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The Miracle of Modern Tuning – What EFI Tuning has Done for the Aftermarket Industry

Discussion in 'Front Page Articles' started by SID297, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    The Miracle of Modern Tuning – What EFI Tuning has Done for the Aftermarket Industry


    Tunerr_02.jpg
    The SCT GTX is probably the most modern turner on the market today.

    Have you ever had the chance to look at a vintage Go-Fast Parts catalog from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc? The big ticket items tended to be cylinder heads, cams, and intakes. That’s where you were going to find your biggest gains on most engines of the era. However, when it comes to modern performance engines aftermarket major hard parts are nearly nonexistent. While there are about 65,000 different aftermarket cylinder heads for a small-block Chevy, there’s only one for Ford Modular engines. And that one choice is for a 2V. Non-Factory Modular intake manifold options can be counted on a couple of hands, but there is a decent selection of off-the-shelf and custom-grind camshafts. What the modern gear head has that our forebears could only dream of is the current robust selection of power adders.

    Tunerr_009.jpg

    My original Diablo Predator; this thing is nearly old enough to vote.

    It wasn’t until the creation of modern aftermarket ECU tuning on EFI engines did we see the unprecedented proliferation of boost, and therefore power, that we’ve been experiencing since the early 2000’s. Sure, you could have tracked down a blow-through carburetor and bolted a Paxton on your 1983 Fox; but that was a bit more a challenge than most were willing to tackle at the time. Don’t even get me started on cobbling together some parts from a Detroit Diesel to make a supercharger kit for you 1972 Mach 1 Mustang with a 351 Cleveland.

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    Switch-Chips are still a somewhat popular choice for older cars, especially when running N2O.

    In the mid-to-late 90’s chips were all the rage, but I really remember things taking off when Diablo introduced the Predator. I think people often forget what a revolution the Predator was. Before it you had to get the ECU out of the car, hack it up with some tin-snips, scuff up the contacts with sandpaper, snap on the chip, run the wire and mount the switch (because you know you bought a flip-switch), and finally bolt everything back together. Then every time you needed a re-tune you only had to do half of all of that again, plus mailing the chip to the tuner if you were doing the tuning remotely.

    Tunerr_010.jpg Tunerr_011.jpg

    For many, the SCT X2 was their first tuning device. I still use mine.

    Needless to say, that process was a pain-in-the-ass. Then Predator comes along and flips the apple cart. In an instant the remote tuning industry was born. The customer could simply upload the tune to their ECU and the tuner could send updates over email. Essentially, the performance industry discovered fire. Now mods like blowers, N2O, and turbos were attainable to the average modder. Welcome to the second coming of the performance industry.

    Tunerr_001.jpg Tunerr_005.jpg

    We've certainly come a long way from the original SCT X-Calibrator.

    Currently we’re seeing the beginning of a new generation of performance parts/cars. SCT’s latest tuning devices now update over Wi-Fi; and companies like VMP Performance are cranking out supercharger kits with better-than-OEM levels of fit, finish, and performance. It’s a great time to be building a car, even an older one. All those old pushrod heads still make power, and aftermarket mainstays like Holley and Edlebrock will sell you EFI setup to make it cold-start like a 2019 model. Best of all; there’s more competent turners than ever out there ready to help you build your automotive dreams, all without having to change jets.
     

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  2. ZEN357

    ZEN357 Active Member Established Member

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    I agree with you, if I had it to do over again some of the older cars I've built would be getting new fuel injection systems that are tune-able like the Holley Sniper EFI and the Edelbrock EFI systems.
     
  3. IronSnake

    IronSnake Cam chop make de booty pop Established Member

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    Well to add fuel to the fire, I have a Stinger MS3x ecu in my fox. Goodbye EEC IV, hello modern fuel injection, circuitry, and tuning solutions.
     
  4. xblitzkriegx

    xblitzkriegx Active Member Established Member

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    Great article! Would still like to see cylinder head options and a few more intake options for modular motors :(
     
  5. lexustech48

    lexustech48 I like Fords n stuff Premium Member Established Member

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    Not going to lie, im looking into an HP tuners setup. I don't really trust this "deal" that Derive just had to make. I know WHY they had to, but as an SCT user I don't like it.
     
  6. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    We’ll have more with HP Tuners in the near future.


    Sent from my iPhone using the svtperformance.com mobile app
     
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  7. 351stang

    351stang Beast ZL1 Established Member

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    Ha! I have a TwEECer!
     
  8. CobraBob

    CobraBob Authorized Vendor Premium Member

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    Great article, Travis, and it brought back memories of building the engine on my '71 Duster 340. Like the article said, back then you focused on cylinder heads, cams and intakes for big power gains. Those with a tight budget and lesser mechanical skills settled more on add-on parts that netted lesser gains, like headers, electronic distributor, Holley carbs (double pumper, single-feed, jet kits, etc.). I still remember that distinct smell of a new Holley out of the box. Bliss! LOL. Frankly, we're pleasantly spoiled nowadays with power adders and, yes, modern tuners.

    I was one of those who went with a chip on my '03 Cobra, and yeah, what a pain installing it. I was working with Rick at Amazon Racing back then. So just as Travis said in the article, "Before it you had to get the ECU out of the car, hack it up with some tin-snips, scuff up the contacts with sandpaper, snap on the chip, run the wire and mount the switch (because you know you bought a flip-switch), and finally bolt everything back together. Then every time you needed a re-tune you only had to do half of all of that again, plus mailing the chip to the tuner if you were doing the tuning remotely." Yep, tuning has come a long way. Engine technology has come a long way.
     
  9. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    I remember those. They were intimidating back in the day.
     
  10. BreezeHill

    BreezeHill New Member

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    good read come a long way in the last 20 or so years, its amazing
     
  11. mike dj

    mike dj Member Premium Member Established Member

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    My personal opinion the SCT X4 is great. The datalogging is very in depth and spot on. The other EFI system I like is Pro EFI as a piggy back off the stock PCM the only sensor that needs to be changed is the IAT sensor to a GM IAT. PRO EFI 128.
     

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