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My SCT Experience

44695 Views 339 Replies 47 Participants Last post by  darkpassenger
*EDIT*Anybody else with experience with the SCT, whether canned or custom tunes, please feel free to share the experience here!

I'm starting this thread as a review/feedback/log of my experience with the SCT SF3 Tuner. I use this on my vehicle in my signature, a 2004 Excursion. I started using it 3/17/2014 and have never previously used a tuner on any vehicle.

Before I did anything on the vehicle I did my research, made sure I wasn't going to ruin anything. I'll start by saying this isn't nearly as intimidating as I had originally thought. As my age progresses my familiarity with technology of any sort fades, I'm basically devolving while my seven year old is like a rocket scientist. All that being said I downloaded the program on the laptop, plugged it in there first, and read over the instructions. Then I went out and plugged it in.

As soon as you plug it in to the OBDII port you're greeted with some noises letting you know it is up and running. From there I followed the provided quick start directions. Navigation can't be easier, it is almost idiot proof, it won't let you do anything drastic until you double tap saying "Yes I want to do this." I chose the canned street tune, and it took about five minutes (although it felt like I was there for about half hour because I'm impatient). It automatically downloads the stock file before loading the tune. It loaded up just fine and told me when I could key off. From there just to be safe I did there PATS reset directions but apparently I did not need to.

Started it up just to make sure it would then I went to bed. I will say it seemed to take a tad longer to start, and I don't think this was a placebo effect. It was cold outside so we will see after a few days if that's just my new normal.

So now the fun. I woke up and drove it to work. Initial reaction to it is great. On the drive in I noticed a considerable increase in mileage on my CTS, which I use more for a "how efficient" than a rock hard number. I will say my engine load was much lower despite being cold getting to the highway and it just felt smoother. I didn't get on it because the roads were wet and I wanted to feel it out. Coming out of cruise by tapping the break there is a slight buck but nothing to scoff at. I noticed my initial shift into 2nd as I'm accelerating slowly came sooner, which is nice because I hated getting up to 1800 RPMs while barely touching the gas before it shifted. Over all so far I'm happy with it. We will see overall mileage increases after I fill up this evening and the coming weeks. I save all my fill up receipts with mileage written on them so I can compare easily.

After a month or two I'll probably purchase the Mild Panty Dropper as I've read that is a great tune for non stuffed engines.

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I have the same tuner and I sure like mine, definetly more fun to drive.
Wait till you get a custom tune in there!

It will be another night and day difference! :thumb:
I can't wait to purchase a custom tune. I want to run the canned tunes for a while to give some background. Many new Diesel owners have tons of questions on tunes and canned tunes and all that stuff, I know me personally I wanted detailed feedback on the canned tunes so I'm trying to make this thread be that.
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The only thing I didn't like about the canned tunes is how it reacts when you take it off cruise control...

It drops the engine to idle and the truck lurches forward.

It can be overcome by putting your foot on the pedal and matching speed before you disengage the cruise control.

Other that that, they were pretty good.
First full day with the street tune. I drove 20 miles to and from work and a few miles while there.

-My starts have gotten faster. Even while "cold." Coolant was at 60* and it turned right over.
-Transmission is still settling in.
-MPGs have definitely gone up. I will know by how much in about two weeks.
-I didn't do a WOT run. Streets are wet and I'm still feeling it out. Did run it to about 18 PSI. It spooled well and power was steady and noticeably greater.
-If you don't get all in it you hardly notice it is tuned besides the increase in mileage.
-It does buck when hitting the brake while on cruise. If you hit gas then brake it does not buck.
-Overall it is a good investment, my favorite upgrade so far and a great first performance upgrade for my daily driven Man Van.

You are hooked, when u get a custom tune u like hold on . Just don't use any unicorn parts with the tune haha

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Sounds like you're a happy customer!

My brother has his 06 Mustang GT tuned with the SCT SF3 tuner and he is very pleased with it. SCT's customer service is excellent as well.
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After having the canned street tune on it for a little under the week I'm still pleased. The transmission has learned and the shifts are now smooth. I have been trying very hard to stay off throttle to get a clear reading of MPG improvement. Basically I've been driving like I did when it wasn't tuned. Usually a hard run to get up to speed on the highway then set the cruise. I've noticed the mileage has increased by about 2 mpg on the lie meter. The power is also fun. Spools up quickly and the rumble and whistle out the exhaust is nice. I'll probably run two half tanks on this tune before ordering a custom tune just to get a good reading on it for other people looking to purchase.
Welcome to the dark side Sarge
Just went outside and turned off the EGR valve. I'll see how it runs tomorrow, from what I've read it's not a bad idea and nothing bad should happen. I'll report back.
Have you had a chance to hand calculate mileage yet? How are you turning off the EGR valve? With the SCT?

Have you had a chance to hand calculate mileage yet? How are you turning off the EGR valve? With the SCT?

If it's anything like the SCT 3015 the programmer can turn the EGR valve off. Or basically command it shut permanently.

OP -

FYI, Chris can write a Super Panty Dropper that is head bolt safe as well. Keep us posted on your feedback/experience! :thumb:
Have you had a chance to hand calculate mileage yet? How are you turning off the EGR valve? With the SCT?

The last fill up I had about 75 miles tuned out of the 420, ended up getting 15.7. I will probably fill up again in about ten days and calculate that.

As stated above with certain tuners you can disable the function of the EGR valve. It can still be forced open due to excessive exhaust pressure, but will remain closed 95% of the time. So right now my EGR cooler will be getting coolant into it, but no hot exhaust gases to cook the coolant, and no exhaust gases to cake the inside of my manifold with soot. I should notice lower EGTs and I'll see if mileage is effected. I'll also pull my EGR valve when I do my delete in a few weeks.
Great info here guys, TY
Drove it about 20 miles. Mileage is the same, my EGTs are the same because my probe is set up on the manifold (should have thought of that). I didn't notice any side effects besides it taking a little longer to warm up which was expected. Not too worried about the additional warm up time, the temps are rising and it gets plugged in nightly.

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I didn't think you'd need a block htr in NC...
I didn't think you'd need a block htr in NC...

I plug it in on a timer just because I like having heat right away. It has snowed a few times this year and the temps have been low.

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I'll also welcome you to the dark side. :D

You are seeing a WHOLE new side of what these beast can do. Having your rig on a custom tune is off the handle.
I understand Sarge, we are still getting severe cold weather up here....

sorry to go off topic
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