Tuning the 7.3 in current times

Powerstroke Cowboy

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
4,294
Reaction score
141
Location
Montana

INFRNL

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
245
Reaction score
8
Location
Colorado
Dang...and I was just enjoying getting caught up and reading about oils. I'll have to check out the thread.
I haven't seen much going on here, so I don't check too much.


Anyway, anyone want to talk more about tunes?
Andrew Arthur Finally got back to me and I think I'm learning something.

recap of tunes I have run since 2012-ish IIRC.
  • DP Tuner (2012?)
  • Bills custom PHP tunes (2012?)
  • PHP current tunes Library (2018)
  • Curtis Frost (Pocket) 2013
  • Beans diesel (2013)
  • Powerstuck (2013)
  • 1023 (2018)
  • Gearhead (2018)
  • SDK (2018)
  • Andrew Arthur (2024)
Bill's Custom tunes are still my favorite but they are lost as I no longer have access since the Hydra was released and that server got shut down:cry: I'm not even sure if I have them on an old TS chip anymore...I can only find one and not sure what's on it.

The current PHP tunes just don't seem the same and have little quirks.

All of my tunes are good/ great but all have quirks of some sort and I'm not completely satisfied with any of them.
Most issue have something to do with shifting and/ or idle/ noise.

PHP tunes idle the best and are the most quiet. PHP, GH, AA tunes are all linear and seem more reserved using full throttle range.

There are too many variable and tunes to compare. No one Tuner has the best of all tunes.

I use my GH daily/ street tune the most for my driving environment. It has the best shifting and downshifting, which helps keep smoke minimal. GH tunes work so well that I do not have to manually turn off OD constantly as I have to do with all other tunes from the other tuners.

I haven't done any scientific testing but my 1023 all out tunes seem to be better than the others but I don't know if it just feels that way or they are overall better.

In the end, they all have their place and uses.
My new Andrew Arthur tunes are a lot like PHP but smoke is minimal no matter what tune and clears up super fast. EGT's might be the best of any of my tunes. Only nitpicks are idle is around 800 and kind of noisy; otherwise really good and I might have a revision for downshifting.

I don't want to drag this out longer than i already have. Just wanted to share some things I've noticed.
I Imagine jelibuilt is more aggressive but similar.

One last thing, there are only a few that still do tunes that I'm aware of. I think I'm more of a fan of GH and AA because of the lack of smoke/ EGT's the others produce in comparison.

I'll have to think of better ways to try and compare overall power and get up and go; although most of my driving is typically mellow
 
Last edited:

INFRNL

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
245
Reaction score
8
Location
Colorado
Call me crazy, but I just Talked to Jody today and ordered one of his daily tunes for high elevation; which I live at 6500'.
I haven't run a DP tune since 2010-2012.

Apparently, when I was still stock; I got Jody's tunes originally in 2008 and had a revision done in 2010 we found out. Jody is the only OG left for tuning. I'm glad he is doing tuning that will work on the Hydra. I'm sure he's been doing it for a while now, but hadn't crossed my mind until a week or so ago.

I've found a pattern from other tunes, and IDK but seems like Jody might be the only one that actually writes/ and tunes to everything specific to your setup. Either way, i will be curious in the differences.

I'll report back once I get the tune and try it out
 

Tiha

Super Moderator
Super Mod
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
257
Reaction score
49
Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this. I agree that people are not sending tunes that match your setups anymore. Maybe injectors but that is about it.

My boss at work bought a 7.3 excursion that had already been modded. He hates every tune he has tried so far and wishes the truck was back to stock.
 

INFRNL

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
245
Reaction score
8
Location
Colorado
haha...that's how I feel. Everything was great when i was stock. Ever since mods..I've never been 100% happy with any tunes/ performance. My old PHP tunes from Bill were probably the best but not perfect either.

I just don't drive enough to be able to get revisions unless it's something I notice right away.

I got in a little drive time yesterday but i'm not ready to provide my thoughts just yet. I can tell you that this DP tune is nothing like his tunes from back in the day....this possibly might be good and bad. I'll report back later today as driving yesterday was in the dark.

I do need to pick someones brain on injectors thought...I had thoughts of kicking my 250/100's to the curb and going with 200/30's. Yesterday Jody said I should go with 180/80's and they would have more power than my current setup.

Maybe off the line and for towing but not all out. But I always thought 180's was not recommended IDK.

