We’re currently working on a couple standalone ECU options for Toyota Starlet’s and Glanza’s.
The Motorsport Electronics Limited ME221 is a direct plug and play ECU, it replaces the entire circuit board inside the case of the OE ECU. It allows the user/tuner to take full control of the engine and motorsport features such as launch control, dual boost tables (utilising the stock low boost switch), it also allows for upgrading of sensors such as the MAP sensor and IAT sensor. In testing we managed to gain power across the entire rev range and by changing the standard boost control solenoid to a 3 port solenoid we were able to make an extra 25 bhp and 28 lbft of torque before the OE wastegate shown signs of not being up to the task and the boost dropping below the desired level.
The Link ECU Monsoon is one of the base models from the Link ECU range, we chose this one as it is their lowest model ECU which comes with their range of motorsport features. In testing the Link ECU made the same power figures as the ME221 give or take a couple bhp, it also has fully controllable extensive motorsport features and an on board 4 bar map sensor (should you want to run upto 3 bar of boost). As it is a wire in ECU it allows more flexibility than the ME221, we’ve currently installed it using a field harness, (these will be available shortly direct from ourselves) which allows us to swap between the two ECU’s, and it has left us with lots of spare inputs and outputs which can be used for a full flex fuel set up, adjustable boost, automatic intercooler sprays, water injection or even nitrous.
We have also developed a replacement throttle position sensor kit, the stock Starlet / Glanza Throttle position only tells the ECU when the driver has went full throttle, while is fine for the OE ECU when it comes to upgrading the ECU we want to have everything under tighter control meaning we need to know the angle that the throttle is actually at, this allows accurate boost target controlling and also more accurate acceleration enrichment making driving smoother and more controlled. Our vTPS kit requires a little bit of wiring to allow it to work properly but does work well with any standalone ECU. Get in touch for pricing.
Which ECU would we choose?
We’ve seen owners run piggy back ECUs with separate boost controllers. Factoring in the installation costs of these and then set up costs could run up to and over £1000 and you still dont have full control of the engine!
As both of these are extremely capable ECU’s it would be down to the customers plans and budget. The ME221 is only £695 plus mapping, means it can be supplied, installed and mapped from £900, not only is it cheaper than separate wire-in items it’s a cleaner install and is actually tuneable with full control.
The Link ECU is a wire in ECU, this in itself means that there is going to either require an adaptor loom required at minimum before you can plug the ECU in, or a full new engine loom can be made which adds to the set up costs. As Link ECU’s were born for motorsport use and their features have had a lot more years development which means they are more advanced than those offered currently by the ME221, more details can be found here. Since the Link ECU is a wire in there is a fair bit more flexibility in options, first of all, you don’t need to use the Monsoon, there are currently seven possible ECU’s to choose from, you can use an adaptor loom with additional breakout looms which will allow installation of extra circuits should you want to add in systems such as flex-fuel, oil and/or fuel pressure protection etc.
So which one would we pick for our customers? Well it really does depend on budget mainly, which is why we offer as many options as possible. If the customer just needs an ECU that will control the engine in a relatively mild modified form then the ME221 is perfect, reduced installation time and the base map will have you running quickly. If the customer is planning on making some big changes, possibly changing to a full sequential engine control set-up with flex-fuel, nitrous control and extra safety systems then the Link may be a better option. It is difficult to post a price difference here as the options are endless on the Link installation but the one certainty is the ME221 is cheaper.
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