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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: January 1, 2018, 6:58 pm 
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I was just wondering yesterday if you'd pulled the trigger on anything yet.

1) My understanding is that COP gives you more precise and a hotter, more stable spark. This comes in to play as you go higher in the rev range. A lot of that is just theory though because wasted spark works beyond 8k with good components.

2) I'll have to look for it again but back when I was researching I found an article where they did back to back tests on the same engine (LS if I recall) running it batch vs sequential. There was no change to mid or top end power. The sequential made a few % more power at low engine speeds. They concluded that sequential was better for emissions and mileage but made negligible differences in power. That article in combination with a lot of anecdotal evidence I came across on the web helped convince me that I didn't need to spend more on an MS3 for the 53 chevy.

3) I think the only benefit the MS3 has at that price point is it's open nature. It's entirely modifiable and the design schematics are out there along with the "tinkerer" community around it. If something failed or if you wanted to add new/additional functionality, you could open it up and do it yourself. With a closed-source ECU like a Haltech, you are very much tied to the vendor and manufacturer to support you and sell you add-ons if you need it to do more. It's a harder question to answer if that's worth the price though. I went MS2 precisely because it saved me hundreds of dollars; everything else was just an extra benefit. If I could have got an AEM or Haltech cheaper than MS to run my engine, I likely would have gone that route.


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PostPosted: January 1, 2018, 7:27 pm 
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300D50:

I have a chip that allows me to tune the factory ECU, but the technology in it is prehistoric (i.e. it cannot be tuned with anything besides Windows XP, not even a virtual machine), and doesn't offer any features for MAP sensors, or any different kinds of injection or ignition besides factory. The only other alternative I have come across is a standalone ECU.

esp42089:

1) That's more or less what I have read, so I think I would be okay with wasted spark. However, are you aware of any issues with the wasted spark igniting unburned fuel on the exhaust stroke? And if so, would that cause any problems beyond fire coming out the tail pipe?

2) Understood. I would love to have the extra low end emissions and mileage, but since the factory setup is batch fire, I don't think I will lose anything really.

3) Fair, I can understand the concern of being stuck with closed-source companies, but I like to think they would have a good enough warranty or build quality to not present too many issues. But it is a bunch of extra money.

I think I'm going to go MS2 v3.0. Gonna sleep on it for a few days before I pull the trigger, but it's probably the direction I will go.


In the mean time, I just insulated my garage door, gonna set up a thermometer and see how temperatures change.

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PostPosted: January 1, 2018, 8:28 pm 
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#1 The spark plug on the exhaust stroke does not fire because that cylinder is ionized (chemically) which shorts the plug.

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PostPosted: January 1, 2018, 8:52 pm 
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ThunderHeide wrote:
300D50:
1) That's more or less what I have read, so I think I would be okay with wasted spark. However, are you aware of any issues with the wasted spark igniting unburned fuel on the exhaust stroke? And if so, would that cause any problems beyond fire coming out the tail pipe?


I don't know about you, but all the best hot rods shoot flames out the exhaust. That's not a "problem"; that's a feature! :D

Joking aside, here's my understanding: if there is fuel in the chamber, it's because it ran out of oxygen to burn with on the power stroke. This oxygen depleted mixture is pushed out of the cylinder on the exhaust stroke, past the plug tip and opening exhaust valve with tremendous velocity. The plug typically fires some number of degrees BTDC (at the same time as its sister cylinder) into an effectively inert exhaust gas. The intake valve hasn't started opening yet, which is the only source of fresh oxygen to the chamber.

This is why they started using air pumps on the exhaust manifolds in the early smog days. The concept was that pumping fresh oxygen into the exhaust would burn any remaining fuel left in the exhaust manifolds and you'd have more heat and less raw fuel going into the catalytic converter.


Last edited by esp42089 on January 1, 2018, 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 1, 2018, 8:55 pm 
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Bent Wrench wrote:
#1 The spark plug on the exhaust stroke does not fire because that cylinder is ionized (chemically) which shorts the plug.


Which, if I understand correctly, is the reason both plugs can fire at the same time. It isn't because the coils are that powerful, it's because one plug is firing through ionized gas requiring very little power.


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PostPosted: January 2, 2018, 12:26 am 
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The plugs are at opposite ends of the coil secondary winding, so there can be 2 sparks.

I have run dual plugs on a single cylinder with a double ended (made for wasted spark) coil.
You just cant run a large gap.
You can run COP coils in parallel and be able to open the plug gap.

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PostPosted: January 2, 2018, 3:40 am 
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I was more thinking you could transplant the modern ECU into the older loom, and replace the chipable one.

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PostPosted: January 2, 2018, 2:33 pm 
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Okay, that all makes a lot more sense!

My last reservations on the MS2, are that the MAP sensor is 4 bar, which is way more than I will ever need. Am I going to lose too much resolution with a sensor like that? And if so, can I just swap it for a different one? I know DIYPNP sells a 3 bar sensor, but I don't know if it is a direct replacement.

300D50:

The problem with that is every other motor after that is twin cam, and can only really benefit from a piggy back tuner, and can't be totally re-flashed.

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PostPosted: January 3, 2018, 11:15 am 
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ThunderHeide wrote:
Okay, that all makes a lot more sense!

My last reservations on the MS2, are that the MAP sensor is 4 bar, which is way more than I will ever need. Am I going to lose too much resolution with a sensor like that? And if so, can I just swap it for a different one? I know DIYPNP sells a 3 bar sensor, but I don't know if it is a direct replacement.

