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Beams 3SGE + G4+ Xtreme 1983 Toyota Carina


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Hi people,

I've got a weekend/track car that I'm setting up a link G4+ on.

It runs a 2l NA engine with Variable valve timing, 6 speed box and some other fun bits.

Thought I'd put up a few posts here as a log of experiments / successes / failures with tinkering and tuning with the G4+ Xtreme.




The motor that I am using is a Redtop 3SGE engine from a 1998 SW20 MR2. It's basically a less common variant of the Altezza engine, has 11:1 compression and makes 200hp as standard.

Thankfully after a basic wire up, the base tune for the Altezza in PClink gave me a really good head start for getting up and running.

It was great having all of the VVTI pids etc all worked out and coilpacks etc firing up first pop. Really impressed!

One thing that I needed to do though, was figure out the optimal cam timing for the VVT cam on the inlet (exhaust cam is fixed on these motors)

I still had the MAF sensor in place, in a datalogging function. I figure whatever cam setting shows the highest volume of air coming through at full throttle, must be optimal.

So I ran datalogged a few rpm pulls with the cam timing statically set to 0, 10, 20, 30, 40 degrees advance.

Then I pulled the data out and put it into a graph.


Then so where ever the line was the highest for that RPM, that was the settings I put in for the VVTI map. You can easily see the big advantage of VVTI compared to a static inlet cam.

I compared this to some friends with similar engines who'd dyno tuned, and found the results were very close. The only difference was my bump at the ~4750 mark, but this might be a product of my particular intake/exhaust arrangement.

For the lower load sections I used some guesstimating and some documentation from Toyota. However will keep working on that part some more.




Edited by Davidv
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Next up tuning the knock sensor.

With the factory ECU I had all sorts of problems, which was mostly due to having the wrong knock sensor fitted. Toyota factory ones are narrowband, so only pick up a certain frequency relating to bore size.

So when (unknown to me) I had a knock sensor from a different motor on there, it was never picking up knock. So the ECU would think its running some magical fuel and bang in 50 degrees advance while cruising and its knocking like crazy.

So I switched to a Bosch wideband knock sensor and then just today have been going through some calibration.

I used the E-throttle idle control to set the idle at a steady ~4000rpm. Then looked at the difference in knock sensor levels between cylinders.
This motor has the knock sensor located on cylinder number 3, because it's the last cylinder that isnt on the end of the block, that gets coolant. So it naturally runs the hottest.
People always blow up cyl number 3 first!

So cyl number 3 naturally gave the strongest signal and then the others tapered off. With the car running, and looking at the logs I got the signal "about right". Then started a datalog of the motor being held at 4000rpm for a minute or so.

Pulled the data out into a CSV file and then averaged the results and calculated what the new values will need to be so it's hopefully as close as I can get it.


Next thing to do is to setup a map of the non-knocking noise thresholds for the knock sensor through the RPM range.
I am thinking I'll have 3 rows, 100% TPS 0% TPS and whatever TPS range seems to be what the motor cruises at, when going 90-100ish kph so there's some nice accuracy for adding a lot of timing when cruising.

However my car's interior is still in a zillion pieces so it'll be a while until I can get to that.

I initially wired up my ECU just by snipping the wires one by one from the factory ECU plugs and wiring them up. However this meant my loom still had heaps of junk in it from the factory engine, and I'd added bits and pieces over time which I now wanted to consolidate. As well as add some extras.

So I decided to yank the whole lot out, break it down into the individual circuits and then redo it all.

Ideally I would have rather restarted by buying the 2m or 4m long Link looms and working from the ECU back towards the motor etc - But car budget is tight at the moment so had to redo with the 400mm long loom which in hindsight not the greatest plan ever.

Turned into a bit of a gigantic sprawling mess:


My new loom iteration allows for:

-A switch panel on the dash

-Clutch / brake switch

-Analogue cruise control switch

-Wheel speed sensors for traction control (although fitting front wheel speed sensors will be tricky!)

-Staged injection, running 2 injectors per cylinder for a mild NA power bump  (Yet to be tested...)

-E throttle setup (Sheesh this is greedy on inputs and outputs :)

-launch control via the clutch switch and dash switch

-Running the speedo/tacho via the ECU for better accuracy than previous setup

-LC2 wideband

-A spare map sensor for datalogging pressure points etc around the vehicle at speed (Just for interest's sake, and because I can :D )

-shift light

-engine fan control

-Running the VVTI system.

