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Author Topic: Modified ECU/Computer
davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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In a joint effort with the CRB, SCCA National Staff and local Stewards, the SMAC is working on a process of detecting remapped/modified ECU's.

All the modified boxes we have seen, have had one or more chips removed and re-soldered to the board. We will soon be instituting a rule that will make any modifications to the OEM computer (ECU), including soldering/re-soldering/replacing of any chip illegal. If you have a remanufactured box from any supplier, including Mazda, you need to check your box. If it is apparent that your chip has been removed or replaced, you will need a different ECU. We have looked at 4 remanufactured computers, and found none of the chips showed evidence of being removed or replaced. But the requirement is for an unmodified computer, regardless of why or by whom, rests on the driver.

The SMAC assumes that these computers will soon be flashed without removing the chip from the board. The SMAC, CRB and SCCA Staff are working with an outside vendor to build a device that will plug into the ECU/data port and read the files for compliance.

Our intention is to make this a standard $100.00 protest fee with a minimum penalty of a 6 month competition license suspension for the first offense. A lifetime suspension for the second offense is being considered. It is our intention to have this program in a test phase within a few weeks and in place before the 2010 June Sprints.

This process is a combined effort by SMAC, local Stewards, CRB and SCCA National Staff. We will keep you posted. But these computers are detectable and will be inspected.

Dave Wheeler
Chairman, Spec Miata Advisory Committee

--------------------
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Teamfour Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Thank you from one of the poor, little peeps.

--------------------
Lee Tilton
1993 Meowta #04
Brimtek Motorsports/ Team Four Racing
Team Four Racing

pat slattery Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Awesome!

Pat

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keeping the faith for the 1.6

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Colin MacLean Verified Driver
Fly Fifer

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[thumbsup]

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Colin MacLean
Flyin' MacLean Motorsports

David de Regt Verified Driver
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This is m'fin incredible. Awesome, and thanks for the efforts, guys.

I was really really worried about the complete lack of response from sanctioning bodies on the issue, and that things were about to rapidly devolve as the season progressed. Sounds like I don't need to worry.

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jj15ball
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Thanks to JD for stirring the pot and saving me $600!!!

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Jason Ball

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Pack Fodder

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Couldn't they just weigh them? It seems obvious that 1's would weigh more than 0's. [Smile]

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

spdmonkey Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I'm all for catching cheaters, but LIFETIME BAN for a second offense? Thats crazy and frankly way over the top. I'm sorry but where was this attitude as the class went from a SS based class to the $35K cars we see today?

I noticed a distinct lack of SM competitors at the SCCA National Convention this past week. From what I could tell there were 3-4 questions at the town hall including mine. Nobody brought up ECU issues specifically. Kent Carter said it best and I won't paraphrase here as most know his feelings on the class. From where I sit though kicking a person out for life is the wrong way to go.

db

edit:
Let me clarify my point here as I may have not been clear enough on my point of view. A lifetime ban is written into the ruleset of how many classes? I really don't know, but I worry that the new guy looking at a class might see this and wonder if thats the class for him. If cheating is so rampant (or was) is that really going to be where he wants to go? What other potential mod is going to next on the ban list? Who is going to enforce this? Thats my fear---The path that this leads us. Not that I'm for cheating or tolerating it.

David de Regt Verified Driver
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Shrug, I'm all for banning people who have SPECIFICALLY and INTENTIONALLY cheated and BEEN CAUGHT twice. There's a big difference between grey area/tech shed legal, and detectable and intentional cheating.

When prep items are publicly known how to easily do and that they're completely undetectable, it becomes a required build item for a top level car.

When prep items are publicly known to be illegal and detectable, then it's really the lowest of the low to try it.

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My Spec Miata Build Sheet - Hope people find it useful
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Muda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
ComingToAMirrorNearYou

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Thank you Dave!

--------------------
Muda Motorsports
"We're all here 'cause we're not all there."

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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If you show up with a modified ECU and are busted for it, and then show up again with an illegally modified ECU, a lifetime ban seems about right to me. If for nothing else, you are too stupid to run SM.

PedalFaster Verified Driver
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Fantastic -- thanks!

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Stephen Hui - '95 SM #86, Northwest / Oregon Region SCCA

mat pombo Verified Driver
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This is great. I have recently learned of these things as well and have taken the get the word out approach instead of choosing to conform. This is something that needs to happen, the only thing I caution you guys is to have a way to read the mapping. It is more scientific than looking at a 10-20 year old motherboard for soldering/re-soldering/flux in the ECU. I ran into this problem at the runoffs this year with my AFM (as did a couple other guys). One of the tabs on my AFM was broken and I was accused of modifying my AFM.

