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 FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?

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T Riley
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:30 pm

96RIVMANN wrote:
I am looking into buying a code reader like autoxray or etc and was looking for some input. I'd like to keep it under $200.

Get a DHP!
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:41 pm

look for code readers on ebay, I found a nice used snap-on mt 2500 for 200 shipped, I use this scanner on my customers vehicles all the time. and it will scan obd 1 as well.
Im sure you can find others for less $$ on e-bay.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:03 pm

woggy wrote:
look for code readers on ebay, I found a nice used snap-on mt 2500 for 200 shipped, I use this scanner on my customers vehicles all the time. and it will scan obd 1 as well.
Im sure you can find others for less $$ on e-bay.
How long ago did you find an MT2500 for that cheap.?
I sold mine quite a while back and miss it.
But at the time I got $750.00 for it.
I know they are not made anymore but I think software updates are still available from Snap-On.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:01 pm

Damn, I didn't realize that just scanners (as opposed to tuners) were that expensive!

I guess I'd better be extra nice to my brother this Christmas... He bought a new
system recently, and just gave me his old "OTC Monitor 4000e" set-up 4 hours ago. bow
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:22 am

They have this scanner at my local parts store for about $299, what do you guys think?...

http://www.autorepairmanuals.biz/site/573683/product/EQUUS3110
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:44 am

The site you linked to is selling it for $149.99.
Why buy it locally for $299.????
It does a lot more than you may need for a basic scanner.
If you looking to save some money keep looking or if this is in your budget go for it.
Don't know what shipping cost's are to you, though.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:54 pm

The guy at my local parts store told me that it was on for half price a while ago and said that it might be on sale again soon, otherwise I would definately buy this one on-line. I just wanted to get your opinion on this model.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:57 pm

For $200.00 US + shipping I would get the Autotap which enable more comprehensive scanning, if you have a laptop or PDA to use with it.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:06 am

If you are going to spend $200 you should look for a used Autotap, by far the best scanner I ever dealt with. You do need a laptop for one to work though.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:37 am

Rickw wrote:
woggy wrote:
look for code readers on ebay, I found a nice used snap-on mt 2500 for 200 shipped, I use this scanner on my customers vehicles all the time. and it will scan obd 1 as well.
Im sure you can find others for less $$ on e-bay.
How long ago did you find an MT2500 for that cheap.?
I sold mine quite a while back and miss it.
But at the time I got $750.00 for it.
I know they are not made anymore but I think software updates are still available from Snap-On.

I got this scanner about a year ago, Its a great scanner that alot of us mechanics still use today. new snap-on scanners go for about 5 grand today. Ouch!
Rick you got a pretty penny for yours. as for the software cartridges they are available from snap-on, and there's alot of them on ebay also.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:15 am

Where can I buy the DHP Powrtuner kit? Any links that help me decide on the PCM tuning would be awesome. I'm trying to sort things out, but maybe you can help narrow it down for me? smile
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:30 am

DHP is no longer in business. I would check on ClubGP boards for a used DHP PowrTuner. They go for about $300. I am not sure, but I think the tuner must be configured for Riviera. To find out more about DHP PowrTuner specifics, join the DHP forums here: http://www.gmv6pcm.com/

Let us know what you find out!

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'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:55 am

I noticed that it was discontinued. What are your opinions on HP Tuner? Here's a link to the package. The price seems pretty decent. Why buy used when for $100 more you can get something that is updated?

[url=http://www.highperformanceoutlet.com/HP-Tuners/GM/Professional/HP-Tuners-VCM-Scanner-p6672048.html[link[/url
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:13 pm

HPTuners is a very good product, imo superior to DHP, but it does cost more. I also think it is easier to use. For a long time there was no support for Riviera, so a few of us got DHP. If I were someone who tunes cars a lot, I would have HPTuners, but for small tweaks to my personal ride DHP is fine, plus it's what I learned with, so I'm better at using it. DHP is capable of everything HPTuners is, at a lower price.

