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Discussion Starter #1
1999 Trans am
427 dart lsnext
GT55 turbo
E85,
AMS 500 boost controller
4L80E

I'm running mid 9's on 12lb's and the plan is mid 8's next spring. How do you decide when you should step up to a aftermarket ECU? The stock pcm is doing what it supposed to, no bandaids or work arounds required, runs the 3 bar map sensor and the 127 (switching to 160lb) high impedence injectors.

At what point do you decide you need to switch to a Holley Dominator ECU or comparable?
 

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Id switch Now, some will argue that a stock pcm will still be fine for you but why? LS next block and a gt55 series turbo... you are leaving too much adjustability on the table with stock ecu. I ran a stock ecu to the low nines but limited high imp injectors for 160lb sucks... The ones FIC sells are not meant for e85 and went through 3 sets warrantied. Id get BS3 or Holley and dont look back... built in 3 step (upgraded bs3) and better logging to start with plus the ability to run whatever injector you want. I switched to bs3 this year and have gone an entire second faster making changes on the car
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Id switch Now, some will argue that a stock pcm will still be fine for you but why? LS next block and a gt55 series turbo... you are leaving too much adjustability on the table with stock ecu. I ran a stock ecu to the low nines but limited high imp injectors for 160lb sucks... The ones FIC sells are not meant for e85 and went through 3 sets warrantied. Id get BS3 or Holley and dont look back... built in 3 step (upgraded bs3) and better logging to start with plus the ability to run whatever injector you want. I switched to bs3 this year and have gone an entire second faster making changes on the car
Thanks
 

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1999 Trans am
427 dart lsnext
GT55 turbo
E85,
AMS 500 boost controller
4L80E

I'm running mid 9's on 12lb's and the plan is mid 8's next spring. How do you decide when you should step up to a aftermarket ECU? The stock pcm is doing what it supposed to, no bandaids or work arounds required, runs the 3 bar map sensor and the 127 (switching to 160lb) high impedence injectors.

At what point do you decide you need to switch to a Holley Dominator ECU or comparable?

When you decide you simply need more.

More safeties, more flexibility, more logging, more ease of tuning, just more really.

Simply running the engine is becoming a small part of a bigger picture with tuning and racing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When you decide you simply need more.

More safeties, more flexibility, more logging, more ease of tuning, just more really.

Simply running the engine is becoming a small part of a bigger picture with tuning and racing.
I'm thinking I would like more safeties and ease of tuning for sure. Thanks for the reply
 

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Aftermarket dumbs down most of the tables so the non computer person can understand it more.

Both have their places and the latest ticket is to buy the Holley, we've been 8s on stock pcm with no issues
Were on e85 with a driver box for our low impedance 160s
Idles and drives very well...most tame 8s car I've been around
 

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Aftermarket dumbs down most of the tables so the non computer person can understand it more.

Both have their places and the latest ticket is to buy the Holley, we've been 8s on stock pcm with no issues
Were on e85 with a driver box for our low impedance 160s
Idles and drives very well...most tame 8s car I've been around
Holley has tried to dumb down everything with their software...that has good points and bad though, and is certainly not the case with all aftermarket ecu's
Sometimes trying to dumb everything down, just creates limitations for some and I guess opportunities for others.

But OEM ecu's are often overly complicated because they have to cope with so much, and almost ensure the engine runs indefinitely meeting ridiculous emissions targets and over a huge range of conditions. So are often heavily burdened with crap that isnt needed in a performance application.

Plus then any tuning software for an OEM ecu is simply a hack into the ecu. It's those user interfaces that largely determine simple or complicated.

But the OEM ecu's will simply never be able to have the full range of features a performance ecu can offer, purely because it was never designed with the hardware in there in the first place.
 

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As you stated is correct but don't blind fold the fact for a lot of ppl the stock ecm is all they will ever need. The small percentage of hobby go-ers won't require a aftermarket IMHO

For some that are starting off with nothing, then it has most everything you need for others that already have everything the stock pcm is fine.

I'd also say when your making enough power that you exceed a stock blocks ability is perfect time to upgrade to aftermarket for most.

Or better yet, if using a junkyard motor a stock pcm is all you need.
 

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we have made 1656rwhp on a stock corvette PCM. Went mid 8's at 17x's at 4100lbs. then switched to ProEFI for traction control, boost control, and pretty much more control of everything.
 

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we have made 1656rwhp on a stock corvette PCM. Went mid 8's at 17x's at 4100lbs. then switched to ProEFI for traction control, boost control, and pretty much more control of everything.
So it took the whole 1656 at the tire to run a mid 8 at 170+ at 4100lbs? I'm at the same weight and shooting for a similar goal. If it took 1600+ rwhp to run that, I think I may come up a little short. Mine might make 1600+ once.......lol
 

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Mid 8's at 4100lbs will take 12-1300hp at the flywheel, but mid 160's mph will be more common.

Kurt
So it took the whole 1656 at the tire to run a mid 8 at 170+ at 4100lbs? I'm at the same weight and shooting for a similar goal. If it took 1600+ rwhp to run that, I think I may come up a little short. Mine might make 1600+ once.......lol
 

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you can do a lot with stock ECU but IMO you can do a LOT more with holley efi. if starting from scratch it literally comes out about the same pricewise(if doing a swap car) Switched a car over from stock to holley and the more we learn about the holley the more impressive it really is. I am looking forward to see what else I learn from the holley swap as learn something new every time we use it. But like stated earlier the fail safes are impressive and has racers in mind when they developed it
 

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Some good switchpoints can be:

1. When the factory individual cylinder trim tables are out of whack for your engine and you want to fix this. Most tuning options for the stock PCM can't change these.

2. When you find yourself looking at spending $1000 on other black boxes for boost control, data logging, trans brake bump box, delay boxes, and other things you can get built into a standalone ECU.

3. When you want features that aren't easily incorporated into a stock ECU, like a launch timing retard that ramps up the timing on a delay after launch. (Stock ECU tuning experts, correct me if there's a way to do that with the original unit.)

4. When you want the ECU to run a separate stage of injectors that transition in smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Some good switchpoints can be:

1. When the factory individual cylinder trim tables are out of whack for your engine and you want to fix this. Most tuning options for the stock PCM can't change these.

2. When you find yourself looking at spending $1000 on other black boxes for boost control, data logging, trans brake bump box, delay boxes, and other things you can get built into a standalone ECU.

3. When you want features that aren't easily incorporated into a stock ECU, like a launch timing retard that ramps up the timing on a delay after launch. (Stock ECU tuning experts, correct me if there's a way to do that with the original unit.)

4. When you want the ECU to run a separate stage of injectors that transition in smoothly.
Good information, thank you
 
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