Haltech Launches New Nexus Rebel LS ECU & Connect App

Haltech, a technological leader and developer of cutting-edge engine control units in the automotive aftermarket and motorsports space, has revealed its brand-new Nexus Rebel LS, a standalone ECU that reimagines simplicity in an LS engine swap.

The Nexus Rebel LS was designed from the ground up to suit GM’s popular LS engine platform, and comes complete with a plug-and-play terminated harness to support both the Gen III and IV GM LS series of engines. A hallmark of the ECU is its marriage to an also-brand-new Haltech Connect app, which features an easy setup with LS specific parameters built-in. There’s also full tuning support through the Haltech NSP software, which is the fully featured software hardcore drag racers rely on in other Nexus units like the R3 and R5. The ECU also provides easy integration with Haltech dashes, PDM’s, sensor kits, CAN Keypads, and other accessories.

 

“There was previously an Elite 2000 and an Elite 950 that were both V8-targeted ECU’s. The 950 was more of a budget-level ECU, while the 2000 was geared to the high-performance, drag-and-drive customers, but wasn’t a full-blown spec ECU like our 2500, the R3, and R5,” says Haltech’s Chris Law. “There’s been a gap in the product line, and this is meant to fill that, while being specifically tailored to the LS platform. The LS engine is super-popular, and we used to have so many different part numbers for all of the LS products that we had, so we’re streamlining it — making it easier to use, simpler to order, just an all-around simplified product offering.”

The Rebel LS is geared toward the entry-level market, and is sure to be popular with those whose budgets and knowledge align with its price-point and features. “If people are less comfortable with electronic fuel injection, this will be great for them,” Law says. “We think it’ll be popular with resto-modders, with weekend-warrior drag racers, people who just want swap an engine into another chassis, that have simplified single power-adder setups and want basic built-in engine protection tools.”

…to get things started, this makes it easier than it’s ever been before. – Chris Law, Haltech

The new Haltech Connect is a “feature-lite” application for both iOS and Android mobile devices that connects wirelessly to Haltech Nexus ECUs for adjusting basic engine parameters and reviewing data in real-time. With the app, you can view data display functions, change basic settings, and clear fault codes directly from your smartphone or tablet.

“You don’t actually have to connect the ECU to a PC to use it,” Law explains. “You can, and you should, at some point, but if you’’re just trying to get the engine started, you can use this app that has a wizard that walks you through the basic setup. It’s not going to have a bunch of tables just to setup your injectors or a dizzying number of options — it’s more simplified than that.

“It will ask your engine model, and you can select a cam and popular injectors by part numbers; it’s just plugging in all the pieces and then it adjusts the tune specifically to meet those individual requirements,” he adds. “The part numbers we built into it are all LS-specific. It’s only got a few trigger pattern options, and it only makes small modifications if you have additional things that you want to add to it, like the cam, injectors, or boost control.”

The app also provides a live view of engine parameters, for what is a gauge display, effectively, on your mobile device.

A highlight of each of the Nexus ECU’s is a built-in PDM, or Power Distribution Module, which is a relatively new device that distributes power to all the electrical devices in a vehicle via a single discrete box with solid-state switching that replaces traditional fuses and relays. Like the R3, the Rebel LS features a simplified PDM that’s meant for running things that are on the engine, not power windows or other external items. If you need a lot of I/O that’s powered, you’d still want a PD16 or an R5. There’s four high-current outputs that are all 25 amp, just like the R3/R5 and PD16, and for the sake of simplicity, three of them are not user-configurable … they’re just directly powering the fuel pump, the fan, and the injector and ignition. “So you’ve only got one output that’s user-configurable, that simplifies the other three things,” Law explains. “You don’t need a fuse box or a relay to go with these power outputs. So the big carryover from the other Nexus units is the capability to use the built-in PDM for diagnostics and for simplification and to bring your power distribution into the some software suite as your engine management system.”

Additionally, there are other Nexus Series benefits like the AVI’s that have the ability to do short-circuit detection for the injectors and ignition outputs. There’s also the ability to look at an oscilloscope on the trigger, as well as a built-in wideband and data-logging.

