TCCoA Forums banner

101 - 120 of 291 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,147 Posts
Don LaSota all the way. Of late Lonnie likes to burn bridges and blame phantom mechanical issues on his tune problems, and I'm not the only one with whom he's done that to here. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Discussion Starter #102
Don LaSota all the way. Of late Lonnie likes to burn bridges and blame phantom mechanical issues on his tune problems, and I'm not the only one with whom he's done that to here. :rolleyes:
Thanks, that's what I heard. Shame really, the 87 octane tune he did for my 99 GT really woke it up. Took it in to a dealership to see what they'd offer me for it if I were to trade it in and the guy who drove it didn't believe me it didn't have cams or gears. Was a box stock Windsor block 99 4.6 running 0w30 oil, 5 speed, 3.27TL with a cat back exhaust.

I was hoping he was still the man, but I've heard nothing but good about Don LaSota, so he'll get my $100.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,147 Posts
Yeah... seems like around 2006-2007 or so he kind of fell out of favor slowly; by 2009-2010 I was just plain up fed-up with him because he refused to write me a new tune because he thought my car was riddled with mechanical issues. He made his position perfectly clear with "don’t contact me again" at the end of the last email he sent to me.

Strangely enough after LaSota did the re-tune, the driveability problems with the car that Lonnie thought were mechanical issues went away, and a few things I wanted the tune to do - which Lonnie said his was set to do but never worked - started working. :idea:

Obviously since 2012 I've done my own tuning, but I started with what LaSota had dialed-in with the tune he did for me mail-order before that. Imagine Lonnie sending you the tune he wrote for your car to start from, you might learn his secrets! :rofl:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,298 Posts
...
Obviously since 2012 I've done my own tuning, but I started with what LaSota had dialed-in with the tune he did for me mail-order before that. Imagine Lonnie sending you the tune he wrote for your car to start from, you might learn his secrets! :rofl:
I doubt there are many secrets to be had on our cars; where those guys make their money is the custom work for the 1000+hp guys.

Don literally wrote the book on tuning; I have a copy. :)

The only real difference in their tunes is that guys like him have access to things we do not; but those things don't need to change for most of us.

I haven't ran across anything I couldn't mess up, so far, lol.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,479 Posts
I had Lonnie make a tune for me years ago. The car ran a little rough when cold, but ran OK once warmed up, and performed well, and while his customer service was a bit lacking, I let it go thinking I had a good tune, and knowing I was supporting a fellow MN12 owner. Years later when my buddy got a quarterhorse and he and I started messing around with stuff, I decided to see what was actually done in Lonnie's tune. Basically on the factory setup, or a good quality custom tune, there are multiple tables for each parameter to allow for adaptation as things change like outside temp, coolant temp, elevation, etc. What did Lonnie do? He zero'd out EVERY table except for the base one, so the car ran with the same spark and fuel parameters regardless of conditions. Basically he cheated so that the car would run good under ideal conditions, but whenever anything got outside of those conditions, the car could not adapt like the factory setup, so the car would run great at the track or on a dyno, but would have drivability issues in the real world. This is something that you wouldn't know, unless you had the ability to look at the actual tune, but he was basically doing probably 1/10th the work that he should have been, and charging the same as everyone else, and when people complained about drivability, he didn't want to say "well my tune can't adapt like the stock one", so instead, he would blame it on mechanical issues. Now, having seen what is involved in tuning, and having seen what the actual product I received was, I would tell everyone to steer clear of Lonnie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Discussion Starter #106
Well, my clutch pedal assembly finally arrived... So I may have to find a transmission while I'm scouting out parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Discussion Starter #107


Making progress.
Since this picture has been taken, I've also removed the plastic cowl and the windshield wiper assembly beneath it to gain more access.

Not sure if the exhaust is bolted up "normally" or not, but on the driver side there was one nut on the bottom, and the other one appears to be reversed (or broken off... I'll shoot a picture later). Thankfully, Traveler kept the GTBird very clean under his ownership, and I've followed in his footsteps. The exhaust nuts are coming right off (I did spray them with penetrating oil just in case). Let's hope the starter is as easy too.

