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Megasquirt ignition and timing problems

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That's right, I am Zed Head on classiczcars.com.

 

I'm saying that what the OP has should work.  As a basic distributor.  Like DIYAutotune says.  He hasn't even got to "basic" yet and you have him rebuilding everything he has.

 

Keep it simple.

 

 

DIY didn't say anything about band-aids either.

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Another thought - "Burn" isn't burning.  You're putting a number in a TunerStudio box, then rotating the distributor to make it match the number in the box.   You're changing the engine to match the TunerStudio numbers.  But the Megasquirt ECU doesn't seem to be reading what TunerStudio should be sending it, when you click "Burn".  Basically, what you're saying is that, overall, the Megasquirt ECU isn't obeying the TunerStudio commands.  Could be just a communications problem between your portable PC and the MS ECU. 

 

I'd find a way to confirm back and forth communication between all components.  I don't know what that confirmation would be.  But it seems like your MS ECU has enough to run your engine but isn't being controlled by TunerStudio..

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Here's the part I remembered from the past (reading only) about how MS does advance.  It's in the Mobythevan writeup about using an 83 turbo CAS/distributor.  You may be setting your initial timing incorrectly, leaving no room for advance.  

 

http://forums.hybridz.org/topic/23244-megasquirtnspark-mssmsns-installation-guide/

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Basically you're just giving MS a CAS signal way ahead of time.  It does its calculations and grounds the coil after a certain wait time, to trigger the coil a certain number of degrees ahead of the Initial timing number that you set using the advance table fixed timing.

 

I took a picture of where you might be going wrong.  You never talked about physically setting the Trigger position of the CAS, as Mobythevan describes.  Not clear that the 60 degrees you show in your screen grab actually applies to a 60 degree CAS shift.  Your system has no room to work in, to set timing advance.

 

 

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That's right, I am Zed Head on classiczcars.com.

 

I'm saying that what the OP has should work.  As a basic distributor.  Like DIYAutotune says.  He hasn't even got to "basic" yet and you have him rebuilding everything he has.

 

Keep it simple.

 

 

DIY didn't say anything about band-aids either.

You really are in over your head aren't you.... and just won't admit it.  You like to cut and paste articles but you really don't understand the " Details "  of the problem. Do you even bother to read the Links that I post? I posted a Link to the Full article from MegaSquirt that explains why they brought out this special Nissan Trigger Wheel. Sounds like you skipped over reading my links .... again.

 

MS designed that particular wheel to address problems with that owners of MS2 had with running the 360 slot CAS wheel in the Nissan distributor Optical . The main problem being that the processor did not have the processing speed and power to properly read the 360 slit wheel that Nissan uses. You would have signal sync loss at high RPM's. That is a KNOWN issue for people who have experience in these matters and was never able to be solved satisfactorily.  I researched MS2 boxes for many months and had decided on an MS2 or MS3. Then I happened to come across a great deal on the Haltech which I couldn't pass up.

 

The links that you keep referring to by Moby are back in 2003 and 2005. Over 10 years ago, and before the Custom rings were made!!  Moby's idea was an attempt to write new code to the MS2 firmware so that the Nissan 360 slit Optical rings could be decoded. This never worked well as at high RPM's the ECU was limited by the processor and Read resolution was dropped. That was the " Band -Aid " fix I was referring to ( and other failed attempts to resolve the Sync issue with Nissan Optical CAS )  and that is why DIYAUTOTINING made their special Trigger Ring for Nissan Optical distributors. The new Trigger ring solved ALL of the issues on the MS2 that they had with the Nissan Optical wheels and it only costs $28. It was an elegant solution that didn't require owners having to change out the CPU on the MS2 box to solve the Sync issues... which would be ridiculous.

 

BTW, AEM also has a special Trigger wheel designed for the Nissan Optical for some of their older ECU's that uses a 24 - 1 wheel. They had precisely the same problem as the MS2 in that they would lose signal sync at high RPM's. The processor just wasn't fast enough to keep up the read and calculations needed . Their firmware could decode the ring... but that's only half the probelm. AEM has them in 50mm and 54 mm sizeszes to fit various Nissan Optical distributors.

