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Discussion Starter #1
So I plan on doing my EGR delete in a few months and I have ARP head studs and will need 2 tunes for the EGR delete but I don't know what to ask the tuner for. I am more interested in a reliable truck than having a hot rod. here is what I want, a stock or maybe a hair better performance daily driver tune and the same for a safe tow tune. I know I need 2 tunes so what do I ask for spec wise to achieve this? Lets just say the 5th wheel weighs around 15Klbs to be safe. Keep in mind it has to have some kind of tune to keep it out of limp mode with the EGR delete.
 

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I called these guys and liked what they had to say and their prices so I went with their tow tunes. They have an unlimited tune that keeps the truck almost stock and keeps it from limp mode with the EGR delete which is what I am looking for.
http://www.gearheadautomotiveperformance.com/index.php
 

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One thing I didn't know, They said to leave the EGR valve in place and connected when I do the EGR delete... with his tunes and EGR valve connected but off, the fan retains proper function in tow haul.... good to know because I use that function on steep grades.... I think its used to load the engine and help slow you down.
 
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I am in a similar situation but don't tow more than 10k. I am getting an SCT from mkmcustoms with 3 free tunes but I plan to ask them the same questions. I just want an economy for mileage for highway trips, moderate tow and something close to stock or slightly higher for normal trips to town. I did the egr delete and also a cat delete so I need the tune to deal with that. Not looking to tear anything up.

I will wait and see if there are any more suggestions.

:popcorn
 

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I almost went with MKM but heard that gear heads were smoother shifting... I have no way of proving this and don't want to take away from what MKM does..... just another reason I went with gear heads... did you leave your valve in place when you did the delete?
 

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I almost went with MKM but heard that gear heads were smoother shifting... I have no way of proving this and don't want to take away from what MKM does..... just another reason I went with gear heads... did you leave your valve in place when you did the delete?
My EGR valve is still in place. I paid to have the EGR delete and Oil cooler done but wished I would have done it myself after I found some of the shortcuts they took (Turbo was loose and CAC boots kept falling off). I am going to try the ones from MKM since the X3 is the same price with 3 tunes. If I don't like them I plan to take Harry 6.0's advice and contact KEM - they charge $50 per tune on their webpage.
 

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I almost went with MKM but heard that gear heads were smoother shifting... I have no way of proving this and don't want to take away from what MKM does..... just another reason I went with gear heads... did you leave your valve in place when you did the delete?
I got my SCT from mkm customs today and will get it going next week. Still waiting for the transmission rebuild to be finished. I did go back to KEM's web page and they offered almost the same deal. I really wish the sct+kem offering would have stated 3 custom tunes included in bold print. Guess I was sleepy the first time I visited because it didn't register that custom tunes were included. Bullet points help speed readers like myself.

Wes
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was going to go with KEM as well but he wanted $50 than Gearheads.
 

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I am surprised its that hard to write these tunes...I thought once you had the race or tow file built you could just insert the truck specs and SCT serial number and be done with it....+ or - a few tweaks. Maybe some trucks require so much fine tuning it becomes a burden for the tuner.
 

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I would guess the initial investment is quite high. We sell software options for equipment at work and lots of $ goes into R&D along with my expensive *** to do the field support. I don't mind paying for premium and since I'm a novice at best look to guys on this site who use their trucks daily and have a lot of experience. I just mis-read the offering at KEM. For $399 I could have gotten the sct with 3 tunes and he comes highly recommended by guys on this site. Innovative diesel also gets alot of good feedback. I figure worse case now I have to go to one of them and buy a couple of tunes and $50 each isn't too bad. Not knocking anyone but if you don't have a reputation then you normally have to go lower price and my guess is that is what these guys are doing to get on the market. Capitalism its cool. I also have to assume sct protects tune shops from having what they developed copied or stolen and resold by other tuner shops.

Hopefully be trying out the sct and tunes next weekend tranny is supposed to be done Monday.

Wes
 

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Discussion Starter #11
yeah....hard to complain about a "buck a horsepower" pretty cheap upgrade!:rock
 

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This might be a dumb question but does the tow haul button still work in custom tunes? I plan to get economy, tow and stock all with egr delete for my 3 from mkm. Hopefully have truck tomorrow or Tuesday so I can hook up the sct and get the strategy code from the PCM to send in to them. Waiting for the tranny rebuild is starting to kill me. I'm down to just over 2 weeks before I go out west.

I guess what I mean above is in the stock tune does tow haul work like a stock truck. All I am looking for right now is resolving the egr delete and get a tow and economy tune to choose from.
 

