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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made this post on another site and thought I would paste it here for those interested:

Okay, we have all heard of guys blowing their engines at 400 hp and other guys handling 560 on the stock bottom end so what's the deal? First of all, these engines are unique and I have seen different cars take different loads. Another big factor is your tune , your equipment, and your gas. When anyone is venturing into and beyond the 400 HP mark, having a custom tuner who knows what he's doing is essential. I'm not talking about a guy who can run a dyno and install a bolt-on - I'm talking about guys who are in the scene and communicate on a regular basis with all the other R&D shops out there and the mod manufacturers. I am lucky enough to have a guy who the manufacturers call when they have a problem.

He's not the only one, but these guys are few and far between and they all know each other. Unless you can get one of these guys to help you with your car, it is not wise to start doubling and beyond the power these cars came with. I give advice and opinions when asked but I want to make sure everyone knows where I stand when it comes to serious power gains. My family is famed hot rods and NHRA dragster builders. We own some of the fastests street rods in the country and my family DOES NOT work on my mustang. Apples and oranges - if I was building a 66 nova or 55 chevy, heck I could get our engine builder (Norm Grimes) to make it as fast as I want to spend. But with this car, I sought out a professional who specializes in THESE cars. A lot of people forget about the tuning factor and the computer and it is the single most important element when modifying these cars. Now for equipment - there are lots of different mods and what people don't seem to realize is that you have to custom tune EVERY TIME you change something on your car. There is also the factor of how the mods perform when combined with other mods. This is a serious mistake many people make. They buy what they think is the best of each mod without researching how well the mods work together - they only look at the individual power gains from each mod and then just guess that you can add the two HP numbers together - doesn't work that way. Shops like St Motorsports, JPC racing, MRI, Brenspeed, etc. etc. have all gone throught the R&D phases of mod combination and you most all of the shops will gladly give you info if you talk to them. Don't be afraid to call several shops to get comparison opinions either and don't just ask what worked, but ask what DIDN'T work and why??

Lastly is gas - although gas alone is not going to save your engine, it is essential that you 'pad the cushion' so to speak. The more HP I make on this 3V, the higher the octane I run. On my 521 rwhp race tune, I run C16 and my daily driver tune (460 rwhp) even gets VP110 mixed with premium gas. A lot of guys don't remove their cats and downstream 02 sensors when making big power jumps and then have to run on much lower octane which makes for a recipe for destruction when they start pushing that motor. Even when my race tune was 481 rwhp - I ran straight VP110 when I used the tune. Also ounderstand that there is ALWAYS a risk and be prepared for that risk when making your decisions. I have said before and I'll say it again - I am building a new engine and if I wasn't - I would not even be at the HP I am now. I would not be pushing the stock bottom end so hard if it was all I had in the dugout.

Hopes this helps some of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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Another post I made in the same thread...

I started to thread to help some other guys out who have been having problems. (you know who you are). We have been getting some responses from different people but you have to bear in mind that every case is individual and you should not assume what happens to one guy is a definitive of how all GT's will react. The reason is because you are only getting one guys version of the story. Not saying anyone is lying, but unless the guy worked on his engine himself, he is only going off of what his tuner/builder is telling him and a lot of times, the tuner/builder would rather tell you what sounds reasonable instead of saying , "I don't know" or worse, admitting he may have done something wrong. The point is no matter what I or anyone else tell you, the facts are the stock bottom end should handle 400-450 rwhp with a custom tune with no problems and many people have done this. The fact is also that it only takes a tuning and/or instal error to ruin an engine even at 300 rwhp. I have had 521 rwhp on the stock bottom end for about 1000 miles now and over 50 WOT passes at the track. I could also blow something at any time. I haven't yet, but you shouldn't take that as it is safe to do so. I try to 'pad the cushion' so to speak as much as possible by having regular checkups, running high octane ALL THE TIME and keeping my car as cool as possible. For example, After every pass at the track, I put 2 bags of ice on the engine to cool things down. I never run my engine hot and try to keep things as cool as possible. But keeping the car cool will also NOT garuntee me anything, it's just helping and all you can do to safeguard when pushing the envelope.

