Tuning the Alkycontrol kit

Razor

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The first thing to do is make sure the engine is in tune with no abnormalities. Abnormalities could mean it has a rod knock.. Spewing oil out the breathers.. blowing steam out of the exhuast.. etc.. Or lots of miles on the original plastic timing chain. As with rev'ing and racing an engine to its potential there are risks involved. Hopefully below the information contained will allow a properly operating motor to achieve its potential.

The use of a scanmasterII, direct scan, turbo link, etc to confirm numbers is my second step. I'll list a set of these numbers which are Turbo Buick specific. And the setup of these numbers is "my" rule of thumb. And i'll only be listing those adjustments I feel are specific.

TPS(throttle position sensor) = .38-.46 at idle. Typically mine is set at .42-.44

IAC(Idle Air Control) = 15-30 at idle. Any number above zero will do. Tho I like a little room.

MAL(Malfunction codes)= zero

BLM(Block Learn) = Long term fueling adjustment. This one is what can make or break you. Any vacumm leaks or issues will show up with increased numbers. Depending on chip will range from 105-150, or 90-160. If your at the end of one of those ranges or close to it.. get working on this first. I wont get into what it takes correcting this condition in this thread. And careful with "open loop" chips that lock the BL at 128 at idle. Target is +-10 from 128. I like to see +-5 from 128 at idle.

Lastly. Fuel economy and oil. These typically can tell a lot. If the car is getting great gas mileage, more than likely its ok. Likewise if the oil is clean and doesnt smell like fuel.. I hope this makes some sense.

Next is make sure there are no drivability issues, ie stumbles.. runs rough, black smoke out the exhuast, etc. You get to a light.. car doesnt shut off.. etc..

Now if you've made it this far, more than likely the chip, injectors, MAF, etc are in order.

Note, a new Walbro 340 or XP pump with a hot wire kit should be on the vehicle.

Then, we'll work on low boost tuning. This can vary from car to car as the amount of modifications/engine work/altitude/etc can affect how much boost one can run on 91-93 octane fuel by itself.

As the car comes up on boost the motor should feel silky smooth without any hesitations. And the knock readings should be at zero. Any issues at this point.. stop and work on them. So lets say the car runs 16 PSI(hypothetical number) and does so cleanly without any trace of knock retard. If so.. your light years ahead.

Make it so far.. The hypothetical number stated(16 psi) can vary from 13 PSI on one car to 22 PSI on another. And once you increase boost from that number.. the knock starts appearing on your scantool. Or increase timing from that number. If so.. this is whats to be expected.

So now the motor is running cleanly at mild boost and we wish to increase this. The options of higher octane gas, alky injection, and use of an octane boost(ie xylene) will allow the added boost.

I will try and do this in separate parts. And what I have found makes the transition into alcohol injection as smooth as possible.
 

Razor

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The Chip

On stock computer car utilizing a chip(eprom) this is an area that can make the transition into AI(alcohol injection) easy or hard. The issue stems from adding an additional injector on the motor(alcohol) and having the fuel/timing tables setup to compliment this. Typically most street chips will work with AI. Examples are the Thrasher 92, Reds 93, Lubrant 93, etc.. These chips typically state a PSI. Ie 17 PSI. What this means is at WOT the injector duty cycle programmed into the chip will only deliver enough fuel for lets say 17 PSI. Now you throw an alcohol kit on the car and run 22 PSI. The extra 5 psi worth of fueling came from the AI system. For the longest of time my back-up chip was a thrasher92 in the process of experimenting with different chips and AI. I would always count on that chip in case of any weirdness.

Now fast forward technology a little. My current favorites are the TurboTweak chip for alky, the Extender, and the Max-Effort.

The alky designation now means we'll throw in additional timing in lower gears, reduce timing in higher gears, expect a reduction in fueling to compliment the AI, and allow flexibility in tuning the parameters within the chip to "tweak" its operation with the motor.

While I have lots of experience playing with the Turbo Tweak and Max-Effort, I have used with success the Extender as have lots of my customers.

I dont want to say someone else's chip will not work, this is a fine line, but want to express what I have found has worked seemless for me. For a simple plug-play chip.. the turbotweak chip on installs I have done.. has made the transition seemless.

Just to note, my vehicle currently supports the Max-Effort ME-r

So you got a chip... what next.. unplug the connector by the battery, put the chip in, plug in the connector, set the fuel pressure per chip makers recomendation.. drive the car and let it learn the new chip.. go to the above post.. and follow through the numbers on it. If the drivablity is ok.. install the AI system, and start the tuning process.
 
