View Full Version : Some questions about EFILive, please advice!

March 19th, 2008, 01:35 AM

Didn't get a response from emailing EFILive so I'll try here instead.

I have been looking at tuning software for some time now for my 1999 Pontiac Trans AM (5,7L LS1 V8 MM6 Coupe).

Here is some information about my car: When i bought it the engine was stock, but i don't know if it has always been like that. I also don't know if it currently has the stock tune. It might have had upgrades, and tuned for that, then downgraded when sold, but without resetting the tune back to stock.

I am now done after doing some major work with the engine. I have not fired it up yet, but i do realize that i will need to tune it in order to have it run properly. Some of the modifications i have done includes: FAST 90/90 TB & intake manifold with Patriot performance heads, TR 224/224 -112 camshaft, underdrive pulley, airlid, longtube headers and magnaflow catback (+EGR & AIR removed).

I live in Sweden, and that makes a professional tuner very hard to find, and thinking future-wise I'd rather have the knowledge and learn to tune myself. I also value the ability to scan for trouble-codes, something i have to pay good money for at shops every time the service engine light comes on..

When choosing software i have been looking for which one has the most functions, but more importantly which has the better interface. I'll be honest with you, the choice has been between HPTuners and EFILive. Looking at screenshots from HPTuners, and trying out your demo, i can now say with confidence that i like yours better.

I do have a Laptop that i intend to use in the car.

Here are some questions:

1. I'm sure the learning process will be hard, but what is your opinion? Is it possible to learn cautiously how to tune the engine without breaking it? I've noticed there are many nice people on this forum that help others. I've also noticed there are good texts to read in order to understand how the engine and pcm works etc. However, at this point when i read through your forum, there is indeed a lot i don't understand which kinda makes me abit worried...

2. What exactly do i need to make my tuning package a complete kit? I have read that a wideband o2 sensor is good to have. I have been looking at Innovative LC-1. Is that a good choice economically and function-wise? Is there anything else needed?

3. Is Moates RoadRunner something i should get?

4. And just to make sure, which version of EFILive do i need? I have been looking at Flashscan V2 Scan and Tune, is that correct for my car and needs?

Thank you,
Corday :wave:

March 19th, 2008, 06:00 AM
Hi Corday,

Thanks for posting from Sweden... :cheers:

1. Yes, it is possible to learn without breaking your engine; you do have to read a lot and understand the various interactions going on inside an internal combustion engine; and never hesitate to ask a question if you're unsure about something;
knowledge is power ;) (figuratively and literally).

2. The LC-1 is cheap, but does require some thought /effort to connect it (it's perfect for the do-it-yourself person) and to verify that it works; if you're confortable with a DMM then it's easy; other brands are more plug and play; but the LC-1 is good, I have gotten very good results with it as have other people.

3. It's up to you, if your budget allows it, then it's nice to have a RR; you can tune much quicker (you see your edits take instant/immediate effect, allowing you to see if your edit is working as expected);
if you own a tuning shop, then V2 is mandatory since it shortens the time tuning required, and we all know that time == money.

4. V1 is sufficient for your 1999 Trans Am.
V1 is small and compact, V2 is larger.
However, V2 does have more/nice features:
- digital serial AFR from the LC-1 (instead of analog) which will eliminate the ground/offset problems that have been experienced by various people;
- it can log to a SD memory card;
- it will eventually have standalone flash capabilty (from the SD memory card), allowing you to swap calibrations with lugging you laptop with you;
- it will eventually have bidirectional controls;
- it has an LCD display and a keypad.
Both V1 and V2 have standalone logging ability (V2 logging is being beta tested right now). If your budget allows, then V2 is nice to have.

As with any technology, there is a learning curve, but as you can see there is a wealth of information available; if you work on your car and you are comfortable with computers then you will easily master the curve.


March 20th, 2008, 05:07 AM
Hi Joecar,

Thanks for a great reply! I feel abit better now after reading your comments on the learning process.

I will probably get the V2 still, since like you say, it has more features.. And i don't like to buy the inferior version of anything just because its alittle cheaper... It usually pays off in the long run.

1. The wideband is my biggest problem now.. Been searching around on forums about widebands, and found that PLX, AEM and Innovative are the top/most used brands.. Since you know alot about all this and probably tried out a few of them, which brand/version would you recommend for me? The choices are open because I'll have to order it overseas whichever i pick.. I just want one that will (hopefully) not break easily. I know how to use a DMM if it doesn't get too complicated. Welding and drilling is no problem.

2. I have an A/F gauge (see below), so i don't think i will need a version with one included?

3. Also, i have read that it is a good idea to put it in the collector of the driver-side header before the cat. One question though, do i need to make a new hole in the collector, or can i use the narrowband/stock o2 sensor bung? Or does that one need to be connected at the same time?

4. I have an A/F gauge that i have planned to install.. (Link (http://www.ws6project.com/user_stor/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=235_86_305&products_id=1352&osCsid=26fb28424d31862e766edbd04e8206e1)) Will i be able to hook that up to the wideband too at the same time as its connected to EFILive, or does the gauge use the stock o2 sensor?

Cheers from sweden,
Corday :cheers:

March 20th, 2008, 07:08 AM
Hi Corday,

1. I have been using the Innovate LC-1 and I am happy with it; other people have been using PLX, AEM and others and have been happy with them; visit each of those websites and compare the features of the various widebands. Or you could create a poll on this forum to see what each forum member is using.

2. Some widebands like the LC-1 have 2 outputs... you can program one output to drive the A/F gauge, and the other output to drive FlashScan V2. Very soon (in the next few days or week) V2 will be able to read the AFR from the LC-1 in digitial data form using the LC-1 serial link.

3. You don't have to make a new hole, you can use the stock narrowband bung;
How many inputs do you need to drive...?
If you want to drive only 2 inputs (A/F gauge and V2) then yo need just one bung and you can remove your NBO2 sensors;
If you want to drive 3 inputs (A/F gauge, V2, and NBO2 inputs), then you may need 2 bungs (the LC-1 provides only 2 outputs) and you need to keep your NBO2 sensors (drill a hole and mig a bung);
If you did not have the A/F gauge, you could use the LC-1 to provide the NBO2 signal and only use one bung.

4. I am not sure, but I think that gauge needs a wideband signal.


March 20th, 2008, 10:40 AM

Didn't get a response from emailing EFILive so I'll try here instead.

Hi Corday,

First up, thanks Joe.
Corday, just interested where you sent the Email to? We would not on purpose ignore such an Email inquiry, with the 500+ spam messages we get a day it's possible yours got ditched accidentally.