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Eli,

I get this discussion frequently, and here are the facts. As long as there are no mechanical or electrical concerns, running the VXCF4 based strategy make better power than running the VXCF9 strategy with the same tuning. This means that as long as there isn't an issue with the EBP sensor not reading correctly or some other similar issue, the earlier strategies run better and produce more power. This dyno plot clearly indicates this:

(click on image to enlarge)


This was tested on Mike Friihauf's (Iron Pig) truck last fall using Matt's SLR+ tune and the files were tuned IDENTICALLY, value for value. We see these same results pretty consistently across all model years. Here's a dyno sheet from my 6.0L with a stock VXBC9 vs VXBC6 strategies:

(click on image to enlarge)


To address the other questions about rollbacks...

As to the whole rollback process itself, we started offering it because of the problem with loss of performance and economy due to dealer updates. Truck owners would drive into Ford for a minor service and leave with a completely different running truck, in most cases with both performance and fuel economy in the toilet. Reflashing the FICM offered some improvement, but quite by accident we found that the later ECM reflashes were also a problem and we started offering ECM rollbacks since Ford was obviously not in a position to offer any assistance. We found the VXCF7xx, VXBC7xx, and VXAP1xx based strategies to be the worst offenders with VXCF9xx, VXBC9xx, and VXAP2xx offering some improvement over the prior release.

Due to the nature of some programmers, if you do not change the base strategy in the ECM, the programmer will use parts of the base strategy to build the modified strategy (using differential file data) which is then reprogrammed back into the ECM. This means that if your stock calibration is a VXBC9xx, it will remain as a VXBC9xx when tuning with certain programmers. I know that the Edge, Bully Dog, Sniper, Superchips, Hypertech, and some SCT programmers all function that way. Now, in regards to the custom tuning aspect on the X-Cal, we have seen issues in the past where customer's trucks have been disabled from using a custom strategy that was not in the same base strategy group as the PCM, meaning that if you had a VXCF9xx ECM and you used a VXCF4xx custom strategy, the PCM would become disabled. In the past we've had to recover several PCMs that suffered this condition, and correcting the custom files to match the ECM strategy would fix the problem. Now I don't know if SCT fixed this issue with subsequent updates to the Advantage software or firmware updates in the devices, so I've been going on the basic assumption that the problem still existed. If you're telling me that a tuner has sent you two different series of the same file and you're not having a problem with running either one, then the problem may no longer be a concern and X-Cal owners may not need to have ECM rollbacks. However, owners of other tuners may still need to consider getting rollbacks in order to increase the effectiveness of both their stock tunes as well as their performance tunes.

I hope this clears up any confusion.
 

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I lost my stock file when I swapped my sct x2 to my 06. Some how I set the old 04 to stock and fubared the stock setting for my current truck. I got a stock file from sct no huge deal. But right now I can run the vcf1-5 or 6. Tunes on my truck. So yes you can run a different strategy on them. The truck was a vcf5 and I so far like the vcf4 file the best. It also shows the files calibration as the syrategy on my evo.
 

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So what is the "best strategy"?

I was recommended this in an email from a board tuner "I'd go with VXAN0N2 for your PCM/TCM tuning. It's a much better OS than TEC3. "
 

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So what is the "best strategy"?

I was recommended this in an email from a board tuner "I'd go with VXAN0N2 for your PCM/TCM tuning. It's a much better OS than TEC3. "
The VXAN0N2 is what eric used to write my extreme x tune. I wanted to do a ECM rollback, but he said i didn't have to...that he can do it through the tune. My strategy when stock is VXAP2B2, but when my truck has the extreme x tune in it...the strategy is VXAN0N2.
 

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Mine does the same thing, it will display what ever strategy the tue is based on
 

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The VXAN0N2 is what eric used to write my extreme x tune. I wanted to do a ECM rollback, but he said i didn't have to...that he can do it through the tune. My strategy when stock is VXAP2B2, but when my truck has the extreme x tune in it...the strategy is VXAN0N2.
yea that is the email i got from him, he told me to roll it back to that strategy...

Mine does the same thing, it will display what ever strategy the tue is based on
yea that is what i hear the new strategy that pops up is the new tune based one.
 

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If that is the case why do I always see that you need the same strategy when purchasing a used SCT? Is that not the case or only if the tune was written to not use the strategy currently on the ECM?
That's if you're running a stock FICM. If you're running a tuned FICM, it doesn't matter. Your tuner can do a rollback through tuning if you have a tuned FICM.
 

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If that is the case why do I always see that you need the same strategy when purchasing a used SCT? Is that not the case or only if the tune was written to not use the strategy currently on the ECM?
i think that is for when it has custom tunes loaded to it
 

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That's if you're running a stock FICM. If you're running a tuned FICM, it doesn't matter. Your tuner can do a rollback through tuning if you have a tuned FICM.
Whoa... wait a second, I want to make sure I'm reading this right. This is the first I have heard this. Eric sent me an email with similar information but was confused about what we was saying. So...

