Testing AEM’s Failsafe on a Turbo D17

The 7th generation of Honda Civics are funny cars that never quite took off in the aftermarket segment. Many changes seperate the 7th version of Honda’s Civic from the previously very popular models, including ditching the double wishbone suspension up front, and the new D17 motor which most tuners never could figure out what to do with.

Mostly because the car wasn’t too popular to begin with, and nothing from the D17 crosses over to its venerable D16 family of SOHC motors.

That’s where Andy comes in, who is the proud owner of this 2003 Honda Civic with a Homebrew turbo kit consisting of a Dezod manifold, T3/T4 hybrid Turbonetics turbocharger and a Griffin double sided front mount intercooler.

At 8psi, the car belts out a healthy 161 hp and 152 ft lbs of torque a solid gain over the stockish numbers of 87/90 hp to the wheels.

Today we’ll be testing AEM’s new Failsafe UEGO Gauge, which promises to do a whole hell of a lot for tuners worldwide.

The new gauge from AEM will not only monitor Air Fuel ratios, but will warn you and enact a predetermined safety protocol when your A/F ratios fall out of the safe window.

All parameters are user defined, which means you tell it what to do when you want it! Pretty neat huh? So if you want ignition cut, fuel cut or boost cut, the optional 5v switched wire will allow you do any of that within any parameters you wish to define!

Another cool feature of this unit is that it also includes a full datalogger that will let you datalog, capture and record your engine’s vitals.

A look at setting the parameters in question, you can see here that I have set the warnings to below stiochmetric mixtures and under boost. In this example we’ll be alerted, boost will be reduced and the warning flashers will go off, very very cool stuff.

Not to mention that this gauge will also function as a full service UEGO, there’s really not much reason to purchase anyone else’s wideband kit now that this Failsafe UEGO is available.

Next up.. Hitting the dyno and cranking up the boost… all while using the new Failsafe UEGO from AEM!

Happy boosting!

Case Studies – Upgrading injectors in a VQ35

We will be upgrading the injectors on a 350Z drift missle for the upcoming Open Track event, and slapping in a set of 600cc Deatschwerks injectors. These injectors are a direct fit, and as they are customized for each car there is no need to fiddle with inline resistors for those wanting to move from high or low impedence.

The part number in question is 21S-05-0600-6and you will need an adjustible fuel pressure regulator if you don’t want to trip the good ‘ol P0175 OBDII System Too Rich check engine light.

To begin, remove your stock intake snorkel and disconnect all electrical sensors from the intake plenum and throttle body area

Now remove the lower 10mm bolts that hold the upper half of the intake manifold in place, and undo the 10mm bolts that hold the upper plenum to the lower half.

Make sure to use the sequence in the diagram below whenever removing or putting the stock intake manifold back in place

With the intake manifold removed, you can now access the fuel rail and injectors. Open your gas cap and undo the factory gas cap to relieve any pressure from the system. Disconnect your battery, as gas and gas fumes will be prevalent and then undo your factory fuel return.

Undo the clips to the injectors, and pull gently to remove the entire fuel rail assembly. The picture above shows that I have not clogged the intake ports to the engine, because I am incredibly overconfident in myself. In reality however, it’s a prudent idea to block these intake ports as you don’t want any isolators or nuts falling into your motor.

With the factory rail removed, you can now install the upgraded units with relative ease. Make sure not to rip or tear the oring isolators, and make sure not to lose any of the isolators that space out the rail from the heads.

Now may be a good time to install a intake manifold spacer, like this BLOX one. This car will be getting a new intake manifold in anticipation of….


Next up, mocking up the turbo manifolds and wastegate locales before deciding on what engine management.

Happy boosting!

SRT-4 Civic? Say it isn’t so……

Civics are funny cars.

Most will garner negative responses from people, the occasional “ricer” or other obligatory insult, usually uttered by those ignorant of Honda’s rich racing tradition or what Honda has done for automotive enthusiasts for the last 2 decades.