They took my AFM and broke the rest of the tabs trying to open it and then accused me of having flux on my AFM motherboard. I was shocked as I had not touched it and it was completely stock. I pleaded my case and left that day without my times. I plugged in anther one and went faster the next day. In the meantime I got a new one from Mazda and opened it for the tech officials as well as another used one with 4 untouched tabs. To everyone's suprise the new one was pristine (surprise, surprise), but the used one had the same "flux" as mine. These cars get corrosion on them over the years at varying degrees. Several other cars had the same issue in tech over the next couple of runoffs tech days and we all subsequently had our times re-instated.

I caution you all about having a visual inspection of 10-15 year old electrical component motherboards as there will be varying degrees of corrosion that are specific to region and weather climates (beach vs mountain vs snowy/salty area, etc.)

Again, I am all for this ruling, but please DW make sure that you, the SMAC, and the CRB come up with a failsafe way to detect these things that is based on an objective measure and not a subjective finding (such as visual tests), as the last thing I want to go through again is someone looking at me like I was cheating when I had a perfectly OEM part.

Thanks,

mat

Willie the Tard Verified Driver
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ditto Mat

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William Keeling a.k.a. Willie the Tard

Eric Barbaric Verified Driver
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Good point Mat.

A lifetime ban for something as subjective as "Hey, that looks like you might have resoldered that thingy" is kind of scary.

GROOTS
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Sounds Good !!!

Thanks Mr Wheeler !!!!!!

Yes I agree guys. A lifetime ban for something that isnt conclusive is not right.

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JEFF GRUTER
SM #48
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Mark de Regt Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I have watched as this particular cauldron boiled over, getting more and more frustrated at what appears to be rules that aren't enforceable, thereby hurting only the good guys.

I applaud any reasonably conclusive method to detect cheating. Absent such a reasonably conclusive method, however, it shouldn't be illegal.

If they really can prove cheating, please, please do so; if they really can prove cheating, two time => lifetime ban seems mild.

If, however, they can't reasonably conclusively prove cheating, then any punishment is silly. And any rule that cannot be fairly and effectively enforced is stupid.

Astro Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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How about a lie detector test in the tech shed!

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David Spencer
1990 Miata - #87 SM

Lance Snyder Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Astro:
How about a lie detector test in the tech shed!

Just go with the internet lie detector test... 50 peeps in the corner screamin he's cheatin and liein.

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All this has happened before, and will happen again

Marc Hoover
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The 99+ cars are very easy to tune external to the ECU.In fact they are the easiest to tune with a simple trim pot or resistor inline on the return signal from the MAF to the ECU.The 94-97 cars are limited in the adjustability from external tuning. and the results are minimal at best. All of the cars are easy to change the fuel pressure on also.However the greatest gains to be had are on the 99+ cars.A well tuned 99+ can gain 10+ hp from tuning ,just like a 1.6 can gain from adjusting the AFM,however the 94-97 car may get 1-3 HP at best.
Just checking ECU'S is not enough.

Z-MAN Verified Driver
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If they are going to impose specific penalties for cheating it needs to be for all cheating not just one infraction.

I don't know if the resistor or trim pot deal would help or not (I don't have a 99+) but it wouldn't be very hard to attach the resistor/trim pot to a relay that could be activated by a dash switch (like a disconnected dash light switch) so when the wires were tested with the power off they would measure correctly. This is a blatant cheat and it would deserve the same penalty as a re-flashed ECU.


Just my $.02

MZ

cnj
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I applaud the proposal to change rules and check for illegal ECU's. In my opinion the tests need to be more conclusive than a simple visual check unless such check identifies a different chip. It sounds as if the SMAC, CRB, et al are working on such a test with the expectation of flashed ECU's.

I'm of mixed emotions about a life time ban. On one hand (as Wheel mentioned) if someone is dumb enough to cheat twice for the same thing, then I probably don't want to share a track with them. On the other hand a life time ban is pretty Draconian and not, I believe, consistent with punishment for other cheats.

I concur with Marc that we should also find a way to determine adjusted fuel regulators/pressure - or simply open it up. Lets get this sorted out one way or the other.

Craig J

Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Marc Hoover:
The 99+ cars are very easy to tune external to the ECU.In fact they are the easiest to tune with a simple trim pot or resistor inline on the return signal from the MAF to the ECU.The 94-97 cars are limited in the adjustability from external tuning. and the results are minimal at best. All of the cars are easy to change the fuel pressure on also.However the greatest gains to be had are on the 99+ cars.A well tuned 99+ can gain 10+ hp from tuning ,just like a 1.6 can gain from adjusting the AFM,however the 94-97 car may get 1-3 HP at best.
Just checking ECU'S is not enough.

