Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
July 1, 1999

Step By Step

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Our GT is ready to spin the drums on Superchips’ chassis dynamometer. Superchips manufactures and develops performance computer chips and other electronic products that will bring out the beast in your Mustang.
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To access the EEC-IV computer, first remove the front screw that retains the sill panel. This panel is held on by several screws, but you need only to remove the front screw in order to remove the kick panel where the computer resides.
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This push pin holds the kick panel in place. A good tug on the lower part of the panel is all that’s needed to pop the push pin out. Before installing a chip, it might be a good idea to get a couple replacement push pins since these things only like to be removed once. Most times, one removal takes off some of the teeth that help hold in the pin, and when you go to put the pin back in it won’t stay put, necessitating a new pin.
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With the kick panel removed, we finally gain access to the computer. There’s an 8mm bolt holding the computer in place, and a 10mm bolt which holds the main wiring harness to the computer. Remove the two bolts and the computer should come right out.
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Once the two bolts are loosened, remove the computer. Be careful not to damage any wires when removing the computer.
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This is the computer code that is needed for Superchips to make a custom chip for your ’Stang. This number is crucial in the design of a Flip Chip.
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Use a small, flathead screwdriver with a shop rag lightly soaked in alcohol to clean the contacts where the chip will attach. With SN-95 Mustangs, you can remove the top of the computer to make the cleaning process easier. Either way, the contacts must be clean in order for the chip to make a good contact. When the silver contacts start to shine through, they’re clean.
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This is an example of how the chip should be mounted. The chip should run perfectly parallel with the back of the computer. If the chip is not perfectly parallel, it’s not making good contact and performance will suffer. Of course, there will be a piece of tape to hold the chip in place once it is programmed to our liking.
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This is what a chip engineer’s desk looks like. Hot glue gun, solder gun, all kinds of computer diagnosis equipment—stuff we couldn’t even begin to tell you what it does. Isn’t technology beautiful!
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Once we’re happy with the chip’s two separate programs, we’ll go ahead and reinstall the computer with the chip installed. We’re not going to totally reinstall the computer quite yet. We’ll run it on the dyno and see where we’re at first.
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Reinstall the 10mm bolt to attach the wiring harness to the computer.
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Here you can see the wire from the Flip Chip. At the end is a switch. You can mount this anywhere in the interior for easy access. When you activate the nitrous, simply flip the switch to the second program and let it fly. Or, you can wire it into the nitrous system, so when the nitrous comes on, it automatically switches to the right program.
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When you’re happy with the two programs, reinstall the computer to its rightful place. With the Flip Chip installed there’s not enough room to reinstall the 8mm bolt and bracket that held the computer in, but you don’t really need it anyway.

Performance computer chips burst onto the automotive scene soon after the development of electronic fuel injection, and they became so popular that it seemed every Mustang had a performance chip in it. Promises of improved quarter-mile times had ’Stang-bangers scurrying to get their hands on one. On a stock Mustang, a chip would improve performance by maximizing the timing curve. That was great for stock, or mostly stock, Mustangs. However, nowadays you can almost count the number of stock Mustangs on one hand. With a modified Mustang, you need a custom computer chip to work with the performance mods that you have added.

Our ’90 GT has a Nitrous Express adjustable nitrous kit on it, so we chose to go with a Superchips Flip Chip. The Flip Chip will allow us to run on the naturally aspirated side when just cruising around. However, when we’re feeling froggy and want to make full use of the laughing gas, we can flip the switch attached to the chip and a second program takes over within the factory computer—call it a nitrous program, if you will. The stock program will maximize the timing and fuel curve for naturally aspirated action, and on the nitrous program, the chip will back the timing down to protect against deadly detonation.

On Superchips’ dyno, and with the Flip Chip installed, our GT put down 207.5 peak hp without the nitrous engaged (obviously). However, with the 75hp jets in the Nitrous Express system, horsepower climbed to 254.5. There are two things to note here. First, our bottle pressure was only about 800 pounds, and optimum bottle pressure is 900-1,100 pounds. So, we need to go ahead and install a bottle heater to realize optimum bottle pressure. Second, after our first dyno runs, we went back and tried to bump up the timing a couple degrees on each program. Once back on the dyno (a matter of minutes), we realized we were going backwards. We actually lost 4 hp from our initial numbers, so we went back in and returned the timing to where it was initially set. Furthermore, we went ahead and installed the 100hp jets, but doing so got us nowhere. The tires were spinning on the dyno. However, we were already hitting 243 hp by 4,100 rpm when the tires started spinning, so we know with the 100hp jets we’re making a good bit of horsepower.

Even if you don’t live around the corner from Superchips, they can still manufacture a custom Flip Chip for you. They’ll send a custom work sheet for you to fill out so they can make a custom chip according to your modifications. They will then burn a custom chip based on your ’Stang’s combination and send it to you, along with a complete installation guide.

The Flip Chip is perfect for nitrous applications because of the drastic change the combustion process goes through when nitrous is added to the mix. Timing is everything when a nitrous system is involved. For supercharged applications, a Flip Chip really comes in handy at the track when you’re using race gas and you’d like to bump up your timing a few degrees. The second program will do just that. Once you’ve felt the power a Flip Chip can offer, you’ll be hooked—if you can get traction that is!