IT'S the weekend, and you've got20 minutes. How can you make yourCorvette perform better, run cooler, shiftharder, and get better fuel mileage? Howabout reprogramming the computer? It'seasy to do, and with the new computerprogrammer systems available these days,if you don't like what you've done, youcan put it back to the factory parametersjust as easily.
The FAST-FLASH programmer fromFAST makes it simple to change criticalperformance, mileage, and shiftingparameters of your engine and transmission.The FAST-FLASH features a liquidcrystal display screen that guides youthrough the programming with questionsreferencing timing, transmission shiftpoints, cooling system fan start, andmany others. It's a fail-safe unit thatallows you to modify these importantcomputer parameters without losing youroriginal state of tune.
Our test installation took place onCharlie Mornmot's highly modified `73Corvette from Bismarck, Illinois, featuringa stock '02 LS1 engine and 4L60Etransmission. While the wrapper mayhave been a bit unique, Mornmot'sCorvette was basically an '02 Corvette inall other regards--most notably in thecomputer department. The only real performancechange from a stock C5Corvette was the installation of the factoryoriginal-style `68-'69 side exhausts.
To begin, the FAST-FLASH was pluggedinto the Corvette's computer system atthe diagnostic port under the dashboard.During the first few moments of operation,the FAST-FLASH reads and recordsthe current engine and transmissionparameters. The FAST-FLASH is preprogrammedwith two basic tuning calibrationfiles: performance mode and economymode, which you can use to modifyyour personal computer preferences. Inaddition, the FAST-FLASH unit is the onlyhand-held programmer that features theexclusive Cam Tuning Technology, incorporatingthree different calibration fileswhen aftermarket camshaft changes aremade. A limiting factor with regard toother programmers, the FAST-FLASH hasaddressed this common request ofCorvette enthusiasts looking to install ahigh-performance camshaft and programtheir computers to maximize the efficiencyof their computer-controlled systems.
Further adjustments are possible on anindividual basis using the promptsoffered in the display window. In the caseof Charlie's Corvette, we changed the followingparameters:
The factory computer-system settingsactually retard the timing under hardacceleration to protect the vehicle's drivetraindurability. In an application such asthis where so many of the original systemshave been altered, that was notneeded. After all, it's a Corvette, right?
COMPATIBILITY WITH93-OCTANE FUEL
Knowing we wanted to maximize performance,the system was set for usewith 93-premium octane, allowing forincreased timing.
The cooling fans were set to come onat 180 degrees rather than the stock settingof 200-plus degrees. This allows theengine to reside in a cooler environmentfor better performance and less possibilityof detonation.
Not only did we raise the shift pointsin the transmission 4 mph, we increasedthe firmness of the shifting for bettertransmission performance and efficiency.
We raised the engine rev-limiter setting200 rpm, from 6,000 to 6,200 rpm.
Charlie's says, "The throttle response ismuch improved. The car has only beentogether since May, and it always felt likethere was a hand on the front of the carpushing it back. The FAST-FLASH programminggreatly improved the throttleresponse of the car. It runs a lot betterthan before. It even let me know aboutthe speedometer error so I could correctthat with a change in the transmissiongear. I'm very pleased with the changeswe made." CF