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The Beast gets a personal trainer

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Well after three years of messing with my supercharger and auxillary equipment the Beast finally behaves like it should.


Granted the original install got me to 14.25 in the 1/4 mile before the lift, front bumper and a weight gain to 7500 lbs, but the last year has been grim with the Whipple computer messing with me, P1514's way to often and no hope.


Well all of that is in the past :D


I drove it over to San Antonio last Wednesday and did the following:


1. Stripped the Whipple off - easier than it seems once you get everything disconnected and figure the mounting out.


2. Replaced the 32 lb stock injectors with Delphi Multec II 44 lb injectors - this was actually fairly easy to do with the SC and intercooler removed - for those not familiar with the injector system, the stock have 2 holes and the 44 lb ones have 3 - pretty simple stuff. Delphi Multec II - Racetronix


3. Installed a set of NKG Iridium IX TR6 plugs - really nice setup. The plug swap is miserable on the 8.1L - need a monkey with gorilla strength. The NKG folks at NKG Iridium IX were great in identifying exactly which plug to use.


This is where Allen Nelson took over and removed the Whipple piggyback computer, and undid the PCM connections, rewired the stock O2 sensors.


Then he plugged in his laptop and reset the tables so that it was driveable and the fun began...


I drove around for two hours on the highway, back roads, launched it easy, hard and had a blast - he monitored the PCM from the passenger side with his laptop - we stopped a number of times while he reset paramters until he was convinced that it was running properly. That is the value of a 'personal trainer'!


What he did in general:


1. Adjusted shift timing to optimize the Transgo/2600 stall/4l85E and finally fixed the shift points from 3 -> 4 that have been wrong forever.


2. Verified and tuned the fuel management parameters to match my exact setup with cool air intake, intercooler, etc.


The Beast now runs like I always expected it to and better - nothing beats a running tune IMHO vs a dyno tune - I am a believer!!


Things that I don't have to deal with now:


1. Whipple lying about the IAT to fake fuel management - it would jump the IAT to 110+ as soon as you stepped on it - real IAT into intake runs about +30 degrees with the intercooler.


2. The Whipple piggyback would dump it into reduced power mode arbitrarily [P1514] which was a major problem that plagues them - I know of a few others with the same issue and there doesn't appear to be a cure from them [ugly and dangerous] - I checked the throttle body when it was off and it was fine.


3. Then the real shocker - the temp gauge dropped - he was reading 176 as we tooled around, a 20+ degree drop from past history, consistent with the 160 thermostat that never seemed to have an effect [d**n] - they fake a higher temp to control fuel management apparently [double d**n].


I run Evans NPG+ for better cylinder cooling which tends to run a tad hotter but cools better, but it triggered an overtemp with dual electric fans in Houston temps so I removed them and went back to the clutch fan - now that the temp is accurate I will re-install the Flex-a-lites and enjoy them. I run a continous scantool so I can monitor actual, not the silly gauge.


I also upgraded to a 11x11 transmission cooler - dropped about 25 degrees - helps with the higher stall converter.


Things left to do:


1.Relocate the IAT to the outlet of the intercooler - I have to figure out how to tap and mount it - this is where it should be [Radix relocates in their install] - this should allow the PCM to accurately react to real temps as a component of the FMU equation.


2. Test SPAL waterproof pullers on the intercooler exchanger with an inverted RPM cutout to keep the IAT values down in sluggish city driving.


3. Rework the Volant bottom intake to provide cooling and snorkel like protection so that I can hit the big puddles.


4. I switched to Royal Purlple racing 10w40, that helps the idle oil pressure, now to add an industrial strength oil cooler - I think it will help.


5. Swap the hood for a ram air cowl hood this summer - this should help my over crowded engine compartment - LOL


Bottom line - Allen Nelson personal tuning is great! I wish I had done it sooner, it is fun to drive the Beast again - I cannot praise his work enough. His tunes cost about the same as a handheld, but the difference is amazing.


It runs smoother and reacts instantly to the pedal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey I just picked up a Whipple kit on Ebay for my truck! Ebay Whipple deal One thing is the seller lost his instructions. Would you still happen to have yours so I can get copys? Any advice you can give in the near future when I get this thing in will be appreciated.


It's been a few weeks, any updates?



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Update on the Nelson - Whipple combination:


I have the Boost-a-pump installed, a FP gauge and fuel pressure seems to be in the 52 lb range, higher under boost.


The IAT has been relocated to the outlet side of the intercooler as shown below. It is tied into the MAF harness as a replacement for the MAF included one.




The PCM is now reading a more accurate IAT - this should make further tuning easier. I used a brass IAT that is firmly locked into the intercooler shell. [nb: it is the black and brown pair that are the IAT]


I have modified the intercooler radiator to be more efficient and consistent. It is about 1" lower in the front - still debating on punching out three more holes in the grill - and the top is enclosed to make a tunnel. The next round will replace the foam with two angle pieces to force more air in.




I have fabricated a shroud and installed two(2) SPAL puller fans on the backside - note below. [the shrould version II will allow for a pressure relief to help at high speed]




They run all of the time, and are doing a great job. In city traffic they hold the IAT to 22 - 25 degrees above ambiant, at 65 mph they hold it at 27 degrees. With the IAT in the correct position things really have a chance to work.


I also installed a wide-band unit [PLX-400] and gauge - A/F is running fine 14.5 - 15.0, not lean under boost.


Things left to do in this project.


Install the Flex-a-Lite dual fans with the Nelson Performance harness.


Rework the oil flow to allow for dual filters, an oil temp sender, a 'knockdown' cooler between the engine and the radiator resevoir, and fixing the accusump unit.


I have to say that Nelson saved the day on this - I was about ready to pull the Whipple, his tune is right on.

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