In a last ditch effort to scavenge as much power as possible, we tossed a 10-pound bag of ice on the intake and let is soak for about an hour. With the engine coolant temperature needle buried on the (cold) peg, we fired up our LX. Our second consecutive pull was the best: 243 rwhp and 278 rwtq. That amounted to increases of 44 hp and 58 lb-ft from our baseline numbers earlier in the day. Needless to say we were stoked, and couldn't wait to get to track to see what our newly found power would equate to.
After a day of commuting on the new tune, it was clear our pending track visit was going to require some different rubber for the rear of our coupe. Traction has been greatly reduced, and our 245s just won't cut it. So we loaded a pair of 275/40R17 M/T ET Street Radials into the truck, along with a jack and some tools, and headed to Bradenton Motorsports Park (Bradenton, Florida) for its test and tune night. As we suspected, our traction on normal street-rubber was limited-even on the dragstrip. Sporting a poor launch, the initial run of 14.421 at 102 mph with a 2.622 60-foot time proved immediately that we needed to swap wheels and tires.
After a long cool-down, a tire swap, and a bag of ice on the intake, we headed for the staging lanes again. Now, traction was not an issue, and after a bunch of high 13s, we clicked off a best of 13.669 at more than 103 mph. After backup runs of 13.681 and 13.709 at 103 mph, we were able to leave the track very satisfied.
In the end, we shaved 0.853 seconds off our e.t. for less than $600. Of course we cheated a little with the drag radials, but without traction we couldn't get an accurate e.t. Our LX now has quick throttle response and impressive acceleration, along with 44 extra rwhp and 58 rwtq. Not bad for a couple of old school tricks and a few bolt-ons. The best part is almost anyone can perform these upgrades.