Re: Diesel Tuner / programmer / chip
I run a Diablo Predator Sport in my 2000 F350 Powerstroke pulling a 33 ft Alfa fifth wheel at a gross weight of about 25000 lbs At the 65 hp setting it will pull a 6% grade at 55 mph or better with overdrive locked out at about 1000 degrees EGT. The only other modification is a K&N Air Filter element in the stock air filter box. The Diablo is not a switch on the fly tuner. You have to load the specific program you want and requires about 10 minutes or so to change it. It is also a lot less than 1 K dollars. The 65 hp program is not the one recommended for towing but works well if you monitor exhaust gas temperatures. Diablo told me to keep temps below 1200, but I prefer not to exceed 1000 if I can help it. I would not install any chip or tuner without installing at least the exhaust gas temp guage. I have that and the transmission temp and turbo boost guages. All are very helpful when towing and you will learn a lot about how to drive your truck by watching them. One thing I learned very quickly towing with the extra horsepower is that you need to drive the truck with your foot rather than the cruise control, especially in rolling or hilly conditions. The truck will pull most small hills in overdrive with minimal speed loss if you hold the accellerator steady. The cruise control tends to downshift out of overdrive too soon and just kills the fuel mileage. Too much pressure on the pedal also drops you out of overdrive. Learning how to keep it from downshifting is the whole trick. I can get 10 mpg consistently pulling my trailer. My truck also tends to upshift rather violently at the top of the grades if left at full throttle in cruise and I am worried about doing some damage there. One thing I would like to do is install a pause switch in the cruise circuit that would let me disconnect the cruise without having to hit the brake pedal or fool around resetting speed when I want it back on.
I don't run the tuner unless I am pulling the trailer. It is fun on the street and will surprise some guys in the sport pickups when the 8000 lb. diesel can keep up, but I find it too tempting to play with all the time and there is no reason ro keep leaving a dark exhaust cloud behind me in my everyday driving. All that smoke is unburned fuel and gets expensive.
Whatever your reason for wanting the tuner, you will be impressed. They really do wake the diesel engines up. Good luck.