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So, you've been hearing all this crazy cool information about EFI live huh? Think you may or may not want to go this route? Think you can't afford it and need to buy a canned tuner? (edge,banks,ppe, hypertech etc..) Well let's take a look at a few things here and go from there :thumb

First off, lets get some of the abbreviations/ slang terms out of the way!
EFI Live- a custom tuning platform in which basically all engine parameters become available to the tuner/user to edit/ improve upon. Tunes are completely custom based upon YOUR vehicles performance mods and your stock tune.
Canned tuner- any plug and play type tuner available from manufacturers such as (but not limited to) Banks, Edge, Hypertech, PPE etc…
DSP2 / DSP5- Duramax Switchable Performance. The correlating 2 and 5 numbers relate to the number of tunes you choose. Obviously a dsp2 will be two tunes, and dsp5 will be five tunes. Switch consists of two wires running from your ecm to inside your vehicle, mounted within reach so you can switch tunes on the fly. There is no powering down vehicle/pulling off road required for switching tunes. There are several ways to switch between the tunes. On lb7 and lly trucks you can opt to get an edge insight ct/cts to function as your switch, so you don't have to hard mount a switch to your dash and you can also use it for your gauges if you wish to go that route.There are two separate kinds of switches available as well, one is a typical rotary type setup, while the other is known as a key lock setup. The key lock setup can only be switched between tunes when the key is present and installed. They can be locked in the #1,3 and 5 position.
V2- A v2 is a scan/ tune tool that can be used to log (record) information, read/clear engine codes (for example P0087, P0700) and load tunes from your computer (more on this later)
ECM- engine control module
SPADE- Standalone Programming and Diagnostic Equipment

OK, first of all. PLEASE DO NOT get the impression from anyone that in order to get an EFI live setup you are going to HAVE to buy a V2 dsp5 setup which will obviously be more expensive than any canned unit. This is simply not the case, you have several options these days (4 to be exact). All of which I will now go through in detail for you :drink

EFI Live is available for LB7 through LMM series engines. Alright, you've decided that you want to know more about EFI live, but there are just so many options to choose from! How will you decide on which will work best for you? There are two ways, first you can call a tuner and discuss with them in great detail, or second you can go ahead and continue reading this, which will hopefully solve all/ most of your basic questions. I will first go into your different options as far as EFI live go, how they work, and lastly pros and cons for both EFI live and canned tuners along with a few popular dsp5 tunes.

1.) V2 Setup with dsp5. This is the best of the best when it comes to EFI Live setups. You get the V2, which as mentioned above can read codes, log (record) information and load tunes to your ECM. You can also load other peoples tunes onto their vehicles by purchasing an additional VIN and tunes for their application (if you want your buddies to owe you a favor) You can go in and change your variables around, however only minor corrections are recommended (tire size changes, egr delete, etc) until you are more knowledgeable with the system. Until that time, consult your tuner before modifying anything with their tunes.
So how does this setup work? First you will purchase the efi live from a tuner of your choice. You will then talk to them and discuss your current modifications (including stock/modified transmission, injectors, turbo/s etc.) You will then get your v2 in the mail a few days later. You will take it out of the box (in addition to the instructions from your tuner) and use it to pull your stock tune from your vehicle. From there you will load it onto your windows based computer (can use a mac, but involves loading a copy of windows using a program such as bootcamp) and email it to your tuner. They will then take this and build your custom tunes upon this tune. This will now be known as your "base tune". You will then receive your new tunes (as an email file), and use your v2 to load them onto your ECM. You will then wire your dsp5 switch from your ecm to somewhere inside the cabin of the vehicle within easy reach of driver.

2.) Loaner V2 Setup with dsp5. This setup works identical to the setup above, however you only put a deposit down on the V2 when making the initial purchase that is later refunded. You receive the V2 as discussed above, however with this option, , you send the V2 back and they will send you a brand new one to with free shipping and refund the difference between the deposit and cost of the V2. There will not be any charges for loaning the v2, just the deposit.. Thus making it a cheaper option than #1, however exactly the same up until shipping it back. You can also use this option if you aren't sure if you wish to keep your V2 or not, thus giving you the opportunity to "play around" with a V2 and see what you think.

