HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

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Growlerbearnz
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Wed May 17, 2017 2:59 pm

TL:DR; I've found an old-school HKS EVC2 boost controller, have fitted it, and it works beautifully. Highly recommended.

Previously I've made do with a DIY solution, basically a small pressure regulator and pressure relief valve like this:
http://www.autospeed.com/cms/article.html?&A=111348. It's cheap and quiet and reliable, but it was sensitive to temperature. When cold I'd be getting only 10psi of boost. A few minutes later it would make it to the preset 18psi and stay there most of the time, but when towing on a hot day it would allow 22psi.

I've tried a solenoid-valve style electronic controller (This one, because cheap: http://www.hybrid-power.com/_p/prd1/2890027181/product/new-hdi-electronic-boost-controller-ebc-r) which worked perfectly, except for the noise. A solenoid valve pulses constantly to control the wastegate actuator. An incessant farting, rattling noise might be ok if your engine is a couple of metres ahead of you, but when it's under your seat it's a bit intrusive. Our turbos are also *tiny* and very responsive- I could see the boost gauge fluttering from the actuator pulsing, and I suspect that wouldn't be good for the turbo in the long run.

The solution is the HKS EVC series of boost controllers- they use a stepper motor valve to regulate actuator pressure (except the "budget" EVC-S), and are fantastically quiet and smooth. They're also fantastically expensive: NZ$900 for the current EVC-6, which has a pretty screen and dozens of features I can't use because diesel. HKS has been making stepper motor boost controllers since the '90s but older models are unavailable. Nothing to be done about it... unless a boy racer crashes his late '90s Skyline GTR.

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I've run out of dashboard space so it lives in the centre console. It's unobtrusive and out of the way, but easy to reach for adjustment. I've temporarily removed the power button because it was too easy to bump. High boost (20psi) for around town, low boost (14psi) for towing to minimise high-temperature ignition advance, manual mode for... dunno. Experimenting with fuelling and boost levels I expect.
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby Morgonzo » Thu May 18, 2017 5:35 am

Very Cool 8-) I went and looked on eBay and found one for around 100 bucks, worth it? I feel like since I do not have a boost gauge yet it would be putting the cart before the horse...but I think it's neato and if they're hard to find I would try to buy it now cause boost gauges are available all day long. I really dig the mounting place. Is there a fab'd bracket under the console holding it?

I also wanted to ask you Growler about having your turbo machined for the larger wheel. Was it expensive? Did a turbo shop do it or a regular machine shop? Did you have to hold their hand and tell them exactly what you needed done or where they able to do it on their own without you standing over their shoulder? :-)
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Thu May 18, 2017 3:34 pm

Morgonzo wrote:I went and looked on eBay and found one for around 100 bucks, worth it? I feel like since I do not have a boost gauge yet it would be putting the cart before the horse


Depends. Around here the older ones don't come up for sale very often. The newer ones, with their LCD displays and multiple menus, are a bit more common but they're still expensive ($300 minimum) and way too fiddly for my purposes. I wanted something with 2 settings- low and high- and physical buttons so I could feel which setting I was on without having to look. I feel the HKS EVC1 or 2 is definitely the best boost controller for our engines, but if you think you can find one whenever you want then maybe leave it. (I wouldn't ;-))

Just remember, you don't want an EVC-S. That's their budget-option solenoid valve controller. Avoid any controller that has one of these:
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You'll definitely need a boost gauge to set up the controller, the "display" on the front is an uncalibrated bar graph display. Since increasing boost doesn't do much without also increasing fuel, you'll also want an Exhaust Gas Temperature gauge- overfueling makes lots of lovely power, but it also melts turbos if you go too far.

The HKS installation manual is aimed at petrol engines, diesels are a little different:
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On a petrol engine you're mostly concerned about limiting how much boost the cylinders get, so you connect the sense port as close to the intake manifold as possible, after all the pressure-reducing pipework. A diesel doesn't really care about boost pressure*, we're more concerned with not destroying the turbo by overspeeding it, so we connect at the turbo outlet.



Morgonzo wrote:Is there a fab'd bracket under the console holding it?

I planned on it, but there was no room! It's *just* slim enough to fit between the coin tray and the base of the console, even then I had to rotate the power window switch panel 180 degrees:
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Underneath.JPG
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There's a bit of double-sided tape under the controller (gross) but it's wedged in there tight enough that it doesn't move.

The other nice thing about mounting it in the centre console is I can get to the adjustment pots on the back while driving. Set to "low", find a long hill, full throttle, adjust until at desired setting. Repeat for "high" range.


