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Old 12-25-2016, 10:20 PM   #1
mr2peak
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M20 Management shootout, MS2 vs Haltech vs?

Raxe's build thread brought up a discussion of different management solutions for the M20. This thread is meant to continue the conversation, and add to it. Most of us seem to use MS2, but that is hardly the only option available.

Let's discuss the options here.


Raxe's build thread:
http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=399803
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:54 AM   #2
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This thread is going to get heated fast haha

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Old 12-26-2016, 07:58 AM   #3
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Convert it to Jetronic!
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Old 12-26-2016, 03:41 PM   #4
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This thread is going to get heated fast haha
Maybe. It's nice to hear both sides instead of the "just use MS2" I always hear. Comparisons are almost always helpful.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:49 PM   #5
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The cheapest Haltech setup will cost you a couple hundred more than a megasquirt PNP and you still have to do all of the wiring. If you buy a basic MS2 and a breakout board kit you're talking half the price of the Haltech. Haltech is a nicer, more robust system but it's in a different price bracket so it's expected.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:55 PM   #6
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I'm suprised people don't use oem ecus and wiring harness from m5x engines

Haltech 750 which will do full sequential fuel and timing on 6cyl is $1300, pnp ms is what $800 or so but to get a turn key ready the gap is alot more

You could get haltech 550 with semis sequential for $400 less than 750

Link fury looks to be equivalent to 750 haltech.

Wolfv550 do a pnp which is semi sequential fuel and dizzy for $1500ish
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:09 PM   #7
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I'm suprised people don't use oem ecus and wiring harness from m5x engines
Why would you do that with an M20? Sounds like loads of trouble for no gain.
The only reasons to ditch stock EMS on an M20 are
-Turbo
-ITBs
-Build requiring features stock Motronic doesn't offer like nitrous/launch/flat shift control
OEM M5X stuff wouldn't help with any of that.
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:43 PM   #8
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Running proper tps with maf, sequential fuel and individual coils for very little dollars should drive a fair bit nicer than the old motronic. Lots of tuners can tune it. Seems like big step up over stock
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:55 PM   #9
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Running proper tps with maf, sequential fuel and individual coils for very little dollars should drive a fair bit nicer than the old motronic. Lots of tuners can tune it. Seems like big step up over stock
Lots of trouble for very little gain. A good tune with sequential fuel injection and coils-on-plug will give you a grand total of a few horsepower and mpg for all of your effort vs a good tune on stock motronic which can actually work quite well. There's no reason to upgrade EMS or go standalone if you aren't doing something that requires it like aiming for big power NA or turbocharged, or building something that uses any of features I mentioned before which are not offered by either M20 or M5X engine management.
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:27 PM   #10
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Lots of trouble for very little gain. A good tune with sequential fuel injection and coils-on-plug will give you a grand total of a few horsepower and mpg for all of your effort vs a good tune on stock motronic which can actually work quite well. There's no reason to upgrade EMS or go standalone if you aren't doing something that requires it like aiming for big power NA or turbocharged, or building something that uses any of features I mentioned before which are not offered by either M20 or M5X engine management.
that is your opinion.

the easiest thing to get right is the WOT tune , basically anyone can do it and you dont need any high level ECU, its not always about hp. driveability, throttle response is harder and with stock m20 you can only do so much especially with the AFM attached. its not the route id take but many people like to do things on the cheap it wouldn't be a bad option IMO for a NA engine as it can do basically everything you realistically ever need for such an application.
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:15 PM   #11
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Back to standalone a the EMU is $1150, quite a few m20 running it plus m50/54 engines I believe
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Old 12-27-2016, 04:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digger View Post
that is your opinion.

