How to Set Up a Data Logging System in a Nissan Skyline GTR for Performance Monitoring?

April 22, 2024

As a Nissan Skyline GTR owner, you know just how valuable data can be. It tells you about the health of your engine, whether your fuel system is running optimally, how your throttle is performing, and so much more. With a data logging system, you can keep tabs on these vital parameters and fine-tune your vehicle for optimal performance. This article will guide you through the process of setting up a data logging system in your Nissan Skyline GTR.

Selecting the Right Data Logger

Before you can begin, you need to select the right data logger to suit your needs. There are many brands out there from which to choose, but AEM and Haltech are two of the more prominent ones in the automotive world.

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AEM offers the Series 2 Plug & Play EMS, a popular choice amongst Nissan Skyline GTR owners. It comes with a wide range of features, including various inputs and outputs, real-time logging, and PC-based software. The AEM Series 2 also allows for comprehensive tuning capabilities, letting you modify your fuel, ignition, and boost control. Its price is competitive, making it a cost-effective option for those looking to get into data logging.

On the other hand, Haltech’s Elite series offers advanced engine management systems with a variety of features. The Elite series includes real-time data logging, advanced tuning features, and a user-friendly software interface. While the Haltech Elite series may have a higher price point, its advanced features and reputation for reliability make it a worthwhile investment.

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Installing the Data Logger

Once you’ve settled on the right data logger, the next step is to install it. This process involves connecting the logger’s harness to various points in your vehicle. You’ll need to plug it into the Engine Control Unit (ECU), sensors, and injectors, amongst other things.

Begin by locating your Nissan’s ECU. The ECU is the brain of your vehicle; it regulates the fuel mixture, ignition timing, and throttle response. Disconnect the ECU from the harness, and plug the ECU into the data logger’s harness. This will allow the logger to monitor and control these vital aspects of your vehicle’s performance.

Next, connect the data logger to your vehicle’s sensors. This will include sensors like the fuel pressure sensor, which measures the pressure of the fuel in the injector, and the boost sensor, which measures the amount of boost your turbocharger is producing. These sensors provide crucial data that can help you optimise your vehicle’s performance.

Configuring the Data Logging Software

Once the physical installation is complete, the next step is to configure the data logging software. Both AEM and Haltech provide user-friendly software that allows you to view and interpret the data received from your vehicle.

Start by installing the software on your computer. Once installed, connect your computer to the data logger using a USB or Ethernet cable. The software will typically have a dashboard that displays various parameters such as engine RPM, coolant temperature, and fuel pressure.

Next, configure the software to log the parameters you’re interested in. This will depend on your needs, but typically, you’ll want to log data related to fuel, ignition, and boost pressure. By logging this data, you can monitor your engine’s performance and make adjustments as needed.

Tuning Your Vehicle

After setting up the data logging software, you can start tuning your vehicle. This involves making adjustments to your fuel, ignition, and boost control based on the data you’re logging.

Start by looking at your fuel data. This will tell you whether your engine is running rich or lean. If it’s running rich, you can reduce the amount of fuel being injected into the engine. If it’s running lean, you can increase the fuel injection.

Next, look at your ignition data. This will show you when the spark plugs are firing. If the ignition is too advanced, it can cause knocking. If it’s too retarded, it can lead to power loss. Use the software to adjust your ignition timing based on your data.

Finally, review your boost data. This will tell you how much boost your turbocharger is producing. If the boost is too high, it can cause engine damage. If it’s too low, it can result in power loss.

By tuning these parameters based on your data, you can optimise your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency.

Regular Monitoring and Adjustment

Setting up a data logging system isn’t a one-time process. It requires regular monitoring and adjustment to ensure your vehicle is always performing at its best.

Monitor your data regularly, looking for any abnormal readings or trends. If you notice anything unusual, investigate it further and make any necessary adjustments. This could involve tweaking your fuel injection, ignition timing, or boost control.

Remember, every vehicle is different, and what works for one Nissan Skyline GTR may not work for another. Regular monitoring and adjustment are key to achieving and maintaining optimal performance.

Maximizing the Capabilities of Your Data Logger

Once your data logging system is set up, there’s a world of possibilities to explore. The performance of a Nissan Skyline GTR can be tuned to extraordinary levels by leveraging the full capabilities of an advanced data logger like the AEM Series 2 Plug & Play EMS or the Haltech Elite ECU.

For example, you can utilize the staged injection feature, which allows for a more precise and efficient delivery of fuel into the engine. This feature enables the optimisation of injection timing, improving the power and torque output while ensuring fuel efficiency.

The throttle position monitoring feature is also invaluable, as it provides crucial data on how the throttle responds under different driving conditions. This data can be used to fine-tune throttle response for optimal performance.

You can also use the launch control feature to achieve rapid acceleration from a stationary position. By optimizing the ignition timing and boost control during launch, you can achieve faster 0-60mph times, enhancing your driving experience and the car’s performance on the track.

Monitoring the coolant temp is another crucial aspect. Overheating can lead to significant engine damage, so keeping tabs on your car’s coolant temperature can prevent costly repairs. Most data loggers include warning features that alert you when coolant temperatures exceed safe levels, helping you maintain engine health.

Lastly, consider investing in a digital dash. This allows you to monitor real-time data from your logger while you’re driving, providing you with a wealth of information at a glance.


Setting up a data logging system in your Nissan Skyline GTR is a worthy investment, regardless of the logger’s original price or current price. Whether you opt for the AEM Series 2 or the Haltech Elite, the benefits of having detailed, accurate data at your fingertips far outweigh the initial cost.

From the initial step of selecting the right data logger, through to the installation process, configuring the software, tuning your vehicle, and regularly monitoring and adjusting your setup, each phase is crucial in achieving optimal performance.

Remember, a data logging system isn’t just about having an advanced engine management system. It’s about understanding your vehicle better, making informed decisions, and fine-tuning your car to perfection. By closely monitoring parameters like plug play, fuel pressure, closed loop, throttle position, elite ecu, fuel ignition, staged injection, launch control, wiring harness, coolant temp, haltech elite, boost control, and engine position, you can optimize your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency.

As a Nissan Skyline GTR owner, the power to elevate your driving experience lies in your hands, and in your data logger. So, get started on your data logging journey and unlock your vehicle’s full potential.