Introduction to Kalmaker Software cont'd

Check out Auto Speed magazine in our Links page as there are articles about buying Programmable Engine Management and their opinion of Kalmaker.

Kalmaker has been featured in a few magazines such as ZOOM , April/May 1997 , June/July 1998 and also in Vol 3 No. 3 and those 3 articles are worth reading if you can get hold of them.
It has also been featured in Silicon Chip Magazine, July 1997 and also in Street Commodores.
Fast 4's and Rotaries magazine have just done an article in July 99 with Leon from Awesome Automotives in South Australia featuring a Delco system fitted to a Turbo Subaru and also a Toyota 3T GT

Take a look around the country (Australia) and you will find that most of the Professional EFI Tuning workshops use either DynoCal - the older Professional Version of this same Kalmaker software written by Ken Young, or Kalmaker Workshop.
These workshops usually use and combine Aftermarket Computers such as Autronics, Motec, Haltech, Wolf, Microtech etc as many clients already have these ecu's installed mainly because they've overlooked the Delco
These workshops are also the place to ask about Kalmaker and the benefits and what they prefer to use.

I'm not going to run down any of the aftermarket computers because they all have their place. It is up to you to decide on the weak points versus the strong points versus the price versus the ease of installation and how difficult to adapt to your engine.
I have used Motec M48, Haltech GM6 and played with Wolf 3D, Inject and Microtech
ALL of which I found to have very basic capabilities.
Some people like it this way because of simplicity, and others like the hand controllers, as some don't require laptops, but if you want total control of engine manners you won't get it with these.
The basics of engine tuning is quite simple. You just need the correct amount of fuel and then fire the spark plug with the correct amount of timing advance to give the best power, best economy, best emissions, at any given load point ie. Any throttle position versus any rpm.
All Software/Computer packages work on this basis, however there are many varying conditions such as air temp, manifold air temp, water temp, barometric pressure, whether in Closed Loop Idle, or Closed Loop Cruise or accelerating or decelerating using speed sensor etc etc. and of course, the number of load points.

There are very few Software packages that include ALL these factors, the same way that Kalmaker and the GM Delco factory does, and in fact all the car manufacturers do.
It's quite simple, the factories spend millions developing and testing their Software.

All Software/Computer packages from the very cheapest to the most expensive, in a straight comparison will let an engine make the same maximum horsepower!!!
It is very easy to tune for horsepower and many engine tuners confuse this ability at the expense of the rest of the overall calibration and if the Software/Computer package they are using doesn't have the capability to address the rest of the calibration (which most don't) then they totally miss the point and they believe they are simply just dealing with a difficult grumpy engine if they can't get it to run right.
However, by using Kalmaker Street Pro 3 I have cars running around that as a comparison have a bigger cam and make more horsepower ( from 300 to 425 at back wheels) than the old Phase 3 Falcon GTHO, yet idle around 800rpm and have all the driving characteristics (at low speeds anyway) of a bog stock standard grocery getter, something you'd let your Mum drive if she had to…… just better put a brick under that gas pedal……….. 

Kalmaker isn't for everyone though, if your "first attempt" at efi programming is to be a Jap Import turbo charged, water injected with multi coil ignition etc…...forget it…
Although this can be done quite comfortably with Street Pro 3, there is a lot of learning to do and a lot of experience to be gained as well as a few modifications, and you would be better off to email us, so we can refer you to one of our many Kalmaker Approved Workshops, and have a professional to calibrate it for you.
It is recommended to start with something a little more conservative to practice on, preferably a vehicle already factory equipped with a Delco ECM.

However if you are a bit of a "Tech Head" ranging from a "Tinkerer" to a full on "EFI Trained Technician", Kalmaker could be for you.
It helps to have some knowledge of computers, in particular File Management, and some experience with MS-DOS is handy once you get to the stage of burning calibrations on to memcals.

Street Pro 3 itself is very easy to install and setup and start using.
Street Pro 3 is best suited to either-

  • The Enthusiast who has the desire to learn and wants to learn more about EFI management and how it all works, it's fascinating and rewarding.
  • And/or, It is a VERY cheap entry level price for mechanics or workshops to have a "look at" and evaluate without committing to large stocks and expenses, not forgetting this is the most feature packed efi software of any kind available, and it plugs right into Holden Commodores, surely a must for Commodore Performance Workshops.
If you fit into the above categories this could be a valuable tool for you and in no time you will have a huge "edge" over your competitors and also adding to your career opportunities.
It is recommended to begin calibrating with a naturally aspirated GM engine, preferably a GM Holden, as Street Pro 3 comes with the better factory Holden calibrations included (up to 1993) and this allows you to compare "chip" calibrations of say a 220kw VN Group A V8 to a standard 165kw VP V8 Holden and see what differences the factory made to say idle characteristics or cam change and the effect it has on fuel curves and timing curves. This is the best way to learn where to start.
Actually I think for those that can be bothered to check the workshop manual out, they will be the ones that will realise that Street Pro 3 is the only choice, and they will see it's absolutely like "chalk and cheese" between Street Pro 3 and the other packages and will no doubt have a few questions of their own to ask.

Ask questions like-
Can you guarantee (if modifying the Delco system by intercepting it with piggyback systems (fooling it) ), that the Delco Self Learning ability wont overwrite it in time and totally stuff it up?………...
Can you stop my Commodore with big exhaust from popping/backfiring when slowing down ?  ( they're prone to this)
Can you stop it from pinging on hot days yet still make max power on cold days ?
Do you have genuine Closed Loop Idle ? (Some claim this )
Can you achieve a steady reliable idle every time I come to a stop no matter what conditions ?
Will my engine start and run every time without touching the throttle whether it be hot or cold ?
Can I drive at low speeds in 1st gear without surging or having to ride the clutch ?
Do you have Limp Home Mode ?
Do you have Trouble Codes or Self Diagnostics ?
There are dozens of things to ask and the answer would be no in most cases………..

The next question is, if you do find a package that will do some of the above things , how much does it cost, and then do you have to buy another complete system everytime you want to do another vehicle ?
One of the bonuses with Street Pro 3 is you only require a replacement Memcal (chip) with a Security Device (PAL) attached if you wish to calibrate more than one vehicle, rather than buy a complete new system and ECU. See Price List