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Pro-tune, or self-tune?

This is a discussion on Pro-tune, or self-tune? within the Computer & Tuning forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Well, I just recently finished my longtube header install on my '99 A4 T/A. I already have a mild cam ...

  1. #1
    Real cars are RWD. PushroD's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Pro-tune, or self-tune?

    Well, I just recently finished my longtube header install on my '99 A4 T/A. I already have a mild cam (.563 lift), ls6 intake, and a few other goodies, so, my question is, do I pay someone to tune this car again, (Speed inc.) or should I bite the bullet and buy my own version of HPtuners? It's about the same price, is it not?

    I am not a tuner, but I'd like to learn and I won't be a fool about it. and there's just something about paying the same price for 1 tune, when I can play with it all I want if I buy the software. However, I'm sure the gains would probably be better if I had it professionally done. What do YOU guys think?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Well I will give my take on the whole tuning deal. Just my opinion,,,,,but,,,,,


    I bought my own tuning software,,,Hptuner to be exact and never looked back. Keep in mind I am old school, very heavily into 60's and 70's muscle cars, so computers are not my cup of tea. Especially tuning a car with one.
    So for me to jump into something like this was a huge step for me,,,more like a leap off of a cliff.
    But if you are going to own one of these cars,,,I find it silly not to have the software to tune the car,,,not to mention you can diagnose problems, check codes, clear codes, monitor engine functions,,,blah blah blah,,,the options are practically endless. In my opinion it's the best $500 I have ever spent on the car and I have only tapped into a small portion of it's ability.

    To give you an example,,,,I have a completely stock 02 SS camaro and the first thing I did was buy HPtuner,,,,started reading and reading and more reading. After barely understanding how to tune I dove in.
    After baselining the car stock at the track,,then playing with the tune myself I knocked of 3 tenths of a second and picked up 3 mph.
    Thats huge in my opinion on a stock car with simple tuning procedures. I am not a professional either, although I have a good understanding of how tuning affects an engine from years of tinkering with old stuff.
    Plus with the bolt ons I have done so far, and more planned in the future, Hptuner will and has payed for itself.

    I am not trying to market sales for Hptuner, you can buy EFIlive for all I care,,,but in my opinion,,,if you own a computer controlled car that you want to play with,,,buying the tuning software is a no-brainer. Goodluck.

  3. #3
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    get HPT's. paying someone for a tune is a waste of $$. If you have a program you can tune every time you do any work to the car or get new parts. You can even make some $$ from friends for tuning theirs. Plus it a good way to learn something new!

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I'll start off by saying tuning software isn't for everyone. There's a fairly steep learning curve and a ton of patience, and time needed to learn. After saying that I'd say that if you're mechanically inclined, computer literate at all and have the desire to learn it there's no reason not to tackle it. The support for Hptuners is incredible at their site and there's a wealth of knowledge there to learn from. Most guys on the site are more than willing to help you learn.
    One major plus about tuning programs in general is the ability to log your car. It's amazing to me the amount of people with significant mods that still don't have a way to log the car. Once you get into certain mods logging software almost becomes a requirement. I read most of the problems people have with their cars on the board and you'd be amazed at how many of those can be diagnosed in minutes instead of hours or days if they had the ability to log the car.
    I would say if you want to learn it then just dive right in. It's a significant initial investment but in the long run it pays for itself especially if you have plans for other mods down the line.

  5. #5
    Real cars are RWD. PushroD's Avatar
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    Good deal, so HPtuners it is! I'll save my nickles and dimes for that next. I can't believe when I first bought this car, I thought buying a Predator was a good idea! What a waste that was.. just wanted to make sure I wasn't making the same mistake twice! Thanks guys.

    Hey orion, quick question, will I be able to fine tune my part throttle shift points/pressure with it? I've got a nasty 2-3 part throttle upshift I find very irritating. Had it scince I put my stage2 tranny in.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    yeah, here's a screenshot of the tranny tab


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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    here's some more reading
    http://fla-thirdgen.org/hptuners.htm

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    orion- what do you mean when you say log the car?

