Turbo ECU Help


Scotland, Glasgow
BMW 323i (e36)

I am planning to Turbo a little EP2 Civic I recieved a while ago from a friend of my Dad's. The car is in ok shape but since it only cost about £150, I was thinking that it would be a great platform to learn how to Turbocharge. I have read an awful lot of articles regarding Turbos so I am quite confident about how it all goes together. I am a fairly compotent mechanic who can handle a decent sized job, so none of the pipework or fabrication is a real issue for me. Or upgrading the brakes. Or the Suspenion. Or the tyres.

What is an issue, is the ECU. I have been asking around the area in which I live and due to the age of the car, nobody is keen to want to set me up with an ECU remap/tune. I have been digging around and I have discovered an item called an 'FMU', which as you probably know, will increase the fuel pressure being delivered to the engine.

If I can fit one of these along with an aftermarket chip for the ECU and maybe bigger injectors, would this be enough to run a small turbo? A small turbo will do the job for me as I am only looking to run low boost to maximise my chances of not winding up with a pile of ash on the driveway where an engine used to be.

I have asked another forum this same question but let's just say the responses were, less than helpful.

I have also heard of people running turbo systems on Stock ECUs with varying degrees of success. Then again, I have heard of people getting £3000 ECU tunes with varying degrees of success :p

When it comes down to mapping/tuning it is best done by a pro BUT if you must do it yourself then best start with the fuel on the rich side when you start tweaking it.

Is there "HONDATA "available for your motor and if not then you may need to install a fuel only piggyback computer.

I see you only want to run "low boost" and like you I started with 7psi and now run 20 psi so it is easy to increase the boost when you get used to the power and it begins to feel slow and it is easy to up the boost with a simple boost tee BUT it should be remapped if you don't want it to end in tears
When it is on the rolling road being mapped you should also find out the injector flow data as it should not exceed 85% at WOT
You also need to do some research re the strength of the bottom end as adding boost dramatically increases the "effective "compression ratio and loads on rotating assembly which may require forged pistons and rods for longevity Good luck
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Hi TCJBOLDIE, thanks for that info.

Will definitely take onboard what you said about the remap. It’s just unfortunate that the nearest rolling road wouldn’t even entertain me when I went to speak to them! That’s life I suppose.

I had troubles with a local Dyno tuner and lost a new motor so I tow my car 2 hours to my trusted tuner.
Racer75, how competent are you with wiring?
Not sure how much you've looked into aftermarket engine management, but look into Megasquirt and Speeduino. There's lots of support for both out there, between forums, facebook, and youtube. I'm not sure about Speeduino but Megasquirt offers autotune functionality to get you started, and odds are someone has already done what you're trying to do and you could get a baseline tune from them.
An aftermarket ECU seems to be the best solution. Fuel needs to be matched to the additional air, a standard RPM fuel map will not work as turbos are not that linear. Early non injected turbo cars used quite a clunky but effective fuel delivery method without an ECU coming into the equation.

At low boost a car will trim fuel and air delivery automatically, anything bigger and you'll start running lean or hitting the ECU protection shutting things down.

Look up megasquirt and Apexi Power FC and find a rolling road so you can set it all up properly.

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