[rusEfi] 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions? #18

What engine are you torturing? Is it inside some car?
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1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions? #18

Post by Spine » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:21 pm

Hello all - I'm new (as of a few minutes ago).

A little history about me -

I'm an open source professional. I've helped develop open source programs in the past, and I strongly believe in open source - you get more people out there that can help, and you can help them...it's a friendly community - people helping people. I'm anti-m$. They are the evil inside most computers. I'm a Linux person, always have been, always will be. However that doesn't say I won't be seen on a m$ system...unfortunately work requires it. I'm the System Administrator for a decent sized company.

Honestly, I HATE/LOATH computers. Often times I wish they never existed. I'm an old school mechanic. I enjoy working on the classics (before the introduction of electronics in your engines). I'm not afraid to get down and dirty on a good vehicle. When I was handed my first "ECM" controlled vehicle with a check engine light (1989 Buick century v6), it took me a week to figure it out. All I got was "Fuel Ratio Error" from the idiot light. After replacing the entire fuel system, it came down to the darn O2 sensor...I quit the mechanic scene at that time. I still work on classics from time to time, and I'll rebuild the computer controlled engines, but troubleshooting these computer controlled vehicles - count me out.

Now, I have this project that I accidentally stumbled upon and it's time to make it roll (on it's own power). So first, I'll give you a little intro.

About 9 months or so ago, I purchased these two Geo Storms. I call one Blue (1993 - Base model Isuzu 1.6L SOHC), and the other Yellow (1990 - GSI with Isuzu 1.6L DOHC). Blue ran great, new brakes, new tires, new...pretty much everything. Yellow was sitting in this guys back yard, all kinds of parts dumped inside it, flat tires, collecting even more dirt and dust with some rust. The guy was using Yellow as a parts car for Blue. He wanted $800 for the pair. I opened the hood on Yellow and didn't even hesitate with my reply - "I'll take'm".

After sitting in my back yard for a couple more months, I figured it was time to get Yellow going (Blue was a daily driver since the day we got it - awesome MPG). So, here is what has been done:

1.) Replaced all injectors
2.) Replaced fuel filter
3.) Replaced fuel pump

*** Was running great at this point with one exception - blown head gasket...was mixing coolant with oil, but engine performance wasn't effected ***

4.) Rebuilt top-end (hot tank, plane head for true, gasket kit for top-end, fresh paint for top-end+intake)

*** Drove it for about a week then the "crap" happened. Yellow acted like it jumped a tooth on the timing belt...back firing, missing, just all around running like crap. Took me three tries to get it up on ramps. Been there ever since and won't even try to start. Timing was dead on, so I replaced all matching electronic parts from Blue to see if I had any "dead" ones on Yellow - no resolution, so I continue with replacements...

5.) Replaced fuel pump and filter again
6.) Replaced fuel regulator
7.) Replaced coil
8.) Replaced induction coil (pickup coil in distributor)

Through all this troubleshooting, none of the fuses are blown, all relays worked fine (tested fine) all show proper voltage when the ignition is on and being tested (turning over, in run position, in accessories position), so I know the wiring is good. Fuel pump turns on when it's supposed to. Now, I have narrowed the issue down to the problem - which brought me to this forum/website. The ECM/ECU (whatever you want to call it - the brains of this engine) is bad (per the service manual via #8 above). I see one spark when I "turn off" the ignition, but does not spark when turning over (starting) or when "rolling" over (push starting).

So, that is my story - and this is my project. Now I know I said "troubleshooting these computer controlled vehicles - count me out", well that's for my customers and closed source setups. I'm excited to try this on my own vehicle - this is where I know what is what and why it's broke, vs. going against a stock GM/Ford/Dodge ECM which is a closed source setup.

Now, for the advice part -
What would you recommend for this vehicle? This will be my first attempt at building my own ECM. My second attempt will be my 1978 Suzuki GS1000 motorcycle with custom intake to make it fuel injected...but that's after I prove to my wife that this will work on Yellow.

I need it to run just the entire engine - the injectors, coil, and timing (with an output to the in-dash tach). There is no turbo so don't need to worry about that. I'd like to use the pickup coil in the distributor as the cam timing for the ECM.

