GM Inside - Ford Inside - Ford Ranger - Jeep - American Muscle

Support FSC and see no ads! - Click Here
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34

Tuning an 8.1L

This is a discussion on Tuning an 8.1L within the Performance forums, part of the General Discussion category; I have an 8.1L in an 03 GMC 2500HD 4x4. I want to get a tune. I was almost set ...

  1. #1
    RBz OFFROAD
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ponchatoula,LA
    Age
    27
    Posts
    3,330

    Tuning an 8.1L


    Support FSC and see no ads! - Click Here
    I have an 8.1L in an 03 GMC 2500HD 4x4. I want to get a tune. I was almost set on the westers till I did some looking around on here and seen a bunch of diff. options. All the posts I've been reading reeally havent answered my questions as too which is the best or which tune does what. Most of it is hear say and not experience. I would like to know actual feedback from the products. Is any custom tune superior too another in anyway? Is some tune just the best available or do they all do the same for diff. money. Also can someone explain this new tunercat tuning, I'm pretty much lost on it. Thanks in advance.
    -2003 GMC ECSB 2500HD 4x4 496 8.1L, Allsion, Volant CAI, Helix Power Tower, Granatelli MAF, Dual 3" w/ X-pipe no mufflers/no cats,3" PA BL, 8" Fabtech, Custom Steering with 3/4 Heims, 42 TSL SX IIs, 20x10 MT Classic IIs.

  2. #2
    MATT mabutler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Jax, Florida
    Age
    35
    Posts
    1,455

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    They are all pretty much the same. Tunercat is not a very good software, EFI live and HP tuners are much better.
    2004 1500 Silverado Z-71 ECSB 5.3L 3" body lift, 305/55R20 Nitto Terragrapplers on 20x10 Helo's, and a few bolt-on's.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Woodstock Ontario Canada
    Age
    38
    Posts
    8,263

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Westers sees 60 hp on their 8.1 tunes. For max performance get a 93 octane HOT tune from Westers.

    Westers has shops in teh US that youy can get Westers tuning installed, so you dont have to pay teh border charges.

    peace
    Pauly
    97 GMC 2wd RCSB 5.7, s10 2700 footstall, Hooker 24621hkr LT's , 2.5" cats dual 4"pipes exit B4 pass. side tire, custom driveshaft 3.42 G80 FIPK MAF descreen GM/Mercruiser Marine intake manifold 29lb LS2(EV6) injectors Ed Wright PCM(best mod), LT4 KM 14.8@94mph 2.007 4000lbs 122mph

  4. #4
    RBz OFFROAD
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ponchatoula,LA
    Age
    27
    Posts
    3,330

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Well after some more research I found the JET tuning software for $375. I would like this b/c its cheaper than westers and I could have several diff. tunes for my truck not just one. Like economy, performance, towing and put it back to stock. I could also tune my friends trucks and make my money back, along with making changes for tire size, gear ratio, engine mods as I do them to the truck and not have to send it in for $45 everytime. The only concern I have is will I be able to get the power out of it that westers does. I have heard you can download performance tunes from a website to tune your truck using the JET software. Will these be comparable to westers?

    Pauly-60hp does sound nice but 93 octane is 20 cents more a gallon here and the 8.1 already ahs a healthy gas bill. Will I gain enough mpgs to about even it out or at least come close. Thanks for your help.
    -2003 GMC ECSB 2500HD 4x4 496 8.1L, Allsion, Volant CAI, Helix Power Tower, Granatelli MAF, Dual 3" w/ X-pipe no mufflers/no cats,3" PA BL, 8" Fabtech, Custom Steering with 3/4 Heims, 42 TSL SX IIs, 20x10 MT Classic IIs.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Woodstock Ontario Canada
    Age
    38
    Posts
    8,263

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    I have been told that the mileage gains actually save you money, even with teh higher priced high octane fuel.

    20 cents a gallon, isnt that only like $4 a fillup or somethging like that?? I surely would do the 93 octane tune for an extra 60+++ hp. Its a no brainer in my books.

    The JET DST, is the brother of the Tunercats 2 software that I use.
    I warn you that there is very little support for the JET DST, if you are anovice tuner I dont suggest this for you. I allready know of 2 people who bought teh Jet setup and ended up buying EFIlive after all. Dont spend your money twice.

    HPTuners and ERFILive while being around twice the cost, have internet support forums with tons of users that will help you tune.

