AVC-R Installation

Last updated: March 30, 2000

Date: March 19, 2000
From: Azeem Raja (ARaja@KestrelSolutions.com)

After playing with my AVC-R for a couple of weeks I think I have figured it out... at least well enough to provide some help with installation and tuning.

** Standard disclaimers apply. Please be careful, you can easily pop your motor with this thing! I assume no responsibility for anything**


Installing the unit will take 3-6 hours, depending on how mechanically and electronically inclined you are. The single most time-consuming step is splicing into the ECU wires. The supplied installation instructions aren't bad, follow the FD specific instructions EXACTLY.

Also, you should review the boost controller installation info on Steve Cirian's and Rob Robinette's sites... the principals of installing any EBC are very similar to installing this unit, and the pictures on Rob's site are very helpful.

STEP 1) Install the Solenoid

The solenoid controls the air pressure provided to the precontrol and wastegate actuators, thus allowing user control of boost. If you blow through the solenoid (NO or COM port) you will feel a little resistance, but air will flow. If air doesn't flow there is probably a problem. (So loss of power to the solenoid will result in low boost, not max boost...)

STEP 2) Disconnect factory solenoids

This MUST be done, otherwise boost cannot be controlled.

STEP 3) Install pressure sensor

Pressure sensor monitors manifold pressure to provide 'closed-loop' boost control.

STEP 4) Wiring harness

STEP 5) Sensor Check


Basic tuning will take a few hours, but fine tuning all the parameter will take a while. The tuning instructions in the manual leave a lot to be desired... the translation is fairly poor. Read and re-read this section, about the third time you read it, it does start making sense. And if it seems that a word is missing in a sentence... it IS! I guess the translator didnt know the English word. So I attempt to explain what each of the parameters does along with how to set it.

Also, the boost is displayed in Kg/cm^2... the conversion to PSI is 14.22:1 NOT 14.5 or 14.7 or anything else.

STEP 1) System parameter setup - All in 'Etc.' menu

Car Select:

Cyl=4 (# of rotors * 2)
Thr=Arrow pointing up

Sensor Sel:

Relative1 (leave as default)

Gear judge:

This is how the unit knows what gear you are in. Set as follows:


Read directions to check, but these should be very close for all FDs.

Grph Scale:

These are units for the graphing view modes only.
Sp=180km/h (good to 112mph)

STEP 2) Mode [A] setup

Values which control boost
Set boost at 0.65 (can be anything, but 9psi seems like a safe start)
Set duty cycle at 25%


I did not use this feature


These are the RPM points at which boost/duty cycle can be individually set - RPM's less than the lowest point use the settings for the lowest point, same for higher than highest point.(It works...) I use: 3000,3500,4000,4500,5000,5500,6000,6500

F/B speed
This is the 'boost control sampling frequency' - i.e. how often the controller checks the boost and corrects it. The basic idea is, if boost consistently overshoots, increase number; if boost oscillates, decrease number. However, I found no perceptible difference in boost pattern, no matter what I set this value to. I used 'start-duty' (described below) to control initial boost spiking. So leave at default setting of 3 for all gears

This turns 'self-learn' mode on/off, per gear. With this turned on, I found that the unit kept dialing my transition spike back IN (eliminating spike is later). I turned learn-mode OFF in all gear, this is 'X' for all gears. But learn mode may work better in your car... experiment with it.

This controls initial spiking - i.e. quick no-throttle to full-throttle at 3K. This feature reduces the max boost a little, when going from negative pressure to boost... so it has the desired affect of reducing the initial spike, but not impacting sustained boost. Controlling initial spike is covered later, for now if can be set to 0% for all gears.

STEP 3) Learn to navigate through display & setup screens

If you have not done so already, play with all the display modes, moving around with [prev] & [next], etc. I found that the most useful display mode for tuning was 1-channel, displaying boost, then hit [up] to display a peak-hold value, hit [right] to reset this value, as needed. 2-Channel w/Boost & RPM is also a good mode. Also, hit [prev] & [next] at the same time, to jump between the 'last' display screen and 'last' programming screen - very useful!

STEP 4) Complete system checkout

Let the car warm up and then go for a drive... I think the ECU can no longer put the car into 'limp-home' mode, so you need to be extra-careful driving around on a cold engine.

