Originally Posted by mikeflys1
Not really that relevant but, I'm like 99% sure the 96-97's used the CAS exactly like the OBD1 cars did and the crank mounted wheel was just for misfire detection.
Originally Posted by Boost Joose
Why did mazda choose to switch the rear mounted exhaust cam sensor for a front mount ticker style sensor?
I don't know what a "ticker-style" sensor is, but ignoring the '96'-97 crank sensor (which, as has been noted, was used only for OBD-II misfire detection) there are essentially three different sensor setups:
1: The '90-'97 cars used the cam-driven "CAS." This was a natural evolution for the previously distributor-based B series engine, and was "good enough".
2: In '99, they upgraded to a seperate crank sensor and cam sensor. The crank sensor provided a more stable trigger signal, as it was not affected by timing-belt slop. The cam sensor was placed at the front of the valve cover, and detected bumps on the intake cam pulley. I don't know why this specific location was chosen.
3: In '01, the cam sensor was moved to the top of the valve cover, and read marks cast into the camshaft itself. This was necessary in order to accommodate the VVT system, as the ECU needed to know the exact position of the cam, which was not the same as the position of the cam pulley.
Ok, long story short: If you can program the AEM to understand the rather unusual pattern which would result, there is no technical reason why you could not run an NA-style CAS with an NB-style crank sensor.