Articles, Blog

🛑First Startup? No Base Map? Watch This First! | AFR – Initial Startup [FREE LESSON]

October 12, 2019

When it comes to starting your engine
on a freshly installed aftermarket standalone ECU with no base map
for the very first time, this can be daunting. Particularly I know a lot of novice
tuners tend to think that if we don’t have exactly the right fuel and ignition
numbers in the tables when we go to crank our engine for the first time,
we can risk expensive damage to the engine. The reality is that nothing could be
further from the truth. In this free lesson, you’ll see just how
easy it is to get our engine up and running for the very first time and how
we can quickly dial in our fuel and ignition numbers with no risk to
damaging the engine. Now we’re at a point where we can finally
start the engine for the first time. And particularly to novice tuners this can
seem quite daunting. As I’ve mentioned in the main body of the
course, there’s a belief that we need to have the numbers for our fuel and
our ignition timing absolutely perfect before the engine can ever be started
or we risk doing damage. That’s really not the case as we’re going
to see very shortly. We can quickly dial in our volumetric
efficiency to get the air fuel ratio where we need it to be by making very
fast and coarse adjustments to the VE table. Now during this initial startup we don’t
want to be looking for exact changes to our VE, we’re just going to be making
coarse changes to quickly get the fuelling close to our target. At the same time while we’re doing this
we’re going to be looking at the feedback from our two lambda sensors here. So these are fitted in the exhaust system
and they’re wideband lambda sensors that are being fed directly into the
Infinity ECU so that we can see what the air fuel ratio is doing. At the same time we have our lambda
target, so this is simply coming from our lambda target table. So we can instantly see if we’re too rich
or too lean when we get the engine running. Now because we have no map for the engine
at this stage, it’s likely that the engine’s not going to perhaps idle well by itself. So we may be prepared or we need to be
prepared to keep the engine running initially with the throttle while we’re
getting the air fuel ratio on target. When we’re dealing with and ECU such
as the Infinity where the ECU is using a VE based fuel model, because we’re talking
about actual engine volumetric efficiency, generally the task of getting
the VE table dialled in coarsely is a little bit simpler than if we were tuning
an injector pulse width based ECU fuel model. OK so let’s get our engine up and running
now and what we’re going to do is first of all highlight all of the cells in
the area of the table that we’re expecting to be running in. So in this case zero out to 1500 RPM and
all the way from zero kPa to 100 kPa. So this means that I’m not going to be
making changes to an individual cell, I’m going to be able to make changes
to multiple cells that the engine’s operating in. This means I don’t need to chase the
particular cell the ECU is accessing while I’m making changes. Now if we right click we can see the options
that are available for making these changes. We can add or subtract 1% to the numbers
by using the plus and minus keys. Now again because we’re making coarse
changes or likely to be making coarse changes, probably not going to be interested
in making 1% changes so we can add and subtract 10% by using the control
plus and control minus keys. Of course we can do this directly from
this drop down menu here by right clicking but that’s not generally how we’re
going to be making these changes. So again I’ll just highlight those cells and
we can crank the engine and get it running. OK so straight away the engine fires
up and I’m using a small amount of throttle to maintain 1000 RPM idle and we can
see what our lambda’s doing here, you can see that we’re sitting at around
about 0.95 to 0.98. There’s a slight discrepancy bank to bank. So far you can see I haven’t even made
a single change to the VE table and we’ve already got our engine up and
idling and operating correctly. So that’s been incredibly easy. As the engine settles a little bit you can
see our lambda is moving a little bit lean so let’s just add a little bit to our VE
table and we’re now operating at 0.92, 0.93 lambda. While we’re doing this, you can see we’ve
got our coolant temperature and our air temperature being displayed,
we’re watching those parameters as the engine warms up. We’d also be taking this opportunity during
an initial start to be inspecting the engine in the engine bay, particularly if it’s a
freshly built engine or an unknown engine, we want to make sure that the
engine isn’t leaking fluids, we want to make sure that the engine isn’t making
any unusual mechanical sounds that would be an indicator that something’s
wrong. But that’s as easy as it is to get our engine
up and running for the very first time. You’ll notice at this point I haven’t even
talked about the ignition timing table. Remember we initially started by setting
the entire table to 15 degrees. Now that means I know that the ignition
timing in the idle areas and the cranking areas that we’ve just used, just been
accessing is going to be close enough to get the engine running relatively well. Because we’ve gone through the
procedure of setting our base timing, we know that the timing will match what
we have in the ECU. So we don’t even need to worry about
our ignition timing while we’re going through this initial startup. Right now that we’ve got our engine
running for the very first time, we can move onto the next step. That was just one module taken from our
complete practical standalone ECU tuning course. This course is designed to teach you how
to tune any aftermarket standalone engine management system from start to finish. We know that particularly for novice tuners,
it can be daunting when faced with the task of tuning a freshly installed ECU with
absolutely no base map or start file. In this course we present you the HPA
10 step process and by breaking the entire tuning process down into 10 bite sized
steps, each of those individual steps is relatively quick and easy to complete. By following that process from start
to finish, in no time, you’ve got a completely tuned engine that’s offering
optimal power, optimal torque, and most importantly, ensuring great
engine reliability. By following this 10 step process through,
you’re also going to ensure that you don’t overlook any critical steps that could waste
time and money or even result in damage to your engine. This course is applicable to any aftermarket
standalone engine management system, and any combination of engine. To find out more about this course,
click the link in the description.


