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Old 04-25-2014, 12:19 PM   #1
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F250 & PHP Hydra Performance Chip

Hi All,

Recently installed one of these on my '02 truck and so fate am very impressed. The reason I thought of posting this was that I recently read a comment on here that 'chipping' engines was akin to the Snake Oil argument and if it more power and better fuel consumption was possible, the factory would have done it already - with the same engine I mean. Obviously newer engine designs are are now 400+ but we have moved on 15+ years!

My experience is the same as many I read about on various Powerstroke forums, i.e. generally positive.
What have I got for my $400? Well, an additional 120HP if I need it and going from stock 255 to 370+ is a huge difference. But more importantly, on a recent 1500 trip, I got a 15% improvement in fuel economy on the same trip I made last year at the same time of year. This was on the +100HP setting, keeping at a steady 65ish mph.

Before anyone asks, no I aren't receiving commission from PHP! Would I recommend to others? Yes I would. The only caution is that you need to watch temperatures if you do 'keep the pedal to the metal' as more HP when used in anger done generate more heat.

Would be interested in hearing other peoples experiences as well.

Andy 'n' Alison. Lancashire, England
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:11 PM   #2
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A banks cold air intake and Monster exhaust would accomplish the same thing. The basic concepts of diesel performance call for more air in and less restriction out. At that point for a 1 hour service fee at a dealer they will tune it to max power for the the new air flow. Huge performance boost and much improved mpg without compromising egt by simply adding fuel with no way to cool down the exhaust. Many engines melted down from that.

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Old 04-25-2014, 06:16 PM   #3
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Nice to hear from the other side of the pond. Watch your transmission with that extra horsepower.
'15 38RSSA Mobile Suites
'05 36TK3 Mobile Suites--retired but not forgotten
'17 F450--trying one more Ford
'09 F450--died, replaced with '10--retired
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by go4dsnow View Post
A banks cold air intake and Monster exhaust would accomplish the same thing.
No, not even close.

What a good cold air intake and performance diesel exhaust system gives you is the ability to tow a heavier load, or climb a steeper grade, or at a higher speed, or some combination of increased load/grade/speed, than with a stock intake and exhaust system without exceeding 1,250 EGT. The free flow of air through the engine will add a few horses and some torque, but nowhere near the 80 horses of a PHP (or DP-Tuner) 80-horse towing tune.

If you're going to run a tune from a chip or tuner/programmer that increases HP, then first you must have gauges - especially a pyrometer with the sender installed before the turbo (pre turbo). Then exhaust gas temp (EGT) is your limiter. If you never allow more than 1,250 pre-turbo EGT, then you won't harm the engine, regardless of the max power a well-designed tune can achieve.

Of course that assumes you also don't allow more than 25 PSI of turbo boost with a stock turbo, but you probably cannot achieve more than 25 PSI boost without going over 1,250 EGT.

The 7.3L engine of a 2002 SuperDuty diesel was tied to a 4R100 tranny with an inadequate stock factory tranny cooling system. So another gauge you must have is a tranny temp gauge with the sender installed where it will give you "sump" temp - i.e., the temp in the bottom of the tranny pan. The 4R100 tranny has a port on the side of the tranny that will give you sump temp. Then when towing heavy any time the torque converter is unlocked, whether in hills, or mountains, or stop-and-go rush-hour city traffic, watch that gauge like a hawk, and NEVER allow more than 225 tranny sump temp.

The experts on the 7.3L diesel engine and 4R100 tranny hang out in the 7.3L engine and drivetrain forums on Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com. The guys in that forum will verify the facts above.

Originally Posted by UKGuy
...'chipping' engines was akin to the Snake Oil argument and if it more power and better fuel consumption was possible, the factory would have done it already -...
No, the manufacturer has different goals than you, the owner/operator. Ford wants the 7.3L to last half a million miles with lousy maintenance. So they de-tune the engine for engine longevity when driven and maintained by the average numbskull owner that can't be bothered to read the Owner's Guide. But owners that know enough to increase the towing performance of their truck are not numbskull owners.

