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PostPosted: April 17, 2019, 1:16 am 
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Agreed. Like I said, he wasn’t “forthcoming”.

I have since found another standalone ignition system that appears outstanding, and will be my fallback in the event I can’t get my Ehrlich one working. It’s made in the UK, and is called “Nodiz” (as in “no distributor”. It’s a complete system, which uses the engine’s OEM sensor, reluctor, coil pack, etc., and does not require external igniters etc. It can send data to your smartphone via Bluetooth in real-time, too.

They have readymade mapping for various engines, already made (and free). If you add a TPS, it provides full 3D mapping.

They make a specific model for Zetec & Duratec engines. The price, with engine-specific loom, is quite reasonable, at £249.17 (about $325 USD currently). The reviews seem excellent.

I’ve made a LOT of purchases for my build from the UK recently, with 100% satisfaction.

https://motorsport-electronics.co.uk/pr ... etec-loom/

Just a thought, anyway....

:cheers:

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PostPosted: April 17, 2019, 3:20 am 
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Zetec7,

Thanks for the link. That really does look like an outstanding option! Always good to have a backup plan. Just to double check, do you by any chance have any Q4R setup instructions or info that might be germane to my issue?

-Robert


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PostPosted: April 17, 2019, 9:10 am 
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Again my std disclaimer: I'm no expert on this. It looks like that Nodiz is a pretty neat system. It is plug and play for a stock Duratec installation. It is capable of 2D and 3D maps. If I understand it, 3D adds ignition low load advance inferred via a TPS. 3D gives better burn at low load and higher MPG. In order to use 3D with the Webers, one would need to add a tps sensor and possibly a regulated supply voltage. Perhaps that is documented somewhere in their install manual.

There is also the competing Megajolt system that uses manifold vacuum for sensing load instead of a TPS. However, it is a bit more complicated install requiring an additional Ford EDIS-4 module. Kits for the Megajolt on a Duratec run about the same cost as the Nodiz.

Both systems would need a Ford coil pack.

If 2D ignition is all that is required (as in the Q4R system) then the Nodiz should be pretty slick right out of the box if you can't get the Q4R system going.

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PostPosted: April 17, 2019, 4:22 pm 
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Roadog7 wrote:
Zetec7,

Thanks for the link. That really does look like an outstanding option! Always good to have a backup plan. Just to double check, do you by any chance have any Q4R setup instructions or info that might be germane to my issue?

-Robert

Unfortunately, Ehrlich (a.k.a. Quad4Rods, at the time) provided absolutely NO instructions, manual, etc. They were kind enough to label the wires as to where they go, though.

We just took it on faith that he's properly set up the reluctors on our bottom pulleys, that the system itself works, etc. That having been said, the one on my buddy's engine (like mine) does work, although the timing as delivered was out roughly 90*. We have it running fairly well now, but still have a fair bit of fine tuning to do on the timing.

It appears the same system is designed to also work for a V-6 (although with a 3-coil pack, rather than 2), and the timing would have been correct for a V-6.

We've tried to contact Ehrlich several times for more info on these ignitions (and hopefully a manual of some kind), but entirely without success. It seems a simple, relatively foolproof system, but a LOT is left up to the builder to figure out/adjust for himself. On the plus side, replacement coils are a dime a dozen at auto wreckers. Now, if ONLY we could figure out what was done inside the modules themselves....

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PostPosted: April 17, 2019, 4:32 pm 
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rx7locost wrote:
Again my std disclaimer: I'm no expert on this. It looks like that Nodiz is a pretty neat system. It is plug and play for a stock Duratec installation. It is capable of 2D and 3D maps. If I understand it, 3D adds ignition low load advance inferred via a TPS. 3D gives better burn at low load and higher MPG. In order to use 3D with the Webers, one would need to add a tps sensor and possibly a regulated supply voltage. Perhaps that is documented somewhere in their install manual.

There is also the competing Megajolt system that uses manifold vacuum for sensing load instead of a TPS. However, it is a bit more complicated install requiring an additional Ford EDIS-4 module. Kits for the Megajolt on a Duratec run about the same cost as the Nodiz.

Both systems would need a Ford coil pack.

If 2D ignition is all that is required (as in the Q4R system) then the Nodiz should be pretty slick right out of the box if you can't get the Q4R system going.


Yeah, that's our thinking as well. The Q4R unit on my buddy's engine does run, and does gradually dial in a bunch more advance by 2500 RPM or so, so theoretically it should work great.

