Article, video by Scott Clark. Photos courtesy of Wes Buck, Drag Illustrated and Kyle Loftis, 1320video.com. Settings and Data courtesy of Jacob and Anastasia Hachinski, James McEntire and Jeff McConnell, David and Tina Pierce
Let’s face it: these days it’s easy to make huge power. With the advent of electronic powertrain controls and power adders, what was once impossible is easy now. Power output development has likely outpaced all the other disciplines required to bulid a reliable, fast/quick project car. Simply put: it’s really easy to build more power than you have tire, chassis, or talent to use. This is where electronic torque management (a.k.a. “Traction Control”) has become a major player in the No Prep scene.
But first, let’s also admit that it’s not just “no prep” racing that benefits from good power management: we’ve all been to a track where conditions have gone away – sometimes far away – where most passes become a pedal fest, or worse. I’ve seen this even at the best prepped NHRA tracks while tuning Pro Stock cars. Bad conditions happen, and the car that deals with those conditions the best, is the car that takes home the money.
Most people are familiar with the first generation traction control systems out there. These systems monitor driveshaft speed during a pass, following a pre-programmed “curve” that starts when the launch button is released. Any time the actual driveshaft speed exceeds the programmed target speeds, ignition cut (or timing retard) is used to bring wheel speeds back in line. These systems work well, with one major fault: they do not self adjust to track conditions. If the track suddenly becomes capable of a 7.80 pass, but your curve is set up for a 7.95, you won’t run quicker than 7.95. This is where second generation traction management comes into play: it’s much more like what the OEMs use, and it’s capable of adjusting itself to track conditions on-the-fly, in real time. We call this “Dual VSS Traction Control.” (VSS = Vehicle Speed Sensor)
How it works is simple: the MS3Pro uses speed sensor inputs from two sources. VSS1 is the driven wheel speed. VSS2 is the chassis speed. VSS 2 can be as simple as a Front Wheel Speed sensor, or a high speed GPS input, or (for the intrepid megasquirter) even ground speed radar. So far, all the examples we’re seeing today, are using simple wheel speed sensors front and rear. I know what you’re thinking: “What happens when the front wheels are off the ground??? It won’t work!!” I thought the same thing until I started using it: the MS3Pro has functionality that allows (or halts) a wheelie condition at launch, or anywhere else downtrack. We use a hybrid method of “open loop” at launch, then automatically switch to “Dual VSS” mode when the front wheel is down, and registering a minimum speed that we configure.
The first trick is setting up your speed inputs. Most people are using the simple Hall sensors found here. These sensors read any Ferrous Metal (translation: any metal that a magnet will stick to) that comes within .010” or less of the sensor tip. Some users fabricate their own reluctor rings, others simply mount the sensor in a brake caliper bracket pointed at the back of the wheel studs. Note: the more teeth you can feed the sensor per tire revolution, the more quickly the system can respond to traction loss. Some users have even used factory ABS sensors for this feed. Beware that many OEM sensors are “VR” type, which output a sine wave signal, which may need converted to a square wave signal before feeding into a digital input in your ECU. Configuration requires selecting which input each signal is wired to, configuring the tooth-count on the sensor target wheel, telling the system where the sensor is installed (driveshaft, wheel, etc.), and other data the ECU needs (tire diameter, rear gear ratio). The final step here is to test the vehicle either on the track or road with a GPS (your phone probably has one already) to confirm wheel speeds match the GPS, and each other. This can be done during a test pass where traction control isn’t being used, just record speeds and adjust tire diameter until reported speeds match each other, and your reference source (GPS, trap MPH, etc.). Look at your datalogs to make sure the wheel speeds make sense – no droupouts or noise, etc.
Once the two speed sensors are functioning, it’s time to configure traction control! In this example we’re using “Dual VSS” mode – if your sanction body doesn’t allow it, or you don’t have VSS2 set up yet, you can always revert to “Perfect Pass” mode which is identical to first generation TC systems discussed above. But if you’re working with a limited prep surface, limited tire size, or just don’t want the rear wheels overrunning the fronts – read on.
