LS Engine Tuning FAQ
FAQ About Tuning
We receive numerous questions about tuning every day. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.
Can you provide a more aggressive performance tune for my car without affecting its economy?
When we tune a car, the fuel table is made accurate for both low and full throttle loads. These two aspects are independent of each other, so no extra full-throttle power can be gained with a fuel economy tune, and little, if any, extra fuel economy can be gained above the way we already tune the cars.
How safe is the tune you do compared to stock?
We tune the car within safe limits and ensure there is no apparent knock that could damage your engine, with the air fuel ratios in the right range. The tune is also set up so that it cannot change. If it does start knocking or is too lean, something has changed. The car needs to stay on the fuel it was tuned with, for example, if it was tuned on 98, keep using 98 and not 95 or 91. If issues occur, get it tweaked and checked, as over time things will deteriorate on the car and the engine can start to misbehave. We see many slowly appearing problems, such as fuel pumps rusting out, injectors getting dirty, catalytic converters blocking, spark plugs increasing in gap, spark plug leads perishing, and engine oil being induced.
Can you tune my V6?
Yes, we can tune all V6 Commodores from the Alloytec VZ through to the current VF V6.
Can my car lose its tune?
The only way a car can lose its tune is if it is intentionally wiped by another tuner or ourselves. Taking the battery lead off resets the system, but it does nothing to the tune settings.
How much power will my car make with a tune?
Engines, even within the same model, vary greatly in power when tuned, even cars with the same mods. Cars that have always been gently driven and have low km tend to make the least power. You will notice a solid difference in throttle response, be able to use high gears at a lower speed, and the car will have more power at all rpm while using less fuel. We could quote our best ever numbers on the dyno, but that wouldn’t be a fair answer as the average cars are often 20 rwkw lower than that. We have seen cars gain as much as 30 rwkw from a tune, even in new HSV LS3. They often gain 30 rwkw from a tune and OTR and then around 20 rwkw again from a full exhaust. LS1s typically gain more than this. We recently saw a LS3 Automatic with full performance exhaust and OTR cold air intake make 301rwkw (402rwhp) on our Mainline Hub Dyno. A recent 6L Automatic made 270rwkw with the same modifications. These are top level stock cammed numbers.
My car was tuned and has been running well, but it recently lost a large amount of power while still running smoothly. What could be the cause?
The most common cause is that the intake air temperature sensor is not plugged in or has stopped working. The second most likely cause is blockages in the exhaust or air filter is dirty . Start by having the catalytic converters inspected and air filter cleaned. We once saw a car have a filter fall out of a cheap OTR. Check the fuel injectors for equal flow or have them cleaned or replaced.
My car is varying in the way it idles and changing RPM at idle every 30 seconds or so. What could be causing this?
This is likely caused by a faulty oxygen (O2) sensor. When the O2 sensor is sick, the fuel trims build to the maximum and then reset to zero, causing the rhythmic change in idle RPM. The best solution is to replace the faulty O2 sensor or both of them if they are old.
My car doesn’t idle consistently. It’s an LS1 with a cable throttle body. What is the cause?
A faulty throttle position sensor (TPS) is usually the cause of inconsistent idling in cars with cable throttle bodies. The TPS is not consistently reporting zero percent during a no-throttle condition, which is important because the engine enters idle mode based on this signal. Often, the faulty TPS will report above one percent, causing the engine RPM to vary up and down or stay constantly high, known as hunting. This is most common when the throttle body area is hot. The best solution is to replace the TPS, and sometimes modifying the mechanism if the connection point is worn.
I can hear ping pong ball sounds in my engine under load. What is the cause of this, and is it safe?
The sound you are likely hearing is pinging, which is caused by the fuel igniting too early in the engine’s cycle. This can happen when the engine has excessive timing advance for the fuel in it at the moment. The solution is to change the engine’s tune calibration or increase the fuel octane. Sometimes, pinging can occur because someone has put 91 octane or E10 in a car that is tuned for 98. Drive the car gently and keep the engine load away from where it pings until it is fixed. Pinging can harm the engine, so it is essential to address this issue as soon as possible. Other causes of pinging that can occur over time include blocked catalytic converters, blocked exhaust, dirty injectors, failing fuel pump, and more. We recently had a car pinging badly because the earth strap to the passenger side head was damaged.
I have had a cam upgrade, and now my engine is stalling easily. What is the fix?
Cam upgrades require more air at idle than standard. The solution is to adjust the tune so it isnt too rich at idle and increase the airflow provided through the throttle body blade by drilling a hole in the blade or enlarging the existing one. Bigger and lumpier cams require the largest holes. Be careful when doing this because if the hole is drilled too big, it may not be possible to have low enough RPM in coasting conditions without blocking up the hole and starting again.
I have had a cam upgrade, and the car is driving poorly at low RPM. What can be done?
The car needs to switch between coast spark advance table and drive spark advance tables. This switching is decided by throttle position. The best solution is to fix this in the tune, assuming the air fuel ratios are good at low load.
Can LS engines be tuned accurately remotely?
Yes tuning device can be posted which can read and flash the ECU with updated settings and also collect data logs from driving,racing or dyno which can be analysed and used the same as tune done in person.