Where are we at with PCM tuning? - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Where are we at with PCM tuning?

So, I've been hassling a lot of boys with questions (love ya's!) and researching. The plan is to rebuild a 3.5 block, for more power. I'm doing this in the cost effective manner that will give the most power for the smallest dollar. Stupid example, if I can get 20HP from $200 cams versus 20HP from custom made wiseco pistons for $2000 - I'll go with the cams.

Our motors offer a nice 255BHP, my goal would be 400BHP-500BHP. Stroker was always the main idea here, but as I look into other builds, costs, and readily available options, I'm contemplating perhaps a fresh bottom end and beefed up top end will give me the same results at a MUCH smaller cost. Inevitably, it's going to be boosted via turbo or supercharger, 6-12 PSI is what I'm thinking - but engine first... lol

The PCM plays a complicated role in all this. Nothing has existed in the LH community to tune these freaking things. I've contemplated throwing in 98-01 electronics as I have heard some people getting those ECU's tuned without much hassle.

I can go the expensive route as all my buddies, get a AEM piggy back system and the harness and throw it on a dyno to get a tune done up from scratch. But we're talking $3K in costs minimum.

Now the route I'm considering, it's truly bogus but just sounds like crazy fun and it's cheap. There are all sorts of tuners for LX PCM's (05,06,08,09) that can tune the A/F maps and virtually everything providing you have a wideband to see your A/F (playing with fire without one). Offers everything I would need to tune the engine N/a, and for a bit of boost (injectors, fuel pump and the like are another conversation when forced air induction is in the tubes).

Regardless if it sees any forced induction or not it will need to be tuned for the cams, heads etc. In short, I would need the engine harness, trans harness, ip harness, cluster, pcm, bcm and throttle pedal. I already have the engine intake manifold. From there it's mating the new engine and trans harness to the LH stuff or substituting LX sensors, and mating the the small crap like lights, speakers and door locks and windows to the LX stuff. A decent day worth of work for the engine bay and another day for the body.. lol

Carried away? Maybe, but it's built not bought.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 06:35 PM
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seems like the headache may never end....... i think doing the programming to gain HP should be feasible option. some one out there should have taken a stab doing it. is any ones good buddies with a dealer tech that could shed some light on a starting point?

spend lots of this
then do this when the money doen't fix things
do lots of this planning , starting and finishing the build
lots of this when doing above
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 07:43 PM
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The only real way I think we could open up the aftermarket for our cars is to get them tunable. The problem is that big tuning companies don't see the opportunity due to it being an older sedan now. I think it would take a lot of people with money in hand for someone to grab onto us. Really only thing you can do right now is a piggyback. It's totally possible and has been done at least once. Just throw some $$$ at it and see where that gets ya!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Piggy back is do-able for anything you can imagine. But $700 for a basic unit, $160 harness, $200 minimum toe cost to the dyno, $600 for the dyno. I can go on... It's the legit way to do it but don't want to sink that much into this area of the build.

I can molest and scab everything off an LX for nothing. It's just time and labor, I got access to the tuners for free in our shop ($500 savings there alone lol). I'll more or less have an LX power system up until it branches off for the misc. Cluster being a cosmetic challenge.

Hmm LX dash swap? Lmao!

Engine wise, I'm going .50 oversized and .50 dommed pistons. Nice solid bottom end, inexpensive compared to my alternatives and offers a nice boost for no extra cost of what it would be to rebuild it stick anyways. 4L head gaskets, with either 4L cams or one of the varied stages of inerita cams will be nice additions. Debating on decking my heads and refurbish them or get inerita's pimped large valve performance heads. Run a new LX intake with a tuned PCM should get me to 300Bhp easily. Do other small things like a TB etc.

Last edited by SRT6INTREPID; 02-07-2014 at 10:13 PM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 10:18 PM
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Maybe megasquirt it? A nice exhaust, CAI, intake spacer would be a nice start. Tuned PCM would be ideal with getting the most out of it. Throw a nice cam in there and you are set to go. Tranny would be the weak leak though.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRT6INTREPID View Post
Piggy back is do-able for anything you can imagine. But $700 for a basic unit, $160 harness, $200 minimum toe cost to the dyno, $600 for the dyno. I can go on... It's the legit way to do it but don't want to sink that much into this area of the build.

I can molest and scab everything off an LX for nothing. It's just time and labor, I got access to the tuners for free in our shop ($500 savings there alone lol). I'll more or less have an LX power system up until it branches off for the misc. Cluster being a cosmetic challenge.

Hmm LX dash swap? Lmao!

