How should I pick who to purchase my tuner from - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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How should I pick who to purchase my tuner from

I am about to purchase an SCT X3.
Should I be taking into consideration who will be doing the tuning?
I've seen a lot of posts praising one person or another for their capability to do custom tunes. How can I pick the right person to do my tunes?

One of my early goals is to solve my cold start issues.
Another goal is to get a good tune that doesn't require that I stud the heads.

How do I pick who to buy the tuner from?

06' F250 Mods:

Performance related:
-K&N E-0780 Air Box, ZooDad Mod
-Garrett Powermax Turbo, CFM+ Smallmouth Intake Manifold
-Blue Fuel Pressure Spring, Large fuel lines from pressure regulator to heads
-MBRP 4" Turbo back exhaust; cat installed
-SCT SF3 Tuner w/SRL custom tunes from Matt at GearheadAutomotivePerformance.com

Reliability Mods:
-Refurbished 50 volt FICM, Eliminated STC fitting, upgraded stand pipes and dummy plugs, Bulletproof Diesel EGR cooler, upgraded turbo oil supply and drain
-Oil change rotation; 5k-5W40/5k-15W40/5k-15W40
--Rotella T5 or Valvoline Blue Extreme 5W40, Rotella or NAPA 15W40, Archoil 9100 friction modifier (16 ounces to crank case; 10 ounces to each differential)
--2/3 Qt. tcw3 2 cycle oil per tank Power Service (5 oz. Stanadyne every tank)
-Cooling system flush with Restore and VC-9 @ 73,000 miles w/new thermostat
-Eliminated clunk while sitting at a light (75,000 miles); Lubed rear drive-shaft spline with Ford lubricant; Symptom returned at 100,000 miles...re-lubed at 112,000 miles....wow!! it's so smooth again.

Miscellaneous:
-1/2" shim on carrier bearing mount
-Batteries:
--Original Motorcraft lasted 4 1/2 years
--AutoZone Duralast Gold lasted less than 3 years
---(with 2/0 cables between + terminals)
--Still on 2nd set of Autozone Gold (replaced free)
-Alternator:
--DC Power 185 amp
Future Mods:
-Teflon sway bar bushings
-Moog Ball Joints (originals seem to be holding tight at 108,000 miles; it's just a daily driver, so this seems to make sense)
-Cooling system filter
-OEM HG/ARP studs
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 05:41 PM
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Id get the cold start problem fixed first. could be a bad injector. Either way a possible fuel problem will most likely only be magnified by a tune.

with that said you probably wont go wrong with any of them . I have tunes from Dfuser and Innovative Diesel. i run Innovative's most of the time.

'04 6.0, 4.5" lift, straight piped, SCT tunes by Innovative Diesel, studded, coolant filter, EGR delete Tru track in the rear, sounds by JL audio some other odds and ends
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Mattsn,

I'm not sure I have anything 'wrong'. I've been dealing with my 'cold start' problem since I bought the truck new.
I re-soldered the FICM which improved how it responded, however, it was a very minor improvement.
I took it to the dealer, started it in 5 degree F conditions and drove it with the service advisor in the truck; he said, well I see a little white smoke when it first takes off from a light, but I don't see anything that tells me that something is wrong. So, it may simply be that I expect too much.
So when I say I want to find a tuner that can tune for cold weather, I mean someone who knows how to tune for extreme cold (and I should also include 5-10,000 ft altitude), even when the truck is fully warmed up. Don't know whether you have ever driven a diesel in sub-degree weather at 5,000 ft altitude, but, when I drive mine at minus 10 degree temps it idles fine, but, when I pull away from a light it runs with power for 5-10 seconds, then starts to lose power. I don't think this indicates that something is wrong so much as having the right fuel metering in these extreme conditions. I have a Bully Dog air box and this is probably contributing to my cold weather issues; it may just be getting too high volume of cold air.

Anyway, I'm looking for a tuner that can both recommend some changes to my truck as well as deal with altitude and cold.

06' F250 Mods:

Performance related:
-K&N E-0780 Air Box, ZooDad Mod
-Garrett Powermax Turbo, CFM+ Smallmouth Intake Manifold
-Blue Fuel Pressure Spring, Large fuel lines from pressure regulator to heads
-MBRP 4" Turbo back exhaust; cat installed
-SCT SF3 Tuner w/SRL custom tunes from Matt at GearheadAutomotivePerformance.com

Reliability Mods:
-Refurbished 50 volt FICM, Eliminated STC fitting, upgraded stand pipes and dummy plugs, Bulletproof Diesel EGR cooler, upgraded turbo oil supply and drain
-Oil change rotation; 5k-5W40/5k-15W40/5k-15W40
--Rotella T5 or Valvoline Blue Extreme 5W40, Rotella or NAPA 15W40, Archoil 9100 friction modifier (16 ounces to crank case; 10 ounces to each differential)
--2/3 Qt. tcw3 2 cycle oil per tank Power Service (5 oz. Stanadyne every tank)
-Cooling system flush with Restore and VC-9 @ 73,000 miles w/new thermostat
-Eliminated clunk while sitting at a light (75,000 miles); Lubed rear drive-shaft spline with Ford lubricant; Symptom returned at 100,000 miles...re-lubed at 112,000 miles....wow!! it's so smooth again.

