Fuji Racing IRTB with Freedom install on 1.8

15777 Views 63 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  mexico2
IRTB Enthusiasts,

Completed the install and initial tweaking last Sunday. Check my cardomain site below for a couple of pics and some notes about the install.

Install was straight forward, not very challenging, even for me and a friend. We turn wrenches for a hobbie, having no experience with engine or electrics, just a conscientious attitude.

No drama, fired the first time we tried to start it, even after sitting in the garage for about 3 1/2 weeks, waiting on fuel injectors and me being off on vacation.

Jimmy was a big help on the phone, answering a couple of questions that came up, giving install advice and technical support. We took our time (about 3 1/2 weeks) to try to do it all right. This included me being out of town for a week and also having to wait a few days for the fuel injectors to come back from being cleaned and flow tested, as well as being rather leisurely about going to autozone to pick up bits. I spent small amounts of time on the install except at the end where we put a couple of days in to finish, really sweating the details. I could never make money working on cars, I just take too long, sweating the small stuff.

The experience has been great. This is the most fun I've had working on the car, and I have learned a ton by working this install. I never thought I would ever be at the point of talking wideband install and data acquisition, but that is where we are right now, looking for reasonably cost effective systems to help fine tune the fuel map.

All the essential parts were included in the kit. Anything that wasn't incuded is available at NAPA or Autozone. I was pretty impressed that the car fired right up and runs with no tuning at all. It is rich, but it runs and runs quite well. Torque form 2.5k to 4k is much better than I expected and from 4k up, it's an orchestra.

Would do it again in a heart beat.

But like everything else on the car, I'm not done, I am currently working on the idle air controller and investigating relocating the washer bottle, and vapor canister, as well as later looking at wideband tuning after I learn Japanese.



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Looks sweet.

As far as the washer bottle goes you can get one from and ABS car. It goes behinde the bumber in front of the drivers side wheel and the neck pops through the core support.
Looking good. Those throttles are the highlight of your engine bay. What are you using for engine management?
Thread topic says Freedom ECU. :)

HOT SETUP. Can we get some hot hot ITB porn? I mean, videos of in car, driveby, you oozing onto your shiny new throttle bodies etc...
nice one Bruce ... I have been looking in to using the freedom ECU with my planned IRTB setup for some time now

I assume that it was supplied with a base map that enabled your problem free intalation ?
Good information. How is the drivability? How does it respond at part throttle?
nice one Bruce ... I have been looking in to using the freedom ECU with my planned IRTB setup for some time now

I assume that it was supplied with a base map that enabled your problem free intalation ?
The FREEDOM is supplied with a base fuel map and I will let Bruce answer the rest. Thanks Bruce!

thanks Jimmy ...

are you selling the Freedom unit now or was this an independant sale ?
The Freedom came with a base map and programming that allowed for a simple plug in and start up. All I had to do was install it in place of the stock ecu, no modification to harnesses or anything. My hands were on the ems for probably a grand total of 3-4 minutes during the install. Car fired up, first try. Impressive. It is even preprogrammed to control the idle air controller. That is an impressive level of programming.

Driveability is quite good. I have a light flywheel and a 1.6 clutch so around stoplights and stop signs I have to be a little more careful. IRTBs, I theorize, have a similar effect as a lightened flywheel, with reduced inertia of the air mass. This reduced inertia and the reduced inertia of the clutch / flywheel make for a car that needs more attention at stoplights and stop signs. But, that is a technique problem, not a setup problem, and the payoff is a motor that revs up quickly and responds to your foot with very fine control. The more I drive the car, the more my technique is adapting and less I think about compensating for the flywheel and IRTBs and just drive.

On startup, the car is a little rough and has the rhythm of a race car. Ever do a track day where someone brought one of their race cars? They start the car up and it is rough and uneven, but beautiful. I love that sound. That is the only way I can explain it. It sputters, and doesn't have that perfect OEM startup smoothness. I suspect that once we get the Idle Air Controller modified and installed, that issue will go away. In the mean time I keep my foot on the gas and keep the engine at about 2-2.5k until it warms up. I think one of the big things going on here is warming up the 02 sensor so that it gives more accurate readings to the ems. The car starts to idle noticable better after about 30 second to a minute, but not perfect until the coolant has warmed up.

Once the car is warm it idles pretty well. I have it set at 800-900 rpm and it is fine. I was expecting a rough idle once warm, not the case. The real test will be this winter up here in New England. I had asked Ocean at Chikara about cold weather and IRTBs with the Freedom and he said they have had no issues, and I believe they are up in BC Canada where it can get pretty cold.