Eventually I'd like to go with individual coils - one per cylinder, but that will be a future mod to get rid of the distributor cap unless it's very easy to do here. This vehicle is a standard, so I don't need to worry about any transmission inputs/outputs (and I wouldn't be taking on this project if it was an automatic - I hate'm).

So please, any input/advice is definitely wanted - but the advice to "dump it" or "it's not worth it" will not be accepted (on my part - my wife might see it and then say - "It's time to send it to the scrap yard"). One day I would like to do autocross with this vehicle, and having an open source ECM in the vehicle at launch time would help this concept.

Here is a link to the vehicle specs to perhaps assist in advice:
http://www.isuzuperformance.com/isupage ... storm.html

Here is a picture of the engine in this car (less the turbo):
http://www.isuzuperformance.com/gifs/ca ... tgem15.jpg

Thank you all in advance...

Update:
ALL rusEfi PIN SETTINGS:
PA0 - Map sensor
PA2 - TPS
PB7 - Injector 4 out
PB8 - Injector 3 out
PB9 - Injector 1 out
PC1 - Air intake temp
PC2 - Coolant temp in
PC3 - O2 sensor
PC7 - Ignition Module 2
PC9 - Ignition Module 3
PC13 - Idle valve control solenoid
PD7 - Main Relay
PE2 - Injector 2 out
PE3 - Out spare low #1
PE4 - Ignition Module 4
PE5 - Cooling fan relay
PE6 - Out spare low #2
PE10 - Fuel Pump Relay ** HIGH **
PE14 - Ignition Module 1
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Last edited by Spine on Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by kb1gtt » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:57 am

Looks like the links on the first post no worky. I think that's a forum spam prevention tool. This means I'm a bit ignorant about your engine specs.

Do you know the connector? Any chance it matches Frankenso?

Does the original ECM have integrated igniters, or are they separate? It's common that as the plugs wear, the gap grows. When this gap grows, it increases the spark voltage. As the spark voltage increases it also increases the kick back voltage seen on the primary side of the coil. The primary side is typically clamped between 350V-ish to 500V-ish. Where 350V is more OEM and 500V is more performance parts. I'll assume yours is closer to the 350V. As your plug gap erodes and voltage goes up, eventually the igniter clamping starts to kick in by absorbing some energy as watts. If this watts can't get away fast enough, the igniter temperature will raise, and eventually damage the igniter. After a while the igniter clamping circuit gets too fatigued and fails. This then allows the voltage to jump up to that 500V or more. However the primary side of the coil which was expecting a 350V clamped signal typically can't sustain such high voltage and starts to arc internally. This is typically the point where people start to notice a problem, as the internal arcing will result in failed ignition --> loss of the go juice.

Some times you can get better ignition / temporary fixes by replacing the plugs or the coil, which is reasonably common for people to do. They think ignition problem, start with the maintenance items like plugs and wires, then eventually the coil. However the core of the problem is commonly pushed back to the failed clamping circuit in the igniter. So when you replace the coil, it might work for a while, then the internal arcing of the coil cause the new coil to fail as the igniter didn't protect it. In this situation, what is needed is to replace both the igniter and coil at the same time. Once the coils is damaged, replacing the igniter isn't going to help, as it will still arc internally once it's been damaged. So you need to replace them as a pair.

Generally I haven't seen failed ECM's, ECU's or what ever you want to call the brain. I have seen system problems that cause people to blame the ECM. Common issues include that above noted coil and igniter issue, as well as corroded GND wires. Remember your coils are pumping around 10A or more at time. If your GND wires are .1 ohms, that will drop 1V or more across it, which can cause all sorts of problems like brown out resets.

