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General Blackbox to evo 8 ECU

Sjd6795

Proven Member
608
118
May 14, 2014
Wilsonville, Oregon
I have a 1997 GSX that the previous owner had put in a black box ECU, I am having trouble finding a shop that will tune it. I was told by english racing if I install an Evo 8 ECU they will tune the car.

I found this guide https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/evo-8-ecu-in-a-2g-your-visual-guide.347103/

My question is would I need to do do any of this or was it all done when the black box ecu was installed? I'm unsure on the changes that are made if any are for the black box ECU install. My other question would I be able to use my current tune and just flash it over on the Evo 8 ECU, it is tuned enough to drive the car until I can get a professional tune.
 

DogWhistle

Supporting VIP
663
249
Sep 13, 2012
St. Paul, Minnesota
I have a 1997 GSX that the previous owner had put in a black box ECU, I am having trouble finding a shop that will tune it. I was told by english racing if I install an Evo 8 ECU they will tune the car...
... My other question would I be able to use my current tune and just flash it over on the Evo 8 ECU, it is tuned enough to drive the car until I can get a professional tune.

Swapping from the metal ecu to the balckbox ecu does not require wire changes (disclaimer: that I'm aware of), so no, the wire deletions and relocations were not done by the PO, or else your car wouldn't run.

It is doubtful that the tune in your black Box ecu will flash over to the Evo 8 and still work. The black box ecu in our 2GB's is equivalent to the Evo 4/5/6, where the Evo 8 ecu is part of the Evo 7/8/9 family.

Unless you are trying to get very aggressive with the tune, the black box ecu should be adjustable enough for your needs. Yes, it can be harder to find someone to tune them, but given the amount of work needed to make an Evo 8 ecu work in your car, there is not much advantage to swapping them out.

A tuner who is versed in ECUFlash should be able to help you. We used a veteran tuner here in MN to do our black box tune. Not sure if he does remote tunes, but if you want to contact him, PM us and we'll get you his info.
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
395
185
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
As the poster above is stating there are several wiring harness changes that have to be made between the Evo 8 ECU and the black box. They are all outlined in the Evo 8 guide you posted. None of those were done to install a DSM black box they are specific to the Evo 8 ECU

Beyond that while both the ECU's have a similar looking case and are made by Hitachi the chipsets on the internal computer boards are very different so no you cannot just flash a DSM black box tune to an EVO 8 ecu. Also that would defy the whole point of having the Evo ecu in the first place. The DSM black box ecu and Evo 8 ecu have all the same features and maps from the factory. However, less time was spent developing the DSM ecu's compared to the Evo 8 ecu's so the definition's for tunable maps and modified code to give you other features like NLTS, boost control, and the like are more complete with the Evo 8 ECU.

All that being said I do not understand why English will not tune the black box. While the maps are less defined it does have only two maps you really need to tune the car (Fuel & Timing). So if they can tune and Evo 8 ecu with ECUflash they should be able to tune the black box it is done exactly the same way.
 

KDittoe

Probationary Member
29
17
May 21, 2019
Olympia, Washington
As the poster above is stating there are several wiring harness changes that have to be made between the Evo 8 ECU and the black box. They are all outlined in the Evo 8 guide you posted. None of those were done to install a DSM black box they are specific to the Evo 8 ECU

Beyond that while both the ECU's have a similar looking case and are made by Hitachi the chipsets on the internal computer boards are very different so no you cannot just flash a DSM black box tune to an EVO 8 ecu. Also that would defy the whole point of having the Evo ecu in the first place. The DSM black box ecu and Evo 8 ecu have all the same features and maps from the factory. However, less time was spent developing the DSM ecu's compared to the Evo 8 ecu's so the definition's for tunable maps and modified code to give you other features like NLTS, boost control, and the like are more complete with the Evo 8 ECU.

All that being said I do not understand why English will not tune the black box. While the maps are less defined it does have only two maps you really need to tune the car (Fuel & Timing). So if they can tune and Evo 8 ecu with ECUflash they should be able to tune the black box it is done exactly the same way.


I talked to English a few weeks ago about tuning my black box and they said that they won't do it because they have a higher probability of bricking the ECU, and they don't want to deal with that on their dyno.
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
395
185
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
I talked to English a few weeks ago about tuning my black box and they said that they won't do it because they have a higher probability of bricking the ECU, and they don't want to deal with that on their dyno.

That's interesting. Obviously they see a lot of volume of cars so if they are saying that it must be from experience. I have the original black box Ecu in my 99. Must have flashed it easy over 100 times with ECUFlash and have never bricked it. Not sure what about the Evo 8 ECU would make it any more reliable flash wise either over the DSM one.
 

