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Tuner & Elbow Topic?


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A while ago (I think on the old forum) there was a "lively" debate about which tuner (Brenspeed, etc) and which/if any intake elbow (Steeda CF, etc.) was the best.

 

That subject has been quiet, lately.

 

So I was wondering if there's a final verdict on which is the best setup for a daily driver?

 

Thanks, :happy feet:

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I recall the discussion, and I don't recall any agreement on "best". You could say "do what you want to do" and be done with it.

 

There are positive and negative points on both sides, guess it won't hurt to refresh the discussion. However, I don't expect it to come out any different that other discussions from the past.

 

Who wants to go first?

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I purchased the SCT Tuner through Brenspeed which came with 3 tunes, an 89 octane, 91 octane and 93 octane.

 

Attached is a dyno-sheet that shows the difference between the run with my SGT #507 when it was bone stock, vs. with the Brenspeed 93 octane tune installed.

 

The dyno shows a small diffence in overall HP, but if you look at the lines you will see how much improved the torque and HP curves are starting at about 1750 rpms to 2250 rpms and then about at about 4200 rpms. Also, I don't think the Brenspeed tune actually lowered my torque or HP rating in some of the rpm ranges like you might think from the graph, as the stock dyno run was done on a cool morning, whereas the brenspeed run was done on a hot afternoon.

 

Overally, I am very, very impressed with the drivability, and the seat of the pants diffence with the Brenspeed tune. Cost $381.00 with tax, takes less than 5 minutes to install and less than 5 minutes to switch between tunes (including the stock tune).

 

I have since purchased the Steeda Carbon Fiber intake Elbow through Brenspeed, but they said they did not need to send me a new tune. I love the piece, and feel like I can feel a little seat of the pants difference---and it sure does look cool.

brenspeeddyno.pdf

brenspeeddyno.pdf

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If you are just adding an aftermarket elbow and nothing more...No. You do not need to retune anything.

 

The elbow does not add any new/fresh/colder air. It simply smooths out the air path for less turbulence into the throttle body.

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I purchased the SCT Tuner through Brenspeed which came with 3 tunes, an 89 octane, 91 octane and 93 octane.

 

Attached is a dyno-sheet that shows the difference between the run with my SGT #507 when it was bone stock, vs. with the Brenspeed 93 octane tune installed.

 

The dyno shows a small diffence in overall HP, but if you look at the lines you will see how much improved the torque and HP curves are starting at about 1750 rpms to 2250 rpms and then about at about 4200 rpms. Also, I don't think the Brenspeed tune actually lowered my torque or HP rating in some of the rpm ranges like you might think from the graph, as the stock dyno run was done on a cool morning, whereas the brenspeed run was done on a hot afternoon.

 

Overally, I am very, very impressed with the drivability, and the seat of the pants diffence with the Brenspeed tune. Cost $381.00 with tax, takes less than 5 minutes to install and less than 5 minutes to switch between tunes (including the stock tune).

 

I have since purchased the Steeda Carbon Fiber intake Elbow through Brenspeed, but they said they did not need to send me a new tune. I love the piece, and feel like I can feel a little seat of the pants difference---and it sure does look cool.

Thanks for posting your data, not much of that going on here. I believe I understand why, a dyno test isn't cheap, and dyno tuning from a professional can get pricy as well. Most folks seem please to just plug in an aftermarket off-the-shelf canned tune, and let their seat-of-the-pants dyno do the testing.

 

I too dynoed my bone stock SGT after 500 miles, and it was a hot and humid day. When I do this, I add and average three pulls for a realistic baseline to work from. Done at Simpson Performance 7 Sep. 2007, my bone stock numbers are 275.5 RWHP and 302.1 RWTQ. Corey Simpson said it was running on the "rich" side and he could pull a little more power out of it in a custom tune. But, I'm happy with these numbers from a stock 4.6L-3V with a few factory tweaks, and I don't want to compromise any warranty for at least the first year. So, I won't be buying a canned tune, and I won't spend the bucks for a custom professional tune until something major changes, such as adding a supercharger.

 

Again, thanks, and happy motoring gents.

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If you are just adding an aftermarket elbow and nothing more...No. You do not need to retune anything.

