VMP Tuning wakes up a stock Mustang GT with a performance calibration
By Steve Turner
You might not have heard about it yet, but VMP Tuning added another new Mustang to its stable of project cars. This GT is destined for life as an all-out race car, but before things headed in that direction, main man Justin Starkey wanted to get work his tuning magic on the stock car to see what kind of gains were available on the stock platform.
“Ford has continued to improve the 5.0-liter calibration straight from the factory since the Coyote’s introduction in 2011,” he said. “They still assume very poor fuel quality though, so if the owner is willing to run top-tier premium all the time, there is power to be had there with the right custom tune.”
On a recent visit to VMP headquarters we documented one of Justin’s early experiences with the nGauge flash tuner paired with HP Tuners’ VCM Suite tuning software. You might recall that the nGauge was one the most exciting products to debut at the 2014 edition of The SEMA Show. Not just an OBD-II gauge, the nGauge will display those factory data parameters. However, it will also allow flashing the PCM with a custom calibration.
“We also make advances in part throttle power, response, and elimination of the factory torque limits,” Justin explained. “The factory cal will sometime close the throttle at high rpm. It will also limit torque in the first few gears, presumably to try to keep the MT-82 happy. There is also the dreaded torque limits during shifting which keep you from really grabbing the gears.”
After making a some pulls to datalog the factory calibration, Justin saved the stock file to the SD card in the nGauge. He then built a custom calibration that tweaked the car’s timing, air/fuel ratio, and more. After saving that file to the SD card, Justin could then install the card in the nGauge and flash the stock Mustang with the hotter calibration. Once it was uploaded, it was time to spin up the Dynojet rollers again…
“Being a power adder guy, I haven’t seen NA tuning as something very exciting, but I can tell you with the combination of a VMP custom tune on the HP Tuners’ nGauge it’s a whole new car,” he added. “The raised rev limiter, extra power, and elimination of torque limits makes it feel like a monster on the street or track. The stock 235s no longer suffice, they are holding on for dear life when you hit 6,500 rpm in First gear. I’m very excited about some of the NA packages and tuning that VMP will be offering in the future.”