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  1. #1

    Default Black Bear custom Tune

    Does anyone recommend doing this? Has anyone done this?

    I've heard amazing things about the company Black Bear Performance. I believe the owner/tuners name Justin and i have heard NOTHING but good things said about him and his tune jobs.

    i guess there is basically three options: mail in PCM- give them a list of things you wish you change about your truck i.e. tire size, driving style, speed limiter increase, towing, MPG, etc.; Data-Logging PCM Tuning- company loans you hardware and software for you to connect to your vehicle's computer and record sensor data while you drive then you must return that data through email, then they are able to analyze it and tune the PCM based around the trucks data; In-Person/Group Tuning- Tuner tavels to different locations and a group of people sign up to have him personally drive around with the owner of the vehicle while he downloads information during the drive. Then tunes according to the data.

    What I want to know is this: should i do the data logging? or just the conventional mail in order?? either way i've heard that great things happen from both situation. BUT, it's a lot cheaper (i think 200 cheaper? not sure how the core charge works?) to do the traditional way. i would love to keep my stock PCM, just in case, and i think that adds on another 100 bucks and he supplies me with another PCM.

    anyone do any of these options? how long did it take?

    I don't want to go to any other tuner company either unless it's local, but i just haven't found any in my area.. i just LOVE everything i've read about Justin, the company's work. His wife is so helpful on a handful of forums, she provides detailed information about the service they provide for us GM lovers.

    Last edited by ameerica; 03-17-2009 at 08:07 PM.


    2002 Silverado X-Cab 1500 LT

    -6" Fabtech lift on 35" Toyo MT's
    -3k high beam/6k low beam/4.3k FOG HID
    -dual 3" FlowMaster w/18" SS tips
    -Viper alarm system with remote start, 2 backup indestructible sirens, pager
    -3000w system , 2 Kicker L7 12" subs

    New Ideas-- yes/no?
    -long tube headers, no CATs?
    -6" rear leaf spring?
    -Performance Tune?

  2. #2
    Legend bry2500's Avatar
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    Default

    Well I would be weary about sending my trucks brains through the mail. Just because of all the possible mishaps. Personally I would rather send my whole truck. But if he is reputable and has been trusted by people you know then I say give it a shot. You are bound to see an increase,will it be the best you can get? Only way to know is have it done somewhere else too. The down time for your truck seems to be extensive this way too. Does he provide a back up pcm for use while yours is being tuned? Just weigh out all your options before you jump into this. Just remember there is somebody always Better than the last. You just need to find the one you'll be happy with.

    I have looked into a custom tune too. There is a engineer that I work with that does it for a very reputable shop in MA. He did a coworkers Silverado 2500 HD 6.0L, came out very nice. Not sure if I'm gonna use him or go with a programmer. It is a tough decision. I feel your pain.
    BRYAN

    "IF YOU DON'T TREAT IT LIKE A TRUCK IT'S JUST A REALLY BIG CAR"

    02' Avalanche 2500 Onyx Black
    8.1L Vortec
    43,000 miles

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bry2500 View Post
    Well I would be weary about sending my trucks brains through the mail. Just because of all the possible mishaps. Personally I would rather send my whole truck. But if he is reputable and has been trusted by people you know then I say give it a shot. You are bound to see an increase,will it be the best you can get? Only way to know is have it done somewhere else too. The down time for your truck seems to be extensive this way too. Does he provide a back up pcm for use while yours is being tuned? Just weigh out all your options before you jump into this. Just remember there is somebody always Better than the last. You just need to find the one you'll be happy with.

    I have looked into a custom tune too. There is a engineer that I work with that does it for a very reputable shop in MA. He did a coworkers Silverado 2500 HD 6.0L, came out very nice. Not sure if I'm gonna use him or go with a programmer. It is a tough decision. I feel your pain.

    I don't think i'm weary about sending my PCM in due to shipping problems. Everyday people buy pcm's online, and Justin has shipped out plenty of them without any heard of problems. I wish i could find a local shop to tune my truck, i would totally go through them. i just don't know how to search and find shops in portland, or who could do something like this for me. maybe you or someone could help with that? i tried searching on google, but probably not hard enough.

    I think he offers a replacement PCM while he is doing the tune. He is what i think happens when you do the mail in tune. You tell him what you want and all the specific things about your vehicle, he plugs it into his computer, BUYS another PCM for the vehicle, tunes it, ships it out. I think, hopefully, he charges a $100 core charge to keep the factory one, which i think is a great deal considering how spendy they are. and also it would be nice to have the factory one for backup and when you go to the dealer.

    i've used a handheld programmer, it was a HyperTech. it worked for a few things, the Shift Firmness was pretty great, it just shifted into the gears a little harder and faster. and it allowed me to hold higher RPMs for a little longer instead of the tranny shifting down faster than it should. BUT i had to get my tranny rebuilt after only 80k miles. I do a lot of towing in the summer, and hadn't had the lift on my truck til AFTER the tranny was rebuilt. The transmission pro i used told me that the hypertech programmer isn't good for the tranny at all, it wears it out much faster.
    also the program was nice because it allowed me to change my speed-o so it read the correct MPH with my 35" tires. The rev limiter was increase, my max speed was able to increase to 150+ i believe, and it read and cleared DTC trouble codes. also it "tunes" it for the grade of fuel i used...

    Overall, i didn't notice anything besides the shift firmness after i used the programmer, and i tried many many different setups. There is a grip of other hand helds out there, i think a tune is the way to go though.

    I WANT A LOCAL TUNER NOW!! haha. anyone want to help me find one?

