Well… maybe not quite everything! It is an involved process, and we try to keep it as simple as possible. It’s also very exciting, satisfying and fun! You will have ultimate control over every aspect of your engine’s performance.
Maybe you’re in the beginning stages of your build and weighing your options. Or if you’re like ‘ole Floorjack here, you’ve already got your MS and are ready to dig in (now THAT’s a MEGASQUIRT!) Some have already headed down the path and have stumbled into a few issues they can’t get figured out. Tuning a Megasquirt can be a complex thing, but it doesn’t have to be too difficult if you have the right help.
Whatever your situation, it’s good to have some info on a few things before you dive in. We believe in an informed client, it makes things easier for everyone. If you can’t find the answer to your Megasquirt remote tuning question here, feel free to contact us!
Frequently Asked Questions
The process is pretty simple. First, we collect a little info so we have everything we need to know about your car’s specific setup. Armed with this, we then send you an appropriate base map to upload to your ECU, and the fun begins!
Remote datalog tuning is based on an exchange of emails. You drive the car around per our instruction and send us a datalog of the session. We then analyse the information in the log, make appropriate changes, and send you a revised map to upload. This process continues until we are satisfied with the calibration.
Generally speaking, one to two weeks from start to finish, although we will usually have you up and running well within a few revisions; the rest is fine tuning the details. Revisions are normally received within 24 hours of datalog submission. Sometimes we like to take a day off, have to travel or need a little nap between tunes.
The time it takes overall can be affected by a number of factors; how often you are able to drive the car and provide datalogs, normally aspirated vs. forced induction or special mods, additional services requested (EBC tuning, table switching, etc.) and our workload.
We do offer speed priority tuning if you need faster turnaround.
Anyone who wants a safe, reliable tune!
Enthusiasts that want to learn how to better take control of their own car and driving experience.
Do-it-yourselfers who are encountering driveability issues such as hard starting, stalling, poor running and poor performance.
Folks who are unfamiliar with calibrating a standalone or unfamiliar with the platform, yet want a solid performing tune at a reasonable price.
People who don’t have the time or inclination to learn the deep ins and outs of this system.
And this guy
Stage Zero required. You need to make sure your car is up to snuff, from nose to tail, no exceptions. We have no way of assessing the mechanical condition of your vehicle; you are the mechanic and responsible for the readiness of your car. This is serious business folks, make sure everything is in order. Our tunes don’t blow stuff up; mechanical issues do.
A MS2 or MS3 Megasquirt installed on your car
A basic understanding of the TunerStudio software interface (paid, registered version of TunerStudio is NOT required)
Enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and the ability to follow instructions precisely!
A wideband o2 sensor, hooked up properly and communicating with the Megasquirt. Values in TunerStudio match what is shown on your WBo2 gauge.
Your initial calibrations must be set properly; you will be provided an initial calibration worksheet which has detailed instructions before we begin.
Though not necessary, 1.6 cars benefit greatly from installing a variable throttle position sensor.
Know that sometimes we uncover hidden issues with cars; we are happy to assist with figuring these problems out, but diagnostic work is extra!
A quality tune and as much education as you would like. The car will start and warm up reliably, idle properly and operate smoothly. You will enjoy crisp throttle response, solid power, and excellent fuel economy.
That said, owning a Megasquirt-equipped car is a bit like having a kid… there’s a certain responsibility dynamic associated with it! Our tuning is an interactive process in which you will play a major role; we enjoy sharing tuning concepts in order to achieve the desired results, and we love seeing people learn how to do it to their own car.
The support doesn’t end when your tune is completed; if you ever have any questions or need some guidance, we are here for you. Feel free to contact us at any time!
Because we spend a lot of time addressing all of the little details that make the car drive like a normal car. With a Megasquirt, there are numerous settings that need to be calibrated properly to achieve these results; cold start, afterstart enrichment and warmup, closed loop idle control, acceleration enrichments, and more… all of these contribute dramatically to the overall driving experience. Simple power tuning alone is child’s play by comparison.
Also, YOU will be integral to the tuning experience. Since we are tuning remotely and don’t have the luxury of having the car in front of us, there is a learning process that must be gone thru in order to achieve the best results. Teaching you how to do this is included, so that you may better take control of your own car.
