A Prius ECT Spoofer MCU Controlled

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by ccdisce, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. glyndwr

    glyndwr Member

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    I also installed the spoofer yesterday, all seems to be working ok, and thismorning i was able to engage ev mode straight away (couldnt do that before, so i`m assuming its down to the spoofer) I look forward to recording the readings in the next few weeks.

    Thanks Winston.
    best regards, Anthony.
     
  2. MarvHein

    MarvHein Junior Member

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    Just checking on the availability of these for the Gen3. At last check in November, the Gen3 version had not been released for sale. Would like to get one if available now. Would be willing to be a guinea pig if one is needed.
     
  3. ccdisce

    ccdisce Active Member

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    There are 3 ECT Spoofers installed in Gen3 'test' cars and from the feedback or lack of feedback recieved they are working as intended.
    I cannot afford to buy a Gen3 to generate the installation instructions which should be different from the Gen2 as the Gen3's ICE ECU is located in the engine compartment.
    If you are passing through the local area maybe something could be arranged.
    I have generated a small version with the intent to mount it under the ECU connector cover. This version is under test in my Gen2.
     
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  4. babybird

    babybird Member

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    I should add an update to my experiences with Winston's ECT spoofer now that I've had it through hot months and cold.

    I deliver pizza for a living, so I do lots of stop and go, and park and wait driving in my '08 Prius. The first year I owned the car, I'd average about 58 MPG during the warm months, and when it got cold in the winter it would drop as low as 38 MPG, with a rough average of about 43 MPG during the cold months. This was with almost full grill blocking (I left two slats on the lower grill uncovered to keep the inverter coolant temperatures low).

    This year, using the ECT spoofer, my average summer mileage is approximately the same as before the spoofer went in, but my average mileage from home to work at the start of my shift has increased all year round. I used to get about 45-50 MPG on that trip depending on traffic and if I was late (I don't hypermile or anything on my way in, I just drive). With the spoofer, that mileage has improved to as much as 62 MPG if I try, and an average of about 50-53 MPG. The difference in warm weather is small, but measurable-- basically meaningless to my wallet at the pumps though.

    The cold weather difference is huge though. When it was cold last year with the grill blocking, my average home-to-work mileage (an 8-10 mile commute, starting with a fully cold car, depending on which route I take) would be about 28-32 MPG before the spoofer was installed, and after it was installed, I typically get between 35-50 MPG in the cold weather! My tank average has gone up significantly as well. As I said above, it used to drop as low as about 38 MPG for a whole tank, and would hit a high of about 43 MPG. With the spoofer, I can still get into the mid-50s per tank even in cold weather, with a tank average of about 45-51 MPG so far this winter at the same outside temperatures. That is significant-- it means that I can still manage to eek out nearly a week per tank of gas instead of filling up twice or more per week every week, which drops my monthly fuel expense noticeably. It isn't a HUGE difference in money spent at the pump (a lot of the reason for filling up so often is the bladder in the gas tank in the cold weather since I have to park my car exclusively outdoors), but it does allow me to maintain the vast majority of my average fuel economy all year round in my driving cycles.

    I'll also add that I changed to a different set of tires between pre-spoofer and post-spoofer, and the new tires do drop my mileage by 5-10 MPG on a per tank basis depending on how I drive. I'm rarely ever able to maintain 60 MPG for more than 1/3 of the day with these tires now, whereas I've managed 63-73 MPG per tank with my old tires. This means that when these tires wear out and I switch back to a good LRR tire again, the spoofer may make an even bigger difference for my use during the colder months.

    I'm very happy with Winston's little device! I'd buy another one in a heartbeat if I had another Prius to stuff it into. It's well worth the money in the long run if you do a lot of short trips or stop and go driving and especially if you live in an area with a cold climate at least part of the year.

    One thing that I would like in a potential future version though, after experiencing this one for an extended period of time is a switch (which I may add at some point myself) or a switchable "winter mode". The reason is that with the spoofer set to start spoofing at about 114F and stop if the coolant drops to about 106F, in very cold weather where I need to keep my windows defogged and defrosted, if the interior gets too cold, the heater wants to work harder to warm it back up, but these temperatures are too low for the automatic climate control to use in some situations. I find that there are days when I have to just unplug the spoofer at times to make sure my windows stay defogged and my pizzas stay warm enough.

