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Deepwater
 
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ECU Dilemma

I have a dilemma in that the way forward is not clear to me with limited P-car background. Here is the dilemma but first some background.

I have a 930 converted to "modern" EFI circa 2004, the motor was rebuilt by the PO using first class parts to achieve good street performance but to a budget. The EFI components were chosen to be compatible with the ECU - the DTA P8 Pro which means they are used on Euro cars making some items hard and expensive to get. The car was "street" tuned using a wideband O2 sensor and common sense. The car has seen about 20K miles since the rebuild and conversion. I bought the car about 2 years ago (10K miles) fully knowing the history of the conversion.

The dilemma concerns the ECU: It has no output on one of the coil channels (#4). It took me awhile to figure it out; but when I put the timing light on the wire attached to cyl #4 - nada, no drive either, verified by using an o-scope. Coil ohms-out the same as other coils. So I am discovering that fixing the ECU looks like a non-starter by anyone in the US as the unit is obsolete. I am waiting for a reply from DTA, but not expecting much support. I can purchase a new one for a couple of grand or a used one for maybe half. DO I ABANDON THE DTA, ADD SOME MORE CASH AND PURCHASE AN ECU plus whatever else I need that is supported in the WESTERN USA? Maybe the kit by Clewitt? Opinions are solicited from the forum.

There may be an relatively inexpensive fix to this which involves changing the ignition to wasted spark. This configuration uses channels 1 -3 avoiding #4. I would have to buy a triple dual coil pack, connector and make new HT wires. I understand the performance trade offs made by going to wasted spark; but I have a 400HP car at best so it should be fine. This would get me back on the road; but I still have an ECU with one failure in the coil drivers, who is to say whether more to follow.

Any feedback on any of the issues raised are solicited.

Thanks for your feedback,
Dennis

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Dennis
1996 993TT Arena Red
1997 993 Coupe C2, 1987 930 Turbo Coupe, 1985 911 Carrera Coupe, 2002 Boxster S Blue (all departed)
Old 06-10-2012, 06:07 PM
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no performance downside going to wasted spark in my opinion.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:24 PM
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So you have 6 single ended coils and 6 ECU coil outputs but the #4 output is dead? Do the coils have a built in ignitor or is the ignitor separate or in the ECU?
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:53 PM
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Try Digi-key for the failed parts. Might be a chance they're off the shelf components and not proprietary.
Old 06-12-2012, 02:13 PM
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+1 on what Tippy says.

If you do have to replace the ECU, my first call would be to Chris @ TurboKraft, as somebody that sells and tunes both AEM and MoTeC, so can position the relative merits of both to you.

Personally I'm using MBE over here in the UK for my conversion - purely because a very good mate is the UK distributor, and its a "wonder what's possible" type project for me (us!)...but at this point in time, it's a little bleeding edge for us (in terms of a 964 C2T map for the mods I'm doing), and UK based, so not what you're looking for (despite being every bit as capable, if not more, than other systems out there)
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:47 PM
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Deepwater
 
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David, The ignitor is in the ECU. I would like to figure out how the output failed for sure; however there is a history for failed coil connections both the HT and primary connections. Whether this caused a failure or not is unsure.

I looked in the ECU with the idea of repairing it, I think it is doable using parts sourced from Digikey or others; but although I could probably do it, my skills in the electronic repair world are few.

Right now, my approach is not to abandon the ECU and manufacturer; but pursue purchasing a new one and get the engine dyno tuning and converted to coil-on-plug to eliminate all the coil connections problems by a pro shop. I would also try and fix my present ECU to be a spare.

BTW, the tech support at DTA suggested a work around using the twin spark mode neatly (coils 1,2,3 and 4,5,7) sidestepping the broken coil #4. I haven't tried that yet because each time I work on the coils I have trouble with connections again.

I could use wasted spark; but Jeff @Rothsport pointed out that I would have to change the sequential injection to batch mode, something I wasn't aware of with my limited experience and obviously complicates the choice.

BTW, my dilemma sheds light on the problem of maintaining electronic parts used in EFI conversions over the new lease on life given to the car. How do you pick a electronic part manufacturer that works and is used by the Porsche community but will be around for the long haul?


Thanks for all your inputs...
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1996 993TT Arena Red
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:40 AM
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I would just find someone who can repair it.
Old 06-13-2012, 08:42 AM
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Ask around over here, DTAForum.com - a forum for the DTA ECU • Index page

There was a good forum for DTA users hosted in the UK but it crashed some time ago and many of the users have joined back up on the new forum. Someone there should be able to help you.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:11 AM
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Cool! I drove this car right before you bought it. Heard it was going to eastern washington.

Share pictures! Especially of the engine bay.
Old 06-13-2012, 09:37 AM
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If you send me pictures of the insides of the ECU my tech could probably give you an idea of what's possible...and maybe if he can repair it.

We only work on OEM ECUs, but it doesn't hurt to get a second opinion from an ECU tech.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgarrood View Post
BTW, my dilemma sheds light on the problem of maintaining electronic parts used in EFI conversions over the new lease on life given to the car. How do you pick a electronic part manufacturer that works and is used by the Porsche community but will be around for the long haul?
That's one of the main reasons I went with Motec. It's more money up front but they've been around for a while, they're robust, and the best tuners use them.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:09 AM
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Deepwater
 
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Willtel, I did post on the DTA forum and got some guidance from them specifically about using the twin plug mode. However, silence on the question of sourcing interface connector pins, repair of the ECU or opinions on why the unit failed.

S ECU Repair, I attached a couple of pictures of the ECU insides as requested.






The coil drivers are the 10pin devices shown in the middle picture. You can't make out the device p/n without a magnifying glass which I haven't done yet.

I am seriously considering abandoning this ECU for maybe a MOTEC or AEM and converting the ignition system over to coil-on-plug.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:02 PM
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Have you googled the part number that failed?

It is far easier to replace a component versus changing an entire engine management system.
Old 06-14-2012, 04:03 PM
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Cool, how I wish I can have it.
Old 06-14-2012, 06:32 PM
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Yeah, that ECU won't be something that we would work on since it isn't Bosch, but try using usbid.com for find the drivers that fit that unit. They could probably source it even if it is rare.
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:27 AM
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It looks like there are eight of those drivers.

Swap out the bad one with an unused one from channel seven or eight.
Old 06-15-2012, 06:27 AM
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The part numbers on the drivers are very hard to read. I am going to take the unit to a friend who works for a company that does circuit board assembly. If we can read the part number I will get some parts and fix the circuit, otherwise I will steal a driver from the unused channels. The company has full facilities and skilled workers to do the circuit board work.

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1996 993TT Arena Red
1997 993 Coupe C2, 1987 930 Turbo Coupe, 1985 911 Carrera Coupe, 2002 Boxster S Blue (all departed)
Old 06-15-2012, 08:28 PM
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