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Transmission Settings

This is a discussion on Transmission Settings within the Computer & Tuning forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I am reading through the last of my EFI books and am wondering now what is available to learn more ...

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    Transmission Settings

    I am reading through the last of my EFI books and am wondering now what is available to learn more about automatic transmission programming. HP Tuners has a ton of transmission parameters, however, other than the small blurb that appears in the box there is very little information provided. Any good resources out there? I don't plan on making any random changes, just want to know more.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I did alot of reading over on HP's site before I started playing with buttons. I never got much out of the EFI books since they seemed to generalize things with other brands and other tuning software.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    I did alot of reading over on HP's site before I started playing with buttons. I never got much out of the EFI books since they seemed to generalize things with other brands and other tuning software.
    Same here -- I have been reading up on the HP Tuners site, but primarily for engine management. Guess I'll have to pay attention to the V8 transmission subforum. Would my factory service manual provide any meaningful guidance? I only use it for service procedures and torque specs -- never even thought about reading it until now.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Same here -- I have been reading up on the HP Tuners site, but primarily for engine management. Guess I'll have to pay attention to the V8 transmission subforum. Would my factory service manual provide any meaningful guidance? I only use it for service procedures and torque specs -- never even thought about reading it until now.
    I haven't seen anything on trans tuning in the factory service manuals. I haven't been through it page for page either though.

    I'll admit I haven't been on the HP site for several months, and I should be on there more often to stay brushed up on things. But there was a fellow on there that had a tranny tune he used in his vette, and he shared the process with everyone on how he changed the pressure settings, the force motor tables etc.... It was so well liked that most everyone was doing it,,,to the point where they were emailing tunes back and forth for trans settings. If I remember right they might have made a sticky about it going through the whole process, it's fairly easy.

    I copied alot of what he had done on my own car, but being the gear bangin' guy I am they weren't aggressive enough so I went up some more. When Frost was kind enough to look over something else in my tune (I can't remember what it was about) he noticed how high the pressures were and suggested I turn them down a bit, so I did. It's been a few years now and I've been pretty happy with how the tranny acts, especially after the 3400 converter.
    I figured I'd stick with the tranny tune until the transmission lets go and then rebuild with better stuff. Well that's been a few years now and it's still kickin'
    I think you'll find good info over there at Hptuners site, and there seemed to be alot of helpfull guys over there too.

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    I just keep reading and reading, and sooner or later it's bound to sink in, lol. Sometimes an information overload does more harm than good, but I think I've been lucky (so far) with separating the good info from the BS.

    Frost has been very helpful to me in the past, and over on the HPTuner site russk is/was very helpful also.

    My Camaro is long gone, but I still play around with my truck's tune, which helps me somewhat stay current with the latest and greatest ideas that are being shared.

    Basically, I've made several subtle changes to my transmission tune, but the best mod was realistically adjusting the WOT upshifts AND downshifts. This 100% eliminated any "dead zone" when merging/passing/playing/etc....It made a huge difference in all around driveability both on my work beater truck, and my old 11 second weekend toy.
    2002 Silverado Z71 ECSB HPTuners tuned by yours truly
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    Shift points are pretty easy to tune - they are kind of a "personalized" thing... some like it to hold gears longer and then downshift on slowdown to keep the RPMs up a bit. That is something you can experiment with and make small changes to see if you like it... you have to be careful about the overlaps (don't have upshift and downshift overlapping incorrectly)...

    Same goes for converter lock and unlock - but you have to be careful here about the overlaps too...

    As far as pressure, you can adjust the base pressures to firm up the shifts, but I wouldn't get carried away here - I prefer to use a Transgo shift kit and leave the pressures stock...

    You can zero out the shift times and it will get rid of the adaptive learning...

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rel3rd View Post
    Frost has been very helpful to me in the past, and over on the HPTuner site russk is/was very helpful also.
    Russ K with a white corvette,,,that is the fellow I was referring to over at HPtuner. He had a very slick way of changing the shift pressure tables that worked well for me. He seemed to have the tranny tuning down pat and was sharing it with everyone. Very helpfull guy.

    Frost has helped me as well and I've been pleased with the results. He emailed my tune back and forth a couple times fixing some things, and I feel like I owe him in some way even though he didn't want anything. So I hate to ask anything of him until I make bigger plans that may require some of his expertise where I can purchase a tune or tuning advice/help.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSXZ28 View Post
    As far as pressure, you can adjust the base pressures to firm up the shifts, but I wouldn't get carried away here - I prefer to use a Transgo shift kit and leave the pressures stock....

    And that is the way I would prefer to do it. But I've been waiting for this trans to break before I tear into it. I'd rather do the shift kit and put the pressures back to stock and just upgrade everything else all in one shot.
    For now I simply did it in the tune and left it be,,,,that was 3-4 years ago and it's still kickin'

    Of course I say that, and I'll take it out tomorrow and BAM

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSXZ28 View Post
    You can zero out the shift times and it will get rid of the adaptive learning...