Just want to make sure I understand. The one that gains the least with the illegal stuff you mentioned is the 94/97 that you just happen to drive [Big Grin]

--------------------
Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
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2006-2007 Mid-West Division
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EAST STREET RACING

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Anyone who thinks circuit boards can be visually inspected for modifications reliably is smoking dope. Almost all modern circuit boards are wave soldered (a very cool process!), but these are often touched up by hand in the inspection process, so it will not be unusual to have a few joints that look different than the others. If every joint on a DIP looks poorly done, it's unlikely to be original. Having worked in a rework facility where military aircraft avionics were repaired, I can tell you that a skilled technician can desolder and resolder in a way that will be almost impossible to detect. There are specific tools and techniques for de/resoldering these devices... they aren't terribly expensive or hard to obtain.

Fortunately, there are other ways to detect modifications. CRC, checksum, functional modeling, monitoring/logging, etc. It will be interesting to see what the near future holds.

Let the code wars begin!

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Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Tom Sager Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by spdmonkey:
I'm all for catching cheaters, but LIFETIME BAN for a second offense? Thats crazy and frankly way over the top. I'm sorry but where was this attitude as the class went from a SS based class to the $35K cars we see today?

I noticed a distinct lack of SM competitors at the SCCA National Convention this past week. From what I could tell there were 3-4 questions at the town hall including mine. Nobody brought up ECU issues specifically. Kent Carter said it best and I won't paraphrase here as most know his feelings on the class. From where I sit though kicking a person out for life is the wrong way to go.

db

edit:
Let me clarify my point here as I may have not been clear enough on my point of view. A lifetime ban is written into the ruleset of how many classes? I really don't know, but I worry that the new guy looking at a class might see this and wonder if thats the class for him. If cheating is so rampant (or was) is that really going to be where he wants to go? What other potential mod is going to next on the ban list? Who is going to enforce this? Thats my fear---The path that this leads us. Not that I'm for cheating or tolerating it.

You're joking, right? So if a competitor is caught TWICE having an illegal ECU, they should be allowed to race again? Why? Who benefits from that? Blatant deliberate recurring cheats should be tossed. Let 'em go drive in circles somewhere on dirt. You'll clean up the class quick once a few guys get tossed. Wrist slapping is nothing more than small overhead for cheaters. We need more downside risk for the blatant cheats.

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
99 all the way!

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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Sager:
You're joking, right? So if a competitor is caught TWICE having an illegal ECU, they should be allowed to race again? Why? Who benefits from that? Blatant deliberate recurring cheats should be tossed. Let 'em go drive in circles somewhere on dirt. You'll clean up the class quick once a few guys get tossed. Wrist slapping is nothing more than small overhead for cheaters. We need more downside risk for the blatant cheats.

BOD and CRB, engrave this thought into your brain.

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"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

Randy Cox
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edit:
Let me clarify my point here as I may have not been clear enough on my point of view. A lifetime ban is written into the ruleset of how many classes? I really don't know, but I worry that the new guy looking at a class might see this and wonder if thats the class for him. If cheating is so rampant (or was) is that really going to be where he wants to go? What other potential mod is going to next on the ban list? Who is going to enforce this? Thats my fear---The path that this leads us. Not that I'm for cheating or tolerating it.


Well I can give ya my thoughts on how this makes me feel.

A guy still looking to see if this is the class and orginization i want to run in. It makes me very happy and reassured that the managment running this class realy does care about it and want everyone to have the same chance to win. That is awesome! Perfectly in line with the intent of this class and the caliber of people in it!

Not that i think like everyone out there, but anyone who honistly wants to race fair will like this, those who choose to pay for improvments have plenty of other class's to do so in.

dewey Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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The ones I saw years ago(I been out of SM for 5 years)were professional waved solidered and I promise you could not tell also the chips were sourced from the correct manufacture of the chip that was supplied from the factory.Did see some that were easily detected.

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deweyrx7@aol.com

Jamie Tucker Series Champ

ARRC 2010 Champ

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In my opinion this will solve nothing! Everyone knows now that all years have computers available and that people are using them. Trying to get rid of the modified ECUs is not going to stop people because they will just get more inventive hiding them. Even if you can come up with a way to verify that programing has been done to an ECU it will mean nothing to most SM drivers. Where are they going to check them? Maybe a couple Nationals, June Sprints, and the Runoffs. Since you cannot protest once inside of 30 minutes before a race a $100 protest fee will do nothing either. Just installing a computer before heading to the grid will keep you from getting caught. And how anyone thinks that the rules are going to allow for a lifetime ban for an ECU but not other parts that produce a much bigger advantage I have no Idea. Are people who run without their plates twice going to be banned for life? I have no problem with penalties as long as they are the same across the board. The easiest way to solve the problem is to just allow modified computers using the factory ECU. The price than will be much cheaper and everybody can have one. Or better yet all the money that was paid into the compliance fee that we saw zero benefit of in the CFR could be used to get computers for those that don't already have them. If not people are just kidding themselves thinking that others are not going to use them.

