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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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So I Got My Thunderbird on a Dyno

I know during my duration as a member here on these forums, I have often gotten into discussions with members about the performance my car might or might not be putting out. In my previous posts I have often stood behind the modifications I have done to my vehicle as being extremely helpful in increasing the fuel economy and performance of my car. Some people on these boards took issue to my personal experience and so I sought to put my Thunderbird on a dyno in order to set the record straight with quantitative measurements.



My vehicle:
1989 Thunderbird
3.8 V6 / AOD
127,000 miles

Modifications:
Air Silencer Delete
Polished Throttle Body
High Flow Catalytic Converters
Full 2.5in Exhaust with 18" Magnaflow DISO

Keep in mind all of the sensors and vacuum lines on my engine are new, as well as spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor, air filter. My fuel injectors were cleaned 1000 miles ago.

My car left the Lorain Ford plant nearly 24 years ago today (12/12/1988) with 140hp and 215 lb ft at the crank. On 12/09/2012, my Thunderbird put up these numbers on the dyno, at the wheels:





125HP and 250lb ft at the rear wheels. The gentleman at the dyno place believes its probably around 150HP and 275lb ft at the crank.

When I get my M5R2 off the floor in my garage and In the car, I'm going to try for 275 at the wheels. My fuel trim looked slightly lean during the whole run so if I got a tune it would probably help me out. What do you guys think I should do next to increase my performance?

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3.8L V6 / M5R2 / 145,005 miles
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 02:00 PM
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Put an electric fan on it. Run 93 octane and set base timing to 14*. Maybe underdrive pulleys will work from a super coupe?

1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Put an electric fan on it. Run 93 octane and set base timing to 14*. Maybe underdrive pulleys will work from a super coupe?
I was just thinking e-fan, great idea. Raising the timing for a run is a great idea too, I should buy a timing light and tweak it, I just have to make sure its back in specification before my next smog in January of '14. While I don't like the idea of running my accessories slower, I was trying to read that dyno sheet and analyze my fuel trims. It looks like I was slightly lean for the duration of my runs, I wonder if thats a tune issue or an injector issue. Could it be time for some 19# injectors?

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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 03:42 PM
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I wonder if thats a tune issue or an injector issue. Could it be time for some 19# injectors?
Yes and yes - and no.

If you're swapping injectors, try going a bit bigger - say 24# to 30#. And you'll definately need a tune for that.

I'd start with a tune first, though.

It may be, if you're still under 80% duty cycle, a tune will take care of it.

Then again, go with what your tuner says, not me - I'm doing this from reading a book, but Real World Experience(tm) is a MUCH better thing, especially if the person with RWE has Copious Book Knowledge (CBK)

RwP
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yes and yes - and no.

If you're swapping injectors, try going a bit bigger - say 24# to 30#. And you'll definately need a tune for that.

I'd start with a tune first, though.

It may be, if you're still under 80% duty cycle, a tune will take care of it.

Then again, go with what your tuner says, not me - I'm doing this from reading a book, but Real World Experience(tm) is a MUCH better thing, especially if the person with RWE has Copious Book Knowledge (CBK)

RwP
Yeah I will have to find a guy who can do tunes on OBD-1 Fords, I have no idea where to look.

From that dyno chart it seems to me like I'm hitting some kind of performance wall for the duration of my powerband. I'm convinced there's not enough fuel making it into the engine. I really need something to get my HP level up as 125 to the wheels doesn't cut it...

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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 03:55 PM
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Yeah, based on "the number" for our chassis that RWHP figure puts you at a tad over 143 BHP. Still pretty good for a 24 year old Essex. The stock tune actually runs on the rich side at WOT; based on those graphs it looks like you were tuning close to stoich before you went open loop, then it went a bit lean like you say. It would have been interesting to see what it would have done closer to the limiter.

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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, based on "the number" for our chassis that RWHP figure puts you at a tad over 143 BHP. Still pretty good for a 24 year old Essex. The stock tune actually runs on the rich side at WOT; based on those graphs it looks like you were tuning close to stoich before you went open loop, then it went a bit lean like you say. It would have been interesting to see what it would have done closer to the limiter.
Actually it hit the limiter so the RPMs were off. He had the computer registering the spark at the coil every 90* rather than every 120* like i'm pretty sure it should have been. This caused the computer to display the RPMs 25% low.

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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 04:24 PM
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Injectors and E-fan can easily be done during a splitport swap...then you get a tune.

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'93 Ford Thunderbird - Splitport & M5r2
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Injectors and E-fan can easily be done during a splitport swap...then you get a tune.
Thats really what I need in order to get that HP number out of the gutter. I'm happy with the torque I'm making. Just need more HP. Id definitely be asking your help if I decided to do a splitport swap on my car, it seems like there's alot to it.

