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Which FuelTech ECU Is Right For You?

October 27, 2023


Regardless of your vehicle, the available tuning adjustments will be limited by the factory ECU. While reflashing may be able to improve engine performance, it is usually limited to relatively minor adjustments within the operating parameters of the original engine. This is why ECUs are often among the first OEM components to be replaced in high-performance applications, this is especially true in racing. A standalone ECU will allow you to take control of your engine and customize your tune to meet the demands of your style of racing. While added engine control capabilities and increased performance are the biggest selling points of standalone ECUs for racing enthusiasts, don’t overlook their ability to protect expensive, high-performance engines. When paired with the correct sensors and software parameters an aftermarket ECU can detect and respond to potentially dangerous and/or damaging conditions faster than even the best driver. Once you’ve made the decision to trade out your factory ECU for a standalone unit, you will need to decide what options and features you need from your engine control unit.



FuelTech’s PowerFT line of aftermarket ECUs offer a wide range of features for high performance applications, such as racing, and includes the FT450, FT550, FT550LITE, and FT600. All of the engine management systems in the line feature an onboard 7 bar MAP sensor, sequential fuel injection and ignition, closed loop O2 control, active traction control, idle control, integrated boost control functions, internal data logger with 2 hour and 50 minute capacity, progressive and pro-nitrous controls, time-based drag racing features, and more. With the exception of the FT550LITE, which does not have a display screen, all PowerFT ECUs have a 4.3” color touch screen allowing you to edit maps directly from the screen. All models include up to 4 configurable dashboard screens, a customizable splash screen, and a redesigned dashboard exclusively developed to grant the driver an easier viewing experience. The full line is IP67 rated, making them perfect for marine applications. Additionally, all of our ECUs are equipped with our FTManager software. The full range of features and any future updates are free to download and we never lock valuable features behind a paywall.

 

The FuelTech FT450 is the perfect product for fuel injected engines with up to 6 cylinders, or 2 rotors, that do not require more than 7 inputs and 10 outputs. It is also commonly used as a datalogger and delay box in carburetor and distributor applications. There are 4 configurable virtual LED lights for alerts. The FT450 has a high quality ABS case, 26-pin SuperSeal connector, USB-A mini, and a single CAN bus port. The FT450 is ideal for applications where limited inputs and outputs are required. If you are unsure if the FT450 will have enough inputs and outputs to meet your needs or you are looking for an ECU with more features, the FT550 or FT600 may be better suited to your needs.

 

The FT550 and FT550LITE are designed for engines with up to 12 cylinders, or up to 4 rotors, and features 14 programmable inputs and 24 outputs. In addition to offering all of the features and functions of the FT450, the FT550 and FT550LITE are loaded with additional features such as electronic throttle control, inclinometer gauge, integrated GearController with strain gauge sensor on the shifter for more efficient gear shift cuts, built-in accelerometer (G-meter), and gyroscope. The FT550 is housed in a high quality ABS case and the FT550LITE has the same ABS case on the back with a machined aluminum case on the front. Both the FT550 and FT550LITE ECUs have USB-A mini, dual CAN Bus ports, and dual 26 pin SuperSeal connectors, making it easy to upgrade from the FT450 to the FT550 or FT550LITE.

The FT600 is our most advanced engine control and monitoring system. This top of the line ECU is capable of managing sequential injection and ignition on engines from 1 to 12 cylinders, or up to 4 rotors, and accommodates up to 20 inputs and 32 outputs. The FT600 offers the features and capabilities offered by the FT450 and FT550 models and more! Housed in an extremely durable aluminum case, the upgraded design also includes an upper visor to reduce glare and houses 10 LED lights with adjustable color and intensity, ideal for a progressive shift light. The 4 virtual LED lights on the FT450 and FT550 have been replaced with 4 adjustable LED lights, 2 on each side of the screen, that can be configured for alerts or to show the current status of any sensor. The 4.3” color touchscreen has been upgraded with an anti-glare display. The FT600 features dual 34 pin SuperSeal connectors, 2 CAN Bus ports, and USB-A mini.

When deciding which ECU will meet your needs, consider the engine you want instead of limiting yourself to the engine you currently have. Not only should you count all of the inputs and outputs that you will need for your aftermarket FuelTech ECU, but make sure to include any sensors or components that you plan to add in the future to ensure that you have room to grow. This guide is only intended to serve as a general overview of features and things to consider before deciding which FuelTech ECU is right for you. If you have a question about which ECU will meet your needs our sales department will be happy to help you. While waiting for your new ECU to be delivered, visit our website for helpful information on installation, making a base map, and more! As always our industry leading technical support team is available to assist you. Contact us on our website at www.FuelTech.net, on our Facebook page @FuelTech USA, or by calling (855)595-3835