Remote tuning a standalone is a lot more difficult than reflashing a factory computer, and reflashing the OEM ECU on a NA/NB Miata is not even an option. Car manufacturers spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars developing calibrations that will run on every version of that car in every conceivable condition; we don’t have the advantage of starting with a factory tune. With a standalone ECU, it’s just us working on one specific car, probably when we have a few extra hours to mess around with it.
Because of this, nailing down all the little details that make everyday drivability a pleasure can be a much greater challenge. Things like cranking and cold starts, after-start enrichments and warmup can take time because we really only get one or two shots at most per day. Closed-loop idle, acceleration enrichments, electrical loads, heat-soaked starting, EGO compensations, air conditioning idle up, etc., all need to be calibrated for our own specific vehicle.
Power tuning is relatively easy on a Megasquirt; turns out nailing all the little details for every day driveability is a much greater challenge. One can spend a lot of time getting these things to where the car starts and runs like a stock Miata under all conditions… until you hit the gas.
No problem, we are glad to help! Minor modifications like intake and exhaust upgrades on a normally aspirated car equate to a minor retune fee, and adding a turbo is more!
Aah the age old debate… it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. In an ideal world we would actually do both, but now you’re talking about spending some serious dough. We’ve done plenty of both, and actually prefer road tuning for a number of reasons.
Back in the day, we had a load-bearing Mustang dyno for 10 years that we did all of our tunes on, but when we got the cars out on the road they invariably needed some additional tweaking to get everything correct in that environment. After developing our base maps, testing them and putting them to use in daily drivers, race cars and everything in between, we eventually came to the conclusion that the dyno was no longer necessary… Miata engines like a certain range of operating parameters, those had been discovered and we no longer had need for it. So we sold it LOL…
Chassis dynamometers cannot duplicate real-world driving conditions, they can only approximate them. Cooling air flow, aerodynamics, rolling friction, varying road conditions… all are factors that cannot be simulated by even the most sophisticated dyno, and yet they unquestionably have an effect on the end product. A dyno operator also may not be intimately familiar with your car, ECU or tuning software. Many times, a local dyno shop may only tune for maximum power, ignoring the driveability characteristics that make a car a pleasure to pilot.
Dynos are great for tuning shops that work on a wide variety of cars where there are a large number of variances in management systems, fueling, timing maps, etc. They need to be able to test those adjustments and see if they have a positive or negative effect. There are certainly situations where we do recommend hitting the rollers; if the engine and ancillaries have been substantially modified beyond factory… or if you have a race car where extracting every last ounce of performance is paramount, and all other considerations are secondary.
You will likely make a little more power on a dyno; hard to say how much without actually strapping the car down because every car is a little different. That said, the vast majority of people and cars will be well served with a proper remote tune. The primary advantage of road tuning is we are tuning the car in the exact same conditions it will be used in every single day, the way YOU drive the car every single day. All aspects of the tune are considered, our base maps have been developed on a load bearing dyno, and you’ll be within a stone’s throw of making maximum power while ensuring the car is a pleasure to drive under all conditions.
Yes, we have tuned nearly every standalone ECU available for the Miata over the years. Some of them are relatively easy, some have a steep learning curve, some give less than satisfactory results, and some are just a real pain in the ass.
After working with so many platforms, we decided we liked Megasquirt the best. It is the most popular ECU available with unparalleled support. The TunerStudio software suite is quite flexible and intuitive to navigate. Together, the two are fast, powerful and capable of handling just about anything we can throw at them.
Specializing in one platform allows us to remain focused on the task at hand (delivering the best remote tune possible to you) instead of being spread too thin with the variety of offerings available.
Today’s engine management systems are a far cry from the way we used to do things back in the day! Tweaking airflow meters, installing resistors and potentiometers on sensors, rising rate fuel pressure regulators, ignition timing black boxes, pushing buttons on a piggyback keypad with a tiny one line LCD screen… there was no shortage of skullduggery in attempting to coax additional performance out of an otherwise-stock ECU when coupled with power adders like intakes, free flowing exhausts, turbos and superchargers.
These days, laptops and extremely powerful ECUs with ultra fast processors give us full control over all operating parameters, completely eliminating the trickery and band-aid fixes of the past. And man, it is a good thing.
These ECUs can provide outstanding power along with excellent driveability, fuel economy and reliability. However, the ability for them to do so relies solely on the calibration within. Fortunately, we have years of experience with the best aftermarket system for the Miata, specializing in tuning Megasquirt standalone engine management platforms.