NGC and you

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OB
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NGC and you

Post by OB » Sun Jan 14, 2007 1:25 am

Ive noticed an abundance of threads with discussions pertaining to NGC and its relevence when modifying our cars, so I decided to share some information I might have on the subject, and some opinions ive come up with reading all this lately. Lets have a discussion on NGC, OBDII, and modern engine managment in general.

Ever since OBDII came out in '96, manufacturers have been using fuel trim, sensor inputs, and other simple yet groundbreaking technology to talk with a cars computer. many, if not most OBDII ECUs are able to "learn" in real time while the car is being operated. Inputs from the TPS allow the computer to adjust long term fuel trims that best suit the drivers style and typical driving habits. Inputs from the 02S, CTS, IAT, MAP, MAF, CKPS, CMPS, and other sensors allow the computers to fine tune fuel, air and spark, as well as make adjustments for changes in conditions and climate. This is no new technology.

There are some major misconceptions about NGC, starting with the fact that it's able to "cancel out" modifications. The thing is, Neons are built fairly well from the factory (and I say this with some very current knowledge of modern automobiles and their powertrains). Its very simple to understand that an intake that worked good from the factory isnt going to make a huge power gain when replaced with a simple CAI. However, saying that the NGC system in the PCM is capable of "learning" that you've installed an aftermarket intake system, and returning the horsepower level to stock is quite far from the truth. These are the myths that need to be either proven, or put to rest.

Most modern cars with OBDII are able to do the same things that people say of the 'mysterious' NGC. They make excuses for the poor power gains by claiming that the computer is able to revert systems in the car back to stock parameters, after those systems have been modified. The fact is, bolt ons such as intakes, exhausts, spark plugs/wires, and even cams, arent going to make huge power without some sort of change in the programming of the computer. NGC or not, even the older neons (00-02 for example) shouldnt perform any differently with the same changes.

Now, to get at the more advanced arguements about NGC, regarding forced induction and more serious modifications, I can say that the facts stated above dont change in any way. Fuel injected cars, even pre OBDII, are tuned to run within certain parameters. Adding or exchanging hard parts or even mnor things like intakes isnt going to cut it without some form of engine management.

Neon tuners are tight with their money (not unlike most normal people with regards to their hobbies). We want to find a way to make power for cheap, just like everyone else. People point their finger at NGC, when in reality, there are NO neons making tons of HP with stock computers. Not 00-02 neons, and not newer ones. Aftermarket engine management isnt a cheap business, nor is it simple. Its not for the faint of heart, and requires a serious enthusiast when considering options.

With things like Megasquirt being used to tune just about any car out there, and for a great price, there are really no excuses not to invest in some knowledge and take one of the options that are available. And there is surely no reason to try to "break" the "NGC code", when in reality there isnt really any code to break. The 03-05 NGC myth can be revealed using simple knowledge of whats going on in the industry, and it makes perfect sense too. Some say that our cars could make some extra power with the stock computer if we only had a way to flash the stock PCM with more aggressive tuning maps. DCX doesnt disclose the information needed for aftermarket reflashes on the standard 2.0 neon. Nor do they offer anything other than standard updates from their dealers. There really is no reason to pursue it any further, in my opinion.
-Derek

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RopeRat1
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Post by RopeRat1 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 2:08 am

I'm going to add a few things to your statements.

NGC is designed to simplify (read cut production costs) vehicle production.

There were two DCX engine controller designs used thru the '02 model year.

SBEC III (Single Board Engine Controller, 3rd Generation) was used on all pass cars thru '02. It is a descendant of the Power Module/Logic Module technology of the original fuelie K-cars. It was designed to meet OBD-II requirements and communicate over the data bus to the ATX III (Automatic Trans Controller). Different hardware was needed inside each controller for 4cyl/6cyl applications and different data bus systems. SBEC III was not used on any RWD platforms.

JTEC (Jeep/Truck Engine Controller) was used on Jeeps/Trucks thru '02 (hence the name). It also met OBD-II requirements and contained automatic trans controls for RWD transmissions. Different hardware was also needed here for 4cyl/6cyl/8cyl applications. JTEC was not used on any FWD applications.

