Been a long time coming for me to finally switch over to a stand alone ECU in my Fox. As many of you know, I've made some pretty decent numbers with a stock, re-crystaled ECU, injector driver and SCT tuning by Bob Kurgan. It was a decent setup, but I wanted the accuracy, ease of tuning and data logging capability that only an aftermarket ECU can offer. I knew that an aftermarlet ECU would also make more power....And I was surprised by how much...
The car. Dart 347/ TFS 205 CNC heads/ Kurgan custom cam/ e85
There are various stand alones that have been on the market for some time. My buddies have them, and they work well. However, I wanted two things. One, the ability to simply plug the ECU into the stock harness without a full re-wire and two, the ability, if desired, to retain all emissions equipment etc.... Until now, there weren't any options available to fit my needs. Enter Haltech.
Bob Kurgan recently told me about the new plug and play systems offered by Haltech for both Fox body 5.0 Mustangs AND SN95 5.0 Mustangs. To be honest, I wasn't all that familiar with Haltech, so I did some research. Come to find out, they make some of the most accurate and powerful ECU's available. Top shelf stand alones. Haltech has primarily focused on the import market and are used on many big power import ars. Luckily, JP from Haltech USA, "redhoss" here on the Corral, is a die-hard Mustang guy and convinced the company to diversify into the domestic market, creating two new plug and play kits.
I put my order in for the Haltech Platinum Sport 2000 ECU and patch harness for Fox Mustangs. This is Haltech's flagship ECU and has been used on mild street cars all the way up to mega hp race cars. The base kit includes the ECU and a Haltech-made patch harness that simply connects to the stock ECU harness and then to the Haltech ECU.
I also opted for the highly-recommended dual wide band kit and a 3-bar GM MAP sensor. The Haltech ECU has an internal MAP sensor that is good for up to around 20 psi, so most can get away without an optional MAP.
Here is what I received...
Internal MAP sensor vacuum port and communication port for lap top tuning
Harness connectors for ECU
Patch harness for ECU
Haltech wide band o2's
Wide band o2 controller
Haltech GM 3 bar MAP sensor
On to the install, this is the EASY part...!
Plug the ECU into the stock harness. Takes 5 minutes. You do need to run a vacuum line to the ECU if not running an optional MAP sensor, but that's another 10 minutes...
Communication cable and o2 controller also shown. A bonus is that the Haltech ECU and harness will tuck away into the foot well like stock and the kick panel can be put back on.
Next, remove your MAF, it won't be used as the Haltech is a speed density based system. I pulled it and ran a much larger filter straight off the power pipe. If you didn't get the optional wide bands or MAP sensor, you're done with the install! That's it! Your bypass valve can also now be vented to atmosphere, eliminating the recycled hot air being blown back into inlet of the blower.
The wide band 02's are a snap. You won't need the stock 02's, so simply put them where the stock ones were.
I cut a hole in the pass side fender well, leading to the foot well near the ECU so the o2 wires could reach the ECU.
Rubber grommet installed and voila
Each o2 simply plugs into the wide band controller and then the wide band controller plugs into an extra connector provided on the patch harness for the Haltech. Super easy!
Next is the MAP sensor install.
Simply swap the MAP for the stock BAP sensor. Cut the 3 wires going to the BAP sensor, 5v signal, return signal and ground. Then splice them into the provided connector and plug into the MAP sensor. I mounted mine on the firewall near the stock BAP location. Again, super easy install.
Next, you'll need to plug in your lap top, open the Haltech software and load a provided base map into the ECU. Haltech provides base maps for both the Fox and SN95 system. If you need assistance with a base map or start up, Haltech's customer service is absolutely i n c r e d i b l e. Some of the best assistance I've ever seen from a company. I have 120# injectors with e85 so I needed a unique base map. With a phone call, I had it all sorted out and Haltech was not satisfied until they had me all set.
Here's an idea of how the software looks and how easy it is to navigate and personalize
Once you get the base map, throw it on the dyno and tune it. Bob Kurgan happened to be coming out to So Cal so he worked his magic with the Haltech. Granted, this was the first time he had ever used the system, and we got some great numbers...
First of all, there's no back-to-back dyno numbers for one good reason. I switched from a 5 speed with the stock ECU, to a Freddy Brown AOD with a 4500 stall unlocked converter with the Haltech. Bob told me that from the hundreds of cars he's tuned, in his experience an unlocked auto like mine will lose anywhere from 100-120 rwhp. I made 858 rwhp through a 5 speed. Bob told me up front that he expected to make 750 rwhp at best with the Haltech through the auto. I made no other changes besides the transmission and ECU.
Bob was pretty impressed (and if you know him, that's hard to do, lol) with the numbers we made with the Haltech. With NO changes other than the transmission, we belted out 821 rwhp through an unlocked auto! Damn close to my 5 speed numbers with an expected loss of 100-120 rwhp versus a manual. So by our best estimation, the Haltech alone gained from 60-80 rwhp. That's a huge increase. We had to gap the plugs down another .007" because we were getting spark blow out and there was so much more cylinder pressure.
The dyno reads high on boost. Actual was about 22.5- 23 psi
Here's our reaction to the 821 rwhp pull
I had a 2.95" pulley on the blower, so I said what the hell and threw on a 2.75" pulley. Made a little more boost and 843 rwhp!
But my fuel pump was done
and injector duty cycle was really high. So there's likely a little more in it. Bob said I'd be making something like 950 rwhp through a 5 speed. I was super happy with the results. 843 rwhp is A LOT for an unlocked auto car with 4500 stall converter, shorty headers and emissions equipment. LOL.
This ECU rocks. Drivability is awesome too. It is smooth at part throttle and cruising. There's so many parameters you can adjust to dial in idle, tip-in etc... I've even plugged in my lap top and played around with the base tune a little, which took very little time to get used to. It's really cool to be able to make changes in 5 minutes if you want to. And they are easily reverted back if they don't turn out the way you want them.
The Haltech also comes with an absolutely incredible data logging feature. It is super easy to use. Plug in the lap top, hit record and that's it. It records a list of parameters a mile long and will provide instant replays of your logging. A super useful tuning tool that I've used since installing a Vortech fuel pump booster to increase my fuel supply and lower injector DC. The interface is super easy to use and is easy to understand.
Since this was the first time both Bob and I had used Haltech, we had some questions about the software and certain tuning maps. Even on Saturday, Haltech was on the phone ASAP helping us resolve any issues we had. These guys are absolutely committed to providing the best customer service of any aftermarket ECU company. They are first class. That goes a long way towards my positive review of any part or component. Especially an ECU, where learning can be extremely frustrating if there's no one that's a phone call away to help.
I see the Haltech plug and play becoming a strong contender in the Mustang aftermarket ECU market. It's not the cheapest, but it provides amazing results, is super easy to install, user friendly as can be, and customer service and assistance is unbeatable.
I look forward to seeing other guys on here make BIG power with this setup. If you guys have any technical questions etc.., I'm sure JP can join in the thread and fill you guys in.