Reclaiming HorsePower

Skitter302

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I probably spend too much time on the internet and not enough time actually testing parts on a bench... but who cares! I'm all about that forum life XD

Being on a budget I can't quite afford the 420 HP 5.0L engine that I would love to drop into my Bronco. Saving up for that will take a few years. But with that said I'm not satisfied with the current performance that I'm getting from my Bronco. Passing on the highway feels like it takes longer then it should. At this point in the game I'm looking to Reclaim lost horsepower. (i.e. power lost by older parts). Here is a short list of parts that I can think of parts that can be simply replaced and help reclaim HP.

~ Fresh Set of Spark Plugs DONE
~ New Cap and Rotor by MSD DONE
~ New Air Filter DONE
~ New Ignition coil by MSD DONE
~ New Fuel Filter DONE
~ New Highflow Cat (to replace the used factory cats) DONEish
~ New Plug Wires DONE
~ New O2 Sensor in exhaust. (Im thinking thaat if the O2 sensor has carbon on it it can't read an accurate air.fuel mix.) DONE

It might be fair to reason -11hp for the bad cats, and -5hp for older ignition components. Obviously these aren't factual numbers but you get the idea of what I'm thinking about here and how much HP I might be loosing from older parts.

So the question is What else would you guys suggest be simply replaced to help reclaim HP?

I was also thinking about removing the factory mechanical cooling fan, I Learned from #MTOD's Engine Masters ep. 20 that the stock fan kills 14HP. By replacing parts I could restore enough power that the butt dyno might feel it.

 
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miesk5

96 Bronco 5.0
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Yo Skitter,
I live most of my life on the net ..lol

I tried to reply but error message claimed that an image I had was not allowed. But I had a few, so I don't know which was the suspect.
So I will divide my reply into seperate sections.

Try a Self Test for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC)s by my pal, BroncoJoe19 @ http://broncozone.com/topic/14269-code-reader/
A helper is good to assist in reading Codes; best is to take a cell fone vid and replay it.
Some basics;
Visual Check
1.Inspect the air cleaner and inlet ducting.
2.Check all engine vacuum hoses for damage, leaks, cracks, blockage, proper routing, etc.
3.Check EEC system wiring harness for proper connections, bent or broken pins, corrosion, loose wires, proper routing, etc.
4.Check the Powertrain Control Module (PCM), sensors and actuators for physical damage; IAC, TPS I see was replaced, etc.5.Check the engine coolant for proper level and mixture.
6.Check the transmission fluid level and quality. See E4OD Fluid Condition Check Below)
7.Make all necessary repairs before continuing
8. Check headlights

The engine temperature must be greater than 50° F for the Key On Engine Off (KOEO) Self-Test and greater than 180° F for the Key On Engine Running (KOER) Self-Test.
Run it around to heat the engine up and shift thru all gears including Reverse.

Make sure A/C is off and transmission is in Park (automatic); or in Neutral for a Manual & release clutch.
Turn off all accessories; radio, lights, A/C, heater, blower, fans, etc. (close driver's door)
Then turn off engine and wait 10 seconds.
Do KOEO test First
You should see 3 digit code (s) if any
Post Code(s) here according to:
KOEO
&
KOER
...

Performance Improvement & Fuel Saving Tips
I have always factored in any cost to improve MPG in the overall $ "savings".
Free or Low Cost:
"Reduce weight of the Bronco and tools, accessories and ... passengers; driver's get a pass; also, grille guards, side steps, etc.
Ensure that brakes are not dragging
proper tire pressure - Under inflated tires Increase rolling resistance 1-2 mpg;
Dirty air filter Causes excessively rich fuel/air mixture 2.0 mpg;
Worn spark plugs Cause inefficient combustion, wasted fuel 2.0 mpg;
Worn O2 sensor Unable to detect and adjust air/fuel mixture 3 mpg (not it your year);
Dirty or substandard engine oil Increases internal engine friction 0.4 mpg;
Loose gas cap Allows fuel to evaporate 2.0 mpg
Potential loss in fuel economy if all of the above were neglected 11.4 mpg"

BY Crown Auto Parts Inc.;

Add them all up and you get yaris mpg. Lol
***
& more Items that Cost $:
alignment
tune-up. plugs - pull and check/re-gap, replace if nec, same for plug wires (check for insulation cracks, and resistance (more on this later), distributor cap and rotor
brake parts - always $ WELL SPENT
I use Ford Motorcraft parts via AMAZON; they are VG at delvy and esp pricing; I bought a $150.00 DPFE Sensor (not incl. sales tax) for $50.00 with free shipping and no state sales tax; same for the IAC sensor.
Some buy from a Ford pn on-line or local parts stores that list the Ford PN, but the ads show the PN as a reference only and the supplier may be a company off-shore. other than a Ford supplier.

