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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, superchip in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hi i have a 1994 STS with exhaust, air box mod, would a superchip make a diff? is it worth ...
  1. #1
    troyboy86 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    superchip

    Hi i have a 1994 STS with exhaust, air box mod, would a superchip make a diff? is it worth 250$. Had a 98 lincoln continental with the same mods and added a superchip and it helped. What else is there to do to those car thats not too much $$$$ thanks

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  3. #2
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: superchip

    "Blanket tuning chips" are a bad idea. Typically they increase the timing and lean the a/f ratio to get more power. Problem is, that means you may be damaging your engine if you NEED more fuel due to your mods... The proper way is to get on a dyno with a wideband.

    So, I can't recommend you get a chip, no.

  4. #3
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    ShadowLvr400 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: superchip

    Actually, those chips can help, mostly through the adjustment to the transmission shifts. Usually they firm the shifts up and adjust the shift points.

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    davesdeville is offline Banned
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    Re: superchip

    They go more rich not more lean. More lean means less power and more pinging.

  6. #5
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: superchip

    The computer comes rich from the factory..... It's for safety reasons, like if you install free flowing exhaust, etc etc - it will flow more air at wide open throttle, but the tables will not compensate for that air. They're locked from the factory...

    Rich <> (does not equal) more power. The target area is around 13.2 - 12.8ish for maximum power N/A... Wide open, factory settings put it like 12.6:1. They lean the tables out on a stock car to that area of maximum power...... but don't take into account if you have an intake, exhaust, whatever.

    You do all that, and throw in the chip, and you'll definately need premium all the time. And you may be leaning your mixture out too much.

    http://members.aol.com/hotrodharrys/dads03dyno.jpg

    This was tuned using a superchips tuner... Carefully look at the a/f ratio at the bottom... the blue graph is on the bottom, and green is on the top. Now look at the hp graphs......

  7. #6
    troyboy86 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: superchip

    with the mods i have what should it run in 1/4 ??? and what would i have to do to get it in the mid to low 14s thanks

  8. #7
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    Re: superchip

    Quote Originally Posted by eldorado1
    The computer comes rich from the factory.....
    All new cars are designed to run the leanest mixture possible without sacrificing performance, in order to maintain a realatively low level of exhaust emisions. That's the main reason why most new ignition systems are running such high voltages, and in some cases firing multiple times. It helps burn the leaner mixtures and prevents misfires. Leaning out a mixture will make the engine produce less power and run hot, resulting in high levels of NOx output. Not only is this bad for the car, but you will also fail inspection for it. Adding more fuel will produce more power, as long as the fuel has enough air to burn the mixture properly. Running a car too rich may also reduce power, and cause high HC output, also resulting in a failed inspection.

    What do you mean by, "It's for safety reasons, like if you install a free flowing exhaust...". Any new car with any Mass Air Flow device whether it's Hot Wire, Karmen Vortex, or Hot Film will adjust accordingly to the increase in the volume of air being drawn into the engine. Over time, the Long Term Fuel Trim will adapt and run the car accordingly. That's why all these people with there new Honda's aren't blowing up their car with those cold air intake from running a lean mixture. The MAF sensor sees the extra air and changes the injector pulse width to match, thereby richening the mixture in response the increase in air.

    Car's with removeable EPROMS such as the OBDI Cadillacs, ran Speed Density systems. They do not have a Mass Air Flow sensor to automatically adjust for the inceased volum of air, and therefor in most cases, must be programmed accordingly.

    I have a question regarding the Dynomometer printout you posted. Which car is that for? THat guy has a bunch of Mustangs, but the only ones I could easily see putting out that much HP at the wehels, would be the Cobra's. For starters, neither of them are Naturally Asperated, so that dyno graph does not apply at all.

  9. #8
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: superchip

    Quote Originally Posted by danbuc
    All new cars are designed to run the leanest mixture possible without sacrificing performance, in order to maintain a realatively low level of exhaust emisions.
    At idle and mid throttle, yes. In power enrichment, it is typically as rich as they can make it... sometimes as rich as 12:1... on N/A no less!

    Over time, the Long Term Fuel Trim will adapt and run the car accordingly.
    In power enrichment mode, fuel trims (BLM, INT) do NOT come into play. It goes strictly by the tables. The MAF sensor (if the car even HAS one... in the case above - 94 northstar, as you mentioned, does not have one) does compensate for increased airflow, up to a point (when it maxes out the table).

    I have a question regarding the Dynomometer printout you posted. Which car is that for? THat guy has a bunch of Mustangs, but the only ones I could easily see putting out that much HP at the wehels, would be the Cobra's. For starters, neither of them are Naturally Asperated, so that dyno graph does not apply at all.
    I honestly wasn't even paying attention to that... I'll try to get a better example. Please stand by.

