ECU Modification

For those of you not faint of heart, who believe the Volvo 480 should have more torque and horsepower, find all you need to know in here.

Moderators: jifflemon, coyote1980, Rachel

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jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1851
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: ECU Modification

Post by jamescarruthers » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:15 pm

frenchfries wrote:Is it worth looking at it for an auto Turbo?
Unfortunately not, modifications have blew up the autoboxes when it first started. Look for posts from MatBat back interest day
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

frenchfries
Advanced 480 rookie
Posts: 561
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:11 pm

Re: ECU Modification

Post by frenchfries » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:27 pm

Well. It will save some money then :D
1993 Turbo auto called Skip for the important stuff
2011 Juke 190 for everything else

Robou
Knows an Aerodeck isn't a 480
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:34 pm

Re: ECU Modification

Post by Robou » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:34 am

I never received any feedback about a blown auto in combination with my mod, so desperatly searched the forum for Matbat and his misfortune. To no avail. Could you be more precise?
Too old to bother
480 Turbo midst '91

User avatar
jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1851
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: ECU Modification

Post by jamescarruthers » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:43 am

Robou wrote:I never received any feedback about a blown auto in combination with my mod, so desperatly searched the forum for Matbat and his misfortune. To no avail. Could you be more precise?
Hi Robou‎,

I think I am talking about Martin Holmes' troubles but that was with the RichMod which was rougher than yours and extra stuff from what I remember. I think Mat Bat had ES troubles, sorry!‎

I took a keen interest in automatics many years ago when my own expired and cost me £1000 for a rebuild. I thought the consensus at the time was that the automatic box couldn't handle any more power. 

I couldn't find much to support my claims other than here:
http://www.volvo-480-europe.org/forum/v ... op#p204379

However, if you know your modification works fine on automatics, then I withdraw my comments no problem and accept I am talking rubbish. In fact, it would be good to know if the automatics can take the extra power. I am scared of them after my mishap!‎

By the way, thank you for your exquisite work over the years. One day I would like to get a very early UK turbo and would like to have its ECU modded by you‎. I would be willing to pay the extra money for the work no problem. Until then my friend.
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

WhiteWolf
Knows an Aerodeck isn't a 480
Posts: 231
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:50 pm

Re: ECU Modification

Post by WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:26 pm

If I recall it was the super Richmod that did damage even to manual gearboxes. That needed extra bits though as well. Bigger map sensor, bigger maf and bigger injectors.

Like Robou has said before the car originally was tuned up to handle the extra power and then Volvo slowed it down for safety.

This mod is safe. I have ran in for a few years now with no problems associated to it.

Get it done. You will surprised at what cars you can dual with :rofl:
93 480 Turbo white
with Roboumod
91 480 Turbo white
with Roboumod..
91 480 Es silver

Robou
Knows an Aerodeck isn't a 480
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:34 pm

Re: ECU Modification

Post by Robou » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:54 pm

You broke my heart. Twice. Can't stand this mood. Getting drunk now.
Too old to bother
480 Turbo midst '91

jifflemon
480 Is my middle name
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:03 am

Re: ECU Modification

Post by jifflemon » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:15 pm

Well, I shall just leave my heaps of positive praise here:

Absolutely stunning modification. Has transformed the car into something very special.

Like most things to do with this car, you have to buy now, or regret later.

frenchfries
Advanced 480 rookie
Posts: 561
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:11 pm

Re: ECU Modification

Post by frenchfries » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:35 pm

I hear you but Skip is automatic and I would have to be 100% sure that there is no risk.......
1993 Turbo auto called Skip for the important stuff
2011 Juke 190 for everything else

Rachel
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1561
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:21 pm
Location: Bucks

Re: ECU Modification

Post by Rachel » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:52 pm

Just to add to this, although I have not read the thread in it's entirety, I knew Martin Holmes 480 T "Vader" pretty well. Yes it had a super Richmod but I don't recall it causing issues with the grearbox. Many other issues but that was just Vader. I loved that 480, but alas Martin did not :cry:

As for a Richmod in an auto, I had one in my first turbo, which was a G reg. Again no issues with the gear box. I can't speak for a Robou Mod though as I have no experience of them at all. I have always run a Richmod on all my Turbos.

