View Full Version : Tutorials

Steve Bryant
January 19th, 2005, 12:26 PM
First, I'll introduce myself to those who may not be familiar with me in the past. I'm Steve Bryant, one of the Beta Testers and I've been extremely interested in developing some informational/educational material for people wanting to learn about tuning. As I see it, there is an abundance of information on the web regarding tuning the LS1 series engines. However, quantity doesn't always make for quality. Some of the information is accurate, but a lot of it is inaccurate, misleading, confusing, etc.

I am a electronics engineer with an aircraft manufacturer who used to be a diesel truck mechanic. In the interim, I've also worked in technical training as in instructor in avionics (aviation electronics) for pilots and technicians. Also, I'm a former flight instructor - single/multi-engine and instruments. One of my duties was to develop training curricula and materials. I've volunteered to work on this sort of thing for the good folks at EFILive.

Right now, I have two initial goals. One on to develop a primmer on tuning that will be down to earth and understandable by the majority of users. I'm already working on that and I hope to have a draft ready for proofreading and critique in the next few weeks. Additionally, I want to flesh out the diagram I drew a few months ago http://www.efilive.com/doc/Tutorials/Wideband%20O2%20Install%20Tutorial.pdf of a wide band oxygen sensor/controller WBO2 installation into a three to five page pamphlet that explains several approaches of installing a WBO2 both permanently and temporarily since there's more than one way to skin cat. I want to explain about using a WBO2 to tailor the VE Table(s) to get fidelity between the table and the current state of modification of your engine, setting up power enrichment, etc.

I do believe that the topics in this new forum should be limited to the development of learning materials rather than the good discussions that are underway in the scanning and tuning forums. Now some things that are discussed there may migrate into a tutorial in time.

Please submit your ideas for things that you see as important in learning more about tuning. Let's remove the shroud of mystery together. If you're interested in contributing by writing-up or in some way documenting procedures, then bring it up here.

All my best,


January 19th, 2005, 12:57 PM
I don't have any suggestions other than I think you have a great idea. There are many of us out here that are novices when it comes to tuning. I read every tuning forum related to LS1 engines and have obtained a lot of information, but I lack the basic experience and training. I rely heavily on what others state.

A "tuner basics" and "fact" reference would be great. It would help us nimrods grasp some of the more complex issues discussed on the tuning forums.

I offer encouragement!

January 19th, 2005, 01:03 PM
Firstly I'd like to mirror the sentiment of 'mnotx', this is a fantastic idea, and will be immensely useful for all us tuning new comers.

One topic I can think of immediately is: How to convert a car currently using a Mass Air Flow Meter (MAF) to run 'mafless'.

January 19th, 2005, 03:01 PM
Sounds like a good idea. Being one of the afore mentioned "nimrods" though, I'm not sure how I can help.

Here's my opinion:

Anyone willing to spend an hour or so should be more than able to learn how to edit tables, use the smoothing functions, disable CAGS, etc., none of that is a problem.

What I could really use is a runthrough of how everything effects everything else. I need to know what the variation in one system does to the other systems... I'm not sure how to say this, but I wish I had a "big picture" on how everything effects everything else.

For example, the last tuning I did was in relation to the fueling... I am trying to get the LTFTs down to around -2 across the board. For some reason there is a pretty big "split" between fueling at low manifold pressure/low RPM and slightly higher values. Something is also happening at ~ 5000 RPM when at wide open throttle.

I'm pretty sure there are some systems or variables kicking in and out at these points, but I'm not sure how everything is working together.

Wish I could explain myself better...

