Standard ECU vs Apexi [Archive] - Mitsubishi Lancer Register Forum

Standard ECU vs Apexi

TechnicalThunk
13-04-2009, 19:00
Hello All,

I'm thinking about replacing my Apexi Power FC and AVCR with a standard flashed ECU based on a few conversations I have had with members recently.

I have an excellent map on the FC, but the standard ECU seems to do a lot more now with the advances in ECUtec / ECU flash such as switchable maps. The most important thing for me is that the standard ECU will retard the ignition upon knock or other issue, where as the FC doesn't (I believe). The FC has never idled well from cold and the cooling fans have been erratic since it was fitted and these little things are starting to wind me up.

I know that a standard ECU can run boost control so I'll keep the 3 port solenoid from the AVCR and try to sell the rest off.

I'm really happy with the performance and don't plan any future engine mods so I really want to know if the Apexi kit is doing things better or is just better and I don't realise!

I have a 260 with the following spec:
PFC
AVCR
GSC S1s
Fuel Pump
Exhaust
Induction

Any advice appreciated!

Thanks,

Jon

GUM EVO
13-04-2009, 19:02
I personally would choose the standard unit over the power FC anyday... go for it:smthumbup

It seems to me alot of people have problems with idle, false knock, spurious problems when using these units...

Kind regards,
GUM

todd-w
13-04-2009, 19:11
What advances with Ecutec ???????

GUM EVO
13-04-2009, 19:13
What advances with Ecutec ???????

Yeah your right... ecutek dont seem to release extras such as switchable maps etc...dont know why:confused: I think he means ecuflash anyway.

Regards,
GUM

TechnicalThunk
13-04-2009, 20:30
I guess it is ECU flash that has the switchable maps then.

4g638
14-04-2009, 22:58
Hello All,

I'm thinking about replacing my Apexi Power FC and AVCR with a standard flashed ECU based on a few conversations I have had with members recently.

I have an excellent map on the FC, but the standard ECU seems to do a lot more now with the advances in ECUtec / ECU flash such as switchable maps. The most important thing for me is that the standard ECU will retard the ignition upon knock or other issue, where as the FC doesn't (I believe). The FC has never idled well from cold and the cooling fans have been erratic since it was fitted and these little things are starting to wind me up.

I know that a standard ECU can run boost control so I'll keep the 3 port solenoid from the AVCR and try to sell the rest off.

I'm really happy with the performance and don't plan any future engine mods so I really want to know if the Apexi kit is doing things better or is just better and I don't realise!

I have a 260 with the following spec:
PFC
AVCR
GSC S1s
Fuel Pump
Exhaust
Induction

Any advice appreciated!

Thanks,

Jon

Don't change the ecu,change your mapper;),the ecu does not retard timing uppon knock,it's retard feature is based on other factors,and since you have no sort of actual problem with the map or the car itself and you are sastisfied with performace,then I would suggest you found a better and more capable mapper,to sort out the idle and fan issue,it's not a big issue at all to sort out,the power fc is perfectly capable of running a very smooth idle if done properly.

grayw
15-04-2009, 05:48
Keep the AVCR if you already have it fitted, it provides some useful features. Yes the power FC does remove timing, but only for high water and air temperatures, no good if you have dodgy fuel or a problem has developed:)
The list of features on a standard ECU keeps increasing, full adjustable knock control, switchable maps, valet mode, CEL flash on knock, ICS additional functions, speed density (MAP), no lift to shift (addition clutch switch required).

4g638
15-04-2009, 06:29
Also if there is a problem with fuelling affecting injector duty,on any sort of other problem that might cause knock,such as an electrical problem affecting your fuel pump leaning you out,your mapper could adjust the cel light to appear and flash warning you way before knock has even caused any damage to your pistons and rods.:)

And of course there is the additional feature of the commander where it's not only a display monitor for all vital readings about your engine,where you can monitor constantly at any given time during driving,it also gives you the chance to correct a problem if it appears,or at least adjust certain parameters while you are on the road,simply and easily,without the use of a laptop,so as to protect your engine,untill you drive back to your tuner.

grayw
15-04-2009, 11:33
Letting you know you have a problem after an event has happened might be to late, nothing like prevention so it does not happen to start with:)

I know it lets you adjust indication of high injector duty, where are the parameters for electrical problem warning set out of interest?

