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Gizmo

Mild 850 tune with the benefit of hindsight

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Hi all, I'm coming back to the 850 game after years away and I have a few questions about what is now common knowledge as opposed to several years ago...

First, my car:

I'm on my fourth 850 (third if we're counting engines.) I have a '96 854 R running mild bolt-ons. 16T, R manifold, IPD turbo-back. Big K&N cold air intake from the previous owner. Stock tune. Stock injectors. Its a quick, rattly, lovely car, (suffering a bad repaint from the previous owner) and for the first time in my life I have the time and money to work on it right.

My goals:

Pretty simple. I would like to get to a *reliable* 300hp. My first 850 had an MBC and a beat to hell 16T and I ran it like hell bouncing off fuel cutoff until I burnt an exhaust valve. This 850 is my daily, carts my kid around, and I can't risk blowing anything up with this one. She's got close to 200k on the clock, good compression numbers last I checked.

My assumptions:

At this point I'm assuming my intercooler is a weak link, and the injectors probably are too.

I have some NA cams sitting on a shelf in my basement. Are they worth the work?

Final question--what is a good, reliable, affordable tune these days?

 

 

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NA cams are good for 13whp, they're definitely worth installing.

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6 hours ago, quiksilver said:

NA cams are good for 13whp, they're definitely worth installing.

I seem to remember a few years ago there was some disagreement as to the timing for NA cams and even whether both were helpful with the stock TD04 hot-side.

I -4 / E +5 still the recommended setup?

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And, sorry, just as a bump--

Is IPD/MTE still the least-likely-to-grenade-your-engine tune? (also $$$)

ARD is a no-go, right? Seems like folks like Hilton, but seems like there are no tunes for the older motronic...

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ARD tunes were junk, but Lucky closed the business now so that makes it an even easier decision to go with a tune from Aaron (@Tightmopedman9 ) at Vast Tuning.

Make sure you’ve got a thorough baseline before you turn the power up. Stage 0, plus oil pan seals and PCV system. Since you’re counting on the car to be reliable, go overkill on preventative maintenance before modifications 

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Do you want 300 horsepower at the crank or at the wheels? The difference between the two can be significant in terms of supporting mods needed. 

A 16t will get you to 300 crank horsepower with a full exhaust, blue/white injectors and an upgraded fuel pump. An upgraded intercooler certainly wouldn't hurt either. 

The above mods + a 19T or K24 would get you to 300 wheel horsepower. Replace the whites/blues with greens though. 

I would highly recommend running water methanol injection. I recommend the snow performance stage 1 kit to everyone - it's inexpensive and has everything you need. 

Also, a good tune custom suited to your mods and a tuner who is willing to help you troubleshoot mechanical issues along the way wouldn't be a bad idea 😉

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13 hours ago, Tightmopedman9 said:

Do you want 300 horsepower at the crank or at the wheels? The difference between the two can be significant in terms of supporting mods needed. 

A 16t will get you to 300 crank horsepower with a full exhaust, blue/white injectors and an upgraded fuel pump. An upgraded intercooler certainly wouldn't hurt either. 

The above mods + a 19T or K24 would get you to 300 wheel horsepower. Replace the whites/blues with greens though. 

I would highly recommend running water methanol injection. I recommend the snow performance stage 1 kit to everyone - it's inexpensive and has everything you need. 

Also, a good tune custom suited to your mods and a tuner who is willing to help you troubleshoot mechanical issues along the way wouldn't be a bad idea 😉

Seriously just use Aaron.  ^^^^^

Hes super patient too lol.

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yes he is ^ 

i work with him every two years id say... its all because i work on my car once every two years :(

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This is all really helpful, thank you. My initial thought has been 300 at the crank, with everything overbuilt for reliability. Car is pretty much at stage zero, been a very reliable daily driver for the past three or four years, hunt down vacuum leaks like crazy, etc. new head seals as of two years ago, turbo rebuilt three years ago, etc

But Andy that's solid advice on the oil pan seals. That and the main seals are original.

I would *love* to start hunting 300 at the wheels, but I think the only way I'd let myself do that at this point would be to start with a fresh rebuild. I count on this thing too much.

 

Aaron sounds like the way to go, tune wise. I'm currently about to get into a little trouble working on a 70's Ford truck, but after I get that running passably, I think a VAST tune is the next step, along with fuel upgrades.

 

What are folks running for a fuel pump?

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I believe for your power goals Aaron will suggest Deatshwerks Dw200

here is an old thread on some details:

 

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