Which Tune for Altitude and Hills with Atlas 80? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:29 AM
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Which Tune for Altitude and Hills with Atlas 80?

2005 Crew Cab 4x4

Currently has EGR delete, Banks exhaust, Atlas 80 FICM tune, canned SCT tunes, and blue fuel pressure spring. I run 5w40 with Rev-X and Rotella Ultra ELC. I monitor with an Edge CTS. I currently run the canned SCT street tune. It runs good. EGTs climb quickly if I stand on it, but I back off quickly when they get to 1250 or so, and they drop quickly as well. I really never tow.

It's going in the shop next week to get studs. I'm also adding the wicked wheel to my stock turbo and a regulated fuel return. Going to have the cat gutted, as well. Not that it matters, but it's also getting a 6“ lift and 37s at the same time.

I also just ordered a custom tune package from Gearheads with the SRL+, Extreme, 8k Tow, and Unlimited Tow. I plan to DD the SRL+.

I'm headed to the CO mountains next month (from DFW area) to do some camping and offroading at high altitude (above 10k feet). Still not towing anything, but I will be carrying several hundred pounds (maybe 1000) of gear and firewood, and there are obviously lots of long, steep hills on the way up.

I know the Atlas 80 is a relatively hot FICM tune. I expect it to be fine down here in the flatlands. I'm a little concerned about EGTs when I start climbing hills and getting up into the high altitude. I will take the SCT tuner with me so I can switch tunes if/when needed. I do not have a FICM tuner, so I am stuck with the Atlas 80. I suppose I could send it off and go down to the Atlas 40, but I'd rather avoid the hassle and just stick with Atlas 80, if I can make it work.

I'm really pretty clueless on this stuff, so here are my questions:

Which tune would be the absolute best for mileage and smooth driving manners on the long, flat road trip between here and there? Should I go back to stock, or maybe the canned economy tune? Stick with the SRL+?

Which tune would be best for Lower EGTs when I start getting into the hills and higher altitude? Should I switch to one of the tow tunes?

Finally, what would be best for when I'm over 10k' and running around the trails? I'll be unloaded at this time.

I don't mind switching back and forth, but it would be cool if I didn't have to. I worry a little about not giving each tune enough time to learn my driving habits, which will be unpredictable up there, anyway.

Also, what will the tow/haul button do, and when should I use it? Will it affect EGTs?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by jluv; 08-14-2014 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:59 AM
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Since your spending that kind of $$$$ go a head and purchase the PHP Gryphoon and then you can try all of them when you want to..best of both worlds and your not stuck with just one tune on your FICM.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:01 AM
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Chris at TSD writes a great tune for altitude
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:09 AM
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The tow haul button will raise your shift points and should help your egts,I use it even when not towing in the hills helps with braking

As far as what tune to run above 10,000ft thats something you'll have to play with
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:56 AM
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Thanks guys.

I think I'm going to go ahead and pick up the PHP tuner and switch down to the Atlas 40. Right now with the Atlas 80, on flat roads with an empty bed, I can't go WOT for more than a few seconds before the EGTs climb up to 1300, and then I let off. I don't know how much higher they would go if I stayed in it, because I never do. It's fun to get on it every now and then, but what's the point if I immediately have to let off? I'm talking maybe 5 seconds. Not even enough time to run 1/8 mile if I wanted. I rarely drive it like that, but still...

I still wonder... For the long, flat road trip between here and there (and back), which ECM tune is going to give me the best MPG? Should I stick with the SRL+ or go with the canned Economy tune?

And once I'm going up the hills, should I switch to one of the tow tunes or just start using the tow/haul button?
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:04 AM
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When you hit the buy button, put in quantity of 2 and send one way....LOL I am in the same boat as you with that atlas 80.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:07 AM
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Need to re-read your post but I would advise against a wicked wheel. Lots of ppl have not had good luck with them. The single plane wheels seem to work better. I had a short thread on it but one guy tried cast sp, and dp wheels and said sp was a little better then cast and dp was worse. There was a few others. I got mine from barder and love it. Also call up nate with wpe they have sp wheels as well I believe
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmeaby View Post
Need to re-read your post but I would advise against a wicked wheel. Lots of ppl have not had good luck with them. The single plane wheels seem to work better. I had a short thread on it but one guy tried cast sp, and dp wheels and said sp was a little better then cast and dp was worse. There was a few others. I got mine from barder and love it. Also call up nate with wpe they have sp wheels as well I believe
Well I hope I have decent luck with it. I bought it a long time ago and it's been sitting in a box waiting for the studs/gaskets job to do all at once. Doubt I could get my money back now if I wanted to.

I did some research on here and other boards and remember hearing mixed reviews on some of the other wheels, but could swear I read mostly good reviews on the Wicked Wheel.

It's the Wicked Wheel 2 if that matters. Just went back and did some quick thread reads, and it seems like still mostly positive stuff. Worse thing I found was that it isn't a big difference and it's a pain to install, but my turbo is going to be out anyway.

Last edited by jluv; 08-14-2014 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:01 PM
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Just talked to Sean/Shawn at PHP (nice guy!) and pulled the trigger on their FICM tuner. He gave me a discount since I already have a purchased FICM tune now.

At least this way, I have total flexibility to change out the combos between this and the ECM tunes until I find what works best for me.

For what it's worth, he said the WW2 will work well and help bring down the EGTs because it spools faster and allows the truck adjust to the correct air/fuel mixture more quickly. Something like that - I may not be quoting him exactly right. He also explained that if I stay in the throttle, the EGTs should level out and even start coming down, and that even 1500 for a minute or two isn't going to kill anything. Good to know, as I always get really nervous when I see the temps even get to 1300.

I'll try to remember to come back in after my trip and relay what I think worked best for me in each situation.

Thanks again for those who responded!
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:09 PM
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I hope your ww works well and that the other ppl had a different issue. Let me know your end results with it. If I was going up that high I would def switch to a mild Ficm tune, and a tow tune/street tune should be plenty to run around while hopefully not. Being to much fuel to smoke out your friends on the trail.
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