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VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

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Sommerfeldt
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VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

Post by Sommerfeldt » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:40 pm

SO, I've been toying with the idea of tuning the 850 on my own, and have been reading the 7100+ post thread on VolvoSpeed that originated the whole thing of doing this yourself.

But... it seems to be dying. The originators have seen the opportunity to make money off plugins and mods for TunerPro, as well as selling "stock" tunes, even, or special tunes on order. The Wikia site that was set up has no files anymore, and if I remember correctly, there were a few that were even getting lean conditions and knocking using the "stock" files that the Wikia site and VS were linking to.

Right now, there are no files to be had from the Wikia site or VS that will work for a "noob", pictures and instructions are fuzzy and no one is going to dig through 7100 posts (that's almost 500 pages) of a thread to find out what will or won't work. Asking direct questions to those who seem to know what they're talking about doesn't work, and it's getting to the point that there doesn't seem to be any "new blood" in it, trying to get started or get going.

So would it be a good idea to get a guide going here, or on a new site, to condense, refine, rehash, refresh and renew things? Is anyone here interested in upgrading their ECUs or tune and tinker with that stuff? There is even the possibility (though more limited) to tune the M4.3 ECUs, but that's a pretty quiet scene all together. :)

What do you guys think, if anything?

- S
'96 855 T5, R bumper and spoiler, Koni Yellows & blue H&R springs all 'round.

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Re: VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

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Re: VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

Post by CalvinSonniksen » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:59 pm

Im working on making the underlying software changes easier to make, to make the tuning a bit more self explanatory on the XDF and ADX side. If someone has time to work with me, i'm willing to make a series of How-To Videos or something of the sort to help people get started.

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Re: VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

Post by CalvinSonniksen » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:04 pm

Sommerfeldt wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:40 pm
So would it be a good idea to get a guide going here, or on a new site, to condense, refine, rehash, refresh and renew things? Is anyone here interested in upgrading their ECUs or tune and tinker with that stuff? There is even the possibility (though more limited) to tune the M4.3 ECUs, but that's a pretty quiet scene all together. :)

What do you guys think, if anything?

- S
The M4.3 ECUs are not worth playing with, the M4.4 units are plug and play with no hardware modifications, they have double the memory capacity (two 64kb banks) to do fun stuff with. It looks like may of the people that worked on M4.4 have moved on to affordable aftermarket units that can support power that is north of 400-500WHP. The MAF system is only good for that amount of power.

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Re: VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

Post by Sommerfeldt » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:45 am

CalvinSonniksen wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:04 pm
The M4.3 ECUs are not worth playing with, the M4.4 units are plug and play with no hardware modifications, they have double the memory capacity (two 64kb banks) to do fun stuff with. It looks like may of the people that worked on M4.4 have moved on to affordable aftermarket units that can support power that is north of 400-500WHP. The MAF system is only good for that amount of power.
As I said, the M4.3 is more limited, but they’re definitely worth playing with. There are maps and BIN files available, and they’re very tinker friendly. ;)

The M4.4 is pretty well mapped out, so to speak, but at the end of the day, it’s also clear that the M4.4 ECUs aren’t compatible with the M4.3 cars without pretty extensive modification. Pretty far from plug and play.
Outside the known territory, there are thousands of differences that are either unknown, overlooked or seemed unimportant, which leads to difficulties - just run an M4.4 auto bin vs. an auto bin through the differences tool, and you’ll see how much is not assigned. 1 bit difference and plug&Zoltan, huh? Just imagine the M4.3 vs M4.4...

It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re not looking for “north of 400-500 WHP” (I’m certainly not), and you don’t think that the units you’re talking about are “affordable” (I certainly don’t), then spending 30 bucks to tune on your own is a very attractive option.

Want to turn your T5 into a T5-R? You can do that, with an M4.3 car (I did). Want to turn your M4.4 into an R? Can do. Want 100 hp more? Yup. Can do. Change your turbo, need less grief from emissions stuff, or just tuning a sleeper for everyday use? It’s all available. It’s just hard to get started with the mess that the VS stuff has turned into.

As a side note, these cars are built on the MAF system, reading input and tables coupled with load data, as do many high power cars. You can’t get rid of that in any way without rebuilding or replacing the entire management system, both to great cost and risk. I don’t think that’s the main audience here.

- S
'96 855 T5, R bumper and spoiler, Koni Yellows & blue H&R springs all 'round.

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Re: VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

Post by Chuck W » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:15 am

I've built MegaSquirts for a couple of my cars, but this stuff appeals to me for tuning our dailies that we've done some upgrades to.

I've followed the thread(which is a mess, as well as the Wiki), did the reading, built my flashing stuff and can flash ECUs. I can't decipher any of the code, but can read and follow directions.

