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Yes, the physical size of the AFM can be a restriction, but honestly, imagine this: You’re ripping down the road, full boost, having a grand ol time... then POW! You blow off an intercooler pipe because you’re an idiot and didn’t tighten the clamps properly, or your pipes don’t fit the best... with a VPC you can keep cruising to the next gas station, or your home maybe. With the AFM setup, you’re dead in the water until you reconnect those pipes. Sometimes it’s raining. Sometimes you’d rather not lie on your back in the rain to fix your shit to drive home.
I wouldn't count on making a contingency plan for crappy parts/assembly. While you are correct, the better option is to take your time and assemble your car properly with good parts. There are plenty of factory turbo cars that use MAFs and don't blow pipes off left and right. Only the rice bois have janky stuff happening to their cars that leave them broken on the side of the road.

Just assemble your vehicle properly. Use beaded pipes and wd-40 when you assemble your intercooler pipes and good luck trying to get them off when the clamp is completely removed.

If you are unsure of if your intercooler pipes are connected well enough to not blow up after hauling ass for hundreds of miles then your car is not ready to be driven. Address the issue with your assembly first, then drive the car, not the other way around. Basically don't allow for any "i'm an idiot who can't put my car together properly" scenarios.
 

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while I agree flux, stand alone is superior in so many ways .... I don't think the stock ecu is garbage for guys that don't have deep pockets and are only trying to BPU their cars. lets be real, the HG issue that plagued the 7m was improper torque from the factory. not low rpm detonation blowing it apart in stock form. if that is a thing, yes I agree it would contribute to the hg issue. but many many cars make 200K miles on the stock bottom end.

my belief ... and this comes from owning and modifying my car over the years, is toyota had quite a margin of safety built into the setup. this is why so many cars ran lex+550's and lived very long lives. those cars ran close to the edge of "I can't control my timing" 20 psi sanity. some blew up too of course.

your car can live fine running 10-15psi on a tuned (yes Im just talking about hitting a target AFR) piggy back setup. yes, everything has to be right -- no codes, all sensors 100% -- but the stock tccs system is not all that bad for low hp / boost engine management imho / experience. these cars are old so you don't have to take it from me as there are decades of ppl posting their experiences
 

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Despite what a couple of others said, I would run the stock ECU at that power level. I'm no tuning expert, but I can tell you from years of experience, you don't need a stand alone at 400-450rwhp. I made 400+rwhp for several years with a lex afm/AFC combo, then VPC/AFC combo (mostly running on just 93 octane). No BHG or any other problems. This was on a stock bottom end/MLS head gasket with well over 50 1/4 mile passes. I did lift the head (years later) running 25psi at the track trying to get an 11 second time slip, but I knew that was pushing it too hard and was getting ready to put a built 7M in anyway. The Stock ECU is very easy to tune with a piggy back fuel controller. A standalone ECU, not so much. Good luck.
 

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While the factory ECU was good 30 years ago, they're not anymore. ECUs from that time period are failing. Caps are leaking. It spans across all manufacturers, not just Toyota.
I don't know how it works for becoming an AD to sell ECUs for all of the different companies, but a lot of them have some sort of training program they offer. You can always ask your local shop's tuner what classes they went through, and what their tuning history has involved, like a portfolio per se.
Personally I recommend only using a tuner that actually is an AD, and has a long history of mechanic experience. A good shop should either have a dyno, or easy access to one they use often.
 

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Flux, while you come across as a bit abrasive sometimes, I have to give you credit when its due. Your point about refreshing the rest of the car? Absolutely, 100% agree here. When I built my car, literally EVERYTHING underneath the car was refreshed or replaced or upgraded. Everything underneath there less than 10k miles now, and it FEELS like it.

Seriously. I had no idea a Mk3 could feel as good as mine, it was a bit shocking, to be honest. Now I've just gotta fix my transmission situation and tidy up the little things that bother me / could burn the whole project down, and I'll be pretty much golden.

So, OP, I wouldn't worry about the power, for now at least. Get to know the car, start refreshing and replacing the stuff that wears out. Hint: it's all rubber. ;) I'd rather a healthy, stock 7m with a fresh chassis than a badass 2jz with all the best parts on it, in a worn out chassis.
 

