Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Your Guide to a good tuning experience

  1. #1
    HP Tuners Support
    (foff667)
    Bill@HPTuners's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Hailing from Parts Unknown
    Posts
    26,235

    Exclamation Your Guide to a good tuning experience

    At first glance tuning can be a bit overwhelming but by taking these steps it can help ease that transition a bit so your not struggling or at least have a backup plan if you do.
    • Read-knowledge is power...we've got tons of stickies with important info & provide you with a help file that answers almost 90% of the questions that arise but only YOU can take the time to read them.
    • Don't Call out people that help you-If someone is nice enough to give you advice ie timing at 28*@wot or 13.0afr and you don't like the feel of it or what have you please don't call out the person in public saying your not happy with the result. When you do this you will easily scare off other people from helping you fearing they too will be called out.
    • Take Things Slow-nobody learns how to tune in a week or even a month...tuning is a cumulative learning PROCESS that even people who have been doing this professionally for 5 or more years Still ask questions. So slow it down...be methodical...learn everything you can about the editor the scanner & the tables within.
    • Do the legwork yourself-If you don't do the legwork & instead ask people to do the work for you, ask yourself, how am I going to learn?
    • Do NOT load a file from the repository directly in your vehicle-I've seen far too many people do this and have nothing but problems because they loaded a file that wasnt compatible with their vehicle or VIN and in the end they did more harm then good.
    • Learn the scanner FIRST!-anyone can read the descriptions of the tables in the editor & learn what table does what, but to get the most out of your tuning experience you need to learn the scanner & all its abilities first. If you can get the scanner to work for you it will be your best friend...things like filters, histograms, graphs, etc can make your data better & more accurate, but YOU need to apply them. If your not sure why you can't get a histogram to work properly & need help you MUST at least post a scanner log .hpl file along with your current config .cfg file so we can see what you're seeing without this we CANNOT help you.
    • Know your car-If you don't know whats done to your car neither do we. Know your injector size & what psi they are rated at. Know if your running a 1 bar map or 2 bar map. Things like this can make or break a question you ask later down the line and turn a simple answer into a 3 page thread that frustrates not only you but everyone trying to help.
    • Know and Set your expectations-but don't go overboard. Expectations are great but they need to be realistic. Example:Your running a 23x/23x 6xx/6xx 111lsa cam and expect 0 bucking or surging and it to drive like a stocker. Its just not going to happen more than likely.
    • Understand the fundamentals-tuning for max power has always been fuel/air/spark. Obviously we can't change the amount of air being pushed into our engines in a Naturally aspirated application so find out as much as you can concerning Fuel & Spark and what tables affect them as there are dozens in most cases that affect each.
    • Ask Smart Questions with good current info-people are always more willing to help when you have a Specific question with information about the vehicle as well as a scanner log & editor file attached so that we can see what your talking about. The manage attachments feature is there to make this possible. Also make sure to either add your vehicles info to the thread or to your sig. Things like Year/Make/Model/Transmission and then brief info about your combination, are you FI? Are you NA? Big cam? Speed Density tuned? Again, providing good info will help us answer your questions quicker & more accuratly.
    • Don't ask general questions-people are less willing to help when your question is so general that the answer would take 3 pages of Q & A to get you an answer. Questions like "Just got HPTuners where do I start" or "How do I make the most power with X combination" will rarely get more then 1 or 2 responses at best...again it comes back to Fuel/Air/Spark.
    • Don't assume we know what engine code you have-because we aren't an engine tuning company & offer software for the vehicles pcm it is highly unlikely that if you say L61 or L72, etc that we will know what engine that is or what pcm it is attached to. Be specific if you have a 1997 Cavalier 2.2 say it, don't assume we know. And when asking questions don't speak like a 10 year old using the now common "fail" or "BFF" or any of that crap, we are adults here please act & speak like it.
    • Use common sense-every action has an equal & opposite reaction...if you do something to your car something in the tuning will need to change to compensate and vice versa. If you change injectors you need to change your injector table. If you get an error and it tells you to send the file to support, Send the file to support! Most things are simple and the answers are usually right in front of you if you take the time to think about it.
    • Find a Mentor-most tuners out there at one time or another had a mentor they could go to for answers or advice about things even myself.
    • Invest in the right tools-You've Already bought into the best tuning software on the market and hopefully opted for the Pro Version if your an individual with no continual access to a dyno with a wideband. Tuning via Long Term Fuel Trims or LTFT's for short is a great way to tune part throttle fueling, but for WOT fueling you really should consider investing in a Wideband o2 controller/sensor setup...or for you diesel guys a good EGT sensor. For changing gears/tires a must have tool is a GPS unit, for as little as $150 you can have one of these units which will give you a mph reading within ~1% its definitely a very cost effective way to verify your gear/tire's you have input. For the cost of a couple of nights out at the local restaurant you can have your hands on one of the entry level models and is a great way to stay safe.
    • Realize there is no right or wrong way to do things-Tuning is as much art as it is science...sometimes there is no ONE clearcut answer & may be 10 different ways to get to the same goal which leads me into my next point...
    • Don't be afraid to try new things-whether its one of our Real Time Custom Operating systems or just a different technique when it comes to tuning the more you learn and try the faster you'll grow into tuning. Now only are our RTT custom operating systems functional but they can help you learn how things work together internally. Tuning and PCM's are ever changing so what might be the "Fad" today might not even be applicable in the next generation of PCM's so learning all of the functions of the PCM rather then a minimal portion will give you that Leg up for your next vehicle and you know theres ALWAYS a next vehicle
    • a great video everyone that has ever joined a forum should watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9q2jNjOPdk
    • Don't Give Up!-Although tuning can be frustrating at times & in some cases you may be chasing your tail until you find that one last detail, the answer is always there, somewhere. Remember tuning is about accomplishing something, whether your a tunershop or individual,and at the end of the day you want to be able to give yourself a pat on the back knowing you've done the best that you can while using the tools powerful and capable enough to get the job done predictably and quickly. You know that feeling after you just installed those headers or that supercharger or that intake...tuning should be able to give you that feeling every time you edit something & flash the file back into your pcm. Knowing you took it into your own hands to learn & applied the information you learned to make your car more powerful or just drive better. Now what are you waiting on? Get out there and Start Tuning!
    Last edited by Bill@HPTuners; 09-06-2009 at 01:08 PM.
    It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be done in two weeks...