  • With unit [off] _carefully_ apply power. You should develop 7psi max (0.5 Kgcm). My boost pattern is 7-5-7, dip to 5 before transition and then back to 7 to redline. If there is a problem with the install, i.e. if you didn't disconnect the factory solenoids, the boost may spike above safe levels! I got 16-17psi at 2600rpm. If so recheck everything.
  • Turn the unit to setting [A] and again _carefully_ apply power (you may hear the solenoid clicking - that's good), but stay below the 4500rpm for now. You should get close to 9psi... if not, increase the duty cycle a little (1-2%), retest, keep increasing until you get to 9psi. If you set the duty cycle too high, the controller will not be able to control boost, and will run higher than 9psi. For 9psi the duty cycle should be around 30%-40%. If the boost is not going above 7psi, there is a problem with the install. Recheck everything.
  • If all this works, basic controller functions are working.

    STEP 5) Fine tuning boost curve

    For the tests above, a 'constant/flat' boost and duty cycle curve were set. However, pressing 'next' from the boost and duty cycle allows you to set boost and duty cycle per 500rpm increments.

    STEP 6) Mode [B] setup

    Repeat all the fun you just had with Mode [B]!


    You're on your own for mounting... Steve's site has some info on this (Rick's post). I have a touring model, and ended up removing my CD-player, getting an R1 console "pocket" and mounting it in the pocket. If you want to do this, two words: Dremel Tool. Sections of the top and bottom of pocket must be removed, but the dash does not need to be touched, and the pocket door and spring mechanism work fine. It looks pretty good when complete.

    That's everything I can think of...

    Good luck,

    Azeem (araja@kestelsolutions.com)
    93 Touring- M2: ECU, intake, DP, Med-IC; RB: cat-back; Apex: AVC-R


    Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 10:39:17 -0800 (PST)
    From: Jay (styk33@yahoo.com)

    This is an excellant write-up. Although there are a couple things that I would like to add.

    The solenoid is quite noisy and annoying. I choose to mount mine under the airbox next to the passenger side front mount. I cannot hear the solenoid when accelerating at all.

    I found that my stock tach is off and my AVC-R is correct for engine speed. The difference was only 100 at 2000RPM and 250 at 8000RPM.

    I think that the scramble boost is great. It is a royal pain to try and switch between modes A and B. I have mine set to increase the boost 0.15kg/cm^2 for 45 seconds. That allows me to hit the button at a signal and be able to wait for it to turn green and still have the 2psi increase during my fun to the next light.

    For clarification on the scramble boost. Setting the start duty increases your boost that specified amount (it adds that setting to the existing when in scramble mode).


    Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 15:08:12 -0600
    From: "Rick S." (shev@pdq.net)

    I wanted to share my experience with the installation of the AVC-R Boost Controller. I upgraded from the Greddy ProfecB. I did not have any problems with the performance or reliablity of the Profec, I just wanted the added features that the Apexi has to offer. The most important feature was the ability to adjust boost levels independantly based on RPM.

    The kit included the following: all hoses, clamps, wiring harnesse, plastic tee fittings, mount for the controller, pressure sending unit, solenoid valve, installation instuctions that included FD specific hose plumbing and ecu connection diagrams. There was even rotary specific instructions for setup on the FD.

    1. The first step is to thoroughly review all instructions and determine locations for mounting of the solenoid valve and pressure sender. I mounted the solenoid valve just forward of the passenger side strut tower assembly. This is the same location that the fan relays were once mounted. The pressure sender was mounted on the firewall near the ABS unit.

    2. The install calls for connecting the wastegate and precontol together. I originally connected only the wastegate, as was the install for the ProfecB. The pressure sender has a small filter attached to it and a hose is run directly to the manifold. I connected the solenoid valve and pressure sender to the wiring harness and routed it through the firewall at the point below the ABS where the engine wiring harness enters the passenger compartment.

    3. At this point the ECU has to be pulled out and the 4 connectors pulled off to gain access to the wires that will be tapped into. The kit includes crimp on type brass ferrels. All wiring for the Apexi will come from the ECU. The wires used are as follows:
      • power
      • 2 grounds
      • throttle signal
      • speed signal
      • RPM or injector signal.
      • There is an additional wire for a Scamble Boost feature. I will not be using that feature so it was omitted from the install.

