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I got use to driving my +500hp E99. Then I had to drive my brothers tuned 01 and I hated it. Forgot was slow was
I know what you mean... my Spartan tuned 6.4 is so fun to drive that I can't stand to drive the 7.3 anymore! :rofl:

Even my stage 1 TW tuned OBS was slow compared to this thing!:hehe:
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I got use to driving my +500hp E99. Then I had to drive my brothers tuned 01 and I hated it. Forgot was slow was
Not surprised!

I know what you mean... my Spartan tuned 6.4 is so fun to drive that I can't stand to drive the 7.3 anymore!

Even my stage 1 TW tuned OBS was slow compared to this thing!
Nope, there is no comparison in performance to a modern common rail. :)
 

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Great writeup, having my diesel for a while now, even the wife notices the lack of power when she drives it! So what you're running is what you'd recommend for the 7.3's as far as all around improvements go? I'm not looking for a tune that blows the blackest smoke and turns all the heads, I need something that improves the useability of the truck, they do need a little more power haha.
 

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Great writeup, having my diesel for a while now, even the wife notices the lack of power when she drives it! So what you're running is what you'd recommend for the 7.3's as far as all around improvements go? I'm not looking for a tune that blows the blackest smoke and turns all the heads, I need something that improves the useability of the truck, they do need a little more power haha.
Any tune will make you happy. Custom tunes will make you very happy! :nod:
 

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Glad the chip worked out!

Couple things people reading should consider:

If you had a late 99, the Street tune would be a noticeable power increase over Daily. Your smaller injectors are just limiting the higher tunes.

The idles seemed different for each tune. It's like he wrote different custom tunes for different people and just puts them together for the next truck. It was weird.

The auto tunes on my old OBS, on the other hand felt very similar, just with differing power levels. I don't like switching the tune level and feel like a different truck.
The Econ felt exactly like Street (responsive down low) just with no top end. It would actually haze a bit down low.

The 6 speed Tow was too low of response for my liking, it was very similar to stock but with a touch more power.

The good thing about the 6 speed though, is you only need a couple tunes. There's no transmission shifting, and that's where TW does his best work IMO.
 

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ASTASTOUN
I wrote this to give my impressions of the differences driving a 7.3 in stock form vs tuned.

Before I tuned my truck, I drove it stock for a year straight with a 4" straight pipe exhaust and an intake system. During that time, I grew an immense amount of anticipation of what the truck would feel like tuned. I've read and saved (so that I could re-read them just to build up more excitement) countless different drive reports that led up to a huge suspense. While I have driven several 7.3's in the past, all have been un-tuned so I had never experienced a tuned 7.3 before. Now that I am very accustomed to how an un-tuned 7.3 feels after driving it for a year, I feel that I can do an fairly accurate assessment of what the differences are like in detail. Whether you were in my shoes and want a little more detail of the differences or you just want a little reminder of how slow these trucks really are in stock form, then read on.

What Engine Mods Do I Have?:
My truck is setup with the traditional setup configuration: chip, intake and exhaust. Nothing else like a bigger turbo or injectors have been added.

Introductory:
Before we get started let's just get one thing out of the way. Obviously each custom tuner does things slightly differently to a certain degree but for the most part, each should still be putting out nearly the same amount of power in the end result. To really do a more accurate comparison here, you'd have to compare each individual tuning outfit against one another to see what each feels like. To simplify this comparison, we''ll say for the sake of this test that all the custom tuners feel "the same" to provide a general idea of what it's like to drive a tuned 7.3 with the traditional setup.

Before we begin, I'd like to say it's kind of sad to see just how tame the stock 7.3 tuning really is. It's almost a shame really they were actually this de-tuned.

Impressions Driving An Un-Tuned 7.3
To start out, lets reflect a little bit about how a stock 7.3 feels. First and foremost, throttle response no matter how you look at it is very relaxed- way too much so. In fact, even revving it up in neutral wasn't that impressive because it revved slow and required a fair amount of throttle if you wanted a quick blip up to 2k. One of the aspects that I've always noticed when I've been around tuned 7.3's was how quickly they revved so I knew prior to my chip installation that this was going to be a big change. Power under 2k was also really tame as well. Once it got over 2k, it picked up. The truck had power, but it did not show it's "guts" until you hit 3/4 throttle. Once you hit 3/4, it was like an afterburner had kicked in. I always thought to myself "okay, you've got some decent power, why can't I have this type of response anywhere else in the powerband?" Not to mention, even while going down the road it was almost like you could press the throttle a little bit and nothing would happen. You had to be liberal with your throttle inputs to see any real change in action. Whenever you came to a steep hill, it didn't take long before you needed to put your foot down further and further to maintain speed or downshift. You could hear the RPM's begin to fall anytime the truck began to see a hill.