At partial throttle, the setup is pretty darn good out of the box. Very OEM like, but not perfect (nothing is). At times I think my wife could drive the car and not notice a difference, at least until stomping on the throttle. There are the indicators of a rich mixture, with soot gathering on the rear bumper and a minor popping (not loud) when decelerating with partial throttle at high engine speeds.

At WOT, it is impressive. There is no drop off in acceleration all the way up to 7500 rpm (thats about as far as I have gone so far). It just keeps pulling. It has to be heard. The vids don't do the sound justice.

At lower RPM (2.5-4k) the car has noticeably more torque. The extra torque is most conspicuous going up hills at lower engine speeds. I thought there would be a bit of a hole at this range, but was proved wrong. This is great around town.

Throttle response is good. I'm still adjusting to how quick they respond (very unOEM like). I'm a blipper and at first I had difficulty getting the blip when down shifting, it seemed like the car just bogged and the rpm didn't come up. After driving the car for a few days, I've adjusted myself to the new setup and blipping is mostly good, I'm still adjusting. I'm so used to the OEM setup and slow response time to a blip that I am holding the pedal down for too long and using too much throttle travel. I'm sure I'll get better at it over time.

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Thanks for the info!

I can't wait to get my kit and install it!
Also, check my house link below to my cardomain site. I have more info there on the install. It was very straightforward install with no real technical challenges. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do something this big, but it was really no sweat.

This is not a mod to be intimidated by for DIYers. It was fun and I learned a bunch. I learned so much that now we are looking at getting into working with the ems to fine tune the inputs into the ems and copy and modify the base maps. My bud that helped big time has been dying to get into tuning at this level (he has a mini s and can't really swap out the ecu and monkey with ecu tuning because of the supercharger). We are both stoked to be headed in this direction.

I'll anwer any questions related to any part of the install.

I love to work on the car and I can't wait for the install. I've done engine swaps, timing belts, interior swaps, just about everything on the Miata so hopefully everything will go smoothly. If not, Jimmy is only about 30 minutes away, which is nice if I need help or extra tuning!! :mrgreen:

That is great to have Jimmy close by. He'll be able to help you fine tune and really get it singing!

When you think about IRTBs, there is just such a great simple elegance about them. Very few moving parts (compared to FI), so the setup is inherently simpler and reliable.

A couple of years ago, I was considering a twin screw sc setup to drive in SM2 (Uber3). I felt that setup would be uberfast. But when I was out in San Diego, I got to watch George Dougainis in his CSP 94 competing with Z06s and Vipers for FTD. That an NA miata can be that fast still impresses me.

My point of view now is that FI may make more power for less $$, but then I would have to contend with reliability. I also do track days and I believe FI cars can't go a 20 min session without heat soak and reduced performance, let alone setup and trouble shooting when pushed to the limit. With this setup on stock internals, I can beat the car all day long at the track and never have to hold back or monkey under the hood between sessions. I'm not an FI hater, but for my application and usage, IRTB is the exotic, fun and reliable way to go.

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Looks sweet.

As far as the washer bottle goes you can get one from and ABS car. It goes behinde the bumber in front of the drivers side wheel and the neck pops through the core support.
Thanks for info. I think I would need to do that to stay CSP legal.

Bruce thanks for so much information! I'll be very intrested to hear how your set up fairs the cold temp's coming! Enjoy :)
Wonderful information. I love the absolute wealth of information that this forum has on installed IRTBs. I cannot wait to get mine too! The more I read this, the more i realize that the NA route is the route i want to take for my car!

Thanks again Jimmy and Bruce for the information you're providing to us.
Awesome man :D

I've got my buddy on standby to start translating the documentation, so send some scans my way whenever you're ready :)
Beauty, Foo.

BTW, you were dead right on the TPS...

I think all the thanks really need to go to Jimmy. It is pretty gutsy to provide a kit like this, when most people are looking at FI. There is much out there in FI and lots of community support for FI. But how many people are putting together IRTB kits with ems, and specifically for the Miata? Other vendors may provide the hardware, but to have an ems ready to go, that rocks. And for it to fire right up, that speaks deeply to the level of development. I think Chikara may be the only other North Amercian vendor that builds a plug and play kit. Sure, you could by TWM or other setups, but you would then spend time and money programming an ems.

Hehe, I have my moments ;)

They're usually few and far between , but occur nonetheless :lol:
I'm glad this thing's working out :D
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