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Feel The Power

Get gone with Hyper Tech's plug-and-play programmer

Mike Harrington May 20, 2005

Feel the power." At least, that's what it says in the instruction manual of our new Hypertech power programmer. But let's not get too far ahead of our story.

Several weeks ago I found myself surfing the Web, and during all this information highway travel, I happened to come across several F-body clubs, Web sites, and organizations. I was pleasantly surprised to learn just how many active nationwide clubs are out there. And even more, I didn't realize how many of these clubs and organizations have an active member's roster where owners can post the latest and greatest improvements on their F-bodies. It sure would seem that the Internet is growing in leaps and bounds as a place were gearheads can gather and exchange information. Being an F-body owner myself, I gravitated towards these sites and spent many hours looking at some high-tech hot rods. I noticed that in their quest for speed, many Fourth-Gen Camaro owners have listed the Hypertech Power Programmer among their many technical improvements. I admit, curiosity bit and I just had to see if simply reprogramming your car's onboard computer can really make a difference.

Well, it just so happens that staff member Dakota Wentz recently purchased a Fourth-Gen `95 Camaro Z28. And while the car has a couple of mods already under its belt, we figured that tweaking the car's pre-OBD-II computer would be a great way to add a little more performance.

So with that in mind, we decided to join the ranks of other Fourth-Gen F-body owners and give the Hypertech programmer the shakedown. A half an hour after plugging in the programmer, we were done. Strange, it hardly seemed like work at all. Just like the instructions say, plug it in and you're ready to "feel the power." Okay, let's do just what it says.

After pushing the easy-to-navigate controls, we unleashed the Codeman onto the world with his new ride, and after a couple of days of sitting in traffic with the occasional mashing of the throttle pedal, Dakota came through the office door with a huge smile on his face. While he didn't have any hard horsepower numbers to tell us, his seat-of-the-pants experience was all it took to confirm that his car was running better and stronger, and all because of a few buttons being pushed.


The onboard computer in the Fourth-Gen Camaro is located on the driver's side under the dash. The driver's side door is about the only thing you will have to open during this install.

Here is a closer look at where the input plug is located. There is no need to splice wires or remove anything. It's already set-up.

If all else fails, read the instructions, right? Once Dakota had everything plugged in and ready to go, a quick scan over the instructions will familiarize us with the next step.

We did have a quick question before we went ahead and started with the install. Hypertech has a convenient tech line setup. If you should have a question at anytime during the install, you can call them and speak with a live person. And that's just what we did in this picture.

Once you're plugged in, the programmer will run you through a series of prompts. These prompts give you the option to go ahead with custom installs such as shift points, tire-size adjustments, rev limiter, etc.

Once you are done with the custom prompts, simply set the down computer and wait while it takes care of the rest of the install. Here you can see Dakota hard at work while the computer is doing its job.

Once the deed is done, all that's left is to unplug it and turn the car on. As the instructions say, you are now ready to feel the power. After a few days of running the Camaro with his new programming, I asked Dakota what difference, if any, he noticed. Prior to the install, he had noticed a rough idle and a bit of a rough run. Since his install, the engine purrs like a kitten and runs like a scalded dog. To put it another way, there was a noticeable gain in the engine power output.The great thing about this programmer, bedsides the obvious power gain, is if you want to go back and change it back to its stock setting you can. And later on, should you make any improvements to your car, such as bigger wheels and tires or a shift kit, you can go back and readjust the computer's programming to compensate. Oh, we almost forgot to mention, it's legal for use in all 50 states, so if you're worried about smog laws where you live...don't be.

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