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Racelogic Traction Control Box aftermarket Racelogic Traction Control Box aftermarket

High Performance Traction Control ( Racelogic )

Focused on the Racelogic Traction Control Unit Story Background ( skip down to Traction control if you just want the technical stuff)

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Story Background

Shortly after discovering Collin Chapman’s idea that light weight cars are the best thing since sliced bread, I decided to build my own custom Lotus 7 type car that most call a “Locost”. For information on Locosts, click here. To make a long story short, one year later I finished the car and had quit a monster on my hands. The motor made 338 WHP on low boost and weighed 1,638 pounds. The car basically has a power to weight ratio of a Corvette ZR1. Sounds good on paper right?

Well, tire contact patch is based on sectional width, tire diameter, and the weight of the vehicle. With my car weighing basically nothing, traction is a huge problem for me. I have found that most cars today, with there heavy weights of 3200+ lbs, and there tall tire diameters and sticky rubber, can handle around 500 whp and still be fun on the street. But the fun can quickly turn to scary after that. Also some would argue that the joy is lost since you can’t “flat foot” the car anywhere; flat foot being the idea of just putting your foot all the way down on the accelerator, and holding on for the ride.

I loved the car I had just built, but found that there were times where I just wanted to drive the car, and not worry about killing myself or the people around me. After realizing that spinning wheel through third gear was only cool to show off to your friends, I decided a tire upgrade was in order. I put on a set of 335/30/18 tires with a tread wear of 60. It doesn’t get much sticker than that. It was the largest tire that I could find that was also not bigger than a 26” tire diameter. Super excited to finally have traction I go for a spin. After warming the tires up I found that 1st gear was still useless at even 70 % throttle, 2nd gear was the same, but 3rd gear now griped hard all the way. As you can imagine I was very disappointed in only gaining traction in one gear. I really never drive the speeds that it takes to flat foot 3rd gear anyway so some would argue that I gained NOTHING but REALLY expensive tires.

At this point I just thought the car was going to lead to my early death, and to be honest wasn’t as much fun to drive as some lesser horse power cars, because I had to always be VERY CONCENTRATED on my driving. Once I felt comfortable, and thought I knew how much throttle I could give in every situation I would go over some gravel or there would be some leaves in the road and I would see my life flash in front of my eyes once again. Its hard to describe the situation to most people, because most people have never driven a car THIS light before with this amount of power.

Now the story changer. A buddy of mine picked up a 700+ WHP car that he said was VERY easy to drive. He went even so far as to say he would even let his wife drive the car if the traction control was set on the “wife” setting he called it. I had to know more.

He introduced me to the Racelogic Traction control. A unit that can be fitted to most modern day EFI cars. He daily drives this monster car and I still remember the day he came over with a light dusting of snow on the ground and told me I had to drive the car to really fall in love with the racelogic box. Well, once I did I had to have one. Flat footing a 700+ HP car in the snow is a HOOT! The drivability in even the slickest climate was just unreal.

Racelogic Traction Control

I’m not going to give to much technical information about the unit as anyone can go to racelogics website and read there official technical bulletin. But I would like to describe how I put the system on my car, and how I dialed it in.

The racelogic box wires in to the cars factory ABS wheel sensors, or if your car didn’t come equipped with ABS, can be wired to 4 wheel speed sensors that can be purchased separately. You will just be tapping into these ABS sensors, so there is no control over the ABS system done by the Racelogic box. If a malfunction was to occur or you removed the racelogic box, the ABS would still function normally.

Installing Racelogic Traction Control Box Aftermarket

The other major wiring is cutting into the factory fuel injector wiring. This wiring is not taped into, but instead cut fully so that the Racelogic traction control box can fully intercept and modify the signal from the factory ECU to the fuel injectors. They provide with connectors to pin into the wiring so that if the racelogic box needed to be removed, or just taken out of the equation because of a malfunction, you can quickly unplug the wiring to the traction control box and connect the fuel injectors back to how they were from the factory. Racelogic also gives you the option to wire into the ignition of the car as well, but since I have never done that install I will not comment on it. To date I have installed and tuned three racelogic boxes with amazing results every time.

