infinity ems aem

AEM Infinity EMS:  The Power to Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control 

by Joe Popovits and Chuck Johnson

Photos by Joe Lu

When it comes to building cars, I've always tried to maintain a "keep it simple, stupid" approach.  With this approach and an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy, I managed to produce a stable of solidly performing, competitive cars.  At the center of my dead reliable formula was my factory re-flashed ECU.  At the cost of a few hundred bucks, I gained a super reliable system and more importantly, the knowledge and experience of one the industry's best Nissan tuners.  I clocked hundreds of thousands of miles on my re-flashed factory ECU with dead reliable performance, hot lapping at Willow Springs on the weekend and commuting to office during the weekdays.  It was the perfect set up.

aem infinity ems land speed racing bonneville 240sx, chuck johnson

When I decided to get serious about land speed racing, I took this same set up with me and set two land speed records at Bonneville and El Mirage. With each mile per hour faster Project 240SX LSR traveled though, came an exponentially growing need for more capability.  I reluctantly dug my heels in denial, touting my "keep it simple stupid" argument.  Ironically, that very argument was what would convince me to finally make the change to a standalone ECU.  It comes down to this one question.  Is a race car running a re-flashed ECU in tandem with a plethora of standalone systems for boost control, wide band sensors, variable valve lift, and data logging really simple?  No.

data logging aem infinity

What Team Moto IQ needed was one sole system that provided the ability to define, measure, analyze, improve and control every element of the engine regardless of whether we were on the dyno or on a dry lake bed.  Some of you might recognize the terms define, measure, analyze, improve and control as the six sigma problem solving methodology known as the DMAIC process.  This article isn't about DMAIC or six sigma though.  Instead, it's about a true motorsports grade ECU that utilizes a modern 32 bit floating point, 200MHz processor and a real time operating system capable of delivering an 400 million instructions per minute. Enter the AEM Infinity 8 EMS.

aem infinity ems

The capability of the AEM Infinity EMS' processor and operating system goes far beyond just a bunch of sophisticated marketing jargon.  The level of processing speed and OS strategy allow an ECU to not only respond more quickly to more inputs, but do so without any negative effect in processing speed.  This is the value of such a system.  Further, a real time operating system allows users to make changes to features that will not affect other features, which isn't the case with fixed point math operating systems.  This higher resolution can mean higher accuracy, which can mean more power in the right hands.  More specifically, in our hands.

aem infinity ems trainingTo help us get started we attended a two day course at AEM which covered the ins and outs of the Infinity EMS system as well as the InfinityTuner software.  
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Tuesday, November 04, 2014 4:57 AM
One day, i'll switch from a nistune and a bunch of other systems to a single one, too. AEM is a bit expensive to my taste though. I might go with a DTA.

Just a little correction about lambda though. I run e85, and just use the pump gas setting on my AFR gauge, meaning i do not need to know nor care about fuel composition. 14.7 : stoeich, more = poor, less = rich, whatever fuel is used.

If someone has an AFR gauge without the stoeich setting, he will always see that, regardless of the fuel used. No need to tune with lambda setting ;)

As far as the 193mph limit goes ... if you are not allowed aero mods, i can't see how you are going to counter lift. I'd love to see how you get around that problem though :D
Tuesday, November 04, 2014 8:04 AM
Would love it if they would add rotary engine support.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014 10:03 AM
So what peak VE were you seeing with your SR15?
Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Tuesday, November 04, 2014 10:30 AM
@crousti- There are a couple of different options we're looking at to help keep the car on the ground at speed. Most land speed cars add at least a few hundred pounds of lead to the chassis. We are also looking at the forward rake (front v. rear ride height). The last option we are exploring is an OEM spoiler. We are basically allowed to run anything that was production from the factory. This would include the US foam waffle type rear spoiler to an entire 180SX Type X kit. Before anything though, we need to get a clean base line run with the shock pots installed. This will give us a method of measuring if our changes have helped us combat the rear end lift at speed.

Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Tuesday, November 04, 2014 12:17 PM
M-P - When I was at AEM for training, i believe that they said rotory engine support is in the works along with DI. Don't quote me on that though... I'm getting old and have fallen off a bike one too many times at this point.

Sethulrich, our VE table shows 104 but I dont think that you can take that as gospel. There are just too many other variables which could sway that number. At the same time though, it's probably not completely out of the ball park.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014 3:14 PM
That VE is not surprising at all, these heads flow well and the cams help too.

The foam oem spoiler helps lower Scx of 0.01 vs no spoiler installed ( that number is from nissan). I don't know about the type X one. I can't remember where, it could be either in one of your articles here or on nissanroadracing.com forums, but i read the front of the car produced quite a lot of lift. Don't quote me on that as aero really is counter intuitive, but if the front lift, wouldn't the rear follow immediately due the new "slope" under the chassis ?Not sure the side parts of the type X would help either... You need air to escape from the sides rather than the rear when the front lifts (but again this needs to be tested)

Also if you are allowed to use OEM parts, the lower lip from a mk1 S13 goes quite low. It could act as a front spoiler and help limit the air quantity going under.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014 6:33 PM
Chuck: Does your high speed run really need to be on the salt in order to provide useful data from the shock pots regarding lift? Something like one of those aircraft runway top speed events could allow for some data gathering with less likelihood of going for another wild ride.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014 8:14 PM
Fly'n Z you might be surprised. I gues you haven't seen what happened to the ETS GTR.
Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Wednesday, November 05, 2014 7:29 AM
Colin, the high speed testing doesn't have to be on the salt. The airstrip attacks would be an alternative except for their short distance and tarmac surface. With the need to accelerate faster and the increased traction of the tarmac surface we'd end up spitting out some component of our drive train all over the ground. We'll most likely go out to El Mirage during the off season and set up testing there. Let's pray for a dry winter in Adelanto county!

Regarding the ETS GTR, I'm curious as to what people have to say about that video of it spinning at over 220 MPH. Why did the chute not deploy? The video said it was a malfunction of the chute though when the car returned to the pit I noticed that the cable was still engaged with the parachute. Did the driver not have time to pull the chute or was their really a malfunction? If it was a malfunction of the chute, I'd love to learn what it was specifically... for obvious reasons.

Thursday, November 06, 2014 11:25 PM
Hmmm, ease into it some? Even 150mph should begin to provide some useful data. Hopefully you can get some testing in over the winter on the salt between MTB crashes. I thought California was in desperate need of rain but if it helps your testing then I'll cross my fingers it holds off.
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Sunday, March 20, 2016 8:32 AM
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