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Tuning for dummies

PhilST

New Member
Messages
13
Reactions
6
Location
New York
#23
Keep us posted. Was going to go PBD for tune but already have bdx so might try lund out as I believe PBD only uses ngauge.
 
Messages
74
Reactions
40
Location
Sterling, VA, USA
#24
So for ~$580 I ordered from Lethal (thanks PhilST for the $100 off promo tip!):
- nGauge device
- disable auto start/stop option
- show current gear number in dash option
- 3 tunes: 87 daily perf., 91-93 daily perf., and 93 'race' tune
- windshield suction mount for nGauge - I am pleasantly surprised with the quality of this mount.

I had to call Lethal twice to settle some order questions; they answered the phone quickly and resolved the topics within a few minutes. 1 question was regarding the nGauge, it did not have the 2020 Explorer ST as vehicle selection option in the menu, I was advised to use the 2019 Ranger profile.

sent stock file yesterday morning to PBD. Had the three tunes by around 1pm EST. We had a couple email exchanges and PBD was quick to reply (minutes).

Loaded the 91-93 daily perf. tune last night.

So I have driven it only about 15 miles since loading the tune, but I can inform that the difference is like driving a different car. The tune doesn't seem to overstress anything, it just drives much smoother overall. I notice that the car goes through the gears sequentially instead of skipping gears at lower speeds, which greatly improves the ability to drive smoothly, the lagging and abrupt shifts are gone, you can watch it change smoothly through the gear numbers. the throttle response is much more linear, as well as the overall power delivery, very smooth. The performance increase is also phenomenal, applying just ~2/3 accelerator at a stoplight provides neck snapping acceleration per my seat of pants dragy. I am no racer, but I am almost scared to actually floor it, maybe this weekend somewhere more rural I'll try it out... The car also seems to be getting better mileage but time will tell. The smoother power flow reduces my lead foot syndrome so it could just be that.

Overall, my initial perception is: 1) holy shirt this car has a lot of power, and 2) the best $$ I've ever spent on any mod (CAI, etc..) for the gains . Now I see why they sell EcoBeast emblems!

Also noting that the support from both Lethal and PBD has exceeded expectations.
 
Last edited:
Messages
251
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164
Location
Ellicott City, MD, USA
#25
that's really good to hear. its always a good thing when companies make sure their customer service is up to par. "rising tide lifts all boats" sort of thing.
 
Messages
74
Reactions
40
Location
Sterling, VA, USA
#26
so for you more seasoned tuners that may read this.... do you revert your ST tune back to stock before going to the dealer for any service or leave it as is?
 
Messages
58
Reactions
40
Location
Mons, Belgium
#27
Can’t agree more about PBD! Service was excellent and responsive, and their tunes, while providing substantial power gains, also improved the drive-ability of the ST.

I chose to go with a Steely mount for more of a “floating“ look for my NGauge. Cables are tucked into the pillar.

As for Sadeen’s question, if you search these forums, you’re going to see opinions across the spectrum about tuning, warranty, and dealership reactions. It all comes down to your personal preference, and risk vs. reward.

But I’ll tell you this much, I grin EVERY SINGLE TIME I drive my tuned ST!

Cheers
 

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Messages
74
Reactions
40
Location
Sterling, VA, USA
#28
Can’t agree more about PBD! Service was excellent and responsive, and their tunes, while providing substantial power gains, also improved the drive-ability of the ST.

I chose to go with a Steely mount for more of a “floating“ look for my NGauge. Cables are tucked into the pillar.

As for Sadeen’s question, if you search these forums, you’re going to see opinions across the spectrum about tuning, warranty, and dealership reactions. It all comes down to your personal preference, and risk vs. reward.

But I’ll tell you this much, I grin EVERY SINGLE TIME I drive my tuned ST!

Cheers
what tune(s) did you get and install?
 

Symetry

Member
U.S. Army Veteran
Messages
207
Reactions
98
Location
West KY
#29
Diy here.
Just got my ST yesterday, and want to get a good tuner shortly.

Question.
If I go with a stock 93 tune, what would happen if 87 was put in.
What would happen if I just got an 87 tune, and ran 93 fuel?.

I think someone said the tuner they got was switchable from 87 to 91 to 93.
Is that possible?

I can switch tunes on my Ram Cummins but that's diesel.

Just curious.

Jim
 
Messages
56
Reactions
12
Location
Atlanta, GA, USA
#30
So for ~$580 I ordered from Lethal (thanks PhilST for the $100 off promo tip!):
- nGauge device
- disable auto start/stop option
- show current gear number in dash option
- 3 tunes: 87 daily perf., 91-93 daily perf., and 93 'race' tune
- windshield suction mount for nGauge - I am pleasantly surprised with the quality of this mount.

I had to call Lethal twice to settle some order questions; they answered the phone quickly and resolved the topics within a few minutes. 1 question was regarding the nGauge, it did not have the 2020 Explorer ST as vehicle selection option in the menu, I was advised to use the 2019 Ranger profile.

sent stock file yesterday morning to PBD. Had the three tunes by around 1pm EST. We had a couple email exchanges and PBD was quick to reply (minutes).

Loaded the 91-93 daily perf. tune last night.

So I have driven it only about 15 miles since loading the tune, but I can inform that the difference is like driving a different car. The tune doesn't seem to overstress anything, it just drives much smoother overall. I notice that the car goes through the gears sequentially instead of skipping gears at lower speeds, which greatly improves the ability to drive smoothly, the lagging and abrupt shifts are gone, you can watch it change smoothly through the gear numbers. the throttle response is much more linear, as well as the overall power delivery, very smooth. The performance increase is also phenomenal, applying just ~2/3 accelerator at a stoplight provides neck snapping acceleration per my seat of pants dragy. I am no racer, but I am almost scared to actually floor it, maybe this weekend somewhere more rural I'll try it out... The car also seems to be getting better mileage but time will tell. The smoother power flow reduces my lead foot syndrome so it could just be that.

