Good cheap, DIY upgrades under the hood? - Page 2 - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 11:06 AM
Devoted Member
 
KhanTyranitar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Chapter: West Coast
Posts: 1,283
Rep Power: 24
 
Trader Score: 0 reviews
I agree with your assessment, and if you were able to get more power using a better intake, thats great. Are you running a larger TB too though? You are also running a tuner, I don't see an intake doing much of anything unless you take a tuner and get more timing advance and other tricks to take advantage of it. I don't see why you couldn't get those same dyno numbers with just the tune and other mods, but stock intake. The stock intake is almost identical to the Duratec and SHO intake (as far as the air box and silencer is concerned), and the Duratec is 200 hp at the crank, which is probably around 150-160 hp at the wheels after losses through the trans, and the SHO would be around 190 hp at the wheels. That is for a stock setup, no mods. However, those are guestimate figures. My Duratec is 126 at the wheels, but that is not taking the elevation losses into account. From those results at my elevation, with the adjusted altitude pressure, air temperature, humidity, and other factors taken into account, what my actual power would have been to the wheels at seal level at similar temperature and humidity, my hp to the wheels is closer to 180-190 hp, not too bad for a car that has only exhaust mods, everything is is pretty much stock, including the intake. I'm not running a tune currently, though that is on the to do list.

Not trying to downplay your results in any way. A stock vulcan will only produce 145-155 hp depending on the year. By the time it gets to the wheels, that could be as little as 120-130 hp. So to get 146 at the wheels is a major accomplishment, you could be producing as much as 175 - 180 hp at the crank.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
KhanTyranitar is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 11:49 AM
Devoted Member
 
SoNic67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SE Virginia
Chapter: Northeast
Year: 2001
Model: Mercury Sable Wagon
Engine: 3.0L 24v Duratec V6
Posts: 2,411
Rep Power: 35
  
Garage
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Well, Zuljin, you managed to put to contradictory statements here:
Quote:
If you replace your muffler with a better-flowing (read: noisy) one, you'll notice a difference.
Quote:
Taking cats out will cause a no back-pressure situation at low loads & low rpm, which will take your intake charge and throw it straight out the exhaust during cam overlap. Keep your cats.
So... why bother to replace the muffler if you don't change the cams? To brag about dyno/WOT power and run like crap at stoplights?

As for octane, the resistance to detonation is not all the story. Gas has components (fractions) that evaporate quickly and fractions that are evaporating slower. On aggressive accelerations, close of WOT, the gas injected in the intake does not evaporate as easy as when you have a vacuum there, so in cylinders, only the super volatile fractions will be present, the rest are lining the walls. Burn will be lean if the PCM does not add extra fuel (fuel trims).
Higher quality gasoline has more of the volatile fractions than cheap gasoline. So, if you drive a lot in stop-and-go traffic, and you take off at stoplights like I do, you can see a benefit from better gasoline, benefit that advancing the spark will not achive.
Plus, advancing the spark, tends to "slow" down the cylinder and increase the fuel consumption, increase the stress on engine...

Last edited by SoNic67; 11-08-2011 at 11:52 AM.
SoNic67 is offline  
post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 05:41 PM
Member
 
Zuljin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Posts: 233
Rep Power: 17
 
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by KhanTyranitar View Post
I agree with your assessment, and if you were able to get more power using a better intake, thats great. Are you running a larger TB too though? You are also running a tuner, I don't see an intake doing much of anything unless you take a tuner and get more timing advance and other tricks to take advantage of it. I don't see why you couldn't get those same dyno numbers with just the tune and other mods, but stock intake.
You didn't ask, but you were close enough that I'm going to explain anyway.

Friction is a bitch. Friction from the bearings, friction from the oil, friction from the air. An engine takes horsepower to turn, and losing some friction gains you some ponies to the ground (I say ponies because they are a fraction of a horse).

On the intake stroke, the piston going down requires power to fight against the vacuum your engine generates. Take a plastic syringe, seal it against your finger, and pull the plunger out. It gets a lot easier when you take your finger off the end, doesn't it? If you open up your intake, you're reducing the amount of power it requires to push the piston down on the intake stroke, which means less fuel is burned per hp produced (yay!) and more power is produced per throttle position, to an extent.

You have your normal limiting factors at WOT such as valve size, head design, TB, etc, which will reduce your WOT peak hp reading between intakes. This is why a CAI is so much fun when it only nets you 2-5 hp, because throttle response is sharpened, your fuel economy goes up (if you keep your driving habits the same) and you'll feel the increase in torque at part-throttle. And hear lots of noise at WOT.