What I'm trying to get accross is TALK to your tuner/builder and speak frankly and expect the same. Ask important questions like, what other new mustangs have you worked on and ask to see dyno's and even the actual cars if possible. If this upsets your tuner, then he is the wrong guy. All of the top shops I know actually appreciate you asking and are more than willing to show you what they have done. Ask how much experience he has with a particualr mod that you want to put in. Most importantly, NEVER tell him how much power you want!!! Tell him to get you as much power as you can safely go with your mods. If your tuner/builder is worth a damn, he will be able to tell you exactly how far you can safely go after getting it on the dyno and playing with it a few times. If you get a response telling you, "we'll put it on and then we'll see" then he is not worth your time. Also, don't assume your tuner/builder is a specialist at everything. He may be very good at s/c's and have little or no experience with NOS, etc. It is not uncommon to take your car to different specialists to perform different functions to get your car right. Whatever mod your putting on your car and especially combination of mods, make sure the guy doing it has a lot of experience with your particular model of car and is confident. Someone with experience will probably have aready learned through trial and error what is safe and what is not.

Lastly, don't make the mistake of thinking these new machines are production copies of their earlier family members. Just about everything has changed on these new mustangs and just because a shop has built lot's of cobras and older GT's, doesn't mean that they can work on these new stangs. Make sure your tuner/shop has experience working on this new mustang. You certaily don't want to be anyone's ginny pig.
 

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Good information. You mentioned every change requires a tune. I am running the CL CAI with Predator 93 Octane tune. I also have Steeda Underdrive Pulleys, FRPP 4.10 Gears, Magnapack Exhaust and next week will have JBA Longtube headers and catted H-pipe. Is it unsafe to continue on the Predator 93 octane tune with these mods?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nick85 said:
Good information. You mentioned every change requires a tune. I am running the CL CAI with Predator 93 Octane tune. I also have Steeda Underdrive Pulleys, FRPP 4.10 Gears, Magnapack Exhaust and next week will have JBA Longtube headers and catted H-pipe. Is it unsafe to continue on the Predator 93 octane tune with these mods?
It's not that's it's unsafe, it's that you won't be getting peak performance. Your octane is fine but Yes, you will certainly need to adjust your 93 tune when the LT's go in. Are you going with hi-flow cats? That is certainly going to adjust your air flow as well and you will need to retune your car to get peak performance. With those mods, I would suggest programming 2 tunes in your predator. 1 for street and 1 for race. On the race tune, bump up the timing just a little (15-18 degrees) and run a low octane race gas (101 octane) and I'll bet you'll see 2-3 10's faster. For those who are going to read this, octane DOES NOT make you any faster. The timing is what's going to make you faster and the higher octane is going to safegaurd your engine with that little bump in timing. :thumbsup
 

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Thanks Chevykiller :cool:
 

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Race Gas again huh...?? What, you just invested in Sunoco Racing Fuels...??

Still don't understand that "cushion", I do understand detonation but that can be tuned away WITHOUT race gas on most cars under 1000 RWHP.

We have seen plenty blown 3-valves... call Al at Boss, he's prolly up at 10 S197 motors by now , or Champion Ford here in Nati about the Saleen they sold...

Which tuner does your guy use? What team(s) is he building/tuning for? Does he know Ken at MD, Eric at SCT?
 

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I understand the race gas thing, I don't think it is as much about the race gasses octane as it is about it's consistency. The thing of it is, even though we can get 93 octane here in the midwest doesn't always mean it's going to be 93 octane if you know what I mean. I have gotten a bad dose of gas before and that is all it takes when you are tuned to the edge.

Finding a good shop like MD in cincy is crucial. Those guys are good enough to build an engine for race or street that runs on pump gas for many many years. However, if I spent 5 to 10K on a good motor, I would make dam sure I knew what was going in the tank. And it is no secret that race gas will be much more consistent in it's blend than your local BP, Texaco or whatever.

Just my two cents
 

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Ben,

I see your point. But there is very involved laws governing the octane rating, storage, etc. I am pretty confident that I would win in court if I blew my motor and could prove I had bad fuel.

