Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trifecta Tune Step-By-Step How to

I've been using Trifecta for about a year and a half right now.  When I first bought Trifecta my tuning options were limited.  They were so limited in fact that only Trifecta offered a tune for the 2010 V6 Camaro.  First off I'd like to premise by saying this tune won't do too much for you if you're a stock six banger.  GM tuned these cars really well from the factory, so I'd advise against this being your first mod, or second mod for that matter.  However a couple months ago Vince at Trifecta was able to dyno tune a stock V6 and was able to muster 13rwhp out of it.  So  it is possible that you can get some power if you're completely stock.  Now before I convince you that the Trifecta tune is worthless let me tell you why you need it down the road.

If you're looking into a tune odds are you aren't going to just lightly mod your car and call it a day.  I'm assuming (yes I know that's dangerous to do!) that if you're going to buy a tune that you are planning on or already have done some heavy moding.  There are a number of reasons why Trifecta is a great deal:

1) One of the best things about the tune is the tuner.  Vince is amazing at what he does, I've never received customer service as good as I have from Trifecta and Vince.  Emails are replied to almost immediately and if you have a problem Vince is willing to help after hours.  I'm so impressed with the customer service that this, IMO makes the tune worth twice as much as it is.

2) If you buy the OBD II cord that connects your lap top to the car's ECU you can take unlimited number of data logs (within reason of course!) and email them to Vince (Trifecta) and he will check over the logs.  If for some reason you're running lean or rich he will adjust for it and send you back an up-to-date tune.  This is all at no extra cost.  Almost all tunes you pay for three pulls on a dyno and that's it.  The flexibility with Trifecta is amazing!

3) Like I explained above, you can get the tune on your car update multiple times without paying extra. However, if it is going to be a major tune like E85 or you're getting a turbo installed you will have to pay extra.

4) NO dyno needed!  Most other tunes require you to go to a performance shop, strap your car down and get it dyno'ed to be able to tune it.  This is all fine and dandy if you have a local performance shop.  Also if you're tuning your car to specifically be a drag car it's better to dyno tune.  However since most people use their V6 as a daily driver, being able to take data logs while driving on the road provides the benefit that Vince can tun your car more for daily driving than only for Wide Open Throttle (WOT).

5) If you ever plan on getting long tube headers and high flow cats you WILL get a check engine light.  The only way around this is to get your car tuned for it.

6) E85, E85, E85!!!! Did I mention our cars can be tuned to run on corn?  Besides supporting American farmers, E85 gives the added benefit of burning cooler and eliminating knock retard thus making more power for your car.  It is equivalent to using about 110 octane.  This is a great option and as a few members have shown on Camaro5.com our V6's can easily be mid 13 second cars, possibly even low 13 second cars.

The only down side I see with using Trifecta is that you aren't getting tuned for true Air/Fuel ratio, like you would on a dyno tune.  Rather Vince is adjusting your commanded Air/Fuel ratio.

So that was my long winded summary of Trifecta for those of you who didn't know what it was, or weren't sure about the details.  I see some people post on the forums asking how hard is it to use Trifecta?  Do I need to know a lot about cars to be able to do this?  etc etc.  I asked the same questions when I was first looking at the Trifecta tune, and let me tell you it couldn't be easier!  There is hardly required "car knowledge" to be able to use the Trifecta tune so the good news is anyone can use it successfully!

So once you order the Trifecta tune from their website (http://trifectaperformance.com/order.aspx) you have to download their tuning program which will be emailed to you.  Once you do that you will get emailed a generic tune that you will load into your car and then you data log your car by driving around, going to the drag strip or on the dyno it's really up to you.  Once you email Vince your data log he'll look it over and if changes need to be made he'll adjust for it and email you back the updated tune.  Below is a step-by-step guide how to load a tune into your car.

When you click the Trifecta program this is the first box that comes up.  It is your typical terms and conditions that you must agree to.  This comes up each time you run the program.  Click "I Accept" to continue.

This is the next screen you get.  Here you are given the option to Program your vehicle (install a tune), take a data log (under vehicle info tab) and many more things.  Click the Program tab at the top and then in the drop down bar click "Program Vehicle"

After you click "Program Vehicle" you are taken to this screen where you need to select the file (tune) that you want to load into your car.  As you can see here I have four different "tunes" I can install.  The stock ECU tune the stock Trans tune, an E85 tune (ECU tune) and the gas tune (ECU tune).  For this example I'm going to load in my gas tune.  (To make things simple make a folder to place all of your tunes in).

Once you select the file (tune) that you want to load into your car your will be brought to this screen.  Once you get to this screen you need to make sure your computer is connected to the OBD II port under your steering wheel.  After you've made sure that it is plugged in, turn your ignition to the ON position but DO NOT start the engine.  Click OK to continue.

Once you have clicked OK you will be brought to this screen.  Here you need to select what it is you're loading into your car.  I.E. is it a stock (factory) engine or transmission tune, or is it a custom (aftermarket) engine or transmission tune.  Almost always you will select custom tune.  At the bottom you can have the transmission auto programmed, I usually leave this unchecked since I have my own custom transmission tune.  Once you've selected the correct tune that you're loading in, click "Accept"

This next screen is just telling you some info about your car (I.E. your VIN #), click "ACCEPT" to continue

Once you click "ACCEPT" on the previous screen, the Trifecta program will connect to your cars ECU and install the tune and then you're all done!  This last step can be as fast as 10 seconds or as long as 20-30 minutes, it depends how much software the tune is rewriting.


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