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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I have a question

My car is completely stock. It's a clean slate. I've been looking at OTR style CAI (likely a veraram). So my question is, what exactly do I have to do to my car before I go visit the shop you guys are going to recommend to get a tune?

What all is involved in that, and what kind of costs should I expect?


I've never done something like this before, so your guidance is appreciated.

Phil
 

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There are a few options for a tune. I personally recommend Pat g or Rick Crawford. You don't have to go to either of these guys shops to get it done . It's called a mail order tune and if it weren't for these two guys being gods for tuning our g8s , I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it that way. Rick is in North Carolina and Pats in texas. So if you happen to be close by or want to go for a drive ,you can get it done at their shops .

Other options that people have been happy with are livernoise, out of new york. Then there's cortex or super chips. Canada has overkill tune. Option c is to find some locals who would recommend a shop who's done ls motors and or more specifically g8s. You should ask yourself , do you plan on doing more than just an otr intake down the road? If so , you'll want someone who offers free retunes.

I'd recommend pat all the way. Great response time and I've never seen a bad review since I've been on this site, only praise.

You'll find the price will very . One big reason for this is because some companies don't offer free retunes , something to consider. If you plan on doing more modding you'll have to pay for a retune , which can ran well over 100 bucks. Pats is 625 and includes free lifetime retunes. This way I can mod at my convenience without worrying about paying more for the retune . Do some research here on him and some of the others I've mentioned to see what's worked for them and why.

As for all other mods. Intake and exhaust are always the first to get done. Great starter mods. And not super hard to do yourself. I watched my buddy install my intake in about 25 minutes tops.

If your looking at otr intakes. Vararam is good and more affordable at 350 or so bucks. Then the other two popular otr's here are vcm and orssom. Both intakes are good and will put a smile on your face. I chose orssom for looks ( to each their own) , price and it's not as common because you have to order it from Australia or luck out and find a used one for sale here. The vcm will run between 525 and 750ish ,I might be off a little but I recall the company charged more for the radiator cover, making it total at 700 plus. There are some other popular choices but as for otr specifically , those are the big 3.

Happy modding and take your time and do some research. That's what I've been doing. Not worth spending the money just to hate it and have to spend more money to get it redone.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, so let's say I got with a Crawford tune- I assume it will need to be uploaded to the car.

How does that happen?

Sorry, I know these are basic questions, but I'm brand new to this.
 

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To answer your questions directly;
-What needs to be done before you visit the shop?
Is the shop going to be doing the tune, installing the intake, or both? You can install the intake in 15 minutes and get a custom mail order tune or a "can tune" (i.e. superchips) without dealing with a shop, unless the shop has a dyno and is doing the tune. If you are still set on going to a shop, call them to get the details.

-What is all involved in a tune?
Getting the handheld tuner, plugging the handheld module in the diagnostics port, hitting a few buttons, waiting two minutes, and unplugging the module. It is very easy to do.

-What cost to expect for a tune?: superchips ~ $300 ; PAT G = $625. Both of these options are one upfront cost for infinite tunes.

-Is a tune needed?
If you are only planning on getting an OTR intake installed, no, a tune is not required. However, you will get more power than adding the intake alone, and it will greatly improve the driving characteristics of the car. I highly recommend getting a tune.

Here is my opinion, if you are only planning on doing an intake, an expensive custom tune is not worth it. You will be fine with a cheaper "can tune" like superchips, you can download the tune file for the intake on your computer with their software. A can tune such as superchips will get you 80-90% of the performance of a good custom tune at around 50% of the price on a car that just has an intake. Just my opinion.

Like pony killer said though, if you are planning on doing more mods down the road, get a good custom tune off the bat and make sure they do re-tunes. So you don't have to buy another tuner later on. Superchips cannot support very many modifications. I have Pat G's mail order tune and have been very happy with it. You will never find a bad or even a neutral review of Rick C's work either, nothing but praises.

Hope this helps
 

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Ok, so let's say I got with a Crawford tune- I assume it will need to be uploaded to the car.

How does that happen?

