Lets talk A/F meters

Chuck 98 RT/10

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I'm thinking of welding bungs to my exhaust to get some real world on track reads. Any thoughts? What's the best meter these days?
 

BOTTLEFED

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I use Innovate LC-1s in each bank right now.
I've thought of doing a change to either Zeitronix or AEM. PLX is another inexpensive option.
 
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Chuck 98 RT/10

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I don't think I want a gauge. I'm leaning towards hooking a meter up, doing some laps then checking where the A/F can be improved. Maybe I should just weld the bungs then take a tuner to Sebring.
 

BOTTLEFED

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The Innovate LM-1 is a good plug in meter that can be connected to read and log a bunch of different parameters. It is not a gauge, but a tool to use when needed.
Its a little more expensive, but it supposed to be the most accurate afr meter you can buy.
 

CWhiteRun

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Check out PLX devices line of gauges...you can completely customize every aspect about how the gauge looks. It's actually a small LCD screen.
 

Konza800

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I have an Innovate LC-1 installed in each bank and connected to a DL-32 data logger. I also log RPM and TPS. As a bonus the DL-32 will also log g-forces. It logs to an SD card so I can log an entire weekend of track use without erasing any data. Lastly, I use an XD-16 gauge programmed to display lambda but I really only use it for the button that starts/stops the logging. You can also do that with the remote switch supplied with the DL-32 as well so you really don't need the gauge.
 

Konza800

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Chuck, this is how I installed everything on my Gen3. I'm sure other people have done it differently though.

1) I welded the bungs in the bend after the header collectors. The LC-1 will also simulate a narrow band O2 sensor but on my Belangers the O2 sensor is up in one of the tubes before the collector. Since I wanted the wideband to sense the whole bank I chose to keep the existing narrow band and just install the wide band after the collector. Of course, you need to install the widebands upstream of the cats. If you don't have cats then you will have more options. Keep in mind that you will need to perform a periodic free air calibration of the sensor. In my case I have to remove the side sills to gain access to the sensor which is a PITA. In the picture below you can see the O2 in the bend with the LC-1 controller up next to the plastic side sill louver.
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2) I built a mount for a terminal block for the electrical connections. On the front side of the terminals is where I land the wires from engine sensors. Right now it is only TPS and RPM but I can add more later. On the back side of the terminals I connected a multi strand cable that runs back to the firewall and into the cabin through an existing rubber grommet near the door hinge. The cable allowed me to completely wire the datalogger so that in the future I only have to run new sensor wires to the terminal block under the hood rather than all the way into the center console.
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If you look close you can see the cable in a plastic wire conduit entering the interior just above the door hinge.
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3) I ran the cable behind the dash and inside the colsole and terminated it in the console compartment where I have access to the datalogger.
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4) I mounted the XD-16 gauge up in the headliner. To initiate datalogging I just reach up and press a small button on the gauge and press it again to stop recording. It does display A/F or Lambda but it can be programmed to display any of the logged signals. Personally, I don't think displaying A/F is all that practical unless you are dyno tuning. Most of the time you are only interested in open loop WOT conditions and I generally prefer to keep my eyes on the road when I unleash that madness! But the convenience of the start stop button is nice.
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EllowViper

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Even withte DL-32 you still need to cut (ergo splice/tap) into OEM harness to get at the other signals that you want to log...such as TPS and RPM.
 

Black Moon

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Can someone educate me as to the need for an a/f. I was looking at an Inovative but the shop guys said they were a waste of money. Street use only. Maybe someday a track session when I learn tp drive the car better. Can it help me with my new Paxton setup?
Thanks all,
Sal
 
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Chuck 98 RT/10

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Thanks for the pics Konza.

Can someone educate me as to the need for an a/f. I was looking at an Inovative but the shop guys said they were a waste of money. Street use only. Maybe someday a track session when I learn tp drive the car better. Can it help me with my new Paxton setup?
Thanks all,
Sal

From what I've read the AFR can be different in actual driving situations than it is on a dyno. If true then there is still more power to tap into. It might not show up as peak HP but when you're doing a dozen upshifts per lap the extra power should make a difference. I dunno. I'd like to find out for myself. Over the years I've found out that finding out for myself is more reliable than the usual shop talk.
 

