MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; MSD makes timing controllers for various LSx engines. Apparently they intercept and modify the signals from the crank and cam ...
  1. #1
    NorthStarGXP is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    MSD makes timing controllers for various LSx engines. Apparently they intercept and modify the signals from the crank and cam sensors. Any chance that this could be adapted to the Northstar?

    http://www.msdignition.com/Products/..._GM_LS1-6.aspx

    I'm guessing probably not, but just thought I'd throw it out there. I'm going to send MSD an email asking about producing one of these for the Northstar. I'm sure as soon as they receive my email, they will get right on it.

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    AJxtcman's Avatar
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    I was going to use an MSD product to retard the timing in Highline's car when the Nitrous was on, but I didn't need to. I was good on the spark side.
    The one I was looking at must have been an older version.

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    Raze's Avatar
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    Man I'm getting tired of saying this Perfect Power SMT6 or SMT8...

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    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, stick on fender vents
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    ?????? Perfect Power does not currently list an application or wiring diagram for the Northstar or OBD-II systems. How did you adapt it to function?

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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Raze View Post
    Man I'm getting tired of saying this Perfect Power SMT6 or SMT8...
    Can you just explain WHY?

    Why would you run it?
    Why would you need to run it?
    Why doesn't all the GM cars need to run it?
    Why don't all the big GM Tuner have to run it?
    Why would you want to skew a signal?
    Why wouldn't you just tune it properly?
    Why would you want the PCM to think your spinning 5000 rpm's when your at 7000 rpm?
    Why would you want to have a MAF signal to be 13 g/s when your at 9 g/s?
    Why would you want the MAF signal to be 200 g/s when your only at 185 g/s?
    Why would you want to mess with the Fuel Injectors Pulse Width?
    You could just Skew the MAF for that anyway!
    Why would you want to burn up a 4T80E trans by skewing the MAF?


    Get my point?
    Just tune it the right way and be done with it!!!!!!!

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    AJxtcman's Avatar
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    Go check out JET

    I don't want you to close up your mind and think of just Cadillac's.
    Look at what they offer
    Think about how it works
    Think about the price
    Think about how it works again


    Think about why JET sells it

  8. #7
    Raze's Avatar
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    Maybe I should have qualified my statement with "if you want to run boost or do something like swap cams" you should look at PP SMT6/8...

    Sub,
    It's not listed because it's a 'universal', I have had lengthy phone conversations with Bob Ida of Ida Automotive who has successfully adapted it for an OBD-II N* in his brother Rob's ride. If you check the specs and or speak with Bob you'll see you have control over fuel, spark advance/retard, and a whole host of other capabilities including the ability to fool our stock MAF and MAP sensors while under boost if one were so inclined. When I have some spare $$ laying around I plan on grafting it into my otherwise stock Eldo just to play with the tune (after I put in a wideband O2 with both 1v (narrowband) and 5v (wideband) output). Here's some fun reading:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...specialty_file

    http://www.robidaconcepts.com/page/page/1916736.htm

    http://hotrod.automotive.com/22513/1...ker/index.html

    AJ,
    From what I read NorthStarGXP wanted to know how to change timing, I assumed because he wanted to start messing with his tune to increase power and or support future mods, I'm only guessing at this. I agree tuning the stock PCM to do everything w/o having to run a piggy would be ideal, but there are many things reprogramming a stock PCM can't due because they're limited by the confines of their programming which you yourself should be intimatley aware of with your trials and tribulations with modifying the stock PCMs. But for some specific answers to your questions:

    I would never spin my stock N* past it's factory redline even if I were running boost on upgraded internals, period.

    I would skew the MAF by fooling it so it doesn't lock my timing and alter my fuel map as well as throw codes and alter the transmission control which the FSM says it does on error...

    I don't care about burning out a 4T80E, I can get another one from the junkyard for $150 around here, everything I have always said is based on the premise that anyone modifying their car this much would understand it's prototype which means UNRELIABLE, hence not a Daily Driver, so who cares? These Cadillacs are not made of gold, and they're depreciating so fast who cares?

    Why don't I look at JET? Because they are confined to the limits of the stock PCMs programming, if one wanted to add boost to their Cadillac, JET would not do squat, and as for their prices, I can buy and build a full stand alone MegaSquirt-II V3.0 for that price with not the ability to do what JET does, but a helluva lot more. The reason Cadillacs are harder is the interdependence of the automatic transmission controller, otherwise I would have MegaSquirted my Cadillac. Instead I'd rather use a piggyback to maintain most of the engine/trans dynamic even if I am 'skewing' when/how it responds because it would be nothing more than a prototype.

  9. #8
    AJxtcman's Avatar
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Raze View Post
    AJ,
    From what I read NorthStarGXP wanted to know how to change timing, I assumed because he wanted to start messing with his tune to increase power and or support future mods, I'm only guessing at this. I agree tuning the stock PCM to do everything w/o having to run a piggy would be ideal, but there are many things reprogramming a stock PCM can't due because they're limited by the confines of their programming which you yourself should be intimatley aware of with your trials and tribulations with modifying the stock PCMs. But for some specific answers to your questions:

    I would never spin my stock N* past it's factory redline even if I were running boost on upgraded internals, period.

    I would skew the MAF by fooling it so it doesn't lock my timing and alter my fuel map as well as throw codes and alter the transmission control which the FSM says it does on error...

    I don't care about burning out a 4T80E, I can get another one from the junkyard for $150 around here, everything I have always said is based on the premise that anyone modifying their car this much would understand it's prototype which means UNRELIABLE, hence not a Daily Driver, so who cares? These Cadillacs are not made of gold, and they're depreciating so fast who cares?

