MoTeC Engine Management

Hundred Series ECUs

Put simply, Engine Control Units (ECUs) are designed to electronically control fuel injected internal combustion engines.

In its most basic form an ECU monitors the engine through sensors and uses this information to determine the quantity of fuel to inject and the timing of the ignition depending on engine speed (RPM) and engine load conditions. Typically, an ECU will use throttle position, manifold absolute pressure (MAP) or mass air flow (MAF), or a combination of these to calculate the load conditions.

Programmable ECUs

All calibration and tuning parameters in a factory ECU are fixed by the manufacturer to suit the engine in its standard form and it is often impossible to adjust this for engine modifications.
However, if the factory ECU is replaced by a programmable aftermarket system, adjustments can be made. An engine tuner can connect the ECU to a PC to tune the engine for optimum performance at each load and speed condition. This requires dedicated tuning software and the sophistication of this software is one of the key differentiating factors from one brand to another.

Modern Functionality

These days, aftermarket ECUs not only control injection and ignition timing, but also manage more complex functions like boost control, idle speed control, intercooler spray bars and traction control. Many ECUs provide extra auxiliary outputs that can be used to activate devices such as pumps, fans and even servo motors.

Recent engine development has led to electronic innovations like continuously variable camshaft timing and drive by wire throttle systems. This has created a need for more sensor inputs and auxiliary outputs and a higher processing speed in the ECU.

These advanced installations require several electronic devices on the vehicle to constantly exchange information using very fast communication. Currently, the most efficient method is via aCAN bus (controller area network), consisting of just two wires.

Data Logging

ECUs with on board data logging provide several advantages for the tuning of high performance engines, allowing users to record and then analyse various engine parameters. The detailed information can be used for fine-tuning the engine and targeting small refinements that can deliver significant performance gains. Logging is also an invaluable tool in helping to detect early signs of engine health problems.

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Models

 

MoTeC has a wide range of world class ECUs to cater for almost any application. Our ‘hundred series’ ECUs include the M400, M600, M800 and M880. A more recent addition to this family is the entry level M84. We also provide Plug-In ECUs for a number of popular vehicles.

M400, M600, M800, M880

These popular ECUs are collectively known as the MoTeC ‘hundred series’ and are characterised by their ability to control late model vehicles with drive by wire throttle systems and continuously variable camshaft timing, alongside many other advanced functions. They use Windows-based ECU Manager software.

Marine ECUs

These models are fully polyurethane-potted versions of the M400, M600 and M800 ECUs. With an IP67 rated design, they are reliably waterproof and weigh just over 900 grams.

MoTeC Marine ECUs are specifically suited to applications in harsh environments with water, dirt or vibration, for example in PWCs (Personal Water Craft), boats and off road vehicles.

All functions and upgrades are the same as the standard ‘hundred series’ ECUs.

M800 Plug-In ECUs

Available for a wide range of Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Evo models. They are based on the regular M800, offering the same power and performance, but operating only with saturated drive fuel injectors. M800 Plug-In ECUs eliminate the need to rewire the vehicle because they are fitted with an OEM connector and simply slot into the factory ECU case or plug into the factory harness.

PWC Plug-In ECUs

This range of ECU solutions for PWC (Personal Water Craft) is currently available for Yamaha, Kawasaki, Hydrospace and Sea-Doo.

Complete with a wiring loom and mounting brackets, PWC Plug-Ins are convenient and cost effective to install. They simply plug into the factory wiring harness using the original sensors and fuel system.

M84

The M84 is an entry level ECU based on the M800’s advanced technology. It has been specifically designed with a set of features to suit applications with more moderate requirements, while maintaining the tuning accuracy and reliability of the hundred series ECUs. Among many other advanced features, it includes on-board Wideband Lambda and data logging (optional on all other models). The M84 also uses Windows-based ECU Manager software.

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Comparison

 

These are the main specifications of MoTeC’s ‘gold box’ ECU range to compare the suitability of the different models for your application.

