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In a Flash
In a Flash Before hacking into the tune and depending on the tuner's experience, it is best to spend some time scanning the engine and getting a feel for where the engine is operating and where the improvements can be made. The convenient VCM Scanner dashboard-style screen is a great starting place. Scanning can be logged and saved as well.

Logging scans, especially before and after tunes, is highly suggested. Logs can be played back at variable speeds and paused at any point for analysis.

In a Flash Scanning can be arranged in table format as well. The size of the screen can be adjusted up to four times the base size. This helps tremendously when trying to focus in on the normal micro-sized front of the laptop screen, in a running (shaking) car with the sun glaring. The scanning sample speed is directly proportional to the number of Parameter ID's (PIDs) being scanned.

As more PIDs are added, sample rate slows.

In a Flash A third style of scanning is also optioned. The scope-type scroll scan is possible with the VCM Scanner. The scope is especially useful when reviewing saved logs.

The mouse controls a floating point line which can be moved quickly across the scroll to find data at any point along the strip. The scroll is great for watching transient parameter, as an engine transitions through changing operating and loading conditions.

In a Flash Perhaps the most useful and time saving tuning tool in the VCM Scanner is the histogram. The histogram takes the work out of analyzing scan logs. It offers an extremely convenient way to view highs, lows and averages encountered at particular operating points during a scan log. The shown histogram is the average main spark advance delivered during a dyno pull. The histogram quickly shows what cells (RPM and G/Cyl) were encountered during the pull at WOT (wide open throttle). When tuning VE (volumetric efficiency) tables, the histograms will pay huge dividends with little effort.

Recording fuel trim histograms for use in the VE tuning is also covered in detail in the HP Tuners help files.

In a Flash Our Pro interface module was equipped with the four external input channels. The most common choice for input is a wide-band sensor. With four channels available, we could run a wide-band in each bank, and two pressure transducers if desired. The inputs can be configured for any 0-5 volt signals. The software is pre-configured to work with several popular aftermarket wide-band, so setup is minimal. The help files also show schematics for wiring the wide-bands. If our eyes weren't burnt from the sine of Sal's polish, they were after taking this photo of Ken Estelle welding a bung in the exhaust.

If welding a supplemental bung into the exhaust is not feasible a rear 02 can be removed in place of a wide-band for tuning.

In a Flash SLP Performance Parts in Toms River, N.J., houses one of the most sophisticated aftermarket dyno research centers on the East Coast. Amid its busy schedule developing parts, we squeezed into their schedule one Saturday to strap our test Z06 down for the tuning session on the Superflow chassis dyno. The VCM Scanner has integrated bi-directional controls for temporarily manipulating the ECM (Engine Control Module). The controls are helpful in locking an ECM in open loop, or quickly testing an absolute spark or advance or AFR (Air/Fuel Ratio). These toggles can be changed in real-time, as the engine runs. If you're unsure about a change, the bi-directional controller allows a quick test prior to hard flashing the change.

The bi-directional controls can also manipulate the TCM (Transmission Control Module). These controllers can help with gear selection or converter lockup control while dyno testing or launch testing. Additionally, the controls provide a quick test of individual components, like solenoids.

In a Flash Getting started with VCM Editor begins with reading an original tune from the ECM. Reading a tune from and writing (a.ka. flashing) a tune to the ECM is easy. The toggles are found in the tool bar of the VCM Editor as shown. Most writing will be done using the Write Calibration Only mode.

The Write Entire is only used when changing Operating Systems, such as to Speed Density Control or 2/3 Bar Mapping, an option only available for now on Gen III applications. The editor also allows changing a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) number or disabling VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft System).

VCM Editor is chock full of powerful editing capability. Once a tune is read and opened for editing, the fun begins. The windows-based editor navigates much like a Web page. Pull-down selection menus can be used, or point and click buttons can be used it's the user's preference. The screen can be configured with several windows. Data can be viewed numerically, graphically, or as both. Units can be set as Metric or Imperial. Additionally, a handy unit conversion utility is built in, as shown. Practically all the data buttons are defined when moused over.

And for further explanation, the help files can be toggled. The cooling fan controls are shown here after we dialed them in around the 195F thermostat. The menu buttons become highlighted in green once data has been modified. This helps keep track of edits.

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