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Life racing

Nino Ficara

Well-Known Member
I'm thinking of using Danzio's life racing pdm, & ecu for a project of mine. Does anybody know of positives or negatives for either of these units? Feed back & opinions would be much appreciated. Thanks
 

dzrt performance

Well-Known Member
upside- solid, reliable and proven hardware as seen an many 10 cars.

downside-smaller distribution network and product line as compared to Motec.

and regardless of the hardware you buy, it is only as good as the installation and programming that goes into it. We all know Danzio is capable in that department so there wont be any issues there.
 

Nino Ficara

Well-Known Member
Great to hear. How about their pdm keypads? How how people like that instead of traditional switches and relays? How reliable are they?
 

dzrt performance

Well-Known Member
Great to hear. How about their pdm keypads? How how people like that instead of traditional switches and relays? How reliable are they?
dealing primarily with Motec, I can give you some info here, but not so much with the Life Keypads.

The keypads are turning out to be bulletproof. and as cool as they look...there are several reasons for going with them.

1. The need for costly and complex dash wiring is greatly eliminated. the keypads run on a two wire CAN bus, plus power and ground. that's it.

2.The keypads do more than just simple on/off function. Status LED's give you the ability to look at a device and KNOW if it is on, off, faulty or other state. This is not like a traditional switch that has a light on it. The keypad receives status messages from the PDM where, there is no guessing if a device is functioning properly.

3.Since the system is entirely programmable......complex functions can all be mapped to a single button, or any other way it is desired. or it is possible to go back and remap button layout and functionality without touching the wiring.

The bottom line for anyone considering new vehicle wiring, the PDM and keypad solution in my opinion is the only way to go. Even if you have a simpler vehicle without sophisticated ECU, I have setup PDM/keypad solutions on vehicles with very basic MEFI type controllers that benefited from solid state relay switching, keypad functionality, and greatly reduced wiring needs.
 

Nino Ficara

Well-Known Member
Thank you very much dzrt performance. I think it's the way of the future. I've been told by a few people that going this route, I will be over complicating my wiring, and that I'll need to become a computer programmer genius to work on my own vehicle. I've also been told that if something goes wrong in the middle of nowhere I'm S.O.L. I think I would have less trouble with the new modern day way of switches & wiring.
 

dzrt performance

Well-Known Member
anyone that told you keypads and PDM's "over complicate" the wiring has absolutely NO IDEA what they are talking about. The wiring needs with a PDM are drastically reduced and simplified compared to traditional wiring.

However, there is some truth to the idea that you have to be good with computers when going this route. The programming is not an easy task and something I do not look forward to.The flexibility and features afforded come at the cost of a lot of time programming to make it all work right. While there are some DIYers out there up to it, i would suggest have a professional undertake the task of setting up a system like this.

As for breaking down and being SOL....well unless you have detailed understandings of how all this stuff works, a computer with you and so forth...yes, you very well could be parked. WITH THAT BEING SAID......the ENTIRE reason for going this route is to increase reliability. Remember, the PDM's are nothing more than a bunch of glorified solid state relays in a box. All the top teams are using them now, with great success. These things are basically bullet proof, and properly installed and programmed, I highly doubt you would see a failure with the PDM hardware. More likely a failure of a fan, pump or other device, or smashed wiring or something along those lines.

To test the Motec PDM's, any time i set up a new car, I dead short each and every circuit/output of the PDM. for example, Imagine a rock got wedged into a fan. With traditional wiring, you may only blow a fuse or circuit breaker. To simulate this with a PDM, i stick a screwdriver in the fan blocking it from rotating. When the fan is engaged and can not turn, the DC current spikes. The PDM is programmed to kill the circuit at currents you tell it. We then remove the screw driver, freeing the fan, but the PDM enters a "retry" process...where you specify how many attempts and at what time intervals to restart the fan. with out touching anything, resetting anything...the fan begins to operate again.

the bottom line is this is the kind of functionality and reliability you can expect from a PDM based system. The old school mentality of traditional wiring "works good enough" is kind of like saying we all should still be running carbs because they work good enough and you dont need a computer genius to work on it.
 

