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  • Motec CDL digital dash install with stock ECU

    I have acquired a brand new Motec CDL digital dash with shift light and gps and am looking to install it in my M3T club race car. My car has the stock ECU so I am curious how to interface the CDL with the car's sensors for data. I am pretty sure I will not be able to interface directly with the ECU so I will need to use a new set of pressure, temperature, speed and rpm sensors to get those on my dash. My biggest concern is rpm, I want to me able to get rpm and use the motec shift light module. I know I cam purchase an Input/output feature for the CDL which will allow analogue and digital inputs but no mention of am ECU input. Any thoughts? The motec cdl is designed to interface with the ECU via the OBD II port but obviously the e30 M3 doesn't have that. Has anybody here installed a motec CDL with a stock ECU? Does if work. I am also interested in selling the motec for AIM MXL dash. I would love everyone's advice. Thanks.
    1989 M3 M3T #99
    1988 M3
    1988 M5
    1986 Euro M6
    1976 2002
    1972 3.0 CSL Group 2 "Flying Stuck" recreation
    www.vsr1.com

  • #2
    have acquired a brand new Motec CDL digital dash with shift light and gps
    That's my choice for the best dash value on the market. If a MOTEC dealer sold it to you and you're posting questions like this, they are not doing their job. Installing and using this dash involves a bit of knowledge and experience, but once you have it up and running its really powerful.

    First off, don't bother with the MXL. Not that there's anything wrong with it; its just any installation/training/use issues you have with the MOTEC will be the same with the AIM. The CDL3 is a better, more refined product and it would be a shame for you to let it go.

    My car has the stock ECU so I am curious how to interface the CDL with the car's sensors for data
    The E30 M3's ECU is ancient, and has no communication protocol to interface with. Worse, its sensor package is pretty dated, so interfacing with the stock sensors is of limited value.

    I am pretty sure I will not be able to interface directly with the ECU so I will need to use a new set of pressure, temperature, speed and rpm sensors to get those on my dash
    You should get fuel pressure & oil pressure. You can interface with the stock water temp sensor. You can interface with the stock tach input for RPM, use GPS for speed; you can calculate speed from RPM if you want to determine wheelspin later.

    So really, you need 2 x 0-150psi fluid temp sensors and someone who knows how to interface the MOTEC sensor harness with the stock E30 M3 harness, and you're on your way.

    know I cam purchase an Input/output feature for the CDL which will allow analogue and digital inputs but no mention of am ECU input.
    Again, there is no ECU OUTPUT to interface with. The CDL3, AIM or any other dash can only interface with an ECU that has a datastream output. For cars with street ECUs, this wasn't universal or common until OBD-II regulations, which was after 1996.

    The MOTEC is a great dash and will be an invaluable tool for you to monitor and improve both yours and your car's performance.

    -Neel
    Neel Vasavada
    Apex Speed Technology
    2931 S. Sepulveda Blvd Suite F
    Los Angeles, CA 90064
    310.314.2005
    [email protected]
    www.apexspeedtech.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Neel,

      Thank you for the detailed response, I really appreciate the help. I was not sold the Motec CDL, I was given it from a friend who had purchased it for another project and didnt end up using it. So it was a pretty sweet deal on my part. I got the complete track kit including the wiring harness, GPS antenna, Motec Shift Light Module, Ethernet connections, and OBD to CAN connection. I am aware that the stock ECU has no communication port, I was referring to the Motec Input/Output harness for sensors that can be purchased as an upgrade to the CDL. This is the I/O upgrade I am thinking of using so I can install and terminate my own sensor on the motor/chassis, it is Motec part #61196. It has 4 Analogue sensors and 2 analogue temperature sensors that can be terminated however the end user needs.

      http://www.motec.com/cdl3trackkits/c...tsaccessories/


      The dash and gauges in my car currently do not work and instead of replacing/fixing the wiring harness, I am planning on installing the CDL since I have it. I can install stand alone water temp, oil pressure, and fuel pressure sensors on my motor, that is not a problem. I am mainly concerned with getting RPM so I can remove an auxiliary tachometer that I had to add when my stock gauge cluster failed. I have been without speed for a long time since the hall effect sensor in my diff failed as well as the stock gauge. I have just been gauging pit road speed on gear selection and RPM.

