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Garner's Brat (need some help/advice)


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#1 Vinny1979

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:28 PM

I am new to subaru's and this forum but I have always liked them and wanted one. I am a fabricator/designer and I spend my hobby time building custom bikes. I have been wrenching for probably 8 years but only been serious abotu it for about 3. I have never worked on a subaru and honestly know more about outdated carbs than anything to do with EFI

I was close friends with Garner, He was a professor of mine when I was in college and we worked on a few of his furniture designs after I graduated. For those of you who do not know, Garner passed a few months ago. His wife asked me to help clean the shop and help Garner's business partner load some of Garner's tools so that he could move them to his shop. During this process She told me that she was looking for a new home for the brat. Since I had drooled over this car for a few years and I was eager to have just about anything that Garner had owned I jumped at the opportunity.

I have checked the car pretty thoroughly and done some maintence work but it still wont start. After reading up on the Mega Squirt I am thinking that I need to tune the computer (or the fuel injectors are shot). I bought a cable and hope to start tuning this weekend. I was hoping someone on here would know what his settings were or atleast a good starting point for me.

Specs as I know them:

79 Brat, 86 EA82 GL motor with a turbo. Fuel pump is pushing up to 60 lbs of pressure at static, I replaced plugs, fixed some vacuum leaks, other small maintenance things.

If anyone could help I would greatly appreciate it. I would love to get this car running. It is one of the coolest cars I have ever seen and I love that it was Garner's. Thanks

#2 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:45 PM

I remember his build! Sorry to hear of his passing - he was a real knowledgeable guy. Hope he hasn't been sick all these years that he's been off the board?

That was quite a few years ago now that he was active on this board. You might search for his old posts - they should still be here. His board name was 'garner'..... here - I pulled up all the posts he made:

http://www.ultimates...earchid=1313161

Hope some of that helps. He hasn't been around here since '05 or '06 it looks like.

I would definitely start with the Megasquirt - as I recall he used a Ford EDIS ignition system on it. Check for fuel and spark..... the usual stuff.

You should also be aware - for when you get it running again - the EA82T is not a *bad* engine per-se but it has it's limitations and the biggest one is it's cooling system. It's obviously been sitting for a while and you need to make sure the cooling system is in excelent condition - the EA82T doesn't take overheating - the head gaskets are prone to failure and the heads are prone to cracking. Especially the early heads like that '86 engine he used. When you do get it running it's imperitive that you don't overheat it and that you monitor the fuel mixture and exhaust gas temps.

Hope that helps. You might have an easier time of making it run if you switched over to a newer type of Megasquirt that has built-in spark control and used an '87+ distributor with a crank angle sensor - that would eliminate the need for the EDIS system and would also allow the MS to control spark timing.

GD

#3 Vinny1979

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 01:43 PM

Thanks for the heads up on the cooling system. I was thinking of flushing the radiator since it has sat so long but was shying away from it. I will definetley do it now.

As far as spark goes, Garner put a crankshaft sensor with a coil pack on it. I should know what version megasquirt I have tonight if I can get this cable to work and I will let yall know.

Garner wasnt sick He passed suddenly but was super busy with his work which is why he wasnt on the board.

#4 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 02:33 PM

Thanks for the heads up on the cooling system. I was thinking of flushing the radiator since it has sat so long but was shying away from it. I will definetley do it now.


Yes - and inspect all the hoses - there are some difficult one's under the turbo (it's water cooled), and on the manifold, etc.

As far as spark goes, Garner put a crankshaft sensor with a coil pack on it. I should know what version megasquirt I have tonight if I can get this cable to work and I will let yall know.


Right - that's the EDIS wheel that he attached to the crank pulley IIRC. You can buy those wheels and he put the EDIS wheel on a Subaru pulley I think.

Garner wasnt sick He passed suddenly but was super busy with his work which is why he wasnt on the board.


Understandable. I'm sure wherever he is - he is happy that you are going to fix the Brat and carry on his project.

GD

#5 Vinny1979

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:42 PM

I keep getting what I think is the firmware error but when I try to update the firmware it says that the program cannot run on my 64bit vista even when I run it in compatibility mode and run as admin I still cant make it run.

I am going to try to upload a photobucket link so you guys can just see the errors that I have been getting.
Posted Image
Posted Image

Any advice would be great.

#6 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:50 PM

I really don't know - that's an older version of MS - MSnS is/was kindof a weird spin-off of the MS1 and thus is a bit of a red-headed step-child at this point I think. I would be asking these detailed, outdated model-specific questions over on the MS forums since this is an issue not related to Subaru at all but to a weird, older version of MegaSquirt.

GD

#7 Vinny1979

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:22 AM

I feel ya GD I posted a thread over there too, just waiting for it to be approved. I'm also in touch with one of the sales people for MS just thought since i had to wait on those answers I would post up over here too and see if anyone had any insight. I plan on taking some pics of this thing as it sits and post them up. It needs paint and a little bit of body work but it is still in awesome shape.

