Hoping to clarify tuning options for some.
Hello, all! My name is Ray and I'm obviously new here. I like to start by saying that in the following thread, I am by no means questioning the benefits of a hydrogen supplemented automotive setup, but I have been doing some research on this matter and am appalled at how people are approaching the tuning of a system like this. I apologize if this site is directly funded or related in some way with the producer of the EFIE module, as I am in no way debunking, or saying this unit is inferior to anything, as I have no personal experience with it. I would, however, like to offer some proven information about other various tuning options to optimize system such as this that could be used in conjunction with a component such as the EFIE.
There are only a hand full of proven, correct methods for modifying a cars fuel system and gathering/modifying the information your cars ECU (brain) recieves and divulges. Firstly, I like to start with the O2 sensor. There are a number of "universal power increasing chips" available from less than credible manufactures on places like ebay. What thes chips do is modify the signal from the cars MAF (Mass Air Flow Sensor) or MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor) to change what the cars brain "sees" thus determining ignition timing, fuel delivery, and various engagement of other apparatus' dictating how the car runs. These are unreliable units for the simple reason that there is no adjust ability. Octane of fuel, ambient air temps, barometric readings, and other variables are the data these systems read and decipher and they are just that...variables.
I'd now like to turn the discussion over to an application that would directly relate to this topic. I am an avid fan, owner, and tuner of primarily Mitsubishi vehicles. Mainly the 4G63T platform found in the Eclipse, Evolution, and Galant models. When ever a power adder is introduced into these vehicles' powerplant, one or more of those aforementioned variables will change. Example: If one was to add a "cold air intake" onto a vehicle in an attempt to free up some HP and help the motor breath better, he may have adverse effects before anything because there are no supporting modifications. See, a cold air style intake is essentially a smooth round (usually aluminum) pipe with an open, conical air filter element on the end intended to replace the equipment coming from the factory which is usually a convoluted, and baffled piece of mold injected rubber. Since a vehicles MAF sensor is located on the vehicles intake tract, and the housing, or context in which the sensor is being used
has changed, it's no surprise that the variables going to the sensor will also change. Many times the increased size of the aluminum intake piping will result in a better capability to efficiently flow air. The smoother, larger diameter of the piping will cause the sensor to read a decreased incoming air velocity, barometric readings, and even the temperature is now different since the filter is typically exposed to atmospheric air more prevelantly than the cars factory airbox which is typically forced to draw in the engine compartments hotter, less dense air supply. Sometimes this change is even greater than the sensors reading capability, or normal operating range. Obviously this is bad. The car will think there's less air, when in fact there is more, thus it will supply the fuel system with less fuel, leading to less power (efficiency), and potentially damaging lean air fuel conditions. It could even retard or advance the cars timing. That's not something you don't want to have control over! This same scenario could apply to many of the cars various sensors with different add-ons, power makers, gas savers, etc. There's simply too many variables! "Well then how do most people who modify thier motors account for these changes?" The answer is complicated, but there is an answer.
