Element Hydra Tuning Guide 3

Thank you for purchasing one of the most powerful engine managements systems, the Element Hydra EMS. Every effort is made to offer tuned maps for your specific set of modification but some minor adjustments may be necessary to perfect the mapping. Every car is unique and most likely there are areas that can be fined tuned and improved specifically for your car.

It’s better to be safe than sorry so if you do not understand what you’re changing or the effects your changes make, please contact Element Tuning for technical support.

Fuel Related Starting Cycle

The Element Hydra EMS uses a number of fuel related starting features, Cranking Enrichment, Start Primer, and Post Start Enrichment, to provide consistent starting under all conditions. With experience, knowing exactly what setting to adjust comes easily but can be confusing to novice tuners. We’ll discuss what settings adjust the most typical fuel related starting issues.

Cranking Enrichment

The “Cranking Enrichment” map is used to adjust the amount of fuel injected while the ignition is in the start position. The Cranking Enrichment map tells the ECM how much fuel to inject during the crank cycle base on engine coolant temperature. A higher cranking enrichment is required when coolant temperature is colder.

If the car cranks and does not start within 3 seconds or “sputters” but does not start then most likely the cranking enrichment is too lean. To adjust this function, click on the menu bar “Select/Control 2/Cranking Enrichment” for the Cranking Enrichment menu. Increase the cranking enrichment at the specified coolant temperature until the car starts after 3 seconds of cranking. It’s important to note that the cranking enrichment decays after about 6 seconds of cranking. Continuing to crank the car for more than 6 seconds rarely helps. Instead, stop cranking after 6 seconds and try again.

If the car cranks for 3 seconds and starts but the idle very slowly increases this could be an indication that the cranking enrichment is too high. If the engine floods simply press the accelerator to the floor and crank until the car starts.

Start Primer

The “Start Primer” primes the engine with a specific amount fuel when the ignition is in the on position. This is designed to quickly add fuel to assist starting when the coolant temperature is cold. When the coolant temperature is warm then very little or no start primer is required.

This setting works in conjunction with the Cranking Enrichment but only provides a short burst of fuel to quicken starting. Remember that 3 seconds is as fast as it’s going to get so only add what’s required to start your car consistently. If you find the car is “popping” on start up you may have this setting to high. To adjust this function, click on the menu bar “Select/Control 2/Start Primer” for the Start Primer menu. Simply adjust up or down the Start Primer at the given coolant temperature.

Post Start Enrichment

The Post Start Enrichment map adds fuel right after the car has been started for a period of about 60 seconds and then decays to 0. This is designed to provide enough fuel enrichment after the car starts to stabilize the idle. This map is also based on coolant temperature.

If you find that your car starts and then immediately stalls or the idle oscillates after start up, it’s likely your “Post Start Enrichment” map is too lean. If your car starts but the idle very slowly increases, it’s likely the “Post Start Enrichment” map is too rich. To adjust this function, click on the menu bar “Select/Control 1/Post Start Enrichment” for the Post Start Enrichment menu. If your 02 sensor is warm you can actually monitor the AFR after start so if you are lean >14.5:1 or excessively rich <12.5:1 AFR.

Save and Download

To make your changes permanent you must save these changes to your laptop and download them to your Element Hydra. Select “Maps” on the menu bar and then select “Save.” Logically name the file and save it to your hard drive.

Close the red tuning screen to view the “Download” screen. Select “Download” and then “Download” again using the appropriate com port. Once the download is complete you can select exit.

The last and most critical step is that you reset your Element Hydra ECM by turning the ignition to the full off position to reset the ecu. This usually takes 10-15 seconds. Your changes are now permanent.

Don’t forget to double check your work to make sure you’re car consistently starts and then repeat the process until everything is to your liking.

Here is a general trouble shooting process for cars that do not start based on recent technical support:

These apply to cars with no damaged sensors, coil packs, or spark plugs, and that start with OEM ECU

Car cranks and makes no attempt to start:

General wire taps into ecu harness where a wire may me not be passed through in the Hydra.

Defi Link, gauges, tachometer wire taps in OEM ecu harness
Water Injection wire taps in OEM ecu harness
Turbo Timers
Alarm Systems with start disable

Not enough battery Voltage:

Less than 10.4 Volts while cranking will result in the car not starting. Monitor Voltage while cranking with Hydra Software.
– Charge or replace the battery

If this only occurs when below freezing or colder temperatures
– Replace battery with more cold cranking amps

A tell tale sign of not enough voltage will result in no RPM reading (monitor with Hydra software) while cranking the car

Fuel Map too lean:

– Add fuel to the “cranking Enrichment” and or “Start Primer” maps

Fuel entry and return lines to fuel rail reversed:

– These are the lines coming out of your fuel filter

Main Fuel map may not be appropriate for injectors:

Injectors with low response times such as PE may not be delivering enough fuel under low fuel pressure and voltage

– Increase the values in “Main Fuel” Map by using the “Injector Change Trim” feature under the “Tools” Menu

Crank Triggers Incorrect:

This is rare but if the crank triggers are wrong the Hydra will not see 2 syncs of the crank and therefore will not attempt to start. A tell tale sign of wrong triggers is no RPM reading (monitor with Hydra software) while cranking the car or the tachometer needle bounces. You may also run a “crank trigger” test under the “Tools” menu. This will show the wave forms or lack of wave forms for both the crank and cam signal. This information can be saved and emailed to Element Tuning for verification.

– Contact Element Tuning for the correct triggers

Car tries to start or does not stay running:

Coil pack Wires reversed:

Car may start with OEM ecu but will not with Hydra

– White connectors always in front, black in back

Fuel Map too lean:

– Add fuel to the “Post Start Enrichment” map under the coolant temperature areas where car stalls
– Increase the idle under “select/settings/ISC” and increase the “Min PWM” to around 40-50 to idle the car higher. This will keep the car running so you can asses how lean the AFR is. If after the car is warm, and the AFR is leaner than 14.7, the “Main Fuel” map is too lean.


Main Fuel map may not be appropriate for injectors:

Injectors with low response times such as PE and others may not be delivering enough fuel under low fuel pressure and voltage

– Increase the values in “Main Fuel” Map by using the “Injector Change Trim” feature under the “Tools” Menu

Car does not start when cold:

– Add fuel to the “cranking Enrichment” and or “Start Primer” maps under the coolant temperature trouble range

Not enough battery Voltage:

Less than 10.4 Volts while cranking will result in the car not starting. Monitor Voltage while cranking with Hydra Software.

– Charge or replace the battery

If this only occurs when below freezing

– Replace battery with more cold cranking amps

A tell tale sign of not enough voltage will result in no RPM reading (monitor with Hydra software) while cranking the car

Phil Grabow

www.elementtuning.com

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