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Upgrading Tune on SGT from Shelby Tune


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Looking for some help here fellow SGT owners:

 

I recently upgraded my 08 SGT from the original SAI / Shelby GT proprietary tune to a tune I purchased from Steeda and the SCT-X3 tuner. I went with the Steeda tune because I figured since they designed the CAI for Ford/SAI that when I recently added the Steeda CAI Elbow, they would know best how to program the SGT to get the most out of the car and that particular mod. What they sent me was a 93 Octane tune with all the specs on the Shelby mods and the Steeda CAI elbow.

 

I actually think the performance decreased from the 91 Octane SAI tune to the 93 Steeda tune.

 

I have noticed a slight bit of stronger pull in the upper RPM range, but I would say just barely noticable. I have noticed that when run up to 5k RPM and shift to 2nd, it won't even chirp the tires and I could easily do this with the original Shelby 91 tune. I have tried this with both the TC on and TC off.

 

I was hoping for a more night and day difference to where I could really say wow!, that was a great purchase for my car, but I really have not noticed anything substantial.

 

After posting most of the above on a different thread, a few folks have told me about their tunes...specifically a BAMA "Hybrid" tune and one from Brenspeed. I'm trying to avoid spending too much on finding what will work the best for me so help me out with this one with your comments.

 

Here is what some initial calling to BAMA revealed: They have a few different tunes...

 

1) Street - low end power orientation

2) Performance - Highway / Higher RPM calibration with better fuel economy

3) Racer - High end power / torque and set up as "off-road" calibration.

4) Hybrid - mixture of Street/Racer tunes

 

The hybrid tune is a cross between the Street and the Racer tune, and it is also an "off-road" calibration.

Also, the meaning of "off-road" tuning means that they have turned off all the emissions control / O2 sensors according to the BAMA folks. What that means for me here in Atlanta is that I'll need to retune the vehicle to the Street tune once each year to clear emmissions testing for the tag renewal process here in the Metro Atlanta area (something I'd rather not mess with). I did read some earlier GT500 threads and noticed some were having issues from tuners turning off the O2 sensors, so I thought enough to ask Steeda about their tune, and they leave the O2 sensors engaged. Still their tune seems very, very soft.

 

Questions:

1) Are there any bad side effects to using a tune that has the emissions bypassed?

2) Is there any problem specifically I need to be aware of in turning off the O2 sensors?

3) Is anyone running the 93 Octane Street tune and could you provide some comments about that tune?

 

 

When I asked BAMA, they said that I probably won't notiice much more improvement over the Steeda or SAI tune since I already have a "tune" in my car different from the factory Mustang GT tune. Also, the BAMA folks told me that I will have to return the tune to the Stock SAI tune to get the baseline parameters set up first, then migrate to the BAMA or other tune because they will need some programming number from off this SAI tune to develop my tunes that they email me....does that sound correct?

 

Any comments??

 

Thanks,

Andy.

Edited by AndyGJ
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Personally I would hesitate to use a 93 octane tune. We do not have forged pistons. Rather they are a weaker hypereuectic piston. if you would receive any bad gas you are already right on the line and a batch of bad gas could easily lead to a burned piston. You have no margin for error. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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Personally I would hesitate to use a 93 octane tune. We do not have forged pistons. Rather they are a weaker hypereuectic piston. if you would receive any bad gas you are already right on the line and a batch of bad gas could easily lead to a burned piston. You have no margin for error. Good luck with whatever you decide.

 

 

These are the things I'm looking to figure out....how much difference would there be between a 91 and 93 octane tune? Supposedly the Steeda tune I uploaded into the SGT 2 weeks ago is a 93 tune but it doesn't feel as strong in the low to mid range RPMs as the Shelby tune. Can I get the kind of performance kick that I want out of a 91 octane tune?

 

One of the main issues I'm concerned with is using a tune that has the O2 sensors turned off and preventing a clean pass on the emmissions. Is there anything I should be concerned about there?

 

Thanks,

Andy.

Edited by AndyGJ
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Prior to trading my SGT for a BOSS, I had 3x tunes from Brenspeed...

 

92 Octane "Track" Tune

92 Octane "Street" Tune

87 Octane "Highway" Tune

 

FWIW ~ Was told by several other owners that mine was one of the quickest non-SC SGT they had seen, driven or ridden in... And that was before upgrading to 4.10's and Brembos...