      So I am glad to hear that the Motec CDL can receive RPM signal from my car, that is all I really care about. Is it a difficult procedure to interface the OEM tach input into the Motec CDL? Does the CDL have to be calibrated for RPM?

      The solution I am proposing is not ideal but more of a band aid so I understand not everything will work. Since I got the CDL for free, I want to use it to replace the stock gauge cluster that is dead. I currently am logging data via a Traqmate so I dont even really need the data from the CDL. However, I am building another e30 M3 in which I will be using a Motec SDL or ADL along with a Pectal SQ6M ECU so I want to start to get familiar with the Motec software packages. If I can just get the few vital engine parameters plus RPM on the digital dash I will be more than happy.

      Thank you again for the help.
      1989 M3 M3T #99
      1988 M3
      1988 M5
      1986 Euro M6
      1976 2002
      1972 3.0 CSL Group 2 "Flying Stuck" recreation
      www.vsr1.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Its easy to integrate the CDL3 with the stock tach input. You need to buy the I/O option, but you simply connect the stock tach signal wire to a digital input. 1 wire hookup, its cake. Yes, some calibration work is involved but again its not complicated.

        Then, since you have GPS Speed, you can setup dash warning for Pit Lane Speed limiter.

        The thing is, your solution doesn't have to be a band-aid. It would not be hard to build you a harness so you can plug it in and easily replace the stock dash cluster.

        For your other car, do you already have that equipment? The SQ6M is beyond overkill for an S14. It has 12 injectors and 8 ignitions, but as far as features its getting old enough where it doesn't have anything that newer ECUs don't. If you already have it, you can sell that and buy a new ECU and dash for what you get for the SQ6M used, and have a better car than you would with an SQ6M + ADL or SDL. In my opinion, the Vi-PEC V44/CDL3 combination is excellent for a race car. Feature for feature, equal quality etc its really tough to beat.

        Cheers,

        Neel
        Neel Vasavada
        Apex Speed Technology
        2931 S. Sepulveda Blvd Suite F
        Los Angeles, CA 90064
        310.314.2005
        [email protected]
        www.apexspeedtech.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds easy enough, I will get the I/O option and harness and start installing the CDL in my car. I will be removing the stock OEM cluster and connecting the CDL to the vital inputs that I need from the motor. What type of harness would you build besides the one that comes with the CDL kit? I just need to provide 12V power to the CDL and then connect all my engine sensors plus the Motec components and I should be good to go. I will most likely end up using Bosch pressure and temperature sensors since those are reasonably priced and easy to find.

          As for my other car, yes I have the Pectal already as well as a complete engine harness for my car. The harness will need to be modified for my particular setup but at least I have all the correct Autosport connectors. My other car is being built to be beyond overkill as a club race/vintage car so the Pectal fits right it. It is going to be a 2.7l S14 with dual injector carbon airbox, slide throttles, full BMW MS valve train with 312/298 BMW MS cams, shim under bucket, 2 knock sensors on the block, Electric water pump, 6 speed Holinger sequential gearbox with no-lift upshifts, BMW MS MK60 ABS unit with custom map, full 1992 DTM suspension including fabricated rear trailing arms, MCS 3-way adjustable remote reservoir shocks, 18' single lug BBS wheels, AP racing calipers, carbon fiber body, etc. The car is being built to the highest standard including an all modern electronics package using a Motec PDM, RaceGrade CANbus switches, Motec SDL/ADL data logging for a complete engine and chassis data acquisition system.

          So for that type of build, I chose the Pectal SQ6M since it provides the level of quality and features I want for my car. The whole wiring harness with be either Deutsch DTM or Autosport connectors so that is another reason I went with the Pectal SQ6M was the Autosport connectors. Plus I purchased the ECU and full wiring harness for a really good deal, less than the Autosport connectors would cost new and the ECU only ran for 1 season. I want full CAN capability so that all the electronics can communicate with each other over the network and I can take full advantage of the features of the Motec PDM and digital dash to run such things are electric gear cooling pump, EWP, pit speed limiter, etc.