    Why don't I look at JET? Because they are confined to the limits of the stock PCMs programming, if one wanted to add boost to their Cadillac, JET would not do squat, and as for their prices, I can buy and build a full stand alone MegaSquirt-II V3.0 for that price with not the ability to do what JET does, but a helluva lot more. The reason Cadillacs are harder is the interdependence of the automatic transmission controller, otherwise I would have MegaSquirted my Cadillac. Instead I'd rather use a piggyback to maintain most of the engine/trans dynamic even if I am 'skewing' when/how it responds because it would be nothing more than a prototype.
    I am buying a dyno to put every thing to rest!
    I am buying the dyno to verify my adjustments!
    I am putting the Dyno in my second garage


    Oh yeah in Rock Hill. Hmmmmmmmmm 4 hrs or so from Atlanta.

    Boy I do a lot of work for customers down your way.

  10. #9
    AJxtcman's Avatar
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Raze View Post
    The reason Cadillacs are harder is the interdependence of the automatic transmission controller, otherwise I would have MegaSquirted my Cadillac. Instead I'd rather use a piggyback to maintain most of the engine/trans dynamic even if I am 'skewing' when/how it responds because it would be nothing more than a prototype.
    Wrong
    The reason is Communication algo's

    I have been cheating this since day 1

    Buy a VDF for your car. Through out the cash to buy it and do it the right way.

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    NorthStarGXP is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    I'm just trying to increase my ignition timing in the most direct way possible at a minimum cost. Based on my datalogs of ignition timing and AFR, the ignition timing is very conservative, and there appears to be quite a bit of performance (and possibly gas mileage as well) to be gained by increasing it. I do believe this would require premium fuel, and that is all I run. Although I am starting to wonder if I am throwing my money away. I can't tell for sure because my DashDyno cannot display knock retard for my 2005 Northstar, although it can display it for most other GM vehicles.

    I don't really think that the Perfect Power SMT6 is for me. I don't see a price, but it appears to be a very advanced product, and I'm guessing it costs quite a bit. And in the end, you are skewing signals, which is a difficult and limited way to tune. Yes AJ, skewing the signals sucks, but there are no other practical options available for my vehicle, so I will not rule that method out. I can get a MAF translator for under $300, here are some details: http://www.fullthrottlenetwork.com/s...ad.php?p=27709

    I'm not sure it will be worth the effort though. Skewing the MAF signal will likely have small impact on ignition timing and a large impact on AFR which is not exactly what I am looking for.

    So back to the timing controller. This would fit my needs very well. It's cheap, and by modifying the ignition timing I could get probably 75% of the benefit of a real tune, assuming it works as expected.

    Anyway, I think the answer here is that it can't be adapted to the Northstar, or that it is not worth the effort.

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    Raze's Avatar
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    SMT6 can be found used under $200, new it's $300-350, SMT8 is $400ish...

  13. #12
    AJxtcman's Avatar
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthStarGXP View Post
    I'm just trying to increase my ignition timing in the most direct way possible at a minimum cost. Based on my datalogs of ignition timing and AFR, the ignition timing is very conservative, and there appears to be quite a bit of performance (and possibly gas mileage as well) to be gained by increasing it. I do believe this would require premium fuel, and that is all I run. Although I am starting to wonder if I am throwing my money away. I can't tell for sure because my DashDyno cannot display knock retard for my 2005 Northstar, although it can display it for most other GM vehicles.

    I don't really think that the Perfect Power SMT6 is for me. I don't see a price, but it appears to be a very advanced product, and I'm guessing it costs quite a bit. And in the end, you are skewing signals, which is a difficult and limited way to tune. Yes AJ, skewing the signals sucks, but there are no other practical options available for my vehicle, so I will not rule that method out. I can get a MAF translator for under $300, here are some details: http://www.fullthrottlenetwork.com/s...ad.php?p=27709

    I'm not sure it will be worth the effort though. Skewing the MAF signal will likely have small impact on ignition timing and a large impact on AFR which is not exactly what I am looking for.

    So back to the timing controller. This would fit my needs very well. It's cheap, and by modifying the ignition timing I could get probably 75% of the benefit of a real tune, assuming it works as expected.

    Anyway, I think the answer here is that it can't be adapted to the Northstar, or that it is not worth the effort.
    do you have any tuning experience? I can send you a bin file for your car. I can send you a link to a good disassembler that will map out the program. It is free. I can even show you what Northstar Tables look like, but you can't program a Northstar PCM with any of the cables on the market!!!!!!
    I have a way around that with the Tech II or the MDI. I have a spare 04-05 PCM around here and another one out getting the chip pulled. We could start tuning your PCM. This is not rocket science! I am just a GM tech.

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    NorthStarGXP is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: MSD Timing Controller - Question for AJ

    Well AJ, it would be awesome if we could start that process.

    I have some minimal tuning experience with 80's Ford EEC-IVs using PCMX and a moates j3 adaptor and burner. I never changed timing tables (just twisted the distributor for that), but I did update the Air Mass transfer function, fuel tables and many parameters. I do have an LM1 and used it to datalog and tune the AFR curve.

    I don't have any special equipment other than the LM1 and a Dashdyno SPD OBD2 monitor and performance meter.

    The tables and assembler might be over my head, but I would like to look at them. So you are saying that a bin file and a link to the assembler would allow me to look at and even modify the bin? Yes, I'd be interested in checking that out, and then maybe we could figure a way to get the changes burned to a PCM.

    I'll send a PM with my email address.

    Thanks,

    Jack

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