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Can you describe for me what the differences were from the soft Shelby tune to the 92 Track and 92 Street tunes?

 

Do you know if they disabled the O2 sensors on either of those?

I'd like to get a tune I don't have to worry about passing emmissions, and I'd like to know if bypassing the O2 sensors is any issue to be concerned about...any thoughts?

 

PS - while at the dealership getting the oil changed on the SGT, I almost took a look at a trade for the SGT to a Race Red 2013 Boss 302...held on tightly to my keys!

 

Andy.

Edited by AndyGJ
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Can you describe for me what the differences were from the soft Shelby tune to the 92 Track and 92 Street tunes?

 

Do you know if they disabled the O2 sensors on either of those?

I'd like to get a tune I don't have to worry about passing emmissions, and I'd like to know if bypassing the O2 sensors is any issue to be concerned about...any thoughts?

 

PS - while at the dealership getting the oil changed on the SGT, I almost took a look at a trade for the SGT to a Race Red 2013 Boss 302...held on tightly to my keys!

 

Andy.

 

 

 

Regardless of which tune you go with or what parameters it changes, it's a two minute job to plug in your tuner and return it to stock for your annual emmission test :shrug:

 

 

For what it's worth, I bought Gregg's tuner and Brenspeed tunes. After hearing everybody rave about how much a tune would "wake up the car" I was really excited to see what it would do. Like you, it really didn't seem to make much of a difference. I think there are some pretty big differences in "stock" SGT's and some seem to benefit more from a tune change then others.........Just my Idiot's opinion :hysterical:

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consider this before buying any tune

 

http://stangsunited....nge-that-tune-r ead-this!

 

IMHO, i would much rather have a tune that was developed by ford, the folks who are the absolute experts on their own engine, that is a little soft than run a tune from someone, anyone, whom we really don't know if their tuning properly or not.

 

for you guys talking about going from not being able to spin in second to having no traction at all, that doesn't come from having more power in the tune, it comes from aftermarket tuners disabling the torque managment, which is a feature in the tune that momentarily reduces engine power on an upshift or standing start to protect the drivetrain from damage

 

IMHO, torque manangment is a good thing. on a traction limited car, it helps you launch and not loose control on full throttle up shifts. now if you were running slicks or had some other way to have complete traction it would be a different story because then it would slow you down.

 

OP. don't get too crazy about all this tuning stuff, everyone thinks their tune is the best and their all trying too sell you one!

 

honestly, i think the FRPP/shelby tune is pretty good. it reasonably crisp and responsive, has good overall power, passes ANY states emission inspection and most importantly, it's SAFE for your engine!

 

PS. i personally HATE fiddling around with changing tunes just to pass a dam inspection.

Edited by shelbygt2899
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I have been running a Blow By Racing 93 OCT Tune for almost 2 years now and my car is a daily driver and sees one or two track events a year and so far no issues but honestly the only difference I have noticed is a faster throttle response compared to the Shelby tune. There are so many email tunes out there and really the best tune is a personal dyno tune hands down.

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AndyGJ,

 

Thanks for bringing up this subject. I've been considering the same Steeda 93 tune & CF Intake myself. I've waited, thinking that perhaps there's not much of a difference, and it appears that is the case.

 

If you later decide to change your tire size, or go with 3.73 or 4.10 gears, you can use your SCT-X3 to "update" your ECU, so at least you haven't wasted the money.

 

I wish you the best of luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

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Can you describe for me what the differences were from the soft Shelby tune to the 92 Track and 92 Street tunes?

 

Do you know if they disabled the O2 sensors on either of those?

I'd like to get a tune I don't have to worry about passing emmissions, and I'd like to know if bypassing the O2 sensors is any issue to be concerned about...any thoughts?

 

PS - while at the dealership getting the oil changed on the SGT, I almost took a look at a trade for the SGT to a Race Red 2013 Boss 302...held on tightly to my keys!

 

Andy.

 

 

You'll have to ask Chandler at Brenspeed if the O2 sensors were disabled or not??? Here in KS they do not require a smog check, so I never had to worry about it...

 

And as far as the Street vs Track tunes are concerned, there really wasn't that much of a difference, other than I had the Rev Limiter upped to 6,500 so I could shift at 6,000 and not worry about bouncing off the stock 6,250 going down a long straight... And probably a few other minor tweaks to the air:fuel ratios, etc... Again, if you really want specifics, you'd need to ask someone at Brenspeed...