  • Reply HydeMyJekyll May 3, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    woahhhh what car is that?

  • Reply PANTYEATR1 May 4, 2019 at 3:01 am

    awesome! then comes the warm-up table, then the after-start table, then the acceleration enrichment table…

  • Reply Marcus Voordouw May 4, 2019 at 4:39 am

    Iv herd a yarn before that on a fresh engine it's a good idea to run it on the leaner side on initial start up and idle to help it get hot and aid in bedding the rings? What's your guys take on this?

  • Reply Lime May 4, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Does the "50's" all stand for stoichiometric AF ratio as a start out before you start leaning it a bit to get more power/richer to not have knock?

  • Reply Lime May 4, 2019 at 7:01 am

    I would love to know how to do this with a flashpro for a S2000 06-09 😀

  • Reply d w May 4, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    isn't it great we are fortunate enough to have this guy teach enthusiasts how to get their car running at home. 15 years ago there was no option
    other than to tow it to a tuner.

  • Reply GroovesAndLands May 17, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    You absolutely can wreck a brand new engine in a hurry trying to get the mapping right. In particular, when trying to get it to start. If you are cranking and cranking (obviously a wideband isn't terribly helpful until the engine is actually running), you are spraying loads of fuel into the cylinders. Fuel is a great oil solvent and it will strip the oil film from your cylinders. Next, if you are doing lots of cranking trying to get the engine to start, you are going to dilute the engine oil with fuel. Fuel is a terrible lubricant, and diluted oil can/will cause fast premature wear to every moving component in the engine.

    I've actually experienced this before. Sad to say it was my own damn fault. Was a long time ago before injectors were characterized so well like they are today. Before the time when WBO2 were so easy to come by, etc etc. The end result was .005" of cylinder bore wear in fewer than 1000 miles. Worn valves (not guides), worn wrist pins (not bronze bushings), worn crank journals (not worn bearings) etc etc. I had no idea WTF was going on at the time, but my block machining guy surely did. One look and he knew the engine had been "washed down" with fuel. It's a real thing.

    If you find yourself doing a lot of cranking, just be aware all of that fuel is going into the oil. It's not a bad idea to pull the plugs and oil the cylinders. Early/often oil changes are a great idea, too.

    This whole starting thing is made even worse with E85, especially when you're trying to achieve good starts at ambients under about 50ºF, which is totally possible. Change the oil a LOT, and don't be afraid to pull the plugs and cook out the wet fuel with a propane torch!

  • Reply Hygoog August 18, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Hi. I have a basemap from Haltech for my rx7. Before starting up do I need to verify and lock timing or it should start right up with the basemap?

  • Leave a Reply