I'm going to attempt to do some quick unscientific comparisons in my plethora of tunes. there are some things i like from many of them, and some that just have issues. some noisy, etc

I've also recently started having issues with my SDK daily tune. it runs like crap all of a sudden. I was trying to do some comparisons on daily tunes. I have even rewritten it with no change. maybe my file got corrupt IDK. It has a mind of it's own
 

psduser1

Active member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
3,815
Reaction score
20
Location
on the road
I've run 160-180/80s for years in tow rigs, and they worked well for me. A lot of guys dislike them, especially at high rpms (race type scenario). I could see that, I guess, but in a more stable application, they worked well.
A tight 38r, a good aftermarket hpop, dual fuel, and a zf6, php and gh tunes.
It was boring to drive, literally didn't need gauges after the first 10k miles. Of course I wasn't trying to flat foot the go pedal for miles on end, and the only substantial smoke was holding wot. Turbo and hpop limitations would eventually catch up, but at that point I was in the triple digits, so not useful for towing.
250k on that setup before the odometer quit moving.
I think I'm going to live tune this next truck, simply for the issues mentioned above. The platform isn't relevant anymore to most tuners.
 

INFRNL

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
245
Reaction score
8
Location
Colorado
@psduser1 thanks for sharing your experience. Have you had any issues with excessive smoke or EGT's? Also did you go with new injectors or remans? Years ago I didn't think there would be any difference but I've seen many say if you have the budget to go new.
My reman FFD 250/100's have been fine but I get a lot of whitish/ blue smoke at first startup; especially during the winter. I don't know if it's because of the injector size, FFD, or reman's. Either way, I'm hearing you will get an overall better product using new injectors, IDK


Now for my initial thoughts on my new DP tune...
I had to have a slight revision done, still need to talk to Jody. I don't know if my Hydra has a gremlin or if he actual made a change. Because something happened today with the revision.

Anyway, how to do this...
This tune is way different than what I got from Jody back in 08. His old tunes were good but very touchy and everything came on in the first half of the pedal.

New tune is his 80 daily mountain tune for high elevation..roughly 4500+ft.
It is not touchy at all, it uses the entire travel of the skinny pedal. Extremely low smoke and EGT's. Shift points are good and my only tune that fully locks the TC between 3-4th shifts. all 100 other tunes I have I may or may not be able to feel the TC shift/ lock; however it's not fully locked like turning OD off. They aren't fully locked until in 4th/OD. I don't have time to go through all my tunes to check. I tried to test several last night. None of my tow tunes seem to have any different shifting than a normal tune either. Maybe it's because i'm not loaded, IDK.

But anyway, this new tune from Jody is great. It has slightly higher shift points and definitely higher before shifting into OD...which is a big issue with my setup driving in town where you can only go 40-50 which is 1500 rpm or below especially in OD. So I have to manually shut off OD constantly, smoke out the city, or constantly go in and out of OD; Which I hate.

So this new tune doesn't allow for that nonsense. It does really well with downshifting as well. other tunes will just lig and won't want to downshift. this tune either downshifts when it should or with little effort most of the time.
My initial tune form Jody had slightly harsh shifts and very harsh downshifts out of OD. The new revision is way better but not as seamless as some tunes. I can definitely still feel downshift out of OD, but it's not bad.

I haven't quite had enough time on the new revision; will have to go for another night drive to get a better feel, but I think it's very acceptable. Initially it was very quiet and had a super smooth idle. But I swear my truck/ hydra has a mind of it's own. It's still good and better than some tunes but today seemed a little off. even the original tune was the same as the revision. PHP still has the best idle overall.

My second current favorite tune is my Gearhead Street/ daily tune. It has a later shift into OD and is extremely easy to downshift; most of the time it's automatic once it drops below 50. This is great so I don't have to smoke everyone out lugging it til it wants to shift.

Oh, one last thing about the DP tune; The first one was very mellow overall. Doesn't seem like a typical 80 daily tune. only hits 30lbs a peak of 32 if I'm lucky. With light throttle it gets up to 45-50 nicely for a daily. If you punch it, it's like it plateaus and is on a 1% increase rate. I don't know how else to explain it. It's a fairly flat power curve. I asked Jody if he could add a little spice in the mid to high end.
So today on the revision it didn't seem any different. I drove about 15 minutes and parked for a while to do some work. When I went to leave, I got on it pulling out onto the road. It smoked a little more than normal but felt really good for a daily; so i don't know what changed. I will see if it continues this path; if it does, I will be happy.

