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  1. #1

    Default PNP ECU for '86 5.0 - Megasquirt?

    Did a search and didn't come up with anything, hopefully searching correctly. Also if this is in the wrong section feel free to move, wasnt sure if this should be in electrical, or Powertrain, or general.

    Aftermarket ECU's, plug and play with existing '86 harness. What is out there? Need one that can be fairly easily tuned, or taken to a dyno for a tune, and one that has MAP sensor to and handle boost. Dont really want to do the standard A9L etc MAF conversion. Want to do it right and have a solid platform for all future power upgrades.

    I know there are a few around, but like haltech, some I see are only for 87-93, 89-93, etc...but MegaSquirt does make one for 86-93, and has a 3 or 4 bar MAP sensor.

    Whats the best aftermarket ECU specifically for an 86 harness, are the pinouts really that different between the years? Anyone running a megasquirt in their 86?

    Thanks all in advance.

  2. #2

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    I don't know specifically how to answer your question with regard to years, but, I have a lot of experience tuning ECUs on various motors and between MegaSquirt and Helltech, Megasquirt hands down in the way to go. I like the Megasquirt setups over even some high buck stuff like Motec, the latter of which is quite feature/$ poor.

  3. #3

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    Pinouts at the ECU for 86-88 non-CA Mustangs are the same. There were several Speed Density computer tunes made. Early 86's had VM1 which was quite aggressive on advance and did nothing to reduce midrange and peak torque. VR1's were common by late 86 and made a dog in comparison. Those were around along with a few others for 87-88. The last of the SD was also a soft SD tune - the DS1.

    1988 with CA emissions was a MAF setup but was quite different.
    1989-1993 were absolutely also wired differently.

    Converting is actually easy my. It seems to me that I had to move 6-8 wires plus add 4 and splice into several too. I went to an A9L in my car. It lost a little peak HP but gained improved idle and midrange torque along with better manners. Taking it out where I run it through the gears and riding the clutch at high R out of the hole my car actually lost a little performance going to an A9L with 70MM MAF from my SD setup.

    The car had open headers and exhaust and a 65MM throttle body but stock heads and only a mildly portmatched stock intake. It pulled freely to 5500 before and 5400 after. After the ECU switch I upgraded the intake to a typhoon and left the E6 heads alone. Now it revs willingly past 6000. I throw full power shifts at 6100 and frequently bounce it off the 6250 rev limiter.

    The moment the need to tune a car comes in, its critical to have a MAF setup. Nobody seems to know jack about tuning the SD setups anymore.

    Ultimately my setup will have shaved Edelbrock heads on a freshened 1990 shortblock with a wisely selected comp cams grind and it will run E85. The fuel resists detonation and allows for more advance. 12-15% more power is possible. The injectors I will run are 47 lb/hr 6 hole EV6 units designed for a GT500. A moats Quarterhorse board will let me switch from E85 to regular to premium fuel tunes.

    there are a lot of really cool aftermarket setups out there. Most require MAF. Most cost far more than a basic EEC-IV with tuning board. There are a lot of guys with very successful turbo or supercharger blow-through design setups that run basically a stock ECU with a board.

    I would consult Clint who made Binary Editor and also tuning shops the DirtyDirty racing before spending a dime on anything computer related. At the end of the day it's important to find a shop you can work with and have parts on your car that they prefer to work with.

    Other than that, to each their own.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    Pinouts at the ECU for 86-88 non-CA Mustangs are the same. There were several Speed Density computer tunes made. Early 86's had VM1 which was quite aggressive on advance and did nothing to reduce midrange and peak torque. VR1's were common by late 86 and made a dog in comparison. Those were around along with a few others for 87-88. The last of the SD was also a soft SD tune - the DS1.

    1988 with CA emissions was a MAF setup but was quite different.
    1989-1993 were absolutely also wired differently.

    Converting is actually easy my. It seems to me that I had to move 6-8 wires plus add 4 and splice into several too. I went to an A9L in my car. It lost a little peak HP but gained improved idle and midrange torque along with better manners. Taking it out where I run it through the gears and riding the clutch at high R out of the hole my car actually lost a little performance going to an A9L with 70MM MAF from my SD setup.

    The car had open headers and exhaust and a 65MM throttle body but stock heads and only a mildly portmatched stock intake. It pulled freely to 5500 before and 5400 after. After the ECU switch I upgraded the intake to a typhoon and left the E6 heads alone. Now it revs willingly past 6000. I throw full power shifts at 6100 and frequently bounce it off the 6250 rev limiter.

    The moment the need to tune a car comes in, its critical to have a MAF setup. Nobody seems to know jack about tuning the SD setups anymore.

    Ultimately my setup will have shaved Edelbrock heads on a freshened 1990 shortblock with a wisely selected comp cams grind and it will run E85. The fuel resists detonation and allows for more advance. 12-15% more power is possible. The injectors I will run are 47 lb/hr 6 hole EV6 units designed for a GT500. A moats Quarterhorse board will let me switch from E85 to regular to premium fuel tunes.

    there are a lot of really cool aftermarket setups out there. Most require MAF. Most cost far more than a basic EEC-IV with tuning board. There are a lot of guys with very successful turbo or supercharger blow-through design setups that run basically a stock ECU with a board.

