VX SS Chevy 5.7l LS1 ECU Edit

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 14-Jun-2007 12:45

Okay, so I understand an edit is the reprogramming of the EEPROM ECU, and can be done pretty quickly. Given that the expertise from an experienced firm, and the gear to do it, are both quite valuable, I accept that that price tag is disproportionate to the actual amount of work done (just like consultancy is going to cost more per hour, than say, desktop support.)

But why oh why is there such a big discrepency in that price charged?

I was reading NZV8 magazine, and saw an ad for an LS1 edit for $1500+gst. I have actually just ordered the same service from a different Auckland firm for $500+gst.

With up to 255kw already (with Extractors/K&N/B-Bore), I figure an easy 310kw+ (415hp) with the edit.
My first ever car was a Hillman Avenger with a 4 cylinder Holden Starfire engine, producing 59kw (79hp)!

A brand new VE-SSV puts out 260kw, and a new VE Clubsport puts out 307kw. (And they start from about $65,000.00)

They are sending me a programmed loan ECU so I get immediate benefit, and no downtime, while mine gets couriered there, reprogrammed, and sent back. They walk me through the basic short installation over the phone, and each of us pay the courier fees generated at our end.

For an extra two hundred dollars they will dyno tune the car at the same time, but that would mean driving to Auckland and back, and only nets a very small increase in efficiency and power, so I am sticking with their mail order offering.

My thanks to Wayne at protune.co.nz for realistic pricing and good advice. I cant wait for the extra ponys to be plugged in!

For the record, its a VX SS Commodore with a 5.7 litre Chevy/Chevrolet LS1 V8 engine, which produces 225kw in stock form (mine is estimated at 245-255kw with current exhaust/intake/headers). All my modifications are 'bolt-on' and are under the bonnet and under the car. I wont be changing the appearance of the car at all (aside from maybe tinted windows) - I actually really like the SS's just the way they are.

Besides that, having a cosmetically stock car means:

Police dont give it a second look (mind you, I dont do much in the way of illegal driving anyway)


Boy racers constantly underestimate it (A stock WRX performs quite similarly to a stock SS, so its fairly common to see these guys try and do something stupid at traffic lights on the expressway!). The WRX however, needs a brutal launch to do it.

I also use it as my company car (Im a Technical Consultant for a large company), and I really need to have a 'normal' looking car. I also saw a VX SS in red the other day with a replica clubsport kit, and it actually look pretty bad, especially when you know by looking at other parts of the car that it just aint a clubsport. I wonder if he had done any performance work, I know id rather it go like a clubsport than just look like one!


Future modifications for the car? Not much... just some very subtle cosmetic changes

A small (6cm wide or so) gold coloured Chevy logo on the front 1/4 panels behind the wheel (below the indicator light, and same height as the rear door SS badges.

Tinted windows (Darkest legal tint, whatever that is). Looks good, hopefully lower cabin temp while parked in summer, and keep the glare of my 4 month old sons face.

Momo pedal pads (Chrome, drilled, red trim) - got these for $30 in a clearance sale at a Momo dealer. Not fitted yet.

Thats it really - I have a Sony headunit, which looks and goes much nicer than the double-din Eurovox that was in it, and nothing else has been changed.

I removed the typical car yard number plate surrounds and rear window stickers, and replaced the surround with plain black.

Havent done a 1/4 mile in it yet (Nor have I done one ever) - I am keen to though!

More information

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Comment by juha, on 14-Jun-2007 23:35

Hope you like the smell of fresh fried clutch in the morning

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