KDittoe

Probationary Member
29
17
May 21, 2019
Olympia, Washington
That's interesting. Obviously they see a lot of volume of cars so if they are saying that it must be from experience. I have the original black box Ecu in my 99. Must have flashed it easy over 100 times with ECUFlash and have never bricked it. Not sure what about the Evo 8 ECU would make it any more reliable flash wise either over the DSM one.

Same here, I've been flashing mine for months and no issues.
 

tlikethedrink

Proven Member
326
37
Sep 11, 2007
ABQ, New_Mexico
I have one (black box) that I haven’t tried to mess with yet.
I have Tactrix 2.0 and the adapter. Quick question is... is there a way to load a generic base tune? I’m running a pretty “standard” 16g/supporting mods - set up. All I need is something to run while I break the clutch/engine in so I can take it to dyno tune after 500 miles/ a couple more mods.
 

KDittoe

Probationary Member
29
17
May 21, 2019
Olympia, Washington
I have one (black box) that I haven’t tried to mess with yet.
I have Tactrix 2.0 and the adapter. Quick question is... is there a way to load a generic base tune? I’m running a pretty “standard” 16g/supporting mods - set up. All I need is something to run while I break the clutch/engine in so I can take it to dyno tune after 500 miles/ a couple more mods.

You can download the CeddyMods base tune and tweak that.
 

KDittoe

Probationary Member
29
17
May 21, 2019
Olympia, Washington
I have one (black box) that I haven’t tried to mess with yet.
I have Tactrix 2.0 and the adapter. Quick question is... is there a way to load a generic base tune? I’m running a pretty “standard” 16g/supporting mods - set up. All I need is something to run while I break the clutch/engine in so I can take it to dyno tune after 500 miles/ a couple more mods.

https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/having-trouble-installing-ecuflash-or-ceddy-mods.473432/

https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/how-to-get-a-basic-tune-with-ecuflash.407715/
 

Sjd6795

Proven Member
608
118
May 14, 2014
Wilsonville, Oregon
I talked to English a few weeks ago about tuning my black box and they said that they won't do it because they have a higher probability of bricking the ECU, and they don't want to deal with that on their dyno.
Yeah same here. I have a feeling they bricked some and are avoiding them now. I've been doing small adjustments and so far no issues but I dont have the experience to dial it in.
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
395
185
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
I have one (black box) that I haven’t tried to mess with yet.
I have Tactrix 2.0 and the adapter. Quick question is... is there a way to load a generic base tune? I’m running a pretty “standard” 16g/supporting mods - set up. All I need is something to run while I break the clutch/engine in so I can take it to dyno tune after 500 miles/ a couple more mods.

As he said you will want to run the 2055 Ceddymods ROM in the long run as it has the other features you will want like 2-step such. But the base ROM you download from Ceddy just has a factory tune on it. For a basic 16G car their shouldn't be any reason you can't run the factory ROM untuned out of the gate just for working out the kinks on the car.

Do you have a wideband to monitor your AFR? That's really the biggest thing of concern. Ceddymods also adds the neat feature of having the CEL come on when the ECU counts knock. Really helpful to keep from hurting the motor when tuning
 

jinscho

Proven Member
625
265
Jun 16, 2017
Bangor, Pennsylvania
If you're looking for someone else to tune it for you, have you tried reaching out to @dacowgod ? He tuned my Blackbox ecu remotely and even though I had nothing but problems due to mechanical failures on my end, the end results were great and Ricky was fantastic to work with through the whole mess.
 

motomattx

Proven Member
3,296
1,199
Dec 9, 2010
wampum, Pennsylvania
Trying to flash an Evo tune on a Dsm black box will brick it, thats likely why English was bricking them, they were copying and pasting Evo base stuff onto the Dsm ecu and it killed it.
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
395
185
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
The Hexadecimal scaling conversion for the fuel and timing maps between the definitions for the 2 ecus is the same so you could copy/paste a particular cell , column, or row from a EVO 8 map and put it in a DSM tune. That doesn't really benefit you anything though as you could you could type the values in just as easily yourself.

I doubt they would try to copy the whole map as the EVO maps are larger i.e. they have more rows and columns. So ya if they tried to do that im sure it would brick it as your going to intrude on other parts of the program.

But that doesn't seem like something that a place at all familiar with these ECU's would do. Kinda common sense. Besides if you want more definition you can use the Ceddy bigmaps ROM where he combined the Highgate and low octane fuel and timing maps to give you one big map for each fuel and timing.

Doesnt net you more rows for RPM on the Y axis but it does give you double the columns for load which is what you really need anyway with more boost. Similar was done by Tehra for the Evo 8 mod rows as well I believe
 
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