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Old 09-10-2012, 08:34 PM   #21
bigjae1976
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I started out with a modded car (FI, suspension, brakes, etc). If I had to do it over again, I would have started stock. Yeah, you'll be faster than everyone because of the car. What you are not learning is feeling what the car is like at its limit because the limit will be much higher in a stripped FI car than a stocker. So basically you'll cream every one at first but as you move up because you think you are fast...but you're not and the car is...you'll start seeing miata's and other crap cans passing you. So you push harder beyond YOUR limits and something bad happens.

You learn faster and get better habits on a closer to stock car. There are minor mods you can do to help with reliability. If track is your goal, first thing is the oil pump nut. I will come off eventually with track use. Trust me, you won't save it unless its happened before. Then add front camber plates and some schroth quick fits.

Driving skill is driving skill. You won't have to relearn the car if you significantly mod it. There is no set limit a car operates at, it constantly changes. So once you gain skill and can feel what the car is doing, modding the car won't be a huge deal. My e46 lost its alternator pulley so I jumped in a buddy's stripped E36 M3 with much less power. By the 2nd session I was going pretty fast pushing pretty hard. I'm not nearly as skilled as a lot of advanced drivers...I'm a beginner advanced. So if I can do it...you can.

If you FI a 330, its a massive PIA. The problem right now is my oil cooling and zionsville radiator. The oil cooling + supercharged forces me to use the VAC billet housing. S54 won't fit with the -10AN fittings. The VAC housing specs a hydraulic tensioner but my supercharger is eating pulleys and belts. AA specifies a mechanical tensioner which apparently doesn't fit with the VAC housing. Then to replace anything belt drive related (like the alternator), I have to remove the entire radiator because its much thicker and can't get the bolts out.

See where I'm going with this? If I had to do it again, I'd either build the M54 for NA or drop an S54 in.

I don't see why you can't FI a race car, it all depends on how deep your wallet is. My car runs cooler than most of the stripped out E46 M3s and I still have the a/c condenser in. I do use water alcohol injection which helps to cool things down. I also have the zionsville radiator, oil cooler, and a water to air intercooler.

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Old 09-10-2012, 08:50 PM   #22
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Ok, here's some constructive criticism. The truth hurts so I hope you don't get offended.

First of all, "why would I train myself to drive a stock car and then mod further and then reteach myself to drive that car all over again with new mods" is not something that someone will SEE as wrong. It's something that's just flat out wrong. It's objectively, not subjectively, wrong. You won't learn anything useful in a 400hp car because you won't be able to get the most out of the car. And that's not mentioning that a car set up the way you ultimately want to have it is going to be overly expensive to maintain for absolutely no reason. You'll also lose drivability. You'll learn much quicker, have more fun, and will be safer in a stock-ish E46. I've been doing this in a 180hp car for 3 years and I still get scared. You won't learn unless you drive at a reasonably high level. And if you can't drive a 400hp car at a reasonably high level, y'ain't gon' learn shit. After three years, I'm simply not ready to even go up to an E46 M3, much less something with over 400 WHEEL horsepower. You haven't even driven on a racetrack.

Second, "my main goal is to make my car my own" is nothing more than an excuse for not knowing what you want to do with it. If you're going to spend this kind of money you need to have more of a concrete plan than "I'm going to do the things I like." You need a more concrete plan than that because "what you like" will vastly VASTLY VASTLY change over the course of your time on track. Even after your first day you'll realize lots of things that you view differently.

Third, there's no such thing as a "somewhat race setup." You either have a race car or you have a street car with upgraded suspension and brakes. (I'll get to interior safety equipment later). To tell you the truth, it doesn't even matter what kind of car you have because a car doesn't make you faster - the driver makes the car faster. Here's an example: I was at Watkins Glen about a year and a half ago when a gentleman showed up in a rented Hyundai and was running faster lap times than a bunch of E36 cars - he was certainly running faster laps than a bunch of beginners (one of them in one of those 500hp CTS-V things). And, I gotta tell ya, he was having way more fun. Driving a slow car fast and at the limit is much more fun than driving a fast car slowly. Here's one thing a powerful car can, however, do VERY FAST - put an inexperienced driver (AND HIS/HER INSTRUCTOR) into the wall. Don't ever forget that as a novice you're not only putting yourself in peril - you've also got another person on board.

