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Best LINK Ecu for beginners to learn & grow?


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Hello everyone, I am building Toyota 4Runner in the USA using a Lexus LS430 3UZ with a M122 supercharger going on a 5spd manual transmission with amechanical throttle body..

I am not new to building these rigs but I am very new to force induction and standalone ECU. I dont want massive power with all the bells and whistles. I feel as if i want something similar to a factory ecu but with the ability to learn and grow at the same time. Please help me out with what i will need to start learning how to tune my own rig. Now, Ive heard of Link ecu having a lot support so Link ECU are on the top of the list. I found where to buy ecu and harnesses, but do i need to buy any special sensors. Excuse me as I really need a place to start. 


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A Monsoon could most likely run it but you would have to us a group or semi sequential injection mode and you would be limited on inputs and outputs. A Storm would be on the cheaper end and would allow sequential injection and direct spark but would require an external H-Bridge if adding E-Throttle later if you decided to. An Xtreme would have a bit more IO than the Storm and allow for internal E-Throttle control if you decided to fit that.

The whole G4X range shares the same software and there is a slight difference in feature availability with the larger ECUs having more of the higher end motorsport features.

Downloading PCLink and reading the help manual is a good idea if you want to familiarise yourself with how things work and you can load to various sample maps to see what's possible with each ECU type before purchasing one.

Biggest thing to decide on before buying an ECU is how many sensors and outputs you want as this is often the restriction with smaller ECUs not having as many pins and so not being able to do as many things.


In terms of sensors I would suggest:

ECT (Engine Coolant Temp) - vital for protections and correcting fuel for engine temperature, uses 1 An Temp pin or an An Volt with a pullup resistor to 5v.

IAT (Intake Air Temp) - not strictly necessary but really good for correcting required fuel based on intake air charge density, uses 1 An Temp pin or an An Volt with a pullup resistor to 5v.

TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) - If using a single throttle body you can use MAP for your load and so this isn't required but it can be nice for Accel Fuel and it is useful for Idle speed control (you'll want to fit some kind of air bypass if using a mechanical throttle), uses 1 An Volt.

MAP - absolutely required with forced induction and is typically the input used as engine load, uses 1 An Volt or is built into the Monsoon.

Fuel Pressure - Not absolutely required but very useful for diagnosing problems and can save engines when used to correct injection pulse for varying fuel pressure, uses 1 An Volt.

Oil Pressure - not used for tuning but very useful for logging, protections and for indicating to the driver when there is an issue, much better to use a sensor than a switch as you can match pressure to engine speed, uses 1 An Volt.

Oil Temp -  not used for tuning but very useful for logging, often you can see the affect of Oil Temp on Oil pressure, uses 1 An Temp pin or an An Volt with a pullup resistor to 5v.

Some form of wheel speed - useful for idle and logging, uses a Digital input (DI).

Wideband O2 - need a controller between the sensors and the ECU, aim for a controller that can talk to the ECU over CAN rather than an analog voltage level, can do one per bank or just one after a collector. One per bank can be nice for seeing variations between banks and can narrow down issues like misses.

VVT Cam inputs - use Trig 2 and DI1-4, variable cam control is very good for getting more mid range out of an engine.


Common outputs would be:

Fuel Pump - typically just switched to ground to trigger a relay.

Tachometer - a PWM signal.

Engine Fans - typically just switched to ground to trigger a relay but can also do PWM control via solid state relays or fan controllers.

CE Light or other warning lights - typically just ground switched.

Speedometer - if you have an electric speedo you can read the signal from the box, correct for different wheel diameters and send an adjusted signal to the cluster.

VVT Cam solenoids - use PWM capable outputs (Aux, Ign or Inj pins), very good for adding midrange power, intake cams are typically more important than exhaust cams.

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my point of view is, don't start "small" to try and learn.

As Vaughan said, all ecu share the same software and way of working.

Some additional functions will be available on bigger ECUs, so check what you need, and what would be nice to have to target the minimum.

My opinion, go with the bigger ones if the budget allows, so everything you will need in the future will be available (best way to learn step by step and add sensors and use more functions)

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