Quarterhorse

About the QuarterHorse

The QuarterHorse delivers in unparalleled fashion. It gives you absolutely bumpless, 100% realtime tuning AND realtime datalogging for all EEC-IV and EEC-V through 2004. It plugs into the J3 port like a chip, but its capabilities are stunning. This is just the hardware, and limitations of vehicle coverage are dependent on software packages available separately (which are evolving quickly).  See here to find out what we need from you to determine if QH will work for your ECM.

You can change ANY parameter while the vehicle is running without disturbing operation. You can log any parameter in RAM from the EEC-IV and V at sample rates well over 2,000 frames per second through the same mini USB cable (no OBD cable needed).  HOWEVER, not all parameters are stored in RAM that the QH can access in factory ROMs – patch code is required for each strategy to allow all parameters to be logged.  This patch code is integrated into the datalogging definitions in most software (EEC Editor, Binary Editor).  Simultaneous ultra-high-speed rigorous datalogging capabilities are closely-coupled with the realtime-emulation / tuning-on-the-fly for the ultimate tuning experience.

Although QH provides unmatched features, it has limits.  It is “just” an emulator and datalogger.  You are still working with factory ECMs.  Any limitations of the factory ECM that would be present with a chip will be present with the QH.  An example of this is that an A9L Fox body MAF computer cannot convert over to use a MAP sensor or run Coil-On-Plug simply by adding a QH.  It’s cool, but not magic.

This device continues the tradition and heritage of our highly-integrated, low-cost, high-quality tuning tools from GM and Honda into the Ford arena. As of 2/11/10, it is supported by Paul Booth’s EEC Editor, Clint Garrity’s Binary Editor, and some support is present in Mark Mansur’s TunerPro  version 5.

The QuarterHorse does have limited support (4x) for remote switching via rotary knob (available separately, search this site for ‘QH Switch’) as well as software-based program selection from PC (8x 1-bank, 4x 2-bank, 2x 4-bank).  Firmware revision 1.6 adds the ability to ‘harvest’ stock binaries from a computer that is externally powered.  (i.e. you cannot do reads on the bench without a 12V power supply)

The QH package comes with the QH device itself, premium USB 2.0 mini-to-regular USB bulkhead cable, cable mounting bracket and bolt, standard USB 2.0 cable, and 2x snap-on ferrite beads. Software available separately (check our Software and Drivers section).  It is critical that the vehicle is fully off before installing or removing the QH on the J3 port.  Failure to power-off the ECM correctly can result in frying our hardware, your ECM or both!!!  If you have any doubts at all, remove the keys from the ignition 100% or disconnect the battery.  WARNING WARNING WARNING!

Here is a great how-to article done by Timothy Meyer, one of the early Quarterhorse users: www.moates.net/quarterhorse/qh_intro_meyer.doc

Firmware Updates

Most firmware updates (unfortunately) require you to send the device back in for us to upgrade the firmware.  There is no charge for the update, but we do ask that you pay for shipping.  (We’ll cover basic ground return shipping.)  If you would like to do this, use the RMA – Repair and Replace option on the main page and in the “Comments” field of your order please state that you would like a firmware upgrade.  Follow the directions and send it back and we will take care of it.  Firmware updates are not a requirement. If you are not having issues or upgrading software, you probably do not need to send your QH back.
The easiest way to tell what firmware your QH has is to fire up the software you use with it.  At startup, EEC Editor will say something like “Found QuarterHorse 1.2Q” or in Binary Editor the Moates Hardware page will show the firmware revision of the QH.
More about firmware upgrades:
  • The new version of Binary Editor 2010 requires QH firmware 1.6 or higher.Most firmware upgrades are bugfixes of one variety or another.  If you aren’t having trouble, chances are the bugs do not affect you.
  • Most bugs affected the QH when operating in modes 3 and 4 (EECV)
  • The latest firmware revision as of 2/11/10 (version 1.6) allows you to read the stock program from an ECM using the QuarterHorse.

Program Switching with QuarterHorse

Here are pictures which detail how the rotary switch is installed on the QuarterHorse. The kit comes with a length of no-clean solder, and it is very easy. Follow the pictures for guidance, and remember, this is ONLY for EEC-IV and not post-1995 EEC-V.
First, look at the connector part you received. It may or may not have had one of the 4 pins removed. If not, pull it out so that it is as shown.
Go ahead and use the no-clean solder that was supplied. Get one spot on the QH connector tinned up like it shows in the picture.
Now, hold the modified 4 (now 3) pin connector in place as shown, re-heating the solder so that the two pieces can be bonded together in the correct position.

Now, come in with the solder on the other 2 joints. Use a little extra for strength, but don’t go overboard. Re-heat and add solder to the first joint you started with here to ensure good connection.

Soldering work is now complete, so check fitment of the cable and look for straightness and orientation. Use the photo below for reference.

Here’s another angle showing solder joint details.

These are most of the parts (pin header shown unmodified) that come with the switch kit. Knob is also included (shown in 2nd picture below).

Here is what the completed switch / QH / knob assembly should look like:

This is a pretty simple installation. It basically overrides the BS0/BS3 lines (if you’re familiar with this terminology) at the EEC connector. Therefore, to repeat, this is NOT to be used on EEC-V applications.

NOTE: The QuarterHorse must be configured to use MODE 1 or the switch will NOT WORK.  As of the time of writing (Apr 2011) Binary Editor is the only software that supports Mode switching which means it is also the ONLY software that will currently work with the switcher module.