North American Turbocoupe Organization

OBD 2 conversion
Paulie Offline
Gentlemen i was thinking the other day while working on a GM 4 cylinder OBD2 engine. Why cant i install a late model computes in my TC and us the modern sensors and tune the ECM with my TECH 2 GM programmer. This way i can install COP coils and crank trigger. The modern ECM can be programmed with my GM specific scan tool for anything i want. Has anyone given this a THOUGHT??? It seems like it would not be to difficult and the sensor would be modern and totally up dated. This can be a good thing and i cant see why not. All aspects of the new ECM can be programmed even the cooling fan on and off times. This sounds like it can be easily accomplished. What say you Thanks gentlemen

KY Bird Offline
I couldn't stomach the thought of subjecting one of these poor cars to anything developed by GM. I guess I am just too much of a Ford purist at heart. That said, I'm used to working on 1960's state-of-the-art Nascar technology, so I don't have the foggiest clue when it comes to any of the computer/sensor/electrical stuff. If it was me, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole just because I know I would be in over my head. If you're comfortable with it, go for it.

300K and still ticking

'88 TC Silver (Titanium Frost) Mach One, 5-speed, K&N, 14* timing, dual 2.5" exhaust, tripminder, the rest is stock
'87 TC Parts Car RIP
'03 Escape, Killed in Action
'08 Taurus X Baby Mover
'89 Buick Reatta

gmaibach Offline
Senior Member
are you going to do it paulie?
1988 Turbo Coupe 5 speed Red with Red cloth interior, K&N cone filter, Ported IHI turbo, ATR Header ported, Manual Boost Controller at 18 psi.

2013 Focus ST 2.0 Turbo, Buschur green filter, OCD Speed axle back exhaust.

Stinger Offline
Senior Member
Seems a Megasquirt would be a better option (easier to tune, can use the factory harness, can use any type of sensors you want, has "auto tune" available, etc.) but I suppose anything is possible with enough time and money.

85 TC
85 SVO
86 SVO
87 Merkur

Paulie Offline
Gentlemen it was just a thought. I clearly have to much time on my hands as you can probably figure out. But i was doing some flash UP DATES to this pontiac and it kind of sparked a signal in my brain. I do agree that a stand alone is the best option. I just wanted something diferent. Well just a thought Thank you

Jeff K Offline
Paulie, I like the idea. While MS can provide tons of live data, does autotune, is more or less plug and play, one thing it doesnt have / do is DTCs. Maybe its because I am so used to working with OEM stuff, but I always find DTCs, especially in OBDII alications, VERY useful as a starting point for a diagnosis of a problem. After working with modern OBDII systems for 15 or so years, the old EEC IV systems seem kind of, well primitive, and no live data is quite annoying.

One thing I have always wondered about standalones is how robust they really are. The OEM systems are tested under ultra extreme conditions, and are very reliable, plus parts are available at any dealer or parts store anywhere. I use my EEC IV Tbirds for cross country road trips on a regular basis. If I have a problem on the road, I like the idea of being able to get parts in a short time. For example, in the unlikely even of a PCM failure, I can get a reman / used one pretty much anywhere. If I had a standalone PCM failure on the road, I would be screwed.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
11 Crown Vic Interceptor
14 Toyota Camry (wifes car)
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized

zbird Offline
Posting Freak
Paulie, I have thought about the same thing. Taking a modern OBD II system and hooking our engines up to it. Seem like we would get better Ignition & timing control and the engines would be easier to troubleshoot with the DTC's. I think its a great idea if you have the tools and know how to do it.
Dom Z
88 T/C med grey. 140 MPH Speedo, Kirban FPR, Gillis valve,Tripminder, K&N.
87 T/C Silver, Auto (project Daily driver)
99 F150 4x4
14 Ford Escape 2.0L Turbo
88 T/C
87 Silver

natmac3 Offline
I like the idea of a conversion of this type, but this idea is also why I'm going the aftermarket route.

In my mind, with TunerStudio and Megasquirt, live autotune and datalogging capabilities are virtually identical (if not more powerful tools) compared to the reflash/DTC options on obd2 systems.

Plus all I need to keep handy to avoid an unlikely ECU failure, is the original LA2 and my VAM in a box in the trunk.

Way to think creatively though Paulie!

thumper Offline
Posting Freak
As others have alluded, I've long desired improved diagnostic abilities in my TCs. It would make most any repair far easier. And, as Jeff said, the ease of locating GM sensors, etc., is a great attribute.

I'd say install it, work at the bugs, then sell me a complete conversion kit with detailed instructions for $250. Wink
A.K.A. Corey Bennett

1988 TC: white, all options, 5-speed swap, K&N cone filter, "Ranger" roller camshaft, .60/.63 T3, NXS (Gillis-style) Boost Valve, Bosch BOV w/ check valve, Stinger 3" with axle dump (18" glass pack), 95A 3G

Some pictures:

Paulie Offline
Gentlemen i thank you for the kind words. And the live data and trouble codes would be a plus. I was actually thinking of a 4 cylinder Chevy or Pontiac ECM. If i am correct in my assumption this would already have cop and fan control. It can be accomplished but the cost may be high. But my thinking is we all have ideas and good ones at that to make these cars run better and be more reliable. I think an ecm from a late model 4 cylinder GM fits the bill. Next time i am at the bone yard i am going to find one and take all the wiring and plugs & sensors. Basically the ECM does not care what engine its on just the proper inputs. With a 5 speed you do not have to mess with tranny hookups. Something to think about. I do a lot of day dreaming about stuff lately. You know the age thing. Thank you Gentlemen

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