New to the forum and complete novice when it comes to ECUs and tuning. Have seen however that there is a massive amount of knowledge in this forum so thought I'd ask a few questions...apologies in advance for the long length post.
I'm currently in the process of restoring my first car a 1973 VW Beetle. It's a long way off at the moment, but I'm getting through it steadily. In the last year or so I've become very interested in ECU tuning and would love to learn how to do it. However due to the nature of the beast it's not the sort of thing you can always get into easily as I understand it.
As well as the Beetle I have a 95 MR2 Turbo which I have seen Link offer a plug-in ECU for however with the 3SGTE engine that car has getting harder and harder to come by I'd rather not risk damage by "trying out" tuning on it.
This was where I had the idea to convert my beetle to fuel injection run by a wire-in ECU, as to my mind it seems it would be a much simpler engine to get running and tune myself on the road to learn the basics. (for anyone not familiar it's an aircooled flat 4 1600cc engine, naturally aspirated with 2v per cylinder and a pushrod valve train. Very basic but with alot of aftermarket support for cams, ported heads and so on)
Over the last few years I've had a few engines and setups in the Beetle and have gotten quite proficient at the more traditional tuning techniques for it. Swapping carburetors and tuning them via jet changes whilst reading the spark plugs. Also messing around with the ignition timing via distributor advance spring changes and listening out for pre detonation and setting the timing accordingly. Therefore, having already gained experience tuning this engine on the road, just not via the use of an ECU, I figure I may be able to get myself started with ECU tuning on this car. There is also the added benefit that should I make any error and damage the engine, Beetle engines and parts for them are plentiful and cheap compared to the running gear in my MR2.
So with that out of the way I have a few questions regarding a potential conversion to EFI run with a Link ECU.
1. Is this even a good idea at all or am I being naive thinking I could start to learn ECU tuning by myself? Worth mentioning this isn't something I'm looking to get into doing professionally, just a bit of fun to learn something new alongside other car related projects.
2. For the ECU itself I've been looking at the Monsoon G4X as it's affordable and has the built in map sensor which saves on buying/ wiring a Map. However I'm unsure if the Map sensor is something I will even need. Open to any suggestions or advice on ECU choice.
3. I understand I'll need a variety of other sensors to complete the set up. Firstly as I understand I'd be wise to get an o2/ lambda sensor, I see link make their own to go with their ECUs. Would it be a good idea to get any other sensors like temp sensors or knock sensors.
4. For ignition you can buy wasted spark coil pack kits made specifically for the Beetle. Would I be best just getting one of these for ease or would I be best getting 4 separate coils for each plug?
5. For triggering there are also kits available with a toothed trigger wheel that fits on the crank pulley for the Beetle. Would one of these kits be ok or would I be best buying Links own crank sensor and trigger wheel and fabricating a bracket/ welding those on instead. Is the crank trigger the only trigger signal I'll need or will I need a trigger from the camshaft as well?
6. For injection kits are available for the Beetle with throttle bodys and manifolds with injector ports machined in. These are something I've looked at however some can be fairly expensive so am also open to the idea of fabricating my own fuel system from other parts. Open to suggestions. Also wondering what type of injectors I would need.
7. For the fuel delivery system the car currently only has one fuel line from the tank which runs to a mechanical lift pump on the engine to the carburettor. This of course will need changing to an EFI pump system. Am I best buying a new fuel tank and modifying it to fit an in tank pump and run new fuel lines including a return line. Alternatively could I use an external pump next to the tank and pumb a return in somehow. Another thing I looked at was the use of a "swirl pot" which could house a pump and would be kept full via the existing low pressure pump that feeds the carburettor. However I would then need to find a safe and suitable location for this.
Apologies again for the amount of questions. Not expecting anyone to take up their time to try and answer everything but any small info anyone has would be really really appreciated.
Excited to hopefully join the Link tuning community,