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Spoon ECU

#1 User is offline   punchdrunk 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 06:41 AM

I've just test fitted one of these ECU's and wanted to give my impressions. The search feature has revealed a number of heated discussions on the ecu going back to the beginning of the decade - some rate it others don't - some argue that you need all Spoon parts to maximise the benefits including cooling mods, Spoon header, N1 exhaust etc.

My mods are a 4.77 FD, AEM intake, Buddyclub 4-2-1 manifold and a 70mm single exit exhaust and decat. I ran a VAFC2 with a Mase tune and VTEC lowered to 5800 rpms, so I guess my comparison for the ECU is stock, VAFC2 and the Spoon ECU.

I haven't had the chance to drive the car much as the fiddling with immobiliser knackered my battery, but I had the chance to drive the car to get a feel for the performance of the ecu. I'm impressed :thumbup:

The main difference i noted is the increased torque low down and the car pulls hard to redline. No dyno figures but it feels much quicker than stock and the VAFC2. It quietened the exhaust - no mean feat in itself - and it idles like stock. Even though the immobiliser green key is disabled the car still has a functioning immobilser - don't ask me how :confused:

I won't be bothering with cooling mods as I don't see the need. I also struggled to find any information on the specific map used for the ECU - so no idea what mods the ECU was mapped with, just conjecture.

For the money and performance gains this is the most cost effective route to take for bolt ons IMO. The Spoon, Mugen, J's and Amuse are pnp and give the boost you need for simple bolt ons.

- AEM is just too expensive to buy and map.£/bhp is high for NA application.
- EMU is expensive and there are very few competent mappers out there and it will be expensive to map.
- VAFC2 is good and Mase only charges £100 to map, but it is rendered useless once you add a 70mm exhaust/decat. Perfect for minor mods

I'll give more impressions of the ECU once I get the car up and running.

:)
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MY00 - Sold

#2 User is offline   s2konroids 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:16 AM

Glad your liking the first impressions Julian.

I did feel the low down torque too :thumbup:, however as i said in the PM you sent me my money would be on it not performing as well as the vafc2. This is due to it being mapped for specific spoon bolt on's, still a VAFC2 manipulating the voltage inadvertently effects timing.

This was apparent on my dyno runs with one, running similar bolt on's. I was lucky with my setup with the vafc2, 95% of it needed leaned out. Hopefully the map on the spoon ECU will suit your mods more, the fuelling was quite rich on mine.

I still think a greddy EMU would be a excellent addition for an n/a S (since they are around £300-350 with a PnP harness). I can see it delivering near enough as much gains as an AEM ECU, however the extra feature would see an AEM just pip it IMO. The problem is not many people use GEMU's and people don't understand them/how they work so dismiss them, for example is completely control vtec engagement not a manual switch over of the cams like a vafc2, is a pre-processing unit and directly controls the timing and injectors not manipulating map sensor voltage.

I will post results when i map a members on here's S running a GEMU ;). The GEMU has worked brilliantly on my setup, helps when they actually set the jumpers correct inside and wire the harness properly :rolleyes:.

I think it could be a placebo, still i guess you'll find out on the dyno as you say and hopefully it works out well for you, enjoy.

I wouldn't bother with the cooling mods unless your tracking it too.

IIRC the green immobiliser 'key' light is on because its bypassing the immobiliser. But i seem to remember it bypasses the disengagement of the fuel pump not the immobiliser itself, hopefully someone can correct me.

This post has been edited by Irvatron: 29 December 2010 - 07:26 AM

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#3 User is offline   MB 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:39 AM

Sounds good, Punch.

Only thing I would say with the AEM is that the peak power is only part of the story. I'm not sure a J's / Spoon ECU will get the 25-30 bhp increase I saw from quite early on in the rev range. The custom settings for traction control etc are quite handy too.

But value for money wise a bolt on ECU is definately a good mod. Given the only real variables you can play with are AFR and ignition, they are always going to be close to an AEM if you have a few basic breathing mods, but with more mods a bolt on ECU becomes a guessing game.

#4 User is offline   s2konroids 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:41 AM

Mark, by traction control your talking about the AEM? or after-market bolt-on ecu's?

Apparently the spoon ECU had a basic traction control?, i never noticed it even though i tried it :D.

#5 User is offline   Guzzie 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:55 AM

I bought a spoon for my old s2000 and I thought it was alright-ish. I only had airbox mod and a catback exhaust at the time. but when I put it on the dyno I had something like 145whp and in the end I swapped the oem ecu back and did another run and managed to find something like 40 hp, check it on the dyno before you decide to drive your car too hard or do any longterm damage...