I've put my car into a wall (luckily with 2 rows of tire barrier in front of it), head first (40mph at impact), with an instructor in the passenger seat. HEAD FIRST. I shouldn't have to tell you how I felt and still feel. Imagine the speed I would have been carrying into that same corner with a 400+hp car (I was at about 110mph at the braking point with only 180hp). Now imagine at what speed that impact would have been had I overshot the braking point by the same margin going in at a much higher speed.

Fourth, the problem with doing FI on a track car is many-fold. First of all, you're going to have the heat problem. You are going to have heating issues. Some FI owners will disagree with me. Fine. Even if you don't have significant heat issues, the risk that you will have heating issues is much higher. To me, that's an unacceptable risk. Second of all, you're going to have the reliability problem. Any time something breaks, it's going to be a nightmare to fix. I've seen tons of guys lose their entire weekend because of something stupid happening with a supercharger or turbocharger on the first day. DEs are not cheap. The first thing you should want, indeed need, is the simplest and most reliable car possible. Third of all, you will have the inexperience problem, as I've explained above.

Finally, the controversial "safety" issue. Bolt-in roll bars can actually make your car more dangerous than being stock. You'd be surprised how much your body stretches during an accident. Just because the roll bar is behind you, it doesn't mean you can't crack your arms on it - especially if you don't have a containment seat. If you don't have a containment seat, you could even crack your head on the diagonal bar. Anyways, containment seats do not solve all the problems because you'll need a proper 6-point harness - which can also be more dangerous than having a regular 3-point seat belt. A 3-point seat belt allows your body to rotate around the diagonal belt and follow your head when you have an impact. A 6-point belt keeps your body in place, but your head is still free and because your body can't follow it, your neck will follow it. Well, there's only so far your neck can go before it gets severely injured. Ok, fine - add a HANS. Problem fixed. Not so fast. A bolt in bar is still inherently weak in it's mounting points. Indeed, there are many stories of roll bars ripping from or punching through the car's floor. Remember, your harnesses are connected to that bar. If you rollover and the roll bar pushes through the floor, it will pull you down with it. It will break your spine. If you have a frontal impact and the bar rips from its base, it moves forward, potentially striking your head. Even worse, if it moves forward, you've got no more tension on your shoulder belts and you're screwed. What about the person sitting in your passenger seat?

In my opinion, you've already done more to your car than you'll be able to handle. I find it particularly interesting that you've thought about doubling your horsepower but that you haven't mentioned anything about the issue of a brake upgrade - not even pads. As I said before, I've been doing this for 3 years and am still learning to drive a 180hp car. I still haven't started racing because I don't feel comfortable with my level of competence. Being on track is a big responsibility. You aren't the only one who can get hurt. Don't ever forget that.

So, what's the conclusion? Learn to drive. Don't learn to drive a particular car or setup - just learn to god damned drive. If you really want to feel more "in tune" with your car I would do the following AT MOST: 1) Schroth 4-Point ASM seatbelt (i.e. "Quick Fit"), 2) brake lines, and 3) brake pads. You should, at the very least, change your brake fluid and check/change all other fluids anyways.

Food for thought - even if you did get all those power upgrades (FI, etc.), any half-intelligent instructor wouldn't allow you to use them. After a 1/4 of a lap they'll know your level of skill and will tell you to keep the power down. Thus, even if you had the power, you couldn't use it. So what's the point of having it?

One more thing, do yourself (and everyone else) a favor by doing the following: take your car as it now sits to a DE and ask to be paired with the most experienced instructor that is still available (the really good ones get scooped up quickly). You'll very quickly learn how much car the E46 can be - if you don't feel that it's a lot to handle, you aren't driving hard enough. And, if you aren't driving hard enough to feel the E46 getting upset, you have no business driving a 400+ hp car.

