Ferrari 550M Emtron KV12

It has been a while since I made a lengthy post about Engine Management Solutions.  

I recently finished an engine management install on John Tirell’s Ferrari 550.  John owns and operates Independent Ferrari Service in Easton MA.  The car had an outdated, and arguably obsolete ECU system installed in it already.  After discussing ultimately what they wanted to do with the car, it was clear it needed to be upgraded.  The key selling point being ECU/electronics support which Pavlotech professionally provides.  

Those who work on the Ferrari brand know that basically everything is doubled.  Two ECUs, two crank sensors, two cam sensors, two intake manifolds, two of everything….  The original installation mimicked the factory mentality (there were two ECUs), but added complicated regarding diagnostics, calibration, data logging, and more.  We replaced these with one Emtron KV12 unit.  

This seemed like an easy solution since the Emtron KV12 can drive 12 cylinders sequentially, but the setup was more involved than normal.  The V12 in this car has an odd V angle, so the firing angles were non-conventional.  There are “two” of many sensors such as TPS and MAP.  Luckily the Emtron allows you to assign these runtimes since it is capable of running more complicated systems like electric throttles (up to four synced electronically), multiple manifold pressure sensors, multiple mass air flow sensors, and more.  To keep with the “dual” engine mentality, the Emtron also has a built in bank trim function as well.  This package really shows off how flexible the Emtron ECU setup is.  

Once the “ABCs” (as John says often) were worked out, which included full fuel system characterization, the engine was running great and ready for surprisingly painless calibration!  

Everytime I use this ECU on any car, it is mind blowing.  Every time I put it on a “special” application.  It just kills it.  This install was no exception.  I calibrated the car on a hot dyno with minimal airflow with great success.  The next week the car was tested at Thompson Speedway to validate everything.

Validate we did as the car ran flawlessly all day.  The temps were much cooler than in the dyno and the calibration required NO adjustment whatsoever.   I can’t praise how well the charge temperature function of the Emtron works regarding compensating the fuel model.  Over and over all day, the car laid down perfect, safe, and completely repeatable results.  3 gears through the front straight basically dead on mixture (even with transients).  Zero fuel correction.  Part throttle conditions spot on.  Accel and decel fueling right on the money.  The car even ran low on fuel at one point, and it compensated for fuel starvation automatically via the fuel pressure differential calculation instantly.  This method provides instantaneous correction instead of waiting for closed loop lambda to compensate (if used).  

Additionally a completely new Motec CDL3 Dash Configuration was written to completely utilize the new complex data sets the Emtron now provides.  Multiple auto switching dash pages are enabled (warmup, race, practice) with massive amounts of live data available in the line sections for quick and easy diagnosis.  A comprehensive alarm strategy was also developed for a number of things.  On top of this Pavlotech also provided customized workspaces for I2, cloud file sharing, remote analysis, and more for the car/team.   

Besides all that, I have to say part of this project’s success has to go to John’s team/crew.  From my understanding using this car has been a long time coming.  No part of this car has been untouched by him and his team.  The normal expectations of “shaking” down a car on its first event were quite the opposite.  All that was needed was refueling!

Since then, John and his team have been using the car as often as possible.  Smashing super fast lap times at Ferrari nationals at Mid-Ohio, Limerock, and Watkins Glen!  

Thompson flyby

Mid Ohio Ferrari Nationals

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