2GNT Logo

Member Login Username:


Tuning for Power

This is something you may find you need to implement as you go. Some people will work to tune the car from day one, while others will build it up before bothering with the fine tuning of things. Either way, once you've invested this much into the engine, you'll likely want to keep an eye on things to make sure you don't destroy it.

Cost | $60 to $200+ for each gauge
Power | none, really. It's all about safety.
Difficulty | 2
Installing gauges is not something you do to look cool. It is something you do to monitor engine system performance. Common, normally aspirated (NA) gauges include - exhaust gas temperature (EGT), coolant temperature, oil pressure, and voltage. Not all these gauges are required, but you will be better able to determine which parameters you wish to monitor when you reach this point. We suggest electrical gauges when monitoring engine fluids for safety.

Air Fuel (A/F) Gauges
Cost | $60 to $400+
Power | depends on ability to utilize the information
Difficulty | 2 - 3
Perhaps the most vital gauge you can install. If the air fuel ratio (AFR) is off by too much in either direction, you risk damaging your expensive internal parts. $60 will get you the typical, "blinky light" gauge, which provides more a light show than useful information, but is still common. Although the "blinky light" gauge does not display that much information, it still gives you some idea of what is going on, which is way better than no idea. Gaining in popularity is the wideband A/F gauge. These gauges utilize a special oxygen sensor (wideband or wbO2) that will transmit data to a gauge that reflects the actual AFR of the engine at any given operating level - not just wide open throttle (WOT) like the blinky light units. However, the wbO2 systems are inaccurate during nitrous operation, something to keep in mind. Given the benefits of wbO2 tuning, we suggest anyone doing serious modification to their engine consider using them instead of the cheap gauges. Today, wideband systems are a LOT cheaper than they were just a few years ago. Expect to pay $200-400 depending if you get a kit or a fully assembled unit with all the bells and whistles.

Fuel Tuning | Computer_Chips (as seen on eBay)
Cost | don't worry about it
Power | absolutely none
Difficulty | throw it away
You don't have to look far to find these things. They are a joke and do nothing for you. (Same goes for that JET computer.)

Fuel Tuning | Piggyback Computer | SAFC
Cost | $200 and up (they can be found used for less)
Power | most power will be seen with use of wbO2 above
Difficulty | 3 - 4
"Piggyback" computers are called such because they do not replace the factory ECU. They simply trick the stock computer into doing what you want in terms of fuel tuning. Apex has the market cornered with its well established Super Air Flow Controller (SAFC). WARNING: Improper use will result in engine damage.

Fuel Tuning | Greddy e-manage
Cost | $300 and up (with options)
Power | requires dyno and wbO2 for best results
Difficulty | 3
Another "piggyback" computer, the e-manage is a capable tuning tool which gives control over a number of parameters based on sensor inputs. Users can datalog information saved during a test drive and then play with settings on a laptop computer to tune their car. e-manage requires a great deal of experience and know-how to avoid damaging the engine or seeing any gains.

Fuel Tuning | Bowling & Grippo Megasquirt (MS)
Cost | $200 and up
Power | requires dyno and wbO2 for best results
Difficulty | 3 - 4
The MS is fast becoming the standard for tuning by serious 2GNTers, both turbo and non-turbo. A do it yourself (DIY), near stand-alone (meaning it is capable of running your car without the factory computer) unit, MS gives the user total control of fuel delivery and datalogging capabilities as well. Support for the MS is widely available at this time, due to popular demand and you can modify it to provide a number of additional features, including ignition control. WARNING: Improper installation and use can result in engine damage!

Fuel Tuning | AEM_EMS
Cost | $1200 and up
Power | requires dyno and wbO2 for best results
Difficulty | 4 - 5
The AEM EMS is a complete stand alone engine control system capable of running the car's engine without the use of the factory computer. At the time of printing, AEM does not offer any specific assistance for the 2GNT DSM platform, so installation will be entirely custom, even requiring set up of "base maps" just to get the engine to idle, let alone drive. Very few people use the EMS based on difficulty of installation and cost. EMS offers a great deal more control with finer tuning abilities, however the MS is a better value in the eyes of the vast majority of 2GNTers.

Ignition Tuning | Ignition Coil_Pack
Cost | $70 and up
Power | varies relative to rest of build/tune level
Difficulty | 1 - 4
Coil pack upgrades generate greater voltages to send to your spark plugs to ensure proper ignition under high-pressure/demand conditions. The most common coil pack upgrades are the MSD Blaster and Howell_Automotive Screamin'_Demon coil packs.

Ignition Tuning | Spark Plug_Wires
Cost | $50 and up
Power | relative to rest of build/tune level
Difficulty | 1
Once you upgrade your ignition system, you owe it to yourself to provide the current the path of least resistance to the spark plugs. Wires are available in a variety of different diameters and construction, so shop around and pick a set that you like. Consensus is that the Nology brand wires do not provide the gains advertised and are not worth the cost.

Ignition Tuning | Ignition_Controller
Cost | $300 and up
Power | requires dyno and wbO2 for best results
Difficulty | 2 - 3
Aftermarket ignition controllers activate the coil pack, firing the individual spark plugs as the user intends them to be fired. Higher-end models can allow you to adjust ignition timing in individual cylinders, but most offer increased spark duration and control. MS (above, Fuel Tuning) also offers some ignition control, so there is a need to determine if this is something you really need before you purchase it.


Document statistics: Last modified on 2006-08-08 10:05:16 by DR1665

Back | Home

Wiki engine and all content (C) 1998-2021 2GNT.com unless otherwise noted