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Old 07-08-2019, 10:33 AM   #1
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FACTS about Ford V10 Engine Characteristics and 5 Star Tuning...

I recently posted a thread on a sister RV forum of this one to help those members clear up some misconceptions on a couple specific technical subjects. It has gone very well and the members there are learning and appreciating the information. I have knowledge to share, I'm going to attempt to share it here once again. Hopefully this will go well...




On the characteristics of the Ford v10 engine...

1- It does NOT "like to rev". It is actually the most diesel-like of most any modern gas engine. There are actually many reasons (again, facts actually) why it SHOULDN'T be run much over 4k.

2- It WILL NOT make more power or get better gas mileage with premium fuel on stock engine calibrations. (The qualifier for this one is premium fuel IS a good idea when at low altitudes, in hot weather or towing heavy loads. It will still not improve mileage or power, it will simply keep the engine from knocking.)

3- It is extremely hard to hear this engine knocking, if you do, it's either something else or it's knocking BADLY.


On what 5 Star tuning does and doesn't do on the late model Ford V10...

1- It WILL NOT get you any better gas mileage. The 87 octane tune (most common) does nothing to help engine efficiency and actually by poorly managing the Power Enrichment, it will use MORE fuel at WOT. (Wide Open Throttle.)

2- It WILL NOT give you any more power whatsoever outside of WOT. The tune simply makes the throttle open at a lower pedal percentage to give the illusion of increased power.

3- It WILL NOT have any effect whatsoever on the amount of heat the engine produces. In theory you can hypothesize all kinds of things, in real life it WILL NOT make any difference.

I can't think of any others at the moment. I'm not interested in filling this thread with personal attacks or posts simply to increase a members post count. (That's my way of kindly asking a few key members to please leave this thread alone.) Lets try to keep this on subject and informative. I can back up every word I've said here with data, not just my "feelings" or links to somewhere else on the internet that I read more false information.

If you have honest questions and an open mind, feel free to ask them and I'll do my best to answer them with factual data.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:14 PM   #2
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I found a couple logs showing data relating to whether the V10 "Likes to rev" so I thought I'd preemptively try to answer those questions...

The first one shows engine noise. The red trace is from my knock sensor system, it's basically reading noise in the ~6.4kHz range, listening for engine knock. Notice the "floor" of the readings, they start to rise at around 4000 rpm, and rise exponentially around 4700rpm. If I let that shift go any higher, that engine noise would also keep rising exponentially.

Mechanical engine noise is obviously an indication of engine stress. (I'm not talking about exhaust or intake noise.) Engine stress goes up in just about every single internal combustion engine exponentially. It can be at all different levels obviously, but the thing to remember is an increase of just a couple hundred rpm can mean engine stresses can actually DOUBLE. The mechanical engine noise in a late model Ford V10 goes up significantly at 4k rpm and continues to rise.


The second picture shows the power curve. (this log is from a totally stock engine.) Notice the green "MAF lb/min" trace in the bottom section of the chart. At 4500rpm it actually starts to go DOWN. That means even though the engine is spinning faster, it's actually starting to take in LESS air. It's literally suffocating. (There are a dozen reasons for that. I'll put a couple pics below to show just one of them.) You can see the torque curve, it of course starts to drop off. What you don't see is HP, but you can tell what it's doing by looking at the air mass and also the Absolute Load. It's the white trace in the 4th section of the chart. It starts to drop off at 4k rpm. By not quite 4600rpm it's dropped 10%! So airflow and absolute load are dropping at again, an exponential rate, so what's the airflow and load (directly relates to power output) going to be at say 5k rpm? The answer is "Not enough to be there". lol.

I haven't even gotten into the factors of it being a V10, crank stroke, cam profiles and cam timing, engine calibrations, ignition timing, etc, etc. Don't try to put too much emphasis on it being an overhead cam engine, that's not a big factor and actually was (my opinion here) done for marketing reasons more than actual functionality. GM has proved over and over that pushrod V8's are a more effective design. Ford finally listened on the new engine. Overhead cams are awesome in 4 bangers. They're pretty good in V6's. So-so in V8's and actually a stupid idea in a V10. You want to see a (relatively) big engine that likes to rev? Try just about every GM LS/LT engine made, and they have pushrods! I'll run my 800+ hp overdriven supercharger (more drag, not rev "happy") 6.2L V8 to 6k all day long and it will like it! My Ford V10 would take a healthy dose of nitrous to even get close to turning 6k. The bottom line is this, the Ford V10 is an engine that not only isn't "happy" revving over 4500rpm, it really shouldn't be run much over 4000rpm. That's pretty "diesel like" for a gas engine.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:29 PM   #3
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You may not even need 5star tune. Go to Ford first and make sure your RV has the most current ECU flash. I had 5star tune for years - and liked it - but had issues with using scanning devices with it so I wanted to make sure I had a good program.


