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Discussion Starter #1
As the title states, I am in the market for (ideally 2) new tunes. I am not very well versed on tunes, so forgive me if anything I say sounds dumb. But heres what I want:

I want one tune that is specifically designed for unloaded highway driving, that would help maximize MPG.

I want another tune that would be designed for unloaded stop and go city driving. For the city one, ideally I want a tune that maximizes MPG without being too hot.

Heres where my requests might sound dumb, though: I want to maximize MPG without really turning up the engine. I know that high horse tunes and MPG usually go hand in hand, but it would be really nice to just have a couple tunes that are easy on the engine and get good MPG. So is it possible to maximize MPG without running a hot tune?

also, general tune discussion. Tell me what you guys have and how you like it!

My current tunes are just the canned SCT tunes and vivians looney tune. Also have a "looney smoke" tune that came free but I have no idea what it does and I have never used it. For some reason the word "smoke" in a tune name doesnt seem like it would lend itself to good MPG.
 

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I use a PHP FICM tune. Regardless of which tune I run (economy, 40, 80, or 100) I find I get better overall mileage (city and highway) and better driveability. Oh, and the 40 is "safe" for non-studded heads. This is just what I use. Others like what they have. I guess it just depends on how you want to get what you're looking for.
 

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Train Whistlin' Ex driver
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I've been running Gearhead's SRL and 8k tow for the last thousand miles or so and like them both, but the SRL is a lot more FUN! I don't have enough highway driving with either for MPG numbers, but around town and commuting to work (about 50miles/day of 0-50mph stoplight to stoplight) I got 15.3-15.4 mpg with the tow and 15.6-16 mpg with the SRL. The hundred miles or so of highway that I did, I preferred the SRL, better passing and better cruising speed - the tow didn't seem to want to be above 70mph. Also NO smoke unless I really stomped on it from a stop.
 

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EA - Eggfarts Anonymous!
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subb'd for some late info on 6.0 tunes! it's been a while since i researched.

and another one here with a PHP ficm tune. I've got Atlas 40 now. shows to have bumped highway mpg up about 1mpg. also, got rid of a lot of my turbo lag :p happy camper
 

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When I finally get a sct, I'll be going to 1023.
Been wanting to get "ludicrous" for the 7.3 as well. Lol

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6
do you stack the FICM tune with an SCT tune? If so what kind of tune does it stack well with?
 

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Yep, totally different systems. Lol

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Discussion Starter #8
wow those are pretty impressive city numbers, thats only a little less than what I get on the highway with my current tune. Im studded, deleted, and straight piped.. do you have any other special mods that might help boost mpg? or am I just heavy footed
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I know they are different systems, I just wanted to know if it is better to keep the SCT stock while the FICM is tuned. Other than them being different systems I do not know much about how FICM tunes work
 

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Train Whistlin' Ex driver
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Schober, if you're talking about my mpg, it's an 03 excursion with 216k, EGR delete and 4" diamond eye exhaust. That's it! I do get it up to speed and set the cruise when I can... And the numbers are hand calculated.
 

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I know they are different systems, I just wanted to know if it is better to keep the SCT stock while the FICM is tuned. Other than them being different systems I do not know much about how FICM tunes work
You can definitely stack them and see even more increases in power....and I suppose possibly MPG as well, though when people are stacking FICM and PCM tunes, they're not looking for mileage and therefore no one (to my knowledge anyway) has been reporting those numbers while stacked. Anyway, the difference in the two comes from what they control. Perhaps a simplistic view, but accurate. The FICM controls the injectors....pulse width, how many pulses, and so on. So, any change in power or mileage is achieved solely through manipulation of those parameters which the FICM controls. PCM tunes modify things the PCM controls, such as boost, desired ICP, what RPM that higher boost or ICP hits at, and so on. Two different ways of achieving the same goal. However, even though either way might get you 50 extra HP and 1 MPG, stacking them will not get you 100 HP and 2 MPG. Unfortunately that's not how it works. At best, you will probably get an extra 30% when stacked, meaning if you install the Hercules 100 FICM tune and some PCM tune which is supposed to get you 100 HP, you MIGHT actually see 130 HP...and that's going to depend on whether your setup can support that.