NGC (Next Generation Controller) was developed to reduce the number of controllers needed to just a few. The controller is installed on the assembly line and then flash programmed to that particular vehicle. Doesn't matter if the controller is being installed on a truck, a Neon, or a Viper. It also works with the various data bus communications systems.

Any one of the controllers is going to relearn to provide the best performance, fuel economy, and emissions within it's design parameters. NGC is simply the scapegoat.

DCX is not going to give out reflash programs that will change the emissions output of a vehicle. To do so would require extensive/expensive testing and EPA certifications. That's simply not going to happen.

Case in point is pinion factor (tire sizes) on trucks/jeeps. A program setting for a different tire size will require a new EPA certification. They simply give a range of poss tire revolutions/mile and allows the customer/dealer to program in the installed size.


Jonathan (RopeRat1)

P.S. The last 5yrs of my automotive career (27yrs) was teaching dealership techs at the DCX Cincinnati Regional Training Center.

OB
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Post by OB » Sun Jan 14, 2007 2:41 am

Thanks for the info, good stuff to know. Very true as well.
-Derek

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Post by yellowpatrol » Sun Jan 14, 2007 2:52 am

STICKY THIS!
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Adionik wrote:On a 100% stock SRT engine i've seen detonation on 93 octane, I know what i'm talking about.

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kevo
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Re: NGC and you

Post by kevo » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:59 am

orangeblastsxt wrote:Ive noticed an abundance of threads with discussions pertaining to NGC and its relevence when modifying our cars, so I decided to share some information I might have on the subject, and some opinions ive come up with reading all this lately. Lets have a discussion on NGC, OBDII, and modern engine managment in general.
you are not the first to write such a long topic concerning ngc. It however, doesnt mean everything in your post is actual and factual. I am probably the only person here that has actually looked into the NGC code.
orangeblastsxt wrote:There are some major misconceptions about NGC, starting with the fact that it's able to "cancel out" modifications.
This is somewhat true. It is there to safeguard the car from any abnormalities. Tested to some extent by myself.

The only reasoning i could come up with as to why they chose to use NGC is from a warranty standpoint. This can also be seen in how many Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) are issued for second generation cars when it comes to the ECU and electronic components controlled by it.
orangeblastsxt wrote: The thing is, Neons are built fairly well from the factory (and I say this with some very current knowledge of modern automobiles and their powertrains). Its very simple to understand that an intake that worked good from the factory isnt going to make a huge power gain when replaced with a simple CAI.However, saying that the NGC system in the PCM is capable of "learning" that you've installed an aftermarket intake system, and returning the horsepower level to stock is quite far from the truth. These are the myths that need to be either proven, or put to rest.

You are right and wrong at the same time. Do you seriously think that the PCM does not detect a greater flow of air into the system with a cai? Air in the engine is air for fuel and whatnot. It will adjust other parameters to compensate for the greater air intake.

Ever wonder why some users are pushed into limp mode when using a 60mm throttle body? How about turbo installs? Ever wonder why they do well on NGC powered cars? All turbo systems are doing is pushing in air right? How would that be any different than a 60mm throttle body then without comparing the greater capacity of each mod?

orangeblastsxt wrote:Most modern cars with OBDII are able to do the same things that people say of the 'mysterious' NGC. They make excuses for the poor power gains by claiming that the computer is able to revert systems in the car back to stock parameters, after those systems have been modified. The fact is, bolt ons such as intakes, exhausts, spark plugs/wires, and even cams, arent going to make huge power without some sort of change in the programming of the computer.
You are correct on the bolt on's issue. However, most cars have more mods than we do.
orangeblastsxt wrote:NGC or not, even the older neons (00-02 for example) shouldnt perform any differently with the same changes.
Incorrect. Again, NGC does not necessarily pull timing, it will adjust other air, fuel and other parameters to best suit the car. a non-NGC car and an NGC powered car will run and perform differently. Which one would out-perform the other remains to be seen.


orangeblastsxt wrote:Neon tuners are tight with their money (not unlike most normal people with regards to their hobbies). We want to find a way to make power for cheap, just like everyone else. People point their finger at NGC, when in reality, there are NO neons making tons of HP with stock computers.
No kiddin. I'm dead broke! :lol:

orangeblastsxt wrote:Not 00-02 neons, and not newer ones. Aftermarket engine management isnt a cheap business, nor is it simple. Its not for the faint of heart, and requires a serious enthusiast when considering options.
No kiddin here too. I have looked into the firmware. Lets look at just straight costs of everything needed to just analyze, hack and reflash an ECU. from a hobbyists perspective

Eeprom reader/writer- $600-$2,000 (Non ngc systems use a 256kb chip. NGC uses 512)

soldering tools (the pinouts are tiny) $200-$400

reverse engineering tools $500+ (IDA pro is the only decompiler that works with the motorola SC435418MFC16 processor) hint! the subaru wrx and some evolutions use a simillar processor by freescale!