          So yes, the SQ6M is overkill but that is really the point of my build. The whole car is overkill.

          Thanks again for the information and help, I will be starting on the installation soon and will definitely have questions as I go along so I really appreciate the support. I will be sure to keep updating this thread as I install the CDL.
          1989 M3 M3T #99
          1988 M3
          1988 M5
          1986 Euro M6
          1976 2002
          1972 3.0 CSL Group 2 "Flying Stuck" recreation
          www.vsr1.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Glad to help.

            -Neel
            Neel Vasavada
            Apex Speed Technology
            2931 S. Sepulveda Blvd Suite F
            Los Angeles, CA 90064
            310.314.2005
            [email protected]
            www.apexspeedtech.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JrIIIRacing View Post
              Sounds easy enough, I will get the I/O option and harness and start installing the CDL in my car. I will be removing the stock OEM cluster and connecting the CDL to the vital inputs that I need from the motor. What type of harness would you build besides the one that comes with the CDL kit? I just need to provide 12V power to the CDL and then connect all my engine sensors plus the Motec components and I should be good to go. I will most likely end up using Bosch pressure and temperature sensors since those are reasonably priced and easy to find.

              As for my other car, yes I have the Pectal already as well as a complete engine harness for my car. The harness will need to be modified for my particular setup but at least I have all the correct Autosport connectors. My other car is being built to be beyond overkill as a club race/vintage car so the Pectal fits right it. It is going to be a 2.7l S14 with dual injector carbon airbox, slide throttles, full BMW MS valve train with 312/298 BMW MS cams, shim under bucket, 2 knock sensors on the block, Electric water pump, 6 speed Holinger sequential gearbox with no-lift upshifts, BMW MS MK60 ABS unit with custom map, full 1992 DTM suspension including fabricated rear trailing arms, MCS 3-way adjustable remote reservoir shocks, 18' single lug BBS wheels, AP racing calipers, carbon fiber body, etc. The car is being built to the highest standard including an all modern electronics package using a Motec PDM, RaceGrade CANbus switches, Motec SDL/ADL data logging for a complete engine and chassis data acquisition system.

              So for that type of build, I chose the Pectal SQ6M since it provides the level of quality and features I want for my car. The whole wiring harness with be either Deutsch DTM or Autosport connectors so that is another reason I went with the Pectal SQ6M was the Autosport connectors. Plus I purchased the ECU and full wiring harness for a really good deal, less than the Autosport connectors would cost new and the ECU only ran for 1 season. I want full CAN capability so that all the electronics can communicate with each other over the network and I can take full advantage of the features of the Motec PDM and digital dash to run such things are electric gear cooling pump, EWP, pit speed limiter, etc.

              So yes, the SQ6M is overkill but that is really the point of my build. The whole car is overkill.

              Thanks again for the information and help, I will be starting on the installation soon and will definitely have questions as I go along so I really appreciate the support. I will be sure to keep updating this thread as I install the CDL.

              Is there a build page for this car?

              T

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the interest. I don't have a build page for my car on s14.net because of the website troubles earlier this year. I have posted on s14power.com under the title "Race car build in the States" if you want to look over there. I will make a build page at some point on s14.net. So far I am 4 years into the build and many more years to come. I only get to work on the car once every 6-8 weeks due to work so progress is slow. But it will be done someday.
                1989 M3 M3T #99
                1988 M3
                1988 M5
                1986 Euro M6
                1976 2002
                1972 3.0 CSL Group 2 "Flying Stuck" recreation
                www.vsr1.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been doing some more research on installing the CDL and want to confirm that I can remove the stock instrument cluster without effecting the operation of the vehicle. I have done some research and found that I need to short the alternator light circuit to allow the alternator to charge. Is there anything else that is controlled by instrument panel that will prevent the engine from running correctly? I am not concerned with the accessory items such as the on-board computer, headlights, warning lights, etc. Just need the engine to work properly.


