Mystery Custom 4.6 Tornado ECU - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 9th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Brett
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Mystery Custom 4.6 Tornado ECU

I've been reading up on all the great history in here on 4.6 upgrades and modified ECU's to handle both the adjusted performance characteristics and also still post diagnostic codes.

I'm trying to get a handle on exactly what state the ECU is in in my truck. I have a 4.6 upgrade that was done at West Coast Rover in 2008.

Supposedly when the 4.6 upgrade was done, WCR swapped in a custom tuned Tornado chip from Mark Adams. The upgrade was done 4/11/2008. From digging in posts, Mike from ECR had Mark Adams come out to work on a good design for the Tornado in early March 2008, and posted again in May 2008 indicating that all the issues had been worked out.

Timing wise, the WCR install is awfully close to Mark working out all the details with Mike, so it's possible that I got a very early-stage Tornado?

Previous owner also said that after the swap the truck was having some problems with mild pinging when going up steep hills for extended periods. At the recommendation of a local D110 owner he took the truck to a shop (Otto's Venice) that specialized in custom chip tuning/programming. They have a 4-wheel dyno where they hooked the rover up and their chip tuner did a custom tune based on the dyno results. The difference between what WCR had installed and what this guy did was a night and day difference so previous owner suspects the chip that was installed as part of the swap might not have been optimal.

So anyone have thoughts on how I might go about determining what I have? I'm mostly concerned that I may have an ECU that is not throwing diagnostic codes properly. For example, when I disconnect my MAF (part of troubleshooting an idle issue), and fire up the truck, no CEL comes on. Shouldn't it? Any other simple checks I can do (like disconnect O2 sensors?) to see if diagnostics are posting as they should be.

Appreciate any pointers.
Cheers,
-Brett.
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  #2  
Old January 9th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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Travis Graham
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I'm not sure about the Tornado PROMs for the GEMS system, but the 14CUX Tornado PROM has the software revision printed on the label. This will at least let you compare to other known quantities (or check with Mark Adams).

FWIW, Mark offers a generous upgrade policy - I had an ~8 year old PROM and Mark sent me a new one with the latest software for the cost of postage (+ shipping the old PROM back)! He also tuned it for new Bosch 4-port injectors that I installed at the same time.

Travis
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Old January 10th, 2012, 05:33 PM
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Baird M. Gehring
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so if you have a 4.6 engine in a '97 D90 but the ECU is the stock 4.0 set up will codes not show up or turn on the check engine light?
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Old January 10th, 2012, 06:25 PM
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It doesn't know its a 4.6 you're fine.
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  #5  
Old January 10th, 2012, 06:37 PM
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i beleive if you just left a stock ECU in then, you'll get CEL codes, but won't have the full performance benefits of the 4.6.

this thread is well worth a read: http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...&highlight=4.6
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Old January 13th, 2012, 12:45 AM
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Baird M. Gehring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brettm View Post
i beleive if you just left a stock ECU in then, you'll get CEL codes, but won't have the full performance benefits of the 4.6.

this thread is well worth a read: http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...&highlight=4.6
Neat thread, it will be great to see what ECR comes up with.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 12:21 PM
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to close this thread...

I took my ECU with me a few weeks ago on a trip back to the motherland... I managed to hunt down Mark Adams (thanks to ECR) and took the ECU to his business in Church Stretton. Mark cracked her open and determined that there was no Tornado chip present, but a hacked chip with the stock firmware and some simple fuel/air re-mappings.

Quoting Mark:

"Many tuners just stick in a lot more advance which always makes it feel sharper, and the standard map is very under-advanced. This would certainly explain the pinking/detonation that you sometimes hear. However they used the original Defender software (9661) as a base for their work, and this only has a 4.0 Litre Automatic tune in it.

What this means at a minimum is that the map is not scaled correctly in terms of engine load (air flow), since (fairly obviously really) the larger engine consumes more air. When you use full load the ECU will hit the top of the map hard, and this in turn messes up all the mid range adaptations. Hence the return of pinking from time to time, probably after a good blast."

Mark swapped out the chips for some shiny new Tornado's ones and the ECU is re-installed and Landy is running great, feels much more responsive and I've yet to hear it ping again!

Interesting to see Mark's setup - he has to pretty cool kit in there, even if half of it requires MS-DOS to run

490 quid well spent if you ask me.
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  #8  
Old February 16th, 2012, 12:56 PM
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Does Mark have a site ?
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  #9  
Old February 16th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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As far as I know, it's:

http://www.tornadosystems.com

Travis
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Old February 16th, 2012, 01:25 PM
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Thanks , I have to figure out what the best ECU is to mate up with a 4.6 ( and make it as simple as possible)
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  #11  
Old February 16th, 2012, 01:25 PM
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Wow, you all who are so devoted to the GEMS and the 14CUX tuning are real sports I must say. All the hell you go thru to get any performance out of the shiz is remarkable.

My 2 cents:
Rip out all that crap and replace it with either A) Megasquirt 3 (with daughter card) B) Ford A9L from a Mustang (for which there are soooo many more chip options) or the venerable and weatherized Mercruiser (GM) ecu.
Cripes they used to run F1 and NASCAR cars on the very same Ford ECU. If it worked for that app, it should work for a Rover (cough-Buick-cough) engine.

This will mean splicing the harness if using the old one, but a Mustang harness is easy to come by and fits just dandy. Ditto a GM harness.
You can also get generic harnesses that work with the MS ecu.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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Bill,
looking for simplicity , what is the simplest, cleanest, easiest ECU to make a good power and efficient EFI Rover ? I would like a universal system like mega squirt if came with a few straight up options , but to sit on a laptop and configure the whole thing from scratch is way above my expertise and time I'm willing to spend on tuning
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  #13  
Old February 16th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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The easy way is to run 14CUX with a 4.2 chip out of an LWB.
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