Also if there is a problem with fuelling affecting injector duty,on any sort of other problem that might cause knock,such as an electrical problem affecting your fuel pump leaning you out,your mapper could adjust the cel light to appear and flash warning you way before knock has even caused any damage to your pistons and rods.:)

johnbanks
15-04-2009, 13:48
I had an EJ257 running about 100 BHP more than was considered the limit for this engine's weak stock pistons on a PowerFC and the peak knock had not been over about 20 for thousands of miles with what appeared to be a decent margin between ignition timing and knock threshold. One day it hit about 80 out of the blue. I lifted as soon as I saw the flashing CEL, but it was enough to damage a ring land and the headgaskets. Given I was at high revs at the time, I wonder how many ignition events with knock got through before I noticed and lifted? Could have been hundreds even with a quick reaction time and watching the CEL and nothing else, especially since it seemed to have a short delay after the knock would appear on the commander before the CEL would flash. An ECU with knock control would probably have saved the engine. Also I don't like the way that you choose a single knock threshold, if based on RPM it would be more sensitive and specific. However, other than the lack of knock control, I like the PowerFC, but I wouldn't swap the stock ECU for one even if there was a MIVEC version.

Cam&LadyL
15-04-2009, 14:15
Iv just ditched the PFC for the standard ECU...The only reason is the PFC is getting a bit old in the tooth,no knock control is the main one....plus you can have LC/AL/Switchable maps and flat shift for the price of a standard ECU:D

Well worth it...well hopefully,should be able to tell within the next 3/4 weeks :smthumbup

Stevolution_VI
15-04-2009, 17:16
I would say its up to the individual tbh. Yes ECUflash has come on leaps and bounds but in no way would i discount the Apexi PFC at all. I ran one and never had a moments problem with it, parameters are easy to monitor via the hand commander and road manners were certainly easier to live with compared to my current setup bar the really low end running when using the engines idle power to crawl along in traffic at time (but a paddle clutch on my car was a lot blame on this too)

Lets not forget that a few high BHP cars like skylines, RX7's and supra's can run in excess of 700bhp+ with this ECU, which despite being on a different make of car, has the same features and monitoring thurout the range. I agree that the lack of knock control can be a bit of a bug bear and worry to a few people BUT if mapped well (which i beleive mine was) your knock value should be low regardless how hard you drive the car (35 was the highest I ever saw). saying a standard ECU has knock control isnt a sure fire way of keeping it alive, lets be honest, filling up with 95 Octane and caning the car or have a fuel pump stall / injector fail during a spirited run is certainly in my eyes gonna break something and no knock sensor is going to help that should it ever happen, or the knock sensor itself can go tits up and cause issues that way.

Unless your really determined to change back Jon, maybe its worth speaking to your chosen mapper and just seeing what can be done, the fans certainly should behave as standard but the Idle issue is a trait of the apexi (unless its stalling in which theres something not right there)

either way, thats just my personal veiw on the options :)

anttist
15-04-2009, 17:35
Letting you know you have a problem after an event I know it lets you adjust indication of high injector duty, where are the parameters for electrical problem warning set out of interest?

Threshold level for knock warning can be adjusted with FC Datalogit, maybe with Apexi Professional tools as well. 60 is the standard value, I would lower it to 30 or so to detect excessive knock earlier.

grayw
15-04-2009, 17:41
Threshold level for knock warning can be adjusted with FC Datalogit, maybe with Apexi Professional tools as well. 60 is the standard value, I would lower it to 30 or so to detect excessive knock earlier.

As John posted, how many ignition event have happened before you lift off with any onset of det. It's ok getting a warning, but it does not protect you. It's a bit like laser speed trap detectors, you know you've been zapped that's all, it does not stop you getting a ticket:cry:

wh0s_the_daddy
15-04-2009, 18:02
Can a power fc be mapped to give the pops and bangs we all seem to be after, if the car's not fitted with SAS can the power fc still the pops and bangs ?

cheers

andy

grayw
15-04-2009, 18:54
Yes you can make them pop and bang:)

johnbanks
15-04-2009, 18:55
:rolleyes: :wallbang: :shake: :blah: ;)

wh0s_the_daddy
15-04-2009, 20:01
Yes you can make them pop and bang:)

without the SAS ?

grayw
15-04-2009, 20:06
Yes even without the SAS.

wh0s_the_daddy
15-04-2009, 20:28
Yes even without the SAS.

right then thats my next thing to do, get it re-mapped.

cheers

andy

TechnicalThunk
15-04-2009, 20:41
Guys, thanks for all the help and advice.

I think the most important thing for me is the knock retardation. I occasionally get peaks over 50, but my tuner detected knock on the cans while mapping at this level which suggests my sensor is fairly insensitive.

Plus I like the sound of switchable maps, anti lag etc.

I'm off to think, let us know how things work out Cam.

