From the Start
Jumping on VMP Tuning’s 2015 Mustang project at the beginning with tuning, fuel, and a CAI
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of VMP Tuning
After waiting patiently for the 2015 Mustang that his company ordered many months ago, Justin Starkey eventually decided he needed his VMP Tuning development car right away. Shortly after we crossed paths with the Starkey family at the Brothers Performance car show, they loaded up and headed to Georgia to take possession of a GT equipped with an automatic transmission.
He was ready to hit the dyno and start tweaking the calibration with his SCT Performance software, but Justin learned that the dealer had filled the VMP GT up with 87-octane fuel. Rather than being upset, he used it as an opportunity to see how the latest Mustang responds to various fuels. After burning off most of the 87 on the street, he hit the dyno to baseline the car. From there he climbed the ladder with fuel and tuning.
However, along the way, he learned the car didn’t enjoy the dyno at first.
“On the dyno, you will get all kinds of flashing errors on the dash, hood ajar, abs, etc. At one point it would not let me turn traction control off,” Justin explained. “Eventually, the PCM will detect the front wheels are not spinning at all and the rear wheels are turning easily, it will default everything to off, you will get the ‘Check Brake System’ warning and that’s when you are good to make a clean WOT pull.”
With the all clear from the PCM, Justin stepped up to 93-octane pump gas with no tuning to see how the factory PCM would react to tuning via SCT Performance software and hardware. Then he dialed-up a more aggressive cal for the 93 octane and saw some solid gains. After draining the 93 and adding E85, he saw increases again. Then he dialed up the cal for the corn and really saw improvements. The cherry on the sundae was a move to a JLT Performance CAI.
With the first round of tuning and mods complete, it was time for Justin and his wife Rebecca, an accomplished drag racer, to head for Orlando Speed World to see how the 2015 Mustang would run with E85, tuning, and a CAI on the stock 235/50-18s tires.
“Launching soft, the car spun through First but hooked once in Second. After that, we let the car sit for about 20 minutes and lowered the tire pressure. We took turns driving, we continued to practice launching, lowered the tire pressure to 32 psi, and did bigger burnouts,” Justin explained. “On the last pass it all came together and the car pulled a 12.3 at 115 mph with a 1.89 60-foot. Some tuning tweaks to the transmission throughout the night helped the car run slightly quicker.”
They followed up the stock-tire passes with some runs on Race Star drag wheels and drag radials. With better traction, the tuned up auto clicked off a 12.11 at 116 mph, so with just a CAI, E85, tuning, and traction this automatic GT is teetering the precipice of 11s, and we can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
Wherever it’s headed, there’s a pretty good chance it will pick up a VMP TVS supercharger along the way, and even better chance you can read more about it right here.