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Ecotec Swap Questions (LE5 Engine Management) by zkhennings
Started on: 03-09-2020 01:50 PM
Replies: 14 (207 views)
Last post by: wftb on 03-24-2020 03:12 PM
zkhennings
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Report this Post03-09-2020 01:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
After a long hiatus I am finally going to be swapping an Ecotec motor into my Fiero. History of my car here

Since storing the Fiero, I have done much work on my 02 WRX, and put ~120,000 miles on it, it now sits at 249,000 miles, everything in it has been replaced/upgraded at this point (except the trans), but the motor (170,000 miles) is getting tired and the trans is getting noisy, I need to shim the trans and rebuild the motor and turbo, maybe run new brake lines too as I intend to delete the ABS, the ABS is awful in that car when going over bumpy or slick surfaces. Also needs a few areas of rust repaired. Seems like the perfect time to get the Fiero driving again for the summer to do some work to the WRX and have it ready for next winter.

I have debated for a while what I want as far as Ecotecs go, but I think I have settled on an LE5 mated to an F23 (M86) 5 speed transmission. I plan to leave it NA for a while, and make some headers for the motor to get a little more power. Looking for close to 200whp which seems very reasonable when researching Miatas with LE5 swaps. My car is very light, it has 0 options, no power anything, no AC, no cruise, and I have stripped any extra bits to make it as simple as possible. ~200hp would be very fun, and the balance of the car would be great for the twisty roads we have here in the North East. It was really fun with the 132whp 2.8 I built for it, but the rear end felt really heavy. It also was inconvenient to work on the 2.8 when compared to the tiny Ecotec in the Fiero's engine bay.

I looked at the L61 2.2 Ecotec for a while, but the price between LE5 and L61 is nearly the same now, and it appears to be a superior motor. I considered the LSJ as well, but I would rather experiment with some forced induction on my own on a 400$ motor. I considered the F35 trans with LSD (~$1000) but it is pretty pricey compared to the $150 F23. I can put a Quaife LSD into the F23 down the road, and if I blow the F23 I can swap the Quaife into a new F23. An added bonus of the F23 is the ability to use the stock Fiero axles.

I plan to get a 2006-2007 LE5 for the forged rods vs powder forged rods of the later models. This way down the road I can add some boost, whether as a turbo or supercharger I am not sure. I could even throw an LSJ top end on it. Many possibilities.

Mechanically I am not worried about many aspects of the project, I have picked up Tig welding since my Fiero days which will be nice for fabbing some headers and exhaust. I intend to modify the stock cradle for the initial install by removing and replacing the front crossmember, and I will use round bushings and steel tubing as sleeves to fab mounts for the motor and transmission. Swap will also require a higher flowing fuel pump, and modifications to the shifter or custom mounting of cables to the transmission. I will most likely make a custom shifter as I think that the Fiero shifter leaves a lot to be desired. I will probably order some custom shift cables.

However I am venturing into the unknown engine-management-wise. I am unsure of what path to chose. The LE5 is run by the E67 ECM that GM makes, it is a highly tunable ECM as it runs many GM motors, and seems pretty ideal for using a stock ECM. However I have not yet delved into tuning stock ECMs and I do not know what kind of difficulties lie ahead for going to an eventual boosted application. I also do not know what kind of compatibility the ECM outputs will have with the stock gauges. I assume there will be challenges there. I would like to delete the drive by wire of the LE5 for simplicity and throttle response reasons (valid?). I do not know the complexity from an engine management side of things in going this route.

Other concerns include deleting all the extra jazz the ECM wants to see asides from the motor so it runs as a standalone ECM. I would definitely attempt to get the wiring and ECM from the same car that I get the motor from to minimize incompatibilities. It will most likely come from an automatic car as I am having a hard time finding an F23 in a junkyard that is not mated to a 2.2. So there are some concerns with the wiring harness of the auto working with the connectors on the manual trans, but these are minor concerns.

