The pre tuned (canned tuned as they are known) SCT tuners such as an SF3 or X3 which come loaded with canned tuning for multiple yr models gas and diesel trucks and has a section for custom tuning, is they can possibly have issues with loading a corrupted file from a different program strategy and then your stuck, and the truck won't run, even if you try to undo the file, it loses your stock file and can't ID the PCM to load a different one. I know this because it has happened to me several times in the distant past, and was a nightmare to straighten out. I do give very high credit though to SCT tech support, as they stuck it out and were able to get me going again after many hours on the phone and online, several times. (custom tuning only for your trucks PCM and transmission strategies is best)
There are many different program strategies for each trucks PCM, and they are all different from year to year. The canned tuning is supposed to cover all the different strategies, but sometimes it doesn't work like it should.
My best advice for a total trouble free SCT experience (SCT is the best way to go for these trucks) is to purchase a new blank SCT X3 tuner and have it loaded with custom tuning just for your trucks engine and transmission strategies. This way the tuner is only for your truck and will have very little chance for any corrupted file issues.
Update: it looks like the X3 tuners are being phased out and only the X4 is available anymore from dealers like KEM performance.
You can take a chance and see what happens with a used SCT tuner, make sure the device is unlocked or it will have to be sent in to SCT to be unlocked and reset for a pricey fee. If the SCT is VIN locked to another truck, the prevoius sentence applies.
None of the pre-programmed off the shelf programmers will defeat emissions devices these days. The Feds have cracked down on that because of the rampant DPF deletes that were going on with the '07.5/08+ emissions equipment. About two years ago now, the Feds sent out notice to all aftermarket tuning companies threatening huge fines. SCT had sold DPF delete pipes and programmers to compliment, and they even offered a buyback of all Off-Road emissions delete programmers.
Any used devices you buy, regardless of age, you will be instructed to update the firmware and tune files to the latest versions, or SCT will not support them. That's to cover themselves to make sure that they are in compliance with Fed regs. Any tuning to defeat the emissions systems on your vehicle will have to come from an independent custom tune provider.
Depends on who wrote the tuning programs and how they are listed. If these are pre-programmed canned tuning files, then they are usually listed by hp-torque ratings, at least they used to be. Try it and you will know right away.
Once you have driven around awhile with good tuning and become accustomed to it, it's very difficult to contemplate running stock programming. Just remember, if you tow, especially heavy towing, load a tow tune that is close to stock hp-torque numbers.
Now that you are addicted, it will be very hard to ever return to stock tuning again.
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