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Old 04-11-2005, 07:46 PM   #27
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Location: Albuquerque
What I Drive: 2003 Orange SVTF

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1. Hypnotic's tune
2. SCT Xcalibrator.
3. $345.
4. 8 days, Wayne needed to order some cables. then 10 minutes.

I'm not going to go into the passionate stuff, it's already been said, I'll Focus (ha ha) on some issues I'm seeing and, to me, the strongest features of the tune.

Issues: First, I'm one of Wayne's few customers at altitude and, therefore, he needs to guess a bit to on our tunes. That said, I sometimes experience some difficulty in cold starts, the car starts then struggles around between 500-800 RPM, until I can get the revs above 1000 RPM, my engine isn't much good. This lasts for 10-15 seconds or so, not really a big problem. Second, there is some light surging betwen 1500 and 2500 RPM when transitioning from cold to warmed up; it's barely noticable but it is there. (NO THREADS ABOUT SCT TUNES SURGING PLEASE!) Third issues is I occasionally hear some light detonation . This is quite infrequent and may be due to the quality of gas Costco purchases, I haven't experienced it with Sam's Club gas; note that at altitude, the highest grade available I've found is 91.

Okay now on to the good: my favorite thing about the tune is the reaction when I step on the gas. With the stock tune, the engine would seem to need to "spin up" before anything happened. With Wayne's tune, the power is ready and on tap as soon as I step on the gas. I suspect that this "readiness" exaggerates the surge I feel.

Next the low end power is greatly enhanced, launching is trivially easy now, no more having to bounce the accelerator to prevent the dreaded bog. The engine really pulls from 2000 and up with a very pleasant kick around 5000 RPM.

My car is now quieter than before. With the stock tune, pressing on the gas usually generated a "raspy" note similar to a 125 motocrosser engine but with little results until the revs got above 4000 RPM. With Waynes tune the above 4000 RPM sound is throughout the power band, the car SOUNDS better because it's RUNNING better. The rest of the time, the engine is properly fed and controlled so it's running quitely and efficiently. One thing nobody has mentioned, is with the tune, there isn't really a reason to shut off the AC compressor, there is plenty of power to keep the AC running as well as get the car off the line; the days of bogging down to 1000 RPM while Spectras and Accents race away is over

My mileage hasn't improved too much, I used to get 26-28 miles/gallon, so far I've seen 28 and 29 over the two tanks of gas I've run through.

Support and equipment: Wayne supplies the programmer, cable from the programmer to the OBD port, the cable from the programmer to the PC with AC adapter. Everything needed to program the car and, if needed, upload new tunes to the Xcalibrator, nothing else is necessary. I e-mailed Wayne about the surging and he sent me a tune he's working on, it was very smooth but didn't not deliver the power that his stock tune delivers; I returned to his original tune after a few days.

Wayne supports his customers for six months following the original tune and is considering a $75/year support contract after the six months is up.

Summary: The SVT focus must be quite a difficult car to "get right", Ford didn't get it right with their original tune, didn't get it right with YRF0 either. It's a pity too, the SVTF is a great car with a crippled tune and a too-short lifespan. It's good for the tuners like Wayne who provide an excellent product at a reasonable cost but shame on Ford for forcing SVT owners to have to resort to tuners to get their cars to run right.
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