Car won't start with Commander plugged in - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 00:28 Thread Starter
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Car won't start with Commander plugged in

I became a PFC owner today and had to buy used since almost no one could get one in stock (though talking to ATS today, sounds like they have some on the way). Unfortunately I'm already in need of help. I did spend a lot of time reading the FAQ, this forum and googling possible answers but I can't find anyone with this exact problem.

My car is a 91 with Gen3 swap, EBC, 3" exhaust, 3" intake, everything else is stock. I didn't do the swap but the car runs well (dyno'd 263hp/275wtq corrected a couple weeks ago).

The problem is when I plugged in the ECU and followed the FAQ for an INIT and then tried to start the car, it would crank but not start. Just for troubleshooting sake, I unplugged the Commander and sure enough the car would start right away. I can then plug in the Commander while its running and after a slight stumble, the car still runs and I'm able to use the commander as I would expect. I took the car for a drive and the car feels fine and the knock count is very low. Also the PFC does appear to save changes as when I disabled the boost controller feature, it remembered that setting even after unplugging the PFC to try the stock ECU again.

The PFC is ver 1.61 as expected and the commander is version 8.13. I have a Datalogit box (but no software) but left my USB/Serial adapter at work so I haven't been able to get that working to at least use co-pilot or FC-edit.

The only things I found that might be the problem, one is on the sensors page:



Note 3 sensors not hooked up, I'm not sure if they are a symptom, the actual problem or not important.

The other thing I notice is the battery voltage on the monitor is 11v while idling and when I drive I never have seen it go above that even while driving. The car doesn't seem to indicate a weak alternator or battery. So again I don't know if this is a problem or not.

Any thoughts/suggestions/help?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:07 Thread Starter
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More info. Last night I had found a thread of someone with a similar problem with the commander and their fixed was to take it apart and fix a solder that had broken. I took mine apart and all my solders looked good so I don't think that is it. I'm going to post on a local board if anyone has a PFC commander to let me try it on my ECU.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:14
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I don't remember what ELD stands for. But IDL means the idle switch in the TPS is connected. And FPR means the fuel pump resistor is engaged. Both are normal at key on/not running/zero throttle. I know it doesn't help, but at least nothing looks wrong.

Is it an AP Engineering unit? Try making sure boost control is turned off.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:15
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Oops. I didn't read about the boost controller.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:16 Thread Starter
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Cool that's huge to know that screen looks fine.

No its not an AP unit as far as I know. The boost control module is off. Speaking of which, nice for them to use Japanese characters for that screen. I have Boost Control off and the rest on.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:17
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I've seen cars idle worse or hunt more when the commander is installed. But I have never seen one refuse to start.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:18
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The kanji sign with what looks to be a + sign in it is OFF.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:19
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I ask because on the AP engineering ones, and some rare Apexi ones when the boost controller is turned on the PFC defaults to the external MAP sensor that used to come with the $400 Apexi boost control kit. No sensor = no run. But it doesn't look like this is your problem.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:20 Thread Starter
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I should add, if the commander is plugged in during start, the Apexi screen flashes dimly and a relay in the engine fuse box clicks. If leave the car ON (but engine not running because it will not start) and unplug the Commander, that relay does a pause, clicks once, and the car will start fine.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:21 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATSAaron
The kanji sign with what looks to be a + sign in it is OFF.
Yeah, luckily my mother is Japanese and my father can speak/write it - so a quick email with a picture had them translate that for me. I just found it bizarre the whole thing is in English except that toggle.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:23
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If you want to send it to me I can test it on one of my cars.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 09:37 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATSAaron
If you want to send it to me I can test it on one of my cars.
Wow thanks for the offer. I posted on the local board. If I can't find someone by Monday morning, I'll ship it to you. Also, I want to give you a call about the boost control module. I have it but it looks incomplete so I want to know what's missing so I can get that ordered from you as well as a downpipe if you sell a Gen3 version. I ordered one of your PFC mounts yesterday.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 11:38
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ELD is Electrical Load. Your foot was probably on the brake pedal, or the headlight switch/defogger which will turn on ELD, the PFC will use the Idle E/L setting for your idle RPM when that is lit.

Last edited by Southwestspeed; March 24th, 2011 at 11:41.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 11:39 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southwestspeed
ELD is Electrical Load. Your foot was probably on the brake pedal which will turn on ELD, the PFC will use the Idle E/L setting for your idle RPM when that is lit.
Ah, yeah I just found that. I had the parking lights on. Also I have an 760w amp for the stereo if that would affect that.

Last edited by ABQautoxer; March 24th, 2011 at 12:22.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old March 24th, 2011, 14:13 Thread Starter
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Update from lunch:

I plugged in a Commander ver3 (mine is ver2) from a friend's Spyder and the car would start but the Commander would never get past the Apexi splash screen. I'm not sure if that's expected from the Sypder's commander or not. Since the odds of finding another MR2 with a PFC here is probably zero, I'll be sending my commander off to Aaron next week.

Also, with my commander I notice the ELD light never goes off, ever. The IDL goes off as soon as you rev the motor and after I think the car was warmed up the O2H comes on and the FPR light goes off when you rev off idle. I found my serial/usb adapter to tonight I'll try to connect via datalogit using CoPilot.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old March 25th, 2011, 10:51
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Yea, I don't think my ELD ever goes off either.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old March 25th, 2011, 10:54 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southwestspeed
Yea, I don't think my ELD ever goes off either.
Thanks, thats good to know.

Another update.

My support from datalogit got processed and I was added to their secret circle to get FC-Edit and the manuals. So I able to connect to my PFC and datalog with both FC-Edit and Co-Pilot so I really believe my PFC is fine and its the Commander. I'll ship it off to ATS hoping they can confirm that. I ordered a downpipe from ATS this morning and will be order a wideband O2 here shortly so I can do some off-boost tuning soon.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old March 25th, 2011, 20:21
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Do yourself a favor and get a LC1. You can use the digital serial output in Co pilot to autotune your fuel map. Digital produces much more accurate and clean samples.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old March 25th, 2011, 20:24 Thread Starter
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I got one today locally. Just waiting on the downpipe. I was playing with co-pilot a bit, there is a bit of a learning curve to auto-tune offline but thats my intention.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2011, 09:13
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Also mount the wideband sensor low in the downpipe. Don't mount it in the stock location. It will overheat and start flashing codes at you.
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