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Custom Tuner/getting a custom tune

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I just rolled over 30k miles on my cc4wd, '16 with the 5.3, and 8 speed.  I have read more than a handful of people recommending getting a tune (usually when the warranty runs out)...so this is my first post about that...before I really start my research, I wanted to get some real life experiences and expectations...

 

I get that i can make my truck run like a banshee...but I don't need a hot rod...I just want to get optimal power and optimal MPG under normal driving...I rarely tow anything...and I drive pretty conservatively...

 

in my scenario...would you still recommend a tune?  what can I expect to get out of one?  is there any that are the best value, what about getting a tune off the shelf verses going to a shop and getting it done?

 

if I lose any mpg's it probably wouldnt be worth it...so I need to at least stay the same or improve...so keep that in mind...

 

any insight and opinions would be appreciated!

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Imo I say don't get the tune. When most people get tunes they expect to get the most out of the truck and in your case it doesn't sound like you do.

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Don't waste your money. GM is already trying to get all the MPG out of these trucks from the factory. Tuning is for people that like to make noise and burn rubber.

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2 hours ago, SirenRed16 said:

Imo I say don't get the tune. When most people get tunes they expect to get the most out of the truck and in your case it doesn't sound like you do.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
 

Precision in speech. NASCAR IMSA, F1 even professional level drag racing. All consider fuel efficiency a HUGE part of performance. Only in the 'shade tree' street world is fuel efficiency considered unworthy of a performance minded individuals consideration. The metric is called BSFC. How much power from a pound of fuel. As motors are load devices this is directly convertible to MPG and a prime consideration. 

1 hour ago, aseibel said:

Don't waste your money. GM is already trying to get all the MPG out of these trucks from the factory. Tuning is for people that like to make noise and burn rubber.

Manufactures have safety nets. Torque management for example to save warranty claim $$$$. They know that this whole current buying public is of a mind that they should be able to take a jackhammer to their truck and GM should pay the bill. Self entitlement and all. They defend themselves rightly. Inside all that is some fat to be trimmed that can produce the types of gains this fella is asking for. Sadly for the eager and willing the underlined is true. It's what those tuners are marketed toward. 

 

That said finding the right tuner is a bit of a struggle. Most of these are high $$$$ toggle switch boxes with their own safety nets built in. Laptop direct access tuning is beyond most but......only because of beliefs such as those noted here. Some have mail order custom tunes by fellas that do it for a living. While this type of tune may not be their bread and butter it is in their wheelhouse if you can develop a relationship with them. ???? Payout ???? Sometimes just being able to is enough payout for me. Not everything is $$$$ and sense. (pun intended)

 

All this aside I use a Scan Gauge II from Linear Logic and use it to hone my knowledge and skill surrounding my truck. It's paid for itself many times over. It's not a tune but a guide with a window into the workings of the tune that help you exact more from you truck. Is it not a good idea to know what it does and why before you start flipping switches? 

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59 minutes ago, Grumpy Bear said:

Manufactures have safety nets. Torque management for example to save warranty claim $$$$. They know that this whole current buying public is of a mind that they should be able to take a jackhammer to their truck and GM should pay the bill. Self entitlement and all. They defend themselves rightly. Inside all that is some fat to be trimmed that can produce the types of gains this fella is asking for. Sadly for the eager and willing the underlined is true. It's what those tuners are marketed toward. 

So you bring up a great point- the manufacturers tune the engine in such a manner to avoid catastrophic failure and the associated warranty claims. So can you tweak the fuel and timing to get more out of the engine without compromising the powertrain warranty? If the dealer knows you tuned your engine at all, are you now on your own for any repairs? I have no interest in doing anything foolish that leaves me liable for repairs. I know a lot of people do make modifications that render the warranty useless, so some may not care about that. But if you can point me to a safe tune that does indeed increase fuel mileage, I'm all ears.

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3 hours ago, aseibel said:

So you bring up a great point- the manufacturers tune the engine in such a manner to avoid catastrophic failure and the associated warranty claims. So can you tweak the fuel and timing to get more out of the engine without compromising the powertrain warranty? If the dealer knows you tuned your engine at all, are you now on your own for any repairs? I have no interest in doing anything foolish that leaves me liable for repairs. I know a lot of people do make modifications that render the warranty useless, so some may not care about that. But if you can point me to a safe tune that does indeed increase fuel mileage, I'm all ears.

Tuning and warranty are not mutually exclusive. Wish they were. So yes, you would be on your own but is that a bad thing? There seems to be some belief that if you tune you WILL blow up. Why is that? If you haven't any skill be honest with yourself and use a mild canned tune. Lots of folks swear by Black Bear. Some like Diablo. There are more but those two stand out in a crowd. Diablo has a trap feature on your factory tune so you can reinstall when ever you like or if you don't like the canned or custom set up. Not sure about BB. Both have tech support that will create what you wish based on what you actually have. Data logging as a basis.  