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It should still work. I just got my tow tune from Gearhead tonight and went for a ride.... I like it, shifted smooth from the start, Has a little more than stock power and no smoke when you punch it. Cant wait to do the EGR D. and pull the camper. He recommended just using the tow tune as a daily drive tune as well. I guess I will too, the lie-O meter was showing 19MPG at 65MPH in my F350. Normally the lie-O meter showed 16.5MPG at 65.
 
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It should still work. I just got my tow tune from Gearhead tonight and went for a ride.... I like it, shifted smooth from the start, Has a little more than stock power and no smoke when you punch it. Cant wait to do the EGR D. and pull the camper. He recommended just using the tow tune as a daily drive tune as well. I guess I will too, the lie-O meter was showing 19MPG at 65MPH in my F350. Normally the lie-O meter showed 16.5MPG at 65.
Cool. Can hardly wait to try this out. It makes sense since really all the tow haul button does is make the RPMs go up higher before shifting and use the engine as a brake during deceleration. I just wasn't sure if custom tunes ignore the button.

Thanks!

Wes
 

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Yes, tow haul will work the same as before, and you can also have more agressive tow haul programming too, like the original tow haul programming that 6.0L came with before Ford reprogrammed all the trucks to a milder tow haul mode. They claimed the original tow haul programming was not suitable for slippery conditions like in ice/winter while towing (too aggressive downshifting), but I actually think it was much better in general non winter conditions. You have to ask for this feature to be tweaked in a custom tuning program, and not all custom tuning programmers know how.

Once you get dialed in with good custom tuning, you will find it hard, if not impossible to ever run with stock tuning again, you will become addicted to the power and how well the truck runs. Just be smart with the programs you run for the conditions you use your truck, like never tow with an aggressive street tune, always use a tow tune for towing, or close to stock tuning, especially if it's a fairly heavy load.

Harry
 
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Yes, tow haul will work the same as before, and you can also have more agressive tow haul programming too, like the original tow haul programming that 6.0L came with before Ford reprogrammed all the trucks to a milder tow haul mode. They claimed the original tow haul programming was not suitable for slippery conditions like in ice/winter while towing (too aggressive downshifting), but I actually think it was much better in general non winter conditions. You have to ask for this feature to be tweaked in a custom tuning program, and not all custom tuning programmers know how.

Once you get dialed in with good custom tuning, you will find it hard, if not impossible to ever run with stock tuning again, you will become addicted to the power and how well the truck runs. Just be smart with the programs you run for the conditions you use your truck, like never tow with an aggressive street tune, always use a tow tune for towing, or close to stock tuning, especially if it's a fairly heavy load.

Harry
I think I'm on track to be an addict. :happydance. Problem is truck is still in the shop. Supposed to be done tomorrow but I won't be back till Thursday morning from traveling for work. I need to scan the PCM for strategy codes to submit to try out the MKM tunes and decide if I should order some from KEM. Time is short with 2 weeks to go. :peelout
 

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I've played with tuning 6.0Ls now since 2007. For towing I like a really mild tune, maybe 20hp or so and 60-80tq over stock in the 1600-2400rpm range. It doesn't require much fuel or timing or change to turbo function to accomplish these numbers. More to my liking is to normalize the accelerator pedal, make it more linear, or even stretch the curve and limit the peak wide open throttle power.

Exhaust braking, if set up right to work in conjunction with a locked converter, makes a huge difference on descents, and believe it or not on slower winding mountain roads, you pull it down to 3rd and use the throttle gently and evenly accelerating and decelerating at a more constant average speed. The turbo stays spooled up as a side effect of the exhaust braking, so you don't have to roll into the throttle as hard coming out of a turn, something that is honestly easier on the whole rig and you as a driver.

Transmission function has to be the best part of a good tow tune. It should hold the gear a couple hundred rpm longer at part throttle on the climb up to speed. Accelerating while at speed when a downshift is required, the downshift should come a little earlier. Those two things take some stress off of both the engine and transmission. The shifts should all be a little quicker timed and firmer in application for increased longevity and the internal pressures should be up a bit to prevent slippage, all of which will help the trans run cooler and last longer.

Tuners charge what they charge because it honestly takes a lot of work to get everything just right. Honestly only maybe 20% of the price you pay covers all that work. The rest of the tune price covers the time to make the file specific to you and any changes that may be required after you take delivery and test the file. Tuning is kind of a thankless service for the most part, the tuner develops a file, fine tunes it and tweaks it to suit your specific needs, but the minute another shop releases a new tune that someone raves about, you switch or request the cool new hotness. This is why I only do it for friends now.
 
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