    I would consult Clint who made Binary Editor and also tuning shops the DirtyDirty racing before spending a dime on anything computer related. At the end of the day it's important to find a shop you can work with and have parts on your car that they prefer to work with.

    Other than that, to each their own.
    Much appreciated for the response. This topic seems very much to be personal preference, but from my reading a wideband and MAP SD setup is still used on a lot of high performance oriented vehicles, especially forced induction. The MAF conversion with an AL9 was originally my intention, but just as you said and others said they lose performance when switching to MAF.

    Honestly, im still amazed at the power my stock little 86 has. Low and mid range torque makes it super fun to drive, so I dont want to loose that by going to MAF. The Haltech, and Megasquirt, as well as the Holley HP EFI system for 86-93 5.0's gets rid of the MAF in favor of a wideband and map.

    Say if I go to a an AL9, how are these directly tuned?

    I need a system that can grow and be tuned. Your absolutely right about finding a reputable local tuner though. All this work and swap would be useless without a proven dyno-tuner. I like they Holley HP setup, but it has an included harness and you need to switch out sensors to GM etc..so its far from PNP.

    I looked at the moats, it piggybacks off the stock ecu? and a looks to allow for switchable tunes? Very cool, this seems it would meet my needs as well. So Clint is from Moats? I'll see if I can send them an email.



    Thanks again everyone

    -Mike
    Last edited by mdula; 04-13-2017 at 10:22 AM.

  5. #5

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    I'm just finishing building a harness for my 86 and Megasquirt. My wideband should be here Saturday. I hope. To have her in and tuning this weekend. I'll have more information after that.

    I'd much rather do a Megasquirt than a MAF conversion (thus why I'm doing it.) The only thing that sucks about SD cars is that big cams will give you trouble. I'm keeping stock cam for a bit.

    I did the DIY version and not the PNP. The pinouts were easy to figure out; found all the wiring info on here actually.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgloyer View Post
    I'm just finishing building a harness for my 86 and Megasquirt. My wideband should be here Saturday. I hope. To have her in and tuning this weekend. I'll have more information after that.

    I'd much rather do a Megasquirt than a MAF conversion (thus why I'm doing it.) The only thing that sucks about SD cars is that big cams will give you trouble. I'm keeping stock cam for a bit.

    I did the DIY version and not the PNP. The pinouts were easy to figure out; found all the wiring info on here actually.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    So for any large cam, is MAF the only way to go? I never plan to use a huge cam anyway. Anxious to see how your setup goes. I could likely handle the DIY myself. One of the things Id like to keep is the ability to go back to a stock ECU setup if needed. Im guessing the DIY version has the ECU harness pigtail so you still dont have to cut or splice it in any way?

    I have a question about the wideband and Megasquirt system. They say its optional, but wouldnt it almost be "required"? The wideband is much more accurate, what advantages does the megasquirt give you with wideband? in other words when you burn in the parameters to use a wideband on the MS, what does it do? change the fuel table or just more accurately check A/F?

    Thanks! Sorry all, I have lots of questions

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdula View Post
    So for any large cam, is MAF the only way to go? I never plan to use a huge cam anyway. Anxious to see how your setup goes. I could likely handle the DIY myself. One of the things Id like to keep is the ability to go back to a stock ECU setup if needed. Im guessing the DIY version has the ECU harness pigtail so you still dont have to cut or splice it in any way?

    I have a question about the wideband and Megasquirt system. They say its optional, but wouldnt it almost be "required"? The wideband is much more accurate, what advantages does the megasquirt give you with wideband? in other words when you burn in the parameters to use a wideband on the MS, what does it do? change the fuel table or just more accurately check A/F?

    Thanks! Sorry all, I have lots of questions
    Large cams have a hard time building vacuum, particularly at idle, which gives MAP sensors fits.

    It just came with their wiring harness, and I took apart a junk PCM I had laying around for it's 60 pin connector. I'm going to buy their DIYBOB eventually, but for now I just soldered wires to the pins.

    The wideband is just that, it give you a wider band of measurement for AFR. They say it's optional because you can wire in the stock narrowband sensor, it just doesn't give much room for tuning measurements. You change thw fuel tables yourself based in what you read from the wideband.
    1986 Capri 5.0L 5-Speed

  8. #8

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    Too much overlap will give any EFI setup fits.

    Speed Density is particularly picky about cam. You CAN get away with some changes. Many have upgraded their 1.6:1 rockers to 1.7:1 rockers without issue. In the mid 80's and early 90's several 'speed density friendly' cams were available. Grinds few have heard of but within the limits of the EEC-IV SD computers did make more power while maintaining drivability.

    This said, the stock HO cam is actually quite good generally. Bolt-ons do quite well with just the slightest increase in lift and duration as seen with 1.7:1 rockers. There are many aftermarket head stock cam 1.7:1 rocker combos that made near or over 400 horse with just 302 CID. The key is proper spark timing, proper induction and fuel delivery, etc.