So right now the restriction on my car is the computer, correct? Then my fuel injectors? Then followed by my intake manifold and heads?

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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Raptor22 View Post
Thats really what I need in order to get that HP number out of the gutter. I'm happy with the torque I'm making. Just need more HP. Id definitely be asking your help if I decided to do a splitport swap on my car, it seems like there's alot to it.

So right now the restriction on my car is the computer, correct? Then my fuel injectors? Then followed by my intake manifold and heads?
Well what HP would you be happy with? A splitport swap wont change the torque numbers much. With the swap, injectors, and tune, you would be around 200 HP. There's a lot involved but its not that complicated.

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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Well what HP would you be happy with? A splitport swap wont change the torque numbers much. With the swap, injectors, and tune, you would be around 200 HP. There's a lot involved but its not that complicated.
I would be very happy with 200 RWHP. My manual swap and a tune will probably help the torque though.

What about a splitport swap makes it so much more powerful with no torque gains?

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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 06:09 PM
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Keeping the AC? If not short belt it.

1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Keeping the AC? If not short belt it.
Yeah I am. Currently its not working because my receiver dryer leaks but I will fix that once it gets warm. AC is nice to have in CA.

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post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Raptor22 View Post
I would be very happy with 200 RWHP. My manual swap and a tune will probably help the torque though.

What about a splitport swap makes it so much more powerful with no torque gains?
In one word = Airflow

Take a look at the splitport design. Each cylinder has two intake runners, a long one to help with air velocity at low RPMs and a short one for increased air at higher RPMs.

Also, the butterfly valves closing off the short intake runners helps increase torque at lower RPMs.

-g

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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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In one word = Airflow

Take a look at the splitport design. Each cylinder has two intake runners, a long one to help with air velocity at low RPMs and a short one for increased air at higher RPMs.

Also, the butterfly valves closing off the short intake runners helps increase torque at lower RPMs.

-g
I see. Its just looking like right now though my fuel system cant keep up with my current level of airflow. Or am I wrong?

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post #16 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 11:57 PM
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I see. Its just looking like right now though my fuel system cant keep up with my current level of airflow. Or am I wrong?
Your wrong on this one. I have mostly stock fuel system parts from my singleport on my splitport and it runs fine, but you can make an argument that its maxed out.

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post #17 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 12:12 AM
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Your wrong on this one. I have mostly stock fuel system parts from my singleport on my splitport and it runs fine, but you can make an argument that its maxed out.
My agree with Bay_Bird93. There are plenty of folks who run stock injectors with splitport upgrade. However, from what I've read, the stock 19# injectors used in a Mustang have a spray pattern that is optimized for the splitport intakes.

That being said, if you want to keep your existing singleport intake manifold, I have a set of six 30# injectors from an 89 Supercoupe I'm willing to let go for cheap if you want to get a tune to take advantage of these higher flow injectors (don't just swap them or you'll run waay too rich). I even have (6) o-ring/pintle injector seal kits (Standard part # SK57) to refurb the injectors before installation that I can include as well. They would plug right in and replace your existing 14# injectors.

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post #18 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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My agree with Bay_Bird93. There are plenty of folks who run stock injectors with splitport upgrade. However, from what I've read, the stock 19# injectors used in a Mustang have a spray pattern that is optimized for the splitport intakes.

That being said, if you want to keep your existing singleport intake manifold, I have a set of six 30# injectors from an 89 Supercoupe I'm willing to let go for cheap if you want to get a tune to take advantage of these higher flow injectors (don't just swap them or you'll run waay too rich). I even have (6) o-ring/pintle injector seal kits (Standard part # SK57) to refurb the injectors before installation that I can include as well. They would plug right in and replace your existing 14# injectors.

-g
As much as I'd like to do the split port swap, I currently don't have the time or the resources for the operation. I think the fuel injectors are a much better idea, I'd just have to find someone who does tunes.

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post #19 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 01:20 AM
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Not bad numbers for an unloaded dyno.

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post #20 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 06:59 AM
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As much as I'd like to do the split port swap, I currently don't have the time or the resources for the operation. I think the fuel injectors are a much better idea, I'd just have to find someone who does tunes.
Step at a time. It's VERY driveable as it is, so I'd start saving up for a QuarterHorse and a copy of Binary Editor (the QH so you CAN tune it, the BE to make it easier to talk to the QH).

After both are purchased, and a base tune if desired, install those.

With that installed, it becomes a LOT easier to adjust when you swap the injectors.

You'll also need a wideband to monitor the exhaust stream - there's some that can replace a standard O2, which means you could leave them installed all the time.

