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08-06-2019,†10:28 AM #16
Thanks Ed. Hopefully I'm not coming across as bashing the system b/c I'm certainly not qualified to bash it.
Doing my early research I read so many threads about how easy systems are to tune they almost had me believing I could do it all myself. But knowing myself and how people tend to overestimate peoples abilities I went in with a realistic mindset about the task at hand and I was right on. I did surprise myself in that my due diligence paid off after spending a month creating my own wiring diagram/manual for my car with each component and wire color drawn out that the car started as soon as I hit the key. It seriously brought a tear to my eye.
The MS Pro is extremely powerful b/c it has the ability to do so much, and for any type of vehicle, and browsing through the manual will give one a sense of the variability it has...incredible.
Hopefully I'll get the car to the track to see what it can do but for now I'm simply enjoying it.;)
08-06-2019,†11:28 AM #17
It didn't sound like bashing at all, Kevin. First hand experience from a real world user is always a big plus.
One of the tougher, more tedious jobs when you are converting over from one EFI system to another is always the wiring harness build out. We all try to have a tidy appearance under the hood which means wire loom length is just as important as getting the right wire and sensor paired up.
Sounds simple enough until you actually do it! Suddenly it becomes a lot of work, especially when you get the wrong wire paired up with the wrong sensor and cut it to length. Suddenly it is now too short to reach the proper sensor and you go into repair mode trying to correct your well intentioned but incorrect wire trim. The harness build out you did and especially the first start experience is a high mark to hit right out of the box.
I was talking to another MS3Pro user a while back and like yourself he was quite impressed with the capabilities the system had built in. In fact he called it the poor man's Motec or Haltech, both of which have well deserved reputations however, they are anything but inexpensive. He jokingly suggested you needed to own your own home so you could take out a second mortgage to buy one of them. The MS3Pro PnP systems are truly impressive in their capabilities and also their price point.
Thank you so much for contributing your experiences and congrats on a job well done.
08-08-2019,†10:52 AM #18
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
Hi guys, I have used Megasquirt 3x on several cars including installing the full wiring harness and options such as water/meth, boost control, launch control etc. We have used it on Mustangs and mustang based kit cars 5.0 pushrod, N/A, Single turboed, and a 408 (351W) twin turbo build, and just now a stock terminator (not started yet).
It is a great system and IMHO the best bang for the buck by a long shot in the aftermarket stand alone ECU segment, with great support via the forums and vendors.
All that being said, any EFI tuning system comes with a steep learning curve (if you aren't already a tuner) and will require plenty of hours of fine tuning to get a car to idle and drive even close to a factory ecu.
WOT is the easy part and can be done in a few hours or a few pulls on a dyno. The drive-ability that the OEM ECU offers can't be beat, however once you've exceeded the factory ECU ability, or want the awesome features Ed listed, I believe the MS is the way to go. What I like about it is that it is an All in One box, you don't have to add very expensive add on modules like other aftermarket ECUs do, or have a bunch of different boxes for each feature all working separately and not talking together. Plus it data logs almost all the channels it uses at 100 records/sec and those logs are invaluable in troubleshooting any issues, improving your tune, and wringing out HP.
It's really great to see them releasing a PnP for these cars, that sure helps most ppl get into self tuning because a lot of the complicated settings are pre-configured and you don't have to mess with the harness either.
08-08-2019,†12:57 PM #19
Thanks Mike. As I suggested to Kevin first hand experience from a real world user is invaluable. The reading, seeing and doing route is the way many of us learn the most. Your experience across three installs on three vehicles speaks volumes about the technology.
I am in complete agreement with you on the rich feature set. Any one of the fail-safes and performance features (like traction control) which they provide is individually a $600 acquisition give or take. When you look at all of them in one package and the tunability without the need to scale anything, their PnP product falls into the OH WOW category, in particular at the price point they are offering it at.
It is hard to explain to someone the aggravation associated with building an engine harness from scratch, not to mention the cost of the various connectors and sensors you will use to replace your stock sensors. You have to experience it first hand to really appreciate it. The ability to plug into the OEM harness and use all the OEM sensors, right out of the box, is an absolute God send.