But they are also some of the coolest machines on the road ( well, at least for me ) and I for one love Hondas for their cheap price, light weight and an excellent choice of modifications.

So it’s not everyday when I see a motor swap in a Civic that makes me scratch my head. And that’s what makes this Civic so special?

Yes, that’s a SRT-4 engine stuffed into a EG!! I can hear Honda fan boys gasping in shock all across the world!

If you can get over the obvious Honda – Dodge hate, it’s clear to see why this is a cool choice. Cool gimmicks such as oil squirters, oversized diameter valves and seats, exhaust valves made of Inconel and a larger displacement are all great upgrades over the usual GSR or K series swap.

440hp / 424 ft lbs of tq from one unique swap.

Happy boosting!

Project Fit : Hondata Flash Pro and bolt ons

This 2008 Honda Fit Sport has recently been equipped with the recently released Hondata Flash Pro, and we hit the dyno to try and get a baseline before further mods.

Current mods on vehicle :

AEM CAI Intake
DC sport 4-1 ceramic header
Skunk2 60mm cat back exhaust
Denso IK-22 plugs and 91 octane pump gas

Equipped with basic I/H/E and nothing too fancy, we visit Dynospot Racing once more to use their Dynojet 448x. With no changes to the factory tune, the Fit puts down 87 whp and a very decent curve but overly rich at 12.1:1 air fuel ratio. At redline the car approaches a 11.7:1 ratio….. lol rich much?

After the basic changes to speed limiter and rev limiter, we advance the VTEC engagement point 500 rpm, and make adjustments to the lo and hi fuel tables.

Leaning out the midrange and top end of the car helps out quite a bit, and the Fit improves 14 hp and gains 8 ft lbs of torque. As this vehicle is primarily a road course and autocross vehicle, and straight line performance is not as important, we conservatively tune the car for serious duty and optimum safety.

The Hondata has allowed us to extract the horsepower that our mods were supposed to provide. The basic header, intake, and exhaust mods made the stock ecu compensate by running the car rich, and after tuning the car is much more responsive across the board.

The modest gains in power aren’t as evident as the increase in overall driveability and response. This FlashPro is an excellent choice for anyone looking to maximize their modifications or even take the next step by going forced induction.

Next up, a Honda Fit header comparison before our other Project Fit goes turbo!

Happy tuning!

Project Fit – Hondata’s New Flashpro

Well, it’s been a long time waiting for our 2008 Project Fit Sport, and with dreams of turbo whooshes, we’ve finally received our Hondata FlashPro. Our FlashPro is part number FP-FIT-US-120001, (yep number one baby!) and after our supporting turbo mods, we are ready to install the FlashPro and start tuning!

Newest changes to the FlashPro as it pertains to our Honda Fit are :

  • Added support for the 2012 Civic Si, 2013 ILX, 2007-2008 Fit.
  • [Traction Control] Firmware 6
  • FlashPro firmware updated to version 47
  • [Civic Si / Type R] Added learned fuel trim under closed loop parameters

After flashing the unit, we are ready for install and setup of the most basic parameters. I will outline a few of the settings we’ll be adjusting. As this Fit is still a daily driver, we’ll be aiming to retain it’s factory emissions and gas mileage without disrupting how the car drives or feels on the road.

To do this, we’ll be looking at tuning the Fit in closed loop mode while referencing the “closed loop target lambda” table in the FlashPro.

This controls the target lambda (air/fuel ratio) when the vehicle is running in closed loop. A combination of tables is used the set the target lambda, based on temperature and load.

Next up : Trying to squeeze as much power and torque from the engine stock as possible, before slapping on our turbo kit and going for broke.

Happy tuning!

