*Ls tune? Who’s done one and is it worth it ! *

Discussion in 'Tips 'n' Tricks Topic' started by 72BIGBLOCK, Oct 1, 2017.


    72BIGBLOCK Veteran Member

    Likes Received:
    Feb 2, 2008
    A friend of mine just did a tune on his ls computer, he has an ls one in a 66 Chevelle with a t56 and I have a similar set up, ls1 and t56 on a 69 camaro.

    I called the company he suggested, it’s a local shop near my house and they have a street tune (no dyno) and a performance tune (that ones on a dyno at full throttle)

    After speaking to him he recommended the street tune since I’m looking for drivability and reliability

    For 350 anyone recommend it ? Done it ? What can I expect ?

  2. SRGN

    SRGN Veteran Member

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    Feb 20, 2009
    Central NJ
    Always worth it to tune, especially on a swap where the tune in the pcm is generic and not dialed in to your particular combination. If you log the data while driving, you may see the pcm adding or subtracting fuel under various conditions, even knock retard if the AF and timing isn't dialed in to your combo. A good tune addresses these issues, assuming that everything is good on the car.
  3. ErikNORCAL

    ErikNORCAL Veteran Member

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    Aug 6, 2003
    now in VA
    Is the street tune one where they drive around and log data or is it akin to a mail order tune?
    The less generic it is (mail order) and more towards how you use it, you'll be happier (seems like that would be the street tune if its tuned for your car from data logs).
  4. ULTM8Z

    ULTM8Z Veteran Member

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    May 19, 2000
    Los Angeles
    If GM stayed true to form with the LS engines as they did with the TPI's (and likely the LT1s), there's probably some power left on the table.

    My experience with the TPI's, they went pig rich at Power Enrichment... getting down to 11.5:1 AFR. Leaning that to around 12.5:1 can pick up some power. IF they did the same thing on LS engines, then getting a WB O2 sensor into the exhaust and monitoring the actual AFR could reveal some room for improvement.

    Another thing there I've been improving on is the air temperature compensation in the fueling. Again, GM's settings tended to drive the mixture leaner than it should be and produces inconsistent AFR's. I.e., you tune your AFR's at one air temperature, and (using GM's factory settings), you get something different when the intake air temp gets warmer or colder. Again, if GM didn't improve their settings for LS engines, there could be some improvement there as well.

    My guess is there's some hp and torque waiting to be had. The best way to approach it is to get a WB O2 into the exhaust and datalog it.
  5. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    May 4, 2001
    Las Vegas, NV
    ^^ You have to consider GM is also trying to maintain balance between emissions, fuel economy and performance. When you take it to a dyno and "squeeze" more power out of it, it comes at a cost to something. People do get more power out the LS engines with a performance tune, the engine are de-tuned from the factory for the reasons I stated above.

    I recommend a tune to dial it in. In a factory setting its set up for a specific combination. When you put in in a different car, bigger exhaust, headers, air intake system etc. they may affect the behavior of the engine.

    I personally went with a mail order tune this time around because all they all want a $1,000! here in Vegas. A tune shouldn't be set just for max RPM power on a Dyno, you want a tune that addresses drivability. 10hp less is worth the car not surging or dying when you come to a stop sign.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  6. SgtB

    SgtB New Member

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    Jul 12, 2016
    Chicago, IL
    Having built, drove and raced multiple LS engines. Yes definitely have it tuned by the shop. Being that they are local and can data log and make tweaks to pick up power and maintain drive ability take advantage of it. Do the street tune. You only need the performance tune if you plan on racing it a lot. You'll appreciate the drive ability over the couple of horse power.
  7. Lowend

    Lowend Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca. Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Mar 25, 1999
    San Jose, CA, USA
    I can say 100% that an LS tune is worth it. I've seen 40+ Wheel Horsepower and a 2MPG gain from a good tune on a C6 Corvette.
    As stated above, GM's factory tune is designed to mass-deployed and "safe" It's the same tune for the guy who drives the car to work in Minnesota in -30 degree weather, as the guy who lives in Arizona and has to contend with 120 deg temps in the summer.

    It's critical to note; a tune cannot be done properly without a chassis dyno. Sorry it just can't, the dyno is the only place you can safely do long WOT pulls and really dial the thing in.
    2ndGenCrazy likes this.

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