3.) EFI Live AutoCal "the spade". This is a fairly new setup, so I will do my best at explaining it as I have understood thus far. **IT IS ONLY AVAILABLE CURRENTLY FOR LBZ/LMM ENGINES** Basically a canned setup for efi live, if that makes sense. They are plug and play with the tunes already loaded, so no emailing, computers or anything are needed. This is a relatively low tech option. It gives functionality for data logging and flashing tunes, but doesn't give access for modifying tunes which the average user doesn't need to do. There are three options with this route. Jack, King, and Ace. With the Jack, tunes are aimed at your stock transmission and stock turbo (any other modifications can be let known to your them during ordering). Tunes range from 320rwhp to 440rwhp. The King is designed for trucks with built transmissions and basic supporting modifications (lift pump, intake, exhaust, egr block/delete etc..) The King is designed to max out your stock turbo and stock injectors. Power levels range from 320rwhp to 530+rwhp. Then the Ace, which reserved for custom combinations. The Ace is set up for any combination of injectors, turbochargers, and pumps.

4.) Pretuned ECM. This option is relatively simple, and you have two options inside. First option, you remove your ecm, send it in the mail to the tuner of your choice, where they load your tunes onto it. They then send you your ecm back and all you have to worry about it plugging it in and (like above) wiring your dsp2/5 switch in. the only downside is you have a little downtime involved. you can usually overnight them your ecm and they overnight one back to you, usually, however you should call your tuner to get exact details. The second option is to pay a core charge up front, have them ship out your pre tuned ecm, and once your receive and install the new ecm (and dsp switch) you send back your ecm for full refund of your ecm pending decent/usable condition. This is the most inexpensive of the efi live setups, and is very much so plug and play. VERY competitive pricing with canned tuners, and yet every aspect will be improved.


5.) Buying a license and tunes, using a friends V2/Autocal (auto cal is only capable on lbz/lmm engines currently and can only load 8 tunes before it runs out, v2 is unlimited) to load tunes. This option you use your buddies V2 to pull your stock tune (read option #1 for more information on this process) and then follow the steps in #1 just as if the v2 was yours. Except at the end of the day you're the one buying the beers/pizza for your buddy and he gets to go home with the V2 :neener: Usually a fairly inexpensive option as long as you have the connection previously made.

Lastly I will briefly discuss the pros/cons vs canned tuners. At the end of the day a canned setup will probably be slightly easier, since it is all plug and play. HOWEVER, with an EFI live setup, you will have better fuel economy (slightly, but still gains have been reported better as long as you can stay off the skinny pedal), lower egt's while laying into it/ towing, and better drivability. By drivability I mean throttle response (how touchy it is). EFI live offers substantially more customization if you are looking for serious power gains and plan on upgrading your factory turbocharger/ injectors/ transmission at any time down the road.

A few popular dsp5 tunes are as follows. (note these are in NO WAY what you HAVE to go with, they are just provided to give you an example of how you can set up your tunes. Note the #1 tune of each setup is usually an optimized stock. This is because if there are any issues down the road with your dsp switch, it will resort back to your "base tune" or #1 position. A "valet tune" limits your rpm to around 2k so no-one can hot-rod your truck without your permission. Notice the valet/anti theft are in the third position, this is helpful when used with the key lock switch since it can be locked into the #3 position. The following are these example setups:

1. Optimized stock/ economy
2. Light tow with turbo brake built in
3. Valet
4.100hp
5. Max effort (150hp)

1. Optimized Stock/ economy
2. Light tow with turbo brake
3. Heavy tow with turbo brake
4. 100hp
5.Max effort (150hp)

1. Optimized stock
2. Light tow with turbo brake
3. Anti-Theft
4. 100hp
5. 150hp

I hope this helps with any of your basic EFI live questions. In summary, EFI live is custom tuning software available for the LB7-LMM series Duramax engines. The BEST EFI Live tuners are on this forum, so PLEASE do your research in choosing your tuner and KNOW that EFI live is only as strong as it's tuner!! Letting any Joe Schmoe may be a little cheaper, but with endless customization options available, do you really trust Jim from the corner muffler shop changing variables in your fuel settings/ injector rates/ timing? This I leave up to you and your Duramax engine. My only goal is that reading/understanding this will help you to be more informed on the subject, and hopefully be able to help others on the forum as well!

-Tyler
 

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Im Superrrrr!
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14,517 Posts
lots of info here....just wanted to make sure it was gone through
 

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Im Superrrrr!
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14,517 Posts
Tyler asked me to go through it.....but if I miss anything, just edit his post....when done we can just move his post and delete ours.
 

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Its just a worktruck
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13,908 Posts
Dont we already have a thread like this?
 
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