Engine Management; this is one of those subjects that have more questions than answers, it took me more than six months to decide on which make and model of management I would use for Datto. One of the biggest questions always is who will do the mapping, because from experience a particular form of management is only as good as the tuner. You can have the best system under the sun, but if the person developing the map for a particular car is not up to standard, the poor management always gets the bad name or the owner of the vehicle is only prepared to pay for a full throttle map and afterwards states that system XYZ is heavy on fuel. Developing a map takes more than an hour or two, especially if you want good performance, drive ability, reliability and good fuel consumption.
Well I made a list of different management systems that is locally available and internationally made, then started listing available tuners, features, intend of use that the systems was designed for and then price. This took me quite a while because I had to look in the future to what will be needed and the consequences if the system does not have support for it. After some bold spots on my head from scratching, LinkECU came out the winner. This particular unit is by no means the cheapest option at more or less 3-6 times more expensive than locally available systems.
I had a look at the specifications and it became very apparent that this is the unit that will satisfy my current and future needs for a while to come. One of the biggest things that caught my eyes in the specification list was the ability of the unit to communicate via the CAN protocol. I had a look at the prices on decent gauges and was literally shocked at the outcome, CAN would allow me to use a LCD display instead of gauges, at the end of the day, I do not think I will save allot of money, but at least have one place to focus when needing some data. The benefit of the Xtreme model from LinkECU is that all decisions can be made on ECU level if all the relevant input signals is provided, then the data can be output to a display via CAN for a visual picture, while the driver concentrate on the task at hand not worry about temperatures and pre ignition etc.
It took me a while to get over the price of the unit and the accessories, but after collecting my package from RAW (Rezlo Auto Works), which sourced and couriered it to me, it became very apparent why you pay the extra money. Everything is just on a much higher standard than we are used to in South Africa. Packaging is great, even accessories like the ignitors come with their own pre made wiring harness, air and temperature sensors are packed with their connectors and necessary pins to allow the user to connect his own wires to the provided water proof connectors.
I opted for the Xtreme model and their own calibrated Intake Air Temperature and Temperature Sensors, then also 2 of their Dual channel ignitors to allow me to run my 4 cylinder engine with direct spark.
Currently this is my most expensive paperweight I own, as I’m still far away from wiring the car, but I can’t wait for the day to start.
More Pictures – 8 February 2011 – LinkECU Xtreme – Engine Management
Return to Datsun 1200