Tuning is done on our in house chassis dyno. The following check list items have to be deemed satisfactory by EFI Alchemy prior to attempting tuning.
1) There can be no intake or exhaust leaks.
Electronic fuel systems are very sensitive to air leaks. Electronic fuel injection 101: The computer knows the displacement of the motor and the size of the injectors, the big variable is the amount of airflow as measured by the on board sensors to in turn proportionately provide fueling. The factory tuning/calibration is set for the factory parts installed and is restrictive as nature of a stock vehicle. EFI Alchemy can assist you in your efforts and desires to gain more power by recalibrating your tune for peak power and efficiency for the aftermarket parts installed by reading and recalibrating your tune on the chassis dyno. If the engine computer reads/senses and reports air leaks to the engine computer the vehicle will not function properly and cannot be "tuned" out. You can perform simple checks at home that can possibly catch 80% of possible leaks and save you time and effort.
With access to the underside of the vehicle, on jack stands or on ramps, with the vehicle running, carefully run the back of your hands and listen to the exhaust system paying particular special attention to the exhaust header collector and oxygen sensor areas within -/+ 12 inches. If you feel any puff puff or hear any exhaust snap you most likely have a leak and need to address it. Note, in a sad attempt to cut cost most exhaust/header companies are stuck in the carburetor 1960's and issue cheap, ineffective horse shoe or crappy exhaust clamps. We recommend stainless steel wide band clamps with sensor safe RTV. For GM LSx vehicles we recommend using the multi layer, factory exhaust manifold gaskets in lieu of the aftermarket ones. In regard to the intake manifold, anytime it is removed, new intake manifold gaskets have to be fitted as the factory never intended them to be re-used. Consult factory specifications for torque applied and sequence. Utilizing the "old" can of brake-clean to check for intake manifold leaks on today's plastic intake manifolds rarely proves to work alone and necessitates an electronic scan tool to properly diagnosis. We are a full service shop and can fix any system on board your vehicle. Our labor rate is based upon industry time standards at $90/hour.
2) Have premium fuel in the tank. You have a performance vehicle that requires premium fuel. If the difference of running premium fuel is too much for your budget you do not need a performance vehicle.
3) Have a clean air filter on the vehicle.
4) Ensure all fluids; Transmission, Rear End, Oil, Brakes are topped off and their associated systems are in proper working order.
5) Automatic Transmission vehicles, if your vehicle breaks 400 rear wheel horsepower on the chassis dyno, final transmission tuning (shift points) will have to be performed on a NHRA track. EFI Alchemy offers two options for this situation.
a) On site tuning at the track, at a non-negotiable, additional price to the base tuning to be determined on a case by case basis in accordance with EFI Alchemy's schedule. Note, this type of tuning will require an up front, non refundable on site booking fee that will be collected prior to the scheduled event.
b) Remote tuning with an approved data logging flash tuner. You purchase the EFI Alchemy approved tuner/flasher device and head to the track. Data log the runs and send in the data via email for remote evaluation and tuning support.
The free diagnosis prior to tuning should cover 90% of the hundreds of possible discrepancies that can occur. Within the remaining ten percent of possible diagnosis of the fuel system, clutch, transmission, rear end and any others not mentioned that cannot be diagnosed without running the vehicle on the chassis dyno, exposes a discrepancy while dyno testing will cease the tuning process and a strap down/dyno fee (typically $75 for 3 pulls) will be assessed and you will be advised on a course of action to rectify the deficiency.
I hope this helps give a brief explanation of what to expect with the tuning process and our services.