AMC computerized engine control

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The Computerized Engine Control or Computerized Emission Control (CEC) system is an engine management system designed and used by American Motors Corporation (AMC) and Jeep on 4- and 6-cylinder engines of its own manufacture from 1980 to 1990.[1]

Starting with the 1986 model year, the AMC straight-4 engines used a throttle body injection (TBI) or single-point, fuel injection system with a new fully computerized engine control.[2] In addition to cycling the fuel injector (pulse-width time, on–off), the engine control computer also determined the ignition timing, idle speed, exhaust gas recirculation, etc.[3]


CEC was unique in that almost all of its sensors and actuators were digital; instead of the usual analog throttle position, coolant temperature, intake temperature and manifold pressure sensors, it used a set of fixed pressure- and temperature-controlled switches (as well as a wide-open throttle switch on the carburetor) to control fuel mixture and ignition timing. The only analog sensor in the system was the oxygen sensor. In other respects, it was a typical "feedback" carburetor system of the early-1980s, using a stepper motor to control fuel mixture and a two-stage "Sole-Vac" (which used a solenoid for one stage, and a vacuum motor for the other) to control idle speed.[4] The CEC also controlled ignition timing using information from the fuel-control section and an engine knock sensor on the intake manifold.

The CEC module itself (the most common version of which is the "AMC MCU Super-D") was manufactured for AMC by Ford Motor Company, and worked with a Duraspark ignition system. Although built by Ford, the CEC module is not related to the Ford EEC systems internally.

Starting with the 1983 model year, the 258 cu in (4.2 L) I6 engine featured the MCU-Super D electronics and a "pulse-air" injection system for emissions control, as well as an increased compression ratio, from 8.6:1 to 9.2:1.[5]


The system uses a maze of emissions vacuum hoses.[6] Because of the many vacuum-driven components and electrical connections in the system, CEC-equipped engines have developed a reputation of being hard to tune.[7] American Motors issued a Technical Service Bulletin to diagnose low or inconsistent engine idle speeds on 1980 through 1988 AMC Eagle automobile.[8]

The 49-state model of the CEC has no on-board diagnostic system, making it difficult to monitor the computer's operation without a breakout box, and the Carter BBD carburetor on most CEC-equipped models has problems with its idle circuit clogging, causing a rough idle and stalling. In places where emissions testing is not required, a popular modification is to bypass the computer and disable the BBD's Idle Servo, or replace the BBD with a manually tuned carburetor. Several vendors (including Chrysler and Edelbrock) offer retrofit kits that replace the CEC and the carburetor with fuel injection.[6]


  1. ^ Fennema, Roger (1987). Automotive electrical and electronic systems, Volume 2. Harper & Row/Chek-Chart automotive series. HarperCollins. p. 308. ISBN 9780064540148. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Detroit '86: Technical Highlights". Popular Mechanics 162 (10): 35. October 1985. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Brady, Robert N. (1988). Automotive Computers and Digital Instrumentation. Prentice Hall. p. 283. ISBN 9780835902632. 
  4. ^ Ludel, Moses (2011). "How-to: YJ Wrangler 4.2L Six Two-Barrel 'BBD' Carburetor Rebuild!". 4WD Mechanix Magazine. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Statham, Steve (1999). Jeep Color History. MBI Publishers. p. 105. ISBN 9780760306369. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Shipman, Mark. "EFI Options for the AMC 6-258 Engine". Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "AMC 258 I6". Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "AMC Technical Service Bulletin 12E460 - The idle speed may be too low or inconsistent on your 1980 - 1988 Eagle automobile". AMC Evolution. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 

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