 

Please understand that the PRIMARY reason I went with an aftermarket tune was NOT for HP/TQ gains, but for driveability and being able to make my own minor changes to Rev/Speed limits, etc... I also knew that one day I would swap the gears for 4.10's, and I needed a hand-held tuner to calibrate the Speedo...

 

I also had them send an 87 Octane Tune for those long boring 500-800 mile drives where using Premium was just a waste of $$$... And I picked 92 Octane for the other tunes, as I can get both 91 & 93 around where I live/track my car...

 

If you can find a before and after Dyno Sheet you will see that the Brenspeed curves are much smoother than the OEM curves, especially at the lower RPM's... Which is where some of the "driveability" comes into play...

 

So unless you plan on changing out the Cams, Heads, Intake and/or Exhaust, then you really aren't going to gain much in the way of HP/TQ with the configuration as it came from SAI... Good Luck!

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i personally HATE fiddling around with changing tunes just to pass a dam inspection.

 

 

I agree!! I guess that is why I'm asking so many questions about this tuning issue...and I'm a newbie at all the tuning stuff. What ever I decide to use I don't want to have to switch back and forth for the purpose of passing an annual emmissions test.

 

 

The Torque Management topic you mentioned is the first time I've ever heard of torque management at all, but it seems to make sense. I'm betting that the Steeda tune is fairly conservative as well...probably similar to the SAI tune. I posted a similar topic on the Steeda forum to see what one of their folks will say about it and see if they can help me sort some of this out to accomplish what I'm looking for...a bit more power out of the engine with out risking damage to it.

 

I just received a PM from one of their guys, so I'll let you know what I hear from the Steeda camp..

I did go ahead and purchase a set of BAMA tunes for the $150 price a couple of days ago...that is not too much to break the bank if it does no good, but I have not submitted any tuning info so I still may be able to get my $$ back if I find more answers from you guys here and at the Steeda shop!

 

Thanks for all the help on this fellas! A world of knowledge here!

 

Thanks,

Andy.

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You live in GA and 93 octane should not be a problem. But remember that if you travel west the approximately 30% of the US is limited to 91 octane. From about West Texas to California. Including NM, AZ, CA, NV, WA, OR etc.

 

 

If you look you can find specialty stations that cater to racers and enthusiasts. You can also do a mix of 91 and 100 from a track to get you to the 93. You have to do the calc. For example Sunoco race fuel (no ethanol) blends linearly. So if five gallons of 98-octane fuel is mixed with five gallons of 94-octane fuel, then the result will be ten gallons of 96-octane fuel, etc.

 

They have a search page here:

http://www.racegas.com/fuel/19

 

I've used the google and found 100 at stations around the SF Bay area too so don't just assume you can't...it's just not easy.

 

All this said...I'm not a big supporter of most 3rd party tunes for a DD or non-race focused car. It's placebo effect to me unless I see the dyne but even then from my limited time on the track your driving ability is the BEST upgrade you can get and CAI, tunes, blower, are all poor substitutes for good driving skills. IMHO that's where your investment should be. You can gain 20 seconds off a lap with a tune, or with improved driving, one may place you at risk, the other will make you safer and have more fun.

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All this said...I'm not a big supporter of most 3rd party tunes for a DD or non-race focused car. It's placebo effect to me unless I see the dyne but even then from my limited time on the track your driving ability is the BEST upgrade you can get and CAI, tunes, blower, are all poor substitutes for good driving skills. IMHO that's where your investment should be. You can gain 20 seconds off a lap with a tune, or with improved driving, one may place you at risk, the other will make you safer and have more fun.

 

 

Jeff - Very well said and great point...I know my driving skills could always use some improvements.

 

I guess my end objective is that I'd like to get this car as close to 400 hp/tq (or feeling like it is close to that number) and would prefer to keep in N/A for better reliability/longevity. I was hoping things like a CAI upgrade (the Steeda elbow), a good solid 93 octane tune, shorty headers, 62mm throttle body, and FRPP intake (and maybe FRPP cams) could get me somewhere close with reasonable step by step improvements. I know a Whipple 550 would get me there and then some, but at a big price tag I can't afford to swallow in one chunck!

