Speed Week, AEM, Infinity 8 EMS, AQ-1 Data logger, 204sx, land speed racing

The AEM Infinity 8 EMS and AQ-1 Data logger

Road to Speed Week 2014 Part 1: The AEM Infinity 8 EMS and AQ-1 Data Logger

by Chuck Johnson

If this past year's Speed Week taught us anything, it was that Project 240SX LSR's electrical system needed a complete overhaul.  Our previous harness had been built in haste during the few days leading up to Speed Week 2012 (read about our Hail Mary story here).  At the same time, we also knew that if we were going to top the land speed record we set last year, we needed traction control, data logging, and the ability to control any parameter of the engine whether we were on the dyno or on the dry lake beds of EL Mirage or Bonneville.  We found the answer to our needs in the form of AEM's AQ-1 data logger and Infinity 8 stand alone programmable EMS.

 5523 Motorsports building a race spec wiring harness

Along with an install of the AEM Infinity 8 EMS, the plan is to have 5523 Motorsports build a race spec wiring harness to compliment our complete electrical system revamp.  During the off season, the entire interior of Project 240SX LSR was stripped out including the old electronics board and wiring harness.


MIL Spec and aerospace grade connectors

The plan is to make a true motorsports grade harness complete with MIL spec and aerospace grade connectors.  Unlike the factory harness, each wire will be completely free of any interruptions or random solders and aging crimps.  In other words, each wire will be continuous from point to point.


Tefzel silver tinned wire versus OEM plain copper wireThe tightly wound Tefzel wire (bottom) and its silver tinned strands is very apparent under magnification.  In contrast, the OEM wire (top) is plain copper and very loosely wound. As a result, the OEM wire cannot handle even close to the same load rating of Tefzel.

5523 Motorsports plans to construct the harness completely from high quality, light weight Tefzel wire. Tefzel is constructed from fine, high strand count, silver tinned copper strands and is jacketed with tough Teflon, abrasion resistant and self-extinguishing liner. It's used in applications where absolute reliability is an absolute must, such as airplanes.

DR-25 Raychem head shrink tubing produced specifically for military and motorsports applications by Tyco Electronics5523 Motorsports' masterpiece will then be wrapped in DR-25 Raychem heat shrink tubing.  Raychem DR-25 was produced specifically as a jacketing for military and motorsports applications by Tyco Electronics.  Raychem DR-25 is has long term resistance to high heat as well as caustic diesel, aircraft, and race fuel.


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Monday, June 23, 2014 1:27 AM
Had you considered retarding ignition for traction control? It will react much faster than the electronic throttle. A combination of both would probably be best
Monday, June 23, 2014 7:05 AM
Geeze, project LSR just went from backyard hackjob to full bore proffessional.

Two questions, first, considering the rediculous amounts of corrossion, are there ways of washing down the interior now that you (will) have a properly sealed and enclosed harness and ECU? Seems like no amount of coatings will allow you to ignore the salt.

Second, and slightly off topic, it seems that all of the tuning done for stand alone systms is performed by people who "have just been doing it forever" but that hardly makes sense considering the rapidly avaiable and affordable systems like the EMS. Does AEM or another company offer training on how to use and program their systems? Obviously its not something that you could just show up to class one day and start programing but it would be pretty cool to get the basics under your belt.
Monday, June 23, 2014 7:06 AM
And where is the edit button, apparently spell check wasn't on for that last post...
Monday, June 23, 2014 8:20 AM
rhocken - we will be using a combination of both ignition retard and throttle motor in our traction control strategy. you are absolutely correct about the reaction time of the ignition retard vs. the throttle blade... the idea is to use the ignition timing first and then if we can't reign in the "traction event" we will start to add throttle control until the event has passed. the Infinity has a great ignition timing strategy which allows you to control not only how much timing is pulled to decrease torque but also the time in which the timing is returned. this is helpful as you can make the transition as close to seamless as possible. the throttle can be added for larger corrections, although, the fear is that too much throttle (or in this case, too large a decrease in throttle angle) could also upset the car during a run due to the giant laggy turbo!