I've never used a PCM tune, but I can tell you that a FICM tune is quite impressive. No matter which tune I use, the turbo lag is gone. All of them have a better seat of the pants feel for sure, even the economy. I don't have dyno numbers, but I did a very unscientific test in which I did a WOT run up to 65MPH on each tune. As expected, the bigger the tune I installed, the faster those runs were. lol IIRC, the 100 tune was two seconds quicker than the stock and 1.8 seconds quicker than the economy. This was all done on a 2004 Excursion which weighs about 8,000 pounds, has an EGR delete, a turbo-back 5" exhaust with CAT delete (but with muffler), and 35" tires on 18" rims. Engine has been bullet-proofed. No tranny or PCM tunes, just FICM. An average tank of fuel will get me in the high 15s to low 16s in the summer, but that's with a 60/40 city/hwy driving pattern. I have gone on trips which were pure highway travel, and with the 100 tune loaded, driving 82 MPH, I averaged 18.1 MPG on a trip to Salt Lake City in the middle of summer. I could have gotten even better had I ran the 40 tune and driven slower. I think my most impressive trip was a 12 hour trip to Montana and back. I drove basically 12 hours straight through the mountains, accumulating 730 miles, averaged 17 MPG, and I only had to fill the tank prior to leaving and when I got back. 44 gallon tanks are nice! lol Even towing it's a dream....though I would definitely NOT run it towing on the 100, and would only ever tow light loads on the 80, and that's when you've got full monitoring capability. I run the 40 towing everything I have (and a few things I really shouldn't have due to the excessive weight), and that tune has performed great.

Everyone's experience will vary. I may be an exception to the rule with the PHP....or I may be typical. I do know I want to try a PCM tune so I can tweak shift points and shift strength a little bit, as well as increase boost/ICP a little, but that's down the road. For now, I'm quite content.
 

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Train Whistlin' Ex driver
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I'm in the same boat with the FICM tune, it really intrigues me but I haven't bit the bullet...yet! As Weatherlite said the PCM tunes will also adjust the transmission shifting, for better or worse. When I first installed the SRL I was unhappy with how harsh the shifting was (some people like it a little rough I hear...), especially the 5-6 shift. The 8k tow was smooth as butter, but the shifts were longer than I like for around town driving, although the bump in HP/TQ did motivate this 8,000 pound beast with ease - but mine only has 33" tires. That being said, I emailed Gearhead (twice) and within the day they sent an updated file that was closer to what I was looking for. I think this third file is just the ticket.
 

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Train Whistlin' Ex driver
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I've been satisfied so far. I can't speak for the other tuners out there because I haven't tried them yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the detailed response! I was browsing around on their website, but didn't see a price. Do you buy the full set of tunes or do you pick which ones you want? Also, what kind of a device to you use to run them. Also, what was your total investment for FICM tuning?
 

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Train Whistlin' Ex driver
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I use the SCT x4 for the PCM tunes, there is a separate FICM tuner that you can buy or rent from various vendors (I believe gearhead sells the hydra) but I haven't gone down that road yet. On the ghtuning site there is a 6.0 section that lists tuner/tune prices, but when in doubt just shoot them an email, since you already have an SCT they can email you the tune files.
 

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Train Whistlin' Ex driver
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To answer the other question, I bought the tune 3 pack - unlimited tow, 8k tow and SRL- but you can order a la cart.
 

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EA - Eggfarts Anonymous!
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thanks for the detailed response! I was browsing around on their website, but didn't see a price. Do you buy the full set of tunes or do you pick which ones you want? Also, what kind of a device to you use to run them. Also, what was your total investment for FICM tuning?
Sometimes vendors run a special where if you buy a tuner from them (like the SCT x4) then you get discounts on custom tunes.

Anyhoo, for the FICM tunes, it was $150 for whichever PHP ficm tune i wanted. i bought a rebuilt ficm from FICMrepair.com, and i had them send me one with Atlas 40 on it for an extra $150. The Atlas 40 was all i felt comfortable with having stock tty headbolts.

Otherwise, they will send you a ficm tuner on loan (deposit refunded upon return) and let you try out the tunes yourself, each one of them if you want to (economy, 40, 80, 100, and hercules? is that right? can't remember...)... anyway, pick one and leave it on your ficm, then ship the ficm tuner back to them. total out of pocket is $150 iirc.
 

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For FICM tunes you need a different tuner than the SCT....think soulless was right with the name Hydra. Anyway, there are two options for the FICM. One is you buy a single tune for 150, rent the tuner for an additional 250 (think of it as a refundable deposit in case you don't return the tuner), install the tune, and then return the tuner to get your 250 back. The other is to buy the whole tuner for 400 and then you have the option of changing tunes whenever you want. If you're the kind of guy who likes to find what what he prefers and then stick with it, the rental is probably best because you can try out all of the tunes before deciding which one you want. Then, you just leave that tune installed and return the tuner. If, however, you're like me and want to play around a lot, buying it might be best since you can change it whenever you want. One additional benefit of owning the tuner is reduced pricing for multiple vehicles....sorta. Basically, you pay 250 for the tuner and 150 for each additional vehicle you want to have tuned. Also, if you want to return a vehicle to stock so you can sell it, you can now re-use that tune on another truck. Pretty neat. But, since you've already got the SCT I would probably go that route first since it will be easier initially.
 

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Dammit Turd, you're quick! lol
 
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