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Old 08-26-2014, 10:04 PM   #1
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Computer tuning

I have a 2014 Ram 2500 with the 5.7. I like to fancy myself as having a good bit of knowledge when it comes to the automotive world but I am perplexed. When I left the house today to make the 80 mile run to the campground the truck seemed to struggle to maintain speed and wanted to wind out the gears to accelerate, which I understand that is normal for a gasser, but it just seemed sluggish. The more we drove the stronger the truck got. Accelerating wasn't a chore, maintaining speed was easier. The weather didn't change, no disappearing headwind, etc. so my question is, does the truck realize after a while that it is needing more grunt and the computer adjusts? Again, just curious. The truck was a completely different animal in the matter of 30 miles.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:42 PM   #2
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Electronic tuning of a modern V-8 engine returns little improvements--and might make you have to run premium fuel.

Now if you had a turbo engine, a tuner would return large improvements in horsepower and efficiency.

Any performance improvements for your truck would start with a high performance air intake system and a larger exhaust system.
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:57 AM   #3
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I doubt the engine pc could program more power like that... might u have had a brake dragging on the trailer?
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:41 AM   #4
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Did you possibly have a strong headwind that either subsided or changed direction later in the run? I've been driving my class A coach and heard the wind blowing hard in my face and literally feel it slow me down as I'm moving. Wind makes a huge difference when you are pulling a huge billboard.

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Old 08-27-2014, 09:01 AM   #5
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The "tune" in your truck's computer (electronic control module (ECM) or powertrain control module (PCM)) is a computer program. That program is written by a computer programming guru who understands all the inputs and outputs of that computer. The tune cannot "learn" and make changes on your driving habits or wind conditions, but it uses the normal sensors to process the info about your engine and drivetrain.

For example, your truck probably has sensors for tranny temp, oil temp and coolant temp, and those temps are inputs to the PCM. When the tranny and the engine are cold, the logic in the PCM tells the engine to baby the drivetrain by not producing full power until the fluids warm up enough to properly lubricate and protect the engine and tranny parts. On my diesel pickup, it required about 20 miles when towing before the tranny reached normal operating temp. So after about 20 miles, the engine "woke up" and went to work. The PCM didn't "learn", it simply used the tranny temp to reduce power until the tranny warmed up.

I suspect that's what your PCM was doing - reducing power output until the truck was fully warmed up. And if all the sensors are working properly, then the PCM knows when your truck is warm enough to handle full power.

The PCM also has logic to determine if a sensor is not working as designed. In that case, you get a "check engine" or similar light on the dash to tell you to have your PCM scanned to see what is the problem.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:23 AM   #6
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Thanks Smokey. That makes sense. I will pay attention on the way home to see if the same pattern is present.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I doubt the engine pc could program more power like that... might u have had a brake dragging on the trailer?
I stopped after about 20 miles thinking about a dragging brake and held the back of my hand to each wheel and no one seemed warmer than the others. How would one check for something like that? Jack up each wheel and spin it by hand?
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:30 PM   #8
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You could get a infered gun to check temps. But if it's cool to the touch you should be fine.

And as far as tuning find a shop that uses a computer programmer called HP Tuners. They can do dyno tuning and you can make more power with this type of programming. Much better than the bullydog or similar box tunes. If you are going to look into this tuning maybey look into at least adding a air intake and possible a newer more free flowing exhaust. And when looking for air intakes find a company that builds it out of plastic vs a aluminum tube this will help with reduced heat soak.

And lots of muffler company's out there look for something with a strait the perforated core. Go with a good company like borla,corsa or mbrp. Avoid company's like flow master or magnaflow as they will fail sooner and just make a bunch of noise with no real performance gains.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Go with a good company like borla,corsa or mbrp. Avoid company's like flow master or magnaflow as they will fail sooner and just make a bunch of noise with no real performance gains.
Baloney! Not true of a MagnaFlow stainless steel exhaust system. I installed a MagnaFlow 4" turbo-back 409 stainless steel exhaust system in my PowerStroke diesel and it was still going strong when I sold the pickup 11 years later. Definite performance gains, in the form of a few MPH increased speed without exceeding the exhaust gas temp (EGT) red line when towing a 5er up a mountain pass. Sounded good, too. And about the same price as an MBRP that made a lot more obnoxious exhaust racket.

The cheaper aluminized steel exhaust systems, regardless of brand name, will rust out before the tow vehicle is worn out. But the stainless steel exhaust systems will be buried with the frame of the tow vehicle.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:17 AM   #10
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Yes I know you think magnaflow is good and you don't like the pics that I showed about magnaflow failing. And I know you don't understand about what magnaflows cheap ass packing is all about.

Here is more info right from magnaflow. We have seen lots of blow outs and failures with our mufflers when used on turbo and super charged applications. So even though you thought your truck sounded good it did not.

You buy from a company that builds with 300 seires stainless and backs it with a true lifetime Warantey. Good company's like borla,corsa,mbrp. These mufflers will stand the test of time. Not like magnaflow which just builds polished shiny stuff to make people think they are getting a good product.
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