: Mods and custom tune - 101



Vrocks
08-20-09, 11:23 AM
I'm not familiar with tuning my own car but I've read about others expereinces with it in this forum and the corvette forum for years. I haven't heard of any serious failures for what I'd consider a mild tune (50 - 75HP boost), so I'm planning on modding my V when I get it.

I've recieved some good advice from CadV, and I've decided to go with cutting the stock air box, getting a new PCM for the tune (keeping the original stock), and a 9" pulley upgrade for about a 3psi bump. I'm not planning on using a CAI because of the MAF sensor oil problems, or aftermarket exaust - to much $$$ for the HP returns and I don't want to be hasseled with emissions...

I have a few questions before I get everything.


1. If I cut the bottom off of the stock airbox, do I run a high risk of water ingestion while driving on wet roads?

1b. If the stock airbox mod is unsafe, I'll consider a larger volume paper filter because I'm going to do a custom tune anyway. Does anyone recommend this?

2. What is a VIN match for EFI Live? When I get a new PCM, is it immediately compatible with my car? If not, what would need to be done to make it work with the V, and then apply the new pulley tune?

3. Does the W4Me pulley upgrade come with the belt, harmonic balancer, and mounting hardware needed for the swap? The D3 pulley does, according to their website.

Thanks in advance for any anwsers.

CadV
08-20-09, 11:59 AM
1. If I cut the bottom off of the stock airbox, do I run a high risk of water ingestion while driving on wet roads?

Unless you remove the brake duct water won't get in the compartment. The airbox is much higher than the area in question as well.


1b. If the stock airbox mod is unsafe, I'll consider a larger volume paper filter because I'm going to do a custom tune anyway. Does anyone recommend this?

I have been using this mod for awhile without problems. The drawback would be a replacement box is a little pricy $200ish. I don't think the filter oil problem is very common so buying a 4" intake might not be a bad idea if you don't like the idea of cutting your stock box. I would just research the right one to buy.


2. What is a VIN match for EFI Live? When I get a new PCM, is it immediately compatible with my car? If not, what would need to be done to make it work with the V, and then apply the new pulley tune?

I use EFILive and I think it does a VIN and ECU serial # match. Our ECU is a E67 and it is in a quite a few vehicles. The latest EFILive version 7.5.5 works on our car but you have to have the flashscan v2 interface the older v1 won't work. You can read the stock tune from your stock ECU and then flash it onto the new ECU. Reading or backing up a cal does not require burning a license only flashing does.

I always get my car professionally tuned initially then I tweak it on my own from there.


3. Does the W4Me pulley upgrade come with the belt, harmonic balancer, and mounting hardware needed for the swap? The D3 pulley does, according to their website.

He supplied everything except the bolts to mount the ring to the balancer. That is how my kit came at least.

wait4me
08-20-09, 12:01 PM
Efilive software just allows you to program an ecm. Vin matching an ecm, im guessing just means that it starts out with your vin number/ calibration that you need for your car so it will run correctly. On a V, the vin has to be correct or the door module stores the swapped part in memory. And the vehicle will not run right as the other modules are not going to be happy.

As for the pulley kits, YES mine come with everything needed. Im Just alot cheaper.

wait4me
08-20-09, 12:04 PM
To add to Cadv. I started adding the bolts the first week after we started shipping them as people didnt want to go to the hardware store for some 3/8in 1inch long bolts. I was unaware that they where not included with the parts i was buying, So i just started adding them to the boxes on my own cost.. They where easy and cheap to buy. But i have included them for some time now free added in with the other parts.

Luna.
08-20-09, 12:32 PM
I'm not familiar with tuning my own car but I've read about others expereinces with it in this forum and the corvette forum for years. I haven't heard of any serious failures for what I'd consider a mild tune (50 - 75HP boost), so I'm planning on modding my V when I get it.


Am I reading that correctly? 50-75 HP from a (mild) tune? Wow. I've never heard of anyone getting more than 50 from a tune, to say nothing about 75.



I'm not planning on using a CAI because of the MAF sensor oil problems, or aftermarket exaust - to much $$$ for the HP returns

Why would you say this?

