It’s been months since my Skyline has been buttoned up, trouble-shot, tuned and detailed. But I never closed the book on the 500WHP Project here on the blog. That’s a loose end I think I should tie up right about now.
In Part II we had just gotten the car buttoned up in time for Skyline Nationals. When I say “just”…I mean it. In traditional car-guy-getting-ready-for-an-event style, we pulled an all-nighter. No sooner did we get the car running on a safe street tune than I had to take off for Cars & Coffee – the first meeting point that I’d be able to attend for our weekend-long event. I got there without a single moment to spare.
The weekend event went off without a hitch…and that includes me flogging the car all day on the track on a tune that was done in 20 minutes 2 days prior. A testament to the tuning prowess of Jeff over at Powerdynamix.
Once the dust had settled, I took the car back to Jeff for a few bits of detail to be addressed. We added a better fuel pump, adjusted the exhaust alignment (it had melted my rear bumper at the track due to contact), re-routed some vacuum lines and wires to better manage track-day temperatures, had the cam covers powder coated, and a few other details.
But the dyno evaded us. Jeff had tried to get us scheduled in on the dyno he typically uses. But the shop owner was at a track event that weekend so it wasn’t possible. I drove the car home on the same tune that got it through the Skyline Nationals weekend. And that’s the way it was for a few weeks.
Then I decided I’d give Steve Kan over at PRT Performance a call. This is the shop that had done the baseline dyno on my car and I thought that using the same dyno for tuning would be a perfect scenario. Steve is also very talented with a Haltech Platinum Pro…so that didn’t hurt.
A few days later we were strapping the car down and getting ready to start dialing it in.
It was about 105° in the shop that evening. Very hot. We made any number of pulls slowly increasing boost. Every fan in the shop was pointed at the front of the car trying to keep it cool. Steve eventually got to the point of diminishing returns. That was about 19psi and 481whp. At that point, the ECU was starting to pull timing due to rising intake air temps.
Now…before you tell me 481whp isn’t 500whp. Let’s consider a few things. First, and most importantly, the car is safe to run at around 21psi. We were making around 12whp per psi as we were tuning. So there were another 24whp in there. That alone would have net north of 500.
Second, it was hot. Really hot. And the car was pulling timing. Even at 19psi, if it were in the 80s, the car would have possibly touched 500.
Last, we were on a Mustang Dyno. If it were a Dynojet we would have been at like 1,000,000,000 whp.
At the end of the day, however, one truth remains. I hate bench racing. I hate quoting brochures and Nurburgring lap times done by professional drivers in perfect conditions with a ringer of a car and a tail wind. What it really boils down to is this – the car moves. It moves out in a big way. It makes all the right noises, kicks you in the pants and pushes you through time with a velocity that puts a smile on my face every. single. time.
I couldn’t be happier with this car now. The way it drives is like a dream. I love that the “power” part of this project is done and I can move on to other things. Hell…I can invent other things. I can’t wait.