On the other hand, the Nodiz system seems a LOT simpler to set up, and to monitor, as well. You only have to get its initial timing somewhere in the same time zone as it needs to be, and the in-unit timing adjustments can take care of the rest. It would be nice to not only know your ignition map, and to see it in action, but to be able to adjust it as well, while the engine's running.

To be honest, if I were to recommend a standalone ignition for a Locost (one that doesn't require programming experience, for example!), I'd be mentioning the Nodiz. If I hadn't already invested heavily in my Q4R unit, I'd be moving to the Nodiz myself at this point. The Megajolt units are kind of an "industry standard" now, but trying to set up a manifold vacuum system for 3D mapping is fraught with issues on DCOE Webers, unless they're on a log manifold of some kind, where a non-pulsing, steady vacuum source can be found.

I'm using Webers, so if I wanted 3D mapping I'd have to add a TPS. The ones to fit Webers are VERY expensive, but I have one from the original intake system for my Zetec, and I believe it would be fairly simple (if finnicky) to adapt it to my Webers. That would be truly "locost", as well!

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PostPosted: April 17, 2019, 5:35 pm 
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zetec7 wrote:
According to Ehrlich, these are late 80’s GM OBD1 units out of cars such as 4-cylinder Chevy Cavaliers. He explained it as being units he modified by reprogramming them into permanent “run-home” mode, and designed to add in another 20 or so degrees (on top of the apparently 10 degrees of static advance) over an RPM range from idle to roughly 2500 RPM, so, theoretically about 30 degrees total advance all-in.

I have no idea what he did to the innards (under the coil packs) to accomplish this, and he was VERY cagey about it (not surprising, since he was selling them at that time). IF someone could figure out how to accomplish this, it would make for very simple & dirt-cheap ignition systems for any 4-cylinder distributorless engine.... :roll:


After bit more research, I don’t believe he modified the module at all. The computer (pcm) relies on several inputs to determine what the dynamic timing should be. If the pcm determines a failure in these components, limp home mode consists of omitting input to the module (icm) so the standalone curve is applied. The curve is not provided by the pcm in "limp home" mode.

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PostPosted: April 17, 2019, 5:50 pm 
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Interesting!! That being the case, the"limp-home" mode would have a built-in, basic 2D map which includes a simple advance curve.

IF that's the case, then any '80's GM OBD-1 module would work, only requiring an appropriate mount for the crank sensor & a means of mounting a reluctor wheel! Theoretically, a person could build a DIY standalone ignition using parts from an '80s Cavalier or similar, basically for free!! Now, THAT would be truly "locost"!

Thanks for the info!! :cheers:

**Edit - Now THAT would explain a lot, like why Ehrlich was so cagey about what modifications there were to the OEM modules (i.e., none!?). If that's the case, and I'm pretty sure it is, I may just slide by my friendly local wrecking yard (I've bought a LOT of stuff there over the past few years, and they're extremely price-friendly with me) and pick up an entire spare ignition system. I figure that over the next few years they're going to become scarce (expensive, that is), so having a spare for $10 or so seems like cheap insurance. My reluctor wheel isn't going to have any problems, after all, so the only failure-prone parts are the sensor (also cheap at the wrecker, at this point) and the module.

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PostPosted: April 17, 2019, 7:19 pm 
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Well that's interesting, the GM module has an advance curve. The Ford EDIS unit's (used for Megajolt) limp mode is something like 10 degrees, static.


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PostPosted: April 18, 2019, 8:49 am 
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Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:
After bit more research, I don’t believe he modified the module at all. The computer (pcm) relies on several inputs to determine what the dynamic timing should be. If the pcm determines a failure in these components, limp home mode consists of omitting input to the module (icm) so the standalone curve is applied. The curve is not provided by the pcm in "limp home" mode.


Yes you are correct in this. The OBD1 GM DIS systems have there own self contained ignition curves and will function without any signal from the PCM. The curve that is built into the ignition module programing will most likely vary by engine, and I am guessing could be programed into the module with the correct GM tool although I am not sure on this. I will look thru some of my manuals tonight to see if it shows the timing curve or talks about reprograming. I know that there is a recommendation to reprogram the ignition module to learn new crank angle sensors with a GM Tech 2 so I know that communication with the module is possible.

The real question I have is how he was changing the programing to understand the new reluctor wheel teeth count and position. The reluctor wheels shown are defiantly not like the GM ones. I attached a sketch of the gm one.