All fluids drained. Main harness near passenger fender unplugged. Fan is out, alternator is out, water pump pulley is out. Battery is out, I'll pull the battery box too. While the engine is out going to re-route some wires to keep them away from the exhaust.

I did notice on the driver side of the block, there is an unused sensor plug in near the freeze plug between the oil pan and the exhaust manifold. I'll take a picture. No idea what it is, but it has no cables near by.

Also found out the GTBird apparently adopted a pet over the winter. There was a chipmunk nest under the cowl on the driver side. Traps will be laid this winter.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,479 Posts
Yes, the one exhaust stud going the other way is normal on the 4.6 birds.

As for the starter, my advice for that is leave the bottom bolt tight until the upper 2 are completely removed. People tend to pull the easy one first and then the weight of the starter fights you removing the upper ones that you can barely reach the whole way. I always use a swivel and a 4" extension on the top 2, break them loose and then remove them the rest of the way with the socket on the extension by hand, and then use a gear wrench on the bottom bolt last. Doing it this way, the starter is a piece of cake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Discussion Starter #109
Yes, the one exhaust stud going the other way is normal on the 4.6 birds.

As for the starter, my advice for that is leave the bottom bolt tight until the upper 2 are completely removed. People tend to pull the easy one first and then the weight of the starter fights you removing the upper ones that you can barely reach the whole way. I always use a swivel and a 4" extension on the top 2, break them loose and then remove them the rest of the way with the socket on the extension by hand, and then use a gear wrench on the bottom bolt last. Doing it this way, the starter is a piece of cake.
Yup, I've done lots of reading and that makes the most sense. Do the "hard" one first. It's my plan to try and unbolt them friday evening.

So far, fan out, engine drained of coolant/oil, alternator off, water pulley off, radiator hoses disconnected, engine harness disconnected, wipers out of the way, other than unbolting the transmission and the exhaust/starter, anything I'm missing before i hook up the hoist and unbolt the motor mounts?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,752 Posts
Yes, the one exhaust stud going the other way is normal on the 4.6 birds.

As for the starter, my advice for that is leave the bottom bolt tight until the upper 2 are completely removed. People tend to pull the easy one first and then the weight of the starter fights you removing the upper ones that you can barely reach the whole way. I always use a swivel and a 4" extension on the top 2, break them loose and then remove them the rest of the way with the socket on the extension by hand, and then use a gear wrench on the bottom bolt last. Doing it this way, the starter is a piece of cake.
That's the way I do it too, but just for future frustration, I only leave two in there when I put it back
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,479 Posts
That's the way I do it too, but just for future frustration, I only leave two in there when I put it back
I think about doing that every time I pull a starter on any 4.6, but my OCD just won't allow me to knowingly leave a bolt out.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,298 Posts
I think about doing that every time I pull a starter on any 4.6, but my OCD just won't allow me to knowingly leave a bolt out.
One of my measures of personal success is not having any extra parts at the end I didn't replace with new ones. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
One of my measures of personal success is not having any extra parts at the end I didn't replace with new ones. :)
If you have extra parts you just did it better than Ford :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
So far, fan out, engine drained of coolant/oil, alternator off, water pulley off, radiator hoses disconnected, engine harness disconnected, wipers out of the way, other than unbolting the transmission and the exhaust/starter, anything I'm missing before i hook up the hoist and unbolt the motor mounts?
Don't forget the power steering pump pressure line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Discussion Starter #116

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,806 Posts
I didn't see A/C compressor mentioned. On some cars, you can just unbolt it from the engine and leave it in the engine bay to maintain the charge.

Also, what about o2 sensor wires coming from the harness? Found that one the hard way on my Toyota.

Al
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Discussion Starter #118
I didn't see A/C compressor mentioned. On some cars, you can just unbolt it from the engine and leave it in the engine bay to maintain the charge.

Also, what about o2 sensor wires coming from the harness? Found that one the hard way on my Toyota.

Al
I removed my AC Compressor last year due to being locked up. Have a bypass pulley installed. I will make sure the O2's are unplugged though, thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Discussion Starter #120
You may as well just remove the harness completely, it'll just get in the way or get hung up during the swap with all the connectors dangling.
Which harness?
 
101 - 120 of 291 Posts
Top