Another option would be to drop some cash on a Haltech 1500. It looks like an ideal tuning platform that would allow for a lot of future modification. I could run the stock gauges from it. Logging is very simple. Etc. It is ideal for an engine swap like this, but I think the E67 can do everything I want/need it to, and it will be far cheaper. I am just unsure what the difference in difficulty will be as I have very little experience with the engine management side of things. I could always get the Haltech later on since I plan to run the car on a stock tune initially.

I want to gain experience though so I am very willing to throw myself into getting the stock ECU to work by figuring it out as I go.

I am looking for suggestions and information, feel free to critique my plans, I have read as many Ecotec builds as I can find to formulate my plans.

My overall goals are for a very small lightweight motor that is easy to work on, cheap to replace, easy to find, gets good gas mileage, and can take some forced induction in the future.

Thanks for the help, I will definitely document the swap in my build thread and thoroughly document the wiring and ECM reprogramming to make this swap more accessible to more Fiero owners.

[This message has been edited by zkhennings (edited 03-09-2020).]

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wftb
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Report this Post03-09-2020 02:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have an LE5 intake on my 2.2. As you know this intake was made for drive by wire. In order to get the car to idle I had to add a hole in the old cable operated throttle body. Worked fine after that.

I was looking at ecotec powered sand buggys on Youtube and they have a simple solution to DBW and they just mount the DBW pedal assembly in the engine bay (with the pedal removed) and hook the stock throttle cable to it with a simple bracket. That way you do not have to mess with changing the pedal assembly out. I think this is the video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHqnwrU972k The Sand rail guys are doing a lot with ecotecs. I think this guy mention Phil's Bug Shop ? as a source for engine management stuff but it might have been another video.

As you know I went the stock ECM/BCM and wiring harness from donor car route. To tune the car for turbocharging I bought the HP Tuners MPVI Pro. That was 650.00 and for tuning out VATS and lots of other things is pretty much a necessity for the stock ECM unless you get someone to do that for you. I am still waiting for someone to get a Haltec up and running on an Ecotec. Member 4thfiero used an Alphafab setup on his but I think they have closed up shop. After some initial cold weather tuning problems it seems to be working fine.

Edited to get the right video.

------------------
86 GT built 2.2 ecotec turbo
rear SLA suspension
QA1 coilovers on tube arms

[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 03-09-2020).]

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zkhennings
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Report this Post03-09-2020 03:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If I keep the DBW I will just install the pedal in the stock location, I just worry there will be some latency between pushing the pedal and having the throttle open, which is my concern with the DBW to begin with.

So you paid $650 for HP Tuners? That is good to know because while the Haltech costs $1500 it has free software. I was under the impression that I could do what I need to with a $100 HP Tuners license. Junkyards are not that cheap by me so I expect another $150-300 for the ECM and wiring harness from the donor, making the overall cost not as far off as I thought.
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Report this Post03-09-2020 04:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you have a friend that has an HP tuners system, you could just get them to purchase 2 credits and do the tuning for you. That would be the 100.00 solution probably. The older DBW systems like you are looking at have almost lineal response times as far as I know from reading old tests. Newer vehicles have so many systems reading the input from the pedal that there sometimes is a feeling of disconnectness according to some testers. However we own 4 DBW vehicles all less than 3 years old and I have not noticed any sort of lag.

------------------
86 GT built 2.2 ecotec turbo
rear SLA suspension
QA1 coilovers on tube arms

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Report this Post03-09-2020 06:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BillSClick Here to Email BillSSend a Private Message to BillSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
LNF would be the way to go, although there would be added packaging challenges to fit the turbo etc. into the engine bay. It is a stronger engine built for more power - how much do you want? Good to 400-450 crank before you even need to go inside the engine.
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Report this Post03-09-2020 06:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
As I understand automotive history, drive-by-wire was implemented in large part for the purpose of adding lag to the throttle response.

Hence, I find your concern about the possibility of throttle lag to be a legitimate one...

