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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A bunch of My MD/VA/DC Solstice members are having their Solstice Retuned in Delaware tomorrow at 7! This is the most bang for the buck change available! It is 400$ and will deliver 15hp and 15lb/torque to the wheels....(Essentially the car gets to about 194-200 BHP!!!) This ECM ReTune also fixes the drop off between the 2nd and 3rd gear. It is gear to the manual so autos may not want to dabble in this....PM me if you are interested. It is being done by a supporting vendor on the solstice site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
ALTHOUGH no one took me up on this it is beyond worth it....THe car reacts like a sportscar with immeadiate throttle response....Here is some technical reasons why....Our cars actually dont open the throttle valve till 2000-2500 RPMs (Running Lean) and after that they start to push adequate fuel to the firing. The tune ELIMINATES this lag and give a pure mix almost immeadiately! which allows for shifts from 2nd to 3rd at as low as 1000 RPMs (Go Ahead and try on the stock....It is a dog!) This allows you to increase MPG ( I got a boost of almost 5 MPG after 300 miles with the tune!) so do the math and realize it pays for itself in about 4-6 months! Plus you got an almost 200 hp car! Put a Catback on and you got a 200+ car! It is cool!
 

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Is this a chip modification, that can I can do at home? If I ever decide to order a Sky, Delaware is a pretty far drive from St. Louis.
 

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An ECM tune is different than a "chip". A "Chip" upgrade is where you physically remove the chip and replace it with a performance chip. With an ECM re-tune you are actually reprogramming the computer that controls the car (there is no removeable chip). Now, technically all you are doing is changing some values in tables that the computer uses to manage the engine so, in reality, you're not actually changing the programming but changing the data the programming uses. Regardless, most will call it reprogramming anyway. LOL

Understanding that you CAN do this at home, sort of. What happens is you either order a re-tuned ECM and pay a core charge. The ECM is sent out to you and, once you get it, you install it at home by taking the one that is in your car now out and putting the new one in. Then you send your original ECM back to the vendor and he'll refund your core charge. OR, you just take your ECM out, send it to the vendor, he "reprograms" it then sends it back to you to re-install. Problem with this route is while you don't get charged a core charge, you are out a car until you get the ECM back.

Overall it is a great modification, however, retuning the ECM is a tricky thing. There is a different "tune" for each modification you put on your car just about...so a retuned ECM for a stock car wouldn't be optimal for a car with CAI, cat back, and headers. While it would work, having a tune that is set up for those mods is best.

Good news is this vendor can set you up with a tune for any combination of modifications (or no modifications) and program them into an ECM for you. Just be sure to tell him what you have done to the car and what you are planning to do to work out the best option in ECM reprogramming for your particular situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Robo...good explanation...Yeah the tunes are set to different variables...Always it is best to have it custom to your car and personally done for it and your driving style but it is pricey!! so finding a tuner with the presets can be a cheep and effective way to get pep outa our cars!`
 

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Very true. I'm out in AZ at the moment and have been tweaking my friend's GTP's PCM...Got his fueling sorted out now if I can just figure out why he's still seeing so much knock...dang it.

Wish we had something like this for the Sky's...would be nice...well...something that wasn't outragously expensive. LOL I still am going to try and hook this thing up to my Sky and see if it will scan it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Tune for mine would work in the manual version of a sky...The ECM setting is the same for the cobalt ss, Sky and Solstice.
 

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This allows you to increase MPG ( I got a boost of almost 5 MPG after 300 miles with the tune!) so do the math and realize it pays for itself in about 4-6 months!
GM spends millions, even re-engineering transmissions trying to squeeze an
extra 1/2 MPG and here you make the absurd claim that by fiddling with the ECM (which apparently GM only designed and built) you can get an extra 5MPG. I've heard tall tales from aftermarket vendors promising to make a Hupmobile a roaring tiger, but this absolutely is the most gigantic con I've ever come across. I wouldn't give you five cents for your retune and am inclined to believe that MPG will drop 5 MPG, if anything. I also have severe doubts that your HP claims have any more validity than your preposterously false MPG claims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
look at it this way the trip there the DIC was reset....got 22.3 MPG on the way back (Sam route) I got 28.1 MPG simple math if you ask me and on top of that I was driving it harder on the way back to see what it could do! Also GM is not going to waste millions on getting a few more MPG out of a roadster!!! don't believe me go ask anyone who got it done on the solstice forum site...Question me...Fine.... Do the research before making blanket statements....

