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4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech General discussion of 4.0L OHV and SOHC V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 09-19-2008
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Ask me tuning questions

Hey Guys,

I'm not a hard core tuner (yet). But I've spent a good 50-60hrs tuning my ranger now. A good 2/3rds of that was tranny related too. Prior to this tuning software I purchased, I've used MANY chips and flash devises (like the Diablo predator & the SCT X-cal 2) over the years. And even in the ranger realm I've used tunes from three "tuners". (Bama, Henson, & Lasota) My experience is limited to either old school carbs.. or OBD2 The OBD1 stuff (1995 and earlier) I'm really not familiar with.

So.. if there is anything you guys would like to know about the stock ford tune.. or what a guy can change with a "tune"? Please use this thread to ask!

Also, I'm not selling anything. Even if I could make and sell tunes.. it would cost you more than going to an approved tuner. So.. I don't tune for others. Just myself.


For example... A open air filter. What effects does this have?
Well.. from a tuning perspective the stock ford tune for my 2006 4.0L starts to decrease timing at 110F temp. The IAT sensor is in the MAF sensor which is about 4-6" down stream of the filter. So.. just adding a conical filter that's open to the engine room heat (w/o changing the tune) very well might decrease power because of underhood temps and slow vehicle speed.

Questions?

Regards,
Rich

Last edited by wydopnthrtl; 09-19-2008 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 09-19-2008
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I read another thread you were part of with regards to tuning.

My questions are as follows:

Which tuner do you recommend on rangers?

Next as far as speed limiting and rev limiting what do i need to ask for?

Are there any special setting i should ask for when i go purchase my tuner?
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycheetwood View Post
Which tuner do you recommend on rangers?

Next as far as speed limiting and rev limiting what do i need to ask for?

Are there any special setting i should ask for when i go purchase my tuner?
IMO the X-cal 2 is a good bang for the buck. It is expensive.. and it's only as good as the "tuner" behind the "tune". For a stock motor/tranny I'd **not use** Bama or Henson. Bama won't communicate with you.. but his tunes are indeed good quality. Henson will communicate via e-mail but he didn't want to talk on the phone. And.. we could have solved a simple problem if only he knew to have me dis-connect the battery.

Fred at Rouge was appearantly unwilling to work with me and nitrous? I was ready to buy the software through him but he just wouldn't communicate about it. After two weeks of back and forth I got tired of waiting and just went to Lasota. Glad I did too. Don answers the phone.. even late in the evening or on weekend. That alone is worth my money.

I very much like Don at Lasota racing. He's admitedly not done many rangers. However he knows the SCT product inside and out. He's created videos and classes that these other "tuners" go to and learn from. (I bought his videos)
Also, his timing and fuel trims were a "starting point" for me. And using his settings I ran identical 1/4 mile times and speeds as the other tunes. So.. even out of the box and him not having much experience with rangers the tune was on par with the others.

Rev and speed is up to you. IMO over 5000 in neutral is too much. That's what I'm set at. And I've turned off the speed limiter.

Special settings. Make sure to ask for "all options" to be turned on. I found out that two of the tuners I went with didn't turn on everything. (bama & Henson) Even when I asked henson to do so he didn't turn on global spark. (I later found out)

I've spent the majority of my time tuning / trying different tranny settings. I gotta tell ya. This is how ford should have made it to begin with! At low throttle input it's just a shade firmer than stock. You wouldn't even notice. Yet the heavier the throttle the firmer the shifts. And at WOT it'll dang near bark the tires on the 1-2 shift. Has once too. Also, I lowered the 5th gear shift and TQ convertor lock up. It's nice. At 35mph the shift happens and 1/2 a mph later the convertor locks in 3/4ths the time it used too. So now I don't have to be going 55mph for it to finally go into lockup.. even though I'm lightly accelerating with traffic. I'm tellin ya.. it's smooth and the way it should have been from ford.

On my vacation here in a few weeks I'm going to write a 87 octane tune and a towing tune. In all it would cost $800 to get an x-cal + the pro racer software. But since I've got a "real toy" that will benfiet from all this learning.. to me it's not only worth the cost for the ranger. But I'll have full controll when I start to put down 800hp next summer.

Rich

Last edited by wydopnthrtl; 09-19-2008 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 09-19-2008
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Okay well then sounds like you answered my questions are to who to go with for my Ranger then.

Yeah tranny is something im not to worried im running a manual so i can rev 6200 rpm all day.

But your information was very helpful as to figuring what i should look for and who i should have do it.

Now when I install it i heard there is like a learning pattern for you PCM??
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Old 09-19-2008
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What types of parameters can you see/change?

Not just engine or trans parameters?

