The Tuning Manual for the 2010-2022 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Chevrolet finally unveiled the long-awaited resurrection of the Camaro in 2010. They gave the top-of-the-line Camaro SS two distinct 6.2 L V8 engines: the LS3 for the manual and the L99 for the automatic. Chevy adjusted the LS3 to produce 426 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, while the L99 produced 400 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Beginning in 2016, Chevy discontinued the LS3/L99 engine combination in favour of the same sized 6.2 L LT1. The LT1 Camaro SS produces 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque, much more than the outgoing LS3.
While having just shy of 400 horsepower is great, it doesn’t do the Camaro SS credit. After all, this is one of the most recognisable muscle vehicle and muscle car company names in history. The 1969 Camaro SS produced 430 hp (SAE gross), while the 1970 Chevelle SS produced 450 hp and 500 ft-lb of torque (SAE gross). Surely, 50 years of racing technology should have improved, not decreased, power output, right?
Absolutely, and with a few easy modifications, you can easily improve on the Camaro’s inadequate 400-455 hp. Tuning for the Camaro SS is one of the best changes you can undertake. Without any further modifications, the Camaro SS can easily gain 20+hp and 25+tq with proper tuning. The sky is truly the limit for what custom tuning can achieve with other mods.
This tutorial will teach you everything you need to know about tuning your Camaro SS. We’ll go over the fundamentals of Camaro SS tuning, the benefits and hazards, and our top recommendations for reputable tuners. Let’s start with the fundamentals.
Camaro SS Tuning Fundamentals
While Camaro SS tuning may appear scary and intimidating, as we’ll show you, it’s actually rather simple. While it may not receive much attention outside of enthusiast circles, car tuning is one of the best performance tweaks for practically any car. A tune can provide more horsepower, a wider powerband, compensate for other modifications, and improve fuel economy.
Tunes alter parameters in the Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which regulates virtually every element of how the engine works. Tuning most commonly affects air-to-fuel ratios (AFRs), ignition timing, camshaft timing, and fuel pressure in naturally aspirated engines.
AFRs are typically leaned out slightly at wide open throttle (WOT) to generate additional power. While every setup is different, most Camaro SS’s on pump gas will aim for a 12.5:1 AFR (.85 lambda) at WOT. When the automobile is supercharged, the ratio increases to roughly 11.5:1 (.78 lambda) at WOT.
To improve horsepower, a few degrees of ignition timing advance are frequently applied at WOT. For extra top-end power, camshaft timing can also be advanced a few degrees. Fuel pressure is frequently increased to allow more fuel into the cylinders, which results in more power.
Piggyback Tuning vs. Chevy 6.2 L Flash Tuning
Now comes the most crucial phase of tuning: placing the tune on the vehicle. Flash tuning and piggyback tuning are the two most popular Camaro SS tuning methods. Both are accomplished through the use of external devices put on the vehicle, however installation is normally extremely simple and easy.
Flash tuning uses a handheld tuning device, sometimes known as a “tuner,” which is plugged into the Camaro’s OBD II port. The tuner then “flashes” a new tune to the ECU, rewriting certain engine characteristics, such as the ones stated earlier. Typically, these devices preserve your stock settings so that they may be reinstalled if you decide to remove the tuner in the future. They are also usually detectable by dealers who are checking to see if the automobile has been modified in order to make warranty claims.
Piggyback tuning is another possibility. “Piggybacks” operate by tampering with signals between the ECU and car sensors.They do not, like flashing, modify ECU tables, but rather trick the ECU into responding differently without it realising it. Piggybacks offer the same practical consequences as flash tuning, but are often more difficult to detect by dealerships. It is a considerably less refined choice than flash tuning and does not provide nearly the same amount of personalization or margin of safety.
We strongly prefer flash tuning over piggyback tuning for the Camaro SS. Flash tuning provides safer and more significant power improvements without requiring unnecessary manipulation of the external ECU.
Tuning Terminology for a Camaro
Before we proceed any farther, we should probably clarify tuning terminology. The terms “tune,” “tuning,” “tuned,” and “tuned” are occasionally used interchangeably, but they describe significantly different phenomena. Furthermore, E-tuning is a broad phrase that is frequently employed.
