The combination of EFI and forced induction presents enthusiasts with endless possibilities in regards to output and drivability. Throw in a quality wideband oxygen sensor and you can dial in upwards of 1,000 or more streetable horsepower. Running boost also means increased cylinder pressure and a narrowed window for tuning, however, so you it’s important to keep tabs on your engine’s vitals.
This is especially important if you’re running pump gas, as you can expect inconsistencies in gasoline, even if you fill up at the same station.
If you truly want to reap the rewards of your boosted combination—this gauge is a must. It used to be enough to accurately monitor air/fuel ratio, but the new ECB-1 Ethanol Content and Air/Fuel ratio gauge from Innovate Motorsports adds another element of monitoring engine vitals, and thus, more options for tuning. The ECB-1 Ethanol Content and Air/Fuel ratio gauge kit does the hard work for you by monitoring (and recording), ethanol content percentage, fuel temperature, boost pressure, and wideband air/fuel ratio.
Innovate Motorsports offers a variety of wideband-equipped gauge kits, and this one incorporates the popular Bosch LSU 4.9 wideband O2 sensor along with a 4-BAR manifold absolute pressure sensor with a pressure range of -29 inHG to 43.5 PSI (-1 to 3 BAR), a great-looking gauge with face and bezel options and it has a multitude of extra features.
The gauge designed with a clear, easy-to-read digital display that is user configurable to display one, two, or four channel viewing modes that you scroll through with the push of a button. And you don’t need a computer to download your information either. The kit is also universal, so you can be adapted to virtually any vehicle.
“The Ethanol Advanced gauges combine our patented DirectDigital O2 sensor control technology with application specific sensors, an OLED display, and a sophisticated ethanol content sensor that also measures fuel temperature,” Adam Davis at Innovate Motorsports said. “These capabilities allow the user to monitor and capture critical metrics for accurate and reliable tuning while operating with high-ethanol-content fuel.”
It’s important to note the wideband O2 is compatible with several fuel types (Leaded, Unleaded, Diesel, and E85 to name a few), and the unit offers the ability to calibrate O2 sensor for maximum accuracy. You can install the 02 in an existing bung, but in case your vehicle is not equipped with one, the kit includes a bung that can be welded into the exhaust.
The gauge measures 52mm (2 1/6-inch) so it fits in most aftermarket gauge pods. In addition, it comes with interchangeable black and silver faceplates and bezels that are clean and modern.
It’s actually pretty amazing how much capability is packed into that 2 1/16-inch gauge. Working with the previously mentioned sensors, the system utilizes what Innovate Motorsports calls “Boost Vision,” which is a real-time-calculated approximation of your ECU’s boost limit based on current ethanol content percentage. This is a major safety factory that can prevent detonation should it predict an overboost situation.
The unit can also monitor and record ethanol percentage, vacuum and boost, it can also be programmed to look for Target Boost, Peak Boost, Fuel Temp, and Air/Fuel ratio. The user can also program a Warning Indicator LED for situations when actual boost level exceeds your target boost. And there is on-screen error reporting for ethanol content sensor and wideband O2. Ideally, you’ll set up the aforementioned functions to work with the three, configurable analog outputs that can be tied to standalone and other programmable ECU’s as well as external dataloggers.
Armed with the kit, we were excited to put this gauge system to the test. Our recipient is this amazing 2003 SVT Cobra Mustang that featured a fully built, Four-Valve 4.6-liter engine with forced induction coming from a 82mm turbo. The boosted ’Stang puts down over 750 horsepower on pump gas and can crack 1,000 with race fuel in the tank (along with more timing and boost).
But while drivability is really nice on the Ford Mustang, and 93-octane is available where the car is located, there’s always a chance the fuel may differ slightly from station to station. Using the ECB-1 will enable the owner to keep a close eye on performance and keep the car running at its potential.