OBDIII DCX programmer (using VPW) $7,000-$9,000 if you are lucky enough to find one.
orangeblastsxt wrote:there is surely no reason to try to "break" the "NGC code", when in reality there isnt really any code to break.
completely incorrect! It would be impossible to do what most n00bs think of "kill" or remove the ngc code inside of the pcm. That is impossible. It is possible to modify the parameters that the PCM uses as a base model. NGC will always be there but you can use it to your advantage in at least one way.

orangeblastsxt wrote:Some say that our cars could make some extra power with the stock computer if we only had a way to flash the stock PCM with more aggressive tuning maps. DCX doesnt disclose the information needed for aftermarket reflashes on the standard 2.0 neon.
The fact of the matter is that no car company releases or discloses this kind of information to the general public. There are trade secrets inside of these ECUs. There is no EULA or license agreement that stops end users/car owners from doing these things themselves. Groups that modify and re-distribute entire binary files from a car ECU are commiting copyright infringement, a federal crime. There are ways around this using flashers and on the fly patchers.

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Post by kc2005ptgt » Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:34 pm

I think a lot of people believe the NGC myth because they can not figure out why, when they put on a CAI, spark plug wires, coil pack, udp, crane 12/comp 200/mag cam and springs, lth, 2.5 exhaust, no cat, 60mm tb and they do not see 150whp, they assume this "computer" NGC myth has cancelled it out.

How do myths get started anyway? That is the true story behind NGC. I can tell you where it started, in late 02 when the first 03 neons were being released and they heard about a "new onboard ECU controller that was top of the line, blah blah <insert marketing ploy from DCX here>" and someone popped in a CAI and didn't feel a rush of power, they got onto Neons.org or one of the other neon sites (including here) and began talking about "NGC" and lack of power in their mods...

Personally, I think my 02 has responded great to all its mods and eventually I will MS this car. Why? Spark and fuel controll... that is where the power is! :lol: But seriously, because there is no option for a new ecu for my car - unless I want to wait about ten years for Howell to ship me something that doesn't work. :roll:

Truth be told, it will take an aftermarket company who see's "Dollar $ign$!" and the possibility to make a ton of money on something to truely get an aftermarket ecu for our cars...
thanks for trying all you have, kevo, your work and knowledge is much appreciated and hard work is not overlooked by those of us who know what you have been trying. :D
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OB
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Post by OB » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:01 pm

Kevo, I think you misunderstood a few things I was trying to say.

-As far as the CAI/NGC thing goes, you have to keep in mind that adding a pipe in place of the stock airbox isnt really going to have much of an effect on how much air the car actually takes in. The point of a CAI is easily seen in its name. It takes in colder air. Not more air, just colder air. Without forced induction or a retuned computer (or both) , the car really has no way of sucking in more air. same concept as adding bigger injectors on a stock car; the car will adjust the pulse width to make the same amount of fuel come out of them, changing nothing about the way the car runs/performs.

-With the limp mode deal, thats simply something caused by sensors in the car not reading what theyre supposed to, and putting the car in a safe mode to get it home or to the repair shop. This makes perfect sense with the 60mm tb, because the TPS and IAC sensors are probably getting confused by the change. its not an NGC specific thing either, almost all cars designed recently have limp modes designed as a way to prevent the car from being destroyed, in order to reduce warranty repairs. However, these computers, as you can see, tend to cry wolf a bit when modified, and arent always using limp mode in true instances of danger.

-My thoughts about NGC and the 00-02 neons performance comparisons are still up in the air, as I havent gone into depth in that yet, so ill retract my previous statement. However, i wouldnt doubt that the diagnostic and emissions programming in the PCMs are very similar between the two cars. the only difference is the addition of NGC on the newer ones, and its effect on those other systems.
-Derek

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