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General Is my ECU compatible for ECM Link? Trying to figure out what I need for mild street build '98 GST

SlipknotBabe99

Probationary Member
13
2
Jun 19, 2020
Southington, Ohio
Hi there! I know this stuff has probably been asked many times over but I am having a hard time finding a concrete answer. Are either one of ECUs I have compatible with ECM Link? Is there something I'm missing? Let me give some background.

I have a '98 GST that is starting to get too rotted out (Welcome to NE Ohio) I found a really clean, low mile '98 GST shell. My plan is to pull the drivetrain out of the running one, tear it down and fully rebuild it and add some performance parts (following the DSMtuners upgrade path) and swap it over. It is a 7 bolt motor. It has a Blackbox ECU. I picked up a metal box ECU from a '97 GST because supposedly "the motor was built". Thinking that it had a chipped ECU, I picked it up. It is a MD335287 Non-EPROM. No chip.

I am trying to figure out if either of these ECUs are programable or what I should do. Any help is appreciated. If I have to buy another ECU that's fine. I am just having trouble making sense of everything. If anyone has the proper stuff for sale, that works too.
 

Xarzor

Supporting Member
97
54
Jul 21, 2020
Denver, Colorado
Check ecmlinks website. They have instructions on identifying ECUs. They also sell EPROM ECUs too.
 

SlipknotBabe99

Probationary Member
13
2
Jun 19, 2020
Southington, Ohio
You’ll need a 95-97 ecu for ecmlink. Black box is programmable with tactrix.

Thanks for that link, what I find interesting is the ecu from the '97 GST looks like neither of the photos. It is 100% not EPROM but just looks completely different.
 

AWD-Tony

Supporting Member
6,802
3,690
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
Thanks for that link, what I find interesting is the ecu from the '97 GST looks like neither of the photos. It is 100% not EPROM but just looks completely different.
Post a pic and hopefully someone can identify it. Either way, no EPROM = no bueno 😅
 

AWD-Tony

Supporting Member
6,802
3,690
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
Looks correct. I always thought EPROMs were only 95-96 but links website says 95-97. Maybe they changed mid year. I’m not sure. Hope someone more knowledgeable can chime in. Either way, you can’t use that one.

 

SlipknotBabe99

Probationary Member
13
2
Jun 19, 2020
Southington, Ohio
Looks correct. I always thought EPROMs were only 95-96 but links website says 95-97. Maybe they changed mid year. I’m not sure. Hope someone more knowledgeable can chime in. Either way, you can’t use that one.

Guess I am on the hunt for another ECU. Thanks!
 

steve

DSM Wiseman
14,865
1,721
Feb 3, 2002
Boulder, Colorado

SlipknotBabe99

Probationary Member
13
2
Jun 19, 2020
Southington, Ohio

Spleen8urLSX

Proven Member
268
173
Dec 26, 2017
Elyria, Ohio
As someone mentioned contact ECMtuning as they might have the means to perform an EPROM conversion if you want to use ECMlink, however something to consider is if you’re going to be tuning it yourself or taking it somewhere. Something to consider is it’s also extremely easy to utilize an Evo 8 ecu in a 2g, and here in Northeast Ohio (I know, we can’t have anything nice here if you drive it more than one winter) we have several tuners available who work with ECU flash on the stock Evo 8 ecu. If you were to go that route Cody Pincura at Redline Tuning in Columbia Station does indeed work with the Evo 8 ecu, David Buschur will work with it, Corey Parrish at Slowmotion down in Sunbury is very good with it. If you go with ECMlink you have Jp Riccio here locally who is pretty much the ECMlink go to in NE Ohio, or you have Corey at Slowmotion, and I believe there is a guy Jared out towards Mentor/Ashtabula (I think? He might be more out my way towards Lorain county) I don’t really know but have heard nothing but good things about.

I know that’s a bit off track of the original question but what’s often overlooked is who’s going to be tuning it and what do they work with. If you plan to learn for yourself, ECMlink will definitely be less of a learning curve and more user friendly. If you plan to take it to a tuner they can make the car run and perform just as well with an Evo 8 ecu utilizing ECUflash and Evo scan, while potentially saving you a chunk of coin as all you’d need is the ECU and Tactrix cable. And no, that’s not to start a “which tuning option is better” debate, both routes will give the same performance potential and drivability but it all comes down to the tuner who will be working with it and their capabilities. If you already have a tuner in mind speak with them and get their outlook as like I said, with the current prices on EPROM ECU’s and factoring in EPROM conversions and what not you might save a lot in the long run going that route or perhaps putting you with a tuner closer to your location.
 

