The Nissan factory-fitted electronic engine management microcomputer fitted to our E15ET cars is designed to control ignition timing and fuel injection. Complete with multi-mode sequential injection, this unit was rather advanced at the time of its release. Nissan termed this unit ECCS – Electronic Engine Concentrated Computer Control System. Yes, I know there’s too many words there, but the exact translation of the acronym was never reliably established. These above terms were often interchanged in official Nissan publications. Even within the factory service manual the term ECCS is periodically interchanged with CECU and CECS.
Aside from designation confusions and relatively advanced 80’s microcomputer technology, the E15ET ECU is a device which does not tend to deal with extensive modifications well. Excessive developments can lead to a confused ECU which in turn results in inaccurate injection commands and lean or rich mixtures.
Unfortunately, the ECCS cannot be reliably re-written to adapt to these changes in engine spec. Thus, in any significantly modified Pulsar an aftermarket ECU may be required.
Click here for a database of E15ET ECU info
Needing an ECU
Need for an ECU replacement can be identified through a number of means, the primary of which would be a mixtures analysis by a lamda meter – this analysis can be performed by most performance workshops on a dyno.
There is a common tendency for workshops to ally themselves to only one make of ECU and talk until they’re blue in the face about why this brand is so much better that brands X, Y and Z because ‘they’re crap, man’ or ‘this is gonna give you more power’ or ‘brand X will blow your engine up’ or similar such nonsense. Yes, a malfunctioning ECU can cause you engine damage. Yes, a well tuned brand X ECU will give you better results than a brand Y ECU tuned by a dodgy operator. Often, recommendations for ECU’s from workshops will favour one ECU simply because the mechanic in question has had more experience with a particular system, or maybe he understands it better, or something like that. So work out what system you want and then go looking for a guy who tells you they’re good, because that guy’ll be the one who knows and understands that system.
At the entry level systems such as Link are available and have been used with some success, especially in New Zealand, I believe. Microtech are available at a level slightly beyond that of Link, with a price hike to suit. From this point Wolf 3D, then Haltech and Autronic systems are available. Beyond this level the intense designer-enthusiast’s MoTeC system is available.
Which system becomes a question of what budget. At the top end a MoTeC system will no doubt represent a valuable investment. However, with a MoTeC entry-level M4 system costing above the four-grand mark after installation and tuning, the impracticality of this system becomes clear.
At the other end of the spectrum a Microtech MT8 system is available and suitable for the Pulsar at around the $1000-$1200 mark, plus fitting and tuning costs.
Indications are that a Link system provides fewer features for an even lower price tag.