IDP FICM Tuner Review - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum

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post #1 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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IDP FICM Tuner Review

OK, I know they have been out for a while, but I wanted to put a review out there for the FICM tuner that Innovative is shipping out if you order today. I ordered my tuner on Black Friday to save a little coin and it got to me yesterday. On Monday I called them to see what they were really sending me because of how many different things I was seeing people say when I tried to look for reviews on all the forums...so here is what I found out:

They now ship their FICM tuner with ONE tune (which most people seem to know now) and it is a moderate/hybrid file that Eric writes for all of their FICM tuners. I was also told that if you plug the tuner into your computer, you CAN select a file that has inductive heating active (so I guess that means it really has two files on it, but the one that programs to the truck right out of the box has no inductive heating). HOWEVER, they will write you whatever kind of tune you want for your truck if you just call and ask. Anyways...on to the actual review.

This tuner comes in a nice little box complete with perfect instructions and the tuner itself is a pretty nice little thing. Install was a breeze. I already had my SCT tuner currently running Vivian's Looney Wild on the truck, so I returned it to stock in about 30 seconds. Followed the directions that came with the FICM tuner and pulled the relay, then went at it. It says in the instructions that it might not take on the first try, but mine went perfectly on the first attempt. Also, I have seen a few people that seem to be under the impression that this tuner doesn't store your stock file, but from everything it said while it was programming, it appears to have stored my stock file just like any other programmer would.

Once I finished with the programming, I started it up and let it run a little before reloading my tunes, didn't drive it though. So I loaded up my Looney Wild and let her warm up before I left work. Initial impression is that it starts just fine, even without inductive heating. The ficm tune really feels like it improved my powerband down low. The Looney Wild has a definite light switch effect to it, but with my IDP ficm tune it made it much more linear. I don't have to give it 100% throttle to get the same power out of it either, so I really feel that the claimed 25hp gain is there. Finally, it's been pretty chilly here in Delaware over the last few days and was below freezing when I started her up this morning. No inductive heat, exact tune they sent me and the Looney Wild. Started perfect. The only thing I noticed is that it is definitely getting more fuel at startup, she smoked a little for about 30 seconds and then cleared up no problem.

So, I think this tuner is awesome! Truck starts just fine, which seems to be a big worry with a lot of guys, runs great and has a much better throttle feel. If you're looking for a great price and great tunes, buy this one, just because it doesn't come with four tunes doesn't mean it won't work! (plus you can always call and get more )

2006 F350 4x4 SRW RCLB Leveled on 35's, Blue Spring Mod, Studs, 4" Turbo-back, SCT Tuned by Innovative and Quick Tricks, IDP FICM Tune, XDP Coolant Filter
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post #2 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 04:33 AM
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Thanks for the input

How skewed do you think your results are by going back to stock then loading the tune again .. I can never get a good impression when the trans is in adaptive relearn ?

does it recommend going back to stock or were u just being safe ?

what made you go with this unit vs the PHP with more selections?

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post #3 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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To be honest, the trans feels pretty much like I never went back to stock. I only did it because it says to in the directions, so I didn't want to take any chances. The biggest thing was definitely money. There ended up being a $150 difference in price. And even though the PHP tuner comes with more options, I can still call Eric and have a different tune for it within a few hours (provided they aren't super busy) if I really really want something more/less aggressive. I highly considered the PHP unit, but I just decided I didn't need to spend the extra money.
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2006 F350 4x4 SRW RCLB Leveled on 35's, Blue Spring Mod, Studs, 4" Turbo-back, SCT Tuned by Innovative and Quick Tricks, IDP FICM Tune, XDP Coolant Filter
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post #4 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 06:01 AM
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Good review, give us a follow up in a few days. I'm not expecting any thing different but would like to know. Thanks
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2003 CCSB 4X4 6.0 Born on 5/03 Tuned by Vivian, 4" Turbo Back Exhaust, Edge CTS w/EGT, Coolant filter. ELC. fuel pressure gauge,