First, set up the Traction Control Settings. Here we’ve selected Dual VSS mode, a minimum TPS position, minimum MAP (load on the engine), and minimum front wheel speed for activation. We’ve also selected slip % to Fixed (it can be used with a Knob on the dash for variable slip %, more on that later). We’ve also set a minimum slip % threshold of 8%. In my experience, this needs to be around 4-5% on drag radials, and 7-9% on slicks. In testing, Tina Pierce (customer from the TV show Street Outlaws) reported that, on her Colorado which is a big tire / slicks configuration, anything above 9% here “felt sketchy and I wanted to get out of it.” Here is a datalog of one of her early test passes at the 2016 American Outlaws event in Ennis, TX. The white line is what the ECU is doing to reduce power during the run: retard ignition timing. Here it manages around 10-15% slip the entire run.
Next we set up the Traction Control Reactions. Depending on your engine and power adder combo, you can have the ECU manage power a number of ways: Spark Cut, Ignition Timing Retard, Nitrous PWM reduction, Add Fuel, Boost Reduction, Boost Cut or a combination of any/all. Here you decide how much action to take for a given amount of slip (called “SlipTime” because the amount of time a tire is slipping plays an vital role in power reduction).
Traction Control Reactions
Once the MS3Pro detects wheel spin above our set minimum (8% in this case), it takes action based on the configuration here. In my experience, timing retard (if you run coilpacks) is the best choice for instant torque reduction. Spark Cut works well too, but it’s a lot harder on your engine internals and drivetrain to use. Guys who run distributors, and are limited to a fixed range of timing advance (due to phasing inside the distributor or magneto itself), are generally forced to use Spark Cut. In our experience, it’s better to error on the side of “too much timing retard, too quickly” versus too little. The more power your application makes, the more quickly you need to address a wheelspin condition.
Note that there are other benefits to this system. Downtrack wheelies are eliminated if you use a front wheel speed sensor, because front wheel speed goes down quickly when the tire is lifted off the ground. Dual VSS will see this as a “slip condition” and reduce power generally before the driver even knows it’s happening. Another plus is that this system makes the car feel “glued to the road” as Jake Hachinski describes it. It even works well if you encounter rainy roads on questionable tires!
Note that the above covers when both wheels are on the ground, reporting speed (and hopefully helping you ignite the “Win” light!). But what do we do for the launch if our front wheels come off the ground?
Timed Retard After Launch is a feature that allows the tuner to manually retard timing based on a timer that’s started when the launch button (transbrake) is released. Configure that in the Launch / 2-step / 3-step settings:
Recently at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Race Week event, competitors and MS3Pro users James McEntire and Jeff McConnell used this feature with great success. James’ 1968 Camaro is widely known as the Quickest/Fastest all-motor street car in the world with documented wins at Drag Week, and now Rocky Mountain Race Week (Endurance Drag/Street events that test the true streetability of a project car). James’ new engine combination, a Tood Goodwin-built 672” all billet semi-hemi making 1400+hp, has a powerband that comes on like a 2-stroke engine. Doc and Jeff ran Drag Radials so they needed time to set up the chassis just right.
In the interest of running their best possible passes so early with a new car, they used Timed Retard After Launch to remove timing at .6 seconds into the pass, where the engine power increased so rapidly that it would knock the tires off (spin!) without something to reduce power.
