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Diablo Predator Tuner - should I buy?

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Old 10-02-2008, 10:50 AM   #1
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Default Diablo Predator Tuner - should I buy?

Hello everyone

I am considering the predator but am not sure if this is the right choice.
I have a 01 corvette LS1 with a 5.7, only mods are tire size change and air intake.

What can I expect from the tuner? As the vehicle is near stock am I wasting my money?

Thank you
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:37 AM   #2
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Hi Bud,

I had Diablo and now custom dyno HPTuners. You don`t say if you have a stick or auto ? Auto`s tend to "feel" more improvement. What I don`t like is, going into second it causes the back end to kick out (to my left) due to shift pressure changes. It is great giving you more ability to manage your Vette more. It lowers operating temp to about 198 by turning fans on earlier, etc. But the generic performance tune is sooooo wide based (either 91 or 93 octane, ok to use ) that my tuner felt I actually LOST about 10 HP with my mods and by not just staying with the factory tune. It`s a so so tool, IMO. Best thing is get the tune "dialed in" via USB transfer files from Diablo and you can switch from stock to custom tune when ever you want. Nothing beats a good dyno custom tune, thats where your real HP is to be found.

Good luck,

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Old 10-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #3
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50th@50 - It's interesting to hear you opinion now since I remember reading your posts earlier this year. After all they really influenced me to buy one! You said you loved it and could not have been more happy. But I know your opinion changed quickly after and you had a rough time getting yours unlocked and sold.

casey007 - He is right though. A good custom tune cannot be beat. Although I have heard of tuners locking the computer so you can't even go anywhere else but them. A little scary. If you are talking about basic mods and an A4 I think it is worth it. You can easily find them for $319 instead of $399 you see in every catalog. If you don't like it after awhile just restore your stock tune and sell it for $250 on the Forum here. The performance tune is decent and you can feel a difference on the A4. I really liked it a month or so ago when I got bigger tires. 5 minutes later my speedo was recalibrated. If I get headers or something else I will go custom for sure. Although I see many examples where you can upload your stock tune to DiabloSport and they will give you a custom tune for your more advanced mods.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:03 PM   #4
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I would much rather have a dyno tune.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:27 PM   #5
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Getting a custom tune around here is difficult, can't find anyone. I am pleased with the Predator, especially now that I have changed gears. Mine is also an Auto, felt a difference, and changed the fan temps which has been a plus. Withour a custom tune I feel they have their place.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, I appreciate your input.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:35 PM   #7
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You are spot on and I must remember what we (I) say can influence others, great call on your part.

At first with NO dyno machine backround I thought the Diablo was an improvement, FELT like it, but I was always against that back end coming around, got a ticket even when a LEO saw that action.

Then I got shortys and I was directed to Charlie at RPM. You cannot compare the 2 tunes, went from 302 RWHP to 331 RWHP. IMO, Charlie, F up cause he started with the Diablo on his dyno then tossed it aside, and ran HPTuner and an hour latter handed me my bill for 500. He never thought to unlock it. My consternation with Diablo is they were little to no help on finding a way to salvage the still locked (twice sold as unlocked, 6 worthless Shippings for about 70.00) Diablo. So YES I am upset at Charlie (he should man up,IMO) and perhaps unfairly at Diablo for basically saying throw it in the trash can. Has this removed my objectivity? No not really, I still maintained what I believe is the truth regarding the canned generic tune short falls Vs gains on managment ability and subsequent free "custom" tunes from Diablo. It`s fine for what it is, a limited tool.

My first post not knowing anything about custom dyno tune, did declare the Diablo was great, in fact my title said "high praise for Diabo" or something.

How do you like the Diablo, do you agree or dis-agree with my opinions about it??

Thank you, I wish you the best,
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:54 PM   #8
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I'm not going to bash the predator.....it's a useful tool for doing some things.

It works, and you can't really do anything bad. But, it's also not that flexible, and the amount of parameters you can adjust is limited.

Here's the test. Be honest with yourself.

Are you just into doing a one time change, then never touch it again?
Then take it to a professional tuner. Why get a piece of hardware that you'll never use again. You'll get better results from a pro (either street or dyno tune).

You need it for this one time, but maybe will use it again. Don't feel like learning anything.
OK, then maybe you should get the Predator.

Really into casual mods, make changes often.
HP tuners/EFI Live..........all the way. The amount of parameters that can be adjusted is phenomenal. Higher entry cost.......but not that much. The base/pro versions of HP Tuners is 499/649, which lets you tune 4 cars. The Predator is 399 (and recently disallows anyone to sell for less), which lets you do one. Split the cost with a friend, or sell the extra tunes and it becomes cheaper than the Predator.

The major benefit is being able to have several tunes, and compare them. Plus, being able to scan a friends tune, and see what differs. Plus, having your own suite, you can then tune your car if you go a little more radical. Can't do that with a Predator.

I had one, and just sold it. It was OK, but I needed a lot more.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:06 PM   #9
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Make sure to check out the Scan & Tune section; there's a ton of info there.
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:00 PM   #10
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If you don't have any access to dyno I would get a mail order tune from a sponsor still before using a predator.
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:02 PM   #11
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the only way to properly do AFR tuning with the Predator is to buy an additional piece of equipment... a wide-band AFR system (which I personally have both, and have tuned my WOT AFR using them).

But by time you purchase both a Predator and WB AFR system... you're at the $$$ for a real dyno tune.

Like mentioned earlier, if you are looking for a one time adjustment, IMO it's better to just have a proper dyno tune done.
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:25 PM   #12
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If you drive an auto, I think it's pretty good SOTP feel. I had a local guy use the Diablosport custom tune after a few mods and I really like it. I will eventually get my true tune done in Alton from Joe's, but for now I'm happy with it.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:19 PM   #13
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I used the Predator to firm up the shifts with my automatic. As far as I know there is no shift kit for our transmission, so a handheld was the only way to go. Night and day difference in the way it shifts...no problems with the rear coming loose at all. (I'm still stock, though!) Firming up the shifts on an auto not only means better performance, but longer transmission life.

I can't comment on the Predator tune itself. I didn't load the performance tune, since it's my daily driver. You never know when you'll be forced to fill up with 87 or 89 octane. I simply wanted firmer, shorter shifts.

Dyno tune vs. e-mail tune has been done to death on various car boards. E-mail tunes tend to be a little more conservative, but are generally less expensive. If you're doing it one modification at a time, then I'd skip the dyno for now. Personally, I have a e-mail tune in another vehicle running nitrous. No problems at all.

Last edited by 71vetteinva; 10-02-2008 at 07:31 PM.
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