--------------------
2010 ARRC Champion
2010 CFR Champion
2010 instigator of the year
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JIM DANIELS
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark de Regt:
I have watched as this particular cauldron boiled over, getting more and more frustrated at what appears to be rules that aren't enforceable, thereby hurting only the good guys.

I applaud any reasonably conclusive method to detect cheating. Absent such a reasonably conclusive method, however, it shouldn't be [QUOTE]Originally posted by Mark de Regt:
[QB]I have watched as this particular cauldron boiled over, getting more and more frustrated at what appears to be rules that aren't enforceable, thereby hurting only the good guys.

I applaud any reasonably conclusive method to detect cheating. Absent such a reasonably conclusive method, however, it shouldn't be illegal.

If they really can prove cheating, please, please do so; if they really can prove cheating, two time => lifetime ban seems mild.

If, however, they can't reasonably conclusively prove cheating, then any punishment is silly. And any rule that cannot be fairly and effectively enforced is stupid.

bump! Will there be a day when we have rules less holes with more substance than to just scare those lacking knowledge? Something needs to be done to level the fields locally where tech cannot catch. THEN we run that package at the big events. How can the class ever get the weight and plates right if we continue to allow this situation to exist? Back to my hole......

George Munson Verified Driver
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I have to agree with Jamie on this matter. Years ago I raced Jet Ski's on a national level and the IJSBA ran into the same issue with ignitors. For years they chased and only caught a few cheaters before finally changing the rules to allow the mods because the efforts were wasted. Soon everybody had them, the cost came down, and overall performance was greatly improved.

Just Sharing My Thoughts,

George Munson

Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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While I totally applaud the SMAC in their efforts to create a ruleset and a set of penalties that have teeth, I am totally AGAINST any rule that CANNOT be effectively measured / tested and policed.

--------------------
Danny
http://www.dannysteyn.com
http://www.adeptstudios.com
OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
2009 SARRC Champ, 2009 SEDiv ECR Champ, 2009 FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

amolaver Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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If CRB/SMAC can get CRC's for all the variants of legit OEM programming, this is a straight go/no go test. Retrieving that value from the ECU will not be difficult or expensive and 'should' be something that every region will be able to do. The question is, does even Mazda have a library of oem programming / ECUs?

--------------------
ahm - http://www.awesom-oracing.com
2009 NASA MA SM Champion

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Future Never Has Been

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Back to your hole Daniels!! You have to practice your soldering skills [Smile]

Be sure to use non-RoHS solder. And don't forget the welding gas trick to prevent dross, makes for more factory looking joints!! Wash the flux off with flux remover and touch up with a tiny bit of lacquer! Oh... the special code where you can adjust the checksum is 3F, gotta get that right or it will won't run!

Happy modding!

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Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamie Tucker:
In my opinion this will solve nothing! Everyone knows now that all years have computers available and that people are using them. Trying to get rid of the modified ECUs is not going to stop people because they will just get more inventive hiding them. Even if you can come up with a way to verify that programing has been done to an ECU it will mean nothing to most SM drivers. Where are they going to check them? Maybe a couple Nationals, June Sprints, and the Runoffs. Since you cannot protest once inside of 30 minutes before a race a $100 protest fee will do nothing either. Just installing a computer before heading to the grid will keep you from getting caught. And how anyone thinks that the rules are going to allow for a lifetime ban for an ECU but not other parts that produce a much bigger advantage I have no Idea. Are people who run without their plates twice going to be banned for life? I have no problem with penalties as long as they are the same across the board. The easiest way to solve the problem is to just allow modified computers using the factory ECU. The price than will be much cheaper and everybody can have one. Or better yet all the money that was paid into the compliance fee that we saw zero benefit of in the CFR could be used to get computers for those that don't already have them. If not people are just kidding themselves thinking that others are not going to use them.

Jamie
It should solve a heck of a lot. [Big Grin] Do you really think SMAC and CRB( me) would recommend such penalties if we weren't 100% sure? We will be able to check these easily and 100% accurately, or we wouldn't do it at all. If you are Dq'ed because of this,make no mistake, you intentionally cheated, no mistake was made. Solder is only the first check, not the only one. There is no way to 'hide' maps in the ecu, you can read them and compare or you can't. We can already do this, working on the best method to supply at staff. But Ecus will go to Topeka I'm sure. At $100 per, I look for a few to split the it with me and I will protest the top 10 99's at Atlanta in March and we will know right away if this is for real or not? I will put up $200, anyone else? Danny? Matt?