Steve Bryant
January 19th, 2005, 03:22 PM
You folks are reinforcing my perceptions of what is needed. By the way, I want to make it clear that I my claim to fame (if I have one) :lol: , is not as a tuner. However, I have been making a concerted effort over the past year to document questions that people have (including my own) regarding the inner-workings of the PCM and tuning software/hardware. I will enlist the help of other knowledgeable people in reviewing the information that I post in this area. Some of the topics that I plan to cover are:

1. Basic Concepts of Electronic Engine/Powertrain Control
2. Correlation of traditional engine designs (carburetor with Kettering Ignition) and PCM control. For instance, spark advance is still controlled in the same two ways: engine vacuum (MAP) and centrifugal (RPM).
3. Correlation of the mechanical parts of the engine and their sensors to the corresponding tables and parameters in the software.
4. Using the scanning and tune software as a team
5. Examination of one's goals in tuning.
7. Different ways of achieving similar goals and the interaction of interrelated parameters, tables, etc.

I could go on, but if I did, I might never shut up.


January 19th, 2005, 03:36 PM
Steve, Thank you. This is a great idea. I don't know much - yet, but please let me know if I can be any help.


January 19th, 2005, 04:07 PM
Sounds great. I'll be happy to help as well, any way that I can.

I could go on, but if I did, I might never shut up.

Please, go on. 8)

By the way, off topic, but what company do you work for? I'm a pilot myself and am looking for a company who needs a newly graduated computer engineer. :mrgreen:

January 19th, 2005, 04:45 PM

I don't want to be a killjoy :cry: , but the main idea behind this was not so much 'how to tune' but how to do things within Flashscan.

Having said that, I am sure we (or anyone) can throw in a few tuning specific ideas.
Remember, there is a few LS1 and Tuning boards out there already.

I am going to put togeather a few basics to give you an idea of what we had in mind, and if they get the tick of approval then we shall add as time permits.


Steve Bryant
January 19th, 2005, 05:03 PM

You're not being a killjoy. I would welcome your guidance and examples.



January 20th, 2005, 08:12 AM
Same here Ross. Any education would be appreciated.

Bruce Melton
January 21st, 2005, 01:27 AM
Maybe in flowchart format?
Assume an untuned engine with lots of new untuned components.
Start with idle>setting LTrims>correcting a/f ratios> etc ???
If the steps were numbered, follow on tips and proceedures could be referenced to the sequence.

As a rookie, it seems we lack a logical sequence from start to finish. There are many pieces to the process but they are not formatted or keyed to proceedure which could prevent unintended consequences in subseqent steps.

January 26th, 2005, 09:36 AM
A complete explanation of acronyms (pinned) might be something good for the Tutorial topic. I still vapor-lock on some of the acronyms.

January 29th, 2005, 07:28 PM
A complete explanation of acronyms (pinned) might be something good for the Tutorial topic. I still vapor-lock on some of the acronyms.

Some Acronyms from various sources :) :

PCM - Powertrain Control Module
ECM- Engine Control Module
DTC – Diagnostic Trouble Code
SES – Service Engine Soon light
DLC – Data Link Connector
MAP – Manifold Absolute Pressure
CKP – Crankshaft Position
CMP – Camshaft Position
COT- Catalytic Converter Overtemp
TP – Throttle Position
TPS – Throttle Position Sensor
IAC – Idle Air Control
IAT – Intake Air Temp
ETC – Electronic Traction Control
ECT – Engine Coolant Temperature
LTFT – Long Term Fuel Trim
LTRIMS - Long Term Fuel Trims
LTerms - Long Term Fuel Trims
STFT – Short Term Fuel Trim
VSS – Vehicle Speed Sensor
O2 / HO2S – Heated Oxygen Sensor
PE – Power Enrichment
TB - Throttle Body
WOT- Wide Open Throttle
MAF- Mass AirFlow sensor (measures amount of air entering intake)
DFCO- Deceleration Fuel Cut Off
EGR- Exhaust Gas Recirculation (emissions system)
PCV- Positive Crankcase Ventilation
CAGS- Computer Assisted Gear Selection
H/C - heads/cam
LSA- Lobe Seperation Angle
A/F - air/ fuel ratio
AFR- Air - Fuel Ratio
PW - PulseWidth
RAF- Running AirFlow
Inj. PW- Injector PulseWidth
IFR- Injector Flow Rate
EQ - Equivalence Ratio
KR- Knock Retard
CR - Compression Ratio
AIR - Air Injection Recirculation
F/I- Forced Induction
N/A- Naturally Aspirated
RWHP- Rear wheel horsepower
RWTQ- Rear wheel Torque
BHP- Brake Horse power
HP - horsepower
SC - Supercharger
TQ - torque
TC- Torque Converter
VATS - Vehicle Anti Theft System
VE- Volumetric Efficiency
T56- actual part name for the M6 transmission
A4- 4-speed automatic transmision
4L60E- part name for the A4 transmission
LQ4- iron block, LS1-based 6.0L truck engine
MN6 - Code for factory 6-speed transimission cars.
MN12 - Code for factory 6-speed Z06 transimission cars.
VIN - Vehicle Identification Number

