Pilot VAF to MAF converter with bluetooth interface

By | 2016/02/01

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Pilot VAF to MAF converter

allows  you  to  convert an existing Volume Air Flow Meter to a Mass Airflow Meter.

Why convert from the existing Volume Air Flow arrangement to a Mass Air Flow setup?
Anyone whose ever looked at the OEM Vane/ Volume Air Flow (VAF) sensor knows that it is a restrictive device by its very design.

The calibration of this sensor is VOLUME meaning that the sensor is largely temperature-insensitive (note however that a mass conversion occurs in PCM and IAT plays a big role in that). The mass of the ingested air is obtained from calibration tables as well as an IAT (Intake Air Temperature) sensor in the VAF and barometric pressure sensor in the PCM.

If the VAF has one redeeming quality it is that it is very sensitive to small airflow changes at low levels of airflow. Thus, at idle, the sensor very effectively tells the PCM of minor changes in airflow which results in a nice smooth idle and very efficient fuel metering.

The problem arises from the way the device measures airflow. Since the core  or flap moves backward against a calibrated spring, a not-inconsiderable force is required to hold the core open at high-levels of airflow. This force is provided by the incoming air. In return, the airflow loses pressure and velocity which reduces the amount of air ingested by the engine.

In contrast, a Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor from practically any other  engine is largely a straight through affair. This device uses two resistive  elements that sample only a portion of the incoming air. A temperature differential is kept between these two wires. As air flows over them, it tends to cool them. The electronics measures how much additional current is required to maintain the temperature and translates this to a voltage ranging from 0.1V to about 4.5V. Since only a portion of the air is sampled, the MAF is a very-much less restrictive measuring device.

The VAF  meter also  has a problem with а damaging  resistive track inside it.

Restrictive VAF  or non-restrictive MAF – what is your choice ?

Restrictive VAF Snesor


Typicaly the VAF Sensors also have a problem with  damaging potentiometer track  because they are  old, which gives poor idle , engine stall etc.


Or look at the new style  non-restrictive MAF  sensor


The Converter

The brains of the conversion is a RISC microcontroller clocked at 12.8-MHz. This device reads the MAF sensor and calculates the equivalent volume of air, scaled to the OEM VAF sensor’s characteristic from a special table of conversion. This calculated volume is then used to create a voltage signal which is sent to the PCM. The system is designed such that the PCM thinks the airflow is being measured by a VAF, necessitating no changes be made to the PCM itself.

The converter  supports two operating modes:

1)Simple mode for  VAF meters with reference voltage  in range of 0-5V

2)Universal mode  for VAF meters  with reference voltage in range of 0-12V  on LE-jetronic and other old style  engine management systems.

Also this version of the converter  has an  additional precision DAC for  best perfomance.

The converter has an upgradable firmware future, so if we’ll add some new features  to software or firmware  you can download and  make upgrade for  free very easy.

The IAT Sensor
The IAT (intake air temperature sensor) is located within the VAF. Once the VAF is removed from the car, so too is the IAT sensor. This clearly presents a problem since the PCM requires the IAT (along with the volume & barometric pressure) to calculate the mass of incoming air from the volume reading. The better way to resolve this problem is  to  remove original IAT sensor form VAF and install it in intake tube. And connect corresponding signal  to IAT input of the converter.
Also  you can connect engine coolant tempertaure sensor (ECT) and aplly corrections based on IAT and ECT readings

Bottom view

IMG_0354_bottom

Examples of  VAF to MAF conversion

For example  let’s install Pilot VAF/MAf  and MAF Bosch 0 280 217 533(BMW e38 M62TU)  on BMW e34 m30b30 engine, all photos and conversion table made by igor90935 also  here is  he’s project on russian


I’ll try to translate it to you, and explain how to install it.  Also you can find a lot of projects and conversion tables  on russian part of our forum

Also you can find some projects on english part of our forum

 

On last photo he install the Pilot VAF to MAF converter in special case and  put it near ECU 🙂
and here is he’s conversion tables   
first
and
second

Pilot VAF to  MAF converter pinout
Board V2
pinout_en

Board V1

in bluetooth version there is no USB connector.

