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 FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?

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PostSubject: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:27 pm

Is a scan tool necessary?

If you want to drop to a 3.5" SC pulley, probably; if you want to drop to a 3.4" or smaller, you need to scan. As you consider raising boost levels of the blower, it is important to watch for increased levels of knock retard (KR). You can monitor KR using a scan tool.

Up front: scan tools aren't cheap. If you go with a software program that runs on a laptop or mobile device, it will set you back about $300 for the software. Additionally, you need to consider that some options require a Palm device or laptop PC to run the software in your car. Used Palm devices start at about $50 on eBay. An older laptop can be found on eBay or craigslist for $100-200. You don't need a powerful machine to run scanning software, but it is an added expense for those who don't already have a portable computing device. IMPORTANT: USEFUL SCAN GAUGES CAN ACCESS GM'S EXTENDED PARAMETERS (E.I. KNOCK RETARD). "CODE READERS" ARE NOT THE SAME AS A SCANNER, AND SOME BASIC SCAN PACKAGES DO NOT REPORT THE EXTENDED PARAMETERS, OR THEY MAY REQUIRE YOU BUY AN EXTRA PACKAGE FOR THESE PARAMETERS. CHECK/ASK BEFORE YOU BUY.

SOFTWARE: There are a few scanning programs on the market, including the popular AutoTap and LS1M packages. AutoTap has a great interface and is easy to use, but requires you have a portable device/laptop. The LS1M is offered as software only, or with an included portable Palm device. Both are reported to work very well. Additionally, certain software packages (not AutoTap or LS1M) offer PCM tuning capability. Options are: DHP PowrTuner (discontinued but available), HPTuners ($500), and the more recent Tiny Tuner (free, requires DHP). If you are interested in taking your mod game to the next level - reprogramming your car's PCM for tuning purposes - a software investment is currently the only option. More about scanning/tuning options:
http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t2100-good-scanner-tuner-software-to-use

GAUGES: A less expensive and more user friendly option is a scan gauge, which can be had for $200-250. There are two units that include the extended parameters need to monitor our PCM's data: he Aeroforce Interceptor and ScanGuageII. These are scan tools built into gauges that mount in/on your dash. You plug the gauge into your OBDII port under the dash and may need to connect a single wire to +12v accessory power. The advantage in using the Aeroforce or ScanGauge units is that you can scan anytime you drive the car, without plugging in a computer or portable device. The can even log data for playback later on. More info:
Aeroforce: http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t3986-aeroforce-interceptor-scan-gauge
ScanGuageII: http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t4394-scangauge-ll-by-linear-logic

PHONE APPS: In the past year or so, a new generation of scan tools has been fast emerging: apps for iPhone & Android devices. These are still in development, and not all are to the level needed for useful scanning, but currently at least one Android app, called "Torque", can deliver the goods. The price for apps is low, however you must purchase a connection interface that links your phone or device to the OBDII port. These can use a cable, bluetooth, or WI-FI, and cost $100-150. Still not a bad price overall. More on scanning apps here:
http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t3707-automotive-apps-for-iphone-android

Whatever scanning package you decide on, you'll immediately see why it's such a necessary tool. With a scanner, you can monitor and record dozens of different parameters while you're driving. These parameters tell you important things like how much air is coming into the engine, how much fuel is being added to the mix, how much KR is being reported. Just about any thing you'd want to know about what's going on with the engine and transmission can be read, including diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). One big benefit of logging (recording) data is having the ability to export, upload, and share your numbers with other members, who can help you interpret the results.

Besides monitoring KR when dropping the SC pulley size, a good reason for having a scan tool is so you can monitor things over time - to ensure everything is running smoothly. Keeping an eye on your car's parameters can reveal problems before they become serious trouble, often earlier than you would normally detect. Misfires, fuel trims, and fluid temperatures are all useful to keep you "in the know", potentially saving you money down the road.