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Razor

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Tuning

If you've made it this far, set the gain knob on the controller to 6. Leave the internal controls on the PAC alone. And take the car out on its maiden voyage at "The Track" :D

One thing that can be done is while the engine is hot, if you press the "test" button you will notice the scanmaster numbers jump into the 800's. This test can also be done while driving down the road. Typically the numbers bounce around as the O2 sensor goes from rich to lean. Once you spray methanol the air fuel drops and the O2's jump into the 800's. So the test doesnt need to be done with the car sitting.

Now..
While driving, build boost slowly and watch the needle on the boost guage start to increase. As it sweeps past the 7 PSI mark, the "turnon" LED will illuminate indicating the signal from the MAP has been recieved. As the boost rises you'll also note the "Power Injection" bulb will also increase its illumination. Note there are no hesitations, surging, or other drivability issues. The motor should feel silky smooth as if nothing was happing. If so monitor your knock guage and increase the boost level.. if everything works as planned, you should be running the boost you ran previously without.

Next if zero knock was displayed, increase the boost on the motor. Repeat your steps down the track.. and keep increasing boost till you reach "your" comfortable level. Everyones comfortable level is different :D

Lets say your goal is 23 PSI, work your way from 16 to 23 gradually by increasing boost levels. Now while the motor is at WOT you'll note the O2 readings on your scantool. Typically I shoot for upper 700's top of third gear. This provides lots of cushion/space for mistakes. The controller will increase adding alcohol the more boost the MAP see's. This keeps you from constant adjusting.

More than likely, you'll max out the boost rod on the turbo before you'll see 23 PSI unless using an external gate, heavy duty actuator, bleeder(boost controller), or an electronic boost controller.

Now your at 23 PSI.. your target.. we'll look into making the most power at this boost level.

Next is lets look into the timing and fueling. if the O2's displayed show a pattern of 780-770-780-770-775.. leave the fuel pressure/fueling adjustments alone in the chip.

Now lets advance timing on the chip. Do this in small increments a few degree's at a time. Repeat testing watching for knock activity. On the TT chip one can advance the 1-2 timing, as well as the 3-4 timing. Advancing timing will make more power. Tho for a street application, the more timing run, the less cushion there is for knock.

Watch your timeslips for MPH increases. If the MPH is going up.. your making more power. If the vehicle has terrible traction, disreguard ET. Tune for most MPH. And most MPH increase from the 1/8 mile to 1/4 mile.

Most of the cars I have installed kits on and tuned, the factory presets I have made inside the controller has worked out perfect. Dont ask how I came up with this :D

Next is kit specific tuning on my system.

Lets say your at 23 PSI boost and you advanced the timing to 26 degree's in first/second gear and now your experiencing some knock activity. Increase the blue gain knob on the controller. Perform another run.. if you find that maxing out the blue gain knob there is some knock activity and want more alcohol sprayed into the motor, go into the controller and advance the "Initial" knob from the factory preset of 11:30 to the 12 o'clock position. Now back off the blue gain knob back to the "6" setting and give that a whirl. That will make the ramp of alcohol into the motor more aggressive. And work form there. Now that more alcohol is being introduced into the motor, more than likely it will need fueling pulled out.

Fuel can be reduced by various means. My prefered method is within the chip. Place the chip into programming mode and trim fuel.

Keep repeating steps until proper fueling achieves the most MPH increases and et reductions.

This takes work, being methodical, patience.. Thats the fun part.

If using an EGT, shoot for low 1500's pre-turbo.

If using a Wide Band sensor, shoot for a target of 10.8-11.0 which is sometimes difficult with our cars due to the MAF and ecm. Typically 10.5-11.0 you'll be fine. If a specific number..10.9-11.0 is my own preference.

Twin nozzle kits drop the target even lower. Understand Stoich on gasoline is 14.7, stoich on methanol is 7 So as you introduce higher amounts of alcohol into the engine, your target goes down. I have seen engines make tons of power at 10:1 using pump gas and methanol. Always work from rich to lean in your quest to make power. If initial testing the engine is at 9.5:1 AFR, lean it out and see if the performance increases.

Lastly a wideband sensor is only as good as its calibration. So becuase I say 11.0, if your sensor is off.. you may actually be at 10.5 or someone elses 11.5. This is why its best to watch performance at a definite rich condition like 9.5-10.0:1 AFR and look for performance increases as the engine is leaned out. Dyno shops are easy to have bad sensors as the car previously may have run leaded fuel while they where tuning. Now using their equipment leaves you with garbage data.

On a scanmaster.. 770-780's. With twin nozzle, I have seen low 800's and a ton of power. leaner is not always meaner.

On Direct Scan, watch the pattern from the O2 sensor in scope mode after a run, and watch the O2's coming down into the 770-780 range.

All this time monitoring for zero knock top of third. Any knock activity, increase alcohol volume.