 

Installation and Tuning

For tuning  the conversion table  you’ll need  to connect converter to the PC via bluetooth ( password 1234) and use Pilot Configurator Software. This Software has build-in  dashboard ,  table editor, Data Logger, Compare Tables util and other feauteres.

 

1. Measure the output and the reference  voltage  of  VAF at the engine idle. Recalculate the output voltage of the VAF  to the ADC / DAC (digital signal converter)  readings of converter according to the formula

ADC = (Uoutput / Ureference) * 255

In fuel injection systems, where the reference voltage is not applied to the VAF((or exits from the VAF ), the output signal is typically in the 0-5V range , and a 5V is taken as Ureference.

Typically BMW Motronic VAF uses 5V reference voltage,  BMW LE-Jetronic VAF poduces reference voltage to the ecu typically 6-10V, Mazda EFI 5V or 6-10V in different versions etc.  If you need help with this measuring – ask on forum.

2.Fill in the conversion  table  with the resulting ADC value or use 1:1Table from menu.

For 4-cylinder engines on the tab “Conversion table” set the “MAF smoothing factor» = 5
Save table to the file and to the converter, don’t forget to give supply voltage  to the converter,  before writing table to it.

Table Graph → 1:1
For 4-cylinder engines on the tab “Conversion table” set the “MAF smoothing factor» = 5
Conversion Table → File→Save
Converter→Write table to converter( don’t forget to give supply voltage to the converter before it )

For example we have measured VAF output at idle =0.8V and reference voltage=5V for BMW e34 m30b30 BOSCH Motronic,
so ADC =(0.8/5)*255=40.8 ~41
Now let’s null and fill in all table cells with this value, and after that save it to the file and to the converter.

3.Warm up the engine to operating temperature with standard  VAF.
After that delete VAF and install MAF + Converter  following one of the schematics bellow.
If standard VAF absent or broken,  you can install MAF +Converter and  warmup the engine by using correction function of Pilot Configurator and manually adjusting  RPM and mixture

Installation schematic for VAF with output voltage in 0-5V range and reference voltage 5v ( or without reference voltage) like BMW Motronic

Install jumper JP1 to 1-2 position ( see converter pinout figure). The  VAF’s incoming air temperature sensor must be replaced by a constant resistor. The resistance of this resistor should be the same as the resistance of the  intake air temperature sensor at  20 °C , for most injection systems suitable resistor 2-2.7KOhm.
Installation schematic for VAF with output voltage in 0-12V range and reference voltage 6-12v ( produced by VAF) like BMW LE-Jetronic  or old Mazda EFI

 

 


Install jumper JP1 to 1-2 position ( see converter pinout figure).
Disconnect the VAF and measure the resistance between the ground and  the reference voltage (R1-2) and the resistance between  the reference and supply voltages R2-3. Collect the resistive voltage divider by using resistors with nominal power not less than 0.5W R1 = R1-2 and R2 = R2-3. Connect the divider according to the scheme above.

For both schemes

The Oxygen Sensor(OS) output signal is the composition of the mixture- must be connected to the #3 input of the converter, and the need to temporarily disable this signal from the ECU. Turning off the OS signal from the ECU need to ECU did not make any mixture corrections. After you tune the conversion table do not forget to restore the OS signal to the ECU.

4. Turn on the ignition.
In the Pilot Configurator, select the appropriate COM port that is connected to the converter. After that, click the “DashBoard” tab.

If you have made the installation by using the second scheme( for VAF in 0-12 range like Jetronic), the configurator will generate an error reading table because the converter will be de-energized prior to the engine start. In this case, open the prepared table in paragraph 2 from file.

5.Turn on the starter and quickly press the arrow keys ↑ or ↓ a few times, in this case the dashboard will startup, and you’ll see a red square running on a graph – the current modeline point( an accordance of MAF  and Converter’s output).