    4. The display controller measures about 5"x2.5". It does come with a cheesy mount which was quickly tossed out with trash. I own a touring model, so my mounting locations are somewhat limited. I decided to use a flexible shaft mount used to secure a celluar phone. I mounted it on the passenger side near the floor. The mount is about 1 ft. in length and extends to just left of the glovebox. It has a base on the end of the flexible shaft that I used to mount the display controller using velcro strips.

    5. The wiring is routed out of the glove box. When not in use, I can hide the controller in the glove box. The flexible shaft allows adjustiblity and can be bent to provide viewing by both the passenger and driver. It is rather difficult to tune and drive at warp speeds without an assistant.

    6. Once the install phase is completed, there are initial setup procedures required to be input to the controller. Those setup instructions are clearly layed out in the manual. As I had mentioned earlier, the install called for connecting the wastegate and pre-control. After some testing with just the wastegate connected, I have concluded that I would not be able to eliminate the transistion spike, even using rpm based boost adjustments and changing dutie cycles. It appears that once you set a target boost level and make a run, that it takes precise adjustment of the duty cycle to achieve that target level. It is really quite easy to do.

      At this point I decide to connect the pre-control and try again. On my first run, I hit close to 20 psi on the 1st turbo. I quickly got out of it before hitting transition. The car feels like it's on steroids at 20 psi. I lowered the duty cycle down to 40% from a previous setting of close to 70%. Now I saw 14 psi in the 1st turbo. The only difference now was there was absolutely no spike at transisiton. I had not set my 2nd turbo boost levels so I was only at about 11 psi. It felt real different to see a 14-11 turbo boost pattern. The car felt very nimble and reponse was noticeably quicker. After additional tuning, I have been able to establish a 14-14-14 boost pattern. It feels like a different car. Transisition is now seamless and linear. My conclusion is that connecting the pre-control is the best method. I wonder how the Profec would do with the pre-control connected as well. Someone might want to give this a try.

    Plan on spending as much time learning the menus and tuning as you do the entire install process. All in all, I think the AVC-R works better than I expected and is well designed and built.



    Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 02:35:07 EST
    From: MikeFD3S@aol.com
    Subject: Re: (rx7) [3] disconnecting factory boost solenoids (more)

    >i was wondering if someone could point out which hoses i need to plug up to
    >disconnect the factory boost control solenoids.

    The boost-control hoses you seek are located under the large hoses leading to the airbox. The airbox should be removed as well as most of the plumbing leading to it before attempting this. There are two lines attched to the wastegate control solenoid. I believe the rearmost one is to the factory ECU control, the other is the boost reference from the manifold.

    You must disconnect, cap and cable-tie the 2nd one in order for any boost control to be responsive and overly effective... as you've found out.


    Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 15:06:22 -0800
    From: Azeem Raja (ARaja@KestrelSolutions.com)

    Just installed an AVC-R myself... I'm working on _detailed_ install and tuning instructions which I'll post to the list, if I can ever get the damn thing tuned!

    Anyway, you have two options for disconnecting the factory solenoids:

    If you followed the AVC-R instructions, you T-ed the wastegate & precontrol hoses (to and from AVC solenoid)... so you will have to disconnect factory hoses from both solenoids.


    1. Disconnect hoses at the wastegate & precontrol actuators. There are two nipples each on the wastegate & precontrol actuators... the top nipple from each is probably running to the AVC solenoid, the second nipple is at the bottom and to the right... I couldn't see it, but its easy to feel... disconnect bottom nipple on each, plug both nipples and both hoses that were connected to the nipples.

    2. Disconnect hoses at the factory solenoid. The solenoids can be easily accessed by removing the black plastic pressure chamber right in front of the intake manifold, (solenoids are side by side, under a few hoses, but basically right in front of you) You do not need to take the manifold off!

    Each actuator has two ports (in & out). The bottom hoses from each factory solenoid connects to the WG, PC actuators (same hoses as in option 1) So just disconnect these and plug up the hoses... I ended up disconnecting all 4 and plugging all the hoses, but left the solenoid nipples open (thought that would be ok).

    This instantly solved my problem of building 16-17psi of boost in about 2 seconds.


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