 

I'm using the AEM 30-8762 wheel on my Haltech E11 system. Although the Haltech E11 has a much faster processor than the MS2, has the proper decoding algorithms and has a processor fast enough to read the 360 slit rings with no Sync loss, HalTech Australia ( Main world head quarters ) recommends running a Crank signal with 12 to 60 rings maximum. Why? Because a Nissan ring with 360 forces the processor to run at Near full speed and that generates a LOT of heat which shortens CPU life. 24 - 1 ring will provide all the resolution you need, lead to less Sync loss and allow the CPU to run slower which = less heat = longer life.

 

Finally on to your misunderstanding of what a Basic Distributor is in regards to an MS2. A Basic Distributor in the Tuner Studio software refers to an Old style mechanical and vacuum advance controlled distributor. The distributor handles all of the ignition advance curve. Once you select " Basic Distributor " Spark Mode in the setup, ALL of the advanced programmable settings will Greyed ( Locked ) out. You cannot use the advanced ECU controlled Ignition Maps... PERIOD. And that is what the OP wants to do.  The Nissan Optical Distributor is NOT a " Basic Distributor". It has no mechanical/ vacuum advance  mechanisms built in. In reality it is a separate Crank sensor and Cam sensor built into a Distributor housing. And it has to be setup as such. Basic Distributor is the wrong setting for Spark Mode in Tuner Studio.

 

NZ or ZH , I know you have good intentions and have been a great assistance to the community over many years. But you  have a tendency to try and be the Head Guru on various forums. To that extent you seem to go out of your way to argue points by cutting and pasting articles to support your side of the argument... just for arguments sake and even without fully understanding all of the Technical issues. Maybe you should consider that there just may be other people out in this world who may have a better understanding of a certain subject than you. And maybe it would be wise to sit back and listen and perhaps learn something from what they are saying, instead of constantly trying to discredit them. 

 

I'm not going to get into a pissing match with you over this. It's just a waste of bandwidth and doesn't help the OP one Iota. I do know what I'm talking about. I've had a lot of experience in the areas that I discuss, both in Automotive and Electronics. . I don't drag you down in your fields of expertise... so please give me some respect and don't try and drag me down in my areas of expertise.

 

Richard Boyk

Edited by Chickenman

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All that I'm saying is that mobythevan made the 83 turbo CAS work, and his writeup was so good that DIYAutotune includes it on their web site.  Along with other work by him.  If you follow his advice, you should get his results.

 

And, as I understand things, your Haltech application is simulation only, not actually running an engine, so not really relevant here.  I get the urge to be knowledgeable.  I'm throwing out ideas and offering possibilities.  Nothing is certain, only the OP can determine that.  When the OP comes back with a "win" we can all make a note, for future reference.  This is all just words and thoughts until that happens.

 

If it looks like I don't respect what you're writing it's because it doesn't fit my own personal criteria of "relevant".  The OP can choose the advice he wants to follow.  That's the beauty of the internet.  You can ignore the people you don't agree with.

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And what I'm saying is the DIYAUTOTUNING NOW has a better solution than Moby's and is much easier and cheaper to apply. The DIY Trigger wheel only costs $28.

 

Moby's article on that you referenced on the Z31 Dizzy was written in 2003. The MS2 that the OP has wasn't even made back then.

 

Edit : Just re-reading the Moby article from 2003, and it's for the MSnS ECU... which is a fuel only ECU.  None of this article is at all relevant to the OP's MS2 ECU, which is completely different hardware from MSnS.

 

The new Trigger wheel information by DIYAUTOTUNING was last updated Dec, 18,2014. Which article do you think is more up to date?  And if you read the article on how to setup the DIY Optical wheel you will see that they mention the Improved resolution of their new trigger wheel.

 

 

ECU Modifications

We have articles that cover the input side and wheel decoding. There are several possible ways you can set up the output side, including using BIP373 internal ignition modules, the QuadSpark external ignition module, or an MS3 with MS3X outputs running LS1 coils or our IGN-1A directly.

