I’ve been using an old Haltech E6S-8 to tune the Talon for the past two seasons, but have been pretty limited on what I am able to do with it. I was mainly having issues with the fact that the MAP sensor algorithm on it is pretty messed up.
Early last year, I made a MAP sensor scaler to scale the voltages coming out of a 5 bar sensor down to something that the E6S would be able to handle. This helped me keep resolution on the MAP while still being able to run the amount of boost that I wanted to run. The scaler works correctly, and the MAP sensor works correctly, but the Haltech has a fit with both of them. The issue with this old E6S is that the ECU samples the MAP sensor when it’s first switched on, and uses that as the 0 position of all of it’s maps. And, the way the Haltech is setup, it’s limited to a 3 bar sensor. This should just be a software setting (The software needs to know what MAP sensor you’re using to show you where any particular load level is – IE 30psi of boost is at bar 32) – but otherwise, the E6S should just linearly scale all other values. It’s a complicated explanation and unfortunately I am having a rough time coming up with a simpler way of explaining it. What it boils down to, though, is that a 4 bar MAP sensor should make my 0 position roughly position 6 on my fuel map, but the way the E6S is setup, it’s still at bar 11. This effectively limits me rescaling my existing maps in a linear fashion, and defeats the purpose of trying to scale the signal in the first place. Other ECUs don’t work this way, not even something as old as the E6K. In addition to these limitations, it was harder to deal with having to run DOSBOX on a laptop and try to conserve power and the thing only logged about 4 or 5 samples a second on a good day, downhill. It allowed me some data, but not nearly the amount of information I really need to be able to pick up anything funky that may happen. Aside from these issues, in order to really be able to read data effectively, Mark spent a fair amount of time reverse engineering the Haltech datalogging binary information and putting together a log reader to use to read .HDL files so that we’d be able to more quickly read through logfiles, since the log screen lets you see about 12 lines at any given time in the old DOS software, and you can’t display all the data points that are logged at any given time. Welcome to 1991 :-p The plus side of these issues, though, were that I learned more about the Haltech than I ever wanted to know.
To fix this stuff, I contacted Jay at jayracing.com – he’s been around a long time and makes some other good products – I’m also running his Alternator Relo kit on the Talon. He gave me a good price on a Haltech Platinum Sport 1000. I don’t know anyone else running one, but hey I’m a glutton for punishment so I ponied up the cash for it. I decided to go with this over an AEM for a bunch of reasons. First off, the E6S, E6K, E6X and other ECU’s all use the same AMP connector. While the connector is physically different from the Sport series, the pins inside the connector are the same. If I’m good, I can remove the pins from my E6S’s connector and put them into my new Sport connector with some minor shuffling of wires. If I don’t luck out, I may need to run a couple wires, but it’s a lot better than making an entirely new harness to upgrade to a new ECU. The other main reason I chose this was because of the software. I spent a bunch of time re-familiarizing myself with the AEM software. Back in the day, I tuned an AEM for a friend of mine, and absolutely hated all of the modifier tables for everything on the AEM. I also hated the complete lack of documentation and the table values containing completely arbitrary numbers – was I modifying an absolute value, a percentage or what?! I guess when you’re running a street car and have all the street time to tune an ECU it’s one thing, but I don’t have that kind of runtime on this car so I want a simpler setup.
The new ECU Manager software from Haltech is actually not terrible, which is a compliment to them in a way. It’s much more familiar coming from their old DOS software, and is no more complex than it needs to be in order to fulfill the available tuning options. I like that I can size many maps to my liking – If I don’t want a 16×16 fuel map, I can take columns or rows out – and I can specify the values of the columns and rows if I chose to do so. I can also specify calibrations for differing sensors, with many popular sensors calibrations already programmed in the software. They also have a powerful number of setup options, and one of my two favorite things about the new hardware are the fact that I can finally setup a closed loop boost controller, and that I can setup launch anti-lag. Awesome. I’ll let you know how the install goes :-)