Morgonzo wrote:I also wanted to ask you Growler about having your turbo machined for the larger wheel. Was it expensive? Did a turbo shop do it or a regular machine shop? Did you have to hold their hand and tell them exactly what you needed done or where they able to do it on their own without you standing over their shoulder? :-)

It cost about NZ$400: $100 for the machine work and balancing, $300 for the compressor wheel. I had it done by a turbo specialist, so they knew what they were doing.

That said, I'm reconsidering my uprated turbo. Increasing boost makes ignition happen earlier, and if the fuel ignites while the piston is still coming up the bore it puts lots of stress on the engine trying to turn it backwards (which you feel as a decrease in power).

Modern engines compensate for this by injecting the fuel later, but our mechanical fuel injection doesn't have that ability. Adding an intercooler to make the intake charge as cool as possible helps, but even then I've found that the practical limit is 17psi. You'll get a *little* more power out of 20psi, but you're running the risk of damaging the engine on a hot day. On my engine when I'm towing uphill (lots of boost, lots of heat, engine working hard) I've found that 15psi makes more power than 17psi.

The upshot of all this is that, for my use (towing and hauling heavy stuff, hot engine, holding full boost for 15 minutes sometimes), the standard turbo is actually adequate. It'll pull 15psi all day (up to 3800rpm), or 17psi up to 3500rpm (and the occasional overshoot won't hurt it). If I was commuting or driving on freeways at full speed I guess I could use the 20psi.

Might be a good time for me to update the TRL post on turbo selection: viewtopic.php?f=102&t=17650
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby Morgonzo » Thu May 18, 2017 6:14 pm

Those photo's of the install are interesting because I do not have that much room. I have no power windows so the space is filled with the cup holder/spiller.
awhile ago I was looking into if it was possible to just upgrade our turbo wheel and keep the rest and found Kinugawa http://shopping.kinugawaturbo.com/kinug ... ooled.aspx
Is this one of the dreaded "Ebay Turbo's"? I'm not going to do anything until I gauge up the van. Do you have a stock downpipe? I've been thinking about getting a new 2.5" one fab'ed up to match the exhaust I'll get. Wondering if it's worth the expense and hassle.
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby javabob » Fri May 19, 2017 8:06 am

Hey Growler. If I were to install one of these would I need to monkey around adjusting the boost mechanically and installing a doohickey on the wastegate actuator?
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Fri May 19, 2017 2:43 pm

javabob wrote:Hey Growler. If I were to install one of these would I need to monkey around adjusting the boost mechanically and installing a doohickey on the wastegate actuator?


I don't think so? This works with all the stock original parts, no need to mechanically modify anything except the vacuum hoses. An electronic boost controller goes in the boost line between the turbo and the wastegate actuator, isolating the actuator. When boost gets up to the desired level the controller allows the wastegate actuator to open.

Setting your desired boost level is done at the controller. On this one there are a couple of adjustable preset pots on the back of the unit for the high and low ranges, and a big adjustment knob on the front for the manual range.
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Fri May 19, 2017 3:07 pm

Morgonzo wrote:awhile ago I was looking into if it was possible to just upgrade our turbo wheel and keep the rest and found Kinugawa
Is this one of the dreaded "Ebay Turbo's"? I'm not going to do anything until I gauge up the van. Do you have a stock downpipe? I've been thinking about getting a new 2.5" one fab'ed up to match the exhaust I'll get. Wondering if it's worth the expense and hassle.


That sure looks like an Ebay Special. A 15T is similar to the 15G (only it's more efficient at higher boost levels). If you check out the "4D56 Turbo Options" thread I linked to earlier you'll see that a 15G is way too big for our engines- you'll have no boost until 1500rpm (at least) which will stress the turbo, at cruising speeds your turbo will be 63% efficient (as opposed to 73% for the 13G and 76% for the 09B). Great for drag racing where you're at 4000rpm all the time, not much use for anything else.

I don't think the stock downpipe is a bottleneck. Later model 4D56s with direct injection have a similar sized downpipe, and they make 180hp and 300lb.ft (stock ours made 80hp and 150lb.ft). The stock exhaust system is a nightmare, as you've noticed, but the downpipe seems fine.

Better to spend the money on an EGT gauge, boost gauge, and a wideband air/fuel ratio gauge for easy tuning. There's a thought: make sure they add an O2 sensor bung to your exhaust, about a foot down from the mounting flange. An air/fuel gauge really makes tuning easy.
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby javabob » Fri May 19, 2017 8:31 pm

Well I dove in and bought a HKS EVC2 from ebay. I have no idea what I'm doing :shock: I do have a couple of questions.
What wire did you tap to get power?
I keep reading that our turbos should not be adjusted above 13psi. I would love to get to that magic number of 20psi since most of my driving is around town and on freeways. What else would I need to do to achieve this?
I do have 2.5" SS side exit exhaust and an EGT gauge. I will add the boost gauge when I install the EVC.
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Sat May 20, 2017 12:59 am

javabob wrote:What wire did you tap to get power?

