Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

decryphe
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Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby decryphe » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:55 pm

Hi everyone!

While prepping my car to pass inspections and get registered in Switzerland, I've been trying to figure out how to proceed with the engine. I was looking at a mild build while keeping the car as stock as possible all around. So, is there any experience on this board on a combination that could look something like this:
- Tomei Poncams
- Matrix Garage 11:1 pistons link
- Exhaust currently installed on the car (probably a Fujitsubo LegalisR W-Tail)
- Stock JDM ECU with overclock (changed quartz) for higher rev limiter around 8200rpm or so
My car is a japanese import and engine is stock with stock intake and aftermarket exhaust.

What do I need to keep in mind for such a setup? What would you suggest to do or not to do? What kind of power figures could I expect?

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jondee86
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby jondee86 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:49 pm

decryphe wrote:Stock JDM ECU with overclock (changed quartz) for higher rev limiter around 8200rpm or so

I would suggest that you consider carefully the kind of driving you will be doing
in your car MOST of the time. While the AE86 with stock bigport engine is rev-happy
and will cheerfully run thru the gears to the 7600rpm redline, around town this is not
"responsible" driving.

If you plan to mainly use the car outside city limits where you can safely engage in
"spirited" driving, then by all means push the power band and redline higher. But if
your main activity with the car is cruising and enjoying the view (3000 to 5000rpm),
then modifications that improve the lower rpm power output would be better.

OST will sell you on the benefits of porting the head, and Matrix will sell you on the
benefits of squish area and piston to head clearance. Some extra compression that
will work with the best gasoline available in your area is always good, and a set of
cams that emphasise lift rather than duration will help with streetability :)

An AFM ECU will handle these kind of modifications without problems, but a MAP ECU
may need a little help from an adjustable fuel pressure regulator. And don't make a
specific power figure your goal... just concentrate on building an engine that works
for the use you have in mind for the car.

Cheers... jondee86
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oldeskewltoy
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby oldeskewltoy » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:38 am

Have you researched your emissions requirements?? From a cursory look I found this (in French) https://www.tcs.ch/fr/auto-deux-roues/controles-vehicules-et-entretien/test-antipollution.php I don't read French... but... you will need to know the limits BEFORE you build, so you can satisfy the Swiss regulations.

Have you been on aeu86.org yet? They are an AE86 forum based out of Europe - and might be better able to offer advice on Swiss regulations, and laws.

What tends to fail inspections - excessive cam duration can add to the hyrocarbon output. Poor ignition can lead to higher carbon monoxide.

Jondee is correct, I'm a strong proponent of porting - correctly shaping the cylinder head ports to optimize flow. But, I'm also a proponent of raising the compression, and setting the squish gap (gap between piston @ TDC, and flat part of head). Building a better engine isn't just adding parts, but adding the CORRECT parts for your goals.

As to emissions compliance in the USA, I've built a few heads so far for use in California(STRICT emissions requirement) based vehicles. One client used the Poncams, and needed a bit of ignition change to get it to pass, while the client who ran Cat cams 244 duration cam, had no issues.

Stock 4AGE cam timing (dependent on early, or late type):
Image


Poncams timing card:
Image


Cat cams: I typically recommend using 2 of their exhaust cams 214 duration@ .050" lift)
Image



This dyno (120 whp - about 135 @ the crank) is on a mostly stock 4AGE. The only mods this engine got was a compression bump from 9.4:1, to 10.7:1, and a ported head, everything else is pretty much stock.

