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Different software.... Datascan? Nistune? Others?

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  • Different software.... Datascan? Nistune? Others?

    I'm really happy with my car's braking and handling but am down on power. I have a few things to throw at it but want to make sure I am dialin it all in properly

    In looking around at things like timing and adjusting tps etc I came across a program called datascan, as well as nistune. I understand that nistune involves a modified Ecu and software and datascan primarily just reads info and allows things to be manipulated for minor tuning.

    I don't have experience with efi and codes and what not beyond plugging my code reader in my cars and reading codes. My history is carbs and distributors.

    What should I be looking for to be able to dial my car in? I want to set it and walk away. I don't want to pull off the track early and have to get out my laptop.
    Ie: I want it stone reliable.

    If it matters, I only have a fmic, cai, walbro 255, t28 and exhaust as upgrades but have a z32 maf, injectors, 264 cams and a programmed Ecu standing by.
    Last edited by jfryjfry; 12-08-2013, 09:02 AM.

  • #2
    I'd go with Nistune personally, as that's basically a USB flashable ROM tune with some datalogging capabilities built in.

    Tuning an EFI car is so much easier than a carb/dizzy setup. Sure, there might be more stuff to adjust, but that's because you're not limited to the crude adjustments of changing out this jet or the vacuum advance etc. It's seeing what the engine is doing right then, and then changing values where you want to change them.

    I wouldn't mind posting up some primers on tuning Nissan ECUs, because I feel it's a little too closed off for no reason other than to keep the price of ROM tunes high. This doesn't mean I'll be personal tech support, but really, tuning a Nissan MAF car is stupid easy.

    As far as your setup, what injector size do you have, and what boost do you run now on your T28?
    '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

    DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


    • #3
      Bone stock on both.

      I bought a setup from a friend (the maf, injectors, cams and ecu) and the ecu was programmed for that setup but i don't recall the injector size. I think 740's.

      I have not installed it but wanted to make sure I had all my ducks in a row before tearing in and that's when I started thinking about degreeing the cam and timing, ad that's when I ran across the datascan stuff.

      I just don't know if I NEED that. I really like the simplicity and reliability of my set up. I run it hard for up to 20 mins, park it and chat with my buddies. I don't want to create an ongoing project. I want to drive it and spend my free time NOT tracking down issues


      • #4
        I never had any tuning issues with my setup at all. In fact, the only common mechanical problem I had was the turbine inlet gasket once I was on throttle a lot. The oil pump o-ring blowing out put her down for the count tho'.

        I'm not sure what issues you think you're going to be running into - it's all going to function exactly the same as stock stuff, just differently sized (OEM Z32 MAF, OE type injectors, OE ECU with a different tune on it etc.).

        If you've already got an ECU, then who tuned it? It might be fine to just toss it in and go, but I've found that the Nissan community falls into the trap of "high dyno numbers = good tune" which generally makes tuners go for lots of timing advance, which is not safe on track. Our ECUs are pretty primitive in that they don't adjust much for engine safety with water temps changing, and they have no idea what IATs are doing. So you generally just have to live with an "always safe" tune that works for your highest heat environment (i.e. track).
        '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

        DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


        • #5
          I believe there are probably two subjects here: how to "tune" our cars best, and how to make more power with minimal fuss.

          In looking at timing specifically, I read that you have to lock the timing in and it can be done two ways: through the ecu via a computer and software, or by disconnecting the tps and possibly revving it to lock it in.

          It looks like there are some programs (I read specifically about datascan) that allow you access functions such as locking the timing so you can time the car, dropping a cylinder at a time for diagnosing, turning fuel pump on and off, and others. So I was wondering if I should get that program (or something else) and the cables so I can access these functions or if they are easy enough to manage without by using mechanical tricks (disconnecting tps, etc).

          as far as what I want to do to the car, it has been great, and I don't want to do anything that could compromise it, but I do want more power. It seems that 300 ish is a realistic number to get and still have the reliability I've come to appreciate and love.

          to that end, with an unknown programmer of the ecu (I will try and find out) and certainly no way of checking what they did, is my best bet to throw these parts on my car (maf, inj's, cams, ecu) knowing that they ran well on another car, or is there something that is waaay better for not much $$ (I can't justify a lot of $$ right now for a track car that presently works fine) that would allow me to set it and forget it?

