Piggyback ECU for Proton Car


Piggyback ECU is an additional ECU use to extend some limitations of factory setting ECU. Thus, the piggyback ECU has to be physically wired to main ECU/factory ECU. It allows user to modify stock fuel injection without replacing the entire ECU. They operate in various ways. Some of them modify the injector duty cycle control signals as they travel from the ECU to the injectors. Others modify input data to the ECU (like MAF for example), effectively “tricking” the ECU into delivering more or less fuel at a given RPM. Regardless of how exactly the piggy-back works, you’ll want to measure the results of any modifications you make to your fueling map. 

I came across to this article, a simple explanation how the piggyback ecu works at ::- http://www.enginebasics.com/EFI%20Tuning/Piggyback%20Vs%20Standalone.html
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Piggyback ECU


Piggyback ECU’s are wired to work with the factory ECU. Many times people ask: “Do I have a stand-alone or a piggy back?” We can answer that question really easily with another question. Is the factory ECU still in the car controlling some part of the motor? If the answer is Yes, than you have a piggyback.
There are two types of logics when it comes to piggy back ECU’s:
1. Intercept the signal from the sensors before the factory ECU, and modify those signals so the stock ECU is “tricked” into making the vehicle behave the way you want. For example, if you want the ECU to add more fueling, you would intercept the O2 sensor wire before the factory ECU “saw” that signal and modify it to make the ECU THINK that it is running lean causing the factory ECU to add fuel. Another method is to intercept the Maf sensor and tell the ECU there is more air going into the motor than there really is. Again, this would make the factory ECU compensate for the extra air coming in and add fueling.
2. The second method is POST ECU manipulation. Some piggy back ECU’s will modify the signal after it has left the stock ECU. Example. The piggy back will wire into the fuel injectors after the stock ECU so that you can add or take away fuel by either raising or lowering the injection time. This way the stock ECU is seeing all of the sensors information in real time but technically doesn’t have any control of the fueling that is ACTUALLY going to the fuel injectors.
Things can really get complicated when you realize that some signal wires have to be intercepted and modified before the ECU and some after the ECU. And some cars will work better using one method than the other. Figuring out the best set-up for your particular vehicle can be a never ending process. Hopefully you have a little understanding now of how a piggy back ECU works, so lets talk about the Pro’s and Con’s.
Pro’s of piggy back ECU’s:
1. Can be easier to set-up and tune. We will be putting this as a con as well because they can also be very difficult to set-up and tune depending on how hard the stock ECU fights you when you try and make adjustments or the wiring and manipulation you must do to get the factory ECU to do what you want.
2. Will retain OBD-II compliance. With the factory ECU in the vehicle functioning as it normally would, the car will still be able to communicate through the OBD-II port allowing you to pass emissions, scan for codes and problems, and use the port to run OBD-II gauges.
3. Cost. Piggy backs are usually a third if not a quarter of the cost of a full stand-alone ECU.
4. Full compliance with all sensors and gauges in the factory dash. With no modifications necessary to the factory ECU or sensors, everything will still work just as it normally would.
Con’s of Piggyback ECU
1. Tuning. Some factory ECU’s can be next to impossible to use a piggy back ECU on. No matter how you try and trick them into doing what you want, they are too adaptive or too sensitive. Many times you will get the map right where you want it, and the ECU will “learn” and change so that the perfect map you just had, is now a map ready to cause catastrophic engine failure. Other times the car will run great, but the ECU will know something is not right and pop the check engine light on you, making the vehicle not emissions compliant. The list could go on. While on paper the piggyback sounds like a great idea, the reality is it just doesn’t work for every vehicle platform.
2. Can only control so much. When you don’t have the ability to actually change the fueling or timing of a car, you can only manipulate what you’re working with so much. This is why you will often read about how a piggy back ECU can only tune up to 500cc injectors, or is only good for 400 HP on a given engine, or you are fine as long as you keep the boost under 18 psi. We’re just making up numbers there, but you get the idea. You are working inside the parameters of something that was set from the factory and it can only be “TRICKED” to work so much.
3. Wiring. Usually you are intercepting signal wires or ECU wires, and because of this you will have to cut and modify your factory engine harness. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just remember that things change, and in the future you may want to bail that piggyback and move to a full stand-alone. Having a hacked up ECU harness could lead to a messy situation.

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