_________________
'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


Last edited by AA on Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:35 pm; edited 5 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:39 pm

You can get the require cable and a palm pilot from www.ls1m.com for under $200. If you don't want to spend that much, you can wait until someone decides to sell theirs. The small price of a scanner could help you save hundreds to thousands of dollars on your engine later on.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:31 pm

I ordered the LS1M cable today, at $135, and bought a used complete Palm IIIxe separately for $49. Just can't pull the trigger yet on a DHP or HPT unit, especially since my initial swap will only go to a 3.6 pulley.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:36 pm

The only problem with a 3.6" SC pulley is that it's only half way to a 3.4" SC plulley!

J/k. Smart move on your part. And while you may not require the scanner just yet, it's never too early to scan.

_________________
'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: Do I need a scan tool?   Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:04 pm

Oh the scanner is on the way, just not investing in a tuner yet. I'm going to be doing sufficient mods to drop to a 3.4, but they won't all happen at once, may not even get them done this year, though I really want to try to. I'll be scanning with the LS1M before my first real mods. I've gutted the airbox, but that doesn't really count... smile I figure I could likely pop on the 3.6 FIRST and should find little or no KR. But will certainly scan to be sure. If there were minimal KR, well, doubt I'll be doing much racing anytime soon anyway, and I don't get into WOT too often with the Riv. In fact, I haven't had it quite all the way to the floor yet, I'm sorry to say.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:24 am

Good plan. And when you drop to the 3.4" SC pulley, you can put the 3.6" in the For Sale forum, then someone else with the MPS can try it out.

_________________
'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: Do I need a scan tool?   Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:04 pm

Quick note, I got a sale price on the LS1M cable totally by accident. The sale was supposed to end on 1/10 but a date entry error allowed the sale price to stay on the site past the 10th. Mark was nice enough to honor the site info, but they are now $150.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:31 pm

so i really dont have much money for a scanner but for me the LS1M looks like the way to go how does it work for u 1998 Riv??
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:46 am

98riviera98 wrote:
so i really dont have much money for a scanner but for me the LS1M looks like the way to go how does it work for u 1998 Riv??


Oops, sorry I didn't see this post! I really have not had time to work with the scanner much at all. But I did hook it up at noon today and do a couple of accel tests just for fun. Best 0-60, with some tire spin, was 7.29 sec, est HP of 228. I ran WOT up to about 90, and had max KR of 1.5 deg. This is all stock except gutted airbox. Some mods will be done at some point this spring/summer.

I did also try to log a scan, just need to load it on the PC and figure out what I'm looking at... study
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:27 pm

1998 Riv wrote:
98riviera98 wrote:
so i really dont have much money for a scanner but for me the LS1M looks like the way to go how does it work for u 1998 Riv??


Oops, sorry I didn't see this post! I really have not had time to work with the scanner much at all. But I did hook it up at noon today and do a couple of accel tests just for fun. Best 0-60, with some tire spin, was 7.29 sec, est HP of 228. I ran WOT up to about 90, and had max KR of 1.5 deg. This is all stock except gutted airbox. Some mods will be done at some point this spring/summer.

I did also try to log a scan, just need to load it on the PC and figure out what I'm looking at... study


HAve u done any more tuning with ur scanner yet????
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:10 pm

You can't tune with a scanner, only scan.

_________________
'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: Do I need a scan tool?   Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:14 pm

AA wrote:
You can't tune with a scanner, only scan.

Doesnt the LS1M allow u to Remove the Top Speed Governor and Also Do some Fuel Cell trims????? or maybe im a bonk dunce
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:29 pm

You're a bonk dunce

J/k, but you can't do that stuff with a scanner. About the only thing it does is clear codes. However, you do need a scanner to use a tuner.