Shopman, on Jan 31 2011, 05:41 PM, said:

You should have bought a porsche  ;) brakes work fine and no room for pesky kids.

[quote name='soulcrew' date='Jan 31 2011, 06:04 PM']well obviously as all porsche owners are wankers  :tipwink:<!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><div class='signature'><!--Quote

#6 User is offline   punchdrunk 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 08:30 AM

The one I have is a MY02 JDM ecu converted with the Spoon chip. MY02 ecu is meant to be a good upgrade for MY00 cars so it's win win.

The main difference is the low down torque. Bear in mind I have a 4.77 FD yet I still noticed a huge difference to pick up. Pure and simple, the car is faster.

The change in exhaust note is also amazing. The 70R is a loud exhaust, very loud. The ecu kind of mutes it to the extent that I can now listen to the radio and wind down the window to enjoy the sound.

The VAFC2 would back fire on my car. I preferred the stock ecu with my mods in the end, but the Spoon is better than both.

The effect is not placebo because I haven't even paid for the ecu. The seller has let me trial it, get used to it and pay when I'm ready. He won't have to wait long, I'm definitely having it :thumbup:

#7 User is offline   Guzzie 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 08:54 AM

Sounds good, but please do get it on the dyno just to make sure the A/F ratio is good throughout.

#8 User is offline   Suits 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 01:13 PM

My old Amuse ECU, while it was only running on a Mugen Filter and Mugen cat back, was good, when we did a dyno run it came out nice and safe, the AFR was about right. Didn't have the OEM ECU to do a power comparrision so im not going to say it put out more power, because I can't prove it.

I had a concern that it may have been a bit out, either way (rich or lean), turns out it was fine.

These ECU's are a good little bolt on mod IMO, I would recommend the Amuse one to anyone running a uprated filter and cat back. It performed very well and more importantly - safely.
JDM YO!!!1

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#9 User is offline   eho 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:24 AM

Do you lose central locking and immobiliser?
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#10 User is offline   Suits 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:33 AM

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Do you lose central locking and immobiliser?

I didn't on my Amuse.

#11 User is offline   Guzzie 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:52 AM

You will not have an active immobiliser.

#12 User is offline   atomic 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 07:03 AM

There is other plug-n-play option other than the AEM. There is the Hydra Nemesis 2 for non drive-by-wire with Richard Bulmer being the man to map the car. He is one of the best engine mapping specialist anywhere in the world, Ex Toyota WRC mapper and Ex Motec amongst others.
The AEM system was based on the GEMS EM36 (GEMS designed the AEM ECU originally) so there should really be no problem finding someone capable of mapping it correctly here in the UK.
Haltech also have a new plug-n-play system due out soon based on their Platinum Sport Series, though there is a custom harness already available to allow the use of the Sport 1000/2000 series ecu's.

If you don't mind a little custom wiring then there is also the EFi Technology srl Euro 2 and Euro 4 ecu's. The Euro-4 is around £1600 + an additional £400 for the Can Bus interface, however the new Euro-2 will do everything you need and more and is quite a lot cheaper.
They are genuine oem quality and EFI Technology srl supply their ecu's directly to Honda and Honda Racing (which is run by JAS Motorsport). Mugen also worked directly on the software alongside EFI.

Take a look at the spec's here..
http://www.obr.uk.co...ngine_mngt.html
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#13 User is offline   punchdrunk 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 09:01 AM

Immobiliser works fine. The central locking and alarm is independent of the ECU so that also works fine. You lose the green key, replaced by the CEL which primes the fuel pump. No CEL when car is operational.



#14 User is offline   MB 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 09:36 AM

Agree RE Hydra / Bulmer, i'm guessing you are an ex Impreza man like myself? :D

AEM is a well priced solution though, and you can often pick them up second hand for 700 ish. Plus there is more mapping support.

#15 User is offline   MB 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:50 PM

Quote

Mark, by traction control your talking about the AEM? or after-market bolt-on ecu's?

AEM, it has quite a few settings. Must try it actually...

#16 User is offline   s2konroids 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:52 PM

Oh, yeah most do. I believe the spoon ECU had something like that but when i tried to test it i found no evidence of anything traction/launch control orientated.

#17 User is offline   Nabu 

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:39 AM

Quote

but it is rendered useless once you add a 70mm exhaust/decat.

Could you please elaborate a bit more on this statement?

@ Irvatron

Previous GEMU users, here in Greece, state that the EMU is a bit "slow" compared to other units such as AEM or VAFC2.

