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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Technical Discussion > Advanced Forced Induction & N/A Engine Tuning

Advanced Forced Induction & N/A Engine Tuning This forum is brought to you by Racing Greed in Port Coquitlam.
Supercharger vs Turbocharger vs NA? Hondata vs Megasquirt? 94oct vs 87oct? Through technical discussion, let's find out what will the best option for you...

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Old 01-27-2009, 12:27 PM   #1
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Essential Electronics for Boost

So some of you may be aware that i'm going to boost my KA.

Now i've made a short list of things electronic wise, i'll need to make sure my car doesn't blow up.

Apexi' SAFC
o2 Wideband
Some sort of electronic boost controller.

should that be enough?

let me know what type of boost controller you'd suggest as well. they're expensive
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:24 PM   #2
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buy an aem or something along that line ( whatever people are using ) with everything built in , itll save you money in the end , safc is poop
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:33 PM   #3
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I'm not really sure if you must have a wideband O2 running. It's good for tuning and most dynos have one anyway.

First of all, what are your power goals and what kind of turbo and setup are you running? Do you have all the basics of what makes or breaks a turbo system? What I mean is do you have a proper intake and exhaust and header to go with the turbo you're running?

You also do not necessarily need to run an electronic boost controller. There are a lot of guys out there who run on a manual boost controller. Turbo E's car comes to mind but all it really comes down to is convenience of adjusting your boost. I don't go to Mission Speedway to drag my car so I leave my boost sitting at 11psi all the time and when I want to up or down it, I reach into the engine bay and make a small change with my MBC. You can even make your own using supplies from Home Depot!

Also, a lot of people throw on a turbo on their KAs without an EMS. There's nothing wrong with it. It's just ghettofied but who really cares enough to know anyway? You just can't tune your your car and it may run like shit and you risk blowing your motor. The SAFC is not a true EMS, just a piggyback that overrides your stock ECU. It's a great product but personally, I'd rather run a full, true EMS over a piggy back. If you're about hardcore serious tuning on the KA, I suggest you get a proper EMS. There are cheap ones out there like the MegaSquirt just to name a few. There is a thread on EMS' within this forum to give you some ideas.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:17 PM   #4
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In the case of the SAFC, I'm not a fan of piggyback systems. All it's doing is interrupting the information coming from the MAP and fools the stock computer into thinking the numbers are different. You have very, very limited ability of tuning. Like bcrdukes suggested, I would highly recommend you pick up a true standalone EMS. This way, you have true control over your A/F ratios and can tune it to your liking, with minimal risk of accidentally either burning too much fuel or running too lean.

Which brings me to the A/F gauge... Some people say you don't need it. If you're running an SAFC, it's not absolutely necessary. However, if you plan on actually doing any form of real tuning, I would strongly recommend it. I'd also say that you shouldn't bother with one of those sweeping gauges... go for one with a digital read out. That way, you know the exact numbers your car is reading and can make fine tune adjustments if need be.

Electronic boost controllers are great if you like to change your settings on the fly. However, if you know you're simply going to keep it at one spot for the majority of the time, simply install either a manual controller or just buy the proper size spring that fits your requirements.

Now, depending on which way you decide to go, there can be more electronics recommended to be looked at. However, a bit more information on your plans would help us out.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:02 PM   #5
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THat's good to know. i was going to get a Boost controller/gauge from AEM, but i dont' like the digital read out for the boost

as for AF, i think it'l be a good idea to a digital read outfor that, but i was hoping for the SAFC to do that.


my plans are just more power. maybe track and autox, and i'll take it to mission too.
so i guess a MBC would work too.


as for parts, i haven't gotten everything for the turbo install. but i just want to make sure my car is tuned properly.


How much would Megasquirt cost? i just wanted SAFC because it seemed very affordable.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:25 PM   #6
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THat's good to know. i was going to get a Boost controller/gauge from AEM, but i dont' like the digital read out for the boost

as for AF, i think it'l be a good idea to a digital read outfor that, but i was hoping for the SAFC to do that.


my plans are just more power. maybe track and autox, and i'll take it to mission too.
so i guess a MBC would work too.


as for parts, i haven't gotten everything for the turbo install. but i just want to make sure my car is tuned properly.


How much would Megasquirt cost? i just wanted SAFC because it seemed very affordable.
Megasquirt will cost you anywhere between ~$140 for an unassembled (solder it together yourself) unit right up to ~$500ish for the top of the line version. There are different versions at virtually every price point in between as well. I just prefer running a full standalone EMS over a piggy back because, as I said, you just have far greater possibilities when it comes to tuning. You can adjust everything from your A/F ratios throughout your different throttle points right up to setting up your car to do flat shifts, which work pretty well if you're doing quarter-mile drags. If your car has a distributor, you can set it up so that it runs a COW (coil on wires) setup. You can adjust anything.

Mind you, the disadvantage to this is that you can adjust anything. Somethings, unless you know what you're doing, are often left better untouched.

Chances are you'll want to adjust the boost depending on if you're doing quarter-miles or auto-x, so you'll possibly want to run an electronic boost controller. However, again, some EMS's will run that for you.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:13 PM   #7
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safc is fine to start on a KA, though not the best option. Megasquirt is probably out of your skill range for now. For electronics other than the piggyback go with a wideband i say run one all the time as if something goes wrong it will tell you right away before you melt a piston. Other than that an oil pressure gauge is mandatory and a decent water temp gauge never hurts. Don't forget colder spark plugs as well and a walbro 255lph high pressure fuel pump. Worry about boost controllers until after it is together and sorted out and running well.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:37 AM   #8
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In addition to the fuel pump, look into purchasing an AFPR as well.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:57 PM   #9
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^ hmmm i guess i would need a FPR

at the moment i do have a 255 lph walbro installed.

i think i'll probably just stick with the MBC as long as it keeps the boost constant.

i think a wideband would be a better idea so i'll be getting one.

apparently my turbo timer has a A/F ratio so i should be okay with that.


