93 tune on 91 octane at high altitude(i.e Colorado) - Mustang Evolution

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Old 06-13-2016, 07:16 PM   #1
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93 tune on 91 octane at high altitude(i.e Colorado)

Any highlanders out there who have or are running a 93 tune on 91 octane? What was your experience? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:02 PM   #2
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why not just run a 91 tune...
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:50 PM   #3
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Run the tune you need or risk your motor going boom. Better yet, have a real custom tune dialed in for your car vs some canned stuff.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:04 PM   #4
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When tuning cars, bikes etc. with points, I used to advance the timing a few degrees for more power. Got away with it due to the high altitude thin air. More advance = a little more HP. Since these tunes are most likely calibrated for sea level, I figured I might be able to run more timing on the lower octane via a canned tune. Additionally, I suspect the detonation sensors would kick in if there was a problem.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:22 AM   #5
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You are correct in your assumption that you can run a slightly more aggressive timing curve at altitude, than you can at sea level. The thinner air reduces the cylinder pressure on naturally aspirated engines.
I don't know if it is still the case, but "regular" gas used to be 85 octane in places like Denver. The higher octane fuels were unnecessary for the majority of vehicles at that altitude.
So you may not have any problems running 91 octane fuel with a 93 octane "canned" tune. The only way to find out is to try it. If it pings excessively, you will know that it is too much.
One thing to keep in mind is that because the air is less dense at higher altitudes, a more aggressive tune might cause a reduction in cooling during summer temperatures, which can cause detonation.
If the engine seems happy driving in the mountains during the summer heat, a 93 octane tune will work fine, and no harm will be done to the engine.
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:02 PM   #6
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Typical Colorado octane ranges from 85 to 91. In my reading I take that these tuners may have a logging aspect to them that can indicate what the knock sensors are reading. Not sure though.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:09 PM   #7
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Typical Colorado octane ranges from 85 to 91. In my reading I take that these tuners may have a logging aspect to them that can indicate what the knock sensors are reading. Not sure though.
85 to 91 sounds right for Colorado as I haven't found anywhere in the state that offers 93 as of yet. You use to be able to run a 85 octane and the altitude would make it an equivalent of a 87 octane but that really isn't the case anymore. Here is a section out of a Denver Post piece on it:

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Research several years ago from the American Petroleum Institute showed that lower air pressure at higher altitudes allows vehicles to perform as well with 85 octane as they would with 87 at lower altitudes.

But a 2001 study by the Colorado Legislative Council, the state legislature’s research arm, concluded that the altitude difference may apply only to older cars.

“Research findings indicate that newer vehicles manufactured in and after 1984 are equipped with sophisticated electronic control systems that minimize this altitude effect and may perform better using higher-octane gasolines,” the report said.

Now this article was written in 2006 so I imagine that cars have gotten even more advance and closed the gap on the effects caused by the altitude.
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:38 PM   #8
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You have to take into account the fact that the tunes on these cars are not static. Granted an NA car will always run slower at altitude as you have already mentioned, the computer does have certain load targets it is trying to reach, and has authority to raise timing on its own to try to do so. You need to run the octane appropriate for your tune.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:04 PM   #9
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Would a 91 tune try to increase timing to the 93 level if the octane supported it? On the other hand would the 93 tune reduce timing to the 91 level if the octane did not support it? I.e. your traveling with the 93 tune in place and 93 octane is not available.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:24 PM   #10
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It depends on the threshold the tuner allows, but *theoretically* the answer to your question is yes. I would rather start low and have the computer add timing than start too high and rely on knock to remove it...
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by parkerbickel View Post
85 to 91 sounds right for Colorado as I haven't found anywhere in the state that offers 93 as of yet. You use to be able to run a 85 octane and the altitude would make it an equivalent of a 87 octane but that really isn't the case anymore. Here is a section out of a Denver Post piece on it:




Now this article was written in 2006 so I imagine that cars have gotten even more advance and closed the gap on the effects caused by the altitude.
I'm not sure how much stock that I would hold in the college intern "gearheads" research, over at the Colorado Legislative Council. Lol
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:53 PM   #12
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Yeah I wouldn't recommend a 93 octane tune on 91 octane gas it would make sense to me to have the tune optimized for the fuel your running.


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Old 06-14-2016, 06:55 PM   #13
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It depends on the threshold the tuner allows, but *theoretically* the answer to your question is yes. I would rather start low and have the computer add timing than start too high and rely on knock to remove it...
I'm thinking that the timing must be confined to certain parameters of the tune.
If it were infinitely adjustable, we could just fill our tanks with race gas, and instantly have a race car.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:59 PM   #14
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Yeah I wouldn't recommend a 93 octane tune on 91 octane gas it would make sense to me to have the tune optimized for the fuel your running.


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Scotty probably had the best, and safest, advice ... A dyno tune at altitude for the fuel that Sleeper intends to use.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:03 PM   #15
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Scotty probably had the best, and safest, advice ... A dyno tune at altitude for the fuel that Sleeper intends to use.

No the best advice would be to call Lund and give him your zip code and he will know what to do. Your taking a crapshoot with local "dyno tuners".


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Old 06-14-2016, 07:09 PM   #16
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No the best advice would be to call Lund and give him your zip code and he will know what to do. Your taking a crapshoot with local "dyno tuners".


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Apparently, you are taking a risk on Lund's tunes if you own an EcoBoost, as well.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:23 PM   #17
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Apparently, you are taking a risk on Lund's tunes if you own an EcoBoost, as well.

If you own an ecoboost and mess with it that's a risk unto itself. I just know the best of the best around these parts are running Lund tunes. I have seen firsthand the results.


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Old 06-14-2016, 09:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
It depends on the threshold the tuner allows, but *theoretically* the answer to your question is yes. I would rather start low and have the computer add timing than start too high and rely on knock to remove it...
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Originally Posted by straybullitt View Post
I'm thinking that the timing must be confined to certain parameters of the tune.
If it were infinitely adjustable, we could just fill our tanks with race gas, and instantly have a race car.
^^ there is a threshold your tuner will allow the ecu to advance timing. So technically you are correct... but also technically i already said that lol. Usually its only a few degrees, its not like 10* swings because there are also load targets that keep things in check as well.
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