 

Also note that MS2 and MS3 can use this to get more resolution over the standard trigger wheel when running as a distributor.

 

Edit: And once more for information. DIY's latest recommendation ( As of Dec, 18th, 2014 ) for running the revised Trigger wheel for Nissan Optical Dizzy.... on MS1, MS2, and MS3.

 

https://www.diyautotune.com/support/tech/hardware/nissan-trigger-disc/

 
 

Edited by Chickenman

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Yes, first Haltech, but I've been Burning Chips and Tuning on Bosch Motronic (  ME5.3 and ME7.X ) , and tuning  SDS, and a few MS1 and MS2 systems  since 2006.

 

HalTech already works 100% in simulation with all sensors connected and gets correct signals from Dizzy and fires ignition and Injectors ( Checked with NOID lights ).  It should start and run on first turn of Ignition key, ( Unless I do something stoopid... which is possible )  and I already have a good set of Ignition Timing Maps to use. Fuel Maps need the Dyno.

Edited by Chickenman

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OP: ( What's your real name? ) Here is a screen shot of Tuner Pro, setup for the DIY Nissan Trigger Wheel. MS2 3.30 with Extra. Should be same setup that you have.

 

This is setup as a Dual wheel. This gives you the most Fuel and Ignition Options. IE: You can run MultiPoint ( non-timed ) Injection, Batch Fire or full Sequential injection. Notice how the Options that were previously Greyed out under " Basic Trigger " are now active and selectable. 

 

Note: Ignition side is setup for a single coil in screenshot, but you could also run WasteSpark, EDIS or Direct Fire Coils ( COP ).

 

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Edited by Chickenman

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All that I'm saying is that mobythevan made the 83 turbo CAS work, and his writeup was so good that DIYAutotune includes it on their web site.  Along with other work by him.  If you follow his advice, you should get his results.

 

And, as I understand things, your Haltech application is simulation only, not actually running an engine, so not really relevant here.  I get the urge to be knowledgeable.  I'm throwing out ideas and offering possibilities.  Nothing is certain, only the OP can determine that.  When the OP comes back with a "win" we can all make a note, for future reference.  This is all just words and thoughts until that happens.

 

If it looks like I don't respect what you're writing it's because it doesn't fit my own personal criteria of "relevant".  The OP can choose the advice he wants to follow.  That's the beauty of the internet.  You can ignore the people you don't agree with.

 

Looks like I need to clear up a few things here.

 

MS2 can use the stock CAS no problem if you are using it for a distributor. It does not use the 360 slits, only the inner six slits. This works for "Basic Trigger" mode and will let you control the timing. Basic Trigger mode is for letting the MS2 control timing on a basic distributor (one pulse per ignition event) with locked out timing. If the coil is firing, but the timing is not advancing, check to be sure that (1) you don't have Fixed Angle selected, and (2) you have the correct spark output (JS10 vs D14) selected to match how your board is built.

 

Yes, the stock distributor disc does have a few limitations, which we created the drop in disc to solve. Here are the limitations:

 

1. The six slits trigger a fairly long way before the spark fires, which costs you a bit of timing accuracy, especially when cranking. (You can generally tune around "starter kick back" issues while cranking by running less cranking timing, but there's still room for improvement).

2. There's no cylinder identification, so it won't support sequential injection (note that an MS2 can't do this on a six cylinder anyway) or distributorless ignition (which the MS2 can do if it has the right signal).

 

So, upgrading the trigger disc can give you a few improvements - but you don't need it to get your engine up and running.

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Thanks Matt. I'm giving Derek ( MS2 owner ) a hand setting this up. I was thinking that you could swap the Trigger outputs from the Dizzy and use the 6 slits to make it run, but I was worried about the resolution with so few slots. Your wheel is an elegant and inexpensive solution to the problem of the 360 slits.

