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Planning for a CTSC install...need a few questions answered.

Joined
18 October 2015
Messages
1,197
Location
Cleveland area, OH
Dear Prime, I have a LOT of FI noobie questions. I've done lots of reading on Prime and at times, there is conflicting information. I just want to hear from people who've gone CTSC ahead of my that things will be OK.....well, actually, I just want to be a better informed consumer.

I have a 1999 NA2 targa. As I've mentioned in a couple of earlier posts, I purchased a used Whipple CTSC that came with an AEM V2. I have an install planned for week after next at Source 1 in Cincinnati.

I need advice on how to make the install go smoothly. I've been at Source 1 before, they do lots of NSX work, and have installed lots of superchargers and done tuning, so I'm not worried about the folks doing the work. I simply want to be able to properly communicate my needs.

First, here's what came with my kit....any parts missing? Brackets and alternator are in a separate box, so not pictured, but I do have them.
1a15165c_d599_4cd2_9d8f_9d32e5f5b323_752cde47f8e5a0999077aa25b12c29c70ec684db.jpeg

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Noobie question: What is the guage connected to the manifold?

I understand that CT made a FIC box to attach to the stock ECU, correct? I don't have that (I didn't see it in any boxes), and I assume I'm going to have to use the AEM V2 for tuning. I'm trying to source one from CT Engineering but am not sure if they will have one in stock. I'll know Monday when I call back about a couple of other parts I'm sourcing from them.

I've been reading a lot on Prime about using the AEM V2. It will immediately cause two issues for me: 1) I won't be able to do Echeck in Ohio (that's our smog check) unless I plug in the stock ECU. Is there an easy way to automate the process? 2) I understand that in my OBDII car, the AEM V2 acts as a piggyback, but that OEM traction control is compromised. I am SO confused reading about this last on Prime because some people say TC is completely gone, and others say it is limited. Programming for TC is limited with the V2, anyway. Is my understanding of the limitations of the AEM V2 correct?

Will the AEM V2, properly tuned, allow for changes in altitude? This is particularly an issue for me as I'm planning to drive cross-country for NSXPO this year. Further, here in Ohio, we have 93 octane premium (yay), but west of Kansas, everyone uses only 91. Will the AEM adjust for that automatically, or do I need to request a separate 91 octane tune?

Last AEM V2 question, how much can I use programming to mitigate the loss of timing that happens when the CTSC is hot? I understand that the CT FIC is overly aggressive at pulling back timing when the SC is too hot, and a tune will help in that regard. How do I ask the tuner to keep that in mind? Othewise, I know I want a conservative tune.

Any other tuning variables I should be asking the guys at Source 1 about?

There are so many variables that as I stated above, I am actively looking for the CT FIC to make things simpler.

I'm looking for a good AFR guage so I can monitor that. In process of searching Prime.

If I use the 550cc injectors that came along with this kit, will I need to upgrade the fuel pump? I'm again reading conflicting information on Prime. Some say no, others say yes. I do understand that the "stock" CT kit doesn't require a change in either fuel pump or injectors.

Thanks for any help you can give this mildly confused soul.
 
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The ems 2 you have will completely replace the oem ecu. If you want to stay oem ecu you need the aem fic. That way you’ll keep obd2 check and also keep traction control. Also, the ctsc kits are model year specific due to drive by wire. You may be missing some stuff if you have a early model ctsc kit.
 
The ems 2 you have will completely replace the oem ecu. If you want to stay oem ecu you need the aem fic. That way you’ll keep obd2 check and also keep traction control. Also, the ctsc kits are model year specific due to drive by wire. You may be missing some stuff if you have a early model ctsc kit.

I appreciate your response!

The person I purchased the kit from was running it on a 1997, so I'm not too worried about it running on my 1999.

IIRC, you've got a non-OBD2 NSX so in your case the AEM programmer would completely replace the OEM ECU. I thought for the OBD2 NSXs like mine, it could be set as a piggyback (again basing this on what I've read on Prime so far--so far several dozen threads into my deep dive) and while some OBD2 functionality is retained, it would always have stored errors given lack of connection to critical functions. I understand that even with this, I'd lose OEM traction control and because of the way traction control set up on the V2 (no access to wheel spin monitors), it's difficult to program it. As far as smog, here in Ohio the smog check is just an OBD2 check, it's super-easy. I just need to plug in my OEM ECU every two years for the check, I believe.
 
I appreciate your response!

The person I purchased the kit from was running it on a 1997, so I'm not too worried about it running on my 1999.

IIRC, you've got a non-OBD2 NSX so in your case the AEM programmer would completely replace the OEM ECU. I thought for the OBD2 NSXs like mine, it could be set as a piggyback (again basing this on what I've read on Prime so far--so far several dozen threads into my deep dive) and while some OBD2 functionality is retained, it would always have stored errors given lack of connection to critical functions. I understand that even with this, I'd lose OEM traction control and because of the way traction control set up on the V2 (no access to wheel spin monitors), it's difficult to program it. As far as smog, here in Ohio the smog check is just an OBD2 check, it's super-easy. I just need to plug in my OEM ECU every two years for the check, I believe.

