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Old 06-26-2007, 09:33 PM   #1
sl2gold
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Default Is throttle response different from horspower?

Okay, please dont' laugh, I've been reading alot of threads regarding various mods and some folks say something along the lines of certain parts improving throttle response but maybe not making any difference on a dyno.I'm confused, I thought that if the car is accelerating quicker, then it's due to more HP, am I wrong ? Is it possible for certain parts to maybe make the most of existing HP so it feels like you've gained something ?? If so, that's good enough for me, thanks in advance for clearing this up.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

Throttle response can be affected by something like a throttle body spacer that shifts the power band into a lower rpm range, but not really increase HP of the motor. It all depends on what kind of mod is being done.

On an older vehicle that still used a distributor, you could advance the timing a little bit and the engine would be a little more punchy on the throttle, but in all actuallity, power is lost because the timing is no longer correct over the course of the rpm spectrum.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

the "butt dyno" is used when throttle response is thrown around.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

something like a big-bore throttle body can improve throttle response. also a different pulley on the throttle body can open the throttle quicker for better response. the big-bore throttle body should also make more horsepower since it's letting more air in than normal. the bigger pulley trick won't.
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

Throttle response is typically more related to increased torque than HP. There are a lot of things besides numbers that make a good engine. Throttle response refers to the engines ability to pick up RPM's which is hard to describe in the numbers. The steep part of the graph is a bit of an indicator. So the peak HP and Torque may not have changed but the feel may have improved. The difference between a 500HP diesel Transport truck and a 500hp race car maybe.
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

Throttle response seems to be a euphemism for spending a lot of money and getting nothing substantial to show for it. So “X” mod usually improves the throttle response so that it satiates the soul. Mods that improve throttle response: cold (or hot) air intakes, big bore throttle bodies, plug wires and ignition boxes, tribal graphics, and neon.

Torque is the force causing rotation. Horsepower is a mathematical manipulation of torque (HP= Tq x rpm / 5252). Torque is the only product that can be measured on an engine. The horsepower is computed once you know the torque and the rpm. RPM as it relates to horsepower can be thought of as a way to use the engine’s displacement more frequently. A “mod” will, or at least should, try to increase torque or alter the rpm of the torque curve, though usually these are not exclusive. If you do a modification that moves the torque curve up higher in the rpm band, you increase horsepower (see the formula). You increase torque by having more cylinder pressure. You get more cylinder pressure by putting more air into the engine so you can burn more fuel or altering the combustion so that you increase the thermal efficiency. Proven methods to do this: camshaft, supercharging, compression increase, head air flow, headers, and lastly through intake modifications when the engine needs more than the intake can deliver or an intake that more closely matches the engines torque characteristics.

You can also increase the performance of the vehicle by careful gearing. Lowering the rear ratio (higher numerically) will increase the amount of torque going to the ground. You can also do this with a shorter tire diameter. Gears multiply torque.
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

If the product, (intake, t/b, etc..) improve the torque curve or makes the car more lively than before for the same amount of throttle given, then sign me up even if the numbers don't change, that's okay by me. Just like you said Gerry, it satifies the soul. Now I am REALLY looking forward to getting an AEM intake and t/b hopefully this summer. Thanks for everyone's input once again.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sl2gold View Post
If the product, (intake, t/b, etc..) improve the torque curve or makes the car more lively than before for the same amount of throttle given, then sign me up even if the numbers don't change, that's okay by me. Just like you said Gerry, it satifies the soul. Now I am REALLY looking forward to getting an AEM intake and t/b hopefully this summer. Thanks for everyone's input once again.
Gerry gave a good example of what numbers don't tell you. You can alter the way a car responds without increasing peak numbers, or in some cases any numbers.

A lot of people get hung up on peak HP and torque numbers, but that isn't everything that makes a car quick. Often for everyday driving a broader torque curve will give you increased performance because of more flexibility in shift points and such, along with the option not to downshift at times.

Even in racing, peak numbers aren't nearly as important as average torque and HP between shift points.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

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Gerry gave a good example of what numbers don't tell you. You can alter the way a car responds without increasing peak numbers, or in some cases any numbers.

A lot of people get hung up on peak HP and torque numbers, but that isn't everything that makes a car quick. Often for everyday driving a broader torque curve will give you increased performance because of more flexibility in shift points and such, along with the option not to downshift at times.

Even in racing, peak numbers aren't nearly as important as average torque and HP between shift points.