 

Derek had tried running Fixed Advance disabled and " Using Table ".  Didn't work.  We'll check out the wiring and spark settings when he can get access to his car again. ( Presently it's 350 miles away ). I'm making a Base Line Tune for him on Tuner Studio  and send him the saved .msq file so he has a safe starting point. ( I go with with very conservative Ignition Maps until you get the Fuel Map dialed in ). As soon as he's back he's going install the new trigger wheel and physically check the Box to see what is going on and how it's wired & jumpered etc. We'll then hookup via Remote Access and I can help him diagnose and setup his system from there.

 

I recall now, that when I was looking into MS for my 280z, I was trying to decide on the MS2 or MS3. Was swinging towards the MS3 as the MS2 couldn't do full sequential on the 6  cylinders. I'd forgotten about that. So it's Multi-Point or Batch fire only. Any limitation on Batch Fire with the MS2 and  6 cylinder motors?

 

Thanks for the clarifications. One of the poor qualities for Haltech is their lack of support for older products. MS is just awesome in that respect. I ended up buying a good used HalTech E11very cheap with fully configured  harness and  LS2 coils ( Came off another Inline six ) .

 

In hind site I should have bought the MS3... but the budget came into play and I simply couldn't pass on the Haltech E11-V1 bargain. It will do everything I want, but zero support ( and I mean ZERO ) on the V1 variant.

 

We'll probably be seeing you over at the MS forums. Thanks again. beermug.gif

Edited by Chickenman

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Thanks Matt.  That's two specific things to check that should help him out.

 

 

 

I sent Matt a question specifically about using the 83 CAS.  For my own illumination.  I would guess that the settings need to be right even with the DIY wheel.  With luck, a couple of clicks should get the OP past this problem.  And on to new ones.

 

 

Edit - weird how sympatico CM and I are.  Same timing....

Edited by NewZed

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One of the interesting things taht came about because of  this discussion is that I found I can use Tuner Studio to generate some Fuel Maps to use on my Haltech.

 

My Haltech E11uses older Halwin Software ( version 1.71 ), and  will not do VE Calculated Fuel maps. But Tuner Studio will. I realized that I could set up a VE fuel Map in MS Tuner Studio for my 280z, save it as an Excel file, then Import that Excel file ( with a few manual adjustments for scaling ) to my Halwin Fuel maps. That just saved me a couple of hours on the Dyno!!

 

I also tried generating Fuel VE Tables using the latest version of HalTech's ECU Manager, but for some reason the injector Pulse Widths are only about 1/10th of what they should be. I suspect it is just a bug in the software, (  HalTech seems to be infamous for buggy software ) but the Tuner Studio injector pulse widths seem correct.

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Looks like I need to clear up a few things here.

 

MS2 can use the stock CAS no problem if you are using it for a distributor. It does not use the 360 slits, only the inner six slits. This works for "Basic Trigger" mode and will let you control the timing. Basic Trigger mode is for letting the MS2 control timing on a basic distributor (one pulse per ignition event) with locked out timing. If the coil is firing, but the timing is not advancing, check to be sure that (1) you don't have Fixed Angle selected, and (2) you have the correct spark output (JS10 vs D14) selected to match how your board is built.

 

Yes, the stock distributor disc does have a few limitations, which we created the drop in disc to solve. Here are the limitations:

 

1. The six slits trigger a fairly long way before the spark fires, which costs you a bit of timing accuracy, especially when cranking. (You can generally tune around "starter kick back" issues while cranking by running less cranking timing, but there's still room for improvement).

2. There's no cylinder identification, so it won't support sequential injection (note that an MS2 can't do this on a six cylinder anyway) or distributorless ignition (which the MS2 can do if it has the right signal).

 

So, upgrading the trigger disc can give you a few improvements - but you don't need it to get your engine up and running.

Hey Matt, I bought the board prebuilt from DIY but I believe it is the B&G MS2v3.57 with 3.3.0 firmware. What would be making me unable to control my timing from my megasquirt? I have tried using "Use Table." The timing will sit at the same place that the distributor has mechanically advanced it to. And not advance or retard no matter what i try. Using "Fixed Angle" won't change the timing from where the distributor originally had it.