Thanks again for sharing your experiences.
08-09-2019,†10:45 AM #20
Iíve been reading through the manual and looking up mod motor cars that are running the current version of the MS3Pro (not the pnp). I have to say Iím getting more and more excited for the pnp release and using it on my new motor set up. Iíve read through the set up and tuning info and I will be taking Kevinís advice and have someone experienced with the MS3Pro tuning do my car. I donít need to melt down a new motor due to my inexperience. I will learn it and eventually do my own tweaking and adjustments down the road but only once I have a good foothold and understanding of the system as a whole.
Definitely looking forward to everything this system is capable of!
08-09-2019,†01:05 PM #21
From my research and people who have shared their experience, both in this thread and otherwise, Ken, I am impressed with the MS3Pro PnP offering and I expect you will be also. The PnP version just raised my already good impression of the system several more notches with its use of the OEM wiring harness and its support of the OEM dash, sensors etc.
While it is always possible to build your own wiring harness the ability to use the OEM harness is a huge benefit. OEM harnesses are robust works of art designed to go a hundred thousand miles. Wiring harness construction is a tedious process at best and an absolute headache when you get a couple of wires and signals mismatched. There are 104 pins in the OEM ECU harness connector and almost all of them are used! That amounts to 104 chances to experience a whoops. Don't get me wrong, That doesn't mean it can't be fixed but you just substantially raised your frustration / aggravation level, along with the effort to find and resolve the whoops.
When you compound that with the need to use new and different sensors along with the cost of the myriad of new connectors you will need (at least two of which you'll likely mismatch) the potential aggravation index takes a sharp step upward. The ability to use your OEM harness and sensors and not have to buy all new connectors to attach the loom wires to their correct all new sensor is a huge cost and aggravation savings that is hard to fully appreciate until you experience the alternative, first hand.
The cost of the connectors is not an insignificant consideration either. The typical cost for a typical new connectors falls somewhere between $5 and $8 each. It is a breath of fresh air not to have to spend the money for all those new connectors or the wiring harness fabrication and crimping tools. The ability to side step the harness building and corresponding connector and sensor purchases is a significant cost savings (not to mention time savings) benefit when implementing an aftermarket EFI system.
Not withstanding its wide range of very attractive capabilities the PnP attribute is easily among the more impressive attributes of this new MS3Pro EFI system for Terminators and SN95 family cars.
Last edited by eschaider; 08-09-2019 at 06:09 PM. Reason: Spelling & Grammar
08-09-2019,†05:16 PM #22
Youíre absolutely right Ed. Thereís no better way to say it regarding the wire task between a pnp system and one you have to build from basically scratch. For me that is what has kept me away from a stand alone aftermarket ECU as well as the fact that I like the factory gauge cluster. I realize some of the gauges are just pretty versions of a dummy light but I just am a fan of the factory look. Getting back to the wiring....I hate wiring and doing anything with electrical. Iím a Union Pipefitter by trade so wiring has just never been my thing. Iíve done some wiring of gauges and some switches and relays for my trans brake and a few other things but I always cringe when it comes time to reconnect the battery and power things up lol. So much to the point that I have rolled my car out of my garage before putting power to it in the off chance I burn it down. So between the pnp aspect of it and the factory gauge support Iím sold. Sure I could have someone else do it but I pride myself on the fact that I have done everything myself to my car except for tuning and it will continue to go that way. I know I will have some wiring to tackle for some of the features that require extra signal inputs but I guarantee if I had to do the whole thing I would mess ALOT more than just a few wires and would probably end up building the harness 3 times or more. Aggravating would be putting it lightly
08-09-2019,†06:01 PM #23
I think you're better than that, Ken, but I do get the message.
