Mazda 323,Mazda 626 & Mazda 929 Whether the compact 323, the mid sized 626, or the full sized 929, these vehicles remain very popular even though production has stopped.

Help an old lady: 323 SP 1998 dead ECU

  #1  
Old 07-30-2014, 04:10 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Default Help an old lady: 323 SP 1998 dead ECU

HI, my mother has a '98 323SP. The ECU is dead, and nobody - dealer - mechanic - Mazda world-wide - breakers yards have been able to help.

Apparently the ECU and immobilizer have to come in sets - they exchange some kind of access codes.

Thus a replacement ECU has to be new or come with a paired old immobilizer. None of the above have been able to find neither - ANYWHERE.

I am also been told that the factory that made the units was hit by the japanese tsunami and destroyed together with their spares.

Thus my 90 year old mother is stuck with the famous low-mileage-perfect-condition-has-only-been driven-by-an-elderly-lady car.

Does anybody out there have any clue as to what to do?

Possibly a second hand paired set? Danish breakers did not know about the pairing so routinely dropped the units in separate boxes, hooray...
 
  #2  
Old 07-30-2014, 08:36 AM
virgin1's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Manor, TX (Outside of Austin)
Posts: 8,660
Default


It might be possible to code the new ECU with the old immobilizer unit, but I'm sure a dealer would have to accomplish that. And too, I'm just guessing, but it might be worth looking into.
 
  #3  
Old 07-30-2014, 12:12 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Default New ECU - nope

No, a new ECU is unobtainable. Dealer - and the Mazda line all the way back to the factory says that second hand ECUs CANNOT be re-programmed.
 
  #4  
Old 07-30-2014, 03:09 PM
virgin1's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Manor, TX (Outside of Austin)
Posts: 8,660
Default


Then your only choice seems to be finding a cheap parts car, one with a blown engine or tranny, or rusted out body and savaging what you need.
 
  #5  
Old 07-30-2014, 05:40 PM
tanprotege's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,390
Default

parts car or expand your search to breakers in nearby countries. Connect with Mazda enthusiasts in Europe.
 
  #6  
Old 07-31-2014, 10:23 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Default Well, there is a reason for going world-wide

Local/nearby searched HAVE been tried. Apart from that the tsunami-thing og sudden unobtainium leaving a model range out of repair should be a real warning to people trying to preserve not-so-old cars as runners. On classics and veterans there are no such binary on-off electronics challenges. I am a computer engineer and this really shows a bad side of what we introduced to the world....
 
  #7  
Old 07-31-2014, 11:41 AM
tanprotege's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,390
Default

Additional thoughts:

I don't think that the US spec cars have an immobilizer. A US spec ecm/pcm may bring the car back to life. However, there are some things that I simply don't know:
Is it plug and play?
Is it legal in DK? If not, will the inspectors notice or could you get an exemption?

And finally there is an open source fuel injection system available:

MegaSquirt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I wish you the best of luck. Keep checking with the wreckers everywhere, D, GB, NL. I bet one of them will pay attention and let you know when a matching set becomes available.
 
  #8  
Old 09-08-2014, 10:24 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Wink Success - how it was fixed.

After searcing all over the net and wherever there was an address just 15 miles away from home to an elctronic wizard guy who MIGHT possibly be able to help. A family member said "heard about him, if he cannot do it, no-one can". Got the car transported there.

He got another ECU from the local breaker, and put the EPROM from the defective one into it. Engine started but immediately stopped again. It turned out the immobilizer was ALSO dead. Mazda had revealed nothing about this. So got an immo as well.

Hacked the whole set, coded the original keys, and alas there was a runner :-)

The whole operation took two weeks (waiting for this and that and what do we do now etc...), but charge: Just spares and 4 hours.

The Mazda repair shop charged 3 hours for 4 months of fruitless search and a personal visit to my mum to tell her that the car was probably only for scrap.

It ran on the day when it was due for authority checks.

I look forward to visit her on her 90th birthday this month.

As I am not myself a Mazda owner, but my neighbour is a rotary enthusiast enjoy a picture of his latest acquisition:

 

Last edited by andershl; 09-08-2014 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Picture
  #9  
Old 09-08-2014, 08:00 PM
tanprotege's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,390
Default

That's a beautiful Cosmo.

Congratulations for sticking with it. Your perseverance paid off!

Happy Birthday to your mom!
 
  #10  
Old 09-09-2014, 08:07 AM
virgin1's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Manor, TX (Outside of Austin)
Posts: 8,660
Default


That's TERRIFIC news, andershl!! I remember when I first saw this thread I felt helpless to offer any suggestions for you to try. I'm so glad you found an answer. Congrats!!
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Help an old lady: 323 SP 1998 dead ECU


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.