How much does altitude affect engine power? - Ford Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009 Thread Starter
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How much does altitude affect engine power?

hey guys, i just recently moved from sea level to colorado springs (6000 feet) and my stang is running alittle sluggish, anyone heard of power issues from being at such high altitude? is there a way to reset the computer to adjust for the thinner air or will it adjust automaticly?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009
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any N\A engine will lose power with altitude the comp will adjust auto best thing to do sprchg or trbo cause then now matter how thin it will just compress more to keep the boost level
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009
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It should adjust a little on its own but you are going to lose some horsepower.

hp loss = (elevation x 0.03 x hp @ sea level)/1000

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009
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it adjusts to keep the AF ratio right (although the tables are always a little conservative, so you will usually run a tad more rich, nothing excessive though). However, thinner air has less oxygen, so despite the computer correcting the fuel table for less air, there is still less air to burn in the same volume, so unless you increase your displacement (ie bigger motor), or force more air in with a forced induction, you are always going to lose power. Even FI cars lose power, and nothing automatically restores it.. The "upside" is, with less oxygen, you can run lower octane on the same AF and spark advance.. Not much consolation, since you lose power either way, and don't fuel up in a high elevation area then drive down to sea level if your tune is for 93 octane..

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009 Thread Starter
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stl by your calculation i am losing 52 hp at 6000 feet, didn't plan on going forced for a while but now i may look more deeply into it

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarauderMustang View Post
stl by your calculation i am losing 52 hp at 6000 feet, didn't plan on going forced for a while but now i may look more deeply into it
But on the + side, you can drive faster and get the same MPG or you will get better MPG at the same speeds than you did at sea level.
Did you Join the Air Force? Pilots deal with the effects of altitude a lot. Its a huge performance factor for their machines.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarauderMustang View Post
stl by your calculation i am losing 52 hp at 6000 feet, didn't plan on going forced for a while but now i may look more deeply into it
That's about right. Generally about 10hp per 1000 ft.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009
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Even horsepower is bigger in Texas.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009
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Quote:
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Even horsepower is bigger in Texas.

And that is truly frightening!

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009 Thread Starter
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lol true, but generally anyone i might "test" my car agaists, as long as they are NA will have the same problem also. now i need to save the money for the super charger

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General aviation piston engines are designed to run at 75% of max power at altitude. They have adjustable mixture controls that the pilot adjusts by using an exhaust gas temp indicator. It it generally accepted that it is no longer possible to get that 75% power above 5000ft. Outside air temp and humidity has an affect also.

I wonder if there is a tune that will adjust the mixture better for a high altitude area like Denver. Dont know if the stock Ford tune has that much adjustability built in. That would be worth a call to a tuner locally to see what they say.

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My experience is this: I live in Western Colorado at 4800'. Stock my car dyno'd at 255 while my uncles car (same basic setup) dyno'd at 265 in Texas. Several factors must be taken into account air temp, type of dyno etc. When I went SC (saleen via brenspeed) their Vetter killer package with a 3.4 (6-7 psi) pulley only dyno'd at 400 rwhp and 400 rwtq, went to the 3.2 (7-8 psi) pulley and the power jumped up to 430-440 (depends on tune) and 420-440 tq. I am now running a 3.0 pulley (9-10) psi but I have not strapped it down since switching to the smaller pulley. According the crew at Brenspeed the computer should adj for the altitude once a good tune is loaded. So far I have had zero luck finding a good tuner in colorado.

Altitude definetly had an effect on what the SC was able to put out.
Just my experience for what it is worth.
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Just ask Bkid how much altitude affects track times

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