Do I need a programmer? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-30-2008, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Do I need a programmer?

I just bought a 2006 F-150 supercrew with the 5.4 in it. The previous owner put a cold air intake and a dual exhaust on it. I have been reading other forums and I keep seeing people saying that you need to have a programmer with custom tunes if you have an intake. They keep saying that with the intake it will make it run lean and cause engine problems. I have never heard this before and was wondering what everyone else thought.

2006 F-150 Supercrew
Cold air intake
Dual exhaust
Alpine stereo


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post #2 of 9 Old 12-30-2008, 03:59 AM
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Never heard that before and yes a programmer will help you performance wise is not a have to have item for intake and exhaust

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post #3 of 9 Old 12-30-2008, 05:32 AM
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Run lean? The fueling strategy is adaptive. The MAF sensor will detect the extra air flow, and the O2 sensor will detect the lean burn and the computer will adjust automatically. You could even go as far as 6lbs of boost on an electric supercharger (yeah, dumb, I know), and the computer is capable of adjusting the fueling without the need for a tuner. The computer has to be able to work from sea level all the way to high altitude without the need for adjustment. It has a bit of tolerance for extra intake pressure. Or in your case, better flow.

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post #4 of 9 Old 12-30-2008, 05:54 AM
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^^^^^^
What he said.

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post #5 of 9 Old 12-30-2008, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, I had never heard that before and it sounded kind of strange to me. It just seems that there are alot of people that think that it is required if you have any upgrades.

2006 F-150 Supercrew
Cold air intake
Dual exhaust
Alpine stereo


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post #6 of 9 Old 12-30-2008, 11:06 AM
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In my experience, programmers on gassers don't make enough power difference to justify the cost. Of course I'm spoiled with mine on the diesel... With a gasser you can barely feel the difference, if any at all. Now you take your diesel and add an extra 150hp in 2 minutes, you've really changed something...

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post #7 of 9 Old 01-24-2009, 10:33 AM
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yes it is true.The newer f150's come programmed border line lean from the factory and with a cold air intake,they do tend to be over lean sometimes.Depends on different stuff but yes,you should get custom tunes.I got a custom tuned Edge aka (gryphon) from Bill at powerhungry performance.They are a vendor here also.I also have a K&N cold air,true duals w/flow 40's and cats ran away.It runs great with the Gryphon.You would think the computer could compensate like the older ones did for the cold air but they can not.I forgot the exact reason why.Ask Bill if you want to know

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-24-2009, 11:03 AM
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Sorry if this is offtopic on your ford just wanted to put my 2 cents in about gas chips and stuff...Buddy has a 04 dodge hemi and he put a bullydog chip on think it added 30-35hp we tested the truck out to see if it worked better seems to redline's @ 6300 not 5700 the way he drives it he gets the same amount MPG he has a k&n with duel flowmaster 40's stock the truck is about 275-300hp with chip 30 k&n 5-8hp flowmaster's about 10 so thats 48++ in HP but the truck run's good I think... his truck will never get more HP with those 3 mods that a diesel can.

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post #9 of 9 Old 01-24-2009, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregor View Post
I just bought a 2006 F-150 supercrew with the 5.4 in it. The previous owner put a cold air intake and a dual exhaust on it. I have been reading other forums and I keep seeing people saying that you need to have a programmer with custom tunes if you have an intake. They keep saying that with the intake it will make it run lean and cause engine problems. I have never heard this before and was wondering what everyone else thought.
On earlier vehicles (2003 and prior) there is much less of a problem with running lean after switching to a cold air intake (CAI) because the Mass Airflow (MAF) Sensor is a complete unit and the cross sectional area where the sample tube is situated does not change when replacing the rest of the intake. In this situation, the values coming from the sensor are still accurate and the PCM will adapt well enough to prevent a lean condition.

On the 2004 and later F150, the MAF Sensor is what is commonly referred to as a "Slotted Type" sensor that is removed from the stock intake inserted into the replacement intake. Most CAI kits run a slightly larger diameter tube than stock which changes the cross sectional surface area where the sensor is located. A larger area at this point results in lower air velocity through the sampling tube of the MAF sensor which cause a lower output voltage form the sensor. The PCM calculates this lower voltage as less overall airflow into the engine and adjusts the fuel accordingly to try to maintain the target air fuel ratio (AFR), or in other words it injects less fuel. What results is a lean condition... sometimes grossly lean depending on the CAI.

Long Term and Short Term fuel trims can correct up to a point. You best bet though is to go with something that provides custom tuning to correct the overall lean condition this is most likely resulting form the intake.

BTW - Which intake do you have?

In response to power output, it's quite obvious you'll not achieve gains on a gasser that you will see on a diesel... not yet at least! However, on a 225 RWHP vehicle, 30-35 RWHP (or more!) gains are going to be noticeable. In fact, we just dyno tuned the new 2009 F-150 and got some pretty impressive results.

Here are the dyno plots (Click on the images to view full size):

Horsepower Only


Torque Only


Horsepower and Torque


Horsepower, Torque and AFR


As you can see, the biggest gains were not on the top end but in the midrange... which is where you really need it! Notice that the stock AFR curve does not allow any WOT enrichment until about 4500 RPM! And you wonder why the trucks are always so sluggish off the line. The AFR stays right at 14.6:1 throughout most of the acceleration. Now add a Cold Air Intake and you can easily see where a problem could occur.

Hope this helps.


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