Powers MBE ECU, anyone got one fitted?

Powers MBE ECU, anyone got one fitted?

Author
Discussion

urquattroGus

Original Poster:

865 posts

122 months

Tuesday 7th November 2017
quotequote all
As above, has anyone had this fitted?

Thinking of going for it on my 1996 500.

I have fitted Omex EFi to my 60's Alfa, so could go the DIY route, but for the money the Powers MBE looks like a good bet.

I am not interested in Canems or Gems TBH; for various reasons.

The powers one looks like a good bet?

Main aims are to reduce shunt and improve idle/general drivability.


griffdude

1,444 posts

180 months

Tuesday 7th November 2017
quotequote all
urquattroGus said:
Main aims are to reduce shunt and improve idle/general drivability.
You might want to drop Jools a line-

http://www.kitsandclassics.co.uk/

Toma500

999 posts

185 months

Wednesday 8th November 2017
quotequote all
I had one fitted a while ago together with a new cam and a very nice neat job it was , and it drives very nicely too a great improvement .

Gruffdiamond

20 posts

39 months

Friday 10th November 2017
quotequote all
I have the mbe system fitted with on a taraka 500.

Really pleased with it, very smooth and great to have the backup from powers if needed.

Still getting a bit of shunting (which has got worse) but this is probably all due to backlash on the diff. Refurbed diff and a bit more work on the rollers at powers next year should make it even better.

Classic Chim

8,313 posts

81 months

Friday 10th November 2017
quotequote all
I also have the Mbe on my 4.6 Chimaera
Just over two years and over 16000 miles now as I checked earlier.
It never seases to amaze and marvel me to be honest.
Mines on a fairly moderate cam as in Taraka and that surely helps.

Never misses a beat. I use it daily and it lives outside without a cover.
The wiring harness is first class and really elevates the cars properties imho.

I can’t fault the mapping even now, if anything it gets better.
16000 miles,, how many starts is that.
Mine needed a tweak for a slight shunt around 1400 revs early on, its been sublime ever since so about two years solid use with no further mapping sessions.
Fast too.



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urquattroGus

Original Poster:

865 posts

122 months

Tuesday 9th January
quotequote all
Still wavering slightly about this.

My car runs perfectly as it is at the moment, but i just know the fuel and spark control etc will be much better.

It's also a bonus that you get new leads, loom and sensors in one go, less to go wrong and you have replaced several components in one go.

My only concern is that it might spoil the originality of my car, which is very standard.

Maybe if I keep the lucas bits in a box then it at least it gives people the option if I were to pass it on...

black_potato

280 posts

171 months

Tuesday 9th January
quotequote all
If its not broke dont fix it.

I test drove several cars, some with stock ECU some chipped some standard and the driveability varied a lot and didnt seem to be down to any approach.

FWIW Probably the worst and best were both emerald based. The main difference was one was a standard cam the other an "uprated". It was the uprated cam car that was bad & i bought the standard cam Emerald car.

Anyway, back to the point, if it drives well leave it alone imho.

urquattroGus

Original Poster:

865 posts

122 months

Tuesday 9th January
quotequote all
True true.

However, I'm one of those people whom is tempted to replace leads, rotor cap and arm, get injectors cleaned, perhaps even replace starter and alternator so that I have full confidence when I go off to Le Mans later this year.


Stew Mc

394 posts

105 months

Tuesday 9th January
quotequote all
I opted for the MBE last year after much thought. Glad I did. Much nicer drive at low speed especially. Ooh and one surprise was that the insurance company class it as a sensible upgrade to improve reliability so no additional charge, bonus.

The team at Powers were very professional and friendly. Highly recommend using them IMHO.

black_potato

280 posts

171 months

Tuesday 9th January
quotequote all
urquattroGus said:
True true.

However, I'm one of those people whom is tempted to replace leads, rotor cap and arm, get injectors cleaned, perhaps even replace starter and alternator so that I have full confidence when I go off to Le Mans later this year.
Im thinking along the same lines for a euro trip but with the ECU i think you are as likely to introduce an issue. A lot of the other bits you could take as spares.
The bits im more likely to get swapped are the oil/water pump as they cant easily be done at the roadside.
Its all a bit of a lottery smile

Classic Chim

8,313 posts

81 months

Tuesday 9th January
quotequote all
urquattroGus said:
Still wavering slightly about this.

