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Camaro V8 LS3 / L99 Engine, Exhaust, and Bolt-Ons Bolt-Ons | Intakes | Exhaust

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Old 04-28-2009, 08:31 AM   #1
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OK...What exactly is involved with a "tune"

Hi all,
I've been reading so much in the performance section of this site about all the bolt-ons and other stuff you can do to squeeze out more HP and in just about ever case, each discussion usually ends with "...and a good tune" as the final step in performance enhancements or add-ons. Can someone explain exactly was is involved with a tune? Do you take your car somewhere and have it hooked up to a computer or something for some mechanic to make fine adjustments to timing, fuel/air mixture, etc.? What is a "tune" these days?
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edrock View Post
Hi all,
I've been reading so much in the performance section of this site about all the bolt-ons and other stuff you can do to squeeze out more HP and in just about ever case, each discussion usually ends with "...and a good tune" as the final step in performance enhancements or add-ons. Can someone explain exactly was is involved with a tune? Do you take your car somewhere and have it hooked up to a computer or something for some mechanic to make fine adjustments to timing, fuel/air mixture, etc.? What is a "tune" these days?
You can do it yourself, but if you are unfamiliar with the practice it is better to take it to a professional. It involves hooking the car up to a little computer and adjusting the computerized controls. This can be to adjust for add-ons (like an exhaust system or CAI, etc) or can just to be adjust ignition control on a stock car. The factory tunes the car to get the maximum efficiency (usually gas mileage in these CAFE days). You can have it adjusted to get more performance (in the way of HP), but you will generally sacrifice some fuel economy. Make sense?
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:35 AM   #3
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The best thing to do is go to a reputable shop and have them do it on a dyno. Like you said, they fine tune different things on the ECM like A/F ratio, timing, etc. The dyno helps them make sure they get the most HP while still be safe to drive. There are other tunes that are the plug and play kind. But, each car is going to be a little different and everyone will have different mods so it really is best to get a custom tune from a reputable shop.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:37 AM   #4
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:39 AM   #5
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best way is laptop/programmer and do it at the track. unless you just want to be a dyno queen
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:39 AM   #6
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A laptop and brains.
Unfortunately I am missing the latter. That's why I go to a shop.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:45 AM   #7
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Ok...so I wasn't too far off. Now the next challenge would be to find a reputable shop around here that does that sort of thing. I'm sure there is but I haven't had a chance to look around. Thanks for the explanation all.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:45 AM   #8
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Unfortunately I am missing the latter. That's why I go to a shop.
Seriously though, going to a shop won't necessarily get you the most efficient results. The best thing is to spend a Saturday at the local dragstrip and keep playing with the fuel/air/timing parameters until you get optimal results.

If you are going to a shop to get a tune, they MUST have a floor dyno and get them to take a reading before the tune so you can compare before and after results.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:48 AM   #9
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Seriously though, going to a shop won't necessarily get you the most efficient results. The best thing is to spend a Saturday at the local dragstrip and keep playing with the fuel/air/timing parameters until you get optimal results.

If you are going to a shop to get a tune, they MUST have a floor dyno and get them to take a reading before the tune so you can compare before and after results.
I have a few shops around me that do really good work. So I am not too worried about that. I don't really plan on going to the track all that often. So I just want to squeeze a few extra ponies out of my mods and make sure that it's not running too rich or lean. I thought about reading up on HPTuners forums to try and learn it myself. But, I think that will take me years of reading before I truly understand it all. LOL
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dodson914 View Post
I have a few shops around me that do really good work. So I am not too worried about that. I don't really plan on going to the track all that often. So I just want to squeeze a few extra ponies out of my mods and make sure that it's not running too rich or lean. I thought about reading up on HPTuners forums to try and learn it myself. But, I think that will take me years of reading before I truly understand it all. LOL
I've been in the same boat. I think I'm going to save up for some professional work backed by R&D from a known performance company rather than slapping on mods and hoping that I can figure out the software. I'd rather know that my car is fast and reliable than worry that each stomp on the pedal is bringing my beast closer to detonation.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:08 AM   #11
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Here we go......

Motors are a big pump. Every mod you do allows the motor to breath better. Now the stock pcm has a series of tables which control fuel delivery and spark based on various sensor readings, like air flow, intake air, oxygen, what have you. When you allow the motor to flow better, like with headers or more seriously a cam or blower, you have to compensate by adding and evening out the fuel and spark for the new airflow. This way the car runs well/smooth/safe.

That's it in the most basic way I can explain.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:06 AM   #12
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I've been in the same boat. I think I'm going to save up for some professional work backed by R&D from a known performance company rather than slapping on mods and hoping that I can figure out the software. I'd rather know that my car is fast and reliable than worry that each stomp on the pedal is bringing my beast closer to detonation.
Exactly, we probably tune on average 3 cars a day. Its best to leave it up to the professionals. I know we are a little far from you but if you are interested in one of our packages you will not be dissapointed with our custom dyno tune once we are finished!
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:17 AM   #13
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best tune is a "protune", thats when you take it to a dyno and have a dude with a laptop tune ur car and test the settings on the dyno. Every car is different, so you cant just buy a chip and get the best performance for your car.

Pro-tunes are expensive, but their well worth the money, for example after i installed my blower on my ls1 at 5psi i dynoed in at 410 rwhp with 390 torque, so i got it protuned, and after 3 runs on the dyno with my tuner experimenting with his laptop I was putting down 455rwhp and 420tq, thats a gain of 45 HP for only $400, best mod i ever did.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:21 AM   #14
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Exactly, we probably tune on average 3 cars a day. Its best to leave it up to the professionals. I know we are a little far from you but if you are interested in one of our packages you will not be dissapointed with our custom dyno tune once we are finished!
Yeah, I will probably be hitting you guys up mid summer. What software do y'all use to tune?
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:57 AM   #15
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We will be there helping as well...I have been a reseller of Hp Tuners for 2 years now and a tuner for 10 plus years.

We sell Hp Tuners with Base tunes(stock cars),Stage 2 tunes (modified cars)etc.....Many products to come for the ls3 camaro.

Here is a basic street/dyno tune on a stock g8 pontiac before and after -





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Feel free to browse our website or just call if you have any questions

214-228-8782

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