M O D I F I C A T I O N S : ENGINE - Chips
Allthough this kind of tuning is very popular on other cars, especially the
ones with a turbo diesel engine in the front, a small part of the MG F/TF scene
has made a change at the electronic management system of the K-series.
The management system gets all kind of values from a wide range of sensors, compares them in a multi-dimensional array of predefined values and according to that graph, changes the operation of the engine. This has the nice result that the engine can operate fairly well in less ideal situations... as long as some values are still in a predefined range.
Even more: not every parameter interacting with the engine and how it is running is measured by a sensor. So the developers of the engine and it's software take some default values that will do with 99% of the cases (estimation). Let's say fuel quality as an example: well in 99% of the cases the fuel will be OK for the engine to run with... although maybe 30% percent of the fuel available in your country is really good stuff. The engine and it's controlling software doesn't know when the engine is using the really good fuel, so it uses the variables as they were stored for the 'just good fuel'. Nothing wrong with that, as the engine will accept a wide range of fuel mixtures, but.... it could be better.
That's right, let's presume we are living in a very wealthy country and we spoil our car wirth only the best fuel a man can get. Or in other words, we are using the fuel from 'the 30% really good stuff' everytime. In this way it makes sense to modify the software slightly to perform better with the 'better' fuel. On the other hand, it will result in a small performance drop with the 'just good fuels'.
Off course there are dozens of parameters (like the fuel quality we used as an example) that will change the handling and running of the engine.
So at this point you should know, why 'chip tuning' could make some sense, even on a (rather) standard car.
Superchips' ICON -- add-on
A VVC run with and without an ICON chip from Supercips (tel: 01280 816781) showed similar small improvements in power and torque around the mid-range, for just under £300.
MGF 1.8 + 8bhp
MGF 1.8 VVC + 8bhp
MGTF 135 + 8bhp
and the graph of a VVC (source: http://www.superchips.co.uk/curves/mgfvvc.pdf)
left: Power (BHP) versus rpm; right: Torque (Nm) versus rpm - Blue: Superchipped, while grey: standard
This neat little box of tricks is wired in between the engine management system's sensors and electronic control unit. It subtly alters the fuel and ignition characteristics improving power output. For peace of mind a fail-safe facility is provided to allow you to switch between the standard and modified programmes.
On the bulletin board we don't really trust these kind of upgrades of easy and clean performance wins.... but we don't say it can not be true. However, we all agree that the safest way to explore these tuning methods is by installing one and have it setup by a professional. We don't believe in a chip by mail-order, but prefer to have it setup while the car is on a rolling road and a laptop near its side.
Take into account that the chip is setup for a standard car.... it's strongly recommended to have it programmed when other modifications are done to your car (engine wise).
click the thumbnails to enlarge (Thanks to DirkV & PPO)
Motorsport -- add-on
Since 5 years FGA Motorsport is busy with engine preparations. They have chosen to install add-on, boxes to satisfy their customers in a fast and effective way. They are using Power Systems and became the distributor for them in the Benelux. To react on the still expanding market, they have chosen to develop and built their own boxes with their own mark.
Gains stated on their
MGF 1.8 MPi: +14hp and +21Nm
MGF 1.8 VVC: +15hp and +22.5Nm
Parts and prices:
ESSMGF120 - € 380.00 (VAT included)
ESSMGFVVL - € 380.00 (VAT included)
small detail: they also do an add-box for the Lotus Elise 1.8 16V (+14hp, +21Nm) and this box gets a € 530.00 price tag (?!?).
Anyway, we installed this
add-on box onto a K&N 57i equiped MGF 1.8 VVC. FGA Motorsport's service
helped us to get the setup correct. But once we had the correct diagram how
to wire it up, a helpfull and technical guy at a dealership started cutting
wires and soldering the box into the loom.
A little later the car started right up and a little testdrive proved there were definitly some gains in power and torque. Off course we're not gonna estimate for any figures, but wiring up the box did improve the performance significantly, although we thought it did. The car was put on a rolling road and performed identical with or without this box ...
This result was communicated to FGA motorsport. They invited us to review the setup and load new software/mapping info.
Fitting instructions for a VVC
At a certain point, the engine gets tuned behind the abilities of the standard ECU. The engine is breathing far more cold air than the ECU could ever expect, the valves are open for a longer period, and so on.... It's time to get the standard ECU replaced by an aftermarket item, which can (and must) be programmed for your engine.