Image


If you have any questions... just ask....... ;)
OST Cyl head porting, - viewtopic.php?f=22&t=300

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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby sirdeuce » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:59 pm

If you are planning to go as far as that in your mods, and keep the stock ECU, at least consider a wideband AFR monitor and some kind of piggy back to make minor adjustments. You can use the Apexi AFC or a Greddy E-manage (examples) for piggy back. The E-manage stsarts getting close to the price of a Megasquirt KIT though.
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby decryphe » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:07 pm

jondee86 wrote:
decryphe wrote:Stock JDM ECU with overclock (changed quartz) for higher rev limiter around 8200rpm or so

[...]
OST will sell you on the benefits of porting the head, and Matrix will sell you on the benefits of squish area and piston to head clearance. Some extra compression that will work with the best gasoline available in your area is always good, and a set of cams that emphasise lift rather than duration will help with streetability :)

An AFM ECU will handle these kind of modifications without problems, but a MAP ECU may need a little help from an adjustable fuel pressure regulator. And don't make a specific power figure your goal... just concentrate on building an engine that works for the use you have in mind for the car.

As I have a perfectly standard '92 Camry for everyday, the 86 is purely intended for countryside driving and enjoying mountain roads.
What's the difference between squish and compression?
I'm a but dubious about lift, since I want to keep the engine non-interference. Don't want a possible catastrophic failure to loom over my head in case of a snapped timing belt or something like that.

oldeskewltoy wrote:Have you researched your emissions requirements?? [...]

What tends to fail inspections - excessive cam duration can add to the hyrocarbon output. Poor ignition can lead to higher carbon monoxide.

Jondee is correct, I'm a strong proponent of porting - correctly shaping the cylinder head ports to optimize flow. But, I'm also a proponent of raising the compression, and setting the squish gap (gap between piston @ TDC, and flat part of head). Building a better engine isn't just adding parts, but adding the CORRECT parts for your goals.

As to emissions compliance in the USA, I've built a few heads so far for use in California(STRICT emissions requirement) based vehicles. One client used the Poncams, and needed a bit of ignition change to get it to pass, while the client who ran Cat cams 244 duration cam, had no issues.

What I've been able to figure out so far about emissions regulations in Switzerland is that normally the regulations apply that did apply for 1st registration of the vehicle. In this case that's 1984 and if I got that right, a cat was optional at the time and only got mandatory in '86 or '87. In general the emissions laws here are less strict than California, but often two to three years earlier in being strict than Germany for example.
I was planning on going to the local DMV equivalent and asking about the applicable regulations for this car and suggestions about which order I could do modifications and registration.

sirdeuce wrote:If you are planning to go as far as that in your mods, and keep the stock ECU, at least consider a wideband AFR monitor and some kind of piggy back to make minor adjustments. You can use the Apexi AFC or a Greddy E-manage (examples) for piggy back. The E-manage stsarts getting close to the price of a Megasquirt KIT though.

I checked around for these things. The Apexi AFC is around 400$, plus a wideband AFR for around 200$, compared to the 4AGE Megasquirt PNP-Kit for 700$. Problem with the kit is that it's intended for the AFM version (USDM) of the car and I've not been able to find any other kit that targets the JDM 16v 4AGE directly. I was thinking about writing Megasquirt/Diyautotune about the kit, if it's possible to adapt it to the JDM engine (maybe by replacing parts on the PCB).
How well does an AFC work together with an ECU that has a lambda-sensor (narrow- or wideband, I don't know)? I can imagine the ECU being confused with a different reading if adapting the A/F mixture with the rather digital nature of the narrowband sensor reading (only knows lean/normal/rich).

Thanks a lot for the input!

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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby jondee86 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:24 pm

decryphe wrote:What's the difference between squish and compression?


Compression is essentially the ratio of the whole cylinder volume (including the combustion
chamber in the head) to the volume of the combustion chamber when the piston is at top
dead centre. So if the swept volume of the cylinder alone is 10 units, and the volume of the
combustion chamber in the head is 1 unit, the whole cylinder volume will be 11 units. This
volume will be compressed to 1 unit when the piston reaches TDC, thus the compression ratio
will be 11 into 1 (or 11:1 as it is usually written).