#8 Vinny1979

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:33 AM

Ok I got that problem sorted thanks to the guys at the MS forum. Now I need to start tuning. Does anyone here have a similar setup that could point me in the right direction. I know tuning specs are heavily guarded I just need something to get me running then I can fine tune.

I am going to start looking at the manual some more but if anyone feels charitable shoot me some info.

Thanks all I finally feel like I am on the right track.

#9 eulogious

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 12:31 PM

The MS1 is a totally capable ECM. Weird older version? C'mon GD, I am rocking this "weird older" version, and there is nothing weird or old about it :) With a few mods to the board, you can do anything you want with the MS1, including full spark control of the stock dizzy or any other spark setup you want. Not to mention they still sell the MS1, so it can't be THAT old :) Here's a link to what you need to do to run spark from a MS1:

http://www.diyautotu..._megasquirt.htm

I would call the MS1 more of a "hobbiest" ECM because of the mods you have to do to the board to get it to work the way you might want, and the MSII is more of the "Plug and Play" ECM requiring less mods to accomplish the same things. The MS1 might not be "out of the box" like with the MSII, but there is nothing really strange or weird about the MS1.

I will be using the MS1 with my stock dizzy on my MR2 in the next few months, and then probably upgrading it to EDIS, without the EDIS module. Might even do a COP (Coil on Plug) setup instead of the EDIS, not really sure at this point, but I am removing the dizzy at some point so I can have more control over the spark.

Have you checked out the tutorial about using the msII on a ea82t? Should have most of the info you need...

http://www.diyautotu...ru_rx_turbo.htm

Got lots of good info in there. They use a MSII, but with some creative thinking you should be able to accomplish the same thing with the MS1. Should at least give you a good starting point.

I think the user "Chim" on here also setup the MS1 on a ea82t. Here's a link:

http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=108882

Looks like he used a 86 ea82 NA block with a turbo, so this should really point you in the right direction.

Keep up the good work man!

Edited by eulogious, 07 August 2011 - 12:47 PM.
More info


#10 Vinny1979

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 01:08 PM

Thanks Eulogious, I dont know much about this and I honestly dont want to do too much to the running of the vehicle since that was what garner built I would like to leave it how he built it. I know that before he parked it he said it ran great, I just want it to be there again.

I did find out that the Injectors are all fine. I set up a little testing scenario and went throughh each one checking for priming pulse and cranking pulse. cylinder #1 and #2 gave a priming pulse but cylinders #3 and #4 did not. I checked to make sure that the injectors were ok by plugging them into #1 and the injectors worked fine. None of them gave me a cranking pulse though.

I am going to read through Chim's setup and see what I can learn. Thanks for the input I love public forums. It always seems like there is someone out there willing to help no matter what.

#11 eulogious

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 01:15 PM

I understand about not wanting to mess anything up :)

Have you read up on the different methods of controling spark with the ms1? It's a good read, and has lots of info about the edis setup. Might help you understand how it's setup now:

http://www.msextra.c...ware_Manual.htm

That should at least explain what he was trying to do, and might help you figure out what he did and what went wrong to cause it not to run now.

I love forums as well. I have learned a crap ton of info from this site, and many other forums. I love the free and open internet :grin:

#12 Vinny1979

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 08:25 AM

I have read through that a few times and will probably read it a few more times over the next few weeks. I did finally get it to act like it wanted to start, it kinda bucked for thirty seconds or so which makes me think it is now getting spark and fuel but it still wont start and idle. I thought it was just some cranking/fuel settings but after adjusting them back and forth I got no result. I have been emailing back and forth with Matt at DIY auto and he has been a great help.

I have also reached out to a few of the guys on here (oddcomp, chim, etc..) who have built similar vehicles with no luck. I think I am getting closer but still alot of variables. If anyone has a similar setup and thinks their config file might work to get me started I would appreciate the help, Like I said I am getting close but its still an uphill battle.

I am going to colorado to work with Garner's business partner and best friend on some furniture stuff this week so I will be taking a break from the brat but If you guys have suggestions or anything I would def. appreciate it. Thanks again for the help so far.

#13 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 11:29 AM

Contact "Crazyeights". He has an EA81 with throttle body injection and MS on it. He is good about replying to PM's too - nice guy. I don't know how much he knows about the MS1 or running with MPFI but it's worth a try....

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 10 August 2011 - 10:54 PM.


#14 Vinny1979

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 06:48 PM

General I will do it. Thanks for the input as always. I feel like a total noob asking all these questions. If this thing had a carburetor and only two wheels I would be the man but this thing just blows me away. anyway

I did find out today that I am a total idiot (well I knew it but I was beginning to think different) Matt from DiyAutotune has been helping me and he has been such a great help btw. Today he looked over my datalog file and my .msq and he asked some key questions. I think I figured out what I was doing wrong and that is that I opened megatune, started editing tables saved a .msq then connected to the ecu and burnt that .msq to the ecu. he informed me that megatune opens a file full of zeros and I might have missed a setting that is buried somewhere nearly impossible to find that is turned off because of this. I feel stupid but atleast I think that I now know what to do.

