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Old 02-16-2013, 06:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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GM Tune or other?

Hey! I am looking for a tune for my 2008 Sky Red Line (with only 20k miles on it).

To be specific:

- significant more HP / torque than the GM Tune.
- price range of the GM Tune (LNF Turbo Upgrade) $1,000 or less.
- don't care if it voids warranty.
- don't want to destroy the engine (otherwise I'll just get the GM Tune).
- questionable on requiring unique fuel (i.e. E-85)...
- need evidence that others found it ok (I don't want to experiment)

The GM Tune is the clear answer... but what *else* would you recommend, given the above?

Thanks!!
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would go with the Trifecta Tune with the Select-A-Tune option. More power and torque than the GM tune and with the Select-A-Tune option, you can switch back and forth between the stock tune and the performance tune by using either the cruise control button or the traction control button. Does not require the installation of new MAP sensors and Vince can tailor your tune to your car and provide you with an updated tune should you change your exhaust, intake, etc.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would go with the Trifecta Tune with the Select-A-Tune option. More power and torque than the GM tune and with the Select-A-Tune option, you can switch back and forth between the stock tune and the performance tune by using either the cruise control button or the traction control button. Does not require the installation of new MAP sensors and Vince can tailor your tune to your car and provide you with an updated tune should you change your exhaust, intake, etc.
This. I have the Trifecta tune, and I recommend it. I've had it for a little over a year now, no issues. Best $300 I've ever spent. It really wakes up the car.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies guys!

It seems that there are no great Saturn techs still in the business with access to the equipment needed for the GM Tune... that's a little scary. I'd prefer local tech guys who know what they are doing (i.e. Seattle-local Trifecta).

Additional questions:
- How do I know Trifecta will output more? GM Tune is a for-sure 290hp/340ft-lb at the crank.
- Is that $300 for just the kit? What's the full price? (For the GM Tune, I expect $500 for the kit + shipping + $120 install + taxes = ~$800 total.)
- Does Trifecta offer an even better tune (i.e. better than the $300 one you mentioned?) Their website is unclear.

Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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HP tuners with a custom tune for your car. It is the safest and best tune to keep your motor happy.

Trifecta is ok if you have simple mods. Anything unique, you need to go to HP tuners.

The choice is yours, but all the tunes are going to put our roughly the same amt of power. You will get a hair more from aftermath tunes when comparing them to the GM tune.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JasonDoucette View Post
Thanks for the replies guys!

It seems that there are no great Saturn techs still in the business with access to the equipment needed for the GM Tune... that's a little scary. I'd prefer local tech guys who know what they are doing (i.e. Seattle-local Trifecta).

Additional questions:
- How do I know Trifecta will output more? GM Tune is a for-sure 290hp/340ft-lb at the crank.
- Is that $300 for just the kit? What's the full price? (For the GM Tune, I expect $500 for the kit + shipping + $120 install + taxes = ~$800 total.)
- Does Trifecta offer an even better tune (i.e. better than the $300 one you mentioned?) Their website is unclear.

Thanks!
I had the GMPP and replaced it with the Trifecta tune. No doubt about it, the Trifecta makes more power and it is very noticeable. I can now break the rear loose in third gear with not problem. With the GMPP tune that did not happen. You can switch between the two with the push of a button and do immediate comparisons.

If you don't plan on doing much in the way of mods I'd go with the Trifecta over GMPP. And like Miller said if you plan to mod extensively then HP tuners is the way to go.

PS - If you go Trifecta you'll be going from stock power levels to Trifecta power levels so make sure you have a safe place to try it out. You'll be looking at ~70 horsepower and even more torque gains. It will be a whole new experience!
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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+1 on HPTuners and get a good tuner (there are some on this site). There's also a plethora of info from sites, forums, courses, etc that would allow you to learn and do your own tuning if you wanted.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dont the 20g come with the trifecta? If the hptuner is better wht dont they recommend that over trifecta? I ask bc I just got a typhoon k&n, ordering exhaust, hahn IC and charge pipes. And depending on how much cash I have left the 20g by hahn.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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All of your advice is great. (I've researched this forum and others lots, but there's a ton of info, and lots of it depends on knowledge I don't yet have.)

It sounds like Trifecta (+70hp, >70ft-lb) will produced noticeably more than the GM Tune (+30hp, +80ft-lb), and with techs in the area, this is a huge plus.

What do you mean by "if modding extensively, go with HP Tuners"?
I have no mods yet, and likely won't have any within the year. (My daydreams involve minor things like an air filter, new exhaust, thicker rear tires... nothing much.)
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Mod extensively means swaping out for a bigger turbo, adding a fifth injector, cams, things past genral bolt ons like exhaust, down pipe, cai ,intercooler and i/c pipes
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonDoucette View Post
All of your advice is great. (I've researched this forum and others lots, but there's a ton of info, and lots of it depends on knowledge I don't yet have.)

It sounds like Trifecta (+70hp, >70ft-lb) will produced noticeably more than the GM Tune (+30hp, +80ft-lb), and with techs in the area, this is a huge plus.