And when my poor old Sable still lived, I had a 60mm TB and 70mm MAF. I have laundry lists of it all over this forum, just pm me if you want more info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
Well, Zuljin, you managed to put to contradictory statements here:

(insert my statements)

So... why bother to replace the muffler if you don't change the cams? To brag about dyno/WOT power and run like crap at stoplights?
I can contradict myself all day. It's how I pass time at work.

Mufflers won't lose enough back-pressure to make you run like crap at a stoplight, while cats may. There are lots of people that've taken cats out, and their idle just gets a little choppy. "Running like crap" is an exercise of tolerance, really. You can tune for missing cats, but unless you're keeping it high in the RPM band, there's not really a point for a DD.

But back on topic; read my reply to Khan's unwarranted intake lecture, and change it for exhaust.

Despite exhaust gas being under pressure, it still needs encouragement to flow. The pressure pushes down on the piston, which takes hp from another cylinder's power stroke to push up. If you reduce that, you gain power. This is why race cars like not having back-pressure. It's a balancing act, of course, because I previously mentioned you need some back-pressure to keep the intake charge in the cylinder. I remember with my old Sable, I lost a few hundred RPM off idle when I put a free-flow muffler on. Big whoop. With less back-pressure, a vulcan would probably run like my SHO, that trips over itself until 3k (but without the power that follows).

Clear as mud?


Zuljin is offline  
 
post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 10:14 PM
Devoted Member
 
JIMMER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Toronto
Chapter: Eastern Canada
Posts: 1,565
Rep Power: 21
 
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by KhanTyranitar View Post
I have to disagree almost completely with just about everything Jimmer says regarding the actual mods. Yes, you do need to get everything back to factory specs, so cleaning it and getting a tune up is a good idea. However, the Taurus GL from that year is powered by the 3.0L Vulcan OHV V6. There are performance gaining mods, but don't expect them to be cheap. The 3.0L OHV is an expensive engine to get more power out of. A freer flowing intake will do almost nothing. It is louder than stock, which creates a perception of power. But unless you have a full shroud around the filter, you will draw in warm air, which will invariably produce LESS power than stock. Unless you do something radical like a ported head, and an aggressive cam, the stock intake is not just adequate, it is overkill. The best part is, you already have it, so in effect its free.

Next, the stock exhaust, while not ideally configured, is already the right size. The cat is free flowing enough, the same basic setup supports over 240hp in Lincoln Continentals. Yes I know they have a bigger engine, but the same sized cats. If you want, you could eliminate them, but running a larger pipe size will gain you little power, and could cost you low end torque. The best exhaust gains your can do on a 3.0L Vulcan is to run 2.25" pipe from the cat back, and use a straight through free flowing muffler. After that, it is the stock heads and valves that are the biggest restriction to flow.

Your stock plugs are already excellent, though upgrading to an Autolite or NGK Iridium won't hurt anything, and they will last longer. Most performance wires are inferior to the original Motorcraft wires. The only performance wire I can recommend is Magnacor, which is the only performance wire that meets or exceeds OEM quality. As for the coil, the stock one is very high quality, the performance aftermarket ones might deliver more juice, but tend to be less reliable. This is especially true of Accel. Performance ignition does not increase power anyway. All it does is prevent you from loosing power under high strain conditions, such as high RPM, under high compression, or when running forced induction.

Running a higher output alternator is optional at best. Unless you run an underdrive pulley setup, your stock alternator can meet more power requirements. Optima batteries are less than what they are cracked up to be, a check with their less than stellar reliability record can confirm this.

Running a JET or SCT tuner can deliver a good amount of extra power, especially if you opt for high octane tunes. They won't work miracles, but they can support other mods. They are required for aggressive mods, like larger injectors, larger MAF, aggressive cams, forced induction, etc. These are a good investment to get more power.

Running a higher octane can deliver more power with a supporting tune, however, you are still running a lower compression engine on high octane, it is a waste most of the time. I would not run higher than 91 even with a tune. To justify any higher than that, you either need to raise your compression, or run forced induction.

Stick with the stock temp thermostat. A lower temp t-stat is only good for track cars, and cars that are driven for extended time periods. For a daily driver, the factory specs are best.
No disrespect intended, but all of the mods I suggested fit with what the thread asked for, cheap under the hood DIY mods. All the ones listed do help as entry level mods. Only a little each, but together they make a difference as a whole and don't cost a lot.