    A wise man once said "google it"

  2. #2
    Potential Tuner
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2

    OK, Mr Mentor

    Me: Die Hard Vette Guy. Forever.
    I'm totally new to electronic tuning, convinced HP Tuner is it, shopped the competitors, pro set up for sure, your opinion on the wideband WOT sensor necessity - where, who and how much?
    I concur w/ you rstatements 100% Let me qualify: have built serious, motors, & trans, studied engineering. know my way around a machine shop, my signature is some some primo retorations
    Current project 99 Auto LSI C5.
    thnx

    Mike

  3. #3
    HP Tuners Support
    (foff667)
    Bill@HPTuners's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Hailing from Parts Unknown
    Posts
    26,235
    Welcome to the forum Mike...here's a sticky I put together about what Wideband will fit your needs

    http://www.hptuners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10510
    It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be done in two weeks...

    A wise man once said "google it"

  4. #4
    Potential Tuner
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    3
    Hey Bill,

    Got the Pro just a couple weeks ago. Don't have a wideband yet. Been reading, reading and reading. Help files, demos, your papers, etc. Not sure where to start or what the basic process is yet. Haven't done all to the car that I'm planning yet, but wanted to get started learning. and at least tune for my exhaust system change, and tweak the tranny a bit.

    So it seams I should start with scanning, but could you give me a big picture 50,000 foot overview of what I person would do? I know that might be kind of a vague question, but I'm a rookie when it comes to computer tuning. I've been working on cars since I could drive many moons ago. I've been into computers almost as long, but I have never touched a computerized car.

    I can tweak a carborator and distributor and know what makes engines go, but all these sensors and computers doing the tuning on the fly is just WAY TOO COOL and I can't wait to learn how to make things happen!
    2007 Corvette Coupe, A/T Paddle Shift, Corsa RSCâ„¢ Sport exhaust

  5. #5
    HP Tuners Support
    (foff667)
    Bill@HPTuners's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Hailing from Parts Unknown
    Posts
    26,235
    Learn the scanner for a start...allow it to work for you rather than against you. Your on the right track though, take it slow and ask questions when you get stuck. Read as much as you can, stickies are your friend. The help file answers 95% of the common questions...the other 5% is usually technical information that the community can help you answer.
    It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be done in two weeks...

    A wise man once said "google it"

  6. #6
    Advanced Tuner eficalibrator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Detroit
    Posts
    919
    Quote Originally Posted by colt45
    I can tweak a carborator and distributor and know what makes engines go, but all these sensors and computers doing the tuning on the fly is just WAY TOO COOL and I can't wait to learn how to make things happen!
    Another option for you would be to join in on one of my EFI Training classes. I get a lot of attendance from HPTuners users who are looking to learn the basics of tuning before they spend countless hours chasing their tail or breaking engines. I host them at various locations around the country and they're all open to the public.

  7. #7
    Potential Tuner
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    3
    Can't travel to a class, but I WILL check out your book, looks like a jewel!
    Thanks
    Last edited by colt45; 05-18-2007 at 12:51 PM.
    2007 Corvette Coupe, A/T Paddle Shift, Corsa RSCâ„¢ Sport exhaust

  8. #8
    Tuner
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sellersburg, IN
    Posts
    134
    Quote Originally Posted by colt45
    Can't travel to a class, but I WILL check out your book, looks like a jewel!
    Thanks

    It is! I got my copy in a few weeks ago and the info in it is awesome

    '07 Sierra Denali - 6.2l L92, 6L80E, AWD w/3.42s, HPTuners, Innovate LM-1, Volant CAI, Magnaflow, 160* t-stat, N-Fabs, 2.5" leveling kit and 285/65/18 Nitto TGs

  9. #9
    just ordered mine

  10. #10
    Another option is our popular HP Tuners learn @ home tuning course. We made an actual learn at home course for you to use based entirely on HP Tuners. It includes laminated tuning checksheets (for Bolt ons, another for a Heads/cam car, and another for forced induction & Nitrous applications), as well as a 200 page full color workbook with screen shots of the tables, how they work, and how to edit them. The learn at home course includes 1 year of tech support (phone, email, and our private forum) and is $449. If you are curious about it you can see some more info users have posted here: http://www.hptuners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16606


    www.thetuningschool.com 727-264-8875

    Written specifically for HP Tuners and your LS based vehicle.

    Learn at home, or at one of our live seminars!

  11. #11
    Potential Tuner
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    9
    do you ever have classes in pennsylvania? i live near pittsburgh i think you would get a good many people to go around here.

  12. #12
    Potential Tuner
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2
    Hi bill
    I have Garage and am going to order HP tuner software.
    The problem is we fixe Ls1 engine (5.3/ 5.7/6.0) to ather Mudel like (nissan patrol) and we made VCM waires less than usuale (short cut) so can I tune this kind of VCM ?
    And can I use it to cancel some function on engine like Air flow mass atc ?

  13. #13
    Potential Tuner
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    8
    Great post!