Some time ago, Rob @ RS Autosports noticed his NSX was starting to act a little strange, it would sputter, back fire, AFR’s were swaying more then usual so he called me up and we put the car on the dyno and I started to analyze the data logs trying to determine what the issue might be.  What I noticed is that all the sensor inputs from crank/cam, to IAT, CLT, MAP were fluctuating by rather large amounts in fractions of a second.

This being a car on a speed density ECU means that the signals the ECU is depending on to deliver accurate spark and fuel to is compromised and could potentially lead to a very large problem.  After comparing the latest logs with previous logs, I’ve noticed the latest logs were showing that the inputs were far more noisy then ever before and while almost anyone who has worked with a V1 AEM will know they’re quite known for odd quirks and not always running 100% this was far too odd to just brush off and forget about.

What were our choices?  Well after spending many nights checking sensors and the harness we determined it’s actually the ECU and that a replacement is in order.  Of course getting another PnP V1 box was an option, it’s old and as we know it’s not really that great of a box to begin with.  AEM’s V2 box is far better, but AEM decided they wouldn’t make a plug and play box this time around for the NSX.  Other ECU’s were considered but Rob was able to get a good deal on a V6 AEM box for Honda/Acura’s V6 engine but that needed a jumper harness to be made, which we did…

The next part was obviously setting up the AEM software wise.  Of course this being an application that AEM didn’t offer on the market there was no support from AEM at all, and only dealing with plug and play AEM ECU’s before that meant a learning curve for us in getting into the nitty-gritty of AEM’s deepest settings.  And if you’ve ever used an AEM you’ll know there are literally thousands of individual settings that have to be checked and adjusted.  Once that was figured out, the next part was understanding how AEM interprets crank and cam signals, and of course how it all relates to now running the NSX on full sequential fuel and ignition compared to the old waste-spark setup.

Once the car was running, it was then time to sync the engine timing to the ECU, that proved to be an issue since what we didn’t know is that using the factory timing loop and certain timing guns there were issues with getting a correct reading.  Most guns from the Snap-On family were effected apparently and of course using two different Snap-On timing light models we can fully agree with this information.  The solution?  Isolate cylinder number one directly between the coil pack and the spark plug using a good old fashioned spark plug wire.  That allowed us to finally dial in and setup the sync between the ECU and the motor with perfect accuracy.  A few minor tweaks and the car was running like a dream, far smoother and crisper then it ever has on the AEM V1.  It was time for the ECU to get its initial tune dialed in on the dyno.

Shortly we were right on track with the power figures from last time, seeing about 490whp on 94 pump gas with approx 9 psi boost from the 4088R, with part throttle and driveability also dialed in nicely the new ECU is really leaps and bounds better then the old, dying ECU that it replaced.

Of course we both knew that the car was just so well equipped to deal with the current power levels, and was just begging for more and so more it got.  I started to dial in the AEM’s closed loop boost control for a set point of 1 BAR and we adjusted the dials on the AEM meth controller to add some safety to this high compression stock 160k km motor, and a few pulls later there we were, staring at a beautifully round figure of 601whp with an impressively flat torque band of  412wtq from about 4700-8500 rpm.  Spool was kept somewhat conservative for obvious reasons.

Sorry for the crappy pic of the dyno monitor, I’ll get a proper screen shot and update later some time to see the full curve.

And a short video taken by someone via instagram:



Last month we had the awesome red E30 road course car on the rollers, and we worked around some small issues and it put out a very respectable 650whp, well the owner took it come, got his fabricator to fix a few things (exhaust leak, intake/boost piping), added a nice CCV setup and yesterday we hit the rollers again.  This time the logs were showing everything was going to be a great day!

Base boost ended up sitting at 240kpa (20psi) and with some tweaking the car produced a staggering 691whp and a table top TQ curve of 540wtq (over 500wtq available from 4500 RPM till redline).  Then we started to turn the boost up bit by bit until we reached 28 psi (couldn’t get any more boost out of the WG setup) for a final number of 776/668 at the wheels!  Just perfect for being at the edge of traction in any gear even in 5th on the back straights of Mosport!  The Racelogic traction control will certainly have it’s work cut out for it even once we setup the boost by gear.