As far as the 30 minute rule, if you are protested, you will not be able to touch your car before the race as it is being babysitted. I would also look for that protest rule to change to 30 minutes AFTER the race really soon [Wink]

As far as penalties, if someone is caught running without the plate twice, they should go away as well. It is just as bad IMO. One thing at a time.

--------------------
Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
jdrago1@aol.com
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EAST STREET RACING

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by amolaver:
If CRB/SMAC can get CRC's for all the variants of legit OEM programming, this is a straight go/no go test. Retrieving that value from the ECU will not be difficult or expensive and 'should' be something that every region will be able to do. The question is, does even Mazda have a library of oem programming / ECUs?

We have tinkered a bit with this and haven't been able to access the CRC from the OBD2 port yet. Has anyone else been able to get a CRC externally?

Checksum seems to be readily accessible on some ECU's and the Miata ECU looks for the correct checksum on start up, no checksum, no run. However, checksum is easily manipulated, at least on some models. Amolaver is dead on: CRC is pretty bulletproof, if we can easily read it and have a list of valid values then we are golden.

Then we'll be back to pickups, pressure regulators and resistors and the claims that it's legal to modify these things as long as they remain 'within factory spec'. Oh, and those really cute little Australian piggyback ECUs about the size of a Zippo lighter. I may put on of those on my 99 and start tinkering...

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Scott Zetterstrom Verified Driver
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Will there be facilities to test your own ECU? With a lifetime ban at stake there must be the ability to check your own compliance with the "official" maps.

--------------------
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ME Solutions LLC
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davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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This is the 4th post I have written on this topic. The first one is what started the topic, the other 2 where discarded. Here's #4

I do believe a handfull of people in the country where using a modified ECU last year. At Sebring there where probably a dozen at one event. Since JD brought this into the light (as someone put it) cheating has increased.

A few months ago, the SMAC asked for input on allowing 90-97 cars to upgrade to 99+ suspension components. We where smacked around (pun intended) pretty well for that. And we listened, so now we are a little gunshy about even thinking about allowing an expensive solution.

The SMAC has talked about allowing an aftermarket ECU with open mapping. With a cost of about $1200 all years could get a plug and play type ecu, a little dyno time and everybody has the same thing. Above board, in the light, all done and legal. Since the maps can be emailed around, I would expect the maps to become common knowledge in a short time.

Let's take specing aftermarket parts to the next level. Let's allow adjustable fuel pressure regulators. The SMAC got a letter on this a few months ago, "not within the class philosophy" was our reply. Should we spec a fuel pressure regulator too?

How about timing on a 99+ car. It's not adjustable. At least not within the spirit of the rules. We could allow the timing wheel to be slotted? Or we could have a +4degree timing wheel made?

So does the silent majority (with the few vocal ones) want a single person, building a single car in his garage (who has not built or raced a Spec Miata in years) to upset the entire class? Tell me what your proposal would be. My email address is below. I will read every email I get. Just offer a suggestion, if you slam me, the SMAC, a competitor etc. your email will most likely get ignored. No tea-baggers allowed!!!

Let me know what you think
Dave WHeeler
Chairman SMAC
dave at advanced-autosports.com

--------------------
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608-313-1230
Authorised Spec Miata service center
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Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott Zetterstrom:
Will there be facilities to test your own ECU? With a lifetime ban at stake there must be the ability to check your own compliance with the "official" maps.

I think that's a pretty important point. If you built your own car from the bottom up, you can be pretty sure you know it's a stock ECU. What if you bought a 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand car? What if you rent a car? People don't necessarily disclose that they fiddled with something illegally, so I'm not 100% buying in to the statement that if someone has a modified ECU, they actually intended to cheat. I know one driver who inavertantly bought a car where we suspect a prior owner did something tricky to his wiring harness (unfortunately with horrible results). He's currently working on swapping out all wiring in the car. He certainly did not intend to cheat.

Apparently internal mods aren't always easy to spot and many of us don't have a clue how to read the data in the computer. How does the average Joe cost effectively make sure they're 100% in compliance?

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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With regad to the SMAC - from where I sit, and my 2 years of SM experience, I feel that the guys on the SMAC have our class's best interests at heart and are moving in the direction that best ensures the long term viability of the class.

Not only that, but they are taking on an often very unpopular role, that of policing a bunch of competitive type A personalities, plus a bunch of EXTRAORDINARY WHINERS who moan and groan at the slightest change of status quo.

I am not suggesting we idly sit by and let them do their work. What I am suggesting is that we all email them and let them know our personal position on each and every rule change that affects our class.

In the end they will not please us all. But hopefully they will sift through the BS, cut through the emotion, put aside their personal and business interests, and create solid enforceable rules that can be policed.

Anyone who sits quiet as this is going on IMO has forever lost the right to bitch and whine.

