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AEM EMS users please take a look.

18797 Views 243 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  billyNOTnice
I've been a anderson ford motorsport PMS user for almost 4 years now. I have loved it, and never had any problems with it, but I'm ready for a change. Maybe just looking to learn something new. from what i've been reading this AEM EMS is supposed to be all that. I'm considering any stand alone that people would recommend. I'm not trying to find something extrememly difficult to use either. I was wondering what people had to say about their experience with this as opposed to another tuning device. What are the Pro's and cons.. how long to hook up, how long to get the car running, driving, and how hard it it actually to just dial in a rough tune? I'm driving a 93 cobra, but i have an A9L computer in it, so i'd assume ijust want the regular version of the EMS? I'm no tuner, but i have tuned myself on my PMS all this time, so i figure i should be fine adapting to the EMS with some tech help from you guys. Thanks in advance for your response.

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+1, you will kick yourself for not doing it sooner.

PMS is great, but its still controlling a stock A9L, while not bad
it was never meant for extreme engines and is based on mid 80's electronics.

AEM will improve running conditions in all aspects.

I couldnt believe how much smoother my engine idled and ran after
doing nothing but swapping in the AEM.

Biggest plus is it plugs in the factory wire harness while maintaining
most of the high end stand alone options on systems like FAST and BigStuff3

I highly recommend installing their EPM module and coil packs as part of the install.
MUCH better ignition system and the AEM is known for being twitchy with anything
but stock Motorcraft distributors.
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AEM has a great factory forum. You wont get any factory help on there
but tons of threads and people to help.

The AEM Tech phone line is hands down the best customer service I have ever
dealt with.

You can find them used from time to time. Up to you whether savings
is worth the unknown.

Jegs and other internet sites have them for about $1,600

I got mine from local tuner that is AEM dealer, installed, swapped over to SD
to dump MAF and tuned for $1,600

SD is much better than MAF for boosted applications. Cheap GM MAP sensor
and 2-3 wire hook up makes it a breeze.
You can also run $30 GM boost control solenoid and have push of the button
high/low boost psi settings.

You will get lost with all the things you can do with this unit.

I even run a virtual real time "digital dash" on a cheap daylight readable tablet pc
will display pretty much anything computer sees in a fully customizable gauge

Ricer eat your heart out !!!
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thanks for your post r. barn, this is exactly the kind of stuff i'm interested in seeing. Do you have any of your install pictured? i'd love to see some further pics if you had them. do you have any videos of your car running? and that tablet pc idea is perfect. something i never would have thought of.. how much are one of those? I might consider something like that instead of my bulky laptop. I'm definately on the waiting list to go speed density, i've never been happy with my mass air meter ever since i went turbo and blow through.
ECU is just tucked under psngr carper. Its a little bigger than the A9L
so you have to get a little inventive on where to tuck it.

Tablet PC thread over at AEM I did. They run about $200 on ebay.
Make sure you get the "outdoor" screen,20313.0.html

My homemade twin turbo 351W with AEM, coil packs, super Vic EFI intake
and Accufab 4 brl throttle body. Gives you an idea of what is possible :)

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EPM module

LQ9 coil packs off an Escalade (mo betta than LS2 or LS1 coils)
If you mount the coil packs on valve covers you can run off the shelf
Taylor spark plug wires for late model Chevy trucks.

GM 2 bar MAP sensor with pig tail plug ....... cheap

GM boost control solenoid ........ cheap

That will give you an SD system with Coil Near Plug distributorless
ignition with computer boost control.

You can set the AEM to run a "low" boost settings and then
flip a switch to go to "high" boost. You can also have boost levels
change depending on speed and rpms too.
Seen 8 sec mustang leave the line like 12sec car, hits 50mph in 2nd and
the AEM bumps boost up and you go rocketing down track.

The AEM will also control your water/meth injection system as needed

Install and wiring for everything is not hard at all.
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why is it better to do this than just to run my factory ignition setup? does the aem have issues using it?
1st: TFI distributors suck donkey balls. Rotors and caps wear out
TFI modules go bad, pick-ups go bad. Switching to coil packs gives
you MUCH better spark control and timing input.

