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There are certain things that are somewhat easy to modify in a tune (such as shift point and torque management stuff), but other things like engine timing require a great deal of knowledge. Basically, I used the Overkill tune to learn a lot about how things work (by using the HPTuner software to compare it to a stock tune to see what was changed and why). It takes a lot of time and research to learn this stuff. Obviously, you have to be very careful and only change things that you fully understand - you don't want to blow up your engine. :) I've spend a LOT of time doing research on the HPTuners forum (and asking questions).

As far as I know, you can't modify the tune with the AutoCal device at all.

And yes, with the HPTuner package, you can edit your tune on a PC "remotely" and then just "apply" it to the car when ready. HPTuners also has a fantastic scanner application for reviewing datalogs. Very, very powerful software.

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So, if you bought the Tuner used, then you must have sent it to Overkill to have the custom tune loaded to it, and then he sent it back?
 

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Discussion Starter #22
So, if you bought the Tuner used, then you must have sent it to Overkill to have the custom tune loaded to it, and then he sent it back?
No - with HPTuners, the tunes are never actually stored on the HPTuner device directly. The HPTuner hardware is just an interface used between the software on a laptop and the car's OBD-II port. The tunes themselves are just stored in files on the laptop.

The Pro version of the HPTuner hardware allows you to datalog to the device itself whereas the Standard version requires that you use a laptop to datalog...

The Pro version also supports external sensors (such as a wideband O2 sensor) - although nowadays, there are widebands that just connect to the laptop via USB, so that is not such a big deal anymore...

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Discussion Starter #24
HPTuners is simply a tool that allows you to modify the tune in your vehicle. It does not come with any tunes for any vehicle - it just allows you to modify your tune.

That being said, there are a few tunes available in their user-supplied "tune repository". These are tunes that other uses have modified and have submitted. There is no "safety" or "sanity" checks on these tunes whatsoever there, so it can be risky to apply them without thoroughly reviewing them first.

What year/engine is your vehicle (I don't remember from the top of my head)?

Also, you can always but the Overkill tune from Overkill - he charges $150 to take your stock tune file and modify it - which you can then apply with HPTuners. The $150 fee is assuming you already have an HPTuner. If you are looking for performance, that is probably your best option - unless you are willing to spend a LOT of time researching how to modify the tune yourself (takes a LOT of effort, time and testing). You *really* have to know what you are doing if you want to modify the tune for best performance.

Hope that helps.

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What year/engine is your vehicle (I don't remember from the top of my head)?
I got a 2013, so I got the 3.6 liter.

Hope that helps.
It does, your answers always cover every base, I thank you for that.

I've been eyeing the tuner for a bit and reading up on it in these forums. I remember in one thread, people were talking about using an 87 tune (for 87 octane gas) and a 93 tune, etc etc.

I think the overkill would be the best option after buying the tuner. I seen in one of your posts how you mentioned you compared his changes to your stock file to see what he modified. I can see myself doing that as well.

Thanks again Jtrosky!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Yeah, when (if) you buy the Overkill tune, he will supply both an 87 octane version and a 93 octane version (basically, just different ignition timing maps) of the tune. I no longer use my Overkill tune (I was looking more for "comfort" over performance), but I did use it as a learning tool - and using it for that alone is worth the $150. By comparing the Overkill tune to the stock tune (via the HPTuners "Compare" function), you can see exactly what Overkill changes and really learn from it. And then little by little, along with some reading over on the HPTuners forums, you'll start feeling more and more comfortable making your own changes to customize the tune to your exact "specifications". In particular, the shift points, amount of torque management and gas pedal sensitivity are some of the easier things to really tune to you exact preferences. Some of the stuff is *very* technical and involved (such as idle tuning!), but other things are actually kind of easy to tweak - and small tweaks to things like the shift points can really make the car behave just like you want it.

If you like to "tinker" with things, you'll love HPTuners. Just go slow - make minor changes and monitor how it changes things (the HPTuner scanner is an *awesome* tool to see *exactly* what your car is doing!). You can log a drive and then review it later, frame-by-frame if you want - and then make more changes based on what you see in the logs. It really is good stuff.

I wish we had more folks using HPTuners on here. Would be great to interact with other Impala owners and learn from each other.

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