Engine wise, I'm going .50 oversized and .50 dommed pistons. Nice solid bottom end, inexpensive compared to my alternatives and offers a nice boost for no extra cost of what it would be to rebuild it stick anyways. 4L head gaskets, with either 4L cams or one of the varied stages of inerita cams will be nice additions. Debating on decking my heads and refurbish them or get inerita's pimped large valve performance heads. Run a new LX intake with a tuned PCM should get me to 300Bhp easily. Do other small things like a TB etc.
Just going to point out upping compression and boosting is generally not the way to go for street-able power.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Just going to point out upping compression and boosting is generally not the way to go for street-able power.
I know. But I haven't found any pistons that are not domed in the oversized department. All 3.5's I possess or have access to are 180K+ in mileage so they all need to be punched out.

Stroker route IIRC will have more even more compression. So playing with ideas of thick 3.5 head gaskets etc.

Our shop guy said as long as I was considering throwing 30PSI at it, any route should be OK. But he builds engines for a living and likes staying in business... LOL!


I've heard of the megasquirt route a few times. Should look into it.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 09:42 PM
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Gotta remember higher compression means you need higher octane. And with boost in mind unless you wanna run straight race gas sometimes it's better to have lower compression.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 10:31 AM
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ok, just to throw this out there, wouldn't it cost the same for a v-8/rwd conversion?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 10:42 AM
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ok, just to throw this out there, wouldn't it cost the same for a v-8/rwd conversion?
Yes, but not everyone wants to just slap a V8 in there and call it a day. I personally would like that, but I suppose some people still like the uniqueness of possibly turboing there stock engine.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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ok, just to throw this out there, wouldn't it cost the same for a v-8/rwd conversion?
Pass...

I like V8's. But no V8 stacks up against forced air induction. Period.

You'd would have to drive a high pressure turbocharged car to know what I mean. A friend has a SRT-4 Neon done up with a T6052 turbo, and a crap load of other mods - even stock had the same effect. I practically drove it all last summer until he threw a rod through both sides of the block.

You're driving along, feels like a simple four pot standard car. You let the rpm's build while cruising along... Glance down, see that "sweet spot" coming, suddenly the turbo spools, the RPM gauge screams to the red line like you hit the NOS and your ass is FORCED into the seat (more and more) and the steering wheel rips side to side from the torque steer.

I've driven old 426 hemi's to new 302 bosses to playing a little with a few of the customers jacked-V8 projects in the parking lot with their permission of course.

Besides, a rear wheel drive conversion will be dwelling into structural and suspension engineering and fabrication. Outside of something I'm able to "manufacture" unfortunately. That and I doubt I'll be successful getting it legal for the road.

Trust me, a 5.7 Hemi drop in crossed my mind as I can get a hold of one for $300 - 100K on it.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Gotta remember higher compression means you need higher octane. And with boost in mind unless you wanna run straight race gas sometimes it's better to have lower compression.
Yeah factor's I baring in mind.

Our local track sells the sweet smelling racing juice, in 45 gallon drums. LOL!

My co-worker who builds and designs a lot of the engine builds for customers is suppose to be crunching my figures for me on what he thinks is the best combo of parts and what parts I can readily get.

I just want to get the bottom end freaking done already. lol!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 12:24 AM
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If you go with the 4L crank, wouldn't you have to heat treat it? The crank is not forged like the 3.5s crank.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 10:48 PM
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1. Good luck with pcm tuning
2. The transmission is also standing in the way of power.

Rwd conversion is the best bet. 5 spd tremec with a 4.0 build would be a large performance increase.

Fyi, domed pistons are less than ideal. They leave a lot of unburned fuel.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2014, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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1. Good luck with pcm tuning
2. The transmission is also standing in the way of power.

Rwd conversion is the best bet. 5 spd tremec with a 4.0 build would be a large performance increase.

Fyi, domed pistons are less than ideal. They leave a lot of unburned fuel.
You are right on the tuning, if I were to remain LH based. It's cobble the LX power system in it, or AEM piggy back.

Still entertaining combinations. What pistons I use depends on what I can find. Anything as long as it's oversized and not garbage. Was recommended first generation pistons, because they are forged.

Not sure what the case is on 4L cranks, I assumed all new cranks Chrysler had hands with were forged now and day's.

I think the myths about our transmissions are played on to much. I've spoken to one twin-turbo prowler owner. He said the transmission is fine. What kills them is people get burn-out crazed. That is hard on any automatic transmission, it cleans the clutch packs up quick. Hell, even the clutches in Ferrari's let go from two back-to-back launches, which is roughly the same strain on everything (shop had a F-430 in here last week for a new clutch).

Currently my Transmission has the heavy duty clutch pack and shift kit installed. Pretty rugged. I got another transmission in my garage right now that is in perfect running order minus the solenoid pack. Perfect candidate for the Kevlar clutch pack upgrade.
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