So I was asking a few questions on a VAG MS yahoo group, and it turns out a buddy of mine is on there AND he just got his 16v Mk2 Jetta running on MS, so I have a resource. I also got a better explanation of the setting of the distributor that was confusing.

I also need to check the voltage change from the hall sender, some people have installed a resistor in line to ensure that MS was getting a big enough voltage drop to fire the coil. I have bought that resistor and I will check the multimeter to determine if I need it. I AM getting spark, but maybe not great spark. Who knows.

So I am feeling good about tomorrow. We do have a lot of work to do on Dylan’s Rabbit, so I am not sure how much time I will have to spend on Cali, but I am feeling that I have a better support network now. I would love to get the car to run.

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back…

So… yeah… worked on the car last night… and I am not really any further along than I was…

So back when we were building the motor up, we dropped a nut. We THOUGHT it went behind the lower timing belt cover, but we were never able to find it, so we assumed it hit the ground. (this comes back later in the story.)

So last night, I was retracing steps in an attempt to make sure I had everything correct. One of the steps was to rotate the motor back, so I put my socket on the crank and rotated it back. In my excitement, I forgot to take the socket/rachet off the crank. Then I cranked the car over. Long story short, it backed the crank pulley bolt right off the crank. Awesome. Sure enough, I look in the hole in the lower timing belt cover where the pulley had been, and boom, there is that long lost nut. So on one hand, it was frustrating to have to redo work, it was nice to know that nut wasn’t bouncing around in there.

But overall, the motor is exactly where it was. We retimed it all and everything, but it is still in the same place it was, which is cranking but not turning over. The injectors inject, the spark plugs spark, but I am not starting.

So back to the drawing board. I have the megasquirt and spark extra manual downloaded (obviously) but I am once again going to pour over that and see what I can find. In an attempt to make it easier, I am going through and stripping out ALL the content that does not pertain to a v3.0 board and a distributor setup. This is making it much easier, since all the information is relevant to ME.

In fact, if it works out that I find it is the key to me getting this done, I will likely do it on a private dev server of mine, and pitch it to the community. My thought is you would go to the manual site, choose your board and choose you ignition setup, and boom, you would get a manual relevant to you. Download it, bookmark it, whatever. Boom. Awesome. Not to mention cake to code.

So back to stripping my manual down, then re-reading it all. Double checking all my stuff. Learning more.


so I haven’t been working on the Jetta much…. but I did get an hour or so of wrenching on it last night… the timing is set correctly on the engine (I double checked). And it is still spraying and sparking… so I am still thinking timing.

So after I double checked that all last night, I was frustrated so I changed out of my work clothes and read over the bentley and the MSNS-E stuff… turns out the one page I was reading was ambigious, and I think I know where I screwed up. So I will be doing some more reading and will be trying those new things tomorrow.

It would be nice to get it up and running, especially since the Audi is now fully operational… I would have 2 cars again!

Side notes: we put the front recaros in, they look great. I also put in a different VW steering wheel, which is way better than the old one.

Didn’t Progress

So I DID go to the garage, but I left the ECU parts at the office, so it wasn’t happening. Doh. We cleaned up the garage and watched keiran attempt to cut the front end off his mk1 Jetta parts car.

I am thinking I am going to check the timing on the cam. I need to do some research on that to determine exactly how to read the cam. On the audi, there was a cam ‘window’ where you could tell how close you were when the engine was a DTC, but I pulled the valve cover off last week and didn’t see such a thing on the VW cam. We’ll see.

Inverted spark output…

so I repaired the ECU… then I blew it up again. Ordered new parts, now I need to solder them AGAIN and try again. grrr. This time I bought 2 of the components.

Reminder, don’t invert your spark output unless you need to. And then, you must do it.

So tomorrow I will resolder the ECU, and then I will try again, then I will hit up the patatron forums and see what they have to say.

We did add 5 gallons of good gas, and we checked the timing again, that was all correct.

the reason for the delay…

sorry that the time between posts has been so long, I am sure everyone is on the edge of their seats in anticipation. Well, relax. While working on the timing, I managed to blow a component on the main board. I have not yet ordered that component to replace it yet.