It sounds to me like you might have the igniter problem, so I wonder if you can replace that and the coil before you try a massive change to the electronics. I'm all for changing it, but I want to make sure you aren't fighting other issues. Also getting it running on the OEM allows you to take some measurements that can simplify the tuning process. I would suggest getting it running first, then make the swap. In the past we have used this IO board to move wires slowly to a new ECU.

http://rusefi.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=454

Also have you found the wiki? http://rusefi.com/wiki/index.php?title= ... project/en

I'm a fan of changing the ECU, as OEM's don't let you get low enough to properly diagnose a problem. With an ECU like rusEFI you'll gain access to lower level information that make diagnosing problems much easier. When you get access to that kind of information, I think you'll find they aren't as bad as your prior experiences.

Welcome along, nice to hear from you.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:52 am

I will set your board for VR pickup sensor.

Do you know your trigger shape signal? Unless you have mono injection or simultaneous injection there must be a way for stock ECU to know which cylinder is which.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:24 pm

Sorry for the delay in my replies. To answer some of the questions-

The "igniter" (ignition control) is located in the distributor. It has been replaced with a new one, along with a new induction coil. Basically, I've replaced all the core parts for any ignition and fuel system device - with the exception of the ECM. To make things easier, I'm going to be running new wires from every engine component to the new computer. Then from there I'll route new wires to what I need (tach, lights, etc.). Basically, this will be like an engine on a stand, wired to the new computer and go from there. Each injector will have it's own pair of wires going to the computer, each coil (future application) will have it's own pair of wires going the the computer, and the induction coil from the distributor will go to the computer for the timing, etc.

I agree, I have not seen the ECM/ECU's fail - usually with one exception. However going through everything in the service manual, it points to the ECM/ECU. Blue is a different engine, or I'd swap them out and test to confirm. I've also checked all the ground wires I could see, on the engine, behind the dash, on the body, etc., and they are solid on the body and engine block. There are also solid ground straps going from engine to body, and of course the ground cable from the battery to the engine. However, as stated above, when I get the new computer, I'm gutting all the wiring from this car and wiring only what is needed with new wires (lots of use with the word wire...haha). Once the car runs and is tuned, then I'll come back through and wire the rest.

@Russian - I will check for a crank pickup sensor. Other than that, I have no oscilloscope to check signals. I can get pics of my distributor and anything else you may want that can assist in building the ECU.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by kb1gtt » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:33 pm

Good to hear from you. Sounds like a good solid plan. New wires should remove potential issues.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:52 pm

Perhaps someone can give me some assistance here. Now, I'm not wanting to sound stupid - I just don't want to burn this up before I get it in correctly.

So, I'll upload a picture of the wiring diagram for my current ECM. What I'm looking for is this - Pin to Pin wiring (remember no A/T); ie.
OLD ECM NEW ECM
A1 (FP RELAY) T (A-Z plug - PE4)
C10 (Coolant TMP) Q (A-Z plug - PC2/Analog 2)
??? (???) ??? (A-P plug - ???)
??? (???) ??? (A-V plug - ???)
etc...

New ECM plugs are based on:
http://rusefi.com/wiki/index.php?title= ... enso_board

Also, I'm assuming that I will have to re-pin some of the wires from the provided plugs for the new ECM.

Also, the TunerStudio I have downloaded will not communicate with the setup. I've tried both mini-USB ports, and have also installed the drivers from both perspective manufacturers. It does light up with the USB cable, and the LCD lights up with the menu. Does anyone have a version available that I can download that is compatible with this ECM? (Frankenso 0.4)

Thank you in advance for the assistance.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:19 pm

Yes there is a chance that you would need to move some wires in the plug. I believe there is a link to a video which shows how to remove a wire from this Honda plug safely.

Let's do the wiring step by step. First step would be wiring some GND wires and the +12 when ignition key is ON - this case the board should power up when your ignition key is ON and turn off if the car is off. You should not fry anything with just these wires. Next step would be wiring Fuel Pump Relay if your car has it - that would be 3T according to http://rusefi.com/wiki/index.php?title= ... ult_Pinout

To create a TunerStudio project you need to point Tuner Studio at the rusefi.ini file which you would get once you download "rusEfi bundle" as described at http://rusefi.com/wiki/index.php?title= ... re:User/en The bundle would be located at http://rusefi.com/build_server/rusefi_bundle.zip
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:41 am

Ok, so I have power. I tried to connect the fuel pump out to the fuel pump relay, but when I do the bench test to test the fuel pump, nothing happens. It is pushing 3.2v to the relay at all times. Doesn't matter if I push test or not. What would be the course of action here?

