Data Grab: Using AEM Products To Monitor Big Nitrous Engines

Jumping into a new program for a heads-up racer requires a huge list of items to just get things going — that’s the easy part, and then you have to learn how to tune the car to go fast. Just blindly throwing tune-ups into a car won’t net the best results and could lead to engine carnage, so data acquisition is a must-have. Jeremy Lyons decided to use an AEM system in his 1982 Camaro and is now stepping up to a more complex system for 2019.

Lyons races his Camaro in the NMCA’s Nitrous Pro Street class where he finished seventh in 2019. He purchased the car in 2017 as a roller from Mitch Mika and added a 565 cubic-inch engine he purchased from NMCA racer John Warren. The engine was finished off with a set of AFR BB385 heads and put together by Kineriem Racine Engines. The engine was inserted into the Camaro after Compression Fabrication Machine prepared the car.

Craig Watson got Lyons connected with AEM to address his data acquisition needs, a critical step in this new racing program’s development. Lyons’ combination might be old-school by today’s standards, however, the use of data acquisition makes the car much easier to tune.

“We used the AQ-1 to monitor basic parameters, such as fuel pressure for the nitrous kit, nitrous pressure, oil pressure, G-forces, and the air/fuel ratio. Having this basic data allowed us to evaluate our tune-ups and gave us a glimpse of what the chassis was doing upon launch and down the track. Knowing the tune-up was safe allowed us to move directly to adding more power instead of having to be more conservative in fear of hurting parts,” Lyons says.

With help from his team and friends Lyons powered to his top ten finish in the Nitrous Pro Street class even after missing the first two races. For 2019 he has goals to run in the 4.50s and has been making numerous upgrades to the Camaro’s chassis while cutting weight out of the car. To help push the car to even quicker elapsed times Lyons is upgrading his AEM system again, including a CD Carbon Dash — this will give him access to even more data and make monitoring the car easier.

“We are going to have access to so much additional data like what the transmission is doing, torque converter information, fuel pressure at the carburetor, and eventually data from the suspension. The dash will allow us to remove all gauges and save some weight. We will now be able to see the data from the ignition box overlaid with the data from the dash in one single piece of software. No longer will we have to move back and forth from the ignition software to the AEM software. Through the Canbus, we now have it all in one location,” Lyons explains.

To learn more how data acquisition can help your racing program check out the AEM website right here.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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