    If I could switch it to a "winter mode" where the lower spoofing range would be something around 126-134F (the lower stop/start trigger points) to 131-139F, it would work perfectly in my rather unique set of driving requirements while still giving me some of the benefits of spoofing the ECT. This is because the climate control won't allow the fan speed and heater to run at full speed until the coolant temperature hits about 128-131F. At 106F where the spoofer finally cuts out, the climate control will drop the fan speed down to the 2nd or 3rd highest speed setting until the coolant warms back up again. At 116F, it only runs at the middle speed setting or so unless you manually adjust it higher or set it to purely front windshield defrost (no air to the feet) which also runs the A/C pump more and drains the HV battery faster and cools the engine coolant quicker making it harder to get back up to temp.

    What happens with the spoofer attached is that if the climate control needs to run the fan at a higher speed to warm or re-warm the interior or defog the windows, but the coolant temperature drops below the point that it can heat the air being blown warm enough, until it hits a stage where the fan speed keeps increasing (up to maximum speed) to maintain the interior temperature set point, but the actual coolant temperature is too low so it can't maintain the set temperature but the computer doesn't know that because the coolant says it's plenty warm enough. This causes it to cool the coolant even faster, which causes the fan to blow even harder, which causes the interior to cool off even more etc., resulting in an interior that gets colder than it's supposed to and in turn sometimes the windows won't defog or stay defogged-- or in some cases fog up when they wouldn't otherwise-- and my pizzas won't stay warm for my customers.

    But this mode isn't needed most of the time-- when I don't need to run the climate control at all, the default trigger points are perfect for me and save me a bit more gas-- which is why the ideal solution would be a switchable operation mode. Just food for thought Winston, in case it's something you'd like to play with adding in a future version. Obviously the extra hardware for the switch and wiring would add to the cost, but in my case I'd be willing to do it. I don't know how many other users would find it useful, because mine is a pretty unique case.
     
  5. pjc

    pjc Member

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    I have noticed this too. The simple solution is to not use "Auto" mode with your climate control. I use the setting that has defrost + feet output with A/C off and drawing external air (if you use just the defroster, it forces the A/C to run to dry out the air), set at a rather low fan level. I find this gently heats the cabin and keeps the windows defogged without cooling the engine temp too much.
     
  6. babybird

    babybird Member

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    I use this at times, but in my situation I'm in and out constantly delivering pizzas, and when it's very cold outside that's enough to chill the interior enough to need a lot more heat. I also have a car full of hot and streaming pizzas which fogs the windows up very quickly, so the most practical thing I've found is to just unplug it when it gets that cold. It's not too often and depends on how busy we are more than anything else, but a higher trigger threshold would solve both problems.

    Maybe I should just ask Winston if he'd consider a unit with the higher trigger points and then just switch which one I install with the weather! That's probably the smartest option as well as the easiest. :-D
     
  7. ccdisce

    ccdisce Active Member

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    Thanks for your feedback.
    There is a later version of the Spoofer which I like to call 'Switch Enabled' and has a SPST switch in the sesnsor lead and effectively disables the Spoofing function.
    The Spoofer is still powered and the LEDs will show the Spoofer hunting around wondering why it cannot control the 'reported' temperature.
    And yes you are correct the switch is expensive.

    This version is meant to be located behind one of the spare knockouts on the left side of the steering wheel.
    Have a look at 2009 Prius post as he has been running a prototype for about a year now.

    A Prius ECT Spoofer MCU Controlled | Page 4 | PriusChat

    Send me a PM with your shipping address and I will generate a kit with a longer pigtail cable to send to you.

    Ultimately I think you will need the LCD Version of the Spoofer which has user adjustable Low and High SetPoints and displays the true temperature of the ECT. The fly in the ointmentis that it requires cutting of the the sensor lead and attaching an additional wire.

    Winston.
     
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  8. UK-Prius

    UK-Prius Junior Member

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    Hi

    Fitting this in the uk I take it the connection are under the steering wheel?

    Martyn
     
  9. glyndwr

    glyndwr Member

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    Hi Martin,
    I am in the UK (South Wales) no mate, the connections are behind the glove box, i fitted one a few weeks go, and it works really well.
    I have got the connecting wires connected to the unit that is loosely resting in the glovebox, so i can see it when i need to and to enable me to get at it quickly if i need to swtich it off.