Specifications

OUTPUTS
Ignition 8 Pre-Configured Outputs (High Impedance Only)
Injector 8 Pre-Configured Outputs
Low Side Switched/Digital Pulsed Outputs (DPO) 4
25A Outputs 3 x Dedicated (Ignition / Injection, Fuel Pump and Cooling Fan)
1 x User Definable
INPUTS
User Definable Analog Voltage Inputs (AVI) 2
Engine Position Inputs 2 Dedicated Crank And Cam inputs
User Definable Synchronised Pulsed Inputs (SPI) 4 (Can Be Programmed For AVIs)
Pre Configured Knock Inputs 2
On-board Wideband Controller (LSU 4.9 Only) 1 (Expandable To 10 With Haltech CAN WB Modules)
Ignition Switch Input 1
COMMUNICATIONS
CAN Bus Networks 1 Dedicated Haltech CAN
High-Speed USB 2.0 (USB-C interface) 1
On-board Wi-Fi YES
OTHER
On-board Data Logging 32MB
On-board MAP Sensor 4Bar (Absolute) / 43.5 PSI Gauge
Oscilloscope 4 Channel
5V Sensor Supply 1
8V Sensor Supply 1
Sensor Ground 1
FEATURES
Easy Set Up Wizard YES
Drive-By-Wire Throttle Support 1
Flex Fuel YES
Closed Loop O2 Control Dual Bank (Requires Additional Sensor / Controller)
Knock Control Dual
Variable Cam Control NO
Auto Trans Control Coming Soon
Long Term Learning YES – 3D
Data Logging Laptop Onboard
Anti-Lag Rotational Idle YES
Launch Control YES
Traction Control YES
Tuning Table Resolution 32 x 32 – 3D
Engine Protection Multi-Level
CAN Networks 1 (Haltech CAN Only)
Nitrous Control YES
Boost Control 3D Closed Loop
Flat Shift Control YES
Shock Travel & Ride Height YES
Race Timer YES
Driveshaft And Engine RPM Targeting NO

Through the NSP software, any channel that’s within the ECU can be monitored just the same as the R3 and R5, with very high-rate data and a large number of channels. There’s also wireless connectivity after setup.

All of the ease of use and the diagnostics of the Nexus series is available in the Rebel LS. But the biggest benefit of all of this is how the ECU ties into the app and the ease of initial set up — you don’t even need a PC to get a car up and running. “If you do some additional tuning, it’s going to get extra horsepower, as it would in any situation, but you wouldn’t need to. And to have that app available to you to use the wizard to piece together your own Map, just off those known hard parts, that opens up the engine swap game to a lot of people that have never had the opportunity to work on anything EFI-related or this complicated before. If they strap a turbo to it, or set up a nitrous oxide system, they’re going to want to open a laptop and make sure that they’re getting maximum horsepower and not actively trying to hurt anything, but to get things started, this makes it easier than it’s ever been before,” Law says.

There’s been a gap in the product line, and this is meant to fill that, while being specifically tailored to the LS platform. – Chris Law, Haltech

The Nexus Rebel LS carefully positioned to meet the needs of entry-level and intermediate enthusiasts alike who are utilizing the industry’s most popular engine platform in a variety of ways. It also provides a doorway to electronic fuel injection for many who would otherwise utilize more antiquated fuel and ignition systems in their garage swap projects, with all the right features — but not too many features — at an attractive price.

Haltech is aiming to have the Rebel LS available for sale before the end of the year. Pricing information will be made available soon.

The Six Kits:

Rebel LS Kit – Suits Cable throttle, Multec 2 Injectors, Manual Transmission
Supplied with: Rebel LS ECU, Main Harness, Throttle Breakout Harness, Injector Breakout Harness, Transmission Breakout Harness, O2 Sensor and hardware kit, Air Temp Sensor and weld-on bung, Ring terminals with insulator boots

Rebel LS Kit – Suits Cable throttle, EV1 Injectors, Manual Transmission
Supplied with: Rebel LS ECU, Main Harness, Throttle Breakout Harness, Injector Breakout Harness, Transmission Breakout Harness, O2 Sensor and hardware kit, Air Temp Sensor and weld-on bung, Ring terminals with insulator boots

Rebel LS Kit – Suits Cable throttle, EV6 Injectors, Manual Transmission
Supplied with: Rebel LS ECU, Main Harness, Throttle Breakout Harness, Injector Breakout Harness, Transmission Breakout Harness, O2 Sensor and hardware kit, Air Temp Sensor and weld-on bung, Ring terminals with insulator boots

Rebel LS Kit – Suits 6-pin DBW, EV1 Injectors, Manual Transmission
Supplied with: Rebel LS ECU, Main Harness, Throttle Breakout Harness, Injector Breakout Harness, Transmission Breakout Harness, Pedal Adaptor Harness, O2 Sensor and hardware kit, Air Temp Sensor and weld-on bung, Ring terminals with insulator boots

Rebel LS Kit – Suits 6-pin DBW, EV6 Injectors, Manual Transmission
Supplied with: Rebel LS ECU, Main Harness, Throttle Breakout Harness, Injector Breakout Harness, Transmission Breakout Harness, Pedal Adaptor Harness, O2 Sensor and hardware kit, Air Temp Sensor and weld-on bung, Ring terminals with insulator boots

Rebel LS Kit – Suits 8-pin DBW, Multec 2 Injectors, Manual Transmission
Supplied with: Rebel LS ECU, Main Harness, Throttle Breakout Harness, Injector Breakout Harness, Transmission Breakout Harness, Pedal Adaptor Harness, O2 Sensor and hardware kit, Air Temp Sensor and weld-on bung, Ring terminals with insulator boots

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
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