Also, during that same DE, find the maddest fucking instructor and ask him to take you on track and scare you. He will. This past December I had an interesting ride in a 2002ti at VIR. I use the adjectives "interesting" rather than "fun" because I don't think "fun" accurately describes the sensation you feel when you exit T10, which is about a 90 degree bend, the exit to which is DOWNHILL AND NOT ON-CAMBER, 'round about 90mph, in a dedicated 4-wheel-slide, in a 2000lbs sardine can that has ZERO driver aids. The 2002 in question had all of 100hp.

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Old 09-10-2012, 09:59 PM   #23
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If track is your goal, first thing is the oil pump nut. I will come off eventually with track use. Trust me, you won't save it unless its happened before. Then add front camber plates and some schroth quick fits.
im aware about the oil pump nut from your posts and some others
i was planning on going the same route pei did on his if i can get one of those

i did read everything you typed out as well



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Originally Posted by Bayerische E46 View Post
Ok, here's some constructive criticism. The truth hurts so I hope you don't get offended.
i won't and i'm not

First of all, "why would I train myself to drive a stock car and then mod further and then reteach myself to drive that car all over again with new mods" is not something that someone will SEE as wrong. It's something that's just flat out wrong. It's objectively, not subjectively, wrong. You won't learn anything useful in a 400hp car because you won't be able to get the most out of the car. And that's not mentioning that a car set up the way you ultimately want to have it is going to be overly expensive to maintain for absolutely no reason. You'll also lose drivability. You'll learn much quicker, have more fun, and will be safer in a stock-ish E46. I've been doing this in a 180hp car for 3 years and I still get scared. You won't learn unless you drive at a reasonably high level. And if you can't drive a 400hp car at a reasonably high level, y'ain't gon' learn shit. After three years, I'm simply not ready to even go up to an E46 M3, much less something with over 400 WHEEL horsepower. You haven't even driven on a racetrack.
this is going to sound like im contradicting myself but i do plan on tracking it before the s/c
thats down the line as it costs the most out of the bunch for one piece
im aware of everything you said as im aware i was not clear on how i typed everything out
i get caught up in a thought and sidetrack from things i mean to type mid sentence


Second, "my main goal is to make my car my own" is nothing more than an excuse for not knowing what you want to do with it. If you're going to spend this kind of money you need to have more of a concrete plan than "I'm going to do the things I like." You need a more concrete plan than that because "what you like" will vastly VASTLY VASTLY change over the course of your time on track. Even after your first day you'll realize lots of things that you view differently.
it's not an excuse and i'm not implying that in an ignorant way even though its sounds like it is.
occasionally its not needed to have an exact plan all the time for everything.It may change vastly i'm sure with more and more track time i do not doubt that and when/if it does ill adjust from said point and on


Third, there's no such thing as a "somewhat race setup." You either have a race car or you have a street car with upgraded suspension and brakes. (I'll get to interior safety equipment later). To tell you the truth, it doesn't even matter what kind of car you have because a car doesn't make you faster - the driver makes the car faster.
i know this there's many comparisons like it.I know I wont be the fastest out there ill probably be the slowest and laughed at but its just more room to grow.
Here's an example: I was at Watkins Glen about a year and a half ago when a gentleman showed up in a rented Hyundai and was running faster lap times than a bunch of E36 cars - he was certainly running faster laps than a bunch of beginners (one of them in one of those 500hp CTS-V things). And, I gotta tell ya, he was having way more fun. Driving a slow car fast and at the limit is much more fun than driving a fast car slowly. Here's one thing a powerful car can, however, do VERY FAST - put an inexperienced driver (AND HIS/HER INSTRUCTOR) into the wall. Don't ever forget that as a novice you're not only putting yourself in peril - you've also got another person on board.

I've put my car into a wall (luckily with 2 rows of tire barrier in front of it), head first (40mph at impact), with an instructor in the passenger seat. HEAD FIRST. I shouldn't have to tell you how I felt and still feel. Imagine the speed I would have been carrying into that same corner with a 400+hp car (I was at about 110mph at the braking point with only 180hp). Now imagine at what speed that impact would have been had I overshot the braking point by the same margin going in at a much higher speed.