 

Thing is Andy, I don't believe in the Elfin factory. The skill is in the man and not in the company. I do believe this however. There is more to be gained by learning and optimizing your truck and optimizing your driving skill set than there will be in an MPG tune from anyone. It's why I went Scan Gauge. 

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20 hours ago, Grumpy Bear said:

Precision in speech. NASCAR IMSA, F1 even professional level drag racing. All consider fuel efficiency a HUGE part of performance. Only in the 'shade tree' street world is fuel efficiency considered unworthy of a performance minded individuals consideration. The metric is called BSFC. How much power from a pound of fuel. As motors are load devices this is directly convertible to MPG and a prime consideration. 

Manufactures have safety nets. Torque management for example to save warranty claim $$$$. They know that this whole current buying public is of a mind that they should be able to take a jackhammer to their truck and GM should pay the bill. Self entitlement and all. They defend themselves rightly. Inside all that is some fat to be trimmed that can produce the types of gains this fella is asking for. Sadly for the eager and willing the underlined is true. It's what those tuners are marketed toward. 

 

That said finding the right tuner is a bit of a struggle. Most of these are high $$$$ toggle switch boxes with their own safety nets built in. Laptop direct access tuning is beyond most but......only because of beliefs such as those noted here. Some have mail order custom tunes by fellas that do it for a living. While this type of tune may not be their bread and butter it is in their wheelhouse if you can develop a relationship with them. ???? Payout ???? Sometimes just being able to is enough payout for me. Not everything is $$$$ and sense. (pun intended)

 

All this aside I use a Scan Gauge II from Linear Logic and use it to hone my knowledge and skill surrounding my truck. It's paid for itself many times over. It's not a tune but a guide with a window into the workings of the tune that help you exact more from you truck. Is it not a good idea to know what it does and why before you start flipping switches? 

Thank you, this is why I am asking.

 

i'll give another example of this...when i bought my truck, i almost immediately got a K&N filter.  was it because my factory was dirty? no, it was because i believe that is a better than factory item that didnt cost me an arm and a leg to manage...

 

if a tune is $2000.00 the answer is, 'No thank you.' but if it is a couple hundred and i can get more power and better gas mileage (utopia, right?) then i can easily justify it...as you said Marty, it might not be a straight dollar for dollar savings, but if the truck just runs better, its a win.

 

i'll use this last analogy and see if this helps...you go to a doc, he says you need to restrict your diet...stop eating salt...and he gives you 3 things to eat (that tastes like cardboard)...and you ask the doc, as long as i dont eat salt can i eat more than this?  he says sure...but dont eat salt...and you go out and find decent tasting food...you feel better, and you are probably healthier than just eating cardboard...(i went off on a tangent there, but i hope that makes sense)...i'm not looking for steroids, just maybe healthy food for my truck...

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I have never gotten better mileage after my tune. It just changes your driving habits so much that its impossible.

 

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1 hour ago, truckguy82 said:

I have never gotten better mileage after my tune. It just changes your driving habits so much that its impossible.

 

I don't doubt that a minute. 

 

Ever ask yourself what the word 'tune' means? Original meaning and etymology makes this note; "to put into a state proper for some purpose..."

 

Tuner marketing being marketers have adulterated the meaning by assigning purpose as power. Hence limiting the scope of the original intent which was, again,  'some' purpose. The factory tune is, by nature, a compromise for 'any' purpose and as a matter of fact not a half bad stab at it. It makes decent torque over a useful range and does so with adequate BSFC. More importantly to them is, it does this safely. So safely in fact that it can be handed a fair amount of abuse and stay in tact. That, in fact, is a primary goal. Abuse can be as simple as filling up with the wrong fuel or as cruel as a neutral drop. I'm not advocating it will handle a diet of that sort of thing. 

 

There is a saying that goes, "you can't pick up one end of a stick". When you tune for one purpose you effect or touch them all. Torque, Power, BSFC and reliability and most believe that the advancement of one is a decline of all other. That can certainly be true but...not a condition laid in stone. 

 

Then there is this; WOT operation. That is what you see on a dyno chart. A transition from the lowest rpm the motor will pull cleanly to the red line at WOT. Those numbers sell tuners. Is that where you drive? WOT? Is it even where you pull or tow? Is it the only interest you have in a tune? If so you are a drag racer or a truck puller. Enjoy! 

 

There are 99.9999999 other points on that map and an infinite number of drivers and driving conditions. There are other purposes than power. Finding that guy...with those skills...and an inclination to perfect your needs? Pretty tough call in a world that places no value on anything but $$$$. (Commercially that is).

 

You don't see many adverts for economy tunes and no information on the few that exist. Range and Diablo Marathon are not tunes in the normal commercial sense of the word. They are devices that extend the operating parameters of what is already a feature of your truck. My own research suggest a motor in CDC ON or AFM active gets about 8% better mileage in a snap shot view but is only active about 30% of the time according to Diablo. Net about 2.4% and on a truck getting 20 mpg without enabled would be about .48 mpg. If you can get the full 80% Diablo claims it comes out a bit better at an increase of 1.3 mpg. 

