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This thread is primarily for educational purposes. I normally install all daughterboards I sell for free, including the price of return shipping. But for you guys where shipping me the ecu is a hassle or you just want to do it your self, here you go.

If you have questions about anything other than hardware (i.e. rom tuning, etc.), please post them in a new thread. I'd like to keep this thread devoted to simply installing a daughterboard. If you don't know what this is for, search, but basically this lets you run a different rom than the stock one. The stock rom is contained the rightmost of the three big chips on the ecu. Rather than replacing this chip a board is added in to the connector on the top of the ecu. Also a jumper must be set to tell the ecu to read from the daughterboard and not the stock rom. This is exactly what JWT etc do when you buy a "tuned" ecu (except for Mine's, on some ecus they actually replace the stock chip).

I'm going to assume your reading this because your intrested in modding lots of ecus, and you know how to solder but have limited experience. If you just want a daughterboard added to a single ecu its probably cheaper to pay someone else to do it (like me!). Its not hard but it really helps to have the right tools for the job and they cost money.

A quick note about daughterboards... there are serval brands of these out there, but you may have to do a little hunting to find them. Most are Japanese or Australian, but several companies now ship to the US. There are even importers on Ebay that resell them. Alternativley you can make your own, like I did. If you want one of mine I'll try to keep a supply on hand, but no gauruntees on which version I'll have. Right now I'm on basic - v0 (whats in this tutorial). Check the for sell forums or bug me. Different boards have different features, like multiple roms and on-the-fly switching, and complications like even/odd burning. The board being installed in this tutorial is a basic board that holds just one rom image burned straight up. Its actually designed to mount on top of the ecu case on stand-offs for use with dual rom emulators for real-time tuning. One last thing, if your planning on updating the roms I highly recommend you get a daughterboard that 1) uses ZIF sockets and 2) uses EEPROMs. Number 2 you can upgrade yourself, number 1 your stuck with. Also, if your looking for a rom burner I recommend the USB flash burner (Burn1) from www.moates.net for $85. Note it will only work with EEPROMs, so I recommend a Willem or copy thereof (you can get them from multiple people on ebay and other places), but they're not near as easy to set up but much more versatile.

So lets get started. First off you need the following: Daughterboard and connector (duh!), through-hole solder rework station, drill with "hammer" setting, acetone, and basic hand tools. If your wondering what a through-hole rework station is, its a special kind of solder tool that has an air pump in the center of its tip, so you can melt then remove the solder. Heres mine, the regular tip is on the left and the solder sucker is on the right:



...and a closeup of the solder sucker, because pictures go farther than words. The hole in the tip is where the solder gets sucked up.



So heres my work area with my tools laid out:



First remove the holder from the ecu. I like to remove the ecu+holder from the car, it just seems easiest that way for me. Next remove the top and bottom of the ecu. This is what you need the drill with the "hammer" setting. Nissan glues the damn screws in and they're really soft, so if you use a screwdriver you'll end up stripping about every other screw. FYI if you do strip them use a 1/8th drill bit to drill them out. I haven't stripped any since moving to the hammer drill method, way cool.

Okay, so heres the ecu with both sides off. I've circled the header position at the top where you need to remove the old solder and add your new header.



...and a close-up of the header:



The jumper is on the back of the board. Its not like a PC jumper, its actually soldered in place. Its in the position marked 'CJ1' and right next to it you'll see a spot marked 'CJ2'. You need to move the jumper from CJ1 to CJ2.



But lets start with the header. First there is a sealant on the board you need to remove. I gently wash it with acetone then rub away the sealant. Be sure to get both sides and the jumper in both positions too. Make sure the acetone is dry before the solder (duh!).



Heres what it looks like when you remove the sealant. Its real hard to see, but if you notice on the top end of the connector you can see where I've removed the sealant.



Now use the solder sucker and remove the old solder. Usually most will come out, but some holes are really stubborn, like the ones below. On these holes add new solder until it makes a nice bubble, then suck it out. Get all the holes nice and clean.



...ready to add the header (oh so clean!):



Now just add the header. Start from the top left and work right, then do the lower row. This is so your iron isn't over any spot you just soldered.



Now lets move to the jumper. If you've got a smt solder tool (they look like a pair of tweezers) this is easy. If not, use two irons, one on each side, and gently pry up the little sucker. Don't worry if you destroy it, replacelents are cheap or a little bit of wire will work in a jiffy. Its glued to the board so it can be a b*tch to get loose sometimes. Remove the excess solder first with your solder sucker then pry away. Heres it moved over, I'm holding one end in place with an exacto knife while I solder the other end. This helps to keep it from moving on you.



Now you just insert your daughter board and your done, right?



Well, it depends on the board. JWT makes theres big enough to bolt into the mounting tabs on the edge of the ecu, but boards that size are expensive and a waste of space. Most Japanese boards just stay attached by the header and thats generally good enough. I compromised, and use a mounting hole in the center of my board to mount a nylon stand off. Then I put a small dab of epoxy on the bottom of the board and glue it to the ecu.



...and heres it completed. That board isn't going anywhere, its in there really tight!



Any questions, just post them in here and I'll try to answer them as best I can.
 
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