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Retuning a stock LT1, worth it?

5629 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  schollianmj
I'm having a hard time searching on my iPhone, so if this thread exists already, my apologies. I have a 96 trans am ws6 that is bone stock. I'm planning on installing a new thermostat to deal with the hot ga traffic. I'm planning on tuning the car so the fans will cut on sooner. While I'm there would it be worth it to dynotune my vehicle to get back some of the hp lost over the years or just have it run a bit smoother. Pardon my noobishness
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Tuning is always usually worth it. Even on a stock car. Maybe pick up 10-20 horses.

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10-20 horses for $650 sound worth it? Also long term is getting it retuned going to help the engine run better?
im going to go against what everyone else thinks and say two things..

a tune on a totally stock lt1 wont help that much, GM's stock tune is not that bad. maybe a couple ponies for a bit less conservative of a timing map if you can garuntee decent quality fuel..

a 160 degree thermostat does not need a tune.. with one downside, the fans wont turn on and keep your car cooler at stop lights. if this bothers you, a simple manual fan switch for a couple bucks would solve it just as easily..
Dynotunes usually cost alot. You can get a mail tune for like $150 and grab a few ponies and they will also set your fans to come on earlier for the 160 thermostat. Also if you cant have down time on your ride you can rent the software and cords etc.. to put the tunes in yourself from whoever you chose to get a tune from.
Go to a bone yard and snatch a PCM outta a car. send it in to PCMforless or someone like that and get it tuned for your car. cost about 150 or so, and if it dosent work you still have your stock PCM to run on while you send the reprogrammed one back in.
I think as far as the new thermostat and fans coming om sooner thing is good. But if ur not planning on building it any , just leave it alone. These cars are fast stock ( imho )
Thanks for the replies. I don't plan on building this one, I was just looking for a bit more of a punch and mate something to help the life span of my engine. ATL traffic means excessive idling so I may tune te fans or get the switch. Getting a second PCM is actually a pretty good idea. I didn't even consider that
I say a mail order tune would help fuel mileage AND gain horsepower plus you can have transmission re-mapped (shift points under certain conditions). Most tuners already have the tune you want.
If you can, and want a 2nd PCM, the Caprice cop cars with LT1 is a good bone stock PCM. Yep it has a slightly different tune. Use the Cop PCM while you send in your original for tune.
Yes a tune is worth it.
EVEN for stock.
Couldn't I tune the caprice PCM and keep my original so I have the stock tune and won't have to play for it later?
I was just saying. The caprice cop car would be stock too. But yes, you can send in any GM PCM #16188051. You can always flash yours or any PCM back to stock.
Sweet. Now any tips on where to go oregat to look for in finding the PCM ?
If searching thru" junk yards",sorry I mean used parts facilities is for you
then that is one place. I have seen alot of PCM's on Ebay,they are usually under $100. ed
Is there a thread out there about the PCM tuners and what they do and how the process works? Like what do I tell them I want? Sorry can't search through threads ��
go to they have a whole FAQ about it. basically you select the pcm your needing tuned (95 lt1, 2000 ls1) and then it sends you to a orderform for said tune. all 5 or so pages of it... it asks things such as when you want your fans on, what gear ratio you have, what cams, headers, exhaust, just every little thing that will help them build the proper tune for YOUR car.

That is how Im doing mine in a month or so... they make it pretty easy.
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