Also, I sticky'd this thread, I'd like to see it all stay technical.
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycheetwood View Post
Now when I install it i heard there is like a learning pattern for you PCM??
Since your a manual tranny you only need to do this once IMO.

Flash it with your new tune.
Dis-connect the battery
Headlights on
Ignition on
Wait at least 10 minutes.
Turn everything off
Re-connect the battery.

Start the motor and just let it idle until it reaches at least 170F (or 2-3 minutes if already hot)
Let the idle come down to where you have it set.
Then turn the AC on full blast and let it idle like that for a minute.

Now everytime you reflash afterwards the only thing I'd do is to let it idle for 2-3 minutes. It takes a minute or two to go through it's learning of the a/f (it goes from stoich to rich to lean and back to stoich in about 1-2 minutes). If your paying attention to the smoothness of the motor you'll notice it get rougher and smooth during that idle time.

Rich
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard View Post
What types of parameters can you see/change?

Not just engine or trans parameters?

I can see / adjust an awful lot. A lot of stuff I don't even know about yet.
I have a very close friend that's done this on a OEM level for Ford. Showed it all to him and he was supprised that I was able to have access to so many things. He said "If you not careful, you can really screw stuff up with this thing!"

Mostly engine and tranny. Some OBD test stuff too. Can't see any brake or airbag things.

Rich

Last edited by wydopnthrtl; 09-19-2008 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wydopnthrtl View Post
Since your a manual tranny you only need to do this once IMO.

Flash it with your new tune.
Dis-connect the battery
Headlights on
Ignition on
Wait at least 10 minutes.
Turn everything off
Re-connect the battery.

Start the motor and just let it idle until it reaches at least 170F (or 2-3 minutes if already hot)
Let the idle come down to where you have it set.
Then turn the AC on full blast and let it idle like that for a minute.

Now everytime you reflash afterwards the only thing I'd do is to let it idle for 2-3 minutes. It takes a minute or two to go through it's learning of the a/f (it goes from stoich to rich to lean and back to stoich in about 1-2 minutes). If your paying attention to the smoothness of the motor you'll notice it get rougher and smooth during that idle time.

Rich
Rich, if you disconnect the negative battery cable, and touch it to the postive terminal, it will discharge the unswitched 12V PCM capacitors immediately, and you don't have to wait 10+ minutes. Disconnecting the
negative battery cable with the lights on will do the same thing.
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeda View Post
Rich, if you disconnect the negative battery cable, and touch it to the postive terminal, it will discharge the unswitched 12V PCM capacitors immediately, and you don't have to wait 10+ minutes. Disconnecting the
negative battery cable with the lights on will do the same thing.
Thanks Bob. When it comes to electronics I am quite ignorant.
I have noticed though that if I quickly do the headlight on/off thing... it won't nessesarily clear everything. Until I started doing this I had many tranny issues. Basicly it just would not respond to what I was trying to get it to do. Now that I "clear" everything it does exactly what I command it to.

Rich
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Old 09-19-2008
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Originally Posted by wydopnthrtl View Post
Thanks Bob. When it comes to electronics I am quite ignorant.
I have noticed though that if I quickly do the headlight on/off thing... it won't nessesarily clear everything. Until I started doing this I had many tranny issues. Basicly it just would not respond to what I was trying to get it to do. Now that I "clear" everything it does exactly what I command it to.

Rich
Your welcome Rich! I'm surprised you have to do the power off reset. I don't
have any experience with tuners, but I would have thought they would have a way of clearing the KAM in the PCM.
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeda View Post
Your welcome Rich! I'm surprised you have to do the power off reset. I don't
have any experience with tuners, but I would have thought they would have a way of clearing the KAM in the PCM.
They very well might? I'm still a novice at this and just have not got that deep yet. So far I've modified timing, fuel, rpm, throttle postions, egr, and a lot of tranny functions. I'm putting down more power and my mileage is up ever so slightly. I know the shade tree way of increasing mileage (mod the 02 sensor scalers). But I'd rather do it in the fuel tables and EGR. Still working on that one..

NOTE: I'm doing all this with a wideband A/F meter, datalogging, and the appropriate fuel for the tune & use at hand. I'd not suggest someone get into advanced timing or fuel changes w/o these tools and knowing the risks that can be involved. Taking baby steps takes time. But it insures that I'm able to find the limits without falling off the edge!

To date I'm pushing a 60hp dry shot of nitrous and still have not reached the edge of my fuel limits. Baby steps

Rich

Last edited by wydopnthrtl; 09-19-2008 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wydopnthrtl View Post
Can't see any brake or airbag things.

Rich
Darn that is what i was wondering. :)
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
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Darn that is what i was wondering. :)
As I understand this Pro racer software. There are three levels. Consumer (what I have), Tuner, and SCT themselves.