Timing typically increases power. but like all things to make power like airfuel and timing, you need to see what your particular engine likes.

On the subject of timing and the Buick engine. Timing is based on the reluctor wheel pressed onto the harmonic balancer. Understand that if your reluctor is off 2 degree's, you may be at 25 degree's instead of 23. or 21 instead of 23. To check timing requires knowledge of the commanded timing within the chip at time of test, and using a timing light. The use of a power logger, direct scan to observe timing then compare it to what shows up on the balancer.
 

Bobtempest

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Thanks for posting these tuning tips. This will be great for everyone to read & jolt some memory in tuning for this coming year in racing.

Thanks for you post
Rob Hinson
 

87SFI

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Great detail Razor! My car is completely tuned with Eric Marshall's chip and now i'm ready to install your kit. There's only one problem............... I have to wait for this snow to melt!!
One hell of a chip too. Idles awesome.

George
 

JDSfastGN

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Thanks for posting this razor, i can't wait to get back to tuning mine, but for now my tranny is in the garage waiting for some new parts lol. The only good news about breaking the tranny is that it turns out thats why i blew my head gaskets at the track last time, it really did hit the rev limiter:(
 

Razor

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One sure sign of making power is driveline carnage.

Mine broke the OD planetary few weeks ago.. I just have all these exotic parts coming for it. Sucks to be down.. I'm getting bummed :D

This was indestructible tranny number 3 ;) Now it will be indestructible number 4 :D

Thanks guys..
 

JDSfastGN

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Originally posted by Razor
One sure sign of making power is driveline carnage.

Mine broke the OD planetary few weeks ago.. I just have all these exotic parts coming for it. Sucks to be down.. I'm getting bummed :D

This was indestructible tranny number 3 ;) Now it will be indestructible number 4 :D

Thanks guys..
haha yeah, ive been through all the hard parts, and learned the hard way, if its good to 600 hp and im making 400... im gonna need it lol. I first broke a stock stator, then a 12" 2800 stall, then the band, then the OD planetary and input shaft, and finally broke down and went with every billet piece in existance. Me and my dad rebuild them and they always shift great but its hard to get hard parts to last. This time it the stator was loose in the pump:confused: and it messed the pump up a bit who knows, hope it didn't hurt my TC good luck getting it back on the road razor.
 

sixgun86gn

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First time I have ever seen a step by step for tuning alky.Very good.

Now what would you suggest to those that would be using something like a FAST or DFI?
 

Razor

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Originally posted by sixgun86gn
First time I have ever seen a step by step for tuning alky.Very good.

Now what would you suggest to those that would be using something like a FAST or DFI?
EDIT 7-16-05.. wanted to make some changes to statements made :)
On the Buick, my target at 11.3 netted a 27 MPH pickup from 99 to 126. On LS1's the target has been 11.9. On some DSM's i've seen the target at 12.4. So the target varies from one vehicle/platform to another.





Ahh this is even easier with a FAST. Well at least Cal makes it look easy ;)

Set the program to 11.9:1 AFR and have it automatically pull fuel out to correct while the system is spraying. When you go WOT.. instant correction. Every pull you do after you'll keep adding alcohol.. have it pull additional fueling.

If you did a before and after.. target around a 25% fuel replacement should get you the numbers you want.

Doing the tuning using race gas with the alcohol will get your injector DC squared away.. then lean out the octane if you wish and watch for knock retard/egt abnormalities.

Another neat thing to do if your only using race gas with the alcohol.. and looking for cooling.. keep an eye on your IAT readings in your intake and add enough alcohol until your at ambient at WOT or hit the 25 % fuel replacement replacement. If the small IC is doing its job.. probably at 15% you should be there at 25 PSI. The having your cake and eating it too is getting ambient on 93 octane.

Going to a nice stock location like the PTE, Thunder Fab, etc... you'll be more than covered temp wise with an alcohol system.

If you have spark knock.. you need more alcohol. And when the motor is making above 650-700 RWHP expect to get into an additional nozzle to really pump it in. If the IC and the motor is not that efficient.. dual nozzle may be required in the 500 HP range using pump gas. This depends on too many factors. Fuel system plays a major part as well. If the pump cant deliver enough pressure or volume.. then.. the fix is adding extra nozzles or revamping the entire fuel system.

FWIW, my car runs a Walbro 307. Guess whats making up the extra fueling ;)
 

BADDGUY6

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Re: Tuning

Originally posted by Razor
Next is kit specific tuning on my system.

