Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dash Display Options

With the Slowtra going the forced induction route there is a vital need to display turbo boost pressure as the last thing I want is to blow my expensive (to me) engine to engine heaven due to some unknown overboosting/boost creep issue. Was also thinking of having the ability to display oil pressure and temps too. I dunno bout you guys and gals but I find having a row of gauges on the dash both confusing and distracting. One could spend more time looking at the lovely row of gauges than doing the driving. The row of gauges have also proven to be a theft magnet.

Digital dash displays have come down a lot in price since the early days hence am on the lookout for one. Three to four traditional analogue dial gauges from the likes of Defi will come close to the price of an integrated digital dash display. I do not need datalogging since the ECU I will be going to has this option albeit limited. Dash displays with datalogging are pretty expensive still (to me) at easilly more than RM6K for the cheapest option once you add sensors and what nots. My search for a decent LCD "black over white" dash display (full colour TFT options from the likes of GEMS and DTA are still too cost prohibitive at this point). Don't even mention about the Bosch Motorsport DDU 7/8. Price is in excess of five figures just for the dash display!

My option narrowed down to two popular choices as both work fully with Autronic and Haltech ECUs with Toby comfortable with both and having no preference for either to install and set up. The first is the AIM MXL Strada. AIM hails from Italy and is a popular choice for many a race/rally car/bike. The Strada Icon is particularly attractive as it features build-in led warning lights for many common road car requirements such as hazard lights, high beam, etc. Picture below of the AIM MXL Strada Icon.

You can read the full spec and features here. The display is fully configurable via a laptop/PC. Price is a tad more than MYR 3.5K not including shipping and tax. The MXL connects to the Haltech Platinum Sport 1000 or Autronic SM4 via RS-232 interface protocol. Track day kakis can connect an optional GPS sensor to the MXL Strada for track timing duty. The s

The other choice is the Racepak IQ3. Racepak is from the US and equally popular with many a race/rally cars. Haltech even uses the IQ3 as its own dash display and likewise Tomei. Picture below of the IQ3 from Racepak website. You can read up the specs and compare here.

On first look the IQ3 seemed to be a much more economical solution @ around MYR2K not including shipping and tax for the dash display. Racepak however operate on Bolehland's favourite budget airline - Air Asia's business model. Where the AIM MXL Strada comes with everything one would need to connect to the ECU, the Racepak requires you to purchase the ECU interface (RM 1.2K) for whichever ECU you will be using and the cable that plugs the interface to the IQ3. The price for this cable depends on the length you will need (RM150 to 240). Once you add this all up the price difference between the AIM MXL Strada and the Racepak IQ-3 is only around one two hundred ringgit or so. There is no GPS option for the IQ3 dash display and to have GPS functionality one would have to get the IQ3 datalogger dash. Unfortunately both the MXL Strada and the IQ3 dash display cannot be upgraded to a datalogger. If you require datalogging please get the datalogger dash.

I have already made my decision and ordered the dash display. Blame it on the Chinese New Year mood and poisoning from Bro Mugil :P Oh and...

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!!!

All will be revealed once I collect my dash display.


Mugil said...

good choice i think!!!

Andrew Saw said...

Haha! It'll be good to compare usability notes with your IQ3.