Category Archives: Tuning Blog

33″ RG Colorado Tune

Riley came in with his lift kitted & big tyre’d Colorado on the weekend to get his transmission looked at & ecu re-calibrated. The car had been suffering from what can only be explained as a stuttering/false neutral shift between gears since shortly after purchase.

I quickly diagnosed it as a low fluid problem as the Commodores platform has a similar issue on hard launches when the fluid moves to the back of the pan. With the tran’s dip stick removed it was evident that it was very low.

The good news is with an additional 2lt’s of Dex6 fluid added & a reset of the transmission adapts, the hesitation was now gone.

So a word of warning, If you are experiencing any funky shift changes in your 6L45/6L80/6l90e transmission equipped cars & you have a dipstick. Check the fluid level. Don’t rely on someone else checking it for you.

As for Riley’s ecu tune? Switchable tunes with stock 137whp to 174 for max power on the 33” tyres sound?

All done via efilive’s DSP4 option.

Colorado 7 Caravan Hauler

Another Colorado I tuned recently was Pete’s Colorado 7.  He arrived with caravan in tow (all 3ton of it) With it unhooked it was on to the dyno for a couple of baseline pull’s before the tuning started.

The car already had a full 3″ exhaust system, So it had a decent starting point. However with the engine ecu & transmission calibration adjusted he & his wife were on their way for another caravaning adventure.

A couple of days later he let me know that on this trip they used half the amount of fuel it normally used for the same route & towing was a breeze.

Another happy Customer.

 

VF SS UTE Maf Tune

A friend from the country (Moora) came for a drive to the big smoke this weekend for a maf tune on his ute after having already fitted extractors, exhaust and then getting the dreaded check engine light from the now out of factory spec exhaust gases.

With the car strapped to the dyno,  the car made a best of 302.9hp from the 3 factory tune dyno pulls with the car riding the low octane spark map the entire time.

Then it was time to fit the new OTR & infill panels & adjust the tune to suit.

The car seemed a little low on power compared to previous 6lt motors I’ve tuned, so the question was asked, “what fuel is in this?”

“Just plain unleaded”

ha, right, that would explain it then.

Regardless of the lower octane fuel, we still made a nice healthy 48whp gain as can be seen by the dyno sheet.

How's the consistency for back to back runs!
How’s the consistency for back to back runs!

Once the car is filled up with some 98 octane fuel the car will start to learn towards the higher octane spark map and pick up some more hp.

2016 RG Colorado Tune

After test driving my own tuned 2017 Model Colorado with some towing duties, my Dad decided he needed to upgrade from his ZD30 Patrol too, So he went out & purchased a run out 2016 Model before Christmas & so I spent some time on Christmas eve on the dyno.

With just under 100km’s on the clock it was loaded onto the dyno for a couple of baseline pulls before flashing in my new calibration. Power is slightly lower compared to mine but that’s probably due to some slight hardware changes between the years. (mentioned futher below)

So what sold my dad on the Colorado over his existing Patrol? well he simply put a caravan on the back of my car and drove the same hill with a decent grade and noted the speed & throttle difference.

The patrol needed 3rd gear and was maxed out at 65kph with the pedal on the floor. The Colorado? well it did it in 4th gear(auto) & he was having to back off at 85kph so as not to break the speed limit. A pretty convincing test for him.

The main hardware difference between the new 17 model is a 2.75~3″ exhaust stock compared to 2.25~2.5″ for the 16. However the 17 model get’s a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) after the catalytic converter (which is easily removed and tuned around).

Along with the new engine ecu calibration, I also have a new transmission calibration better suited to towing also loaded in.

VE Ute hits the Strip

Should have updated this one a few weeks ago, so I’ll just do the one big update to bring you up to date on how the car is going.

After the initial re-tune after purchase I took the car down to the motorplex on the 20″ street tyres, best et for the night was an 11.029 @ 205.54kph. Most of the launches were done with 2nd gear to prevent wheel spin, so 60 foot times were nothing to write home about.

ve-ute-street-times

A week or 2 after racing the car on the street tyres, I put on my Racestar drag rims/slicks and took it out for another night of racing.