    Tunercats/JETS DST dont have a logger/scanner, EFIlive and HPTuners do, thats why they are more money. How oftenare yoyu really going to change gearing and tire heights?? You can buy the Westers tune, as well as get EFILive or HPtuners and make changes to the Westers tune if you really do make changes to your truck that often.
    S far as a tune bank for JET DST, its virtually non-existant.


    the only way I would recommend JET DST over EFILIve of HPTuners is if you have a 1996-1997 Vortec truck or a 1996-1997 LT1 Camaro or Firebird as EFIlive or HPTuners dont support the 1996-97 trucks or F-bodies. OR you allready have a good scan tool and logging equipent.

    The Tunercats 2 is actually an excellent product. If you know what you are doing, you can tuen with it just fine. FAstchip's Ed Wright and many other Pro's use Tunercats 2. It has a no BS approach, without many things that a non-novice or Pro can use as they dont need every little detail explained to them.

    If you really dont want to buy EFILive or HPTuners, you can still buy Tunercats OBD2 so long as you buy it with teh Mostes Roadrunner realtime emulator. The rodrunner allows you to make tuning changes on teh fly without loading and reflashing teh PCM everytime.
    Even if you dont want the Roadrunner, you can sell it to someone else. It works with Tunercats IBD2 ans well as EFIlive. You shoudlnt have any problems getting rid of the Roadrunner.

    Here are the Tunercats OBD2 Roadrunner combos.
    http://www.moates.net/index.php?cPath=53_55

    peace
    Pauly
    97 GMC 2wd RCSB 5.7, s10 2700 footstall, Hooker 24621hkr LT's , 2.5" cats dual 4"pipes exit B4 pass. side tire, custom driveshaft 3.42 G80 FIPK MAF descreen GM/Mercruiser Marine intake manifold 29lb LS2(EV6) injectors Ed Wright PCM(best mod), LT4 KM 14.8@94mph 2.007 4000lbs 122mph

  6. #6
    claviz13
    Guest

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan02
    Well after some more research I found the JET tuning software for $375. I would like this b/c its cheaper than westers and I could have several diff. tunes for my truck not just one. Like economy, performance, towing and put it back to stock. I could also tune my friends trucks and make my money back, along with making changes for tire size, gear ratio, engine mods as I do them to the truck and not have to send it in for $45 everytime. The only concern I have is will I be able to get the power out of it that westers does. I have heard you can download performance tunes from a website to tune your truck using the JET software. Will these be comparable to westers?

    Pauly-60hp does sound nice but 93 octane is 20 cents more a gallon here and the 8.1 already ahs a healthy gas bill. Will I gain enough mpgs to about even it out or at least come close. Thanks for your help.
    You'll get better fuel mileage with a 93 tune. Peace!
    Last edited by claviz13; 07-21-2007 at 02:24 PM.

  7. #7
    Registered User Torquer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    166

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Why do you need to use 93 octane fuel with the tune? Is that because the tune changes the timing?
    2001 chevy 2500. 8.1L motor

  8. #8
    claviz13
    Guest

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Quote Originally Posted by Torquer
    Why do you need to use 93 octane fuel with the tune? Is that because the tune changes the timing?
    You don't have to use 93. You can get it tuned for 87,89,91 or 93. You'll just get the biggest bang for the buck out of a 93 tune thats all.
    Last edited by claviz13; 07-21-2007 at 02:24 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Woodstock Ontario Canada
    Age
    38
    Posts
    8,263

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Quote Originally Posted by Torquer
    Why do you need to use 93 octane fuel with the tune? Is that because the tune changes the timing?
    There are some tunes that require high octane fuel, some dont, and some a multi octane tunes.
    The newer PCM's, like yours, are constantly watching the knock sensor for knock counts. There are fuel tables, 1 is a high octane the other is a low octane table. If the PCM is seeing a bunch of knock sensor activity it will start adjusting towards the low octane fuel table, if knock counts are low or absent, adjustment will go towards the high octane table.

    Some tuners copy the high octane numbers into the low octane tables, this will eliminate any sort of octane adjustment via the PCM.

    Stock tunes use a rich PE fuel multiplier. gas engiens cruise at 14.6-14.7:1 a/f ratios, but when under power, teh engien needs to run richer and needs more fuel. When the engine needs fuel enrichment, its said to be in Power Enrichment Mode or PE mode.
    the PE Mode fuel multiplier determines WOT fueling.

    A rich stock a/f ratio is safe and will help to prevent detonation in the HUIGE variety of conditions that the trucks may be asked to operate in.
    Leaning out teh PE mode multiplier from stock will usually gain power. It really depends just how rich the stock tune is.