Set up this way, MS3Pro will launch Doc’s car with full timing (configured in the Ignition Table, just like any other ECU), but at .600 seconds it will subtract 7 degrees (from the normally programmed ignition map) and slowly bring it back to “normal” at 1.7 seconds into the run. This reduced the sudden power hit enough to keep the tires from breaking loose while the front wheels were still in the air. This system works in conjunction with, but independent of, the Dual VSS Traction Control. Remember, THAT doesn’t start working until the front wheels are on the ground and registering the Minimum Speed that we configured in Traction Control Settings. Using this strategy the whole week, James and Jeff reset the All-Motor weekly average (for endurance style street/strip cars) to the mid-8-second zone. In a car that was driven 1500 miles in 5 days through the Rocky Mountains…
We’re installing this system on even higher power cars, 2500+hp and beyond.
Follow us on Facebook to see even more high powered cars making their way down low-traction surfaces clean, consistent and quick!
We encourage you to see for yourself just how powerful MS3Pro Advanced Power Management is! Here is a complete list of features.
Check out this video with telemetry overlay, that shows MS3Pro Traction Control in action. Notice the Ignition Timing gauge, and the two Wheel Speed indicators. See how the timing is pulled out to keep the wheel speeds in line? See the car in the other lane? Look fast, because you won’t see it long!
Eric Anderson & Randall Wilcox pilot this supercharged 1996 Miata controlled by an MSPNP Gen2… Click on any photo to view a nice video from Grassroots Motorsports on this team.
Engine — Short Block:
- Weisco 84xx Rings
- Custom Weisco Pistons
- ATI Super Damper
- Boundary Engineering Full Race Oil Pump
- Full Contact Crank Scrapper
- ACL Race Bearings
- ARP2000 series rod cap screws
- Manley Connecting Rods
- ARP Head and Main Studs
- 1994 Crank lightened, straightened and balanced by B&B Performance Engines
- 1994 Block machined by B&B Performance Engines
Engine — Head:
- 2000 Miata Head
- Fully ported and polished
- Bronze Valve Guides
- +1mm Manley intake and exhaust valves
- Custom cams by Kelford Cams
- Custom Valve Springs from PAC
- Mazdaspeed shim under bucket lifters
- Custom titanium spring keepers
- ARP Intake and Exhaust Studs
Forced Induction System:
- 75mm Throttle Body
- Pulley Boys Upper Pulley
- ATI Supercharger lower pulley
- Intercooler core and ducting by Top End Fabrication
- Custom Intake Manifold by BEGI and APTUS Engineering
- 1600AX 1.6L Whipple Supercharger built by Jon Bond Performance
- Walbro 255LPH Fuel Pump
- M Tuned Dual feed fuel rail
- ID 1000cc injectors
- VP Racing C-16 Fuel
- DIY Autotune MS PNP2 for 1996-1997 Mazda Miata
- Tuned by Russ at DIY Autotune
- Race Logic Traction Control
- Custom Header by Top End Fabrication
- Coating by Nitro Plate
- Custom Exhaust by Top End Fabrication
- Radiator by Top End Fabrication
- Custom Coolant Reroute
Clutch and Transmission:
- ACT Superlight Flywheel
- ARP Flywheel Bolts
- Flying Miata Stage II Clutch
- Quaife Wide Ratio Transmission
- OSG Differentials
- 4.30, 4.10 and 3.909 Ratios depending on course
- Custom tubular Upper and Lower control arms
- Delrin and Spherical bushings by ISC Racing
- AST 5300 shocks custom valved by Brian Hanchey at HVT
- Hypercoil Springs
- Racing Beat Sway Bars
- 949 Racing End links
- Custom Wilwood front
- NB2 Sport Package rear
- Carbotech Pads
- Custom ABS System
- Custom Dual Element Rear Wing
- Custom Front Splitter
Weight Reduction / Body:
- Carbon Fiber front Fenders and Flares
- Gutted Aluminum hood with Run Cool Hood Louvers
- Treasure Coast Composite Trunk
- Treasure Coast Composite Hard Top
- 1990 Dash
- Custom wiring harness
- Kirkey 41500 Seats
- G Force Harnesses
- Custom Fixed Headlights
- Ballistic 16 cell LiOn Battery
Wheels & Tires:
- Dry – 15×11 Bogart Racing with 275/35/15 Hoosier A7s
- Wet – 15×9 949 Racing 6ULs with 225/45/15 Hoosier H20 Wet
- DIY Autotune
- Top End Fabrication
- Greyhound Pets of America
- Kelford Cams
- Ballistic Batteries
- Jon Bond Performance
- B&B Performance Engines
The car is capable of going 0-60 in well less than 4 seconds and will pull north of 1.9 lateral g’s
“In 2015 My Co Driver (Randall Wilcox) was able to cap off a very successful season by winning the Pro Solo National Championship in SSM. This marks the first time a Miata has ever won the year end points.”
