What you need to know about your Xenocron ECU



We sell two kinds of chipped Honda/Acura ECUs and here is what you need to know about the ECU you purchased.  Most information is general and not application specific so please read everything.

OBD0 ECUs are all Non-VTEC ECUs.  You may get a PR4, PM6 or PS9 ECU depending on your application and stock on hand.  These ECUs are all assumed to be used with a manual setup.  These ECUs are normally from 90-91 Acura Integra or 90-91 CRX Si vehicles.

OBD1 ECUs come as VTEC or Non-VTEC models.  VTEC ECUs with an 11F0 or 1720 Board are electronically IDENTICAL to a stock P28 ECU with a chip.  There is literally NO difference except for the fact that we installed the components that control the VTEC function and the components that tell the computer to look at the Eprom Chip that is installed in the computer.  Generally our VTEC ECUs are OBD1 PR4, P05, P06, or P09 that have been converted to P28 spec.  Generally our non VTEC ECUs are P75 ECUs.  I say generally because everything is controlled by our inventory.  I say generally because sometimes we will add the circuitry to a P75 ECU to make it a VTEC ECU but this is rare.  You will know we started with a P75 ECU if the board number is 1980.  Please see the article in our Installs section that tells you how to tell which board number you have if you are curious to know.  All OBD1 Board numbers 1720, 11F0 and 1980 will run identically with the same chip if they all have the VTEC circuitry.

ZIF Sockets

All of our chipped ECUs come with a ZIF socket.  The ‘ZIF’ stands for Zero Insertion Force which means that you do not press in or pry out the chip to get it in the socket.  This is much safer than the traditional dual wipe or machine sockets that most people who chip ECUs use.  Most of these ‘chippers’ do not use ZIF sockets because of their cost while we think it is invaluable while our prices stay in line with most everyone else out there.  Simply pull up the lever on the ZIF socket to release the chip and push it down to secure the chip in the socket.  In Honda ECUs, the half-moon notch of the chip ALWAYS faces the plugs of the ECU.  It is important the chip is secured in the proper direction or you risk damaging the chip and/or ECU.  The direction of the ZIF socket does not matter…only the direction of the chip.  The ZIF socket in our ECUs is pressed into a machined DIP socket that is soldered to the board.  The ZIF socket is a ‘wear part’ which means it can wear, but it can also be replaced.  The ECU can work without the ZIF socket as well if you press the chip into the machine socket soldered to the board.

CN2 / Datalogging

All of our chipped ECUs come with a 4 pin header soldered on the CN2 port as well so that you can easily add one of our datalogging cables to the ECU.  Again, most ECU chippers do not feel this is important and leave it out while we include it with every ECU.  This makes it incredibly easy for even the most novice user to add a datalogging cable from our site.  Each data cable comes with a receptacle end that fits on the 4 metal pins that are soldered to the board.  The cable can only be attached in one direction so please follow the directions for your cable in the Installs section.  For users that are going to use Uberdata, the spot labeled J12 is left in tact as it is critical to be able to use Uberdata’s datalogging.  For all other users of Crome, Hondata, Neptune, etc…you will need to locate and cut J12.  It is a small brown resistor with a single black wire and all you need to do is clip one end to break the circuit.  This is critical for datalogging with any of the above program.  See the following pictures for where to find J12.

Basemap Chips

All of our ECUs come with (2) Basemap chips unless you ordered a package deal that included the Ostrich Eprom Emulator.  I include 2 basemap chips for two reasons.  First, generally I modify each custom basemap using the same process but using two different versions of code (Crome).  The first codebase is based on P30 code and the second on P72.  Each codebase runs the car slightly differently, but the same maps and process are used to create the file.  I find that various cars run differently on the two code bases.  Try both chips and use which ever seems to run your car better as a base.  I seriously recommend getting your car tuned as soon as possible after receiving the ECU and completely installing everything for your setup.  The 2nd reason I include two chips is because there is always the odd chance that a bad burn can happen or during shipping a file on a program can become corrupt.  By sending 2 chips there is a very high unlikelihood that both chips will be defective so that you have at least one good working program before taking the car to your tuner or beginning to tune yourself.  If you ever need a copy of your basemaps, please email us at customerservice@xenocron.com to request your file.  I organize them by the First and Last name of the order that came in so please make sure you know the name you paid for the chips with or I will not be able to get you your file.  Knowing the date you paid as well as the Paypal transaction # will help me locate the files as well.  Files are only kept for 90 days after being created