- Tune/Map – A file or programme that is flashed to or manipulates the signals of your ECU.
- Tuner – 1) the person or company who sets the engine parameters in the tune file; 2) the handheld device that flashes or piggybacks your ECU.
- Tuning – The process of altering the settings of an engine.
- Tuned – A vehicle that has been modified with a flash or piggyback tuner.
- E-tuning – The process of having a tuner tune one’s car via email contact.
Don’t be discouraged if you mix these up when you first start learning about the procedure. If you ever have a doubt about what something means, you can always look it up here.
Advantages of Chevy 6.2 L Tuning
Some of the advantages of Camaro SS tuning are as follows:
- +20-40 hp/tq (on its own)
- 100+hp/tq (with other modifications)
- Powerband Enhancement
- Data recording
- Viewing and Clearing DTC Codes
- Engine Monitoring in Real Time
- Getting the most out of mods
The most significant benefits from Camaro SS tuning will be in terms of horsepower and torque. The Gen 5 Camaro SS gains roughly 25 hp/tq with simply a tweak. With only a tweak, the Gen 6 Camaro gains roughly 40 hp/tq. Camaro SS tune boosts the powerband across the board on the LS3/L99/LT1 V8s. It provides higher low-end torque and power that lasts until redline.
However, power gains are far from the sole advantage of Camaro SS modification. You can also check DTC codes and, in most cases, clear them. Another significant advantage of tuning is the ability to log and monitor your engine. Most tuners have a feature called “data logging,” which allows you to get a snapshot of your engine’s performance while driving.
To spot problems as early as possible, you can check to verify if everything is working properly. For example, if you notice your AFR is excessively rich or too lean, it could suggest a leak in your system.
Another important feature of tuning is the ability to maximise the rewards from previous mods. Installing upgrades like a cold air intake or headers increases power, but tuning is required to take advantage of the improved airflow and lower backpressure. A flex fuel sensor is a popular addition for the Camaro SS, and tuners may give specific E85 maps with lower AFRs and better ignition/cam timing for more power.
Camaro Tuning Dangers
Now that we’ve discussed the advantages of Camaro SS tuning, it’s time to discuss the disadvantages. One of them is self-evident, but the more power you add to your engine, the shorter its lifespan. Adding a few simple adjustments like an intake or headers probably won’t damage lifetime on any of the Camaro SS engines, but as you get above 50-60 hp/tq, it starts to take influence.
Furthermore, a “bad” tune might harm your engine and even cause it to blow up. Inexperienced tuners that add too much ignition/cam timing, make AFRs too lean, or fail to correctly identify leaks and faults will quickly turn your Camaro SS into a very expensive paperweight. That is why it is critical to only receive tunes from trustworthy and skilled tuners, such as those on our list.
The last danger of Camaro SS tuning is dealing with dealerships and warranty work. It is generally assumed that if you flash tune your automobile, the dealership will be able to tell. Piggyback tuning is more difficult to detect, but it is still doable, particularly if there is tangible proof on your ECU.
Many dealerships will utilise the availability of aftermarket tuning software to deny engine warranty claims. To be fair, they have some reason for doing so. It is not Chevy’s fault if an untrained tuner blows up your engine by making incorrect changes. So, if you intend to tune your car, you should be prepared to take all dangers, which may include the purchase of a new engine. It’s not a significant deal for modest projects, but as you increase the power, you also increase the risk.
Three of the Best Camaro SS Tunes/Tuners
Without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff: the three best Camaro SS tuning options:
- Motorsports at Livernois
- Jannetty Motorsports
- BDX Tuner SCT
There are several solid choices for custom flash Camaro SS tuning to improve power while remaining safe. We’ll look over the top four Camaro SS tuners in terms of pricing, performance, customer service, and dependability. This is not a full list of Camaro SS tuners, as there are many more, but it does represent the best options.
1) Camaro SS Custom Tuning by Livernois Motorsports
Livernois Motorsports and Engineering is our first choice for Camaro SS tuning. Livernois has a lengthy history in racing performance parts, having been created in 1949. They have added customised flash tuning to their inventory, which has already had a significant influence for the community.
