Tuner Turmoil


Question: “What do I need to know about tuners?”

Answer:

I can’t get an easy question this week, can I?  This question isn’t so much difficult as it is very broad – and there is a lot you should know about Mustang tuners before purchasing one for your Stang.  A tuner is a device that reprograms your car’s computer to produce the best performance results, with or without modifications.  A chip or tuner is mandatory if you want to tune your car.  While a chip/tuner cannot fix mechanical problems, it can improve horsepower, torque, and yes – even fuel economy.

Chip vs. Tuner

Imange Courtesy of wolfperformance.com

The most noticeable difference between a performance chip and a tuner is the method of use.  A chip installs directly onto the car’s computer and has a selector switch that allows you to change tunes “on the fly”.  Chips can hold up to 4 tunes and are recommended for pre-OBD II (1988-1995) vehicles.  The SCT 4-Bank Eliminator Chip that we offer is not like the pre-programmed chips you see elsewhere on the internet (like eBay for example); if you do not order tunes with the chip it will arrive blank, with no programming whatsoever.  While they don’t possess the DTC-reading feature like the flash tuners, they are still eligible for the “Free Tunes for Life” program; however they must be mailed back to us to have new tunes installed.

NMRA At Atco: Sun, Fun, and Mustangs Rockin’

What a weekend for AmericanMuscle and Mustang aficionados in the Philadelphia metro area! The NMRA brought its third race weekend of the season to Atco Raceway, in southern New Jersey, and the weather could not have been more perfect: sunny, mid-70’s, and an SPF-40 kind of day (the sunburned bodies in the office on Monday were too numerous to mention). It was a Mustang lover’s dream.

AM’s two sponsored NMRA drivers, Tim Matherly and Bart Tobener, arrived from Georgia ready to tear up the ¼ mile track with the best drivers in their respective classes. Tim’s 2010 modular Mustang runs in the Real Street class, and Bart’s Fox Body notchback Mustang has been eating up strips in the EFI Renegade class. In addition to Tim and Bart, AmericanMuscle had two of our own, Brick Spurio and Karen Baum, running in the True Street brackets.

Mustangs At the Ballpark Photo Contest!

Mustangs and baseball are the two best things about warmer weather, and we love combining two great things. In that spirit, we’re challenging our blog readers to take pictures of their Mustangs at a ballpark! The person who submits the best picture will win a Pypes Beast exhaust system, plus 2 tickets to a local major-league baseball game.Two runners-up will each win a $25 AmericanMuscle.com gift card and an AM prize pack.

The ballpark in question doesn’t have to be a major league stadium, but pictures should include the name of the ballpark if possible. Pictures must be submitted by midnight on Tuesday, June 1st. You can enter multiple pictures, but please do not submit the same entry more than once. Winners will be announced on the blog on June 4th June 7th (to give us time to take a look at the last-minute entries). We’ve included a couple of pictures from a similar post to give you some inspiration. Now all you need to do is snap some pictures!

1st place wins:

AM Employees Are Galloping Towards A Cure

I’d like to take a moment to step away from my  usual subject matter and talk about something very near and dear to my heart… Breasts. Now, they’re near and dear to my heart because I have a pair, and because I don’t think the  female form would be complete without them. Since this is a blog with a largely male audience, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re also fond of breasts, though probably for different reasons, which we won’t be exploring today.

Are Breasts an Endangered Species?

So why are we talking about breasts, if we won’t be showing you any, and if we won’t be talking about why you love them? Simply put, they’re being threatened. Breast cancer is sweeping not just the nation, but the world. It is endangering the busts of women everywhere, and it must be stopped. This is a cause that Ford itself can get behind.

From left: Emily, Heather, Karen not pictured: Tina
From left: Emily, Heather, Karen not pictured: Tina

You’re probably wondering why you should care, and how you could possibly help. It’s no secret that the automotive world is dominated by men. We forget sometimes that all of those men are firmly connected to women. No matter who you are, you have a mother. There’s a good chance that you also have a sister, or a girlfriend or wife, or a niece, or an aunt, or a friend who is a woman. The unfortunate, frightening fact is that any of them might have to do battle with breast cancer in their lifetimes. If that’s not an argument that moves you, consider that 1 out of every 100 cases of breast cancer is diagnosed in a man. While this cancer prefers women, it will still attack men.

AM Sponsors 2010 King of the Street!

King of the Street

What gets the Mustang enthusiast’s blood pumping faster than watching Tim Matherly’s modular 4.6L 3V 2010 Mustang in an NMRA qualifying run? How about the opportunity to cut loose on your own – and show the world the track power and street sweetness of your own stallion!

AmericanMuscle is pleased to announce its partnership with 5.0 Mustang and Super Fords magazine in sponsoring the 2010 King of the Street Competition this coming fall in Bowling Green, KY.

“Everyone at AmericanMuscle is thrilled by the opportunity to be sponsoring the top Mustang street competition of the year,” said Andrew Voudouris, VP of AmericanMuscle. “It’s a natural fit for us as a company, and a great opportunity to reach out to our loyal customer base in a fun, ‘bragging rights’ style of competition.”

