Below are the most commonly suggested “first” performance mods done to the 2.5 Duratec, and to reduce the number of “I just got my SVT, what should I do first” posts.
=Remove hoodliner= This will reduce overall engine bay temps.
=Optimize TB= Virtually free for a dyno proven 1-2 hp gain.
=Intake= K&N RU-3530 is the most recommended w/ a MAF adaptor.
=Heatshield= Create a heatshield to isolate your open intake from engine bay heat (heatsoak).
=Maintenance= – Cleaning filthy TB, UIM and LIM will do wonders. – Replacing old spark plugs & wires, properly gapped plugs See Duratec HOWTO Forum
=Remove stock resonator= For 1-3hp gain and better sound, remove the stock resonator and replace with a straight through design. Magnaflow 4″ round is most recommended.
=Y-pipe= – Aftermarket, aluminum or stainless – Optimize the stock y-pipe for better flow. CEGers think this is a DIY mod – it's not (in most cases). You will have to take the y-pipe to someone who can perform the optimization.
=Exhaust= Cat-back brands available are limited. Most affordable and recommended currently is the Tru-Bendz.
=Short throw shifter= B&M or Steeda
=Gutting pre-cats= CEGers have gut the pre-cats (“headers”), especially when they have become clogged.
=Headers= MSDS or Weapon-R
=Chip= Recommended as the last mod as to avoid reburn. Nautilus Performance is highly recommended, with Brenspeed being another good option.
=Tunes= an alternative to a “chip”, in which the performance changes are loaded on to the STOCK PCM computer itself. benefits are an easier time changing the tune if you change your modifications. The most COMMON tuning solution is to purchase an XCAL2 and get a tune emailed to you, to load on your own. Contact Nautilus Performance for both an XCAL2 and/or a tune.
I think we might want to update who the most recommended company is for chips/flashes. ADC is on the out with their customer service. Nautilus Performance all the way. Brenspeed is good as well.
While Brent is a good guy to deal with, I don't think he's a good tuner for our platform. My first tune from his had timing much less than my OEM tune. I asked him for more timing, which he did for free (after a month of so), and it's still much less than OEM. My WOT a/f is hosed up. He also doesn't know how to move the IMRC points. My low/high speed fans were also swapped.
I'm not knocking him personally… I just wouldn't recommend him for our platform.
morbid 2011 Edge SEL AWD (black) – daily driver 2000 Contour SVT (black); #61 (Sept 17, 1999) 3L with ADC turbo kit; 325hp / 338tq @ 7psi car is down with a broken tranny
Sounds like its a hit or miss then. I know Mark had great luck with him. He picked up 10 whp on his 3.0L. He gave him 3 different tunes with each having more aggressive timing than the previous. Sorry about your luck. I do agree though. Tom knows this car better than anyone when it comes to tuning. I would go with him.
Jim Hahn 1999 Tropic Green SVT Contour 1996 T-Red Contour SE Reborn 4/6/04 Sold 3.0L swap and Arizona Dyno Chip Turbo Kit 364 whp, 410 wtq @ 4,700 rpm