The relays are all 12v relays. Do I need to get different relays that accept a different voltage?

When I put the fuel pump relay input to 12v power, the fuel pump starts. But when I put it on the fuel pump output on the frankenso, nothing happens when I press or don't press the "test fuel pump" button It shows that it sent the command to the board.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:46 am

injectors and a lot of smaller things are usually controlled by what is called "lower side". That means that you apply constant +12 from the battery via a fuse, but your ECU is either providing GND or not providing GND. So if ECU is not providing GND, fuel pump is off even while connected to +12v with another wire. If GND is provided by the ECU, fuel pump is on.

You need to confirm if your fuel pump relay is controlled by low side (GND) or high-side (this we support as well but only at lower currents)
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:12 am

The fuel pump relay wire that originally came off the old ECM, when put on hot +12v, the pump turns on and when grounded nothing happens. So with that, I would assume it is controlled by a high side. Now, if necessary, I can create my own low side relay to run the original fuel pump relay system (and any other high side relay systems).
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:34 pm

Your schematics does confirm that you have an unusual high-side control of the fuel relay. Good news that's not a problem :)

We have these four transistors where source voltage is configurable with a jumper section - http://rusefi.com/wiki/index.php?title= ... rd#Hi_side

You would need to add one of these jumpers to feed +12 into one of the transistors. Then you would need to change the channel / wire used for fuel pump control via Tuner Studio. burn/save/close/reset rusEfi, and the new wire would start feeding +12 into the pump.

For instance let's use pin PE10 for your fuel pump. Jared please check me, looks like PE10 is HL#5 which goes to W9 jumper which is 1I which is actually labeled "ignition module #4". Well, are we planning individual ignition on this engine? If we do we should probably use another pin to make life easier. I would need to improve the documentation of the recently added channels #7 and #8 later today.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:38 pm

So, I have the jumper installed. But what settings do I change in the program? In the future, I do plan on having 4 coils for the engine. At this moment, I's only one for "proof of concept".
IMG_20160406_091923.jpg
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Another thing I noticed, when using TunerStudio or the program provided (via the web link above), it will re-initialize randomly when looking at some of the settings/gauges. When trying to burn something with TunerStudio, it will sometimes burn, and sometimes error (without second power source). If it has power via the second usb (on the discovery board) or 12v power, it errors and states to make sure the ignition is off.

The programming port I'm using is the mini-usb on the Frankenso board labelled TTL.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:33 pm

You've added a jumper for PE14 & PE12 channels, your version of the board has individual jumpers for each chip. PE10 is on a different chip closer to "PE10" label on the picture.

You would need to change the "Fuel Pump Pin" setting in TS to let the software know that a different wire is used. You would also need to make sure that the new pin is not assigned as ignition output pin already.

I've created https://sourceforge.net/p/rusefi/tickets/276/ and https://sourceforge.net/p/rusefi/tickets/277/ to revisit connectivity stability.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:22 pm

I don't mean to sound like an ignorant fool, but which jumper(s) would be the ones I should place on 12v (assuming I will have 4 coils)? I'm not able to see what you're talking about regarding the PE10, PE12, PE14, etc. I've looked at the picture from
http://rusefi.com/wiki/index.php?title= ... rd#Hi_side
but it's different than the board I have - unless I'm missing something. I do apologize for my ignorance in this. I can do a lot of advanced things with electronics; ie. fix burnt traces, replace chips, install jumpers, program chips, etc., but when it comes down to schematics - I'm about an "average" person.
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Also, thank you for opening the trouble tickets.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:35 pm

I believe that P606 is the one to get +12 to the PE10 output. You would need to connect the "VP" and "12v" pads together.

I am travelling and on a corporate laptop right now so the better picture would only happen once I am back home :(
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:50 pm

Perfect, I've moved the jumper from P605 to P606. Changed the Fuel Pump to PE10, and moved Ignition 4 to PE4 (basically traded spots). Is there anything else I need to do before testing the fuel pump relay?