Lets say your at 23 PSI boost and you advanced the timing to 26 degree's in first/second gear and now your experiencing some knock activity. Increase the blue gain knob on the controller. Perform another run.. if you find that maxing out the blue gain knob there is some knock activity and want more alcohol sprayed into the motor, go into the controller and advance the "Initial" knob from the factory preset of 11:30 to the 1'oclock position. Now back off the blue gain knob back to the 1/2-3/4 setting and give that a whirl. That will make the ramp of alcohol into the motor more aggressive. And work form there. Now that more alcohol is being introduced into the motor, more than likely it will need fueling pulled out.

Fuel can be reduced by various means. My prefered method is within the chip. Place the chip into programming mode and trim fuel.

Hi Julio,

Does the "Initial" & "Gain" knobs do the same thing? Where raising the gain would be the same as raising the initial? Or does the gain ramps the initial setting flow?

And I'm using a Extender Chip how much fuel % WOT should I pull out? I'm at 23# boost 21/19° timing and as the boost goes by 10# I have a surge/miss:( then hold on:D I'm trying to get rid of that "surge/miss"

Thanks,
Guy
 

Razor

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Re: Re: Tuning

Originally posted by BADDGUY6
Hi Julio,

Does the "Initial" & "Gain" knobs do the same thing? Where raising the gain would be the same as raising the initial? Or does the gain ramps the initial setting flow?

And I'm using a Extender Chip how much fuel % WOT should I pull out? I'm at 23# boost 21/19° timing and as the boost goes by 10# I have a surge/miss:( then hold on:D I'm trying to get rid of that "surge/miss"

Thanks,
Guy
The initial sets up a ramp. In other words when the system activates and sprays into the motor.. it sends a voltage to the pump. The higher the "Initial" the higher in pressure the system starts out at. Moving the Turnon has no affect on the Initial.

Now see if this makes sense, lets say you have the system kick on at 5 PSI and ramp to 25 PSI. Thats a 20 PSI window. If you move the turnon to 8 PSI and leave everything else alone, now you'll have at 28 PSI what you had at 25 PSI. Meaning you still have that 20 PSI window.

Now.. hope I dont lose ya, if you turn it on at 8 PSI and want the same amount you had at 25 PSI you need to increase the gain. To make more increase with the lesser 17 PSI window.

The gain multiplies the the signal from the MAP directly...

Both will increase delivery, but here is how you play with it.

The LT1 and LS1 MAF's .. and some of the older translators can show issue becuase they are more susceptible to airflow disturbances within the pipe. If you have direct scan and record a run, you will see the MAF signal does a saw tooth waveform.

Funny thing is some cars do...some dont.. and this is with the translator. I have heard of some having issues with the "PLUS" when running the wires by the alky system.. interference.

Try and start the spray at a higher boost level, like 8-10 PSI, and also increase the "Initial" to like the 1 o'clock position. That way when it activates.. it also come on stronger and gives a steeper ramp. You can have the system come on at 12 PSI if you wish,or 14 and still deliver plenty at higher boost levels.

And, you can verify if its a translator/extender issue by swapping in a stock GM MAF and regular chip.

So.. check with Bailey(TurboBob) to make sure you have the current chip in your translator, make sure you have an up to date extender chip, make sure your scanmaster readings are within specs especially with the BL numbers, make sure the extender chip is for alky, Try leaning out your idle fueling and wot and more than likeley your problem will go away.

You can also try lower fuel pressure lets say to 40 PSI line off and bring the motor up on boost to 8-12 PSI and see if it cleaned it up.

Tuning takes work. And when it comes to chips... remember the only way to get a correct chip is working with a chip maker until its rite.

No walk in the park sometimes, keep your boost moderate playing with different settings. You'll find the sweet spot eventually.

HTH
 

Razor

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Volt Booster issues

Ran into an issue using the Volt Booster on the car. What was happening was at 10 PSI when the volt booster kicked on, it also raised the drive to the alky pump. The results was the AFR dropped into the low 9's for AFR then started to auto correct itself. Cuasing spiking in the AFR readings of the Wide band.

Eliminating the volt booster, cuased the car to pickup .2 and make a much cleaner run with the alky kit.

Also watch how much alky is sprayed at WOT, too much can have an affect on the turbo's ability to make boost.. cuasing a MPH loss as well.

More to follow. As it becomes available. Hope this tid-bit helps.

Julio
 

Razor

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The 2g is a tough vehicle for a kit. Due to space issues under the hood. I own a 97 TSI as well.. so I know exactly the issue of needing small fingers and a 12mm to get around things :) you can contact me off list or start a new thread "ideas for a 2g". Jerry here in Tampa has a 97 Mirage, at 35 PSI on 93+alky ran 10.4 at 133 with a 1.8 60' .. with an AEM.

This thread was on tuning the alkycontrol kit, so I try and keep it technical so it doesnt get too diluted. One thing is with particularly my kit, if you run the 5 bar it needs an internal mod to the controller.

HTH
 
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