NFL Week 10 Preview – Falcons March into Superdome to take on Saints

Well it’s finally here, the game I’ve been waiting for since Week 1, but it doesn’t have quite the feel I expected. I figured for a nasty showdown for NFC South supremacy but this is looking more like a desperation game for the Saints.

At 3-5 and with a porous defense, the Saints look ripe for the picking. Which looks worrisome to many Falcon fans in this pivotal week 10 interdivision matchup. Sadly, I don’t think the Falcon fans have much to worry about, because this Falcon team is going to shoot out of the gate and play angry.

Why? well… why not? The Saints are down and out this year, missing their head coach and fielding quite possibly the NFL’s worst statistical defense ever but none of that matters for the boys from Atlanta.

Last year the Saints ran up the score, despite the game being out of reach. Forty five points later Drew Brees set the passing record, and there wasn’t a single uttered word out of the Falcon locker room. Let’s not forget about ‘peeing’ on the Falcon logo midfield either, because there’s no doubt the Falcons remember.

The Saints defense has been flat out awful this year, with zero pass rush ( unless you behind the Eagles offensive line ), poor tackling and horrendous secondary play. They have also allowed a record setting amount of yardage on the ground, giving up 1,412 yards on 266 carries for a robust average of 5.3 YPC.

But that really doesn’t tell the entire story because this defense under Steve Spagnuolo is giving up points at a record pace ( points against – 229, for 28.6 per game ) and allowing  at least 400 yards in every game this season.


The Falcons are ranked seventh in scoring (averaging 27.5 points per game) and eighth in total yards (376.6 yards per game). Against a far superior 4th ranked defense in the Cowboys, the Falcons had a 300 yards passing, 2 100 yard receiving performances and over 100 on the ground.

And now, here comes the part where I tell you that most of this data is probably not going to be relevant for this Week 10 matchup. Why? because its the Saints and Falcons! why else?

A Review of the Falcons-Cowboys game.

Simply put, this is the season for the hosting New Orleans Saints. A win would be their fourth in five games and make them a dark horse for the last wildcard spot, a loss means it’s pretty much over at 3-6. Just ask Mike Shanahan.

So on paper the odds don’t look good for the Saints, which is what really worries me. While the Falcons hung 443 on the league’s 4th ranked defense in the Dallas Cowboys, there will be no doubt that Joe Vitt will have the Saints ready to play.

So the Superdome will be a-rockin, the Saints will be a-desperate but that won’t save them against a resurgent Michael Turner and the multi headed passing attack led by Matt Ryan.

Julio Jones and Roddy White shred the Cowboys #4 ranked defense and the pair of Claiborne and Brandon Carr, hauling in 100+ yards apiece. After much of the media focused on the Cowboys corners, and proclaiming they could “shutdown” the Falcon receivers, these Dirty Birds still cannot get a shred of respect.

Which is why they need to win big, which is why I think the Falcons go outside the box and run up the score on the Saints.

If you are watching at home, you should pay attention because this opponent is the only one I can see head coach Mike Smith rolling the score up on.

Also watch for ex-Falcon MLB Curtis Lofton, who didn’t fit in Mike Nolan’s scheme due to his coverage skills, or lack thereof. Lofton has taken liberties and been very outspoken about hating the Falcons, so it will be interesting to see what gameplan the Falcons roll out.

Falcons in a blowout – 45-21, and a 9-0 record.

Here’s to listening to the media pundits on Monday continue to talk about how unimpressive the 9-0 Falcons are.

Go Falcons.

COTW : Marcus Vick Scouting Report – A look back

In honor of Marcus Vick’s now famous thread of tweets sent out during the first half of the Eagles / Saints game in Week 9, I’ve un-retired an old “Chump of the Week” post about the younger Vick on one of my older blogs I used to run.

For those who haven’t seen the tweets in question, here they are :

I couldn’t have put my foot in my mouth any better than that Marcus, congratulations. While your brother is being blasted on every snap, you decide to run your fool mouth DURING HIS GAME and heap fuel onto an already very volatile situation.

