How To Data Log Your Mustang With An SCT Tuner

Posted by on December 29, 2009 - more

Data logging is extremly helpful to fine tune your vehicle. It is quite easy to do but most seem to think its difficult and shy away from it. I rate this a 2 in difficulty since it can be tricky to data log by yourself, a friend makes the process much easier. I am using an SCT tuner so please consult the manual if your tuner varies. You will create a .CSV comma delimited file that you can review yourself or send to your tuner to check and see how the tune is running on your vehicle, or perhaps to obtain data to write a tune for your car.

Data Logging
1. Parts you need to complete this job
2. Connecting everything
3. Using the LiveLink Software
4. Data Logging
5. What to Data Log

Parts you need to complete this job

1. An X Cal-3 SCT Tuner or Similar
2. A laptop to take with you in your vehicle
3. A USB Printer cord. My tuner came with a cord.
4. A friend helps, but this can be done by yourself.
5. The Live Link software.

Here is a link to LiveLink Version 4.41.

Connecting Everything

Once you have the LiveLink software installed you are ready to connect everything. Find your computer port (on 99-04 it is located on the drivers side on the right side of the floor area.) Plug the Tuner into this port and you will see it turn on if the car is on or off.

The Tuner will turn on once plugged in

You can flip it over to data log but it is not needed since once LiveLink recognizes the connection it will change the Tuner’s screen to say that it is connected to LiveLink

Data Log Screen Option

Once you have the tuner plugged up to the car you do not need to touch the tuner any more. Start the vehicle then connect the USB cord from the tuner to your laptop. It will recognize it and install software. Once everything is installed we are ready to use the software.

Using the LiveLink Software

By now you have installed the LiveLink software. Start it up on the laptop and it should recognize your tuner that was installed to the laptop in the above step. If you have errors it will display them and you may need to unplug everything and start over again.

LiveLink Software main screen

Now, your tuner may have supplied you with a configuration file to load so you get all the parameters they wish to inspect. If you have this we will load it now. If you do not have this you can create your own parameters you wish to monitor yourself using the LiveLink software and save it for later use as well. To load the file go to the File > Open Configuration and browse to the file (*.cf2) and select it.

Once you select the configuration file it will load the defaults and you should see the following.

Data Logging

By now you will have everything connected, the car is running, LiveLink is running with a configuration so you are ready to data log. You will notice a Start Data Logging button (green). When you are ready to start data logging you press this button, it will show you an Initialization bar then it will start logging data.

Once you have started data logging do what ever it is you wish to do and when you are done press Stop Data Logging which is located to the right of the Start Data Logging button and is red. After you have pressed stop you need to save the data log you just performed. Go to File > Save As and it will save your .csv comma delimited file to where ever you wish. Name it appropriately so you know what the log represents. I did some low RPM climbs from 1250-4500 rpms for example so I named my files so I know which is which.

Now you are done, you have your file. Send it to your tuner, examine it yourself! This will help you get the most out of your tune.

What to Data Log

When I talked to my tuner he recommended that after my tune was loaded to perform a data log from 1250 to 4500 rpms in a slow rpm climb in one gear. I did this in second and third gear. I performed three runs (back to back or separate if you wish). After that I send the file to him to check and ensure all was well. I also did a data log while on the dyno to send to him to inspect. Get familiar with data logging before the day of your dyno session so you don’t waste time trying to get it all working.

I had issues with it losing connection. After you save your data log and hit start data logging again it would ask you if you wished to save your data log. If you wait on this screen to long (as soon as you hit no it will start logging) you may get connection errors. The file of your data log saved correctly when you did File > Save As but… it doesn’t recognize it when you hit start data logging so it asks you to save. Rest assured your log was created. You can check after you save it and open it in excel to inspect if you wish.