You might recall mid-November of last year that the crew at JPC Racing made a blistering 6.99-second pass at more than 197 MPH in its Coyote-powered Mustang at the 2017 Mod Nationals. Since then, JPC and sponsor AEM Electronics have been working diligently to lower that e.t. record even further; but how was the duo able to manage such a historical pass for the Blue Oval boys in the first place?
For a car making this power, these are considered necessary components. – Lawson Mollica, AEM Electronics
Hard work and determination reign supreme when it comes to coaxing Patches (aka “The Banana”) into making a high 6-second pass, and to get the scoop on how JPC Racing was able to accomplish such an endeavor, we caught up with Lawson Mollica of AEM Electronics. We posed six questions about how to run 6-second e.t.’s with a Coyote, and he graciously shared the details with us of how AEM’s equipment supports this stellar performance.
FN: What components used from AEM can JPC attribute to running sixes in its Mustang?
Lawson Mollica: The JPC Mustang uses an Infinity 708 ECU with a custom harness designed by JPC. It also uses a Vehicle Dynamics Module, Dual Four-Channel Wideband UEGO Sensor Controllers for individual cylinder AFRs, EGT sensors with our EGT Thermocouple Amplifier Boxes (four channels each), and just about every sensor AEM produces (pressure, air, and fluid temp, MAP) feeds to our CD-7 digital dash. It also has an AQ-1 datalogger, because the guys wanted to add additional channels for logging beyond the inputs of the Infinity.
For a car making this power, these are considered necessary components. The ECU has the ability to control the fuel and spark delivery, boost, launch, traction, engine protection and more. The Four-Channel Wideband Controllers and EGT probes deliver individual cylinder operating conditions (rich/lean and cylinder temps) to make critical adjustments. The Vehicle Dynamics Module delivers acceleration forces (G-loads) and a gyroscope for making chassis adjustments that can keep the nose down and the chassis from twisting.
The sensors provide information to the ECU which allows it to make adjustments to the maps and also compensate for failures. For instance, if you lose fuel pressure, the Infinity will compensate with injector duty cycle to reach its target until the car runs out of injector or goes into a user-defined limp mode. And the dash provides the driver with the info he needs from startup to crossing the traps for more than four switchable main screens. It also has programmable-RPM LED shift lights to tell the driver when to bang the gear.
FN: As a follow-up to our first question, what does each component do, and how does each one work to benefit the car?
LM: The Infinity runs the show and receives EGT and AFR data from the EGT amplifiers and the dual Four-Channel Wideband AFR Controllers, which allow them to log runs and then adjust individual cylinder fuel and ignition trims for the best power and safe operating condition. However, JPC Racing uses the dual onboard lambda controllers for closed loop feedback when tuning. Sensors include MAP, oil pressure, fuel pressure, oil temp, water temp, trans temp, and a few other channels. The Infinity also controls the car’s transmission, and JPC uses it to closely monitor converter charge pressure in addition to controlling all of the dump valves.
One of the cooler sensors they have is the exhaust backpressure sensor kit, which allows the team to mount the individual cylinder AFR sensors before the turbo to ensure accurate AFR readings. The Vehicle Dynamics Module is great because it gives you horizontal, lateral and vertical loads, along with roll, pitch and yaw, with a one-plug connection. Additionally, the CD-7 serves as the ultimate driver info center; it’s fully programmable and customizable, so you can put what matters most to you where you want.
For instance, you may want a diagnostics page at startup to see all the sensor values — a different screen for the burnout box — a screen with only gear and RPM during the pass, and so on. The On-Change page can be programmed to temporarily display info when you switch maps so you always know what setting you are on; while the dedicated alarm page will definitely get your attention if something goes wrong. And with programmable text, you never have to guess what the problem is.
FN: Does the car still utilize the factory Ti-VCT system?
LM: The car does not use the factory Ti-VCT. It creates upward of 2,000 horsepower, and at that level, it is nearly impossible, mechanically, to have proper variable valve timing with the factory VCT when you factor the 9,500-RPM rev limit and valvespring pressures needed to maintain valvetrain control. It’s not that the Infinity can’t control it; it’s that the factory system is simply not designed for this level of revs and pressures.
On naturally aspirated cars and mildly boosted vehicles, however, the benefits can be enormous. During development of the Coyote Plug & Play Infinity ECU, our engineers manipulated the cams on a bone stock Coyote engine on an engine dyno and netted a peak gain of 42.3 horsepower at 6,500 RPM, and a midrange gain of 109.3 horsepower at 3,900 RPM. The Coyote’s torque gains are even more pronounced, showing a peak gain of 85.8 lb-ft at 4,400 RPM, with the largest torque gain of 149.9 lb-ft occurring at 3,700 RPM.
FN: Is the EMS system applicable for a street car?
LM: It is not. Certain laws do not allow for the addition of devices on street cars that can affect vehicle emissions, so this product is for off-highway use only. The best thing to do is check your state laws using the SEMA Action Network website. They list all of the state vehicle regulations to ensure that enthusiasts with street cars know which laws are in effect to maintain compliance.
…the Infinity also controls the car’s transmission, and JPC uses it to closely monitor converter charge pressure… – Lawson Mollica, AEM Electronics
FN: What type of parameters can the EMS system control or log?
LM: The Infinity can log more than 100 channels at up to 1,000 samples a second. It will log any channel you put into it. It has the ability to control fuel and spark delivery; individual fuel and ignition cylinder trim; and boost by gear, time, speed, nitrous, launch (Two- and Three-step), traction, four-cam variable cam timing, dual drive-by-wire throttle bodies, and more.
It can run Flex Fuel or blended fuels, has map switching on the fly, no-lift shift, anti-lag and rolling anti-lag. It has two onboard Lambda AFR Controllers for closed-loop feedback control – which is kind of like ‘self-tuning’ in that it will make instant corrections to keep the AFRs on track – but you still have to review the log to verify the adjustments to the map based on the cells the computer highlights. It has real time sensor diagnostics that can tell you if a sensor has gone bad, and it has multiple engine protection strategies.
FN: Bonus question: Is there any other information you would like to include that we haven’t touched on? Something our readers will only learn from AEM?
LM: We were very excited to be the first company to offer a standalone ECU for the Coyote engine that had the ability to control the Ti-VCT system and the Drive-by-Wire. Although we developed a reputation with imports, our roots are in domestic, vintage and off-road racing, and we’ve been around for over 30 years.
We’re just really excited that the Infinity opened the doors for us to sink our teeth into to domestic racing again, because we love everything that goes fast, and we have developed great relationships along the way like the one we have with our partners at JPC. They are an awesome group of guys and their work is incredible. Impressive doesn’t begin to describe what they have accomplished!