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Turbo Panda

Dumb questions from a newbie

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Hi,

I've just purchased a 2008 Fiat Panda which has had a turbo added, bigger injectors installed, and is running a Vi-PEC V88 ECU. The car runs and drives, and it's a perfect 'sleeper', but I have a hankering to understand a bit more about the car and the ECU, so I've downloaded the Vi-PEC engine management software, and plugged the USB lead into the laptop.

So some newbie questions - please be gentle with me! (I have RTFM'ed but a lot of this is completely new to me)

Is there a "correct order" for this? plug USB in, fire up software, then start the engine? Because at the moment I get a 'The first cylinder in the firing order must be number 1' popup message.

If I then start the engine, it runs like a dog - after thinking I'd screwed the car up, I turned off the engine, disconnected the USB, then restarted, and all was well. Phew!

I'm guessing that's because I was using the 'default' map supplied by PC, rather than the one on the EUC? If so can I download the map from the ECU on to the Laptop?

Ultimately what I'd like to do is maybe have a couple of maps that I could select, and the holy grail would be for the Vi-PEC to fake some of the signals to allow the original Fiat ECU to display the Miles Per Gallon, etc (which it can't do at the moment, as it can't detect an engine)

Thanks for any help / advice.

Turbo Panda.

 

 

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What you're seeing here is not normal, usually connecting to the ECU is quite intuitive and straight forward.

I've never seen the error you describe but my first thought is maybe your ecu has very old firmware in it.  Generally the Vipec software has good backwards compatibility but there were major changes in code around firmware V4.4 and I have seen some connection problems with firmwares older than this when connecting to the newest software.  Perhaps older firmwares/softwares may have allowed the firing order to be entered wrong and yours has always been that way...

So the first thing we want to do is confirm what firmware version you have.  You can do this by connecting again, dismiss any errors, then go to >help>ecu information, note down the "maincode firmware version" at the top of the list.

As long as you dont do a store or save then once you disconnect USB and powercycle the ECU it will return to the same condition it was in before you connect.

 

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Hi,

Thanks for the speedy reply, and confirmation that I'm not being (that) dumb!

here's the whole lot..

MainCode Firmware Version: 4.4.3
BootCode Firmware Version: 1.4
BAP Calibration: 1
MAP Calibration: 65533
Support Board Revision: 0
Main Board Revision: 1.2
ECU Type: ViPEC V88
ECU Serial Number: 3301
Authentication Number: 0
LinkID: 7001
ECUMinSpev: 4.41

So by the looks of it your guess was a good one - I make that six sub versions behind the most up to date. I'm guessing that this must be a pretty early V88? Looks like it was purchased back in August 2009. Blimey that makes it 10 years old, testament to the longevity of the Vi-PEC!

So I can either try and update the firmware (gulp), or try install an older version of the VTS software? I guess my priority it to try and get a copy of the map downloaded, and then stored away, printed out and tattooed somewhere..

The earliest I can see is VTS V4.8.82.1129 (8-12-11), but is that going to be early enough?

Once again thanks for your time on this.

(oh yes! I'm keeping WELL away from "save")

Turbo Panda

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Here is V4.5.1:  https://1drv.ms/u/s!AiYbYlZQuRHPmyNK85RxGVdTquXu?e=cxIytF

See if you can connect successfully without errors with this, if so, save the map onto your laptop.

It would be nice to do a firmware update eventually but since so much has changed and so many new features have been added since your version I think it would be unwise to do so without having the tune checked afterwards.

If you look in the V4.10.2 help file at the page:  Vi-PEC Tuning Software VX Users Manual > Release Notes >ECU Firmware Version Information, you can see a lot of stuff has changed.  Mostly the orange and red notes are the ones that have the potential to affect the tune.
 

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Success!!

Thank you very much.

Looks like I have a long upgrade path in front of me.

Would I be correct in saying that I should do incremental firmware updates rather than a big bang?

thanks again.

Turbo Panda.

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No, should be fine to update direct to the latest in one step.  As long as you have a copy of your orignal map saved you can always roll back to the old firmware if thing come unstuck.

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Right Okay, it's a steep learning curve, but I've worked out what's going "wrong". The Firing Order of the car is 1-3-4-2.

But for some unknown reason the ViPEC  has been set up with a firing order of 2-1-3-4. It looks like early versions of the software allowed you to do this, but later versions insist on 1 being the first - hence the "The first cylinder in the firing order must be number 1" and the rough running, as effectively I had a firing order configured as 1-1-4-2, as the later versions of the software overwrite the '2'! I figured this out by loading the map into the latest version of the software and then dumping all the values..

