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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings all. First of all, let me be the first to say "hindsight is 20/20".

That being said, feel free to slam me for not asking these questions before I bought my ride :)

I've had a couple mustangs before (96 GT and an 03 cobra 'vert) but then there came the kids. So I settled for an 04 gto for a few years. Recently, I got the green light to rejoin the blue oval, so I spent the last couple months scouring craigslist, ebay, and dealer sites for an affordable, but fast ford. I knew I couldn't afford another terminator, but I was finding good deals on modded late models. I finally found a decent looking 99 GT in LA (I live in Las Vegas). So I drove the goat to the dealership on Saturday and traded it in for the GT.

Found a few defects on the GT, but on the flip side, their carfax turned up a frontal crash on the GTO, including air bag deployment (I had no idea, the Planet Nissan dealership I bought it from said it had a clean history... you'd think I'd learn by now to do my own research). They immediately wanted to drop the trade-in value by 2k, but after negotiating and pointing out flaws in the GT, we agreed on the original terms and drove her home.

I noticed the air/fuel gauge was pegged on rich (don't worry they said, it will level off as you drive it). 400 miles later, it's still pegged.

So I know it needs a good tune... let me fill in some other details:

-- Things I know about the car
Vortech blower
30 lb injectors
JBA shorties, cat back w/ H pipe

-- Things I've been "told" about the car
Rebuilt motor with forged rotating assembly
Rebuilt trans with Art Carr Shiftkit

For the most part, she runs fine. There's some knocking from the drivers side of the engine, be we can't figure out if it's an exhaust leak (I did tighten the flange where the pipes meet the shorties, I think it helped a bit, but I won't know till I put some more miles on it. I couldn't reach the header bolts of course. Hopefully, it's nothing in the head or worse, the block.

The car has died a couple times on me, seems to happen when I'm in 'drive', not moving with my foot on the brake, bringing the idle down to 600 or so, and then it dies. The first time, it took me a couple minutes to start it. But the two times it did that after, started no problem. The first time was after the long drive from LA, so it could have just been way hot and needed a cool down. Between the conditions and lack of a tune, it's being pretty temperamental.

So I went to find out what kind of chip is in the car... surprise, no chip, just a friendly note duct taped to the stock box:

Will Not Accept Chip
Has Vortec Supercharger
JBA Headers, cat back
Art Carr Shift Kit

I flipped out, why in the heck would someone go through all this work on the engine/trans and not spend a couple more hundred on a chip and tune?!?!? And what do they mean, "Will not accept chip?" Is this car capable of it's own decisions? It's a piece of machinery, fix it and chip it!

Bottom line, I need a chip to match the current mods, and possible additional boltons down the road.

I'm handy with a laptop, so something I can tweak would be nice, but not a requirement. Top priority is to get it running properly right now.

Again, I'm in Las Vegas. I need someone local with the setup to do a chip and proper tune. I've heard of Navarez Racing Products, so I left a message with them yesterday. I've also heard good things about Voodoo Racing Innovations (via google -> myspace), but I have no idea how to get a hold of the guy (I don't want to open a myspace account either).

Any other shops in town that have a good rep?

This should probably go in a regional thread, but it's part tech too and I def don't want to cross post.

Any feedback is welcome.

PS

The lovely duct taped note was written on a business card (San Diego shop). PM me if you're curious as to who 'tried' to chip it. In their defense, I've never chipped a car, so maybe a car's refusal to accept a chip is common... *shrugs*
 

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It could be possible that the metal taps where the chip is installed on the ecm was sanded down to far. You have to clean some type of plastic insolation off of them for a chip to connect properly. If that's the case then no it wouldn't be able to use a chip you would have to go with a handheld tuner or something like that. If that isn't the case then I have no idea why you couldn't use a chip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It could be possible that the metal taps where the chip is installed on the ecm was sanded down to far. You have to clean some type of plastic insolation off of them for a chip to connect properly. If that's the case then no it wouldn't be able to use a chip you would have to go with a handheld tuner or something like that. If that isn't the case then I have no idea why you couldn't use a chip.
Good to know, I wouldn't be opposed to a hand held tuner, but I need to do my research first. Is this something I can do myself without a dyno pull?

Maybe a hand held tuner was used and that's why the mods were listed on the note. If that's the case, I wish they would have written that down.
 

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Your best bet is to find a good tuner and see what they use. Then get one made by that company and have the tuner do the tuning for you. Me personally I prefer SCT products and that is what the tuner here uses so it works out good. You can check out tuner on american muscles website. That will atleast let you see the options of some of what's availible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would have to agree. If it were that easy, everybody would do it themselves. In my case, I'd need some professional input.

I wonder if the tune would correct the speedo (it's off by 10%) and reducing the wicked shifting. It was fun at first, but as a DD, something a tad more tame would be welcome :)
 

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A good tuner should be able to get everything just right without any problems. If its an auto then yes the can set it to the way you like by doing some simple adjustment as a matter of fact that is something you would be able to adjust with an sct tuner. So even after the tuner is done you could adjust that to get it just right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm hoping to get hooked up with a tuner here in town this week, got a couple leads now.

Is a 255lph fuel pump w/ 30lb injectors enough for my current setup? Someone recommended replacing it w/ a focus pump or better yet, a cobra tank w/ dual pumps. The latter sounds killer, but I'm trying not to break the bank here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Talked to the guy that rebuilt the motor. Along with forged crank and rods, he put in JE racing pistons. The sound I'm hearing is piston slap (in hindsight, again 20/20, I should have know, I've heard it on many a GM and this is not much different). After a little research, I found JE is notorious for this. If the build is perfect, it should be little to nonexistent, but it my case, it's quite noticeable. It does get quieter as the engine warms up; at operating temp in neutral, you can't hear it at all, but as soon as the rpms drop (putting it in drive and applying firm brake) you can hear it.

Boost is 8-10 lb, so I think fuel is sufficient for now. Cams and heads are stock. Trans is stock too, so that might be the next thing that gets attention... although I hear these things (4R70W) can take quite a bit.

Taking in for a predator and tune Thursday morning. Expecting 350ish. My goal is 400, but not for a couple years.

The tuner I'm taking it too has a good reputation and I'm looking forward to their opinion on the piston slap (among other things).

Thanks for all the input guys, as usual, these forums are the biggest source of information!
 
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