Idle Valve Control
|UPDATED: November 18, 2018 CONTACT|
|D O M A
I N S
This page details work on my idle air control functions for my 242 Turbo.
This car uses a programmable fuel injection system from SDS (Simple Digital Systems). I began using SDS almost 20 years ago. Megasquirt is a popular engine management these days, but it didn't exist when I started using SDS, so I have stayed with it.
SDS was originally designed for racing and it does not have a modern computerized idle control function to control a precise stepper type idle valve, like Megssquirt or Microsquirt does. What SDS offers is the ability to trigger a simple electric air valve to enhance the idle for cold warm up or AC idle increase. A simple ON/OFF idle valve is crude and sometimes doesn't work as well as you like.
So this is adding some refinement to my idle functions. A welcomed addition.
For those of you using a GM stepper IAC (factory EMS, aftermarket EMS, Megasquirt, etc.), this extra control may be a welcomed addition for you too. Watch Jon Lamb's video. The ability to switch between normal and custom idle settings from the dash sounds like a pretty cool thing to me.
Your feedback or comments are welcome: CONTACT
|Most Recent Idle Air Control Method in my 242|
This is an Ehcotech 12 volt electric
valve. I have been using two
of these for 10 years with
great results. Both use manual
fast idle switches
on my dash for cold starts, etc. One is also controlled by the AC
compressor 'ON' circuit for AC idle increase. Both are also
controlled by microswitches on the throttle spool that override and
shut the valves
when throttle is increased above idle. So the way I have them set
up, these valves are only active at idle.
These valves are found on eBay for under $10 each.
|I use 1/2 inch I.D. silicone hose for the
air lines from the intake
(pre-throttle body) to the above valve and then to the
<<< Tuning the airflow in the hoses can be done simply with a hose line pinch clamp like this one pictured. It squeezes the hose and small precise adjustments can be made if needed.
In 2018 I discovered the below Youtube video made by Jon Lamb (comeinhandynow) in the U.K.. It details making your own stepper motor idle speed circuit that can be adjusted from the dash. Jon outlines the manual adjustment method for a 4-wire idle air control valve, such as one found in a GM car like his. It sounded like a fun project.
So the above setup allows a user to manually adjust the idle speed on the fly. This becomes useful if whatever system you're using isn't perfect in every regard. Maybe you want a higher idle during warm-ups or when the AC is on (combined with warm-ups). Being able to do an easy quick adjustment in my 242 Turbo would be a nice benefit.
This is an idle motor from approximately 2003 and later GM cars or
trucks . There
a couple different styles of idle motors out there.
The one I picked uses the 4-wire connector plug shown here.
This is an earlier style GM idle motor that came in cars until
approximately 2003. It will also work, but you will need to mount it
differently since it's made with threads to screw into a manifold
instead of the above motor,
which simply bolts on. And this type uses a different 4-pole plug.
may have noticed that the above GM IAC motor is
not really a complete valve. It's just a stepper motor and plunger. I
could not find a 4-wire idle valve with integrated IN and OUT hose
barbs for air hoses. Maybe one exists out there, but I found nothing
that I thought would work for me.
So I started searching for an adapter housing that I could make, buy or modify to make it into a stand-alone idle air valve.
There are a few housings like this out there and most are very
expensive. I chose this
adapter from Accufab Racing. It was
more money than I wanted to pay, but it works. It's
designed to allow the use of the same GM
IAC motor I chose. This adapter was originally designed for
adapting a GM IAC stepper motor for use on
<<< Here's a bottom view.
Here's a view inside. This hole starts at about .875 inch
diameter. That first step is about .250 inch deep and it reduces to
inch. The .750 inch hole depth is about 1.1 inch and the final
size is beyond that is 7/16
inch (.4375 inch).
If you're handy and have the machine tools or drills, making one of these would not be very difficult either out of aluminum or maybe even a sturdy plastic block.
Coincidentally, those IN and OUT holes on the bottom were 7/16 inch
diameter, which is the
correct size for a 1/4 inch NPT
After taping the
threads, I inserted 1/4 inch NPT nylon hose barbs (for 1/2 inch
I.D. hose). Now I have a
stand-alone IAC valve. I guess I'm committed now. Now it's time
for the circuits.
I was concerned that the .375 inch I.D. of those hose barbs might be too small for the airflow needed. If this became the case, then I could optionally drill the holes to 37/64 inch for 3/8 NPT thread. So far I have not made any changes.
Jon Lamb's video has a diagram showing all of the components he used to complete his project. He will also email you a PDF document showing more detail if you like. Check his video description for that.