6. Use the arrow keys ↑ and ↓ until you get a stable operation of the engine at idle, if necessary, keep engine running with these keys. Likewise, you can warm up the engine, if standard VAF is damaged or missing.

7. Upon reaching the engine operating temperature  check “AUTO” correction in the dashboard tab.

In this case Pilot Configurator software will automatically calculate and set the optimum window of correction for a given point of the regime.
Also it will  try to  autotune AFR to  O2ref. value.

8. Also you can tune mixture maually by uncheking Autocorrection box, then wait for a 1-2 seconds for the installation of the window of correction.
Use the arrow keys ↑ and ↓(or correction), and the indications of the  O2 (oxygen sensor signal) until the optimal composition of the mixture, in this case the color of the O2 will be green or yellow. The blue color of O2 indicates lean mixture, red-the rich Mixture.

In some cases, you can not just get to the yellow-green range, then you must make the mixture lean(blue) and slowly enrich the mixture to a transition in the rich area (red). The correction value at the transition point of a mixture of rich and lean is optimal.
After you have tune the mixture in current point, press “Enter” key on the keyboard, in this case the correction will be applied to the appropriate section of the table and new table will be loaded into the converter’s RAM memory.

9. Add a little accelerator pedal and tune the  mixture into the new regime point, etc. Do not forget to  press the Enter after tuning each point in manual mode. In autocorrection mode dont press any keys.  When  you will tune some points  on road in motion you may need help mate.

10. After you tune the entire table, save it to  the file and to the converter.
If you accidentally turn off the ignition, or a  program failure has occurred, you can use file RAM.tab This file contains the backup table that had been written into the converter at the last press Enter.

11. Check the reaction to the quick opening of the throttle. With the quick opening of the throttle there should not be a strong lag. If there is strong lag, then for the four-cylinder engines need to reduce a bit the MAF smoothing ( set higher value , 100- minimum smoothing 1-maximum smoothing). You can also try to adjust the acceleration enrichment parameters at the “conversion table” tab.

12. Reconnect the signal wire of the oxygen  sensor to the ECU.
Congratulations, the installation is complete!

Management and navigation on the charts
Scaling
Hold the left mouse button + drag left and down to zoom. To return to the original scale – left mouse button + drag to the right and upward

Scroll
Hold the right mouse button and drag the graph with the mouse.

Editing points
All significant points on the graphs can be dragged with the mouse, with a table containing all the changes on the fly.

Double click
If the point is outside the visible area of the graph, make a double left-click, and it appears at the cursor position. Then just tighten where necessary.

The context menu of graphs (right mouse button)
1. Turns off / on the points
2. Turns off / on the tips (not all charts)
3. Disable / enable the corresponding curves

 

Drivers and Software

Driver
Tuning Software  Pilot Configurator (English+Russian interface)
Forum

Product Options
#OptionPrice
1Shipping worldwide via Airmail(14-30 days) already included!$75.00
Order Pilot VAF/MAF converter Shipping worldwide via Airmail(14-30 days) already included! @ $75.00
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25 thoughts on “Pilot VAF to MAF converter with bluetooth interface

  1. Daniel

    Awesome piece of hardware if it helps to change VAF to MAF without any other expensive engine management system. Would be an english version of PilotConfigurator?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Pin Post author

      Hello. I think english version of installation guide and Pilot Configurator will be ready at first days of november.

      Reply
    2. Pin Post author

      I have translated Pilot Configurator 🙂
      Now I need to translate Installation Guide.

      Reply
  2. oliph

    I could not find the price. Kindly info me please.