Reason for that is I have been swamped with with work on the house and side work, so the car has taken a back seat. I drive the Audi around, and will for now. Once the house work is done and mason’s birthday party is over, I will be in a position to dedicate more time to this project.

So check back beginning of november.

Could Tomorrow Be The Day?

The list as we left it last:

-jumper the ECU (easy)… DONE. I relearned to solder this evening and it seems that I am good. I did the steps as laid out in this post and I checked it with the multimeter. Good.

-wire up the hall sender/coil (easy, waiting for the wiring diagram from so I know which color goes where, not a problem, 3 wires)… Got the diagram, shouldn’t be hard to do.

-wire up the O2 sensor (again, easy, need the diagram, but the wires are pretty much run) … see above.

-get motor mount … EIP didn’t return any of my emails (2) so screw them. I ordered a new one from Bahn Brenner…. Already shipped, scheduled to arrive friday. This will obviously keep me from driving, but I still could start it….

Still need to do:
-get fluids (oil, coolant, gear oil)
-get serpentine belt (have size, just need to grab it)
-tune it (exciting, and I have a bunch of base maps to start with, so I should be ok to begin with)

oh, and dylan and kieran got me the clip for the brake pedal, which I installed the other day. So… we are really getting there. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

I am eager to have the car run.

Progress, hopefully turning over next week….

So we are getting there. Last night we set the timing, although I have a couple minor steps to take to set up the trigger angle in the MS ECU. I have all the information I need on how to mod the ECU for spark (I need to make 3 jumpers, no problem). I got an alternator and installed it (Thanks javier!). I have the measurements for the serpentine belt, and I get that when I go get all the fluids that I need (oil, coolant, and gear oil). I still need to contact EIP about the motor mount. Also, I need to put a couple wires in their respective places…

so, the list:

-jumper the ECU (easy)
-wire up the hall sender/coil (easy, waiting for the wiring diagram from so I know which color goes where, not a problem, 3 wires)
-wire up the O2 sensor (again, easy, need the diagram, but the wires are pretty much run)
-get fluids (oil, coolant, gear oil)
-get serpentine belt (have size, just need to grab it)
-get motor mount
-tune it (exciting, and I have a bunch of base maps to start with, so I should be ok to begin with)

SO… presuming I can get the shopping stuff done and the ECU jumpers before wednesday, and I get the wiring diagram (should have it emailed to me by the end of today), I should have a little wiring to do on wednesday, install a motor mount, and turn the car over. THAT would be exciting.

Oh, and I need to replace the brake pedal clip.

edit: as I was typing this, the wiring diagram came via email.

Oh the time…

So it has been a long time since I last posted…

Currently the car is in the garage. The engine is in and wired. Most things are ready to go. The todo list is as follows:

-Set timing and distributor
-wire the 3 wires to the distributor and coil (wires already run, just need to be connected)
-get an alternator
-get the serpentine belt in the correct size
-front motor mount
-fill it with fluids
-tune it

I plugged the laptop in last night and poked around. The communication with the ECU and the laptop was fine, and I poked around a bit. I need to import the base tables I am going start with and get the rest of the settings in and I should be able to start driving it. I am excited. Oh, and the new wheels (used) are in the garage, but not yet on the car…

I just want it done…

Jason had a minor plumbing problem, so the megasquirt didn’t get wired last night… but the alternator is on and all lined up, but we have the wrong size belt, due to the smaller crank pulley… which I knew and it should have dawned on me, but it didn’t…

So I need to find what size belt I NEED, and I have emailed the dude I got it from, cause I can’t find my paperwork that says what size…

I also ordered some air filters from K&N for the intake and the engine breathers, so that is getting close…

I am all over the map on this car… sometimes I am like YEAH other times I am like I HATE THIS and other times I am just like OMG I WILL PAY YOU TO FINISH THIS FOR ME…

grr. but it will be fun to drive.

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