 

The elbow does not add any new/fresh/colder air. It simply smooths out the air path for less turbulence into the throttle body.

 

 

see thats what i would have guessed but then steeda does there "you must tune with this elbow even with the frpp kit" thing and i freak out lol. im trying to go as stock as posable or at least do mods that are easaly reversable. thanks

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see thats what i would have guessed but then steeda does there "you must tune with this elbow even with the frpp kit" thing and i freak out lol. im trying to go as stock as posable or at least do mods that are easaly reversable. thanks

I've been doing this for a while and I strongly disagree with Steeda's position. If I felt like arguing it, I'd ask them to prove up why.

 

Unless there is something I don't know about their elbow (actually, it's called a bellows) and there is nothing else involved, like a change in MAF, it's a sales pitch.

 

Absent any change in air volume, or, temperature, no retune required. What ever changes occur from adding this mod, they are minor and well within the adjustable parameters of the EEC and stock SGT tune.

 

Take it to the bank.

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so now with that said does just the elbow/bellows make a noticable difference?

IMHO...Yes. Small improvement, but effective. You won't see anything on a dyno, but it adds a little bling to things.

 

Depending on what you spend, it's a "can't hurt" mod.

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so now with that said does just the elbow/bellows make a noticable difference?

 

Fyi, to try and answer the question as to whether or not you need a custom tune to go with the Elbow, I would also say no. That is based on the fact that I was already running a custom tune (by Brenspeed) on mine and when I added the Steeda Carbon Fiber elbow, I called them and they said there is no need to retune.

 

If it doesn't affect airflow enough to require a retune to one of the custom tunes, I don't think it would require a retune to the stock S-GT tune.

 

As far as whether or not there is a noticeable difference--I've now had mine on a week, and the car does seem louder and a bit more responsive. May be all in my head though---even so, worth the $$$$.

 

The only issue I see with the Elbow is I guess I would need to pull it off and replace the stock piece before I take it to the dealer and have warranty work, and then flash my car back to stock S-GT tune. Not to big of a deal, probably takes less than 30 minutes to switch out.

 

Have I mentioned how cool the carbon fiber elbow looks? I say, go for it.

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Worth every penny!

 

Added the steeda inlet, looks cool.

 

Have had Brenspeed work on some tunes for me. Great people and customer service. Also had then get ride of the throttle hang when letting of the throttle, Now the car slows down likw a real stick car when you let off the throttle. Drives and performs bitchen.

 

Dyno numbers don't matter to me anymore. If you win, then i didn't bring enough.......

 

Like Lu Lu, If i make some big changes like a S/C then to the dyno for tuning and safety she will go.

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it might be nothing more than a feel good item and it certainly looks better than the stock item.but if it is more performance then you can probably forget it.if you added 2or3 horses then you wouldn't notice.but several little items add up to good horseoower you can feel.the breenspeed does more on the torque side than the horsepower side.

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The only issue I see with the Elbow is I guess I would need to pull it off and replace the stock piece before I take it to the dealer and have warranty work, and then flash my car back to stock S-GT tune. Not to big of a deal, probably takes less than 30 minutes to switch out.

I don't think you need to go through all of this. Even at 1/2 an hour, its work you don't need to do.

 

There is nothing potentially threatening about an aftermarket elbow (bellows). It's tame, and in no way a threat to your warranty. I doubt the techs at your dealership would notice the upgrade, few of them know much about the SGT and would think it a component of our factory cold air kit. The threat to your warranty is your aftermarket tune. More precisly, flashing the EEC.

 

Your problem is that once the EEC has been flashed, Ford techs can trace that. Doesn't matter which tune, OEM, or, aftermarket, is inside. Restoring your stock tune for a visit to the dealer is a waste of time as well. The damage has been done because the EEC tracks the flashes, and if the warranty claim is serious enough, your EEC will go back for inspection. All they need to show is that it was tampered with it, and the warranty is void. They do not need to prove more.

 

When Ford is looking at replacing a 6K engine (9K with labor), don't expect them to look the other way.

 

Relax...Enjoy...And try not to get too aggressive with the aftermarket tuning.