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while I agree flux, stand alone is superior in so many ways .... I don't think the stock ecu is garbage for guys that don't have deep pockets and are only trying to BPU their cars. lets be real, the HG issue that plagued the 7m was improper torque from the factory. not low rpm detonation blowing it apart in stock form. if that is a thing, yes I agree it would contribute to the hg issue. but many many cars make 200K miles on the stock bottom end.

my belief ... and this comes from owning and modifying my car over the years, is toyota had quite a margin of safety built into the setup. this is why so many cars ran lex+550's and lived very long lives. those cars ran close to the edge of "I can't control my timing" 20 psi sanity. some blew up too of course.

your car can live fine running 10-15psi on a tuned (yes Im just talking about hitting a target AFR) piggy back setup. yes, everything has to be right -- no codes, all sensors 100% -- but the stock tccs system is not all that bad for low hp / boost engine management imho / experience. these cars are old so you don't have to take it from me as there are decades of ppl posting their experiences

Point blank. No they didn't.

The stock USDM TCCS was programmed with way super aggressive timing.
Dont believe me?

Here is the TCCS dump done by 3p over in supramania.

post-1771388-1-Image1.jpg

Yes that is stock ignition map. Unless you are running 100 octane all the time. The toyota strategy was to run that timing, take away timing due to knock/detonation and repeat.

It is why the 7m was the ONLY car to have that system. This was fixed in the 1j/2j TCCS.

That is why it is also bad to run the lex/550 combo. It increases timing to the point that Toyota never designed for the engine to run.

As i said before, all this can be verified with a pair of detcans and logging.

Lets also not forget that we have jitter thanks to the crank signal being read off the cps.

Again, the 7m was the only toyota engine to have that.

The nissan rb26 has similiar system. Care to guess what they do with the CAS whenever they produce more than stock power? In the garbage it goes for a proper crank position/cam trigger.
 

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Figgie - I can't argue with the data in 3p's thread on sf. I run a 7mgte ecu on a yellow plug ge wire harness. the information in that thread was critical in my understanding of the ecu / how to rework my harness and implement the turbo ecu into my setup.

I do not run the lex/550 combo- my experience is on maft-pro doing afm emulation (speed density) and stock 440's, with fuel pressure jacked up very high

after re-reading the tccs thread over there ---specifically with the perspective "scaling the afm signal is bad" --- I have to concede its risky/ more of a risk than I originally perceived (specifically the lex afm housing). I will eat a bit of crow here and admit lex+550 will put you outside the safety margin under certain conditions. if you daily drive that setup and run 93 you are at risk of problems both outside of boost and in it. there is probably a good reason 3p/others devoted so much time to learning the tccs ecu code and developing the custom patches/test units etc. back when they started that ( a decade ago...) the solution of the day lex=550+afc was not cutting it ..

while I get a kick out of running the car on its vintage oem electronics, at some point I will need to get with the times and upgrade. ecu prices for oem units are going up and a good unit without failing caps / corrosion will be increasingly harder to find.

but for now Im going to keep running my setup until she blows : 93/110 fuel mix, 14psi 56trim, 440s @50psi(idle) pulling hella fuel up top and praying :)
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Save your money and buy a standalone engine computer. While you're saving for this you can begin studying tuning so that when you get it you don't have to spend money with a "tun0r" in your area. Last time I told someone this the people on this forum berated me for suggesting that someone should learn how to tune their own car. Don't listen to people that want you to spend your money on some black magic shit they don't understand and don't care to try to understand. They're not in a position to speak authoritatively about tuning since their method of tuning involves taking their car to someone else.

My recommendations for stand alone ecu's include:

*Don't fuck with AEM anything period the end.
*Haltech is nice.
*Motec is nice (but a bit pricier)
*ProEFI is nice.
*EMU Black is nice.

Also, do not listen to anyone suggesting that you buy anything that is a piggyback. They, also, do not understand tuning... and don't let them determine what your budget is or what fits for YOUR car. A piggy back is a waste of your money and your tune will never be perfect or even close to perfect with a piggy back. (in before the naysayers come talk about how their car "hauled ass" on a vpc/safc/etc/pukeeeeee). If you have money burning a hole in your pocket then use it on things for your car that will make it live a long life.

Is your suspension in good shape?
What about your bushings/motor mounts?
Has the rear diff on your car been serviced recently?
Have you changed the gear oil on your transmission?
Are your ball joints and tie rods in new or great shape?
What condition are your tires in?
Do you have a leaky steering rack/rear main/front main/cam seal/vc gasket to address?

Edit: don't listen to anyone suggesting that you cannot learn how to tune or that it is over your head. They're basically telling you that you're not intelligent enough to grasp rather simple concepts. Tuning is way easier than the "tuner bois" think it is.

