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Old 02-16-2014, 04:18 PM   #1
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help me understand tuning

Ive googled and searched but couldn't exact answers.

What is "getting a tune"?

how do I find someone to do it?

what does it cost?

Is there a down side?

I know this is a basic thing that you guys all understand. but I'm new to this.

I was reading about removing the EGR and everyone keeps saying to turn it off when you get your tune?


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Old 02-16-2014, 04:53 PM   #2
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In a nutshell,

The factory tune is comprised of compromises and optimized for and to Federal Emission standards and laws. That is where the EGR and EVAP plays in. By Federal law these things are not supposed to be messed with, moved or removed. Not that anyone notices but on every tuner sales website there is a disclaimer. Something to the effect of 'this is for off-road use only'. It's pretty much SOP for anything performance part orientated.

Now that factory tune gives a lot of room for varying drivers, conditions and locations. You can drive your car in Death Valley and up The Road To The Sun without having to adjust anything. (the wonders of electronic fuel injection)
This is because the 'maps' allow for a wide range of adjustment.

What a custom tune does is fine tunes those things. If you've removed EGR that option will be deleted from the tune. There are also changes to fuel and spark based on EGR. by simply removing parts, that changes still happen and can cause poor running conditions.

Baring emissions in mind (what comes out the tailpipe). Adding more fuel or more spark can change them, possibly enough that Federal rules are not met. But the Federal rules are for air quality and not for maximum power. Generally when you want/need a custom tune you also want maximum power. So the fueling needs will change as will the spark requirements.
Both those things can change based on the type or Octane fuel you wish to use.

The car can deal with many simple changes to it and still run fairly well. Adding a custom tune will help ensure that though.
It's when you remove parts that a tune is really needed. It will/should still run. But it's not going to run near as well or as safe.

Think of it this way. You have 2 chairs. One with 4 legs and one with a leg missing. Which would you feel safer sitting in?
A custom tune is that 4th leg.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:25 PM   #3
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Thanks that is helpful. so where do I get this done? how is it done?
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:28 PM   #4
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Tom will be along shortly I'd bet ...
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #5
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The "Tuning Chat" section and the Focus-Power section have a lot of info & threads, more than we can repeat here...

Some other "pluses" are adjustment of how fast engine speed drops after letting up on the pedal for manual transmissions, and adjustability of shifting behavior for automatics.

VERY basically, a "tuner" (tuning device) can be plugged into the OBD port, which will save the factory "tune" in it's memory while installing a new version. In this manner you can return to "stock" at any time.

Device has other functions like code reading/reset, monitoring functions, and some user adjustments.

Your computer is used with the device to send "logs" of operation & receive "tunes" via E-Mail. With Internet/laptop/tuner a Custom Tuner like Tom can actually be there with you & operate the system remotely. This can be helpful if you have any problems figuring out the system or need help with diagnosis. (live data direct can help with diagnosing difficult operational problems)

"Tuning" on a Dyno is not required, using one is helpful only for some particular circumstances like dialing in adjustable cam gears - special cases most aren't dealing with. "Dyno numbers" for bragging rights aren't worth much, too much variability between Dyno units and circumstances.

That's a quick addition to Iminhell's intro, plenty more involved you can read up on.

Cheers
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:00 PM   #6
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You guys did a great job lol

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Old 02-16-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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Moved to "Focus Tuning Chat".
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:21 PM   #8
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so I just read toms website. it all makes more sense now. I had a basic understanding of what a tune would be. but I didn't understand what got changed and how you did it. but buying the tuner and then emailing info back and forth makes sense.

so if you had a bone stock car would a tune be very noticeable? mine isn't completely stock but close. I'm planning on doing a header/exhaust when the weather gets better. and I have a short ram intake
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:15 AM   #9
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"Tuning" is generally reported as the largest improvement from a single change.

"Driveability" might be an even larger factor than max. power, getting rid of the "hanging RPM" issue alone is a big help. If you have an automatic, it can change how it shifts - a huge advantage.

IMHO the best part is that it's synergistic - adds more to each change you may make in the future.

Hard to explain clearly, I'll give it a try. The whole system is tuned to work together, any change needs other adjustment just to work. SRI is a small change for example, even for that the car's computer needs to make adjustments. Add an exhaust, more adjustment - a header as well, even more changes. Now each of these works together - SRI by itself doesn't change much but with exh. & header the TOTAL improvement in flow is more than the pieces do individually. Letting more air in doesn't help a lot until you're letting more out the other end.

Now the car's basic tune can make some adjustments, but they're reactive & learned as well as not applying across the whole range of operation. If you change the starting "map" with a tune, the car starts out knowing what to do across the whole range of operation & can fine tune from there - much more effective. It's amazing how much the base system can do, with carburetors tuning the fuel system was needed for any changes or it would usually work worse, not better.

As you read more, you'll run into references to "Open Loop" and "Closed Loop" operation of the ECU. This refers to times when the ECU makes adjustments based on it's internal map alone, vs. the times when it is adjusting based on feedback from the O2 sensor. You can imagine that having a map that works best for a particular engine & any changes made to it will work better at times when the ECU is not adapting to current circumstances vs. a map for a generic unmodified engine.

That simplified description should help a bit, the subject is endless!
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzukisam967m View Post
so I just read toms website. it all makes more sense now. I had a basic understanding of what a tune would be. but I didn't understand what got changed and how you did it. but buying the tuner and then emailing info back and forth makes sense.

so if you had a bone stock car would a tune be very noticeable? mine isn't completely stock but close. I'm planning on doing a header/exhaust when the weather gets better. and I have a short ram intake
There are hundreds of things changed in a tune file timing , fueling , limiters , emissions , idle all to make the engine safer and more efficient which equals better daily driveability and performance

Tom
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