Image Module FAQ General

General Questions

 

1. What is Nistune?
2. What vehicles do you support?
3. How do you install Nistune into my ECU?
4. How is it tuned and can you load a tune? 
5. What is required?
6. Licence options
7. What support do you offer? 
8. How do I register on the forums?

9. What Wideband support is there?
10. Can you use a MAP sensor with Nistune?
11. What if I have a problem?
12. What are the limits of factory ECU tuning
13. What parameters are tunable for particular ECUs?
14. Are the boards lockable?
15. Do you offer ECU repair?


1. What is Nistune?
Nistune is a realtime tuning suite for earlier models Nissan's (from 1986 - 2002) which are able to be fitted with one of our solder in daughter boards. Nistune real time boards provide a way to make your factory Engine Control Unit (ECU) fully remappable, similar to aftermarket Engine Control units for a fraction of the price. 
 
Your knowledgeable tuner can quickly and easily retune your factory ECU with minimal installation and setup, using the Nistune software. For tuners who have worked with reflashing factory ECUs before, our system operates similarly to this.
 
Our system has been used by DIY tuners, but we do not provide tuning advice or services beyond what is available in our documentation and training notes
 
 

2. What vehicles do you support?
All supported vehicles are listed on the "Find Vehicle" tab on our website.
 
If your vehicle is not listed, then we do not support it. Other vehicles may share a similar engine to supported models, but may not be listed as the ECU hardware has changed.
 
 
R33 Skyline RB25DET ECUs are not supported (these use a Hitachi H8 processor), but we can re-use the ECU core from either:
 
R32 Skyline RB20DET ECU using our Type 2 board (Part numbers 23710-04Uxx, 23710-11Uxx or 23710-10Uxx) or
A31 Cefiro RB20DET ECU using our Type 1 board (Part numbers  23710-72Lxx, 23710-73Lxx or 23710-94Lxx). 
 
Occasionally we stock these ECUs and sell as a package on our website here with RB25DET maps loaded
 
We have added RB25 VCT and TPS idle support to these ECU, which is contained in our Feature pack hardware installation manual.
 
We do not support the R32 GTR RB26DETT ECU (due to IAT and twin O2 and MAF sensors required) and no longer support the use of the Z32 300ZX VG30DETT ECU (some workshops had issues tuning these) for use in the R33 Skyline. 
 
Customers have successfully also run the R33 Skyline automatic transmission vehicle using a combination of the R32 Skyline AT model RB20DET ECU and R32 AT controller unit(which plugs straight into the R33 AT controller loom). The part numbers for R32 AT ECU must be 23710-04U1x, 23710-04U7x, 23710-11U1x, 23710-11U7x, 23710-10U1x or 23710-10U7x,

 

R34 Skyline RB25DE ECUs are not supported (these also use a Hitachi H8 processor), but we can re-use the ECU core from either:
 
R34 Skyline RB25DET ECU using our Type 4 board (Part numbers 23710-AA50x, 23710-AA51x for MT or 23740-AA51x, 23740-AA57x for AT). Note that we can use an AT ECU with a MT vehicle, but not the other way around.
 
WC34 Stagea RB25DET ECU using our Type 4 board (Part numbers 23710-0V80x for MT, 23740-0V81x, 23740-0V80x for AT). It is not confirmed if Stagea AT ECU is compatible with the AT Skyline RB25DE vehicle. 
 
 
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3. How do you install Nistune into my ECU?
 
Nistune boards are soldered to the factory ECU and loaded with a factory base tune, matching your existing ECU part number. So it will start and run from the factory tune. We require your ECU part number when you order.
 
If running different MAF and injectors, specify on the ordering form the MAF type and CC rate of the injectors to tweak the factory base tune. These settings will only to attempt to get the vehicle running, so it can be taken to a dyno. Do not boost on these settings. 
 
Note: Avoid drilled out (high flow) injectors , counterfeit MAF sensors, counterfeit fuel pumps and counterfeit flex sensors. Always buy from reputable suppliers!
 
Installation is as painless as can possibly be with a factory ECU. See our soldering guide in the installation section of this website for more details.  We recommend you either send it to us for installation or take the ECU to an electronic repair shop, with our instructions to get them to install the board. We cannot cover damaged boards or ECUs, due to wrong equipment used during installs or user error.
 
To send here for fitting, order the board (with fitting option) from our website, then send to our mailing address on the contact page. If using a courier to post, then contact us for a street mailing address, since couriers do not post to PO Box addresses.
 
Overseas customers can utilise services of a qualified electronics technician to install the boards. Some overseas workshops/distributors also offer board installation services.
 
Documentation for installation is available in the installation section of our website. We also have installation videos on YouTube

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4. How is the ECU tuned and can you load a tune?

Tuning the boards is done through the factory CONSULT diagnostic connector in the vehicle, using a consult cable and licenced Nistune software. Earlier model vehicles which do not have CONSULT use the Type 1 board which contains an onboard USB port.
 
