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Old 04-01-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
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Question Need some Help re ECM

I'm a computer geek. I am very interested in knowing the specs on the ECM for the new 2010 Camaro and how it compares to previous ECMs. The specs are more important to me than the comparison though. Any help I get will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:20 PM   #2
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Hmmm..speaking of Moles.....hahaha J/K
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:20 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!

As always, I am in no way helpful!
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:25 PM   #4
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ECM...... Engine control module? Do you like, want to know who made the microprocessors on it? I know there's lots of cool stats and specs about the Camaro, and there are cool specs about every car people talk about...... but, uh, sorry, I've never in 25 years of messing with cars, reading car magazines, building countless model kits, and following the entire auto inudstry has anyone ever asked about or talked about the specs of the engine control module.

We can tell you everything you need to know about brake rotor sizes, engines, exhaust, drivetrain, interior, and yes, I can tell you the basics of how an ECM works and why modern cars have them, but I don't think you can find anyone who can tell you what the differences in ECMs between cars are.

UNLESS you mean removing the speed governor and engine tuning...... Then, you have a whole new ball game that many people here can help you with
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:35 AM   #5
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Cool Paper

It's actually for a paper I have to write about an article I found in a newspaper regarding the new 2010 Camaro. I have to relate it to computers somehow though.

Any information you have on the ECM would be fantastic. How it works, what it does, what it controls, anything!

It looks like I have to put in a call to my Grandpa to find out who to talk to at GM about the ECM...
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:36 AM   #6
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Moles?
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondGirl View Post
It's actually for a paper I have to write about an article I found in a newspaper regarding the new 2010 Camaro. I have to relate it to computers somehow though.

Any information you have on the ECM would be fantastic. How it works, what it does, what it controls, anything!

It looks like I have to put in a call to my Grandpa to find out who to talk to at GM about the ECM...
It will be easier to get the specs for the 2009 Cadillac CTS...it's got the same 3.6L DI VVT engine as the Camaro...not sure if that will help with what you're trying to do, but it's a good place to start...

Anyhow, this vehicle has a lot of things going on under the hood. You could talk about anything from from computer controlled "launch control", speed limitations (155mph cutoff), if you can get away from the ECM a little, you could talk about the DIC (driver information center). This is basically a system that monitors oil life, individual tire pressures, etc.

I'll see if I can get some specs from my service dept on the ECM if none of this helps...
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:09 AM   #8
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Item 1: It doesn't have a FAILSAFE MODE like the Ford Mustang......Wait, that's really the only important thing about it.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondGirl View Post
It's actually for a paper I have to write about an article I found in a newspaper regarding the new 2010 Camaro. I have to relate it to computers somehow though.

Any information you have on the ECM would be fantastic. How it works, what it does, what it controls, anything!

It looks like I have to put in a call to my Grandpa to find out who to talk to at GM about the ECM...

Ooooohhhh, well, that's easy, I can tell you what they all do, nothing about the specifics though (and your Grandpa would have to be in direct contact with the software engineering team for Holden AND GM to get real specifics on the exact ECM).

As far as the purpose of ECMs, they all basically perform the same functions, whether you are talking about a Chevy Cobalt, Chevy Camaro, or Ferrari 360 Modena, or a Kennworth Semi Truck: they monitor and make adjustments for all the vitals of the engine (hence the initials: Engine Control Module). Each company or manufacturer might have a different name for them, but they all do the same thing.

A little history first: cars didn't always have ECMs. Not untill the late 1970's with the advent of more sophisticated fuel injection, emission controls, and fuel economy concerns. Back before then, everything on the engine was just a carburetor, a distributor with points and plugs, and that was about it. That's how fuel was delivered and the engine kept it's timing right.

Today, engines have sensors all over like you would not believe, and I couldn't even tell you everything in a few paragraphs. There's crankshaft position sensors, throttle position sensors, mass air flow sensors, temp sensors, various emission sensors, and of course the fuel injection and fuel pump operation. Modern cars have also done away with the throttle cable that connects the gas pedal to the throttle body, so you also have electronic controls for the throttle.

Brakes and transmission too. ABS, traction control, stability control. Some cars even have yaw control. If you have a fancy automatic with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, you have lots of sensors in that as well that your ECM monitors.