    Combining PE mode tuning with spark advance tuning can give some serious gains in power.
    if using 87 octane, you will run into detonation when advancing timing and leaning the PE mode a/f ratio at less agressive settings than you would with say 93 octane fuel. The higheroctane fuel is more detonation resistant, this will allow more timing advance and a leaner mixture than the 87 octane fuel.

    WOT timing should be advanced until no more power gains are seen. This is FAR superior to the methof of advancing timing until detionation then backing off a bit. Most engines will gain power with advancing timing to a point, then even if you continue to advance teh timing, no power will be gained, but you are that much closer to detonation. This is where a loaded chassis dyno realy shines. You simply hold the car to a certain rpm at WOT and advance the timing uintil no more power is gained, then move on to the next rpm and repeat.

    The higher octance fuel will allow you to run leaner a/f ratios than low octane fuel before the engine will detonate.

    This is why I am excited about E85's 105 octane (R+M/2 method) rating. E85 is race fuel at the pumps.
    The 105 octane rating of E85 is directly comparable to the 87, 89, 91, 93, 94 octane ratings of gasoline, which all use the same ocatne rating method. Reseach octane rating + Engine Octane Rating divided by 2.
    Some countries only use Research OR Engine Octane rating systes, where we in North America use teh average of BOTH octane rating methods. Thus all fuel rated useing the R+M/2 method are directly compareable so far as detonation resistance.

    I remember 1 day at the drags I bough $30 worth of 104 octane Unleaded race fuel. AT the time it was $2.70 a liter, or about $9.45 a gallon. In teh US, tehre are some Sunoco gas station that gave their Sunoco 100 octane unleaded street fuel for sale. The highest up here in Canada is Sunoco's Unleaded 94 octane, like ALL of our gas up here, it contains up to 10% ethanol or ethyl alcohol, or E10.
    I hope we get E85 stations up here in Canada. Its ALL about reducing our dependency on foreign oil.

    With my mild 87 octane Fastchip PCm tune, Ed leaned out my PE Mode multiplier for a bit more power, the timing advance tables were untouched.
    torque management/abuse mode tables were disabled, shifts firmed up, rev limiter raised, shiftpoints raised, EGR disabled, rear O2 sensors disabled(I recommend that everytruck get its rear O2 sensors disabled via tuning, therefore you will never have to replace a rear O2 sensor again, for my truck they cost $100 a price from GM so thats $200 for 2 of them, eventually the PCm tune will pay for itself).

    Your truck will drive like a different truck once you get a full PCM tune performed. Its not just wide open throttle performance, but low/part throttle cruise that is bettered. Throttle response will be increased.

    if your truck has the tow/haul button on teh shifter stalk, tehn you can have the tuner have stock shiufting and toqrue management when thebutton is off. Then when tow/haul is selected, you can have ZERO TM, harder shifts, higher shiftpoints and less tendency to downshift if you so desire. Only trans parameters can be either turned on or off via the tow/haul button.

    Since I never tow, I owuld get a HOT 93 octane tune from Westers.

    Send Lyndon an email at Wester's. His name is Lyndon Wester's, he is a cool guy and will answer any questions you have. It might be better for you to hear the info from the horse's mouth.

    Westers Garage has an in house gyno that Lyndon uses to develop his tunes and software.

    nwester@eidnet.org <nwester@eidnet.org>

    Any question, post back.

    peace
    PAuly
    97 GMC 2wd RCSB 5.7, s10 2700 footstall, Hooker 24621hkr LT's , 2.5" cats dual 4"pipes exit B4 pass. side tire, custom driveshaft 3.42 G80 FIPK MAF descreen GM/Mercruiser Marine intake manifold 29lb LS2(EV6) injectors Ed Wright PCM(best mod), LT4 KM 14.8@94mph 2.007 4000lbs 122mph

  10. #10
    Registered gun nut YULLOSE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Age
    46
    Posts
    183

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    This is just the info I was looking for...

    60hp is pretty darn good...
    Since there is seldom a trailer behind my Suburban, I think Monday I will call Westers and get a 93 hot tune on the way.
    I also like the idea of EGR disable and rear O2 disable.


    I'll have the fastest kid-hauler on the block.

    Is he 'gonna be upset if I want to keep my factory PCM ?

    03 2500HD Silverado / 6.0 / Toyo 295 AT's / 5% tint

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Woodstock Ontario Canada
    Age
    38
    Posts
    8,263

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Quote Originally Posted by YULLOSE
    This is just the info I was looking for...

