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  • Haltech Standalone

    With all the Holley EFI love in the SyTy community, I figured I would speak up and fly the Aussie flag.

    I use a Haltech Elite stand-alone ECU on my Syclone. Here is a little run down of what it is and how it works. Haltech has been making ECUs since the mid 80’s, they’re based out of Australia with locations in the US also. Their Elite ECU is their newest version and is a true universal controller. The user can adjust the settings to control any engine from 1 cylinder to 12 cylinders, rotary, gas, alcohol, bikes, boats, anything. The Elite model I have is the 2500. The models are based on the number of fuel injector controls, and ignition coil controls that you need. A stock style SyTy only uses 1 fuel injector output, and 1 ignition coil output. This allows you to use a cheaper Elite model like a 550. I modified my Syclone with additional ignition coils, and engine position sensors to allow me to use 6 fuel injector outputs, and 6 ignition coil outputs. So I can control each cylinder’s fuel individually, and each cylinder’s spark individually.

    The Haltech ECUs have the basic engine sensors such as coolant temp, air temp, TPS, IAC, and a built in 3bar map sensor. Beyond those inputs you are wide open on what sensors you can use. The software is preprogrammed with functionality for Traction Control, Launch Control, Vehicle Speed, Driveline Speed, Suspension Travel, Transbrake Control, Drive-By-Wire, G-meters, Intercooler fans, Variable Cam Control, Injector Staging, TCC lockup, Drag Staging Timers, Nitrous Controller, Rally Anti-lag, Turbo Timer, Shift Lights, and dozens more. You can also add generic programmable inputs and outputs for any custom sensor or switch you can dream up.

    They have plug n play wiring harnesses for the popular engines like LS’s, Hemi, Coyote, 2JZ, RB’s, K-series. But no plug & play harness for a SyTy (odd huh?). I use their universal engine harness with built in fuse/relay block. To make it all work, I had to re-pin the plugs at each sensor with the new harness. I also added a couple extra sensors and outputs for my specific truck.

    The special I/O I added on my truck include the two engine position sensors. The crank and camshaft position sensors send signals to the ECU telling it where exactly the engine is in its cycle. It allows me to control each fuel injector individually (sequential), and each coil individually (CnP). Next I have an output for the torque converter lock-up. In the software I can control exactly when the converter locks and unlocks. Next I have an electronic boost control solenoid. The software lets me control boost any way I want; by Gear, by MPH, by RPM or any combination of data in the tune, it’s wide open. Next I have a power output for an intercooler fan. It is programmed to turn on & off based on vehicle speed, IAT, and TPS. Next is a pushbutton input for launch control. The launch control uses a 2step rev limiter, special timing table, and overrides the boost controller to hold a steady launch condition. Next I use an input switch to start & stop the onboard datalogger. The ECU datalogs to internal memory, then you can download the log to a laptop. I also have a switch input to turn the traction control on & off. For traction control I wired an unused output from the stock DRAC box for vehicle speed. Finally, I use Haltech’s flow-through ethanol sensor. That lets me tune for E85 mixed fuels. The software takes the VE, Spark, and Boost control tables for pump gas & those same tables for E85, then blends the tables together based on your Flex Fuel percentage. I should also mention that each switched output wire has the capability to be a Pulse Width Modulated signal. I use PWM outputs for my fuel pump, and radiator fan. Both of those loads are a huge inrush draw on the electrical system when they switch on. With PWM control you can ramp the loads in slowly as you need them. I use a huge fuel pump that is necessary for high boost on E85, but its overkill for cruising on pump gas. So I have my fuel pump turned down to 30% when I am cruising. This lets the pump run cooler, and keeps the fuel cooler because it’s not being pushed through the system for no reason. My radiator fan ramps up as I get close to operating temp, then ramps back down once the engine cools off.

