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Old 08-28-2009, 11:28 AM   #1
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Performance Chips

As for the so called performance chips and the sort, smarter people then I have engineered our vehicles power train systems through many generation of evolution and any alteration would seem to create an imbalance that the engineers did not design into the system as a whole. There are so many specific expectations to insure the system as a whole work as they were designed. Engine coolants, lubrications, ignition, system computers, internal parts, vehicle weight compliance, fuel specifications, tire pressure and the list goes on and on and on. It seems arrogant to me that we the owners are smarter than these engineers and we can simple change there design to server our perceived needs.
The engineers that make the chips and “tuners” do not n necessarily consult the original manufacture to insure they programming a product that conforms to each manufactures specific drive train combinations. The manufacture on the other hand does concentrate on the specific requirements of there drive train combination.
I am a computer programmer and I think of the drive train (engine, exhaust, transmission, axle, etc.) like a computer program. A working program that is will designed, will work forever. Many hundreds of parts and pieces engineered to exacting tolerances and standards need to work together in harmony. But one little change can cause unexpected problems and trouble that is difficult to troubleshoot. It is the “Weakest Link” theory. If you change the horsepower or torque from what the system was designed to handle over the life of the drive train, you simply accelerate the end of life of the internal parts. It is simple logic to me, but that’s how my brain works.

What is your opinion?
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:42 AM   #2
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The dealership I part time for recently took a nice Chevy 4DR diesel with Allison in on a trade (used to tow a 5er but the guy bought a MH and didn't need it any more so he bought a BMW) There was a problem with a the engine performance and a Chevy dealer in Atlanta was going to get it taken care of under warranty. When they got into the engine, they discovered the engine had been chipped. The factory rep guy that was working with our dealeship told our sales manager there is no way they could warranty anything on the engine because of the chip. I gathered from what I heard that the chip apparently voids the warranty.
Don't believe I want a chip.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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I would never chip an engine again. I had a 1989 GMC heavy half ton extended cab long bed. I was lacking power on pulling hills when I purchased my first 5th wheel. A friend told me about a chip I could install that not only would boost my power but also increase MPG. Wow, I jumped on it and chipped my 350 eng. I did notice a slight increase in power, nothing on MPG. One day cruising on I-80 from SLC, UT to Wendover NV. we hit a headwind pulling a slight grade so I hit the pedal and gained a little more speed as the tranny downshifted. I was somewhat impressed with the performance until I realized I was doing 65 MPH and the tranny was still screaming in 2nd gear. When we pulled in at the rest stop I noticed a smell of something burning, thought it was a truck parked there. We got to Wendover and back home, but after parking the 5th wheel I pulled out and put her in reverse and there was no reverse. I had no 1st gear either. $1400.00 and a week later I got my trk back. The chip was removed on the way home. The trk was a year old and had 7,000 miles on it. When I bought the chip I was told that if I ever need any warranty work done on my trk to be sure to change out the power chip before taking the trk in as it would void the warranty.
Would I chip an engine again, not in this lifetime.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:41 PM   #4
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Truth is Banks is a reputable company that has been making tuners for diesels for years. As far as I'M concerned they make the best one in the world for the GM Duramax of which I have a 2009 I also have a Banks six shooter tuner and PDA installed in it with a Banks 4' exhaust and muffler,also there KN air filter system along with a pyrometer it allows six different adjustments of HP up to 128 HP and up to 345 lbs-ft torque above stock GM setting. It controls torque converter and clutch lock up protection it detects and controls transmission slip and it is packed with safety features that help protect the Duramax from damage.The Banks engineers probably know more about the safe limits of the Durmax than GM does as GM only owns the Japanese company that makes the Duramax.
One should know how to use a diesels and read gauges before they drive one and if you own one and can read gauges you should know the limits and back out before you reach the critical limits of the power plant.My GM dealer Installed the Banks units in my 2007 and I never had a problem of any kind with it.I traded it in on my 2009 and they installed a new banks six shooter on it. I pull a heavy 5th wheel and a lot of farm wagons full of grain and if you know what you are doing you will have no problem.On the other hand throttle jockeys could melt a stock no tuner down.I like mine with a tuner in it.Just for those interested If you put the PDA in the highest setting there is a warning comes on the PDA and it states it could harm the motor in this setting and it records you except that. The wife calls that setting the ( oh my God setting ) at least that's what she screamed when I put it there to show her what it would do.One could never pull a trailer in that setting.
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:09 PM   #5
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we have a power chip in our f 250 that we tow a 5th wheel. we bought truck new and had it installed and have never had anything negative and have never had the vehicle in the shop except for the chip installation. works great. walter
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:36 PM   #6
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Actually your warranty will not voided if you have a chip. The only way it will be voided is that if there is proof that the chip is responble for the break down. There is actually a national law on this that protects the consumer. I do not have the link to this but you can find it on many of the truck forums like

I have a 97 Ford PSD that has been chipped from day one. I have had no problems with it, run all the gauges to watch temps, and have changed out the exhaust for full use of the chip.