My version uses a few less parts, since I don't already have an existing GM ECU or an EMS that uses this type motor for primary idle control. So I don't need the relay or the toggle switch Jon used to switch from Auto to Manual.
I had a little trouble interpreting and following Jon's hand-drawn diagram, so as I worked out how these all these components went together, I decided to create a new, cleaner diagram below showing each component that went into my project. This diagram below is a little different from Jon's diagram. It doesn't include the relay Jon used to switch between his factory EMS and manual idle control, since I'm not using that relay. This helped me to better visualize the task. It should help you understand it better too.
If you need help with this diagram or with the one using the relay, contact me.
C L I C K T O E N L A R G E B E L O W I M A G E
A printable PDF version of this diagram is available: CLICK HERE (1.2 mb)
Before actually building this thing, I hooked up the raw circuits on a
breadboard to make sure I had it right. It worked as
promised. If you check out the below video, you'll get to see my
Here's the mini rocker switch I used for the idle increase/decrease
adjustment. It's mounted in a dash switch blank panel for my 240.
The mini rocker switch has .187 inch tabs on the back. I had
some uninsulated female .187 inch terminals, so I covered them with
heat shrink tubing. Here's a
view from the left
side. Switch pinouts on this side from top to bottom are:
OUTPUT (top), 12V
INPUT (middle), and 12V OUTPUT (bottom).
|<<< Right side view. Switch
top to bottom are: Output to DIR (Direction) on DRV8825
Driver Board (top). GROUND (middle). Bottom tab is unused.
I decided not to solder everything together like Jon did in his video.
This is a personal preference thing. You might like soldering
stuff. I don't particularly care for it. Solder joints are
prone to cracking and when that happens, you'll have a hard time
finding the problem.
I bought a JST mini pin connector kit (see parts list below). It worked out nicely. This connector will connect the box (in the dash) with four wires going through the firewall to the engine bay for the IAC valve.
Here's the project box I stuffed everything into. When
testing again at a final stage, things suddenly didn't work. I
discovered that the 5V regulator was
no longer working. Maybe I
shorted it when moving stuff around. I replaced the regulator and it
all worked perfectly
again. Good thing I bought two of them.
Next step was installing all this in the car.
I mounted the new IAC valve under the intake manifold here.
More close up view.
Here's the adjustment rocker switch. It's set up to adjust the fast
circuit. Idle #2 is an extra circuit that can be used during warm-ups.
|After trying the new IAC setup using the
two small Ehcotech valves shown at the top of this page, I found the
valve that was connected to the new IAC circuit was not allowing quite
airflow during cold idle with the AC on. I decided that the 3/8 inch inner diameter of that
valve was probably not big enough. So I bought this valve
pictured. It's a larger valve, also with a plastic body, with an inner diameter of 3/4 inch.
It solved the problem and now the engine gets plenty of airflow in any
idle condition. I found this valve on eBay for about $25.
|If you have any
comments or questions, please feel free to
for GM (2007 Chevy Silverado and many others). 4-pole
connection. Cost will be $10 to $90, so shop around.
plug with pigtail for above. Cost is about $10.00.
Stepper Motor Driver Board or Module. Size is typically less than an
inch long. Typical input may be 5-45 volts. Cost may be
about $2.00 to
Module Square Wave Signal Generator Board with LED Indicator. The LED is needed for this project. There
are a lot
of these boards without an LED. Get one with it. Size is
typically about an inch
or so wide. Typical input will be 5-15 volts. There are three
required connections: VCC, GROUND and OUT. Cost may be
$5.00 to $15.00.
volt regulator to reduce voltage to the Generator Board. Cost may be
Pole, Double Throw) mini rocker switch, 6-poles on the back. Momentary
(ON), OFF, (ON) function. Front size is about 1/2 x 1 inch.
Cost is about
Carbon Film Resistor. 0.25 Watt. TWO
NEEDED. Cost is small.
Carbon Film Resistor. 0.25 Watt. Cost is small.
(0.1uf) Ceramic Disc Capacitor. THREE
NEEDED. Cost is small.
|100uf 25 Volt Radial Electrolytic Capacitor. Cost is small.|
|3 amp fuse
and fuse holder for 12V input to the rocker switch.
1591BSBK ABS Project Box Black. 4.4 x
2.4 x 1.1 inches (112mm x 62mm x 27mm). $5.00.
2.54mm Pitch JST Pin Housing Connector Kit. About $9.00.
Not required. You can solder things also.
Open Barrel Crimping Tool for JST Terminals. $17.00.
Not required. You can solder things also.
valve, normally closed, 1/2 inch hose barbs, 3/8 inch inner diameter.
valve, normally closed, 3/4 inch NPT female, 3/4 inch inner diameter.
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