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  1. #1

    Default Custom Tune - What is a custom tune and what does it do? Defiintion

    Can I get a precise definiton for what exactly a Custom Tune is, and what is it not?

    How does it work, what process is done, what settings are changed, who can do the work, what effects will take place?
    Some people call me the space cowboy ... some people don't.

    2010 Chevy Silverado Z71 Just picked it up
    2007 Chevy Colorado Just traded her in!

  2. #2


    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyLover View Post
    Can I get a precise definiton for what exactly a Custom Tune is, and what is it not?
    The following site will help in the Definition of a Custom tune,under General Questions the 5th one down talks about Custom Tunes

    Here is Blackbear Web Site and they are also one of are Sponsor's,
    Last edited by 99'HEARTBEAT; 09-15-2009 at 07:48 PM.


    5.3 l 3.73 l G80

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by 99'HEARTBEAT View Post
    The following site will help in the Definition of a Custom tune,under General Questions the 5th one down talks about Custom Tunes

    Here is Blackbear Web Site and they are also one of are Sponsor's,
    Exactly. Just email Justin or Jenna and they will answer everything for you. Both are great people to deal with. I have had the blackbear tune for a year. Had him tuen the truck before it was a month old.
    2008 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab 4wd LT1 Package with 20" wheel upgrade,K&N CAI, Magnaflow Catback Dual Side Exit, Tuff Country 2" Leveling Kit, Blackbear Tune, 6k HIDS Low and High Beams, 3K HID fog lights, LED tailight bar

  4. #4


    I was looking for more for a definition posted here instead of having to go to another site, helps to eliminate bias.

    I found one on Wikipedia actually.

    Chip tuning refers to changing or modifying an EPROM chip in a car's or other vehicle's electronic control unit (ECU) to achieve better performance, whether it be more power, cleaner emissions, or better fuel economy.

    This was done with early engine computers in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, the term chip tuning can be misleading, as people will often use it to describe ECU tuning that does not involve swapping the chip. Modern ECUs can be tuned by simply updating their software through a standard interface, such as OBDII. This procedure is commonly referred to as engine or ECU tuning. ECUs are a relatively recent addition to the automobile, having first appeared in the late 1970s.

    As technology advanced, so did the electronics that go into cars. The ECU in a modern automobile, together with advanced engine technology, makes it possible to control many aspects of the engine's operation, such as spark timing and fuel injection. The ECU may also control electronic throttle control (drive-by-wire), valve timing, boost control (in turbocharged engines), ABS, the automatic transmission, speed governor(if equipped), and the electronic stability control system.

    Performance gains are realized by adjusting the ignition timing advance. Higher timing may result in higher performance. However, to cope with advanced timing, one must run high-octane gasoline to avoid pre-ignition detonation or pinging. Manufacturers design for a specific timing and this may limit performance accordingly.

    In addition, changing fuel maps to coincide with the stoichiometric ratio for gasoline combustion may also realize performance increase. Most manufacturers tune for optimum emissions and fuel economy purposes which can limit performance.

    Cars with a turbo fitted can have the requested and allowable boost levels raised, these applications usually have the most effect if the turbo fitted is a low pressure turbo which leaves the most room for improvement.

    Another reason to change the ECU map is if there are engine, intake, or exhaust modifications to the car. These "bolt-on" modifications alter the way that the engine flows, often causing the air to fuel ratio to change. Without re-mapping the fuel tables, some of the performance gains from the modifications may not be realized.

    A poorly tuned ECU can result in decreased performance, driveability, and may even cause engine damage.

    The most common way to 'upgrade' the ECU is using either plug in modules as mentioned above or using a specialist tuner who will use an OBD Flash tool. These devices generally plug into the diagnostic port although in some cases the reprogramming is done directly on the circuit board. Maps are supplied by tuners.
    So if you look at that last sentence, it shows the two most common ways to upgrade the ECU ... what makes a custom tune better than a plug-in module? Can someone site specific examples with evidence to support the claim? Simply saying that a custom tune is "better" isn't good enough, I need some facts on exactly why it is better.

    Here is another article on the overall theory of tuning an engine.
    Last edited by ChevyLover; 09-16-2009 at 07:40 AM.

  5. #5
    Sr. Engineer
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    San Diego, CA


    If you really want to see the depth of "custom tuning" check out, you can download the software for free and see all the tables that are able to be altered/tuned.

    Basically, if you provide a tuner with all the info on your vehicle, they should be able to build a tune specifically for you.

    A programmer on the other hand, grabs an average of all the vehicles that match yours, and provides a "best guess" tune. The programmer doesn't change as many parameters as a "custom tuner" would.

    So basically you have a few options:

    Programmer/handheld- "cookie cutter tune" (doesn't take many modifications into account)

    Traditional Mail Order Tune- you provide info on your truck (ie. towing, desired shifts, modifications)

    Cable Tune- not sure how many tuners offer this, but we provide hardware that will record/log your vehicle as you drive, basically mimicking an inperson tune. The logs will be provided to the tuner, for a tune to be built off of. The hardware will also allow for you to perform the crank relearn on the tuned PCM that is sent out.

    Inperson/street tune- a tuner will drive along with you and make tune changes on the fly as you drive

    Dyno tune- we recommend a load bearing dyno for this sort of tuning as you will get the optimal data. Tunes are devised based on the data that the dyno is feeding back.

    EFILive should be releasing their AutoCal programmer (will allow for tunes to be uploaded on the fly) soon.
    Black Bear Performance- Custom Tuning Solutions

    Authorized EFILive and MAGNACHARGER seller

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