Squish is the narrow gap between the flat surfaces around the perimeter of the top of the
piston and the flat surfaces around the perimeter of the combustion chamber in the head.
When the piston reaches TDC on the compression stroke, these two flat surfaces approach
closely to each other at high speed, causing the air/fuel mixture to be forcibly ejected into
the combustion chamber to improve the combustion process. If the squish gap is too wide,
combustion will be less efficient; too little squish gap and there is a risk that the piston
may come into contact with the head.

In general, increasing the duration of your cams will move peak power higher in the engine's
rpm range. Increasing lift will allow the engine to make more power without moving peak
far from the OEM cams rpm range. Aftermarket cams increase both duration and lift, but
some increase the duration a lot with only a small increase in lift (good for constant high rpm
applications like track). Others will increase the duration less and increase the lift more (good
for varying conditions like rally).

I don't actually know at what lift your engine will become interference, as it depends on the
piston design, cam lift and timing. If you don't go any higher than 8.5mm lift, I don't think
you will have a problem. Perhaps someone else has done some measuring ?

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby oldeskewltoy » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:20 am

jondee86 wrote: Perhaps someone else has done some measuring ?

Cheers... jondee86



on an uncut head with an uncut block, with a stock gasket, using stock pistons.... I KNOW 8.18mm will be none-interference, BUT I don't have maximum lift before contact.... but that can be calculated into his build....

To OP, a friend of mine on the aeu86.org site is a swiss citizen, with an AE86, his profile - "bean", he might be able to tell you, or knows whom to ask.

As to squish... first pick shows how the piston @ TDC squeezes "against" head.

Image



second pic shows squish pads, or areas on a head similar to a 4AGE head - these are flat verses the photo above where the squish pars are @ an angle

Image
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby decryphe » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:03 pm

jondee86 wrote:[...] an awesome explanation of compression and squish [...]

I don't actually know at what lift your engine will become interference, as it depends on the piston design, cam lift and timing. If you don't go any higher than 8.5mm lift, I don't think you will have a problem. Perhaps someone else has done some measuring ?

Cheers... jondee86

Thanks a lot for the explanation! That makes a lot of sense.
The lift of the cams and the piston design was the main reason why I was thinking to go with the Matrix garage kit, as it's designed to be non-interference and should theoretically be a drop-in using the stock ECU (at least as advertised). No idea if this only applies to the AFM version of the ECU though.

oldeskewltoy wrote:To OP, a friend of mine on the aeu86.org site is a swiss citizen, with an AE86, his profile - "bean", he might be able to tell you, or knows whom to ask.

Yeah, he was so nice and took some time off to take a look at the car in October and deemed it to be mechanically sound. Looking forward to going on a drive with him and his 86 when he's back in Switzerland.
Also thinking about regs, I may just go with the cams first to move peak power a little bit higher and get a higher absolute value. That way I can get the initial/reference power measurement at import of the car (there's no national type test for the JDM model for reference values) to be higher and can get away with installing pistons later without having to go through the full test cycle that costs a lot of money. Normally you're only allowed to have a 10% power increase or so without lots of paperwork. With this trick I can get away a lot cheaper (we're talking about 1000-2000$) while staying legal all the way.

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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby jondee86 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:25 pm

I see from your build thread that you have the MAP sensored engine. Changing cams
on a MAP engine will affect the idle quality... the longer the duration of the cams the
more the idle will suffer. Long cams raise the manifold pressure (increase the kPa(abs)
reading). The MAP sensor sees this as the throttle being partly open and the ECU will
increase the fuel delivered, leading to a mega rich and rough idle.

AFM sensored engines are less affected, as the AFM still measures the airflow into
the engine correctly even if the manifold pressure is higher than with OEM cams.

272 deg duration is generally regarded as the limit that the OEM MAP ECU will tolerate.
And I know when I tried running my 16V engine with 272 deg cams, single throttlebody
and OEM ECU, it would barely idle and was prone to stalling when coming to a standstill.
On the other hand, it ran well and pulled hard at high rpm :)

So cams around the 256/260 deg mark with some extra lift would be a good choice for
running in your engine if you are using the OEM ECU.

