Project Miata Update

Trying to troubleshoot random sync loss errors. In this video you can hear the engine stumble momentarily due to a sync loss error at 1:34 and again at 2:44. Data logs show the sync loss for reason #2 (missing tooth at wrong time). This only seems to happen when the CAN module is plugged in. When unplugged, I don’t get the random sync loss errors. I also ran the high speed Composite Logger and the cam and crank signals patterns appear to be normal during the sync loss events.

Disappointingly, Reverant has not responded to my last two email inquiries on April 5 (15 days ago) and April 13 (7 days ago) seeking troubleshooting assistance with his Wideband Oxygen Sensor CAN Module. I don’t know if he forgot to set an out of office automated response, whether he’s so popular now he can’t keep up with the demand for product support or if he just doesn’t care anymore. But I suspect he has written me off as a customer he no longer wants, which is rather unfortunate. I feel that I have always been courteous in my email communications with him and I don’t feel that I’ve been a constant bother with noob questions. Contacting him for help has always been a last resort, like when I asked him if he could provide Alpha-N base maps because his speed density base maps were not plug-n-play for my situation (he was informed I was running ITBs and Alpha-N when the order was first placed).

Granted, his products come with absolutely no warranty or service level agreement. But it’s still disappointing given how many other people raved all over the forums about how great his product and customer service was. And it turns out I’m not the only one who has difficulty getting a response from him or felt ignored when difficulties arise. Problems are exacerbated by his unwillingness to publish detailed product documentation. The official Megasquirt manuals at [url]http://www.msextra.com/manuals/[/url] only get you so far when you’re using proprietary hardware that is officially licensed but non-standard (Basic MS3). All that being said, his Basic MS3 is still pretty awesome and if I can get the CAN module to work in my setup, that would be pretty awesome, too. I cannot find another product that can do what it does.

So back to the issue at hand. I have a high degree of confidence that my particular WBO2 CAN module is the culprit for my random sync loss errors. I unplugged the WBO2 CAN module and the Innovate LC-2 controller and ran open loop for 10 minutes during a cold start warm up cycle and had no random sync loss errors. I then plugged in just the LC-2 and ran the engine for another 10 minutes with no random sync loss errors. Once I plug in the WBO2 CAN module, the random sync loss errors return with a vengeance. I’m not sure what exactly is happening inside the black box or if it is a system integration issue with my particular LC-2 and/or Basic MS3. All the lights on the CAN module light up and/or blink as intended. But the sync loss issue has been persistent since I first installed the ECU and CAN module last Summer. I don’t expect MS Labs to help out with a replacement unit as I purchased the item in 2014 when I first started my project. But you’d think he’d want to examine the device if for no other reason than to determine whether there is a defect or room for product improvement. Many manufacturers are continually improving their product. It appears that I have v1.0 of the CAN module and that current modules are using printed circuit board v3.0. What the difference is I don’t know but I suspect it is to allow for more brands of wideband controllers.

MS Labs Wideband Oxygen Sensor CAN Module with DB9 pigtails and MS3 DB37 pigtail

MS Labs CAN Wideband Module PCB v1.0 Front

MS Labs CAN Wideband Module PCB v1.0 Back

Delphi Weather Pack Connector from Innovate LC-2 to MS3

Zip ties for Innovate LC-2 serial out to CAN module connector

MS Labs CAN Wideband Module DB9 to Innovate LC-2 Serial Out

MS Labs CAN Wideband Module DB9 plug to MS3

I’ve considered several options moving forward. Easiest is to simply revert back to the analog LC-2 output and just roll with it. Next might be to get an Innovate AFR gauge and compare those readings to what my MS3 sees and use a custom calibration so they match. Another option would be to buy another CAN module from Trackspeed Engineering, who are now US distributors for MS Labs. Part of me doesn’t want to reward Reverant with any more $ since mine apparently doesn’t work and he is not responsive to my request for product support. But others have had success with his CAN device and I would prefer to run it assuming I can get it to work properly. Sometimes you’ve just got to pay to play so I ordered a new CAN module (v3.0 I hope) from TSE. Hopefully it arrives by this weekend so I can keep chipping away at the tuning.

 

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