    That being said, I converted to A9L and would do it again in a heartbeat. My 86 is even more fun to drive with MAF and just an intake swap was a huge upgrade. My car still has its 19lb/hr injectors at the moment and at the top of the rev range it was leaning out before I increased fuel pressure.

    clint wrote Binary Editor, the software often suggested for tuning. Last I knew he had a KB supercharged 1986 mustang so he uses what he wrote.

    good luck with your changes.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    Too much overlap will give any EFI setup fits.

    Speed Density is particularly picky about cam. You CAN get away with some changes. Many have upgraded their 1.6:1 rockers to 1.7:1 rockers without issue. In the mid 80's and early 90's several 'speed density friendly' cams were available. Grinds few have heard of but within the limits of the EEC-IV SD computers did make more power while maintaining drivability.

    This said, the stock HO cam is actually quite good generally. Bolt-ons do quite well with just the slightest increase in lift and duration as seen with 1.7:1 rockers. There are many aftermarket head stock cam 1.7:1 rocker combos that made near or over 400 horse with just 302 CID. The key is proper spark timing, proper induction and fuel delivery, etc.

    That being said, I converted to A9L and would do it again in a heartbeat. My 86 is even more fun to drive with MAF and just an intake swap was a huge upgrade. My car still has its 19lb/hr injectors at the moment and at the top of the rev range it was leaning out before I increased fuel pressure.

    clint wrote Binary Editor, the software often suggested for tuning. Last I knew he had a KB supercharged 1986 mustang so he uses what he wrote.

    good luck with your changes.
    Thanks. I emailed megasquirt today and got some more answers. I think the megasquirt is the way to go for me but only when its really needed. Right now its not. I have an intake sitting ready to bolt on, just need some better heads. I can start with heads and intake for the time being then later look for getting a built block, cam, possibly turbo. My 1969 Ford Torino I built it running a comp XE 262 cam, long tubes and AFR 165cc heads, and its a blast! but just too big of a car, it has 3.55 gears and wakes up at about 4k. I'm almost tempted to put those heads on the mustang. the 165 AFR's are one good head and I love that cam. Descisions descisions... I know if if I pull the heads from the Torino, it will sit for a while. The mustang will be a beast to drive.

  10. #10

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    Post what you picked and how it works out!

    There is no way I would tear into a classic Torino to upgrade any Mustang.

    You could always pull what you have on your horse, sell them off, grab stuff out of the parts stash that you will never use, sell it off.... etc. Then track down some nice aluminum heads new or used depending upon budget.

    Enjoy the hobby my friend!

  11. #11
    FEP Supporter ccurtin's Avatar
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    Not quite as 'plug and play' for the 5.0 as the 2.3T, but checkout the PimpX by Stinger: http://www.stinger-performance.com/universalparts.html

    He doesn't list the 86 specifically, but I think there are guys on his forum running them: http://stinger-performance.proboards.com/
    I'm an FEP Paid Supporter and proud of it. Are you?

    1984 Capri Turbo RS - Alive after 7 years! Build Thread
    2006 Mustang GT - daily driver

  12. #12

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    I have EFI Source PNP MS on my 5.0 supercharged 83 Tbird. I love this system! Car is a beast.

    I have a Explorer gt40P motor with TFS cam,long tube headers,38lb injectors,Vortech S trim and it drives like a stock car.
    Look up my youtube page under Brian Rasey for vids of it running,tuning and maybe some dyno vids of it by tuesday.

    Details in my build thread here.
    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...83-Tbird-build
    Brian R. of Michigan
    83 TBird 5.0
    88 Ranger 2.3t
    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...83-Tbird-build

  13. #13
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccurtin View Post
    Not quite as 'plug and play' for the 5.0 as the 2.3T, but checkout the PimpX by Stinger: http://www.stinger-performance.com/universalparts.html

    He doesn't list the 86 specifically, but I think there are guys on his forum running them: http://stinger-performance.proboards.com/
    Tested Direct Plug & Play Into:
    -87-93 2.3 Mustang
    -91-93 2.3 Mustang (Dual Plug DIS Ignition)
    -87-93 2.3 Mustang
    -86-95 5.0 Mustang (PiMPxs is only plug and play option, minor wiring mods for 94-95 GT's)
    -83-86 2.3 Turbo Mustang (SVO, Turbo GT)
    -83-88 2.3 Turbo Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
    -85-89 2.3 Turbo Merkur XR4Ti
    -87-95 2.3 Ranger (TFI & Dual Plug DIS Ignition)
    -89-95 Thunderbird (Including SC / Super Coupe)
    -Cobra Kit Cars & Other vehicles using Fox Body Mustang Drivetrain


    As stated on the site "PiMPxs is only plug and play option, minor wiring mods for 94-95 GT's"

    I am seriously considering one for my EFI 85 Road Racer as the A9L seems to be having some issues with my cam!
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Awaiting Restoration
    1984 SVO Restoration in Progress
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1982 Capri Roller
    1984 Capri Returned to Bubble Back Glory
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  14. #14

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    We can see the lobes off in the distance Trey!

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