Category Archives: Vehicles

If it moves and carries a person it’s a vehicle

EFI hacking engine and transmission simulator

I’m going to be building a simulator that will allow the engine / powertrain control module ( ECM, PCM, ECU )to operate correctly when not installed in a vehicle.   This is required since in many cases, when the software in the PCM detects that the sensors and inputs required are missing it will go into shutdown or limp mode and prevents normal behavior of the module.

As I have more experience with Ford fuel injection, in particular the prior generation EEC-V systems I will be starting with that target in mind.  Most of the ideas exposed here will be applicable to other vehicles and nearly all engine control use similar sensors and basic design.

To begin, I pulled out the PCM, wiring harness and dashboard I have been using for bench testing and laid it out on the table.

What an unruly mess.

I’m using an old Toshiba laptop power supply, it produces just shy of 15v which is well within the operating limits on a vehicle at 4 amps and is light and portable.

I’m going to start with an ST Discovery board, the STM32F4DISC0 with the color LCD and touch screen, not because I need that much capacity but because I have it already and the cost was quite reasonable.

One excellent feature of these STM32F4xx chips is that they have a bunch of programmable timers which can be configured to do pulse trains and synchronization.   This will come in handy as we need to provide a stream of pulses with one missing pulse along with another synchronized single short pulse to emulate the crank and cam sensors.