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Good day guys, been 10-12 years since I posted on here. Lost my original username/password, so had to create a new one.

A family friend is stationed in North Carolina, in the Coast Guard. He purchased a 1999 Cobra with a Terminator swap. Worked good for the first few months he had it, but now we believe it to have PATS issue. No crank. He contacted the gentleman he purchased it from, who said the PATS was deleted, referred him to the shop that tuned it 10 years prior. Shop is under new ownership, no record of the car/customer, they are walking away, no help. Previous owner suggested a new PCM, which was purchased and installed by family friend, and supposedly after hours on the phone with SCT (X-Cal) everything is installed/flashed, but still no crank.

He has a trailer, is willing to take the car anywhere within a reasonable distance.

My only problem is I have been out of the game so long I don't know who the "go to" guys are anymore. Many shops over the years have been sold to new ownership or "the guy" who made the shop successful, moved on, etc....

I thought I remembered the owner of this site was a tuning Guru in Georgia or somewhere in the mid atlantic, is that ESCHAIDER?

Any help is appreciated.

I have a 2001 Saleen Clone with a Procharger, homebuilt Teksid, rollcage, all the bells and whistles a straight line car needs; just been 10-12 years since all the work was done and one dyno tune nailed it. I am not real well versed in tuning anymore and need to get him hooked up with someone who is.

Feel free to call or text with any help, suggestions; or PM me. Jim Ulrich Jr. (570) 412-2699
 

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Like you said a lot has changed over the years, Jimmy (did I guess your name correctly?). Many of the shops from back then have moved on to new platforms or closed their doors. Things we have discovered over the years have shown some of those old shops (many of which have disappeared), in trying to produce as much power as they could out of their tunes, ran the engines dangerously close and frequently over a lean line you did not want to cross.

The upshot was they produced pistons in non-race, street driven engines, that looked like this after 20,000 miles;
Audio equipment Gadget Font Automotive exterior Wood


Back then we only had stock ECUs and SCT tuners (primarily) to choose from and that meant scaling several of the ECU's internal parameters that Ford placed hard stops on like MAFs, injectors, manifold volumes, etc which are used to calculate engine load and proper fueling. At the time the aftermarket alternatives were $4K to $8K events that always seemed to require you to give up something.

Today we have aftermarket systems from a variety of providers that include all the usual suspects like Haltech, Motec, and some interesting new names like Holley and Megasquirt. There is a write-up on the site in the Articles section on the Megasquirt (MS) alternative. I have a bias towards the MS because of the simplicity, complete access to all tuning parameters, excellent manual, and lack of a need for a handheld X-Cal type gizmo to load tunes or data log. The MS3Pro PnP system provides a very impressive range of nice to have features that come standard like engine protections for low oil pressure, fuel pressure, over temp, etc. The system also supports a flex-fuel diet that will allow you to run a fuel mix of zero to 100% ethanol without a retune. This capability requires the addition of a GM flex fuel sensor that goes in line with the fuel delivery.

Some of the more attractive attributes include;

  • It runs all the instruments in your stock dash.
  • It plugs right into a stock Ford wiring harness (Plug-N-Play),
  • It comes with an excellent base tune to get you going,
  • It has multiple traction control strategies,
  • Programmable / tunable accelerator pump models
  • Tuning and Data logging software is included
  • Built-in 3 or 4 bar MAP sensor (I forget which),
  • It supports a wireless programming capability from your laptop
  • It runs on Macs or PCs
  • It costs a little more ($1,349) than taking the car to the dyno to be tuned, but you get so much more.
This list goes on but I think you get the idea.

Here's a link to the write-up in the Articles section => MS3Pro Plug-N-Play

At the bottom of the article, you will find two links. One is to an actual install and one is to a first start (which happened right after the actual install). They are short because the process is short and well worth watching. A nice little basket of side benefits include the bypassing of the PATS system (your current headache) and the ability to remove the MS3Pro box and plug in your original OEM ECU for emissions inspection purposes but I never said that :)

BTW if you are running a returnless fuel system they have 100% support for that already built into the ECU.

This stuff is the real deal and yes, a bunch of the guys on the site, including me own one.
 