EGT's IIRC do not get over 900, definitely below 1000 no matter what. Overall It's great and will be my main tune.

Sorry, I drug this out so much. Hopefully you guys make it through my short story and get what I tried to say. I will see if I can break it down to a short paragraph after a night drive.
 

Powerstroke Cowboy

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
4,294
Reaction score
141
Location
Montana
If you do swap out injectors, give Jim @rosewood diesel a call. He will shoot you straight. I think he's a fan of the 160/80s and 180/80. He would also be able to build you a good set of injectors.

Glad to hear Jody is still on top of things when it comes to tuning. My first tunes were from him.
 

INFRNL

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
245
Reaction score
8
Location
Colorado
If you do swap out injectors, give Jim @rosewood diesel a call. He will shoot you straight. I think he's a fan of the 160/80s and 180/80. He would also be able to build you a good set of injectors.

Glad to hear Jody is still on top of things when it comes to tuning. My first tunes were from him.
You were giving me input on the other forum, no

Yeah, AFAIK Jody and Gearhead are the only OG's left. After getting away from a canned tuned TS chip; Jody were my very first tunes as well but that was when i was still stock. They were good but too sensitive for my liking.

He's also a great guy to talk to. We spent nearly an hour on the phone when I ordered my latest tune. they are crazy expensive though. But if he is correct that the others don't seem to actually modify the tranny side; in my case it's worth it. From my return of comparing tunes, they all shift the same. GH street tune is an exception, but that's another story on all my other tunes.
I will say many of my other tunes are silky smooth/ seamless shifts though

I'd love to one day get live tuning; so they could be dialed in 100%.

I'm still torn on 180/80's and 200/30's. I guess i need to call Jim. I saw Ryan had an article on his site that says 200/ 30's would be better than 180/80's. I'm sure I'll get mixed info from everyone. I'll have to find it and post it. Too many options
 

psduser1

Active member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
3,815
Reaction score
20
Location
on the road
My injectors are all remans from unlimited diesel. They are smoky at cold startup. I think is a combination of higher mileage engines and reman high mileage injectors.
I don't really think it's any single builder screwing up the rebuild. More likely the quality of cores is deteriorating as the average mileage goes up.

As far as tuning, I started with php way back, and I would use bills tunes again if he still wrote them on a ts6. I've been running gh for the last 10 years, just cause I liked them. Zero egt problems, and minimal smoke, except at the very bottom and very top end of the rpm range.
 

Powerstroke Cowboy

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
4,294
Reaction score
141
Location
Montana
You were giving me input on the other forum, no

Yeah, AFAIK Jody and Gearhead are the only OG's left. After getting away from a canned tuned TS chip; Jody were my very first tunes as well but that was when i was still stock. They were good but too sensitive for my liking.

He's also a great guy to talk to. We spent nearly an hour on the phone when I ordered my latest tune. they are crazy expensive though. But if he is correct that the others don't seem to actually modify the tranny side; in my case it's worth it. From my return of comparing tunes, they all shift the same. GH street tune is an exception, but that's another story on all my other tunes.
I will say many of my other tunes are silky smooth/ seamless shifts though

I'd love to one day get live tuning; so they could be dialed in 100%.

I'm still torn on 180/80's and 200/30's. I guess i need to call Jim. I saw Ryan had an article on his site that says 200/ 30's would be better than 180/80's. I'm sure I'll get mixed info from everyone. I'll have to find it and post it. Too many options

Yes I was.

The best I can give though is to use what your tuner is most comfortable with.

I know Jim prefers to start with a good set of used injectors.
 

lincolnlocker

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
27,799
Reaction score
128
Location
Central Michigan
My injectors are all remans from unlimited diesel. They are smoky at cold startup. I think is a combination of higher mileage engines and reman high mileage injectors.
I don't really think it's any single builder screwing up the rebuild. More likely the quality of cores is deteriorating as the average mileage goes up.

As far as tuning, I started with php way back, and I would use bills tunes again if he still wrote them on a ts6. I've been running gh for the last 10 years, just cause I liked them. Zero egt problems, and minimal smoke, except at the very bottom and very top end of the rpm range.
What size nozzle ?
 

Latest posts

Members online

Top