I think they've reloaded some of the files back up to the Wiki here recently. I downloaded a bunch of stuff last year, so I had what I needed to get started.

I started messing with it after we did the RN swap in the wife's '97GLT and tried to do some upgrades (16T, injectors, etc), but ran into the issue that the '97GLT is an oddball with the AC controls (It's an M4.4 ECU, but with 850 climate controls). We couldn't get the AC to work with flashing the current stuff, and it was the middle of summer...so we put the stock ECU back in.

After getting some spare GLT ECUs, and working with a couple of the core guys in Sweden and Norway, I think we got a bin sorted out, but then it got too cold to test it. Spring is coming, so we'll be trying that out soon. I'm also planning on M4.4-converting my '97T5 here this year, mainly just because I can.

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Re: VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

Post by CalvinSonniksen » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:56 pm

Sommerfeldt wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:45 am

The M4.4 is pretty well mapped out, so to speak, but at the end of the day, it’s also clear that the M4.4 ECUs aren’t compatible with the M4.3 cars without pretty extensive modification. Pretty far from plug and play.
Outside the known territory, there are thousands of differences that are either unknown, overlooked or seemed unimportant, which leads to difficulties - just run an M4.4 auto bin vs. an auto bin through the differences tool, and you’ll see how much is not assigned. 1 bit difference and plug&Zoltan, huh? Just imagine the M4.3 vs M4.4...

It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re not looking for “north of 400-500 WHP” (I’m certainly not), and you don’t think that the units you’re talking about are “affordable” (I certainly don’t), then spending 30 bucks to tune on your own is a very attractive option.

Want to turn your T5 into a T5-R? You can do that, with an M4.3 car (I did). Want to turn your M4.4 into an R? Can do. Want 100 hp more? Yup. Can do. Change your turbo, need less grief from emissions stuff, or just tuning a sleeper for everyday use? It’s all available. It’s just hard to get started with the mess that the VS stuff has turned into.

- S
Would you like to work on a “How to” for M4.4? There is already a pretty good step by step on the wiki to get started. But tuning requires understanding of underlying theories. Bumping power is easy enough, but even putting in a 19T turbo requires modifying the boost control PID (called LDR in M4.4) so the turbo does not boost spike and kill the engine, lowering the P- factor and the I-Factor helps significantly, the TCV pilot map must be changed as well. It’s a complicated process that is not easily taught.

On another note, M4.4 is direct drop-in, plug and play, with M4.3 Cars. Change 2 bytes of data to make it compatable with the 850 ECC and AC control. Hardware mods are no longer needed. As proof I offer my 854R making 300whp, a 855R at 350whp, and a s70 with 300whp, (and a smattering of sotickish 850s abs x70s) all of them tuned by me on M4.4, and a few of them built by me. The Auto and Manual setbit changes a bunch of underlying routines, there is a whole big chunk of code and maps dedicated to making manual cars smooth to drive and have smooth throttle on and throttle off transitions, that is not active when the Auto setbit is on. There is also boost by gear and boost limiting below a set speed, each of thoes are for their corisponding Auto/Manual versions. I understand M4.4 pretty well, and am trying to make it more accessible right now by simplifying the XDF file and make things like changing injectors or MAF sensors a single click affair.

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Re: VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

Post by Sommerfeldt » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:22 am

CalvinSonniksen wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:56 pm
Would you like to work on a “How to” for M4.4? There is already a pretty good step by step on the wiki to get started. But tuning requires understanding of underlying theories. Bumping power is easy enough, but even putting in a 19T turbo requires modifying the boost control PID (called LDR in M4.4) so the turbo does not boost spike and kill the engine, lowering the P- factor and the I-Factor helps significantly, the TCV pilot map must be changed as well. It’s a complicated process that is not easily taught.

On another note, M4.4 is direct drop-in, plug and play, with M4.3 Cars. Change 2 bytes of data to make it compatable with the 850 ECC and AC control. Hardware mods are no longer needed. As proof I offer my 854R making 300whp, a 855R at 350whp, and a s70 with 300whp, (and a smattering of sotickish 850s abs x70s) all of them tuned by me on M4.4, and a few of them built by me. The Auto and Manual setbit changes a bunch of underlying routines, there is a whole big chunk of code and maps dedicated to making manual cars smooth to drive and have smooth throttle on and throttle off transitions, that is not active when the Auto setbit is on. There is also boost by gear and boost limiting below a set speed, each of thoes are for their corisponding Auto/Manual versions. I understand M4.4 pretty well, and am trying to make it more accessible right now by simplifying the XDF file and make things like changing injectors or MAF sensors a single click affair.
The idea was more to take the audience here into account, and make it all a little easier, and a little better for those who aren't hardcore tuners, but just want to make minor changes, flash a quicker BIN, or do some mods while not going all out, as we do here. I don't think 350+ WHP is the main scene here, judging by the activity in this forum... ;)

BUT, and this is a big BUT - 4.4 is NOT AT ALL a "direct drop-in", nor "plug and play" for M4.3 cars. AT ALL. There's no such thing as "changing one bit" (or two) and that will take care of it. Just doesn't work, and while the car might run fine and drive, you'll have CELs and lingering errors. The auto vs. manual is an example that I talked about already - scan the two for differences (607 vs 608, for example), and you'll see what I mean. The differences are really quite massive.

