Visiting Haltech: The Brains Behind The Brains
Automated Assembly

Factory tours of everything from tuning shops to performance parts manufacturers are something I’ve always enjoyed. They seem to be a hit with you guys too, as you get to see what’s behind brands that you’ve heard of, respected and lusted over for so long.

But I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what I got to see at Haltech when I was in Sydney, Australia, for the 2016 Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge a few months back.


To tell you the truth, I didn’t really know what to expect as my usual shop visits are made up of noisy, dirty and greasy factories where different metals are turned into shiny parts. I also wasn’t too clued up on what goes into the production and assembly of engine management systems, nor the dozens of other boxes of electronic wizardry that Haltech designs and manufactures. But I was about to learn.

I met up with David Marriott, Haltech’s Sales and Marketing Manager, who wasted no time taking me straight to where production of the company’s products begins. And you know what? There were no production lines, cutting and machining noises, nor greasy and oily floors. It was clinical, very quiet and pretty alien. As David led me to the only noisy room in the building we passed countless offices where people were quietly working away on electronics.

And this was where I was blown away. I guess when you need to ship out countless ECU modules you always have to be building them, which is what this crazy machine does.


It’s an automated insertion machine that attaches chips, capacitors and various other components onto printed circuit boards at what seems like the speed of sound.

Hit play and see it in action for yourselves.


It then shoots out the boards with all the components set down in place, saving a huge amount of man hours over the process being done by hand. It also removes any potential for mistakes.

Once the boards are stocked up on a tray they are then ready to be passed along to the next production phase.


Twelve at a time they are set down in a vapor-phase soldering machine that affixes everything into place. It’s a fast and defective-free way to tackle soldering, and one that guarantees high reliability to the finished ECU.


There is of course human intervention in the process – each board being manually checked over prior to being sent out.


And that includes board inspection at a microscopic level.

The Human Touch

On top of the regular production there are a multitude of other bits and pieces that need to then be added onto the various circuit boards that make up the main section of an ECU. Things like MAP sensors, I/O connectors and boost sensors just to name a few. They’re all soldered in place by very skilled hands.


Everything is tested and retested to ensure complete functionality, because at the end of the day these products control engines, be them in a stock state or fully built for competition.


Given that I’m running an Elite 2500 in Project GT-R now, I was quite keen to see how these units are assembled.


It all fits into a weatherproof ABS plastic box that features an aluminum lower section to help dissipate heat away from the electronics.


This is what the Elite looks like with the I/O door removed. Seeing as it’s a universal ECU, it doesn’t come with a model-specific connector built into it; you connect it up to the appropriate wiring loom which then hooks up to your car’s factory connector.


Here are the insides of some other ECU models that the company produces.


If you are familiar with Haltech’s line-up you will recognize the Platinum Pro, a true plug-and-play ECU offered for a variety of applications along with a universal-type solution. These all come with a base map which allows you to fit it into your car, crank the engine into life and start the mapping right away.


Then it was over to the harness section. This must look like a true nightmare to anyone without an understanding of electronics – it does to me, that’s for sure – but I’m assured it’s all very simple. You are just bridging a gap between your car and the ECU and making sure that every sensor is able to function with the new brains in your car. Easier said than done!


This is what the plug-and-play Nissan connector looks like. This will hook up to your car and then, via the Haltech loom, connect directly to an Elite series ECU.


Haltech is forever expanding the range thanks to continuous testing and requests, so David advises people to regularly check the website to see if their application is listed.

30 Years On The Scene

If you have ever looked at Haltech’s YouTube channel you will know that the guys do a lot of testing on the in-house Dyno Dynamics roller dynamometer, be it for development or for their ‘How-to’ series of videos. However, around WTAC time this becomes a very busy area of the operation as maps are refined prior to the event.


Outside, I was quite confused by this 2J rig. This is a tool that Haltech uses to teach about engine mapping and all the various products it designs and manufactures, which is why it has a crazy amount of sensors fitted, like one exhaust gas temperature reading for each of the six cylinders.

After checking out the production downstairs, David brought me to the offices upstairs to meet some of the staff behind Haltech. This is the after sales office where customers and tuners can call in with questions and get answers direct from the gurus like Scott and Mitch who write and develop the software.


