help me understand tune options - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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help me understand tune options

Cars 07/08 GXP 2.0's

I "think' the motors are stock in the current set up and I am interested in seeing what I can get for a bump in hp/tq to run these cars as track day cars. At this point, I am not looking to tear down motors as we are hoping to be reasonable in our quest for more power, so the question is what can we do to the outside (tune/pipes etc) and what can we expect for output.

I see several different tunes from DDM and Performance Auto Works, but for someone who is old school like me, there seems to be a lot of different options which all look to be the same, so I am hoping I can get some advice....

So overall,

So I see;

DDM has a kit with a cold air intake, charge tube and trifecta tune and it suggests 70-80hp at the wheel for jsut over a grand...

Then I see a "race" exhaust promising an additional 27hp....for an additional 650 smackeros (or the stree race exhaust same price and performance promise.

Of course this raises the question should there also be a hi flo cat, or remove the cat entirely? What happens to above?

Then do I need a stage 1, 2 or 3 Map sensor and what really is the difference?

performance Autoworks

Then of course PAW has the same charge tube and intake and cat (btw does any of this stuff really make more power as demonstrated on a real dyno and not a "seat of the pants" dyno?

Then there is the "Stage 2" (is there a 1 or 3?0 tune from PAW... is it different than DDM?

So globally, if I believe the ads, I can get about 100hp from these tunes if I run 91 or 93 octane.. bolt on and go?

Love to hear your thoughts on what works and does not.

I do continue to read that best case, these motors and trannys are only good to about 400hp at the wheel before engine strengthening is required... I don't want to go there yet.

So if these cars have 260hp stock what is the path to get to 375-400whp

Thanks!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 08:32 AM
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Tunes are different than hardware. Basically a tune recalibrates the OEM factory computer settings.

The most popular tunes are.
1. General Motors Performance Product (GMPP) tune.
2. Trifecta tune.
3. HPTuners.

I'll stop there and let others with more knowledge guide you, just know that horsepower and torque claims by vendors are exactly that, claims or guesses on their part. Unless...backed up by dyno numbers (and even dyno numbers can vary from dyno to dyno).

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Mr & Mrs ChopTop's 09 Fastback & 06 Vert Mods thread:https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...session-75468/ Original join date; Oct 2005 under LowLife handle.

Last edited by ChopTop; 04-20-2019 at 08:22 AM.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 09:12 AM
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To get to 375hp, it's going to cost you a bit of money. Much easier in a "newer" next gen, motor like a 2012 ATS, Camaro or Regal. So, if you want 375-400hp, here's what you'll need:

1. New aftermarket intercooler (DDM, Werks, Hahn)
2. IC piping
3. High-Flow Cat
To make sure that the 375 is attainable, a new exhaust from Solo (recommended)
?4.LDK head (if you aren't changing turbo)

Then a good dyno tuner. You should see 370 very easy with above....I'm at about 335hp without the AM IC or HFC or LDK head.

?4.5 - The other option is to do the first 3 then add a new aftermarket turbo, but you could see lag depending on the turbo you choose.

And it's all going to depend on who responds here. Many will say something that will contradict what someone else says and so on. Stick to the basics...its going to cost you the same amount no matter which way you chose to go! But the first 3 and a good tuner are definite musts to achieve your goal.

And then there is the meth kit....it depends on the way you want to take your car. Daily reliable driver, or weekend garage queen that you don't mind having issues with once in while...

If you have a factory tune, no matter what you do to your motor, it will always relearn to 260hp. So a tune is MAJOR key in your goal.

____________________________________________

Solo Street Race exhaust
Fujita CAI
ASAP T2 stripes and badging
Windrestrictor V2 lighted in white
Windrestrictor lighted door sills lighted in white
DDM Works IC Piping
Undercar LEDs in white to match Windrestrictor

ZZPerformance dyno tuned - 286HP, 317ft/lbs of torque at 23psi of boost.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagan View Post
Cars 07/08 GXP 2.0's

So if these cars have 260hp stock what is the path to get to 375-400whp

Thanks!
Nowhere near. You aren't going to get out of the bottom half of the 300s with minor mods and a tune. You can get to 375 (brake, not wheel hp) by also doing a turbo change. If you want more you are getting into the territory where you need to think about engine internals and reliability issues. Certainly you can go for between 400 and 500 bhp, but the cost curve is steep and the drivability may suffer.