Still with lots of inputs and outputs to spare! The only thing I'm short of, is digital inputs and thats if I am able to run wheel speed sensors, might not be practical to fit them.

<3 the Xtreme :D 


If anyone with a Toyota is wanting an easy way to wire up a clutch switch, the clutch stopper bolt is the exact same thread pitch etc as the Brake switch. So go pillage a second brake switch from another car, and replace the bolt and you're sorted.


Edited by Davidv
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I ran a few trackdays at Hampton Downs with a fairly conservative tune as I didnt have knock sensing working at the time.

Looking at the results of both the MAF sensor and the MAP sensor, concluded that after 6000rpm my intake was causing a restriction for the engine.

As I was staying on 101KPA right to that point, and then it slowly tapers off. MAF values show that air intake was still increasing steadily to 8000rpm, but less than it could be.

I was looking at the intake piping thinking that perhaps I could go to a 4" pipe or something. But then figured... I dont need the MAF anymore, so it's not necessary to maintain any sized pipe.

So I thought it's a good time to head to solidworks and draw up the factory throttle body to its exact dimensions and some of the piping. Then create a pressure drop at the rear of the throttle body until I had a mass flow rate slightly above what my MAF sensor was showing me (About 170 grams/sec at 7000rpm)

Then I mucked around with a few different designs of bigger pipes or whatever, but it seemed the least restrictive option was a big bellmouth on the throttle body in a big enclosure with a panel filter on the side. Wtih the goal of maintaining atmospheric pressure right to the bellmouth.

So went back and forth between solidworks and some Cardboard Aided Design to come up with a prototype sort of shape which I then had lasercut.

Still a work in progress. However if I end up needing more fuel at WOT and the pressure drop at high rpm decreases then it should be some indication that it's doing its job.


The main thing towards avoiding any pressure drop was just keeping cross sectional area huge all of the way. Going to a 3" or 4" inlet at any point and it's back to an instant pressure drop.



As stupid as it sounds, the cardboard that they ship big flat panel TVs in is a really good material for mocking things up. It's really thick and obviously pretty easy to manipulate and then measure to put back into CAD drawings.
Plenty available for free by raiding the bins out back of Noel Leeming or where ever.


Just need to figure out how to mount it all now, and then start making the second half of the box which goes down through the gaurd to get some fresh air from out front.




Edited by Davidv
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I've got idle speed control working really nicely with the E-throttle now, it's great!

When I was using an ISCV I was having trouble flowing enough air through it, so it would stall sometimes even with antistall gain cranked up.

This coming week I'll spend some time fine tuning the throttle angle when cranking at various temperatures to make it start nicely.

And also revise the cold idle rpm.

I ran some tests on my daily driver (Toyota Echo) because when cold it idles reaaalllyy high, a lot higher than I would expect. When warmed up it idles at about 630-650rpm so I figure there's some good reason it sounds like its revving its nuts off when cold.
Some people have said that this is for sake of getting the cat converter up to temp quickly to minimise emissions. Buuutttt it does this by keeping the correct AFR... Which is why it revs so high, so there's better mixing of the air and fuel when cold so more ends up in the cylinder instead of clinging to port walls. So in my mind it's a good strategy even without a cat converter.
Playing around with injector timing at those low rpms could also help perhaps.

I used a bluetooth OBD2 unit to datalog engine rpm and engine temperature, surprising to see that at 20 degrees it idles at ~2300rpm.

Made a graph and input these settings as my goal RPM for the carina. So this coming week I'll adjust the idle throttle plate angles to match that.


There's an interesting article here on the topic of X-tau which is about port wetting:


Which is what has made me pursue this idea of matching the cold idle speed of my daily driver, which is a car that very strictly tries to accurately acheive stoich as quickly as possible.

Edited by Davidv
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Hi David,

Your thread is making an interesting read. I like the way you are going about gathering data and making your decisions based upon what you find. It appears you are getting good results from this also.

Looking forward to seeing more.

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Cheers Scott, yes it's all good fun :)

I've found that dropbox is really cool to use for storing the engine map file and also data logs.
As I can just go for a trundle around datalogging, pull into the garage at home and it starts beaming the logs back to my main PC as soon as the log file is saved.
Go sit on the couch in front of a big screen and all of the info is already there to bring up and look at.
Then if necessary make the changes to the map file, and then when I get back to the car I just need to hit Store, and the map's updated.
It also has the benefit of saving previous versions of the map, every iteration of change that you make is recorded which is awesome if you find things were better last time.
A few times I've found it's been best to go back a few iterations where I've gone in the wrong direction and made things worse for myself haha.
Sometimes its still making changes via the laptop which is fine too, but it's nice to be able to fit a few more graphs etc up on a big screen.

