Monitoring Solutions and Options (WIP) - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-25-2016, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Monitoring Solutions and Options (WIP)

It seems there are always new owners, old owners with first time problems and prospective owners coming on the forum. The owners are usually asking about certain problems they are having, asking what they should be looking for or how to fix it. The prospective owners want to know what to look for in a purchase (kudos to them for being proactive).

The first things they are usually asked is “Do you have a monitor?” or “Have you checked for codes?” Many of these newbs have no idea what a monitor is and in some cases not even what a “code” is.

The purpose of this thread is to put the together a comprehensive list of monitoring and scanning solutions along with their pros and cons. My intention is to be able to reference this information early on in those help request threads and hopefully allow the person in need to evaluate his/her situation and choose a solution that works best for their purposes. I think most all of the 100 post and up crowd here realize what an invaluable tool a monitoring solution is, but the new guys do not have the luxury of our experience and are at the mercy of whoever decides to try to help out. Obviously, that individual is likely to push their preference for that individual to use. While there is nothing wrong with this, it may not be the best option for that particular individual and with their ignorance of the subject they are likely to choose the offered option. I hope that a quick read of this thread will educate the individual enough to make an informed decision. This thread is not intended to discuss “what” to monitor, just to show the various hardware and software options available for that purpose. Everyone should read the Monitoring Thread to get a better understanding of “what” to monitor.

I also would prefer that we not debate which is the "best" option, since everyone's needs and wants are not the same.

I am going to start it off by listing the solutions that I know about and the knowledge I have of those options. I encourage anyone who will, to add to my list, correct my errors and expand on things that I am no doubt going to overlook or leave out. I’ll try to keep the OP updated with additional input as best as I can.

I will give full disclosure up front and say that the only monitoring options I have personally used are as follows: Scangauge II, a BlueTooth OBDII adapter with Android and PC software, the SCT X4 and the Edge Gryphon FICM tuner from PHP. I have seen the Edge CTS but never personally used it or really messed with it.

Enough babble, let’s get started.

AutoEnginuity - Price - $360:
CNC Fabrication LLC, Diesel Performance, AUTOENGINUITY TOTAL FORD SCANTOOL BUNDLE SP03 ?99-?16
Not as much a permanent monitoring solution as a scanning and diagnostic tool, though I believe it does have monitoring capability. It is PC based and has quite a bit of capability. Not to the level of the Ford IDS software, but it is reasonably affordable in comparison. I will not discuss the IDS software due my lack of knowledge and its prohibitive pricing structure. Maybe someone will expand on it in a future post.

ForScan - Price varies:
Download FORScan
A free software available for PC. There are Android and an iOS versions that do require a small investment. (about $5 for Android, unsure of the iOS cost) I have played with the PC version and it has some pretty decent diagnostic capability, especially for the price. I have also looked at the Android version, but have not messed with it enough to have an opinion yet.

Scangauge II - Price - $140 & up:
https://www.amazon.com/ScanGauge-Aut...r+scangauge+ii
  • Standalone solution, no additional hardware required or available
  • A simple 4 “gauge” monitor with digital readouts.
  • Small and fairly inconspicuous
  • Costs around $140 on Amazon
  • Reads and clears trouble codes
  • Ford specific codes must be hand entered, not hard, but a bit tedious (pre-programmed units are available but are more expensive)
  • Pretty easy to come by in most locations, so could be the only option in a pinch.
  • Usually available at Advanced Auto, AutoZone, etc. (will cost more than Amazon)
  • Maximum of 4 PIDs monitored at time.

DashBoss - Price $170:
DashBoss | A Brain Scan for your Vehicle
  • iOS only – Requires an iOS device connected via bluetooth
  • expandable to add fuel pressure (FP) and exhaust gas temp (EGT)
  • pretty capable as a monitor and will read trouble codes
  • Costs $170 + expansion modules
  • more?