The reason piggy backs are garbage is because all they do is alter the airflow signal. If your timing table is referenced off your airflow signal, you have just freddy fuzzpuckered your timing for whatever load range you're in..... REGARDLESS of if your "afr is right" for the larger injectors you're running. A piggy back offers NO way to advance your ignition timing, which is necessary in almost any tuning scenario. It can ONLY retard timing. There is no fix for this in any piggy back since it is intercepting and modifying signals that are being sent to the factory ecu. Basically it's a liar, and most people don't like liars. It's not even a good liar since it's unable to tell a good lie about ignition timing. What you will end up with on a piggy back is a motor that is slowly (or in some cases quickly) roasting itself because it's being run outside of parameters that are considered acceptable for longevity.
Thanks to everybody giving ideas and suggestions. I’ve decided that I’m going to just wait and run almost stock for a while. The mods I’ve done is. Eagle rods, catless downpipe, arp hardware, aftermarket head gasket, 3.73 lsd, r154 and new OEM shocks, I’ll just try to add more power after I save up for a decent ecu.
 

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^^Great plan. You won't be disappointed knowing that you have an ECU capable of handling ANY future upgrade you make to the car's hardware. Also @figgie hit the nail on the head with his post. The problem of aggressive stock timing plagued other early 90s turbo cars. You DO NOT want to knock and then pull timing. This is basically the ECU saying "oh shit oh shit oh shit, back off the timing I'm making the motor shit itself." You would be in a much better situation to run conservative timing that NEVER lets your engine knock.

If you have access to e85 but insist upon running 93oct pump gas or 91, whatever is available in your area..... 1 gallon of e85 per full tank of 93/91 will help a lot with suppressing knock. I used to do this a little bit but my car has been on just e85 for a long time now.

Also, you're not going to be able to run e85 on any piggy back computer, I know this is beating a dead horse at this point because you've already said you're going to get a standalone..... On a standalone you will be able to run whatever fuel you want and you will be able to have different tunes for different situations.

Anyway, good luck to you and please feel free to post ANY questions you may have about tuning here and we'll do what we can to answer them.
 

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Figgie - I can't argue with the data in 3p's thread on sf...
You know, I have to say, humility is a refreshing sight on here, and a good look for us all.

I had no idea the 7m's timing was THAT aggressive. If I'm understanding the data (it's a bit different from what I'm used to seeing on the MS3), then whoa. Explains the torque...

Thanks to everybody giving ideas and suggestions. I’ve decided that I’m going to just wait and run almost stock for a while. The mods I’ve done is. Eagle rods, catless downpipe, arp hardware, aftermarket head gasket, 3.73 lsd, r154 and new OEM shocks, I’ll just try to add more power after I save up for a decent ecu.
You'll likely enjoy that setup, it'll be fun.

On a standalone you will be able to run whatever fuel you want and you will be able to have different tunes for different situations.
Caveat, they will need an appropriate fuel system for compatibility, unless they like the fun gremlins that come along with component deterioration. A flex sensor goes a long way toward user friendliness as well.

Yes, a car can be run without one, but at that point, you run into fuel consistency potential issues. One bad batch of "E85" that's actually closer to E70 (or less...), and that aggressive timing does exactly what we're trying to avoid here. Yeah, you could buy fuel by the barrel and get guaranteed consistency, but logistically that's difficult for most folks.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Also I was wondering if anybody knows if there is a standalone that I’ll work as a simple “plug and play” for the 7mgte and the 1jzgte. I plan on running this motor for a while but I eventually want to build a 1jz on the side and eventually put it in. Build the 1j how I want it built so it’s ready to drop in with 475-500 whp. I know it’s silly but I’m just curious if there is a standalone that’s capable of this feat. Eventually I want to put the 7mgte with its old auto trans into a 1990 Volvo 240 and use that as a daily driver. I know I’ll probably catch some flak, but I like those old Volvo’s a lot haha. I think it would be a fun daily as well and a bit unique.
 

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There may be PnP harnesses available for your car, but any standalone will work if you know how to wire ECU pins.... they're made to basically be installed in any car. The thing you NEED to have available unless you're just super good at tuning is a basemap for your car that runs on the ECU that you choose. That's how I would shop ECU's if I were in your shoes, find the ones that have basemaps available for your platform (and remember, skip the AEM brand completely.... that is very likely met with some disdain among those that have purchased AEM).

