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Failsafe's for Stock ECU 2015 Mustang GT

Off Topic Discussion

If it's not really about tuning or wiring. Then it belongs in here.

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This is my first post, so I'm not sure if this belongs in the tuning forum or not. Decided to be safe and put it in this 'off topic' forum.

I am trying to determine the best place to start with adding failsafe's to my car. The car is a 2015 Mustang GT, street legal, manual transmission, 5.0L with 2.9L Whipple S/C and upgraded internals (ie/new oil pump, connecting rods, pistons, cams, etc). I have upgraded cooling (additional fans, higher capacity radiator, oil cooler, etc). The engine was built & tuned by Watson Racing of Dearborn MI (makers of the Ford Cobra Jet). It is making just over 700 RWHP. Everything was just finished in the past couple of months and I am almost done with 1,000 miles of break-in time. I intend on tracking the car.

I am concerned about things going wrong when running at the track and not noticing or having time to react to prevent damage. Watson Racing has failsafe's on their cars but they run aftermarket ECU's. They weren't able to help me spec out adding failsafe's to my stock ECU.

So, I'm at the absolute beginning stage of identifying what types of failsafe's I can establish with the stock ECU (ie/ low oil pressure, overboost, low/fluctuating fuel pressure, overheating). I'm obviously trying to put in datalogger/sensors/controllers/actuators to modify/cut engine functions should threshholds be exceeded.

I read the "Never Blow another Engine. Ever!" article by Andre on the site. He talks exactly about what I want to prevent. But in searching Innovate, Plex and AEM websites I don't clearly see things that I could add to the car to help control the stock ECU.

I'm new to this so please go easy on me. I have gone through the "Starter Package" online learning videos and watched/read a lot of other things on the site. I'm also signed up with and have taken courses at another well known tuning school. But, I'm not finding any specific information about my direct attempt at protecting my I'm asking for help or a direction to go find more information to research.

Where do I start? Is this even possible to do with a stock ECU?

Would you consider adding a logger that could control some outputs to basically stop the engine if it operates outside some conditions you specify? If so, take a look at an Aim MXM display/logger ($1099). This likely could get some CAN data from your ECU, and you could add a few additional sensors. It has two high current outputs what you could use to trigger a big warning light, as well as trigger a relay that might cut power to the coils (resulting in the engine stopping quickly) and/or fuel injectors, with clever wiring.

Of course you would have all the advantages of an electronic dash with built-in GPS, so logging, lap times, warning messages (perhaps that don't shut down the car, but still give you a clue as to what's happening).

Here's a link to the MXM product page on the Aim website:

Here is info on what data is available from the Mustang ECU (I see it only specifies through 2014, so you might be out of luck):

I bet if you are curious enough, you may be able to determine the CAN messages from the ECU, at least enough to make it useful.

Feel free to contact me through our website:

Thank you for the response. I just sent AIM an email asking if they have the ECU mapping data for 2015 Mustang GT's. Let me do some research on the item you suggested. Sounds like a plausible solution. Not sure I want to completely shut down the engine on all failsafe parameters....but maybe.

I am in contact with both AIM and Plex and will put up the results of these discussions in the next couple of days. Fingers crossed.

So here is the response from Plex. They got right back to me. Haven't heard a response from AIM yet. Score one for Plex. But...after a call with Whipple, it doesn't appear there is any way to drop the boost from the S/C as the waste gate is pressure regulated, not electronically controlled.

It does appear that I can use one of the SDM products to monitor channels and install some type of ignition kill switch if parameters are exceeded/met. However, just killing the ignition may not be the best option if in a high speed turn or some other situations.

But, if I keep going in that direction (ignition kill switch), I'm looking for thoughts on what type of actuator/device could be installed on this vehicle to disrupt the ignition. Thoughts?


There are a few options but none of the can achieve exactly what you want.

PBC-Pro with OBD-EGT option

Control boost

Reduce boost when lean

Reduce boost when EGT is high

Reduce boost when boost high

Reduce boost when water/air temp high

NOT possible to add an ignition cut function for extra protection

uSDM102 - SDM300 - SDM500- SDM550

Visual alarms and warnings on any sensor channel

Sensor values can be received from ecu and additional sensors connected to the device

SDM300/500/550 can activate an output when an alarm is active (this output maybe could be linked to an ignition cut device???)

Kind regards,

Ioannis Andrianakis

Technical Manager

You should be able to interrupt boost solenoid's power with a relay controlled by the dashboard/logger.

This is a common practice with methanol injection systems, but it can trigger Check Engine Light that won't go away after engine restart.