DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

All questions about MS2/Microsquirt/Microsquirt module. See also MS2/Extra manuals

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DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby rickb794 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:21 am

My purpose with this post is to help others avoid common pitfalls and accelerate troubleshooting when a user does have problems.
For example, More than once we have had 3 or more pages of messages, some covering weeks of time, only to find that the user has NOT used resistor spark plugs!
These and the posts that may follow are items that have proven to be problematic and best avoided in an MS install.
Go through this list and use it to check against work you have already done or as a guide for installation to help you avoid common problem areas.

DO use the Extra manuals linked at the top of this forum, Read fully both the Setup and Hardware manuals.
If possible print out the pages that apply to your hardware for reference as there are so many variations contained in the manual.
If there are areas of your install you have questions about post here for clarification.

DO NOT read the MegaManual, Extra firmware uses the MS ports differently and reading the MegaManual will undoubtedly cause brain damage.
DIY Auto and others may recommend alternate methods that are unique to a certain models, ask here if you are uncertain if they apply to your install.

DO use resistor spark plugs, the MS electronics are not compatible (IN ANY INSTALL) with non resistor spark plugs electrical interference.

DO NOT use low resistance spark plug wires, many companies are offering "Low Resistance" or "spiral wound" wires that do not eliminate interference. (high voltage laughs at a little resistance and thinks it is a super highway)

DO NOT use a long corded USB to Serial adapter, (no cord is best) USB uses very low voltage for signaling which is susceptible to the extremely noisy automotive environment.

DO honor the grounding recommendations and wiring schematics found in section 3 of the manual.
Specifically the 5 ground wires of a MS2 to the block, the isolation of the sensor grounds, and triggering power for the injectors and coil(s) off the fuel pump relay.

DO NOT use a relay board with low impedance injectors. Most street cars will see little if any benefit of using low impedance injectors. (they are supported to facilitate the use of early OEM injectors)
A relay board will not work well with a high option install as it was an early design to be used with a v2.2 board and does not support all the possibilities of a 3 series mainboard.

DO use current firmware, and insure the correct version is selected during the loading process. ( MS2, MicroSquirt (cased), MicroSquirt Module, or MSPNP, only one is right for your MS)

DO NOT wire up your MS power source to a circuit that is noisy (coil, injectors, alternator, EGO controller all should be powered separately, ideally from or in conjunction with the fuel pump relay)

DO use the MS fuel pump control for normal operation THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE. For testing or race car an override switch might be an option but not for normal operation.
A rainbow of flaming fuel squirting out from under a hood is not a pretty sight! Racing organizations prohibit the fuel pump from running if the motor is not!

DO NOT use a battery charger to start your motor, Start with a fully charged battery or jump from a running vehicle. The buzzing noise from a battery charger may scramble the brains of your MS.
Also tuning or running a motor with low battery voltage is futile because fuel pump speed and battery voltage compensation will confuse the tune.

DO use a return type fuel system if possible, this cools and purges the rail of air bubbles.
Also very important for boosted applications that the fuel pressure increases 1:1 with boost pressure.
This is done by connecting the pressure regulator to the intake manifold and keeps the injectors from getting smaller as boost pressure increases.

DO NOT use super size injectors for the street, they will be hard to idle and will slobber and provide poor atomization at low PWM (part throttle).
Staged injection is best in this situation so a more "sane" sized injector can be used.

AND THE BIGGEST DO of all, is when you post include an MSQ in your post.
And details of your Setup, year and model motor, trigger type and source, ignition output type, idle control, injector type & size (or part #), fuel pressure (measured with a gauge).

Thanks BigBlockMopar for the edit tip.
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Use only these manuals http://www.msextra.com/manuals/
Avoid the common pitfalls, Read this before start http://www.msextra.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=101&t=65757
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby whittlebeast » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:51 pm

Great thread.

Do not put any sort of solenoid (boost control or otherwise) on the same hose that is supplying the MAP signal to the ECU.

Do initial tuning on Speed Density only.

Do not think it is possible to run over 100% Duty Cycle on the injectors.

Do not try to tune a motor that has any noisy sensors or a noisy RPM signal. You have to find the issue causing the noise.

Do not No not get cheep if you want to/must use long comms cables. I use USB to Ethernet cable and back to USB extenders and Cat7 cables. I have tested up to 15 feet without issues even when trying hard to create issues.