 

BTW...There is a "black box" feature in the EEC too, and you can't get to it. So, when you suffer a castastrophe (serious failure/collision) the last 20 seconds of vehicle operation are recorded for review at a later time, if necessary. Rather than worry about it, just know it's there.

 

Happy motoring, gents.

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I don't think you need to go through all of this. Even at 1/2 an hour, its work you don't need to do.

 

There is nothing potentially threatening about an aftermarket elbow (bellows). It's tame, and in no way a threat to your warranty. I doubt the techs at your dealership would notice the upgrade, few of them know much about the SGT and would think it a component of our factory cold air kit. The threat to your warranty is your aftermarket tune. More precisly, flashing the EEC.

 

Your problem is that once the EEC has been flashed, Ford techs can trace that. Doesn't matter which tune, OEM, or, aftermarket, is inside. Restoring your stock tune for a visit to the dealer is a waste of time as well. The damage has been done because the EEC tracks the flashes, and if the warranty claim is serious enough, your EEC will go back for inspection. All they need to show is that it was tampered with it, and the warranty is void. They do not need to prove more.

 

When Ford is looking at replacing a 6K engine (9K with labor), don't expect them to look the other way.

 

Relax...Enjoy...And try not to get too aggressive with the aftermarket tuning.

 

BTW...There is a "black box" feature in the EEC too, and you can't get to it. So, when you suffer a castastrophe (serious failure/collision) the last 20 seconds of vehicle operation are recorded for review at a later time, if necessary. Rather than worry about it, just know it's there.

 

Happy motoring, gents.

 

LuLu - I have heard it takes an extreme amount of work and knowledge to get the information out of the EEC box. It is not like just putting a scope to it and then it shows that you have tuned your car. The only way they would even check it is if you blew the motor or something serious happened. If it is normal stuff they would not even waste their time checking it. Correct me if I am wrong here.

Swede

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LuLu - I have heard it takes an extreme amount of work and knowledge to get the information out of the EEC box. It is not like just putting a scope to it and then it shows that you have tuned your car. The only way they would even check it is if you blew the motor or something serious happened. If it is normal stuff they would not even waste their time checking it. Correct me if I am wrong here.

Swede

Agreed...At one time in history, it took engineers a lot to develop our present EEC and software, but once that was done, reading it is simple.

 

One and all....Our SGTs (all FMC products) have a PCM, a Powertrain Control Module. The PCM runs the whole car electronically. Inside the PCM, is the EEC, Electronic Engine Control. When you flash (upload) a custom aftermarket tune through the OBDII port, you are flashing the EEC. The EEC also has protected areas you cannot flash, or clear.

 

First, is the flash-over file showing that the factory tune has been flashed. This is permanent, and it started back in '05. Those of us flashing before then didn't have to worry about it, but it's a reality today. Only Ford and it's authorized affiliates can flash the EEC without a trace. I know FRP is one, and I presume SAI is another. It's a risk you take when flashing, so, don't cry about the consequences.

 

Second is the castastrophe/collision file. It's triggered by several events, such as hard braking, ABS engagement, air bag deployment and so on. It captures the last 20 seconds of vehicle operation, including speed, RPM, EOT, Fuel Trim, ect. It's been there since '98, and it's quite handy in some circumstances. This is a one-time use file, only the most recent event is stored.

 

Back in '98, I was a supervisor in the Major Accident Section, and three of us were selected for certification and access to this file. I lucked out with Ford, the other got GM and Chrysler. First thing we did in a serious/fatal collision, was read the "black box". It solved many mysteries, and in my personal experience, it save two from false accusations. One happened to be a police sergeant that was sitting dead stop at a traffic light. He was rear-ended and pushed into cross traffic, and struck again in the driver's door. Inertia flipped his emergency lights on.

 

He was removed from the scene before he could explain what happen, meanwhile, the usual collection of "witnesses" gathered to describe what they could not have seen. Even the driver of the striking vehicle lied and said he was just following the police car, he wanted to see a crime in progress. Azzhole...

 

Anyway, reading the castastrophe file cleared the air, and the officer's name. The car was at a dead stop when the air bags deployed. No way to fake that. Might have been a big deal back in '98, we needed a sofiscated tool on loan from Ford. But, it's available to the public today.

