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Tuning 2.4L LE5

3966 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  !Tommy
I am thinking about purchasing and HP tuner because I have seen a lot of great things about the engines inside these cars. But I have never seen anyone actually do anything with malibus. I am wondering if anyone out here has some information about tuning these cars and how to get started.

I love this car even though its not made to be a "performance" vehicle of course its only a 2.4L but there are a lot of great things out there for performance addons to the LE5 on sites such as zzperformance

I have seen a lot of problems with the LE5's and cold air intakes on these vehicles throwing a check engine light. And I am also wondering if there would be a way to tune the vehicle to fix that.

Just wondering everyone elses 2 cents on the matter.
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Modifying the intake will throw a code. You have to change the acceptable MAF sensor range in HPTuners to alleviate that. The point repairman54 is making is that there isn't much to be gained with a "performance" intake on this engine, and one that isn't sealed properly from hot air will make the car slower than stock.

HPTuners is not for the faint of heart. It's an incredibly complex interface that expects you to understand what you're changing. It took me a couple years to learn how to use it somewhat extensively. Making mistakes can literally break the car, and you have to constantly keep that in mind when trying new things.

Feel free to ask me any HPTuners questions.
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I completely agree with everything you are saying. I am going to end up buying an HP Tuners unit here soon for because I have a buddy with an old Cobalt with a supercharger with the LSJ? engine. We planned on taking the time and switching over the components such as the intake header, throttle body. Pulley brackets and fabricate what we have too. It's not really a project of "want a fast car" it's more like "supercharge the frigging Malibu because why not". And I am seriously considering doing all of this my only problem is I am in Michigan where I can't seem to find a Dyno or anyone willing to tune the car near me. So I am willing to learn and do it all myself for the fun of it and there is nothing like doing it all yourself. Really I just want to have fun with this car. Because I can. And I understand that a cold air intake would be a bad idea because of the heat. I am just wondering what goes into the tuning process. I'm not really looking for answers to what needs to change. Buy WHY it needs to change.

Thanks for your time replying though. I appreciate the feedback.
If you're asking why the MAF sensor range has to be adjusted so it wont throw a code, it's because there's an accepted operating range for MAF readings and the engineers kept a narrow tolerance for the 2.4L engine. Too much airflow and the computer assumes something is wrong.

I gotta warn you against the supercharger route. The 2.4L engine only came with light duty transmissions, you're asking for disaster if you're putting over 200 horsepower/torque through it.

I admire your drive to learn this for yourself and wanting to understand it, not just be told what to do. That's the right mindset to have. I felt the same way when I bought HPTuners. I can't help you with a supercharger swap if you still choose to try that, but I can help you learn to tune the stock car so it will drive much better, especially if you have a 6-speed automatic.
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