Nino Ficara

Well-Known Member
Yeah i definitely won't be doing the wiring or programming my self. What are the differences between motec ecu & pdm vs life racing's? I'm also going to be using digital dash.
 

Dezertpilot

Well-Known Member
Cool project Nino I dig it!!!
 

Nino Ficara

Well-Known Member
anyone that told you keypads and PDM's "over complicate" the wiring has absolutely NO IDEA what they are talking about. The wiring needs with a PDM are drastically reduced and simplified compared to traditional wiring.

However, there is some truth to the idea that you have to be good with computers when going this route. The programming is not an easy task and something I do not look forward to.The flexibility and features afforded come at the cost of a lot of time programming to make it all work right. While there are some DIYers out there up to it, i would suggest have a professional undertake the task of setting up a system like this.

As for breaking down and being SOL....well unless you have detailed understandings of how all this stuff works, a computer with you and so forth...yes, you very well could be parked. WITH THAT BEING SAID......the ENTIRE reason for going this route is to increase reliability. Remember, the PDM's are nothing more than a bunch of glorified solid state relays in a box. All the top teams are using them now, with great success. These things are basically bullet proof, and properly installed and programmed, I highly doubt you would see a failure with the PDM hardware. More likely a failure of a fan, pump or other device, or smashed wiring or something along those lines.

To test the Motec PDM's, any time i set up a new car, I dead short each and every circuit/output of the PDM. for example, Imagine a rock got wedged into a fan. With traditional wiring, you may only blow a fuse or circuit breaker. To simulate this with a PDM, i stick a screwdriver in the fan blocking it from rotating. When the fan is engaged and can not turn, the DC current spikes. The PDM is programmed to kill the circuit at currents you tell it. We then remove the screw driver, freeing the fan, but the PDM enters a "retry" process...where you specify how many attempts and at what time intervals to restart the fan. with out touching anything, resetting anything...the fan begins to operate again.

the bottom line is this is the kind of functionality and reliability you can expect from a PDM based system. The old school mentality of traditional wiring "works good enough" is kind of like saying we all should still be running carbs because they work good enough and you dont need a computer genius to work on it.
How reliable are second hand units out of curiosity?
 

dzrt performance

Well-Known Member
How reliable are second hand units out of curiosity?
I see no issue with reliability. but the thing is.....the ECU or PDM is no longer the biggest expense as it was in days past. custom harnesses, done to mil spec standards and installation/programming are now more of an expense than the box. even if you bought a used box and saved some money, chances are the wiring fitment and needs from a donor vehicle would be different that your requirements.
 

Nino Ficara

Well-Known Member
I see no issue with reliability. but the thing is.....the ECU or PDM is no longer the biggest expense as it was in days past. custom harnesses, done to mil spec standards and installation/programming are now more of an expense than the box. even if you bought a used box and saved some money, chances are the wiring fitment and needs from a donor vehicle would be different that your requirements.
I understand. I'm going to have that all done by a professional. It will all be a, " one off" wiring job just for this engine and project.
 

Slippery P

Well-Known Member
I understand. I'm going to have that all done by a professional. It will all be a, " one off" wiring job just for this engine and project.
Nino, cool project.
The life racing Keypads are Greyhill key pads which are the same ones that Motec uses.
The life racing PDUs are all x32 30 amp channels, they are quite powerful units, which are fully programmable and simplify the wiring in your vehicle for better reliability.
When packaged with a life racing dash the PDU is able to trigger a warning on the dash as to any circuit failure related to what is being controlled by said PDU. The PDU, Keypad, and Dash all communicate via CAN network.
The Life racing products have proven to be very reliable, and offer a vast range of programmability to suit various types of vehicle uses.

Give us a call at the shop and we would be more than happy to help you with your project.
Danzio Performance-(951) 245-8462
 
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