In 2015 the car competed in the following National Events with the following results —
- Dixie National Tour – Podium Finish
- College Station National Tour – Podium Finish
- Blytheville Pro Solo – 2nd Place Trophy
- Lincoln Spring Pro Solo – 2nd Place Trophy
- Lincoln Spring Nationals – 2nd Place Trophy
- Wilmington Spring Pro Solo – 1st place
- Toledo Match Tour – 1st place
- Toledo Pro Solo – 1st place
- Wilmington Sumer Pro Solo – 1st place
- Wilmington National Tour – 2nd place
- Pro Solo Finale – 1st place and Overall Championship
- Solo Championships – Podium Finish
In addition to this grueling National Schedule the car was Top time of the event at several Regional events thought the South East United States.
Mike Dusold is a champion in the making! With two events completed in the Optima Batteries Search for the Ultimate Street Car series, he’s off to an early points lead and being pursued heavily by some serious Corvette competition. Click the image to view Chevy Hi Performance’s video of Mike in action at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway…
“Mike Dusold’s Camaro started out as a kinda rough project that got really, really cool, over time. Then Mike started getting really good behind the wheel of it at autocross and Pro-Touring events, and then Mike decided to build it into a Camaro like nobody else has ever tried. We’ve heard that a million times, but Mike actually delivered.” Chad Reynolds, BangShift
Had a good weekend, spent most of it chasing my speed on my very first pass. That 217.39 stands as my all-time top speed. My third and final run Sunday I ran a 216 and change.
Still a great weekend, made five passes, all five of them were records. One of them new to me, and four of them bumping up my existing records. That makes 13 records total we currently hold with this car at The Ohio Mile.
Big thanks to Turbonetics Turbochargers for providing the boost, and CoolShirt Systems for keeping me cool. Thanks to Ball Engine Parts and Service Inc. for the 2JZ that just keeps running laps as consistently as a bracket car, and Zen Motors for helping with some items on the car as we were preparing to head out for the event!
Now to make plans to make it faster for next season. More tire for sure. And I need to work on my spool assist system to make it progressive so I can control just how much boost it builds — as it was making too much too soon, but it was ‘just right’ once I got moving.
Likely will build a spoiler for Altered classes and Belly Pan for Comp Coupe classes. Maybe more turbo? More motor? We’ll see….
Congratulations to James McEntire, Jay Brown & Matt Blasco for Top Honors at 2015 Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week!
MS3-Pro‘s James McEntire wins the Pro Street Naturally Aspirated Class and officially reset the Drag Week “Naturally Aspirated” quickest pass record to 8.375 @ 169.3mph.
MS3X contender Jay Brown wins the Modified Naturally Aspirated Class with a unique SOHC Shelby Clone
MS3-Pro contender Matt Blasco finished 5th in Modified Power Adder Class, but takes home the Quickest Mopar Trophy after leading his *very* competitive class for 4 of the 5 event days.
Full results & info on these guys on Hot Rod‘s website here: http://www.hotrod.com/events/hot-rod-drag-week/2015/1509-drag-week-2015-race-results-final/
*Photo Credits: Hot Rod Magazine
What a blast I had this past weekend! I’ve got more pictures I’ll post up soon, and a video I need to edit together with a new angle (GoPro just a few inches off the pavement mounted up in the grill).