Impressions Driving a Tuned 7.3:
The biggest difference is how responsive and free feeling it is to drive now. Did it turn into a fire breather that now outruns Corvettes and won't stop spinning the tires? No, but it is SOO much more responsive and smooth that it is incomparable. You know that feeling when you're driving with the parking brake on (un-tuned) and then release it (tuned) and how much more free a vehicle feels? That is the key. It is also much easier to drive too because of the added torque. Let me explain. It now has power under 2k and I find myself for "regular" driving never needing to exceed over 1/2 throttle under any circumstances- that is unless I want to have fun. Before if I needed to merge or do something quickly, I'd have to give it that 3/4 throttle position because that's where it came alive. Now anything over 1/2 throttle is used simply to have fun vs. before there was really no "fun" spot anywhere in the throttle because you were using most all of it under normal driving conditions. Not any more now. Think of blowing through a small straw and feeling that resistance (un-tuned) vs blowing through a fire hose (tuned). Driving the truck stock, you as the driver had to work a lot harder to squeak out the power vs now you don't really think about it because it just comes so effortlessly on its own. Even the very slightest of throttle inputs anywhere in the powerband nets an impact vs. before it required liberal action in order to do so. Now when you approach hills, the truck just keeps on going as if without the power falling so much.

Unscientific Test
The tow setting (in my case) feels close to stock. Taking that into account, I did a couple of tests while keeping a constant throttle setting the whole time and switched from the "Daily" setting (my favorite, and more on that later) into "Tow" while going uphill and power dropped off like it was on the edge of a cliff. Doing the same thing only vice versa and the truck took off like a bat out of you know what. Literally.

Quicker Acceleration
I find that anytime I'm on it, that I have to shift a lot quicker now between gears as the RPM's climb substantially faster. Sometimes I find myself even having to back off the throttle in the first two gears some simply because the RPM's climb so much quicker now.

Miscellaneous Observations:

The exhaust note is deeper and the Extreme setting has very slightly higher idle than all the other settings. I'm sure you're wondering about MPG's. Right now, it seems to be close to about the same but I'm not going to count this tank as accurate because I've been having a lot of fun with the new found power.

My goal was to grow accustomed to one particular tune setting. I'm just the type that would rather have one "do it all" setting that I know inside and out versus using different settings for different occasions even if that meant sacrificing some power. If you're like this too, then I'd highly recommend getting a full set of tunes anyway because you want to find the one that you like best and offers reasonable EGT's. It's good to have a set to experiment from vs. only buying one or two and not knowing any better when you possibly could.

Plug For Tony Wildman:
Now that we're over with the general side of things, I'd like to switch over to share a little appreciation for TW tuning. I went with TW's tunes in particular because I've learned that he's known for a more aggressive throttle feel on the bottom end. I wanted this characteristic to make up for some of the lost responsiveness down low with the 37's. Boy, did that ever change and now I can actually light 'em off some in 1st gear with a quick blip of the throttle. Part of what impresses me the most is just how smooth the powerband is with his tunes. What used to be some bad turbo lag now hardly exists anymore, it's astounding just consistent it is all the way through. It truly almost feels electric it is that good. While I don't have experience with canned tunes, I can see how a custom tuner really goes the extra mile for things like this. I am super impressed about that aspect and couldn't be more pleased.

My favorite tune from TW is the Daily which from the seat of the pants dyno, pulls the hardest even over Extreme and Street. I have all of his chip settings and compared to everything else, Daily is the most responsive and runs the best.

As I mentioned earlier, in some ways I feel that it's almost sad that we have to use a special chip in order extract the increased drivability out of these trucks. Like I said, it's not that the chip turns the truck into an insane monster, it just makes it 100% more drivable and responsive with some added fun. I think it's safe to say that for anyone who has tuned their truck, most will tell you "how did I ever drive it before?" I couldn't agree more. In fact they are so un-tuned and underperformed that it should almost be a crime after you feel the potential.
An astounding write up... Im new here guys. On my hopefully last 7.3l . Have never upgraded, (minus interior). But my very first search brought me to this gentleman's precise explanation that requires no other questions on this topic... I wanted to give a big thank you to the narrator who wrote this. Very well done sir.
 
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