 

http://www.davisnet.com/drive/products/carchip_products.asp

 

Those of you with teenaged drivers should look into this. Not only will it help monitor their behavior behind the wheel, it may save them from false accusations too.

 

Today, there a few other gadgets that can monitor the EEC for live data direct from engine sensors, and they are a lot faster and more accurate than typical gauges using old school sending units. Even if you wish to doubt their accuracy, you are reading the data the EEC reacts too, and I think this is important to keep an eye on.

 

http://www.scangauge.com

 

http://www.aeroforcetech.com/Fordtech.html

 

Hope I answered your questions Swede, happy motoring all.

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Agreed...At one time in history, it took engineers a lot to develop our present EEC and software, but once that was done, reading it is simple.

 

One and all....Our SGTs (all FMC products) have a PCM, a Powertrain Control Module. The PCM runs the whole car electronically. Inside the PCM, is the EEC, Electronic Engine Control. When you flash (upload) a custom aftermarket tune through the OBDII port, you are flashing the EEC. The EEC also has protected areas you cannot flash, or clear.

 

First, is the flash-over file showing that the factory tune has been flashed. This is permanent, and it started back in '05. Those of us flashing before then didn't have to worry about it, but it's a reality today. Only Ford and it's authorized affiliates can flash the EEC without a trace. I know FRP is one, and I presume SAI is another. It's a risk you take when flashing, so, don't cry about the consequences.

 

Second is the castastrophe/collision file. It's triggered by several events, such as hard braking, ABS engagement, air bag deployment and so on. It captures the last 20 seconds of vehicle operation, including speed, RPM, EOT, Fuel Trim, ect. It's been there since '98, and it's quite handy in some circumstances. This is a one-time use file, only the most recent event is stored.

 

Back in '98, I was a supervisor in the Major Accident Section, and three of us were selected for certification and access to this file. I lucked out with Ford, the other got GM and Chrysler. First thing we did in a serious/fatal collision, was read the "black box". It solved many mysteries, and in my personal experience, it save two from false accusations. One happened to be a police sergeant that was sitting dead stop at a traffic light. He was rear-ended and pushed into cross traffic, and struck again in the driver's door. Inertia flipped his emergency lights on.

 

He was removed from the scene before he could explain what happen, meanwhile, the usual collection of "witnesses" gathered to describe what they could not have seen. Even the driver of the striking vehicle lied and said he was just following the police car, he wanted to see a crime in progress. Azzhole...

 

Anyway, reading the castastrophe file cleared the air, and the officer's name. The car was at a dead stop when the air bags deployed. No way to fake that. Might have been a big deal back in '98, we needed a sofiscated tool on loan from Ford. But, it's available to the public today.

 

http://www.davisnet.com/drive/products/carchip_products.asp

 

Those of you with teenaged drivers should look into this. Not only will it help monitor their behavior behind the wheel, it may save them from false accusations too.

 

Today, there a few other gadgets that can monitor the EEC for live data direct from engine sensors, and they are a lot faster and more accurate than typical gauges using old school sending units. Even if you wish to doubt their accuracy, you are reading the data the EEC reacts too, and I think this is important to keep an eye on.

 

http://www.scangauge.com

 

http://www.aeroforcetech.com/Fordtech.html

 

Hope I answered your questions Swede, happy motoring all.

 

Lulu- Again correct me if I am wrong here. You say it can "easily" be checked if your car has been tuned/reflashed with Brenspeed or other tuners? I have heard that it takes special computer equipment that alot of Ford dealers don't even have to check that you have reflashed your engine and that it is extrtemely difficult to actually find out if someone has retuned their car in the "past".

I ask this because all three links you posted were NOT what I was talking about and they DO NOT tell you if your car had been reflashed in the past they just tell you that you can scan and find error codes on "present" issues with your car, never anything at all from the past. Please elaborate.

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Lulu- Again correct me if I am wrong here. You say it can "easily" be checked if your car has been tuned/reflashed with Brenspeed or other tuners? I have heard that it takes special computer equipment that alot of Ford dealers don't even have to check that you have reflashed your engine and that it is extrtemely difficult to actually find out if someone has retuned their car in the "past".

I ask this because all three links you posted were NOT what I was talking about and they DO NOT tell you if your car had been reflashed in the past they just tell you that you can scan and find error codes on "present" issues with your car, never anything at all from the past. Please elaborate.

