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Old 06-04-2008, 05:46 PM   #1
klhbeetle
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Default Protune 16G at 7000ft. Danger of running lean?

Quick noobie questions:
I got a protune at sea level on my 16G with 11.1 a/f ratio and 18 psi at full boost. I drove to Colorado at 7000ft. and now my car is super draggy. There is no danger of running lean, is there?

I would think I'd be running rich if anything, with the thin air. I'll be here for 2 months, then heading back to California. I'm hoping my car will do it's ECU learning thing and I'll get at least some pep back, though I don't expect it to run as strong. Also: Should I reset the ECU?

Thanks a lot.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:57 PM   #2
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I think you will have more boost control issuse than anything. Are you still on the stock silinoid?
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:15 PM   #3
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You could reset the ECU to help it speed up the learning process.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:17 PM   #4
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What kind of EM do you have?
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:22 PM   #5
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I was just in Colorado for a week, you're just noticing the big altitude difference. You're using the same amount of fuel with less oxygen, so you're running rich, and that's better than running lean. The lag is normal. It sucks, doesn't it? I'm from SoCal as well, and I noticed that in the mountains up there you have NOTHING down low, absolutely nothing, and then all of a sudden it hits boost and pulls. It's weird, like 2 different cars, or modes, but I wouldn't worry. Just start at a little higher RPM at stoplights and such and it will pick up quicker. I start around 1800-2k (lightweight flywheel) but up there I start closer to 2500, and usually shift 1000RPMs or so later than normal.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:30 PM   #6
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how is it that altitude affects the car's performance?
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Audiosavvy View Post
I was just in Colorado for a week, you're just noticing the big altitude difference. You're using the same amount of fuel with less oxygen, so you're running rich, and that's better than running lean. The lag is normal. It sucks, doesn't it? I'm from SoCal as well, and I noticed that in the mountains up there you have NOTHING down low, absolutely nothing, and then all of a sudden it hits boost and pulls. It's weird, like 2 different cars, or modes, but I wouldn't worry. Just start at a little higher RPM at stoplights and such and it will pick up quicker. I start around 1800-2k (lightweight flywheel) but up there I start closer to 2500, and usually shift 1000RPMs or so later than normal.

Protune was opensource, I'm on stock BCS, though I've been pondering the GM BCS, my tuner said I'd benefit. Yes, absolutely nothing low end, I wish I could shift 1k higher than normal, my car decides that for me=>4EAT.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torque07 View Post
how is it that altitude affects the car's performance?

Less oxygen means less power, especially on a turbo motor. A turbo is forcing air into the motor, and if there's less air to mix with the fuel, there's less power being made
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:49 PM   #9
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Oh you poor baby! Some of us LIVE here! (small price to pay if you ask me--I love CO)

I'm actually wondering about the same question the other way--If I get a protune up here then drive down to sea level, will I run lean?
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by WRXislander View Post
Oh you poor baby! Some of us LIVE here! (small price to pay if you ask me--I love CO)

I'm actually wondering about the same question the other way--If I get a protune up here then drive down to sea level, will I run lean?

Hey I love Colorado, there's a reason I was there, and it wasn't bidness . But the fact remains, my car is a dog up there. Well, relatively speaking
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXislander View Post
Oh you poor baby! Some of us LIVE here! (small price to pay if you ask me--I love CO)

I'm actually wondering about the same question the other way--If I get a protune up here then drive down to sea level, will I run lean?
I lived in CO for years, much prefer it to L.A. No danger in running rich, besides wasting gas?
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:18 PM   #12
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Mixture will not change on modern systems since they manage fuel based on actual mass air flow, they don't care about the altitude you will get the same mixture you had at a different altitude.

Power is down because you're actually getting less air flow. Base air pressure here in Colorado near Denver is 11.5 -12.3 psi, your boost is measured as pressure above ambient air pressure, so 17 psi boost up here will give you about the same absolute manifold air pressure as stock boost level at sea level.

The other issue is that the turbo must work much harder to generate boost at this altitude so it acts like it is making considerably more boost than it really is (ie air flow is hotter for a given boost pressure)

All those issues add up. Here in Denver we see about a 3% drop in trap speed and a 3% increase in ET at the drag strip as an example of the real world effect of altitude on a turbocharged car up here.