Best bang for the buck is the Trifecta tune and a high flow CAT. The so called 'cold' (they aren't) air intakes produce only lightening of the wallet, noise and a neater engine bay - note that more power isn't on that list.

New IC tubes clean up the engine bay looks, and after a certain point may reduce restriction. A larger IC will postpone power loss from heat soak (important if you do back to back solo runs) but won't add any power until you hit pretty high outputs.

If you want a nicer sound, by all means change the exhaust, but aside from the CAT, which wouldn't be included in the price you were quoted, there aren't any big power increases there. OTOH, doing the CAT and exhaust at the same time is a natural. For my money, Solo offers the best product quality and back-up.

BTW, the only tune that required the different sensors was the factory GMPP tune, which was nice when under warranty but not nearly as good as the Trifecta (and some others) after you were out of the warranty period. I like (and have) the Trifecta tune.
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1971 Jensen Interceptor
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2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently departed: 1965 Jensen CV8, 1969 Lamborghini Islero S, 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT, 1969 MGC roadster
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wspohn View Post
Nowhere near. You aren't going to get out of the bottom half of the 300s with minor mods and a tune. You can get to 375 (brake, not wheel hp) by also doing a turbo change. If you want more you are getting into the territory where you need to think about engine internals and reliability issues. Certainly you can go for between 400 and 500 bhp, but the cost curve is steep and the drivability may suffer.

Best bang for the buck is the Trifecta tune and a high flow CAT. The so called 'cold' (they aren't) air intakes produce only lightening of the wallet, noise and a neater engine bay - note that more power isn't on that list.

New IC tubes clean up the engine bay looks, and after a certain point may reduce restriction. A larger IC will postpone power loss from heat soak (important if you do back to back solo runs) but won't add any power until you hit pretty high outputs.

If you want a nicer sound, by all means change the exhaust, but aside from the CAT, which wouldn't be included in the price you were quoted, there aren't any big power increases there. OTOH, doing the CAT and exhaust at the same time is a natural. For my money, Solo offers the best product quality and back-up.

BTW, the only tune that required the different sensors was the factory GMPP tune, which was nice when under warranty but not nearly as good as the Trifecta (and some others) after you were out of the warranty period. I like (and have) the Trifecta tune.
There's a lot of good advice in wspohn's post.

The only thing I would add is that Methanol injection lets you get a bit more power too. I came fairly close to that 375 brake hp number you're looking for with just a high flow cat, methanol injection, and a HP tuners tune. I kept the stock turbo. If you add just a big wheel turbo to what I did you can definitely get 375 brake hp.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 01:41 PM
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I hope ghost is a talking about crank horse power, it's impossible to make 370 whp on the stock turbo.

260-290 whp you don't need anything fancy, just a tune. The hp gains depend on how aggressive is your tuner, I have seen tunes from 2 different vendors and they are extremely conservative, both tunes where running less spark timing than stock.

300-320 whp you'll need a catless downpipe + charge pipes + tune

320-350 whp everything from above + e85 ethanol blend or water meth

+350 whp bigger turbo + intercooler and 3 bar sensors (optional for better tuning), if you want to squeeze another 30 whp you'll need to run water meth or e85 ethanol blend

Do not buy the big wheel k04 the gains are only 10-20 wheel hp and the power also drops in the higher rpms

EFR 6258: 380-390 whp on pump gas (similar spool to the stock k04)
EFR 6758: 400-410 whp on pump gas (spools around 3k rpm)
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, great info here

So, IC intake tube swap - no real increase in power but some say makes the engine bay look better - that said, I do see the crimp in my stock one, so I'd guess there should be better flow, but then again, maybe you are saying that it flows fine now...?

Now all that said, add an IC intake, high flow cat (or just remove the cat????), solo exhaust (open race or the street race at ddm?) and a Trifecta tune

This should get HP from what to what at the wheel... 220 to 320?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Being we are only using these for track day events (with a cars and coffee from time to time), I am less motivated to go E85 or Meth injection due to having too much to do, when I just want to go on track for 30 min and bomb around....
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 09:24 PM
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You will most definitely want the DDM brace kit.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagan View Post
Thanks everyone, great info here

So, IC intake tube swap - no real increase in power but some say makes the engine bay look better - that said, I do see the crimp in my stock one, so I'd guess there should be better flow, but then again, maybe you are saying that it flows fine now...?

