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Old 12-04-2011, 08:47 AM   #15
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If you're still under warranty, you need to consider the risk involved in gaining 1-2 MPG. The numbers you hear from others who did modifications may not be what you get with the same modification. There are so many variables involved. Do some math calculations on cost versus gains.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:23 AM   #16
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Mr John - I believe you and I have the exact same rig, '05 Aspect. We typically get around 9-11 mpg @ average 60 mph. It varies significantly depending on wind direction.
I bought a Scangauge and you can notice a distinct difference in mileage depending on wind.
We recently completed a 3000 mile trip and averaged about 10.1 overall. But I use the cruise control consistently on long flat stretches and disengage it up and down hills. That seems to make a difference.
I too have thought about a 5 Star or Brazels tune, but am not convinced it would be worth the expense. I am not unhappy with the performance of the stock V10, it seems to have plenty of power. We haven' t towed anything yet though and we usually travel with 1/2 to full fresh water tank.
If you go for the 5 Star or Brazels tune, I'd be interested in hearing your results.
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:49 PM   #17
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Getting a tunner will help you get the most out of any other mods you may have done.

Getting more power out of any engine isn't rocket surgery, you need to get more cool air and fuel into the the beast and get more left over combustion out. You can also do some stuff with when you light the cylinder, but with the new computer control, that is hard to fiddle with much now.

So what you can do with out opening the engine and start swapping cams and porting heads is intake and exhaust.

Intake side you want to pull air from out side the engine bay, then send it to the engine via a insulated intake piping.

exhaust side is headers, high flow cats, and a high flow muffler.

Now here is where the tunner shines, it can help your computer use these add ons to make more power.

There are other little things, but you have to know how the computer manages things. Like the 7.4 Vortec starts to pull timing at 190* coolant temp. Guess what thermostat comes stock, 190*. You can put a cooler one in and make more power, but if you go to cool you hurt your self.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:35 PM   #18
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Interesting side note: In one month I chatted with the national service manager for Workhorse who had been out to a dealer to inspect an engine that had been "Highly modified" About the only "Performance enhancemnt" he'd not tried was Ultra Power and Banks. But he had one of the less expensive "Chips" and other modifications (Never the best, only the rest) and... A nice big hole in a piston or two. Warranty denied.

Then I was speaking with the Governor of my Moose lodge, who is a Ford man, (Sells and or services Fords for a local dealership) who described one of his cuss-some-mores (Hey, sometimes that's the term that fits) who had, like Alan's man, had highly modified the engine of his Ford Muscle car in the same manner... Everything Except the best.. All the cut rate stuff. and a nice big hole in his pistion too.

Once again: Warranty denied.


If you are going to upgrade.. DO IT RIGHT.. Banks or Ultra Power

I've looked at both, the claims, the reports and Frankly I think Banks is over priced and not worth it.. Ultra Power on the other hand looks like a good deal. Fair chance of recovery of cost. and it is what I'm planing on getting.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #19
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A chip will not help fuel economy any appreciable amount. It will not have a lot of effect on a gas engine and you may well wind up having to run premium fuel.

On a diesel engine, a chip, programer or tuner will make vast improvments.

You fuel economy is about right fro the RV you have.

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Old 12-04-2011, 04:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Interesting side note: In one month I chatted with the national service manager for Workhorse who had been out to a dealer to inspect an engine that had been "Highly modified" About the only "Performance enhancemnt" he'd not tried was Ultra Power and Banks. But he had one of the less expensive "Chips" and other modifications (Never the best, only the rest) and... A nice big hole in a piston or two. Warranty denied.

Then I was speaking with the Governor of my Moose lodge, who is a Ford man, (Sells and or services Fords for a local dealership) who described one of his cuss-some-mores (Hey, sometimes that's the term that fits) who had, like Alan's man, had highly modified the engine of his Ford Muscle car in the same manner... Everything Except the best.. All the cut rate stuff. and a nice big hole in his pistion too.

Once again: Warranty denied.


If you are going to upgrade.. DO IT RIGHT.. Banks or Ultra Power

I've looked at both, the claims, the reports and Frankly I think Banks is over priced and not worth it.. Ultra Power on the other hand looks like a good deal. Fair chance of recovery of cost. and it is what I'm planing on getting.
I think it's fair to say that these "cheap" mods will not automatically result in holes in the pistons. Many people, dare I say most people, use such products and get nothing more than light in the wallet. Who knows what else was done and under what circumstances came about to create that scenario.

That said, and information gathered, I will be dropping the next spare $395 on the 5 Star tune...there is a lot to be gained in different shift points as well as tweaking the A/F mixture and timing under certain load ranges. The generic tune that comes from the factory is not one size fits all and Ford knows it. Many times they are trying to meet emission standards first and then see if they can keep it running.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:07 PM   #21
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I do agree, the "Cheap"mods will not automatically blow your engine. you will note that in the twin stories I said "Highly Modified" The owner had made multiple modifications, NONE of them Banks or Ultra power.. all lower cost products.

It was the combination of things that was just too much for the hardware.