Why did automakers want to add lag? Easy... emissions. When you have a rapidly changing, unpredictable airflow controlled by a driver's foot, it's hard to deliver just the right amount of fuel into the cylinder needed to maintain a stoichiometric AFR. If the engine isn't working near a stoichiometric AFR, it's polluting.

So, the ECU takes over the throttle control, and the physical butterfly can then follow the driver's wishes at some computer-determined leisurely pace... filtered and lagged such that the fuel delivery can follow easily.

I think the need for throttle lag is especially true with port fuel injection vs. direct fuel injection, due to puddling of the fuel in the intake manifold. Because of fuel that clings to the walls of the intake (i.e. wall-wetting), and then slowly re-evaporates before being sucked into the cylinder, fuel delivery into the cylinder cannot change rapidly.

DBW is good for emissions, and driving aids such as cruise control and traction control. If you don't want these features, I don't see the interest in using DBW. If you do, there would be some value in keeping DBW.

When I think of a cheap and compact commodity engine, I think of the Honda D16Y7 from the 6th gen Civics. From what I see on the Internet, people do turbo them (not necessarily with a stock bottom-end), but I haven't seen a turbo D-series with my own eyes.

[This message has been edited by pmbrunelle (edited 03-09-2020).]

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zkhennings
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Report this Post03-10-2020 04:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have hit up the main Haltech distributor near me to get some clarification on some questions I have. I am leaning towards the Haltech at this point in time.
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Report this Post03-10-2020 08:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When my work colleague bought a Haltech, he was able to get customer support direct from the folks in Australia.

For some questions, you may want to bypass the middleman, who may not have the answers to everything.

Ideally, you should pick a computer and then stick with it, otherwise, you'll be redoing your wiring harness just because of bad planning.
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Report this Post03-10-2020 09:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post


I bought this megasquirt system from the mall and forgot all about it until recently. It was built by member fosgatecavy98. It uses the 7x crank reluctor wheel so would not run a 2.4. I bought it in case I want to do a stand alone 2.2 in something like a locust 7 but that project didn’t pan out

link to original discussion of this system http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...160323-1-074398.html

It has been so long since I looked at this system that I do not know what all it can control. I know early Megasquirts could not control ignition and I suspect that is the case with this system. But new Megasquirt systems can control almost everything as far as I know. But you have to write a tune from scratch.

[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 03-11-2020).]

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Report this Post03-11-2020 03:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Some pics of the DBC to DBW setup





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zkhennings
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Report this Post03-11-2020 04:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Turns out the local premium dealer is Tuner Tools, I was in the WPI Motorsports Club back in the day with one of the guys that runs it. So I have been talking to him directly. He has installed Haltechs into a few of his race cars. He also builds a lot of harnesses for competition cars, so he is a great resource to pick his brain.

I was looking at lower end Haltechs like the 1000, but after some research I have to go with the Elite 1500 if I want to control both the intake and exhaust VVT. The Haltech 1000 will only do VVT on the intake cams. The 1500 has a ton of other benefits I wanted to including logging that is 10 times higher resolution than the 1000. Also the 1500 does DBW while the 1000 does not.

The DBW with the Haltech will have next to no latency, if I went with the factory ECU that would be a different story due to emissions reasons. The relationship between pedal position and throttle position is fully customizable which is really cool, and the Haltech will do cruise control via the DBW which is also useful as I would sacrifice cruise control if it meant I needed any additional hardware. The pedal in the trunk is cool, especially if you want to be able to open the throttle while looking at the engine, but I will probably just mount the pedal in replacement of the Fiero pedal.

I intend to get the universal harness for the Haltech as it comes with all the correct types and gages of wires for each of the inputs/outputs, including shielded wires (If anyone thinks I could source wire cheaper elsewhere I would be interested, but I imagine multiple spools of different kinds of wire would get pricey). I will make my own fuse box and relay set up as that is simple, no need to pay the premium for Haltech's solution. It will also allow me to have screw terminal blocks that I find useful for keeping my build modular.