ECU Testing & Troubleshooting

Every single OBD1 ECU that leaves our business is tested in a working car using a known working chip for that car.  They are packaged securely using foam/bubble and are shipped in secure cardboard packaging.  Every OBD0 ECU is tested on our test bench to make sure it is fully functional before being shipped.  Unfortunately because ECUs are all USED products, and they are an electrical device, and the nature of their use is in highly modified (mechanically and electrically) automobiles, I can only warranty the soldering work that we do and I cannot warranty the full ECU.  Our warranty is for 90 days from your date of purchase to the original purchaser only on the reworking we do.  If you ECU arrives and appears to be defective, we will do everything in our power to help you troubleshoot the problem.  However, because we test every ECU before it leaves the door, we assume that a failed ECU is the last possible problem from the start.

When you first install your ECU, here is a good process to follow before starting the vehicle:

Take off the screws on the top of your ECU, open it up and become familiar with its insides.
Make sure there is a chip installed in the ECU and that is faces the proper direction
Leave the ECU cover off
Install your ECU into your vehicles ECU plugs.  Make sure the plugs are pressed firmly into the ECU and that it ‘clicks’ into place.  Make sure all plugs are securely in place and than there are no loose wires in the harness plugs.
Make sure your battery is connected and that all sensors are properly hooked up to your motor
Turn the key on your ignition to the ‘ON’ position but do not start the car.  You should hear your fuel pump prime and the main fuel relay should click on briefly and then click off.  The CEL light will follow the main relay ON click and OFF click.  If the CEL light stays on once this process happens.  Cycle the key OFF and then back to the ON position once to try and repeat the process.
If the check engine light goes off, give the ECU a quick smell for any burning.  Lots of times if you have sensors plugged in improperly, you can catch the ECU early from burning out and fixing these sensors.  The ECU will not necessarily throw a check engine light right away if something is wrong, so the ‘smell test’ is good preventative maintenance.
If the check engine light does not go off after the second time.  Check for codes.  Do this by bridging the service connector (2 pin) which is located under the dash on the passenger side with a wire or small paper clip.  This will cause the CEL light to flash out the codes the ECU is seeing.  If the ECU does not blink, make sure you are bridging the right connector and try again.  If you can’t get the CEL to blink the codes you have a SOLID CEL.  Turn the car off, install the other chip that came with your ECU and repeat the process.  If it still does not work, double check all wiring and your ECU power(s) and ground (s) before continuing.  DO NOT TRY AND START THE CAR
As an added measure, J1 on every OBD1 ECU has an easy to remove Jumper cap.  Remove the chip and the jumper and turn the car to the ON position.  Removing the jumper puts the ECU back in STOCK form and will allow you another avenue to test.

If you email us to help you troubleshoot an issue like this, please have ready and let us know the following:

What check engine lights is the car throwing? (List ALL)
If solid CEL, have you tried both chips and are they installed in the proper direction? (half moon notch faces the ECU plugs)  If the CEL is solid do NOT start and run your car, this is not good at all.
What car is the ECU installed in? (year, make and model)
What engine is installed in this car?
Is this the original or a swapped in motor?
Has every ground been checked and installed?
Are all engine wiring plugs installed into the correct sensors? (many sensors have the same plugs unfortunately, please make sure your are 100% correct using your factory wiring diagrams)
What other modifications do we need to know about? (Injectors, resistor box, MSD ignition, etc)

Please realize that there are many resources out there (check our TECH section) and sites that will help you diagnose and troubleshoot issues that may arise when modifying your vehicle and we strive to help you out the best we can but it is much easier for a certified mechanic to diagnose any problems that may be over your head.  Diagnosing through the internet is extremely hard.  We do not offer phone support for these types of issues…please do not call for this type of troubleshooting, use email instead.  Again our email is customerservice@xenocron.com for any support you may need.

Please also realize that a chipped ECU running modified code may run differently than a stock ECU, and that the modified code you have installed on that ECU may react differently than a stock ECU to various issues.  The argument “well my friend’s stock ECU runs the car fine” is not always a valid troubleshooting method.

Thank you for your Purchase!