All of that stuff is monitored by the ECM. The ECM is pretty much exactly like the motherboard on your home PC. Only on a car, it monitors everything the engine, transmission, and brakes are doing. They operate like a motherboard, where it is powered by the 12 volts and ground that is your car's electrical system, and they will have a 5 volt supply for the microprocessors, some high frequency oscillators for clock and memory, and look exactly like a video card or network card in your computer, only it might be a bit bigger physically (smaller than a PC motherboard though).

If you look under the hood of a modern car, usually by the master high current fuse/relay box, you will see a harness of up to hundreds of wires, all in a big, thick loom, that feeds into the firewall. That's where the ECM is located, usually somewhere under the dash by the glovebox or under a floorboard kick panel. Although I do see more and more cars with the ECM right under the hood, by the engine, easilly located (you will still see lots and lots of wires going to it).

The ECM what throws the check engine lights and trips other codes in your OBD (on board diagnostics), which is that hand held device that looks like a giant calculator that the mechanic plugs in under your dash board. When he plugs it in, he can then read the code to find what the problem is with the car, and that will tell you which sensor or part is bad and needs to be replaced.

Every car has a list of computer codes that correlate to a specific sensor or part. These codes are listed in the technical service manual for the specific car (and I do not think GM has printed this manual for the Camaro yet).

All of this makes engines run more efficiently, smoother, more reliable, more power, better performance, lower emissions, and better fuel economy. The ECM is really what makes modern high tech cars possible. Without it, you'd have no ABS, an incredibly complex fuel injection system (ask old timers how fuel injection worked on a '57 Bell Air), and your V6 Camaro would not have the possibility of getting 304 hp and 29 MPG highway!

The downside of all this cool technology? If your ECM goes bad (and they don't very often but I have seen them go bad), your car won't start, and they can be $1,000 for a new one.

Hope this info helps you!
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:44 AM   #10
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^ I commend you for your marathon post that was great... Learning can be fun!
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooy View Post
Welcome to the forum!

As always, I am in no way helpful!


Me neither!

Welcome to the forum and GL!

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Old 04-03-2009, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondGirl View Post
It's actually for a paper I have to write about an article I found in a newspaper regarding the new 2010 Camaro. I have to relate it to computers somehow though.

Any information you have on the ECM would be fantastic. How it works, what it does, what it controls, anything!

It looks like I have to put in a call to my Grandpa to find out who to talk to at GM about the ECM...
My suggestion to you would be to look at on-star and how it operates in the vehicle in conjunction with the 'information center' on the dash (computers, gps, tracking, etc, etc). THAT would be a paper that would be interesting to wider audience rather than an ECM that would likely only interest the super technical and/or gearheads.



http://auto.howstuffworks.com/onstar.htm

and check out this thread for downloading onstar routes from your pc to your car
http://camaro5.com/forums/showthread...rmation+center
and
http://camaro5.com/forums/showthread...ht=OnStar+turn

There...now I get credit in your paper for research...
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:52 PM   #13
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Cool Haha

Sorry, but since it is a class full of computer geeks and technical nerds, that's the route I need to take!
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:54 PM   #14
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And credit you'll get! But, alas, I need some real info about you in order to give credit where credit is due. Send me a message. DG
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:59 PM   #15
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DG, was my post of help to you? If you need more info, I'll do the best I can, but for the specifics you'd have to either talk to GM engineers or go to one of the auto shows before they're done for the season and snatch an ECM out of a Camaro on the floor (just watch out for black Suburbans)
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:56 PM   #16
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The ODBII Protocol CAN is the biggest improvement over last generation in terms of controller. You can use things like MSD's new real time data interface. As far as the actual hardware it's custom ASIC's with flash and ram (assumption). You don't put a chip in it if that's what your thinking.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:16 AM   #17
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You should certainly be able to find someone with the specific information that you need regarding the ECM or PCM as it is sometimes referred to. There are tons of aftermarket companies who dedicate hours of research to modifiying PCM programming. A great resource would be the tuning forum over on LS1tech.com . Those guys could probably write your paper for you!

Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:49 AM   #18
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Does anyone know which pcm is going into the Camaro SS or DIV6s?
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