Edited by Davidv
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I got all of the sensors tested and running now, apart from the speedo output from gearbox is playing up for some reason.

I dont have access to tools currently to finish mounting the airbox, so I ended up fitting the bellmouth with a coincidentally fitting wide mouthed pod filter that could fit around the perimeter.

So looking at my old datalogs and some from today, and looking at the KPA drop at the map sensor from each intake type:


Looks to be an improvement! Had to add a bunch of fuel past 7000rpm to get the equivilent AFR so that's got to be a good thing. I would imagine it will be even better once the proper airbox is finished.

I also set the E-throttle so that 70% on the foot pedal equals 50% on the throttle plate. Car now feels MUCH nicer to drive at low load, so that's great!
Exactly what I was hoping for. :D

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Something else I had a play around with, was fitting a 3 axis accellerometer to the car, I found some online that have a 0-3v output and can accept a 5v supply.

Wired it up so that the X Y and Z axes were analog inputs for sake of datalogging at trackdays etc.

I thought it might be useful for datalogging cornering forces or something like that, however realistically without any conditioning of the outputs and just viewing the raw data it was fairly meaningless.

Looked something like this:


When you go over a bump it would affect all 3 axes so it was hard to differentiate one thing from the other. Also I think in order to work properly it would need some logic like the G-tech units where it calibrates which direction is "up" when stationary and then interpolates the 3 signals to show you forward accelleration, cornering force, etc.

Ultimately inferring cornering speed etc from my GPS software that I run on the netbook proved a lot more useful, only downside is that there's no way to correlate the GPS information with the engine logs etc. (Would be nice to be able to see if I was being wussy and lifting off throttle etc, haha)

So in the end I pulled the accelleromter back out to free up those 3 ANvolt inputs for other things.

The program called Racechrono is frigging awesome, it can tell you in real time how your lap times are tracking.

I use it with a 20hz reciever that plugs into my netbook via USB. The more recent version is for android but the old PC download version is awesome too.

It's really handy being able to visualise how taking a 'slow' line around a corner ends up faster overall when you can see it on a screen.




Edited by Davidv
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Things like accellerometers, batteries, GPS  etc are insanely cheap now because of companies developing the tech for cellphones.

Remote Controlled vehicles have come leaps and bounds in the last 10 years or so... I guess Drones have a lot to thank Cellphones for!

I think it's amazing the things I can do with such a small budget in terms of datalogging etc.
There was a Group B rally car Celica which was same year/chassis as my car, and I saw this video on Youtube about the Toyota Engineers back in the day doing some datalogging on some test runs.
They had this gigantic machine that took up half of the car, which spewed out ticker tape and seismograph looking ribbons of the variables they were logging... Then had a gaggle of labcoat guys pouring over the results haha.

All for the sake of such a tiny portion of the information I can gather with a cheap netbook, the Link ECU and a GPS unit.
We live in amazing times.

Edited by Davidv
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Been out driving it a bit and it's running great.


Saw an AE86 on the motorway the other night, just at same time that I was testing camera angles etc for some trackday footage.


Here's some old trackday footage from back with the standard ECU.


you can see into the first corner that I'm having to saw at the wheel and modulate throttle to get the car to turn at all - At the time I had my LSD set to 2 way, with really agressive preload etc.

I found out that the Cusco units are adjustable so I pulled it apart, rearranged clutch plates, set it to 1 way only and took out some of the springs which set the preload amount.

Which made a WORLD of difference to how the car turns, steering weight reduced by about half, which is surprising considering it was a modification to the other end of the car.

It seemed really complicated looking at the exploded diagrams but was actually quite easy to dissasemble / reassemble. You can tell some thought went into the design to make them easily servicable for when clutches wear out etc.


Now that's a little off topic to ECU stuff, buuuutttt if I had wheel speed sensors hooked up then it would be easy to tell that the LSD was too tight, and wasnt allowing the inner wheel to rotate slower on corners.