--------------------
Danny
http://www.dannysteyn.com
http://www.adeptstudios.com
OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
2009 SARRC Champ, 2009 SEDiv ECR Champ, 2009 FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
plus a bunch of EXTRAORDINARY WHINERS who moan and groan at the slightest change...

Anyone who sits quiet as this is going on IMO has forever lost the right to bitch and whine.

OK, now I'm confused. Do I express my opinion and risk being labeled an EXTRAORDINARY whiner or remain silent and forever lose my right to whine. [Big Grin] [Razz]

I think that after the second violation cheaters should be forced to race a 1.6 for life.

guest driver
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lots of good points being made by all ...
- as el guapo said, the 'cat' has been out of the bag for about 5 years now, first with the 94's, then all the rest.
- soldering and rechipping has been the poor man's solution, $100 +/- and you are good to go.
- reflashing at $600. was the refined approach as it is, to date, undetectable.
- now with this new rules initiative, the cost will go up to $1,500 +++, for the evolution necessary to over ride the new rule spec (not referring to onboard piggybacks).
Once you publish "all the variants of legit OEM maps" that will be tested and compared against, ie; the 'limited' and 'defined'scope and method of testing (must be done in order to be fair, known and above board to all),a new undetectable solution map immediately will be created and only those in the know and with deep pockets will be able to afford it. Again, further distancing the have$ from the have not$.
Only bringing this up to illustrate the only folks that may be affected by this new initiative are the limited budget types ??
Hoover brings up additional salient points to consider ... with de Regt stating the biggest potential issue of all; "fair, reasonably conclusive for ALL", ALL meaning the majority = Regional racers.

P.S. remember when this was a big issue in Improved Touring 10 years ago ?? we all saw how that evolved and was finally solved ...
you SMAC and CRB guys are smart enough and experienced enough to see and know all the above, please deal with 'reality', not 'perception' ....

Mitch Reading Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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+1 Danny.

--------------------
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JIM DANIELS
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I think you should have fired away with your first instinct. [Wink] I have toned mine down to meet you.

Last I looked, SM was for and about the guy building a car in his garage. However, if you want to compare capabilities and abilities as a means to justify whether or not my MANY requests to the CRB are valid, lets do it. I wanted it private but have ZERO issues talking about it at this site [Smile] (especially since the only reply I get is a text from Drago handling the “roofer”, affectionately.) I suggest you speak amongst yourselves first though, few are out of the reach of the bullets that “can” fly.

I will make it real easy to understand. MAKE RULES THAT EXPLAIN THE PREP YOU ALLOW AND THAT PASSES YOUR TECH. If that means you have to clean up your and your customer's cars, do it, this is your chance. IF that means you have to admit that some things cannot be policed, DO IT SO ALL CAN BENEFIT NOT JUST THE SAVVY. Then, I don't have to pull stunts to get action. What bothers me the most about that, what in the hell is the real home builder/owner to do when he/she is not knowledgeable and really has no voice?

The ECU rule, no offense, is a joke. A bunch of words that really only says what the current rule says. A more strongly worded “don't mess with it”. It will scare some but really only more insulates those that know what will pass tech. Add in there some cars tossed because someone somewhere thinks he knows what the connectors should look like. A mess, much more sticky than the 1990-1997 suspension upgrades that were proposed (but not needed to help the cars keep up with the '99s).

As a rule maker a volunteer falls into one of two categories. Knowledgeable with their head in the sand for whatever reason or insufficient understanding, ability and experience to make said rules. Mike Collins said “what is talked about at this site is old prep, ECUs have been around for years”. Mr. Dave, you said that the ECUs were not around in numbers until I mentioned them. Which one of you is right?

Truth is, the timing and A/F mods OUTSIDE the ECU are present and are passing the top most tech sheds. Those mods cannot be bought in the classified section nor is anyone offering them for free via a guide. Why is it not addressed along with the host of other tech shed legal mods that are known? Head in sand or inability? [Wink]

Talking about listening. I recall that many folks, after sending in letters on the suspension, stated they were confused regarding the “this or nothing” aspect of the decision. Will the ADHOC/CRB listen to them now? We can play the games all day, week, year, or 10 years, I seen me do it.

Perhaps SM needs equal representation from the majority of none shop owners. I suspect much of this would be easier to sort out less the “commercial” influence we obviously have on our rules these days.

What is the part number of the ECU scanner, I need to get myself one. [Big Grin]

This is just a silly site for a near secret race car class, so don't get bent out of shape folks.

-Bob-
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Has anyone considered that:

OBD uses one of a few standard protocols.

ECUs use another equally defined protocol.

If I know how the protocol will be used to identify if someone cheats or not then I can combine both protocols to "redirect" the desired results. This redirect is old news so we know it works.

