HOW TO .... Fit a link ecu

by AJ Butler

Upon leaving the flat to begin my epic journey cross-country to Galway ... I cruised out to the end of a long line of cars... all unmoving. I remained in a similar fashion for quite some time myself! Turns out the motorway, just by the apartment, was closed for some reason... this resulted in funneling everyone (including the entire capacity of traffic coming down from the North) through the airport roundabout... remind me again why we built a motorway to by-pass this particular junction? Ah! Yes! 45 minutes of staring at the same building... I actually turned off the ignition for a while.

After that though... ' twas a fairly nice drive. The weather decided to play silly buggers with me... am I raining? Or am I not? Might I drizzle for a while until you put the top up again, then I'll stop for a brief while? Well, I played silly buggers back... and just left the top down all the way. That'll teach it to precipitate on my watch... * ggrr * Was classic looking at some of the expressions of people as I toodle by on the motorway doing *ahem*... *cough cough *... mph with the top down, and wipers on full blast. Either that or they were staring at the Cheshire cat who was driving and wondering how I could be so perky considering I was driving a roof-less car in the lashing rain! If only they knew about the 60kpm boundary!! * hahaha *

The actual installation went remarkably well.... almost TOO well. Was constantly waiting for the " AAAaahhhh !" moment to come from Steve.... you know that moment? The one where no matter how many times you ask your m8, "What.... what ?.... WHAT???" he still ruminates for a few seconds before going, " Nah! It's ok !... we can do it another way." I hate those sort of conversations! *lol* Luckily for us, the only thing which caused a bit of consternation was the removal of the MAF. After which we noticed the relative shapes of the pipe and the K&N filter. Quick spin to the shops to find them all closed. One of the draw backs of it not being the major metropolis that is the country's capital city. On the other hand... we WERE able to actually drive to the closed shops in something other then 1st gear due to the lack of traffic... so swings and roundabouts I guess. A short while later....... judicious use of duck tape, bungee cords, a coupla locks of my hair, some spit and a large dollup of assorted sticky backed tapes... and the job's oxo .

TTttrrrryyyyyy not to worry too much, as I approach your car with a drill and a devil-may-care grin!

Also needed a quick dremel moment to insert the air sensor into the something-or-other (technical term... apparently! I picked up a lot of jargon this weekend ), but I didn't know it was happening until after it was complete... so well done for sparing me the stress and worry.

Modified air intake... dremels rule!

I even got intimate with the wiring... I know! Me... and a wiring diagram! *splutter* There was that first "Now, identify the correct wire, and cut. Tape this back as you will no longer need it" moment... which resulted in lots of "are you sure?" queries from me.... but expert aid was at hand... and alternatively, a complete other Roadster sitting next to mine from which to cull bits should the need arise. Obviously while Steve was making a cuppa coffee or something! * hehehe *

Which one sets the timer counting down again? Watcha mean... don't cut the blue one, I thought you said DO cut the blue one. Bugger!

The knock sensor went in with no problems... but the 4-wire O2 sensor was a size 21.... the largest spanner we had was a 19... head scratching time. Once again, the auld "vice grips and hammer" trick did for us... and then loads of crimping, bullet connectors and spades. My engine bay is beginning to look a little like a Xmas tree with all the wires tied in around the place! Even managed to colour code the tie-wire to the Magnecor blue HT leads... VERY flash! * heheheh * Now... about all that red insulating tape you used Steve?!?!?

Which one to use? Mmmmmmm ... eenie meenie ....

When all the instructions had been poured over, followed somewhat loosely... and pages 6-7 completely ignored... ( actually , I'm still missing page 12, Steve... the proceeding page reads... "Whatever you do, don't, under any circumstances leave....." ... and then the next page's onto "... once that's been sorted out, you can continue with the installation process." Nothing broke or fell off on the way home, so I'm assuming it wasn't anything important???

I'm telling ya ... it came out of there, so it must go back in... SOME WAY?!?

Once the last nut had been tightened, the final wire jumper lead crimped and taped off and the (omnipresent) few remaining "extra" nuts/bolts quickly kicked out of sight for fear they might be needed somewhere, she fired up first time. Ran rough for a few seconds and then settled into the usual holding pattern. 15 minutes of coarse tuning later... and a quick SAVE settings. Work done... stomachs needed to be satisfied... so, loaded up with pizza, bear and other assorted munchies... we retired after a hard day's work (approx. 2 hours... but then again I DO work for the government * hehe *) to a night of a Redline DVD about supped cars and a comedy CD which had me in knots. I'm not admitting to anything, but there's a small chance I might've (just the once or twice) ALMOST fallen off the couch with laughter... but as there are no reliable witnesses, it's a case of I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, can't prove anything.

The following morning we ended up taking the GReddy for a quick blat, me holding the DV- corder ... him, at times, holding the steering wheel. Luckily for me I was concentrating on holding the camera straight and shake-free. For this reason I didn't notice the massive pot-hole that jumped out at us, who's presence was noted with a "Oh! S***!" coming from the driver's side. By the time I looked up, the wall post on the other side of the road was doing a remarkable impression of former Irish priest, Cornelius Horan, as it attempted to man-handle us off the road. Quick reflexes and a modicum of luck spared us any further indignity and we cruised right on to finish in the points. A coupla seconds silence were followed... tentatively... by some suppressed giggles at the sheer hilarity of it all. Watching the video later makes me glad I wasn't paying attention to the road at the time!

The drive home, the following day, was nothing short of eye-opening. As the miles zipped by, I could feel the car getting quicker and quicker. Eventually, it appeared like each gear had moved down one position. 2nd gear's always been the most fun... but now 3rd feels like 2nd... and 4th accelerates like 3rd used to... etc etc ... you get the picture. Overtaking has become an exercise in stopping the lower half of my face from being completely disconnected from the bit holding the eyes, as the spread of my grin was beginning to resemble the Joker from Batman. I did manage to remember to save most of the changes... but yes, I did do exactly what I was told not to do... namely forget to save the final settings before turning off the ignition after getting home. Pulled up to the flat and ended up doing a rather fetching impression of Homer Simpson, replete with head slap. Although, the passing pedestrian that received the slap was a little perplexed as to why I would do such a thing!

All told... an excellent weekend ... and the car's a joy to drive. So a big thank you to the boys and girls in Flyin'Miata for producing this wonderful product (here's your plug... can I have that turbo on spec now please ? ) and to Steve for being the brains behind the install. I'd left mine at home with my toothbrush. I'd also like to thank my parents, my family, and everyone who believed in me from the start, I couldn't've made it without ye.... what? It's not an Oscar acceptance speech? Oh...... disregard the last few comments... especially the bit after the "Upon leaving the flat to begin my epic journey... " bit .

Thanks to AJ Butler for this piece and accompanying photo's.