The modification process of a car follows a map that’s drawn by the owner and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. As a build unfolds, solutions need to be found for different obstacles and depending on the project those could be fairly large. As Larry Thomas was creating his rowdy eight-second 2004 Cobra Mustang, he decided to overcome tuning issues by going with SCT products to work with his stock ECU.
Larry’s Mustang may look fairly stock from the outside, but underneath that bright yellow paint is one heck of a car built by Pro Tree Racecars and Fathouse Fabrications. The Pro Tree roll cage works with a mixture of UPR Products and Baseline suspension products along with Strange Engineering shocks. Power comes from a 4.6 liter Ford Teksid aluminum block that uses a stock crank, stock rods, stock heads, and Diamond pistons. To upgrade the valvetrain Larry added a set of Kurgan Motorsports custom cams and PAC valve springs.
The big feature under the hood is the custom Fathouse Fabrications turbo kit made of stainless steel. Boost is supplied by a pair of Precision 6266 turbos and is chilled by a custom air-to-air intercooler. A set of TiAL wastegates and blowoff valves keep the boost in check when Larry lays into the throttle. A TH400 transmission and PTC torque converter help put the power down and allowed Larry to run a best of 8.42 at 161 MPH while at the track.
Since Larry was planning to stick with the stock ECU he needed a way to tune the car properly. Bob Kurgan at Kurgan Motorsports is Larry’s tuner and suggested an SCT xCal2 and the rest is history. Now Larry has stepped up to the X4 to tune his Mustang so he can data log each run easier.
“I couldn’t make the power and run the times I am on the stock ECU without the X4. The X4 allows for customization of the program to adapt to the injectors, fuel, cam, and other changes we’ve made to the engine. It also allows me to data log and monitor parameters to help optimize the settings as well as troubleshoot any issues. I can also send data logs to Bob from the track and get changes from him if needed in order to dial in the car. The ability to remote tune the car with the SCT tuner is nice too, we have made several tune changes and adjustments from over 500 miles away,” Larry says.
So far the X4 has been able to handle all of Larry’s tuning needs with ease and he even uses one to tune his truck that tows his Mustang to the track. Using the SCT tuner to its full potential has allowed him to keep his Mustang’s electronics intact and that keeps the car easy for him to manage.
“While the SCT tuner has its limits because of the limitations of the factory ECU, it’s a great option for those that do not have the money or desire to switch to an aftermarket computer system. Of course, we are getting close to the limit of the system with the car but it still works great so far,” Larry explains.
If you’re looking for a tuning solution and want to keep your stock ECU make sure you head over to the SCT website right here and check out their product offerings.
Photos provided by Trevor Flora