Those things might be able to be adressed. You'd have to ask someone like Don at Lasota racing. Or someone here at R-F who might know.

Rich
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Old 09-19-2008
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Since the ABS and Restraints parameters do not live in the PCM, the SCT software probably isn't set up to access it. You would need a dealer tool that can reach the rest of the Module Communications Network.

Obsolete New Generation Star dealer tools are starting to show up used on eBay for about $1000. In addition to OBDII dignostics, the NGS can access the GEM, RCM, CSM, ABS, 4x4, PATS (1999-2001), etc. However, it cannot make tuning changes like the SCT tools can.
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Old 09-19-2008
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Oh yeah PATs. I have some abilities there. Don't know about that stuff yet though. Not sure I care too either.
4x4.. I only have one switch. I can tell the PCM there is or is not a 4x4 installed.

Rich
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Old 09-19-2008
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when the governor is removed can you set it to cut-off injectors at say 110-115? or does it just completely remove it...
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Old 09-19-2008
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Actually.. you don't shut them off. You just make the speed so high that they wont shut off. Buuut.. there are some "switches" that will allow you to actually turn stuff off. Just depends on what parameter it is.

I can set speed limiter as low as 65mph (or maybe it's 75?) and up to what ever you want. And like I said earlier I *think* it shuts off ignition. Not fuel.
Next time I open it up I'll confirm.

Rich
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wydopnthrtl View Post
Oh yeah PATs. I have some abilities there. Don't know about that stuff yet though. Not sure I care too either.
4x4.. I only have one switch. I can tell the PCM there is or is not a 4x4 installed.

Rich
The 2001+ Ranger PATS is in the PCM so you should be able to get to it. 99~00 had a separate PATS module. The "4x4 present" switch is also in the PCM but access to codes and any adjustments would be in the 4x4 Control Module.
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wydopnthrtl View Post
I can set speed limiter as low as 65mph (or maybe it's 75?) and up to what ever you want. And like I said earlier I *think* it shuts off ignition. Not fuel.
Next time I open it up I'll confirm.
I think the upper value limit for speed limiting is 255. LOL.

On later model Fords, the speed limiter strategy operates by reducing power in 3 stages. In the first step, the spark is retarded, lowering power. At the same time, fuel is cut at one of the fuel injectors and the rest of the cylinders' mixtures are enriched slightly to prevent the rush of lean exhaust into the cats. The cylinder without fuel is shifted from one location to another to prevent the engine from developing cold or hot spots. This is called "Round Robin" cylinder disablement. If cutting one cylinder will not stop the acceleration, a second cylinder is disabled at a slightly higher speed and then a third at a slightly higher speed than that, if necessary. (This is on a six cylinder engine; four cylinder trucks only cut out two cylinders max). Again, this is done in a Round Robin fashion to equalize the heat in the cylinders, heads and exhaust manifolds. Properly calibrated, it feels to the driver like the acceleration just levels off smoothly.

[The speed limiter on earlier fuel-injected Fords simply cut the fuel to all of the injectors simultaneously at the limiter's set speed. The speed then dropped by some calibrated hysteresis value, 3 MPH for example, and then the PCM cut them all back in again. This speed limiter operation was rather violent because it went from full off to full on - in fact, if you weren't expecting it, it could scare the heck out of you. It also sent giant slugs of air alternating with giant slugs of enriched fuel laden exhaust into the exhaust system. This had the potential to release tremendous heat in the catalytic converter substrate and could melt them if the driver could stand to let the violent bucking continue for very long.]
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Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing View Post
I think the upper value limit for speed limiting is 255. LOL.

On later model Fords, the speed limiter strategy operates by reducing power in 3 stages. In the first step, the spark is retarded, lowering power. At the same time, fuel is cut at one of the fuel injectors and the rest of the cylinders' mixtures are enriched slightly to prevent the rush of lean exhaust into the cats. The cylinder without fuel is shifted from one location to another to prevent the engine from developing cold or hot spots. This is called "Round Robin" cylinder disablement. If cutting one cylinder will not stop the acceleration, a second cylinder is disabled at a slightly higher speed and then a third at a slightly higher speed than that, if necessary. (This is on a six cylinder engine; four cylinder trucks only cut out two cylinders max). Again, this is done in a Round Robin fashion to equalize the heat in the cylinders, heads and exhaust manifolds. Properly calibrated, it feels to the driver like the acceleration just levels off smoothly.