 

With this being a convertible, I'll never be able to get this one on the track since they now require full roll bar/cage support to get them approved for even light track use....thus, the reason why I keep being tempted by that Race Red 2013 Boss 302 sitting up at my local dealership!! Lucky for me the lack of funds and the equal lack of garage space prevents this purchase.

 

I'm really getting the itch to go ahead with some other light mods like the FRPP shorties if the initial step of an upgraded tune does not produce some additional gains...that's almost what I'm starting to think from everyone's comments and help. I just thought I'd get some performance feel in the "seat of the pants" dyno from the upgraded tune.

 

I'm still waiting to hear from the folks at Steeda on my same question about their tune.

 

I'll update when I hear from them.

 

Andy.

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take it from a guy who's done cams, manifold, throttle body, headers....... getting to 400 hp n/a is not easier or really cheaper in the long run than spending the coin on a whipple.

 

staying n/a and getting to your goal on piece at a time ends up costing alot in repeated install cost and/or constant retunes every time you add a new part

 

if i did it all over again (which i most likely will, even though right now i'm trying to convince myself i'll leave the SGT all stock), i'd just pony up/save up the cash for my S/C of choice and have the power i want in a one shot deal

 

also, keep in mind, low boost levels are totally safe with a good tune and probably safer than having a high strung N/A engine

 

just my .02, i hope i've helped and not just given you more questions :)

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take it from a guy who's done cams, manifold, throttle body, headers....... getting to 400 hp n/a is not easier or really cheaper in the long run than spending the coin on a whipple.

 

staying n/a and getting to your goal on piece at a time ends up costing alot in repeated install cost and/or constant retunes every time you add a new part

 

if i did it all over again (which i most likely will, even though right now i'm trying to convince myself i'll leave the SGT all stock), i'd just pony up/save up the cash for my S/C of choice and have the power i want in a one shot deal

 

also, keep in mind, low boost levels are totally safe with a good tune and probably safer than having a high strung N/A engine

 

just my .02, i hope i've helped and not just given you more questions :)

 

 

Couldn't agree with you more. The money I've spent on retunes and some installs I wasn't willing to do by myself (cams, long tube headers) could've gotten me a blower and install with a tune. Not that I am against staying N/A. I love passing S/C cars on the track, drives guys crazy when they can't keep up with a "lesser" car.

 

I would highly advise long tubes over shorties. I might have mentioned this to you before, I'm not sure who I've talked to anymore. You'll love the shorties and then you'll want a little more and you'll kick yourself for not just buying the long tubes. If you are patient and wait for a good deal on long tubes they won't be too much more than than the shorties. The power to money ratio with be greater though. Just something to think over if you have a tight budget.

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I too wanted to stay N/A so I was going to go with this package before I went to the Boss:

 

http://www.fordracin.../m-fr4-s197.htm

 

They "claim" 440HP and the SGT comes with the other parts they recommend, CAI, X-pipe, Ford Racing Exhaust, etc. I would have been happy with 400, and to me this actually improves the engine''s long term durability over a SC car especially given your driving with the top down and not tracking.

 

At a lower cost this package is said to take you to 375

 

http://www.fordracingpartsdirect.com/FORD_RACING_INTAKE_CAM_THROTTLE_BODY_POWER_PACKAGE_p/m-fr5-s197.htm

 

I suspect a few mods here and there could get you to 400.

 

Good luck!

Edited by JeffIsHereToo
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I too wanted to stay N/A so I was going to go with this package before I went to the Boss:

 

http://www.fordracin.../m-fr4-s197.htm

 

They "claim" 440HP and the SGT comes with the other parts they recommend, CAI, X-pipe, Ford Racing Exhaust, etc. I would have been happy with 400, and to me this actually improves the engine''s long term durability over a SC car especially given your driving with the top down and not tracking.

 

At a lower cost this package is said to take you to 375

 

http://www.fordracin.../m-fr5-s197.htm

 

I suspect a few mods here and there could get you to 400.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Thanks Jeff!

 

I know the easy solution would be to go to the Whipple route. I know you can get it reliable, but after reading some of the stories about the belts jumping, and some other small issues, I just don't have the money or time to work through all these issues...but I do want some additional power out of my SGT. I also know that the 550 hp level would make me very nevious about EVER letting my kids drive such a beast.

