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Old 10-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #1
J.D.
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Diablo Predator on Daily Driver - Worth it?

I have a daily driver '06 GTO (Auto), obviously out of warranty, and was thinking about doing some additional general upgrades. I've already done common things like HID lights, K&N air cleaner, custom wheels.

I always run 91+ octane fuel but feel there is some factory programming that really holds this car back. The shifts seem weak for lack of better words and there seems to be a fair share of throttle lag. I'd also like to see better than the 17mpg I typically get in stop and go traffic (over 20mpg on highway).

Was thinking about getting the Diablosport Predator U7191 with USB kit on sale from Maryland Speed. And, no, I do not intend to do headers, exhaust swaps, full custom tunes, etc. It is and will always be, as long as I own it, a daily driver.

My questions are: what will this do for me? and is this a good idea?

I did search and read a million threads already so the new thread haters please be kind!
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:40 PM   #2
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It made a difference on my '05 when it was a stock daily. Installed it while on the dyno and picked up about 20whp plus the the AFR was much better. Even if you do exhaust later it still will be usable. Now getting into cams and heads then HPTuners or other suite would be more beneficial.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:43 PM   #3
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What was the before vs after afr please?
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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Okay - legit question.

Given your current goals - while I will always say a custom tune from a "good" tuner is better, even with a lack of mods. It has to be said that the diablo tuner "should" help your driving experience versus the factory tune in her.

I assume you are an A4 - so the shift points & torque mangement setup is going to be better then factory. Add in better fuel/spark management - she should pick up a bit.

I use the word should a lot - because every car is different and - as such diablo like all off the shelf tuners will shoot for the medium and try to not hurt the car.

It has been at least 6 years since I used the diablo - but the car back then felt better compared to a stock tune. I will have to look at old records, but I am sure we picked up a couple of tenths in the 1/4 and street wise she felt healthier.

What I found helpful was that I bought the tuner off a shop that offered some limited custom changes to the normal diablo tuner based on input from me to them. The cost was included in the diablo. Not sure if anyone still does that or not. I used Running with the Devil as the shop I bought from. I think they are gone nowadays. However, there still maybe guys out there that sell the diablo that offer sommething similar.

Like I said - it has been a long time since I used their product - but my experience was positive.

One thing i will say - while a good custom tune is best, you can get a bad one too. So for the $ and your goals - unless you know a of a certified good tuner - diablo aint that bad.


Hope this helps a little.

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Old 10-28-2011, 04:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LFSADRG...View Post
It made a difference on my '05 when it was a stock daily. Installed it while on the dyno and picked up about 20whp plus the the AFR was much better. Even if you do exhaust later it still will be usable. Now getting into cams and heads then HPTuners or other suite would be more beneficial.

I don't want to put words in his mouth - but you can see the Long Term Fuel trims (LTF's) normally improve. The stock GTO tune is fat (ie rich) to protect the engine for warranty purposes - the diablo will lean it down a bit to pick up power. As will a custom tuner.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:20 PM   #6
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I have read of occasions where the customer lost either hp and/or tq using the diablo settings. The more aggressive TM settings and shift firmness / shift points can mask the overall powerloss and still improve your cars acceleration, thus feel faster and really is faster but not more powerful. Some people claim they get 20rwhp with the diablo so who knows.

Me personally I bought one and I cant tell a difference with or without the "performance tune" installed. I have a manual so it doesnt effect my car as much as it would yours.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:32 PM   #7
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I would say worth it if your A4, not so worth it with M6
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black00ta...View Post
I would say worth it if your A4, not so worth it with M6

I tend to agree - the A4's have a significant amount of "safety" built in the stock tune that makes the car a dog. Though the changes in the AFR/spark can also help a bit.

Bottomline - for a really great working car - and the $500+ cost is not an issue - find a custom tuner - who street & WOT tunes the car and really knows what he/she is doing. Barring that - diablo ain't half bad.

Steve
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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Yes as noted auto (A4).
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:40 PM   #10
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I have it for my 2004 A4. I have headers, catback, and cai. After using it, I got about 1-2 mpg better overall. Shift firmness is much better and it seems to be a little better stoplight to stoplight as well.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D....View Post
Yes as noted auto (A4).

My bad - I forgot while I was figuring out the reply (getting old is a bad thing!)

Steve
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:50 PM   #12
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definitely worth it.. and you can even get a custom tune done for it for your car and gain even more.....
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06MonteSS...View Post
definitely worth it.. and you can even get a custom tune done for it for your car and gain even more.....

Just for my own education - who does customs nowadays for Diablo? I got an 04 unit sitting upstairs that if I give it to someone (since I use HpTuners now) they can at least use the unit for themselves. It is now just a paper weight.