January 30th, 2005, 04:53 AM
Perfect. Now I can add to this list as new acronyms come up. I appreciate your help. Some of us part timers don't deal with tuning enough to have these memorized.


February 1st, 2005, 03:18 PM
Perfect. Now I can add to this list as new acronyms come up. I appreciate your help. Some of us part timers don't deal with tuning enough to have these memorized.


Here is a good source of solid, basic tech info -> http://www.autoshop101.com/

:idea: The .pdf tech articles are excellent. :idea:

Steve Bryant
February 1st, 2005, 03:38 PM

I've just scanned a couple of the technical articles and I agree, they are excellent! I don't know how I've missed them in the past.

On another subject, did you get your Corvette running again? I wrote you a PM recently to ask if you'd gotten a chance to try out your FlashScan yet and you said that your car was down for a while. Also, I'm still interested to know if you've gotten a chance to work with Version 7 of EFILive and FlashScan yet.

All my best,


February 2nd, 2005, 04:55 PM
Hi Steve,

Nah...car is still apart. Just the exhaust and FJO setup though. Lots of snow here lately - I learned my lesson in the snow last year!!

Lessons ->

1.) Vette is very squirrely in a few inches of snow - too much fun!!!
2.) No matter how badly you want to try and scan/tune - sometimes you are better off leaving the car parked. :(

February 4th, 2005, 04:33 PM
Although these books are not LS1/LS6 specific I've found them helpful in theory and practice.
They are not pro level but they have been very helpful at my level (amateur/tinkerer).

"Engine Management -optimising carburettors, fuel injection and ignition systems"
by Dave Walker. Haynes High Performance tuning series.

"How to Tune and Modify Engine Management systems"
by Jeff hartman. Motorbooks Workshop

"Building and Tuning High-Performance Electronic Fuel Injection"
by Ben Strader. S-A Design, CarTech Books

"Tuning Accel/DFI 6.0 Programmable Fuel Injection"
by Ray T. Bohacz. HPBooks

General Engine Info:

"Introduction to Internal Combustion Engines"
by Richard Stone. SAE International

Hope these help some.

Steve Bryant
February 4th, 2005, 05:05 PM
Thanks Joel. They all look like good reads.


March 1st, 2005, 07:36 AM

I very much like your idea of the primer. I do understand FI engine management and have modded my firts Vette with a DFI PCM. Having some experience wth tuning, and some technical understanding of FI engine mgmt, I would like a step by step for the user which suggests what tables to edit in order, based on car mods. For my 02Z, I am about to install LT headers, hi flow cats, hi flo muffler, Vararam and FAST intake. Already dynoed (with my volant intake), I am runnig at 12/10 LTFT and know I am running rich (around 11 at WOT). I believe that I shoud start by trimming back the VE tables to lean it our a bit (to get the LTFT close to zero). However, shoud I lean the whole tabel, or just at high throttle/load? I need some practical input.

Any and all help appreciated. When will you post first draft of your primer?? Thanks :D

Steve Bryant
March 2nd, 2005, 08:22 AM
A draft of a partially complete primmer is being reviewed by GMPX as time allows. Additionally, I need to complete some more text and refine things a bit which I can do independently. Once GMPX has given me back his comments and I have fleshed it out a bit more, I will be sending that draft copy to some other folks for a more final review and when the consensus is that it is ready to be a downloadable Adobe Acrobat file, it will be.