I'm keen to get this setup so I can judge whether tightening it up a little or setting two way etc will be of any value. Currently it's great but it's always awesome to have some data to work from and then adjust further from there and see the benefits (or not)

I've added some ignition timing and sorted the fuel out in the high load/rpm region, and now the car looooooves to rev! Limiter is now at 8300rpm when previously it was 7400rpm with standard ECU.

Makes a world of difference, now each gear shift isnt so critical. The car is still making peak power past 7400rpm so it's been well worth it.

Edited by Davidv
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Nice pic with the AE86. Wheel speed sensors on all four corners is handy, do you have enough spare DI channels? Be aware that the recommended maximum digital input frequency is 500Hz, so something like an ABS trigger disc may have too many teeth. Great to hear that the engine is loving to rev!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah I'll have enough DI channels if I sacrifice one or two switches on my switch panel in the dash.

Cruise control is working, and it's awesome!

Logs show that it deviates by less than 2kph either side of what I set it to which is really cool.

after a few long trips and a goal AFR of 14.7:1 at cruising sort of speed. And some complex maths in excel. Looks as though the car gets approx 7.3 litres per 100kms on long trips which is awesome.

There's potentially better economy by playing around with VVTI settings and so on, but not a bad starting point. :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The latest Link Firmware update included the addition of being able to set an RPM based Staged Injection, so I revived an old project which was setting up a second set of injectors high up in the runners of a factory manifold.

Initially my fuel rail was hitting the bonnet so it took some creative shortening of the whole thing to make it fit. However it's now all tested working fine and free of leaks, no bangs on the bonnet! Awesome.

I only had a brief play around last night before my laptop died, but some interesting observations so far:

My main injectors are 4x 360cc, outer ones 4x 1000cc.

So my primary/seconday injector ratio is 2.7:1

For sake of fine tuning this number initially, I set the car so that it would switch to 100% outer injectors from 3000rpm onwards. 

However, when I do this the motor runs off the scale rich!

With some tweaking I set the ratio to 4:1 The AFRs become stable again across the rpm range.

Not what I was expecting at all, which leads me to think:

1. Outer injectors are actually larger than 1000cc?
2. Primary or seconday injector deadtime is hugely incorrect (although injectors came with a data sheet)
3. My primary injectors flow less than 360cc (Quite possible, as I'm currently running them at ~40psi instead of ~60psi from factory in Altezza)
4. My existing injector timing across the board of 400btdc when running primary injectors only means there's a shitload of fuel pooling. Using the outer injectors has meant a larger % of fuel makes it into the cylinder properly so I can run the injectors "leaner" to get the same AFR.

(I'm not convinced of that last option, but I'm open to considering all possibilities)

I've got some reccomendations for injector timing for a beams motor that I'm going to try out, for both primary and secondary injectors. 

Cant wait to experiment with this a bit more over the weekend.

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Hi Davidv,

great to hear you are enjoying tuning your ECU, these are exceptional ECU's.

A lot of people don't realise what they are missing by using other brands.

Just confirming your fuel setup,

Injection mode = Sequential / Staged

Fuel Equation mode = Modelled.

Staging Mode = Pri / Secondary ratio

Just remember this setup is a % added or subtracted from the fuel table.

I am a little confused about your statement  "" For sake of fine tuning this number initially, I set the car so that it would switch to 100% outer injectors from 3000rpm onwards""

In modelled or Modelled / Multi Fuel it is VERY important that the injector data is correct.

Just trying to understand exactly how you have set everything up to work out why when using the correct Pri / Secondary ration your AFR went so rich.



Edited by Dave Kriedeman
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Hey Dave, 

I'm not using traditional fuel equation, not modelled.

Think of it as tweaking the pri/sec injector ratio in the same way as adjusting master fuel value, to make my secondary injectors match the map of my primary injectors.

Once this was "about right" I then switched back to a blend between pri/sec, which then took a bit of fiddling with injector timing and trimming the fuel map at various points, but now my fuel map is back to good AFRs across the board.

My LC2 wideband controller uses the older 4.2 sensor though which I think has now packed up, it loses calibration really quickly. So I'm going to switch to 4.9 sensor before carrying on with tuning.

I went on a long drive yesterday, I had to turn off closed loop wideband feedback because the LC2 was giving incorrect values causing the car to run very lean. This was after just freshly being recalibrated the night before. 
Hopefully the 4.9 sensor has a better lifespan.

I'm not one to trust the "butt dyno" however previously the car felt like it ran out of puff nearing 8000rpm, now it gets to the current 8100rpm limiter and still feels strong. 
So it's possibly making a little more power up top.