Safety is a prime concern. I WON'T put someone else's life in my hands. There's a learning curve to everything and myself being a newbie I'll have a lot to learn.I'll push till I'm comfortable and then back off and gradually increase when I'm cleared to go without an instructor.

Fourth, the problem with doing FI on a track car is many-fold. First of all, you're going to have the heat problem. You are going to have heating issues. Some FI owners will disagree with me. Fine. Even if you don't have significant heat issues, the risk that you will have heating issues is much higher. To me, that's an unacceptable risk. Second of all, you're going to have the reliability problem. Any time something breaks, it's going to be a nightmare to fix. I've seen tons of guys lose their entire weekend because of something stupid happening with a supercharger or turbocharger on the first day. DEs are not cheap. The first thing you should want, indeed need, is the simplest and most reliable car possible. Third of all, you will have the inexperience problem, as I've explained above.

Finally, the controversial "safety" issue. Bolt-in roll bars can actually make your car more dangerous than being stock. You'd be surprised how much your body stretches during an accident. Just because the roll bar is behind you, it doesn't mean you can't crack your arms on it - especially if you don't have a containment seat. If you don't have a containment seat, you could even crack your head on the diagonal bar. Anyways, containment seats do not solve all the problems because you'll need a proper 6-point harness - which can also be more dangerous than having a regular 3-point seat belt. A 3-point seat belt allows your body to rotate around the diagonal belt and follow your head when you have an impact. A 6-point belt keeps your body in place, but your head is still free and because your body can't follow it, your neck will follow it. Well, there's only so far your neck can go before it gets severely injured. Ok, fine - add a HANS. Problem fixed. Not so fast. A bolt in bar is still inherently weak in it's mounting points. Indeed, there are many stories of roll bars ripping from or punching through the car's floor. Remember, your harnesses are connected to that bar. If you rollover and the roll bar pushes through the floor, it will pull you down with it. It will break your spine. If you have a frontal impact and the bar rips from its base, it moves forward, potentially striking your head. Even worse, if it moves forward, you've got no more tension on your shoulder belts and you're screwed. What about the person sitting in your passenger seat?

i did not mention that in my list of things for belts a 6 point is associated in my head with a seat upgrade. i slide around in my sport seat and i hate that feeling so im wont bother with the 3 point.
i occasionally thought of the quick fits but just thought of holding off till i got seats.
There's also a weld in version of autopower. Does it pose the same risks possibly? yes it just may


In my opinion, you've already done more to your car than you'll be able to handle. I find it particularly interesting that you've thought about doubling your horsepower but that you haven't mentioned anything about the issue of a brake upgrade - not even pads.You are right i did not mention it. One of those lost in thought while typing everything out. As I said before, I've been doing this for 3 years and am still learning to drive a 180hp car. I still haven't started racing because I don't feel comfortable with my level of competence.

Being on track is a big responsibility. You aren't the only one who can get hurt. Don't ever forget that.i have not even been and I already know that part

So, what's the conclusion? Learn to drive. Don't learn to drive a particular car or setup - just learn to god damned drive. If you really want to feel more "in tune" with your car I would do the following AT MOST:
1) Schroth 4-Point ASM seatbelt (i.e. "Quick Fit"), see above
2) brake lines,(< done) and
3) brake pads (< done)

You should, at the very least, change your brake fluid and check/change all other fluids anyways. (< need to do)

Food for thought - even if you did get all those power upgrades (FI, etc.), any half-intelligent instructor wouldn't allow you to use them. After a 1/4 of a lap they'll know your level of skill and will tell you to keep the power down. Thus, even if you had the power, you couldn't use it. So what's the point of having it?
I listed one power upgrade? The rest is weight pretty much.unless you count what i have already done. at that point it is at now it is on a bpu(basic power upgrades) car.