Through their MyCalibration handheld tuner, Livernois offers custom tuning for the Camaro SS. It’s a really straightforward procedure. You connect their tuner to your car’s OBDII connection to capture the stock ECU data, which is then transferred to Livernois after the tuner is connected to your computer. Livernois then uses your ECU data to create a bespoke tune tailored to your vehicle, which you can then upload to your vehicle via the MyCalibration tuner.
Livernois Motorsports’ Camaro SS custom tuning produces more than 22 horsepower and 27 pound-feet of torque on the Gen 5, and more than 40 horsepower and 35 pound-feet of torque on the Gen 6. They also make changes to the cooling fan settings, the rev limiter and speed limiter, the shift points and stiffness (automatic), and the skip shift option on manual transmissions. When Livernois makes modifications to their software, they also give free updates.
They have 91 and 93 octane tunes available, with the 93 octane tuning producing more power. They are well valued in the society and are a popular choice for individuals seeking significant power. Livernois may also change the tune to accommodate for extra mods, such as intakes; simply inform them that you have them installed.
2) Custom Jannetty Racing Camaro SS Tuning
$799.99 – $1,299.99 (total): $199.99 (one-time cost) + $300-600 (tune) + $300-400 (handheld tuner)
The very popular Jannetty Racing is our second recommendation for Camaro SS tuning. Jannetty Racing, like Livernois, offers unique tuning options for the Camaro SS, but at a greater price. Jannetty Racing’s tuning works by first purchasing a handheld flash tuner, and then purchasing a custom tune from them to be placed onto the tuner. They lack their own specialised handheld tuner, such as the Livernois Motorsports MyCalibration tuner. They do, however, function with a variety of handheld tuner alternatives, including HP Tuners, DiabloSport, and SCT.
Jannetty Racing is well-known in the Camaro SS community, and they have been tweaking the latest models since 2010. They are well-known for producing safe and dependable power on the LS3/L99/LT1 platforms for the Camaro SS. Jannetty can tune both original and upgraded Camaro SSs, including supercharged engines, in the same way that Livernois can.
They are a good choice for Camaro SS tuning and will make you delighted with how your car performs. The only disadvantage is that they are quite pricey. To acquire their services, you must pay a one-time price of $199.99, plus the cost of the actual tune. The tunes range from $300 for mildly modified vehicles to $600 for substantially upgraded vehicles. That does not include the cost of the handheld tuner. You might easily spend $1,000 only to tune your automobile once.
3) SCT BDX Camaro Flash Tuner
The SCT BDX Flash Tuner is our ultimate suggestion for Camaro SS tuning. The SCT tuner is a portable tuning device that connects to the vehicle’s OBD II connection. It is a popular option on the Camaro SS and comes with numerous base maps already installed, albeit those maps are not tailored to your personal vehicle but rather to all Camaro SSs from that generation. This means that it will not provide the performance of a Livernois or Jannetty Racing tune, but it will provide some power.
Custom tuning is also possible with the SCT BDX tuner. This means that certain independent E-tuners, such as Jannetty Racing, can utilise them, but not all. You can also make changes to the tune yourself, although this is only recommended for experienced tuners. You may also datalog, check/clear DTC codes, and monitor engine performance in real-time via gauges, like with other handheld tuners.
The SCT Flash Tuner is an excellent choice for individuals searching for small power boosts on a tight budget. It is the most affordable option, but it also has the least customization and consequently the least performance.
Summary of Camaro SS Tuning
Overall, Camaro SS tuning is an excellent technique to improve factory performance and power on the LS3/L99/LT1 engines. Chevrolet’s Gen 5 Camaro SS’s, especially with the automatic gearbox, are severely underpowered. A tune will make the automobile considerably more responsive while also increasing horsepower and torque throughout. Tuning the Gen 6 Camaro SS alone will add roughly 40 horsepower, and it can deliver much, much more with other supporting changes.
Livernois Motorsports, Jannetty Racing, and the SCT BDX Handheld Flash Tuner are our favourite picks for Camaro SS tuning. Both Livernois and Jannetty offer personalised maps that are specially tailored to your vehicle. The SCT tuner does not provide as customised maps because they are generational rather than vehicle specific.
The Livernois Motorsports tune option is our favourite of the bunch. They provide the most affordable bespoke tuning while significantly improving power output and drivability. The Livernois procedure is quite fast, and they can also assist with other performance enhancements.