I'll hopefully get it on the dyno in coming weeks!



Edited by Davidv
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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to a drag day was yesterday, and had a friggen blast!

Unfortunately however throughout the whole day I just couldnt get a clean run off the line at all.
The motor was running awesomely, I was ~10kph faster trap speeds compared to last year with standard ECU and lower rev limit.
But my best time was still half a second slower due to traction issues. (14.8 was my best for the day )
I tried a few tricks to remedy the situation...
Turned on launch control and set it at various rpm points, didnt really help. Took a bit of fiddling to get the launch control activation working how I wanted, as sometimes it was coming on while I was trying to do a burnout haha.
I was doing 3rd gear burnouts without trouble all day, tried for fourth.... baaaaddd idea haha. Ended up doing a gigantic clutch burnout which stunk out my car for the rest of the day haha. woops.
I also Setup an E-throttle map that would limit the throttle body to only opening half way in first gear. Didnt help much.

These are all great ideas and functions, but I've got a physical problem with the car - the angle of the 4 links to the diff need amending, currently when you go to take off it tries lifting the diff off the ground and you go nowhere.
I guess it's one of those things where phsics just disagree with the idea of fixing the problem with electrickery. Once I've got that fixed though, I'm definitely going to play around a bit more with launch control and E-throttle configs etc, I can really see the potential here for awesome things.

Also had my first play around with virtual auxilaries, damn these are cool! Can do some really awesome things with a bit of imagination.

So I was a bit dissapointed with my times, but I was happy to get a trap speed that indicates its worthy of high 13s (99.7mph) if it can get a good launch.

I had a camera setup in the car but the axle tramp was so bad that it was shutting off the camera haha!
But here's some footage that survived... Really cool variety of cars in attendance.


Edited by Davidv
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Something interesting at the drags, when i was running a low-ish tank of fuel, and then even when it was full up. Both of my fuel rails were pretty much too hot to touch. Even though the manifold that the outer fuel rail connects to was cool (its thermally insulated from the head)

Some people say that it's the fuel pumping around the circuit that heats up the fuel a lot. However I think it's my main fuel rail closed to the head that's introducing heat into the circuit. As although its mounted on plastic upstands, the bolts that hold it down go directly from metal to metal from the head to the rail. And it's in a location where it's going to get a lot of heat from the engine regardless.

So to test whether its the fuel pump itself, I plonked a thermometer in the rail and left the pump running with the engine off.

It took a long friggen time for the temperature to go up by even 1 degree. (keeping in mind that the car has a full gas tank currently)

However turn the engine on, and fuel rail temp increased by about 1.5 degrees per minute. It's possible that ambient air temp was increasing as well and biasing the results, but, it seems pretty clear that pumping the fuel around just on its own generates a negligable amount of heat increase.

In my opinion I think it's radiant heat from the engine, and heat coming directly through the rail bolts causing the temp increases. So heat proofing the rail somehow and insulating the bolts from the rail looks as though it might be best way to keep the fuel cooler
(more consistent fuel temp = more consistent tune?)





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Interesting data. You often hear people talking about the heating of fuel from it circulating in the fuel system, but in your case it doesn't seem to be the cause. 

When using the modelled fuel mode the ECU is able to make changes to the fueling based upon the current fuel temp and what has been entered for the 'Fuel density temperature co-efficient'.

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Yeah I've heard that a lot too, which is why I was surprised. But I guess it makes sense, frictional heat surely wouldnt compare to having the fuel pass through something that's 80+ degrees.

I'm just getting the parts together to switch over to modelled fuel. (fuel pressure and temp sensors)

I want to experiment with running the staged injection at a higher pressure (75-80psi or there abouts)

so I'll fit these extra bits at the same time as fitting an adjustable FPR.

Depending on what fuel temps show in the logs, once I'm logging it. I might fit an oil cooler to the fuel return line if insulating the rail from heat still shows big temp increases.

Switching to AN fittings to fit an external regulator etc is a pricey operation! haha.

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  • 4 months later...

Took this out to Hampton, ran awesomely! 

Now running Yokohama AD08R, world of difference from Toyo T1Rs... These  dont overheat one bit.

The engine ran awesomely, no dramas apart from nuking my 3rd wideband sensor just before the start of the day. 

Pretty sure it's the innovate controller causing the problems so looking at alternative options.

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