In the meantime, here’s all of our time slips from the weekend. 6 records in total, three of those are new records to us (all of the BFALT records), and three were in classes where I already held the record (BGC records) but I bumped them up further, between 12mph and 20mph bumps!
Huge thanks to my crew Garvin Williamson, Jared McCombs, and Joy Hoffmann, as well as to my two ‘crew chiefs’, my 8 and 10 year old daughters who were minding the checklist at the line and keeping the team in check.
Also a huge thanks to Turbonetics Turbochargers and CoolShirt Systems for their support with our racing efforts. The turbo is doing work and doing it well and Turbonetics has been great to work with. And I’ll never race without a CoolShirt again, absolutely a critical part of what we’re doing out there and is straight up awesome when I flip that switch and feel instantly relieved from the heat inside that 5 layer suit (SFI 20).
Results from the September 2014 ECTA Ohio Mile – 7 total runs this weekend, and 7 records to show for it, 6 of which are over 200mph!
Car ran in the same configuration as the July 2014 event. We turned the boost up to the max and found that we were pretty much already maxxing out our 67mm turbo, so in the off season we plan to increase that targeting 1100rwhp for 2015.
We did a bunch of jumping around into different engine classes on this trip. The ECTA lets you run in your engine’s primary class (F for us which is 2.0-3.0 liters), as well as allowing us to run in bigger engine classes. The thought being that there’s no reason someone with a bigger engine shouldn’t be able to take a record that was established with a smaller engine, so if a smaller engine can take the record they’ll let it. We took every record in BGC (Blown Gas Coupe) from F to AA which is unlimited engine size. That’s F, E, D, C, B, A, and AA. Then we jumped into F/BGALT (Blown Gas Altered Coupe) which required us to duct tape up our radiator air opening in the front bumper and we took that record as well.
Here’s a video of my 205mph pass in F/BGALT
Here are a few (of the many) pictures my wonderful wife Joy took for us at this event:
DIYAutoTune.com products used on the 240SX
The land speed car uses the following products available from DIYAutoTune.com:
Results from the July 2014 ECTA Ohio Mile – 200 MPH CLUB! 4 runs total, all on Saturday due to timing light and weather issues on Sunday. We stepped the F/BGC record up on each of the first three runs. 177.9mph on the 1st run bumps the record ever so slightly. Then 183.5mph on the second run bumps it again. Then for the big one, on my third run of the day/weekend I ran 202.247mph — the first time I every used all of the throttle pedal. What an amazing experience!
We completely re-engineered the geometry of the rear 4-link before this meet, and installed wider tires in the rear. This made a huge difference in the handling of the car and thus was the first time I was able to use all of the throttle. Next: More boost. And likely a push truck to help me get through that first 1/8 mile of bogging down due to the Bonneville gears in the car.Cool little factoid– I had FTD (fastest time of the day) at this event for all cars. A few motorcycles went a little faster, but nothing on 4 wheels did this weekend. One other car ran in the 202.1mph range, just shy of our record pass.
Check our photos from the July 2014 Ohio Mile ECTA event where we broke into the 200mph club in the DIYAutoTune Land Speed Racing 240sx running MS3-Pro!
Check out the video of the 202.247 MPH Record Run!
DIYAutoTune.com products used on the 240SX
The land speed car uses the following products available from DIYAutoTune.com:
Results from the May 2014 ECTA Ohio Mile – 4 runs total. Our fastest run of the weekend rewarded Jerry and team with their first record pushing the Ohio Mile F/BGC record from 165mph up to 177.0956mph. Car was fairly scary to drive above about 150mph for most of the meet as traction was a problem, making keeping it straight a problem as well. Dropping tire pressures in the rear some helped enough to get the record and go through the lights just a bit sideways with the ‘chute pulling me back straight. Make sure to check out the video on this run– average throttle was in the 30-35% range!