Went to Ford and had them reflash to stock. Tech said I had an update.


To this day, driving Fl to MI and back, I think the Ford programming is just as good if not better than 5star for shifting.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gmtec16450yz View Post
If you have honest questions and an open mind, feel free to ask them and I'll do my best to answer them with factual data.
What is/are the source of your facts?

Ray
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
1- It does NOT "like to rev". It is actually the most diesel-like of most any modern gas engine. There are actually many reasons (again, facts actually) why it SHOULDN'T be run much over 4k.
Good analysis. It needs to be reving to make power. 4k is a good power rpm. One thing I've noticed, and this applies to making power. On a hard climb when its hot out, I need to keep the rpms up high to make power. HOWEVER, Power is heat, one thing I noticed is the thermostat controlled clutch fan doesn't like these high rpms and won't engage if the rpms are much over 4k. So I usually need to back off a little to get the clutch to engage, usually around 3800 or 3900 rpm..
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:27 PM   #6
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Fun fact for you guys while I think of it...


All engines need some sort of Power Enrichment when under load. Ford delays this power enrichment for 60 seconds in the stock calibrations. Meaning you have to have your foot to the floor for 60 seconds straight until the engine gets the additional fuel it needs to run properly. Let off for a second and the 60 second timer resets. They do this for emission reasons.

That's bad enough, but there's another factor that even most engine tuners don't know... The Ford V10 WILL NOT go into Power Enrichment when the cruise control is being used. Ever. Yikes! The engine calibrations use Pedal Position for PE, instead of actual Throttle Position like GM does. So if the cruise is on, for many things like PE, the ECM thinks you're at closed throttle because the pedal is at 0%. Pretty stupid on Ford's part.

So the lesson is, do not use cruise control when you're in any kind of heavy load/climbing situations.


Quote:
Does the 5 Star tune do anything to change how PE works with cruise, or should I not use cruise when in less-than-flat travel?
The "no PE while using cruise control" situation is in the basic firmware of the Ford ECM. You can't change it, but you can make the fueling perfect by other means. So no, the 5 Star tune doesn't effect the fact that there's no PE while using cruise control. And yes, the answer is you shouldn't use cruise control unless it's nice flat ground cruising.

The 5 Star tune removes the 60 second PE delay, they change it to 2 seconds. They also lower the PE/pedal position trigger slightly (from 90% to 80%), which is supposed to make PE come on sooner but actually doesn't do much. Lastly, they richen the PE Lambda even further than Ford does, which is already ridiculously rich because they delay it so much. (OEM calibrations are known for dumping a ton of fuel in PE because by the time they enable it, the cats are about to melt and the extra fuel cools them down.)

When tuned properly, what you want is a gradual and smooth transition from stoich (14.10:1 air/fuel ratio or 1.0 Lambda) to richer mixtures as load increases. In addition to that, you can also gain mileage by going leaner than stoich, like 1.03 to 1.05 Lambda, during low load cruise and idle conditions. Those things can be done in the Ford ECM using HPTuners, it's not done that way in the stock calibrations or in the 5 Star tunes.



Quote:
I will also look into HP tuners as an option. Or is that more for the do it your self tune? And will require hours of research to get the right (and safe) tune?

Again, excellent questions! Thanks! Are you ready for more to "digest"? lol.
HPTuners is simply a tool. 5 Star's "tool" is SCT. They are both basically interfaces (hardware) and software that lets you read, edit and then re-program ECM/TCM calibrations. They also have logging/charting/graphing capabilities. There are many others, EFILive, Motec, Diablo, etc. Obviously the "tool" is only as good as the person's hand that holds them. They can be anything from amazing to like putting a loaded gun in a baby's hand.

