Black Bear custom Tune

Discussion in 'Black Bear Performance' started by ameerica, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. ameerica

    ameerica New Member

    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: Mar 17, 2009
  2. bry2500

    bry2500 New Member

    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.
  3. ProzacKid

    ProzacKid New Member

    I've been through this outfit and am 100% disappointed. The service was rude and pushy and my truck ended up running very bad after the "tune". I had less power, less torque and my truck gets the shakes now when at idle. I called back up there and they said that it wasn't their problem! I guess I'll go to the dealer and have it flashed back ...
  4. Springthing

    Springthing New Member

    Check your Private Messages..
  5. heavy chevy

    heavy chevy New Member

    ok so we have heard a lil bit about black bear does anyone have anything to say about wait4meperformance. I am seriousley concidering them.
  6. ct9a

    ct9a New Member

    ECU flashes were something that became popular for a while among the Evo group when the Evo first came out. The problems that I have with going this route are these: If you make any changes to your vehicle after the flash, ie intake, exhaust, cam, headers, etc., you have to get it re-flashed since the flash was tuned for what your truck was at that particular point. The mail in flashes are dangerous to say the least, you stand the chance of someone at FedEx or UPS running your ECU through the XRay machine, which isn't good for anything electronic (especially those that hold a memory of somesort), also the program that they put on your ECU isn't for your truck in specific since they aren't dealing with your truck, the best you can get is someone else's tune that has a truck somewhat similar to yours. It usually doesn't take into consideration your environment (altitude, humidity, local temperatures, etc.). All that being said, I found the best way to go for engine management is something that the driver can control at least the fuel and timing tables for (boost as well for forced induction motors). Even if the driver/owner doesn't know a thing about tuning, there are shops everywhere that can and will dyno tune (or road tune) your vehicle.
  7. ameerica

    ameerica New Member

    Steve, hey-- thanks for the PM, but unfortunalty i cannot send PMs back yet because i have not commented on enough threads yet. :(

    here is what i tried to write you.

    "DANG! thank you for all your help, now that i see and understand what the User CP tab is it will make my life on this forum so much better! i'm so glad i finally joined a site like this, it is actually very exciting/helpful/fun! AND i was sooo surprised with how fast people responded to my thread. Thanks again for everything, and i will be coming back to you if i need help, do you work for the forum or help run it, or are you just good with this stuff?

  8. ameerica

    ameerica New Member


    Justin offers LIFETIME tune adjustments, you just have to pay for shipping. They didn't seem pushy or rude at all. Maybe you just caught him on a bad day? but i've heard nothing bad about Black Bear anywhere online... pretty much every person that has done the mail order tune has loved it, especially compared to stock. I hope i don't end up getting screwed like you have... i would try emailing him and telling him the situation, and have him re-tune your PCM again.

    you really noticed NO increase? did you aim towards HP, or MPG increase? if you got just a basic "lite" tune it shouldn't have messed with things like your idle and such... maybe there was just a problem with shipping, or the way he programmed it, or maybe your truck had issues that weren't apparent before the tune?

    i'm not sure, but that sucks for you man... you did the mail in one right? did you get to keep your stock PCM? how long did it take for him to respond to your email/phone call? how long did it take to ship thee PCM?

    thanks a lot man, and i would definatly get it re-tuned, who knows-- maybe the second time it will be amazing and run like it's supposed to.
  9. ameerica

    ameerica New Member

    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?
  10. ct9a

    ct9a New Member

    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.
  11. Megasaurus

    Megasaurus Member

    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. :rofl:

    If you know him so well then why are you asking about him and his company?
  12. Springthing

    Springthing New Member

    ya, but at least normally we're able to pick them off easily enough with the subject.. "black bear group tune" ... lol Love that most of them are copy and paste.. makes them easy to spot.
  13. ameerica

    ameerica New Member

    Thank you man, i didn't think i looked suspicious at all, nor was a trying to promote the company either... maybe i just came off too strong. i just want to know all the facts before i spend my time and money on something.

    Oh and thanks for the help too, your PM was very nice, and i think i got the hang of it, photos uploaded, signature looks decent, BUT my photo i tried attaching to the sig. didn't work? i think it needed to be smaller than like 19kb or under 500x200? but A LOT of other people, like steve, have huge photos there..? i wonder if i can add an html link to a photobucket picture there? i'll give it a try.!
  14. ameerica

    ameerica New Member


    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.
  15. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member

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

    Jimmiee New Member

    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

  17. ameerica

    ameerica New Member

    We could totally get back up to number one. :lol:
  18. heftylefty58

    heftylefty58 New Member

    ...just thought I'd update this thread now that I got my in-person tune from Justin. Let me put it this way: I can't believe what a piece of crap my Yukon Denali was prior to the tune.

    I was hoping to get additional feedback from ChevyLover prior to my tune, but that didn't happen. Regardless, I am happy that I knew to pay close attention to the power, torque, and idling behavior "right before" & "right after" the tune. In short, I felt substantial improvements in power and torque, and couldn't tell any difference in idling behavior.

    I can't believe my lard-ass of a car is now actually fun to drive--especially when I hit the tow/haul button! I'm no longer worried about my kids being in the car when I come across short freeway on-ramps, or merging into the carpool lane literally from a standstill during rush hour. Needless to say, I'm very pleased with the outcome of the tune.

    Frankly, after the tune, I must admit that I was sort of expecting Justin to try to encourage me to post something positive about my tuning experience--just because so many other people seem to do so. That didn't happen. He didn't even try to market himself at all, which is good because I can't stand salesmen. Granted, I didn't spend more than an hour with him, so it's not like I know his life story. But I will say that he came across as a humble, yet very knowledgeable individual--a class act, as far as I could tell.
  19. .justin.

    .justin. New Member

    It was nice meeting you this past weekend, glad to hear things are working out well.

    Aside from what ChevyLover has claimed (I suspect he is confusing us with somebody else), we will stand by our service, so if there is anything more that you need, don't hesitate to contact me.

    Based on what has been accused of me here in the past, I feel that I need to clarify that I do not ever encourage anybody to do anything to promote our business in this manner. Any feedback that is posted here or on any other site has been purely at the discretion of the poster.

    Steve: as an administrator, I expect that you could have been able to look up IP addresses and see that traffic from these individuals that you banned came from varying sources. Instead, you chose to make these insinuations here, both about me and my business, and in this particular case, a new member that was just trying to get some information. It would have taken just two minutes to shoot me an email to ask what was going on and we probably would have become vendors here 3 months earlier (as I had never heard of this forum til June).

    At this point, I actually wish that I had seen this thread and the accusations being slung before paying to become a vendor. Advertising dollars are limited and I have a hard time justifying paying for a site that has openly exhibited such hostility towards new members. While this may not be an issue for 95% of the people here, I have to take note when this hostility is aimed towards members asking questions about our service.

    I hate to beat a dead horse here, but this thread is new to me and quite frustrating to read.
  20. Metaluzc

    Metaluzc New Member

    I'd be a little annoyed if I was a paying vendor and forum members were bashing others for asking questions about a product, including the moderator (whether they are copy and past or genuine new inquiries)...isn't that the point of being a paying vendor on this forum? To get testimonials on your product in the hands of the "masses" so someone can make their business more profitable/successful. It almost seems as if people are trying to give Black Bear Performance a bad image by making it look like the owner is telling all of his customers, "go post positive information on different forums about my product/service." I don't see ".justin." being a paying vendor on this forum in the future.

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