 

I knew about the first package with the Stage 1 heads...it is a chunck of change but really gets the job done. I didn't know about the second link for that package rated at 375 hp, and those were the items I was really looking at, but just adding the FRPP Shorties to go with my KR exhaust. I figure that would probably get to around the 385 or 390 hp level with a proper custom tune. I've been told that the Long tubes make the exhaust a little too loud, and I'm not looking for louder than I presently have it sounding.

 

The whole point of what started this thread is that I wanted to use a relatively inexpensive canned tune for now until I get all these mods in place, and just figured that I would get a nice bump in performance that would tide me over with the improvement until the first part of 2013...at this point, the canned tune is still leaving me longing for more improvement.

 

Since it is a convertible, I still want to maintain the stock FRPP strut brace that SAI installed for the SGT, so I'm going to dig into either lowering mounts or the K member that achieves the same thing....I think Andrewnagle did the lowering K mount on his.

 

Does anyone have any words of wisdome - PRO/ CON for the K member versus the lowering motor mounts?

 

Any thoughts on the performance gains from the light top end package (minus the CNC heads)....??

 

 

Andy.

Edited by AndyGJ
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I like the NA approach but we all have to recognize the Whipple is the most cost effective route, even if you keep the Whipple leashed to 5-7 psi to increase longevity. But I am curious about the numbers quoted. The first link showed a modest 40 HP gain with a CAI package. The 2007 SGT is rated at 319 flywheel and if you add 40 that is 359, not 375. And you certainly won't gain 16 HP from shorty headers. More likely the shorty headers will result, with the aforementioned package, about 5-10 flywheel hp. Advertised HP and Torque claims seem to take leads from politicians when making promises.

Edited by 07SGT
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You know, every time a question comes up about adding HP, we get the "go the SC

route instead". Makes me wonder if such threads should have the disclaimer "Yes,

I know SC has better bang for the buck, but I have other reasons for keeping it NA".

My reason is that I have more sanctioned racing class options keeping it NA. So these

kind of threads I find very helpful. So keep those NA questions coming.

 

As for 400hp at the crank, there were a few reputable folk on this forum in the past

who got that NA from their SGTs using similar combos Jeff points out.

 

-Tom

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I'm not too worried about the Cameros and others at the 425+ range...their weight more than counters that extra 25 hp.

I'm looking to keep my SGT near the power and performance level of the present stock Mustang GTs, without breaking the bank or pushing the engine to the edge.

 

I want something that has tons of usable power, not something that will be hard to keep planted on the road. I had also considered the non-intercooled Whipple kit as well, but I think it runs about $5k before installation, and once the heat sink builds up, the computer will pull back the power from what I've heard pretty quickly, especially here in Atlanta.

 

Does anyone have either of these kits installed on their SGT?? Any comments on the performance enhancements?

 

Andy.

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I think I have a basic plan figured out for now...

 

I know one easily added component of that 375 hp package (385 hp if you add the shorty headers) is the FRPP 62 mm throttle body. I'll start by adding that with an upgraded tune to accomodate it. - $500 to start with and self installation.

 

Next, I'll step by step purchase the FRPP Shorty Headers, then the FRPP Intake Manifold, and finally the FRPP Hot Rod cams...I'm going to need a local mod shop to do those installations for me. I could probably have them do the shorty headers once I acquire them, but it still may make sense from a labor savings if they do all three at the same time...any thoughts there? I figure if the top end is opened up some it may help slightly with the header installation...Yes? No?

 

Those parts should run me about $1,700, and I figure installation should run about $1,100 (500 for headers, 400 for cams, & 200 for manifold). I'll also look at lowering the engine the 1/2 inch necessary for the new manifold to clear the strut tower brace by changing out the motor mounts when the shorty headers are going in...would make perfect sense to do that mod at the same time.

 

I figure at the end of the day, I'll have about $3,300 into all the performance mods to gain about 60 to 65 hp.- probably would add the cost of a custome tune as well at that point. If that proves to squeeze out another 10 hp in the equasion, then I'm right where I was looking to get to - close to the 400 hp mark at the flywheel...probably about 340 to 350 hp at the wheels.

 

That figures out to about $50 to $55 / hp without going to the Stage 1 heads - another $1800 to $2000.

I know the best price on a basic local install of the Whipple 550 kit was about $9,000 for an additional 230 hp, or about $40/hp.

 

Am I thinking this through correctly?

 

Andy.

Edited by AndyGJ
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