As an aside, I am highly motivated about this project and I am committed to seeing it through to completion. Not only in its first iteration, but I want to keep it up to date as more information is learned by both the community and me.

Due to some family issues of late (my sister and I have had to place our 86 year old mother in a nursing home recently), I have not spent much time on this project. Tentatively, I would like for it to be available generally within six to eight weeks. I don't want to rush anything too much. Modifying an engine via changing the PCM calibration is inherently something that needs to be a properly-considered approach.

I've been running my own vehicle in speed density mode and in open loop with the MAF (which I prefer) in order to gain first-hand experience. Additionally, I've been developing a high-fidelity VE Table doctor which will hopefully result in a very smooth table fairly quickly as well as means to mathematically align the speed density and MAF aspects of open loop operation by using some other excel spread sheets. I'm currently learning more about fine-tuning power enrichment aspects and spark tables.

I've tried to take some time here to write a fairly informative response since you folks haven't heard from me in a bit regarding the primmer.

All my best,


Bruce Melton
March 2nd, 2005, 02:07 PM
We are standing by Steve. The Spring tuning season is around the corner, we hope.

March 2nd, 2005, 02:31 PM
Take your time, you're doing just fine.

September 24th, 2005, 09:43 PM
Hi guys,
I'm a newbie here and was wondering if this tutorial was completed ?? sounded like an excellent idea.


October 7th, 2005, 04:14 AM
Hi guys,
I'm a newbie here and was wondering if this tutorial was completed ?? sounded like an excellent idea.


Yes, I'm wondering the same thing. I'm a noob and it really would help me get going tuning !

October 12th, 2005, 06:57 AM
Another newbie here. This all sounds good !! I just got my EFI Tune a few days ago. I would admit that I am quite eager to start tuning myself. While we are waiting on "understanding" how the tuning process works I would like some guidance on some basic things to do. I agree with others that have said to do things in a logical order. Problem is with a newbie logical is hard to put together if you dont know what everthing does. Other than backing up my current .tun file from my PCM and maybe upgrading my OS in my PCM, is there anthing else that can be done to kind of prepare for making changes? Is it safe to load a custom calibration file and see how it changes the car? What are some basic things that should be loaded into dashboards to start observing what a car is doing? Has anyone put together some dashboards that would come in handy?

October 25th, 2005, 02:35 PM
I just received my flashscan program yesterday. Although I have done quite a bit of reading already it looks like I'll have a lot more to read based on what's in the scan and tune documentation. Since winter is around the corner and my car will be put away this week I'm going to have a lot of time to read and learn. However, it would be helpful if there was a basic guide to the scan and tune process to help us lay people hasten the learning curve. One of the quickest ways to learn is by example and my suggestion would be to go through the scan and tune process using a real life example. A step by step guide would be optimal similar to what is used for teaching software programs like Excel, Word, etc. Actual tuning will obviously not be possible because of the varying applications and mods out there, but if based on some basic assumptions at the beginning will at least provide insight as to how the various tables are affected by changes in values. I look forward to using my program and look forward to what Steve and the rest will have available soon. I'm willing to help in any way I can and would look forward to hearing from you if I can be of assistance.

Keep up the good work!

October 25th, 2005, 02:38 PM
I am working on a special tutorial for new users that will take a lot of the guess work out of how to use the program. It will be totally interactive and show examples on how to make maps, copy and paste, setup pids, etc. I have one done now that I am fine tuning and will be adding more in the next few days. After it is finished, I will post them and make them available if Paul/Ross approve.


October 25th, 2005, 04:43 PM
I just saw a sample of one of Chad's interactive tutorials. It is really cool, what a great idea!!


