Thursday, September 16, 2021

Air Temp Sensor Heck

Problem: The intake temperature reading on my Emerald K6 ECU is locked at 40˚c.

Sensor: Ford combined MAP/temperature sensor, CF 331 (4S4G-9F479-AC)

Hypothesis: The voltage mapping is wrong for this sensor putting it outside of the readable ranges.


    • The Emerald K6 documentation sucks monkey and doesn't specifically address information about the electrical connection of the intake air temperature sensor.
      • Emerald simply say "Input > Air Temperature > Yes, standard Bosch or user programmable characteristic"
      • They don't offer electrical connection information.  Since the Bosch NTC sensor is a resistance type sensor I have to assume that there's an internal pull-up and I'll assume that it's a 1k Ohm resistor. ('Cause that's how things tend to be)
      • The table below is best guess/estimated values based on 5vcc in and a 1k Ohm pull-up resistor.

Since the Bosch/FoMoCo TMAP and Bosch NTC have practically the same mapping, it's safe to assume that as long I can read a resistance across the pins it should be good to use this sensor.  It may be the case that there's a wiring issue in the loom that I'll need to track down but a good test will be to try with a different sensor first, since I have a delphi sensor just chillin' out, I can plug that in to verify that the wiring is good.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Fueling intent.

 The Zero has been on stands for a few weeks while I work on small things.  Last time I updated here I was working on calibrating the Smiths fuel level sender to work with the AIM dash.

That didn’t go as well.

Eventually I’ll revisit the notion of having the AIM display fuel level but for now I’m throwing an ETB Instruments sender and GT40 style gauge into a 3D printed pod sticky-taped to the dash. I went with ETB because their sender fit the bolt battery GBS use on their tank so it was easy.

The lever arm of the sender needed to be adjusted for length to keep it from hitting the sides or bottom of the tank. (There’s about 3/4” between the bottom of the float and tank at full droop.) This provides a bit of a buffer at ‘E’ which is good since the car’s tank realistically only holds 7.5 US gallons of fuel.

The gauge is wired to the send through the factory harness, not the AIM harness I built.  For simplicity I’m taking switched power and ground from the USB charger/volt meter in the center console. The gauge pod is my own design that uses GoPro mounting hardware and 3M mounting tape to stick to the underside of the carbon fiber dashboard.  I didn’t bother wiring up the gauge illumination.

Anyway, I now have a working fuel level gauge which is honestly all that I care about while working out confidence in what kind of range I’m going to be able to get out of this car.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Fuel Level Wonkiness

I've been working to get the fuel level sender in my car calibrated correctly.  That's not gone quite so well.  The idea is to have it feed into the AIM dash.  As mentioned before, that's a little more involved than simply plugging it in and going.  The sender seems a bit wonky if I'm honest so it was hard to get reasonable, consistent voltages for all of the different fuel levels.

My process also kind of sucked ass and I can do much better.  I started with the tank empty, then filled it gallon-by-gallon and read off values.  I spilled fuel, it wasn't a clean way to do thing.  Next go I'm going to fill the tank (~8 gallons), jack the car up onto stands front and rear, then drain the tank gallon-by-gallon.  That should be a lot less messy and should cause a lot less sloshing in the tank which I think was causing some reading issue with the fuel level sender.

This is all a project for FutureMe, however.

I've ordered a new fuel level sender and gauge from ETB Instruments in the UK, fairly inexpensive thing to do. At the very least it will get me a known good gauge and sender combination regardless of anything else.

The new sensor should read:

  • 260 ohms, empty ( 0.631v w/ 1.8K ohm pull-up )
  • 20 ohms, full ( 0.055v w/ 1.8K ohm pull-up )


  1. Install the new sensor.
  2. Fill the tank with 30L of petrol. (~8 Gal US)
  3. Record ohms on the sensor, drain one gallon
    1. Repeat until empty.
  4. Calculate the calibration table from the recorded ohm.
This process should give a good enough calibration for the AIM dash.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Paint F*ckery

 For future reference, the paint on my Zero is:

Body: Lamborghini Grigio Telesto Metallic (6Z6Z - Battleship Gray Metallic, essentially.)

Stripes: Luminous Green (RAL 6038)

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Fitting the AIM MSX & pilot lights in the carbon fibre dash .

Spent a little bit of time after work last night offering up the AIM MXS dash to the carbon fibre dashboard. Also, the dash lights. (Was going to do something fancy for those, turns out I didn't care enough and just set them straight into the dash.)  To make sure that holes were [mostly] in the right place I drew up a couple of templates with Fusion 360 and kicked them out on my Ender3 Printer. (I mostly use my 3D printer to knock out single use tooling, like this.)