2002 SCLB 4X4 7.3 Stock
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post #5 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06_6.0 View Post
To be honest, the trans feels pretty much like I never went back to stock. I only did it because it says to in the directions, so I didn't want to take any chances. The biggest thing was definitely money. There ended up being a $150 difference in price. And even though the PHP tuner comes with more options, I can still call Eric and have a different tune for it within a few hours (provided they aren't super busy) if I really really want something more/less aggressive. I highly considered the PHP unit, but I just decided I didn't need to spend the extra money.
Whats the cost of having Eric write a new tune?

2005 F250 FX4 6.0 PowerStroke, Dashboss, Swamps 58V FICM, PHP Atlas 40 tune, Tony Wildman Extreme Tune, IPR Coolant filter, ELC Coolant, EGR....nevermind, updated stc, more to come!
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post #6 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't ask how much they would charge and when I spoke to them they said if I wasn't happy with the current tune just to call them and tell them. It sounded like they wouldn't charge me, but you never know. I would hope it wouldn't cost as much as a regular tune, but even if it did I could have them write me two tunes and then I'd be at the same price as the PHP unit, granted that's because I got it on Black Friday. I was actually thinking about calling them and asking, so if I do I'll be sure to post up here.

2006 F350 4x4 SRW RCLB Leveled on 35's, Blue Spring Mod, Studs, 4" Turbo-back, SCT Tuned by Innovative and Quick Tricks, IDP FICM Tune, XDP Coolant Filter
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post #7 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 08:19 AM
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I also have this unit and it works good.

To change to any of erics other FICM tunes how do you load them onto the device with a PC?
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post #8 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 08:51 AM
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I've been running an IDP tuned FICM for over 4 years....love it.

2004 F-350 SC 4x4, XLT, 4" dual Magnaflow, AFE intake, No Limit piping, spearco intercooler, water injection, ARP studs, hypemax o-ringed heads, SCT tuned by Innovative Diesel, tuned FICM, Hellman's sump, FASS, Fuelab, regulated return, 190/75 injectors, KC/MTW 68 w/.72ar, suncoast trans w/billet input, edge insight CS with dakota digital gauges, amsoil by-pass, BD exhaust manifolds
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post #9 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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OK, so I called Innovative again today and asked about different FICM tunes and got a different answer than I did on Monday. I was told today that there is really only one tune. So I went ahead and just emailed Eric. He told me the tune they ship on their programmer is the "performance" tune (and yes, he put it in quotes just like that) and that it is the main tune that works well with custom tuning. So I guess when they told me he could do other tuning for the FICM, it must only apply in certain situations. Eric did tell me he has a tune with inductive heating, like I said earlier, but he does have to send it to you at a cost of $100. Either way, the tune that comes on the programmer is awesome!

2006 F350 4x4 SRW RCLB Leveled on 35's, Blue Spring Mod, Studs, 4" Turbo-back, SCT Tuned by Innovative and Quick Tricks, IDP FICM Tune, XDP Coolant Filter
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post #10 of 28 Old 11-28-2012, 09:15 AM
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So is the "performance" tune safe for towing (EGT)? How about stock head bolts when tuned with a SCT custom race tune?


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2004 F350 CC DRW King Ranch
X-3 tunes by DJ'S,QT,GH,ID. Gryphon FICM tunes, ARP studs,Stage 1turbo,ATS coolant recirc lines,Swamp's 48v ficm,coolant filter,AD2,Snow Perf stage II,EGR delete,4" turbo back straight pipe,S&Bintake,Quad "A" pillar autometer gauges,Suncoast Tri Disk Conv.,Billet input shaft,Suncoast superduty rebuild kit,Trans-go shift kit,Mag-Hytec trans pan,CFM+ elbow,ccv mod,15K reese 5er,17" LCD TV/DVD,Cobra 29 Nitewatch CB
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