This is one of the workstations where Haltech’s software is run up on. If you have an issue, can’t get stuff to work properly, or are getting strange errors popping up from various sensors, you tell these guys.


They will then replicate your issue and find a solution. Even better, they can connect to your ECU remotely if you or your tuner/mapper is plugged into your ECU and are on a Wi-Fi network. It’s amazing what you can do these days!


The next stop was the R&D area. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to shoot much in here as there is a lot of top secret stuff going on that we will be seeing hitting the market soon.


Like a reverse tour of a facility, I started off in the heart of the production area but ended up in reception.


One thing that was pretty obvious is that every single guy that works in this company is very passionate about cars and the stuff they are doing. And it really shows with the continuous pace of innovation that Haltech has managed to keep over the last few years in particular.


Haltech celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, which is a real milestone for any company. It became very well known early on for its solutions in the drag racing scene, but has come a long way since with ECUs aimed at all manner of automobiles and disciplines, from regular street car applications to the crazier time attack movement that Australia has become a leader in.


It’s a cool place with cool people who are all very friendly and welcoming, something you find at the core of all great companies. As most people were finishing work for the day it was about time I left, but I thought I’d stay and chill out a bit and pick Scott’s brain about my GT-R as he was washing his new Ford Falcon family car. Yes, the one with the turbocharged 4.0-liter straight-six engine. Family car, yeah sure, Scott…


There were, of course, other interesting cars to look at too.

It might have been a quick tour, but I’m very glad I got to see all the work that goes into a Haltech ECU and really understand why this is a special company with a bright future.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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I was hoping to see a picture of tuning fork


Never heard of the falcon! Is that an Australia only ford? Anything like it anywhere else?
-regards from the US


189021 Yup Australia only, but they cut production around a few weeks back. They were great cars. You could get the 4L straight 6, designed and developed in Australia as well as a Coyote 5.0L. They are pretty much like other v8 sedans but much cheaper. Great cars and they will be sorely missed.


PnP machine and a performance shop have a baby.

Named Haltech.


Awesome insight into one of my favourite companies. And dropping a couple of cheeky little Evo 6 pictures are just enough to wet my appetite! U0001f602


If you follow mighty car mods the dyno room and the man washing the falcon will be very familiar to you


masterminds using electronics to mix air and fuel to make massively (it's a word trust me) reliable power day in day out. it's an amazing witchcraft and i love it. Top notch


Somebody needs to tell them that the shrubbery in their reception area needs a little watering.   Loved this coverage, never stop doing shop tours!


189021 Yould should search up the V8 Supercars race we have in Australia if you like them. Unfortunately it looks like it will be coming to a end because of what ROYFZ said


189021 ROYFZ i.e. the v8 part anyway with holden and ford


There's Tuning Fork!


Tuning Fork with the Jays haha 

Good write up! I have a Hlatech in my car and it's so good to have a company from Australia recognised world wide.

The Wifi tuning thing is incredible. I didnt even know that was possible.




DinoSawr Yeah Haltech does great things, and always glad to help out. Wireless tuning is a reality, I have a friend who maps as a professions who does a couple of cars a week remotely.


AceAndrew2 LOL tours rock! Two more coming up from Australia, care to guess what? :)


Janne Koskinen Yeah Scott also presents most of the videos on the Haltech YouTube channel. Very knowledgeable fellow.


ROYFZ 189021 Yeah can't believe 1) they cut production 2) never put that engine anywhere else outside of Aus??!!  The Barra and the single cam version that came before it which can also make very big and reliable power. The Aussie 2JZ? haha


What is the silver hatch, with the hatch left open, in the opening shot?  I'm in the US and don't recognize it.


Nitroracer  Mitsubishi Mirage. You guys might know it as a Colt?


I saw the draft which had said $8897 , I didnt believe that ........ my ...... cousin was like they say actualey bringing home money in there spare time from their laptop.....
there moms best frend started doing this 4 less than 8 months and resently repayed the mortgage on their home and bourt a great new Alfa Romeo .


speedhunters_dino ROYFZ 189021 Its quite heartbreaking to the the car you have dedicated you life to, go out of production. But what can you do... All I can hope for I some sweet speedhunters coverage!