Stock FICM - The current (crappy!) ECM strategy has to be used, and tunes will be written for that current (crappy!) strategy??

Tuned FICM - Eric can use the SCT to rollback your ECM to a older (better!) strategy and you will get tunes to match the older (better!) strategy??

Please clarify this me, if this is true I will be send him my FICM tomorrow and asking for new tunes that will rollback my ECM!!! Thanks.
 
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Ok....
The strategy is a name for the ecm/tcm calibration. The sct tune is written for that calibration. The sct file basically replaces parts and pieces of that file. If/when you mix match the tuning strategy and the sct strategy there is the chance it will not mesh as well. As for ficm strategy it is no secret that any ford ficm strategy from a 6.0 will work with another 6.0 03-07. Some ficm calibrations are better than others. Modded ficms typically do what say a sct file does for the pcm but for the ficm. The ficm it self holds the engine hostage. It dictates how much fuel and pulse width can be acheived. This limits the pcm tuning to what the ficm will allow. Keep in mind that since the factory tuned ficms from 03-07 can greatly effect how powerful a tune is overall. As ford detuned the 6.0 thru its stages the ficm was one way they limited power on the trucks.
 
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Whoa... wait a second, I want to make sure I'm reading this right. This is the first I have heard this. Eric sent me an email with similar information but was confused about what we was saying. So...

Stock FICM - The current (crappy!) ECM strategy has to be used, and tunes will be written for that current (crappy!) strategy??

Tuned FICM - Eric can use the SCT to rollback your ECM to a older (better!) strategy and you will get tunes to match the older (better!) strategy??

Please clarify this me, if this is true I will be send him my FICM tomorrow and asking for new tunes that will rollback my ECM!!! Thanks.
This is correct. Eric can only do the strategy rollback through tuning if you have a tuned FICM.
 

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Ok....
The strategy is a name for the ecm/tcm calibration. The sct tune is written for that calibration. The sct file basically replaces parts and pieces of that file. If/when you mix match the tuning strategy and the sct strategy there is the chance it will not mesh as well. As for ficm strategy it is no secret that any ford ficm strategy from a 6.0 will work with another 6.0 03-07. Some ficm calibrations are better than others. Modded ficms typically do what say a sct file does for the pcm but for the ficm. The ficm it self holds the engine hostage. It dictates how much fuel and pulse width can be acheived. This limits the pcm tuning to what the ficm will allow. Keep in mind that since the factory tuned ficms from 03-07 can greatly effect how powerful a tune is overall. As ford detuned the 6.0 thru its stages the ficm was one way they limited power on the trucks.
Eric can do a rollback strategy through tuning, but only if one has a tuned FICM. My strategy when stock is VXAP2B2, but after i had him do a strategy rollback extreme x tune....by strategy changed to VXAN0N2.

Here's an email eric sent me...
Chris,



Now that your FICM is tuned, I can email you tunes for the older strategy's. This is the same as a rollback. You are ready to go. I'd go with the Xtreme X and we'll build it off of the older code which will work best with your FICM flash
 

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Plenty of guys have tunes for a different strategy than their stock calibration without a tuned FICM. The question about PCM rollbaks came up before people started to care about FICM tunes very much, and plenty of guys running CF7, CF9 would get their tunes and it'd show CF4 loaded......
 

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This is great news!! I was so confused by Erics response to my email. I asked about getting new tunes because I was going to do an ECM rollback through PHP, he responded he could do the rollback with my current SCT. I had read here and on others forums the SCT could NOT do ECM rollbacks... guess they needed a big * next to that statement. Still going to get my edge evolution turned into a Gyphron so it will have updated PIDs but so excited about the SCT/ECM rollback info.
 

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Strokin 6l, you can run any tune over your current strategy w/ or w/o a tuned ficm given the truck will support it as far as pcm tuning goes. 03-04.5/ 04.5-07. You cannot mix pcm tunes from the two gtoup of years though. The 04.5+ have larger files or more to them or so I was told. A tune written for a specific strategy will work the best that strategy though. On my edge evo and sct it will display the flashed sct strategy. Be it vxch4, vxch2 etc (can't remember the exact strategy off the top of my head. My truck currently has a corupted stock file and it is totally different when the truck is set to stock vs the different tunes.
 

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IDK...according to Eric, what he did will only work if the truck has a tuned FICM.
 

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My truck used to have the vxcf4 strategy and all my tunes were written for it as well. But this last week it got reflashed to the vxcf9. My ficm also got a reflash. I've been running my old strategy tunes on my new strategy with no problems. I will be getting phps ficm tuner tomorrow to see what kind of difference it makes.
 
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