We’re going to be talking about tuning, preferably custom tuning versus box tuning. Basically, box tuning is like an Edge or a PPE, etc. Start out with custom tunes.
Custom tunes are tunes that are specific for your truck. It accounts for the different modifications that you’ve done for your truck. If you have an exhaust, an intake, if you have a built trans versus a stock trans, if you have bigger injectors versus stock injectors, bigger turbo versus stock turbo, etc., built motor versus stock motor.
Tunes are specific for your truck, the tuner who is doing the tuning for you is going to be taking the information that you send them, and it’s going to recalibrate the tunes for your truck. So, if you have a stock intake, but you have an exhaust and a lift pump, then they’re going to take that into account. If you have an exhaust with an intake, but you don’t have a lift pump, they’re going to take that into account.
Testing different parameters
The horsepower levels are done at the rear wheels, versus the flywheel. A lot of custom tuners have dynos available to them, and they have trucks that just sit on the dyno constantly, and they’re testing different parameters that they’re going through on the tuning. And, the levels that they send you, say if it’s a 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 for five tunes, that’s 30 at the rear wheels, 60 at the rear wheels, 90 at the rear wheels, etc. And, these tunes are dyno proven.
The tuner himself, herself, whoever’s doing the tuning, sits there and has a truck on a dyno, and just goes through the parameters on the dyno and changes the tune, changes the tune, changes the tune, just a little bitty tweak, and dynos, dynos, dynos. And, the tunes already calibrate for the tire size of the vehicle.
So even, basically for your lifted truck, if you have a lifted truck, you’re running 35-inch tires or bigger on your lifted truck, you will have the tunes already calibrate for your tire size. Each tune is already calibrated for that specific tire size. Now, if you decide to go with a bigger tire, if you decide to take the lift-off, or bring the lift down and go with the smaller tire, all you have to do is send out an email saying, “Hey, I changed tire sizes.” And, they’ll send you new tunes that you load up onto your truck through your AutoCal, your SCT, whatever.
Basically, on a Duramax, you can add trans tuning through your EFILive AutoCal or your EZ-Lynk. That EZ-Lynk has come out with trans tuning for the A50, it’s for the A50 TCMs. You can actually have trans tuning on your vehicle now. On like Power Strokes and Cummins trucks that are automatics, most of the tunes come with trans tuning available already.
Box tunes like Edge Evolution Programmer, or a PPE Xcelerator, or anything that’s handheld that’s in a box basically; besides EFILive, because EFILive is a custom tune.
With box tuners, the tunes are for just an everyday truck, so it can go anywhere from a stock truck, like stock exhaust, stock intake, stock turbo, stock trans, stock injectors, all of that. Or it can also include like if you just want to get a little program or just for added horsepower, added fuel economy, and you have the exhaust on it, or if you put an air intake on it, things like that. It doesn’t accommodate for specific stuff, that’s just the way box tunes are.
The horsepower levels with box tuning
The horsepower levels are done at the flywheel. Most of the tuners from the little programmer companies, usually have an engine dyno rather than a chassis dyno. Calculates the horsepower and torque levels at the flywheel versus at the rear wheels. So, if the programmer says, “Plus a hundred horsepower, plus 220-pound feet of torque”, then you’re looking at the flywheel, and you have to calculate it through the driveline to your wheels. So, you’re probably only getting maybe 60 to 70 horsepower at the wheels on a plus 100 horsepower tune in a programmer.
Programmers can calibrate for the tire size, but each time you change a tune, it has to be done. You have to calibrate the tire size each time with the tuning. That means if you decide to go from like a tow tune to a performance tune, then you have to go in, calibrate and change the tire size for that tow tune, or for that performance tune.
Another thing mainly with Duramax-powered trucks, you’re looking at no trans tuning from a programmer. With Power Stroke trucks, depending on the programmer, the programmer will add line pressure. With Power Stroke and Cummins engines, trucks, the programmer does add line pressure, if you opt for the included trans tuning with the programmer.
Duramax-powered trucks though, the Allison’s are very, very particular about what they like and what they don’t like. Trans tuning is not really an available thing with a programmer. You can only really get trans tuning through your custom tuning dealer, or your custom tuner himself, herself. And, most of the trans tuning for Duramax-powered trucks is done through EFILive, and now available through EZ-Lynk as well.