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Re pats

I'm not positive but I think that a PATS will not stop the car from cranking. It would crank but not start. Back when I had some PATS issues, I did find some services on-line in which they would sell you a new PCM with a PATS delete procedure. I eliminated my problem, mostly, with a PATS bypass from my tuner. Rob at Power Curve Motorsports in Concord, NC. 704-805-4945. I still have an issue in that I have a new key that will start the car but if I lock it with the remote and then unlock it and use this key, it sets off the alarm and won't stop. This system is very tricky. I tried replacing every part in the system and still no good. The Ford dealership couldn't even figure it out. I go back to the fact that you changed the PCM. That PCM isn't coded to your keys. The PATS sensor in the ignition switch, the key and the PCM must all be synced up to start. Good luck and let us know if you get a fix.
 

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Like Red Barron suggested turn off your PATS protection in the OEM tune. Like I suggested get the MS3Pro PnP ECU to run your car. When you need emissions testing unplug the MS3Pro plug in your OEM ECU make some injector changes and get your smog testing done. Go home and switch back to the aftermarket ECU. Covers all the bases ...
 

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So what did you buy?
I picked up a 2001 Cobra with a 2003 Terminator engine, still a tr3650. Body/interior are in great shape with 98k miles. Engine has been completely rebuilt, with less than 3k miles on the build. when I got it it was idling strange, seemed like a vacuum leak. I got it home and the supercharger seized up, apparently when it came back from porting it was not filled with oil, then my intercooler pump failed and it was done. I picked up a new blower and had a shop put it on and tried to have them dyno tune it but they say my pcm is locked, so they can’t view/modify the tune. I got a hold of the builder and got a list of what was done to the engine. The builder says my pcm is NOT locked but he’s not interested in tuning it which is ok with me because his initial tune seems pretty bad. He does have a note on the account that it needs larger injectors so I’m assuming they are stock. He’s not sure if the pcm came from the donor car or if the 2001 pcm was used. I’m at a loss right now as all the remote tuners I’ve looked up exclude modifications like this it seems. I’m not finding anyone close that wants/or are able to work on it. I’m definitely not comfortable driving it in the current state. Hoping to find some info/resources on here.
 

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You should not drive a car with a bad tune and undersized injectors. In the best-case scenario, you will be able to drive it without getting into the throttle and hurting the engine. In the worst-case scenario, the tune will be so far off you will have difficulty driving the car and you will quickly hurt the engine. Most of the time you will just incrementally damage engine parts that will fail at a later date, down the road so to speak. Take a good look at the pic in post #2 above.

You will find the tuning software available for the OEM ECU is just OK at best and also expensive. There is limited documentation on the Ford ECU strategies you will need to tune to and there are considerable limitations in the Ford strategies. Aftermarket ECUs will have very complete documentation and multiple engine save strategies available to you to use. You will also discover a small and declining number of tuners that are sufficiently familiar with 20+ year old Ford technology to do a good job for you. Even worse you will find Ford no longer offers the ECU in either new or rebuilt condition. You will likely be able to find reman units in the aftermarket.

The short way home for you, so to speak, is to replace your ECU with an aftermarket unit. As I suggested to the OP, you would be well served with an MS3Pro PnP ECU. You will likely find it runs your dash and your engine quite nicely. It will also plug into your existing OEM wiring harness and use your existing OEM sensors. It comes with tuning software and data logging software. Check with the DIYDynotune guys and they will direct you to a tuner in your local area.

If you decide to pay others to do your tuning and 'other stuff' on your car you will need to budget for a much more expensive build than if you did that work yourself. This would be a good time to consider learning how.
 

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You should not drive a car with a bad tune and undersized injectors. In the best-case scenario, you will be able to drive it without getting into the throttle and hurting the engine. In the worst-case scenario, the tune will be so far off you will have difficulty driving the car and you will quickly hurt the engine. Most of the time you will just incrementally damage engine parts that will fail at a later date, down the road so to speak. Take a good look at the pic in post #2 above.

You will find the tuning software available for the OEM ECU is just OK at best and also expensive. There is limited documentation on the Ford ECU strategies you will need to tune to and there are considerable limitations in the Ford strategies. Aftermarket ECUs will have very complete documentation and multiple engine save strategies available to you to use. You will also discover a small and declining number of tuners that are sufficiently familiar with 20+ year old Ford technology to do a good job for you. Even worse you will find Ford no longer offers the ECU in either new or rebuilt condition. You will likely be able to find reman units in the aftermarket.

The short way home for you, so to speak, is to replace your ECU with an aftermarket unit. As I suggested to the OP, you would be well served with an MS3Pro PnP ECU. You will likely find it runs your dash and your engine quite nicely. It will also plug into your existing OEM wiring harness and use your existing OEM sensors. It comes with tuning software and data logging software. Check with the DIYDynotune guys and they will direct you to a tuner in your local area.

