Initial Dyno Runs

The Shelby was running a bit lean—nowhere near full power. Unfortunately, we had no time to fix this.
We made the call to run with it and just take it easy on the Texas 1000.

A quick pull proved two things: First, we could rally safely, and second, the Shelby was running nowhere near full power.

The Texas 1000 rally was quickly approaching, and we had just a short amount of time to work on our Shelby GT 350 before Exotic Transport was scheduled to ship it to the Lone Star State. Despite the time crunch, we wanted to get our Shelby on the nearby Superchips dyno to at least check our air/fuel ratio. At this point, we were not looking for a perfect tune. We just wanted to make sure we wouldn’t blow up the car on its first event.

A quick pull proved two things: First, we could rally safely, and second, the Shelby was running nowhere near full power. We were not happy with our air/fuel ratio, as the car was a little lean in the midrange (just over 14:1) and very lean at the top end (nearly 16:1).

If we wanted the engine to live, we would need to stay out of it. We would’ve liked to have the time to properly sort this engine, but we were still breaking it in anyway. After all, we wouldn’t be hammering the hell out of it on the Texas 1000. It’s a road event, not a race, and unleashing 500 horsepower isn’t the civilized thing to do on public highways.

As soon as we got back from the trip, however, we showed the car to Curt Vogt of Cobra Automotive. He adjusted the float bowl levels, which can be easily accomplished with the Holley HP carburetor; there are glass sites on the side of the carb that make the fuel levels visible.

We also asked Curt to investigate why we were running short of full throttle and out of adjustment travel on the stock linkage. He bent the throttle pedal, and this gave us at least another 100 horsepower. It’s amazing to realize the simple stuff you can miss when you’re tired and in a hurry! Thanks, Curt, for really waking up our Shelby.

Now that the engine is properly broken in, our goal is to really make this Shelby sing. We’ll head back to Superchips with a box of Holley jets and the instructions on our programmable Crane ignition. We’re blessed that the Superchips world headquarters is about 45 minutes away from our offices, and they have been generous in allowing us to dyno our project cars.

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