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MS2 can use the stock CAS no problem if you are using it for a distributor. It does not use the 360 slits, only the inner six slits. This works for "Basic Trigger" mode and will let you control the timing. Basic Trigger mode is for letting the MS2 control timing on a basic distributor (one pulse per ignition event) with locked out timing

 

 If the coil is firing, but the timing is not advancing, check to be sure that (1) you don't have Fixed Angle selected, and (2) you have the correct spark output (JS10 vs D14) selected to match how your board is built.

 

 

 

 

Hey Matt, I bought the board prebuilt from DIY but I believe it is the B&G MS2v3.57 with 3.3.0 firmware. What would be making me unable to control my timing from my megasquirt? I have tried using "Use Table." The timing will sit at the same place that the distributor has mechanically advanced it to. And not advance or retard no matter what i try. Using "Fixed Angle" won't change the timing from where the distributor originally had it.

 

 

Bagged, generally when people offer very specific advice it helps if you address those specific items in your reply.  Matt gave two targeted things to your exact question, and I'm not sure that you addressed either.  You didn't address spark output, and I'm not sure that his "Fixed Angle" is in the same category as your "Use Table".  Isn't the other option "Fixed Timing" in the "Fixed Advance" box?  "Fixed Angle" might be a different parameter.  Find the box that has Fixed Angle in it.

 

Anyway, he covers many forums, I believe, so might not be back right away.  Get the specifics and get back.  Good luck.

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Pretty much EVERY MS2 firmware out there will support the factory trigger disc - I'm not aware of any that don't - and any firmware released in the past 6 years or so will support our trigger disc. 3.3.0 can use either one no problem.

Ok, I'm a bit confused by the above statement.  If the Factory trigger disc is supported by MS2, then why did DIY bring out the new designed trigger disc and mention on their sites that the MS2 combined with the factory Nissan disc has synch issues? If there are no issues then this is a bit misleading to customers. Something missing here...

 

Is it only when the MS2 uses the outer ring ( 360 slits ) for the Crank signal  that this occurs. As you mentioned using the inner ring with only 6 slits has limitations with resolution. Doesn't seem right to me???

 

Edit: Let me know if I have the following correct. This is what I have managed to glean form MS and DIY sites and is my understanding of the situation. Note this all refers to the 1985 VG31 Nissan ring which has 360 outer slits and 6 inner slits. One slit is larger than the others and is used as a " Home " signal.

 

1: MS2 will support the factory Nissan 360 slit trigger wheel, but with limitations. It will only work as a " Basic Distributor" so no waste-spark, EDIS . ( Direct fire not supported by MS2 is understood ). Is that correct?

 

2: Can the MS2 properly use the outer 360 slit ring as it was intended for the Crank signal. MS and DIY seem to indicate that it has synch problems when the 360 slits are used. The fact that you mentioned that you have to use the " Basic Trigger " setup with the inner 6 lit ring on the Stock Nissan wheel ( As The Crank signal ) seems to support this. Is this correct?

 

3: Which Trigger wheel has superior performance and capabilities with an MS2. The factory Nissan ring or the DIY 24 + 1 ring? If the new DIY ring has no advantages, then why was it brought out? Please clarify.

 

4: What are the capabilities with the MS3?  Can it read the outer 360 slit properly with no synch errors and can it decode the stock Nissan VG31 ring properly to run full sequential Fuel and Direct Fire ignition? Please clarify..

 

I'd like some clear answers on these questions as I have a friend who wants to modify her 78 280Z and I'm leaning towards the MS3. But I'm not going to recommend it if it can't do full sequential fuel and Direct fire coils ( That's what she wants ).

 

Thanks so much for the advice.

Edited by Chickenman

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Numerous Nissan forums seem to indicate that there definitely IS a problem with decoding and sync of the Hi-Res ( 360 slits ) of the Nissan CAS wheels and MS2 and even MS3. This is just one of many links that show the Sync issue with the Nissan Hi-Res wheel. This is from 2014, so it is fairly relevant.