See http://www.microcenter.com/product/4150 ... t_Extender

Andy
Last edited by whittlebeast on Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby slow_hemi6 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:43 pm

Do Click on the blue square with the ? mark, found next to any setting. This is the "tech tip" and will likely solve any question you have with that setting.

Do not Load up and try to run with Joe Blogs or anyone else's .Msq tune file you found on the internet. The .Msq files are extremely hardware sensitive, unless you have cloned their car and wiring you could start breaking things immediately.

Do Review other's .Msq with tuner studio to see what they have done but ensure you understand what each setting does and why it has been set that way.

Do not When using a distributor and Basic Trigger, enter a Trigger Angle that is inside the Disallowed range of 16BTDC to 50BTDC.
Last edited by slow_hemi6 on Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Find the Manuals up top under Quick links: Manuals. :RTFM:
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby benckj » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:52 pm

Very useful thread especially for us Newbie's. Never saw some of these recommendations elsewhere even after reading through manuals numerous times. The plug type got me and now wonder if my wideband noise is related to using copper plugs?

Jim
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby whittlebeast » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:56 pm

The top two traces in this screen shot are what clean signals coming to the ECU looks like in MLV. No unexplained spikes anywhere on any of the 6 basic sensors.

MAP, RPM, TPS, CLT, MAT and Battery Volts

http://www.nbs-stl.com/tuning/Textbook%20Data%20log.png

Have fun tuning

Andy
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby whittlebeast » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:09 pm

Do not try to utilize 30 year old existing wiring in an attempt to save money and effort. You will end up spending the money and effort eventually chasing down issues.

Do use crimp on butt connectors with heat shrink casing. Skimping here will allow water and vibration to drive you crazy chasing issues later down the road.

Do use the real crimping tool designed for the connector you are using. Trying to get by with vise grips or a small hammer never leads to long term joy.

Do power your wideband from the fuel pump relay. This saves the main car battery and the sensors when you forget to power down the Squirt or are snooping around at the tune with the key on. It only requires power when the exhaust is flowing anyway.
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby turbo conversion » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:17 am

benckj wrote:Very useful thread especially for us Newbie's. Never saw some of these recommendations elsewhere even after reading through manuals numerous times. The plug type got me and now wonder if my wideband noise is related to using copper plugs?

Jim


Copper plugs are okay, non resistor plugs are not.

David
1976 Datsun 280Z L28ET Garrett GT35R T3-T04E stage3 50 trim 63 A/R housing custom grind cam 2000-6000 rpm 440cc injectors intercooled 18 lbs. boost
3" exhaust turbo back LC-1 o2 sensor Hallman manual boost controller EDIS 6 ignition batch fire 60mm throttle body 5 spd T5 borg warner 3.54 lsd
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby BigBlockMopar » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:09 pm

From what I've learned since I start playing with MegaSquirt a few months ago;

RTFM, or Read The Friendly Manual.

DO read the manual, front to back. There's more info then first meets the eye.
Pay attention to details. It's easy to miss the little and simple things.

DO read the manual. Again.
You always find stuff in there the 2nd or 3rd time reading it, that you didn't pick up before.

Another great help for me was doing test mockups with a distributor in my lathe, but a vertical drill setup will work as well.
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby benckj » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:57 pm

Copper plugs are okay, non resistor plugs are not.

David


This is basically what I'm running which has a resistance of 5k. Technically they are not 'copper' but have a copper core. Guess its considered to be a 'resistor type'.?

http://www.partcat.com/ngk

Can I ask a stupid question; why do non-resistor type plugs interfere with the MS or is it a sensor problem?

Jim
Last edited by benckj on Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby turbo conversion » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:04 pm

benckj wrote:
Copper plugs are okay, non resistor plugs are not.

David


This is basically what I'm running which has a resistance of 5k. Technically they are not 'copper' but have a copper core. Guess its considered to be a 'resistor type'.?

http://www.partcat.com/ngk


Yes 5K resistance is a resistor plug, non resistor plugs will not have any resistance causing unwanted noise.