    I don't think I ever did zero mine out completely. I thought I had read over on HPtuners site that it caused confusion or erratic shifting?? I never did undertand the intricacies of the adaptive learning. That's one thing that always bothered me about the tuning software. You could make changes in one table only to find out it did nothing because it was overun by 3 other tables somewhere else To top that off, there is no real good explaination anywhere about it as to what, where or why.

    It almost seems it would be more beneficial to shut off alot of the tables to just necessities. Kinda like dummy it down a bit?? Sure would make the tuning software easier to understand.

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    TunedbyFrost.com Tuner Frost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSXZ28 View Post
    ...

    You can zero out the shift times and it will get rid of the adaptive learning...
    The adaptives will stop at 0.250 and below. I have seen tuners set the shift times to 0 and it may be fine, but I usually leave them at 0.250 from about 180ft/lbs up and closer to a half second down low... but trans tuning is much up to the person and their tastes.

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    Good question Jeff. I think we had this conversation a few weeks ago at the track....lol Dang car shifts too soon!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TLS_Addict View Post
    Good question Jeff. I think we had this conversation a few weeks ago at the track....lol Dang car shifts too soon!

    I checked my tune file last weekend and found the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts set at 6,000 rpm under WOT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I checked my tune file last weekend and found the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts set at 6,000 rpm under WOT.
    See my 1-2 shift was at about 5500 and the 2-3 shift was at 5400. I need them raises. Just with the 2.73 gears I think I could get another .1 off my time.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I checked my tune file last weekend and found the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts set at 6,000 rpm under WOT.

    Quote Originally Posted by TLS_Addict View Post
    See my 1-2 shift was at about 5500 and the 2-3 shift was at 5400. I need them raises. Just with the 2.73 gears I think I could get another .1 off my time.
    And you will pick up time. My stock tune had both 1-2 and 2-3 at 6,000 but it didn't happen there My 1-2 was occuring at about 5,600 when I logged it. My 2-3 was fine, right at 6,000.

    I started slowly bumping the 1-2 up, I think I had to move the mph setting up to coincide with the rpm setting,,,somehow they kinda work together. Maybe Frost can explain that a bit.
    Anyway I finally got my 1-2 to occur at about 6,100 and the car picked up a tenth.

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    I tried to watch my tach a bit more last weekend. Seemed like the actual shift happened just past 6,000 rpm, maybe around 6,100 or so. Hard to really tell and since my POS LC-1 kept wigging on me I did not bother running logs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I tried to watch my tach a bit more last weekend. Seemed like the actual shift happened just past 6,000 rpm, maybe around 6,100 or so. Hard to really tell and since my POS LC-1 kept wigging on me I did not bother running logs.
    I think I recall Frost mentioned that the tack is sluggish in LS1 f-bodies prolly would'nt get an accurate reading from it anyways. You'll need a more precise reading to accurately set the shift points I would surmise.. Other wise you may hit the limiter before the shift point putting the tranny out of wack..imho it seems.. Least that's what I get out of it..

    I had mine reprogrammed and the limiter and fuel cut off bumped.. I chirp second with all seasons on it.. ASR off.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I tried to watch my tach a bit more last weekend. Seemed like the actual shift happened just past 6,000 rpm, maybe around 6,100 or so. Hard to really tell and since my POS LC-1 kept wigging on me I did not bother running logs.
    Ya you'll have to log it. What I did was made a run and recorded the log. Then played it back in slow motion so I could watch the tach and know exactly when the 1-2 shift was occuring. Then made an adjustment and did it all over again until I was satisfied.

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    The first step in any trans tuning exercise is getting the engine tune right.

    The transmission uses the ECM's torque estimate as the input for a lot of its functions. Any errors being passed along from poor ECM calibration only get multiplied in the TCM. (Even if the function is done in the same physical controller/box) Beyond that, it quickly becomes a subjective question of "how firm is firm enough?" for many of the functions. There are occasions where we want a very firm shift under high power in the aftermarket, but doing so may require a hardware change (shift kit, clutches, valve body, etc...) to execute.

    Lastly, torque management is your friend. It protects you from yourself. Just ask this simple question, "How much torque do I think this transmission can handle if the clutches are halfway applied?" Some slip is inevitable, managing this slip is what gives us durability and good feel. It's possible to reduce slip without killing the trans, but don't get greedy unless you have a hardware change that can actually handle what you're asking it to do in the electronic controls.

    Greg Banish
    Calibrated Success, Inc.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I'd love to hear more.

    Being old school, I never did consider torque management a friend, so I completely eliminated it all together. But I also jumped into this thinking I'd eventually be inside the trans upgrading everything when it broke anyway so I wasn't really that concerned. I'm still waiting for it to break.

    Please enlighten us on any tips or tricks you might be willing to share.

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