 

AFM extenders are much like Prilosec for heartburn. A thing you use to allow you to continue to operate your system past it's design. People don't lay off spicy food, they take Prilosec. People don't want to operate their trucks in a manor that keeps the AMF active a higher percentage of the time. They want to drive 70 mph +  or lift it sky high and get the mileage they would at 50 mph stock.

 

Your best bet Pete is likely a frank talk with someone at Diablo (Lew) and a custom tune based on live on board data logging allowing your style and local conditions to be accounted for and your specific goals to be met OR find a local tuner with a EFILive license and good reputation. 

 

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everyone I've seen that has a tune would never go back to stock so take that for what it's worth lol

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4 hours ago, xax said:

everyone I've seen that has a tune would never go back to stock so take that for what it's worth lol

I certainly wouldn't tell anyone I hated the $500 tune I just put on my truck. :smash: Live that down. :rolleyes:

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I’ve used hand held tunes on every truck I’ve had since they’d been offered. At least five. All gave me benefits, my trucks lasted as long as I wanted. I have a truck that’s 25 years old that’s modified to high horsepower, lowered etc. Modified rides doesn’t necessarily mean you’re shorting its life or making it a problem child.


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2 hours ago, KARNUT said:

I’ve used hand held tunes on every truck I’ve had since they’d been offered. At least five. All gave me benefits, my trucks lasted as long as I wanted. I have a truck that’s 25 years old that’s modified to high horsepower, lowered etc. Modified rides doesn’t necessarily mean you’re shorting its life or making it a problem child.


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No argument from me! I love hotrods. Don't like smoke and mirrors.  

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20 hours ago, Grumpy Bear said:

I don't doubt that a minute. 

 

Ever ask yourself what the word 'tune' means? Original meaning and etymology makes this note; "to put into a state proper for some purpose..."

 

Tuner marketing being marketers have adulterated the meaning by assigning purpose as power. Hence limiting the scope of the original intent which was, again,  'some' purpose. The factory tune is, by nature, a compromise for 'any' purpose and as a matter of fact not a half bad stab at it. It makes decent torque over a useful range and does so with adequate BSFC. More importantly to them is, it does this safely. So safely in fact that it can be handed a fair amount of abuse and stay in tact. That, in fact, is a primary goal. Abuse can be as simple as filling up with the wrong fuel or as cruel as a neutral drop. I'm not advocating it will handle a diet of that sort of thing. 

 

There is a saying that goes, "you can't pick up one end of a stick". When you tune for one purpose you effect or touch them all. Torque, Power, BSFC and reliability and most believe that the advancement of one is a decline of all other. That can certainly be true but...not a condition laid in stone. 

 

Then there is this; WOT operation. That is what you see on a dyno chart. A transition from the lowest rpm the motor will pull cleanly to the red line at WOT. Those numbers sell tuners. Is that where you drive? WOT? Is it even where you pull or tow? Is it the only interest you have in a tune? If so you are a drag racer or a truck puller. Enjoy! 

 

There are 99.9999999 other points on that map and an infinite number of drivers and driving conditions. There are other purposes than power. Finding that guy...with those skills...and an inclination to perfect your needs? Pretty tough call in a world that places no value on anything but $$$$. (Commercially that is).

 

You don't see many adverts for economy tunes and no information on the few that exist. Range and Diablo Marathon are not tunes in the normal commercial sense of the word. They are devices that extend the operating parameters of what is already a feature of your truck. My own research suggest a motor in CDC ON or AFM active gets about 8% better mileage in a snap shot view but is only active about 30% of the time according to Diablo. Net about 2.4% and on a truck getting 20 mpg without enabled would be about .48 mpg. If you can get the full 80% Diablo claims it comes out a bit better at an increase of 1.3 mpg. 

 

AFM extenders are much like Prilosec for heartburn. A thing you use to allow you to continue to operate your system past it's design. People don't lay off spicy food, they take Prilosec. People don't want to operate their trucks in a manor that keeps the AMF active a higher percentage of the time. They want to drive 70 mph +  or lift it sky high and get the mileage they would at 50 mph stock.

 

Your best bet Pete is likely a frank talk with someone at Diablo (Lew) and a custom tune based on live on board data logging allowing your style and local conditions to be accounted for and your specific goals to be met OR find a local tuner with a EFILive license and good reputation. 

 

thank you!  this makes perfect sense... and if i strip this down to an over simplified manner, it sounds like i can get slightly better gas mileage (or at least not worse) with some sort of better performance...without sacrificing reliability...this helps for sure!

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I went with the Hypertech  Max Energy 2.0 mainly to turn off afm. I also set the throttle response to tow mode a 25% increase and set the cut off speed to 112. I didn't expect much but the 25% increase in throttle response really woke the 5.3 up. I have had no more clucking or kicks in the ass or searching for gears in the trans. Fuel mileage my be down about 1/2 mile per gal.I hated the afm form day one and got tired of driving in manual mode all the time. I'm happy with the performance of the engine and trans now.

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