For those of you new to the world of tuning, the 93-octane made the least power because engine performance was knock-limited. This means that we couldn't command more spark advance as we would encounter detonation or knock, so we had to map the ignition with a conservative spark advance strategy to make sure the engine would last. Note: If you'd like to learn more about tuning and/or how to tune GM vehicles, you can purchase the tuning e-book on our home page. Getting back to the fuels, the 116-octane made significantly more power than the 93-octane as we were able to apply the spark advance strategy that we wanted with this non-oxygenated fuel. We picked up the 40 hp and 25 lbs/ft of torque that the pump gas left behind. The engine made the most power with the E-85 as it is an oxygenated fuel. Note that public opinion generally holds that E-85 allows one to get more power from an engine by simply cranking up the spark advance. Beware! This isn't necessarily true! E-85 is oxygenated (the fuel itself contains oxygen) and thus may produce more power than other non-oxygenated fuels, but in this case, we actually made more power by running LESS spark advance with the E-85 than we needed with the 116-octane. Don't trust your neighbor or friends; trust the data!
Now that we had our fuel calibrations fine-tuned we were ready to load them into the nGauge. To do this, you need to take a few minor little steps to prepare the calibration file you created with the HP Tuners Editor to make it compatible for use with the nGauge. To do this, follow these steps:
FIRST: When you're ready to save your new (or modified) calibration file, click on "File" in the Menu Bar and move the cursor over to "Export". There you can select "To e-Motion" to convert the calibration file to a format that is compatible with the nGauge.
After installing a few goodies onto our project Z06 (we'll bring you that in a later series at www.speedshoptv.com), we needed to get the engine tuned and the ECM calibrations finalized on the dyno. All of the tuning and programming was done on the same day with 3 different fuels: 93-octane pump gas, 116-octane unleaded race fuel as well as E-85. The dyno graphs are shown below. The highest output, at 567 hp and 545 torque, came by way of the E-85, with the 116-octane next at 561 hp and 532 torque. The 93-octane came in at 521 hp and 507 torque.
Up until recently, if you wanted to program your ride for different uses (drag racing, road racing, use with different fuels or nitrous, etc) you had to carry your HP Tuners MPVI interface cable around with you as well as your laptop so that you could program your car with the different calibrations you created. If you're one of those newbs who uses a canned-tuner/hand-held device, you particularly need to see this as it'll make you wonder how you ever got along without the products we're about to show you.
In our case, in the past we didn't mind bringing along the interface cable and laptop as it's handy at the track for data-logging and diagnostics. But now there's an easier way. A better way. A much cooler way.
The photo on the right is what the nGauge looks like. Yep, pretty sweet, we know. It's 3 1/4" around the outer-most rim of the bezel and it mounts in a 3" hole. Several mounting options exist, and if you're curious about what's available, contact Jim Ferraro at Ferraro Speed to get some detailed info on the latest and greatest available.
When we mentioned different calibrations for different fuels, one of our shop project vehicles is a 2013 Z06 that has just such a requirement. This car is used for multiple different events and may see use with 93-octane pump gas, 110- or 116-unleaded race gas or E-85. It depends on what's available at the track or what we may have brought (or forgot to bring) to the track. Now that we have an nGauge in the mighty Z06, we can change calibrations at will with an absolute minimum of fuss and monitor the car's parameters through the gauge function and log data if we so choose. How cool is that?! And with the supplied 4-GB memory card, we can literally drive for over 4,000 laps at our home track (a 10-turn, 2.034-mile course) and not have used up a quarter of the memory! So, let's show you what we did with our nGauge...
What HP Tuners now offers is the new nGauge. With this little, seemingly simple gauge, you can now monitor one or several different parameters at the same time by plugging the gauge into the OBD II port once you've installed it. You can also log data with it as it has an on-board micro-sd memory card. In fact, a 4-GB card comes standard with the HP Tuners nGauge! That's a lot of memory for data-logging as well as holding the multiple calibrations you might want to store on the card.
Many of the auto enthusiasts we know race their vehicles under different circumstances. Some drag race, others road race, some do both, and almost all use more than one type of fuel for one reason or another. This is what makes the nGauge so useful! With the nGauge, you can now install a useful gauge in your vehicle that can program as many calibrations as you care to program it with so that you can adjust your vehicle for whatever track condition you can think of.
The next step is shown on the next page...