So I was writing a reply to a post about the MS and the next thing i knew I had written a 2 page book in word. So i figured I'd post it up so someone interested in learning the MS system could read my experiances and hopefully pick up a few helpfull hints. I know I didn't go into specific detail in alot of places but that would have created 200 pages instead of 2. Anyway hopefully this will help someone.
MS can be overwhelming, but if you take it one step at a time and learn it in pieces it's not so bad. The learning process that I used seemed to help me pick it up in about a month. To learn enough to consider myself a novice and have enough know-how to do everything I want and more.
My current setup is….
MS v3 board with MS I processor running MegaSquirtnSpark Extra alpha code ver 029i
Dynojet wideband commander
440 “green top” injectors
A good starting place is obviously the megasquirt.info website, particularly the pages that describe how and on what theories that the MS operates. Depending on how much background you have this will either be boring common sense, or the most fundamental and important information that you should memorize, come to know as gospel, and be able to recite in your sleep. Things like the Ideal gas law, how ms controls fuel, what the fuel calculations are, and what information is needed to accurately perform these calculations.
Next I would download the software and “test drive” it. Open it up and go through each screen, setting, and menu. When you come across something that you don’t know what it is or understand what it does…. Find out now so you’re not trying to learn if you need it or not once the unit is in your car.
Now, for me at least, is a good time to order all your parts. What do you want and need?? YOU need to answer that question!!! If you can’t then you’re not ready to take on this project. What I went with was the MS v3 board with the traditional MS I processor, and the stimulator. Looking back now if I had to do it again I would have purchased the relay board as well to simplify install. I personally se no advantage to ordering the MS II processor since there seems to be more support for the MSI processor out there and it can be adapted to do everything the 2 does AND MORE.
While you’re waiting for your parts to arrive go back to the ms site and read through the assembly instructions, then once you’ve read them once go back and read them again. After that start reading the install section and figuring out how you’re going to hook everything up.
Once the box arrives now it’s time to start building. Start with the stimulator, then the relay board, and then the MS itself last. This way you have practice time just so you hone your PCB assembly skills. When building the ECU follow the instructions EXACTLY, don’t just start placing components in their labeled locations randomly. Each component has a special function, some you will use, some you won’t. And you want to be able to test each stage of the board b4 proceeding to the next.
If you are going to trigger RPM signal off of one of the two signal wires on the ecotec you want to follow the Hall sensor section for RPM input. This means you’re going to follow step 50a only and skip step 50b and 51. Also not that with this setup you will not be controlling ignition timing with the MS
The other part of the build that I remember having major options to choose from was the injection driver section. For this section I know I am always going to be using high impedance injectors so I opted not to install the PWM flyback. You can install it if you want but if you’re not going to use it there’s no need to go through the tedious tasks involved IMO, plus without the extra devices mounted to the heatsink I would imagine it is able to stay a little bit cooler. But again this is your decision.
Once everything is built and tested now you can start initial setup. I recommend you do this on the bench with the MS running on the stimulator. Set up all your options like required fuel, starting VE table, settings and so forth. If you are not installing 2nd stand alone sensors for the CLT and IAT sensor then you are going to need to use a program called easytherm to adjust the temperature values for sensor sharing. I don’t recommend sensor sharing because gm switched resistors during warm-up and that makes getting good warm-up enrichments a royal PITA. I had shares sensors for about 6 months and could not get correct warm-up settings; within 1 hour of installing stand alone sensors for the MS I had a pretty flawless warm-up map. But anyway to get back on track…… if you are going to need to run easytherm for temp sensor adjustment then do this FIRST as it will erase all your other settings and maps. Once you have all your base settings squared away now you’re ready to install MS in the car. Remember putting the settings in shouldn’t have taken you long since by this point you should be pretty fluent with the MS software and what settings you’re going to use.
Now you finally get to actually install it, and if you went with the relay board this should be pretty strait forward. A few tricks I’ve come across…. Place resistors in the stock injector harness to keep out CEL’s from having your injectors unplugged. Somewhere in the order of 100ohm ½ watt resistors worked for me. For switched 12v use the stock ECU’s 12v source. For a basic fuel only setup don’t bother wiring your fuel pump or idle control valve. Let the stock ecu do that work for you. It does a fine job.
Now it’s finally time to tune, which I hope you have a wideband or plan on spending at least a few hours on a dyno. If you have a wideband and have it wired into the MS for logging tuning is a snap. What I did was got the car at least up and running. Then took a trip around my development dataloging. Came back, used a program called VEXME (available in software section of MSEFI) and built an updated VE map, loaded that into the MS and repeated. After about 6 progressions, each one expanding on the previous, I had a pretty good VE map built for pretty much all operating conditions.
Hopefully you’re still awake since I definitely did not intend this post to be even a quarter of this long. Basically there is nothing special about running the MS on any car; it just takes time and research. If your one of those people that wants or needs to be told exactly how to do things, then this defiantly is not the solution for you. But if you’re a self taught person that likes to figure things out on your own then this is the PERFECT solution. Everything that I know about the MS I have learned from solely the megasquirt.info website and personal trial and experimentation. Only after the initial install did I venture into the msefi.com forums to expand my knowledge. The best advice I can give is read…read…read… and read. All the information is out there, you just gotta find it. And the rewards are defiantly worth the time!!!!!!!!!