Huh, I never heard of someone running a ems2 and an oem ecu. Are you gonna go with an aftercooler?
 
I just need to plug in my OEM ECU every two years for the check, I believe.

If I remember correctly you will not be able to plug in your OEM ECU to pass smog. You would have to pull off the supercharger and all related components and go back to stock to use the OEM ECU. Someone can confirm, but I don't think the AEM Series 2 unit will communicate through the OBDII port for emission testing purposes. Not the case with the AEM FIC unit since it piggy-backs the OEM ECU. Swapping ECUs would end up being way to much work just to pass smog. This has been discussed before on Prime. The AIM FIC would be a better choice if you want an easy path to pass smog.
 
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I actually researched this and found that for DBW cars there is a harness available for later model cars which keeps the oem ecu in tact and incorporates the ems 2 into the equation for fuel and timing trims. But honestly at that point, it’s just a fic anyway. I will say, I kind of wish I stayed oem and did fic sometimes. It’s love/hate. But I wanted a gauge art and more power. I’d definitely add either an aftercooler or meth to an overspun supercharger. I chose the AC because I wanted simplicity and didn’t want to buy meth from a shady street corner all the time.:biggrin:
 
Plan is to keep it low boost, so I do not plan on an aftercooler. I intend my car to be mostly a street car with occasional track time (NSXPO and 1-2 other HPDEs a year). An aftercooler can be heat-soaked as well and the position in the engine is suboptimal. If I do extra cooling, I'll probably go RYU's route and do meth. One of the advantages of using the AEM V2 is that with the "stock" Comptech kit, too much timing is pulled when the heat is too much. Using a programmer allows this to be tweaked for a better response to heat.

I've definitely read that the AEM V2 can be piggy-backed to the OEM ECU in newer cars like mine.

As far as smog, in Ohio, I have to do an OBD2 check first, and if I fail, I have to do a tailpipe test. Since my car is older than 2003, I can opt for the tailpipe test first. They also look for cats with a mirror. Since I'm running cats, no problem here. However, the OBD2 test is a self-serve thing, taking about two minutes of your day, they print a big "PASS", and you're on your way. I believe they just look for stored codes that would throw a CEL, and that's it. In short, I doubt I'd have to disassemble here in Ohio. Makes me glad I'm not in California....
 
AEM F/IC will let you tune, keep OEM ECU functions, and pass smog.

Thank you! However, the kit I bought included the AEM series 2. I'm just trying to learn what I can so I can communicate intelligently with the installer/tuner about settings for an OBD2 DBW car like mine. Of course, if I can locate a Comptech controller, then I have a different decision to make.

So far, have searched through a little over 50 threads on this. Most of them involve non-OBD2 cars. I found this thread with input from Mike at Autowave, with some input on OBD2 cars included. Seems I can definitely pass smog by just plugging in the stock ECU. Again, I'm in Ohio, it's just an OBD2 check that takes a few seconds to complete.

http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php/150818-Series-2-AEM-EMS-FOR-NSX
 
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Thanks for adding to the research, [MENTION=31362]SLAM[/MENTION]. I've read the second one, but not the first. Learning a lot here....
 
After a lot more research, I yield. I'm going to put my Series 2 and its harness up for sale and grudgingly go with an AEM F/IC, as limited as it is. Fracking smog checks. NSX already runs pretty clean, anyway.

Other choice would be to sell the used SC kit and just go with a new, matching CTSC kit and not have to worry about even the minimal tuning required for an F/IC.

Grrrrrr......frustrated....

The only good here is that at least even the F/IC is more adjustable than the stock Comptech fuel controller, which of course is not.
 
I bought an nsx with CTSC. Upgraded to aem2. To make it short, I went back to CTSC with stock ECU. The power gained with an aem2 over a stock ECU is not worth the headache. YMMV.
 
Thanks, @Ric , every data point is helpful for me.

As an aside, I looked a bit more into the setup I have. I have the MSL harness for 97-05 NSX and am presuming that at some point, the AEMV2 I have likely had the MSL programming sold by @dynomike at Autowave, and by SOS over ten years ago and discussed on this site as friendly with the ECU, though still unable to pass OBD2 smog testing. However, I'm sure the MSL programming was written over by the last owner's tuner. Just adding another data point.
 
Another option for you is to sell that kit and buy a brand new off the shelf kit. The new superchargers are completely different than the ones made a a few years ago. They’re quieter and much more efficient.
 
I don't see the silicone bypass hose. You'll definitely need that.
 
