As the influence of the modern aftermarket scene slowly penetrates the restoration scene, builders are beginning to appreciate the concept of dropping modern engines and transmissions in their muscle cars. While this seems to be an outlandish move for purists, modernists love the idea. According to them, the computer programs that go along with these modifications help the classic muscles perform more consistently. As you may have heard, the old componentry used in these vehicles were more temperamental. The mechanical components were not capable of fully adjusting to the changes in the environment resulting in frequent overheating, misfires, and loss in power. But in order for the computers to provide accurate calculations too, we need to use quality sensors and harnesses. This is where the AEM oxygen sensor harness comes in. Our most recent project is a pro-touring second generation Pontiac Firebird fitted with a Chevy LS engine and Tremec 5-speed transmission. As for its electronics, we used the AEM Infinity programmable ECU and AEM Infinity GM LS plug-and-play engine harness. Let's see how the AEM electronic component performed in our test.
- 200MHz processor and real-time operating system
- Weather-resistant fuse and relay panel
- Shielded cam and crank inputs
- Waterproof and shockproof factory sensor connectors
- When we first had the crate Chevy LS long block, we knew it would already be a very powerful engine as is. This engine block has a very long heritage that has withstood time and different demands of GM owners. By the time we acquired parts like the AEM oxygen sensor harness, we were excited how much more power the engine can churn out. We installed the AEM Infinity harness kit along with the Infinity ECU to the OBD 2 LS1 engine. Because the AEM system took out the factory settings of the LS engine, the Firebird became more unrestricted. The pro-touring Pontiac did better time on the track.
- The beauty of having an ECU in our restomod is having the capability of tuning the components with better accuracy and monitoring. With the help of computers and electronic sensors, we had the opportunity to closely examine the fuel/air mixture, oxygen level, and manifold pressure in the convenience of our own garage.
- You really need to have acquired a certain level of automotive electronics expertise before you can successfully wire the entire ECU system, including the AEM oxygen sensor harness. That wasn't a problem with us. But if you have doubts on being able to wire the system properly, we suggest that you bring your vehicle to your trusted tuner and have it installed there.
We still believe that computer systems in cars are better suited for newer cars. But with the result we had with our '72 Pontiac Firebird, we were a bunch of happy campers. It is capable of improving your car's performance, but always make sure that you tune it properly.