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Thread: e39a ECU with LFX swap guidance

  1. #1
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    e39 ECU and LXF Swap

    I have a LFX swap running a e39 ECU in a project I am working on. Started off with e39a but too many issues. I am new to HPT and could use some help, input and advice in general.

    The base tune is from a great group of guys out of FL. Since I live at 7500' and they are at sea level I have a bit of work to do.

    Runs and idles OK with a fair bit of surge and seems to work overall except the REV limit seems to be engaging at ~5700. All of the values I can find in HPT show it should go to 7100. Would love some help figuring out how to adjust this.

    Motor is throwing a P0018 and a P0019 DTC. If I clear the codes after startup they come back but I am going to try to move cam sensors from bank 2 to bank 1 later tonight to see if I can make the error move from bank 2 to 1. I am new to the DOHC VVT engines so I wonder if this is actually more from the actuator than the cam sensors themselves. Not sure and more research to do there..... I can see cam pulses from both intake and both exhaust cams when running so I doubt the issue is with the cam sensors but it will be a fun one to troubleshoot and learn from.

    I also attached a log using this base tune. It starts off with a run up in PE and then some cruising. Feels strong but what wouldn't in a 1800lb stripped chassis. My beginner understanding is that the LT Trims are running lean and the WB O2 agrees but this could be normal and desired for the LFX. My reading last night seemed to indicated that these motors like to run lean and I am not recording any KR so that is a plus. I hate that my intake temps are so high and I am trying to find a creative way to cool them off in the limited space of a 90 miata engine bay. That will take some time to design and implement so it will have to wait.

    I am honestly at a loss on how to even start tuning the LT and ST Trims on these motors and I have read about tables that I cannot even find in HPT so any advice on where to start would be greatly appreciated. Feel like the more I read the less I understand but that is how it almost always goes in the beginning. While I am a beginner I don't mind having to fight for the knowledge....so long as I don't blow the motor in the process. Be as critical or constructive as you want as I follow big boy rules and can take / ignore just about anything.

    Help on sorting the REV limit and a suggested process for adjusting the fuel delivery are my top priorities unless I get advice otherwise based on a more knowledgeable person analyzing the log.

    Hopefully one day I will be able to pass on some knowledge to another beginner but for now it is LEARN...LEARN...LEARN...
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by griff; 09-16-2017 at 06:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    Can't really add much as you're a bit ahead of me. I'm trying to stuff a 2015 LFX into a FR-S. I've been following a few of the Miata threads and know one guy was having issues with the E39A and swapped to a E39. My 2015 motor came with an E39A but for an auto,, I was able to find a 2012 E39 out of a manual which is needed to get the VSS. If I may ask,,, motor, trans and PCM all from same car?? Might I ask the year?? Could explain a bit about turning off VATS and anything else done to run in a swap??

    I'm sure you know about this thread,, but thougt I'd include it just in case.

    https://www.miataturbo.net/build-thr...x-build-87186/


    Many Thanks!!

  3. #3
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    Good catch on the e39a as I am actually using a e39 due to similar issues disabling functions in the (a). I need to edit my original post...

    Very familiar with that build as we were building ours at the same time. Great guy and very smart. He is actually the one that sent me this direction for help in HPT.

    My build is a 90 NA6 chassis with a 2014 LFX from a Camaro. Everything is bits and pieces from all over though. My motor started off with an auto and e39a and moved to e39. Managed to get my hands on a free MV1 and found the drive shaft adapter is different....that is why V8R now distinguished them apart on their website actually ;-) Harness was a PITA to convert it from an auto. I managed to get it to function but it never was 100% so I started all over. In the auto harness the PCM pass off the reference voltages so much it makes the conversion tough. Do yourself a HUGE favor and get a GM manual harness or have V8R build you one. I will say that from my own experience their harness is worth EVERY PENNY but if you like to learn there is nothing that can replace the many sleepless nights trying to sort out some obscure sensor issue.

    This build has been a HUGE leap for me and I have loved every minute of it and.......I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    There is a good bit of knowledge out there from those of us that have done the swaps so don't hesitate to PM me if you need some help or advice. While some of the ECU things are easy I am finding that the learning curve for adjusting these DI, VVT motors is pretty steep so hopefully someone on here that actually knows what they are doing can provide some solid guidance. Once you get to this point hopefully I have figured a few things out and I will help you get going.
    Last edited by griff; 08-01-2017 at 04:28 PM.

  4. #4
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    I'll just state for the record that I am willing to pay for guidance from someone that actually knows how to tune these motors. I live WAY up in the mountains so just taking my car to a tuner is not really even an option for me but I will gladly pay someone for their time, knowledge and advice.

    HPTuners really should offer a "pay by the hour" support team....if anyone is listening.... ;-)

    I'm sure there is too much risk for them going that route though. Can you imagine calling HPT and hitting 2 for GM V6 support and being able to talk to someone that not only knows HPT inside and out but knows the engines as well. THAT would be money well spent!

  5. #5
    griff pm me i can give you someone that will tune those ecms blind folded lol .. but im curious what issues you had with the E39A Ecu ?

  6. #6
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    REV Limit fixed. Not 100% sure which value fixed it so I will not put info out there that may not be sound. But.... if you have a similar issue PM me and I will let you know all of the values I edited to get mine to limit @7100.

    DTC codes fixed. The intake and exhaust pins were backwards at the ECU.