The one difference is HPTuners doesn't sell the tunes themselves, they are a hardware and software company. They concentrate on making the most powerful tuning software for professional tuners. 5 Star is actually just a shop that USES tuning hardware and software (SCT) to build "tunes" to sell. What 5 Star does is extremely basic and somewhat primitive. They make VERY little changes to each table/parameter and leave most everything else stock. I just looked at the comparison logs between a stock Ford tune and a 5 Star tune, they made changes in 22 engine tables and 42 transmission tables. I also compared one of the tunes in my particular Ford V10, I made changes in 59 engine tables and 71 transmission tables. The degrees of changes between each table can be anything from one single value out of hundreds of cells in a single table, or the entire table is modified from stock values.

In defense of 5 Star, they've created an easy way for the majority of owners to make their engines and transmissions work better. They obviously have to build a "tune" that they can sell to hundreds of people and not worry about it changing too much. They're also bound by some amount of emission laws. ALL engine modifications like this are illegal btw. 5 Star has gotten away with it because they change almost nothing that has any effect on emissions other than WOT, which isn't as regulated.

Quote:
That is the first time I've heard about the fuel enrichment delay and certainly explains why there is such a dramatic difference in performance after installing the tune!
The "dramatic difference" that people feel when they put in a 5 Star tune is simply that, A FEELING. (I'm talking about the engine calibrations, not trans changes.) In any engine calibration there are many things that set the relationship between the pedal and the throttle on the actual engine. IT'S NOT A 1:1 RELATIONSHIP. You can have your foot to the floor but the actual throttle might only be open half way. Or you could have your foot pushing down the pedal only 1/4 of the way, but have the throttle wide open. That's what the 5 Star tuning does. They change the relationship between your foot and the engine. Ideally you want your pedal position to follow your demand for power. That's the basis of most all modern ECM calibrations, they're "Demand" or "Torque Request" based. You "demand" half of the engine's power by pushing the pedal half way. The ECM determines what to do with the actual throttle (and a dozen other variables) to give you exactly half of the total power the engine can produce.

Did everyone "digest" that? haha. Ok so here's the interesting and VERY important part... What if you change some of the tables in the engine calibration so that the power delivered at wide open throttle is now delivered as soon as your foot pushes the pedal half way down? What happens is you give the illusion of power, you are NOT increasing the overall power whatsoever. So when the person driving puts the new tune in, the power they felt at 1/4 or 1/2 throttle is now WAY more, because they normally would have had to push the pedal further to get that exact same power.

That above is a big deal. Read it a few times if it doesn't make sense. If you guys want to know more about this, I can make the next "chapter" explaining how the pedal/throttle relationship is in the stock calibration, vs. the 5 Star, vs. what I do. Here's a teaser... in one of those your throttle will go WIDE OPEN as soon as your foot pushes the pedal down 35% of the way. So there is absolutely no difference between that 35% and if you pushed it all the way to the floor. Try it sometime on your own rigs, push the pedal half or 3/4 down and feel the power. Then push it all the way. Most won't feel a difference because a lot of times there is none. The throttle was already wide open.

Here's another huge point... Remember I said Power Enrichment is tied to PEDAL position and not THROTTLE position? Guess what? Your pedal is at 35%, but your throttle is wide open. Are you getting power enrichment? NOPE! Remember stock PE doesn't come on until 90%. 5 Star lowers that to 80%. It's meaningless when the throttle goes wide open at way below those numbers. See how complicated and important these little details are? And that's just one example of how you can really wreck the calibrations (and blow engines) if you don't know what you're doing.

Back to ___'s questions... Yes, it takes not "hours of research" but YEARS of experience, knowledge, training, trial and error and a ton of patience to be able to properly make changes to what the OEM has done. And for those that think the OEM's know best and nobody should be messing with trying to make it better? The OEM's DO know best. That doesn't mean they're free to DO what's best. They are bound by a million different factors when they're building an engine/trans calibration. It's a huge compromise. If people like me or the guys at 5 Star couldn't make what they've done better, the entire aftermarket industry wouldn't exist. In the particular case of these Ford V10's, they can be made HUGELY BETTER than what Ford did. And in the process of simply increasing power, if done correctly they can deliver better fuel mileage, far smoother driveability and actually increased dependability and durability than stock.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:18 AM   #7
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5-star

What about the dyno chart from 5-star that shows about 25 HP gain at 3400 RPM?