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby jinx » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:34 am

SAFC work excellent with MAP 4AGE ecu. Should clean up a cammed up n.a. 4age fuel curve no prob
Around here, used SAFC II(~$150) r like gold! As soon as they pop up they're gone
Based on results, I can't think of a more effective valuable device for the money

Years ago, a buddy fabbed a shorty header and bolted on a $100 ford T3 junkyard turbo to his stock MAP 4AGE 9.4:1
Ran 390cc? injectors + cant remember if he used a boosted toyota MAP sensor (ZE, EP starlet or 3sgte) + SAFC II
Car was quiet, ran/drove like stock normally, until u got into the throttle, it would pin u in the seat
@8psi hard to believe it was the same car - total transformation

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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby mr2mk1hero » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:26 am

About two years ago I started with a very similar build in mind. My engine is a later model bigport (redtop) and its in a aw11 and this being my first engine build ever. My build was pretty much based around the tomei poncams. I didn't really know why, they just sounded good. I think the advertising is spot on. My difference was I decided to go for 10.3 smallport pistons instead of forged ones, mostly because of money issues and I didn't want to increase the compression as high as 11.0 to risk pinging.

http://www.driving4answers.com/4age-street-build/
Here you can read the details on the build I had in mind.
http://www.mr2.com/forums/threads/10190 ... reet-build
Here's is my entire build thread. 22 pages of a lot of questions and a lot of good advice from experienced people wiling to help and explain things. It is a stupidly long thread but there's a lot of useful info there.

Long story short I decided to downgrade my build. Why? Beccause I realized the actual future purpose of my car. I build my engine for a very similar purpose as yours "the 86 is purely intended for countryside driving and enjoying mountain roads."
And here's where what jondee86 said is extremely important "I would suggest that you consider carefully the kind of driving you will be doing
in your car MOST of the time."This is so simple but it is overlooked so often its unbelievable. We all start researching stuff online and get dazzled by the fancy parts and imagine how fast and amazing our car is going to be. In our heads, more hp equals more fun. I know about a dozen of people who have worked really hard and spent a lot of money to complete the build they thought is what they wanted, only to end up with a car they actually hate and then desperately try to sell later on. They hate the car because the idle is horrible, the car is a terrible pain to drive around town, it fails emissions, they need to take out parts and put in different ones just for emission testing, the car requires constant fiddling and tuning to run right. I'm not saying their builds are perfect, but the main culprit for the unsatisfaction is that they didn't quite know what they wanted.

After realizing that I downgraded my build into something more tame. I paid the same amount of money I would have paid for the poncams for a cam that has smaller duration and lift. I got 2x exhaust catcams from the first catcams package which are 8.0mm lift and 244° duration. I also got 10.3 smallport pistons, (final compression is approx 10.5) bored the block 0.5mm, got a blacktop flywheel, hks valve springs (just to be safe), ported the head a bit myself, got t3 adjustable cam pulleys, used a stock head gasket, did all the headwork, replaced conrod bolts with arp ones, got oem new head and crank bolts, got all new oem crank and conrod bearings, and had the entire rotating assembly balanced. As you can see there is nothing extreme here, the goal was to make the engine a bit more lively and give it some more grunt while maintaining streetability. I maintained the engine non-interference (which is definitely a good idea for your first build) and am getting 36.6 mpg.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw2UJnnqs9Y Here you can see my engine coming together. But you probably stumbled upon this already if you googled 4age :)