Edge Insight CS/CTS - Price ??:
  • Standalone solution, no additional hardware “required” (expansion available)
  • 8 gauge display (please correct, if needed)
  • Reads and clears trouble codes
  • Expandable to add FP and EGT
  • Fairly outdated since newer models are out, but might be available fairly cheap

Edge Insight CS2 - Price ??:
Insight Cs2 84030
  • Standalone solution, no additional hardware “required” (expansion available)
  • 2.4” screen
  • Monitor 16 PIDs at one time ?? (please correct, if needed)
  • Reads and clears trouble codes
  • Expandable to add FP and EGT
  • Newest model
  • $300 + expansion modules

Edge Insight CTS2 - Price $430:
Insight Cts2 84130
  • Standalone solution, no additional hardware “required” (expansion available)
  • 5” screen
  • Monitor 16 PIDs at one time ?? (please correct, if needed)
  • Reads and clears trouble codes
  • Expandable to add FP and EGT
  • Newest model
  • $430 + expansion modules

SCT Livewire TS+ - Price - $600:*
https://www.sctflash.com/Products/un...ivewire-tsplus
  • Combination Tuner and Monitor
  • Standalone solution, no additional hardware “required” (expansion available)
  • 4” screen
  • Monitor ?? PIDs at one time ?? (Someone please provide info)
  • Reads and clears trouble codes
  • Expandable to add FP and EGT
  • $600 + expansion modules
I have read several accounts of issues with the touchscreen and certain PIDs not reading correctly.

SCT X4 - Price - $400: *
https://www.sctflash.com/Products/un...nce-programmer
  • Combination Tuner and Monitor
  • Standalone solution, no additional hardware “required” (expansion available)
  • 2.5” screen (approximately, not listed on website and I didn’t measure it)
  • Monitor up to 8 PIDs at one time
  • Reads and clears trouble codes
  • Expandable to add FP and EGT
  • $400 + expansion modules

*I should note that I don’t personally recommend a combo tuner/monitor due to the issue of losing any custom tunes if the tuner is left visible and stolen.

Bluetooth OBDII adapters (all require third party software):
There are almost infinite possibilities in terms of a BT OBDII adapter. They range in price from around $5 to $100 dollars and probably more. There are exceptions, but you usually get what you pay for. I will not begin to list all of them to start with, but will be glad to edit this area with other options as they are added to the thread. I will only list the ones I am familiar with for now.

OBDLink MX - List price - $99: (currently $80 and on sale often)
https://www.scantool.net/obdlink-mxbt/
https://www.scantool.net/obdlink-mxwf/
  • Supports MS-CAN and SW-CAN protocols
  • Very fast PID updates (advertised as the fastest available)
  • Small and unobtrusive
  • Comes with Android and PC software
  • Available in both BT and wifi versions
  • Turns on and off automatically

OBDLink LX – List price - $50:
https://www.scantool.net/obdlink-lxbt/
  • Very fast PID updates (advertised as the fastest available)
  • Small and unobtrusive
  • Comes with Android and PC software
  • Turns on and off automatically

PLX Kiwi2 - no longer available from PLX
  • Reasonable PID update speed
  • Expandable to add non-OBDII sensors with optional iMFD adapter and supporting modules.
  • Available in both BT and wifi versions (It appears both versions have been discontinued, but there may be some still available on Amazon and probably eBay)
  • Turns off automatically, but does not turn back on automatically
I received an email from PLX recently stating they were about to release a new device called Multi-Gauge Link that will take the place of the iMFD adapter and the Kiwi2 and work alongside their Kiwi3, (which appears to be very similar to the OBDLink MX) allowing the use of both external and OBDII sensor readings within the same app. I only hope that it will work with the OBDLink MX as well so that I do not end up having to buy another adapter.
See my thread on adding EGT and FP to BT Android apps here: https://www.powerstroke.org/forum/gen...torquepro.html

Third Party Bluetooth/Wifi adapter software (Android, iOS and Windows):

Torque Pro:
Play Store - Torque Pro - Android
  • Requires a BT, wifi or USB OBDII adapter and an Android device
  • The most popular option of this class, so lots of help with issues
  • Highly customizable gauge layouts
  • Monitor 16+ PIDs at one time
  • Reads and clears trouble codes
  • Fairly easy for novice or non-computer guy/gal to setup
  • Ford Extended PIDs are built-in and only have to be enabled.
  • Custom PIDs can be entered
  • Pretty active forum for help and discussion
  • Price - $5

