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Old 10-23-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
Bentley78
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Does high altittude affect engine performance?

Drove today from sea level to 10,000ft and as i got up to around 6,000ft i really started to feel it loose power. I started to get sad that my power was really falling off, thought i would gain power coming up in the colder air. Any experts that can confirm this or not? Figured thy Electronic Fuel Injection would take care of this?

Have a CAI and new exhaust system so i cant really blame it on restrections.....maybe i need to get that header system after all.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:16 PM   #2
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I think at higher elevation, air is thinner. I would notice the same effect when I had my truck. Driving through the mountains, it just wouldn't want to go!
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:23 PM   #3
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Yes, altitude greatly affects performance.

That's why guys like to correct their track times for their altitude.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:29 PM   #4
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I think at higher elevation, air is thinner. I would notice the same effect when I had my truck. Driving through the mountains, it just wouldn't want to go!
Yes it is thinner for sure, 1/3 thinner at 10,000ft to be exact. I just figured the computer would make up for this or something.....
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
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From csgnetwork.

On a hot day, or at high altitude, or on a moist day, the air is less dense. A reduction in air density reduces the engine horsepower. Density altitude is defined as the pressure altitude corrected for the effects of temperature and humidity. Density altitude affects engine horsepower of a normally aspirated engine. A reduction in air density reduces the amount of oxygen available for combustion and therefore reduces the engine horsepower and torque.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:11 PM   #6
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I live at around 5000 ft elevation and there is about 20% loss in power compared to sea level.... it sucks big time!
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
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An intertnal combustion engine is not much more than an air pump - less air in less air out = less power. No electronic fuel injection will compensate for something that isn't there.
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:29 PM   #8
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Would forced induction greatly be reduced in power as well? Im assuming so.
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:04 PM   #9
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Supercharging or turbocharging will certainly increase power but will be down on power when compared to sea level.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:32 PM   #10
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Im 41 ft above sea level, is this good?
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:18 PM   #11
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Im 41 ft above sea level, is this good?
You wont see any effect in performance at 41ft above sea level.

You need to get at least 1000, to notice a change.

Here where I live we are almost at 4k above sea level, I've been to the track in dallas with my past car and my times were about 1 second lower than in the track here.

I used to trap about 12.17 here in el paso, then trapped an 11.23 at the dallas track with higher temperature, last summer.

The change in altitude and trap times are usually about .25 for 1k feet.
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmag21 View Post
Im 41 ft above sea level, is this good?
Ya - it's about 3.5% per 1k in altitude. Back in the '70's you could get away with 11.5 to 1 cr at 5k but no way at sea level.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:22 PM   #13
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Im 41 ft above sea level, is this good?

Yes its good, but the problem we (guys that live in the South) have is the heat. Heat and humidity have the same effect as high altitude on a car's preformance. It's October 24 and its still in the mid 80s with high humidity in my area.

I live at about 35 ft above sea level. But today the Temperature is 87 degrees with 55% humidity. That equates to an altitude of 2044 ft.

Compare that with someone living up North for example. Lets say
50 degrees with 50% humidity (again at 35ft above sea level). That would equate to an altitude of negative (-568 ft). In these conditions your car is going to run good. That's why we're seeing such good track times coming from guys running in these type conditions.

8ty8 went from running 13.4 on a warm day to 12.9 on a cool weather day in his bone stock Camaro.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SGOS252382 View Post
Yes its good, but the problem we (guys that live in the South) have is the heat. Heat and humidity have the same effect as high altitude on a car's preformance. It's October 24 and its still in the mid 80s with high humidity in my area.

I live at about 35 ft above sea level. But today the Temperature is 87 degrees with 55% humidity. That equates to an altitude of 2044 ft.

Compare that with someone living up North for example. Lets say
50 degrees with 50% humidity (again at 35ft above sea level). That would equate to an altitude of negative (-568 ft). In these conditions your car is going to run good. That's why we're seeing such good track times coming from guys running in these type conditions.

8ty8 went from running 13.4 on a warm day to 12.9 on a cool weather day in his bone stock Camaro.
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:14 PM   #15
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Im 41 ft above sea level, is this good?
You should be, as long as there's not a 42 ft tsunami.
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:40 PM   #16
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I just moved from Germany(1.5kft) to Arizona(4.6k) and noticed less ummph. Was hoping I could mod the ECU to compensate until I read this :(
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:24 AM   #17
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I wouldn't be surprised if there was a 100HP difference between 10,000 ft and sea level.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:43 AM   #18
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:45 PM   #19
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You know what sucks even more 91 piss water and elevation!!! I felt the difference coming from Tx to AZ. I also felt the difference in my EVO VIII. Going from Killeen, TX to AZ altitude and 91 piss gas, there was a 20% drop in WHP in my EVO. I could only imagine what the loss is on a NA engine as our LS3/99s.