PS Re-engineering trannys!!! To prove my point on GMs car about MPG on the Kappa cars they put a freaking Truck Transmission in [email protected]!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here ill do the leg work for you!!!
Critterman said:
Time will tell, I posted my Dyno figures before ECM tune late last week. I drove to Milford Delaware (average 26.0 MPG). I already had the latest software update so Vector didn't have to upgrade my ECM (35-40 minute procedure) and could just load his tune in to it (10 minutes). Didn't get a chance to hit it hard (visit and talking to by the local johndarms on the way up convinced us to stay close to the limit). But did hit it hard from a couple of lights. Car seems more responsive (could be wishfull thinking), but the one thing that is very ovious was the 28.7 MPG I got on the way home. That is over a 10 increase anyway you look at it.

This week I will be back to the same dyno, and will do it again to see what difference it makes. I will post the new runs as well.
 

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Keep in mid that the ECM retune is setting the car to run on premium gas only and as such modifies the advance curves a little. My understanding is you can not run the car on regular after it is done. Most of the retunes are also removing or modify that has been designated as the Nanny controls. Some of them remove the top speed limit. The biggest one that needs fixing is the delayed power enrichment. I have heard it is like 10-second delay. When that is set at zero, you get the extra fuel when you hit the throttle. That change alone will make the car feel more peppy.:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
first off yes the car without the tune is run lean until about 2500 rpms! which means no decent power til then...(I have dyno charts to prove this) also the drop from 2nd to 3rd is gone allowing for an earlier shift without lag...I used to take 2nd to 4500-5000 rpms to keep power band level! OH and it is PEPPIER! A high RPM shift from gear to gear actually throws you back a bit! also the 5th gear (OD) is not a dog anymore....As far as using premium.,...I always have and always will so I am not sure if it is required...Come to think of it the tune doesn't require it but the mods it performs are based on Premium so using regular won't take advantage of em...THE CAR SAYS PREMIUM FUEL RECOMMENDED so I always follow that cause get a problem in middle of nowhere and car breaks Joe Shmoe Dealer could say you shoulda put premium in that'll be xxx dollars cause it aint on warranty anymore...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

 

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Does an ECM retune void the warranty? I've read around about this a little bit but have mixed answers or may be my lack of knowledge confuses them. I'd love to get this done when I get my car, but I was told the right way to go may be a programmer for the warranty issue? Seeing that your worried about premium/nonpremium voiding your warranty I figured you must of looked into this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
what is done will not be seen on the dealers side of things...the dealer may check the firmware version to see if it is current...(Think of it as upgrading from windows 95 to Windows XP). The reason for this is that other problems can be solved with the ECM such as the Radio Popping at start and such....but no dealer will dig into the ECM retune....As far as warranty.,.....well don't ask dont tell....hell putting CAI or an exhaust from kappasphere on could void the warranty! it is all about does the retune damage the car ANSWER: NO! so mods away!
 

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mynewsolstice said:
what is done will not be seen on the dealers side of things...the dealer may check the firmware version to see if it is current...(Think of it as upgrading from windows 95 to Windows XP). The reason for this is that other problems can be solved with the ECM such as the Radio Popping at start and such....but no dealer will dig into the ECM retune....As far as warranty.,.....well don't ask dont tell....hell putting CAI or an exhaust from kappasphere on could void the warranty! it is all about does the retune damage the car ANSWER: NO! so mods away!
As a disclaimer I'd put on there that it is a grey area. There are a number of reasons for this.

First, don't think for a second the folks over at GM are completely blind to this small but growing community. They more than likely read these forums and know about the availability of aftermarket ECM programming.

Second, while currenly all ECMs are being programmed by someone who knows what they are doing, if there are folks out there trying to do this with aftermarket reprogrammers that DON'T know what they are doing they can seriously damage the car and COULD void their warranty. This is especially true if there are other modifications on the car.

Now, I think the odds of the dealer denying a warranty claim because of a re-flashed ECM are slim, it COULD happen.

Also, as for the comment on GM engineers tweaking the ECMs to the max...yaaaa...not so much. Grand Prixs are known to run almost dangerously lean on stock tunes and have as much as 4 degrees of Knock Retard stock from the factory. There are a lot of things you can free up in an ECM sometimes.
 

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mynewsolstice said:
The Tune for mine would work in the manual version of a sky...The ECM setting is the same for the cobalt ss, Sky and Solstice.
Now wait a minute, what exactly are you saying? Are you telling me that the Cobalt SS with the 2.0 Supercharged ECOTEC uses the same ECM and ECM tables that the Sky and Solstice use? I'm pretty sure they'd use different MAP sensors but would this mean the ECMs and their settings are interchangeable?

(I know some of you can see where I'm going with this...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
per CHEVY WEBSITE
Chevy Cobalt SS
Highlights:
171-hp 2.4L High-Output engine
17-inch aluminum wheels and Sport tires
CD/MP3 player
Seven-speaker Pioneer premium sound system
Tuned Sport suspension
Complete list of standard & optional features
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