SlipknotBabe99

Probationary Member
13
2
Jun 19, 2020
Southington, Ohio
As someone mentioned contact ECMtuning as they might have the means to perform an EPROM conversion if you want to use ECMlink, however something to consider is if you’re going to be tuning it yourself or taking it somewhere. Something to consider is it’s also extremely easy to utilize an Evo 8 ecu in a 2g, and here in Northeast Ohio (I know, we can’t have anything nice here if you drive it more than one winter) we have several tuners available who work with ECU flash on the stock Evo 8 ecu. If you were to go that route Cody Pincura at Redline Tuning in Columbia Station does indeed work with the Evo 8 ecu, David Buschur will work with it, Corey Parrish at Slowmotion down in Sunbury is very good with it. If you go with ECMlink you have Jp Riccio here locally who is pretty much the ECMlink go to in NE Ohio, or you have Corey at Slowmotion, and I believe there is a guy Jared out towards Mentor/Ashtabula (I think? He might be more out my way towards Lorain county) I don’t really know but have heard nothing but good things about.

I know that’s a bit off track of the original question but what’s often overlooked is who’s going to be tuning it and what do they work with. If you plan to learn for yourself, ECMlink will definitely be less of a learning curve and more user friendly. If you plan to take it to a tuner they can make the car run and perform just as well with an Evo 8 ecu utilizing ECUflash and Evo scan, while potentially saving you a chunk of coin as all you’d need is the ECU and Tactrix cable. And no, that’s not to start a “which tuning option is better” debate, both routes will give the same performance potential and drivability but it all comes down to the tuner who will be working with it and their capabilities. If you already have a tuner in mind speak with them and get their outlook as like I said, with the current prices on EPROM ECU’s and factoring in EPROM conversions and what not you might save a lot in the long run going that route or perhaps putting you with a tuner closer to your location.
I really appreciate the help and advice. I don't have any particular tuning shop in mind yet and haven't necessarily disregarded any tuning software yet. Just figured ECMlink because I've always heard the name, sounded like a go to for tuning but willing to try what works best. Didn't even think about running an evo 8 ecu. I should get in contact with some people around the area here soon and see what they can work with and go from there. I've got a decent SUV to haul with and a trailer so I'll travel for good results. I don't think there are any tuners near me (Trumbull County) so traveling with the car by trailer was expected.
 
Last edited:

Spleen8urLSX

Proven Member
268
173
Dec 26, 2017
Elyria, Ohio
I really appreciate the help and advice. I don't have any particular tuning shop in mind yet and haven't necessarily disregarded any tuning software yet. Just figured ECMlink because I've always heard the name, sounded like a go to for tuning but willing to try what works best. Didn't even think about running an evo 8 ecu. I should get in contact with some people around the area here soon and see what they can work with and go from there. I've got a decent SUV to haul with and a trailer so I'll travel for good results. I don't think there is any tuners near me (Trumbull County) so traveling with the car by trailer was expected.
Definitely something to read up on, you have to re pin a few wires going to the main connector at the ecu but other than that the 2g dsm harness plugs into the evo 8 ecu real straight forward and is just as capable as ECMlink if the tuner is familiar with it. I do know there is an ecu from the 3g Eclipse others have used but you lose the ability to control boost with the ecu (not a big deal if you use a manual boost controller but takes away the ability to do ecu controlled boost later) and maybe lacks a few other capabilities. I do know the mid 97 to 99 2g black box is flashable but I don’t have a lot of hands on with it being I use ECMlink myself, I could be entirely wrong but it seems like the 2g black box has lost a lot of support in recent years hence why I mention the evo 8 ecu before it. If you decide to go with ECMlink based on your location and my personal experience with him I’d suggest reaching out to Jp Riccio. We have several good tuners around us but given location he wouldn’t be far, he doesn’t tune for a living but occasionally holds dyno days at Redline Tuning in Columbia Station and Nardy Built in Sheffield Lake. Has tuned a good handful of dsm’s in our area and is trust worthy.
 

biglady112

15+ Year Contributor
1,802
324
May 20, 2004
Commerce City, Colorado
1995 was the one and only year for 2g eprom. Anything else you hear is hearsay and misinformation.
 
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