HTH :D
'95 Storm Grey 323 Manual Turbo, Richmod
----------------------------------------------------------
'95 Flame Red Celeb, Nos.191, 2 litre, LPG, used to be Adams ;) SOLD
'95 Vase Green Turbo~ Vanessa~ 'Serendipity' manual, Richmod. RIP
'90 Light Blue 480 Turbo auto....RIP
'68 VW Type 3 1.6 auto Lotus White,Swedish import. SOLD
Audi 80 coupe Gold...pimp my ride! RIP
'76 Bug, Ocean Blue, lowered, Empi wheels.RIP
'72 Bay window VW Camper 1600 twinport. Sold

WhiteWolf
Knows an Aerodeck isn't a 480
Posts: 231
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:50 pm

Re: ECU Modification

Post by WhiteWolf » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:32 pm

Rachel wrote:Just to add to this, although I have not read the thread in it's entirety, I knew Martin Holmes 480 T "Vader" pretty well. Yes it had a super Richmod but I don't recall it causing issues with the grearbox. Many other issues but that was just Vader. I loved that 480, but alas Martin did not :cry:

As for a Richmod in an auto, I had one in my first turbo, which was a G reg. Again no issues with the gear box. I can't speak for a Robou Mod though as I have no experience of them at all. I have always run a Richmod on all my Turbos.

HTH :D
I've never heard of issues with gearboxes. My understanding is Robous mod is more refined. A smoother pickup so would be less stress on the box and clutch anyway.
Get it done Frenchfries. The cars were tuned by Porsche up to about 170/190bhp anyway before Volvo detuned them for safety. The engine and running gear can handle it.
93 480 Turbo white
with Roboumod
91 480 Turbo white
with Roboumod..
91 480 Es silver

Robou
Knows an Aerodeck isn't a 480
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:34 pm

Re: ECU Modification

Post by Robou » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:12 pm

Contrary to my expectations, the demand for modification continues. Repeatedly it turns out this thread is too long to grasp the essentials, forcing me to iterate explanations. Hence a recapitulation.
1- The Roboumod is equipped with the mod ("eco") resulting in smoother handling and less fuel consumption up to 3000 rpm plus an external reset possibility.
2- Changing between mods is cancelled, most people leave it be, the "eco" mod is preferred. Changing mod to "agressive" can be ordered at an
additional cost of € 30,--.
3- Early purple ECUs have a divergent motherboard, restricting the boost manipulation. It has to be changed at an additional cost of € 20,--.
4- The Roboumod requires a.o. the exchange or addition of an electronic device (eprom) which lives on an extra printed circuit.
Check the ECU by removing the back cover and see if 1 or 2 printed circuits are present.
The costs (ex shipping) are
A- ECU with 2 printed circuits € 170,--.
B- ECU with 1 printed circuit requires adding a second printed circuit for which e.g. a scrap, defective or otiose ECU can be used as donor.
If this is provided € 210,--, if not € 260,--. (If available at € 50,--, please try to find one yourself firstly.)
5- Roboumods from before the existence of the "eco" mod, so without the possibility of changing mods, can be updated by a new eprom with "eco" mod and some hardware changes at € 30,--.
This doesn't include the, in my opinion otiose, changing mods capibility, for that see (2).

April, May, half June, September and October, if Covid agrees, I'll be abroad, not able producing Roboumods.
Too old to bother
480 Turbo midst '91

Robou
Knows an Aerodeck isn't a 480
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:34 pm

Re: ECU Modification

Post by Robou » Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:14 pm

Seemingly off topic, but servicing the purpose of my last post: Avoiding giving the same answers time and time again. If anyone likes redirecting this to a proper topic, you're welcome.

*************************************************************************
The idle valve is a bypass of the throttle valve. It is governed by one or two transistor(s) in the Jetronic injection ECU and is either controlled by one transistor against a spring load or opened by one and closed by a second transistor. The idling speed is set depending on engine temperature: At 80°C 800 rpm, lower 950 rpm, lower than -20°C 1200 rpm. The temperature indication is taken from the double sensor below the #2 plug. One connector is read by the Jetronic, the other by the EZ210K. Using the airco increases the rpm.

The idle control is only operational when a microswitch underneath the throttle housing is closed, so this should be checked first. If needed slacken the throttle cable a bit so it doesn't interfere with the position of the throttle valve spindle. At a slight move of the spindle a click should be heard. Failing means the idle control wasn't engaged and the position of the housing underneath the throttle housing should be changed.
This is done by slackening the two bolts, turning the the throttle valve switch first anti-clockwise (looking from top) and then slowly clockwise until the click is heard. Then fasten the housing in this position. The bolts are hard to get at, one may prefer to dismount the throttle housing. Preferably use a new gasket, but better wait, final adjustment may be needed later on.

