2 and started to lose its performance on the  4.6. I know as i was around at the time when a customer had a 4.2 converted and another customer had a 4.6 conversion, both on range rovers and the 4.2 was the better out of the two.

Anyway, i have a couple of these kits, fitted to the pre surpentine V8,  with all the various components, which includes a very simple piggy back control modual. This  connects to the main engine EFI loom with 4 wires and allows you to increase fuel supply by way of a small screw which is turned by screw driver on front of the box. If you dont add the feuling, you can get pinking under high rpm. Its a basic, but i guess for its time, effective solution, it does work.

The idea compression ratio for the conversion was 8.3.1, which is pretty close to the standard 4.2 compression ratio. On his 3.9 conversions, Dennis modified the heads to bring the compression ratio to 8.3.1.

On the DPR super charge conversion, the charger is on the dizzy side of the engine, like this

image.png.d65785a0c8818aa0843be9aa946cf28b.png

 

not on the top, and just fits in a defender engine bay.

 I have to say i was really looking for an off the shelf, well proven solution, that's available now. I am also going to use the  Compushift, aftermarket setup to control my ZFHP- 24 auto box. So a soulution that works with this would be good.

So two different opinions there of mega squirt. Think i'll wait a bit to see if any other members have any thing to add.

Thanks for input so far.

 

 

 

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That control box sounds like a classic bodge - you wouldn't need it at al with any properly tuned EFI system, you'd just make the fuel map right :rolleyes:

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Never used them, nor have any idea if people have on here, but there are PNP versions for the RV8: 

http://www.v8developments.co.uk/products/injection/megasquirt_plug_&_play_ECUs/megasquirt_fitting_instructions/index.shtml

http://www.extraefi.co.uk/products/RV8_kits.html

I would personally not be installing MS1 any more, it is a reliable old hector, but can only imagine that support will begin to dwindle now there are commercial offerings out there.

Microsquirt is MS2 based, and will run any RV8, is simple, comes in a nicer case, is IP rated, and has a nice plug on pigtail, for simplicity of DIYing a MS install they are hard to beat.

Speeduino is an interesting proposition, especially with the TCU built in, but not plug n play, so probably off the cards for you ...and personally i think not quite mature enough, yet, though not far off.

Nige does make some nice bracketry, which if that isn't your thing can save you hours and hours of fab work, and will work with MS2, or indeed any other ECU.

If I was going for a non-plug n play solution, I'd be looking at something like Haltech or Link ECUs, which appear to have good support in the UK, with Haltech really pushing for the market over here at the moment.

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

especially with the TCU built in

Just did a bit of quick research, it appears to be very much not built in yet, and in fact barely built at all. Transmission control isn't an easy thing to do without damaging it, especially controlling the line pressure.

I still think a custom CAN module that interfaces with the Megasquirt to get its inputs would be better, then you can just use the stock TCM. If I didn't already have a billion unfinished projects and a lack of motivation I'd dust off the CAN RPi module I bought years ago and start fiddling...

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Yep, appreciate that, probably wasn't very clear, it is another reason why it is a future option.

If you have a box with kickdown cable the line pressure issue is resolved though, that makes it much simpler - otherwise you can set it to a fixed value, which is fine if a toy or a racer.

It is a shame that the Megashift module required another Ms ecu, which made the whole thing rather pricey. I mean, the configuration options for an auto trans is waaaay simpler than an engine.

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I've worked extensively with MS in various forms, a little with Link and a little with Speeduino. 

Link is lovely; I wish I'd had the chance to play more. No plug and play kit I can see for the RV8, but in all honesty, wiring is the easy bit with any system. Configuring and tuning it well is far more work. 

Speeduino seems like the new MS: Genuinely affordable DIY. I've helped a mate with a setup on his Cologne V6 and found it fine. For the price, it's hard to argue. 

And the good old MS, which I've used a lot, but the new versions are quite pricey. If I was going to pay that kind of money these days, I'd spend a little more and go Link or Haltech as mentioned. I always hated the MS connector. Has no place in a car IMHO. Link has a lovely automotive-grade, sealed, multi-way connector with removable pins. I suspect Haltech (or anything commercial) the same.

There's also Emerald which are popular in that price range. No direct experience, I'm afraid. 

I'll look forward to seeing the setup whichever way you go!

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