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Stumped... To track key or tune?

I cant decide to get the track key activated or go aftermarket tune and CAI such as AED. I hear such differences of opinion. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Sesshomurai

I had trackey and now have a Steeda CAI tune and will get a dyno tune after my Kooks headers/exhaust get put on.

The trackey is great really. No horsepower gains, but if you track the car there are aspects to trackey that provide performance enhancers for the driver. One is throttle response which allows the Mustang to throttle steer for better handling and cornering speeds. I loved this. Also, the exhaust note is awesome in trackey.
When I went to Steeda CAI, I lost the throttle response and exhaust note, but they did give me a new tune trying to put the throttle response back in (not quite successful).

When I get dyno tuned, I will have my tuner put all these things back in and more.

You will get HP gains from CAI and aftermarket tunes that trackey does not provide, but TK is a lot of fun still.
 

PeteInCT

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I think it's a function of what are you trying to accomplish and how much risk you are willing to undertake. If you're a road course driver then you need to keep reliability in mind since you will be hammering on the engine for 30 minutes at a time. If you are a 1/4 mile guy then I'd skip the tune and just wind it up with a blower ;D (with the assumed engine rebuild every "X" number of hours).

When I had my Audi TTS (a turbo 4 cyl) there was a lot of additional HP and Torque that the engine was capable of delivering safely. I added 80 hp and 100 ft/lbs with just a tune, new exhaust and an upgraded fuel pump. The engine could go up another 100 hp with a much bigger turbo and a 100 octane tune but that would put the engine into 'rebuild me every season' or so. With these N/A engines there is not a lot of additional power/torque to be had with just a tune and exhaust upgrades, but there is some. It's also my personal belief that due to our 7500 rpm redline increasing power substantially may make the engine much less reliable over time - which is an acceptable tradeoff for some drivers. Lastly, no one is an expert on tuning the roadrunner engine, although many companies say they are. Apparently you need to be careful of running too lean with these engines also. The TK tune will not add any power but will make it a lot more usable at the track, especially on road courses.

That's my $0.02 - and my way of not actually answering the question ;D
 
Most of it has already been said, but if you know anyone local with TK, see if they will let you take it around the block. You will know right away if you like it or not. Because the point of TK is to put a smile on your face.

It doesn't make more power or any objective improvement that I can tell, but it changes the character of the car. A real tune will void your warranty, but if you want more power then that is probably the best way. Though people have reported power improvements on the stock tune when adding bolt ons, as it is supposed to adapt to them well.
 
I've noticed something interesting about how Trackey improves throttle response. I have an Aeroforce gauge and while driving around on the street [which I very rarely do with Trackey] I noticed off throttle mass air flow is much higher with Trackey than with the silver key. Ignition timing is way retarded with Trackey [can't remember right now but I think around 10 deg ATDC]. So since ignition advance response much faster air flow response [inertia effect of air], when you tip in with Trackey, you get quicker response. Kind of like a Navy jet shooting an approach with air brakes extended, if you need to get going those brakes come in like right now, engine spool up, not so fast.
 

Sesshomurai

Hermes said:
I've noticed something interesting about how Trackey improves throttle response. I have an Aeroforce gauge and while driving around on the street [which I very rarely do with Trackey] I noticed off throttle mass air flow is much higher with Trackey than with the silver key. Ignition timing is way retarded with Trackey [can't remember right now but I think around 10 deg ATDC]. So since ignition advance response much faster air flow response [inertia effect of air], when you tip in with Trackey, you get quicker response. Kind of like a Navy jet shooting an approach with air brakes extended, if you need to get going those brakes come in like right now, engine spool up, not so fast.

Makes sense because when you off throttle on a track, for example during high-speed throttle steering, you don't want to interrupt the airflow since you're just feathering the throttle and need that acceleration coming out of the turn (without a hiccup or bog) so it probably anticipates that and either maintains or revs the MAF waiting for you to add fuel moments later. Brilliant.
 
I mainly use the car for back road driving and of course want all the power I can get for the occasional stop light encounter LOL. Will never be on a track. I have heard the tunes really wake up the power and also heard goo things about TK as far as the way it feels. Lots of different opinions.
 
The best way to describe TK for me is it enhances the driving experience without adding any HP. It does wake up the car but sacrifices street drivability a little.
 
dale5150 said:
I mainly use the car for back road driving and of course want all the power I can get for the occasional stop light encounter LOL. Will never be on a track. I have heard the tunes really wake up the power and also heard goo things about TK as far as the way it feels. Lots of different opinions.
I haven't seen that much increase from just a tune on these cars. Ford stretched it pretty far for a factory tune....black key or red key. Most of the gains coming from tuned cars are those with LTs and an o/r x pipe. That said, if you want more hp and aren't putting the car on a road course, you might be better off with an after-market tune. I don't use TK on the street anymore because the drivability just isn't that great. On the track it's more fun than the black key though.
 

steveespo

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I agree with you and truly believe most of the Road Runner HP gains over the Coyote were accomplished with the factory tune, rev limit and Boss manifold. That is how my Coyote motor went from 373 rwhp stock to 407 rwhp (equal or greater than stock Boss 302) with manifold CAI and 93 tune. With the American Racing headers and Steeda optimized tune I am now at 437 rwhp at 7100 rpm. I have cats on the x-pipe. You will see probably 440 rwhp with the headers and a conservative tune that is probably close to what Ford did stock with the timing and fuel curves. I run a mix of 93 and 100 octane at the track to make about 95 just as a safety when pushing the car hard. Welcome to the dark side. I am saving for the Aluminator NA motor and Cobra Jet intake swap for the 2014 season, 480 rwhp is within reach.
Steve
 
Who has the best tunes for these cars? I have heard all kinds of different reports and some saying they had problems with theirs. Want to do it right the first time. I want as close to TK operation with the added power.
 

Sesshomurai

cobra said:
I have a Steeda CAI 93 Octane Tune.
Stock was 384 RWHP
After was 410 RWHP

Nice! I have that tune also, but it lacks the "cool" features and throttle response of trackey though. Which I aim to put back in shortly.
 
dale5150 said:
Who has the best tunes for these cars? I have heard all kinds of different reports and some saying they had problems with theirs. Want to do it right the first time. I want as close to TK operation with the added power.
Call and talk to Shaun at AED. AFAIK nobody has been able to replicate the throttle mapping of TK yet although I think Shaun is getting close.

http://www.advancedenginedevelopment.com/
 
dale5150 said:
I cant decide to get the track key activated or go aftermarket tune and CAI such as AED. I hear such differences of opinion. Any help would be appreciated.

Sounds like you might be a candidate for BOTH!

I have TracKey and I really like driving around town with it. I haven't tracked it yet; I will wait until I get back from the Boss Track Attack in May.

I've talked to Shawn at AED and you can add his Tune on the Silver Key, while also having the TracKey option. I will be getting the Airaid CAI (Carbon Fiber). This unit comes with a MVT insert, which is left in place while using the TracKey. To use AED tunes on Silver key, remove the MVT (about 10 min job) and drive with Silver Key. Great for drag racing.

Get in touch with Shawn; he's a great guy, very knowledgeable. Do a search for others using AED.
 

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