In the air filter compartment (yours is a diesel, right?) there's a rectangular white connector, something like 12 pins, that runs the rear aircon. You're looking for the green/yellow stripe wire. It's about 4th from the left on the lower strip of terminals. That has plenty of power, and only comes on when the key is at Ignition. For earth there's a couple of 6mm bolts up high in that compartment, they hold the glow plug relay
bracket in place and even have "E" embossed on the heads. use one.

I mounted my valve just below the glow plug relays on the rear firewall (after removing the air filter box so I had some room to move). I screwed it to a flap of rubber, and then screwed that to the rear firewall just in case it made any noise, but it was probably overkill as the valve is almost silent. You could probably just screw it to the firewall without any flexible mount.

javabob wrote:I keep reading that our turbos should not be adjusted above 13psi.

Check out the link at the end of my previous post, the one with the plumbing diagram. In short, the stock turbo will do 14psi all day as long as it's below about 3500rpm. It'll handle up to 4000rpm, as long as you don't hold it there.
It'll do 17psi up to about 3250rpm, but beyond that the turbo's beyond the manufacturer's advised limits.
As I mentioned earlier, I've found that 17psi is plenty for the heavy hauling I do. 20psi is about the engine's limit without a different injection pump, but if you want that 20psi (for drag racing or want every last bit of power for around town cruising) then you'll need an uprated turbo.

I'd start with 17psi and get the hang of tuning the injection pump before you spend all the money on a new turbo. I'd also recommend getting a wideband oxygen sensor, it really does make tuning so much easier. An EGT gauge is useful, but the extra accuracy of an O2 sensor is lovely.
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby Morgonzo » Sat May 20, 2017 3:25 pm

Growlerbearnz wrote:if you think you can find one whenever you want then maybe leave it. (I wouldn't )

you were right, looks like javabob beat me to this one. Thanks for answering my questions Growler. 8-)
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby javabob » Sun May 21, 2017 8:14 pm

Growlerbearnz wrote:
javabob wrote:What wire did you tap to get power?

In the air filter compartment (yours is a diesel, right?) there's a rectangular white connector, something like 12 pins, that runs the rear aircon. You're looking for the green/yellow stripe wire. It's about 4th from the left on the lower strip of terminals. That has plenty of power, and only comes on when the key is at Ignition. For earth there's a couple of 6mm bolts up high in that compartment, they hold the glow plug relay
bracket in place and even have "E" embossed on the heads. use one.

I mounted my valve just below the glow plug relays on the rear firewall (after removing the air filter box so I had some room to move). I screwed it to a flap of rubber, and then screwed that to the rear firewall just in case it made any noise, but it was probably overkill as the valve is almost silent. You could probably just screw it to the firewall without any flexible mount.

Thank you so much growler! That even answered questions I didn't realize I needed to ask yet!

javabob wrote:I keep reading that our turbos should not be adjusted above 13psi.

Check out the link at the end of my previous post, the one with the plumbing diagram. In short, the stock turbo will do 14psi all day as long as it's below about 3500rpm. It'll handle up to 4000rpm, as long as you don't hold it there.
It'll do 17psi up to about 3250rpm, but beyond that the turbo's beyond the manufacturer's advised limits.
As I mentioned earlier, I've found that 17psi is plenty for the heavy hauling I do. 20psi is about the engine's limit without a different injection pump, but if you want that 20psi (for drag racing or want every last bit of power for around town cruising) then you'll need an uprated turbo.

I'd start with 17psi and get the hang of tuning the injection pump before you spend all the money on a new turbo. I'd also recommend getting a wideband oxygen sensor, it really does make tuning so much easier. An EGT gauge is useful, but the extra accuracy of an O2 sensor is lovely.


The "explain like I'm five" is exactly what I needed here :-D I actually like that the Delica is slow. I've pretty much spent my whole life in a race against myself, or anyone that happened be around, and was on a pro motorcycle race team. A couple dozen traumatic brain injuries and one catastrophic, head on collision with a car, I decided that I needed to be mechanically hobbled, lol. I just need to be able to merge onto freeways without getting creamed from behind because I'm going 30mph slower than anyone else. I'll definitely go slow with the boost settings, I don't want to over do it with the engine. I'll start researching an O2 sensor also. More gadgets, yes!
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HKS EVC boost controller- new toy!

Postby Growlerbearnz » Sun May 21, 2017 9:00 pm

I have an Innovate Motorsports MTX-L wideband O2 gauge. It works fine, except it comes set up for gasoline. To change it to diesel you need to plug it into a computer with something called a "serial port". http://www.innovatemotorsports.com/products/mtxl_plus.php

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One day I'll get around to writing a "how to tune for power" post.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.


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