Engine Tuners, Power/MPG Improvement - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
6.4L Performance Parts Discussion What has or has not worked for you?

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:14 PM
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Engine Tuners, Power/MPG Improvement

There are add-on engine tuners on the market that seem to go by the name of "gauge tuners". Some brands are "Super Chips" and "Bully Dog". Are there other brands to consider? Does anyone have experience with these devices? Please comment on benefits that you might have achieved with such an installation. There is an article in the September 2012 issue of Trailer Life magazine that claims improvements of 1.4-mpg and 20-horsepower while towing a fifth wheel trailer using an engine tuner. I'm curious to learn of results others have had with such devices. Please comment.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:16 PM
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Umm... are you being serious? This sounds like a phishing ad.

Mini Maxx and Spartan are the tuners of choice around here.

HP can be dialed from 0-300 HP more (dyno proven). Torque, even more.

MPG usually jumps between none and 3-4 and even 5 MPG more than stock when you delete your DPF and cat and add a high-flow air filter.

This is not just advertising regurgitation. This is from the experience and recordings of many of us on this [and other] forum.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:07 PM
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I'd suggest reading up the effects of a diesel particulate filter and exhaust gas recirculator on a diesel motor and how detrimental they are to it's efficiency. Read up on regenerations in regards to the dpf I just mentioned.
Now, if you want efficiency, you remove the emissions equipment. In turn you have to retune the computer to operate correctly without it's emissions equipment.

I made my Samsung SGH-I997 send this.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:00 PM
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Hello, doss,
These are impressive results resulting from MiniMaxx or Spartan tuners. Yet you did not specify if the MPG results are for an unladen vehicle or, if towing, how much weight was being towed. Speed is a significant factor in MPG performance, so what speeds are being maintained and what weight is being dyno simulated to produce these results. The Trailer Life article was written with a F350 dually test vehicle towing a 16, 000-lb fifth wheel and yes dyno testing was included.

Although, I'm uncertain (at this point) which tuner brands were installed, I noticed several complaints of erratic shifting in this powerstroke.org forum (while maintaining ~1900-rpm the tranny was constantly shifting up and down). I'm not very interested in creating more problems than I have already.

Last edited by bustedthumb; 01-10-2013 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:07 PM
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Hello, jesilvas,
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll do some reading on these subjects. I already know from experience what a bad player DPF is. I took the truck into the dealer for service and while there the DPF was reprogrammed because of a factory recall. The truck was getting good MPG before the DPF was reprogrammed, but afterward MPG was 10% to 15% less.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:02 PM
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I think most of the shifting complaints are about the Spartan.

The MPG gains vary vehicle to vehicle, but unloaded they generally pick up about 2-5 MPG hwy unloaded at 65-70 MPH. In the city, you can expect about a 1-3 MPG boost (depending on traffic, number of stops, duration of trips, temps, etc.). Yes, I know the factors that affect MPG all too well. You didn't say you wanted every specific thing about them so I replied generally.

Towing is not recommended with the power turned up. For that, you can just set something like the Mini Maxx on "No Power" setting (which actually varies from 0-50 HP depending on tune level). This should keep the temps down. You should still see an MPG bump, but that's really dependent on trailer weight, speed, number of stops, and trailer aero.

As an example, my truck now reports back about 22-23 MPG on 65-70 MPH unloaded trips (well, loaded toolbox) but hand-calculated it's about 18.0-19.5 MPG.

The 6.4L Power Stroke responds better than just about any truck I know of to a simple tuner, exhaust, and air intake system. They regularly dyno in the low to mid 500 WHP level with the Mini or Spartan on the big tunes. Torque usually ranges from 800-1100 lb-ft. These numbers have been verified many times over by the different forums and dynos across the country.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:09 AM
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Those shifting issues are not with our tuning. Just thought I would throw that out there.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doss View Post
I think most of the shifting complaints are about the Spartan.

The MPG gains vary vehicle to vehicle, but unloaded they generally pick up about 2-5 MPG hwy unloaded at 65-70 MPH. In the city, you can expect about a 1-3 MPG boost (depending on traffic, number of stops, duration of trips, temps, etc.). Yes, I know the factors that affect MPG all too well. You didn't say you wanted every specific thing about them so I replied generally.

Towing is not recommended with the power turned up. For that, you can just set something like the Mini Maxx on "No Power" setting (which actually varies from 0-50 HP depending on tune level). This should keep the temps down. You should still see an MPG bump, but that's really dependent on trailer weight, speed, number of stops, and trailer aero.

As an example, my truck now reports back about 22-23 MPG on 65-70 MPH unloaded trips (well, loaded toolbox) but hand-calculated it's about 18.0-19.5 MPG.

The 6.4L Power Stroke responds better than just about any truck I know of to a simple tuner, exhaust, and air intake system. They regularly dyno in the low to mid 500 WHP level with the Mini or Spartan on the big tunes. Torque usually ranges from 800-1100 lb-ft. These numbers have been verified many times over by the different forums and dynos across the country.
I've heard complaints about shifting pretty much equal across the board (not just spartan). And I'm relatively sure it's just that people don't understand you HAVE to firm up shifts when you add that much power if you don't want to detonate your transmission.


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Old 01-12-2013, 10:48 AM
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Yeah, I should throw in that it's all I hear. I don't know of anyone experiencing bad shifting issues first hand. You know how these forums are. I didn't mean that to come across as the Spartan has issues. It's just the one I normally hear about (and not necessarily in a "is my transmission going to blow up" way).

Mine shifts firmer than it did stock, but as Aggie was saying, that's something to expect when you're bumping up HP and torque like these tuners do.
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