Sorry, I know these are basic questions, but I'm brand new to this.
For a mail order tune, they will send you the hardware or tell you what hardware to buy. The harware consists of a handheld module, and a USB cable to plug into a computer, and cable to plug into the diagnostics ports on a car. They will email you the tune files to download onto the module. The tune files are customized for you based on what modifications you have and what you want from the transmission tune. Once downloaded you will program the tune to the car. (This was how Pat G does it and I think Rick C does the same) Whoever you go with will give you step by step instructions on how its done. I would contact them directly. Both are very good at answereing questions in thoroughly and in a timely manner.
 

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If you go with Rick wich is what I would do, you buy hp tuners you can get that from Greg at pace for cheaper. I think it comes with enough tokens for one car instead of 8 tokens (4cars). Have Rick send you a config file, the config file is so rick can read the file. Open the config file, log your current tune, send it to him and he will make adjustments from there
 

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Not sure if anyone else mentioned it but it's smart to gather up whatever bolt on's that you are considering and then getting your tune done otherwise you are looking at additional resources $ to retune when you add mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Perfect answers. Thank you. It is really great to have a community that is forthcoming with the knowledge I'm seeking. I'm kind of the "car geek" in my circle of friends, so when I don't know the answer I'm kinda screwed unless folks like you can lend me a hand.

I've waited a long time for this car, and I'm absolutely pleased with it. I feel like it is a perfect blend of all the things I love in cars- Sporty, Muscled, yet comfortable and fairly practical for me and my family. The mods I do will be aimed toward enhancing those characteristics (within the scope of my vision)

My plan right now is to do bolt on mods for the drivetrain: the CAI will be first likely in a few weeks, followed by an exhaust (I like the sound of the Corsa) and headers (Kooks) in the April time frame. I'll likely do the tune at that point. I hope to have this all done by June 2015, and then I'll start looking at some more serious stuff as part of a long term budgeted project - DoD delete has caught my eye, but i think that will be part of a significant project that will rebuild the engine. Right now I've got 45k on my 09 GT, and I was thinking of doing a top end build around 90-100k when I'll be wanting to refresh the mechanicals. So DoD with a Cam is like a 4 year plan, and I'll be saving, and researching along the way so that cash outlay at the time of mod won't hurt too much.

I also have some exterior stuff i want to do, just keeping the existing lines, but adding some little details along with upgraded wheels but that is for another thread.:driving:

thanks again for the direction, couldn't ask for more detailed answers.

Phil
 

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We were all new to this at one point. Glad we could help. Just remember to use the search feature so the forum forum search nazis don't flog you in the future.:wink2:

Not sure if anyone else mentioned it but it's smart to gather up whatever bolt on's that you are considering and then getting your tune done otherwise you are looking at additional resources $ to retune when you add mods.
Good point, some custom tuners charge every time you re-tune. However Pat and Rick, and I am sure there are others as well, will re-tune for free to accomodate mods in the future so no worries there. You can upgrade as time and budget permits with those guys. You can even submit data logs (which are taken with the handheld module while you are driving) periodically to ensure everything is running optimally. If not they will tweak the tune and send you the new one...FO FREE!!!
 

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Yeah and if he decides to do one of the canned tunes from the vendors then I believe they will also accommodate him if he does additional bolt ons.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My search regarding tunes came back with a lot of feedback regarding who was good ect, but I couldn't find anything on the actual process of uploading (like purchasing a handheld module) to the car, so i started thinking I'd need a shop to do it. This is why i posted this thread in my regional page as opposed to the PCM / dyno forum, or Engine tech- i figured I'd need a shop recommendation.

now that i know I can get my own module I'll start shopping for that and add it to my budget.

I really did get exactly what i needed to know in this thread with no B.S. whatsoever and I'm grateful.
 

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Mac Autosports is a local shop south of Denver that has tuned a few G8s and has a good rep.

I recently just got mine tuned by Pat G. This is his link. http://www.guerragroup.com/#!online-tuning-support/cok1

You'll contact him and paypal him $650. He will send an Autocal to you. You then plug the autocal into your OBD port and read the stock tunes. Load up the programs he gives you onto your Windows computer and upload the tunes to your computer. Send him the tunes and some info on how you want your car tuned or your goals for the car. He will send back some tunes for you to then download onto your Autocal and upload into your car. Once you do that, do some datalogging and resend the tunes back to him and he'll do some final tweaking and you'll do another upload.
 
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