08-13-2019,†09:42 AM #24
This is super exciting! I'll be interested to see how robust the knock detection strategy and features are. With what I do I guess it doesn't really matter if it just pulls all the timing to the whole motor vs the individual cylinder stuff, Im not out here racing with cash on the line. If it's competent enough I could sell my J&S setup, upgrade to bigger low impedance injectors, sell my IDs and probably not be out too much money for the upgrade.
Flex fuel and traction control would be amazing!
I won't be a test dummy for this but I will be following closely and will talk to my tuner
08-13-2019,†11:59 AM #25
I think you will be pleasantly surprised, Jerry. This is a screen shot of one of the knock control screens that speaks to the stuff you are interested in;
I have used red highlight boxes to draw your attention to four different configuration capabilities that speak to your interests.
The First has to do with whether or not you use the monitoring and control on a cylinder by cylinder basis or just do all at once.
The Second has to do with establishing the knock count, rpm and MAP thresholds you want to pay attention to knock in.
The Third configures the max you want to retard, how frequently you want to check, and what you want to use for your coarse and fine timing adjustments wither up or down.
The Fourth window allows you to configure how quickly you want the ECU to reapply timing and in what step sizes you want this to happen.
There is a good deal more on this topic in the big MS3Pro Ultimate manual. The difference between the Pro version and the Pro Ultimate version is just I/O connections. The s/w features and how they work are identical.
The actual manual is too big to upload to the forum however, you can download it over here =>Complete MS3Pro Ultimate Manual.
p.s. Almost forgot, at the top of the page you have an opportunity to select the knock control sensor settings. The following is excerpted from the manual but speaks to another attribute you were interested in.
ß184.108.40.206 Knock Sensor Settings
ē Knock control: Allows you to change the way the MS3Pro applies timing retard.
......Ė Disabled: do not use knock feedback for ignition advance control
......Ė Safe Mode: use knock retard, but keep the advance below that which caused knock. This backs the
advance 1 small step back and leaves it at that until TPS or MAP changes - or knock comes back. This
is "safe mode" scheme is the safest thing for a DIY set-up.
......Ė Aggressive Mode: use knock retard, but keep advance at threshold of knock occurring. That is, the
program advances (up to the timing table value) if it doesnít see knock, and retards if does see knock.
The difference from safe mode is that the timing can be advance all the way to the table value after
knock, not just up to one step below knock. This may result in the knock returning, in which case the
timing is retarded again, then advanced slowly, and so on. This approach is also called closed loop
Last edited by eschaider; 08-13-2019 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Added Postscript
08-13-2019,†01:33 PM #26
fantastic information as always Ed, thanks! It looks like the knock detection has all you could ask for (to be honest, I'd probably pull the J&S and keep it for if/when I get another Lightning)
This is very cool stuff and just blurs the line that much further between street and race car. I've had dreams of other aftermarket setups but just couldn't justify it due to all the wiring, losing the stock cluster etc...
I did note it has this as the introductory price, I wonder if it will increase significantly at some point
08-13-2019,†02:02 PM #27
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
If anyone gets the Knock detection working, please let me know. Maybe update the thread with a screenshot of the settings.
I'm using a Terminator motor that didn't come with knock sensors from the factory. My understanding was the supercharger was too noisy to use them when they developed that motor, but the other 4 valve motors of that year and earlier have them such as the Mach1 and N/A cobras so it shouldn't be a valve train noise issue.
I'm sure the later GT500's used knock sensors so i don't know how the SC could preclude their use unless it had to do with the harmonics of the iron terminator block vs the aluminum?
I do have the Bosch sensors and the knock kit installed in my MS3x and would like to play with it, but I would have to find a place to mount them since the iron block has no provision for them in the valley. Not sure if it has bosses that can be tapped or not, as I never had the engine apart. If anyone knows or has retrofit a iron block w these please tell me how.
08-13-2019,†03:19 PM #28
I know there is info out there on where to install the knock sensors on a Terminator engine. The J&S vampire knock control has several options in their instructions for locations at the sides of the block. I believe that info is on their site. I saved it somewhere but will have to look a bit for it.
08-13-2019,†04:10 PM #29
08-13-2019,†04:12 PM #30