@te72 - while I do agree that people have experienced issues, I have experienced absolutely 0 issues running e85 for years and years in my car with no gasoline to "flush out the goo". I've used only 2 sets of injectors total, the fuel feed line was factory up until recently when I upgraded to a -8AN line and the injectors (evo8 560cc's) were working beautifully when I removed them to install PTE 1000cc's. I've literally never had an issue with clogging anything and my tune is running +5* timing over the top of what it was so long ago with gasoline. I also run the boost AFRs at 11.3 on the gas scale.... so I'd say that's likely richer than what some people are doing on ethanol. It's worth noting this is on a 1st gen eagle talon making over 100hp per hole and daily driven.

All I'm saying is I've literally experienced zero pump failures, goo problems, or injector problems. I've never seen anything to be concerned about in my fuellab steel element filter either. I really do wonder what is causing other people to have issues that I've just not experienced. I've also been using ethanol for a long time because it was available in Dallas when I lived there.... and by a long time I mean when a lot of the turbo car owners in my local groups were still afraid to run it in their cars. In any case, that's my anecdotal evidence of you shouldn't be scared to use ethanol in your car. Also, I've never bothered with a FF sensor because they are not actually octane sensors, they just measure conductivity in the fluid. This video highlights the VERY GLARING issue with relying upon a flex fuel sensor. I won't run one in my car..... and I'll tell you why after the video:


The reason I won't use one in my car is because you have to essentially tune both the timing and the fuel maps to have a smooth transition between every octane level..... and the sensor isn't measuring octane. It's incredibly difficult to get a sane/safe tune in the timing maps that transitions well between every combination of gasoline + ethanol that the sensor could measure the conductivity of.... it is for this reason that I do not think those sensors can be trusted. If you run a race car and need ethanol that is the same thing every time then you should buy it by the barrel from a race fuel supplier. Pump ethanol has worked fine for me for many years now and I usually have the laptop in the car to adjust for any kind of slight changes in the tune. Even if I don't have the laptop and I notice an AFR difference it's usually not more than a point and it doesn't make the car drive any different..... and I just know to not rail on the car when the AFR isn't "perfect" in my eyes.

I know that's a whole lot of explaining I just did there, but I hope it helps to guide someone's decision in tuning their car and not being afraid of using ethanol. It's an INCREDIBLY forgiving fuel to use in terms of resistance to knocking.
 

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It's an INCREDIBLY forgiving fuel to use in terms of resistance to knocking.
That can also a problem for someone that is new to tuning and is relying on a knock sensor to warn them that they need to pull timing, especially at higher boost. If they let the cylinder pressure get too high they won't get knock, they'll at best lift a head, at worst grenade it.
 

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I don't rely on knock sensors to pull timing because it's addressing the problem after the fact.

Really the best way to tune a vehicle is on a dyno because then you can actually increase timing (once the AFR is right) to the point of diminishing returns in power. Once the power starts going backwards then it would be close to knocking but you could never see this doing a street tune.

You can't rely on knock sensors to tune e85 anyway because by the time you knock using ethanol you've already screwed the pooch pretty good..... but again, I wouldn't tell someone to not use ethanol because I didn't think they were capable. Any good gasoline basemap will work great on ethanol in relation to ignition timing.... and in most cases you could add 3-5 degrees of timing to the entire map outside of the idle area when using e85 vs. gasoline and it will still be safe. This won't be the ragged edge of what you can get out of the fuel but I think for a street car, tuning to the ragged edge when you intend to drive the car around on the highways is not a good idea. That's how you chuck parts out of your oil pan during a pull.

I know you know all of this but I just wanted to say my two cents about knock sensors. The goal should be to never knock because by the time the motor knocks damage has already been done.

I wonder when cylinder pressure sensors will be feasible for the average joe to use...... because that will really tell the true story (I think).
 

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Also I was wondering if anybody knows if there is a standalone that I’ll work as a simple “plug and play” for the 7mgte and the 1jzgte. I plan on running this motor for a while but I eventually want to build a 1jz on the side and eventually put it in. Build the 1j how I want it built so it’s ready to drop in with 475-500 whp. I know it’s silly but I’m just curious if there is a standalone that’s capable of this feat. Eventually I want to put the 7mgte with its old auto trans into a 1990 Volvo 240 and use that as a daily driver. I know I’ll probably catch some flak, but I like those old Volvo’s a lot haha. I think it would be a fun daily as well and a bit unique.
Supra engine in a Volvo? Fortunately for you... it's not as uncommon as you might think. I've seen a 2jz in a 166, and I know of another one, guy goes by the name "nathaninwa" and runs his setup on Megasquirt. Cool dude. Not sure what Volvo it's in though.