 

Note that this particular thread jumps back and forth between MS2 and MS3 ( which is not ideal , but it is just one example of many )

 

http://www.msextra.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=131&t=50336

 

Here is an excerpt from a thread about problems with an MS3 and the Nissan Hi-Res CAS wheel on SRD20 motors; There are lots more like this on various Nissan Tuner Forums as mentioned.

 

 

I just wanted to update this thread.

I've now installed MS3 on two other SR20 motors and they all exhibited the same strange misfire around 3000rpm under load. They are all using 1zz toyota coils (new oem). They also started to experience spark blow out around 350whp+ Under lower power amounts the car revs PERFECTLY to redline.

In my testing here are the things done:

1. swap coils for known good ones (literately made 750whp on the coils tuning the car prior to one of the SRs, talking like 1 hour apart)
2. change to all sort of spark plugs
3. rewire the coils independent of the OEM harness to ensure solid grounds and power supply.
4. Tried a large range of coil dwell
5. Last ecu firmware tried (and still in the car) was 1.3 Alpha 10.
6. Verified timing against the crank marks with a timing light using a spark plug wire between the coil and the plug for the signal source for the light.

As far as the logging is concerned the sync loss counter is at ZERO and the composite log doesn't show the 3000rpm misfire or the (as expected the high rpm blowout). I was at a loss so I tried the DIYAutotune trigger disc which emulates a 12+1 wheel with cam for full sequential. All I changed was the disc and put in the proper settings for tooth logger, dialed in the angle and off I went. The 3000 rpm misfire was gone as well any spark blow out.

That leads me to believe some weirdness is happening in the Nissan SR20 mode in regards to the spark outputs and/or coil dwell?
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shaodome Master MS/Extra'er   Posts: 711 Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:58 pm

 

Matt had posted back in this thread as well, noting that the MS3 only used the Hi-Res ( 360 slit )  ring for cranking RPM. At 3,000 RPM it would be using the Lo-Res ( 6 slit ) ring and this he did not know if this was causing an issue:

 

 

 

 

I can't answer the question directly, but I do have a note about the decoder: It only uses the high res wheel at low RPM such as for cranking. So at 3000 RPM, it will be less accurate than our trigger disc. Not sure if that's a factor here or not.

 

 

Well, it appears it may well be  a factor ( using the Lo-Res ring ).

 

Then there is this  comment  by " jsmcortina " ( MS Firmware Developer ) that says that the MS2 can NOT decode the Nissan Hi-Res wheel. So you can see how this is all very confusing;

 

 

(quote="jsmcortina")There seem to be lots of different reports going on here.

Posting about MS2 in a topic about MS3 Nissan CAS isn't necessarily helpful. Megasquirt-2 cannot decode the Hi-res Nissan pattern at all. Megasquirt-3 (and MS3-Pro) can decode the hi-res pattern. The hi-res teeth are used for more accurate timing during cranking.

As far as the developers are aware, the Nissan CAS modes work correctly. If you have an actual problem, please start a new topic with details of the install, MSQ, datalog and any other supporting data.

James(/quote)
 

 

Don't quite know how the developers can say that the Nissan CAS modes work correctly,  when so many people are reporting problems with the Hi-Res Nissan and DIY brought out a modified ring.  If there were no issues, then why the modified ring? Apparently the 6 ring inner ring does not have enough resolution at higher RPM's and is casuing problems in some situations. That seems to be the general consensus on various Nissan Tuner forums. . 

 

All in all, the DIY modified ring just seems to eliminate all the confusion and issues. Or an AEM 24 + 1 ring, which AEM also developed to replace the Nissan Hi-Res wheel to solve their ECU's particular issues with the Nissan Hi-Res wheels. . Very confusing situation...

 

Edit: Just found my MS Forum password, so I'll probably be posting more over there... Got no time to work on my 280Z cause I'm spending so much time researching MS2 and Nissan Trigger wheel articles.. :icon11:

 

Edit 2. Actually I think I'll try and take a break from this thread. Interesting Technical discussion, and it would be nice to get some definative answers. But I've got to get some other work done....

Edited by Chickenman

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