Larry
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:26 PM   #13
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With all this 'Global Warming' I think Denver will soon be at sea level, so not only will it be beautiful with well thought-out road systems and less tards than California, you'll make good power too
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:56 PM   #14
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I noticed that my gas mileage went to crap at altitude last summer. Steadily got worse and worse starting in Oklahoma. It didn't get better/adjust until I was in northeastern Oregon, a couple weeks and several thousand miles later. The altitude was still 3,000ish, but my gas mileage did improve...
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiosavvy View Post
Less oxygen means less power, especially on a turbo motor. A turbo is forcing air into the motor, and if there's less air to mix with the fuel, there's less power being made
thnx audiosavvy
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiosavvy View Post
With all this 'Global Warming' I think Denver will soon be at sea level, so not only will it be beautiful with well thought-out road systems and less tards than California, you'll make good power too
Global Warming? It was freeeeeeezing in CO this winter. I think all the hippies riding their bikes to work started a trend of Global Colding.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:20 PM   #17
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Yeah you will be running rich not lean! You will occasionally throw flames out your tail pipe (which isnt the greatest of things but you cant help it).....I live at 7000ft too!!!!
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiosavvy View Post
Less oxygen means less power, especially on a turbo motor. A turbo is forcing air into the motor, and if there's less air to mix with the fuel, there's less power being made
This is not true.....Yes we all agree that less oxygen means less power BUT......Since there is less air in the atmosphere it is ACTUALLY EASIER for our turbos to spin! The air is literally thinner and "light weight" aka less dense hence why the fins will spin faster! Its the NA cars that have MAJOR power loses!!!

Last edited by Jhovany; 06-04-2008 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhovany
This is not true.....Yes we all agree that less oxygen means less power BUT......Since there is less air in the atmosphere it is ACTUALLY EASIER for our turbos to spin! The air is literally thinner and "light weight" hence why the fins will spin faster! Its the NA cars that have MAJOR power loses!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiosavvy View Post
Less oxygen means less power, especially on a turbo motor. A turbo is forcing air into the motor, and if there's less air to mix with the fuel, there's less power being made
I also agree that this is not true, but not for the reason Jhovany made. More simply, its because a turbocharged engine will end up generating the same boost regardless of air density, it will just have to work harder to do it. Non-boosted engines don't have that option, and have to work with the atmospheric pressure it is given.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:48 PM   #20
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Well, at least we agree on one thing. At elevation our cars go slower! When I was stage 2 here in CO it felt like my stocker did at 0' in coastal Maine.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:50 PM   #21
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it will just have to work harder to do it.
as in spinning faster, in turns creating more friction, which creats heat! HEAT noooooooooooooo good. I would imagine that before the days of synthetic oils as well as non water/oil cooled turbos....turbos would melt extremely easy at high altitude!
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:54 PM   #22
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as in spinning faster, in turns creating more friction, which creats heat! HEAT noooooooooooooo good. I would imagine that before the days of synthetic oils as well as non water/oil cooled turbos....turbos would melt extremely easy at high altitude!
Of course, I totally agree, thats part of my point. There is obviously going to be a perfermance decrease as altitude increases, there is just a better margin for boosted vehicles.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:54 PM   #23
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Global Warming? It was freeeeeeezing in CO this winter. I think all the hippies riding their bikes to work started a trend of Global Colding.
Y4y more snow! -> from MN.

We had the worst winters in terms of snowfall except for this last year. Tons of snow last year, barely enough to cover the ground years before.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:44 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Yeah you will be running rich not lean! You will occasionally throw flames out your tail pipe (which isnt the greatest of things but you cant help it).....I live at 7000ft too!!!!
I'm assuming that this is a response to the OP's question not mine. So does this mean that I will run lean when I go down in elevation (if I had a protune)?
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:16 AM   #25
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If anything, you will run rich. If you are staying there, get tuned again because you are losing a lot of power in that altitude.

If you want a contrast, my Talon TSI dynod at 330 hp in Oklahoma. In New Mexico it only made 270 on the dyno. After tuning it again, I was able to pull 300 hp.
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