David
1976 Datsun 280Z L28ET Garrett GT35R T3-T04E stage3 50 trim 63 A/R housing custom grind cam 2000-6000 rpm 440cc injectors intercooled 18 lbs. boost
3" exhaust turbo back LC-1 o2 sensor Hallman manual boost controller EDIS 6 ignition batch fire 60mm throttle body 5 spd T5 borg warner 3.54 lsd
turbo conversion
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby slow_hemi6 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:48 pm

Do not Assume the Setting Up Manual only contains basic stuff you can just gloss over. There is a lot of important things covered in there that are not just "basic level".
Find the Manuals up top under Quick links: Manuals. :RTFM:
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby Matt Cramer » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:30 am

DO look through threads for accounts of people who had similar issues to see if you can find an account of how the issue was fixed. But...

DO NOT reply to a thread asking for help when you have what appears to be the same issue, particularly if the proposed fixes in the thread didn't work for you. There's a good chance that instead of having the same issue, you have a different issue with similar symptoms, and discussing both in one thread is likely to cause confusion. Instead, please start a separate thread; this will make it easier for everyone to follow the discussion and not muddy the waters with discussion of an unrelated issue.

DO NOT believe in the existence of such a thing as a good chassis ground. Assume a "good" chassis ground is bad, and a bad chassis ground is horrible.

DO check with a timing light to be sure your timing is correct across the entire rev range before tuning.

DO NOT let the fact that the engine has no timing marks stop you from the above step. Get a piston stop and find a way to improvise a set of timing marks.

DO NOT expect a coil designed for CDI applications (where it's a motorcycle or MSD box) to work well with a BIP373 or any other inductive ignition module. These coils typically have a low inductance and would need an obscene amount of current to build up decent spark energy. The MegaSquirt can allow a lot of mixing and matching ignition components, but it can't change the laws of physics.

DO include a copy of your MSQ and data log when asking for help. These deliver a ton of useful information.

DO NOT substitute screen shots or videos for the above files. They may make sense in addition to those files if there's some data the files don't seem to convey, but they don't stand on their own. In particular, videos tend to be too blurry to get an exact reading on gauges - and someone diagnosing the problem may need an entirely different set of gauges from the ones in the video.

DO keep in mind when using very large injectors that setting the dead time is even more important with these injectors than with smaller injectors. Doubling the injector size doubles how far off the fueling will be for a given amount of error in the dead time settings.
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby turbo conversion » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:36 am

The very first thing that needs to be accomplished (after you have the engine running) is to fully warm up the engine.

Once this is done then you need to achieve a stable and repeatable idle before doing anything else (like going for a drive).

Once you have the idle dialed in you should not need to tune it again, if you do then you may need to tune MAT correction.

Once the idle is dialed in then you can start tuning WE ASE etc. but not before or you will create a head ache.

I think this is being skipped over way to often but this is how it needs to be done to make everything else gel.

David
1976 Datsun 280Z L28ET Garrett GT35R T3-T04E stage3 50 trim 63 A/R housing custom grind cam 2000-6000 rpm 440cc injectors intercooled 18 lbs. boost
3" exhaust turbo back LC-1 o2 sensor Hallman manual boost controller EDIS 6 ignition batch fire 60mm throttle body 5 spd T5 borg warner 3.54 lsd
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby dontz125 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:39 am

turbo conversion wrote:The very first thing that needs to be accomplished (after you have the engine running) is to fully warm up the engine.

Once the idle is dialed in then you can start tuning WE ASE etc. but not before or you will create a head ache.

Just to underscore, emphasize and stick my oar in - you shouldn't work on ASE or WUE until the SECOND tuning session, because you need to let it cool back down to stone cold.
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby rickb794 » Sun May 28, 2017 8:42 am

Don't link to outside sites hosting your files or alter the Tuner Studio files in any way.

For security reasons, I will not go to external file hosting sites, nor will I open altered files.

Even Zipping a file is not acceptable as I have no idea what I am unpacking.
This is my brain on MegaSquirt!
Use only these manuals http://www.msextra.com/manuals/
Avoid the common pitfalls, Read this before start http://www.msextra.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=101&t=65757
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Re: DO's & DON'T's to check before you ask for support

Postby slow_hemi6 » Sun May 28, 2017 3:46 pm

Agree with Rick. I don't want to be bombarded with ads and pop ups just to try and see your image in decent resolution either. Photo bucket, you bunch of $%^&$$*.
Find the Manuals up top under Quick links: Manuals. :RTFM:
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