Blatent...yes...but would someone try it....absolutely.

I commend the uphill battle but I believe the weight of the police badge might drag this down.

Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by JIM DANIELS:
Last I looked, SM was for and about the guy building a car in his garage.

OK Jim, I'll bite. When I looked around the various classes running in SCCA 2-1/2 years ago, I was looking for a low cost competitive class, and SM and SRF seemed to me to fit my needs.

But nowhere in my thinking did I even contemplate building a car myself. I do not have the time nor the skills. And I noticed that in the SEDiv at least, most of the front running cars were built by Drago, OPM, BSI, Autotechnic and others.

So while the class may have originally started out as a garage built class, it appears than in the SEDiv at least, this has ceased to be the situation for quite sometime.

Sure there are lots of garage built cars in our class, but with so many professionally built cars changing hands, and prices falling, I suspect that simple BE analysis says I can buy a well prepped car for less than I can build a new one.

Not that this has anything to do with ECU's or rule sets, but I do think that the class that you helped start has taken on a life of its own, and has evolved quite a distance from its original roots.

And with regards to the ECU's, A/F mods, piggy backs etc., I still believe that its in our best interest to try and clean them out of the class, but if they are unable to be consistently measured, detected or policed, then I think we should open them up (but only after we have tried to rid them from the class)

Once again, just one Newbie's opinion, one who gets an awful amount of pleasure from this silly class and this silly forum [Smile]

--------------------
Danny
http://www.dannysteyn.com
http://www.adeptstudios.com
OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
2009 SARRC Champ, 2009 SEDiv ECR Champ, 2009 FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

Jamie Tucker Series Champ

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quote:
Originally posted by Drago:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamie Tucker:
In my opinion this will solve nothing! Everyone knows now that all years have computers available and that people are using them. Trying to get rid of the modified ECUs is not going to stop people because they will just get more inventive hiding them. Even if you can come up with a way to verify that programing has been done to an ECU it will mean nothing to most SM drivers. Where are they going to check them? Maybe a couple Nationals, June Sprints, and the Runoffs. Since you cannot protest once inside of 30 minutes before a race a $100 protest fee will do nothing either. Just installing a computer before heading to the grid will keep you from getting caught. And how anyone thinks that the rules are going to allow for a lifetime ban for an ECU but not other parts that produce a much bigger advantage I have no Idea. Are people who run without their plates twice going to be banned for life? I have no problem with penalties as long as they are the same across the board. The easiest way to solve the problem is to just allow modified computers using the factory ECU. The price than will be much cheaper and everybody can have one. Or better yet all the money that was paid into the compliance fee that we saw zero benefit of in the CFR could be used to get computers for those that don't already have them. If not people are just kidding themselves thinking that others are not going to use them.

Jamie
It should solve a heck of a lot. [Big Grin] Do you really think SMAC and CRB( me) would recommend such penalties if we weren't 100% sure? We will be able to check these easily and 100% accurately, or we wouldn't do it at all. If you are Dq'ed because of this,make no mistake, you intentionally cheated, no mistake was made. Solder is only the first check, not the only one. There is no way to 'hide' maps in the ecu, you can read them and compare or you can't. We can already do this, working on the best method to supply at staff. But Ecus will go to Topeka I'm sure. At $100 per, I look for a few to split the it with me and I will protest the top 10 99's at Atlanta in March and we will know right away if this is for real or not? I will put up $200, anyone else? Danny? Matt?


As far as the 30 minute rule, if you are protested, you will not be able to touch your car before the race as it is being babysitted. I would also look for that protest rule to change to 30 minutes AFTER the race really soon [Wink]

As far as penalties, if someone is caught running without the plate twice, they should go away as well. It is just as bad IMO. One thing at a time.

Drago I know you, Dave, and the others have nothing but the best intentions and are only looking out for the SM class. Having said that as you know many people (on all cars) do other mods that are designed to give better fuel curves and timing. MAF mods, fuel pressure regulator mods, and many ways change the timing are just a few in use every day. Why not just allow the ecu mods so that we are on a level playing field. No matter what mod is done there is a limit to how much power you can get and once everybody has it there is no need to tech it and no one will have an advantage. We know the 99s benefit from a better curve and more timing and trying to take that away hoping no one will figure out other ways to do it is a joke and you know it. Give all miatas an open ECU or Timing and do something to slow down the 99/1.8s if needed. If not you will have to check multiple different things to make sure a driver didn't get the AF and timing that they want a different way. I think it is fair to say that most drivers just want to be equal and assumes everybody has something they do not; in many cases they are correct. Trying to equalize the cars while everybody's chips are not on the table is likely to cause bigger problems in the future.
My point about the 30 minute rule was that if someone leaves a stock computer in their car until 29 minutes before the race and than swaps them out there is nothing you can do about it as the rule is written. If we do go down the road of trying to tech ECU's I hope you come up with a system that every region has access to or it will only hurt the regional race car drivers.
One more thing! If you do have a way of checking the ECUs and you are going to pull them out of the top ten cars I will kick in $200 and you can pull mine for free so that will make 3 we can do right there. Hell! I will do that with any part of the car as long as others will do the same. Put it together Drago lets put the chips on the table for everybody to see! [yep]