    Hope this helps.

    Anthony


     
  10. UK-Prius

    UK-Prius Junior Member

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    Ok they switch the loom as well!!

    how much better mpg are you getting?

    Where did you get yours?

    Martyn
     
  11. glyndwr

    glyndwr Member

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    Hi Martin,

    I got mine form Winston on here, priuschat name ccdisce, came from America, very fast post and Winston is a great guy and a great help.
    As for mpg, it defo helps in the winter, especially as my trips tend to be shorter trips, but as i havent had the car long, and already done this mod and fitted an enginer phev kit difficult to quantify how many mpg`s this device save, but it def does save.

    Hope this helps. Anthony.

     
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  12. UK-Prius

    UK-Prius Junior Member

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    Just ordered. (-:
     
  13. Mister MMT

    Mister MMT Active Member

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    It has been pretty cold here. I definitely get better milage in combination with grill blocking. My fuel consumption stays around 5l/100 km (46 MPG-USA) on my short 13 km trips to work through town with frequent stops and goes.

    But the main thing is I can always let my Prius glide as soon as it has completed its idle dance. Grill blocking was needed to prevent the tp drops below 40°C. It rarely gets warm enough to switch the spoofer off.

    Great stuff!

    Jan
     
  14. matt92vr4

    matt92vr4 Zhu Zhu Prius Green

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    I'm chiming in to report the results of the Spoofer on my wife's 2007 Prius. We use the car mainly for her daily commute to work and back. Each way is 22 miles with moderate traffic and the speed limit it 45. We're in Florida so the weather has been between 60 and 85 during the commutes. Pre-spoofer was a solid 51.5mpg and post-spoofer is now a solid 53.5mpg. She doesn't do any Prius tricks, just drives it like a regular car. I'm very happy with the results and would recommend this to anyone with a Prius and a pair of pliers.

    For us, switches and LED's are not favorable. I checked the LED's once during installation just to make sure they turned on. After that the unit has been hidden behind the glovebox like it doesn't even exist. Thanks Winston!
     
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  15. MarvHein

    MarvHein Junior Member

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    For me, it's fun to to watch the lights. I am sure it will get old, but I have been surprised at how long it really takes the car to warm up on my usual route and just how much spoofing is going on.

    My lunch hour errand trips definitely see a benefit. It spoofed at least ten minutes at lunchtime today during a mostly downhill run. I made a stop, turned the car off, got back in and immediately spoofed five minutes more until the ICE warmed up completely.

    I hooked up a borrowed Scangauge and the spoofer works exactly as described. SGII reports 168-172 degrees F while the spoofer is doing its thing and real temps as soon as the coolant temp exceeds that and the spoofing signal goes off.

    I am on my first tank since installation in my 2012 GEN3, but it seems pretty likely the results are going to be good.
     
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  16. z704w40

    z704w40 Junior Member

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    Since you are the first one with a GEN 3 to react on this forum. Can you tell me any specifics, pe how did you connect it? I own a gen 3 myself and I'm interested to buy one.
     
  17. MarvHein

    MarvHein Junior Member

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    Suggest you PM ccdisce and see if he's open to more Gen3 customers.

    I know he was being cautious (rightfully so) since he did not have access to a GEN3 with which to create an installation guide.

    I sent him everything I did with photos, so he's a little better armed now.

    In the meantime, you might check out this thread, which helped me a lot:
    ECT Adjuster on Gen3 Prius | PriusChat
     
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  18. JBumps

    JBumps Member

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    Would you be opposed to sending that same information to other users? I'd really like to purchase one and, while I'm mechanically competent, EE is certainly not my day job and I'd be hadicapped without some assistance.
     
  19. MarvHein

    MarvHein Junior Member

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    I know he's added a trouble-shooting section to the doc I created and we've been going back and forth a little bit on other corrections. I think it would be best for you to get the complete docs from him since you have to get the Spoofer from him anyway. I think he's pretty comfortable he has a good guide for Gen3 now.
     
  20. JBumps

    JBumps Member

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    Thanks - I didn't realize the level of detail that the provided docs would go to - was a breeze with the provided material.
     
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