Combined with the powerful user friendly Nistune software, real-time monitoring, map tracing and tuning is quick and simple. All tuning is performed in realtime in temporary memory. Once the tuning is finished, click the 'burn' button to FLASH the current tune into the ECU.
 
All tuning for the boards needs to be performed on a dyno, by a tuner using tuning equipment so we cannot make a tune for your ECU on our bench. We can only adjust the factory base maps for different injectors and MAF, if you specify this on the ordering form. This is intended to get the car running, so get it to the dyno and it should not be boosted until properly tuned.



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5. What is required?
 
a. Windows laptop or tablet
 
- Recommended to run Windows Vista, 7, 8, or Windows 10 with USB ports. Both 32 and 64 bit operating systems supported. Minimum screen resolution 1024 x 768
 
b. Licenced Nistune software
 
- Software is available on our website for download, along with the ROM packs (base factory tune files). However a licence key must be purchased to use the software. More details on licencing in this FAQ. Licences are sold per customer, and do not expire, but are limited to the number of ECUs that can be tuned.
 
c. Consult cable
 
- Required for ECUs using the Type 2 - Type 5 boards. Connects between your laptop and the vehicle diagnostic port. If your vehicle is an engine transplant, then you will need to wire in a consult port. See our "Consult and MAF pinouts" document under Support > General Documentation.
 
 d. Wideband controller
 
- Any wideband controller can be used for monitoring air fuel mixtures. Nissan ECUs do not accept wideband inputs. Our software will only interface directly USB/serial on the laptop to supported wideband controllers, listed in this FAQ
 
e. Knock sensing device
 
- There are various methods of monitoring knock, including a pickup headphone setup to a full knock reporting and detection system. The factory ECU narrowband knock monitoring system is NOT sufficient for monitoring knock during tuning. 
 
f. Experienced tuner
 
- Our support is limited to assistance with installation and technical queries or issues. We do not provide tuning support or services outside the scope of our documentation available on our website. Nissan systems are MAF sensor and injection time based. Therefore it differs from most aftermarket systems which use MAP and Volumetric efficiency maps and targets.
 
Our customers include DIY tuners, most who have used our training documentation and guides to tune their own vehicle successfully. 
 
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6. Licence options

Nistune provides two licence options:

(a) Individual users license
- Intended for those who wish to purchase one or few boards
- Limited to three vehicle selections, and five different ECU part numbers
- Workshops looking to start out with several customers, who can then upgrade to the workshop licence later

(b) Workshop license
- Intended for those in the business of tuning (ie. primarily workshops)
- Unlimited vehicle selection and ECUs can be tuned
- Discount prices on boards, and further discount on quantity boards ordered.
- List as a distributor / workshop on our website after sufficient experience gained
 
The software can be downloaded from our software downloads page. There is a trial option available in the software. Instructions for what you need to download are in the Software Users Manual on our documentation page
 
When ordering a licence, like with other items in our web store, it will be processed manually during business hours and your key sent then. 

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7. What support do you offer?

We offer and support on the forums and email support, directly related to install issues, problems encountered with the software and improvements which can be added. We do not provide tuning services or tuning advice.

Our aim is for customer satisfaction with our product. Limited phone services are available to workshops where required

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8. How do I register on the forums?
The forum is available for public to read and search. You only need to register if you need to post a question. Fill out the form on the forums with your forum name. When you have received a registration email from us, then email us your forum name and we will activate it.

We will not activate accounts unless you are registered and then email us your user name. We will only activate accounts for licenced software owners

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9. What Wideband support is there?

Currently Nistune supports the following listed Wide Band units. We are not recommending any particular unit, and recommend you research each one based on their own uses and features. Prices vary between the models, and some have additional upgrades for more sensors.
 
AEM UEGO
http://www.aempower.com

APSX WIDEBAND
(D2 Wideband, B2 Boost Controller)
http://www.wide-band.com

DLP Design A/D Converter
http://www.dlpdesign.com/usb/io8.shtml

Innovate LM-1, LM-2, LC-1 and MTX-L
http://www.innovatemotorsports.com

Just Another Wideband
http://www.14point7.com

MOTEC PLM
http://www.motec.com.au/plm/plmoverview

PLX Devices (R Series)
http://www.plxdevices.com

SLC Pure Plus
http://www.14point7.com

TechEdge 1.5 and 2.0
http://www.techedge.com.au

VEMS Wideband
http://www.vems.co.uk

Zeitronix
http://www.zeitronix.com

These units connect to your laptop either via USB or serial port (requiring a USB-serial converter). Make sure you order with the correct parts with your unit. These units output data to allow Nistune to monitor your Air Fuel Ratios from their sensor, and some produce auxiliary inputs.
 