_________________
'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: Do I need a scan tool?   Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:31 pm

WoW so whats the cheapest TUNER OUT THERE PLZ dont send me a link to another FORUM HERE i have looked trust me
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PostSubject: To scan or not to scan?   Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:15 pm

I hava a Intense PCM.Thought it was set up for my mods.Maybe I'm missing something. Should I stil get something for scanning? Would my Riv benefit from it? If so what is the best scanning set up.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:55 pm

Hi, James. My opinion is that scanning is knowledge and insurance. When I tell people I scan the car, they wonder what is wrong that I would do such a thing. I think of it like getting a medical check-up even though you're healthy. I would compare modding the engine and driving the car hard much like a new work-out routine. It is usually advised a person get a check-up before starting such a routine.

Let me share a story from 2003, when scanning wasn't really that popular. I went to INTENSE and bought a 3.4" pulley, 160 t-stat, Autolite 104 plugs, and installed a K&N panel filter. They told me it was a good set-up, and it was... until winter time.

See, what INTENSE didn't know was that '98 Rivieras were programmed to ignore knock when the engine temp was below 158F, and running a 160 t-stat in the cold (under 65F) caused the engine to dip below that point. One night I heard "ping, pi-ping, ping" and thought that sounded odd. I noticed the noise went away on warmer days. So, I bought a scanner and discovered something interesting - in warmer air, my engine was knocking, making KR - around 3-5 according to the scanner. When it got cooler, it went down to 2-3 or so. But when it crossed below 158F, for some reason I was getting 0 KR - and something new - that pinging noise!

That's when I figured out that every car is different, and although I don't blame INTENSE for what happened, I do think it's a good idea to see for yourself what's going on inside your car's brain, at least once in a while. Even if you think it's tuned right, it's hard to know for sure until you see firsthand.

Scanning can tell you when you are using the wrong fuel, when it's too hot or cold to race, whether you're too rich or too lean, what your next mod should be, when your O2 sensor is bad, or even when a fuel or air filter need replaced. If you just want a little extra power, keep the set-up you're using now; you'll probably be fine. If you want to know for sure your car is running at optimum, or you want to fine tune the car for peak performance, a scanner of some kind is a must.

Fwiw, I like AutoTap, but other brands like LS1M and Accron probably just as good. Another nice alternative is the Aeroforce scan gauge, which mounts in your car as an instrument and requires no computer to operate. Whatever you get, make sure it will record while you drive, and that it shows advanced parameters, most importantly, KR.

Good luck! And a warning: once you see how your drivetrain works and thinks, you'll want to tinker with it. You'll want to get that last horsepower out of the motor. You'll want to make the shifting suited for your driving style. That requires a tuner, which a $300-400 investment. Just wanted to let you know up front. smile

_________________
'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: Do I need a scan tool?   Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:23 pm

can i take it some were to get scanned until i can buy one?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:27 pm

I don't know.....around where i live no.......you live in a more populated area, so its possible...

I bought an aeroforce scan gauge...one of the best things I've invested in for the car...

..I think places like autozone have scanners that are pretty cheap...20$ - 60$

the aeroforce will set you back 250.00
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:28 pm

alright cool i will have to check it out thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:30 pm

make sure the scanner is OSBII complient, can scan your year of Riv and it scans for knock
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:05 pm

Umm... OSIIB? you mean OBDII , and i don't know if any scanners at autozone scan for knock. You're best bet is either an aeroforce guage or some autotap software if you have a laptop , or just bite the bullet and pay 3-400 for a DHP powrtuner ,which also requires a laptop , but from there you can tune and such , which so far is my favorite mod , up there with tires , and intake ( just for the sound).
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:04 am

im probably going to go with the aeroforce gauge since i dont have a laptop only a desktop. unless my friend will let me borrow his laptop.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Do I need a scan tool?   Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:41 pm

TonySmooth89 wrote:
Umm... OSIIB? you mean OBDII , and i don't know if any scanners at autozone scan for knock. You're best bet is either an aeroforce guage or some autotap software if you have a laptop , or just bite the bullet and pay 3-400 for a DHP powrtuner ,which also requires a laptop , but from there you can tune and such , which so far is my favorite mod , up there with tires , and intake ( just for the sound).


...yes...what Tony said, less the 5th of rum I drank.....
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