Vrocks
08-20-09, 12:57 PM
Am I reading that correctly? 50-75 HP from a (mild) tune? Wow. I've never heard of anyone getting more than 50 from a tune, to say nothing about 75.




Why would you say this?

I was looking at a 50HP boost as not too much - 100+ is a lot to me. I wouldn't expect more than 20 - 30 with a tune, intake, and exhaust.

People have reported problems with the MAF with oiled filters (probably from over oiling). From what I've been told, the V2's exhaust isn't very restrictive and I like the way it sounds, so I don't feel the need to change that part of the car.

Vrocks
08-20-09, 01:05 PM
CadV and wait4me,
Thanks for the help. I just want to be clear on one thing with the ECU:

- Jesse, have you plugged one of the ECU's that you sell into a V after copying a tune to it, with success? Thanks.


I really want to keep the ECU that comes with the V stock, and reprogram one I buy from wait4me. I want to have the stock ECU if I go to sell it, or if I just want to return the vehicle to stock. I also want it in case I don't feel the mods are worth the risk i.e. if what I "feel" while driving doesn't feel like a big enough improvement to be worth the risk.

Dr. Design
08-20-09, 01:20 PM
Hello,
I havent heard of any any issues with the over oiling of the aftermarket filters from the OEM. However there is always the potential to over oil the filter when someone washes and "recharges" the filter.

As for the D3 pulley. It most certainly does come with everything you would need for installation (new crank bolt, new properly sized belt, bolts for the supercharger pulley, etc..). The best part about this pulley is that it was engineered and designed for the CTSV 6.2 engine. We designed off the same blueprints GM used to make the factory pulley allowing us to match the factory all the harmonics and frequencies the engine puts out. If you are looking for a high quality unit that doesnt compromise and belongs on a Cadillac, give us a call or send an email (info@d3cadillac.com).


Thank you,

Dr. Design
D3 Cadillac




I have a few questions before I get everything.


1. If I cut the bottom off of the stock airbox, do I run a high risk of water ingestion while driving on wet roads?

1b. If the stock airbox mod is unsafe, I'll consider a larger volume paper filter because I'm going to do a custom tune anyway. Does anyone recommend this?

2. What is a VIN match for EFI Live? When I get a new PCM, is it immediately compatible with my car? If not, what would need to be done to make it work with the V, and then apply the new pulley tune?

3. Does the W4Me pulley upgrade come with the belt, harmonic balancer, and mounting hardware needed for the swap? The D3 pulley does, according to their website.

Thanks in advance for any anwsers.

Luna.
08-20-09, 01:31 PM
I was looking at a 50HP boost as not too much - 100+ is a lot to me. I wouldn't expect more than 20 - 30 with a tune, intake, and exhaust.

People have reported problems with the MAF with oiled filters (probably from over oiling). From what I've been told, the V2's exhaust isn't very restrictive and I like the way it sounds, so I don't feel the need to change that part of the car.

I'd be shocked if a tune alone doesn't get you 20-30rwhp, especially in the Vs. If memory serves, GM engineers were saying that 50 was possible and some on this forum have achieved 50rwhp from a tune alone.

Open up the air intake restriction and some people have gotten much more.





People have reported problems with the MAF with oiled filters (probably from over oiling). From what I've been told, the V2's exhaust isn't very restrictive and I like the way it sounds, so I don't feel the need to change that part of the car.

I only recall a few/one person who had that issue, but, perhaps, my memory is failing me. I can say with confidence, however, that many other people have CAIs and have reported no issues whatsoever.

And I'm not sure I would agree that the V2 exhaust isn't very restrictive. Several people, including American Racing Headers themselves, got pretty good results from moving to their exhaust/header system (& I bet Kooks would yield very similar results).

And some believe that there is a synergistic effect when opening up the intake/exhaust restrictions, in conjunction with a larger crankshaft pulley, which is what you are planning.

Vrocks
08-20-09, 01:47 PM
I'd be shocked if a tune alone doesn't get you 20-30rwhp, especially in the Vs. If memory serves, GM engineers were saying that 50 was possible and some on this forum have achieved 50rwhp from a tune alone.