[The speed limiter on earlier fuel-injected Fords simply cut the fuel to all of the injectors simultaneously at the limiter's set speed. The speed then dropped by some calibrated hysteresis value, 3 MPH for example, and then the PCM cut them all back in again. This speed limiter operation was rather violent because it went from full off to full on - in fact, if you weren't expecting it, it could scare the heck out of you. It also sent giant slugs of air alternating with giant slugs of enriched fuel laden exhaust into the exhaust system. This had the potential to release tremendous heat in the catalytic converter substrate and could melt them if the driver could stand to let the violent bucking continue for very long.]

by removing or uping the speed limit its stop this cylinder shut off?
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Old 09-19-2008
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by removing or uping the speed limit its stop this cylinder shut off?

Yep
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Old 09-19-2008
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how much does the IMO the X-cal 2 run or should I use the search menu?
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Old 09-19-2008
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how much does the IMO the X-cal 2 run or should I use the search menu?
One you can searrch.

2. its about 379.99 - 399.99 with tunes
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Old 09-19-2008
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Originally Posted by wydopnthrtl View Post
Actually.. you don't shut them off. You just make the speed so high that they wont shut off. Buuut.. there are some "switches" that will allow you to actually turn stuff off. Just depends on what parameter it is.

I can set speed limiter as low as 65mph (or maybe it's 75?) and up to what ever you want. And like I said earlier I *think* it shuts off ignition. Not fuel.
Next time I open it up I'll confirm.

Rich
I would not think that they would shut off ignition, without shutting off fuel.
Dumping raw gas into the CATs would be a disaster. I think Bob's explanation is correct.
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Old 09-24-2008
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UPDATE Sept 08:

I wrote a 87 octane tune last night and looked for some of the issues mentioned. When it comes to top end vehicle speed limiter I simply don't know if it's using fuel or spark?

87 octane tuning progress: I'm basicly honing it now. I've got it to what I'd consider 90% figured out. That is at least for a basicly stock vehicle. (it goes much deeper for modded cars)

On this tune I'm not only trying to maximize 87 octane performance. But I'm also trying to maximize gas milage. Little things like these can be done:

I'm opening the EGR a little more at hwy speeds.
I've leaned out the fuel a fair amount more than stock.
I've increased the coast down fuel shut off time
I've decreased the low throttle shift rpms
I'm much more quickly locking the TQ convertor
And I've set the non-shift tranny pressure back to stock psi.

I'm still trying to figure out the hwy crusiing a/f and what does what. It seems to respond but only to a small degree. So far holding a steady 55mph my instant MPG is in the 27mpg area. And at 70mph it's running 23mpg. Both of which I feel can still be improved.

94 octane tuning progress:

I've been pretty much using that tune for the last year. IMO the only things I can still do for improvements are to keep pushing timing up til I reach knock.
I got bold once and added 4 deg across the board and sure enough it knocked. So I'm near the edge.. but I think another 2deg or so could be had for both daily driving and WOT.

Some general observations:

Some interesting things about octane and how tunes are made for it:
There are two sets of timing tables in the tuning software. One table is spark limit and the other is a table used for commanding spark + all the other modifiers that change it based on things like coolant head temp, intake air temp, load, ect...
Interestingly... the spark limit table is a chart that ford has dyno tuned the motor by. Meaning.. using 87 octane fuel at 75F degrees this is the "limit" that the PCM will use no matter what else the PCM is trying to do. Very very interesting because I now have a 87 octane "dyno tune" to build upon.

For a mail order high octane "tune" the tuners copy and paste this spark limit table into the commanded table (which is lower by default). So without putting your truck/car on a dyno this is a fairly safe point for them to give out to the public. By knowing this and monitoring my knock sensor I have been able to run even more timing for my 94 octane tune. (I'm just starting on the 87 tune and will continue to increase timing until I find the edge)

*Basicly* in the 50% and below throttle areas, timing and fuel are the same for each octane!
Its only when you get into heavier throttle where the timing starts to really get cut back. Max timing on my 94 octane tune is currently at 28deg and on the factory stock 87 octane tune it's only 14deg (WOT & high rpms)


Using the x-cal for my 87 octane tune, I'm running a 4deg increase in the 0-2000 rpm area, a 2deg increase in the 2000-4000 rpm area, and zero deg increase above 4000rpms. And in the "tune" I've slightly increased timing in the top 50% of throttle and above 3000rpms. (only 2 deg)
Giving it 4deg in the low rpm area REALLY REALLY give the feeling of more power when in traffic. You know, your just going along at 40mph and want to pass w/o kicking the tranny down. This pays off big time! I just give it some gas and the tranny keeps the same gear, TQ convertor stays locked, and it has plenty of power to just GO.

I loaded a new 87 octane tune this morning and as expected it pretty much feels the same in the lower 1/2 of throttle inputs. Go deeper than 50% and it just feels down on power. (as expected because of the 87 octane limits)

Rich
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