High Quality Motorcraft TFI Ignition Coil Attributes
Source: by SeattleFSB (Seattle FSB) @ MSD 8227 coil problems
Many Bronco owners shop for an ignition coil by looking for the highest voltage available. But I venture to say that there is much more to look for in achieving both a quality ignition system and saving money in the long run.
For clarification, it takes approximately 10-14,000 volts to initiate the spark across the OEM spark plug gap. After the initial arc, the voltage required to sustain the arc is much less and drops off significantly. So while you may have a 48,000v coil you can't actually get that across the plug. The extra power becomes reserve voltage which compensates for worn plugs, increasing resistance in wires and carbon fouling. This increased stress can require an additional 1-5000 volts.
Fact is a higher voltage coil does not work any better, it just lasts longer due to having a higher reserve reducing heat. You cannot push more than 20,000 volts across a spark plug without bad things happening. If you were to try you would see arcing down the side of the plug, across carbon buildups at the electrode end and out any weak points in the wire insulation and connections.
The bottom line is the ideal coil output required for normal applications is about 30,000 volts. So no, your coil does not need to be 48,000v for proper ignition. The benefit would be in having enough reserve to compensate for high resistance due to a worn or altered ignition system.
This is why the Sixlitre Tune recommends a 48,000v coil and larger spark plug wires – to compensate for a substantial increase in resistance from larger than specified spark plug gaps. You are adding resistance as the spark attempts to reach ground. This in turn causes the plug wires to break down and decreases the service life of the rotor, distributor cap, spark plugs and increases the chance of spark scatter within the Distributor Cap.
Think about it, you are setting your spark plugs at a maximum gap even before wear. The higher voltage coil does not reduce stress and wear on your ignition system; it only compensates within a larger margin and then ultimately becomes dependent upon the quality of construction for survival. When opening up your spark plug gap from factory specifications you must be prepared to check your secondary ignition system annually, as opposed to about 40,000 miles with a stock vehicle, or risk performance decreases down the road.
With that being said, IMHO the Motorcraft DG470 TFI Coil is one of the most dependable 48,000v TFI Coils on the market. This is largely due to the quality in design, testing and construction. I have personally had many dependability issues with other imported TFI Coils, such as MSD. Where a Motorcraft Coil has lasted 15 years, I have went through three MSD coils in five years. Your purchase of a TFI Coil should not be totally dependent upon the voltage, but strong consideration should also be made regarding the contruction attributes listed below:

Motorcraft TFI Ignition Coil Attributes
Insulation - Multiple coats on the primary and secondary windings to ensure no internal arcing
Radio-Frequency Interference (RFI) Suppression - Minimize electronic noise
Magnets - Hold strength for the coil to maintain proper energy output
Steel - Used in the lamination stack to ensure a consistent magnetic field needed to develop the required voltage
Coil Housing - Engineered to withstand extremes in temperature without cracking

Low Quality TFI Ignition Coil Potential Issues
Rough Running Engine or Misfires - Causing Check Engine Light
Fuel Economy and Power Decrease – Costs money and performance
Radio Frequency Interference – Affects radio, EEC, sensors, cell phone
Pre-Ignition and Detonation – Can cause engine damage
Weak Voltage Output – Can cause increase tailpipe emissions..."
***

For future mods;
see;
Project M.P.G. in a Centurion 460; miesk5 Note, Results are Comparable to Tests in other Ford Engines
Source: by performanceunlimited.com @ http://performanceunlimited.com/projectmpg/

Some use this information while others write that the results are not achievable.

...

 
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Skitter302

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So many links, been following threads for hours. I'm Diggin' it.

 

miesk5

96 Bronco 5.0
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Yo Skitter,

Glad you're enjoying it all!

I collected most of it over the years and put it in my site for easy retrieval.  Hoping to be able to update the site and add to it someday.

I

 

Skitter302

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Ok, just wanted to share where I'm at in this project.

~ Fresh Set of Spark Plugs
~ New Cap and Rotor by MSD
~ New Ignition coil by MSD

I am now using MotorCraft Platinum spark plugs gapped to .055. I have my MSD Cap and rotor installed. I have a new ignition coil, its MSD also. And I have 13° of timing on the engine. It only took my computer about 50miles to figure out what was going on.  I was on my way to work one morning and the pedal response was different from the night before and thats when I knew that the changes I made worked! I filled up the tank last night and ran the numbers. I'm now getting 2 more mpg in the city and a better driving experience.  

 
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miesk5

96 Bronco 5.0
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Yo,

Great & thanks for the update friend!

Always good to hear success.

Al

 

Skitter302

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Got new plug wires on and made a run up a 6 mile 7-8% grade. My old wires must of been on the way out because It was though I had more bottom end torque. I also put new wires on the F-350 and the cold idle on the truck changed for the better.

Next is on the to-do list is Dads truck, after he notice the jump in performance out of the Bronco he wants me to update some things on his F-150.

 

Skitter302

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~ Fresh Set of Spark Plugs DONE

~ New Cap and Rotor by MSD DONE

~ New Air Filter DONE

~ New Ignition coil by MSD DONE

~ New Fuel Filter DONE

~ New Highflow Cat (to replace the used factory cats) DONEish

~ New Plug Wires DONE
~ New O2 Sensor in exhaust. (Im thinking thaat if the O2 sensor has carbon on it it can't read an accurate air.fuel mix.) and DONE!



The Old one is on the right and new on the left. The Box has a Nascar performance Logo so that must mean I'll get +10hp to the rear wheels now? :))

 

Skitter302

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I was starting to have some problems with getting pre-ignition and so I looked through the thread for the ignition upgrade and timing bump (no 56K). Come to find out other guys were having issues with Platinum plugs and thats what I had. so I swapped out the plugs for the suggested copper plugs (all plugs used are Motorcraft). No more pre-ignition but I lost all my torque that I thought I had gained.

For me the better set-up is the Motorcraft platinum Plugs with timing between 10-12 BTDC. I post this here so if any of you have issues with ignition upgrade and timing bump (no 56K), consider using the better plug with less timing and 87 octane fuel. I'll post up my timing once I find out which degree I like better.

 

Robertwesley

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May 2, 2020
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Cheyenne
Just finished reading both of your posts on this issue....all of them! Thanks to both of you for sharing!!! Will be fun to go back over them with my ‘96 when I get home!!
 

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