Steve
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:07 PM   #14
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Well, I have an M6 that was stock when I got it and got a very noticeable improvement in power, torque, idle smoothness and throttle response from the 91 octane tune, a small improvement above that with the DiabloSport Tune and even more improvement with a custom tune from Lewis (06MonteSS above). For the money spent, it makes nice improvements and is generally a fun tool to play with and is a code reader as well. If you just do one of the canned tunes, make sure to check you LTFT and adjust as necessary as determined by free analysis software you can download from the DiabloSport website. If you want more fine tuning and more bang for your buck, a custom Predator tune from Lewis is a pretty good bargain too.

Oh, and my MPG went up a bit as well. The Predator also can be used to turn off CAGS and Lewis can permanently disable the traction control in one of his custom tunes. If you do go with headers in the future and have trouble with the rear O2s throwing codes, the Predator can be used to turn off the rear O2s.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:17 PM   #15
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What is LTFT? I have a button to turn the traction control on/off already.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:21 PM   #16
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As far as afr goes, doesn't the O2 sensor make adjustments to whatever the computer is calling for?
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:34 PM   #17
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The front O2s are for AFR, the rears are for emissions control. Many headers can cause rear O2 codes. Catless mids will definitely cause codes and require you to turn off the rear O2s.

LTFT = long term fuel trims. These settings allow you to avoid running it rich or lean.

Yes, you can turn the T/C off manually and you need to do so each time you start the car. With a tune you can turn it off permanently (which renders the button unneccesary).
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:42 PM   #18
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I actually like the traction control for rain and snow (yes, snow, I drive it year round), and I really don't do burnouts or beat on it. I just want it to run better and get a little more mpg, firmer shifts, and qucker power when I need it. Like I said, this is my daily driver and I depend on it, so I maintain it well and drive it moderately.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:47 PM   #19
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Well okay, you can leave the T/C intact then, it is just one option that becomes available with a custom Predator tune. You wanted to know more about what a Predator could do for you and you are getting piles of information.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:51 PM   #20
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Indeed, and it is appreciated!

Just trying to understand it myself and help clarify what my goals are (what I am and am not looking to do with the car).

Thanks for the replies and please feel free to (continue to) voice your opinion either way
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D....View Post
What is LTFT? I have a button to turn the traction control on/off already.


In its most basic:

LTFT - longterm fuel trims. The computer watches how the projected airflow to fuel ratio is, based on the narrow band O2's. It makes adjustments during normal driving (ie below 4K RPM's & WOT) to ensure the car is running close to 14.7 ratio as possible. It keeps these changes in the computer - since it figures they will be needed in the future.

Note - it does not ever take fuel away after it adjusts. If there is a learned fuel ratio - that is what it is - even if the ratio is not right (ie should be leaner).

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D....View Post
As far as afr goes, doesn't the O2 sensor make adjustments to whatever the computer is calling for?

Yep - but the issue is when it adds fuel (see above) the fuel addition is cummualtive across the rpm range & remembers it. So if you go wide open throttle (WOT) - the same amount/percentage of fuel is added to the the WOT fuel curve as it would the normal throttle. It is a safety measure - but in WOT there is definite curve and now you are adding on top of that fuel. It learns. That is why in the early years we disconnected the battery to get rid of the memory - to get the fuel curve back closer to the original (read leaner curve) curve. So we started with a pig rich AFR & added more fuel on top.

If the car is "properly tuned" - the normal street driving will be within certain percentages (I like +3 to -3 LTFT) and there is no real additive to WOT when racing. But that takes a lot and I mean a lot of time to zero in to those numbers - you have VE, MAF curves & spark. Some tuners disable the learn function or modify it to STFT (short term fuel trims) after the tune. Every car is different. Either way - it is time and as you can expect - cost. But you get a great machine!

Any change on the incoming or outgoing airflow - well you are back to the almost the beginning.

I know it is broad - but that is the basics - that is why you pay a tuner or diablo.

Steve

Edited: fixed the Stoich value

Last edited by rushhour; 10-29-2011 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:00 PM   #22
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Makes sense, thanks for the explanation.

For me, *if* I go WOT, it is very rare and usually at highway speed to pass someone. WOT in daily stop and go driving would I'm sure result in a burnout at least and a spinout at worst, both situations I'd just as soon avoid. Plus extra un-necessary wear and tear on the car.

I have noticed that the car shifts somewhat soft, not very crisp, and generally speaking a car with this kind of power should have better throttle response. I also would like to see some improved fuel economy.