Thank you for all your help.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:00 pm

save & reset and maybe try with a multimeter? The led should go on for 4 seconds after reset since thats the logic
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:02 am

Ok, so I've got it back in the car. I tested the output for the fuel pump relay (PE4), and when pressing fuel pump "test" nothing happens. However, when resetting or initial power on it shows 12v (12.95 per battery). When the fuel pump relay is connected, it will turn on when reset or initially powered on. But it does not turn on when "testing". It shows 5.89v when the relay is connected (initial power on or reset). I've tried the internal menu; Bench Test => fuel pump, but again nothing happens.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:08 am

Spine wrote:When the fuel pump relay is connected, it will turn on when reset or initially powered on.
let's declare this a success :) will try the test command once I get home but if it powers the pump on on reset I would expect the test command to work as well. Maybe try it coupe of times. The rusEfi console test button, right? Or is it the Tuner Studio test button?
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:36 am

It's the ruseEfi console. So, my next step - I would assume is the fan relay...it is also 12v. Do I need to add jumpers for that, and if so which one? Then, I'm assuming, I'd have to change the output pin like I did for the fuel pump relay.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:00 am

I do not see the fan relay on the schematics but I could be blind. One jumper handles two outputs since two channels per chip so you can reuse the same chip.

Shaft position sensor is kind of the most interesting one. Once you have main relay taken care of, can you crank the engine with the starter? triggerinfo is the command which shows your how many events have arrived from the shaft sensor, first step would be to see the counter going up.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:16 am

russian wrote:so you can reuse the same chip.
that would be PE8 - that's 1L on the connector.
Some info added to http://rusefi.com/wiki/index.php?title= ... ult_Pinout
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:16 pm

A friend brought it up to me that maybe I have the baud rate wrong. Can you verify this for me please.

I'm currently connected at 38400.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by kb1gtt » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:43 pm

This page notes 38400 http://rusefi.com/wiki/index.php?title= ... re:User/en so it would appear you have the correct baud rate.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:18 am

Perfect, thank you for the information on the baud rate.

Ok, now for the Main Relay...It shows in the picture that it is an output (green text), however when the ignition is on the wire pushes 12v to the ECM. As an output, I thought the ECM should be pushing out to the relay, not the other way.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:21 am

default main relay output is low side (so it's connecting to GND), I think you might be seeing +12 there because of the whole electricity magic? Please check your schematics and try GNDing this wire without rusEfi and see how that goes?
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:37 am

Nope, that bugger lit up like a christmas tree going to ground... I just verified that I'm a vin-code 5 (not 6), so the schematics I posted are correct. Think I see the issue... It's not "RED-GRN"(A6) I need, it's the "BLK-YEL => WHT-GRN" (D12) that I need. Of course RED-GRN is hot, it's coming from the main fuse box, where WHT-GRN goes to the relay to kick on the box.

**face-palm**
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:01 pm

Ok, so now I'm to the distributor and coil...

The way this is setup, the coil is directly connected to the distributor. The distributor has a "hi", "lo", "bypass", and "est". My question is this: How should I wire this in?

Thank you.
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by russian » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:08 pm

You need to figure out what all these weird wires are. Your pickup coil signal goes into "ignition module" which tells me that's some kind of a smart one which does limping mode all by itself or something unless the ECU overrides it. Either we need a good description of these four wires our we would have to go with removing this ignition module and working with the sensor and coil directly.

Does google or manual say anything specific about your setup?
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Re: 1990 Geo Storm GSI - Advice/Suggestions?

Post by Spine » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:26 pm

Ok, so here's what I found online. Now I "would" like to run the coil separately because I have a performance 2 wire coil I'd like to wire in a performance coil. I don't care how the distributor is setup, I'd prefer to keep it intact but I don't mind removing "stuff" that isn't necessary or gets in the way.
ignition-module.jpg
ignition-module.jpg (36.29 KiB) Viewed 5079 times
ignition-pinout.png
ignition-pinout.png (10.86 KiB) Viewed 5072 times
Last edited by Spine on Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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