I've already also talked about load request maps and so on, and again, I don't think that stuff is the main audience here. My idea is to make this more accessible and easy to get started with, not overwhelm the "noob" (like me) with theory and programming speek, and clouding it all in vague ideas that only insiders understand, like the thread on VS does. It's VERY hard to get started, VERY easy to be overwhelmed and give up while looking at the Wiki and that thread, and you'll always be told off if you ask questions in there. Good luck getting replies on a new thread before it's old enough to be archived...

I really like your idea of automating a lot of the mods mapping. Clicking a button for a safe tune with the new injectors you've just put in, or the 16T, or just a little more oomph with the stock setup, is a stellar idea. Those who go hardcore will say you need to fine tune each vehicle, of course, but after all, they were all shipped with the same programming from Volvo, so as long as the parameters are safe, I don't see why it can't be done, by someone with the right skills. But to start out, good pics of a table top tuning setup and a clear how-to for getting started, along with some safe BINs (both Euro and US - they're VERY different, again) would be a starting point that's just not there right now.

Also...
CalvinSonniksen wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:56 pm

As proof I offer my 854R making 300whp, a 855R at 350whp, and a s70 with 300whp
Got dyno sheets to back that up...? ;)

- S
'96 855 T5, R bumper and spoiler, Koni Yellows & blue H&R springs all 'round.

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Re: VS M4.4 tuning dead? Start again here?

Post by Chuck W » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:38 am

CalvinSonniksen wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:56 pm

Would you like to work on a “How to” for M4.4? There is already a pretty good step by step on the wiki to get started. But tuning requires understanding of underlying theories. Bumping power is easy enough, but even putting in a 19T turbo requires modifying the boost control PID (called LDR in M4.4) so the turbo does not boost spike and kill the engine, lowering the P- factor and the I-Factor helps significantly, the TCV pilot map must be changed as well. It’s a complicated process that is not easily taught.

On another note, M4.4 is direct drop-in, plug and play, with M4.3 Cars. Change 2 bytes of data to make it compatable with the 850 ECC and AC control. Hardware mods are no longer needed. As proof I offer my 854R making 300whp, a 855R at 350whp, and a s70 with 300whp, (and a smattering of sotickish 850s abs x70s) all of them tuned by me on M4.4, and a few of them built by me. The Auto and Manual setbit changes a bunch of underlying routines, there is a whole big chunk of code and maps dedicated to making manual cars smooth to drive and have smooth throttle on and throttle off transitions, that is not active when the Auto setbit is on. There is also boost by gear and boost limiting below a set speed, each of thoes are for their corisponding Auto/Manual versions. I understand M4.4 pretty well, and am trying to make it more accessible right now by simplifying the XDF file and make things like changing injectors or MAF sensors a single click affair.
Personally, I think a better "How-To" would be nice. I'm not as concerned with a "push button, get instant gratification" as I tend to RTFM, to try and actually learn what's going on. I think that's the biggest problem with the VS thread. Things just get lost in trying to get through it all. Trust me, I've tried a few times. The Wiki does it's job on getting you started. That's all I used, plus digging into the thread, to be able to assemble parts and flash ECUs. A lot of folks are "Help me!" without even bothering to put forth any effort on their own.

Boost control tuning is something explanation is something that seems to be lacking, and is definitely an area I'd like to get a better handle on, as we move forward on the work on the wife's GLT. We've got a 16T on there right now, but everything else is still stock, as we had to sort the AC control issue for that model.

The Auto/Manual set-bit is another discussion that seems to go both ways. I remember reading the discussion about just "flipping a bit" (as mentioned by one of the VS members) between auto and manual, then there seemed to be a retraction on that. I have an interest there, as I'm going to be manual-swapping my '97 T5 in the near future, as well as doing a few other things.

I'm not planning on some big power rigs, but these cars are getting older, and trying to keep things bone stock, or working withing narrowing parameters is much more of a hassle than being able to fix/upgrade something and make the adjustment and go.

Any work you do will be appreciated, even if the audience is kind of narrow.

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