The module that was posted appears to be an early OBD1 from an S10 or cavalier with the 2.2 push rod engine.

If you were to make a reluctor wheel that matched the the number of teeth and position before top dead center. I don't see why you couldn't have functioning ignition without any reprograming


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PostPosted: April 18, 2019, 11:20 am 
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The reluctor wheel in that diagram is exactly like the one Ehrilich provided with our GM modules.

Initially, I had wondered how it could work with our Ford Zetec engines (as it's mot intended for a Ford engine), until it occurred to me that, although the ignition system is from a GM 4-cylinder wasted-spark engine (including the coil pack, ignition module, crank sensor, and reluctor), it really dosen't matter WHAT kind of engine it is. A 4-cylinder is a 4-cylinder, regardless of brand, so as long as it has the same firing order, this ignition should work with ANY similar engine, as long as the reluctor & sensor can be mounted.

Funny - I had joined this thread to try to offer whatever tidbits I might have, but I'm learning a LOT myself!

This is GOOD STUFF, gentlemen!!!

:cheers:

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PostPosted: April 19, 2019, 12:29 am 
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I bought an early John Ehrlich stand-alone ignition system for my 2000 Zetec a number of years ago when I also picked up a Weber manifold and bell housing. Part of this process involved shipping the flywheel damper to John to install the reluctor.
Fast forward to about a month ago when I hooked everything up onto my engine run stand to fire the engine.

Initially, the engine would not run in the configuration that John had sent. The carb spat fuel and ignited (a little scary). As wasted spark will run when 180 degrees out (just not as well due to the polarity reversal), I concluded that he had not positioned the reluctor correctly and that it was likely 90 degrees out and firing midway in the stroke rather than tdc.
I researched the GM DIS and found a picture of the reluctor. I noted that position 5 would fire cyls 1 and 4. I reasoned that this should be TDC as DIS engines are timed at TDC and the computer does the rest.

I remembered talking with John when he was developing the package and he told me that his modification to the damper pulley allowed him to dial in an additional 10 degrees timing. So, after locating TDC with tools Zetec7 made, I set the sensor to fire short of 10 degrees before position 5. Bearing in mind we are talking about crankshaft degrees and not camshaft degrees which we are used to dealing with on our cam driven distributors.

With the timing set, the engine (with twin 5 progression hole 45 Webers and a header, fired immediately and runs like a top. I have not yet tuned it but have made up a timing cover with degree notches on it. Running the engine and watching the timing move, I would estimate that there is about 20 (camshaft) degrees of timing dumped in by the GM limp in mode. That, along with 10 degrees or so of initial timing should put me in the ball park of 30 degrees for total timing.
My next step, while it is on the stand is to hook my digital oscilloscope (Snap-on Counsellor 1665) up to it and make sure the sensor is correctly gapped, make sure I am not 180 degrees out and check out the ignition advance against RPM to graph a curve. I think the main thing is to make sure that total advance does not exceed 32 degrees and hope that it comes in progressively between 1500 and 3500 rpm.

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PostPosted: April 19, 2019, 8:55 am 
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For a 4 cylinder, with #1 at tdc, the missing tooth must be approx 90 degrees after the sensor. The relationship between sync and sensor is key. Maybe he added something to the module to ignore/count-delay trig all those extra teeth. Maybe an EE can chime in here.

On the edis, I think to verify there is no integral basic map, a person could disconnect the idm input to the module but leave spout connected and see how it runs, checking the timing.

10 btdc plus the 20 you see atdc is 30 advance from the module.

Everything I build has a dizzy available, but it is an interesting discussion.

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PostPosted: April 19, 2019, 9:49 am 
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My guess, based on all the 1st hand experience related here, is that the "modification" that he made was simply the trigger wheel design itself. Gunner1, some good hands on info there. Thanks!

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PostPosted: April 19, 2019, 4:36 pm 
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Well, to be fair, Ehrlich also did beautifully CNC-machined engine-specific mounts for the crank sensors that came with his kits....

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PostPosted: April 19, 2019, 6:42 pm 
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zetec7 wrote:
Well, to be fair, Ehrlich also did beautifully CNC-machined engine-specific mounts for the crank sensors that came with his kits....

As mentioned before, his bellhousings were impressive with the combination of casting and machine work.


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File comment: Duratec to t5 bell
F1EB0579-F625-4BF0-B291-B750FEE099C5.jpeg
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