I'd rather be safe than sorry so a SAFC really isn't ideal. i should just fork over the money for a megasquirt and pay for the tuning?
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:45 AM   #10
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i wouldn't bother with a megasquirt or the safc. Straight to a nistune or calumsult. chip your oem board for a realtime, usb updated ecu. It basically turns your factory ecu into a standalone. You can change maps, mafs, rescale injectors, play with timing, fuel, idle, rev limit, speed limit, etc etc etc. It can take 6 external inputs like a wideband, and any other loggable sensor you want. www.nistune.com this one is more comprehensive than the calumsult, but it costs more. around 450$ canadian shipped at current exchange rates.

As for wideband's, i'd go with a LC1. Boost Control, if your turbo is internally gated, i'd stay with the base spring psi for base tuning, then go from there to keep things safe.

I'd also opt for a mechanical boost gauge over an electronic sensor.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:46 AM   #11
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also your turbo timer is not pulling data from a wideband o2 sensor, it'll be meaningless. also an EBC has distinct advantages over a MBC in terms of spike and surge control. if you're running higher boost that is.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:06 PM   #12
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i wouldn't bother with a megasquirt or the safc. Straight to a nistune or calumsult. chip your oem board for a realtime, usb updated ecu. It basically turns your factory ecu into a standalone. You can change maps, mafs, rescale injectors, play with timing, fuel, idle, rev limit, speed limit, etc etc etc. It can take 6 external inputs like a wideband, and any other loggable sensor you want. www.nistune.com this one is more comprehensive than the calumsult, but it costs more. around 450$ canadian shipped at current exchange rates.
Wow! That's pretty good!

Lucky Nissan fuckers.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:14 PM   #13
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Wow! That's pretty good!

Lucky Nissan fuckers.
Honda guys have the same thing and a lot of toyota guys are modifying to run honda distributors and ecu's for that reason.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:38 PM   #14
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Wow! That's pretty good!

Lucky Nissan fuckers.

well, gotta have something for nissan's... my nistune is coming when i decide to go from my t28 to a gt3071r. the Mines computer i run right now is running beautifully at 16psi. i'm as quick as a chipped 335i coupe.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:46 PM   #15
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^ oooh i'd love to keep up with a stock 335i. never heard of nistune not even on ka-t.


450 isn't too bad. if it can do ALL that. would i need like a datalogger or something?

also i didn't know that the MBC wasn't as adequate as an EBC with spiking or creeping. that's good to know.

k well the wideband will still be there to read the A/F ratio.

also the turbo is externally gated. I"m planning to run <10 PSI what type of spring should i get for the wastegate? would a 1bar be okay? or should i get something closer to 10 psi?


lol thanks i'm learning lots .
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:49 AM   #16
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^ oooh i'd love to keep up with a stock 335i. never heard of nistune not even on ka-t.


450 isn't too bad. if it can do ALL that. would i need like a datalogger or something?

also i didn't know that the MBC wasn't as adequate as an EBC with spiking or creeping. that's good to know.

k well the wideband will still be there to read the A/F ratio.

also the turbo is externally gated. I"m planning to run <10 PSI what type of spring should i get for the wastegate? would a 1bar be okay? or should i get something closer to 10 psi?


lol thanks i'm learning lots .
Sorry if I can across as a bit of an ass in the other thread, it's great that you're trying to learn. Anyway if you want to run 10lbs at the minimum you need a 10psi wg spring. With a boost controller you can run more boost than the wg spring but never less than the spring you have in it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:17 AM   #17
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well, i'd run a 7-10psi spring with a boost controller. I don't know how well ka turbo's fair with 15psi, so i'd start with a lower psi spring and work from there. anyways i pretty much know nothing about ka motors.

the nistune can datalog and playback. it also has a map trace, so basically you can see which exact parts of the map to tune. just visit the nistune site and you'll see what its capable of. i'm pretty sure you're going to have to go to a different maf, from the sounds of it you're running a pretty big turbo and the oem maf is not going to cut it. typically most nissan owners will go to a z32 maf as it has capacity to 500hp approximately.

i run a greddy profec b spec ii, its a stupid long name , anyways, it's a small learning curve to set up right in the beginning, but you get the hang of it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:24 AM   #18
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well, i'd run a 7-10psi spring with a boost controller. I don't know how well ka turbo's fair with 15psi, so i'd start with a lower psi spring and work from there. anyways i pretty much know nothing about ka motors.

the nistune can datalog and playback. it also has a map trace, so basically you can see which exact parts of the map to tune. just visit the nistune site and you'll see what its capable of. i'm pretty sure you're going to have to go to a different maf, from the sounds of it you're running a pretty big turbo and the oem maf is not going to cut it. typically most nissan owners will go to a z32 maf as it has capacity to 500hp approximately.

i run a greddy profec b spec ii, its a stupid long name , anyways, it's a small learning curve to set up right in the beginning, but you get the hang of it.
gah i was hoping i wouldn't need a new maf, but yea i should probably go for the z32 maf. but at the same time most people keep the stock maf if you're making modest power, the turbo is a bit large it's a t3/t04 but i was hoping to run very low boost. most people agree that the stock maf is good for 300hp.
also with stock internals i woulnd't go past 10psi. again they say the stock block is and internals are good for 300hp but i'm only aiming for ~240

this is much more helpful than KA-T.org. we should rename this thread to turbo newbs post here.
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