Once the unit is wired into the fuel injectors, and the wheel speed sensors, next is to wire the box with a 12v supply and a ground. The final step is to install the controller somewhere in the cab. The controller can be their full display model or just there knob and button controller. Also, there might be other buttons to install depending on which model you opt to get. Other options include launch control, and no lift shift to name a few.

Now that the box is in and wired, there are a few things racelogic has you do to make sure that you wired in the box correctly, and that everything is functioning properly so that you can safely operate the vehicle. If everything checks out, then you’re good to go dial in the box.

Setting and Tuning the Racelogic Traction Control Box

Installing Racelogic Traction Control Box AftermarketInstalling Racelogic Traction Control Box Aftermarket

The box can “tune itself” in a way, by being put into diagnostic mode and then following the directions found in the installation instructions. They basically tell you to get up to speed and make a hard right turn going to full lock or almost to it. Then to turn around and do the same thing backwards, making sure that you have full traction in both situations and do not slide. I found that by going to full lock the unit seems to dial itself in better. These instructions will let the box see which are the drive wheels, and which are the turning wheels. The box can now tell when you are just turning a corner what the wheel speeds should be of each of the 4 wheels. It can also tell when you are turning and when you are going straight. I found that after setting the racelogic traction control box up this way that the unit worked very well and did exactly what was asked of it, but then I discovered the laptop.

Another option with the traction control box is the option of hooking a laptop up to the box and dialing in the racelogic unit yourself with their software. There are a few things that you will need to do to set it up, but they are very straightforward.

First you set the number of ABS gear teeth that each wheel sensor will see at each wheel. In my case the car has the same abs gear teeth count at all four wheels, but the two other cars I installed the unit on had different numbers of teeth front and rear. You also need to enter the tire sizes that you are running front and rear, to calculate total height at each wheel. Now the fun part……tuning the box. You have an incredible amount of control in not only straight line, but turning also, as to how the traction control will control the car. For example I found that my car was perfect for straight-line control with the factory settings, but was not aggressive enough for cornering. I then put my focus on dialing in the unit for corner situations. What was occurring was that even on the highest, most sensitive settings, the car could still be pushed into a full drift if I really pushed the car over the edge. That would be totally acceptable for one of the more aggressive settings, but for rain/snow setting it was no good. In the Rain/Snow setting on a dry sunny day, the car should not even slightly misbehave. It should engage the traction control at even the most minor of slips of any wheel. Once I had the lowest setting set, I then just added in slip percentage rates to allow the car to get loser and loser as I dialed the control knob up through the other settings. Remember, with the in cab sensitivity knob, you can dial in how aggressive the traction control is, at anytime on the fly, and you must “tune” each of these settings.

After spending some time with my own car dialing it in to perfection, I was AMAZED of the new found love for my car. Not only do I enjoy the car more now, but I feel that I am being as responsible as I can with a car of this power. I read so many articles or forums of people putting a supercharger or turbocharger on an engine, only to read months later that the car was wrecked in the rain, or was the fault of “gravel in the road”, or some other excuse. The reality is, these highly modified cars are a handful in even the most skillful of drivers hands.

Safety aside, the performance is unreal. I can see why traction control was so big in Formula One ( F1) racing. These guys are supposedly the best drivers in the world and they have traction control on there cars. No matter how good of a driver you think you are, a traction control set-up will only make you better. Personally it has made my car incredibly fast in corners and in straights. The traction control can modulate the power so well that no human could react that fast to what’s going on. What’s really entertaining is setting up the traction control for a certain slip angle and then showing your friends a perfect drift through a parking lot. Its no wonder they outlaw systems like these for D1 drifting and racing. PLEASE DO NOT CONFUSE THE RACELOGIC TRACTION CONTROL with an OEM traction control on a car. While some of the sports cars like the Nissan R35 GTR and the Chevrolet Corvette are coming from the factory with very nice OEM TC units, they still cannot be tuned or dialed in to be just as good once the owner starts to modify the cars engine and tire sizes.

In summary, is a traction control device for everyone? Probably not. But when it comes to high horse power street cars, I would say it should be a heavily considered option. The best way I describe it is like horses. Owning a really strong and fast horse is fun, but if you can’t ride it without getting bucked off, who cares. Needless to say the automotive community is a very diverse one, and a traction control box is not for everyone, but for the few that give it a try, I think you will be hooked.


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