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Racetech has been in operation since 1987 and is a privately owned corporation. Our main focus then was building cars and performance engines for street and road racing. We prepared and fielded several cars in several different classes until 1994 winning every class at least once. In MP2, a class spanning engines from 2.3 to 3 liters, our cars won the class every year of its existence. Most engines that we raced were turbocharged 4 cylinder types so we have considerable experience in this field. We have been turbocharging engines for over 30 years and built our own engine dyno and cylinder head flow bench for serious R&D work.
In 1990, preliminary work began on a programmable EFI system designed from the outset for turbocharged engines to replace the standard Weber type carbs being used. In 1992, this system was applied to a 1.7L turbo Toyota installed in a Datsun 240Z road racing car. Results were immediately encouraging with at least 1000 rpm being gained on the lower part of the effective power band over carbs with no loss in top end power.
Following many ergonomic improvements, we introduced the EM-1A in 1993. The A model was followed quickly by the improved B,C,D,E and F models by 1996. In 1997 the new, single chip EM-2 was introduced along with our EIC.
The EM-3 line was introduced in November 1999. It featured a host of hardware and software improvements for improved flexibility in programming and easier installation plus injector drivers were internalized. Installation and programming manuals have been expanded and improved based on customer feedback. New versions of software were released periodically to expand programming flexibility and increase noise rejection. A new microprocessor controlled LCD programmer was introduced in the summer of 2002.
The EM-4 was introduced in mid Sept. 2002. The EM-4 installation and tuning manual has been extensively re-written with clearer instructions, photos and a larger troubleshooting section to aid customers.
On Jan. 1, 2005 V14 software was released offering AFR data logging vs. rpm and nitrous ignition retard capabilities at no extra charge. This was in response to customer requests for these features.
In April 2006 we introduced several new products for the experimental aviation market- a bolt on Hall sensor and mount for Subaru EJ series engines, a fuel and spark control system for Suzuki G10 conversions and a 3 1/8 panel mount programmer.
In the Spring of 2007, V16 software was released with improved AFR data logging and diagnostic features including the ability to drive a check engine light.
Feb. 10 2008, V17 software was released with improved ignition timing software and built in two step ignition rev limiting.
Dec. 2010, we are now supplying ECU circuit boards featuring SMT instead of through hole components.
We are the leading supplier of EFI for experimental aircraft including systems for Reno air racing Sport and Super Sport classes and a large supplier for UAV applications.
In September 2011, we introduced the EM-5 SMT ECU with a faster microprocessor and more memory.
Design and Manufacturing
Enclosures are CNC'd billet aluminum, anodized.
ECUs ready for testing with circuit boards installed
66 EM-5 ECUs tested and ready to ship to an aviation customer
Bare, panelized, EM-5 SMT ECU boards
Circuit board design carried out in-house. Boards manufactured to highest standards by a leading outside vendor
6F coil packs ready for bench testing
All wiring harnesses are built using CSA or UL approved cable and wire. Most connections to the ECU plugs are soldered and individually heat shrunk for strain relief and retention. Outer end connections are crimped for vibration resistance and strain relieved in Weatherpack connectors. Each sensor uses an individual, sheathed cable for ease of routing and abrasion resistance so that there is no rat's nest of separate wires.
Our products go through several QC tests before being shipped to the customer. All ECUs and coil packs are scope or bench tested individually to check for proper function. As each order is assembled, the ECU, wiring, sensors and mixture knob are tested together as a unit to ensure proper function. Each order has a tag with the system information and options listed. As components are picked or completed, they go in a dedicated order box with the tag.
Tagged order boxes to prevent mixups
6F coil packs undergoing bench test
Scope testing ECU outputs
In addition to bench testing, our products are continually tested on our own shop vehicles under real world conditions. We consider this very important to ensure the highest reliability of our products and allows us to showcase our technology. Lab testing just can't simulate real world conditions, failure modes or first hand tuning and troubleshooting experience. Our fleet of vehicles has accumulated hundreds of thousands of kilometers of stock, performance and racing use with no system failures. Cold weather testing is accomplished in every day Canadian driving in temperatures down to -35C. Hot weather use is well proven in the deserts of the US and Middle East at +50C. Marine use has seen several systems submerged underwater for hours or days. When the ECUs were dried out on the dock for a few hours, they still functioned perfectly. Off road and rally use has pounded our ECUs over very rough terrain with very few problems. Multiple race wins and championships in the Baja 500 and 1000 races and punishing SCORE series show how tough our hardware is. Our 18 years in supplying systems for aviation use shows the confidence and extreme reliability of our units.
One ECU on a test bench has now run for over 130,000 hours continuously with no problems.
One of the most important tools we have to improve our products is feedback from the field. This not only allows us to bring out new features that our customers want but also to improve the software and hardware and identify problems that occur in applications outside of our normal testing means. We'd like to thank Tim Rodda from TCR Auto Performance in Tucson, AZ for his contributions, insights and experiences with SDS over the years.
