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Tuning newbie from Melbourne, Australia

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Hey all!

I'm an electrical engineer by day (in substation control and automation if you're curious) and have been following the HP Academy course for a few months now. First came across the 6 free tuning seminars, decided to give them a go and was hooked. In contrast to all the the reputation it had as a "black art" that you can only learn by trial and error, I found it was pretty similar in practice to what I do for work - an engineering problem that could be optimized through understanding the principles and science! Quickly bought the Starter Package and have been devouring webinars on my tram rides into work ever since.

It's crazy how many features you can set up in software - there's almost as many parameters as there is in modifying the rest of the car. With that in mind, it's crazy how many car enthusiasts who spend lots of time and effort DIYing as many things as possible on their car and will do huge amounts of research in deciding their turbo, coilovers, camshafts, etc only to then just "go get a tune" as if it's a sort of binary action you do. I'm excited to start delving into exploring some of these things in a continuous improvement process.

My project is a recently imported 2000 Mazda RX-7 FD3S Type RS with a HKS T04S single turbo conversion. I am building this car with the eventual goal being WTAC Clubsprint class while maintaining street registration as long as I can. After months of griping over ECU choice (mainly between the Link G4+, Haltech Elite and MegaSquirt) I finally bought an Elite 1500 kit and got it running in the car last weekend.

Previous cars have included a stock 1994 Honda Prelude BB1, a mostly stock 1991 Honda Prelude BA4 (which was where I realized how much fun you could have on track with a cheap stock car), a stock 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo JDM 6.5 and a lightly modified 2002 Mazda MX-5 NB8B (which saw a LOT of track days). Most of the previous cars I treated as a way to practice my driving skill, so never modified them much. This is my first serious project.

Hi Jarik,

Welcome to HPA. what was your final deciding factor in going for the Haltech over the other options?

Mainly just familiarity and comfort with the software.

I had spent a fair bit of time playing with ESP compared to PCLink or TunerStudio and was pretty keen to get the car on the road as soon as possible (it was running with a stock ECU piggybacked with a HKS F-CON iS and was stuck in limp mode - I had given up trying to work out what the problem actually was and think it was just the stock sequential turbo solenoids being removed) so didn't want to go relearn a new platform (that being said, most of Andre's webinars seem to be on the Link G4+, so it'd probably have been pretty easy). I still find PCLink a bit weird to use (something you probably get used to).

The Megasquirt3 was really hard to reason against, given that it is that much significantly cheaper than the other two options and with some features the other two don't have (eg, native Android support that can let you use a tablet as your dash cluster replacement or gauge) and SD card datalogging (not this pathetic onboard memory of 512kB for the Haltech and 4MB for the Link). But it did seem like there was a lot more work involved in getting it up and running and at this stage I was just getting sick of the car doing nothing for months and I don't like the feel of the software.

Generally happy with the Haltech so far (though wish they had a test mode for outputs and ignition like the Link and wish the Data Log Viewer was integrated into ESP rather than being a separate application).

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