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ODB 1 Lt1 Tuning

EFI Tuning Fundamentals

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Discussion and questions related to the course EFI Tuning Fundamentals

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Hello everybody,

I recently picked up a LT one Trans Am off of a good friend that I have known for years. He spent about 10 to 15 K I’m getting this car built back in 2010/2012 and he was never able to find anybody to tune it so the car hasn’t really been driven. I got it to start and everything like that, but does anybody know anything about tuning the LT one with the OPTi spark ignition system or have any ideas on what I should do whether that’s converting to individual coil pack system or if I should just save up the money and get the Holley harness for the LT one. Looking for some advice and some help. I do have my Dino tuner who’s part of fast, life motorsports, and they do high horsepower hit on street outlaws and all that stuff but he said he has no experience with the LT one, especially the earlier gen 2 but he said once I get the system he’s willing to help me and try so I figured between him and the community on here and myself I might be able to have this thing running correctly. I have a bunch of turbo kits, nitrous set ups and a lot more stuff. That may be fun to put on this card and see what it does. I would really love to learn how to tune this LT one and see what this thing to do on the strip if it blows up, I’m not too worried because I have a bunch of LS motors I can swap out.

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I have very little experience, but I actually just began my tuning adventures a couple weeks ago with my own 94 LT1 and some ancient software, so I wanted to throw in my 2 cents.

LT1 tuning was actually pretty straight forward on the stock ECU after some research. There was still even some active development in 2015 and later. The stock ECU has a surprising amount of capability from what I have seen, at least for such an old system.

With the appropriate ALDL USB cable, and a combination of a couple softwares (Namely EEhack, Flashhack, TunerPro, and Tunercats) and some research on some forums, I was able to diagnose my low power issue (extreme knock retard from faulty sensor) and tune out some knock from the timing tables, with very limited prior experience. I would definitely check it out.

Yes I read that being an issue with tuning these and that the msd optisoark can reduce that. I was looking into getting the tunercats programming. You recommend using more than just them? Also need to figure out the cam specs out to do proper adjustments. Hp tuners will not work even with a odb1 to odb2 adaptor, correct?

It's hard for me to give a lot of advice here since I haven't personally tuned an LT1 (not really that relevant since tuning is really the same process irrespective of the engine), or more importantly, had any experience with the stock ECU. While I'm sure that you could use the stock ECU, it is going to be very dated by modern standards and I'd expect this to come with at least some restrictions and limitations compared to what we see with more modern ECMs. That being said, if you're wanting to tune the engine to suit an intake and exhaust, I'm quite sure you could get solid results. You may find that tuning to suit a large cam or nitrous or turbo setups could get much more difficult though.

Long story short, if i was in your position and had the financial resources I'd consider a standalone ECU and if Holley offer a plug & play harness this would seem like a good choice. While it may not immediately benefit you, we will be bringing out some Holley content and a full worked example but it's likely that won't be until; the 1st quarter 2024.

Yea, as far as I know HP Tuners doesn't support the OBD1 LT1 ECU

I ended up using Tuner Pro and the files/definitions from the eehack website more than TunerCat

Ok ima look into a couple programs. I have crack the engine open to get the cam specs and with the way the shop has been going with swap after swap it’s hard to get time on my own vehicles. I did start our 08 Silverado 5.3, cam and a turbo kit backed with a 4L80 4x4 and all new suspension. Gonna be fun tune! But as far as the lt1 I’m really thinking of going and doing the LTCC conversion for the coil packs.

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