DTA E48EXP ECU
As used by QED Motor Sport and developed by 'DTA fast'
Main features (as stated on their website - April 5th 2004):
- Full Ignition control and amplification for up to 4 cylinders distributorless, 8 cyl with distributor
- Full fuel control of up to 16 injectors (staged and switchable on RPM in 2 banks )
- Amplified Coils Support
- Compensation for air temp / water temp / MAP or barometric pressure on fuel AND ignition
- Closed loop Lambda control
- Turn off closed loop above TPS & RPM
- Full turbo pressure control variable by RPM with overboost protection
- Manifold Pressure as main load
- Full single gear traction control (launch control)
- Steering wheel button controlled start line RPM limit
- Full power shift cut
- Temperature dependant Idle speed control via PWM valve (shared second bank of injectors)
- Auxiliary output switchable on RPM / water temp / manifold pressure (shared turbo control)
- Dedicated shift light output
- Dedicated Tacho output
- Two stage main RPM limiter
- Dedicated fuel pump control
- Full startup fuelling map
- Improved idle speed control
- Throttle transient enrichment map
- Self test facilities for ignition and injection
- Sensor diagnostics and peak recording
- Real time mapping, no EPROM's required, PC only or PC+Dyno Control Box
- Voltage in warning limits during Mapping
- Software programmable for most crank wheels (BMW, Ford, GM, Porsche, Renault, Honda Blackbird, Rover, VW, 361, 602 etc.)
- All main 3D maps (20 x 14) have user programmable break points on throttle and RPM
- Max. RPM 14,000
What QED Motor Sport says about this engine management system: Our involvement with DTA management systems goes back many years and when building a motorsport engine we wouldn’t think of using any other system. The DTA ECU represents the state of the art in engine management systems. Full 3d mapping of both fuel and ignition, two stage rev limiter, shift light output, fuel pump control, transient fuel compensation (acceleration boost), closed loop fuel mapping, and a three minute data log are amongst (but not all of) the features available.Despite the wide capabilities of the DTA ECU the control software is straightforward and simple to use. All of the settings are explained in the comprehensive manual supplied with the software. For motorsport engines (and especially for engines that will develop with each racing season as part of an ongoing project) the DTA system is without doubt the management system of choice. The DTA systems are capable of using a wide range of sensors including the majority of those fitted to the K series engines as standard and these systems are provided with an engine bay wiring loom.
DTA Competition Engine Management Systems
Bradford BD3 8EX
Tel.: (+44) (0)1274 667960 -- (+44) (0)161 278 5959
Fax.: (+44) (0)1274 663627
EFI Technology's EURO 1
As used by Powertrain Pojects
4025 Spenser Street # 102
Torrance, CA 90503
Fax: (310) 793-2514
As used by Dave Andrews from DVApower
On the Bulletin Board this ECU receives much appreciation together with (for us MGF-drivers) its installer Dave Andrews. Allthough some rumours are heard, the Emerald M3DK isn't able to operate the VVC mechanism yet. The future may bring a chip that will coöperate with the VVC cams, but that's still not known yet.
Quote: (from the website)
The Emerald M3DK engine management system handles full 3D mapping of both ignition and injection on normally-aspirated and turbo-charged engines. Its easy programmability and flexibility in adapting to existing engine installations and sensors make it a particularly good choice for people wishing to convert to mapped ignition and/or injection.
The pricing of the unit is very competitive and support both pre and post-sales is available. The calibration software will run on any Windows 32-bit platform and is provided free with the system. There are no hidden costs. The software is intuitive to use and DIY mapping is entirely feasible. We can offer a full calibration service if required on our own rolling road. We have many maps available to suit a wide variety of configurations to get your engine up and running easily.
The system is fully plug-compatible with the Rover MEMS system as fitted to the 'K' series Rover unit used in the Caterham Seven and Lotus Elise. The software provides 32 speed sites(up to 15,500RPM) and 16 load sites with tailored load site grouping, allowing super sensitive mapping around part throttle to improve drivability. The injection software provides the same number of load sites and speed sites, and also allows for cranking enrichment, acceleration fuelling adjustment, cold start correction, water and air temperature correction to both fuelling and ignition settings and Lambda sensor feedback. Map trimming can be done both 'on the fly' - dialing in timing and fuelling settings while the engine is running, or on a download basis.
M3DK units incorporate a shift light, user-tailorable soft and hard cut rev-limiters, tacho drive and tacho tell-tale.
The software allows the ignition and injection maps to be presented as surface contour graphs which greatly enhances the visibility of the calibration settings.
All M3DK kits include a comprehensive illustrated operating manual, ECU loom plug and pins, wiring details with pin-outs, comms lead and full operating software.
We have used the M3DK to good effect on a variety of different engines and have a library of maps for these engines in various states of tune, particularly the Rover 'K' series as used in the Caterham Seven, Lotus Elise and MGF.
Unit 6, Norwich Road Industrial Estate
Watton, Norfolk IP25 6DR
(+44) (0)1953 889110 -- (+44) (0)204 737 7114
Fax: (+44) (0)1953 889004
I am sorry, it looks like this page isn't finished yet.
I'll hope you visit the site once again to find
a more complete page behind the link you have just chosen.