DashCommand - Price $20:
Play Store - DashCommand Android
PPE Online Store - iOS
PPE Online Store - Windows
  • Requires a BT, wifi or USB OBDII adapter and an Android, iOS or Windows device)
  • Highly customizable gauge layouts
  • Monitor 16+ PIDs at one time
  • Very capable
  • Highly customizable, but requires Windows and the DashXL program to create custom dashboards.
  • Many custom dashboards already available for download on their website, but getting ones with the Enhanced Ford PIDs we need is a crapshoot
  • Not very easy for novice or non-computer guy/gal to setup actual dashboards.
  • Simple gauge layouts are not that difficult, but more involved than Torque Pro
  • Ford Extended PIDs are not built-in requires another $10 purchase
  • Custom equations can be entered, but it’s not a simple task
  • Pretty active forum for help and discussion
  • Price - $10 + $10 for Ford PIDs ($20)

Dexter
2017 F-250 Lariat CCSB FX4 SRW- A few Forscan tweaks
My old Truck, now son's truck:
2004 F-250SD Lariat CCSB FX4 SRW; SCT X4 w/custom tunes (currently
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Last edited by G8orFord; 07-26-2016 at 09:06 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-26-2016, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Dexter
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My old Truck, now son's truck:
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-26-2016, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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I'd really like to get other members input, corrections, additions, etc.

Other monitoring methods, other OBDII adapters or software to add to list would be great. Especially iOS methods since I have very limited knowledge of them and no iOS device to test with.
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Dexter
2017 F-250 Lariat CCSB FX4 SRW- A few Forscan tweaks
My old Truck, now son's truck:
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-26-2016, 09:31 AM
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The first edge insight model does not play well with OBS powerstrokes, a lot of communication errors and sometimes pids work, other days they don't but when I ran it on my late build 04 6.0, I really enjoyed the maintenance reminder. you set the mileage intervals and a little flasher warns when your 500 miles from the service and when you complete you set it as complete and the interval starts over.

I had mine set with corrected mileage as well. you input your current miles, oem tire size and the new tire size and it calculates a corrected mileage for everything. it wont change your miles on the vehicle or speedo but you know what your true miles are on the vehicle. I went from 40s to 35s so I verified the older edge cs was as accurate as they come. I haven't gotten any monitoring system for my current 99 7.3 though.
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-99 F250, 4X4, 6.0 trans cooler, 08 mirrors, 05 grill, AIS Intake, lvl kit, JW Vbody, cncfab hpop lines, WW2.

04 Excursion Modified, 04 F350 Modified, 06 F350 Modified

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"Its like me getting five 5 gallon bucks and throwing regular, mid, premium, #2 diesel and offroad diesel and then shooting a roman candle at each one to show which ones burns better."
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-26-2016, 10:05 AM
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I think it's sticky worthy.

I will only comment on what I have experienced first hand, which will be the X4 and OBD Fusion (iOS). It does great at reading everything except EGTs IMO, the monitor just can't keep up the numbers changing by the hundreds constantly. It would do ok in an application like mine where I am not pushing into dangerous temp zones and still on stock fuel/air, but I would not trust it to monitor if I had bigger injectors/turbo. I have no experience with the fuel pressure gauge.

This is a really good review on it with lots of info.
SCT X4 Review

If you are worried about a thief, you can unplug it and take it inside with you without hurting anything. I put mine in the small glove box thing between the steering wheel and cup holders, before I had the EGT wires hooked up I could actually close it with it still in there.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]



The OBD Fusion for iOS is a cool app to mess around with but it's not the best for the 6.0. No ICP, IPR, or FICM PIDs or any way to monitor EGTs. It can track your mpg, speed, air flow rates and stuff but is really only good for reading codes. It's nice to have for other peoples vehicles but it's nearly useless for my truck. Waste of $10 IMO, you're better off just spending it on beer.
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Check out MPA, those guys are pretty decent
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-31-2016, 08:07 AM
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i'll be barrowing a friends tablet with the torq pro ap for a 1900ish mile road trip towing my 1984 4runner in just a couple weeks. I'll be sure to post all the good and bad with it upon my return. everyone seems to love it so far though.

-99 F250, 4X4, 6.0 trans cooler, 08 mirrors, 05 grill, AIS Intake, lvl kit, JW Vbody, cncfab hpop lines, WW2.

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post #7 of 7 Old 06-27-2017, 01:08 PM
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I like the Scan Gauge II
Ford PIDs are easy to program
It is small and inconspicuous
There also a Diesel version
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