I doubt the US got this car at all. Here in Europe it's called the Colt, but I think 'Murica haven't had a (Dodge) Colt since 1992?


speedhunters_dino AceAndrew2

Surely Turbosmart is one


before I saw the check saying $8075 , I did not believe mother in law woz like they say actualie receiving money in their spare time at there labtop. . there sisters roommate has been doing this less than 14 months.
see it here=====34cashzone.ℭomllllllll


nice topic,

but why didn't scott bring his nissan stagea "double unicorn" with him for this day!!!

loved his build!!!


It's kind of a shame that Audi didn't fully capitalize on the fastback sedan market until know. I personally believe the previous generation B8 A5 Sportback was a better looking car ( exterior wise ) than the new B9. Audi did revolutionize the market with the A7, see more..█████████▒❥❥❥═════════❥❥❥★★★<b><bg=.


JamesDowling speedhunters_dino AceAndrew2 I remember your December preview, can't wait to see the coverage.


I'm surprised by the lack of ESD control on the board manufacturing line: no grounding wrist straps and dudes working on boards away from stations with no ESD mats. I guess if they test everything before it ships, that should be sufficient, but you'd think they would want to keep from damaging the product during manufacturing.


as a colt owner I'm really interested in that mirage sitting there in the corner of the first pic, 4g63 powered?


arthurkempf Apologies, I didn't take a closer look at that one


cbake Are you talking about static?


GerbertSonder The V8 swapped one? I don't think that's his


AceAndrew2 JamesDowling speedhunters_dino Yes, that and Hypertune :)


ROYFZ speedhunters_dino 189021 The engine alone needs to be recognized. I must research!


Your looking mechanical stig this was tuning fork.


any spotlight for the Evo?


They stopped selling a hatch here in the early 90s, but we did get the coupe and sedan for a few more years.


Yeah that's Bennie's not Scott's


Your not missing out on much don't worry


I'm amazed that people can earn $9184

                                    in  weeks ..................


speedhunters_dino cbake yeah thats the first thing that I was thinking too, their workspace is cluttered with so much extra things, notebooks, cell phones, that dude even has a water bottle next to the assembling area. I would think that with no grounding straps they would at least use an ESD mat, but it looks like it just goes straight to the table.. whats the point of running tests if you're just going to expose the boards to potential ESD later in the assembly line.


heyitsrama speedhunters_dino cbake
Tektronixs TDS2000 series scope in an R&D; lab hmmmmmmm


Yes, ESD = ElectroStatic Discharge


Oh wait got it all wrong!!! Sorry guys!!!
Would love to see a topic on that one btw!!! U0001f44cU0001f60e
Great topic tho!!!
As being active in the electrical world of refurbishing the car components, for me it's a shame to see how messy Un organized and not ESD protected this company is..


speedhunters_dino ROYFZ 189021 I see the Barra as kind of sweet spot between Japanese sixes and American V8's. Torque, balance and weight!


LeoChong No sorry :(


cbake Not sure, maybe we can try and have Haltech answer that one.


ROYFZ speedhunters_dino 189021 I love everything about that motor


I'm in shock that a stay at home mom can earn $8303

                                   in one month ................


Wow!! Great article sir!, now i know what makes haltech an awsome brand.
I wish i was lucky, could travel around the globe, visiting automotive factories, aftermarket part companies & also visiting those little but awsome shops that i never know before
Thank you speeshunters!!


The crumpled orange BA/BF in the last pic makes me a little sad =/ .... I do agree there needss to be more BARRA powered vehicles featured on speed hunters.


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speedhunters_dino ROYFZ 189021 any 4.0-liter I6 that comes with a factory GT35R is A-OK in my book. I have to believe one of the reasons the rest of the world never saw this engine is because it would put the iconic Mustang V8 to shame, quite frankly.


shhh Amen. I've been obsessed with those engines ever since I saw an XR6 Turbo when I was goofing off in computer classe in middle school


The outside, BMW. The front of the Audi doesn't look so good, very boring. The BMW's lights, grille and front facia look better. As for the rear they both look good. Inside I'll have to go with Audi bc it looks fresh. --------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>►►►►►►