Based on what I have read, sounds like the "91 octane" stock flash can improve all of these things, especially bring the LTFT in a bit, but won't do the equivalent job of an experienced tuner, and I'm perfectly ok with that. Pretty much accurate?
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:07 PM   #23
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Well, yes, as has been said here and all over, each car is different. The tunes included in the Predator are canned tunes and can make across the board improvements, but a custom tune, whether that is a custom Predator tune or custom tune from a good tuner using another software package, can be made to very specifically address the fine adjustments your specific car needs/wants.

A Predator tune is still better than the stock tune.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D....View Post
Makes sense, thanks for the explanation.

For me, *if* I go WOT, it is very rare and usually at highway speed to pass someone. WOT in daily stop and go driving would I'm sure result in a burnout at least and a spinout at worst, both situations I'd just as soon avoid. Plus extra un-necessary wear and tear on the car.

I have noticed that the car shifts somewhat soft, not very crisp, and generally speaking a car with this kind of power should have better throttle response. I also would like to see some improved fuel economy.

Based on what I have read, sounds like the "91 octane" stock flash can improve all of these things, especially bring the LTFT in a bit, but won't do the equivalent job of an experienced tuner, and I'm perfectly ok with that. Pretty much accurate?

I believe so.

Some people may knock you - but that being said - unless they have the same setup as you and can beat you at the drag strip - they are full of sh*t. Been there & done that. I had beat a lot of bad ass people with my "Diablo" tune back in the day.

Don't go with the herd mentality - I only put down to the dyno 370rwhp "now" - but look at my times - they kill most of the other high hp guys. You have to be comfortable with your car - no one else is. Dyno's are for lossers - time slips are what counts.

Best of luck and if you need anything else feel free to PM me.

Steve

Last edited by rushhour; 10-28-2011 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:49 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushhour...View Post
Just for my own education - who does customs nowadays for Diablo? I got an 04 unit sitting upstairs that if I give it to someone (since I use HpTuners now) they can at least use the unit for themselves. It is now just a paper weight.

Steve

did you restore the original backup stock tune to your car so that it is unlocked/reset?

what revision is it on?? I may know someone who's interested in buying it...

and there are several diablosport CMR custom tuners, one of them being me

Last edited by 06MonteSS; 10-28-2011 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:54 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushhour...View Post
If the car is "properly tuned" - the normal street driving will be within certain percentages (I like +3 to -3 LTFT) and there is no real additive to WOT when racing.
Steve

not entirely true...

if your fuel trims are positive when you go WOT, then the ecm will add fuel on top of the PE fueling table, because since you were lean at part-throttle, then you'll be lean at WOT too - so it adds more fuel on top of the PE fueling....

at normal, part-throttle driving/cruising, you want your average LTFT's to be at -1.xx to -2.xxx...

Last edited by 06MonteSS; 10-28-2011 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:28 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D....View Post
What was the before vs after afr please?

IIRC, it was in the low 12's. The 91 octane tune leaned it high 12's and then had it adjusted to ~13:1 on the dyno. It was over five years ago.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:26 AM   #28
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06Monte, can you do work for people who are not local?
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:00 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06MonteSS...View Post
not entirely true...

if your fuel trims are positive when you go WOT, then the ecm will add fuel on top of the PE fueling table, because since you were lean at part-throttle, then you'll be lean at WOT too - so it adds more fuel on top of the PE fueling....

at normal, part-throttle driving/cruising, you want your average LTFT's to be at -1.xx to -2.xxx...

I agree that the average should be minor negative since it dumps on the PE table - but during normal driving you are going to see fluctations up & down a bit when you look at & try & write down each data point. You then figure your average.

I actually had a name brand tuner tell me not to worry when I saw +10 to +15 @ PT, this was after his tune in early 2007 when my heads & cam went in. They obviously only tuned WOT. That is when I decided to buy HpTuners and learn for myself. Now use only people like Kaltech that spend time making sure the tune is proper.

I am sure we put the stock tune back in the diablo - but will check anyway. The revision/update was 2.04, done back in October 2006 - said it has been a while.

As a side question - did diablo ever update the hand helds so that they could actually record data for the 04 GTO version? I remember what a pain it was trying to get data points out to the tunner - had the kid in the passenger seat writing them down all the time.

Steve

Last edited by rushhour; 10-29-2011 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:42 AM   #30
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i know this thread took a major turn away from the simple question that was asked but I just put a 7191 on my 06 w/ the ability to adjust the fans on/off pretty much being the only reason I wanted it.
It has 2 tunes on it the diablo performance for 93 and a 91 tune. I put the performance tune on and it pings its ass off above 4500 w/ 93 and 70* ambient. just an FYI for guys running around w/ the windows up and the radio on who won't hear it. I noticed a slight mpg improvement though.
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