the easiest thing to get right is the WOT tune , basically anyone can do it and you dont need any high level ECU, its not always about hp. driveability, throttle response is harder and with stock m20 you can only do so much especially with the AFM attached. its not the route id take but many people like to do things on the cheap it wouldn't be a bad option IMO for a NA engine as it can do basically everything you realistically ever need for such an application.
lol you're talking to me like I haven't been tinkering with standalone EMS for the better part of a decade, I'm not some chump off the street, if you peek at my build thread you'll see that I built my ECU from a kit, tuned my car from scratch, and this isn't the first time I've done it. Yes, any knuckledragger with access to a dyno can make peak numbers, but you're not completely re-tuning for driveability from scratch when you start tuning Motronic 1.3 for a modded engine, you're modifying stock tables and adders. It is quite easy for someone with a little tuning knowledge to tell when you need to add a little fuel here and a little timing there vs a stock tune - the hard part with motronic is knowing how to tweak it, and E36 motronic won't make that easier.

As for on the cheap, adapting the M5X ecu for use on an M20 and re-tuning would be significantly more expensive and difficult than having one of the reputable Motronic tuners tune your Motronic 1.3 for your specific modded NA engine. I seriously doubt you're going to run into issues with throttle response and AFM restriction with a NA setup that still uses the stock intake path, M20s just don't flow enough to cause a problem without loads of work, and to get to that point you're spending enough money that going standalone is no big deal. As stated before, serious NA builds tend to have ITBs so M5X engine management won't simplify much there, pretty much anything you use will have to be tuned from scratch with ITBs.

You said you're "surprised nobody does it" and I'm just trying to make the point that people aren't doing it because it's more effort than it is worth. It's just not worth it for coil on plug unless you're beyond the stock ignition system's capabilities (you won't do this without a turbo) and sequential injection is great for fuel economy but nobody is building a hypermiler E30 and nobody is having driveability issues caused by Motronic 1.3's batch fire.

Paging forcedfirebird who knows full well from his Motronic tuning experience the limitations and lack thereof of when it comes to Motronic 1.3. He may have even done what you're talking about before.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:34 PM   #13
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Actually the M3.x (24v variants) would be a pretty simple adaptation to the m20 (I have had a few people approach me privately with their M3.x m20's, probably just don't post in public). The CPS reluctor is already there, just need to figure a cam sensor to have SFI (m20 is kinda a SSFI with it's #6 cylinder identifier). Sans cam sensor, the M3.x will run, but in batch mode. The m3.x can run ITB's much easier if the trumpets are open, but both will run them fine if an airbox is used (think about s14 and s50b32). The M3.x is light years ahead of M1.x. Motronic 1.x is 70's tech, M3.x came about in 1990 - two decades were a lot back then. M3.x has knock, VANOS, real TPS and a true MAF, the M1.x is more of a faux SD system where it doesn't read flow as much as it does vacuum and air temp. This can easily be seen by the .bin size, M3.x is double the M1.x - and the M1.x had to use exponents and math to get everything into the 256k memory, 512k in the M3.x - there are full maps in the latter. Either way, the processors are ultimately slow by today's standards. Think of M1.x as Atari 2600 and M3.x as Nintendo 64 lol.

Varg, I don't think Digger was thinking you were a "chump", but for it's time Motronic was cutting edge and I see a lot of 90's GM ECM's shadowed that 2-decade-old Bosch tech. Had the US gov't not required OBD, perhaps domestic cars would still be reverse engineering Bosch (and the newer Siemens). The German cars were always ahead of the rest of the world (look at CANBUS).

Neither of them can recognize positive pressure, yet Porsche was successful for many years using an AFM on OEM turbo engines, and I have been able to get both of them (Motronic generations) to run great as daily drivers with positive atmo - but they both run best when the metering is done before the turbo, one leaky coupler and it goes haywire naturally with wasted metered air.

IMHO Blow through MAF is not the best approach for hot wire/film types since the heat goes up with boost (flow), making the air warmer when lots of air (and more dense air to boot) is passing. In a draw through, air flow is more accurately measured.