How does the engine feel? I have to say I absolutely love it. I feel like I hit the sweet spot for a street engine in terms of the balance of performance and user-friendliness. I love the rev-happiness and the stronger pull and better throttle response compared to when the engine was stock, but I also love the fact that the car doesnt feel like it will shake itself apart when idling at a traffic light. Here's another interesting thing, the 7.6k redline of the 4age was one of the things that I was most obsessed when I bought it and dreamed about driving such a high revving car. Highest rpm I ever drove before on a daily basis was the usual 6.5k rpm. Here's the funny thing, the aspect of my 4age which I mostly enjoy while driving a mountain road is the 4k - 6.5k rpm range and the strong pull the the engine generates in that rpm range. I very rarely get to 7k and beyond and that is mostly on straight parts of the road where I do it just to hear the engine. You really have to drive like a maniac on twisty public roads to hit 7k and beyond and you very quickly get into the territory of not being safe anymore. I know I sound like my mom, but it is the truth. These are old, light and genuinely fast cars even when they were bone stock from the factory. When you upgrade the power they become even faster, but to achieve their full potential they need to be floored, which is why setting their full potential at very high rpm when they will be driven mostly on the street doesn't make sense. I actually ended up fidling with my adjjustable pulleys to move more power to that 4-6.5 k rpm range, so that I can exit corners better and overtake with less effort.

I of course don't know your priorities, experience, desires, budget, etc. but if you want something that is a pure tracktoy and you want to compete with it, sure, go all out, maybe go even wilder than the poncams. On the other hand, If this is your first 4age and your first engine build and you want something to enjoy mountain driving I can say that keeping it on the mild side definitely does not mean loosing out on the fun factor. These engines are genuine fun even bone stock, so even a little bit goes a long way to spice it up. This turned into a really long post, but I thought some background was necessary to get the point across better :)
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby Rogue-AE95 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:35 pm

mr2mk1hero wrote:I got 2x exhaust catcams from the first catcams package which are 8.0mm lift and 244° duration.


Where did you get the pair of exhaust Cat Cams from? I'm also thinking about getting a matched pair for my 7A build.
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby oldeskewltoy » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:43 pm

Rogue-AE95 wrote:
mr2mk1hero wrote:I got 2x exhaust catcams from the first catcams package which are 8.0mm lift and 244° duration.


Where did you get the pair of exhaust Cat Cams from? I'm also thinking about getting a matched pair for my 7A build.


shouldn't be a problem... I've ordered them from Cat cam before... Ask your dealer to order a pair of whatever mix you want - I've ordered the 244 pair for a few clients so far........
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby bong_ae86 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:50 pm

sorry, dont mean to steal your post or anything, but i plan on doing this same setup. currently have a bluetop which is using a redtop ECU. Not sure if there are benefits but i've purchased a TRD ECU, would that be overkill for this mild setup?

EDIT: JDM mapped engine

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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby oldeskewltoy » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:34 am

bong_ae86 wrote:sorry, dont mean to steal your post or anything, but i plan on doing this same setup. currently have a bluetop which is using a redtop ECU. Not sure if there are benefits but i've purchased a TRD ECU, would that be overkill for this mild setup?

EDIT: JDM mapped engine


does the ECU have any adjustments? If not, I'd run the TRD part number and see if I could find the specs of the engine build that ECU is designed to run....
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby bong_ae86 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:46 am

oldeskewltoy wrote: does the ECU have any adjustments? If not, I'd run the TRD part number and see if I could find the specs of the engine build that ECU is designed to run....


Yep, four knobs. PN 89661-SP501, it's been floating around the forums before from what I have found. from what I understand it's used with trd or trd similar basic mods and cams. I may go as far as ITBs if I even can with a set of 272 cams

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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby jondee86 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:51 pm

Bit of information here...
http://www.aeu86.org/forum/Thread-TRD-Adjustable-ECU

It is about time that someone actually built an engine for one of those ECU's just
to see if the old school technology can still cut it :lol: Pretty sure you would only
get it to work with the OEM single throttlebody though.

I have heard of this ECU being run on mildly worked bluetops, and apparently it
does work. However, I would suspect that any modern programmable ECU would
be capable of delivering a better result (full versus limited adjustability).

