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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been advised by a professional tuner that it might be hard to be able to meet emissions using "cheap" ECUs. Although he didn't mention the "ECU Master EMU" by name (he has no experience working with that particular one), he did mean this for ECUs in this price range. A "proper" ECU in this context would be something from MoTeC or Bosch. He also did mention that for all he knew, the ECU Master EMU will do the job "just fine", but that in his experience, certain cheap ECUs focus most of their budget on performance, and that even cheap ones when set up right do the job just fine for that part. But when using big injectors (which is a problem by itself), it can get tricky.

I already own an ECUMaster EMU, but I'm currently running on the stock Toyota ECU. I'm worried it will be hard to meet emissions even when using the stock exhaust system.

Is there any merit to such claims?

Is it true that more expensive ECUs, such as the MoTeC M84 (or equivalent) will be better at closed loop control for idling and low RPM driving?

If it is even true, how much is the difference? Are they twice as good? A few percentages? Could someone shed some light on this?
 

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Something like the Master ECU is really a piggyback which only controls fuel. Full aftermarket ones replace the stock ECU and have a variety of features. Some are far more expensive than others but offer little advantage. Link or Megasquirt are probably the most advanced and will do the job fine for a very reasonable price. Do your research to determine what features you would like and what mods are required to install and tune.

Jimb
 

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I passed CA smog with ECU master running 1200 injectors and E85 gas. My tune was a mess but all I needed is CARB approved CAT (had only one of them ordered through KO Racing).
Had CT20B turbo, stock looking engine bay (except intercooler). You will need stock air box for sure unless you have CARB approved intake.
Stations check timing, gas cap and that would be it. My EGR was not functioning either but was present.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Something like the Master ECU is really a piggyback which only controls fuel. Full aftermarket ones replace the stock ECU and have a variety of features. Some are far more expensive than others but offer little advantage. Link or Megasquirt are probably the most advanced and will do the job fine for a very reasonable price. Do your research to determine what features you would like and what mods are required to install and tune.

Jimb
You're wrong.

The ECUMaster EMU is a stand-alone ECU, it completely replaces the factory ECU. You can read about it here: Ecumaster EMU

"The EMU is a stand-alone engine management system ..."

Furthermore, the question is not what features or mods I'm interested in, the question is how "cheap" ECUs (in particular the ECUMaster EMU, but in general would also be interesting to hear) compare to more expensive ECUs, particularly regarding closed-loop control when emissions are critical, such as at idle.
 

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My mistake. When I looked at them years ago they only did fueling. Guess they decided to go the whole hog now. Have not heard of any others using lately.
 

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You def do not need to go with more expensive ECUs, in my opinion it would be waste of money UNLESS you know really good tuner and he specializes in Motec...
ECU Master, Link G4 - they are great for MR2 cars if you can find somebody to tune it. Even Apexi is great. Did not hear somebody swearing at Apexi :)
All is about the tune - closed loop or open loop. If tuner takes his times and configures close loop the way it should be configured, with CAT on you should have no issues (apart from visual, but nobody opens MR2 trunk to look at ECU - at least I did not experience that yet).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input. I'm still curious if anyone knows of any technical limitations in cheap ECUs that would make them inferior to more expensive ECUs, regardless of the skill of the tuner.

Are there any such limitations? Is the sampling frequency of the wideband lambda lower on a cheap ECU, compared to an expensive one? Is the CPU/FPGA/ASIC (whatever it uses) too slow to update the fueling quickly enough (too slow to get _optimal_ emissions)? Are there any other concerns, such as filtering of noise on the wideband lambda that might affect emissions?

These are just some thoughts of mine, of possible things a cheap ECU might be inherently worse at. Surely there are some differences between two ECUs, where one costs four to five times what the other costs. The lower budget of the cheap ECU must come at a cost for _something_.
 

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It really comes down to user preference and what your Tuner is use to using. Probably the biggest differences between models is Knock control and additional features.

Prices are coming down dramatically so I would not judge the ECU soley on cost. Often the 'cheaper' ECU will outperform an expensive alternative. Remember a fair amount of $$ is spent on installation & tuning so factor these costs in. There are several PNP models available which make this a breeze and if you install a Wideband can complete most of your own tuning using auto mode.

BTW, figured out where I went wrong. When I read about the 'Master ECU' I confused it with the 'MAP ECU'.

http://www.mapecu.com/

Jim
 

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... Is the sampling frequency of the wideband lambda lower on a cheap ECU, compared to an expensive one? Is the CPU/FPGA/ASIC (whatever it uses) too slow to update the fueling quickly enough (too slow to get _optimal_ emissions)?

... Are there any other concerns, such as filtering of noise on the wideband lambda that might affect emissions?
Engine control is a very pedestrian environment. At 6000 rpm, a revolution takes 10 ms, and even a decades-obsolete microcontroller can still do 50k operations in that time. It can do all of the necessary calculations for engine control and go back to twiddling its thumbs.

That is a good point. Good electronic design, including filtering and protection, is a likely break factor in quality. Another break factor is competent programming. For example, I would want the real-time functions to run in an interrupt hierarchy that would make them independent of data readout and other support functions. I would think that this would be a so-called no-brainer, but I have been led to understand that it is not always so, since I have heard people complain that their engines stumble when they read out data. Sorry that I cannot tell you anything about specific devices, but maybe a search will bring up some specific experiences.
 

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Dont get a ecu master i been hearing they blow motors left and right. Some guy i know just blew his fully built gen 3 motor last year with a remote tune.
 
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