AIM or Racepak ? How much?? So confusing


Getting ready to replace the gauges in my spec E30 325 is…

How much are comparable units? I need at a minimum rpm, speed, oil press, water temp, oil temp, and fuel would be nice. It would seem that neither unit plugs directly into my stock ECU, and Racepack has gps for 1500 but no sensors. AIM has 2 sensors, but no GPS and is 2000 bucks.

Any opinion on which is better for a spec E30 or other Club racer?

What can I expect to spend to get a decent system in my car without having to have any other gauges???

Thanks for your input,



You locked into the idea of a “gauge cluster” replacement or are you still open to alternatives where you keep the OEM cluster? If so, what are the top 3 things you’re trying to accomplish?

IMO a top priority on this is to use the same system that others in your area are using. Being able to share data is half the value of having it.


No, I am open, but I do like the idea. I have to buy all the gauges anyway. I do agree I will poll other drivers in my area, but I was hoping someone could just bottom line the issue for me on what the price difference is for comparable systems.

It just seems like the two top companies make it difficult to price out comparable systems. I also am unsure if there us any system that plugs into my ecu, because that obviously solves many issues. Most systems need M3 or E46 Ecus to port info to the dash.

Thanks for all your help



I know of nothing that plugs into our DME. OBD1 is pretty primitive. The all in one dash replacements have their charms but it’s an investment to get it all working. Once you do, it’s nice that you have data for everything that you’ve installed a sensor for.

Most everyone is partial to their own setup. I have a Traqmate because that’s by far the most common datalogger for SpecE30 on the East Coast. I’m not that fast so it’s a big deal for me to have data from fast people for every track I care about. I use Stack gauges because they have data-outs for the logger. Altho Stack gauges also support external warning lights, my oil and cooling pressure lights have their own sensors.

Stack was bought out a couple years ago by Autometer who is now rebranding some Stack gauges.

Traqmate has a new display that is a significant improvement over what I have.

I’d attack this by IDing the most common datalogger in your region. Then I’d buy that datalogger and start figuring out how to make it do whatever else I wanted done.


After you have your traqmate and stacks connected to it…how far away from you are 3k bucks to have a full racepak system installed?


TM with the old style display. $900
Autometer oil and coolant temp gauges $179
Autometer oil pressure gauge $204.

In my case I have a big oil mechanical oil pressure gauge instead of the above OP guage, but that creates some hassle in logging OP.

I also have a F/A meter and fuel pressure gauge on my dash. I put them in when I was in a death fight with engine management problems. Darn useful.

I’m less obsessed now than I used to be, so I’ve not set up my current car to log hardly anything. It’s predecessor was set up to log oil and coolant temps, F/A and oil pressure.

One thing I learned about logging sensors, during my obsessed days, was that the best way to do it was by using a gauge that had an output designed for logging. Trying to use the 5v reference source from the TM doesn’t work to well because you end up with a very small voltage range in your measurements. Like coolant temp at 50deg might be 2v, and coolant tempt at 200deg might be 3v. That’s too small for accurate data.

I was kind of obstinate re. the mechanical oil pressure gauge. I was determined to keep it yet also find a way to log OP. Ultimately I bought a little “voltage regulator on a chip” that could input a range of voltages and output a very stable, I dunno, 18v or something. That allowed me to create a signal range of something like 0psi was 3v and 70psi was 12v. That was a large enough area that the data was reliably accurate. Had I not been so obstinate I’d have just bought a Stack/Autometer OP gauge.

The folks that have those dash replacement systems do seem to like them, but I still think the idea of broadly sharing data is the most significant issue. A secondary issue is that if lots of people are using the same system, you won’t have any unique problems. Any of the systems can be made to work. A price delta of $1k seems like an awful lot of money, but a single race can burn thru that. So I’d get whatever the other guys are using.

The guys I know that have dash replacements are Rich Bratton and Jim Levie. They’d be happy to provide insights I’m sure. You can send them an email via the Members link at left. Don’t PM them, they aren’t on the site often enough. The guys at BimmerForums\Track subforum also might be a good resource for info.


I have an IQ3 logger dash and it’s possibly for sale. My whole cluster was junk so it seemed like a much better deal to buy a replacement dash for 1500 plus usm with everything included than to fix the guages and then add an inferior logger for another 1k. Adding sensors is the part that can get expensive if you buy the plug and play ones from racepack. I use a usm module for logging OP and temps so it isn’t that bad. Aim seem like a terrible deal to me compared to the racepack.

I bought mine from

Heres one of my old video using the trackvision software.


A full replacement dash can be a lot of work. Do you have any data experience already? if not, I would not recommend starting full dash replacement on top of trying to learn data acquisition.

Best case (as mentioned above) is a system where you can get help with the guys who will be at the race in your region. I also recommend you stick with a GPS based system for ease of use and portability.

I’m partial to Race Technology (because of their software) but deal in other systems as well, not to mention having used every brand mentioned above. For most people having the integrated video to go along with the data is probably much better money spent than having a full replacement dash.


Thanks for all your help. Does the track vision software and racepak link up timing ?

Is this an issue?


It’s been a while since I’ve used Trackvision (still have a license) but my memory is it works with just about everything. However it is a labor intensive process and something you probably wouldn’t due during the race weekend, and that to me limits is learning potential – more a memento or something to review your best lap with the next time you are going back to the same track (or maybe to post online).

Honestly Racepak is at the bottom of the list for me due to the software (hardware is very good) and I’ve had more customers switch from that to another system than any other because of the software. FWIW

A system you use is infinitely more valuable than one that you don’t.


[quote=“Srparr65” post=75038]Thanks for all your help. Does the track vision software and racepak link up timing ?

Is this an issue?[/quote]

TrackVision will handle most every data logger because all it needs is a .csv file, which the logger software will happily provide.

I’d focus tho on choosing the right data logger. It’s early to worry about the software you’ll use to create a visual “dashboard” on your video. As long as you choose a mainstream datalogger, there will be a way to add that data to video. Traqmate has it’s own app TraqView to do it. I imagine several of the other major data logger players also have proprietary apps to combine their data with your video. So maybe TrackVision, or RaceRender, or any other video + data oriented app won’t be necessary.


I installed a racepak in my car and it is an awesome piece of hardware. Overall I’m very happy w/ it, but it did require a lot of work to get everything to work. Like figuring out what sensors to get, how to get fuel level, warnings, alternator exciter etc. You also need to figure out how to mount it, and then wire up page buttons. Takes quite a bit of work.


I had to sync video manually. Triggering the camera automatically was on a list of projects I didn’t get to.


I have a STACK dash display and logger in my car and only because it was partially complete when I purchased the car.

Good: The actual dash display is awesome and the predictive lap timing works extremely well. The software is very polished, powerful, easy to use, and I think better than the AIM or Traqmate software offerings. Out of the box, the system can monitor oil temp, oil pressure, water temp, fuel pressure, speed, g-force, RPM, battery voltage, lap time, and really every thing you need. STACK is pro-level stuff that you will find in Grand Am cars.

Bad: GPS is extra and the system still requires a beacon at the start/finish line. The downside is forgetting the beacon at the track which I’ve done twice. Integrated video is extra and the quality sucks; I abandoned the STACK video and now use a Mobius action cam. Pro-level prices…