frequently asked questions

What is tuning?


Computer recalibration or "tuning" is the process of reprogramming (recalibrating) the factory engine computer to allow the vehicle to operate at its optimum performance, even the factory calibration can be improved upon to increase the performance of the vehicle. Once modification has been made to the vehicle it is vital that the calibration gets changed to make up for those changes. BACK TO TOP


I only have minor mods, will I benefit from a custom tune?


You most likely will, a custom tune will take your minor mods into account, as well as fuel used, fuel quality used and location (mainly altitude). We will make adjustments to the factory torque management settings that will allow for a much more responsive vehicle, as well as remove any fuel delays and optimize the ignition timing, these changes alone will make a drastic difference in the way your vehicle will perform. BACK TO TOP


When do I need a wideband?


Ideally, larger cam swaps, stroker and any boosted application should have a wideband. Any vehicle being tuned will benefit from wideband data but it is not critical for minor mods. BACK TO TOP


Why should I only use name brand fuels?


This is a new one for many; fuel quality differs greatly from brand to brand. When it comes to fuel, you really get what you pay for. We always recommend sticking with top-tier brands for best performance. Another good gas station hint is to never fill up when the tanker is there, it usually stirs up sediments on the bottom of the tanks when refueling, which is something you do not want in your fuel. BACK TO TOP


Do I really need a catch can?


If you drive a modern HEMI, then yes, these motors are known for the oil in intake manifold issues, the catch can helps prevent this. Once you get oil in the intake that oil will make its way to the combustion chambers where it will pretty much reduce your octane rating and cause severe detonation. Some vehicles are worse than others but we always recommend a catch can. We also recommend that you run some sea foam treatment before installing a catch can if your vehicle has some miles on it, this will clean out the oil in the intake manifold for you. BACK TO TOP


Why should I choose custom tuning rather than a “canned” tune?


Our calibrations are custom and tailored to your car and modifications, not a "canned tune". Handhelds typically provide a rather limited range of adjustability compared to custom programming. Even our Basic tunes are one-offs made for your specific application after speaking with you about what can be modified, what you are hoping to gain, and should expect. Custom tuning allows for many changes not possible through handhelds, even for bolt-ons cars. Basic and e-mail order tunes are based on many years of street and dyno tuning. BACK TO TOP



What is meant by a MAF-based tune or system?


Many cars come from the factory with a device called a Mass Airflow Meter (MAF) that measures the air entering the engine. Even minor mods such as "air-lids" and other "cold air kits" alter the course of flow through the MAF which in turn affects it's calibration. Most of the commanded fueling that a car uses comes directly from this measure of airflow. Most cars will be tuned using the MAF and VE for accuracy of fueling and drivability. BACK TO TOP



What is meant by a Speed Density tune or system?


Speed-density calibrations use fueling calculations that come solely from static tables referenced against the Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor, Intake Air Temp (IAT) sensor, Engine Coolant Temp sensor (ECT) and few other items. This calibration is well suited to more radical setups with very large duration camshafts that can cause reversion issues with a MAF at idle and low engine speed. There are other specific circumstances where this type of calibration can be advantageous. BACK TO TOP



What is a 2 or 3 bar tune?


2 and 3 bar tunes are actually special operating systems that are speed density and designed for higher horsepower boosted applications, which will exceed internal airflow limits for the MAF within the PCM. These operating systems require the corresponding 2 or 3 bar MAP sensor and allow the PCM to "see" boost (the stock PCM is blind to MAP levels that result from boost) and adjust fueling accordingly. This is particularly important for turbo charged applications, which can make boost in many different RPM ranges based on engine load, unlike superchargers whose boost is physically tied to rising engine RPMs. BACK TO TOP



What does Open Loop and Closed Loop mean?


Closed Loop (CL) refers to a control sub-system in the PCM that allows the engine computer to make adjustments to idle and part-throttle fueling based on feedback from the narrow-band FRONT oxygen sensors. This makes fueling more consistent (in most cases) and helps with highway economy and general drivability. Open Loop (OL) operation means that fueling is calculated and metered from the MAF (unless in speed density where no MAF is used) and other static tables alone with no correction made by the PCM/ECM. OL is sometimes desirable in instances such as aiding the operation of a very large camshaft with lots of overlap at lower RPMs. This overlap allows fresh air to escape into the exhaust, which “fools” the factory oxygen sensors into thinking, that the engine is lean. This can have the effect of causing over fueling at these low RPMs as the PCM attempts to correct a scenario, which it perceives to be lean. OL is commonly used on race vehicles and vehicles that use leaded fuel. BACK TO TOP



What is Mail Order Tuning?


E-mail order tuning is the process of emailing us your current backup and tune files for programming in order to take full advantage of your current setup. We have a worksheet on the site that you fill out. It includes your contact information as well as a list of all aftermarket modifications as well as a section for any special requests. Back to the questions. BACK TO TOP



What types of setups can be mail order tuned?


The best applications for e-mail order tuning are cars with bolt-on modifications such as cold-air kits, rear gears, long tube headers, full exhaust, and stall converters. Auto trans vehicles pick up a significant amount from trans tuning. Smaller cammed setups can be accommodated as well as startup and breaking tunes for more radical setups. All such radical setups will have to be, at a minimum verified by wideband to make sure that their mixture is safe at WOT. Small things such as the clocking or moving of a MAF can often have a large impact that cannot be predicted. This is especially true for swaps with non-OEM air inlets. This is the reason that all radical setups need to be verified with a wideband and have the smaller details refined by a tuner in person. If you have any questions, please contact me.



How long does it take to get a new custom tune back once it has been e-mailed?


The standard turnaround time is 24hrs, unless otherwise noted in an automatic reply. BACK TO TOP



Do I have to use premium fuel?


To get the most power you should run premium good quality fuel, but we can set tunes up for whatever octane you want to use, we will just need to be notified. BACK TO TOP



Can you tune for race fuel or E85?


Yes that is not a problem; we will just need to know what octane you plan on running. BACK TO TOP



Can you tune for nitrous?


Yes, that is not a problem either; we will just need to know the details of the system, wet/dry, and trigger rpm, size shot etc. BACK TO TOP



Handheld specific FAQ’s

Do I have to put the vehicle back to stock before loading custom tune?


No you do not, you can simply load the custom tune into handheld and flash your vehicle with it. BACK TO TOP


Can I adjust my own parameters when I have a custom tune loaded?


Yes you can, it is suggested to leave timing and fuel alone thou, but you can adjust anything else as you please. BACK TO TOP




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