Arduino based Open Source ECU for Diesel Engines

If you buy a diesel engine without ECU (Engine Control Unit), what would you do? If you’re  a hacker like synkooppi, you might just decide to design your own ECU with an Arduino, open source the code, and provide some documentation on your site. Many people already control motors with Arduino boards, they just happen to be electric motor, and not diesel motor.

Truck, Engine and ECU (Click to Enlarge)

The system works with diesel engines with Bosch VP37 pumps, and it has been used successfully since 2012.

The ECU is based on an  Arduino Mega board with a  8-bit AVR MCU @ 16MHz. The latest source code is available for download (2013-10-06), and can be uploaded to the board via the Arduino IDE. Configuration is done with text-based interface using serial connection over USB port. Hardware schematics have not been released yet.

This open source ECU currently support the following features:

  • Integrated control map editor
  • Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) memory
  • Fuel Map (RPM vs. TPS)
  • Boost map (MAP vs RPM)
  • Torque limiter map (MAP vs RPM)
  • VNT / WG control map (IQ vs RPM)
  • Pump advance map (IQ vs RPM)
  • Cold start and idle map (RPM vs. Temperature)

Other functionality they will or may be implementaion are PID based idle stabilization, EGT sensor support, Fuel trim maps for compensation intake air temp or fuel temp, HDK actuator support, as well as Cruise and traction control.

You can watch the video to see the whole setup and how the motor is controlled with a potentiometer (to emulator a gaz peddle), and the virtual dashboard. This was shot about 2 years ago, and the system has already been used in the truck.

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8 Replies to “Arduino based Open Source ECU for Diesel Engines”

  1. That is pretty amazing.Very impressive. I’ve got an old car (1985, just when it started with electronic systems) and I was always afraid to get it back on the track. But now, I see it is possible !

  2. Hello!

    My name is Attila Simon form Hungary.
    I make a diagnistic interface for old ECU with oscilloscope, input sign modification, etc. With an ARduino mega, of course
    …and i get this in google window…
    I found your project, but your interface is more wiser and complex!
    I see, your source code is free.
    If not problem, i want try your program my Arduino and my car. I have an Audi 100 2.5TDi, 1T engine code, almost AAT, but without EGR and MAF.
    If is possible, let me avaiable your monitoring software too. I liked your project.
    Sorry my broken english, I just learning now.

    I waiting your answer.


    1. Hi,
      I am very interested in this development that I would like to resume or continue.
      Only, the site does not respond.
      Does anyone have a solution for contacting the developer, someone who worked on the project, or even recovering data?

      Thank you

        1. Hello, and thank you very much for your answer!

          I didn’t know the internet archives, it’s fabulous, thank you very much!

          On the other hand, about the email address, unfortunately, I had already found it some time ago and no one ever responded to my requests.

          Thank you again, have a nice day

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