I don't know if you are a licensed technician at a performance or race shop, but I will tell you I am not. However, there are 5 race shops that I do consult with regularly, one, Evolution Racing, is the one doing the heavy lifting for my engine. All of them, all 5 of them, confirmed that the listed mods do in fact slightly improve the performance and response in a Vulcan engine. They weren't trying to sell me the mods as I already had them done.

Even the lowly Jet chip does help a little. Granted, a tuner or, even better, a full stand alone ems would be better, but the subject of the thread was "cheap". The Jet chip does help a little bit and costs very little. It's not going to give you 10hp, but will give you a little bump up and will work even better with other mods. After all, if you pop one open, it isn't just an empty box, there is a circuit board in it that does something.

As I said, no disrespect, but I don't know your credentials, but I do know the credentials of the 5 race shops that I know and I will continue to trust their expertise. After all, their entire work day is spent making cars faster, and if they all say that those listed mods do work, I tend to believe them.
JIMMER is offline  
post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Posts: 14
Rep Power: 0
 
Trader Score: 0 reviews
thanks to everyone who has suggested useful, cheap mods that i can do.
with 10hp being the most i could cheaply crank out of my engine, i think i'll just leave her be...

ME: "I want to upgrade my 97 Taurus to a CAI."
"Umm, that car comes stock with a CAI..."
ME: ".......... uhhh"
Thundermonty is offline  
post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 11:18 AM
Crazy Devoted Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Chapter: Midwest
Year: 1998
Model: Mercury Sable
Engine: 3.0L 24v Duratec V6
Posts: 22,374
Rep Power: 112
     
Trader Score: 1 reviews
^+1. Good idea. Save your money for preventive maintenance and repairs.
sheila is offline  
post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 02:25 PM
Devoted Member
 
JIMMER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Toronto
Chapter: Eastern Canada
Posts: 1,565
Rep Power: 21
 
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundermonty View Post
thanks to everyone who has suggested useful, cheap mods that i can do.
with 10hp being the most i could cheaply crank out of my engine, i think i'll just leave her be...
Probably the best bet. The mods I suggested would probably run you around 3 grand. They would give you about a 30hp gain from what you have right this minute. (a rough formula is $100 per 1hp gained/retrieved). I say that because some of the mods don't add hp, but reclaim hp you have lost over the years the car has been running, generally you lose about 1% per year. Just from gunk build up and wear & tear. You would gain a noticable increase in response time, meaning you will get more jump off the light than you do now. That would give you more of the "sportier" feel you said you want.

The problem is, it doesn't stop there. It's like a junkie always wanting more. I started off with those mods. Loved the result and wanted even more. Now, I have put over 12 grand into my ride and am in the process of rebuilding a duplicate, Vulcan engine, because I want more. I now, regularly launch harder and smoke many cars I couldn't before...BMW's, Audis, Mustangs, Chargers, etc. The list goes on.

Now I want to smoke Vettes, GT500's, Vipers, etc. I am working with 5 different race shops to build the Taurus/Vulcan engine that will do that, but I am looking at another 30 grand to get there.

I can afford to do it, so it's ok for me, but if you are penny pinching, it's probably best not to start something that will lead you to wanting more more more like I did.

And the reason I am doing it to the Vulcan engine and not just doing an engine swap is because I want to do what no one has, what so many say can't be done. Well it can be done, just going to cost me a ton of money, but, like I said, I have the money to do it. Ask yourself how much you are willing to spend. Remember, $100 per hp.

Just my opinion.

Last edited by JIMMER; 11-09-2011 at 02:29 PM.
JIMMER is offline  
post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 05:19 PM
Member
 
Zuljin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Chapter: Northeast
Posts: 233
Rep Power: 17
 
Trader Score: 0 reviews
$100 per hp isn't really accurate. You can put a muffler on your car for ~$200 installed (if your shop is a rip-off like mine) A K&N filter and removing the silencer cone is the cost of the filter (~$40 on ebay), and you'll probably be happy with the results.

So for less than $300, you'll probably gain a healthy 5 or 6 hp. Beyond that, yeah, a pound of flesh for every inch gained kinda deal.
Zuljin is offline  
post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 07:00 PM
Devoted Member
 
JIMMER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Toronto
Chapter: Eastern Canada
Posts: 1,565
Rep Power: 21
 
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuljin View Post
$100 per hp isn't really accurate. You can put a muffler on your car for ~$200 installed (if your shop is a rip-off like mine) A K&N filter and removing the silencer cone is the cost of the filter (~$40 on ebay), and you'll probably be happy with the results.

