Q&A

Mailbag: Choosing an Engine Management System for an LS-Swapped ’82 Olds Cutlass

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Q: I’m swapping a low-mileage 5.3L LS engine from a 2011 GMC truck into a 1982 Cutlass drag car. The engine will be upgraded with a Trick Flow® 455 HP GenX® top end kit, Summit 98mm fabricated intake, and a cable-driven throttle body, plus I’m also installing Trick Flow’s VVT and AFM delete kits. Power will be sent to the rear axle via a beefed-up 4L60E transmission.

Can you recommend an engine management system that will handle my current setup, allow for future mods, and still be user-friendly?

A: A plug-and-play solution for your application is DIY AutoTune’s MegaSquirt MS3Pro EVO standalone engine management system (part number DIY-S0025).

This system features a drop-on wiring harness that’ll reach all of your engine’s sensors, and it’s configured for a cable-operated throttle body with an LS1-style IAC valve and TPS. The harness is also equipped with EV6-style fuel injector connectors (kits for EV1 and Multec injectors are also available) to match your OE injectors.

The stock 36-pound injectors should be adequate for pump-gas use, although, given your modifications, you may want to consider using DeatschWerks 50-lb. injectors (DWK-18U0100508). Larger injectors will be especially helpful if future plans include E85 or nitrous. To control the transmission, add the MicroSquirt CAN transmission controller and sub-harness (DIY-S0031). It’ll plug right into the connectors on your 4L60E and integrate seamlessly with the MS3Pro ECM.

MS3Pro EVO uses Windows/Mac/Android-compatible TunerStudio software and includes a startup tune based on a stock 4.8L truck motor. The software features self-tuning fuel table strategies to assist you, and is designed for use by both enthusiasts and professionals.

Coupled with the MicroSquirt transmission controller, you’ll be able to dial in your upgraded Olds for power, drivability, and consistent performance.

This is another in a series of weekly Q&A Mailbag sessions with Summit Racings tech department, in which there are hundreds more. Click here to see more.

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