One more thing, do yourself (and everyone else) a favor by doing the following: take your car as it now sits to a DE and ask to be paired with the most experienced instructor that is still available (the really good ones get scooped up quickly). You'll very quickly learn how much car the E46 can be - if you don't feel that it's a lot to handle, you aren't driving hard enough. And, if you aren't driving hard enough to feel the E46 getting upset, you have no business driving a 400+ hp car.
I'm sure that experience will make an impression on you.you are right it probably will
If something like that doesn't impress you, I'd be extremely concerned.

Also, during that same DE, find the maddest fucking instructor and ask him to take you on track and scare you. He will. This past December I had an interesting ride in a 2002ti at VIR. I use the adjectives "interesting" rather than "fun" because I don't think "fun" accurately describes the sensation you feel when you exit T10, which is about a 90 degree bend, the exit to which is DOWNHILL AND NOT ON-CAMBER, 'round about 90mph, in a dedicated 4-wheel-slide, in a 2000lbs sardine can that has ZERO driver aids. The 2002 in question had all of 100hp.
I read everything you posted and I don't mean to sound like an ignorant douche by my responses as it may come off like that
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:09 PM   #24
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I read everything you posted and I don't mean to sound like an ignorant douche by my responses as it may come off like that
I don't think you're a douche. You're new at this - I'm not trying to insult you or hurt your feelings. Trust me, I had to go through (and, indeed, still am on) that learning curve. It's a MASSIVE learning curve. You never stop learning. The instructor who I had my accident with said to me "Don't beat yourself up. Learn from your mistakes. Don't put your helmet down because of a mistake - put your helmet down the day you stop learning."

Look, the reason I wrote the large dissertation above was more to make a point about how many things there are to think about and to help you understand some, indeed many, things you haven't yet thought about (which there is nothing wrong with because you are new at it). That post could have been 5 or 6 times longer - easily. But I just wanted to cover the basics.

Now, back to the tangibles. The roll bars - I believe AutoPower and Kirk make weld-in units - but, I ask, what's the point? I would not drive a car with a roll bar on the street. I have before, I won't even lie about that, but I realize that it was STUPID. Any street car with any sort of exposed steel near your body is a massive liability for you and your passenger. If you get into an accident on the street, you aren't wearing a helmet and you could crack your noggin' on the tubing. INCREDIBLY UNSAFE. And that's why I wrote the bit about safety. It amazes me how many people I see at the track who have some experience and yet insist on driving a car with exposed steel tubing on the street. It absolutely baffles me.

And, that's why I concluded that you shouldn't do anything to your car at all; because doing it properly will turn into a horrific slippery slope.

As for the QuickFits - they are designed to be used with a factory seat. They are DOT approved. You don't need a 1-piece shell. Many people use QuickFits with their factory seats on track and they love them. The QuickFits give you all the benefits of a 3-point belt and a 6-point belt (yes, a 6-point belt - the ASM prevents you from submarining as the crotch straps on a 6-point do, albeit differently). They're brilliant. Now, you can use QuickFits in a 1-piece shell - it would be even safer. Note, however, that such a configuration wouldn't be safer as a result of the seat belts functioning any better. The seat belts will not function any better at all, actually. What makes that configuration safer is that the seat will give more protection and support.

If you simply don't want the QuickFits, you could get a cheap CGLock for your 3-point. The CGLocks sometimes crap out, but they are a really cheap compromise and do work pretty well.

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Old 09-10-2012, 11:14 PM   #25
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Damn kid, you should pay this guy^. This is some important $hit. This guy can be your damn mentor.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:13 AM   #26
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Bayerische E46 has some great advice. His thoughts as well as bigjae1976's are why I decided to go N/A with a 328 which I feel gives me the most opportunity for power as well as bullet proof reliability lap after lap. You want the car that you can turn lap after lap in and keep learning, not the car that you spend the track day trying to get running right.

The car is making over 200whp now which is as much as any stock ZHP and it's getting cams soon. Plus, I don't have to worry about harmonic issues with the 2.8 block. FI is just going to give you headaches on a track car unless you have a huge supply of money.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:24 AM   #27
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Remember, the short term goal is to learn how to safely drive your car at the limit. Acceleration is the easy, cornering is hard, braking is (IMO) the most difficult. The real challenge comes in when you mix acceleration and cornering and cornering and braking...even accelerating and braking in some odd circumstances. Drag racing down the straights is OK...dancing the car on the limit of traction in the turns...that's fun. You'll get there faster with a stock or lightly modded car.

