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Old 03-24-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
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Engine tuners

I hope I haven't dumped this topic in the wrong place! But here goes anyway:

Does anyone out there have any experience with engine tuners? These would be the electronic gizmos that tune the fuel injection system to provide maximum mileage or maximum power by modifying the way the computer operates the engine. I won't mention manufacturers but there are several well known names in the market and all claim to provide changes to the injection system that will provide great benefits.

In this day of $5. ? gal gasoline it would be nice to be able to squeeze every mile out of a tank!
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:54 PM   #2
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I have the ford v-10 in our motorhome and use the 5star tunner.very happy.more power and a little better mileage
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:05 AM   #3
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i just did the 5star tuner and it has improved the mpg a little, but its hard to make any big difference without causing engine problems. most of the newer engines are getting pretty much of the power out of their design. -jmho-
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:16 AM   #4
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The manufacturers say that our engines are tuned to make them run clean but not necessarily better. The theory being that if they run a bit dirtier they will provide more power and that means less throttle for a given engine speed which means more mpg (I am an unreformed Canadian and still use the Imperial system like my southern friends. What is a kilometer anyway?) Is this actually the case or are they just blowing ( more ) smoke?

Of course I am finding it hard to locate one for my G.M. 5.7 anyway.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:40 AM   #5
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I have played around with tuners on a couple of gas engines, both ford and gm. I found small gains but nothing warranting the cost of a top end tuner. Diesel on the other hand make huge gains if done correctly.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:53 AM   #6
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Just to chime in from the diesel world. While having the rear differential rebuilt at an off road shop a couple of years ago, I was approached about putting in an engine tuner for my 6.0L diesel. I don't remember the exact cost but it was somewhere in the $2800.00 range. I asked how much better my gas mileage would be and was told 1 mpg, maybe 2. When I scoffed at the price for such a modest MPG increase, they told me it was more about the extra power than the gas mileage. I don't know about anyone else, but I haven’t had any “lack of power” issues with my TV and even at todays prices $2800.00 buys a lot of fuel.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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I have considerable experience with tuners of various types onboth gas and deisel engines. The 68camaro in my sig runs an aftermarket efi that I tune with a laptop

1 all factory tunes are a compromise. Driveability, cold manners, federal specs, the ability to overcome "stupid input" such as suddenly floorboarding the throttle and of course the ever present and pretty much mutually exclusive federal mileage and emissions rules.

2 power requires fuel. Asking a "tuner" is give you better mileage is an oxymoron. The only better mileage is thru the use of your right foot. Use less, you'll get better mileage. Cruise slower, you'll get better mileage.

Tuners can do a lot of good things.
No one can explian the idiocy of fords shift schedule on 4 speed v10's, but a tuner can fix it.
Generally there is always more power to be had at wot on a gas engine. The feds don't test there after all.

Diesels are a whole nother thing. Fuel plus boost equals power, period end of discussion. As long as you can keep the heads on the engine you're golden. Just don't exceed 1350 degrees egt for more than a few seconds and it's all good.

Again though, tuning for more power won't get u better mileage, except perhaps convincing your v10 that it won't die if it's not revving at 4k, and it doesn't need to drop out of overdrive at the sight of a hill on the horizon.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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Thanks Jim68. I have to ask: if tuners on gas engines don't provide much of an improvement why are you running on on your Camaro? Recognizing that all engines are 'de-tuned' is there not enough potential improvement to make a tuner worth while?
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:01 AM   #9
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Just get it you will be happy
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishaPalooza View Post
Just to chime in from the diesel world. While having the rear differential rebuilt at an off road shop a couple of years ago, I was approached about putting in an engine tuner for my 6.0L diesel. I don't remember the exact cost but it was somewhere in the $2800.00 range. I asked how much better my gas mileage would be and was told 1 mpg, maybe 2. When I scoffed at the price for such a modest MPG increase, they told me it was more about the extra power than the gas mileage. I don't know about anyone else, but I haven’t had any “lack of power” issues with my TV and even at todays prices $2800.00 buys a lot of fuel.
I have a Smarty S67 with the ME23 tune on my truck and this is one of the top of the line tuners for the Cummins engine. This added 60 HP/120 LB-FT over the stock power. I did not spend anywhere near the $2800 you quoted, my cost for the tuner was $680.00 (bought new in 09).

I picked up between 3 and 4 MPG towing along with 3 to 4 MPG in city driving and a good 4 MPG when not towing on the highway at 65 MPH. I have over 4+ years of records to prove this claim. So I have paid for this tuner already by the fuel savings.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:29 PM   #11
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Some days you just can't win.
Non of the tuners I can find are designed for the Chev 5.7L engine. And here I was looking forward to smoking the dulies on my Trailite. Looks like the only way I will be doing that is with the parking brake!
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TROONORTH
Thanks Jim68. I have to ask: if tuners on gas engines don't provide much of an improvement why are you running on on your Camaro? Recognizing that all engines are 'de-tuned' is there not enough potential improvement to make a tuner worth while?
The question was "will a tuner give me better mileage" and the simplified version of my answer is "I doubt it"

A Tuner will give you more power.

As for my camaro....
It's been cross country 3 times. Running, with all 4 wheels on the road. On the highway at 80 mph, it gets 23 mpg. At the local dragstrip, she'll run mid 12's at 109. On the sMe tires, same mufflers, same tune, naver opening the hood.

A nicely tuned efi system has totally tamed a 550 hp musclecar.

And a good aftermarket tune in your rv can do some good things too.

But power still equals fuel. Make more, use more. Can't change the laws of physics.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:57 PM   #13
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Troonorth

Look into (google) 'westers tunes' it think it comes up as Westers garage. They have a list of tunes based on what octane gasoline you want to run. They can make a 'custom tune' based on your specific 'towing' needs or issues.


As was said there isn't as much room for improvement on gas engines vs diesel engines.
ex: Our 07 classic Denali 6.0l gas, cost $1000 for go from 335hp to est 405hp. (tune, CIA, exhaust) Mileage was not any worse, but the fun factor was very noticeable!
Our 08 F-450 6.4l twin turbo Diesel ... OH MY! $1200 went from 325hp to 580hp (at the wheels) (again tune, CIA, exhaust) and this truck is impressive!! It will crush the tuned 6.0 Denali 0-60mph. (actually in any performance category including mpg! Mileage increase is more noticeable, but the fun factor is unbelievable!!

Bottom line: buying a tune for any vehicle for the sole reason of improved MPG takes a long time and lots of miles before your net gains are realized!
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:11 PM   #14
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I do not (At this time) use any tuner or "Chip" improvement, though I am considering Ultra Power as a future purchase.

THEORY: and I stress this is THEORY, When the engine is shipped, the factory does not know what it will be installed in.. For example.. I will use an Chevy 8.1L Vortec V8 (no longer made) will it be installed in a Silverado? A 10,000 pound Straight truck, A motor home or a boat? They really don't know.. Not the boat folks will re-chip it, but most of the others do not, The result is.. Some slight improvement may well be possible. Hence the Ultra Power.

WARNING: however: There are many companies out there, From what I have read, and what I have been able to find out, Ultra Power and Banks, are good, tried and true, they will do no harm. Some of the other products out there..... Well.. Blown engines are a common issue with "Chippers" and "Tuners" if you are not careful.
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