  10. #9
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: superchip

    Here you go:

    Stock vs Hypertech chip:

    Note the a/f ratios between the two... all for a 3hp gain... Is it really worth the possible damage?

  11. #10
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    Re: superchip

    On a stock engine, I would say that a chip is not worth the money. Up to a certian point (depending on modidifactions done), I guess it would be helpful. At WOT, the use for a chip really isn't neccessary, since the car is programmed to run very rich. I think with a higher flowing exhaust and air intake, a chip could be better suited to low/mid range power improevement. After all, that is the Northstar's week spot.

    In that Dyno graph eldorado1 posted, the leaner mixture made more power. The graph is thrown off slightly thoguh, due to the fact that the richer mixture, started off much leaner at low RPM, and then became very rich at WOT. The mixture that started off richer however, did not drop as far. I don't think it's a fair assumption to say that every engine will react the same to a particular A/F ratio at a given RPM. It all depends on how the ECM is programmed, and what the engine's capabilities, and limitations are. In the case of the Northstar, I don't think there is much to be gained, without significant engine modification. In a car such as a Cavalier however, I would definitely say there's room for improvement. The Northstar is pretty much tuned to it's maximum potential right from the factory, in N/A form. With forced induction however, a reprogrammed chip is a must.

  12. #11
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: superchip

    Quote Originally Posted by danbuc
    On a stock engine, I would say that a chip is not worth the money. Up to a certian point (depending on modidifactions done), I guess it would be helpful. At WOT, the use for a chip really isn't neccessary, since the car is programmed to run very rich. I think with a higher flowing exhaust and air intake, a chip could be better suited to low/mid range power improevement. After all, that is the Northstar's week spot.

    In that Dyno graph eldorado1 posted, the leaner mixture made more power. The graph is thrown off slightly thoguh, due to the fact that the richer mixture, started off much leaner at low RPM, and then became very rich at WOT.
    They made exactly the same power from 2300 - 4000 rpm. That's exactly low/upper mid range power. I think there was a malfunction with the WBO2 sensor on the bottom one around 4300 rpm. It should not have dropped below 11:1, so the AFR graphs should've narrowed closer to 6k.

    In the case of the Northstar, I don't think there is much to be gained, without significant engine modification.
    I think the most to be gained from a 'chip', is from a stock engine. The timing tables on the northstar are fairly weak (mainly because they are afraid grandma is going to put in 87 octane..) I could see a 15hp gain from a chip swap on a stock northstar. BUT - the danger comes when you start doing OTHER modifications, that the chip makers didn't really anticipate. For an otherwise stock northstar, if you didn't mind runing premium all the time, I'd say go for it.

    For everyone else - don't risk melting your pistons. (But I still think $250 is a rip off)

  13. #12
    troyboy86 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: superchip

    how much diff. does a high performance MAF do?? and how much does it cost?? and how do i tell if i have one? anything else i can do to make it faster. thanks

  14. #13
    danbuc's Avatar
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    Re: superchip

    The northstar is designed to run premium fuel, while using it's preprogrammed level of spark advance. Using any octane rating lower, will cause the the knock sensor, to signal the ECM to retard the ignition timing. Retarding the ignition timing results in a small loss of power, usually not noticable to the average driver. However, if you advance the timing even more, you will need to run a higher octane fuel that 93-94. At a certain point, premium would no longer be sufficient to to prevent detonation. Therefor, even if you did advance the timing, while still using 93, the ECM may still have to retard the timing ever so slightly, which would negate any power gained from the chip. This is why chips are popular with car that are designed to run on regular fuel. The chip can advance the timing, and still remain within the limit fo what octane fuel is readily available at the pump. Advancing the timing in a car already designed to make it's peak power using premium fuel, would only necesitate the need for a higher octane. This is why there really isn't much to be gained from a chip, in an engine like the northstar. While I agree that the timing could still be advanced a little while still retaining the engines ability to run on premium fuel, it certainly is not worth 15 HP. If this were so, then it would be programmed liek that from the factory. There's a reason all Cadillac's before 2000 "required" premium fuel. While it wasn't completely necessary, using anything lower, would only hurt performance.

  15. #14
    danbuc's Avatar
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    Re: superchip

    A High Performance MAF such as those offered by Granatelli Motorsports, are able to better compensate for increased airflow, and are designed to tell the computer to flow more fuel. For the hundreds of dollars that they cost, the gains on a stock engine in most cases are not worth the money spent. If you had an air intake that flowed more freely, it might make more of a difference. The easiest way to tell if you have one, is just to look at it. If it's not stock, it shoudl have a company logo on it. If it is stock, then it will probably be plain black, with an AC Delco or similar part number located on it. For the money spent on a higher performance MAF, you could upgrade the exhaust and probably gain more power. That is one of the biggest restriction on this engine. The relatively high back pressure exhaust system, does rob power from the engine. If your look for more hjp and torque, freeing up the exhaust is the easiest and best way to go.

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