Overall, my initial perception is: 1) holy shirt this car has a lot of power, and 2) the best $$ I've ever spent on any mod (CAI, etc..) for the gains . Now I see why they sell EcoBeast emblems!

Also noting that the support from both Lethal and PBD has exceeded expectations.
I have PBD 93R and it always skips 4 gear when accelerating normally. Does it do this for you?
 
Messages
56
Reactions
12
Location
Atlanta, GA, USA
#31
I would strongly advise against modding a leased vehicle.

Even if you revert the tune back to stock, they can still see that it had been modified by the key cycles.
To do a key cycle do I have to turn the engine on as well or just press the on button without pressing on the brake (accessory power?)
Does remote starting count as a key cycle?
 

dolsen

Member
U.S. Marine Veteran
Messages
133
Reactions
54
Location
Louisville, KY, USA
#32
Diy here.
Just got my ST yesterday, and want to get a good tuner shortly.

Question.
If I go with a stock 93 tune, what would happen if 87 was put in.
What would happen if I just got an 87 tune, and ran 93 fuel?.

I think someone said the tuner they got was switchable from 87 to 91 to 93.
Is that possible?

I can switch tunes on my Ram Cummins but that's diesel.

Just curious.

Jim
Putting 93 octane in an 87 tuned vehicle will not do anything. Putting 87 octane in a 93 octane tuned vehicle *could* damage the engine and I really would not recommend it at all. However if the knock sensors still work as designed, theoretically the engine would be able to pull enough timing, even on a 93 octane tune, to prevent damage when using 87 octane fuel. I have ACCIDENTALLY done this with my 2015 edge sport (wife filled it up with 87 and I had a 93 octane tune) and there was zero issue. I only noticed it had the wrong fuel because it felt very slow when I pushed it hard.
 
Messages
74
Reactions
40
Location
Sterling, VA, USA
#33
I have PBD 93R and it always skips 4 gear when accelerating normally. Does it do this for you?
Hello, I have not yet tried the 93R tune, I have only used the 91-93 tune with 93 fuel so far. I have seen it in gear 4 with this tune. I will try to remember to take a pic if I can. I haven't tried 91 fuel yet as Costco only sells 87 and 93. Over the holiday I am looking forward to some free time and I'll try the 93R tune and let you know.
 

Symetry

Member
U.S. Army Veteran
Messages
207
Reactions
98
Location
West KY
#34
Dummy heeer,

On my Cummins , I can select the time I want to run.
Is there anything like that for this ST?

Selectable 87, 91 ,93, E30 ?

Just don't know.

Jim
 

dolsen

Member
U.S. Marine Veteran
Messages
133
Reactions
54
Location
Louisville, KY, USA
#35
Dummy heeer,

On my Cummins , I can select the time I want to run.
Is there anything like that for this ST?

Selectable 87, 91 ,93, E30 ?

Just don't know.

Jim
Are you asking if you can switch tunes on the fly, like while driving? I don't believe that is a possibility, but you can switch tunes as often as you want. You just have to be stopped; it takes about 10 minutes to switch tunes.
 

Symetry

Member
U.S. Army Veteran
Messages
207
Reactions
98
Location
West KY
#36
Are you asking if you can switch tunes on the fly, like while driving? I don't believe that is a possibility, but you can switch tunes as often as you want. You just have to be stopped; it takes about 10 minutes to switch tunes.
Thanks,

The more I think about it .
Why would I change tunes .
I'd have to change fuel also wouldn't I ?

I just get the diesel tuning mixed up with gas tuning.
Diesel is diesel, and all your doing is adjusting the engine in 4 different configurations thru the tuner.

But with the gas engine , you got to match the tune to the the different fuels.

I am a dummy on tuning.

All I know is I want that extra kick the tuners give.(y):giggle:

Jim
 

Symetry

Member
U.S. Army Veteran
Messages
207
Reactions
98
Location
West KY
#37
Another dummy question.

Ok , I've searched , and cant find conversation on this.

Does the drive mode , Eco, Normal , Sport, Tow, Icing have any bearing on how the tuner works?

Do I have to get a tune to a specific mode I intend to run in?

I'm getting antsy now that , today is one week old ,for me.:D:p:)

Jim
 
Messages
239
Reactions
96
Location
Ohio
#38
Whatever tune you're using affects all modes. To me, the transmission tuning that can be done is just as important as the engine tuning. Also, if you do any towing, some of the performance tunes are not recommended for towing and you should switch over to a tow-friendly tune when you tow. Most tunes will turn off Auto-start stop but sometimes you must specifically request that. Some tunes also will display the gear you are in all the time, when driving in normal automatic mode (similar to manual shift selection mode).
 

Symetry

Member
U.S. Army Veteran
Messages
207
Reactions
98
Location
West KY
#39
Maybe I don't understand. Are you , in so many words, saying that I should get a tune only for the mode I will be driving in. ?
Because if the tune is set for normal mode running, it will react differently in all the other modes.

I can't buy several tuners to plug in , one for each driving mode.

I'm dum to these tuners , just trying to nail down what to buy.

Jim
 
Messages
239
Reactions
96
Location
Ohio
#40
Maybe I don't understand. Are you , in so many words, saying that I should get a tune only for the mode I will be driving in. ?

Jim
I am saying whatever tune you get will be running for all modes (eco, normal, sport, slippery, trail, etc). I have Livernois and they caution you not to tow on their performance tune. They have another tune for towing but you have to spend a few minutes to load that tune.
 


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