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The Automotive Thread

Discussion in 'Permanent Threads' started by Backroom, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. toytoy88

    toytoy88
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    Is anyone familiar with "Mail order tunes"? Apparently that is the way to go instead of just chipping your car now.

    I'm looking at getting my Z28 tuned to 93 octane and a CAI, but I'm new to all of this...

    Do I need to purchase an OBDII reader and download the info onto that and then download the tune into the car?

    Any info would be helpful because I'm completely in the dark about this shit.
     
  2. GTE

    GTE
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    All my info is for newer cars so the LT1 may be slightly different but a mail order tune is where an experienced tuner loads a canned tune into a programmer* which you load into your cars ECU. Usually they tweak the timing and fuel tables to optimize power or take advantage of any modifications you've done. Cold air intake, headers, bigger throttle body etc.

    The downside of a canned tune is just that, it's canned. The tuner has no idea what your cars motor is doing so they take their experience of tuning cars on a dyno and then dial it back just a little bit to ensure that it's safe whereas if you had someone tune it on a dyno, that'll give you the most HP but at a higher cost.

    *Programmers vary by how they tune. Some are handheld units that plug into the OBD port and load it in, others plug into the actual ECU. In the early 90's, they sold "chips" that would be reflashed and plugged into your ECU.


    Some good bathroom reading here:
    https://www.camaroz28.com/forums/computer-diagnostics-tuning-36/
     
  3. toytoy88

    toytoy88
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    Day 1 of bringing my Z out of it's slumber. I took it in for an oil change and a flush and fill of the radiator. In 6 miles of stop and go traffic the temp needle was trying to touch the red zone in 80 degree heat...not a good sign. Turns out one of my cooling fans had gone tits up. I got kind of a laugh when the guy told me the thermostat was stuck shut....I informed him I saw the temp go down when the t-stat opened. He quickly backtracked and told me it was working twice as hard opening and shutting. Whatever. I was going to have them replace the t-stat after sitting for a year anyways. I just wanted them to feel like they'd upsold me shit and wouldn't bother me about anything else.

    Turns out the only other thing they could find wrong with the car was the upper & lower control arm bushings. And the washer reservoir leaks.

    Sadly I have to go back tomorrow. I was there until after 5 and as I took off in first gear I was wondering why the "Skip Shift" light wasn't going off after 21 mph in first. Because it wasn't the skip shift light.....it's the service engine light. I'm sure it's a vacuum hose, but the guy who worked on the car had already bailed for the night.

    A few of the guys at the shop went gaga over the car, which was kind of cool. It's been a while since I had a car that other car guys appreciate.
     
  4. GTE

    GTE
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    Toytoy, how are the tires? If it been sitting a long time, they could be old and rock hard even with good tread. I've had a few friends buy super low mile Corvettes and loop them because although the tires looked "new", they were 10 years old and had no traction.
     
  5. wexton

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    That and unless it has been up on block the bearings and seals are probably shot.
     
  6. toytoy88

    toytoy88
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    The tires were replaced 4-5 months ago (Along with the rotors, pads, starter, alternator, & battery)...someone else did a lot of expensive work.

    The CEL last night turned out to be a blessing in disguise that it happened when it did. They had to do a smoke test on the system to find the vacuum leak (Which normally runs $125) and found 4 vacuum lines that were leaking. Obviously a 22 year old car that's been sitting for a year is going to have vacuum line issues and I fully expected it. It took 4 hours, but my cost was $0. I like $0.

    It's running stronger and stronger, the funny smells are dissipating, as are the strange noises. She is definitely waking up and wanting to G-O. I haven't even turned on the radio yet....I just love listening to the engine.....especially the brapple, brapple, brapple sound as it winds down during shifts or de-accelerating.

    Right now I'm getting around the skip shift by holding 1st gear till 21 MPH, I've learned though not to give it much throttle after the 1-2 shift at that speed because it's right in it's power band and will snap your neck.

    With shipping and the coolant system repair I'm only into the car for $4400, so I'm thrilled.

    Also, in the jockey box I found a Dwight Yoakam cassette and a bagpipe music cassette. Score.
     
  7. dixiebandit69

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    Actually, his car has a hub/bearing assembly which is lubed for life, so unless it starts making noise or is loose, he should be good.

    Toytoy, I STRONGLY recommend that you get some kind of OBD2 scanner that can read live data. You can get a decent one for about $50. You don't need anything too fancy.
    As much as I hate to say it, old cars (15+ years old) can nickel and dime you on little repairs. If you can do some of these yourself, or at least know what they are/ why the check engine light is on, it can save you a lot of time and money.

    Anyway, as far as recommendations go, I'd be willing to wager that that car has never had a tuneup; most LT1 owners put them off because they are such a pain in the ass to work on.
    I'd recommend a full tuneup (Plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor), but if you aren't going to do it yourself, it could get expensive... You have to take the water pump off to get to the distributor.*
    Just to do the plugs on one of those cars, the shop I work at charges $200 on the labor.
    At the very least, do the plugs AND wires. And fuel filter.

    *Despite the answer that Flat Rate gave me a couple of pages ago, I STILL don't know why GM decided to use that damn Optispark distributor.
    They had been using distributorless coil-packs for about ten years prior, so you can't say that the technology wasn't there.
     
  8. toytoy88

    toytoy88
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    That's probably my next move.

    About 20 years ago a Nissan Z shop quoted me around $400 to change the plugs on my N/A 300ZX. "Fuck that" I thought to myself, "I can change my own fucking plugs."

    I bought a set of plugs, pulled it into the garage, opened the hood and stared. And stared. And stared. After about 15 minutes I shut the hood and paid them the $400 to deal with that bull shit. This LT1 looks damn near as bad. Maybe I'm just getting old? Years ago I had a '68 Fairlane with a 390 and headers...I had to pull the engine to change the plugs. Even worse, one of the header tubes wrapped around the tie rod and it was easier to cut the header tube than drop the headers. That was a pain in the ass, but I had no problem doing it.

    Y'all that make your living dealing with all this newer bull shit have my utmost respect. Pretty much if it's past 1980, I can't work on it unless it's the brakes or suspension. I can diagnose a problem because the basic internal combustion theory still applies, but fuck me if I could deal with all these cramped quarters and miles of hoses, sensors, and relays.
     
  9. toytoy88

    toytoy88
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