Key:

table tick– standard available
table cross – not available
option – requires optional upgrade

ECU Comparison Table M84 (NEW)

M400

M600

M800

M880

Number of cylinders
Sequential up to 8 up to 4 up to 6 up to 8
optional 12
up to 8
optional 12
Group fire mode up to 8

up to 4

up to 6

up to 12

up to 12

Rotary   2,3,4

2

2,3

2,3,4

2,3,4

Outputs
Injector outputs 8

4

6

8‡

8‡

Ignition outputs 6

4

6

6‡

6‡

Auxiliary outputs 8

8

8

8

8

Option to use spare outputs
as auxiliary outputs

table cross

table cross

table cross

table tick

table tick

Individual cylinder tables

table cross

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

 ‡ for more information on possible output configurations see the relevant product pages
Inputs
Trigger inputs (Ref/Sync)  2

2

2

2

2

Analogue voltage inputs  8

8

8

8

8

Analogue temperature inputs  3

6

6

6

6

Digital/speed inputs  4

4

4

4

4

Single Wideband Lambda inputs – 5 wire

table tick

optional

optional

optional

optional

Dual Wideband Lambda inputs – 5 wire optional

table cross

 optional  optional  optional
Communication
RS232

table tick(preset)

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

CAN

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

Data acquisition and telemetry
Data logging
(option)
 512 kB
included

512 kB

512 kB

1 MB

1 or 4 MB

Maximum logging rate  100 Hz

200 Hz

200 Hz

200 Hz

200 Hz

Track mapping

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

Data analysis using i2 Pro

table cross

option

option

option

option

Telemetry

table cross

table cross

table cross

option

option

Remote logging

table cross

table cross

table cross

option

option

Functions and features
Boost control  table tick table tick table tick table tick table tick
Nitrous injection table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

Dual stage injection
(Hi/Lo injection)
option

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

Ground speed limiting

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

Traction and launch control  option option option option

table tick

Overrun boost enhancement
(anti-lag)
 option option option option

table tick

Gear change ignition cut
(flat shifts)
 option option option option

table tick

Stepper motor idle control

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

Continuously variable
camshaft control

table cross

option

option

option

option

Drive by Wire throttle control

table cross

 option  option  option  option
Servo motor control

table cross

table cross

table cross

option option
Knock control

table cross

 optional using SKM optional using SKM optional usingSKM/OKM optional using SKM
Ref/Sync Capture

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

Multi-Config

table cross

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

Password protection of configs/logs

table cross

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

Expander compatibility IEX
CDI-8
IEX
CDI-8
E888
E816
DBW4
IEX
CDI-8
E888
E816
DBW4
IEX
CDI-8
E888
E816
DBW4
IEX
CDI-8
E888
E816
DBW4
 Paddle Shift Control

table cross

table tick

table tick

table tick

table tick

more on… M84 M400 M600 M800 M880

USEFUL LINKS

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How To Choose

 

View MoTeC webinars on ECU topics

MoTeC produces a number of engine management solutions to meet the needs of a wide range of users. This is a guide to help you choose the most suitable system for your application, however, we advise you to discuss your requirements in detail with an authorised MoTeC dealer prior to making a purchase.

WHAT DO I NEED?

The first consideration should be the number of inputs and outputs required to run your engine and any auxiliary equipment. The engine requires outputs for ignition coils and injection drivers, and auxiliary outputs can be connected to fans, pumps, lights, or perhaps a turbo wastegate solenoid.

Take into consideration both the modifications you may wish to make now and any additions you might want to implement in the future. It can be sensible to choose an ECU with spare inputs or outputs that can be used for functions and devices that are added later.

How many inputs do I need?
How many outputs do I need?

If you run a modern engine with continuously variable camshaft timing or a drive by wire throttle system you need to choose from the MoTeC ‘hundred series’ ECUs, which all provide control capability for these functions.

Maximum Versatility or Dedicated Control?

In addition to our range of flexible ‘gold box’ ECUs, which can be configured to many applications, MoTeC has a number of dedicated systems to suit specific engines. These models may prove cost effective and can simplify ECU selection.

WHAT DO I WANT?

Data Acquisition

All MoTeC ECUs have data logging available as an optional upgrade which includes the use of i2 Standard data analysis software.