Cheers,

Jon

4g638
16-04-2009, 01:23
I had an EJ257 running about 100 BHP more than was considered the limit for this engine's weak stock pistons on a PowerFC and the peak knock had not been over about 20 for thousands of miles with what appeared to be a decent margin between ignition timing and knock threshold. One day it hit about 80 out of the blue. I lifted as soon as I saw the flashing CEL, but it was enough to damage a ring land and the headgaskets. Given I was at high revs at the time, I wonder how many ignition events with knock got through before I noticed and lifted? Could have been hundreds even with a quick reaction time and watching the CEL and nothing else, especially since it seemed to have a short delay after the knock would appear on the commander before the CEL would flash. An ECU with knock control would probably have saved the engine. Also I don't like the way that you choose a single knock threshold, if based on RPM it would be more sensitive and specific. However, other than the lack of knock control, I like the PowerFC, but I wouldn't swap the stock ECU for one even if there was a MIVEC version.


I'm sorry but you know very little about the power fc's cababilities,no offense.:)

4g638
16-04-2009, 01:32
Can a power fc be mapped to give the pops and bangs we all seem to be after, if the car's not fitted with SAS can the power fc still the pops and bangs ?

cheers

andy

If by pop and bangs you mean antilag ,no you need to either fit the gizzmo unit,or hack your power fc to upgrate it to the d-jetro pro version,which will be a difficult thing to do,since you will not find easily the suitable hardware.

The only version that runs flatshift,antilag and launch control,is the pro unit and that was made especially for the the japanese market, based on Apexi's drag car, with limited amount of units for limited amount of car brands. It has been discontinnued.

4g638
16-04-2009, 01:38
As John posted, how many ignition event have happened before you lift off with any onset of det. It's ok getting a warning, but it does not protect you. It's a bit like laser speed trap detectors, you know you've been zapped that's all, it does not stop you getting a ticket:cry:

If the cel light is adjusted to flash earlier than 60,say 30 and you take your foot off the throttle, knock will not cause damage to your engine,and then you can have it remaped if necessary.

4g638
16-04-2009, 01:41
Guys, thanks for all the help and advice.

I think the most important thing for me is the knock retardation. I occasionally get peaks over 50, but my tuner detected knock on the cans while mapping at this level which suggests my sensor is fairly insensitive.

Plus I like the sound of switchable maps, anti lag etc.


I'm off to think, let us know how things work out Cam.

Cheers,

Jon


Since this will give you peace of mind and would be more of an ideal setup for you,change to the stock unit:)

grayw
16-04-2009, 05:51
Only if you see it, not everyone looks down while driving, especially when going quickly. And as John eluded to, how many ignition events pass before damage is caused?

If the cel light is adjusted to flash earlier than 60,say 30 and you take your foot off the throttle, knock will not cause damage to your engine,and then you can have it remaped if necessary.

anttist
16-04-2009, 07:33
Only if you see it, not everyone looks down while driving, especially when going quickly. And as John eluded to, how many ignition events pass before damage is caused?

The CEL flashing is good if for example your engine starts to knock on hot trackday because intercooler is no longer up to the job and manifold temps are rising. This will not happen instanty, it will get worse and worse when the temps increase. It's likely that this will be noticed during long straights which is where it most propably will happen. And if this happens you are not forced to quit the day, you can just temporarily back up the ignition map 1 or 2 degrees with Commander and the sort it later.

If something goes catastrophically wrong and knock hits to 80 immediately then it's not helping but I doubt that even stock knock control would save you 100% in that situation.

Most of the aftermarket ECUs don't even have this functionality.

Power FC is easy to tune and gives solid good performance. I don't really see any reason why somebody with good map would change to another ECU unless really bad needing some feature that's not present.

johnbanks
16-04-2009, 10:15
In my case I believe knock control on these delicate pistons was the difference between the engine failing and not failing. On many/most other occasions, I agree, knock onset is more gradual, but if it is sudden and severe I'd rather have one ignition event with knock than a few hundred. 4G63 is a lot more forgiving than EJ257 though, both in its tendency to knock unpredictably and to not do so much damage when it does.

Sys0p
16-04-2009, 10:38
See now I'm being swayed to drop my D Jetro and get a stock ECU + IX Inlet!!

Argg :/

4g638
16-04-2009, 11:15
The CEL flashing is good if for example your engine starts to knock on hot trackday because intercooler is no longer up to the job and manifold temps are rising. This will not happen instanty, it will get worse and worse when the temps increase. It's likely that this will be noticed during long straights which is where it most propably will happen. And if this happens you are not forced to quit the day, you can just temporarily back up the ignition map 1 or 2 degrees with Commander and the sort it later.

If something goes catastrophically wrong and knock hits to 80 immediately then it's not helping but I doubt that even stock knock control would save you 100% in that situation.

Most of the aftermarket ECUs don't even have this functionality.

Power FC is easy to tune and gives solid good performance. I don't really see any reason why somebody with good map would change to another ECU unless really bad needing some feature that's not present.