RwP
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post #21 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 09:12 AM
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Stock 19 lb injectors are good up to about 200 rwhp (~255 hp at the crank). After that point, 24 lb injectors should be good up to 250 rwhp (~320 hp at the crank). Here is a nice little calculator you can reference to see what is required for injectors: http://www.injector.com/injectorselection.php

Leave the BSFC about 0.5, but you can bump the duty cycle up to about .9 (that's 90% of max capacity of the injector flow). Of course, you have a 6 cylinder engine.

The point of all this is if you're at 125 rwhp, you have a LONG WAY to go before you need to worry about upgrading your injectors (like about 75 rwhp of improvements).

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post #22 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 09:35 AM
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As much as I'd like to do the split port swap, I currently don't have the time or the resources for the operation. I think the fuel injectors are a much better idea, I'd just have to find someone who does tunes.
With an ECU as old as yours, your options (like mine) are limited to an SCT add-on module that plugs into your stock ECU and loads it with a new program. You can't just plug in a programmer and reflash the existing ECU.

I got my tune from Don @ LaSota racing via mail order but I was going from a stock configuration (95 tbird) to another stock configuration (01 Mustang). You might want to contact him to see if it's worth it.

In your case you may be better off finding a local SCT tuner and do a dyno tune.
Will that be worth your money? I don't know.
-g

PS. to reference an earlier question, your intake manifold/heads (what you gain with a splitport) are probably your biggest limiting factors right now.

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post #23 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 09:51 AM
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Stock 19 lb injectors are good up to about 200 rwhp (~255 hp at the crank). After that point, 24 lb injectors should be good up to 250 rwhp (~320 hp at the crank). Here is a nice little calculator you can reference to see what is required for injectors: http://www.injector.com/injectorselection.php

Leave the BSFC about 0.5, but you can bump the duty cycle up to about .9 (that's 90% of max capacity of the injector flow). Of course, you have a 6 cylinder engine.

The point of all this is if you're at 125 rwhp, you have a LONG WAY to go before you need to worry about upgrading your injectors (like about 75 rwhp of improvements).
Yah, but didn't the NA 3.8 get 14# injectors?

RwP
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post #24 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 09:52 AM
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With an ECU as old as yours, your options (like mine) are limited to an SCT add-on module that plugs into your stock ECU and loads it with a new program. You can't just plug in a programmer and reflash the existing ECU.
For the first - there's also the QuarterHorse from Moates.

For the second, you're right on. It takes OBDII or an add-in module to change the tune.

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post #25 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 10:43 AM
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For the first - there's also the QuarterHorse from Moates.

For the second, you're right on. It takes OBDII or an add-in module to change the tune.

RwP
For the Quarter horse you need to make sure someone makes a definition file for BE for his EEC code first.

1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
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post #26 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 12:54 PM
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before you go buy anything for the 6, see if a V8 swap would be cheaper.

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post #27 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 02:59 PM
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before you go buy anything for the 6, see if a V8 swap would be cheaper.
Bah... thats no fun.

1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
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post #28 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by _95badbird View Post
before you go buy anything for the 6, see if a V8 swap would be cheaper.
Thats where I'm at. The effort required for a split port really isn't that worth it when I consider what I could have with a 5.0 swap. It would probably be less effort and cost about the same.

[-----[ Conner ]-----] ASE P2 Automobile Parts Specialist - P4 General Motors Parts Consultant
The Blunderbird - 1989 Ford Thunderbird
3.8L V6 / M5R2 / 145,005 miles
Thunderbird SC Suspension Swap - Eibach Pro-Kit
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post #29 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:20 PM
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Problem with a 5.0 swap is getting the MN12 specific stuff for it. Motor mount brackets/accessory drive/upper intake/ect. Some 94/5 SN95 stuff is the same of course but can be scarce. Then you'll need to swap wiring PCMs and stuff to run it. When it comes to engine swaps on a car that isn't a dedicated project, working within the existing footprint is more practical in my experience. Split port stuff is easier to find and compared to a regular H.O., nearly as powerful and way lighter. The swap can be done in a weekend and other supporting mods/changes can be made afterwards.

-Matt
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post #30 of 68 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
Yah, but didn't the NA 3.8 get 14# injectors?

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Oh, that I don't know - I don't own or work on 3.8L TBird's too often. Sorry about that if that's the case, but I really don't think it is.

A 14 lb injector would be totally saturated at 100% duty cycle at about 165 hp flywheel horsepower which is less than 129 rwhp. According to that dyno graph above, he's putting down 125 rwhp which I would think would be very hard to achieve with those 14 lb stock injectors.

I'm just sayin'..... If those 3.8L DO come with 14 lb injectors, he definitely needs an upgrade!


EDIT: I referenced a chart I use for fuel injectors and it looks as though that engine DID come with 14 lb injectors! I learned something today!

~Rick

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