I cannot elaborate more. All I know about this has been stated.

 

No...Dealer techs DO NOT have access to the areas I indicated. I thought I made this clear. Once the right software is applied, piece of cake. It's not a matter of technology anymore, just a matter of need, and access permission.

 

Dealer Techs can/will fib about the results. Ford WarrantyTechs are paid not to fib.

 

IF your PCM has to go back to FORD TECHS due to a warranty claim, (as it happens in a major driveline failure) FORD TECHS can read it and learn that you uploaded an aftermarket tune, even if it's gone now due to restoration of the factory tune.

 

The end result months after the repair, will be that although your warranty bought you a replacement engine, tranny or rear axle assembly at the instant, you WILL get a bill from either FMC, or, your dealer, as a charge back...Warranty voided by owner.

 

Swede...The Davis CarChip EX will read the castastrophe/collision file, bet on it.

 

Gents...Do what you want to do. It's your car, and your money.

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Anyone get the Steeda Carbon Fiber elbow yet? If so does it come with the ugly blue silicone hose or the black upgrade kit?

 

 

Most important thing about Steedas carbon fiber air intake / bellows is that it's exactly the same as Steeda's PVC intake so it flows air exactly the same, So if your interested in the performance of the piece the PVC one is only about a hundred bucks..........mine works well.....................ZDS

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Anyone get the Steeda Carbon Fiber elbow yet? If so does it come with the ugly blue silicone hose or the black upgrade kit?

 

 

It comes with the black hose. I think it looks good in my engine bay, although there are no other upgrades under there to go with it.

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I cannot elaborate more. All I know about this has been stated.

 

No...Dealer techs DO NOT have access to the areas I indicated. I thought I made this clear. Once the right software is applied, piece of cake. It's not a matter of technology anymore, just a matter of need, and access permission.

 

Dealer Techs can/will fib about the results. Ford WarrantyTechs are paid not to fib.

 

IF your PCM has to go back to FORD TECHS due to a warranty claim, (as it happens in a major driveline failure) FORD TECHS can read it and learn that you uploaded an aftermarket tune, even if it's gone now due to restoration of the factory tune.

 

The end result months after the repair, will be that although your warranty bought you a replacement engine, tranny or rear axle assembly at the instant, you WILL get a bill from either FMC, or, your dealer, as a charge back...Warranty voided by owner.

 

Swede...The Davis CarChip EX will read the castastrophe/collision file, bet on it.

 

Gents...Do what you want to do. It's your car, and your money.

 

LULU This thing is not a reader you put in the link, from Davis Instruments, it is to be an installed chip on the OBD port. So which instrument reads it?

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LULU This thing is not a reader you put in the link, from Davis Instruments, it is to be an installed chip on the OBD port. So which instrument reads it?

I must be missing your point here.

 

The Davis CarChip IS a reader. It records the engine operation elements of the EEC available through the ODBII port. Unlike dozens of other products that just read and clear codes, it records up to 300 hours of engine time and it records a large variety of facts about vehicle use. It also records the last 20 seconds of vehicle operation once triggered by a castastrophe/collision signal to the EEC.

 

You install it on the OBDII port and drive, then remove it and plug it into any computer via a supplied USB cable and Davis software. This data can then be reviewed and pasted into any word processor for hard copy print out.

 

It's not a "gauge" like others I suggested ^ there, and other than clearing codes, it is not a performance chip or flash programmer. It's just a recording device and quite useful in many circumstances. It's the only reader/recorder I've seen that downloads the castastrophe/collision file.

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AAAhhhhh HHHaaaa. Sneaky. I know the lexus tech I know (no I do not or will not ever own one, haha) has told me that all functions of the car is stored in the computer, down to how many time the window switchs have been used. Wild. Thanks for the info.

 

There is I asume no way to defeat this? So where is the actual storage box, or what do you crush/detroy to kill this info after you hit a tree at 6000 rpm in 2nd at 45 mph? EEErrrrrrrr, I mean dodge a big deer at 2,000 rpm in 4th at 35mph? Also does the gps store data as well in these cars as well? Thanks!

 

p.s. I had to edit my spelling.

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