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tuning chips?

This is a discussion on tuning chips? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; what is everyones thought on tuning chips? do they work or are they bad on the engine? i...

  1. #1
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    tuning chips?

    what is everyones thought on tuning chips? do they work or are they bad on the engine? i

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    LS1 DONT take chips you have to program the ecm

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    and if you do a cost per pony one how much a hand held pre-config tuner cost, you're better off spending the money else where.

    I would find someone in your area that maybe has good exp with like HP tuners or one of the other popular software packages out there and ask them to change the ECM.

    if your car is still stock, like mine, the roughly 400 bucks you would blow on a hand held tuner you could spend on cheap headers or cat back exhaust.

    that's just my .02, always ask yourself what is my cost per pony and is it setting you up for more in the future.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    the real problem here is you're in the same boat as most of us 98 owners. There just aren't a whole lot of options out there for the 98's hand held wise. I would suggest first you get some mods done if you haven't and then look up Frost in the tuning section and get a mail order tune done by him. His prices right now are $125 and his turn around is great on the pcm's. He also has a great reputation with customers from the board.

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    Senior Member TransAm11973's Avatar
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    how good is a mail order tune really, I mean wouldnt it be best to get a tune specifically for you vehicle, then to just get a generic tune??

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    Senior Member TransAm11973's Avatar
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    yes they are all firebirds,...but eveyone has different stuff on their rides , i am just curious how good a generic tune can be

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    my personal opinion is it depends on the level of mods. You take someone like Frost that's seen tons of different combo's and has tuned many different levels of cars it wouldn't take much for him to nail a headers and ls6 intake type of car. I'm not sure I would do a mail order tune with a heads/cam car but it wouldn't surprise me if Frost couldn't get pretty damn close on it. I know there's a thread here where he was tuning someones heads/cam car and came pretty close to nailing the idle tune before the car was even started for the first time.
    The key is if you're looking at an hpp3 vs a frost mail order tune I'd take the mail order tune every single time. The 98's don't have many options past the hpp3 and therefore unless you want to learn to tune and buy your own suite( $700-$800 investment including a wideband plus months of reading) a mail order tune is pretty much what you're left with and it costs $125.

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    the real problem here is you're in the same boat as most of us 98 owners. There just aren't a whole lot of options out there for the 98's hand held wise. I would suggest first you get some mods done if you haven't and then look up Frost in the tuning section and get a mail order tune done by him. His prices right now are $125 and his turn around is great on the pcm's. He also has a great reputation with customers from the board.
    I didnt know that about the 98's.
    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    my personal opinion is it depends on the level of mods. You take someone like Frost that's seen tons of different combo's and has tuned many different levels of cars it wouldn't take much for him to nail a headers and ls6 intake type of car. I'm not sure I would do a mail order tune with a heads/cam car but it wouldn't surprise me if Frost couldn't get pretty damn close on it. I know there's a thread here where he was tuning someones heads/cam car and came pretty close to nailing the idle tune before the car was even started for the first time.
    The key is if you're looking at an hpp3 vs a frost mail order tune I'd take the mail order tune every single time. The 98's don't have many options past the hpp3 and therefore unless you want to learn to tune and buy your own suite( $700-$800 investment including a wideband plus months of reading) a mail order tune is pretty much what you're left with and it costs $125.
    I have to agree with Orion here. I keep hearing good things about Frost's tuning knowledge. For a basic tune on semi tight money... I wouldn't think twice about a 125 mail order.

    Also, to get would you really want out of the HP tuners... you have to read ALOT and spend some good time to my understanding. My brother keeps bugging me about not buying that software and learning to keep my car tuned up between mods. He just doesn't understand.

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    Member 666ws6's Avatar
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    Nothing against Frost, but I use BlackBearPerformance because they collect data from your car and can interatively work with you on a tune specific to how your car is performing. Like getting a dyno tune, but from actual driving data.

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    Senior Member TransAm11973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 666ws6 View Post
    Nothing against Frost, but I use BlackBearPerformance because they collect data from your car and can interatively work with you on a tune specific to how your car is performing. Like getting a dyno tune, but from actual driving data.
    what do they charge for a tune?

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    Member 666ws6's Avatar
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    If you core exchange your PCM, it's $200 (otherwise an extra $100 for a new PCM). There is a deposit for the loaner on the cable to log data, but you get that back when you send it back. But you can drive and record WOT runs, idle, cruising and all you do is email BBP with your log files. Then BBP will tune to your actual car. Pretty sweet. They found and helped me diagnose a tough issue with being dangerousely lean at WOT.

  12. #12
    TunedbyFrost.com Tuner Frost's Avatar
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    I just saw this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by TransAm11973 View Post
    how good is a mail order tune really, I mean wouldnt it be best to get a tune specifically for you vehicle, then to just get a generic tune??

    Quote Originally Posted by TransAm11973 View Post
    yes they are all firebirds,...but eveyone has different stuff on their rides , i am just curious how good a generic tune can be

    Here is your answer. Sean (Blackout01) was in for tuning this AM. His car has headers, catback, lid, clutch and shifter and a stock MAF. We were trying to keep dyno pulls down to keep the time ($$) down, so we didn't baseline the car. We started pull number 1 with what would have been the mail order tune for his car.

    This is that first pull. The run file is #1 and he can confirm this as truth. The early dip in his tq was the spec 2 doing something screwy.



    I only got about another 6.5 hp and 8.5 ft/lb tq out of the car with further work...
    My mail order tunes are not 'generic', they really are tailored to the car.

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