The Jetronic ECU should not interfere with the basic settings, this is done by joining the two cylindric single plug connectors protruding out of the loom in front of the engine near the dipstick. Sometimes "enlightened" mechanics used to permanently connect them, that's why caring people in order to prevent them doing so used to cut off the one connecting to ground. Replace it by a testwire to ground. But if both wires are missing either one of the interconnected connectorpins #4 of the EZ210K or #12 of the Jetronic may be grounded for this purpose. Or you may try to locate the cut-off wires in the loom and connect them.

Check if the throttle housing is clean inside, the air filter is in good condition, no air leaks are present, the idle valve is clean inside, the airco is off and start the engine. Have it run with some throttle until the cooling fan switches off, indicating the engine has the correct temperature. The idling speed should be approximatly 700 rpm, under 800 rpm anyway. If necessary adjust with the valve stop screw on the throttle housing. Unfortunatly doing so interferes with the "click" adjustment.

Turn the engine off and check the throttle valve switch again, at the slightest angular displacement of the valve spindle a click should be heard. If it fails the position of the connector housing under the throttle housing should be adjusted (again) as explained above. If applicable now the throttle housing gasket may be renewed.

Turn the engine on and disengage the cylindric connectors. This should make the idle speed go up to 800 rpm, providing the engine is still warm.

This is the ONLY consequent way to adjust the basics of idling and prevent endless fiddling in the future. Often is tried to set idle by touching the adjustment screw on top of the throttle housing and by doing so making any further attempt to correct idle fail. Once set never ever tamper with the setting of the adjustment screw for the years to come and in case of idle problems look elsewhere.
****************************************************************************

When the procedure was exactly followed up as described and the result was not as expected next points may be of interest.

When the idle speed differs from 800 rpm realize a failing temperature sensor or its connection causes a constant deviation, at the best the speed could be up to a constant 1200 rpm. So check the temperature sensor and its wiring. A correction will not just influence the idling but the complete engine management.
A constant high may be caused by the temperature sensor not connected. In this case the Jetronic presumes a temperature of many degrees below zero and sets the idling speed accordingly. Not only this, it also enriches the mixture so the car will run poorly. Connecting the wire from the sensor to ground will immediatly change the behaviour and indicates the sensor is at fault. If nothing happens there is no connection to the Jetronic so the wiring should be checked.

The idle valve gets its air either by a tube connected after the intercooler or, from 1991 on, connected at the turbo inlet and as such detecting a pressure pulse when the dump valve opens.
In the latter case the (rigid) tube connects to a valve, which closes at certain pressure relations between turbo inlet and inlet manifold, preventing a.o. crankcase fumes to pass. The valve may stick and not open quickly enough, only opens at certain conditions or stay open/closed under all conditions. A closed condition is easily checked: Remove it from the idle valve and check the idling. All other conditions result in erratic behaviour i.e. stall at off-throttle after high boost. Try washing it out and if a change is noted you know. The valve and tube are bonded and hard to separate, they were sold as a unit.

Just hearing a click at the slightest movement of the throttle valve may not be enough, a connection between pins #4 and #6 of the connector should be established. Better still, leave the wiring in place and check between pin #7 of the Jetronic connector and engine ground, in this way also the wiring is checked. The wiring can be at fault between pin #6 and ground as well as between pin #4 and Jetronic pin #7 (which, by the way, is interconnected with EZ210K, the ignition/boost ECU, pin #3). So both ECU's know about the engine being at idle and should react appropriatly.

When transistor(s) in the Jetronic fail the idle valve is not managed, with unpredictable results.
A sure way to blow the transistors is to short the wire connected to the middle pin with one of the others. So start by checking for a short in the connector.
With a multimeter and at ignition off check the resistance value between ground and both the outside pins of the idle valve connector. Switch the meter pins.
Either position of the pins should read a value of about 400 KOhm. If not, probably a blown transistor and/or zener diode is the culprit.
From an electronic point of view replacement is easy, needs some work though.

The idle valve can be checked by connecting an approximately 100 Ohm 1 W resistor to the middle pin and connect the resistor to +12V. Now shortly connect successively the outer pins to ground. The valve inside will turn one way and the other, producing a hearible sound.
The resistance between the middle pin and the outer pins should be about 32 Ohm.

Variations in idle speed are often caused by a dirty idle valve or bad electrical connections of said valve or the MAF. Clean the inside of the idle valve with brake cleaner or the like, use some WD40 to protect the bearings afterwards. Check the connectors on the idle valve and the MAF, use contact spray.
Too old to bother
480 Turbo midst '91

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