:smthumbup:smthumbup, I'm glad someone has more time and energy than me to explain things in more detail,the chance of not noticing the cel light is not big at all,and since you are that worried then you can wire in a shift light and mount it on your dashboard which will flash along with the cel light,and that you cannot miss;)

grayw
16-04-2009, 11:24
It's likely that this will be noticed during long straights which is where it most propably will happen.

If something goes catastrophically wrong and knock hits to 80 immediately then it's not helping but I doubt that even stock knock control would save you 100% in that situation.

Most of the aftermarket ECUs don't even have this functionality.

You are more likely to suffer know when slowing into corners than on a long straight, the flow of air at speed provides very good cooling.

This is the advantage of adjustable knock control, removing more timing from the low octane maps allows bigger interpolation in timing numbers, adjustments in the sensitivity means you will never get to hear anything on det cans.

Lot's of the aftermarket ECU's have knock control available now, AEM, Hydra, Autronic, Motec etc.

Yeo
16-04-2009, 11:32
The only thing with the std ecu is that you cannot have a map sensor on it.. Am i correct or has this been added to the list to ecuflash as well??

4g638
16-04-2009, 11:35
You are more likely to suffer know when slowing into corners than on a long straight, the flow of air at speed provides very good cooling.

This is the advantage of adjustable knock control, removing more timing from the low octane maps allows bigger interpolation in timing numbers, adjustments in the sensitivity means you will never get to hear anything on det cans.

Lot's of the aftermarket ECU's have knock control available now, AEM, Hydra, Autronic, Motec etc.


Not if you live in Cyprus and you drag race through the summer.

Now,people should get this straight,the power fc has a way of preventing knock ,it is based on inlet temps and water temps,and it is ajustable in timing retardation,if you adjust it properly knowing what you are doing as far as tuning and mapping is concerned then there is not a chance to get your engine damage. You cannot adjust the sensitivity of the oem knock sensor through the power fc and to me that is a benefit on the 4g63 and most other engines as the oem sensitivity setup is very high.

grayw
16-04-2009, 11:58
Now,people should get this straight,the power fc has a way of preventing knock ,it is based on inlet temps and water temps,and it is ajustable in timing retardation,if you adjust it properly knowing what you are doing as far as tuning and mapping is concerned then there is not a chance to get your engine damage.

You cannot adjust the sensitivity of the oem knock sensor through the power fc and to me that is a benefit on the 4g63 and most other engines as the oem sensitivity setup is very high.

This is only if the fault that occurs is high inlet or water temps:lol:

Response and calibration of the knock control is only software programmed, not the sensor.

AndyF_RSX
16-04-2009, 12:04
Now,people should get this straight,the power fc has a way of preventing knock ,it is based on inlet temps and water temps,and it is ajustable in timing retardationMarios,
Does the Power FC just apply a single figure to the timing retard or is it based on how high above the setpoint the values it is reading are?

e.g. if the setpoint for timing retard is 30C inlet temp does it pull 1 if you go above 30 and then 2's if you go above 35 etc. or would it just pull the 1 whether you are at 30 or 35 or 40?

Andy

4g638
16-04-2009, 12:32
Marios,
Does the Power FC just apply a single figure to the timing retard or is it based on how high above the setpoint the values it is reading are?

e.g. if the setpoint for timing retard is 30C inlet temp does it pull 1 if you go above 30 and then 2's if you go above 35 etc. or would it just pull the 1 whether you are at 30 or 35 or 40?

Andy

Andy,
It works as you said in your first statement,gradually increasing retardation as the inlet temps and water temps rise. You adjust how much degrees of timing to pull,its the celcius values that are fixed.

johnbanks
16-04-2009, 12:47
Andy, in the FC Datalogit software for GTR and Subarus (I've not played with a Pro version), for ignition timing it is 3 interpolated cells for air temp and 2 interpolated cells for water temp, although as stock it does nothing until 60C and 90C respectively. I would start to retard by a the highest 35C air temperature based on what I've seen and also some nice Ahmed Bayoo (sic?) data I saw from Cosworth engines used in rally cars in many different conditions.

However, you know as well as I that this open loop process (I'm referring to feedback systems here not closed vs open loop fuelling), and the fact that my ring land went when I had a charge temperature less than 30C and a coolant temp in the mid 80s Celcius shows it isn't really a protection at all. Virtually every ECU has water and air temperature compensation, yet OEMs and now aftermarket ECU manufacturers obviously waste their money on developing closed loop knock control. I'm sure there are whole areas of industrial control where you'd love to bin the sensors and associated headaches with feedback control. We'd have aeroplanes crashing and power systems failing all over the place if our engineers were so negligent. I suspect you'd have lost your job by now if you didn't install appropriate closed loop feedback checks in your systems? When we're running a knock limited engine on pump fuel, we either give up performance or safety by not running closed loop knock control if we possibly can.

Sorry (or perhaps I'm not?) I don't see what Marios is telling you, I have him on my ignore list.