Controlling an ECU


Torque Junkie
Anyone know if a standard ECU (from a 1.5L Clio turbo diesel) can be controlled over a range, to give squirts at micro-intervals chosen by me? I'm playing with a one-off single cylinder turbo diesl and wish gradually to optimise performance.
Malc9141 :shock:
Hi and welcome to the site. You need to speak with the guys at the open source ECU project they might know a bit about diesel applications. A single cylinder td? Tell us a bit more - this sounds like an interesting project.
Thanx, that ECU forum may be just the ticket.
I don't know how much to say about what we're doing:
About 20 years ago, Vickers asked Cosworth to build a prototype engine for Pilotless Aircraft - those things that do reconnaissance, etc. Cosworth thought out an engine which, IMHO, was sophisticated where it should have been simple and simple where it should have been sophisticated.
It was taken up by my friend(??) Mark Wilksch for his light aircraft engine.

I had had a long time interest in two stroke engines and (not understanding the need for sophisticated DFI back thirty odd years ago) wondered why a turbo-diesel two stroke wasn't a common item. (You may know that the WW ! was won, not by the arrival of the Canadians, not by the entry of the Yanks, but because Henry Ricardo invented the tank - instantly ending trench warfare, and he HIS used two-stroke diesels to power them!!).
I disagreed with a number of Mark Wilksch's design points. I thought I could do better. I designed a novel inlet tract, and to my disbelief, found it hadn't been published anywhere (instant patent), and checked it with a FLUEN (Computer Fluid Dynamics) program. Seemed OK.
So build an engine and see.
Only problem, I haven't clue how to control the ECU (I vaguely know the theory of transistors but have absolutley no feel for circuitry - I need a new friend in this area and am thinking of approaching someone who makes Hi-Fi stuff from scratch.
- So that's to be the new learning curve and I thank you for your help.
Malc9141 :?: :?: :?: :?:
A really interesting project. Keep us posted on how it is going. If you get some interesting results/success we could run a feature on it in the main site if you want.
single cylinder diesel engines think what they could do in small bikes and mopeds which are already getting 60+ mpg

good luck becoming a millionaire mate
good luck becoming a millionaire mate

If it had worked out twenty years earlier it might have been a thought.
Small two-stroke diesels are practically illegal - emission problem. Also, they don't do more mpg, because the breathing is less efficient than a four-stroke. But where they might score is in an aero engine. They're less weight for power output.

BTW, if anyone wants to help with this project, not financially, but as a pair of hands, or getting components, I'd be happy to hear from him.

What I need most, is a small dynomometer.

:D Malc
This one's for Wayne (mainly).
Hi Wayne,

(Merry Christmas)

I've made some process with the engine, tho' it's still dependent on machinists coming up with the goods.

I wondered if I could start a blog/diary whatever, giving details about this project (ie testing the idea that we can make a superior engine dependent on better volumetric efficiency/scavenging)?

It would be useful to me and might be of interest to the board.


That sounds great - nice to hear you are making progress. Use the contact us link at the bottom to email me if you have any problems or questions. I think it would be great to have the project updates from you. If you post pictures and a writeup in a new post in the Gallery section I'll make this into a page on the main site for you as well. (Is there an arguement for a new diesel section? HDi What do you think of that?)
What's HDi? (!!)

Anyway, I would like (ie enjoy) to "diarise" progress, tho' I'd have to avoid moaning. It IS like pushing a washing machine uphill. People of course aren't waiting around to help ME.

But at last there is an unglamorous expensive bit of alloy now machined. It doesn't reflect the effort getting there. Camshafts still need to be made. When we're certain where we're going, there'll be some fotos and we can see if it makes an article of interest.

So thanx again. I'll get back to you in time. It's very slow.

This is how it might read:

1. Introduction and explanation of project

2. Decisions I had to make about direction (OK: modify a single cylinder engine with a big flywheel > Lister-Petter diesl).

3. Cylinder head repair shop. Intelligent knowlegeable guys. Helpful. Start planning valve/spring assemblies. (Needed for choice of valves etc)

4. (Farce about working with a Mech Eng University dept?? instant machine shops, gas flow analysis, dynamometer, electronics expert to tune Injection - none of the above after a year of planning) (Describe details)

5. Outside machine shop. No probs. Then, "Ah wait till we've finished this batch etc." "Look, we really are too busy for this job." Eventually, standing there till the job is started gets us off first base - but not much further.(Describe details)

6. Go to a different, commercial machine shop. Progress! (Describe details)

7. Return to Cylinder Head Repair shop. "Oh no, this isn't what we expected, why didn't you.... ?etc" But they're good guys and I'm not leaving. So sort that out. (Describe details)

8. Now for camshafts. Design, etc (Describe details)

9. Meanwhile, Wayne says "try this website". Order book, Amazon. Bedtime reading is not for the fainthearted. eg ..the main fuel map plots injection pulse as a function of revs and loading. The surface chart should correspond roughly to volumetric efficiency.. (please explain, etc)

10. Clever guys offer to help with Injection . "Should come in at under £10,000 but can't promise." Who am I - Ron Dennis. (Injecting heroin would be cheaper)

11. My "assistant" offers other helpful suggestions to ward off the fact that he WAS supposed to be machining the head in the first place, and is now assigned to build a dynamometer (I've asked a company to give a quote but no reply, despite initially matey emails). The dynamometer keeps changing in concept until I come up with a crazy idea. He actually comes back with a sensible one. Always "dead easy" but not much delivery.

12. My life so far...

We'll keep in touch. I may stay sane, though it's getting doubtful.

Have a good remainder of Christmas.

The question is Who is HDi - I was reffering to HDI-fun our resident diesel head.;) You clearly know what you are getting into here. The synopsis looks good - you should have labelled the post as a "spoiler" but I'm sure there will be a few suprises along the way.

I was trying to find a way of controlling the injector.

I was all at sea.

I then worked out what seemed to be a circuit, with a clever idea that I got from a Bosch publication. I got some clues from an Electronics Chat Board tho' they quickly gave up on me when I kept asking stupid (to them) questions.

I built a circuit and it didn't work. I now see I had the Inverter wired up wrong.

Meanwhile, I met Pete Hartley. Peter, a legend in his lunchtime, poured derision on my circuit but took pity on me when I flashed him 50. He builds guitars, amplifiers, synthesisers but turned out to be a Formula 1 fan.(We bonded when we both found we regarded it as the most boring spectator sport, now kept on the media's pages/screens by setting up bosses with S & M call girls, which is evidently more interesting than why Lewis has yet again spun off in the pit lane).

Anyway, he has designed a circuit which I am going to try, and he's confident it will work.

Interestingly, it would cost about £20 to build. It would double as a Bench Tester for the injector. Such things retail at £700. (I thought of using one such for my engine but it wouldn't pulse above 300 rpm and they wanted £1500 to tell me why, not even modify it).

Anyway, now at last we might be cooking with gas. I slept well.

My job is to build my prototype.


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