Back in June 2005, I was about 2 years into my ’85 GTV6 phase. While not as nimble around Melbourne’s tight inner city streets as it’s predecessor, a 1750 GTV, the V6 ruled the freeways of my 40 minute commute to work – the V6 howl down the on-ramps and through the Domain Tunnel – still gives me shivers…
The L-Jetronic engine management system in the car was a great piece of kit in it’s day. But as the last ‘analog’ engine management system Alfa used – it suffered as components aged (they were 20 years old after all) inside the ECU causing a litany of hot-starting woes, and overrun enrichment that evaded my best efforts to resolve them.
I’d read about the MegaSquirt open-source engine management system, initially via the great GTV6.com forums – but with increasing interest as I clicked around the web reading more. At that stage you could buy the manufactured circuit boards and pre-bagged electronic components from a few vendors around the world – but support was up to you and the forums. The siren call of assembling my own ECU to run the car and tune out my various issues myself was too strong to resist, and a week later, the kit arrived.
During the week I’d read with great interest the posts of Peter Webb, who’d not only used the MS to run his L-Jetronic Alfa, but had shoe-horned it into an old L-Jet case, and wired it up so it was plug-n-play with the existing wiring loom. I had to do mine the same way – if you had any issues on the road – just swap the L-Jet back in and away you go…
It was a pretty steep learning curve – but after the thrill of the first successful startup was over – a solid couple of months tuning took place, using the drive to / from work to dial in the system. Power was better, economy was much better – even the sound of the car had changed for the better… and the niggling issues I’d had were very easy to solve due to complete access to the running vitals via the laptop.
The car ran perfectly for the next 4 years, surprising no-one more so than myself ! I sold it to a fellow Alfista who treasured the car for another 4 years. He’d had an issue with the MS controller late in his ownership and swapped back in the L-Jet to get moving. He returned the MS controller to me to diagnose – but had an offer on the car in the meantime and sold it on.
The issue turned out to be a loose ground pin in the old Jetronic case – This same unit has been repaired and is about to go into a friend’s GTV6 to tune more precisely for his modified engine.
When the decision was made to TwinSpark the Enablieri Giulia Super, building and running a current series MegaSquirt was a simple decision, and one that’s paid many dividends in performance, economy, and reliability since October 2012 when it first fired up. With the daily 40km commute to work and 5 trackdays (the last in 40 deg. C heat) over the last year and a half under it’s belt – the system has proved itself to us with flying colours.
The kits are available both at component level and fully assembled from the brilliant team at diyautotune.com, and Enablieri can supply bespoke turn-key units to suit customer requirements.