I have found the AFM in the blow through would require lots of re-coding to "maybe" even work since it measures vacuum more than air flow (much like a 1 bar map trying to read boost).
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:31 PM   #14
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lol you're talking to me like I haven't been tinkering with standalone EMS for the better part of a decade, I'm not some chump off the street, if you peek at my build thread you'll see that I built my ECU from a kit, tuned my car from scratch, and this isn't the first time I've done it. Yes, any knuckledragger with access to a dyno can make peak numbers, but you're not completely re-tuning for driveability from scratch when you start tuning Motronic 1.3 for a modded engine, you're modifying stock tables and adders. It is quite easy for someone with a little tuning knowledge to tell when you need to add a little fuel here and a little timing there vs a stock tune - the hard part with motronic is knowing how to tweak it, and E36 motronic won't make that easier.

As for on the cheap, adapting the M5X ecu for use on an M20 and re-tuning would be significantly more expensive and difficult than having one of the reputable Motronic tuners tune your Motronic 1.3 for your specific modded NA engine. I seriously doubt you're going to run into issues with throttle response and AFM restriction with a NA setup that still uses the stock intake path, M20s just don't flow enough to cause a problem without loads of work, and to get to that point you're spending enough money that going standalone is no big deal. As stated before, serious NA builds tend to have ITBs so M5X engine management won't simplify much there, pretty much anything you use will have to be tuned from scratch with ITBs.

You said you're "surprised nobody does it" and I'm just trying to make the point that people aren't doing it because it's more effort than it is worth. It's just not worth it for coil on plug unless you're beyond the stock ignition system's capabilities (you won't do this without a turbo) and sequential injection is great for fuel economy but nobody is building a hypermiler E30 and nobody is having driveability issues caused by Motronic 1.3's batch fire.

Paging forcedfirebird who knows full well from his Motronic tuning experience the limitations and lack thereof of when it comes to Motronic 1.3. He may have even done what you're talking about before.
by dismissing the better motronic system saying the 1.3 is good enough what you are implying is that a NA m20 street engine doesnt really need any standalone at all.

i say this because In truth my standalone WOLF V500 which is quite old now probably came out in 2007 or so doesnt do a whole lot more than M3.x as far as functions that i actually use are concerned except be more straight forward to access. yet it offered much better driveability and performance compared to a custom M1.3 chip which was developed on the dyno at great expense.

In truth any system that gets rid if the AFM setup and uses a proper tps is a really big step up in all aspects. for sure you can run a decent stroker on a M1.3 but youre actually leaving alot on the table. also its a fallacy that you dont get good gains by removing the AFM with a mild setup, ive seen it with my own eyes

we should get back onto true standalones as there are alot of good options out there compared to 5-10 years ago
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
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by dismissing the better motronic system saying the 1.3 is good enough what you are implying is that a NA m20 street engine doesnt really need any standalone at all.

i say this because In truth my standalone WOLF V500 which is quite old now probably came out in 2007 or so doesnt do a whole lot more than M3.x as far as functions that i actually use are concerned except be more straight forward to access. yet it offered much better driveability and performance compared to a custom M1.3 chip which was developed on the dyno at great expense.

In truth any system that gets rid if the AFM setup and uses a proper tps is a really big step up in all aspects. for sure you can run a decent stroker on a M1.3 but youre actually leaving alot on the table. also its a fallacy that you dont get good gains by removing the AFM with a mild setup, ive seen it with my own eyes

we should get back onto true standalones as there are alot of good options out there compared to 5-10 years ago
On a system with the AFM I could see gains on an N/A engine, but are there gains to be had on a Speed Density system? The afm would just be a restriction in the air intake causing a bit of a pressure drop.

I ask because I still have the afm (for the IAT sensor) eventhough I am boosted and running speed density with a turbo. I believe I'm losing a bit of pressure due to the restriction but once I hit 0 psi, it is a moot point, right?

Anyway back to standalones, I have to no knowledge of systems aside from MS2
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