Russ M

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Chuck,

Your a/f will be different on the street, its all about the load you encounter and how good correction factors are when it comes to the tune.

Are you allowed to run non oem ECU's in your racing?
 

Russ M

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My suggestion would be an AEM unit then, it will do all the logging stuff you could ever want and you will pickup considerable power with a good tune. Even in nearly stock form my car picked up 15rwhp and 50 lbs's torque and the gains were almost through the entire power band while maintaining a stockish ignition curve for pump gas and 11.8-12.0 to 1 a/f.
 
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Chuck 98 RT/10

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My suggestion would be an AEM unit then, it will do all the logging stuff you could ever want and you will pickup considerable power with a good tune. Even in nearly stock form my car picked up 15rwhp and 50 lbs's torque and the gains were almost through the entire power band while maintaining a stockish ignition curve for pump gas and 11.8-12.0 to 1 a/f.

Any recomendations?
 

Russ M

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An AEM unit is my recommendation, for the price you cant beat it. Last time I checked a good a/f meter with 1 good sensor was around 1k in price at least.

You can get an AEM unit complete with 2 UEGO sensors and all for around 2300-2500. And then you can really datalog everything you could ever want, and then some.
 

EllowViper

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CHuck's a pretty smart guy...I think an Innovate would work just fine for what he's going after. My Innovate LC-1 w/gauge has been fine. For under $230.00 its price point is pretty good. Couple it up with PCMSCAN ODB data log and you have a pretty good toolset. Can't do anything in regards to reprograming the PCM, but you can see where adjustments might be in order for a custom flash. But then I guess if you add all that up, you are at the cost of a used AEM or seasonal "deal" on a new one. SO I guess I don't know what I just wrote or what I really mean...if that makes any sense!!
 
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Chuck 98 RT/10

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CHuck's a pretty smart guy...I think an Innovate would work just fine for what he's going after. My Innovate LC-1 w/gauge has been fine. For under $230.00 its price point is pretty good. Couple it up with PCMSCAN ODB data log and you have a pretty good toolset. Can't do anything in regards to reprograming the PCM, but you can see where adjustments might be in order for a custom flash. But then I guess if you add all that up, you are at the cost of a used AEM or seasonal "deal" on a new one. SO I guess I don't know what I just wrote or what I really mean...if that makes any sense!!

LOL, I gotcha.
 

Jack B

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I don't think I want a gauge. I'm leaning towards hooking a meter up, doing some laps then checking where the A/F can be improved. Maybe I should just weld the bungs then take a tuner to Sebring.

As indicated, the Innovate LC1 does a very good job, add the DL32 and you have a powerful logging set-up. I agree entirely, an a/f meter is close to worthless, you have to log to get the benefit of the a/f sensor. I strictly use the Innovate gauge for turning on the logger. The DL32 has a side benefit in that it has rpm input, an accelerometer and additional analog inputs. I log:
a/f
acceleration (also gives braking values)
rpm
fuel pressure
throttle position

The Logworks software can graph the data, but, it can also download to excel. I download it to a custom file that directly gives me multipliers for a/f adjustment within the SCT package.
 

ILLSMOQ

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Can someone educate me as to the need for an a/f. I was looking at an Inovative but the shop guys said they were a waste of money. Street use only. Maybe someday a track session when I learn tp drive the car better. Can it help me with my new Paxton setup?
Thanks all,
Sal


You want your AFR in the 11.5 range with your paxton. On a Summer day I see 11.4 to 11.8. On these cool winter days I see 11.8 to 12.3. You really don't want to get much leaner than that or you're asking for trouble with the stock pistons. Once you get over the 12 mark you're pushing your luck. I run 50/50 91/ 100 octane for added safety.

Without the A/F gauge I'd have no clue if I was running lean. There has been the odd occasion on a really cool day where I saw the gauge read 12.5 so I backed out of the throttle. It seemed like it was pulling harder than it ever had before, but not worth chipping a piston.

One of the fuel pumps failing could cause a lean condition that the A/F gauge would tell me about instantly.

Knowing the AFR is more important than knowing the boost psi.
 

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