XC90 Aftermarket ECUs for the B8444S engine (was - The Denso MB279700 ECU)

bgpzfm142bgpzfm142 (@bgpzfm142) Launceston TAS
edited August 10 in General

Whom here has knowledge of them, as used on the B8444S?

Does it have a carconfig file, and if so, can its data be deleted to allow fitting the engine into something else without a CAN bus?

If replacing it with an aftermarket ECU / EMS, what type of MoTec or Haltec is recommended, besides the MoTec M190, which is megabux?


  • You either transplant every module on the high speed canbus and related wiring or go standalone ecu and new engine loom + tuning.

    Because everything runs through the cem, even if you bypassed the immobiliser with software, you still need the wiring and cem for the relays and fuses.

    Due to the quad cam with vvt, drive by wire, and sheer number of outputs for a v8 you can't just run a cheap ecu. Maybe email maxx ecu for options as they may have been involved woth some b8444s swaps

  • Maybe email maxx ecu for options

    Done. Awaiting reply.

  • Also canbus in and of itself is not "the devil" its volvo's approach of using dealer supplied software downloads that is the issue.

    If i buy any module for a vw/audi/skoda, the programming code is on the invoice and can be entered using very inexpensive aftermarket scan tools, whilst being able to copy over configuration data from the old module.

    Same goes for most other brand dire t injection diesel engines. Calibration codes that are printed on the top of the bosch injectors can be programmed via aftermarket scan tools but volvos can only be done with a software download.

    We are beyond canbus now though and flex ray is the new high speed communication network on the modern volvos

  • For a tinkerer like me, CAN bus is the work of the devil, as Captain Anchovy would say. I don't see any need why, for example, the windscreen demister flap controls need to interconnect with the engine management system. It reminds me of Jimmy's Doohan's line in ST3 : "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to plug up the drain...." But I don't really know anything about CAN bus, so YMMV. The need for a CEM plus an ECU in the system does explain why used Denso ECUs are going for about $70 USD on eBay.

    Anyway, Maxx ECUs advised me they do the MaxxECU PRO Premium kit for roughly $3,800 AUD, which could control both the B8444S, and either an AW30-43LE or a 4L60E sitting behind it.


    However, they don't have a B8444S harness available off the shelf. The Premium package comes with a loom, which one has to make up oneself. Sourcing new connectors could be a chore, but that isn't the biggest problem.

    Since I am hardly a tuning mastermind, not even in my dreams, I will need to find somebody around here who is either familiar with this system, or is at least willing to tackle it.

    An activated M190 with auto trans license is around $6,300 AUD RRP, plus harness. There is a local MoTec dealer over near here, too, which makes support and tuning less problematic.

    Is saving a couple of grand on just the ECU really a saving, I wonder. What may be saved in component purchase will likely soon be eaten by the local tuner's need to learn the system, if they are even willing to tackle it.

  • Yeah, get what your tuner knows seems to be the long held wisdom (unless your tuner time is free)

  • The tuning / engine management system looks like it's going to be the most expensive component of this drivetrain. The engines themselves are becoming more available and coming down in price.

    Then again, I am not about to stick a 750 Holley on the poor thing.

  • If you buy a whole donor car i can strip back the wiring to the bare essentials like danilos amazon

  • I, for one, would get immense satisfaction seeing the B8444S running on a 750 holley. Could we replace the quad vvti with a single dizzy and mechanical fuel pump though?

    Personal opinion is that an M130 will be plenty at half the price of an M190. Still has dual dbw, quad vvti, 8inj, 8ign etc etc. M190 would be worth if you planned to use the race features, but that's more about the car than the engine. Link Thunder is probably another option, has the specs and is more widely supported than maxxecu in aus (although I do like those). Dual onboard lambda control is cool on the Thunder also, $500 you don't have to spend on wideband controllers. Lots of other brands with the specs, just not well supported by tuners here.

    Unpopular opinion - people have been running 1uzs with Commodore ecus for ages. Coyote ecu from a written off mustang might not mind a B8444S, and they are tunable so probably just get everything on CAN switched off.

  • I, for one, would get immense satisfaction seeing the B8444S running on a 750 holley. Could we replace the quad vvti with a single dizzy and mechanical fuel pump though?


    Thanks for the suggestion re the M130, I will check out the specs.

    Plan is to grab an engine from the US and import it - it's possible to pay for the engine, freight, and customs and still be less than half of what Australian wreckers want for just the engine.

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