Logging rates, memory and flexibility depend on the unit you choose. The ‘hundred series’ ECUs offer the most advanced data logging capabilities, allowing for individually selected channels to be logged at different rates ranging from 1 to 200 Hz. With the addition of a beacon, the ‘hundred series’ ECUs also allow for track mapping. The Pro Analysis option is available on the M800 andM880 ECUs which enables the use of i2 Pro for data analysis.

To assist with initial tuning, all MoTeC ECUs include six or eight hours of free logging and wideband Lambda. This is based on the first hours of engine running time.

Telemetry

Selected ECUs have a Telemetry upgrade available to enable transmission of live data from the vehicle to the pit where it can be viewed in real time. To convert telemetry data into a log file for analysis with i2 software, the Remote Logging upgrade is required.

Communication

Engine control units communicate with other electronic devices via either RS232 or CAN. MoTeC ‘hundred series’ ECUs are able to communicate on both, while the earlier generation units communicate solely on RS232. Some modern devices like MoTeC’s Shift Light Module only communicate on CAN and consequently may only be configured on the ‘hundred series’ ECUs.

Tuning Software

The MoTeC ‘hundred series’ ECUs use Windows-based Manager software, while the earlier generation models are managed via a DOS interface. Authorised MoTeC dealers are skilled in both, but it is worth noting that the DOS-based Manager software is no longer updated with new features.

HOW MANY INPUTS DO I NEED?

Main Engine Inputs

To determine engine speed and load conditions and to monitor the engine, a basic engine will require:

  • Crank/cam position—Ref/Sync trigger input
  • Throttle position—analogue voltage input
  • MAP, manifold absolute pressure—analogue voltage input
  • Engine temperature—analogue temperature input
  • Air temperature—analogue temperature input

Trigger Input

MoTeC ECUs are compatible with most common crankshaft/camshaft triggering systems (Ref/Sync modes).

Many of the modes are generic to a particular system or vehicle manufacturer and cover a wide range of applications. However, with the development of variable valve timing, some Ref/Sync modes are specific to one particular engine or family of engines.

Some modern triggering systems may only be available in the ‘hundred series’ ECUs. Typically these applications would also require the additional functionality and inputs and outputs these ECUs provide.

Your MoTeC dealer will be able to tell you which Ref/Sync mode your engine requires.

Additional Inputs

All ECUs have various types of additional inputs that can be used to suit your requirements:

  • Analogue voltage and temperature inputs, used for sensors such as oil pressure, fuel pressure, oil temperature, gear position
  • Digital and speed inputs used for wheel speed measurement, activation of dual RPM limit, over-run boost, air conditioning etc.

HOW MANY OUTPUTS DO I NEED?

Basic Engine Specification

The type of engine (rotary or piston) and the number of cylinders will be the basis for the number of outputs you require. The ignition and injection modes with which you intend to run the engine will dictate the exact number of injector and ignition drivers needed.

Injection Modes

  • Sequential mode
    Injectors are wired with one injector driver per cylinder and each injection event is precisely timed to the engine’s firing order. Sequential injection allows cylinders to be tuned individually with end of injection timing to maximise the performance, efficiency and refinement of the engine.
  • Group fire mode
    Injectors can be grouped together with each group wired to one injector driver, reducing the number of outputs required. For example, a twelve cylinder engine can run with six groups of two injectors, reducing the number of outputs from twelve to six. Group fire mode reduces the precision of fuel timing and it does not allow for individual cylinder tuning.
  • Hi-Lo or secondary injection mode
    Each cylinder is wired to two injectors, requiring two injector drivers per cylinder. A typical installation would consist of one set of injectors located close to the inlet valve and targeted at the back and the second set located upstream in the inlet port.

Ignition Modes

  • Coil per cylinder
    Each coil provides the spark for one cylinder and is wired to one ignition driver. The number of outputs required is equal to the number of cylinders.
  • Wasted spark
    An engine with one coil per cylinder is wired up with two coils on one ignition driver. Two opposing cylinders in the firing order receive a spark at the same time. One cylinder will be at the right position to ignite the mixture, the spark in the opposing cylinder will be wasted. Many cars are wired this way from the factory and have coil packs specifically designed for this purpose. The number of outputs needed is half the number of cylinders.
  • Distributor
    A distributor makes the spark from one coil available to all cylinders. This mode needs only one ignition driver.
  • Distributor per bank
    Some V6, V8 and V12 engines have two distributors; one per bank of cylinders. These engines require two ignition drivers.