Learn from my mistake.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:35 AM   #28
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Remember, the short term goal is to learn how to safely drive your car at the limit. Acceleration is the easy, cornering is hard, braking is (IMO) the most difficult. The real challenge comes in when you mix acceleration and cornering and cornering and braking...even accelerating and braking in some odd circumstances. Drag racing down the straights is OK...dancing the car on the limit of traction in the turns...that's fun. You'll get there faster with a stock or lightly modded car.

Learn from my mistake.
And dancing that car on the limit of traction for the entire length of the turn vs just certain points is where the pro's are made.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:59 AM   #29
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And dancing that car on the limit of traction for the entire length of the turn vs just certain points is where the pro's are made.
cant wait for your review on the cams. are you planning on getting a tune?
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:50 PM   #30
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cant wait for your review on the cams. are you planning on getting a tune?
I plan on having my tune from Epic Motorsports updated for them. This tune has completely changed the way my car feels and after reviewing the dyno data, I still think it made good power, at least as much as the shark does. I will have to wait for another dyno session to prove it though.

My baseline dyno had numbers all over the map from 178 to 184, my dyno after Epic was a steady 193-195. I tried to flash back to stock on the dyno day with the Epic tune and only noticed a decrease of 2-3 horsepower. The thing is that this can be attributed to the car slowly unlearning what it had from the Epic tune and therefore it would take some time to go back to stock values. I should have cleared adaptations but I didn't know they stayed after the software change. The thing is with the tune it was dead conistent, without, it was not. That could mean that from my lowest before tune number to all my after tune numbers, I could be making 15-17 more horsepower depending on the run.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:39 PM   #31
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I plan on having my tune from Epic Motorsports updated for them. This tune has completely changed the way my car feels and after reviewing the dyno data, I still think it made good power, at least as much as the shark does. I will have to wait for another dyno session to prove it though.

My baseline dyno had numbers all over the map from 178 to 184, my dyno after Epic was a steady 193-195. I tried to flash back to stock on the dyno day with the Epic tune and only noticed a decrease of 2-3 horsepower. The thing is that this can be attributed to the car slowly unlearning what it had from the Epic tune and therefore it would take some time to go back to stock values. I should have cleared adaptations but I didn't know they stayed after the software change. The thing is with the tune it was dead conistent, without, it was not. That could mean that from my lowest before tune number to all my after tune numbers, I could be making 15-17 more horsepower depending on the run.
sounds good cant wait for you to produce some numbers after that last ordeal. 20 whp more than my baseline is what i want almost at a minimum off what ever tune i get
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:55 PM   #32
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sounds good cant wait for you to produce some numbers after that last ordeal. 20 whp more than my baseline is what i want almost at a minimum off what ever tune i get
Those are some lofty goals, I wouldn't count on that. With every bolt on mod done including cams with no tune to a tune, I would hope for maybe 15 horse from the tune... max.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:28 PM   #33
Steven747
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Originally Posted by jared_wiesner View Post
Those are some lofty goals, I wouldn't count on that. With every bolt on mod done including cams with no tune to a tune, I would hope for maybe 15 horse from the tune... max.
i cant recall the exact number but mango got somewhere in the 15 range on a stock 330 from oe tuning so would 5 more hp from tuned headers and cams be unreasonable ? i might be wrong though
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:19 AM   #34
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And seat time (obviously)
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:52 AM   #35
jared_wiesner
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i cant recall the exact number but mango got somewhere in the 15 range on a stock 330 from oe tuning so would 5 more hp from tuned headers and cams be unreasonable ? i might be wrong though
I don't want to get going too much more with this discussion in this thread just because its off topic, but, from what I saw, the OE dyno tune on a stock 330 made about 11 whp peak and a max gain of 19 whp around 4750 RPM.
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