Nistune supports upto six auxiliary inputs which are read into the PC from your wideband unit. This depends on the wideband unit you select. The data from these inputs can be displayed in the software gauges, recorded to the log file with the ECU gauges, and played back at a later time.
 
Nistune provides several internal utilities to make the most of your Wide Band:

- Dyno Mode AFR graphing against RPM
- Real time AFR and sensor display against the fuel map
- Logging and playback of AFR


   
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10. Can you use a MAP sensor with Nistune?

Nissan ECUs do not support MAP sensors. Standard OEM MAF sensors have room for about 10-20% extra power before they top out.
 
MAF upgrade options include:
 - Z32 AFM, which are the highest reading Nissan AFMs. Ensure you purchase a genuine unit from a reputable supplier. Counterfeit units are common and regularly available on places like ebay etc. More information here
 
Better alternatives include slot sensors which are newer technology and read in airflow only from the front and vent out the sides:
HPX N-1 MAF sensor which will measure upto about 400rwkw in 3" tube (or more in larger tube).
- R35 GTR MAF (which measures upto about 240rwkw in a 3" tube or more in larger tube size)
 
Slot style MAF sensors will require a weld in bung (aluminium only available) and larger tube sizes may require an airflow straightener
 
Before installing your MAF, ensure that it has straight airflow, a plumb back BOV fitted to avoid reversion and stalling issues. More information here

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11. What if I have a problem?

Contact us with some detailed information that is causing you issues.

(a) Type of vehicle, model of ECU (including part number displayed in Nistune) and board you are using
(b) Error messages and status messages relating to problem
(c) Providing us a log file will definitely help us.
 
Consult log files from tuning can be recorded with the log recorder. Saved as a CSV file
 
Debug log files from software or connection issues can be taken. Enable File-Configuration-Debug logging. Restart Nistune. Then perform the operations which caused your problem. Saved as a LOG file
 
Firstly use our contact form on our website and then we will get back to you. Then send us the log from the directory C:\Program Files\Nistune\logs folder, or where you save your logs.

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12. What are the limits of factory ECU tuning
 
The limits are not usually with the ECU, but the supporting components, depending on model of ECU, including injectors, MAF sensor and fuel pump. Some setups can exhibit ignition scatter towards the top end depending on the engine. Distributor setups in particular are sensitive to tolerance and wear of the distributor teeth and related components. 
 
Sensors such as Z32 MAF reach around 350rwkw before being unable to read any further, HPX sensors upto approx 500rwkw (depending on size of tube sensor is installed) and later model ECUs controlling injectors up to about 2000CC using Nistune to control the factory Nissan ECU.
 
Important: Only choose the injector size suitable to your application. While larger size injectors can be used on later model units, they can be problematic if too large for the application. Calculate what power you require, if you are planning to run E85 (30% more fuel required) and then pick the appropriate injector size. Going too large can cause issues with fine control during idle and deceleration.
 
Noe: Choose high quality injectors such as Bosch (ID), Nismo, JECS etc rather than drilled high flow injectors (Deutchworks etc), use a good known supplier. Also avoid counterfeit MAF sensors, counterfeit fuel pumps and counterfeit flex sensors. Always buy from reputable OEM or brand name suppliers, and avoid resellers and sites like ebay.
 
Note: VLT RB30 ECUs use twin bank sequential/batch injection modes which switch at preprogrammed RPM/load limits so usually a suitable injector is recommended (about 440CC GTR - 850CC maximum recommended). We have run higher (1200CC) but switch points need to be moved so larger sizes should be avoided in this case
 

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13. What parameters are tunable for particular ECUs?

Parameters tunable depends on each ECU. We have a mapping guide which covers these in more detail
 
We have a freely downloadable trial version available to view these parameters. Most ECUs will allow adjustment of fuel, timing, injection adjustment, MAF calibration and speed, load (boost) and RPM limits.
 

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14. Are the boards lockable?

The latest firmware for the boards is lockable. The boards use a PIN number to lock the board. Users can connect to the board but cannot downoad or upload maps from the ECU until the valid PIN is entered.
 
If the PIN is forgotten or lost, the board needs to be reprogrammed with a base image programmer. It can be sent back to us for reprogramming, by ordering the reflash option from our website, and including a note with the ECU. Some distributors or workshops can also reflash the board if you contact them directly.
15. Do you offer ECU repair?

In short, I prefer not to since it is time consuming. However we have received ECUs over the years which have suffered electronic damage. We do not normally offer this service, but unfortunately have gained experience from repairing and replacing fuel pump, tacho output, ECCS relay, coil, injector and other solenoid drivers along with damaged MAF and TPS inputs. Almost all repair jobs are due to faulty (ie. damaged wiring shields) or incorrect vehicle wiring (from upgrades or transplants), or incorrect components (such as aftermarket pump without relay).
 
Repair usually requires investigation of fault, running on the bench and depends on type of ECU involved, if I have spare parts for it and amount of damage. Sometimes it is more economical to just replace the ECU