- Mar 27, 2003
- Myrtle Beach, SC
Whipple Tuned and Shattering Records | Bronco Raptor Hits the Dyno and the Track
They say good things come to those who wait. Well in my experience patience and performance are two difficult concepts to mix, but when done properly the results can be quite rewarding. As most of the SVTP faithful know, aftermarket tuning on many late model Fords can be a bit tricky. Gone are the days of bringing a pulley and Diablo Predator to the dealership and modding your Terminator before you leave the lot. We now live in a world of encrypted ECUs and waiting for the aftermarket to crack the code. Luckily for us, Whipple Superchargers has just released their performance calibration for the Bronco Raptor and we happened to get our hands on one of the first units for our in-house BRaptor.
We’ve been steadily modding our Bronco Raptor over the past few months, and even threw more boost at it with a piggy-back device. However, a full tune is always preferable because it allows you to adjust aspects that effect the driving dynamics in a way that is beyond the capabilities of a typical Plug-&-Play device. According to Dustin Whipple his BRaptor calibration (delivered to the ECU via Whipple’s Tomahawk tuning device); substantially increases performance, optimizes the shift schedule, increases pedal sensitivity, is adaptable to various octane levels, and increases the speed limiter among innumerable other changes.
This video covers our full day of fun, including hole-shotting a Camaro with a 3-Ton Off-Road SUV.
So we decided to load up and head out to 5 Star Tuning in Florence, SC for a little dyno session. We started our day out on the rollers with 93 Octane fuel in the tank, the factory tune in the ECU, and a Whipple intercooler hanging out in front. That combination netted us 367.6 RWHP and 403.1 RWTQ (all torque figures are measured in lb-ft). Our BRaptor now has about 5,500 miles on the clock, so it is thoroughly broken in and these numbers appear to reflect that.
Now it was time to upload 17.5 MB of digital goodness into the computer. The tuning process is substantially the same as every other modern tuning device. However, one major difference is how fast the Whipple Tomahawk is able to write the tune file to the ECU. It is much faster than you may expect. With the tune installed we made a few more dyno pulls and ended up making 419.5 RWHP and 470.9 RWTQ. Peak gains of nearly 52 HP and 68 lb-ft from a simple tune on a 3.0L engine are impressive, but the real story is the power under the curve.
As you can see from the dyno sheet above, the Whipple calibration is making substantially more power than the factory tune across the entire RPM range. It’s allowing boost to build much earlier in the pull, and by 3,000 RPM it is making 17.5% more torque than stock. The gains are everywhere, not just the peak. Speaking of the peak; the Whipple file also raises the RPM limiter, which allows the BRaptor to rev out to 6,000 RPM while in stock form it runs out of steam around 5,500RPM. This thing is definitely making a difference that you’ll feel on the street.
Most would be satisfied to stop there and call it a successful day, but that’s not the SVTP way. We decided to throw a little Boostane Pro into the tank just to see if there was any power left on the table. Since the Whipple cal has adaptive octane logic it would be able to take advantage of any added points from spicing up the 93 in the tank. Josh @ 5 Star Tuning dosed the Braptor with about half a can, then gave it a little shake for good measure. The result was 423.4 RWHP and 467.9 RWTQ, most of which comes at the top of the RPM range.
What adding Boostane shows us is that Whipple has optimized this tune to run on 93 Octane. If you’ve got a fresh tank of good quality fuel you’re going to get almost everything there is to be had out of this tune. In other words, this tune is on point. However; while dynos can give you some great info, there’s no replacement for gathering data out in the wild. That’s why we left 5 Star Tuning and headed directly out to Darlington Dragway, where the 55 degree weather was perfect for making a few hits. We managed to get three runs in, here are the results:
We made all of our passes in Sport Mode, in 4-Hi, with the traction control off. The trick is launching with enough RPM to build boost off the line, but not so much so as to upset the extremely soft Bronco Raptor suspension. As you can see in the video above, leaving too hot causes the off-road-centric SUV to pogo stick through the 60-foot mark. That undulating motion destroys ET, but we did manage to squeak out a best run of 13.9 @ 98 MPH with some porpoising. By dropping the luanch RPM we did manage to leave smoothly and click off a 14.0. I think with enough time to figure out the launch the Whipple tuned BRaptor could consistently run 13.8 @ 99MPH. That puts us running about a second faster with 8-9 MPH more speed than many other stock media tests I’ve seen. This won’t be the last time I take it down the track.
The Bronco Raptor might not be the perfect ¼ mile track beast, but it’s still a blast to make a few runs at the track. I bought this thing to have fun with, so mission accomplished. And with the Whipple calibration loaded up it’s even better. I’ll be doing a full driving review on the Whipple Intercooler/Tune combo in the near future, so keep an eye on SVTP if you don’t want to miss that.