    The Haltech has a built-in CAN communication system for OEM vehicle modules, like a factory Transmission Controller, or an Electronic Transfercase Module, or Body Control Modules. You can connect the ECU in sequence to any of these network modules to provide the engine info the modules need to function. Haltech takes advantage of the CAN network by also using it to connect Wideband controllers, EGT controller, Digital Dashboards, multifunction gauges, GPS, and addition I/O boxes for more sensors, so they don’t need to hardwire everything to the ECU box. I use the CAN network for a single Wideband (you can have a max of 12 widebands), and another CAN connection for a digital dashboard. For my digital dash I use a cheap LCD screen from eBay, and a Haltech converter box from CAN to HDMI.

    The software for the Haltech Elite is its best feature. The ESP tuning software has a traditional look to it. But the best part is that it is completely open-ended. You can create a 2D, 3D, and 4D generic table for any ouput that is wired to the box. Even all the standard tables for VE, spark, target AFR, etc. are customizable. You can change the number of cells (resolution), the increment values, and the axis channels. Which means your Ignition Timing table doesn’t have to be based on MAP vs RPM. You can have your spark table based on MPH vs Coolant Temp in a 3D table, or MAP vs TPS vs E85% in a 4D table. Also, on each wire you have open settings for switching voltages, currents, frequencies, powered/grounded states. Your main tuning window has a customizable display for all the inputs & outputs as digital readouts, radial gauges, bar gauges, digital tables, etc. Also built into the software is “self-learning” closed loop control for the Boost Control, Idle Control (IAC), Fuel Control (VE), & Knock Control. For these the tune keeps a live long-term table of closed loop adjustments the ECU makes for all of those outputs. The Haltech also has built in engine protection “Limp Mode”, with a Check Engine light output. The protection codes are all programmable, and they modify your tune based on troubled conditions. For example, I have my coolant sensor programmed so that if my water temps get too high, my boost is cut back, my RPMs are limited to 3000, and I get a trouble light on the dashboard.

    Overall it’s a highly optioned system that’s easily upgradable for you to build onto. Compared to the other ECUs out there the Haltech is geared more towards a hardcore tuner, and someone with a unique engine/sensor combination. The software will not walk you step by step through tuning your truck, but if you can use an OEM tuning software like TunerPro or HP Tuners, then the Haltech is very easy to understand. I have tuning experience with HP Tuners, Tunerpro, Holley EFI, Megasquirt, Motec, Inifinty Tuner, and FAST, and I personally like the Haltech tuning most of all.

    If you have any questions, let me know and I can talk you through it. Thanks

    Elite ECU (Water proof, with built-in 3bar map sensor, USB & CAN connections) & the relay box


    My custom digital dashboard on LCD screen


    60-2 (58x) crankshaft reluctor, for engine position

    Last edited by Aeroking; 09-24-2019, 12:50 PM.
    -Brandon

    Why is EVERYBODY racing on low boost?

  • #2
    I worked with a Haltech in the early 2000's. It was on a neighbor / friend's sand car with a Mitsu Turbo Eclipse engine. I had the software on my old laptop, and would connect to the car and work on the tune in his garage. I never went to the dunes in it. I wanted him to log it, but he wasn't computer-literate, and didn't want to fool with it while he was supposed to be enjoying himself.

    I found Haltech pretty easy to work with, and at the timeI knew nothing about software, cells, bins, or any of the details of working with this stuff. I did/do have knowledge of "tuning" in general such as how timing, boost, AF, RPM, TPS, etc work together. The guy would take it to a dyno shop to get tuned, and it would come back running worse than before he took it in. Hard starting, smoke at idle, flat spots, etc. I'd look at the maps, and smooth them out. Mess with cold-start corrections, Enrichment, stuff like that. I would compare what it was before it went in to what was changed, and sometimes find huge changes in areas that were fine before, so I'd put them back. Again, I found it intuitive, and easy to work with and learn.

    I've sometimes wondered if anyone had ever tried Haltech on a SyTy. Now I know. Thanks for sharing.
    Last edited by DaveP; 09-24-2017, 12:32 PM.

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