    IATemps fixed with a cold air intake fabbed up. IATemps are now about 10-15 degs higher than ambient so that is a BIG plus!

    Now I am 100% focused on learning how to dial in ST and LT Trims.
    Last edited by griff; 09-16-2017 at 06:18 AM.

  7. #7
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    Any input from anyone on how to adjust fuel on the e39?

  8. #8
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    Some feedback from HPT and it does not sound promising without some solid investment:

    Unfortunately this application doesn't appear to have the manifold switch which breaks all the vve calculations, you will need to manually do all the ve calculations or find someone who's built a calculator for your particular application. Either that or find a different method of tuning as tuning the ve tables in this application will prove very difficult in this case.

    William Henn
    HP Tuners LLC
    www.hptuners.com


    Have not caught a break yet to make this "easier" so I guess I am going to have to do this the good old fashioned way with a crap load of elbow grease and research.

    I read in one of the MANY posts I have reviewed where someone advised pulling the VE tables from a vehicle that may have them like the Chevy Colorado. A search in the tuner profiles I found a profile that had a VE table in it. I added the values to a copy of my base tune and saved it but I am honestly a bit reluctant to upload it to the ECU...

    Any advice out there?

    Assuming I wanted to paste in a VE table from another tune does anyone know how to make the ECU use that VE table? I am sure you would need to enable it somehow.?.?
    Last edited by griff; 08-10-2017 at 08:30 PM.

  9. #9
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    Griff,
    Steve at V8R is trying to get a hold of you. Get his cell from me at al@v8rperformace.com

  10. #10
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    After speaking with Steve it occurred to me that I may have give the impression that I was not pleased with V8R's work. That could not be any further form the truth. They do phenomenal work over there and their products are worth every penny!

    It is rare to have a vendor that will not only take the time to read a customer post on the internet much lesd make the effort to ensure it was not something they had done wrong or could have done better.

    Tuning the LFX in stand-alone mode without the various OEM body control modules is a bear though and I guess I feel vindicated that I am not the only one having these issues.
    Last edited by griff; 09-16-2017 at 06:11 AM.

  11. #11
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    Every once in a while you come across a thread or user that exponentially grows your understanding and ability on a given topic. Last night I found those threads and user.

    If you are like me, with little to no knowledge on MAF tuning, check out this site and more importantly the user that started this thread:

    https://eectuning.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=15152

    Read as much as you can from "cgrey8". He/she is great at cutting through BS and articulating the actual FACTS on how a given set of variables can and will influence a tune. They taught me a great deal last night for sure!


    I am happy to report that after last night 100% of my tuning issues are now resolved.

    If you are swapping a stand-alone LFX into a project and have a tuning issue please feel free to PM me and I will share with you all I know because these things are a PITA!

    I cannot guarantee max HP but the driveability is darn near OEM quality now.
    Last edited by griff; 09-16-2017 at 06:09 AM.

  12. #12
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    Rev limit

    I would like to know how you got the rev limit changed. I have big bangs in exhaust so I will be checking cam sensor pins.

  13. #13
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    Never mind

  14. #14
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    sorry to dig up an old thread, but did anyone actually get theirs running on an e39a? running with problems or not running at all?
    i have a lfx swap project that i put on hold right before you made this thread, and now im finally getting back to it.
    hows yours going? is it finally ironed out in a way that makes you happy?
    griff if you would be willing, id like to get your number or email so i could ask you some more questions

  15. #15
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    LOL... I was just re-reading this thread and had to laugh at how ignorant and frustrated I was at that point in my build.

    @sszeliski,
    I personally advise you to just get the e39 ECM, but I know a few others now that were able to get the e39a to work for them. As for my car, it is now running great on both e85 and 93.

    Bottom line.... these new ECMs, while similar, are very different from their LS brethren. If you are new to tuning, or just have minimal exposure like I did/do, that best advice I can give you is to just dive in, go easy on yourself and don't expect to reach Mars in a day. That is EXACTLY what tuning this ECM felt like at times for me! Fortunately there are plenty of folks much smarter than me out there now with experience on the e39 series and many of them are willing to help out. I am happy to share what I have learned to help you out with your project and I will IM you my personal email/cell.

  16. #16
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    Griff, I sent a PM....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik D_lux View Post
    Griff, I sent a PM....
    I could use help also. I can get the E39a to run well but limited to 5300rpm because throttle closes down to 36%. E39 goes to 7150rpm but throttle has a high of 68% and closes to 36% on it's own and idles high.

  18. #18
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    Seems this forum is really slow and IMO not much help anymore.

    Better to go on Facebook for help.

    I wish there was more to search for on these motors but seems like anybody who has done it has not shared a whole lot and when they do, they don't log on to answer questions.

  19. #19
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    So just finished hooking everything up after swapping an lfx into a miata. The ecu I got is a E39a and did not come with the engine. I have no spark and no fuel. Do I need to somehow link the ECU and the engine since they weren't originally from the same car?

  20. #20
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    Spark and fuel loss at the same time typically come from crank and cam sync issues. Sometimes it's a vats issue which is the easiest to look into. Have you shut down any vats related stuff?

    If answer is yes, I would check signal wires to the ecu from these important sensors and verify they are getting fed the correct source voltage.

    My last step would be to look into the sensor signal patterns and verify with another owner of the new ecu model that the sensor pattern for your motor matches the new ecu application.