AEM’s Plug and Play ECU for the Chevy LS1, a Swappers Delight!


LS1 powered FD RX-7

We did back to back pulls putting 2 degrees of timing back in the table at appropriate MAP values while looking at the dyno output for gains in torque.  If the torque increased 2-3% we would try 2 degrees more at that break point.  If no significant gains were seen on the dyno output, we would take the timing out at that breakpoint.  We continued until we were at the max load point on the table.

After doing the max load areas of the map we proceeded to work on the partial throttle lighter load areas of the map using the same technique and logic.  You can jump in 2 psi/10kpa increments and interpolate in-between them to save time.  After the initial dyno tuning its time to drive the car with the O2 feedback values set at plus or minus 10% and test drive to check for acceleration fueling and idle stalling issues adjusting as needed.  Finally we waited until the next day to test cold start with the engine fully cold soaked.  We did end up adding a little more fuel to the cold start enrichment and warm up enrichment.

Right now our car is stock but the AEM EMS offers us tremendous flexibility for future function expansion for both peripheral device control and datalogging. The AEM EMS features 16 general purpose outputs, 7 definable switch inputs, 4 EGT inputs with fuel control, controls for electronic boost, nitrous and 2 step launch control.  We tested out the launch control on the RX-7.  To set it up was as easy as entering a vehicle speed we wanted launch control to be engaged and at what RPM you wanted to hold.   In effect, we’re just programming a fuel cut to come in at a certain engine speed whenever the car is moving less than the programmed vehicle speed.  The EMS gives you the option to setup your rev limiters as either a fuel or ignition cuts and then for those either a hard or soft cut which is really nice.  We tried all the variations and ended up choosing the soft fuel cut for our rev limiter as it was the smoothest of them all.  We set the launch control to 3,500 rpm and for it to take effect as long as the vehicle speeds were under 7 mph.  We haven’t tried it out drag racing yet but it sure sounds cool playing around with it in the parking lot! 

AEM LS1 plug and play EMS dyno chart

Although this might seem complicated, the AEM plug and play ECU was quite easy to install, set up and tune.  We are enjoying greatly improved, extremely crisp throttle response and exceptional drivability. We are even seeing some gains in fuel economy.  We also gained over 16 whp and 3 lb feet of torque from 4000-6000 rpm.  Best of all we can now tune to optimize our engine control for any mods we might desire in the near future.


AEM Performance Electronics


1 comment

  1. Hi I am looking for a pcm (ecu ) that will run my ls1 motor ,,,it’s in a gt40 kit car…the motor is approximately year 2001 asa ls1 fitted with speedmaster eight stack throttle bodies…has a delphi pcm…however I am have very low vacuum so will require a pcm that can overcome the low vac imput perhaps a alpha n type may work….regards Ken

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *