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#4474977 - 07/30/17 08:27 PM Power tuners
spasm3 Online   content

Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8308
Loc: North Carolina
Interested in feedback about power programmers for GM 5.3 engines. Maybe for my 03 avalanche. Anyone use these? What brands?

Mostly interested in the towing mode.
13 elantra 67k 5w30 QSUD
03 chevy avalanche76k synpwr 5w30
01 saturnsc1 185k synpwr rebuilt
17 mazda cx-5 1800 miles m1 0w20/0w40 mix

#4475004 - 07/30/17 09:04 PM Re: Power tuners [Re: spasm3]
AVB Offline

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 1132
Loc: Georgia
I have one on my 03 Avalanche it is a superchips set on the 87 octane tune. There is very little power to be gained on these trucks stock. The biggest advantage is the transmission tuning. I don't tow much so I can't really say what kind of difference it makes. I never really use the truck's tow haul mode either. I did use it yesterday just to make it hold low gear while I was playing in the rain. I only bought my programmer because I got it for either 20 or 40 bucks at a pawn shop. It was vin locked so I had to pay superchips to add another vin.

#4475130 - 07/30/17 11:36 PM Re: Power tuners [Re: spasm3]
BigJakeChevy Offline

Registered: 07/26/15
Posts: 99
Loc: Alberta
I used a Diablo predator on my old 2000 silverado 5.3. Only thing that made a difference in the performance department was tunning of the tourque safety. That was like dropping in 100HP! LoL I tried the Diablo Trinity on my 2007 silverado classic and it made zero difference. It wouldn't even change the shifts! I would input the new shifts and nothing would happen. I contacted their support team, which they're fantastic, and even they couldn't get it working for me. Not sure if i just had a bad unit or what. Ended up returning it to the store i bought it from. Next time i try something in the tuning market, im just going to get a dyno tune.
2007 Silverado Classic 5.3L

#4475140 - 07/30/17 11:58 PM Re: Power tuners [Re: spasm3]
AVB Offline

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 1132
Loc: Georgia
One thing that I have noticed with the tuner is that it likes to put me in 2nd gear early and hold it there when I would rather be in 1st for acceleration. I can force it to downshift but would have to give more throttle input than I like. That is why I put the transmission in tow/haul mode yesterday for doing rolling burnouts in the rain. The other thing that I noticed was a little bit of spark knock the one time that I held it wot until it shifted out of second. I wanted to see what speed it would shift into 3rd at, it was right around 80mph.

#4475306 - 07/31/17 08:24 AM Re: Power tuners [Re: spasm3]
thorromig Offline

Registered: 03/22/12
Posts: 804
Loc: BerksCounty/Pa.
I have a Super Chips programmer for my Ram in signature. Sorry, not related to your GM but -- I run it on performance mode pretty much 90% of the time & it woke the [censored] out of my truck. Now if I head to the beach I program it for gas mileage & it gets about 20 mpg but is a slug. Good luck for what you purchase.

Edited by thorromig (07/31/17 08:37 AM)
00 Dodge Ram 5.2L 4x4 Edge 10W30 FU (91K)
08 Acura TL Type S 3.5L PUPP 5W20 FU (101K)
17 Jetta TSI SE 1.4L Turbo - Edge 0W40 FU (Hers) (4K)

#4478918 - 08/04/17 10:30 AM Re: Power tuners [Re: spasm3]
Rhymingmechanic Offline

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 1287
Loc: VA
I got a Hypertech Power Programmer III at the same time as my 2001 5.3 Silverado. It has tunes for 87 and 93 octane, and both really improve low-end throttle response. It also has options to make the shifts firmer (stock shifts were mushy and there was a lot of lag from P-R or P-D), change WOT shift points, correct tire size, and some other things. My truck seemed to stay in each gear too long, and correcting tire size fixed that. The stock setting was 30", but the actual tire measurement was about 29."

The problem is that the engine knocks like a diesel above about 4000 at wide-open throttle, tuned or not. Stock, it's better with premium fuel but still noticeable. I also notice lighter pinging at low-speed cruise, especially with A/C. Hypertech reflashed the tuner with an update for pinging, but it didn't do much. I contacted them again a few years ago to see if any newer updates were available, and they said GM had trouble with pinging on some 2000-01 trucks and the tune made it worse. They actually called that first update a "ping fix."

These days, instead of tuning it and having to either keep my foot out of it or buy higher octane fuel, I just use the tuner to firm up shifts and correct the tire size.

The short answer to your question is that a tune will make a noticeable difference in throttle response and low-end power, and you'll probably find tuners with more flexible options than the one I have.

#4479429 - 08/04/17 10:34 PM Re: Power tuners [Re: spasm3]
GMBoy Offline

Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 7664
Loc: Texas
Rule of thumb is nothing beats a custom full reflash by a pro. Then, if going the handheld "generic canned tune" - Diablo Sport is pretty much is the top choice. Hypertech and Superchips are marginal "safe" tunes and an alternative option but not one I would use.