One of the thing some "chips" do if you are looking for better MPG is to lean out the mix a bit.. This results in pre-ignition "ping" and a hotter running engine and... Blown pistons. I do not know if UP or Banks do this (Since I don't know exactly what they do) but if they do they have fine tuned the adjustment.

My position is this: (And I might add this comes from my electronics training and experience) There comes a point when you are tuning an "Engine" be it an automotive engine or an electronic device (Radio "Engine") when you reach the point of diminishing returns... That is to say you are going to get more improvement per dollar buying better hardware than you are paying a technician to fine tune further.

Not far from where I'm typing is a radio transceiver, I've spoken to several countries with this 100 watt box. and typed to many more at less than half that power. Yet to cover just one city.. At work we needed 150 watts (NOTE: one of the bands this box covers is roughly equal to the one we used in the city)

In the city I covered the same area with 10 watts in my car as the company did with 100.

WHY: Because when I'm tuning my radio.. I don't reach that point. I'm not spending money fine tuning MY hardware.. I don't get paid.

What the better chips do.. Is go beyond that point.

What the cheap chips do is... Well, all too often they just toss in a different "Vehicle Profile" they don't do any real work at all. Which is why Ultra Power and Banks stand behind what they do.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:11 PM   #22
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Thanks to all for the informative replies. I don't have an extra $395 or more to drop into the engine at this time and it sounds like I am right in the ball park with my fuel mileage. Since I generally tow a small Saturn I don't expect great fuel mileage results. The vehicle is out of mfg warranty but I don't want to screw something up just to "try" and save a few bucks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:51 AM   #23
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A hole in the piston sounds a lot like forced induction. I have never seen a modern OBD II engine that was NA and had all sensors on line and not bypassed melt down.

Forced induction on the other hand will melt down and combustion engine is seconds if not tuned correctly. This is why the turbo diesel boys watch EGTs so close. Turn the boost up past what the injectors will handle and she will melt the pistons in no time flat.

Same on a gas engine as well, but harder to control. You have to find a balance of enough fuel under boost, and yet still be able to control it while not under boost so it doesn't run pig rich.

All in all, none of this is black magic, and most of it has been done before, so the path to safe power is clear. Unless your trying to get faster ET's or set a land speed records, someone has done the hard work for you, and paid the big prices to do so. It's now up to you to decide how your going to use the info.

If your on a budget, I recommend reading truck forums that deal with your engine type if you can and see what works for them and decide if you think it will lend it's self to your motorhome. You can find many small improvements that can add up, like a 180* thermostat and gapping plugs at. 045. Cost is about 20 bucks and is good for about 5-10 hp depending.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:07 AM   #24
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Well, we've had two Banks systems, one on a '98 Ford 460 and now on a '02 Cummins 350/1050.
In both cases the Banks SYSTEM has been well worth the money. It's all there in a dyno tested package with nothing to add or change afterward. No trouble with the 460, on the Cummins I did have a bad wiring loom and Banks sent another one. Working fine since then and the HP/torque increase is substantial. It's more than just the raw figures show. I can't say I've noticed a fuel mileage increase. But I didn't buy it with that in mind.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:09 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKomar View Post
A hole in the piston sounds a lot like forced induction. I have never seen a modern OBD II engine that was NA and had all sensors on line and not bypassed melt down.

Forced induction on the other hand will melt down and combustion engine is seconds if not tuned correctly. This is why the turbo diesel boys watch EGTs so close. Turn the boost up past what the injectors will handle and she will melt the pistons in no time flat.

Same on a gas engine as well, but harder to control. You have to find a balance of enough fuel under boost, and yet still be able to control it while not under boost so it doesn't run pig rich.

All in all, none of this is black magic, and most of it has been done before, so the path to safe power is clear. Unless your trying to get faster ET's or set a land speed records, someone has done the hard work for you, and paid the big prices to do so. It's now up to you to decide how your going to use the info.

If your on a budget, I recommend reading truck forums that deal with your engine type if you can and see what works for them and decide if you think it will lend it's self to your motorhome. You can find many small improvements that can add up, like a 180* thermostat and gapping plugs at. 045. Cost is about 20 bucks and is good for about 5-10 hp depending.
Too lean burns pistons on gas engines.
Too rich burns piston on diesel engines.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:26 AM   #26
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Too lean burns pistons on gas engines.
Too rich burns piston on diesel engines.
One of my best friends is the senior engine builder for Ed Pink. He's also been a builder for Honda and TRD Indy cars. You are absolutely correct.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:09 PM   #27
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If your Ford engine is still under factory warranty and you "chip it" or install a "tuner" or make any "unauthorized" changes to your computer you will VOID your warranty....Check with your dealer and he can show you the bulletin. Once your dealer plugs his equipment into your computer it will tell him if you have ever had anything plugged into it.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:35 PM   #28
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Too lean burns pistons on gas engines.
Too rich burns piston on diesel engines.
Your right, I was day dreaming of melted two stroke pistons and not paying attention.

Gas engines are air based, they need more air to pick up RPM, thus throttle plates in carbs and throttle bodies.

Diesel is fuel based, you have to add more fuel to pick up RPM.
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