The AEM has issues with timing errors with TFI distributors.
It reads the timing so accurately that the small errors it gets throw it off.
Really only seems to like factory Motorcraft distributors. Mine hated my
MSD billet distributor.

There is a sticky on AEM forum regarding this

I would plug-n-play the AEM with your stock ignition at first just to
get it running. But upgrading to the EPM module and coil packs will pay
off in the long run.

EPM wasnt out when I did my coil pack install, So I used modified Explorer
cam and crank sensors on mine. Junkyard parts. Took lot of head scratching
to make work, but the parts were dirt cheap.
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no reason for EPM... i have cars spinning the motor to over 8500rpm with stock distributor making 1100rwhp with no issues..
The AEM really is known for being twitchy and having timing error issues
with distributors.

I had hell and finally got so fed up made my own crank and cam triggers from junkyard parts (pre-EPM days)
Talked to one guy in Ny that finally got so fed up with his timing errors he sold it.
AEM forum is full of people having issues.

Yes, most people run distributors and have good success with them, but
lots of people have lots of headaches too. And dont get me wrong, its nothing with
AEM that is wrong, the distributors just cant seem to supply accurate enough signal sometimes.

If you can afford the EPM, I think it is worth every penny in long term
drivability and trouble free operation.

As I said before its something I would do after getting the car running with stock ignition first too.
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the new updated boxes ive been selling have had zero issues..
Good to know.

Excellent company and product at AEM.
I was floored with how much "free" help they gave me and my tuner
over the phone to get my "one-off" set-up working using OEM Ford sensors.
I'd ask for a calibration on the AEM forum. Probably have more luck there.
F-cam 302 with turbo should be easy to get set-up.

And get rid of your MSD box. AEM takes care of better timing and rev limiters and 2steps and more.
how is that???? I will ask on the aem forum for a calibration... i don't understand the msd thing though, could you elaborate?
MSD boxes are used to improve timing control, rev limiters and 2 steps.
They are a way of improving timing/spark signal on a "stock" computer and give
you the ability to adjust rev limiters and have a 2 step.

Only thing you gain is the multi-spark feature.

All of that is built into the AEM already. MSD box with an AEM is a waste, IMO.
Put her up on the classifieds and stick the money in your pocket.

One less thing in the "system" to fail give you headaches too.

maybe Bob will chime in and tell us what he thinks of an AEM with MSD piggy back
be interested to see what he thinks.
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I highly recommend installing their EPM module and coil packs as part of the install.
MUCH better ignition system and the AEM is known for being twitchy
From my first response to you when you first started looking into this.

Get an EPM with coil packs.
"dead spot" issues will go away.

I got so fed up with my timing errors I spent thousands with my tuner
making a custom one-off cam/crank sensor set-up work using OEM Ford sensors.

Then 3 months later AEM brings out the $300 EPM :livid:

The AEM will not tolerate the error load that the factory computer will.
Thats why it runs the engine so much better, but if it gets junk info it freaks out.
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I hear ya r.barn... i can't believe that i shouldn't be able to get this thing running half decent though without converting to coil packs. I do want to do that, but i need some progress here first before i get into any more work. I still have next to no idea what i'm doing with this thing so i want to do some tuning.. plus i don't even know how to hook up coil packs and wire all that stuff in. where do i find info on how to do that conversion?
AEM forum has many threads on how to wire the conversion up.
It's not hard to do.

You cant get it running right cause its receiving crappy info
Crap in = crap out.
Factory computer has HUGE tolerance to allow for that
Factory computer also doesnt run engine near as well due to that too.

According to Flyin Hawiin this issue was fixed with latest units, but
obviously it has not been.
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well today i swapped distributors and coils, no effect so i went in and changed my dwell in options to 25. it moved the spot to about 4000rpms and it's not nearly as bad it's more like a lean hickup now. still i do'nt understand what is going on... I bought my unit used.. maybe i should see what model it is? I thought it was the newest release though.
It's the information being sent by the distributor.
That is whats going on.

Trust me, me and many others went thru same thing. Either keep swapping or
rebuilding distributors until you find one the AEM likes or switch to the EPM or
build up a custom crank/cam sensor using Explorer sensor.

My AEM hated my brand new MSD billet distributor. Said before say it again
The AEM just does not like distributors. Lots of people get em to work but
lots people have same headaches
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