I'm happy enough with the end result of the work even though it's a bit of a horror show where I cut out the 2" rounds to fit the back protrusion of the dashboard. Doesn't matter, tho, that's covered by the dash itself.  And one of the dash lights is slight offset which will forever be a tiny annoyance.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Emerald K6 Configuration Woes

Ran into some issues trying to finally get the engine to turn over that turned out to be an ECU configuration problem that was partially user error and partially some questionable choices made by Emerald M3D on how they package and sell their ECUs.

The Issue

When attempting to crank the engine over it wouldn't catch or run.  Probing with a multimeter revealed that fuel rail and coils weren't getting power, ECU logs also suggested that the ECU wasn't getting power to its second 12V in, either.  

The Problem

While it was pretty clear that the issue was that the ECU wasn't triggering the Main Relay to supply the injectors, ignition, or the ECU with battery volts, figuring out why was a bigger pain in the butt than it should have been.  I traced the Main relay back to pin 14 on the ECU which all of the documentation I could find on the K6 ECU lists as supplying +8v for sensors, not switching ground.  Weird but workable...except that the GBS harness is wired for the ECU to switch pin 14 to ground, not to supply 8v. 

I thought I might have to rewire the chassis harness to so the Main Relay would be triggered by a positive source from the ECU or that I might need to move the ECU pin to a different port.  But I couldn't find any option at all in the configuration software to actually set where the main relay is triggered from.  The documentation seemed to suggest that it would be triggered from Pin 4 as long as Pin 4 wasn't configured as an ignition driver but offered no alternatives.  And pin 4 on my setup is an ignition driver.

To make what could be a very long story short, I got in touch with Emerald and quickly discovered two problems:
  • I had the wrong version of Emerald's ECU software installed.
    • I downloaded the config software from Emerald's web site, I don't own any computers with  DVD drives that could have read/loaded the software that was in the included DVD drive.
    • I made the incorrect assumption that would be be the most complete, up-to-date version. It was not.
    • Some K6 ECUs require bespoke software versions, my K6 VVT was not 100% compatible with the software version on their website.
  • Emerald's documentation is is kinda crap.
    • The K6 documentation lists pin 14 as a +8v sensor. Emerald's support rep told me that pin 14 on the K6 VVT ECU is actually a configurable spare output.
    • Every single bit of documentation for the K6 ECU on both their website and on the DVD included with the ECU fails to actually correctly capture and convey all of the actual inputs and outputs of the ECU that I was shipped.

The Solution

  • Installed the correct version of the software.
    • Emerald's support emailed me the correct version of the configuration software for my specific ECU.
    • Seriously, who creates bespoke versions of configuration software like that?!?!
  • Set Pin 14 to control the main relay.
    • Changed the Main Relay trigger from Pin 4 to Pin 14.
    • Verified that the VVT solenoid had was configured to trigger on Pin 3 instead of Pin 17. (Old issue I found while sorting out the wiring harness.)

The Take Away

I was bitten by the very reasonable assumption that the software available on Emerald's site would be the most current version and would be able to configure all versions of the K6 ECU that they ship to customers.  Shipping bespoke versions of software for specific versions of an ECU is kinda crap.  I have to be careful now not to lose the installer.  It's also very likely because of the bespoke nature of both the ECU and the configuration software that there will NEVER be firmware or software updates for my specific K6 ECU or the configuration software needed to make it work.

It also means that when I take the car in to be tuned I'm going to have to make sure that my tuner has the special, bespoke version of the tuning software on his laptop.

Those aren't show-stopping issues but they are annoying.

However, the car stared right up and just ran after finally getting the ECU outputs correctly matching the reality of the chassis and engine harness configuration so that's not annoying.

In the future I may change the car over to a different ECU, maybe Megasquirt or Haltech, but for now I'm gonna go with what I got 'cause it runs.

Fluids are filled.

 It's been a bit of time since I've made an update here and it's time to do some brain dumping, starting with some fluids.

The car is now presently full of fluids. Let's talk about them.