Open up the air intake restriction and some people have gotten much more.




I only recall a few/one person who had that issue, but, perhaps, my memory is failing me. I can say with confidence, however, that many other people have CAIs and have reported no issues whatsoever.

And I'm not sure I would agree that the V2 exhaust isn't very restrictive. Several people, including American Racing Headers themselves, got pretty good results from moving to their exhaust/header system (& I bet Kooks would yield very similar results).

And some believe that there is a synergistic effect when opening up the intake/exhaust restrictions, in conjunction with a larger crankshaft pulley, which is what you are planning.

Thanks Luna.

My target is 600HP and I wasn't sure that could be reached without a pulley swap - mid to high 590's would be ok. If I could get there with a CAI, exhaust and a tune (not too lean), I'd consider skipping the pulley.

Also, from what I can remember... the upgrade path with the pulley is cheaper. The headers, exhaust, cai, and a tune + a spare ECU is more $$$ than a pulley, tune + a spare ECU. I also don't have a good place to store the factory headers and exhaust once they're off the car.


No matter what route I chose to go, I'm 99% sure I'm going to mod the V - for a few reasons...

1. I want more of an edge over the other high performance sport sedans.
2. I want something different.
3. I don't know how long new cars like this (from GM) will be around, so I want to do it this time...

Dr. Design
08-20-09, 02:17 PM
Hello,
I assume you are talking about 600WHP, not 600BHP. If it is 600WHP that you are after then I would certainly have to recommend that you need a pulley and the exhaust to pull off such a number. Without the pulley you will certainly be short.

There are other upgrades that can be done if you choose not to go with the pulley, but I wouldn't think they would get you to your 600WHP goal.

Thank you,

Dr. Design
D3 Cadillac



Thanks Luna.

My target is 600HP and I wasn't sure that could be reached without a pulley swap - mid to high 590's would be ok. If I could get there with a CAI, exhaust and a tune (not too lean), I'd consider skipping the pulley.

Also, from what I can remember... the upgrade path with the pulley is cheaper. The headers, exhaust, cai, and a tune + a spare ECU is more $$$ than a pulley, tune + a spare ECU. I also don't have a good place to store the factory headers and exhaust once they're off the car.


No matter what route I chose to go, I'm 99% sure I'm going to mod the V - for a few reasons...

1. I want more of an edge over the other high performance sport sedans.
2. I want something different.
3. I don't know how long new cars like this (from GM) will be around, so I want to do it this time...

Luna.
08-20-09, 02:18 PM
Thanks Luna.

My target is 600HP and I wasn't sure that could be reached without a pulley swap - mid to high 590's would be ok. If I could get there with a CAI, exhaust and a tune (not too lean), I'd consider skipping the pulley.

Also, from what I can remember... the upgrade path with the pulley is cheaper. The headers, exhaust, cai, and a tune + a spare ECU is more $$$ than a pulley, tune + a spare ECU. I also don't have a good place to store the factory headers and exhaust once they're off the car.


No matter what route I chose to go, I'm 99% sure I'm going to mod the V - for a few reasons...

1. I want more of an edge over the other high performance sport sedans.
2. I want something different.
3. I don't know how long new cars like this (from GM) will be around, so I want to do it this time...

I think you will definitely want to increase the boost via a pulley swap if you want to get 600 rwhp.

I think Jesse got 600 from just pulley swaps (I think he did both the crankshaft, as well as the blower pulley) to get there, but I recall several others being woefully short of that goal in some threads that were posted. I don't know much about that, so I'll let them comment.

I was fortunate enough to get 600 from the 4 mods I did, but some doubt the veracity of the dyno run. Not sure why...perhaps because it was done on a Dynapack or something, but I plan on running it on a Dynojet just for comparison sake/fun. I'm much more interested in looking at the net gains achieved, rather than total rwhp numbers, but it has me a little interested at the moment, so I'll run it regardless.