If you decide to pay others to do your tuning and 'other stuff' on your car you will need to budget for a much more expensive build than if you did that work yourself. This would be a good time to consider learning how.
You should not drive a car with a bad tune and undersized injectors. In the best-case scenario, you will be able to drive it without getting into the throttle and hurting the engine. In the worst-case scenario, the tune will be so far off you will have difficulty driving the car and you will quickly hurt the engine. Most of the time you will just incrementally damage engine parts that will fail at a later date, down the road so to speak. Take a good look at the pic in post #2 above.

You will find the tuning software available for the OEM ECU is just OK at best and also expensive. There is limited documentation on the Ford ECU strategies you will need to tune to and there are considerable limitations in the Ford strategies. Aftermarket ECUs will have very complete documentation and multiple engine save strategies available to you to use. You will also discover a small and declining number of tuners that are sufficiently familiar with 20+ year old Ford technology to do a good job for you. Even worse you will find Ford no longer offers the ECU in either new or rebuilt condition. You will likely be able to find reman units in the aftermarket.

The short way home for you, so to speak, is to replace your ECU with an aftermarket unit. As I suggested to the OP, you would be well served with an MS3Pro PnP ECU. You will likely find it runs your dash and your engine quite nicely. It will also plug into your existing OEM wiring harness and use your existing OEM sensors. It comes with tuning software and data logging software. Check with the DIYDynotune guys and they will direct you to a tuner in your local area.

If you decide to pay others to do your tuning and 'other stuff' on your car you will need to budget for a much more expensive build than if you did that work yourself. This would be a good time to consider learning how.
Thank you for your response, this helps immensely. Being as there are almost zero tuners I think this will be my best option. I’d rather go this route than pay multiple tuners for limited/sub par tuning.
 

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Thank you for your response, this helps immensely. Being as there are almost zero tuners I think this will be my best option. I’d rather go this route than pay multiple tuners for limited/sub par tuning.
is there a particular place to buy one of these that offers the best support? I’m looking and they seem to be in the $1500 range. I know at least with the obd2 tuners it makes a big difference who you but the tuner from, not sure if this is similar.
 

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Buy from the manufacturer, DIYAutoTune <= click here because you are using a Terminator with the OEM Terminator wiring harness you will want the 03/04 Terminator version. The Terminator and the other PnP versions all come with a base tune to get you up and running. Watch their video(s). Talk to them about tuners in your local area.
 

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Awesome, since it’s an 01 Cobra and I’m assuming the original ECU will I have any issues buying the 03-04 kit? What you’re saying makes sense as it’s essentially an ‘03 engine. Thank you again. That’s quite the spendy solution but if it’s a one stop shop it will be worthwhile in the long run. Otherwise it seems I’d have to get a new PCU, handheld tuner, and a dyno, reality is that’s probably a similar cost and like you mentioned far superior tuning capabilities. Not to mention every change would require a retune or dyno the other way and I like the ability to make my own changes. I’m tempted to try and find a cheap fix but this seems like the right way to go. I did see a couple other stand alone ECU’s out there, what makes Megasquirt better than say Motec, Haltec, Link, etc?
Buy from the manufacturer, DIYAutoTune <= click here because you are using a Terminator with the OEM Terminator wiring harness you will want the 03/04 Terminator version. The Terminator and the other PnP versions all come with a base tune to get you up and running. Watch their video(s). Talk to them about tuners in your local area.
 

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Megasquirt is the poor man's Haltech, Motec, etc. You get all the capabilities you need for our type of performance application and it comes in 7 to 8 thousand dollars less expensive. If you need a GPS track mapping capability you can buy it as an add-on later. Unless you are into competitive road racing with a dedicated, purpose built, race car you won't need those kinds of capabilities.

BTW with all the other aftermarket ECU alternatives, you will end up having to buy and build a vehicle-specific wiring harness, figure another $700 to $800. Megasquirt uses your OEM harness. Other aftermarket alternatives will require aftermarket product-specific sensors, which are really just GM sensors repackaged and repriced just for you. Plan on $500 maybe more for those sensors. Megasquirt uses your OEM sensors and lets you substitute other sensors if you have a favorite sensor you would like to use. Download their current manual. It leaves nothing to guesswork. The manual is over 300 8.5 x 11 pages long. Will you use everything in it — not likely. That said if you ever decide to, it's right there, waiting for you.

Get onto YouTube and look for their and their user's videos. The absolute best ones are only 15 mins long, they skip all the BS and go right to the issue they are talking about with amazing clarity.