Originally posted on Jan 10th 2006, I wrote up this post before Marcus declared himself eligible for the NFL draft, and before the Dolphins unsuccessful quarterback-to-receiver transformation.

Here it is in all it’s glory, Enjoy!

Originally posted on Jan 10th 2006

Nowadays you cant seem to follow sports without stumbling upon a guy so gifted that hes a complete moron. Someone like Marcus Vick.

Yes, I am a Falcons fan, yes I love watching Michael his brother, and yes sadly, I almost laugh in glee when I see Marcus because here’s an idiot in an athletes body. Here’s a guy who according to a lot of NFL scounts had more potential, more skills and more physical gifts than his brother Mike, and thats saying something.

Too bad Marcus was absent when God was handing out brains. In a mere matter of 3 weeks, he goes from NFL potential star / first round draft pick / millionaire to becoming taydatay.com’s next CHUMP OF THE WEEK.

Sept. 2, 2003  Suspended for one game by coach Frank Beamer for undisclosed reason.

Feb. 17, 2004  Arrested without incident and charged with four misdemeanors — three for allegedly allowing the underage girls to have alcohol and one for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old at a January party. Released on $2,500 bond.  

May 14, 2004  Convicted of three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $2,250. Found innocent of having sex with the 15-year-old.  

July 3, 2004  Charged with reckless driving and possession of marijuana after a traffic stop about 25 miles east of Richmond at 2:30 a.m. Police said he was clocked at 86 mph, 21 mph above the speed limit, and that the vehicle stunk of marijuana.  

July 6, 2004  Indefinitely suspended from football team for off-field problems.  

Aug. 3, 2004  Suspended from the university for the 2004 season on same day he pleads guilty to reckless driving and no contest to marijuana possession in New Kent. Is fined $300, has driver’s license suspended for 60 days and is placed in a first offender program on the marijuana charge, requiring that he perform 24 hours of community service, undergo drug counseling and random drug tests, and give up his driver’s license for six months.  

Sept. 13, 2004  Makes a plea deal, pleads no contest to one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Receives 30-day suspended jail sentence, is fined $100, ordered to perform 24 hours of community service and stay away from the teenage girls.  

Jan. 17, 2005  Cleared to rejoin football team and re-enroll at Virginia Tech.  

Oct. 1, 2005  Leads No. 3 Hokies to 34-20 victory at West Virginia, and makes obscene gesture to fans who have been calling him names related to past problems throughout the game. He apologized a day later.  

Dec. 17, 2005  Pulled over by police in Hampton for driving 38 mph in a 25 mph zone and driving with a suspended license.  

Jan. 2, 2006  Leads Virginia Tech to a 35-24 win over Louisville in Gator Bowl. In the game, he stomped on the left calf of Cardinals All-American defensive end Elvis Dumervil, the     NCAA sacks leader. Claims the incident was accidental and that he apologized to Dumervil, who denies ever receiving apology.  

Jan. 6, 2006  Is kicked off team at Virginia Tech for legal trouble and unsportsmanlike conduct in Gator Bowl.  

Jan. 10, 2006  Charged Monday with pulling a gun on three teenagers during an altercation in a restaurant parking lot, Vick turns himself in after three warrants were issued for his arrest. Vick, 21, was charged with three misdemeanor counts of brandishing a firearm, and was released on $10,000 bond.

To save NFL scouts precious time, I have spent countless hours pouring over game tape and have applied the many talents of Marcus Vick against one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time….. Quarterback Jack.

There you have it, another entry into the legendary annals of “Chump of The Week”

NFL 2012 Week 9 Preview – Cowboys a potential trap game for Falcons

What a difference a week makes huh? Just 2 weeks ago it looked like the Falcons were falling back to earth and perhaps being exposed for being the biggest frauds in the NFL outside of Arizona.