First of all, a narrowband O2 sensor is garbage. When hooked up to a narrowband o2 gauge, the gauge will supply you with nothing molre than an expensive light show. Typically (under stock conditions) they tell a car to be in either open loop or closed loop mode at any given time, and that's it. What that means, exactly, is irrelevant right now, but nonetheless, the info is "fuzzy", and not very accurate but good enough for it's purpose...to work with in stock variables. Now, a wideband O2 sensor can be purchased and adapted to any vehicle. AEM makes a great unit with a gauge and everything. This will tell you EXACTLY your Air Fuel ratio, and will let you know what's going on in there. Another useful tool in data acquisition is an EGT (Exhaust Gas Temp. Gauge/probe). This has been used on aviation intended motors for many years, and the data acquired can be deciphered to determine your A/F situation, since different ratios burn at different temps. I would stick to the trusty Wideband. Okay, now that we know what the O2 readings are, what do we do with that info? Simple. You adjust the various parameters of the cars fuel, timing, etc with a tuning devise. On Mitsubishi 4G63 equipped vehicles there are several options. First, you can buy an SAFC made by Apexi. This works much like the EFIE devise, except it is not attached to the o2 sensor, but to the MAF or MAP sensor. What this allows you to do is adjust the amount of fuel delivery based on RPM. Example; Notice that with your new hydrogen supplement system installed that the vehicle is is showing very lean conditions on the wideband at around 6500rpm? Simply scroll to the 6000-7000rpm range and adjust the fuel delivery up or down until a stoich reading can be found. This unit is great since it will not only work on most any vehicle, but it gives you a lot of adjustability. The downsides are cost ($300+/-), and the fact that this unit will not do much for timing adjustments, but it will pay for itself in time on this type of app.. It's intended for vehicles not HEAVILY modified enough to effect those parameters like timing. I'm not sure where in the spectrum of modifications a hydrogen setup would fall, but I assume it would be low enough for this type of "piggyback" unit, utilizing the original equipment ECU. The next step would be a full standalone computer, opposed to a piggyback tuning devise.
Since units like the Apexi SAFC are essentially "tricking" the cars ECU, some of the modern vehicles can eventually detect inconsistencies in the readings and know something is up. It sees the modified signal as an error, and the car will either run poorly or not at all. Using a full standalone system gives the user adjustability over EVERY engine parameter, and doesn't simply mask the original reading of the sensor. This would be used the same way as the Apexi style unit, but has the flexibility to not only log the results of all the cars sensors over a given operating session, but to come back later and say "oh, timing is off at 2500rpm, and the o2 readings are very lean at 6500rpms..lets just adjust accordingly" Super huh? Yeah! AEM make a full standalone for most modern vehicles, but once again cost is always an issue. Not only are these 1000$ or more, but they also require the use of a PDA or laptop for data retrieval and visual adjustments. Mitsubishi cars are lucky as they have an EPROM style ECU that can be socketed and chipped with the tuning parameters on the factory ECU, and enable use of a proprietary system known as DSMLINK. A much cheaper alternative, but with all the same features. Honda also has this type of setup in many cars in which they can use a tuning system known as CROME. Every different make and model has a designated system that is compatible, you'll just have to ask the performance based guys from a forum based on your particular make and model. They'll let you know what you need. For the technically inclined, there is also the cheapest method of full engine management...Megasquirt. Funny name, great product. This unit comes as basically a bare breadboard and requires you to assemble the unit based on your motor. It works with ANY motor from 1-12 cylinders, and had infinite adjustability.... but that's another story.
Basically, to ensure that a Hydrogen setup on any given vehicle is functioning to the best of it's ability you will need a few things.
1: A tuning devise with datalogging capabilities (or just a wideband)
2: Time on a dyno (Dynamometer) to change the variables, such as HHO delivery, timing, ECt.. This should be done by a tuning professional, and anywhere with a dyno has a tuner that can help.
To do anything less would be irresponsible, neglectful, and damaging to your motor. It could even be very dangerous. The question has been floating around here, "What is the ideal ratio for my _____?" There is NO answer! In the performance world that is called bench racing. It's assuming a set of results based on an untold number of variables. When a Mitsubishi owner asks me, "How many HP will I get from bigger injectors, and an exhaust system?" All I can say is, "Lets get it on the dyno and find out!" Every car (even of the same make and model) has differences from the next. The only way to account for these differences is through data acquisition, and knowing what to do with that data, and being able to accurately adjust these parameters accordingly. PERIOD. While you may not want to run a quarter mile in ten seconds, or do wheelies in you hatchback, the fundamentals learned through performance tuning also have many plausible benefits to the fuel conscious.
I hope I helped at least one person know that they have more options than adjusting the cars throttle cable, and doing silly things to trick the car into thinking it's fuctioning the way it was made to. It's obviously not! While you may think it's better (it is!), you cars computer will be throwing it's hand in the air screaming "DANGER, Will Robinson, DANGER!!"