What do you mean by "if modding extensively, go with HP Tuners"?
I have no mods yet, and likely won't have any within the year. (My daydreams involve minor things like an air filter, new exhaust, thicker rear tires... nothing much.)
IMO there are many reasons to go to HP tuners. For one, the tune is tailored to your car, not some off the shelf base tune that is safe on all cars. So you are getting the best tune for whatever setup you have currently.

Also the HPT scanner/software allows you to diagnose and trouble shoot things on your car as well as MANY other vehicles. Its basically like a diagnostic troubleshooting tool that is very valuable. It also allows you to reset trouble codes and log data to see what is going on.

Therefore I didnt have to make any more trips to the parts store just to read a code, and I didnt have to pull battery terminals to reset the codes.

I have used my HPT tool on different vehicles. Ie C6 corvette, 2002 avalanche, 2007 caddy STS, 2007 buick lucerne, etc.

Basically and OBD2 car you can use this scanner on, so when you are doing your own maintenance, it is a great thing to have in your toolbox
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miller11386 View Post
IMO there are many reasons to go to HP tuners. For one, the tune is tailored to your car, not some off the shelf base tune that is safe on all cars. So you are getting the best tune for whatever setup you have currently.

Also the HPT scanner/software allows you to diagnose and trouble shoot things on your car as well as MANY other vehicles. Its basically like a diagnostic troubleshooting tool that is very valuable. It also allows you to reset trouble codes and log data to see what is going on.

Therefore I didnt have to make any more trips to the parts store just to read a code, and I didnt have to pull battery terminals to reset the codes.

I have used my HPT tool on different vehicles. Ie C6 corvette, 2002 avalanche, 2007 caddy STS, 2007 buick lucerne, etc.

Basically and OBD2 car you can use this scanner on, so when you are doing your own maintenance, it is a great thing to have in your toolbox
I agree with everything you said, one observation however is that HPT has a pretty big learning curve IMHO, not everyone is as talented as others here when it comes down to "parameters" if you will, or for that matter puters. Also if not careful, HPT can and will blow you motor up, or cause severe damage if you do not know WTF you are doing....
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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you dont need to know how to tune to use it as a diagnostic tool. I can train anyone who can use email or (a car forum for that matter) to pull diagnostic codes using a hpt scanner. Its really simple.

I am guessing since Jason has only 10 posts and already has an avatar as well as 5 photos and a signature with hyperlinks, he will be more than capable to figure it out.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The below is my opinion based on my personal experience and reading the forums for the past 6 years. It is not universal truth and not everyone will agree with what I am about to say. But here you go.

Charge tubes don't add any HP. They can reduce the drop off at higher RPMs. The end result is quicker acceleration but not more power.

Larger intercooler does not add any HP, but there is evidence that on the track or for highly tuned or modified cars that generate a lot more heat can see some improvement. My personal experience is that going to a larger IC provided no impact but did empty my wallet and caused me to spend a day interfacing with the car.

The factory catback is efficient enough such that adding an after market catback does not provide any measurable improvement.

Adding a high flow cat, or removing your cat, does add torque and resultant horsepower on a tuned car. With the factory tune, the software will manage engine paramaters to bring the power back down to 260 ft pounds of torque.

Adding a cold air intake or a high flow filter element provides no measurable improvement in performance. There are cases documented of MAF contamination resulting from going to an oiled air cleaner element. Adding a CAI results in changed appearance and lots more noise.

Adding the GMPP tune preserves the factory warranty, provides an immediate HP and torque gain that will not affect longevity of the powertrain. Adding the GMPP tune will allow hardware upgrades that can add HP to do so. For example, adding the HF cat will yield an improvement in HP of about 16.

Doctor Dave put my car with the GMPP tune, high flow cat, Dejon IC, charge tubes, CAI and MF cat back on his dyno and with some tweaking measured 305 HP at the wheels. That is on the order of 350 fly wheel HP.

The factory 5 speed is generally considered to be reliable at power levels up to 400.

The factory axles are generally considered to be reliable at power levels up to about 450. With very sticky tires, at 450 HP you can cause the axel splines to fail.

The factory automatic is good at power levels well above 400 hp.

There are two different types of rods. Sintered and non sintered. There have been a number of failures that suggest that as you approach power levels in the 400 and up range, there have been catastrophic failures of the sintered rods resulting from very short term events. A single short lean run can cause such a catastrophic failure and has done so.

Finally Blew up my Engine. Can you help me pinpoint the failure? - Pontiac Solstice Forum


Rebuilding the ENGINE... your thoughts - Pontiac Solstice Forum

Factory LE5 Connecting Rods - PLEASE READ - Pontiac Solstice Forum

Part of the reason I went from the mods plus GMPP tune to the LS3 was my desire to keep my car long term and make sure it was very reliable. In my opinion going to power levels above the 350+ I was at would cost a lot and I was not happy with the resultant reliability / risk / cost analysis.

Having said all that, there are a lot of members who are very happy with the westers tune and in its various guises, it appears to be a good, stable product.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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hptuners > everything else.
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