If you are serious about modding, a tuning package is worth the investment. It is also worthwhile if you are serious about driving. The small things that can make the car so much better to own and drive each day, it makes the price seem small. One of the things I tried, after about a year of fine tuning, getting everything just right - I reinstalled the stock OEM BIN, effectively making my car original, like it was straight from the factory - to be honest, I thought the car was broken. I can see how someone could think a Riviera is a boring car and not fun to drive. But after unlocking its potential, well it's no stick-shift, but it's definitely not the same car it used to be. It certainly can shift like a manual, even better than one. Things get WAY more fun letting the upshifts happen later, letting downshifts happen sooner, and keeping TC lock-up in check when driving on the freeway.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:28 pm

You're making me excited now. I really really want to do it. I'm seriously looking at the HPTuner software. So basically all I need is the software and the hardware to connect it? Does it just plug into the OBDII port? My plan now is to gut the airbox, upgrade the pulley to a modular system, with the smallest pulley I can get by with without PCM tuning, and then save the cash for HP tuners. Anything else I should do? I don't want to get involved in heavily modifying the engine, although the PCM tuning sounds fun. And I'm serious about driving. I spend more time in my car than anywhere else. I just drive around for fun most of the time. Less than a year of owning the car and I've racked up 15,000 miles.

Nice thing about all the mods I'm doing and the tuning software is I can use it on my next Riviera or the next 3.8 supercharged Buick I own (2005 Park Ave ultra two tone black and silver comes to mind).
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:52 pm

Quote :
So basically all I need is the software and the hardware to connect it? Does it just plug into the OBDII port?
That's the easy part. The hard part is learning how to use it. It can be overwhelming if you're not familiar with how PCM's "think". But if you have a strong interest, patience, and you practice a lot, you can figure it out in a couple months. But you don't want to rush, because doing the wrong thing can mess up your engine big time. That's why when in doubt ask questions, and make changes in very small steps (1-2%) to see the results of your tune before you commit. Another thing: you'll want to keep (save) very detailed records of scans & tunes for later reference. I've probably written 30+ tunes for my car, each one a slight variation on the previous. If I ever need to go back, that's not a problem.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:01 pm

GMFreak8 wrote:
the next 3.8 supercharged Buick I own (2005 Park Ave ultra two tone black and silver comes to mind).
Excellent choice.
Eventually i would like to find one of those as well and swap as many mods as possible.
But I'm not done with this one yet and unless I come into some other money, Ill have to wait.
Also, if your serious about modding your Riviera or any other car for that matter you need to buy the tuning software if you don't have anyone close that can help you.
I've been lucky with deekster_caddy living within one hour drive from me and he has helped me out tremendously, but I would still very much like to have my own HPT software to tune with and it also helps you understand the protocol of the systems in the car as well. If you take it seriously and read and learn, you become better at understanding everything about not only OBDII but the specific communications within the car and PCM itself as well as all other systems that can be read by the software.


Last edited by Rickw on Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:29 pm

AA wrote:
Quote :
So basically all I need is the software and the hardware to connect it? Does it just plug into the OBDII port?
That's the easy part. The hard part is learning how to use it. It can be overwhelming if you're not familiar with how PCM's "think". But if you have a strong interest, patience, and you practice a lot, you can figure it out in a couple months. But you don't want to rush, because doing the wrong thing can mess up your engine big time. That's why when in doubt ask questions, and make changes in very small steps (1-2%) to see the results of your tune before you commit. Another thing: you'll want to keep (save) very detailed records of scans & tunes for later reference. I've probably written 30+ tunes for my car, each one a slight variation on the previous. If I ever need to go back, that's not a problem.

Yeah, I'll definitely be tracking everything carefully. You guys here are awesome for helping everyone out. I'm surely interested and have a lot of patience when it comes to cars and computers. Two of my biggest passions. I'd love a job that combines both. Does the HPTuner kit come with everything you need?

Rickw wrote:
GMFreak8 wrote:
the next 3.8 supercharged Buick I own (2005 Park Ave ultra two tone black and silver comes to mind).
Excellent choice.
Eventually i would like to find one of those as well and swap as many mods as possible.
But I'm not done with this one yet and unless I come into some other money, Ill have to wait.
Also, if your serious about modding your Riviera or any other car for that matter you need to buy the tuning software if you don't have anyone close that can help you.
I've been lucky with deekster_caddy living within one hour drive from me and he has helped me out tremendously, but I would still very much like to have my own HPT software to tune with and it also helps you understand the protocol of the systems in the car as well. If you take it seriously and read and learn, you become better at understanding everything about not only OBDII but the specific communications within the car and PCM.

Definitely. I've always loved the Park Ave, and I can't imagine driving any other car besides a Buick with the 3.8. I have no idea what I'll do when these cars become hard to find.