Racetech Test Vehicles
1989 Nissan 240SX turbo. 2.4L SOHC inline four. EM-5 4F. 240hp at 5.5psi, 440cc injectors. Suspension stock. SDS mileage to date 160,000km. Mileage city 26-28 (imperial), 33-36 highway. Fuel 89-92 octane. Now fitted with latest spec 4F coil pack, SMT ECU and V20 software for testing.
1998 Subaru Impreza. Powered by an EJ22 turbo. Owned by SDS. Used for track and street testing. Fitted with an EM-5 4F/ V20 software. Around 220hp at 8 psi.
Our EM-5 4F equipped/ Subaru powered RV6A which is used for aviation systems testing/R&D and showcasing our units. Details on this project at: RV6A Project
New Racetech/ SDS projects in the pipeline: Van's RV10
Sales, Advertising and Marketing
Racetech relies primarily on internet and word of mouth advertising to sell our products. You will see very few print ads for SDS. This strategy reduces advertising costs considerably which reduces the end cost to the customer. We both direct sell to the public and through our dealer network.
We have shipped systems to all corners of the globe with around 35% of total sales being outside of North America now. We have a strong presence in Asia and the Middle East. We believe that this is due to customers embracing our reliable, easy to use system and our excellent service and tech support. Aviation sales have spiked rapidly upwards in the last few years, now becoming a sizeable percentage of annual sales overall.
Unlike some companies in the performance products world, we don't believe in sensationalism or hype to sell our products. If something seems too good to be true in an ad, it probably is. We try to give you the facts and as much information as possible so that you can make an informed buying decision. This is a primary reason for our extensive web site. If we don't think that our product is suitable for your project or goals, we will tell you so. We realize that if you are not happy, that bad word hurts our future sales and reputation, which we have worked very hard to establish. A satisfied customer is more important to us than just a sale. We realize that our customers, in effect, sign our paychecks and try to treat them accordingly. We don't just talk the talk like many companies today. We walk the walk as well.
When it comes to service and tech help, we are second to none. When you make an E-mail enquiry, you will always get a reply in less than 24 hours on weekdays and on Monday morning if over the weekend. We can give an exact quote on the order as well as shipping costs by fax or E-mail. We try to answer E-mail 6 days a week. We will give you phone tech help for as long as you need it and we don't make you wait on hold.
We don't BS people and we get right to work on your order once the funds are transferred. Most orders are on their way within 1-2 days unless we have a large backlog. We can provide you with an estimated shipping date before you order and supply your package tracking number. 99% of our products are shipped by air so that you have it ASAP. We will contact you if there is any delay in shipping for unforseen reasons.
This all sounds pretty good but being human, we do sometimes goof. If we do, our pledge is to make it right ASAP, at our expense.
North America Production/ Buying Focus
Most of our products are sold within North America so we feel it is important to support businesses in Canada and the US rather than moving production and component purchasing offshore to save money. This results in higher costs than if we produced in Asia but helps preserve jobs here. We buy as much as we can from suppliers in the US and Canada and try to keep overhead costs low to be as competitive as possible. Some things are more important than profit margin, especially in the long term we believe.
About our Website 08/06/99 SFZ
Our website is our primary marketing and information tool. It also allows us to update technical details and provide installation manuals online. We have a simple, straightforward approach on our site. Just like the EFI systems that we make, we don't believe in useless, complicated or hard to use websites. Unlike many competitors, we publish complete installation manuals online. We publish price lists so that you can decide if the system is suitable and within your price range without phoning or E-mailing someone.
Our pages load all text first, then the image files so that you have something to read while the photos are loading. We use contrasting type on light backgrounds so it is easy to read. We don't use solid title graphics which waste ink when printing. We don't use flashy graphics which waste time downloading and are basically useless. We won't place annoying banner ads on our site. We try to keep image files reasonably small for fast downloading. We do not share or sell E-mail addresses or order information with anyone, except with your consent. We feel that this is a sleazy practice and a violation of your privacy. Finally, we refuse to send cookies or add code to create pop-ups to other related sites. This is another annoying and sleazy practice that we don't agree with.
We feel that a website should be like a book with pictures. Click on the page that you want and read it. It should contain factual, useful information which is broken down into logical sections. It should be updated frequently with dates listed at the top of the home page. We will continue to use this philosophy in the future until we think of something better. We don't believe in flash without function here.
We treat E-mail queries like telephone calls if we can by answering them as soon as possible. We check our E-mail first thing in the morning and usually at least 3 more times during working days. Whenever possible we also check it on weekends. In this electronic age, we feel that these things need to be answered in a timely fashion, not discarded or forgotten about for several days as many companies seem to do.