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I logged my gto on the way home from work tonight. A log is where you hook the cable up to the car and have it configured to record certain things ( O2 voltages, fuel trims, MAF, knock retard, spark advance, and a list of others to choose from). Drive the car and it records the sensor readings as a log that you can go back and look over to see what the cars doing. I've found misfires, dead O2's, and a few other things just by using that alone.

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    would you reccomend an hptuner for someone who is new to all this tuning stuff?

  11. #11
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I don't know that I would recommend it to someone unless they were willing to put in the time to learn. There's a pretty steep learning curve. It can be learned though, it just involves a ton of reading, a ton of question asking, and just diving in. If you have the desire and time to learn it then by all means go for it because if you plan on any major mods it sure comes in handy.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Semperfiws6 View Post
    would you reccomend an hptuner for someone who is new to all this tuning stuff?
    I fall into this catagory,,,and I jumped in too. As mentioned you will have alot of questions,,,as I did (and still do ) What helps in this catagory is actually finding someone that doesn't mind answering those questions. Most people don't want to help newbie tuners, just don't want to take the time I guess and would rather just tell you to do a search when in fact they can probably sum up your question in 1 or 2 sentences anyway. That gets kinda frustrating. My all time gripe is "send me your tune and I'll fix it and send it back" Which teaches me absolutely nothing
    But there are a few guys that don't mind explaining things and have helped me greatly. Those are the guys that make these chat boards great Just stick with it,,,,experiement a little, save your stock tune,,,you can always fall back on that if you get things too far out of wack. Larry.

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    boycott wal-mart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I fall into this catagory,,,and I jumped in too. As mentioned you will have alot of questions,,,as I did (and still do ) What helps in this catagory is actually finding someone that doesn't mind answering those questions. Most people don't want to help newbie tuners, just don't want to take the time I guess and would rather just tell you to do a search when in fact they can probably sum up your question in 1 or 2 sentences anyway. That gets kinda frustrating. My all time gripe is "send me your tune and I'll fix it and send it back" Which teaches me absolutely nothing
    But there are a few guys that don't mind explaining things and have helped me greatly. Those are the guys that make these chat boards great Just stick with it,,,,experiement a little, save your stock tune,,,you can always fall back on that if you get things too far out of wack. Larry.
    good deal. i think i'll go for it. thanks.

  14. #14
    Member ApexVIII's Avatar
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    i self tuned my Evo. but it was alot of testing and retesting.... i am just going to pay some one to tune the LS1 when it is time.
    M6, Lid, Ported and Polished Throttle Body (By Me!), LT, Custom Catted Y, Electric Cutout, PHB, LCA13.21@108 with a 2.3 60'

  15. #15
    Just another Joe Eagle's Avatar
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    Hey man, PM me. I've got HPT pro, with plenty of licenses left and some tuning skill. Look me up, maybe we can work something out. Happy to take u for a spin in my car and show u what I can do!

    BTW, I'm in the NW burbs and can be in the area of speed-inc within 1hr.

    -Eagle

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    Member Kup98ss's Avatar
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    Do these Hptuners have any programs put in them from the start, so I won't have to mess with it to much in the begining. Or do you have to start from scratch?

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    I just did the same and am trying to learn how to use the HP tuner. Good luck. I think all you need is time which I don't have

  18. #18
    Ebaaaaaaaaa Speedy_Gonzales's Avatar
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    wheres the best place to buy hp ??????

  19. #19
    Just another Joe Eagle's Avatar
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    You can start where ever you please. It does also provide the choice of starting with your existing (stock/or otherwise) tune.

    -Eagle

  20. #20
    Just another Joe Eagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedAddict38 View Post
    wheres the best place to buy hp ??????
    http://www.hptuners.com

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