My car runs perfectly as it is at the moment, but i just know the fuel and spark control etc will be much better.

It's also a bonus that you get new leads, loom and sensors in one go, less to go wrong and you have replaced several components in one go.

My only concern is that it might spoil the originality of my car, which is very standard.

Maybe if I keep the lucas bits in a box then it at least it gives people the option if I were to pass it on...
If you intend to keep the car then I’d say this will enhance the selling potential years down the line but what do I know. Who’s knows, one things for sure in my experience, you’ll be addicted to the car and driving it will thrill.
More and more owners will suffer old age related faults to the systems and will be left with little choice if they want to actually drive it.
Insurance should go down,,,, biggrin
I’m far less likely to loose all power or start juddering about the Road.
If it works fine then why bother.
If it’s to get the best drive you can for the love of it, get it on. thumbup

Not a sexy term but reliability is possibly the best part of having something like this.
Hot/cold it should just start and run, end of.
The fact it then runs ten times better over a large working window is a bonus, as is the battery life that just turns it over about 3 seconds and fires no matter what weather.
Loads of things are improved, it’s an endless list it seems to me.
None of this is very apparent until you’ve lived with it awhile.
And to top it off there’s not many components in the system. Brilliant. wink

Reading about mass air pressure or inlet vacumn pressure which is what’s really important if you want to mix the correct amount of fuel and get a good burn, engine load can be judged via this too so timing can be maximised I’d imagine, a valuable sensor for the Ecu to calculate, its simple enough really in operation and works extremely well. From what I can see it has a small air pipe plumbed into the inlet manifold so further on from the trumpets, air passes via this small tube to the sensor that uses the pressure readings to determine absolute manifold pressure.
This is where a lot of the good work comes from I think and the mapper uses its info, that and a multi point crank sensor giving pin point timing accuracy amongst a few other things.

I really wanted to put the miles in over time, easy choice.








Edited by Classic Chim on Tuesday 9th January 17:12

Classic Chim

8,313 posts

81 months

Tuesday 9th January
quotequote all
urquattroGus said:
True true.

However, I'm one of those people whom is tempted to replace leads, rotor cap and arm, get injectors cleaned, perhaps even replace starter and alternator so that I have full confidence when I go off to Le Mans later this year.
What’s a full engine ignition service kit cost these days
Plugs
Cap
Arm
Coil
Ign amp
And anything else I’ve forgot.
Stepper motors etc.
At 6000 mile intervals that’s 3 times I’d have forked out since install.
I replaced the plugs at 6000 miles for Iridium tipped and nothing else since. Plugs look new with over 10000 miles on them since and I’m not aiming on changing them soon.

All I know is if you don’t change those components that get heat effected you’ll get problems, then it’s a minefield to know if your getting quality parts to replace with!
Life’s to short and I’d had enough of it and the cost.
No rotor arm, no cap, dizzy and coil, gone.
Plug extenders gone.
Let’s not forget that each time I’d doesn’t run smoothly it’s going to cause damage if over or under fuelling and all these parts can influence it long before you grt to the Ecu or wiring issues that can come about.
I value the Tvr RV engine hugely. smile

ETA for fun
And I ain’t changing a plug lead until one goes wrong which I expect to be about 2026 biggrin
Serious!
Socks and keeping them elevated, caps are high quality. Engine runs cooler so they cope easily.
Same with coil pack. And the price of replacement is Very reasonable.

I’m on here as I never have any work to do in the engine bay, it’s all rather taken care of.
I’m eggin for a fall I reckon but this is the confidence it’s given. thumbup


Edited by Classic Chim on Tuesday 9th January 17:48

lancelin

39 posts

53 months

Wednesday 10th January
quotequote all
If it runs perfectly with no shunting below 2000rpm then don't touch it. I have canems and it's not perfect. I still get small shunting below 2000rpm. Spent a fortune on it and numerous trips back to the fitter at my cost. It sounds like all the after market ecu's can have problems.

Englishman

1,769 posts

142 months

Wednesday 10th January
quotequote all
lancelin said:
If it runs perfectly with no shunting below 2000rpm then don't touch it.
Think that is the secret. My second Griff 500, owned by me since 2008, is totally standard and has never shunted or had any other engine issues (tempting fate?). It has the original extenders, HT leads, coil, distributor, ignition amplifier and stepper motor. Plugs have been replaced as per service schedule. Made a genuine 300bhp at Surrey Rolling Road in 2016.

