Alternatives to HPT and MS - Tuning Forum

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Alternatives to HPT and MS
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 2:56 PM
Does anyone know of any other software/hardware to edit the P11 or Cobalt PCMs? This is besides the obvious HPT, Megasquirt, and that one other one where you send it in.

Just curious to see if I can actually get into the hard code in the computer and directly edit functions and whatnot



I roll on steelies. Work-in-progress daily-sleeper potential.
http://www.j-body.org/classifieds/engine/60493/

Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 3:08 PM
EFI live




Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 4:10 PM
megasquirt does not edit the factory ECU. It is a standalone/piggyback.



FU Tuning



Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Thursday, May 30, 2013 12:06 PM
EFI Live does the same thing as HPTuners, so its not what you are looking for, but will edit and write a J-Body PCM just like HPTuners will.

As far as I know Vince from Trifecta (the one where you send it in, as you call it) has the software to re-write the hard code inside the ECU to whatever he wants.

I doubt he will give it out, and I doubt without being some sort of computer programmer it would even make sense.


He was willing back in the day to re-write the J-Body Ecotec ECU to include anything we wanted, speed density 3 bar map, 2-step, sky ways the limit.

I think he was gonna charge $5000 to do it, there was a GP Feeler looking for 10 people to go in at $500 a piece or less if more people, would of been editable via HPTuners.

Sadly very few people stepped up and interest eventually fadded out.


I'm still super sad that didn't happen......probably the biggest disappointment I've ever seen from this community.

Problem was, he couldn't lock the tune, so once one person got it, they could send it to anyone they wanted free of charge......I guess everyone was just hoping for the free ride.



/rant...(it still bothers me...lol)



Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Thursday, May 30, 2013 12:10 PM
^Wow ive never knew that. That would have been a very big step for the jbody community.


GMR has got nothing on this
Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Thursday, May 30, 2013 1:04 PM
his tunes are locked..but maybe we're talking about a different set up than what he provides today (and no longer to jbody owners).
I still have the Trifecta tune on my old ECU, its locked out. But Im now using an 05 ECU with HPT on it.

But thats the problem with the car communities..most people are cheap and dont want to fork over any decent amount for quality parts, or in this case a tune. What people dont realize is they'll pay a hell of a lot more than (for example) $500 for a quality tune at a shop, just to get it dialed in (granted its street and dyno tuning).

Vince definitely has the business tuning newer GM vehicles..jbodies are small fish anymore anyways. I really need to learn to tune myself once i get settled in somewhere and have my own garage/shop. Watching someone tune my car with HPT is encouraging, because its just like learning software and knowing what changes do what to the cars brain and how it thinks.

Raf are you still practicing with HPT, getting to know it pretty well?


04 Cav. 2dr. 5spd. My DD. 'Nuff said.
Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Thursday, May 30, 2013 1:48 PM
I believe in order to edit it with HPTuners he would of needed to unlock it, he was only gonna provide a base tune that people could then tune in there own cars.

The point wasn't to tune 10 peoples cars, the point was the reconfigure the PCM to something that didn't suck dick and then sell that as a flashable base tune people could then tune there own cars with in HPTuners.

But yes...it was very sad it didn't go anywhere





Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Thursday, May 30, 2013 4:32 PM
Not to mention Ron's (Shifted's) replacement PCM.......that almost made me cry when he just disappeared!
Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:59 PM
As far as actually editing the ROM in the microcontroller you'd need to tear a PCM apart, find out what kind of microprocessor is in it, get some documentation on the microcontroller, desolder it and use a socket adapter board for your computer or find a way to read the ROM on-board the ECM. Even then there's no guarantee the firmware is non-encrypted. I've looked at trying this before and frankly its way over my and 99% of people's heads here. Not to mention $$$.

I was poking around at the possibility of running an Eco off of another car makes PCM and harness. I've seen some Grassroots style guys use Honda chipped P28 OBD1 ECUs as a sort of low budget standalone. Hondata S300 is leaps and bounds ahead of most stuff out there for engine control (aside from Moates, MS, etc.) There's even several free options out there. Basically theyd cut apart the harness to its necessities and find a way to utilize the distributor. <== that completely kills it for us IMO.

A Honda K-series drive by cable ECM with Hondata K-Pro would be interesting to try. The K is of similar architecture (DOHC, 2.0-2.4L) Last I checked we have almost all of the same sensors. I didn't have any luck comparing the reluctor wheel patterns. All Honda K's run ICPs. The only goofy part would be the i-VTEC cam phasing stuff. I'm pretty sure that can be tuned out though.

Honestly its probably a waste of time to try.



Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Friday, May 31, 2013 2:19 AM
Eric Knight wrote:

Does anyone know of any other software/hardware to edit the P11 or Cobalt PCMs? This is besides the obvious HPT, Megasquirt, and that one other one where you send it in.

Just curious to see if I can actually get into the hard code in the computer and directly edit functions and whatnot


are you familiar with electrical engineering? if not, then I wouldn't bother trying to crack a factory PCM.

your realistic options:
-HPT for tuning the P11 (efi live is worse with the P11 with access to tunable parameters so far as I know)
-megasquirt to side-step the P11's shortcomings

-P12 swap (what I'm currently working on) the early model cobalt ss/sc car's PCM
....the P12 will only run 60-2 pattern engines tho






Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Friday, May 31, 2013 2:47 AM
Anyone still in contact with Vince from Trifecta? Would it even be worth it for another run of people to see if they would go in on it? Im sure he kept everything around just in case.




Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Friday, May 31, 2013 3:19 PM
I'd pay $1000 for an unlocked GM Eco reflash or a good tune from a good tuner. Seems like getting either is virtually impossible.





Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Friday, May 31, 2013 4:44 PM
TheInfamousEco wrote:

I'd pay $1000 for an unlocked GM Eco reflash or a good tune from a good tuner. Seems like getting either is virtually impossible.


Dont take this the wrong way, but so would everyone else, until it comes time to pay....



Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Friday, May 31, 2013 4:44 PM
I would pay the same for a good tune.
Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Friday, May 31, 2013 5:46 PM
^ I wasnt willing to shell out $500 for something with no proof or anything. Vince was seeming to say he had something but there was zero proof.

Judging from his track history with tuning J-bodies im not overly convinced...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edited Friday, May 31, 2013 6:38 PM
Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Friday, May 31, 2013 8:06 PM
BuiltNBoosted wrote:

TheInfamousEco wrote:

I'd pay $1000 for an unlocked GM Eco reflash or a good tune from a good tuner. Seems like getting either is virtually impossible.


Dont take this the wrong way, but so would everyone else, until it comes time to pay....


No worries. No offense taken. I understand how "economical" the jbody community can be. I put my car up for sale at one point and got genuine offers as absurd as $1,500 and $500 for a lightly modded, fully loaded, low mileage Ecotec LS Sport, in immaculate condition. In retrospect I'm happy it didn't sell, but ridiculousness like that really speaks volumes. My problem isn't ponying up the dough, its actually getting a tuner. The best tuners for these cars already have lines out the door with people waiting to be tuned. Those that I have contacted have been as helpful as they can be but they have jobs and lives of their own and that obviously takes precedence. To be honest, the GM reflash is mostly sufficient for my needs, but it is imperfect. Having zero ability to make the small tweaks that would put it to where I want it is frustrating.



Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Saturday, June 01, 2013 11:13 PM
one of the other problems with older, less properly maintained cars is the initial condition prior to tuning.
A lot of people would be quick to blame a tuner shortly after getting a good tune if their engine says bye bye. Most people will not admit it, but they take a lot less care of their jbody than they would likely claim. We use and abuse our cars, then after 100-200k miles we want to get it heavily modified and tuned, a 10-15 year old car. After a tired, poorly maintained engine is abused with much higher pressures than intended, they go boom.

The liability issue is waived if the customer signs a waiver obviously..but that can still be over turned in court. Claiming buyer ignorance or some tuner negligence one way or another. I signed the waiver a week after my engine blew, because Im an honest person. I know my tuner didn't intend to blow my engine and it was MOST LIKELY not due to his negligence, but due to my dormant problems just waiting for an excuse to reveal themselves. I see it as a blessing in disguise, but not a lot of ppl are willing to do what I did.


04 Cav. 2dr. 5spd. My DD. 'Nuff said.
Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Sunday, June 02, 2013 7:42 AM
^^No offence man...but I do blame your tuner...and to some extent you.

You heard the detonation....it blew.

It cant be ignored though that your motor had a ton of miles on it and it was performing much past stock parameters.....so its bound to happen. But it cant be ignored you heard the knock and kept on it. Your tuner is most likely very good at what he does but I suspect the tune was not 100% yet and that helped lead to the demise.

Your car with say Ryan, addicted to meth,or Oldskool tuning it it probably would have had a longer life.

But regardless you always have a positive attitude towards it all and really have to commend you on that.
Re: Alternatives to HPT and MS
Sunday, June 02, 2013 1:14 PM
Well we had actually JUST gotten it running that night. We spent a few hours on it getting a base tune to where it would run and drive within the proper AF readings. We were about to give up and the final tweak it ran and was good for getting it home and had no idle issues or anything.
We had planned on getting back to the tuning after class the very next day and taking it easy on the car, which I did. I think I got on it once and with knocking, I let off. It didn't knock at all (to the human ear) at anything under WOT. So it wasn't like 'well its good enough, have at it!'..was more like 'well we got it running, lets finish it up tomorrow and don't beat on it'.

I wasn't even giving it much gas when it went, I was down shifting to exit the highway and then when I gave it some gas it went. It would have been smart to toss my original ECU in, drive it until the next evening, then swap the new ECU back in for final tuning.
But it wasn't running lean, rich, etc when I was driving it according to the WB. I honestly think the tune helped it go, but I think its like having a nail in a tire at 10mph is not going to hurt you, but do 100mph and you'll have different symptoms. I think my engine was waiting for an excuse to go after being on a VERY VERY rich tune for the last 9+ months, probably longer (with a lot of really hard driving). Then the weekend before he touched my car, I was driving it extremely hard racing Mercedes and Vettes and the like through the back country hills (easily keeping up btw ). Only to find out when I got home my IC pump was dead and I was missing some fluid in my coolant tank. So I suspect running it really heard on a small pulley with no IC functioning all day, was the last straw. Then he got to it a day or two later, woke up the power it had the potential of making all along and that was it, the variable it needed to go boom. I think its previous condition over the last year was a slow death, he gave it a quick one without knowing it. Again, was all me for him not knowing how the cars been other than me telling him its been really rich without major issues.

I blame myself for assuming it was good to tune and not questioning whether or not it WOULD hold at the power levels I should be at. He was simply doing what I asked not knowing everything about the cars history, assuming it was in full functional condition without issues.
The only downside is getting a motor in or just finding one I want isn't as quick of a process as I expected...so it'll be down for a while plus Ive got a lot of other stuff I want to finally get done on it. I agree and so does the tuner, it was not 100%..it was still needing more tuning done before it should have been driven far or on any reasonably aggressive throttle. But it was very late and we both worked the next day. Hindsight is always 20/20.


04 Cav. 2dr. 5spd. My DD. 'Nuff said.
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