From a price perspective go to Lethal performance and add up the equipment you will need to buy to tune with an SCT PRP package. When you are done you will be under a thousand dollars but not by much. For $1,500 you get a new aftermarket ECU with a lifetime warranty, tuning software and data logging software. For around $75 more you get a wireless connection between your laptop and the ECU. The effect is similar to the transition from an RJ-45 ethernet cable to a WIFI internet connection.

Buy it! You will not find a better fit. Buy something else you will not be as happy and you will spend thousands more. Megasquirt is the full-featured low dollar solution that will get you out of the pickle you are currently in. Other aftermarket systems will too, they will just cost you more in dollars, personal effort and time to get to approximately the same place.
 

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Sold!! I really appreciate your time and responses, it’s a bit daunting and I really needed a nudge in the right direction from someone with confidence and experience, much appreciated!

Megasquirt is the poor man's Haltech, Motec, etc. You get all the capabilities you need for our type of performance application and it comes in 7 to 8 thousand dollars less expensive. If you need a GPS track mapping capability you can buy it as an add-on later. Unless you are into competitive road racing with a dedicated, purpose built, race car you won't need those kinds of capabilities.

BTW with all the other aftermarket ECU alternatives, you will end up having to buy and build a vehicle-specific wiring harness, figure another $700 to $800. Megasquirt uses your OEM harness. Other aftermarket alternatives will require aftermarket product-specific sensors, which are really just GM sensors repackaged and repriced just for you. Plan on $500 maybe more for those sensors. Megasquirt uses your OEM sensors and lets you substitute other sensors if you have a favorite sensor you would like to use. Download their current manual. It leaves nothing to guesswork. The manual is over 300 8.5 x 11 pages long. Will you use everything in it — not likely. That said if you ever decide to, it's right there, waiting for you.

Get onto YouTube and look for their and their user's videos. The absolute best ones are only 15 mins long, they skip all the BS and go right to the issue they are talking about with amazing clarity.

From a price perspective go to Lethal performance and add up the equipment you will need to buy to tune with an SCT PRP package. When you are done you will be under a thousand dollars but not by much. For $1,500 you get a new aftermarket ECU with a lifetime warranty, tuning software and data logging software. For around $75 more you get a wireless connection between your laptop and the ECU. The effect is similar to the transition from an RJ-45 ethernet cable to a WIFI internet connection.

Buy it! You will not find a better fit. Buy something else you will not be as happy and you will spend thousands more. Megasquirt is the full-featured low dollar solution that will get you out of the pickle you are currently in. Other aftermarket systems will too, they will just cost you more in dollars, personal effort and time to get to approximately the same place.
 

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Megasquirt is the poor man's Haltech, Motec, etc. You get all the capabilities you need for our type of performance application and it comes in 7 to 8 thousand dollars less expensive. If you need a GPS track mapping capability you can buy it as an add-on later. Unless you are into competitive road racing with a dedicated, purpose built, race car you won't need those kinds of capabilities.

BTW with all the other aftermarket ECU alternatives, you will end up having to buy and build a vehicle-specific wiring harness, figure another $700 to $800. Megasquirt uses your OEM harness. Other aftermarket alternatives will require aftermarket product-specific sensors, which are really just GM sensors repackaged and repriced just for you. Plan on $500 maybe more for those sensors. Megasquirt uses your OEM sensors and lets you substitute other sensors if you have a favorite sensor you would like to use. Download their current manual. It leaves nothing to guesswork. The manual is over 300 8.5 x 11 pages long. Will you use everything in it — not likely. That said if you ever decide to, it's right there, waiting for you.

Get onto YouTube and look for their and their user's videos. The absolute best ones are only 15 mins long, they skip all the BS and go right to the issue they are talking about with amazing clarity.

From a price perspective go to Lethal performance and add up the equipment you will need to buy to tune with an SCT PRP package. When you are done you will be under a thousand dollars but not by much. For $1,500 you get a new aftermarket ECU with a lifetime warranty, tuning software and data logging software. For around $75 more you get a wireless connection between your laptop and the ECU. The effect is similar to the transition from an RJ-45 ethernet cable to a WIFI internet connection.

Buy it! You will not find a better fit. Buy something else you will not be as happy and you will spend thousands more. Megasquirt is the full-featured low dollar solution that will get you out of the pickle you are currently in. Other aftermarket systems will too, they will just cost you more in dollars, personal effort and time to get to approximately the same place.
I placed an order today for the 03/04 Cobra Ms3 pro ECU and stand alone wide band, I’ll let you know how things go when it’s in. Thanks again.
 
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