Miscellaneous:
-1/2" shim on carrier bearing mount
-Batteries:
--Original Motorcraft lasted 4 1/2 years
--AutoZone Duralast Gold lasted less than 3 years
---(with 2/0 cables between + terminals)
--Still on 2nd set of Autozone Gold (replaced free)
-Alternator:
--DC Power 185 amp
Future Mods:
-Teflon sway bar bushings
-Moog Ball Joints (originals seem to be holding tight at 108,000 miles; it's just a daily driver, so this seems to make sense)
-Cooling system filter
-OEM HG/ARP studs
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 06:10 PM
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The better tuners should be able to give you a little improvement, but remember, these guys primarily tune for power, not drivability.

Ask for the following:
Glow plug light on time, have it increased by 20-50%
Glow plug on time at altitude, increase by 20-50% at temps under 40 deg F
Increase the commanded boost at low rpm slightly in the altitude tables
Decrease the timing by .5-1 degree in the altitude tables to generate more heat

All of this can be done to aid in cold drivability. Perhaps more. But again, aftermarket tuners are power guys not drivability guys. I've done a lot of drivability work and it's the hardest part of tuning because different people have different driving styles. Drivability for different parts of the country is also different, and it can get very frustrating for the tuner. Fortunately with little more than an air intake and exhaust to adjust for on these trucks, it's possible to leave the idle and cruise portions of the tune relatively stock on a 6.0 and not have too many issues.

The Current Truck (Oct-2013 to Present):
1999 (Early) F-350 Lariat, CCLB, SRW, Black/Tan

7.3L Powerstroke, 4R100, 4x4, 3.73, 37x13.50-18s, '05 Axle Swap, 6" Fabtech lift, GTP38 "D66" turbo upgrade, SCT 4-position chip with custom tuning by me, Straight Piped 4" down pipe through 5" dual stacks, N-Fab full length triple steps, Pro-Tech cab guard and tool box, louvered 5th wheel gate, Hella 500 Fog and Driving lamps, much more to come...
The one I'll miss, (Mar-2009 to Jan-2014):
2000 Excursion XLT 4x4

6.8L V-10, 4R100, 4.30, 285/75-18, 271whp / 388wtq
The one I won't, (Jul-2005 to Sep-2012):
2005 F-350 XLT, CCLB, SRW, 4x4 FX4

6.0L PSD, ZF-6S650, 3.73, 35x12.5-18, 4.5" Lift
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Idaho F350,

That's the knid of information I need.
Do you drive at altitude and what lo end temps are typical for you?

06' F250 Mods:

Performance related:
-K&N E-0780 Air Box, ZooDad Mod
-Garrett Powermax Turbo, CFM+ Smallmouth Intake Manifold
-Blue Fuel Pressure Spring, Large fuel lines from pressure regulator to heads
-MBRP 4" Turbo back exhaust; cat installed
-SCT SF3 Tuner w/SRL custom tunes from Matt at GearheadAutomotivePerformance.com

Reliability Mods:
-Refurbished 50 volt FICM, Eliminated STC fitting, upgraded stand pipes and dummy plugs, Bulletproof Diesel EGR cooler, upgraded turbo oil supply and drain
-Oil change rotation; 5k-5W40/5k-15W40/5k-15W40
--Rotella T5 or Valvoline Blue Extreme 5W40, Rotella or NAPA 15W40, Archoil 9100 friction modifier (16 ounces to crank case; 10 ounces to each differential)
--2/3 Qt. tcw3 2 cycle oil per tank Power Service (5 oz. Stanadyne every tank)
-Cooling system flush with Restore and VC-9 @ 73,000 miles w/new thermostat
-Eliminated clunk while sitting at a light (75,000 miles); Lubed rear drive-shaft spline with Ford lubricant; Symptom returned at 100,000 miles...re-lubed at 112,000 miles....wow!! it's so smooth again.

Miscellaneous:
-1/2" shim on carrier bearing mount
-Batteries:
--Original Motorcraft lasted 4 1/2 years
--AutoZone Duralast Gold lasted less than 3 years
---(with 2/0 cables between + terminals)
--Still on 2nd set of Autozone Gold (replaced free)
-Alternator:
--DC Power 185 amp
Future Mods:
-Teflon sway bar bushings
-Moog Ball Joints (originals seem to be holding tight at 108,000 miles; it's just a daily driver, so this seems to make sense)
-Cooling system filter
-OEM HG/ARP studs
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:33 AM
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good topic for a newbie!!
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