Vrocks
08-20-09, 03:02 PM
Not 600rwhp, I want around 600-620bhp. I'm looking for around a 45 - 60hp increase at the wheels. Am I being too conservative, or will that make a noticable difference in how the car performs and feels? That would walk a stock M5 pretty good, right?

wait4me
08-20-09, 03:14 PM
Vrocks, for that gain at the motor should be easy. a 9.5 pulley, a partial cold air box, and light safe tune should get you past that point.

Vrocks
08-20-09, 04:15 PM
Vrocks, for that gain at the motor should be easy. a 9.5 pulley, a partial cold air box, and light safe tune should get you past that point.

Thanks Jesse. I was hoping the 9.0 pulley would do it - I don't want to over drive the other components. I know you recommend a new idler pulley for the 9.5 and up. Did you mean the 8.5 pulley and not 9.5?

wait4me
08-20-09, 07:12 PM
The pulley kit does not change the other components. ONLY the blower. We have ours setup to be VERY lightweight, spin all other components exactly the same speeds, and you can swap pulley sizes in about 10 minutes once you have the balancer put on. So you dont always have to run a 9.5. You can swap to a 8.5, or even go up in sizes in the future if you like. You need the idler pulley because a 9.5 inch ring will hit the stock one.

Short-Throw
08-20-09, 09:02 PM
I haven't heard of any serious failures for what I'd consider a mild tune (50 - 75HP boost), so I'm planning on modding my V when I get it.

Thanks in advance for any anwsers.


Am I reading that correctly? 50-75 HP from a (mild) tune? Wow. I've never heard of anyone getting more than 50 from a tune, to say nothing about 75.




I'd be shocked if a tune alone doesn't get you 20-30rwhp, especially in the Vs. If memory serves, GM engineers were saying that 50 was possible and some on this forum have achieved 50rwhp from a tune alone.



Gang,

Here is what was said from the GM engineers:

"We've run engines in development with ~10% more power"

What was also mentioned is that hardware changes were required as well if you wanted to maintain strength and reliability.

It's extremely important to note that this did not mean by calibration only. :tisk: If that's all it would have taken, do you honestly believe GM would not have given us that extra tweak?

We were delivered 556hp because the cylinder pressure, connecting rod loads, crank loads, block loads, etc...were what the current hardware was found to handle and still deliver a 100K get out of jail free card. Think about it, guess how they knew hardware changes were needed?

Extrapolate more hp guys, but do your homework and spend the extra bucks to make it bulletproof.



Mike

Luna.
08-20-09, 09:27 PM
It's extremely important to note that this did not mean by calibration only. :tisk: If that's all it would have taken, do you honestly believe GM would not have given us that extra tweak?


In all honesty, yeah.

It seems fairly reasonable to me that GM would set the car up, then purposesly use a (overly?) conservative tune for reliability purposes.

At the end of the day, GM is in the business of making money. And while it is true that increased HP might draw more people to purchase the car, I also believe that the decrease in expected warranty work from such a conservative tune would trump all. As such, yeah, it seemed fairly reasonable to me that GM would leave HP on the table to save possible expense (reimbursing dealerships) for warranty work.

Perhaps I'm missing something though---I'm am very tired as I type this... :)

Vrocks
08-20-09, 09:43 PM
Gang,

Here is what was said from the GM engineers:

"We've run engines in development with ~10% more power"

What was also mentioned is that hardware changes were required as well if you wanted to maintain strength and reliability.

It's extremely important to note that this did not mean by calibration only. :tisk: If that's all it would have taken, do you honestly believe GM would not have given us that extra tweak?

We were delivered 556hp because the cylinder pressure, connecting rod loads, crank loads, block loads, etc...were what the current hardware was found to handle and still deliver a 100K get out of jail free card. Think about it, guess how they knew hardware changes were needed?

Extrapolate more hp guys, but do your homework and spend the extra bucks to make it bulletproof.



Mike

Thanks, Mike.
I never heard that before but it's good to know. I think the way a car's going to be used has a bigger effect on it's life than anything, and my V won't see any hard days. I don't track it (road course, auto x, 1/4) I just like to give it some gas once in a while. If I was planning on running it hard I'd be looking at mods on the other end of the spectrum i.e. diff cooler, bigger radiator, etc... Basically, my car will very rarely be above 50% of its power capabilities (300hp @ 50% will be nice).