[ 02-02-2010, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: Jamie Tucker ]

--------------------
2010 ARRC Champion
2010 CFR Champion
2010 instigator of the year
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davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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JD, the roofer not the junk man ;-))), I have no issues with you. In fact I never mentioned you by name in my post. What I said was "So does the silent majority (with the few vocal ones) want a single person, building a single car in his garage (who has not built or raced a Spec Miata in years) to upset the entire class?" I do not feel that statement is a put down to you personally. And I do beleave it to be factual.

By "silent majority" I mean the 3500 SM owners who do not post on this site. By "few vocal ones" I mean the 20-25 who actually post and/or send letters.

Page 539 of the 2010 GCR says; "The ECU and engine electrical harness must be as supplied by Mazda. No modifications are permitted. The ECU maps and inputs must not be modified." I think that is pretty black and white, changing the ECU/map in any way is illegal. Can it be enforced, has it been enforced, how can it be enforced or should it be enforced is a totally different issue. BUT, modifying the ECU/map is illegal. The rule is very clear. The enforcemt is vague at best.

I agree with you and Meathead that ECU's have been around for years in small numbers. Yet many front runners at Sebring where admitting to having newly purchased ECU's. So not every front runner has owned one for years.

It is the competitors job to find every legal advantage they can. Only their concience will stop them from stepping over the line. And that line is drawn by each individual competitor.

It is the rules makers job to write a set of rules that are clear and well defined. And to modify those rules as needed. In regards to the modified ECU issue. We have a clear rule, no mods allowed. Now the rules makers need to modify the rules to fit a new environment. That is what the SMAC and others are trying to do.

So far I have about 10 emails directly to me. All have offered solutions. I'll give it a couple days and then post a summary of them all.

Thanks for your input
Dave

--------------------
Advanced Autosports, The Midwests leader in Spec Miata Service, Parts and Rentals
608-313-1230
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www.advanced-autosports.com

Willie the Tard Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Danny Steyn:
plus a bunch of EXTRAORDINARY WHINERS who moan and groan at the slightest change of status quo.

I also whine about no change in the status quo [Smile]

--------------------
William Keeling a.k.a. Willie the Tard

Tom Sager Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by davew:
This is the 4th post I have written on this topic. The first one is what started the topic, the other 2 where discarded. Here's #4

I do believe a handfull of people in the country where using a modified ECU last year. At Sebring there where probably a dozen at one event. Since JD brought this into the light (as someone put it) cheating has increased.

A few months ago, the SMAC asked for input on allowing 90-97 cars to upgrade to 99+ suspension components. We where smacked around (pun intended) pretty well for that. And we listened, so now we are a little gunshy about even thinking about allowing an expensive solution.

The SMAC has talked about allowing an aftermarket ECU with open mapping. With a cost of about $1200 all years could get a plug and play type ecu, a little dyno time and everybody has the same thing. Above board, in the light, all done and legal. Since the maps can be emailed around, I would expect the maps to become common knowledge in a short time.

Let's take specing aftermarket parts to the next level. Let's allow adjustable fuel pressure regulators. The SMAC got a letter on this a few months ago, "not within the class philosophy" was our reply. Should we spec a fuel pressure regulator too?

How about timing on a 99+ car. It's not adjustable. At least not within the spirit of the rules. We could allow the timing wheel to be slotted? Or we could have a +4degree timing wheel made?

So does the silent majority (with the few vocal ones) want a single person, building a single car in his garage (who has not built or raced a Spec Miata in years) to upset the entire class? Tell me what your proposal would be. My email address is below. I will read every email I get. Just offer a suggestion, if you slam me, the SMAC, a competitor etc. your email will most likely get ignored. No tea-baggers allowed!!!

Let me know what you think
Dave WHeeler
Chairman SMAC
dave at advanced-autosports.com

The tea bag movement as you call it is quite a worthy cause. See Obama's 2010 budget, defecit and have a look at the annual interest cost on the national debt. Doesn't matter on what side of the aisle you're on, the numbers don't lie.

I think the programmable ECU is a great idea. That should eliminate the need for adjusable fuel pressure regulators and with some negotiation I'll bet there is a better price out there than $1200. It'll likely lead to more parity adjustments but those should be no more than tweaks.

 
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