I'm extremely interested in learning about onboard car computers. They are fascinating.

I have an uncle that lives in Enfield Connecticut. How far are you from there? I go down there every so often.
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PostSubject: Scanner/Tuner help...   Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:55 am

O.K. I'm a newb to this forum,and to the wonderment that is the Riv.Anyhow,I've read till my eyes bled for about three days now and my head is swimming with pulleys,cold plugs,modified cold air intakes,and scanners...OH MY!!! So I'm just going to ask.I read the scanner/tuner section to death ad nauseum,and I still don't have a definitive answer to figure out what to buy.I want to make this purchase only once,and don't want to have to by two units if I can buy one that will do it all.In other words is there a high end scanner/tuner that will tell me EVERYTHING I need/want to know about the cond. of the engine,AND allow me to tune EVERY parameter of interest on my 1997 Riv.?Thanks,Don
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:33 am

There is no single software that will do everything. You have tuning software (editors), and you have scanning software (scanners). You need both to correctly tune the PCM.

HP Tuners is probably your best bet, because they make both software packages, so it will feel more like you're using one product, but they are in fact two separate apps:

http://www.hptuners.com/products/vcmsuite.php

Another combination is DHP PowrTuner, no longer being produced, but there is still support at its online forums. Once in a while you can find a used license for ~$300. It includes a scanning app, but is weak compared to a good one like AutoTap.

http://www.powrtuner.com/index.php

You can also use a product called Aeroforce scan gauge to scan and log parameters while having a gauge in the car at all times. This makes a lot of sense because it lets you monitor important parameters without plugging in a laptop. However, Aeroforce does not tune, so you'll need to buy a separate app for that.

http://www.aeroforcetech.com/

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:59 am

Thanks for the reply.So would you say the aeroforce gauge scans all of the pertinent perimeters I would be concerned with from a general and performance standpoint?If so I would just need one of those and a good tuner such as the HP tuner then huh??
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:11 am

From a scanner standpoint, if I hadn't already inherited one, I was gonna' buy this:

http://www.scangauge.com/

It plugs into the OBDII DLC just like any other scanner, but it's so small that you can mount it in the car and use it as a trip computer - and have your scanner with you at all times...

The price ain't bad, either. The programmer prices all suck.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:52 am

The Scangauge II is a decent basic scanner for the price, but I am skeptical because of its limited parameters and lack of data logging capability - this is essential for tuning applications. More on Scangauge here:

http://rivperformance.editboard.com/series-ii-scans-tuning-pcm-f5/scangauge-ll-by-linear-logic-t4394.htm

The Aeroforce gauge definately has everything you need to read the needed parameters and capture them for tuning purposes. You can get away with one gauge, or use as many as you like. It depends on how many parameters you want to watch at one time.

HP Tuners is a great tuning package, but I don't think you can buy it without the scanning software, so if you get the Aeroforce on top of HP, you're paying for an extra scan tool (and a real time in-car gauge). I think you'll find that although possible to log and review data with the Aeroforce, you'll find it much more convenient to use the HP Tuners scan package on the laptop. You will be able to view many more parameters at one time, better for tuning. However, Aeroforce makes a great real-time monitor for every day. Wish I had one!

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:42 pm

Well,I took her for a ride last night and after two trips the damn light came back on!!! I am so frustrated at this point.I guess I have to break down and buy a scanner of some sort if I'm gonna hash this out myself.I just can't decide which one to buy.I want one that will data log right??Which is best that won't cost 400 bucks??
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Good Scanner/Tuner Software to use?   Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:14 pm

madrivage wrote:
Well,I took her for a ride last night and after two trips the damn light came back on!!! I am so frustrated at this point.I guess I have to break down and buy a scanner of some sort if I'm gonna hash this out myself.I just can't decide which one to buy.I want one that will data log right??Which is best that won't cost 400 bucks??

Well, it's straight OBD II with GM enhancements for your '97. CarCode is free but you hvae to buy or make a dongle (a plug that goes into the OBD II port). Buying one, it depends. CarCode sells them on their site and will sell yoyu a kit to make it yourself. I use it. Runs off a laptop computer.

www.obd-2.com

It is not everyone's cup of tea, a little touchy to get it started but works fine, takes ata logs and snapshots, shows gauges -- it works. You're in for under $200.

If it is just reading OBD-II codes many scanners will. Maybe someone else will suggest a handheld they like for diagnosing this sort of thing.

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