  4. #4

    Default

    Honestly, look around at some of the import tuner shops. I know I know I know, but those guys are all about tuning OBD I and OBD II. A typical programmer isn't what I had in mind since I think most of those just give you your choice of different preset tunes. I personally want something that I can tweak and change the values of my fuel and timing trim by rpm x10. I know there are programs out there for it, I just haven't gotten to the point of needing it for my truck yet, so I'm not sure which are good.
    Scott

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    '94 Chevy Suburban K1500
    3" exhaust w/ aero turbine non-baffled muffler
    CFM Technologies TB spacer
    CB w/ 44" whip antenna


  5. #5
    Jr. Engineer Megasaurus's Avatar
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    Who's this Justin guy? From the way the some people are fawning over him it's like he alone holds the key to unlocking the secret of performance and MPG for a guy's truck.

    If you know him so well then why are you asking about him and his company?
    Clint
    Rockwall, Texas


    2008 Suburban 4WD BEAST! plus a couple of other Chevy rides!

  6. #6

    Default justin

    Quote Originally Posted by Megasaurus View Post
    Who's this Justin guy? From the way the some people are fawning over him it's like he alone holds the key to unlocking the secret of performance and MPG for a guy's truck.

    If you know him so well then why are you asking about him and his company?
    i don't know him at all, never talked to him, or seen him, or met him. not sure why you would think i know so much about him. i've just read about him the past couple of days since i've been looking at getting my PCM tuned. all i did was type silverado custom tune in google, and black bear popped up in a ton of forums, including this one. so i started doing research... you can't blame me-- if you were going to buy a house, a car, a woman you'd want to look under the hood to make sure the goods are in working order? that is the same way i am with my truck. i don't want to get something installed if it is going to make my truck preform worse than it did before, right? whats better than finding out information about the company and the person who is doing the work?

    i just wanted verification and some clarity on all this, i'm just learning about it and want some backup from real people who have gone through this already.


    2002 Silverado X-Cab 1500 LT

    -6" Fabtech lift on 35" Toyo MT's
    -3k high beam/6k low beam/4.3k FOG HID
    -dual 3" FlowMaster w/18" SS tips
    -Viper alarm system with remote start, 2 backup indestructible sirens, pager
    -3000w system , 2 Kicker L7 12" subs

    New Ideas-- yes/no?
    -long tube headers, no CATs?
    -6" rear leaf spring?
    -Performance Tune?

  7. #7

    Default u may have been doing it for a long time but u still suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    What I want to know is why we get a post like this about black*bear every few weeks? They're all got similar text, similar questions, similar "facts" about how great the guy who runs the place and similar overall user history.

    It goes like this
    A user sign-up, posts a few times and then goes away. A few weeks later, they come back and post a bunch about black*bear tuning. These posts are usually done in the "Hey, what does everyone think about black*bear??". They also seem to go on and on how great this dude Justin is. They also provide very indepth product and service offerings, often highlighted and bolded, and talk about the great wonderful feedback that seems to be universal about this company.

    Take note - the font was cut and pasted
    This post I'm replying to right now clearly shows a different font in the first post than in the follow-ups. That usually means that it was a cut-and-paste job from something like Microsoft Word, because the font carried over!! The replies to this are in the standard GMTC system font.

    Makes me wonder if someone's looking for some free advertising?
    i dont understand why you would go after this in the open like this. i am new to this site but im not new to chevy forums. i am sure that you can find out if what your saying is true, which im sure its not. also i dont really give a **** if you kick me off bc i really haven seen all that great of info on here anyway. if i want to pick a muffler or a intake ill go to pepboys. i want good info. maybe instead of wasting time bashing people you should try to spark up some good tech info that will really help people. dont get me wrong i like the little chatter, everyone needs different info, but you need to attract people with more info to help everyone.

  8. #8

    Default

    We have to keep in mind that there is a big difference between a "tune" and reprogramming the PCM. Reprogramming the PCM is not an easy task. The original program can not be changed by Black Bear or anyone else because they don't have all the necessary information to do this. So the basic programming can only be "fooled" by certain false inputs to achieve more power and performance. This is how they do it. False BARO to change the mixture, false MAP, MAF and TPS to change the timing shift points. It's all reversed engineered and the final "tune" comes from hours of trial and error"
    I would be very cautious about sending in my PCM. I would much rather have something that I could change myself and change back if I wern't happy with the results.
    Don't be a Guinea Pig. JMO

    Jim
    Jim

    2004 SILVERADO 2500HD LS
    Pro Comp Leveling Kit
    285-75-16 Cooper ST All Terrains
    Pro Comp Programmer
    Bilstein Shocks
    Linux Bed Liner
    Tinted Windows



    Other rides:

    1967 Landcruiser <350 Chevy>
    1970 Camaro
    1990 Geo Metro Convertible
    2007 FJ Cruiser

  9. #9

    Default

    {sigh} ... go to Google and type in "Black Bear Custom Tune" and this thread shows up #3.

    Steve
    10 Chevy Traverse LT AWD
    02 Chevy Trailblazer LS (110K+ miles - loaded except for 4WD - WRECKED!)
    99 Chevy Cavalier LS (105K+ miles - commuter car)
    78 Chevy Suburban Silverado (454, 3/4 ton)
    62 GMC 3/4 ton Pickup (350 police interceptor)

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  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    {sigh} ... go to Google and type in "Black Bear Custom Tune" and this thread shows up #3.
    We could totally get back up to number one.


    2002 Silverado X-Cab 1500 LT

    -6" Fabtech lift on 35" Toyo MT's
    -3k high beam/6k low beam/4.3k FOG HID
    -dual 3" FlowMaster w/18" SS tips
    -Viper alarm system with remote start, 2 backup indestructible sirens, pager
    -3000w system , 2 Kicker L7 12" subs

    New Ideas-- yes/no?
    -long tube headers, no CATs?
    -6" rear leaf spring?
    -Performance Tune?

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