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Where to learn about the electronics

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  1. #1
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    1999 Camaro Z28

    Where to learn about the electronics

    I need some advice on where to go to learn about all the various electronic gizmos and how it all goes together. Iím not looking for specific answers because Iím not really sure what I want to do, but I am absolutely certain that I want to understand all this stuff before I run off spending money.

    I started this out by buying a 1999 Camaro Z28, I wanted to go bracket racing with a street capable car so I would not need to trailer to and from the track. That part sounded simple enough until I started looking into making changes.

    I became fascinated with the Gen III and Gen IV technology and my drag racing goal has morphed into doing a conversion to a LS6/LSX type engine. That looks like great fun.

    I have done a great deal of reading, I bought a set of 1999 Camaro shop manuals and several other good books. But what Iím having trouble understanding is how all the various parts come together and what is needed when.

    For example (and this is just one of dozens of questions) I am looking at using a LSX crate engine that comes with the electronic throttle body. My car currently has a cable type system. As I understand it there is a module to control the TB and I need a new pedal assembly. I sort of understand this, but how does the module interface to the cars PCM and the current cruise control and various other systems?

    Then there is the question of updating the computer. If I buy a new PCM thatís supposed to go with the late model crate engine, how does it interface to all the other systems in the car? Thereís traction control, ABS, crusie control, automatic transmission control, the instrument cluster and I donít know how many other functions. Some seem to be controlled directly by the PCM and others seem to be controlled by a module that is networked with the PCM.

    Is there some kind of block diagram that would show how all this stuff comes together? And how much of the stuff in my 1999 car will work with the newer PCM? Is there any benefit to upgrading the PCM or am I making things a lot harder for no real gain? Staying with the original is an option but it seems like 10 years later there must be some advantages to newer stuff.

    As I said, my goal is to learn about all this stuff so I can answer my own questions. I want to learn to fish, not just have somebody give me a fish sandwich.

    Any pointers?

    TF

  2. #2
    Member Goldcuffs's Avatar
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    Barnes and Nobel has some pretty good books in the "Transportation" section on LSX engine building and tuning. Very informative and lots of pictures and diagrams. You could start there. Short of going to school for the stuff you could just "Google" your specific question or just dive in and fuck something up That's the best way in my opinion. If you spend a grand for nothing your guaranteed to never make that mistake again, lesson learned.(joking)

  3. #3
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    1999 Camaro Z28

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldcuffs View Post
    Barnes and Nobel has some pretty good books in the "Transportation" section on LSX engine building and tuning. Very informative and lots of pictures and diagrams. You could start there. Short of going to school for the stuff you could just "Google" your specific question or just dive in and fuck something up That's the best way in my opinion. If you spend a grand for nothing your guaranteed to never make that mistake again, lesson learned.(joking)
    I considered that, that's how I learned almost everything else that I know. But now I'm 60+ years old and have learned from that process that there is a better way, study first then act.

    "Ready, fire, aim" is something that I'm over.



    TF

  4. #4
    TunedbyFrost.com Tuner Frost's Avatar
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    Replies in bold below:

    Quote Originally Posted by wildhare View Post
    .....

    For example (and this is just one of dozens of questions) I am looking at using a LSX crate engine that comes with the electronic throttle body [Need to be specific here as there are multiple meanings, do you mean a build based on LSX block, or are you meaning later model LS (LSx not LSX) such as 2,3,7?]. My car currently has a cable type system. As I understand it there is a module to control the TB and I need a new pedal assembly. I sort of understand this, but how does the module interface to the cars PCM and the current cruise control and various other systems? It wouldn't.... you would be best to ditch the electronic TB/pedal and just use a cable-driven TB like the car already uses, this would also let your stock PCM perform the engine control

    Then there is the question of updating the computer. If I buy a new PCM thatís supposed to go with the late model crate engine, how does it interface to all the other systems in the car? Thereís traction control, ABS, crusie control, automatic transmission control, the instrument cluster and I donít know how many other functions. Some seem to be controlled directly by the PCM and others seem to be controlled by a module that is networked with the PCM. See above, it won't, you want to run the new engine with your existing PCM. If you are looking at a late-model engine with a 58x reluctor ring like LS3 or LS7, Lingenfelter makes a relatively inexpensive box that reformats the 58x back down to the 24x level that your PCM can work with

    Is there some kind of block diagram that would show how all this stuff comes together? And how much of the stuff in my 1999 car will work with the newer PCM? Is there any benefit to upgrading the PCM or am I making things a lot harder for no real gain? Staying with the original is an option but it seems like 10 years later there must be some advantages to newer stuff. the advantage is that the processor is faster, but after 10 years of aftermarket support, there are more custom PCM OS's for yours than the new stuff by FAR. Your OEM PCM is perfectly capable of controlling the newer engines as long as you pick a competent tuner when it's time for the calibration.

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