    60hp is pretty darn good...
    Since there is seldom a trailer behind my Suburban, I think Monday I will call Westers and get a 93 hot tune on the way.
    I also like the idea of EGR disable and rear O2 disable.


    I'll have the fastest kid-hauler on the block.

    Is he 'gonna be upset if I want to keep my factory PCM ?
    If you want to keep your old PCM, you simply have to pay the core charge. Since you want to keep your old PCM, you may need to do a CASE relearn that "introduces" the new non-virgin PCM to your trucks crankshaft sensor angles that are used for missfire detection.
    I searched teh Westers website and the core charges arent listed, at least I couldnt find them.
    You may want to go to teh wercking yard or look on ebay for a PCM from teh same year of truck as you. The 4.3/4.8/5.3/6.0/8.1 PCM's are all the same.
    When I got my Fastchip PCm tuning, I shipped Fastchip a PCM that I got from a 1996 V6 van and had Ed tune it for my 1997 Vortec 350 truck. The PCM cost me $20 from the wrecking yard. The newer PCms would be slightly newer.

    I personally deleted the EGR functyion from my PCM because when I installed my headers, I didnt want to weld in the EGR feed bung on the drivers side header. I didnt want to disturb the ceramic coating.


    EGR has ZERO negative effcet on power production on the fuel injected trucks. Its only operational while cruising. It can decreases emissions and improves cruising fuel mileage.

    In your truck I would leave the EGR alone, if your truck even uses EGR.

    A CPM tune will wake your 8.1 right up.

    You also may want to get a hold of Nelsons Performance as well. They are known for teh 99+ trucks. He just lowered his prices as well. His core charge is $150 if you dont return you rold PCM within 14 days

    Nelsons Performance $375 was $425-$490 99-07
    http://www.nelsonperformance.com/
    Nelson Performance 210-626-0278
    email allen at nelsonperformance.com


    Westers Garage $425-$595 99-07
    http://westersgarage.eidnet.org/scprice.htm

    peace
    PAuly
    Last edited by Pauly; 07-08-2007 at 12:46 PM.
    97 GMC 2wd RCSB 5.7, s10 2700 footstall, Hooker 24621hkr LT's , 2.5" cats dual 4"pipes exit B4 pass. side tire, custom driveshaft 3.42 G80 FIPK MAF descreen GM/Mercruiser Marine intake manifold 29lb LS2(EV6) injectors Ed Wright PCM(best mod), LT4 KM 14.8@94mph 2.007 4000lbs 122mph

  12. #12
    RBz OFFROAD
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ponchatoula,LA
    Age
    27
    Posts
    3,330

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Thanks alot pauly you really helped me a ton. I am going to go with the westers or nelson tune, most likely a westers 93 HOT tune as 60hp sounds good. And also delete the rear O2s. I may look into EFIlive or HPtuners later on down the road. And I'm gonna start lookin for a PCM to send to westers so I can keep my stock one also.
    -2003 GMC ECSB 2500HD 4x4 496 8.1L, Allsion, Volant CAI, Helix Power Tower, Granatelli MAF, Dual 3" w/ X-pipe no mufflers/no cats,3" PA BL, 8" Fabtech, Custom Steering with 3/4 Heims, 42 TSL SX IIs, 20x10 MT Classic IIs.

  13. #13
    Registered gun nut YULLOSE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Age
    46
    Posts
    183

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Well... I called Nelsons YESTERDAY (Wed) and I'm still waiting for a return call.
    The gal who answered was more than happy to take my credit card and basic vehicle info, but offered nothing as far as technical expertise. I felt like I was talking to my 7yr old daughter.
    I called again today,(Thurs) as I'm somewhat uncomfortable that I spoke to a "nobody" yesterday and gave my credit card info to them... Today I get the same gal on the phone. Again, she says she'll have someone give me a call back. Again, no return call.

    I can't say that I'm very confident in my choice of tuners at this point.
    Quite frankly, I'm a bit irritated that I'm having such difficulty in simply getting my phonecall returned. What if I had a serious problem and needed tech support ?
    All I'm trying to do is give them my money.
    Last edited by YULLOSE; 07-12-2007 at 05:54 PM.

    03 2500HD Silverado / 6.0 / Toyo 295 AT's / 5% tint

  14. #14
    claviz13
    Guest

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    I didn't really care for their customer service the other day either when I called/emailed them for a re-tune. But their tunes rock!
    Last edited by claviz13; 07-21-2007 at 02:35 PM.

