New to tuning

Technical and non-technical chit-chat about whatever. Discuss, trade notes, complain, debate, just keep it civilized.

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Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:06 pm
Location: Henderson, NV

New to tuning

Post by tommym » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:04 pm

Thank you for letting me join.
I'm brand new to tuning, I'm an old guy and know zip. Just trying to find out if there is a method I can use to tune my car. I have a heavily modified 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. It has a custom built 5.0, A9L, T-5, 8.8 w/373's. The car runs great, rich at idle, (850rpm), no stumble at launch. The problem is that there is no one here in Southern Nevada that will tune a OBD 1 computer and I don't know where to start.
I would appreciate any help.
1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, 1994 Explorer 5.0 block, crank, Trick Flow Track Heat heads, ARP Pro studs, Trick Flow pistons, Eagle SIR I Beam rods,Comp Cams 544/555, 266/277, GT 40 ported intake, 30lb injectors, BBK Equal Length headers, T-5, 8.8 w/373's, etc. The list is endless.

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Location: Acworth, Ga (Metro Atlanta)

Re: New to tuning

Post by cgrey8 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:02 pm

OBD-I stuff is quickly becoming antiquated. When I first started my V8 Ranger project, the best known tuning strats in the open tuning community were the 3 GUFx strats. But over the years, more and more people wanted to tune their newer vehicles which use newer strats. So GUFx is pretty antiquated at this point. Add to that, finding working GUFx EECs are becoming harder and harder. When they go bad, most people find it easier just to update to CBAZA. And if I have trouble with mine, I'll probably do the same. But until then, GUFB is what runs my daily driver. And while it has it's problems, it works good enough.

All that is to say, if you are looking to start tuning this thing, you'll need tuning hardware, tuning software, and a LOT of learning time as well as drive time to understand what DIY tuning is and how to do it effectively. None of those things are things others can do for you. But if you ask intelligent questions, you can often get a lot of help from people here.

Although if you are more into driving/enjoying your vehicle than you are into tuning it & having a laptop as a passenger for the next few months, then you are probably better off paying someone to tune it.

But being there's not much in the way of professional tuners there, the next-best option will be mail-order tunes where you load the tunes into your hardware. That'll require you have all the same DIY hardware and software such as a Moates Quarterhorse and BinaryEditor (or TunerPro), and a Wideband O2 sensor to datalog exhaust AFRs. Pay them, try what they give you. If you like it, run it. If there are intolerable problems, either learn to fix them yourself since you'll have the tools to do so...or get your mail-order tuner your datalogs of the problems occurring and describe what's happening and preferably where in the datalog the problems were occurring. Then pay more money to get another tune with teaks based on the datalogs & your feedback as to what's happening. Repeat until you are happy with the results or tired of paying for tunes that aren't improving things.

That's pretty much the long and short of it. If you are a natural tinkerer, then I think you'll really enjoy the tuning experience and the insight into the black box it gives. But it does require a LOT of time to overcome the learning curve of what tuning a Ford EEC is. Once you enter the realm of the digital, you are WAY beyond mechanical advance weights in the dizzy and tuning a carb with jets, metering rods, and springs. The basics of giving the engine spark and fuel are the same. But the level of precision you have with a computer is orders of magnitude greater. And as vehicles get newer, their need for that level of complexity & precision grows as their need to control more things expands.
...Always Somethin'

89 Ranger Supercab, 331 w/GT40p heads, ported Explorer lower, Crane Powermax 2020 cam, 1.6RRs, FMS Explorer (GT40p) headers, Slot Style MAF, aftermarket T5 'Z-Spec', 8.8" rear w/3.27s, Powertrax Locker, Innovate LC-1, GUFB, Moates QuarterHorse tuned using BE&EA


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