Auxiliary Outputs

Auxiliary outputs are used to control devices such as fuel pumps, shift lights, boost control valve, idle speed control valve, drive by wire throttle motors, cooling fans etc. Some devices also require specific sensor inputs to operate correctly.

On MoTeC’s M800 and M880 ECUs, spare injector and ignition outputs can be re-configured as extra auxiliary outputs.

Expander Units

If the ECU does not provide enough inputs and/or outputs for your application, expander units can be used to increase the total number.

Expander units are available for several functions, for example:

Check the Comparison table to see which ECU fulfils your requirements.

USEFUL LINKS

View MoTeC webinars on ECU topics

 

Technology

 

Research and Development

Continual research and development has kept MoTeC at the leading edge of aftermarket engine management technology for over two decades. This is particularly evident in the latest generationECUs—the M400, M600, M800 and M880—which offer a number of sophisticated tuning features, including: continuously variable camshaft control, drive by wire throttle control, Ref/Sync trigger capture and 4D tuning tables.

Environmental Protection

All MoTeC ECUs are robotically assembled and dipped in liquid silicone, ensuring the components and circuit board are fully encapsulated. This military grade coating protects the surface-mounted technology from environmental contamination such as moisture and dust, while improving resistance to vibration.

Sealed connectors with gold plated contacts enhance connection reliability, reducing the chance of erroneous sensor readings which can lead to engine damage.

Computing Power

The powerful 32-bit processor delivers the computing power to update all calculations fast. This allows a number of complex control functions to be run simultaneously to guarantee smooth engine running at high RPMs.

Updatable Software

MoTeC ECUs can be updated with the latest software features at any time. The most recent software releases can be downloaded free of charge.

Switch Mode Injector Drivers

MoTeC ECUs use a switch mode injector drive circuit which allows low ohm injectors to be driven with maximum efficiency. This reduces the current draw from the vehicle and minimises heat generated in the ECU, which ultimately means better reliability.

Advanced Diagnostics

The diagnostics monitoring system helps to detect and locate faults within injectors, wiring and sensors, allowing problems to be fixed quickly. The optional logging function further enhances the system’s diagnostic capabilities.

Digital Signal Processing of Crank and Cam Signals

MoTeC ECUs are compatible with most OEM trigger sensors, including magnetic, Hall and optical, reducing installation cost and time. Crank and cam sensor signals can be recorded to assist in calibrating sensor characteristics.

Programmable filtering and trigger levels eliminate the effects of noise and possible false triggering. Advanced diagnostics warn of false signals caused by improper filter or trigger level settings.

Continuously Variable Cam Control

The ‘hundred series’ ECUs provide the capability to control continuously variable camshaft timing using factory trigger wheels and sensors. Up to four cams can be independently adjusted in 0.5 degree increments based on RPM and load. This allows users to optimise engine tuning across a wide range of operating conditions to achieve better high end performance and low speed torque. Other benefits include enhanced idle, fuel economy and emissions control.

Drive by Wire Throttle Control

Drive by wire throttle technology uses an electronic motor instead of the traditional mechanical cable systems to move the throttle plate. The ECU interprets input from the driver via sensors located on the pedal and controls the throttle actuator. It is possible to adjust the relation between driver input and throttle position based on other sensors like vehicle speed or gear. The ‘hundred series’ ECUs cater for this high-tech function and are compatible with most OEM drive by wire units.

Trigger Capture

MoTeC’s Ref/Sync trigger capture feature allows the crank and cam signals to be recorded and displayed on a built-in digital oscilloscope. This is an invaluable tool for checking the integrity of the Ref and Sync signals.

4D Tuning Tables

4D fuel and ignition tables allow sophisticated engine mapping based on any three channels, for example RPM, throttle and manifold pressure.

‡ These features are available on all ‘hundred series’ ECUs using Version 3 software.

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