Especially at VTEC, they said that the crossover was a bit more harsh dropping first- staying like that for about half a second and the jumping into Vtec.

Is that something that rigns a bell or is yours functioning flawlesly?

Cheers,
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#18 User is offline   s2konroids 

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 08:27 AM

Hi Kostas.

IMO that is rubbish, plenty of owner in the US have no such issues like me.

Mines work flawless mate, no such issue at a 4k vtec. Very happy with it.

I think its down to their tune, set the vtec too low or too high without altering timing and NOT getting the optimum point may introduce a stall/bump (when tuning i set it very high then very low and see where the lines intersect for the optimum point). As i said it doesn't only manually switch the vtec on/off via cams like a vafc2 - it takes complete control.

Of course most people dismiss them/don't understand what it will/wont do and how it works.

There are some issues with PnP harnesses but i believe that's been sorted by boomslang etc, oh and the jumpers need to be correct inside :D.

AJ

#19 User is offline   Nabu 

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 08:48 AM

Very nice.

I really dont understand why more people dont use the Greddy Unit.
From what i know, its cheap, its customisable, it keeps lots of OEM goodies (functionality, cold start, idle etc) and apart from the negative opinions i have heard over here i cant find any good reason why not to go for it.

I always keep second thoughts about what i hear.
Could it be that no tuner here in Greece is able to tune or hasnt spent time with the actual unit?
Could this have caused a domino effect on the GEMU ratings?
Maybe so.

Anyhow, thanks a lot for an explanatory answer.

Kostas :tipwink:

#20 User is offline   punchdrunk 

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 10:09 AM

I'm not sure a mappable ecu is worth the spend for an NA S with bolt ons.

Finding a competent mapper for the EMU is like trying to find gold dust. Gilles tuned EMU's make good power but they cost $1600 and I'm not sure he does them any more.

A second hand, mapped AEM will set you back £1100 or so.

VAFC's are really only good for trimming fuel. Once you go 70mm cat back and decat you start to get very lean - unless you can find a way to add fuel the VAFC is effectively useless. I did get 202whp with i/h/60mm exhaust and 70mm HFC

Unless you plan on going FI mappable ECU's offer a high £/bhp ratio. PNP ecu's are the way to go. Either way gains are only minimal - you'll have more fun with gears.

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 10:21 AM

Depends how many bolt ons imo. If you have too many, a plug and play ECU may not be able to cope fuelling wise, as they tend to be mapped for certain mods... Then you need a standalone. But I do agree with your point for a few breathing mods.

There are mappers out there for AEM too, the S2000 isn't anything too special in that regard.

#22 User is offline   Nabu 

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 01:11 PM

Quote

VAFC's are really only good for trimming fuel. Once you go 70mm cat back and decat you start to get very lean - unless you can find a way to add fuel the VAFC is effectively useless. I did get 202whp with i/h/60mm exhaust and 70mm HFC

I do understand the rationale behind this part but do you have any effective proof to support that statement.

Maybe indeed its common knowledge, i just would like to see how lean it would get, with just a headerback 70mm.

If so, does that stand for all years? Some models run a lot richer that others leading to a bit of a chaos on most forums.

Would be interesting to see some A/F numbers if you have them.

Dont get me wrong, i am not trying to be an @rse here just trying to understand things a bit better.

Kostas. :hello:

#23 User is offline   s2konroids 

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 02:43 PM

Probably the jist of it Kostas, a standalone needs more features as well...its a standalone :D.

Sorry long post here sorry :D. I've spent too much time on the dyno not with my car but with other peoples and helping my mate who tunes car's for a living.

Here's the ECU's i tried/tuned always with the same dyno:

All were with bolt's on's including a megan manifold.

Stock ECU
Spoon ECU
J's ECU
DTA standalone in a kitcar running an f20c.
GEMU running a supercharger.

The J's ECU actually performed better than the spoon overall on my set-up, but overall the VAFC2 performed the best, why? because its mapped to MY car and MY mods - its a simple as that with these ECU's, J's and spoon are mapped to their modifications, so its a little unfair.

IMO/IME anything more than a simple intake and decat and you definitely can take advantage of some-sort of tuning device, hell IIRC almost bone stock there's a little bit of gains to be had n/a - the evidence I've seen with this is flashpro on here. Flashpro (~£550 IIRC) is only available on MY06. Of course i agree with the guys regarding bang for buck.

