Milan, Dyno, a Wing; So much to post about!

Things have been crazy around here lately – Batshit crazy. I guess I should begin a few weeks back…

Getting things together for this race season has been kind of crazy – from valve springs to new cams to a new ECU and 5 bar MAP sensor, things on the car have changed up quite a bit. So, it came to a point where I decided I needed to go to the Dyno. Years ago, I went to a place called Dewitt Service Center, so I thought I’d make another appointment to rent out their Mustang for a few hours. With the way the scheduling worked out, I actually ended up out at Milan before going out to the dyno.

Ah, but I forgot to mention that I have been doing a ton of organizing – I tend to overpack for going out to the track since it’s always pretty handy to have things that you’ll need rather than hoping someone else has a spare. So, I have been doing tons of organizing. I purchased a few more portable Rubbermaid-type storage boxes and stuff to put additional things in and help get more organized in general, so that I can pack more stuff away in the truck. So, that’s been good, but has also taken a fair amount of time to get accomplished too (as any of my friends will tell you, I’m generally a little messy. Even still, I know where I put things most of the time ;-p)

Anyway, so I needed to get fuel to go to the Dyno, and the only place I was able to pick it up was out at Milan. What better time to try to tune a little bit before going to the dyno? First pass of the trailer, and it was very apparent that my o2 sensor has now died. Awesome. The good news? I matched my 60′ and bested my best 9.70 pass with a new ET: 9.63. Hell yes. It’s not even tuned that well. With the new MAP sensor and the new ECU, I had to interpolate data points on the old E6S and 3 bar MAP sensor into the new Haltech. Apparently, most of my math was okay enough to net me a nice number. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, my O2 sensor was dead. So, I pulled out a backup sensor setup that I had and tries again. Now, this is a JAW that I put together, calibrated, and then promptly packed away for just such an occasion. And yeah, it sucks. It read 10.0:1 throughout pretty much everything I did with the car. Additionally, my laptop was been giving me issues. I have a Dell Mini9, which is has terminal issues with it’s USB bus. No matter what I do to the laptop, I am unable to get it to maintain a connection with the Haltech. I even had issues with my old E6S and four different USB -> Serial adapters. I went so far as to replace the motherboard on the laptop and it still had issues. This leads me to believe that the USB bus has something up with the design. And if you don’t know me; I’ve developed software for more than a decade – I can find my way around a computer :-) Anyway, the laptop and Haltech would not play well with one-another, so I only ended up with data from the first run. Even without the wideband, I was able to glean some useful information from that data. The next few passes I added some fuel here and there, and ended up slowing down (found out later that fuel wasn’t what I needed, but the o2 sensor didn’t tell me that) and made a few more passes – 9.74 and 9.88. After that, I was pretty much done for the day. at least I backed up my 9.63 :-)

So, the Thursday after Milan and a new O2 sensor during the week, I ended up at the dyno in Dewitt, MI. It’s a Mustang Dyno, and my best pass on it before this year was a 426whp with 342 lb/ft of torque. After getting setup (which actually took a long time – the dyno had some… well, Data acquisition issues) the first pass on the car netted a 411whp. Now, before I go much further, I’m going to justify this number… It seems reasonable that this number is a little on the low side – the 426whp netted me a 10.15ET my first pass with that tune, and now here I am allegedly making 411whp and running 9.63ET’s. How is that possible? Well, looking at some later dyno pulls, the dyno shows me maxing out at 7200rpm, while the Haltech (and my tach) both showed me revving the Talon out to 7900 RPM. So, the Dyno is 700 rpm off. Knowing that the dyno has a 0-5V input for RPM, and a digital->analog converter to calculate rpm and convert it to a voltage to feed into the computer, it would seem reasonable that this could be off a little bit if things weren’t quite right in the dyno software itself. I’m not actually really concerned about that though – at the end of the day, it’s about the improvements made on the dyno – that HP figure is really just an ego thing ;-p So anyway, back to the story: Throughout the dyno session, I started working with the boost controller and ended up turning the boost up to around 32psi. After that, it was just a matter of pulling fuel out – the car was way way way fat the whole time. Every pull I would pull a bit of fuel out somewhere – and the results were usually immediately apparent. The car finished up the day with a 522whp pull, making almost 380 ft/lbs of torque. That’s a 27% increase in horsepower. I still have some tuning to do, but this is a start, right? Enough power to help me get that 9.63 down to a better number – or, it should be anyway..

After the dyno, I started thinking about my newly found horsepower… what if this netted me another 10mph? That would put me awfully close to 150mph in the 1/4. Would I start to have aero issues? I had previously thought about what I should do with a wing, but I had never come to a conclusion on what I was actually going to do. After thinking and waffling for a solid week, along with talking to Rick about it all quite extensively, I came up with a quick and easy solution that I could at least test out. It also wouldn’t destroy the look of the car, which is something that I think most wings end up doing. Anyway, I made up some 2″ spill plates to bolt onto the factory wing, along with a 3/4″ gurney flap that bolts across the back of the wing. I am amazingly happy with how it all turned out – it looks better than I thought it would; now all that was left was to test it out… I will make a separate post about that here in a little bit.