I will be out of town for a week or so but when I get home I will reinstall the firmware so that I will have the default settings back and then start over. I would still of course appreciate any input as this may not fix the problem.

#15 CHIM

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 01:16 AM

sorry for the late reply, been out of town. did you get it solved yet? I do have my data saved to file i can send you, should get you reall close to where you need to be. might have to tweak it slightly but will definatly get it running. do you also have a wideband O2? let us know man.

#16 CHIM

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 02:03 AM

I forgot to ask, are you running stock injectors? if not you need to find out the specs on them. if they are after market they will have a different flow rate and my setup might not work. obviesly you need to get it running before you can start tuning. start lean and bring it up little by little. This is where the wideband O2 sensor saves ALOT of time. if you have access to one i would highly recomend usuing it. they are a bit spendy($300.00 for mine) so try barrowing one.

Also i do have a stimulator i could send your way if you suspect a problem with the MS unit.

#17 Vinny1979

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 08:37 AM

Chim Setup as I know it

Ea82T, Nissan Fuel Injectors (28 lbs/hr) EDIS, Not sure about the O2 Sensor, I have not looked at it as closely as I should.

I sent you a PM with an email if you have a file that you think would help.
As I said before I would really appreciate it. Also as far as the stim goes I dont know that I need it. The computer is all set up I just need to get the settings right (i think) but if you wanted to let me borrow it I would be happy to pay to ship it out here and then I will ship it back if you think I need it.

I am going to look into buying one soon but probably wont be until I get payed at the end of the month. When I am back in NC I will check the O2 sensor and try to find part numbers. I think that it is a wide band from one of the posts that I found of Garners but I cannot be 100%

#18 Vinny1979

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:52 AM

Ok So I finally got to working on this thing again after getting back from Colorado (which was amazing in case anyone cared) I have not heard from Chim again but Oddcomp did email me and give me a phone number. Hopefully he will call me back soon.

I did get the tach to work in megatune, had to check some wiring and finally found what the problem was. Now that I have an rpm signal to the ecu it is trying to start. I still dont have the settings quite right but it is getting closer. My biggest problem is the timing. I found where garner made a not that the vr sensor is 13 degrees btdc which means that "limp home mode" on the edis is not quite what it aught to be but I am having trouble setting the actual timing in megatune.

I need to set the timeing to be 25* btdc correct? I will keep playing with it and let yall know what I find out. I hate computers btw this is truly a labor of love but once I get it running hopefully I can start on the fun stuff.

#19 Vinny1979

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 08:15 PM

I am getting closer. I think I figured out some of the problems and I did get an idle. It was rough. I dont think my timing is right. The EDIS seems to make things hard if you dont know what your doing.

It did idle though and it would have been great accept for the bad spark knock. Still have not been able to get in touch with the guys who have done this before but I sure could use some advice on timing if anyone has it.

Were the distributors that unreliable? I still have one and could probably put it back in and try to time with that.

#20 Vinny1979

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:56 PM

Ok, So I got the brat idling and running (Finally) I am in the process of tuning when I realized that I still needed to do a fluid flush/replace before doing any hard driving. I had checked the fluids and they all looked good but they were old so I didnt want to do anything too extreme without getting new fluids in place.

I did a simple oil change and then started the motor to fill the oil filter. I will confess I used cheap oil and cheap filter figuring I would replace in a month and just use this first oil change as sort of a flush. I started the car and noticed a bad tapping. I know about the noisy lifters and I figure this must be to blame but I dont know how to be sure. I went immediately and bought some lucas oil and drained some of the engine oil and added the lucas. I only started the motor for a minute but the noise had not gone away. I do have an Oil pressure gauge and while driving last I noticed was about 20lbs but now at startup I have no oil pressure.

Any suggestions I do not want to kill this motor!

#21 subyrally

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 10:52 AM

sorry to bring back an old thread, but i havent been active in the suby community in the last few months.

Holy ****, Garner is gone?!? dude was the inspiration for a lot of the crazy stuff i did a few years back. i kinda feel like ive been kicked in the face after reading about that. now i am totally bummed out.


on the bright side, you ended up with an amazing brat.

depending on the noises it is making, it could just be lifters. my 68 rx had lifter noise all the time, it would come and go, but it was usually always there. i never had any issues from the lifter noises. the cooling system was horrible, i got tired of doing head gaskets in it.

i know its been a couple months since the last post, did you ever figure out what the noises were? is the brat on the road?

#22 Quidam

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:04 PM

Just some thoughts about the oil pressure on this. Op has been through the oil pump and if that's not it, sounds like possible main bearings to me.

Priority main engine and if it's leaking oil there, nothing else is getting the propper oil pressure.

hth

Doug




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