We’ll be glad to help you spec a system for your car but we’ll first need some basic information. The following list of questions will generally need answers to in order to assist with this. You can find this information in service manuals for your car/engine, on message boards and enthusiast sites, or sometimes by tearing into your ride and looking. It will be a big help if you’ve followed the steps in the ‘Where do I start?’ section above so that you have a pretty thorough understanding of the MegaSquirt line of Engine Management Systems. You may find that you’ve answered your own questions by the time you’ve done this.
(Please try and answer all questions as the two most often skipped (3&4) are the most important for ignition control!)
- What year/make/model/engine/transmission? (Pretend your at the parts store, ordering a starter.) If this isn’t the original engine/electronics let us know that too.
- Are you looking to control fuel only, ignition only, or fuel and ignition?
- Is it important to run sequential injection for this project, or is bank to bank fueling OK? (See our notes on sequential injection if you’re not sure.)
- Beyond fuel and ignition, are there any other must-have features, such as internal SD card data logging instead of logging to a laptop, boost control, nitrous control, cooling fans, etc?
- What are the engine details (type, number of cylinders, previously fuel injected or carb’d?)
- What type of ignition system does your car run? Is there a distributor? Coil pack? Coil on Plug?
- What sort of sensor(s) does it use to trigger the ignition? Variable reluctor (magnetic pickup)? Optical? Hall effect? Old fashioned mechanical breaker points? Are the sensors triggered by trigger wheels on the crankshaft / flywheel, distributor / cam, or both?
- How many teeth / windows / slots and are on the crank or distributor trigger wheel? How are they arranged? (Equally spaced, missing teeth gaps, etc)
- Does this engine have a fast idle valve (IAC)? If so, how many wires are connected to it?
- Rate yourself 1-5 on technical confidence in yourself. 1 being “I can’t paint by numbers” and 5 being “I can probably build a car from scratch if I have the right documentation, and I’m resourceful enough to do some research and find some of my own answers.” We need to know this as some of the ‘less traveled’ roads will require you to make modifications that in some cases we haven’t performed ourselves yet and based on this response it will help us to know whether this type of solution is for you or not. I challenge you to ‘stretch yourself’ a little bit. You won’t ever learn anything (about yourself and your abilities) if you don’t try to do things that you’re not quite sure you can do… and then find that you can.
- Are you looking to build your own ECU from a kit or buy a pre-assembled ECU?
- Are you open to retrofitting a different ignition system or one of our crank trigger kits if it is determined that the MegaSquirt will not properly (or easily) control your factory ignition system, or if we determine your existing sensors / ignition do not support the features you would like to add to this motor?
If you can cut and paste the above list into an email and answer all questions it would be very helpful to us– otherwise we’ll likely have to ask you the same questions in order to best assist you.
Also– Here is a page we maintain with links to installation documentation for various different vehicles that we’ve found around the web— Even if it’s not an exact match there is much to learn by looking over other’s installations and notes.
If you find or write more install docs that we can add here please let us know.