So I need to reset the timing to Cylinder 1 rather than 2, before I can unlock all the goodies in the latest versions on the firmware.

The car has two sensors, one of the pulley at the end of the crank (60 teeth 2 missing), and an optical cam position sensor. The trigger offset is 85 and ref timing is 15.0.

So, unfortunately I have more questions!

Q. 'Ref timing' is any mark that I can see on the bell housing? luckily I have lots 0,10,15.

Q. 'Trigger Offset' this is what I adjust, When using a timing light on Cylinder 1(!) and the mark on the flywheel against my timing mark (set by the ref timing value). (I could verify my present setting by using Cy2 HT lead as the timing light feed?)

Q. OR could I short cut this? since Cy 1 and 2 are next to each other in the firing order, if Cy2 is set to 85, could I add 90 to this (or subtract) to obtain the Trigger offset for Cy1. I assume 90 as I'm guessing that as Cy2 fires Cy1 is half way up it's compression stroke ready to fire next....

Q. Can you think of any good reason as to why the car would be set for TDC on Cy2?

Once again, thank you for all your time on this. I'll be happy to share the map with you, but I doubt that you'd have many people that would want to emulate the set up of my Panda. However at 160BHP (120Kw) and nothing to show on the outside it's an hilarious "sleeper", and more people should experience it!

 

Turbo Panda!

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you should first check is everything wired up correctly, especially ign coils.

check every wire twice.

check is it wasted spark or direct spark

read vi-pec manual it will help you alot

 

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Sorry for the slow reply, I missed your last post.

On 10/23/2019 at 7:58 AM, Turbo Panda said:

Q. 'Ref timing' is any mark that I can see on the bell housing? luckily I have lots 0,10,15.

Correct, set the ref timing to whatever timing mark is conveinient to use.

 

On 10/23/2019 at 7:58 AM, Turbo Panda said:

Q. 'Trigger Offset' this is what I adjust, When using a timing light on Cylinder 1(!) and the mark on the flywheel against my timing mark (set by the ref timing value). (I could verify my present setting by using Cy2 HT lead as the timing light feed?)

Correct

 

On 10/23/2019 at 7:58 AM, Turbo Panda said:

Q. OR could I short cut this? since Cy 1 and 2 are next to each other in the firing order, if Cy2 is set to 85, could I add 90 to this (or subtract) to obtain the Trigger offset for Cy1. I assume 90 as I'm guessing that as Cy2 fires Cy1 is half way up it's compression stroke ready to fire next....

Yes, it should change by exactly 90deg - but that is assuming it was correct in the first place, so best to check it yourself with a timing light.

 

On 10/23/2019 at 7:58 AM, Turbo Panda said:

Q. Can you think of any good reason as to why the car would be set for TDC on Cy2?

No it is a bit odd to do it that way, cant really think of a valid reason.  

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Adam, No worries - you've gone above and beyond it answering the questions - it's good to have my assumptions confirmed. The timing gun is out this weekend!

A big driver to get the latest firmware is so that I can "unlock" the CanBus features - however as I have a sub 10,000 serial number I understand that I need a hardware modification to the V88. Are you guys still offering that? I'm based in the UK, do you have someone over here that still offers the service?

thanks

Turbo Panda

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The CAN mod is free of charge to have done at Link HQ (NZ), but you will have to pay shipping both ways.  A local dealer may do it for a small fee or I can give you instructions if you know someone who is experienced at working with surface mount electronics - it is quite a simple process, just removal of 2 or 3 small capacitors from memory.  Someone like @Richard Hill at BHP might be able to help.

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Hi,

I'm not giving my ECU an all expenses paid trip to NZ (unless I can come along as well)! :)

I'd be very  grateful for any instructions that I can supply to someone to do the mods, and thanks for the suggestion. I'll reach out to Richard.

Just out of interest if I wanted to run just a DIY display (see link below) using the CAN BUS, and not connecting it to the car's bus would I still need to do the modification?

Turbo Panda

 

 

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10 hours ago, Turbo Panda said:

Just out of interest if I wanted to run just a DIY display (see link below) using the CAN BUS, and not connecting it to the car's bus would I still need to do the modification?

Yes, it will need the mod to output any CAN.  I will PM you some instructions.

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What I did with my evo vipec v44 was u brought another v44 with a higher than 10,000 serial number and then sold my old unit on eBay. This saves you going without an ECU 

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