Punchdrunk is right about leaning out. However you can add fuel but only a very small amount with a VAFC2, i had a hump of 13.3 AFR and managed to get it down to 13.2 before the stock ecu freaked out - not exactly a great result. With my bolt on's (manifold, decat, k&n, t1r v2 singlepipe) i was lucky as with MY setup it was 95% rich throughout the rev range prior to using the VAFC2. The big problem with a VAFC2 is you tune via the map sensor, effectively altering the voltage so the stock ecu reduces/increases fuel dependent on what it sees. Unfortunately this inadvertently effects the ignition timing (not too good) when you lean out it advances timing as a by product, so the chances of knock are increased and not the best for wringing as much power as you can but also smoothing the power curve (adding timing doesn't always add power too much and power will drop off). A common misconception is the VAFC2 will be 'learnt' over in WOT - that statement couldn't be further from the truth as LTFT/STFT are not applied in open loop, so you tune for WOT only. Of course we can't alter the timing with a VAFC2.

Earlier models due run a little richer throughout, but mainly at the very top end (where you get gains). However i taper the AFR off at the top end but still lean it out for retaining a little safety/cooling. I've seen some of the yanks tunes running 13.1 AFR at 8200rpm all the way to redline yikes! :yikes:.

EMU is definitely a great bang for buck ECU with a PnP harness 2nd hand they can be picked up for around ~£400. You can do everything you need to do with it, AFR, vtec engagement, timing, idling, running bigger injectors, adjustment based on temp, reduce timing based on shift points, clamp MAP sensor voltage, increase rev limit etc etc. In all honesty apart from riding the stock knock sensor i cant see a standalone adding much more power than one n/a wise. Cell wise/adjustment points its a little lacking but good enough. The GEMU is a pre-processing unit which directly controls the injectors etc. I did slate the GEMU in years gone by :D :hidebc:. I tuned my car myself with a GEMU, beforehand running a VAFC2, deep down i knew it wasn't the best solution even more so running an SC so the VAFC2 had to go.

I dont have my s2k gallery any-more otherwise i would post some dyno's produced by me over the years. Giles was great he really did get the full potential of the GEMU, IIRC he even got it to detect knock and flash the indicator if detected :D. I need to stop getting sucked into the ECU debates. My days of tinkering with my car(s) are numbered as its PITA sometimes.

Its funny as will x bhp really make a difference is it worth x amount? - thats up to people. I can sure as hell tell the difference boosted though :D.

This post has been edited by Irvatron: 03 January 2011 - 03:06 PM


#24 User is offline   davecullen23 

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 03:32 PM

i ran the spoon with de cat and buddy club pro spec before supercharging. i felt the difference. the change over to vtec was alot louder and pulled harder, didnt notice much before vtec though. defo worth the money as it can be sold after you have done with it. only end up costing a couple of hundered after selling.

#25 User is offline   punchdrunk 

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 04:56 AM

Quote

I do understand the rationale behind this part but do you have any effective proof to support that statement.

Maybe indeed its common knowledge, i just would like to see how lean it would get, with just a headerback 70mm.

If so, does that stand for all years? Some models run a lot richer that others leading to a bit of a chaos on most forums.

Would be interesting to see some A/F numbers if you have them.

Dont get me wrong, i am not trying to be an @rse here just trying to understand things a bit better.

Kostas. :hello:

Yes I have proof, Nabu - dyno proof :thumbup:

I have a MY00 ecu which is meant to run the richest of the lot.

The i/h/60mm cat back and 70mm HFC started off lean then gradually richened up before another lean spike before VTEC. Then it was progressively richer to redline. Mase was able to remove up to 12 points of fuel between 8-9k rpms and made significant gains up top ~ 10whp on the dyno.

With the 70mm header back, the AFR was pretty much lean from the off. The most we were able to trim was 3 points at 8700 rpms. Everywhere else we needed to add fuel which the VAFC doesn't like too much. 1 point of fuel would see my car backfire on the overrun, so I had to zero all setting in the end as it was a PITA.

My optimum VTEC point was 5800rpms - stock was 5900 rpms, so there really wasn't much in it. In the end I sold the VAFC and went back to stock.

The main difference between the VAFC and the Spoon is the torque. My guess is the Ecu retards timing when the VAFC trims fuel. Retarding the timing makes the car sluggish at low revs but quite revy up top. You can feel the more agressive timing with the Spoon as the car is more accelerative from the off and pulls hard to redline.

I take what AJ says with a pinch of salt. He is a very competent mapper but we don't all have a mate with a dyno ;)

I've mapped a car before - it's not difficult, but dyno time is expensive. If you don't have competent mappers in your part of the world a pnp ecu is your best bet. You'll get 70/80% of the gains of the tuneable ecu's without the headache or expense of finding a mapper and they tend to hold their value when it comes to resale.

Your cash, your choice :)

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