                  Also, on the coolant rail on the exhaust side of the motor, can I reuse the brown temperature sensor for my digital dash? I know the blue connector sensor is used to by the ECU to control the mixture but I am pretty confident that the brown sensor is just for the instrument panel water temperature gauge so if I remove the IP then I can calibrate my CDL to use that sensor for water temp. Thanks for the help.
                  1989 M3 M3T #99
                  1988 M3
                  1988 M5
                  1986 Euro M6
                  1976 2002
                  1972 3.0 CSL Group 2 "Flying Stuck" recreation
                  www.vsr1.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have the dash removed from my car and everything is working correctly....but I am not running the stock ECU. I first removed the stock ECU and switched to Motec EMS, then I installed a digital dash that connects to the Motec. I am 99% sure your car will run fine....but I just wanted to say I have never done it exactly like that.

                    You are correct about the alternator light circuit. I dealt with that by simply running the circuit through a new warning light that I installed in my replacement dash. I am not sure that you can just "short" the circuit though....I think you either have to run it through a warning light or through a resistor...but I'm not positive.

                    If you are interested, I was going to use an LED warning light for the alt (just because all my other warning lights are LEDs) but found it wouldn't work. The alt warning light needs to allow current to go "both ways" which a normal LED cannot do. Also, the LED did not draw enough power to excite the alternator and get it charging. So I used a normal incandescent warning light and it works fine.

                    But back to your question...other than the alt I don't think there is anything in the stock dash that the Motronic requires in order to run.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JrIIIRacing View Post
                      I have been doing some more research on installing the CDL and want to confirm that I can remove the stock instrument cluster without effecting the operation of the vehicle. I have done some research and found that I need to short the alternator light circuit to allow the alternator to charge. Is there anything else that is controlled by instrument panel that will prevent the engine from running correctly? I am not concerned with the accessory items such as the on-board computer, headlights, warning lights, etc. Just need the engine to work properly.


                      Also, on the coolant rail on the exhaust side of the motor, can I reuse the brown temperature sensor for my digital dash? I know the blue connector sensor is used to by the ECU to control the mixture but I am pretty confident that the brown sensor is just for the instrument panel water temperature gauge so if I remove the IP then I can calibrate my CDL to use that sensor for water temp. Thanks for the help.
                      You will have to check to see if the gauge sensor is compatible. You may need to replace it with another Blue NTC sensor.

                      There is nothing in the instrument cluster that the ECU needs to function aside from the alternator circuit. Remember that when you wire in your charge lamp, wire in a resistor in parallel to the bulb as a fail safe in case of bulb failure.
                      Sport Evo No.47

                      My Sport Evo Restoration

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JrIIIRacing View Post
                        I have been doing some more research on installing the CDL and want to confirm that I can remove the stock instrument cluster without effecting the operation of the vehicle. I have done some research and found that I need to short the alternator light circuit to allow the alternator to charge. Is there anything else that is controlled by instrument panel that will prevent the engine from running correctly? I am not concerned with the accessory items such as the on-board computer, headlights, warning lights, etc. Just need the engine to work properly.
                        Sounds like you're all set with removing the dash. Another thing to consider, if you're removing the old control modules and OBC, is the controller that prevents the car from starting if you've entered a security code into the OBC. See these posts:
                        http://www.s14.net/forums/forum/s14/...649#post627649
                        http://www.s14.net/forums/forum/s14/...120#post628120
                        Last edited by Mick; 08-03-2014, 04:11 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for info guys, I appreciate it. I will install an alternator light to excite the alternator. I will check on the compatibility but it will be easy to swap out, I was mainly just looking for a place to put a sensor so that area will work. Mick, I already have removed the OBC and all associated modules. I did this years ago and haven't had a problem but thanks for the heads up in case I have a problem. I will post information as I begin the install.
                          1989 M3 M3T #99
                          1988 M3
                          1988 M5
                          1986 Euro M6
                          1976 2002
                          1972 3.0 CSL Group 2 "Flying Stuck" recreation
                          www.vsr1.com

                          Comment

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