That is one of two reasons I always fuel at the same station (the other is that they have 94.)

Two more things to remember is that our cars have variable timing, adjusting for the octane, and knock sensors, sensing detonation (prolly due to lower octane than the ECU is set/tuned for.)

Also, a guy like Ken always (maybe not the last race of the year with the championship on the table) leave a safety margin... Like the Saleen car he just tuned (FIXED!)... it made tons of power running lean, maxed out and what we would call dangerously lean. It held up though, and was under warranty, but why take a chance for maybe 10 HP's? Larger injectors and a better AND SAFER tune and it was making more power, not much but SAFE POWER!

A good tuner is key, a safe tune is... uh yea, safe....

BUT, yes, I'd LOVE to run blue fuel if I had the $$ and it was readily available at the station... but it is really no reason for most of us, inkluding me with +600 here soon...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Most guys are not going to replace their engines with forged internals, stroker kits, cobra cranks, rods & pistons, etc.. and when you push these blocks, the added octane helpt quite a bit to protect the 2 wek links in these motors (rods and pistons) When you start pushing over 450 rwhp on THESE blocks you need to run high octane and people should know that an be prepared for the cost when making their decisions. The idea is to help people prevent a blown engine because the average joe can't afford to mess around and blow 10+ engines with ignorance. I would stay as far away as I could from anyone who blew 10+ engines. BTW - Eric and diablo call my tuner when they need help figuring something out - adam at st motorsports - if you know them like you say, then just ask about him. Our shop has some of the fastests GT's in the country and we haven't blown 1 engine. Justin at JPC helps me with my car and let's see, he's only got the fastest pass ever made on a stock bottom end GT?? It didn't take him blowing 10+ engines either.
 

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I still don't get the race fuel connection... other than for power that is. If you have a safe tune there is no need...

Nobody 'good' blow engines, that would be very bad for buisness as most are the builder and or are sponsored. Fox Lake is building my engine, I don't know about one of them giving other than operator error. Ken broke a lifter in his 4V when the clutch gave and over revved (guessing ~10,000 RPM) but the motor held up!

I'll see Ken and Brandon tomorrow and ask about STM and Adam, I think I allready have heard of him, great guy and tuner! Is he the one promoting race fuel?

Justin and JPC know their stuff too, obviously! But what's in there now? What happened to that stock shortblock?

PS. It might seem I'm after you but I'm just discussing and we seem to have the same interests. I'm just a bit confused on some statements and dissagree on some of the others... :eyepoppin
 

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Hey CHEVYKILLER you recommend that shop? I live in LA and would like to check them out. Got a web address? Thanks.
 

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Cleaners, defrosters, water 'removers', etc. :thumbup

Octane boosters and other 'perfomance enhancing' fluids :thumbdown
 

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chevykiller said:
....When you start pushing over 450 rwhp on THESE blocks you need to run high octane and people should know that an be prepared for the cost when making their decisions.
Just curious, what do you consider high octane with that level of hp to the rear wheels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
kj_cinci said:
I still don't get the race fuel connection... other than for power that is. If you have a safe tune there is no need...

Nobody 'good' blow engines, that would be very bad for buisness as most are the builder and or are sponsored. Fox Lake is building my engine, I don't know about one of them giving other than operator error. Ken broke a lifter in his 4V when the clutch gave and over revved (guessing ~10,000 RPM) but the motor held up!

I'll see Ken and Brandon tomorrow and ask about STM and Adam, I think I allready have heard of him, great guy and tuner! Is he the one promoting race fuel?

Justin and JPC know their stuff too, obviously! But what's in there now? What happened to that stock shortblock?

PS. It might seem I'm after you but I'm just discussing and we seem to have the same interests. I'm just a bit confused on some statements and dissagree on some of the others... :eyepoppin
I Understand, and it's cool. Justin ran his car with the stock bottom end set the record with it. They were running a procharger with 15-16 psi and a 75 shot of nitrous on top. When they went to a 100 shot, it threw a rod on the 2nd pass. He now has a 1997 cobra 4V block (it is almost identical to the new 3V and rumor is it's the motor ford modeled the 3V after. it's just a little lighter and stronger but VERY similiar) and he seems to be doing well with it. One of our cars at the shop just a got a full sponsorship deal with Kenne Bell. Adam has a black bone stock GT with theKB s/c kit and a clutchmaster clutch only running 11.30's on MT ET Streets. You will see it in the mags very shortly. KB want's him to keep it stock for the mags but after that it will be a full drag car running in the 9's.