I've made up my mind on what I'm going to do, I just need to make a few phone calls in the next month or 2.

Thanks again to the supporting vendors and forum members for your advice and services.

Short-Throw
08-20-09, 11:16 PM
As such, yeah, it seemed fairly reasonable to me that GM would leave HP on the table to save possible expense (reimbursing dealerships) for warranty work.

Perhaps I'm missing something though---I'm am very tired as I type this... :)

Luna,

I know you get it! :yup:

I love the fact that there is so much hype for this car and the goal of 'you can never have too much hp' is being sought. D3's pulley looks like an awesome piece, nice work!

The term 'conservative tune' is a fallacy and misunderstood.
You'd be very surprised at how strung these factory motors are. GM Performance isn't leaving HP on the table given the current hardware make up and yes, of course warranty is a consideration.

GM has tested these engines for years before the public knew there was going to be a V2. I'd love to hear the actual definition of a 'light or safe tune.' Where has such testing taken place and over how long a period to make such a claim? Where is the data backing it up proving the ripple effect? I will concede benefits can be had, but at what cost? I've had engines built for my race cars and believe me I understand what stretching the envelope means. We are constantly reminded by the after-market world, (with every car brand, not just here) how the factory stuff is crap. Please :thehand:...... for the 4 cylinder teenage crowd I would expect such fish tales to be believed. I think the V owners are a tad more astute. If we're going to void our warranty on such an expensive car, shouldn't we know an expected time line of risk/reward?


Mike

Short-Throw
08-20-09, 11:27 PM
Thanks, Mike.
I never heard that before but it's good to know. I think the way a car's going to be used has a bigger effect on it's life than anything,

You are absolutely correct. For example, even on a bone stock car, many people repeatedly do not wait for the fluids to warm up and stomp on the gas while it's still cold. Then weeks later when they're driving to church on Sunday and the engine fails they claim it's factory junk.


Basically, my car will very rarely be above 50% of its power capabilities

Vrocks,

If you move the seat up you'll be able to push the accelerator all the way down! :D



Mike

SlvrBullIT
08-21-09, 12:38 AM
^^^
lmao!!!!! :histeric:

Luna.
08-21-09, 02:25 AM
The term 'conservative tune' is a fallacy and misunderstood.
You'd be very surprised at how strung these factory motors are. GM Performance isn't leaving HP on the table given the current hardware make up and yes, of course warranty is a consideration.

GM has tested these engines for years before the public knew there was going to be a V2. I'd love to hear the actual definition of a 'light or safe tune.' Where has such testing taken place and over how long a period to make such a claim? Where is the data backing it up proving the ripple effect? I will concede benefits can be had, but at what cost? I've had engines built for my race cars and believe me I understand what stretching the envelope means. We are constantly reminded by the after-market world, (with every car brand, not just here) how the factory stuff is crap. Please :thehand:...... for the 4 cylinder teenage crowd I would expect such fish tales to be believed. I think the V owners are a tad more astute. If we're going to void our warranty on such an expensive car, shouldn't we know an expected time line of risk/reward?


Mike

You're the man, Mike. :D

I guess, in my mind, I defined a "conservative" tune as one in which "too much" (an ambiguos term, yes) timing may have been pulled out/the A/F ratios might heavily favor fuel, thereby losing power, but being safe.

And, to a certain extent, I just have to believe that the bean-counters have their say in operations/production for the sake of profit.

Anyways, while logical, I could be totally offbase. I simply rationalized this based on what I've read, was told, experience, etc. but that doesn't mean much from an ignorant guy like me. ;)

That's why this forum is so cool to me--I have learned and continue to learn quite a bit from simply keeping up to date with many threads here! :cloud9:

Hawkeye2
08-21-09, 05:38 AM
I think that Mike's last line hit the nail on the head. There is a risk/reward factor if you start to play with
the factory setup. Are you willing to take that risk for a possible reward? How much faster do you want
your car to be? I'm all for making your car "your own". However, the car has way more power than
most drivers can actually use. I suspect very few of us - me included - can even come close to getting
the potential from this car even in it's stock trim. And, yes, I have been through level one and two at
Spring Mountain in Corvettes. Just showed me how little I really know about driving fast!