Now all that said, add an IC intake, high flow cat (or just remove the cat????), solo exhaust (open race or the street race at ddm?) and a Trifecta tune

This should get HP from what to what at the wheel... 220 to 320?
If you are pushing more then 18psi of boost, get the tubing...it smooths the flow through the tubes and makes the car a lot easier to tune.

Don't waste your time with an e85 tune because you have to add a 5th injector because our injectors can't push enough fuel for e85. e47, yes...not e85.

My wheel HP is 286hp, so about 330 at the crank. I was up at 301hp at the wheels on a stock turbo, but too much knock and heat from not having an AM IC and HFC, so he had to turn it down because it was a daily until about 2 months after my tune was done. 301hp at the wheels would have been around the upper 340 range at the crank. Take it for what it's worth, my tuner said with an IC and HFC, he could have pushed my car to 310hp at the wheels, which is about 360hp at the crank. I push 23psi of boost at WOT with no mods other then the 3BAR MAP sensors, piping and a Fujita CAI...which is a bear to tune. EDIT: And Solo Street Race Exhaust....

____________________________________________

Solo Street Race exhaust
Fujita CAI
ASAP T2 stripes and badging
Windrestrictor V2 lighted in white
Windrestrictor lighted door sills lighted in white
DDM Works IC Piping
Undercar LEDs in white to match Windrestrictor

ZZPerformance dyno tuned - 286HP, 317ft/lbs of torque at 23psi of boost.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 09:43 PM
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Again personal opinion runs the roost.

You have no need for the intercooler if you are only doing a tune.

You do not need a CAI. Total waste of money, same as the charge tubes. The only advantage is the look. Cleaner, but will do nothing for power or performance.

Highflow cat will make a performance difference, I guess, I really did not feel it much.

The canned Trifecta is the easiest and cheapest, unless you have the ability to do the tune with HP Tuners.

The 200 bucks you spend on the base Trifecta tune will be the biggest change you will ever see, nothing compares with it. Unless you dump 10 times that amount, and that does not guarantee it will perform like you want it to.

I have done all the above, and if I had it to do over again, I would leave the CAI, Charge Tubes, Intercooler off the car and do the base Trifecta tune. The most bang for your buck with out question.

Buy a good set of tires, the tunnel brace to protect the car and the others if you have the ability to drive it. They make a big difference according to most. I did most of my mods at the same time, so not really a comparative development.

Leave the car as stock as you can and you will be much happier down the road, says the guy that won the Most highly modified class at the National last year. Love my car, but really wish I had left the engine alone.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagan View Post
Thanks everyone, great info here

So, IC intake tube swap - no real increase in power but some say makes the engine bay look better - that said, I do see the crimp in my stock one, so I'd guess there should be better flow, but then again, maybe you are saying that it flows fine now...?

Now all that said, add an IC intake, high flow cat (or just remove the cat????), solo exhaust (open race or the street race at ddm?) and a Trifecta tune

This should get HP from what to what at the wheel... 220 to 320?

I am not familiar with trifecta, but with hptuners with IC, High flow cat, exhaust: 260-300 whp (depending on how aggressive your tune is). If you are going to go with the trifecta canned tune don't upgrade anything

A completely stock the car dynos around 220 whp.

Mods that I actually felt the difference:
1. E47 Tune
2. Light weight wheels
3. Catless downpipe

I also have an aftermarket intercooler, charge pipes, brembo brakes, light weight battery and seats (I could not tell the difference in performance)

My goal is 400 whp (i need to upgrade my turbo, hopefully by the end of the year) and 100 lbs in weight reduction without affecting comfort
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:46 AM
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You might find the posts in this thread documenting my car and the mods I did useful.

https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/...thread-102178/
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Current fleet:
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1958 MGA Twin Cam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently departed: 1965 Jensen CV8, 1969 Lamborghini Islero S, 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT, 1969 MGC roadster
Mods at https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...thread-102178/

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:26 AM
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Joining this for a moment, what is the latest results for EFR 6258 vs GT2871 swap. I was going to go with 2871 upgrade one mine mostly due to cost from bnr, but been seeing 6258 being brought up.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:40 AM
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Bigger turbo, more flow = more power and more lag. Only you can say which suits your driving style best.

Current fleet:
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1958 MGA Twin Cam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently departed: 1965 Jensen CV8, 1969 Lamborghini Islero S, 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT, 1969 MGC roadster
Mods at https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...thread-102178/

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