I will however need to source all the connectors for the LE5 sensors, solenoids, alternator etc.

www.bmotorsports.com and www.corsa-technic.com are the sites that he recommended for sourcing the connectors and pins, but I am unsure where to find the information of what connectors I will need to order without physically having the original harness, something I would not plan to buy if I go this route.

If anyone has information about that, let me know.

wtfb I looked into Mega Squirt and while it is pretty cool how DIY it is, I don't know if it truly simplifies things for me. I am pretty sure it can run everything including timing if it is a Mega Squirt 3.
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Report this Post03-11-2020 10:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pmbrunelleClick Here to Email pmbrunelleSend a Private Message to pmbrunelleEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by zkhennings:
The DBW with the Haltech will have next to no latency, if I went with the factory ECU that would be a different story due to emissions reasons. The relationship between pedal position and throttle position is fully customizable which is really cool, and the Haltech will do cruise control via the DBW which is also useful as I would sacrifice cruise control if it meant I needed any additional hardware.


With the Haltech being fast, the throttle servo on the throttle body would be the next source of latency. I suppose the throttle servo would be fast enough, but I don't know.

 
quote
Originally posted by zkhennings:
I will make my own fuse box and relay set up as that is simple, no need to pay the premium for Haltech's solution. It will also allow me to have screw terminal blocks that I find useful for keeping my build modular.


You need a fuse box other than the stock one next to the hood release?

 
quote
Originally posted by zkhennings:
wtfb I looked into Mega Squirt and while it is pretty cool how DIY it is, I don't know if it truly simplifies things for me. I am pretty sure it can run everything including timing if it is a Mega Squirt 3.


Any MegaSquirt (even MS1 with the appropriate firmware) will manage ignition timing.

MegaSquirt is for folks who consider tinkering with the fuel injection system to be an integral part of the automotive hobby.

If you just want your engine to work in the easiest/simplest manner possible, MegaSquirt is the wrong choice.
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Report this Post03-12-2020 12:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am not sure if I need an additional fuse box or not, it might be nice to make a new one or I guess relocate the stock one so it is easier to access and utilizes new wiring. Back when I still had the stock iron duke installed I was having a weird intermittent stumble and the check engine light would illuminate for less than a second. Then at times the car would not run. Turned out to be one of the wires that fed power to the ECU, it was broken internally and while it showed 12 volts at the ECU connector, using a test light the light barely illuminated.

Using a new fuse box with a new dedicated power source for the most critical circuits seems like it would be worthwhile to avoid unnecessary issues. It is a 35 year old car after all. That was my thought process at least.

And huh I had thought that running the spark was something only the MS3 could do, but you are right, looks like they all can.
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Report this Post03-24-2020 11:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for arbakkenSend a Private Message to arbakkenEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm planning on a L61/F23 swap in the very near future (it's my corona lockdown project). I'm planning on keeping and using as much factory wiring (including DBW pedal which I would also prefer to get rid of) and tuning as possible for reliability. I bought a 2008 Cobalt that hit a deer so I have the entire car for donor parts. The DBW throttle response is pretty good, much better than my 2015 wrangler which is terrible.

My general plan is to clean up the wiring harness, and have someone delete the vats and bcu. Swap Specialties sells an ecotec harness and will tune the ECU, currently I think it would be ~$676 to have that done. I'm trying to do it on the cheap if I can, so we'll see what happens.
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Report this Post03-24-2020 03:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A mistake I made when I did my swap is I pared down the wiring harness to as small as I thought I would need. That got rid of a lot of stuf like getting the blinker indicators to work in the cavalier guage cluster, having cruise and other things I cant think of now. The entire car wiring harness is large but it can be all stuffed in there.

HP tuners can get rid of vats and you will have the whole system for about the same as you are paying to have the ECM tuned. Just make sure your donor car is on the supported vehicles list (some Cobalts are not supported) and check on the HP tuners forum to make sure vats can be deleted for your donor as well. In some vehicles HP tuners will not get rid of VATS.

------------------
86 GT built 2.2 ecotec turbo
rear SLA suspension
QA1 coilovers on tube arms

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