The attributes that are necessary to be KOTS champion embodies everything that AmericanMuscle strives to bring to our customers as well as the Mustang world in general. Judging is based on the following criteria:

2011 Mustang Commercial Debuts

Ford is understandably determined to showcase their 2011 V6 Mustang as much as possible. As our friend Jonathan over at mustangs.about.com mentioned in a post, the first 2011 Mustang commercials debuted recently. In his words:

Image Courtesty of road-reality.com
Image Courtesty of mustangs.about.com

“The spot focuses on Ford’s new V6 Mustang screaming through urban streets in true muscle car fashion. No doubt, it’s pretty awesome to say the least. The big message? “31 MPG and 305 Horsepower.” Not bad, not bad at all”

Not bad, indeed. There has been a fierce rivalry between GT and V6 owners for years, and this much-anticipated Mustang will certainly help even the score. Watch it now!

Top 10 Mustang Movie Moments

Most of the folks here at AmericanMuscle love Mustangs. Okay, that’s probably being pretty mild. Most of the folks here at AmericanMuscle are obsessed with Mustangs. Not only can (and will) AM staffers talk pony tech with you all day, they can go on and on (and on) about Mustangs in pop culture, especially movies.

Since its initial release, the Mustang has been featured in thousands of movies. Like any big Hollywood name, the Mustang has had its share of bit parts. The original pony car has also won its share of starring roles, though, and those are what we discuss most. After some debate, we’ve put together a list of Top Ten Mustang Movie Moments. You’ll notice a lot of them are chase scenes, because Mustangs are at their best when they’re demonstrating their speed and handling capabilities.

Photo Courtesy of askmen.com

Photo Courtesy of askmen.com

Number 10. Love it or hate it, the highly modified Mustang (aka Frankenstein’s Monster) in Death Race handles its business in its final race. movie info

Number 9. When you’re the last person left in New York City who hasn’t mutated into a nightmarish creature, what do you do for food and transportation? For Will Smith in I am Legend, the choice is simple. You hunt deer in a GT500. movie info

My Mustang FotoFix: New Edge Edition

Everywhere I’ve turned lately, New Edge owners have been saying they’re not feeling the love. They’re not the most current generation of ponies any more, and lots of manufacturers are focusing on the S197’s for cool new parts. Unfortunately, I’m not the CEO of a huge manufacturing company, so I can’t do anything about the new parts. I do have a little pull on the blog, though, and I thought it was time to show the New Edges some love. So here are seven sweet ‘Stangs for you to enjoy.

All a Mustang ever needs to shine is sunlight. A little chrome never hurts, though.

Why Do I Need a Cold Air Intake For my Mustang?

The Cold-Air Conundrum

Question: “I just bought a Mustang and my friend told me I should get a cold air intake as my first mod, but I’m new to cars and I was wondering what a cold air intake is and how it helps my car.”

Answer:

This is a great question, and one I hear almost daily. Cold-air intakes are great first mods because their easy installation makes them a perfect DIY project.  Before we delve into the details, let’s start with the basics.  Your stock intake consists of the airbox, the mass air-flow sensor (aka “MAF”), and the air inlet tube that connects to the throttle body.  The airbox houses the air filter and in some cases the MAF.   An AmericanMuscle Mustang air filter removes moisture and particulates like dust and pollen from your Stang – all things you don’t want in your engine.  Once the air is clean and dry, it’s the MAF’s responsibility to tell the computer how much air the engine is getting, which is why your car won’t run (well) without it.  With the cleaning, drying, and measuring out of the way it’s just a short trip up the inlet tube to the throttle body and into the engine.  Seems pretty simple, right?  Well it is, but let’s see how an aftermarket intake differs from stock, and how that affects your Pony.

AM-Sponsored Muscle Shatters Speed Record

Eric Swarrs Ford GT Supercar

This past weekend, rookie driver Eric Swarr ventured onto a mile long WWII-vintage Army airbase strip in Maxton, NC with one goal in mind: set an East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) Blown Fuel Super Street land speed record. His ammunition? A 2006 Ford GT Supercar, owned by Bob Self and sponsored by AmericanMuscle and Swarr Automotive.

Nearly everyone is familiar with the concept of land speed records, and for the most part, when you hear about a really eye popping speed run, it’s coming from Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Here’s a little trivia factoid. The quest for land speed records actually started on the East Coast in the 1920’s and 30’s on the hard sands of Daytona Beach, Fl. When most speed trials started moving out West, a void was left on the East Coast. ECTA was formed to fill that void, and they selected an abandoned runway in Maxton, NC as the staging ground for speed record runs.

Saturday and early Sunday runs by Swarr were part of the ECTA rookie development program. He first had to make 125 MPH and 150 MPH runs on Saturday, to satisfy ECTA that he could safely pilot the vehicle. On Sunday, he made one last development run of 175 MPH, and then was given a single opportunity to open it up, and break 200 MPH. And open it up he did…