          I like the idea of programming it, but computers aren't my strength, and I'm not super experienced with efi. I'm no dummy, and am reading and learning a lot and understand principles well, but don't want anything that is going to take a lot of time to get working.
          plug ang play or close to it.

          it sounds like nistune is pretty quick and easy, and I have an lm-1 that my brother got me years ago as a gift, but have not really used it.
          Last edited by jfryjfry; 12-08-2013, 12:26 PM.


          • #6
            You can get the ECU into "timing mode" by doing all sorts of revving and crap - I never got it to work personally.

            But an SR ECU will idle at 15 deg if your idle is at all stable. Every once in a while it will tweak the timing up or down to help stabilize the idle. That's the slight tone change you hear in an SR (or KA) as it's idling and you hear one or two cylinders get a different timing value, then it goes back to the old tone (which is 15 deg BTDC). I always stabbed the CAS and would get right on 15 deg BTDC and just check to be sure with a light.

            Tuning a car and making power with minimal fuss are the exact same thing - that's what tuning does.

            As for what you do with your car with unknown parts - sounds like a potential recipe for disaster, but it's your car.

            300 rwhp is too much for a T28 on track. It's a hairdrier at that power level. You need a bigger turbo to do that much power reliably and consistently. The T28 will do 300 rwhp on the street, the track is a different animal.
            '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

            DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


            • #7
              Jfy, I think your confused between the different roles of Nistune and Datascan.

              Datascan is just simply diagnostic software, not a 'tuning' solution, any changes are just temporary until the laptop is disconnected, then everything returns back to normal.

              Nistune is for tuning, it's a combination of Nistune hardware which is added into your ECU to essentially make your stock ECU easily tunable (simplest explanation) and then use Nistune software to tune it.


              • #8
                Appreciate the clarification. I do know the difference, but inflight of my goals (the power and a car I could somewhat quickly set up and walk away from) I didn't know if nistune (or ??) would be a better calue as it would let me (I think) do everything datascan does AND be a good, necessary tool for getting more out of my motor.

                If these tuned ecus are a good option (assuming the tuner is good) then I wouldn't need a tunable Ecu so my question becomes, is datascan worth it? If all it does is make some things a little easier, then probably not. But if there are things i should adjust that you have to use it (or similar) to do, then it might be worth it.

                Hope that clarifies it

                It seems that there is nothing you NEED datascan for and if I have a good Ecu, then I don't need to do anything with it. If I need an Ecu, nistune might be a better option than paying for a tuned Ecu as it will be similar in price but allow me to adjust it for my car.


                • #9
                  Yes, Nistune is a good tuning tool. I'm not sure what else you're looking for. It can permanently change the tune for whatever you put in there.

                  I would not bother with Datascan - raw Consult data is somewhat useful if you're trying to debug a problem, but then you're at the point where you are not on a "set it and forget it" setup.

                  Why do you think you need a Consult feed? Especially if you're not tuning your car?
                  '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

                  DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


                  • #10
                    I don't know if I need it - that's part of what I was trying to ask.

                    DO I need it? Or is tere nothing I could learn/do through the consult port that I couldn't learn/do another way?


                    • #11
                      The Consult feed just tells you a little bit about what the ECU is telling the engine to do, and what the ECU sees. It offers little value outside of troubleshooting with an "off the shelf" tuned ECU IMO. Look up what you can get on a Consult feed - make the decision yourself on if you need it or not.

                      Nistune offers essentially a consult type functionality inside of it.

                      IMO, tuning a stock ECU yourself isn't too difficult if you're willing to study and put some time in. You learn a lot about your car and engine that way.

                      But I will say if you're struggling to determine if you need a Consult feed, maybe you're not quite ready to tune the car yourself.
                      '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

                      DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


                      • #12
                        . It's not a struggle - it's simply not knowing what functions are available through the consult port.

                        I read about a few functions that I know can be done in other ways. I just wanted to know if there were others that you HAD to access through the port.

                        Because if you did, then I'd start to look at which to buy: datascan (cheapest but doesn't do much), nistune (more expensive but allows actual programming) or ??

                        Sounds like: nothing to adjust that I need datascan for.


                        • #13
                          ECUtalk is free (or donate) and does most of what Datascan does.


                          I'm still not sure what are you trying to achieve or ask.
                          Last edited by immy21; 12-11-2013, 04:37 AM.