While I went on and played contortionist under the dash, Chuck ran the power and ground wires to the new AEM provided igniter and COPs. He also removed the clunky stock distributor and replaced it with the AEM CAS. This will provide the Series 2 EMS with the engine's exact position within its four stroke cycle, which is vital for accurate timing of the spark and injection of fuel. Without this, Project EJ would be just a very beautiful paperweight.
Technically, crank angle sensors are the most accurate way of engine angle sensing since cam angle sensors can be affected by the slop in a timing belt at high rpm. However, the closest thing the B18C1 has to a crank angle sensor is a crankshaft fluctuation sensor which is used for misfire detection. The crankshaft fluctuation sensor is not accurate enough to handle the responsibilities of triggering the spark.
At this point, we were almost ready to fire up our freshly built B18C1. As we mentioned previously, the AEM Series 2 EMS comes pre-programmed with a base-map to use all the stock sensors and ignition. However, we had to change some settings using AEM Tuner software to allow the program to work with our COP conversion.
Somewhere in all this, confusion resulted and we couldn't get project Civic EJ to light off… most likely because Chuck is a bonehead when it comes to engine management systems. Fortunately, the bonehead has some smart friends. A call to Steve Mitchell would provide the solution and the car managed to idle after playing around with ignition trigger settings.
Clearly, we set one of the settings in the EMS incorrectly, but it was enough to get the car to the dyno where former AEM engineer Mitch Pederson could help us figure it out and dial in a bespoke tune for our B18C1.
In our next and final installment of Project Honda Civic EJ, we'll reveal the overall results of our multi-year build. In the meantime, why not share with us your best guesses on the dyno results as well as how many seconds were shaved off of Annie Sam's lap times at Button Willow Raceway?