October 25th, 2005, 04:52 PM
Meanwhile there are some Tutorials that you may not have read yet here:


October 26th, 2005, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the info Paul. I'll have a look at them. If you don't mind me asking just one question, can I log the data that's currently in my PCM without going out and driving it again? i.e. can I get informatin for the PID's I want by just turning the key on and doing a download? Weather isn't permitting a ride around and I'd like to start familiarizing myself with the program as well as make a backup of the tune in the car now before doing anything else.

Best Regards :)

October 26th, 2005, 01:21 PM
With Key On Engine Off, you can still do the following:
a. Scan PID's (some PID's will be zero unless engine runs and/or car moves [e.g. VSS, RPM, MAF, ...]).
b. Scan LTFT, TAP (trans. adapt. press.), and PCM info.
c. Scan and clear DTC's.
d. Scan freeze frame info.
e. Scan readiness tests.
f. Control solenoids, fuel pump, air pump using BiDir controls (can hear switching on/off).
g. Upload binary tune from PCM.
h. Modify and compare binary tunes.
i. Download binary tune to PCM.

You can still have alot of fun even if you get snowbound. :D

Just remember to connect a battery charger often.

October 26th, 2005, 04:15 PM
Thanks JoeCar for the info. I've got one last chance this weekend according to the weather forecast. At least I'll have something to do on those cold snowy nights.

Regards :)

November 10th, 2005, 10:28 AM
Hey Guys, I've read my calibration and saved it and was also able to log some data and save it as well. I'm not sure if this is where eveyone gets stuck but I'm hoping that the tutorials I've been hearing about will explain the following when they become available.

I created LTFT MAPS in scan tool. The average values are all positive in both MAPS (bank#1&2). Which table does the LTFT relate to in my tune tool and how would I go about making changes to it based on what I see in the LTFT MAPS? I understand that you'd like to see the LTFT values at zero or slightly negative in order to not affect the WOT fueling but I don't know the table to change in tune or how you use the information from the scan MAP to do so.

There are obviously other MAPS you would want to create in scan tool besides LTFT but at this point I don't know which ones would be most pertinent. Hopefully the new tutorials will provide a basic how to guide for this and other frequently mystifying questions. Any idea when we might see something :?:

Thanks 8)

November 10th, 2005, 11:18 AM
The LTFT array is dynamic in that it may be altered every time you drive,
and is stored in dynamic memory and Not in flash memory.

The LTFT's are affected by (but not limited to) the following:
a. VE table
b. MAF table
c. IFR table
d. PE tables
e. MAF sensor
f. O2 sensors

So basically (easier said than done),
the IFR table must be correctly calculated,
the VE table must be dialled in,
and (if not going SD) the MAF table must be dialled in,
and the PE tables must be dialled in.

You could use the LTFT's to adjust the VE and PE tables, but using a WBO2 tells you the actual AFR and is more accurate.

And then the spark tables must also be adjusted.

November 10th, 2005, 11:34 AM
Hey Guys, I've read my calibration and saved it and was also able to log some data and save it as well. I'm not sure if this is where eveyone gets stuck but I'm hoping that the tutorials I've been hearing about will explain the following when they become available.
Have you seen these tutorials?


November 10th, 2005, 12:33 PM
Any idea when we might see something :?:

Thanks 8)
I am still waiting on Paul to get caught back up from SEMA and then he/I will be able to give you more of an idea on when I will make some new ones.

Jim Wisz
August 27th, 2006, 01:28 AM
Hi Steve,

I'm looking for info on converting a stack injection unit to EFI. I'm new to the EFI game but well rounded in my education (electronics, machinist, mechanic, fabricator). With just a few days of digging, it seems alpha-n is the way for me to follow since the stack unit wouldn't have a reliable vacume. but my insight ends there. I am looking for more detailed info on 'alpha-n' and the required sensors. Could you assist me in my quest, or lead me to a source of info. I just finished reading 'ELECTRONIC ENGINE MANAGEMENT" by Frank 'Choco' Munday and it gave me general info but much more is needed. I'm trying to do this conversion the 'old hot rodder way' using as many junk yard parts as possible. Would a GM ECU be a good starting platform. 'Choco' suggests an early (pre-90) unit as it doesnt require as much feedback from the sensors. Any help is appreciated

Jim Wisz

August 28th, 2006, 09:08 AM
Is this install actually planned for an EFILive supported Operating System? If so you will have all the necessary sensors there somewhere I'd assume. The EFILive V5 (Alpha-N) Custom Operating System is currently only available to replace 2 stock operating systems (OS #'s: 12225074 & 12212156). If your OS is not already one of these and you can't upgrade this will not currently be an option for you.