I'm updating this thread. I've been delayed in getting the install scheduled on my end because I needed to source the CT RSTB and a CT targa cover. It took until July to have these in hand, then work schedule prevented my driving down to Cincy for the install before NSXPO, then more work, then holiday season. Now, install is back on the front burner.

The delay has also helped me gradually obtain more parts that I'd need. My goal is a single install rather than multiple trips to have installed what I should have done in one go. I've got an AEM FIC in hand now (THANK YOU FOR ABOVE ADVICE!), and a B-line CAI is coming as well. I'm also considering addressing cooling by adding an AEM water-meth injection kit (see questions below)

With all that in mind, I have a few more noobie CTSC questions. Some are repeats of above that weren't clearly answered in baby language for me, LOL.

1. If I use the larger (550 cc) injectors in my install, is it mandatory to upgrade the fuel pump as well, or can I get away without it?

2. When talking to the tuner (it'll be whoever Brian at Source 1 uses), and given I'm using a FIC instead of standalone, do I need different tunes for 93 and 91 gas, or does the OEM ECU handle that for me? I live in Ohio, so 93 gas is my normal. However, I travel regularly with the NSX and may go to areas using 91.

3. I'm strongly considering meth/water to address heat soak, instead of an aftercooler. I have been reading about it HERE, and repeatedly watching @RYU 's video on his thoughts. If I do this, I'll be injecting post-blower and would be purchasing an AEM meth-water kit due to its failsafe. If I go meth, should I secure the AS meth injection manifold for CTSC to make the job easier? Link to AS manifold here

3a) Does the (limited) tune available on a FIC allow for meth/water? I know that the stock CTSC kit doesn't allow for tuning (obviously), and that if the meth kit stopped working, or you ran out of fluid, you're back to the basic CTSC system, and no harm. I'm asking so I can understand what to tell the tuner about my expectations, and to be realistic about them.

4. Best program to monitor engine health? This is a 1999/OBD2 car, so I'm assuming that other items (oil pressure, etc) I can monitor with a OBD2 dongle and my smartphone. I understand that I'd still have to separately monitor AFR and boost with gauges.

Thank you for your patience with this noob. I simply want to communicate with the folks doing my install and tune adequately. Happy New Year!
 
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1. If I use the larger (550 cc) injectors in my install, is it mandatory to upgrade the fuel pump as well, or can I get away without it?

I haven’t calculated fuel flow or looked at the specs for the OE pump, so I can’t really answer. But it seems wise to me to replace the pump, given the importance of reliable fuel delivery and the relatively low cost of doing so. In my case, the CTSC was on from the showroom; I got the car 36k miles and 14 years later, and the OE pump started to fail soon after that. So I replaced it with a DW200 before switching to the F/IC.

2. ... do I need different tunes for 93 and 91 gas, or does the OEM ECU handle that for me?

If you want to take advantage of 93 but stay safe with 91 you would need different tunes for the different fuels. It should be a pretty simple change of increasing ignition delay for 91. You can change the tune easily with a laptop or with a hardwired switch that triggers the F/IC to use an A map or B map.

3. ... If I go meth, should I secure the AS meth injection manifold for CTSC to make the job easier?

It seems to be the best available product for postblower spray.

3a) Does the (limited) tune available on a FIC allow for meth/water? [/QUOTE]

If you spray just water you don’t change the tune. If you spray significant amounts of meth mixed with the water you will see lower AFR. If you consider that problematic, you would need the tune to accommodate it. That could be done using the A/B map selection driven by a failsafe output, but then you would have to manually load the 91-octane tune. I think you will be spraying a small enough quantity of meth that I wouldn’t try to accommodate it with the tune.

4. Best program to monitor engine health? This is a 1999/OBD2 car, so I'm assuming that other items (oil pressure, etc) I can monitor with a OBD2 dongle and my smartphone. I understand that I'd still have to separately monitor AFR and boost with gauges.

I think you will find that the OBD2 interface is poor for data monitoring/logging because it is too slow. You can’t get fast updates at all. I am partial to the Zeitronix logger because it can incorporate some other signals with AFR and log them together (TPS, MAP, rpm). Logging seems more useful than monitoring as long as you have the basic (and immediate) detection of issues like low oil pressure or high temperatures. I also use the Zeitronix data feed for my own display and water-spray controller and I like the flexibility that gives me.
 
THANK YOU @jwmelvin ! That was clearly explained and very helpful.

What would you call "a significant amount of methanol"? Asking out of curiousity, and because different people seem to have different answers. For example, Boost Juice, which some people use, is 50/50 meth/water, as you know. In any case, you are right--the only times I'd be using meth would be on hot days (not that many of those in Cleveland, LOL) and on track days at NSXPO.
 
Thanks again.

Next question: for the AS meth-water manifold, is phenolic or aluminum better? They cost the same, it appears.

Edit: Never mind. I found my own answer via the magic of searching Prime, and approaching RYU on Facebook. I’ve reached out to Adnan to order a phenolic manifold.
 
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