  • Engine Oil
    • Motorcraft 5W-20 full synthetic - No point in using anything more exotic, special, or expensive on the car right now.
  • Transmission fluid
    • Redline MTL Gear Oil - 75W-80 GL-4 gear oil, pretty much the only thing that I use in my Miata transmissions.
  • Gear Oil
    • Royal Purple Max Gear - 75w-90. I needed 75W-90 for the differential and this is what Winchester Auto had in stock. I would have preferred Redline but in a pandemic, beggars can't be choosers.
  • Coolant
    • Distilled Water & [water wetter] - I live in California, there's no real need to run anti-freeze.  Distilled water and some anti-corrosive additives are good.
  • Brake Fluid
    • Generic DOT-4 - Again, nothing special right now.  High enough temp resistance and fairly inexpensive.  I really don't like the idea of leaking Ate or Motul all over the garage while hunting down leaks.  I can bleed it all out later, if needed.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Flasher Relay Redux

 The LED flasher that I bought was garbage, I updated my previous post with that information.  I've replaced it with a more expensive electronic flasher that shouldn't suffer from the terrible electro mechanical issues the one I first bought has.

The new LED Flasher (FL3-RED-K) is a three pin flasher but the GBS Zero's flasher socket will need to be re-pinned. The short story is that the GBS is pinned for ISO relays, FL3-RED-K relay that I purchased is pinned as a JSO relay. Research into that what you will but the following diagram should help on that.

Basically, looking at the back of the Relay Socket everything needs to rotate one tab clockwise.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Oil Pressure Switch Problems

I have learned through trial and error that the oil pressure switch use in the Ford Fusion that my engine came from is not compatible with the way that the GBS's wiring harness.

UPDATE: I chose Solution 1 however that introduced another issue that required me to swap out the switch connector housing. Making a long story short, you want a WVE Vehicle Electronics 1P1883 connector pig-tail kit. De-pin/swap connectors or cut and splice, whichever method floats your boat. (I de-pinned 'cause that's how I roll.)

The Problem

The Ford switch from the fusion is wired to be normally open, meaning that when it sees no oil pressure the switch is open and the GBS Zero's indicator light will be off. When there is oil pressure the switch will close and illuminate the warning light. Neither of the conditions is desirable.

The Solution

Find an oil pressure switch thats normally closed. I present three options here.

  1. Standard Motor Products PS299 - Inexpensive, should fit in the ATR oil filter housing without needing to us any adapters, appears to have the same dimensions as the Ford Fusion's pressure sensor, just NC instead of NO. Yay!
  2. MOTORCRAFT SW5029 - Inexpensive, used in millions of Ford cars. Should fit in the ATR oil filter housing.
  3. ACDelco 8020 - Opens at 5psi, inexpensive, used on millions of cars since the 1960's. Doesn't fit in the ATR oil filter housing because hexagonal body is just a bit too large. You would need to mount this in a remote location.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Warning Indicators

The Short Story

I'm going to go with the Summit Technologies HAWK Array rather than rolling my own. It's less expensive and would look better than what I would build for my own usage.

The Less Short Story

For the purpose of testing my car's electrics I built a prototype indicator array. It half worked. I sunk all of the LED cathodes to a common chassis ground because I made bad assumptions. 

What indicators sink to what, briefly.

  • Discrete Source, Common Sink
    • Right Turn
    • Left Turn
    • High Beam
  • Common Source, Discrete Sink
    • Oil Pressure
    • Alternator
    • Brake


Reading it that way is a little confusing if you've not fully grasped that some things within the car are ground switched. I had the boys down in R&D whip up this janky diagram to help better illustrate the point. (Brown lines are ground/sinks)

How does the HAWK Array work in this configuration?

The HAWK indicator array is already wired up with exactly these indicators lamps with exactly this configuration of sources and sinks. It's like it was purpose built for British kit cars. (It was purpose built for British kit cars.)

What the other stuff about bulbs, watts, and field exciter circuits?

Depending, I may need to build a circuit that will excite the alternator so that it'll produce power at idle. It's a fairly simple circuit, especially if you're using an incandescent bulb. If you're using an LED, well, they offer little forward resistance so they might not excite the alternator and you need to bridge a resistor that will simulate the load of a 2-4 watt bulb. (@12V)  I might need to do this with the HAWK array, but I'm not 100% sure on that right now.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Oiling System

I've gone back and forth on the cooling system on my car for a bit but I've come up with a solution that I like and am presently implementing.

The Problem:

The location of the engine and oil filter in the engine bay of a GBS Zero with a Ford Duratec engine sucks. A lot.  The filter sits on its side over an area where it will make an unholy mess when it's time to change the oil filter.  The problem is even worse if you're running with GBS' supplied oil cooler kit.

Exhibit A:

(The oil filter hangs out over a fuel line and some of the body work that would love to collect and trap some oil dripping out of the filter when it gets removed.)

The Solution:

The easy to say answer is "Install a remote oil filter mount." On the Generation 2 chassis, that's not as easy as it seems but I've managed to make it work out. The only down side of my solution to this problem is that I lose the oil thermostat so it will take a little longer for the care to come up to full temperature. Not much of a problem, to be completely honest.

  • Location - In a Generation 2 GBS Zero chassis locations for a remote mount oil filter are limited. In my car, the best place is beside the battery on the passenger's side.
  • Remote Oil Filter Mount - I sourced a used CV Products remote oil filter mount from Ebay. (-10AN inlet/outlet ports, 1/8 npt port (post filter), 3/4-16 oil filter nipple) This mount features angled inlets ports opposite from each other and outlet on top.
  • Oil Filter Takeoff/Bypass - I am using the oil cooler takeoff sandwich provided by GBS and a filter bypass plate from (Purchased on Ebay) In the future I might change to one of Mountune's oil takeoff plates but this setup should work for now.
  • Mounting Bracket - I built a simple, robust mount out of 1.25" (.125" thick) angle iron. It mounts to the chassis rail with some M6 rivnuts. (See the video.)

Exhibit B:

Foot Notes:

1. The reason that I have to lose the thermostat is that with the thermostat in place, unfiltered oil would be circulated through the engine until it gets to 180˚f and the thermostat closes. No bueno.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Direct Fit Oil Filter Cross Reference

The following is a table of oil filters that should be direct fit swaps for my Zero. 

For future reference, the Motorcraft FL910S is about an inch longer than the supplied BluePrint  oil filter, I'll probably just use those going forward for that touch extra capacity.

Direct Fit (Per Rock Auto)Extra NotationsNotes

Thursday, February 18, 2021

GBSゼロ - First Power

LEDs and flasher relay

UPDATE (03/03/2021):

The flasher that I bought is complete and utter garbage. Do not buy it. It will kill your children, corrupt your dog, and run off with your spouse on a bank robbery spree.

Another thing to think about, the GBS Zero uses ISO standard pin outs for the flasher relay.

You can easily use Grote 44892 LED flasher unit.

LEDs and Flasher Relay 

GBS included a flasher relay intended for incandescent bulbs however they shipped LED front turn signals and incandescent tail/brake/rear-turn bulbs with the car.  This will result in a fast than desired flashing of the right and left turn signals. The quick solution is to just replace all of the remaining indicator bulbs with LEDs and flasher relay. (With an LED compatible relay)  While I'm at it, I've also purchased a set of LED H4 headlights.

I bought all of the needed parts at, part numbers are below.

  • Brake/Tail (red) - 1157 Socket x2 - 1157-R27-T-2PK
  • Rear Fog (red) - 1156 Socket x1 - 1156-R27-T
  • Reverse Light (white) - 1156 Socket x 1 - 1156-NW27-T
  • Turn Indicator (amber) - 1156 Socket x2 - 1156-A27-T-2PK
  • LED Flasher Relay - CF13GL-02 FL3-RED-K
  • H4 Headlights - H4-HLV7

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Oil Pressure Sensor Wiring

AIM do make a 0-150PSI pressure sensor with an integrated Binder 719 connector, it's expensive. I have several spare functionally identical Packard/Delphi sensors laying around from past projects and a small handful of 719 connectors. The preference is to use what I have on hand that sets me up for less expensive replacement costs in the future, should the sensor crap itself. (Pressure transducers are a little delicate, they don't like a lot of heat and vibrations.)

This is the wiring/soldering game plan to connect up the “generic” Packard sensors to the AIM MSX dash that I’m using. Nothing too special, just a distillation of information from a couple of different sources to help keep me from jacking things up too bad. 

The Binder 719’s on the the MXS’s harness are of the 4-pin variety.  When looking at them from solder termination side, index tab pointed upward, the pins can be read as:

719 Male - From solder termination side

  1. Upper Right - Analog Signal
  2. Lower Right - Sensor Ground
  3. Lower Left - +12V (Battery)
  4. Upper Left - +5v (Sensor Vref)
719 Female - From solder termination side
  1. Upper Left - Analog Signal
  2. Lower Left - Sensor Ground
  3. Lower Right - +12v (Battery)
  4. Upper Right - +5v (Sensor Vref)
Packard/Delphi 3-pin Transducer - Looking at the pins on the sensor side
  1. Lower Center - Analog Signal
  2. Upper Right - +5v (Sensor Vref)
  3. Upper Left - Sensor Ground
Connecting up the +12V pin on the Binder connectors is no bueno.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

ECU Mount

 Originally I thought I might put the ECU on top of the transmission tunnel behind the aux switch panel but have since come to a different opinion on placement.  Instead I’m flying it on the passenger’s side of the scuttle/dash area mounted to a plywood tray/shelf.