Mod on!

Vrocks
08-21-09, 09:07 AM
Vrocks,
If you move the seat up you'll be able to push the accelerator all the way down! :D
Mike
Thanks, Mike.

I didn't know I could move the seats, I thought they were there for sitting. I'll have to go for another test drive and ask the sales person to move it up for me - maybe that's why it didn't feel very fast the first time?

neuronbob
08-21-09, 01:25 PM
You are absolutely correct. For example, even on a bone stock car, many people repeatedly do not wait for the fluids to warm up and stomp on the gas while it's still cold. Then weeks later when they're driving to church on Sunday and the engine fails they claim it's factory junk.

It's funny you mention that. When I start the car in the morning, it takes me about a minute to walk to the end of the driveway, pick up the newspaper, hand it to the wife, and give her a kiss. By then, the fluids are circulating and I can take off. By the time I get to the freeway, about 8/10 mile, the engine's just getting to operating temp and....full throttle!

The point being, I don't drive hard when the engine's not at operating temperature. :)

On the topic at hand....have you tuned YOUR V, ST? I'm assuming not given your comments and that your V is (IIRC) your daily driver.

I only ask as I'm one of those considering a w4m tune (no more mods for me outside of my Corsas, thanks!) mostly for the tranny benefits; keeping it in "D" does cause a bit of sluggishness. I'm 95% in Sport Mode already when driving and the aggressive automatic shifting in this mode gives me the type of acceleration (and engine noise :) ) I expect. I keep going back and forth about the issue, asking questions and doing due diligence, as I'd like to do this "safely" for the sake of my engine and tranny.

radix
08-21-09, 02:04 PM
It's funny you mention that. When I start the car in the morning, it takes me about a minute to walk to the end of the driveway, pick up the newspaper, hand it to the wife, and give her a kiss. By then, the fluids are circulating and I can take off. By the time I get to the freeway, about 8/10 mile, the engine's just getting to operating temp and....full throttle!

The point being, I don't drive hard when the engine's not at operating temperature. :)

On the topic at hand....have you tuned YOUR V, ST? I'm assuming not given your comments and that your V is (IIRC) your daily driver.

I only ask as I'm one of those considering a w4m tune (no more mods for me outside of my Corsas, thanks!) mostly for the tranny benefits; keeping it in "D" does cause a bit of sluggishness. I'm 95% in Sport Mode already when driving and the aggressive automatic shifting in this mode gives me the type of acceleration (and engine noise :) ) I expect. I keep going back and forth about the issue, asking questions and doing due diligence, as I'd like to do this "safely" for the sake of my engine and tranny.

I'll be interested to see what you decide. Driving a V2 auto put me off of jumping into one, but it would be interesting to know if W4Ms tranny tune would bridge the gap to a stick. So far I have convinced myself that I would wait for a manual, but the right auto...?

Know anyone who has the W4M tune that you could try out ?

SRT8/BMW
08-21-09, 03:01 PM
I tend to agree with ST. I spoke with the V engineers in person at Monticello. The lead engineer said "we left 10% on the table for the tuner crowd" To me--thats 50 more HP/Tq give or take. He also said that in his opinion, the exhaust was very good--there was little to be gained there.

The beauty of this car is the balance--so smooth at cruising speeds, so linear at hard acceleration, so amazing in the curves.

I had mine tuned privately--but wasn't looking for huge gains. As Vrocks asked--this car will already walk an M5--before any mods. I was just looking for a tweak--the "low hanging fruit" if you will. As a result, the transmission-which contrary to many opinions on here--is excellent in my view after having tracked it at Monticello--is just as crisp in drive as it used to be in S mode. It did pick up somewhere around 33 hp/ 30 Tq on the dyno.

But as it stands now--I think I am good with this car--it is the finest car I have ever owned -and by far the best sedan I have ever driven-and I want to keep it balanced. If I feel the desire to get more straight line power--I will do some more stuff to my other cars. This CTS-V is so much more than that for me personally.