Ute in Drag Mode

With the slicks on, the car ran 10 second passes consistently. Except the car was badly hesitant off the line on the launches which i knew was because of fluid rushing to the back of the transmission pan.

In the end i got about 5 runs all up with the best being a 10.713 @ 208kph. In the below video you can hear the hesitation just before the 1st shift into 2nd gear.

The following week I took the ute back down, this time with an additional 2 litres of fluid in the transmission and my 4 piston brembo’s on the front of the car (mainly to help with holding the car on the line when stalling up and because stock ve brakes are shit).

This dropped the car’s et by .200 of a second and made it do consistant 1.5 – 60″ footers and run a new pb of 10.57 seconds.
ve-ute-10.57

So that’s it for the 1st big update, the car is now back on it’s 20’s until I upgrade the injectors, add Flex-fuel sensor for running E85 & increasing the boost.

06/07/2016 No More updates on this car, I’ve now sold it as I have another project I want to finish off.

Lazy Tuners

So as mentioned before, I got myself a ve ssv ute loaded with plenty of mods, unfortunately during the previous ownership someone drilled a large 6mm hole in the throttle blade.
tb-hole
Now if your wondering why they did this it’s pretty simple. It was done as a quick fix, laziness or they just didn’t know how to tune the Electronic Throttle & idle control system properly for this camshaft.

The main reason why you would drill a hole in the blade of any car is it effectively allows more air straight into the manifold when the factory bypass won’t flow enough air, or the blade is movement limited.

Now that’s okay to do on the cable operated throttle bodies & even on some very large camshafts you will have no choice but to drill a hole even on a ETC controlled motor, BUT in this case for this particular engine combo it was not required at all. As you often end up creating more problems then you attempt to solve such as; exaggerated lumpy idles, cruise control effect when you back off the throttle, hanging idles when coming down through the revs or to a stop.

To give you an example, below is a screenshot log of my car in-gear with the original idle tune and 6mm hole throttle body from above. (Click to enlarge)
holed-tb

As can be seen in the log there are 2 things that stand out:
1) Large swing in timing & idle rpm
2) High manifold vacuum which leads to poor braking

This is because the ecu is commanding a set idle speed and is than constantly over-shooting then under-shooting it. To fix this the ecu can do 2 things, adjust the timing (reacts quicker) or adjust the tb position (slower reacting) to meet the requested idle speed.

I won’t go into the technical details on how this is fixed, because to most people it wont mean anything but needless to say once a throttle blade with no hole and the idle parameters are setup correctly, the idle ends up being a lot smoother without the excessively noticeable camshaft lope and more vacuum for braking. The results would be the same even with a hole, but only if your tuner has calibrated the relevant tables to compensate for the additional airflow.
stock-tb

9 Second Streeter

I purchased myself a new toy the other week, a 2009.5 Special Edition SSV Ute with the ambition to run at least one or two 9 second passes down the 1/4 mile with the stock 6L80e automatic trans.

Luckily for me it had already had a good load of money spent on it by the previous owner so the mods list is below:

km’s = 141,346
Harrop FDFI 2300 supercharger & OTR
Comp Cam’d- unknown specs around 228/237 ?
Pedders Coil Overs
Pacemaker 1 7/8 into twin 3″ custom exhaust -nice and quiet when cruising
3.27 diff ratio with trutrak
Mod Plated
TCE 3200 converter (already replaced as it had burnt out the lockup material, more on this later)
trans cooler
20″ rims

VESSVUTE1vessvute2

Stay tuned for more

Civic Racecar

I had someone from a local car forum I’m on ask me about taking a look at his civic which he races regularly at Wanneroo Raceway as he wasn’t happy with a recent tune-up after a cam swap.

So with some spare time on my hands today we put it on the dyno. What was apparent straight away was the car was running extremely rich from idle until “VTEC” was activated around 6000k rpm & was lacking in power at all rpm’s below.

Considering this is the first time I’ve ever done one of these motors/ecu combo’s & it only took a few short hours to sort out. We got some pretty good gains below the vtec change over point along with gains in fuel economy both at wide open throttle and normal throttle points.

civic