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I have an 01 SEL, and a buddy of mine has a 96 maxima SE automatic with ~130k miles on it. stock, our cars are dead even in a staight-line race.
I put in my performance chip, 93 octane program. barks the tires, feels a lot better.

dead even.

remove the silencer and chain the engine down. again it 'feels' like i have more power.

also again, our cars are dead even. with one of us behind the other, we stay PERFECTLY even until we slow down at 70, not gaining or losing an inch during shifts.

I of course realize that if his car were new, we MIGHT be even with my mods, but they seemed to make no actual difference.

any thoughts?
 

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Guess you got a crappy performance chip? :chili:
 

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Originally posted by zja@Jun 30 2004, 08:32 PM
I have an 01 SEL, and a buddy of mine has a 96 maxima SE automatic with ~130k miles on it. stock, our cars are dead even in a staight-line race. 
I put in my performance chip, 93 octane program. barks the tires, feels a lot better. 
 
dead even. 
 
remove the silencer and chain the engine down. again it 'feels' like i have more power. 
 
also again, our cars are dead even. with one of us behind the other, we stay PERFECTLY even until we slow down at 70, not gaining or losing an inch during shifts. 
 
I of course realize that if his car were new, we MIGHT be even with my mods, but they seemed to make no actual difference. 
 
any thoughts?
First of all, removing the intake silencer does cause any noticeable performance gains (purely sound gains) others will possibly tell you differently though. The sound causes a placebo effect that makes you think it's more powerful and thus faster.

Chaining the engine (torque strap i assume) will only gain you low end torque not HP which you'd need to beat him in the long run in a straight line race.

The next thing i would ask is what chip did you get? If you didn't notice any performance gains after installing the chip it sounds like you got a dud as far as chips go.

***edited for spelling/grammar***
 

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As you've just learned, "feels faster" does not always mean "faster". The butt-dyno is a very inaccurate way to determine anything.

Do you have a money-back guarantee on that chip? Might as well send it back, as it (not surprisingly) makes no difference. Ford designed in the shift delay on the AX4- tranny for a reason.....making it shift harder can dramatically shorten tranny life. SHO ATX guys learned this years ago with some of the chips out there.

IMHO, chips on basically stock cars aren't worth the money. Yeah, maybe you get the hard shift that "feels better", but there really isn't enough power (if any) to be gained. The only way to really tell is to do before-after dyno runs. The "93 octane" program is a crock.....DOHC central-plug engines do not need the kind of spark advance that the old wedge-head OHV engines did. Cranking the parameters on an 87 octane engine to think it needs 93 octane is a waste of time. 93 octane gas is a band-aid, and adds no power (and can even drop power in certain circumstances) to cars that don't need it. Some of the 500+ HP supercharged SHOs are tuned to run on 93 octane pump gas.....stock, normally aspirated V6 engines aren't near needing 93 to make more power.
 

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My chip with the 93 octane program, got my me some power. And that's not a crock. And we've all seen dyno graphs that prove theirs power to be gained in the Duratec and SHO V8 when installing a chip. Of course it does depend on "who" makes your chip.
 

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Originally posted by D Man@Jul 2 2004, 02:24 PM
My chip with the 93 octane program, got my me some power.  And that's not a crock.  And we've all seen dyno graphs that prove theirs power to be gained in the Duratec and SHO V8 when installing a chip.  Of course it does depend on "who" makes your chip.
You also have to define "some power". Low-end torque? A couple of top-end HP?

For the chips I have used, I have had good luck.....for the purpose that they were designed. Running a SHO Shop LPM to drive the 80mm Ford MAF in my old '89 SHO, and now a chip in my 911 that helps the midrange torque between idle & 4K rpm for better drivability (don't know & don't care if it gives more top-end HP).

In my current '94 SHO, I bought it with two setups: LPM with an 80mm MAF, and a calibrated (by Pro Flow) 80mm MAF that doesn't need the chip. Even with the other "tweaks" that the LPM had, I sold that setup, as the car runs better with the calibrated 80 & no chip.

The best that stock SHOs see is a bit of better drivability in the midrange with slightly more aggressive fuel/spark for throttle response (in the EPA test ranges). Top-end on all SHOs is actually set too rich, and I'm sure that other Ford engines are the same.

Even with two different LPMs that were "supposed" to be for 93 octane, I ran 87 with no issues. If the timing is so aggressive that you "need" 93 on a Vulcan or a Tec, it's not set up properly. Many of us have found better performance on Gen 3 SHOs running 87 octane....in fact two of the first Gen 3 n/a SHOs in the 14s were on 87 octane (myself & Paul Nimz).

If a chip gives you a better "butt dyno" feel and that makes you happy....the chip is worth it. ZJA added a chip, and "thought" it made the car "feel" faster, but he put it to the real test in running his buddy's Max, and it didn't make a difference. I'll bet a $1 that he can try a boxload of chips and the results will be the same.
 

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D_Man took the words right out of my mouth. The key to chips is "who" makes/programs them. If you got someone good, cough... Alberto cough... then the chip or program can be the best money spent on your car as it is in my case (and probably many other customers of Alberto's).

But seriously, pm or email Americanmotorsport.com (Alberto) and discuss your chip situation with him. He can more then likely give you some advice or insight on your situation.
 

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I thought that making the shift firmer and removing that delay was supposed to increase trani life. At least I think I saw alberto post that on the board, or one of the American Motorsport guys said that in their e-mail to me, that trani life should be improved because the clutch packs are slipping less and that is what is giving the firmer shift.
 

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Originally posted by madness_spirit@Jul 2 2004, 04:57 PM
I thought that making the shift firmer and removing that delay was supposed to increase trani life. At least I think I saw alberto post that on the board, or one of the American Motorsport guys said that in their e-mail to me, that trani life should be improved because the clutch packs are slipping less and that is what is giving the firmer shift.
That "generally" was true....but that was back 30-40 years ago with the beefy RWD trannies (727, C6, TH350/400, etc). This is not the case with the more recent FWD transaxles that are more fragile. What works for other cars will not work for the AX4- family of trannies on engines that run at the edge of their durability. Early chipmakers were firming up shifts on SHO ATXs and guys were losing trannies. Folks like Doug Lewis, who understand that tranny, still leave in the delay that is programmed in, although the tranny can still be made to shift a bit better.

Because someone understands reprogramming chips doesn't mean that they understand the issues with these trannies. Maybe a Vulcan can get away with it, but firmer shifts with the delay removed on a Duratec or a SHO V8 is asking for certain trouble.

I drove Randy Mercante's '97 SHO with the 125 nitrous setup that Doug had set up for him, including the tranny. The car shifted more firmly, but the delay was still there, and Doug's trannies will LAST.
 

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I must admit: this is a new voice! I haven't heard this from anyone before.

Interesting.
 

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Originally posted by TheGreatZambini@Jul 3 2004, 09:27 PM
I must admit: this is a new voice! I haven't heard this from anyone before.

Interesting.
This information is about 10 years old!! And it isn't any less relevant today. The chip makers back then got an earful from people who knew about these trannies, but apparently the new chip folks have to learn the hard way!

This is what cracks up many of us "old timers"......many of the SHO-related topics and questions that come up have been answered a long time ago, but there's always a new group bringing up these topics again!!

SHO tranny folks got good business from folks running Hypertech and SuperChips back in the mid '90s who had nice, firm, tire-chirping tranny shifts.......for a little while!!
 

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Originally posted by Ron Porter@Jul 2 2004, 11:29 AM
As you've just learned, "feels faster" does not always mean "faster". The butt-dyno is a very inaccurate way to determine anything.

Do you have a money-back guarantee on that chip? Might as well send it back, as it (not surprisingly) makes no difference. Ford designed in the shift delay on the AX4- tranny for a reason.....making it shift harder can dramatically shorten tranny life. SHO ATX guys learned this years ago with some of the chips out there.

IMHO, chips on basically stock cars aren't worth the money.  Yeah, maybe you get the hard shift that "feels better", but there really isn't enough power (if any) to be gained. The only way to really tell is to do before-after dyno runs. The "93 octane" program is a crock.....DOHC central-plug engines do not need the kind of spark advance that the old wedge-head OHV engines did. Cranking the parameters on an 87 octane engine to think it needs 93 octane is a waste of time. 93 octane gas is a band-aid, and adds no power (and can even drop power in certain circumstances) to cars that don't need it. Some of the 500+ HP supercharged SHOs are tuned to run on 93 octane pump gas.....stock, normally aspirated V6 engines aren't near needing 93 to make more power.
This is innacurate. I am actually close friends with one of the ex-tranny calibrators at Ford. The reason it shifts the way it does is for a comfortable feel. Believe me, they have tried tomakeit more perforance-y on some cars and got huge complaints (see 98GT for example). So they always go back to the way it shifts now. Most car/truck buyers are actually happy with the way their transmission functions. They don't like to FEEL them shift, they like it soft. People that want a firmer shift are actually a small minority of customers. If Ford made their transmission shift the way you want, then most people would complain, and uin fact they did. Ford used to have a feedback program where when certain cars were programmed to shift in a performance manner, one of the test vehicles being the 98GT, again, they received a lot of complaints. This is why the 98 GT shifts firmer/better tyhan thenewer ones andthe older ones. Granted, you CAN do certain things to mess things up, but if you know waht you are doing and have not only a good understanding of tranny's but also of the complex electornic control system in the EEC, and most have access to but a fer parameters, wherae as have access to all 3000 parameters inteh EEC, weknow what each of them does, and we cahn change eachand every singleoneofthe....(I can't get into specifics w/o divulging trade secrets).

Companies like ours, and other, offer to you what Ford can't offer.The *right* changes will not only allow the tranny to perform "better," but will actually lenghten the life as you re-do the TC functions and the clutches last longer.

In addition, at least with OUR chips, we have back to back gains to show for ours...with dyno graph. Granted, not all tuners are created equal.

Although you are right, some engines as some of the DOHC are very efficient and do not benefit much from spark advance (but this is beyond a certain point, not always attained in the OEM calibration for variosu reasons,)

And as far as octane, it is not about "needing" 93 octane. The cars tuned for 87 fork the factory are caluibrated that way for cost reasosns for the end consumer..there ARE gains to be had by going to premium, and on some cars, these are great gains. On some cars these gains amount to only a few HP. We have gained 26ft/lbs down low on the Duratec and posted it, as we have gained 30ft/lbs down low on SHO's and posted it, both stock.

That being said, I have seen *other* chips by other tuners actually lose power on a stock car...
 

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Originally posted by Ron Porter+Jul 2 2004, 03:42 PM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ron Porter @ Jul 2 2004, 03:42 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-D Man@Jul 2 2004, 02:24 PM
My chip with the 93 octane program, got my me some power.  And that's not a crock.  And we've all seen dyno graphs that prove theirs power to be gained in the Duratec and SHO V8 when installing a chip.  Of course it does depend on "who" makes your chip.
You also have to define "some power". Low-end torque? A couple of top-end HP?

For the chips I have used, I have had good luck.....for the purpose that they were designed. Running a SHO Shop LPM to drive the 80mm Ford MAF in my old '89 SHO, and now a chip in my 911 that helps the midrange torque between idle & 4K rpm for better drivability (don't know & don't care if it gives more top-end HP).

In my current '94 SHO, I bought it with two setups: LPM with an 80mm MAF, and a calibrated (by Pro Flow) 80mm MAF that doesn't need the chip. Even with the other "tweaks" that the LPM had, I sold that setup, as the car runs better with the calibrated 80 & no chip.

The best that stock SHOs see is a bit of better drivability in the midrange with slightly more aggressive fuel/spark for throttle response (in the EPA test ranges). Top-end on all SHOs is actually set too rich, and I'm sure that other Ford engines are the same.

Even with two different LPMs that were "supposed" to be for 93 octane, I ran 87 with no issues. If the timing is so aggressive that you "need" 93 on a Vulcan or a Tec, it's not set up properly. Many of us have found better performance on Gen 3 SHOs running 87 octane....in fact two of the first Gen 3 n/a SHOs in the 14s were on 87 octane (myself & Paul Nimz).

If a chip gives you a better "butt dyno" feel and that makes you happy....the chip is worth it. ZJA added a chip, and "thought" it made the car "feel" faster, but he put it to the real test in running his buddy's Max, and it didn't make a difference. I'll bet a $1 that he can try a boxload of chips and the results will be the same. [/b][/quote]
You always need a chip,even i teh meter is "calibrated" for a certain injector size. Here is why:

http://www.americanmotorsport.com/faq.htm#q10
 

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Originally posted by Ron Porter+Jul 3 2004, 08:54 PM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ron Porter @ Jul 3 2004, 08:54 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-madness_spirit@Jul 2 2004, 04:57 PM
I thought that making the shift firmer and removing that delay was supposed to increase trani life.  At least I think I saw alberto post that on the board, or one of the American Motorsport guys said that in their e-mail to me, that trani life should be improved because the clutch packs are slipping less and that is what is giving the firmer shift.
That "generally" was true....but that was back 30-40 years ago with the beefy RWD trannies (727, C6, TH350/400, etc). This is not the case with the more recent FWD transaxles that are more fragile. What works for other cars will not work for the AX4- family of trannies on engines that run at the edge of their durability. Early chipmakers were firming up shifts on SHO ATXs and guys were losing trannies. Folks like Doug Lewis, who understand that tranny, still leave in the delay that is programmed in, although the tranny can still be made to shift a bit better.

Because someone understands reprogramming chips doesn't mean that they understand the issues with these trannies. Maybe a Vulcan can get away with it, but firmer shifts with the delay removed on a Duratec or a SHO V8 is asking for certain trouble.

I drove Randy Mercante's '97 SHO with the 125 nitrous setup that Doug had set up for him, including the tranny. The car shifted more firmly, but the delay was still there, and Doug's trannies will LAST. [/b][/quote]
Tthe *right* changes, as I said above, will prolong life and enhance performance. We have this on good authority ;) and we are very good on auto tranny programming.
 

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He probably got the wrong forum. Now, in Brian's defense (ex-Apten) I'll bet you if he puts it on the dyno back to back or goes down the 1/4 mile back to back, he will see a difference...real street racing is more involved than he describes in terms of telling differences...
 

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Originally posted by americanmotorsport.com@Jul 4 2004, 01:08 PM
This is innacurate. I am actually close friends with one of the ex-tranny calibrators at Ford.  The reason it shifts the way it does is for a comfortable feel.  Believe me, they have tried tomakeit more perforance-y on some cars and got huge complaints (see 98GT for example).  So they always go back to the way it shifts now.
I'm sorry, sir. Comparing the RWD tranny from a GT to the AX4(N,S) transaxle is comparing apples to oranges.....there is NO comparison.

The durability issues with the Ford AX4- trans series has been well-documented over many years. The tranny guy you talked to is obviously unfamiliar with the issues of the AX4- trans as used in the SHO, and even the 4.6 Continental. This trans is on the ragged edge of durability in these configurations.

I highly suggest that you contact Doug Lewis at FPS in the Atlanta area and have a discussion with him about. that tranny and chips that modify it's behavior. Doug is a long-time tranny guy, and has also been involved with chips for the SHO for as long as anyone. He was also in contact with Ford back when the SHO Registry was sponsored by Ford and they were heavily involved in our SHO activities, with Hapeville plan folks present at most events.

The link is: http://www.fordspecialists.com/

Get hold of Doug, I believe that the conversation WRT the AX4S & AX4N durability issues in these applications will be of value to you.
 

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Originally posted by Ron Porter+Jul 4 2004, 02:57 PM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ron Porter @ Jul 4 2004, 02:57 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-americanmotorsport.com@Jul 4 2004, 01:08 PM
This is innacurate. I am actually close friends with one of the ex-tranny calibrators at Ford.  The reason it shifts the way it does is for a comfortable feel.  Believe me, they have tried tomakeit more perforance-y on some cars and got huge complaints (see 98GT for example).  So they always go back to the way it shifts now.
I'm sorry, sir. Comparing the RWD tranny from a GT to the AX4(N,S) transaxle is comparing apples to oranges.....there is NO comparison.

The durability issues with the Ford AX4- trans series has been well-documented over many years. The tranny guy you talked to is obviously unfamiliar with the issues of the AX4- trans as used in the SHO, and even the 4.6 Continental. This trans is on the ragged edge of durability in these configurations.

I highly suggest that you contact Doug Lewis at FPS in the Atlanta area and have a discussion with him about. that tranny and chips that modify it's behavior. Doug is a long-time tranny guy, and has also been involved with chips for the SHO for as long as anyone. He was also in contact with Ford back when the SHO Registry was sponsored by Ford and they were heavily involved in our SHO activities, with Hapeville plan folks present at most events.

The link is: http://www.fordspecialists.com/

Get hold of Doug, I believe that the conversation WRT the AX4S & AX4N durability issues in these applications will be of value to you. [/b][/quote]
I understand there are differences. That was just an example of whty they are calibrated in certain way, since I have first hand knowledge of that incident. We do different things for each in the calibration, but the reason they are calibrated they way they are is still the same.

What we do will make it last longer, not less. I will not discuss exaclty WHAT we do, but we are very well vexxed in the intricacies even of the AX4N, AX4S and on the newer Tauruses even the 4F50N.

Granted, doing the wrong things can lead to issues, I am not arguing that.
 
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Not to get off-topic too much here, but while you guys are on the discussion of trannies... Do you know what the differences are between the AX4_ and the 4F50N trannies? How much *better* is the 4F50N? I have the 4F50N AFAIK and would like to know if anyone has seen issues with it at all. So far, *knocks on wood*, I don't know of anybody who has had trouble with one. :)
 

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I have never seen a taurus with the 4f50n, I have only heard of it. Is this a tranny used only on vulcans? I had a ax4n in my 00' and have it in my 03'. If this is the case then the ax4n would hopefully be more durable for the increase in power.
 
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