Incidentally you also would require the Commercial or Workshop version of EFILive to perform the required full reflash operation required to upload a completely new Operating System.

The Alpha-N fueling works off of a Throttle Position vs. RPM table rather than the stock MAP (Manifold Pressure) vs. RPM.

I'm not sure that this is at all helpful, or that I understand exactly what you are after info wise. Does you inquiry actually relate at all to EFILive or more generic?


December 23rd, 2010, 07:19 AM
Maybe in flowchart format?
Assume an untuned engine with lots of new untuned components.
Start with idle>setting LTrims>correcting a/f ratios> etc ???
If the steps were numbered, follow on tips and proceedures could be referenced to the sequence.

As a rookie, it seems we lack a logical sequence from start to finish. There are many pieces to the process but they are not formatted or keyed to proceedure which could prevent unintended consequences in subseqent steps.

This hits the nail on the head. Flowchart, and logical steps as if there should be a master list of what order to address tuning an engine. The tutorials are all over the place.

One woud think tuning an N/A engine is different from tuning a forced induction engine, then you have the option of MAF or SD.

Also was the engine previously a turbo/SC or is this a upgrade/modification . BIg diffrence becasue if the engine was previously turbos/d.SC'd then one would think the tables are in order already whereas a new bolt on turbo/SC is a completely diffrent ball game.

A simple start would be to literally list what needs to be done (in order) and then immediately list the tutorial link (if there is one)

and then there is also interpreting the data results. E.G. - if the WB is rich do this, or look here or go to this table and make these adjustments.

As an engineer, logic is paramoount to problem solving, but coming here as a green newbie and reading all there is, it is not straightforward.

Someone needs to write one of those "Tuning for idiots books", I am sure they would make a small fortune spellling even the simplest concepts and steps with tuning.

I for one would be the first idiot to buy the book. :)

December 23rd, 2010, 11:50 AM
Hello Dewglass,

At one point in time all of us were “new” to EFI tuning software, and the seemingly daunting task of our first EFI tune. This Forum is a place where EFILive users can ask each other questions, and share information and experiences. The purpose of the Forum is not to teach “Tuning 101”, rather to answer questions when people encounter difficultly in their self learning endeavours.

When you downloaded the EFILive software, you also downloaded manuals for the Tune Tool and Scan Tool, as well as about a dozen Tutorials. I would recommend reading these, to help understand the scope of the software and some tuning principles. When I started using EFILive I printed all of these, organized them into a binder, and read them all - some several times - as often I didn’t fully understand them after only one reading.

The next avenues (in order of cost) would be purchasing books on the subject of EFI tuning, home study / DVD type materials, or attending classes.

“Engine Management Advanced Tuning” (by Greg Banish) is a fairly easy read, and touches on using HPTuners, EFILive, and SCT software.

Masport Speed Shop offers books on EFI tuning, and is currently working on new book dedicated to tuning with EFILive software.

Books are the most cost effective; DVD type material is a little more money, while classes seem to start at around $500 and increase sharply from there.

The *.pdf files that came with your software are free, and the EFILive Forum material is free - although you will have to take the time to organize this material into a structure that makes logical sense to you.

Joecar (Forum Moderator) has been working diligently to include more formal Tutorials, mini or spontaneous Tutorials, and “how to” information in a centralized location on the Forum. You will still have to search through this material to find what you’re after, but it’s much easier than it had been previously.