https://5startuning.com/got-a-v10-rv/#iLightbox[image_carousel_1]/1
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:31 AM   #8
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With my 5 speed engine, I'm happy with the 5 Star Tune just because of the difference it makes in the transmission shifting points. I didn't buy it for fuel economy. Nor did I purchase it to get more power, although the transmission shift points could contribute to the feeling of more power. Could I have been OK without the 5 Star Tune..of course I could. But I'll stick with the 5 Star Tune.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:32 AM   #9
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What about the dyno chart from 5-star that shows about 25 HP gain at 3400 RPM?


https://5startuning.com/got-a-v10-rv/#iLightbox[image_carousel_1]/1
As mentioned in point #2, that increase in power will only be realised at WOT. ( Wide Open Throttle )

I've had 2, V10s and its rare that I drive them with my foot to the floor.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:17 AM   #10
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As mentioned in point #2, that increase in power will only be realised at WOT. ( Wide Open Throttle )

I've had 2, V10s and its rare that I drive them with my foot to the floor.

The full increase of power will be at WOT , but there will be smaller increases at part throttle . I'm sure the horsepower doesn't jump 25hp from 99% to 100% throttle opening at the same RPM.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:46 AM   #11
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The full increase of power will be at WOT , but there will be smaller increases at part throttle . I'm sure the horsepower doesn't jump 25hp from 99% to 100% throttle opening at the same RPM.
Of course the HP doesn't jump up, but you don't need the increase of HP until you reach what was the WOT in the stock configuration.

Dino runs are done at WOT. The HP #s come as the RPMs climb.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:24 AM   #12
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Interesting read, I understand some of it.

Where/ how does the 75 MPH speed limiter come in to play?
I can hit 75 MPH at about 3000 RPM in 6th gear (I think that's close, I'll try to check that on my next trip) , but at any rate, it's no where near WOT or red lining the tackometer.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:05 AM   #13
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Interesting read, I understand some of it.

Where/ how does the 75 MPH speed limiter come in to play?
I can hit 75 MPH at about 3000 RPM in 6th gear (I think that's close, I'll try to check that on my next trip) , but at any rate, it's no where near WOT or red lining the tackometer.
The speed limiter is tied into the vehicle speed sensor. Its not looking at RPMs. It will take over and cut back throttle input at 75 MPH even if you were in 5th gear.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:20 AM   #14
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YAY! Now we're getting somewhere! Excellent questions and thanks for answering them for me!

Max, the speed limiter is completely separate. It's simply a value in the ECM calibration that when exceeded, the throttle/ign timing or fuel will be cut back. It can be set to anything you want when modifying a tune file. I posted a whole explanation about the driveshaft being as big or a bigger factor than tires on max speeds, I can copy and paste it here if you want.

On the dyno/power subject... The only thing 5 Star changes in the tune for a late model Ford V10 that will have any effect on overall power is PE. This is VERY important if you really want to understand how it all works. (To address NXR's question, I can provide screen shots of an actual 5 Star tune compared to a stock Ford tune if you desire. It will show things like... not a single table out of the 50 available tables in the "Spark" section of the calibration are touched in their 87 octane tune.)

I'll copy/paste more of what I've written about PE, get ready to exercise those brain cells! Isn't learning fun?!!


Quote:

Does using tow/haul mode alter use of PE mode?
No, tow/haul mode has no direct effect on PE mode.

It's all tied to pedal position on these particular engines. In the stock Ford engine calibrations, PE does not come on until your foot has physically pushed the pedal down past 90% for a full, uninterrupted 60 seconds. (Sorry to yell, I just wanted everyone to fully understand exactly how it works. lol.)

This is a really big deal because if an engine doesn't get proper power enrichment it runs dangerously lean, creates excessive heat, is FAR more apt to knock or ping and of course won't make the power it's capable of. The fact that Ford tied PE to pedal position is pretty crazy. Most every other OEM has it tied to actual engine loads, throttle position or a combination of both pedal and tps inputs. Having it tied to pedal position makes the way some aftermarket companies modify those engine calibrations even more inefficient. Like I said earlier, if you tune the engine so that the throttle goes wide open when your foot is only half way to the floor, the engine will NEVER see PE in those situations. You can show power increases in a dyno chart, but when the customers are actually driving, you've actually REDUCED the power from stock levels by basically disabling PE. Scary stuff.

more on the way...
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