The only thing I've done in addition to servicing is to clean the stepper motor a couple of times in ~50K miles.

urquattroGus

Original Poster:

865 posts

122 months

Thursday 11th January
quotequote all
lancelin said:
If it runs perfectly with no shunting below 2000rpm then don't touch it. I have canems and it's not perfect. I still get small shunting below 2000rpm. Spent a fortune on it and numerous trips back to the fitter at my cost. It sounds like all the after market ecu's can have problems.
I'm not overly sold of the Lloyds Canems kit to be honest, I think the powers MBE one looks better and seems to get better feedback.

I don't have regular shunt but have encountered it a couple of times in 2nd gear at say 2000rpm and it was a bit scary as it made the car run on a bit when trying to pull into a junction, now i'm more aware that it might happen and it doesn't seem to be an issue.



lancelin

39 posts

53 months

Thursday 11th January
quotequote all
Yep, I'd go MBE if I could do it all again.

Good luck

gwardman

29 posts

39 months

Thursday 11th January
quotequote all
My 1994 Pre-serp 500 is booked in for an MBE with Dom next month. Going for taraka as well.

I've had it four years now. All of my upgrades so far have been "rolling restoration" essentials (cooling, suspension/bushes, steering, alarm, dash), so this is the first for-the-hell-of-it upgrade. I have spoken to many with various upgrades over that time from the Canems to the RV electronic dizzy. I am still working too many hours, I am very amateur at the DIY oilys, so the Powers upgrade is my choice.

FFMan

381 posts

181 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
Wanting to keep my 500 standard but improve the running, under the guidance of Mark Adams, I replaced the injectors for larger ones and got it mapped on the standard ecu.

Much nicer to drive though no real uplift in power, just smoother all round. If you're not doing other mods or chasing power this is worthy of consideration.


Classic Chim

8,313 posts

81 months

Friday 12th January
quotequote all
gwardman said:
My 1994 Pre-serp 500 is booked in for an MBE with Dom next month. Going for taraka as well.

I've had it four years now. All of my upgrades so far have been "rolling restoration" essentials (cooling, suspension/bushes, steering, alarm, dash), so this is the first for-the-hell-of-it upgrade. I have spoken to many with various upgrades over that time from the Canems to the RV electronic dizzy. I am still working too many hours, I am very amateur at the DIY oilys, so the Powers upgrade is my choice.
What a lovely Griff you have.
So many people like to knock or ignore mentioning the Mbe when talking about this subject which I find bloody annoying as it’s obviously a good bit of kit.
The price is basically the same for all of these Ecu if it’s being fitted by a specialist so for me it’s down to who really knows these Ecu and Powers have been dealing with Mbe Ecu for a long time due to it being fitted to the later TVR models.
Jason has successfully mapped cars that Run into the hundreds so your in good hands.

Do come back and tell us of your experience as this is a big decision and we all need to know if it’s as good as I say it is.
I’m mindful of the fact different engine and induction specs can have a bearing but as your going for the Taraka you should have a perfect road going package.

I get the feeling Dom long since decided against tuning and building RV engines for high Bhp numbers alone as that’s a very small part of owning the car imo but the useable torque available should give more grunt and acceleration where you need it most 1000-5000 revs.

I support much of what Dom does as he convinced me most of the mods on induction etc are offering tiny amounts of power gain unless you go to forged pistons etc. It’s saved me a lot of money on things that make very little overall difference.

25,000 miles since my rebuild and it still goes like stink.
It must have been around 20,000 miles when I set my personal best at the drag strip last year with Mbe fitted
12.7 1/4 mile on road tyres. That’s proper quick even if I do say so myself.
This isn’t a bragging rights thing it’s simple proof, and Dom said I must have driven like a wimp as it’s faster than that biggrin

Ok other guys on here have faster cars than mine but then they don’t drive to the shops every five minutes and there engines have been built to go as fast as possible, mines been built to be reliable and last years,,, that’s the plan anyway wink
I use my car almost daily so keeps everything working. Decided to use my bike for work this week so the cars been sat all week outside in this dank miserable weather and she fired up as normal and runs from stone cold as if it was warm.
Amazes me compared to how it used to be and that’s all I can go by.

I have to point out my old diff was pretty slack and shunt could still come about but the new diff has masked it tremendously, this isn't shunt from engine judder it’s simply loose road train and no Ecu can stop that. I think the CUX on mine exasperated the road train issue which in turn slowly makes it worse.

If I knew what I know now I’d have got a new Dif first and there’s a real possibility my cars shunt would have been reduced even on CUX but frankly it still would have had the reliability issues and heavy use of fuel. I don’t think I could use it like I do, I would have given up and sold the car because I can’t live with using the clutch all the time to smooth out these imbalances.
Much to my own surprise it’s worked as I thought this was inherent to the cars, it’s not.
I also know of cars using CUX and they run really well so it’s not all a one way street.

I once raced a few old motorbikes as a boy and spending lots of money to go racing then breaking down is just the worst feeling and something I learnt to avoid at that tender age.
I just don’t have the patience or the mechanical nowse to get fiddling with what is now ancient technology, basically I’m a lazy son of a gun and this has been a way to become even lazier laugh
Goodluck with your new car because that’s how it should feel.








gwardman

29 posts

39 months

Monday 15th January
quotequote all
Classic Chim said:
What a lovely Griff you have.
So many people like to knock or ignore mentioning the Mbe when talking about this subject which I find bloody annoying as it’s obviously a good bit of kit.
The price is basically the same for all of these Ecu if it’s being fitted by a specialist so for me it’s down to who really knows these Ecu and Powers have been dealing with Mbe Ecu for a long time due to it being fitted to the later TVR models.
Jason has successfully mapped cars that Run into the hundreds so your in good hands.

Do come back and tell us of your experience as this is a big decision and we all need to know if it’s as good as I say it is.
I’m mindful of the fact different engine and induction specs can have a bearing but as your going for the Taraka you should have a perfect road going package.

I get the feeling Dom long since decided against tuning and building RV engines for high Bhp numbers alone as that’s a very small part of owning the car imo but the useable torque available should give more grunt and acceleration where you need it most 1000-5000 revs.

I support much of what Dom does as he convinced me most of the mods on induction etc are offering tiny amounts of power gain unless you go to forged pistons etc. It’s saved me a lot of money on things that make very little overall difference.

25,000 miles since my rebuild and it still goes like stink.
It must have been around 20,000 miles when I set my personal best at the drag strip last year with Mbe fitted
12.7 1/4 mile on road tyres. That’s proper quick even if I do say so myself.
This isn’t a bragging rights thing it’s simple proof, and Dom said I must have driven like a wimp as it’s faster than that biggrin

Ok other guys on here have faster cars than mine but then they don’t drive to the shops every five minutes and there engines have been built to go as fast as possible, mines been built to be reliable and last years,,, that’s the plan anyway wink
I use my car almost daily so keeps everything working. Decided to use my bike for work this week so the cars been sat all week outside in this dank miserable weather and she fired up as normal and runs from stone cold as if it was warm.
Amazes me compared to how it used to be and that’s all I can go by.

I have to point out my old diff was pretty slack and shunt could still come about but the new diff has masked it tremendously, this isn't shunt from engine judder it’s simply loose road train and no Ecu can stop that. I think the CUX on mine exasperated the road train issue which in turn slowly makes it worse.

If I knew what I know now I’d have got a new Dif first and there’s a real possibility my cars shunt would have been reduced even on CUX but frankly it still would have had the reliability issues and heavy use of fuel. I don’t think I could use it like I do, I would have given up and sold the car because I can’t live with using the clutch all the time to smooth out these imbalances.
Much to my own surprise it’s worked as I thought this was inherent to the cars, it’s not.
I also know of cars using CUX and they run really well so it’s not all a one way street.

I once raced a few old motorbikes as a boy and spending lots of money to go racing then breaking down is just the worst feeling and something I learnt to avoid at that tender age.
I just don’t have the patience or the mechanical nowse to get fiddling with what is now ancient technology, basically I’m a lazy son of a gun and this has been a way to become even lazier laugh
Goodluck with your new car because that’s how it should feel.
Thanks - I always think a bit of greenery sets off the red ones...

You raise some interesting points, reference your diff. I do wonder if this (or any similar) upgrade will show up some other issues with the drive train on mine. I have the LT77 box - I have heard various tales of longevity (or lack of it) depending upon the upgrade path. The diff would obviously be next in line...

But very excited at any rate and I will definitely come back on here in late march and share...