    Reply
    1. Pin Post author

      Please wait for the end of this week, i’ll finish to write the installation manual and add this product to the shop. Also i think there will be a special offer to you and Daniel 🙂 Also i have added onboard USB interface ( russian version works through COM port) 🙂

      Reply
  3. josh95mx

    This seems too good to be true! I am looking at changing to OBDII for use of MAF but this would be a lot easier. Do you have the English version of manual done?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Pin

      Believe me it’s true 🙂 On which car do you want to install it ?
      Installation Instructions are in the post above- look at “installation and tuning” section.
      I added new pictures of converter. Now it’s available on the factory boards.
      Also in the new tuning software added function for self learning the conversion table.

      Reply
    2. Pin

      Believe me it’s true 🙂 On which car do you want to install it ?
      Installation Instructions are in the post above- look at «installation and tuning» section.
      I added new pictures of converter. Now it’s available on the factory boards.
      Also in the new tuning software added function for self learning the conversion table.

      Reply
  4. geoffrey

    will the vaf to maf work on a toyota pickup 93 obd1?

    Reply
  5. Brandon Karkoska

    Will this work on a 93 Land cruiser? The vaf voltage is inverted, 5v near idle and 0v near wot. Also, almost all modern mass air meters have iat built in so why is iat fixed with a resistor? This will give incorrect load calculations at different temps.

    Reply
    1. Pin

      Yes it will work with TLC 93. On modern MAF’s iat uses for other purposes. You need constant resistor because you install MASS airflow meter instead of VOLUME/vane airflow meter. MAF measures mass of air directly (no matter what temperature and pressure).

      Reply
  6. W.Alves

    Hello friend, I work with repairing VAF line Le-Jetronic have enough trouble finding the plates as your picture (1 288 310 053) and also (1 288 310 505/508) (1 288 310 526) if you have a converter for these systems have great interest, if you would like to buy the plates.

    I have great demand for parts for this system, we can make a great partnership.

    I’m in Brazil – Sao Paulo

    Greetings.

    Reply
    1. Pin

      Hi.
      We have not plates.
      Only PCB for convert oldstyle VAF to new MAF.
      Soon will be available kits with magnet and sensor , which you can install in old VAF and get contactless readings of it’s position.

      Reply
  7. Tolland

    Hello I am interested in purchasing this converter for my 1976 standard beetle that uses bosh L-jetronic. while this still uses a vaf the system lacks an O2 sensor. Is an O2 sensor necessary to the tuning of this conversion system? Also when do you think the magnet conversion will be done?

    Reply
    1. Pin

      Hello.
      O2 sensor needs to be installed for tuning. Without O2 sensor it is not possible to tune it properly.
      I think contactless conversion kit will be done in january-february 2017.
      Can you make a photos of under cover view of your VAF?
      Also i need to know its part #.

      Reply
  8. Henk

    I am interested in this as well 1993 Tarago or Previa TCR10
    Is there instructions that just has a list of what I need and where to buy it.
    Instructions of what to do and no between time wasting notes.
    Just simple buy that and install it like this. Keeping it simple.

    Reply
    1. Pin

      We not have simple instructions and buy list.
      Now developing new software.
      Those who bought this converter used schematic above to connect it.
      Tuning software Pilot Configurator is very simple, and do a lot of tuning work in automatic mode.
      So you will need some MAF with known pinout.
      Connect ground, signal and supply voltage of maf and converter together and connect output of cobverter to ECU. Thats all for simple connection.

      Reply
  9. Bartos

    Bmw 318is e36 94′
    Hello
    the question is:
    m42b18 stand for Maf would like to pass this

    Reply
  10. Bartos

    how to
    Pc about uploading the program to the converter

    Reply
    1. Pin

      Hello.
      I didn’t understand your question
      Do you want to update firmware or do you want to write conversion table to the converter?
      Do you need an instructions how to do it or do you need the software ?

      Reply
  11. Khairul Amri Yaacob

    Hi
    Im interested with the item but it you guys dont ship to malaysia..issit possible if we arrange something for this. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Pin

      Hello.
      We can ship it to Malaysia.
      But we have not paypal here.
      So you can pay only via WeternUnion, MoneyGram or Bitcoin 🙂

      Reply

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