As far as all the octane question, It really comes down to your mods on what octane you should use and how much you're pushing your rods/pistons. Even with s/c set-up, if you are using the kit included pullies and running the included tune (or close variation) you do not need race gas. If you're in Ca. like me where pump gas sucks, then you might want to mix a couple gallons of 101 when you fill up your tank. When your over 450 RWHP a lot also depends on your set-up. If you are running with cats are high flow cats, you don't want to go over 102 octane and VP101 is fine and you don't need to fill your tank either. Try mixing 5 gallons with every full tank of gas. You can't go high octane 103 + with cats anyway. You will fry your downstream 02 sensors and send your car into failsafe. For guys with s/c application running around 450 rwhp, I think pump gas is fine okay with your daily driver tune. When using your race tune, you don't have to run straight race gas, but it really helps your engine to mix some in when running WOT. A lot also depends on how much timing you put in your car with your tune. I can only tell you what octane you can and cannot use with cats or not, it is up to your tuner to tell you what octane you should run with your set-up. Tuners who are just adjusting the provided tunes with the kits aren't tweaking the car that much and you wouldn't need race gas. Just to clarify, s/c don't need race gas - TIMING needs race gas.

ST website:

www.spankintime.com
 

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The '97 Cobra engine is great. I loved the willingness for that car to rev and to maintain high revs without a noticable problem with overheating. I missed that car once I sold it. But, a buddy of mine with a '97 Cobra road races (on legitimate tracks and events) and has had 0 problems with that motor N/A.
 

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This is a good lesson for people who are just getting into Mustang again and now have the 2005/06 Mustang.

This motor is just a more advance version of the 4.6 that has been in production since 96.

And if there one thing every one who owns one has learned. WATCH your Air/Fuel Ratio when you do a Power Adder (Supercharge, Nitrous, Turbo). The fuels you use, the fuel system (pump, injectors etc), and your timing. All of which are controled by your computer (ie Tune). This is the same as all previous year 4.6 engines.

As others have mentioned, it is because of the limited strengh of the bottom end.

In short, get someone you trust to tune your car. Hell, MORE then trust. Find someone with a reputation of tuning MUSTANGS!

This is kind of an old topic really. Do a search on the forums for Tuning and you find a huge number of threads here for previous years. YES, they all apply to the new 3V 4.6 as well. Sorry guys, they improved your car, but your engine is the same.
 

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Glen, great post!

It is in the tune to a sertain point (not sure where that point is yet) but at some point you'll need some rods and pistons, prolly a steel crank too...
 

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kj_cinci said:
Glen, great post!

It is in the tune to a sertain point (not sure where that point is yet) but at some point you'll need some rods and pistons, prolly a steel crank too...
well it looks like ford is going to offer the whipple s/c through ford racing parts. both a non-cooled kit and an intercooled kit. the non cooled producing 400rwhp and the cooled making 470rwhp. had this on display during the barret-jackson auction. so looks like ford is comfortable with 470.
 

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gax said:
well it looks like ford is going to offer the whipple s/c through ford racing parts. both a non-cooled kit and an intercooled kit. the non cooled producing 400rwhp and the cooled making 470rwhp. had this on display during the barret-jackson auction. so looks like ford is comfortable with 470.
That is great news.......mostly because if Ford thinks the engine can handle it, they will offer it. And that tells the rest of us......Supercharge it!!

I would highly recomend the the intercooled version. Fits into this thread perfectly. The reason (one of the reasons) you get more power out of the Intercooled versions is the potential for detonation (pinging) with the dense air (cooler) is much less of a problem, allowing tuners to run more timing and leaner fuel curves, and higher boosts, making more power without risking doing damage to the weak bottom end of the motor.
 
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