8/24: Preparing to tune the ND

Mazdas Pretty little Roadster
Mazda's pretty little roadster is already under our radar in terms of ECU Calibrations. We've been working on something "top secret" in terms of tuning when it comes to the skyactiv. Slowly, surely, we have been testing more maps to bring a more stable, long term power calibration. We feel like it's finally here and we are more than ready to start Developing the best calibration for the Miata ND. 

Tuning Various Skyactivs across the globe has brought a leading edge to ND Tuning.

We have pulled out more power, more torque and more miles per gallon out of the skyactiv 1.5L, 2.0L and 2.5L through countless hours and over a year of testing, which we have now brought to the Miata ND. We have calibrated Skyactiv engines from Japan, USA, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, and everywhere in between. This has given us a glance at how Mazda has these vehicles calibrated, to specific markets, worldwide qualities of fuel, and climates. With this information we have developed a calibration that is simply unmatched. We don't try to make these engines something they are not. We accent what they can do, and we "unlock" the power that Mazda "turned off". A quick look at the Cam phasing on these engines and you can see that Mazda actually "bumped up" the tables in a few areas (specifically where they make peak gains) to make the numbers look good. However everywhere in between is a dead zone! Rather than try to re-invent the wheel, we accent what the Skyactiv Can do. What have we tested?

With over 4000 tables in the latest ECM's, we tested for quite a while before tuning was released to anyone.

- Ethanol tuning. Confirmed Results are drastic.

- High octane tuning. Best Daily driven results on 91-94 octane 


- Cam phasing. The cams are the power maker, or power killer. We won't say what we change, or how, but we can say you must pay special attention to ALL the cam maps, to make a proper calibration.  Mazda utilizes a new cam feature that is only now starting to makes itself commonplace with other manufacturers. Variable cam angle phasing for both cams in the positive and negative degree direction. This allows the engine to dynamically control cylinder fill, which in turns burns less fuel and gives better MPG. What's also nice about this? Simple adjustments of the cams unleashes all the fury of the high compression pistons!


- Fueling. The Skyactiv has a very interesting and complex way of fueling. there are several maps, for nearly any condition, that must be given special attention. The 2x D.I. Spray cannot be ignored. Why is fueling important? Because Skyactiv engines run extremely high fuel pressure, and is a very delicately balanced system. From Fuel pump duty to injection amounts, tuning these engines require a bit more than just knowing "AFR" values. Understanding the Injection multipliers, compensations, and injection timing and phasing will be the key to creating power safety, and keeping MPG in check. Right away we realized how sensitive these engines are, and how extremely knok prone they are. The stock Calibration has a very fine curve for knock supression, and is quite adequate at controlling knck. However the stock Calibration is not good and not creating knock!. Mazda "blanketed" these tunes to a wide range of people, and unfortunately not all fuel quality is equal, which leads to things like knock.


-Ignition. The ignition strategy on these engines is unlike most others mazdas. Almost "subaru-esque". As in they will dynamically ADD ignition timing when recording "no knock" events. Which means that the ECU will listen for knock, record no knock, adjust ignition timing, record for knock, until a knock event takes place (or Maximum allowable ignition timing has been accomplished). Tuning for this is complex, and takes time. You simply cannot tune these engines correctly with 1 or 2 flashes if you're touching ignition timing. The dynamic control of the Ignition takes time, and a very meticulous understanding of what's going on in order to properly adjust the proper tables( over 50 of them!) to have adequate ignition timing control that won't be stopped once the ECU takes control. Simply adding timing and watching for knock is the WRONG answer with these cars. You can easily over-shoot your ignition goal and cause catastrophic event.

Direct Injection Control

- Direct Injection Control. Our tuning gives us complete control over everything the ECM has the ability to control. Which means we can alter the direct injection events. Why would we do this? Mazda calibrated these cars for more than just enthusiasts. They calibrated these cars for everyone, including that one guy who won't change his oil, revs his car up ice cold, and puts the cheapest fuel you can find in the tank. What does this have to do with the direct injection? Everything!.  Mazda implemented a 2x DUAL spray with the Skyactiv. A Main pahse (power) and Cylinder cooling phase. Altering the correct tables can provide Cleaner Mixture control over the entire RPM range, while maximizing MPG when you want it.

Complete Closed Loop System

These ECM's have been calibrated to be in FULL TIME Closed Loop, regardless of pedal input. Some tuners don't agree with that, some tuners may fight it. It's a blessing in disguise. There is a very specific reason for full time closed loop control. Full time adaptability, under all circumstances. Rather than fighting this system, we accent it, and multiply it's ability to keep everything stable. Full time closed loop allows for *perfect* Wide open throttle Air fueling, very precise ignition timing control, and very sensitive Knock control. For example:

Knock Control

- Knock control with the skyactiv is unlike any other Mazda. The knock sensor is in control, all the time, regardless of RPM. Unlike other Mazdas, the Skyactiv DOES NOT turn the knock sensor off after a certain RPM. It has wide-range feedback all the way past 7500 RPM (tested!). However the ECU also uses the knock sensor to ADD Ignition timing, not just remove it!. 


Now that we just gave you the basic run down on how the skyactiv engine works, how will this relate to tuning the ND?. We all know the Miata is a world class track car, renown for it's abilities on the tarmac. One very critical step to having a well performing track vehicle is having a well performing engine. We have allocated the time to test and tune these engines for maximum safe performance on and off the track, which will play a very large role in the future of Mazda Miata Track racing.



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