I just read supersecretsquirrels thread and my Qs are similar but not the same. First some background/history might help you understand my headspace and reluctance to be a maniac.
I had a 99 F350 dually Ccab with a 40HP Superchip, plugged into the computer. That was about all I did to my 99. I towed an empty toyhauler back from LA to home here in Canada. I was disappointed my 7.3 felt like a bit of a slug pulling modest mountains from CA to here. Our local climbs on the Coquihalla Hwy are steeper, so I decided to sell the 99 and bought an '05 6.0L. Of course i'd heard all the bad so I added ARP studs, deleted EGR, 4" exhaust. I had an Edge Platinum, mostly to help me monitor temps. I used their tow tune, sometimes Drive tune. THEN I went to SCT with Innovative tunes, because every 6.0L guy raved about how great it was. A couple of head gaskets later, and nothing but problems.
So when I see all the recommendations for the various tuners for the 7.3 I am nervous and cringe. Empty the truck has more than enough power and I need zero improvement. I now haul 11' Lance and pull a 16' cargo trailer with some quads. I want to make sure I don't overheat/damage anything. Some MILD tow improvement with NO RISK of damage from overdoing it would be nice. I liked Joel's replies to secretsquirrel about leaving truck stock. Hmmm
I was thinking 4" exhaust, and maybe a minor chip or tune. I also see some recommendations from others to upgrade the intake. My son's friend has a basic tuner that I think he plugs into OBDII port to program 1 of 3 settings: economy, tow or performance. I think performance is 75HP.
On my 6.0L I tried to drive to my temps to try to avoid causing damage (not sure it worked). So for this 7.3 I'd like to monitor my exhaust, boost, coolant & tranny temps. I currently have a tranny temp gauge on my 7.3 from previous owner. [I know the 4R100 can be a time bomb and I will eventually have it built by a good, local specialist. Billet this & that, plus deep Mag Hytac tranny pan]. Can I get something like my old Edge tuner that will show me my temps for the exhaust, coolant and boost? And also give me ability to get a bit more HP for towing, without damaging stuff? Would the Edge performance be any different than the plug-in 40HP Superchip from my old 7.3 ?
What do you think of leaving it stock and watching temps/performance and then considering some mods (like exhaust)? I don't even mind having to slow down on the hills and knock it down a gear.