Anyone have a dyno difference of at sea level and 4k plus?
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:59 PM   #20
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Here in SLC, we're at 4500 ft actual with the D/A being 7500+ most days. Generally our 1/4 mile times in a 100% stock car are almost a full second slower than at sea level.

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Old 11-14-2014, 12:59 PM   #21
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You know what sucks even more 91 piss water and elevation!!! I felt the difference coming from Tx to AZ. I also felt the difference in my EVO VIII. Going from Killeen, TX to AZ altitude and 91 piss gas, there was a 20% drop in WHP in my EVO. I could only imagine what the loss is on a NA engine as our LS3/99s.

Anyone have a dyno difference of at sea level and 4k plus?
Why would that suck? The less air density, the less octane you need. Octane is a detonation retarder, so running very high octane in very high altitude just will slow combustion. You wouldn't run 100 octane in a Civic, right? Octane is something that you want as little of as you need. High octane fuels are only used when people greatly advance timing to limit detonation. Not advancing timing and just adding octane, if anything, will slow you down. It certainly won't make you faster.
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:05 PM   #22
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Why would that suck? The less air density, the less octane you need. Octane is a detonation retarder, so running very high octane in very high altitude just will slow combustion. You wouldn't run 100 octane in a Civic, right? Octane is something that you want as little of as you need. High octane fuels are only used when people greatly advance timing to limit detonation. Not advancing timing and just adding octane, if anything, will slow you down. It certainly won't make you faster.
100 octane? Nah. Q or FTW fuel
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:46 AM   #23
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Why would that suck? The less air density, the less octane you need. Octane is a detonation retarder, so running very high octane in very high altitude just will slow combustion. You wouldn't run 100 octane in a Civic, right? Octane is something that you want as little of as you need. High octane fuels are only used when people greatly advance timing to limit detonation. Not advancing timing and just adding octane, if anything, will slow you down. It certainly won't make you faster.
I would disagree. We have a fuel station here where I live which has 100+ octane. I bought a gallon of it, took it to my tuner, we ran the 91 piss water and then the 100+, I was able to up my boost, and my AWDHP increased at the same boost levels as with the 91 water. This was on the EVO.

I do agree with the purpose of octane being a detonation retarder, because when you have detonation, the knock is likely to be present. But, if a tuner is advancaing timing and increasing fuel for more power, while keeping the knock in check, then higher octane is needed. But, that is a different subject.

I was just letting the OP know what sucks even more about elevation is, when you are used to sea level WHP versus higher altitude WHP.

Going from 354 AWDHP, and 375 TQ with 93 Octane at sea level and then going to 4k+ elevation with 91 Octane, really made a difference to dyno at 300/300 AWDHP on a 2.0l with a turbo.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:50 AM   #24
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I just moved from Germany(1.5kft) to Arizona(4.6k) and noticed less ummph. Was hoping I could mod the ECU to compensate until I read this :(
I feel you man!! Even on Forced Induction the difference is there. To make things worse, 91 Octane fuel, which also kinda sucks.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:18 PM   #25
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I would disagree. We have a fuel station here where I live which has 100+ octane. I bought a gallon of it, took it to my tuner, we ran the 91 piss water and then the 100+, I was able to up my boost, and my AWDHP increased at the same boost levels as with the 91 water. This was on the EVO.

I do agree with the purpose of octane being a detonation retarder, because when you have detonation, the knock is likely to be present. But, if a tuner is advancaing timing and increasing fuel for more power, while keeping the knock in check, then higher octane is needed. But, that is a different subject.

I was just letting the OP know what sucks even more about elevation is, when you are used to sea level WHP versus higher altitude WHP.

Going from 354 AWDHP, and 375 TQ with 93 Octane at sea level and then going to 4k+ elevation with 91 Octane, really made a difference to dyno at 300/300 AWDHP on a 2.0l with a turbo.
I'm really confused. Or rather, I think you're really confused.

You went to your tuner and then advanced timing based on running a higher octane and performance increased?

No kidding. That is the point of running higher octane fuels. This is what racers do at the track. They have handheld programmers to flash back and forth with tunes. They have their normal 91/93 octane tune, then they go to the track, fill up with race gas, load the high octane tune and up the boost to retard detonation.

What happens when you take a stock Camaro SS made to run on 91 octane and put in 100 octane fuel without changing your tune?

It'll run better, and maybe worse. Octane is something you want the minimum of.
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