So I made a little trip to Hoschton Saturday morning and got a chance to meet Jody and pick up my new F5 and switch. Very sweet setup, and great customer service off the bat considering he was willing to let me come to his house on a Saturday morning (when they are not open) to pick up my stuff.
Anyway, on to the goods. In the box comes your chip and switch, cable, instructions, detail sheet of the programs you ordered, and a little info sheet on how to use the switch.
I ordered my chip with
0: No Start
2: Hi Idle of 1100rpm
3: 40 'tow'
4: 80 'economy'
5: 120 'race'
6: 140 'aggressive' with a lope idle
Since I have a manual transmission, the 'tow' and 'economy' etc don't really apply. They're just HP settings.
So...maintain's video pretty much covers the install process, but I figured I'd just do a really quick pic by pic.
Loosen the 10mm bolt in the PCM connector on the firewall side, and remove the connector. Inside the truck (since I have a giant clutch pedal in the way) the instructions point out it is easier to remove the PCM from the truck by removing the entire metal bracket it mounts to. This consists of removing the two 10mm bolts that hold it on.
Remove the PCM from the plastic sleeve. Then remove the bolts on the PCM cover:
Pop out the black plastic cover, and get started on removing the board coating over the contacts. This was actually a lot more involved than I expected, no wonder this is a source of problems with the final operation for some people. As per the instructions, scrape it off, then take the scotchbrite to it. Eventually you will have clean brushed tin. Some copper will begin to show through.
ready to rock:
Next...plug the cable into the chip, and the chip onto the PCM board and reassemble the case.
Then the instructions tell you to use cloth tape to hold the chip in place.
I opted to drill a hole into the plastic case to run the switch wire.
Here is a just because picture of the PCM hole through the firewall.
I originally mounted the switch in the location the instructions suggest, but quickly found I considered it unacceptable for a few reasons. More on that later.
I then decided to mount my switch in the factory location for the adjustable pedal switch ( i think? ). I popped the cover out and started to trim the hole to fit the cable connector on the backside of the switch. I also cut to slits on the side of the hole to make room for my ziptie...more on this later too. I mounted it to the panel with a larger piece of industrial strength velcro.
The reason I chose a new location was because the suggested location isn't (wasn't for me anyway) visible from the driver's seat while driving in a straight line. Since this is 99.9999% what is going to be going on, I figured this location would work better for me. This next pic is shatty quality, but the point of it is to show the suggested location is hidden by the wheel and this location isn't.
pic of the wire tucked away and ziptied in with the rest of my gauge harness excess:
so, my opinion on the chip:
On the whole, bad fuhreakin ***. This is probably one of the coolest things I've ever done to any motor vehicle ever. Driveability is so drastically improved I am actually still laughing out loud when I drive it. I drove a edge j/a'ed 01 cummins HO 6spd, and this is more fun to drive hands down. I can roll coal like I'm getting paid for it. The 6spd is more of a PITA than ever because now I have to shift what seems like every half second. The clutch slips at maybe 3/4 throttle on the 120 and 140 settings going 60mph in 5th (6th, whatever you want to call it) gear. Hi idle works perfect, and I do not get a check engine light going to the stock setting. No start also works and is a cool feature fo sho. My 140 does not lope, but after discussing it with Jody and Diane, I learned that the lope can affect the driveability in that rpm range and I do have a aggressive/lope combo file, but it may require a little tuning to get it actually chop at idle (if that's what i want). All in all, money well spent.
Now...a few things I want to say. I don't want people to think I'm bagging this product, because I am 100% in the DP-Tuner
camp, but here are a few opinions of mine:
Being an engineer, I am all about the fit and finish and attention to detail of products. I do not like the fact that the recommended way to hold the chip into the PCM is 'cloth tape.' That just does not sound like a solution to a product I want to use for another 200,000 miles. I think the cable ends and receptacles on the chip and switch need to have locking tabs or some kind of locking feature. Given the fact that my switch becoming dislodged will turn my ENGINE off, I would almost even prefer a bolted connection like the factory PCM connection. I just do not have confidence in the connection between the cable and chip and cable and switch; its not a tight fit at all. This is why I have a ziptie around my switch. I'm already having an intermittent inop issue with the chip coming from the cable/switch interface, and I've had it installed for about 24 hours. That is why I put the zip tie on there, and I still had to do a little jiggling to get it function. However, given my previous experience with Jody and Diane, I am sure they will offer fast assistance to get this cleared up. The switch itself is kind of cheesy feeling, but it works and that's what matters.
I guess my basic point is this: At the prices we (I) paid for these chips, I want some nicer equipment. I want a way to secure the chip into the PCM that isn't duct tape, and I want secure LOCKING connections at the cable ends simply because of the implications of disconnecting the switch while the vehicle is in operation. I'm messing with the PCM of my most valuable possession and I don't think that after I paid almost half a grand for this chip I should be jiggling and ziptieing the thing together to get it to work. Great customer service and really fast truck aren't going to do me a damn bit of good when I lose power steering because my engine shut off because my PCM fried because my chip's switch became dislodged because I hit a pothole.
So...cliffs notes. DP-tuner
's tunes absolutely rock, their customer service is some of the best I've ever dealt with. The physical equipment itself leaves a Lot to be desired for me. Would I buy it again? or recommend it to anyone else? uhh, of course. this thing rocks!!
edit: sweet...i get to update my sig