So for less than $300, you'll probably gain a healthy 5 or 6 hp. Beyond that, yeah, a pound of flesh for every inch gained kinda deal.
I didn't say it was accurate, I said it was a rough formula, which it is. Sure, if you go shopping for auto parts on ebay, things can be cheaper. And things can be junk too. You can also spend $400 on a muffler and gain 3 hp. It's just a rough formula. It's also better to slightly over estimate the cost of a job, than it is to under estimate it.

Last edited by JIMMER; 11-09-2011 at 07:07 PM.
JIMMER is offline  
post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 04:08 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Chapter: West Coast
Posts: 93
Rep Power: 22
 
Trader Score: 0 reviews
Wow.. I have to add my 2 cents.
all a Jet chip will do is advance timing, giving you a minute bit of HP gain, as long as you use high octane fuel. the price of the Jetchip vs. cost of fuel vs. potential HP gain doesn't add up to anything but wasted money.
the programmer mentioned would be nice, however I don't believe should be used until all mods are completed.
Iridium plugs give longevity, NOT more HP. they are 100k plugs, no HP plugs. I wouldn't really recommend an iridium plug, they aren't for every car. a regular platnum would be fine, NGK, Motorcraft or even Autlite for your Vulcan would suffice.
If you want something noticable get Pulsestar.
as for wires, motorcraft wires are made by Prestolite. they're good. Not worth the money for them. for a performance wire I'd actually look into a set of MSD or Taylor's instead.
I'd also put an MSD coil in as well at that point.
But for basic and cheap mods..
180F thermostat, it'll get you passed California smog with no problems, and the motor will run a bit cooler.
cone filter and intake tube will help as will removing the baffle in the air box.
Find the correct resistance rating for temperature at 75F and put in place if idle air temp sensor. it will trick the car computer into thinking the temp is 75F at all times.
gas pedal slack mod.. Ranger Trucks are known for this.. several Taurus's I've seen have the same issue.
Ford deliberately does this to keep the car slowed down.
follow the
gas pedal upwards. you'll see the cable attachment on top.
life the pedal UPwards till it stops. the top part of the pedal will be against the firewall. you will see maybe up to 1/2" of cable sticking out (sometimes more, sometimes less). you need to close that gap! I use cable ties and wrap them around the cable until the slack has been removed. Usually 3 small ones does the trick.
the gas pedal will now be higher than what you're used to. when you romp on the gas, you'll notice the difference.
at full WOT the butterfly plate will be full horizontil, or closer to it.
I'm not sure on the 3.0, but if it has 2 coolant hoses plugged into the throttle body, you can safely remove them and join them together with a coupler. all this does is help is ice cold weather helping the throttle body plate from freezing. I suppose if you're in a cold climate you should leave that..
but where I'm at.. it's worthless, but mandatory for smog. Go figure.
the idea is to take away the excess heat generated from the hot water flowing through it giving you a bit of cooler air going in. cooler air is more dense, which is what we want.
the cap & rotor, well not much to do with this, I use cap& rotors with brass fittings vs. steel or aluminum. they conduct a sneeze better and don't oxidize or corrode as easily.
If you're brave, get a dremel out with a grinding wheel & see if you can port out the throttle body hole. more air flow = more HP.
same with the intake manifold.. a port & polish kit is relatively cheap, probably take a couple hours to do and you'll notice a gain instantly.
Also lightening the load in the trunk helps but is minute.
proper tire inflation helps as well.
Also.. synthetic oil.. amsoil or redline IMHO is top notch.. everything else is fine too.
Quality oil fitler.. motorcraft (made by purolator so it's good anyway) is a good choice. don't get a "racing" filter, less media traps less dirt. you still need to keep the engine clean too. synthetics will help.
Also I'd add an aftermarket tranny cooler because you'll be driving faster and the temps might get to high and we all know Ford AXOD's aren't to friendly. Also a must.. bottle of Lubegard Red. (this is NOT a snake oil. it's proven to work!)
but the tranny cooler will help a lot.
If you can find an adapter.. an oil cooler sandwich adapter if you can find something to fit. cooler oil will last longer and keep the engine happier in the process.

Most of these are pretty inexpensive mods and are easy to do and will generate noticable results.
ericf is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome