Are you among those millions of drivers out there that use ECU/DME units to run their cars? Do you have the same basic question that I do, wondering if maybe that ECU should be software emulated? Are you tried of finding diagnostics for the 1985-1988 Porsche engine nothing more than trial and error of checking connections, replacing injectors, looking for cracks in wire harnesses. Worse, information gained from those checks reveal next to nothing leaving both you and your pocketbook empty and you missing out driving your car!
It’s not like these particular DME Motronic units perform any special kind of hokus pokus to run your car. All they do is tell your engine, through a series of magnetic and electrical signals created by your voltage regulator and battery, to fire the crank, then fire spark and finally open and close fuel injectors. To determine the speed of opening and closing fuel injectors, it uses magnetic pulsed signals generated from your flywheel’s speed and reference sensors.
Inside the ominous, under-driver-seat is an aluminum 6″ x 8″ box. Inside that box are 2 circuit boards, folded over, held together by some clips, screws and snaps. The circuit board has nothing more than a bunch of old school resistors, capacitors, transistors, diodes and voltage regulators follow a maze of circuits. There is also a place to attach the input / output pins from your car’s wire harness to the Motronic. Why then also, does it cost over $3000 for a brand new ECU or having to drop $500 to risk burning associated parts?
Even worse, if you read the disclosure regarding the ECU, subjecting it to heat, shock, moisture, magnets, dust, corrosion, particles, even dryness can lead to its failure. Basically…not having an ECU in your car would then be the only way it would last forever. I am also surprised, that these ECUs are not particularly attuned to allowing itself for much upgrade. It is bad to chip them other than stock or, its bad to modify them in any way. The technology is here, what is the holdup?
Well first of all.. something very very unique about having the ECU is the fact that deals with physical aspects of drivers and controllers to run a car. You cannot simply attach
There are various vendors out there today. For example Racelogic Vbox has ways to encapsulate speed and location measurement with GPS. The offer various tools that give some insight on braking, performance and recording.
But the question still stands.. can it be done? It has been a failed attempt only because the cost always exceeded buying the $3000 unit. The other practical aspect failed to integrate software drivers to control crank, plugs or injectors. Should you want to invent one of these you would also need to re-invent a universal adapter to accept various degrees of computer signals. Not only that… to be cost effective, these new units.. dubbed “DcECU”, digital controlled electronic control units would need to have an adapter to connect to the altered plugs. .ie.. DcPlugs and DcCranks and DcFuel_Injectors. The adapter would clip on to the fuel injector and superseded signal information from the DcECU. Only in doing this can the components then be graphed and output listed. The advantages is that a sensor adapter relay the car can also be identified and listed. GPS, weather condition, HUD, octane, occupant vital signs and the list goes on and on.. can be watched/recorded. You’d almost think you were in the space shuttle. Obviously modern Formula 1 or Indy cars uses portions of this technology.