My MH I have yet to mod. But will be going to a straight pipe exhaust to help the flow out of the turbo.

Manufactures build their equipment to obtain best performance within the parameters that they set up for warranty issues. They detune the motors so that they will not have any type of warranty issues/exposure. This means that most all motors are operating below prime HP so the manufactures have the least amount of exposure. Most all motors and drive trains are set up to handle more then what they leave the factory with. All manufactures know that many of their rides will be driven beyond what they should. This is why they limit their exposure by the detune.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:40 AM   #7
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The problem with chips is there are several folks who make 'em. Some, like Banks and Ultra Power, seem to know the difference between their exhaust pipes and a hole in the ground (think about that line a bit) and do a fairly good, to Excelent, job of making a chip that truly improves your engine.. Plus some companies (I have heard very nice things about Ultra Power) will stand behind their work.

However heaven forbid that something happens... Well, an engine is a major hunk of change.. Now if I'm the vehicle maker, and I find that there has been an "unapproved' modification.. I'm very likely to say "NO" to the warranty request. Then it is up to you to prove that the chip did not break the engine.

I have heard of at least one case where over half a dozen engines came into the same shop 1/2 with chips and 1/2 without, all with IDENTICAL failures. and the engine maker said NO to the half with chips.. Ultimatly, the shop prevailed on the engine maker (since this was clearly a defect in deisgn or manufacturer)

I have also heard of cases where an owner piled mod after mod on an engine, and the manufacturer, quite properly denied warranty.

NOTE: To the Ford/Chevy crowd.. I have heard basically the same story from representives of both Chevy (Well Workhorse custom chassis on a Chevy 8.1L) and Ford This one was in a car.

So, with performance chips you pay your money and you take your chances. However I will say this.. I have read and researched both Banks and Ultra Power.. As I said, they seem to be the best two, and to say one is truly better than the other.. I can not do. Workhorse actually copied the banks system on the "SS" line of chassises back in 2006. (Or as close as they could) Ultra Power is the one I've heard of where when Workhorse refused, they covered it and went after Workhorse on their own.

However after looking at both systems.. When I get back on my financial feet and have the bucks to spare.. I'll be paying a call on the UltraPower folks.
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:42 PM   #8
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tooldr, you dont ever add ram and or a bigger processor to run newer programs where needed????
I have a chip and I am happy as can be, I have the better power where needed and I have a big improvement in gas mileage. I talk to workhorse and my extended warranty company before I got my chip and was told that it does not affect the warranty.
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:50 PM   #9
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aarrgghhh chips ,

I think they might be able to void the warranty if there was proof that the extra performance caused the failure ..

IOW the chip produced HP/ Torque in excess of the limits of the weakest link in the powertrain ..

ya either love 'em or hate 'em ..
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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Hey, wait a minute now. If it wasn't for us Hot Rodder's and old wrench heads engineering and inventing new ideas for bigger and faster cars with more horsepower we would still be driving little old four banger fords. Oh Oh I think we're already headed back in that direction. Well, it was fun while it lasted.

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Old 08-30-2009, 07:16 AM   #11
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I resemble that remark ...

I'm a old hotrodder and wrenchead myself ..

Whatever happened to cubic inches , cams , exhausts , etc .. etc ...

Now if I can figger how to get a 500 inch aluminum block with a 16-71 on top , burning nitro to last further than a quarter mile , wud have the ultimate RV ( or anything else ) motor ..

Well mebbe it wud last longer , wud never have ta come off idle ..
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:42 AM   #12
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Its all about throttle control..........Whats the saying, 2nd place is only the 1st loser!!!
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:37 AM   #13
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No as a matter of fact I don’t. I make sure I order the computer designed by the manufacture to perform the tasks it is intended for. A desktop computer can not do the work of a file server. Adding a memory chip or processor does not change how the rest of the system is constructed. Just because you put a faster processor in doesn’t mean it will run faster if the construction of the mother board will not allow it.
Putting a dragster on a city street doesn’t mean it can go fast because of how a city street in constructed.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:02 AM   #14
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tooldr, That is not exactly a good statement. Go to control panel click on performance information and tools then read the heading.We are not talking rocket building 101 here.The tuner or chip manufactures are not going to put performance packages out to the public that will allow the added performance to twist a frame into. This goes with computers,trucks,cars,lawn mowers even the human body.Everything can have it's limits but can be performance boosted.Setting here thinking I can't think of one thing on this earth that can't be performance boosted,It is just a personal preference if one wants to do it or not. I do and I did,you don't so you wont! tooldr, my point is that I may not approve of the tires you drive on ,I may think they are unsafe and not like them.But that is your personal decision to drive on any tire you choose no matter what I think.Get the point?Color out side the lines once you may like it.Thats my second 2 cents.
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