300D50:

The problem with that is every other motor after that is twin cam, and can only really benefit from a piggy back tuner, and can't be totally re-flashed.


The map sensor used is calibrated in the software. So whichever one you choose will work. I think you are looking at the kit with the Map Daddy 4 bar sensor. That is good for up to 44psi boost. The basic kit uses a MAP sensor that is a 2.5 bar sensor. Good up to 22 PSI boost. Running a non-boost engine on the std sensor works just fine. Plus, the std kit is noticeably less costly than the Map Daddy kit.

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PostPosted: January 3, 2018, 11:21 pm 
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Thanks, Chuck!


Small progress, the car is back up on jackstands, and I dropped the exhaust. Started removing the EXTREMELY stuck bolts holding in the subframe, am probably going to have to but and replace them. Replacements are extremely cheap from BMW though so I'm not worried about it.

Still trying to figure out exactly what I am swapping in the rear for the five lug swap. I've heard everything from just replacing the hubs for the Z3 ones, all the way to bolting in the complete Z3 subframe. I don't think it is just hubs, because the wheel bearing is a different size, but I need to figure it out for sure before I proceed. I'm thinking the hub will be a lot easier to remove with the assembly still on the car.

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PostPosted: January 5, 2018, 10:57 pm 
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Got some work done tonight, after a fight I removed both the axles, and unhooked the sway bar and shocks. Also sprayed everything else down with PB Blaster. We are switching to four ten hour shifts at work, so I'm hoping that I can get some regular weekly progress.

Sorry if I start spamming this build log...I'm trying to keep tabs on all my progress to help motivate me.

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PostPosted: January 6, 2018, 1:15 pm 
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ThunderHeide wrote:
Sorry if I start spamming this build log...I'm trying to keep tabs on all my progress to help motivate me.
Hmmm... Iffen YOU post it to your own build log, it ain't spam... Or is it? If so, I'm guilty as hell... I think the majority of my build log is spam, really... Geeze, hope the moderators don't notice... :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: January 15, 2018, 11:30 pm 
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Didn't get as much time as I would have liked on the car this weekend. Just managed to pull the trunk apart, to get to the shocks and take them out. Also pulled the springs, and started disassembling the brakes. I decided that I'm just going to utilize the complete Z3 rear subframe, since it has 240k less miles on it, and no rust. I'm going to verify all the measurements, but so far it looks like it will fit.

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Oh yeah, and I also ordered a MegaSquirt! Got an MS3X from DIYAutoTune, ended up being just over $100 cheaper than the Plug and Play MS2. Also, learning things is always good, and I've never done much wiring, so I figure this would be a good way to learn! Also ordered a GM open-element IAT sensor, and a GM 3-bar MAP sensor. Gonna utilize the AEM Wideband I had bought for the 4G63 Lotus. Don't know when it will be here, but at least it is ordered!

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PostPosted: January 20, 2018, 8:19 pm 
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Got some work done this weekend. I encountered the reason that I didn't change the subframe bushings many years ago, and it was this nasty little bolt here, that attaches the subframe mounting plate to the car. I stripped it back when I was 17 or so, and gave up. Learned my lesson for this time though, and hacked it off with an angle grinder. The other hardware has been rusty enough, I went to the dealership and ordered all new bolts for the subframe mounts, should be here tuesday.

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Pulling out the differential proved to be much easier than anticipated, and it is now on the ground. I'm unsure of the condition of it, so I'll probably dive into it sometime soon, once I decrease the clutter in my garage. It is a factory LSD, and last time I dumped the clutch (in a safe and legal environment, on a closed course) it spun both rear wheels. I am concerned about the state of the bearings because of age, though it has never made any strange noises. My problem now, is that the subframe bushings won't give up and come detached. I was under the impression that they were just bolted to the body, but it appears they are either pressed in, or totally rusted in place. My bets are on the latter.

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Instead of coming loose, it appears the bushings are actually separating themselves in the middle. I have no real good angle to pry or hammer anymore, since it has moved part way down. I'm thinking I'm going to take a drill and try and drill holes in the rubber bushing to weaken it. As a very last resort I could burn the bushings out, but lighting a fire on the suspension of my car is something I am REALLY not comfortable with.

In other news, the MegaSquirt is shipping on Monday. I'm having a thought about adding a knock controller right away, before I put it in the car. I feel like once it is installed and wired, I'm not going to want to take it out again for a while, and I know a knock sensor is a smart thing to have. But on a relatively stock engine, maybe I'm ok without one, but I should add one before boost. Thoughts?

More to come.

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PostPosted: January 20, 2018, 8:41 pm 
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So here is my take on a knock controller: they really should only be a failsafe if employed and not used as a control for normal operation. In my relatively limited research into knock controllers, they're pretty crude and will result in pulling timing pretty aggressively when triggered by a pre-knock. This results in sudden power delivery changes when running your tuning so close to the edge. I think it's much better to get your tuning safe by running on the conservative side and leave the last 3% of potential power on the table. Running your tuning on the edge for maximum power and relying on a knock sensor and controller to pull timing to save the engine has always struck me as dangerous and unpredictable for a street/fun competition car. Just my 2 cents.

Let me know if you want me to come help when the MS3 arrives. I'll bring my soldering iron and we can party :D


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