Protodad - the corrosion.... SMH! i found salt under this car after it had been sitting in our shop for 4 months (and this was AFTER chuck and annie spent the better part of a weekend cleaning the underside of it! we found salt under the false floor on the passenger side (under the I/C water tank). this is just a battle that cannot be won, only controlled! the picture of the ECU is pretty typical (remember that factory parts are indeed zinc plated, however, zinc is a sacrificial coating. in the picture, we can see that there was more corrosion than the zinc could handle and the steel has started to rot.). we have taken extensive measures to try and eliminate as much of the corrosion as we can... but all it takes is a little rock stuck in the tread of your racing shoe to scratch the floor and BAM... it starts rusting! given that all the electronics have been moved to well above the level of the floor, washing it out may be a possibility. the other advantage with the Infinity and the AQ-1 is that they are both sealed. The Infinity has been successfully used on speed boats many times and those boats will come back to the dock with everything wet!

second, AEM does offer training, however, it is not open to the public. it is basically an overview of the Infinity platform and is structured in a way such that you need to have a decent understanding of how to tune before you show up. that being said, there are a few really good books out there that can help you understand the basics.
Monday, June 23, 2014 9:16 AM
Could a zinc cathodic protection system help with the corrosion?
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Monday, June 23, 2014 3:21 PM
I was never clear on this from reading AEM stuff... can you have various logged channels running at different data acquisition rates? I know on shock pots you want somewhere around 1khz, but that's excessive for most other things...
Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 5:01 AM
@ Dan- Yes, you can set the rate for each channel.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 9:28 AM
Ah, nice. That may make things easier on a longish-term project I'm figuring out a budget for. Now if only AEM did their own AIM MXL style dash and PDU.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 2:02 PM
Dan, they have most of the CAN protocals for all the popular displays out there, and i know that they recommend AIMSports as their #1 pick for displays. i don't know if that helps or not.
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 2:29 PM
Yeah, to be more clear, in the initial question, I was basically trying to figure out if I could use the AEM for datalogging and drop down to a Strada for straight display instead of a Pista to get logging as well and have to also combine logs or something wonky. If I'm going racing, I damn well want shock pots. ;)

No problem whatsoever with AIM dashes. Just curious to see how AEM would do a dash or a PDU.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 2:51 PM
dan, the issue that you will run into is this:

lets assume you have an Infiniti and a display w/ logging capability. if you do not have enough inputs into the Infiniti and choose to add inputs to the display, you CANNOT log those display inputs with the Infiniti. The same goes for using an Infiniti with an AQ-1... the AQ-1 can log everything (i.e., all inputs to Infiniti as well as inputs to AQ-1) but the Infiniti cannot see any of the AQ-1 inputs.

This will become a question of I/O regarding your setup. The Infiniti has a ton of inputs, some of which are open for whatever you'd like to use them for... but if you are instrumenting the vehicle like we are with the LSR car, you are going to run out of physical inputs in the Infiniti and have to goto a stand alone data acquisition unit like the AQ-1.

you will almost certainly need one of the bigger boxes (8, 10, or 12) to give you the I/O you will need. If you go onto AEM's website and find the Infiniti isle, you can download a pinout for the 8/10/12 and try to map out what's available and what you will use and so on and so forth.

does that help?
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 3:18 PM
Does help, thank you. I wasn't going as far as you guys are going on the LSR car, or at least that wasn't my intent at first - I'd have to check my notes, but I *think* I can get most of the first cut done with the smaller Infiniti boxes and maybe an AQ-1 added on. Advantage of much simpler engine package than the LSR car. And cool that it can log all the Infiniti channels on the AQ-1 instead of both doing it in parallel - wasn't clear from reading documentation about that too. I do testing and data acquisition on my day job, and syncing logs from different boxes is not my idea of a great time.

Past that, and for some eventual stuff I want to try to do, I'd probably have to roll some of my own boxes... wanna try to do realtime tire temp logging for example. Far bigger fish to try in the mean time.

Of course, have to get the mechanical part of the car built first.
Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:12 PM
Love this car/engine.

Every time I read about this project, the owner/driver is right there with his hands on it, that is very cool, and makes me even more interested to follow the progress.
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