After completely outcoaching, outplaying and destroying the Philadelphia Eagles on the road in Week 8, the Falcons now prepare for a tough home test against the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas looked dysfunctional in their week 8 home 29-24 loss to the New York Giants, and after losing three of their last four games, they are desperate and dangerous as they come in the NFC. Currently tied with the Eagles at 3-4, this game is a must win for Dallas if they want to remain relevant in the NFC.

The Cowboys are hungry and desperate coming into this game with a lot of question marks and the Falcons are on cruise control. Perfect recipe for a trap game if I’ve ever seen one.

It’s hard to get a good read on this team, mostly because their quarterback Tony Romo is so wildly inconsistent from week to week. While I’m no fan of Romo, he is extremely talented but also prone to turning the ball over with fervent aplomb as evidenced by his 10 interceptions over just the last four games.

Much of this can be attributed to the lack of apparent trust between Romo and Dez Bryant, which could be another reason why Witten hauled in 18 passes for 167 yards in the Week 8 loss.

Falcons nickel linebacker Sean Weatherspoon has a low ankle sprain and is listed as probable. They are going to need him if they want to match up well against Witten, but the Cowboys have linebacker issues as well with Sean Lee out for the year. His replacement, Dan Connor who should be familiar to Falcon fans, is also nicked up and may miss the game with nerve damage to his neck.

— Weatherspoon is out against the Cowboys, as per ESPN.

If Connor cannot go for the ‘Boys (did not practice Wednesday) they would be looking at Orie Lemon as his replacement in the base 3-4 alignment. Against a Hall of Famer in Tony Gonzalez, the Cowboys will need to help Lemon if they want to contain the middle of the field.

The problem is, their secondary will have their hands full against the trio of Julio Jones, Roddy White and Harry Douglas, who may return after missing Week 8. Cowboys corners Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr have done well this season, and their secondary is  third in passing yards allowed (187.7), but they have yet to face an attack as diverse as Atlanta’s this year.

Demarco Murray returned to practice this week for Dallas, and they will need to get him going as Felix Jones has struggled to provide balance for the Dallas offense.

The Falcons run game has been a mix of good and bad this year, mostly bad but with the emergence of Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta may have a two-headed running back attack thing going. Against a talented front seven in the Cowboys the Falcons will need to maintain balance to prevent Demarcus Ware from teeing off on Matt Ryan.

Things to watch for :

“THE BIG THREE” – No, I’m not talking about Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Jones / Gonzalez. I am talking about the tackles Jonathan Babineaux, Vance Walker and Peria Jerry, who formed a unique defensive line against the Eagles on running downs.

The Falcons entered the game giving up 143.8 yards rushing per game, but held the Eagles to 92 yards rushing on 24 carries (3.8 yards per carry) in their 30-17 victory. Most of the 92 yards rushing came in garbage time, as the Falcons stuck to prevent defense.

Is this a sign of things to come as the Falcons truly do not have the big nose tackle that Nolan desires in his defense?

“BEER MAN “ Falcons DE/LB Kroy Biermann played a pivotal role against the Eagles, both in “spying” Michael Vick and as a zone dropback defender on Brent Celek. His diverse skillset is being used by Mike Nolan to tremendous success, as ‘Beerman’ had seven tackles and one sack, and limited Vick to 42 yards on the ground

Julio Jones vs…. well anybody : I soundly disliked the draft day trade for Julio Jones, but he is making me eat my words ( happily I might add ) He is a dynamic force for this offense, and his impact is felt even when he doesn’t get the ball as evidenced by the 2 first Atlanta touchdowns in Philly. He also managed to make a very good man cover cornerback look the complete fool last week, as Matt Ryan had a passer rating of 158.3 when targeting Nnamdi Asomugha, according to Pro Football Focus…. yikes

It’s going to be a tough game, but one that should fall right into the Falcons wheelhouse at home.

31-10 Dirty Birds for win number 8

Go Falcons.