A guru diesel engine tuner such as Bill Cahron at Power Hungary Performance (PHP) can write a computer program (tune) that can increase both HP and torque without decreasing the longevity or reliability of your engine - provided you do your part of driving by the gauges and NEVER exceeding the redlines of 1,250 pre-turbo EGT, 225 tranny sump temp, and 25 PSI turbo boost.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:00 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, very useful info. Gauges were the next thing on my shopping list although I don't tow anything over 3k lbs. A bit wimpy compared to you guys! I don't anticipate keeping the revs in the red either, just steady away. Be interesting to see how the temps are with just gentle revs and taking it easy. The tranny gauge on the dash hasn't moved from normal so far but not sure where that is measuring the temp.
Thanks again.
Andy 'n' Alison. Lancashire, England
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:07 PM   #6
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You aren't getting that full 120+HP, sorry. That is a guess. It all depends on turbo and intake system, exhaust, high pressure oil and fuel supply, injectors, so on and so forth. But I know it feels like it.

Your stock trans temp gauge will only tell it's too hot once it's too late. You do need extra gauges; or should anyway.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by UKGuy View Post
. The tranny gauge on the dash hasn't moved from normal so far but not sure where that is measuring the temp.
The stock tranny temp gauge in the 2002-up PowerStroke pickups is not a gauge - it's an idiot gauge. No numbers. It's very misleading because of the way Ford calibrated it. And it is not analog - it jumps from zone to zone instead of an even crawl.

Green means go. As long as you're in the green zone, you're okay.

But keep an eye on it and the instant it jumps from green to yellow, pull over and stop, put the tranny in neutral or park, and elevate the idle RPM to 1,200 or 1,300. Then sit there twiddling your thumbs until the gauge jumps back into the green. Yellow means you're too hot. It does not mean you should keep an eye on the gauge the way the yellow zone usually means on most gauges. It means DANGER - STOP NOW!!! Your tranny sump temp is already over 225.

Red means say bye bye to your tranny. It's probably burned up. Hope you make it to the next town without having to call a wrecker.

Needless to say, experienced trailer toters consider the factory so-called tranny temp gauge to be almost useless. So leave it installed, but also install an aftermarket gauge with numbers between 200 and 250. 210 is getting hot, so watch it closely. 225 is the red line, so don't go there. Autometer or ISSPRO gauges are good. Here's the one I had:
ISSPRO R5659R EV Series Trans Temp Gauge at DieselManor

Notice the bottom peg is at 100 - so you'll know it's working in the wintertime. 220 is prominent and readable, so use that as your red line.

The stock tranny temp gauge sender is in the valve body of the tranny, where the ATF is about 15 hotter than sump temp. So if you use a scanner or tuner to pull the tranny temp from the computer, then use 240 instead of 225 as the red line.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:03 AM   #8
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You will also notice higher EGT temps at lower RPM. When I am towing heavy, on long grades my EGT will start to climb to around 1200. At this poing th eengine is at maybe 1500 rpm and not making too much boost. The low rpm and lack of turbo speed (boost) are what cause the high EGTs. If I downshift the boost jumps right up and the temps drop quick. Lots of fuel and less intake air are what cause high EGTs in diesels. I know this is opposite of how you think in a gas engine, but it was explained to me like this: A diesel engine is like a coal fired locomotive, feed it more fuel and it gets hotter and faster and much more powerful, until the whole thing just blows up.

Get some gauges, I did mine before I started any modifications on my truck.

Good luck, enjoy the new chip
2012 Keystone Passport Express Super Lite 190 EXP
2001 Ford F-250 7.3
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:35 PM   #9
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I have used a programmer going on 7 years and will continue for a while.
The advantage for me is more power with less boost while towing. Along with protection for my engine in every way. I figured from the start that the automakers detune for protection from idiots that over do it.
I use the Hypertech product that has been engineered right from day one. They test to breaking points so the confidence is there. Used gauge for 3 years and no alarms as stated by Hypertech.
So it's right that there is close to 20% more available but common sense must be used.
The last thing I need to do is to improve intake and exhaust. It only helps at higher RPM and I tow at 2000 RPM max.
Been there and bought the T shirt. It didn't work.
But I have a standard and know where the well used clutch will slip. But I tow at better fuel mileage setting so top power is not required for my needs.

Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
2005 Ford F250 SD, XL F250 4x4, Long Box, 6.0L Diesel, 6 Speed Stick, Hypertech Max Energy for Fuel mileage of 21 MPusG empty, 12.6 MPusG pulling the BC. ScangaugeII for display..
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