The shelf is a piece of 1/8" plywood mounted with a few 3D printed brackets. (PETG) The plywood was a 1’x1’ sheet sourced from the local hardware store, fit into place and then cut down as needed.  It has ended up as a kind of funky shape but it works and finished off with some black paint it doesn’t even look that weird.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Fuel level sender cabling.

I ordered my GBS Zero without any instrumentation since I planned to use an integrated dash like the AIM MXS. (Which I have, and will be installing on the car.) Problem is that having not ordered the instruments I'm somewhat flying on my own for wiring up the dash indicator lights and fuel level sender in a way that's useful.

Fuel level will go into the AIM MXS on one of the analog inputs. To make that happen I needed to build cable with a pull-up resistor between +5v and the signal. (AIM have a good description of it in this PDF.) I fabridoodled it out of a 1.8K ohm resistor, some 26ga stranded wire, a Binder 719, and a couple of crimp-on Faston terminals. (Some cable sheathing, HST, and labeling for the good measure.)

Fabrication of the cable is pretty straight forward even if made a little annoying by the very tiny size of all of the components involved.  I would recommend that you do this in work space with tons of light and probably a good magnifying device.

Step 1 - Preparing the resistor. Life is a lot better when you prep the resistor by wrapping/soldering leads onto either end, then sealing it in heat shrink tubing. Then it's as easy to work with as a normal wire when integrating it into wiring harnesses such as with this pull-up circuit.

 Step 2 - Splicing the resistor into the signal line. In this installation, yellow will be the analog signal that has to be referenced vs +5v from the AIM dash via the pull-up resistor. To make that happen, we can need to bridge the power pin and the signal pin which is just a simple matter of splicing the one resistor lead into the signal lead.  This isn't the only way to do it, it's just the way I learned to do it and it's kind of a pain on such a small stranded wire but I made it happen.  Basically, you need to expose a portion of the wire you're splicing into, work a pick through the strands to make a hole. Then you insert the new wire through the gap you've created in the strands and wrap it around to form a mechanical hold.  Then touch it with a lick of solder and cover it in heat-shrink.

Step The Rest - The rest of this is pretty straight forward, I won't go into detail about it.  Just pre-tin the connector and wire leads, that will make things go much smoother.  It's also a good idea to think about labeling and cable sheathing while you're at it.

Monday, January 18, 2021

January Update

 Not a whole lot more progress but this is where we're at:

  • PCV/Catch Can System - This has all been plumbed in now.  Relatively inexpensive catch can from Amazon, fitted with three brass barbs I sourced at a local hardware store.  Being three port in this situation is super important since I need to plumb the breather and PCV systems into the intake. This is all plumbed with low pressure emissions/fuel hose.  Both PCV and Breather are plumbed into the in-ports on the catch can, then from the out-port into the injector-plug ports that have been lightly tapped into the cylinder head in place of the stock injectors.
  • Alternator - Finally got the alternator bracket I needed from GBS so the alternator is in. In my application, I needed to find a belt that would fit correctly. I went through a couple of iterations on this, the end result is a K040570 (4PK1450) Gates Micro-V belt.
  • VVT Solenoid Connectors - While swapping the VVT solenoid connector, I probed out the connections and found the wiring harness/ECU info sheet disagree.  The documentation says that the VVT solenoid is wired on pin 17. This is a lie. There's nothing at all wired on pin 17 in my ECU harness. The connector labeled "VVT Solenoid" is really wired to pin 3 which the docs lists as the Idle Air Control Valve solenoid. I will need to keep this in mind.
  • QuickJacks - I bought a second hand set of 12V powered QuickJacks. I've used them to put the car up in the air and even with just this single use it has been amazing. I don't know how I've gone so long without these, expect some upgrades this system to come along in the future.
  • Fuel Pump Fuckery - The high pressure fuel pump on the car has male FASTON terminals, one is .25" (ground) and the other is .312" wide. (+12v) The harness only has .25" female FASTON terminals for the pump. This is less than useful and I've had to order a hand full of female FASTON connectors from Digi-Key.
  • Nylon Spacers - I bought a chunk of delrin from McMaster with which to make some replacement spaces for the differential.  I should have used nylon from the start instead of aluminum. Used the bandsaw and drill press for this, really wish I had a lathe for this operation but managed to get everything done and back into the car with only a small amount of cursing.