Your logic is sound. Generally when you have a lot of HP with a high RPM peak (above 5000) lower RPM's suffer. With tuned intakes and exhausts they can broaden torque curve some but it is a trade off. When you want 6000 RPM power, you lose power/torque at 2000 RPM. This being said, it is possible to have a engine that peaks its torque below 3000 RPM and HP at 4000 RPM feel stronger and more responsive in everyday than a same displacement engine with a torque peak above 3000 and much higher HP rating that peaks above 5000 because the milder version of engine is "on the cam" more so to speak in daily driving with its lower RPM power peak with out having to wind it out.
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

That's exactly what I've been seeking after, more usable power in the lower rpms for daily driving, which I hope the intake will give me.
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

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Originally Posted by sl2gold View Post
That's exactly what I've been seeking after, more usable power in the lower rpms for daily driving, which I hope the intake will give me.

Not likely unless you get a intake with longer tubes and small diameter runners to increase mixture velocity at lower RPM, bigger is not better here.
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

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Originally Posted by 97coupe View Post
Not likely unless you get a intake with longer tubes and small diameter runners to increase mixture velocity at lower RPM, bigger is not better here.
That's why throttle body spacers are effective. they extend the distance between the throttle plate and the intake valves, giving the same effect as a longer runner intake. The torque (and hp) more down in the rpm when you use one. Typically tall or long runner intakes provide more low end torque.
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

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Originally Posted by froggy81500 View Post
That's why throttle body spacers are effective. they extend the distance between the throttle plate and the intake valves, giving the same effect as a longer runner intake. The torque (and hp) more down in the rpm when you use one. Typically tall or long runner intakes provide more low end torque.
Length is good for lower RPM but so is smaller diameter runners too if you are serious about better low end torque.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

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Length is good for lower RPM but so is smaller diameter runners too if you are serious about better low end torque.
sure, spacers are just a more cost effective and quicker way of trying to do it. I had one on my old chevy with TBI, swapped in a tb spacer in about 15 minutes without even having to disconnect anything from the TBI, not even the fuel lines.

After reading the title of the thread several times over I think I got confused on the OP's original intention. I originally thought he meant does throttle response different for a given amount of HP, like when adding power. I think after reading it a few times that he may actually be trying to figure out if throttle response is something entirely different than HP, which it is.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:32 AM   #15
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

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Originally Posted by froggy81500 View Post
That's why throttle body spacers are effective. they extend the distance between the throttle plate and the intake valves, giving the same effect as a longer runner intake. The torque (and hp) more down in the rpm when you use one. Typically tall or long runner intakes provide more low end torque.

You could make that argument but you could also make the argument that these spacers also increase plenum volume, which helps more on the top end. I'd tend to side with 97 on this one. Longer, tuned runners with a small plenum are going to do more for the low rpm than anything else. Check out the Chrysler Son-O-Ramic intake from the early '60s.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:33 AM   #16
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

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sure, spacers are just a more cost effective and quicker way of trying to do it. I had one on my old chevy with TBI, swapped in a tb spacer in about 15 minutes without even having to disconnect anything from the TBI, not even the fuel lines.

After reading the title of the thread several times over I think I got confused on the OP's original intention. I originally thought he meant does throttle response different for a given amount of HP, like when adding power. I think after reading it a few times that he may actually be trying to figure out if throttle response is something entirely different than HP, which it is.
You're right, I was trying to figure out if increased throttle response was a direct result of more horsepower, which you all have shown me that it may not always be the case. Where can I get a t/b spacer ? will it do anything by itself or will it complement the intake. I think my goal is to get more punch around town between 2000-4000 rpm or even 2000-5000 rpm, I hope that's not unrealistic. I just don't want to bog until 4000 rpm and suddenly have the car jump after waiting for it to wind up. So yeah, the quicker it revs, the happier I'll be.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:44 AM   #17
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

That sudden jump in power above a certain RPM probably has more to do with the design of the cam. the cam profile has a very direct impact on how a motor responds.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:49 AM   #18
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

Indeed. A normal street engine has a power band about 3k rpm wide. Not to say that it can't do well below or above that band, but it certainly doesn't do as good when the engine is out of the fat parts of the torque curve. That's why reciprocating engines have transmissions.

Camshaft more than anything else dictates where the engine works best. All other parts add or detract from what the valve timing favors.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

With that said, just out of curiosity, would a SOHC 5-spd feel more torquey around town and the DOHC has more top end, or are they both the same in the low end and the DOHC has additional power above 4000rpm ? I have no intention of switching, I'm just curious
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: Is throttle response different from horspower?

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With that said, just out of curiosity, would a SOHC 5-spd feel more torquey around town and the DOHC has more top end, or are they both the same in the low end and the DOHC has additional power above 4000rpm ? I have no intention of switching, I'm just curious
No. a DOHC has more torque and power than a SOHC from 1000-6500 rpm. here are power curves from Saturn.
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