Cheers... jondee86
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby oldeskewltoy » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:32 pm

jondee86 wrote: However, I would suspect that any modern programmable ECU would
be capable of delivering a better result (full versus limited adjustability).

Cheers... jondee86



Not disagreeing.... BUT.. the tune MAY be far more comprehensive if the parameters are complete, and the adjustments just fine tune it....

even our(early 4AGE) "dumb" systems are rather well programmed, and getting a complete tune in a fully programmable one may not be as easily done... as said...
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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby bong_ae86 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:12 am

oldeskewltoy wrote:
jondee86 wrote: However, I would suspect that any modern programmable ECU would
be capable of delivering a better result (full versus limited adjustability).

Cheers... jondee86



Not disagreeing.... BUT.. the tune MAY be far more comprehensive if the parameters are complete, and the adjustments just fine tune it....

even our(early 4AGE) "dumb" systems are rather well programmed, and getting a complete tune in a fully programmable one may not be as easily done... as said...



I know guys who said they have a trd ecu but only have one knob. they have 272 cams, cam gears, unsure of exhaust manifold but looks like a 4-2-1 and haven't had any problem. I'm gonna try to run it and have been able to translate most of the info from the manual

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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby bong_ae86 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:23 am

Many people have said 272 on stock ECU (redtop ecu Bluetop motor in my case) was able to run so if can't get to run right with my plan, I guess I'll put back the old ecu and work on a new one. There just isn't many options for a jdm MAP setup that I have found unless I haven't looked hard enough. I'll have to start a new thread regarding the trd ecu and what I've found with it

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Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby jondee86 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:24 am

It is true that almost any factory 16V ECU (or TRD ECU) can be made to run almost
any 4AGE engine including turbo'd and supercharged engines. BUT, and it's a big BUT,
the ECU may not run the engine very well. Factory ECU's have fixed fuel and ignition
maps, and a few inputs and outputs that are factory set to work with factory sensors
and solenoids.

Compare this with an aftermarket ECU that has freely adjustable fuel and ignitions
maps, and inputs and outputs that can be configured to suit a wide range of sensors
and solenoids. MAP, AFM and TPS load sensing options are available which means
that changing from single throttle to ITB's is a simple task.

Once you start changing injector sizes, camshafts, compression ratio, exhaust and
intake systems, factory ECU's cannot compensate for the changes. The engine may
run, but as I mentioned above, performance and driveability will suffer. The TRD ECU
has a degree of adjustability, so it is better than the factory stock ECU, and if matched
to the correct engine modifications, it should work well.

What it comes down to is, if you want to get the best out of your modifications, you
need to be able to optimise fuel and ignition settings. You can either mess around
with injector sizes, fuel pressure regulators and various other bodges, and hope that
you can get at least part of the rpm range working properly. Or you can use a fully
programmable aftermarket ECU and a bit of dyno time to extract the full potential
from your engine build.

It's just one more decision to make when deciding how to spend your cash :)

Cheers... jondee86
Give a person a fish, they eat for a day. Suggest they search before posting, and they learn a skill for a lifetime.

bong_ae86
Club4AG Regular
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:11 am
Location: Currenty - Germany

Re: Bluetop 16V + Poncams + Pistons = ?

Postby bong_ae86 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:04 am

I've translated enough of the manual to find you can adjust the ecu to engine model: 2E-E, 2E-TE, 4A-GE RED AND BLUE, and 3S-GE. Also depending on fuel injector sizes to these motors ranging from 145cc to 295cc via rotary switch internal

Fuel 1 changes fuel throughout entire rpm range up to (+\-)15% in 5% increments

Fuel 2 changes fuel increase as rpm increases up (+\-)21% in 7% increments

Fuel 3 changes fuel increase in relation to load or MAP signal up to (+\-)18% in 6% increments

ESA is ignition advance up to (+\-)6° in 2° increments

All the increments are only per dot on the selector knobs. Obviously will need a wideband gauge to make proper adjustments

We shall see when that times comes. :D how it goes

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