  15. #15
    AKA 01bigblock bush-rhino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Castlewood VA
    Age
    30
    Posts
    52

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    i would also like a tune for my 8.1L. the 60hp tune sounds great but i tow alot ,so would it still be worth getting for me because i use the tow/haul mode while towing. i also have the allison and i hear the tunes dont do as good with the allison.

  16. #16
    Registered gun nut YULLOSE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Age
    46
    Posts
    183

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    *UPDATE*

    My Nelson PCM just arrived today. I'm pleased that it arrived, but by the same token I'm extremely disappointed that I NEVER spoke a word to anyone of importance. Simply a secretary taking orders. At no time did I speak with anyone about specific preferences or driving habits. I never got any of my calls returned, and had no idea what my order status was until it just showed up today. I have no idea what is done to the PCM, what fuel pressure needs to be, how much torque mgmt was removed, etc... It simply has a sticker on it that says "93 octane".
    I was told by the gal that I would get a call from the tuner before any programming or charge to my credit card.

    This is absolutely HORRIBLE customer service. I called three times today, in an effort to get some answers. Only once was I able to speak to a human,(this morning)...of course he knew nothing and was of no help at all. He just took my name and number... and assured me that I would get a call back. All other attempts to call resulted in a busy signal or voicemail.
    Here it is the end of the day and still no return call.

    I wish I would have done more homework and searching of the boards before placing an order... had I known this, I NEVER would have ordered from these folks.
    Not to mention, the PCM looks like a filthy piece of crap from a junkyard. Might have been nice to see something CLEAN arrive for the $385 I spent.

    WTF will I do if I have problems with it and need tech assistance ???

    Sorry if my post sounds ungratefull... but at this point, I really don't care how much it changes the performance, as I no longer have any confidence in the tech support or customer service.
    Last edited by YULLOSE; 07-17-2007 at 02:50 PM.

    03 2500HD Silverado / 6.0 / Toyo 295 AT's / 5% tint

  17. #17
    RBz OFFROAD
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ponchatoula,LA
    Age
    27
    Posts
    3,330

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    I called nelsons on monday or tuesday and talked to the lady secretary and she didnt tell me much like you said, yullose. However she did take my name and number and I got a call back today he was nice but could only tell me I would get 25-30hp and he was not sure about torque and he told me about crankshaft re-learn and how only 1 in 20 or 30 trucks requires it. I emailed lynden from westers earlier this week and he replied the same or next day and he has since returned two more of my emails and been helpful, but short. He said with an 8.1L/Allison combo with a few bolt ons he got over 100HP more to the rear wheels on a chassis dyno from a 93 octane tune. He said all I could run was 93 octane and around 3000lbs. would be a safe towing amount with light driving. I think I will go with westers.
    -2003 GMC ECSB 2500HD 4x4 496 8.1L, Allsion, Volant CAI, Helix Power Tower, Granatelli MAF, Dual 3" w/ X-pipe no mufflers/no cats,3" PA BL, 8" Fabtech, Custom Steering with 3/4 Heims, 42 TSL SX IIs, 20x10 MT Classic IIs.

  18. #18
    Formerly 1fasthd ArizonaHD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
    Posts
    103

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    Before you buy check out Wheatley Performance Tuning. Everything I have heard is he does good work and is very good to work with. Haven't done a tune yet but I am pretty sure I will use his tune.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    27

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    I'm using the Superchips handheld on 87 tune. I need to be able to return to stock for warranty repairs. My understanding is no one is able to change the Torque Management associated with the Allison transmission. A seperate computer operates the trans? No mileage increase. 10-10.5 around town. I doubt 60 hp is a real number, or at least for a daily driver. 100 hp at the wheels (mentioned above) with a tune and a few bolt ons would be great. I think the Allison robs a little power. What bolt ons was he talking about? Headers, CAI? Or heads and intake?
    2006 Silverado 2500HD, 8.1 Allison

  20. #20
    RBz OFFROAD
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ponchatoula,LA
    Age
    27
    Posts
    3,330

    Re: Tuning an 8.1L

    I assume bolt ons included intake, throttle body/throttle body spacer, and exhaust maybe headers. Dont see why you cant tune the allison it should be ran off the same computer just like the 60 and 80 Es there all the same I dont see a reason for it to be different and I know you can change the shift points through a diesel programmer so I know you can change trans. settings.
    -2003 GMC ECSB 2500HD 4x4 496 8.1L, Allsion, Volant CAI, Helix Power Tower, Granatelli MAF, Dual 3" w/ X-pipe no mufflers/no cats,3" PA BL, 8" Fabtech, Custom Steering with 3/4 Heims, 42 TSL SX IIs, 20x10 MT Classic IIs.

 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •