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View Poll Results: When should I spring for a tuning/logging bundle like the MPV12?
Now 1 100.00%
Wait until you've made other significant modifications 0 0%
Never - you'll shoot your eye out with that thing! 0 0%
Voters: 1. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-19-2021, 10:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Matt Foley's worst nightmare - '09 Chevrolet Express 2500
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MPV12/HP Tuners for my GM V8 Van?

tldr; I'm trying to consider how early on it makes sense to start tuning my van. There's other possible drivetrain mods in the future that would probably require a tune, but it seems like it'd realize some efficiency gains now. I might as well start learning?

My 2009 Express 2500 has a GM LY2 4.8L V8 (Technically considered Gen IV, but no variable valve timing or cylinder deactivation) mated to a 4L80E. The rear gear is either a 3.73 or 4.10 (the RPO codes seem to be missing, so I guess I'll either need to jot down RPM and MPH in a known gear with the TC locked up or pester a GM dealership to run the VIN).

I'd probably stick with a market-leader like HP Tuners, because they seem to have a large user-community and a lot of documentation.

It seems like I could immediately realize efficiency gains by modifying the transmission's shift points, so I can upshift sooner despite moderate load or a somewhat open throttle position, without having to play so much with the throttle trying to trick the TCM while driving. There are "torque management" parameters in the transmission control unit to mitigate premature wear; I'm glad those exist and I doubt I would touch them.

Later on, it seems as though I would be able to change shift points again if I switch to a 3.43 rear gear (something I don't believe the 4.8 L GM van got from the factory). I fantasize about putting a manual transmission in here at some point; if that happened, I suspect tuning would also be warranted.

I don't know how much can be realized from tuning the ECU itself; this is something I would do very conservatively. I'm not interested in trading MPG for NOx.

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Old 04-19-2021, 01:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If it's for economy without any major component upgrades, hard pass. I dont think you'll ever be close to breaking even.

If it's for fun as well, then the cost is entirely up to you.

Are you certain the van is a 2500 and a 4.8? I don't think the 2500 came with the 4.8
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksa8907 View Post
If it's for economy without any major component upgrades, hard pass. I dont think you'll ever be close to breaking even.

If it's for fun as well, then the cost is entirely up to you.

Are you certain the van is a 2500 and a 4.8? I don't think the 2500 came with the 4.8
Getting one this early would be definitely just for fun - although I'm generally prioritizing high ROI mods, I was not expecting to break even on this one.

The LY2 was available some years in the 2500 GM Vans - i would agree that it's uncommon. I'm guessing most people ordering 2500s new would spring for the 5.3 or 6.0, but it was possible.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you're against running lean because of NOx, tuning probably won't help you much with that engine.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serialk11r View Post
If you're against running lean because of NOx, tuning probably won't help you much with that engine.
Thanks for the input. I suspected that may be the case - being GM's 'smallest' Gen III+ motor, I assumed that also meant it's pretty much de-tuned to a significant extent
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire516 View Post
Thanks for the input. I suspected that may be the case - being GM's 'smallest' Gen III+ motor, I assumed that also meant it's pretty much de-tuned to a significant extent
Well it's more that:
1. It's a mass market GM product
2. The engine doesn't have a whole lot of features to tweak

I think you have an EGR valve, but chances are it's running close to max capacity and tuned pretty carefully. Usually Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Mazda, Ford, GM, BMW, MB, companies with big R&D budgets won't be winging it on the tuning.

That means the tradeoffs you can usually make are:
1. Advancing timing for higher octane fuel or reduced oil mist from crankcase ventilation or reducing margin of safety for knock
2. Running leaner where the ECU goes rich (tip in, high rpm, high throttle, cold start)
3. Running lean

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