Build basics:

S52B32, warmed over head w/ porting and polishing, 1mm oversize intake valves, Garrett GT4094R on an Otisfold Tubular manifold, VEMS Standalone, ID1000 injectors, Aeromotive fuel system, 110 OCT from Pro Race Fuels, Fabrication by Progressive Specialties (

Youtube vid:



Yesterday I had the opportunity to tune a wicked little car, it’s sole purpose is to go fast, very fast on the track.  The owner decided that he wanted to have enough power and grip to make sure that at any point on the track he would never be underwhelmed, under powered, or under tired.

With considerable time off from the track, this E30 went from stock fenders and a naturally aspirated S52 to a monster fully built S52, with a GT4094R turbo, tubular header, full blown fuel system HP monster.  While it is a work in progress, the owner wanted to know if his investment would be able to make enough power to give him the push to finish the fenders on this beast.

The car did far more than exceed both his and my expectations on the dyno, effortlessly pulling an incredible 649whp at a lowly 18psi of boost, which is his base wastegate pressure without breaking a sweat (me on the other hand was trying to combat the heat and humidity in the car with lots of water).  The plan now is to finish the car, and take care of a few small issues since the build has started and then bringing it back on the rollers to turn up the wick.  This car should easily see over 800whp to quickly shrink the straightaways on the track!

Welp…. tuning got put off… after the entire issue of the fan destroying everything around it and having a hell of a time trying to bleed the system, yesterday I pulled out the WP (brand new Bosch) on after the motor wanted to constantly over heat and lack of coolant flow…. I figure something happened to it when the manual fan destroyed itself and shocked it or something.

so in the mean time I put on my wheels… 255/35′s in the back :)


Well with all good things come some bad things…

Yesterday a good buddy of mine helped me get my exhaust system finished.. really happy with the way it turned out and more happy how it sounds… sounds really really good and aggressive which is what I was going for… yet a clean sound.

Today I finished up all the misc VAC lines to the WG/boost controller and lines to the VAC block and BOV.

Bled the cooling system (that was a PITA because everything was bone dry)… and took the car for it’s maiden voyage around the complex a few times.. All felt well and I needed gas so I put in the old headlights and just as I was pulling out of the complex I hear a bunch of noise from the front end.. looking back I was loosing coolant and the motor was vibrating like crazy. Pulled over popped the hood and found that the overflow hose was wrapped around the fan blade, multiple blades were missing and the brand new rad had major dents in the a few spots…

No idea what caused this. My guess is that the overflow hose that runs between the top of the rad and the fan shroud drooped down or something… the fan caught it and the rest is history.

Kinda bummed about it since the car was running/driving so well… tomorrow the new fan and expansion tank is going to be at the shop…

Anywho moving forward has been a little slow… I’ve been very busy with other things recently, and had few things that set me back on my car so.

First I finished off the SS hard line that will supply the boost reference to the boost controller/WG:

Then when I was ready to prime the motor with fluids and load a config on the ECU I connected the power wires incorrectly @ the front distribution block… that ended up in a blown fusible link (didn’t remember how to properly connect the front distribution block :P ):

I replaced it with a replaceable car audio fuse (also 80A)…

Then when it came time to start the car, everything seemed to be working except for spark. Going over everything I couldn’t find anything else wrong.

So I contact VEMS and after some testing and back and forth it seems like the ECU had a short somewhere in the voltage supply line from a regulator to the ignition chip. I asked that they send out one asap as a replacement, sure enough 2 days later I had my replacement ECU.

And then happiness ensued!

So pretty large update I’m going to try to condense here from the past few days…

First of all went and did some shopping…

Then had a really good buddy of mine come by the shop and do the piping for me…

took them out to clean and wrap..

Modified the fuel rail to have two -6 AN fittings on either end, and gave it a fresh coat of paint…

Fitted the fuel lines…

Rail installed for a test fit..




ID1000′s installed…

Temporary fuel pressure gauge installed so I can set the base pressure (going to go electric, but don’t have the gauge yet)…

Modified the AC line so it will clear the IC

General overview of where I’m at.. piping installed, fueling done, wiring cleaned up.