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Tractor Engine Control

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Hello, I've got a project that uses the msp430 that I thought you folks would enjoy.

I have an old 1960 Tractor that was running like crap, and turns out the distributor was junk.

New parts have long since become obsolete, but who wants the old technology anyway (.025 gap plugs)

So I have converted the ignition to electronic coil-on-plug,

which eliminates the distributor and the plug wires, and uses 4 ignition coils, one on each spark plug,

and now have vastly increase spark with 0.060 gap plugs.


Here is a youtube video of it running in the final setup:

OK, so they won't let me include URLs as a newbie, you can search youtube for my username and find them.



You can view the older video that shows a little different setup, but it shows the msp430 processor board I used,

which was created years ago for another application, so I have dozens if not hundreds of them.


I've also used the processor board and some surplus LCDs to create digital gauges for the tractor.

The gauages use the msp430 to read the sensors (oil pressure, water temp, rpm, fuel level, voltage),

and generate a bargraph on the lcd to display the value. I embed these in a custom created faceplate using the original tractor dash bezel. You can see the end results here:

OKay, no links allowed, so maybe later you can see it.


I'm now working on a custom fuel injection system for the tractor using another 430, this one a 1232

that was originally created as a battery charger.


Hope you like it.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Hello again my friends,

I posted the video of the full msp430 based EFI system running my tractor.

You can see the waterproof box that holds the fuses and all the connections.

Originally this tractor did not have a single fuse.



The fuel injector is a TBI unit from a Geo Metro, just using the injector portion of the TB.

The throttle plate is from a Prius, and is an electronic controlled throttle.

Processor is a msp4301232, with two high-side mosfets (previously used to charge NiMH batterys),

one used to control the throttle, the other controls the fuel injector. The ADC inputs from the 430 are used to read the analog sensor inputs (GM parts) the o2 sensor, the MAP, the water temp.

The Tach input signal of course is the msp430 based coil-on-plug ignition I showed earlier.


Also here is the dashboard I built for it, using msp430 processors that drive bargraphs on the LCDs

for the readings. Fuel level, Water Temp, Battery Voltage, Oil Pressure, and RPM.



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I don't have a schematic of the battery charger, which is what the hardware was used for orginally.

But I can tell you about the connection to the msp430. I used a LTC1155. It is a high-side mosfet driver that drives n-channel mosfet at +10v over the supply. So unlike most applications, I switch on/off the 12v to the fuel inject, instead of switching ground on/off. This was important for the battery charger, because switching the high side it could detect when a battery was attached, and automatically start charging them.

The LTC1155 has two on/off inputs that are connected directly to the msp430 outputs. I used the TA1 and TA2 outputs,

and did timerA pwm. hope that helps! Jack

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