Anyway, having had all but a few available Supra engines in my cars over the years, I gotta say man... 2jz is hard to beat if you're wanting to go the JZ route. Biggest factor that it beats out all other options? Support. You can get PNP harnesses and ecu's for 2j's, but a 1j? Ehh... I'm sure there are some out there, but none come to mind. Plus the torque is nice, street driving is really smooth.

However, the 1j is not without its own merits. I rev mine regularly well over 8k, and can throw all the low end boost at it I could ever want, thanks to rods that are nearly as wide as they are long above the big end, thanks Carillo! :)

I don't rely on knock sensors to pull timing because it's addressing the problem after the fact.

Really the best way to tune a vehicle is on a dyno because then you can actually increase timing (once the AFR is right) to the point of diminishing returns in power. Once the power starts going backwards then it would be close to knocking but you could never see this doing a street tune.

I wonder when cylinder pressure sensors will be feasible for the average joe to use...... because that will really tell the true story (I think).
I see you're a thoughtful, conservative tuner, smart man. Perhaps people chasing the "ragged edge" is what is causing these failures? I have no qualms about running ethanol, and have every intention of doing so, when the time comes to go down that path. I'll use it simply to fatten up the mid range as much as possible to make up for the lesser displacement of my engine. Like you, I'll simply be happy with the widest torque band I can get with an eye toward longevity. I didn't spend all that money on my engine to throw it down the drain chasing numbers...

I've seen cylinder pressure sensors, but the application eludes me at the moment. Were they built into the spark plug, or a second hole in the head? It's been a while since I read up on that.
 

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I've seen cylinder pressure sensors, but the application eludes me at the moment. Were they built into the spark plug, or a second hole in the head? It's been a while since I read up on that.
They make both types. Typically they are used in industrial applications like turbo diesel engines for very large generators or in a 'lab' environment to test a new casting. EGT per cylinder is a much cheaper alternative for someone that is operating an engine dyno. You shouldn't see huge pressure that will destroy a motor if you are adjusting ignition properly for the PSI you are running.

That being said, where it can happen is if the tuner is not familiar with cam phasing like the Toyota VVTi or Honda VTC, and they adust the phasing the wrong way, or they're running a piggy back and just adjusting A/F and don't have any control over cam phasing or ignition timing. This is likely the case of the 'tuner' that doesn't own a shop or a dyno and just does 'street tunes' with stuff like an SAFC.
Link
^^^ If you're interested. More info on the next page.
 

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They make both types. Typically they are used in industrial applications like turbo diesel engines for very large generators or in a 'lab' environment to test a new casting. EGT per cylinder is a much cheaper alternative for someone that is operating an engine dyno. You shouldn't see huge pressure that will destroy a motor if you are adjusting ignition properly for the PSI you are running.
I always found the idea of high compression an turbocharging equaling instant engine death to be an amusing one. I mean, how high does the dynamic compression get in an engine that's turbo anyway??? I know manifold pressure does not equal cylinder pressure, but still...

For whatever reason all this talk of 10:1 compression builds on Supras and you're "E85 only" now seemed odd. Miatas have been running 10:1 engines with plenty of boost for years now, their limiting factor tends to either be the rods or transmissions, not the tune.
 

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Can either of you guys talk about VVTI tuning in a high level? I've tuned VTEC turbo on Hondas before (that I owned, don't worry, I'm not a Honda guy we just saved a turbo civic from being donated for free).... Anyway, what I understood to be correct was to do a dyno pull with vtec off and then with vtec on and then a couple hundred RPM prior to the crossover point on the dyno graphs (overlayed) would be the good spot to activate vtec for that particular engine/parts combination.......

But how should it be done for VVTI? That is still something I didn't mess with in my ProEFI on my Lexus because I assumed that Larry's tune from Sound Performance that was provided would already have this "taken care of". Knowing what I know about tuning though, I highly doubt the basemap numbers in there were good for my car's setup, so what method do the "pro tuners" use to tune VVTI?

I also understand that I'm asking this question when the previous belief was very likely to always use a non-VVTI head on these cars.... so I am not going to be surprised if nobody really knows a solid/good answer for this. My car's not put back together anyway so it's not urgent that I figure this out right this moment.

Any guidance on that would be greatly appreciated.
 
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