Frequently Asked Questions
I want to modify my vehicle, where should I start?
A common and cost effective place to start with modifying your vehicle is to start with the induction system. A cold air or ram-air intake can greatly improve your driving experience as well as adding performance to the equation. These systems can typically be had for $250-420 for a complete system with a reusable filter. In turbocharged applications the intercooler is a great spot to go next to seek improvement. The intercooler is responsible for cooling your intake air after it exits the turbocharger. Often times intercoolers can be had with new "charge pipes" that take away the often weak factory rubber inlets and sub-par clamps. Your next step along the induction route is to look at the intake manifold or horn. Many improvements can be had here that allow smoother, cooler more dense air to find its way to your engine. Following the induction system pairing an exhaust system and a programmer or inline module is a great way to help all that clean cool air entering the engine to be utilized. The programmer or module will optimize the combustion events to net more power and economy from your engine. The exhaust system will help evacuate all that hot exhaust gas and some options may even give you a great visceral growl from the exhaust.
What is tuning?
Tuning is a partial or complete remap or recalibration of your factory engine or transmission programming. This can achieve increased power, efficiency, smoothness or other special features.
What are some pros and cons of each tuning platform?
Cost effective, switch on the fly power changes available, can provide both engine and transmission calibration, can code read and datalog with passthrough and laptop
No monitor, requires PC and emailing for updates or changes
Wireless monitoring on wifi device, easy updates from the cloud, switch on the fly power changes, connects you with your tuner in EzLynk App, allows code reading and datalogging, can provide both engine and transmission calibrations
Higher cost, requires wifi signal for updates
MM3 / Smarty
Includes color display, switch on the fly power changes, can provide both engine and transmission calibrations
Highest cost, requires emailing and SD card to transfer tune files for updates, may require Communcation module (added cost)
Plug-in / In-line Module
Low cost, easy to install and use, can be removed for warranty work
No custom tuning, unable to code read without additional hardware, limited adjustability, cannot recalibrate for new modifications
What is the difference between a plug in module and a flashed tune (Smarty, EFI Live, EzLynk, Edge)?
A plug in module modifies the signals being sent to your vehicles computer in order to convince it to add more/less power. Some modules like the Banks Derringer allow for the interpretation of your vehicles operating data to determine if it is safe to add power. A flashed tune is a complete rewrite of your vehicles programming by erasing and replacing the factory data.
Will tuning void my warranty?
Aftermarket calibrations and tuners may be scrutinized when determining warranty coverage. It is best to contact your dealership service department prior to making a decision. This being said many of the plug-in modules do not re-write the calibration and hence do no increment the flash counter or calibration history.
What is the difference between a VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo) and a Fixed Geometry Turbo?
Variable geometry turbos seek to bridge the performance and efficiency gap of small and large turbochargers. They do this by utilizing a series of vanes that are computer controlled and actuate to reduce or increase exhaust gas velocity in order to maintain optimal performance at all engine speeds. Fixed geometry turbos are just that, a turbocharger with a fixed geometry housing.
Why do people fixed geometry (2nd gen / 3rd gen) swap their trucks?
Common reasons for swapping from a VGT turbo to a fixed geometry turbocharger are cost of replacement, simplicity of design (reliability), lowering EGT (exhaust gas temperature), and increasing flow for higher horsepower capabilities. With VGT replacements ranging from $2700-4000 and fixed geometry turbocharger swaps starting in the $1300's you can see why this is a common route to go.