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2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech General discussion of 2.9L and 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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  #1  
Old 01-30-2008
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wuts best computer programmer? Chip. ECU?

looking for computer upgrade chip,, wutever works best?!?! any dyno or testimonials would help thanks guys
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2008
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Flash programmers are better than chips because if you get the right one you can tune them.

Lot's of guys here use programmers by SCT, including me. The one I used is old and called an Xcalibrator (the Xcalibrator "1") and I have software called extreme tune that allows me to tweek parameters of tunes I get from professional tuners.

The Xcalibrator2 comes in two flavors: 9100 and 9400. The 9100 works with the software I have, the 9400 doesn't need it -- you can tweek parameters right in the handheld unit.

There are some newer units from them as well.

SCT is probably the leader in Ford programs. Fredness on this board (Fred from RoguePerformance.com) did my tunes for my 3.0 and I like them.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2008
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I agree with John. Get your tuner from www.stuffforyourranger.com/store

it is programmed by Fred, but Wayne the owner of SFYR is a distributor.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2008
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What? Zach and I agreed? [reads back over his posts to see where it went wrong...]
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2008
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It is possible, but I would not count on it every time.

I opened the thread hoping no one was saying Bamachips... Too many people are complaining about not getting a good product.
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  #6  
Old 01-30-2008
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I don't have one but if I come across the money I will be getting the xCal2. Not sure if the 9100 or 9400. This is actually the first I heard of the 2 xCal2 versions. Guess I didn't study up enough.
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2008
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my guess is 9100 is xcal and 9400 is xcal2
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2008
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There are 2 XCAL2 versions as I mentioned. They might be 9300 and 9400. The earlier model and later model differ in how they work to tweek the tunes. I may have the details wrong -- but there are two different XCAL2's kicking around.

You're probably right about the 9100 though -- I commonly get model numbers wrong, lol.

EDIT: One other thing -- you can upgrade the earlier model to the later model with a download. Forgot to mention that. But you can't go back. Some guys like the earlier model better because they say you can tweek more in Extreme Tune software than in the internal version. Some guys like the internal version for it's utility for tweeking without a computer.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2008
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Isn't there that new Livewire as well. Or sort of new
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2008
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i agree with Zach and John also. Get your stuff from Wayne at www.stuffforyourranger.com . great fella.

The XCalibrator 2 is what you will want. It is the best on the market for Rangers now...

Fred who programs the XCalibrator 2 for Wayne is a heck of a programmer.
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2008
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Yup. You can find real deals on the older models sometimes though. Just make sure a used one is "unlocked" otherwise you have to return it to the manufacturer or dealer.

When a tune is downloaded into a vehicle, the tuner is "VIN locked" to the vehicle and can't be used for a different vehicle until the first vehicle is returned to it's stock tuning. This keeps people from buying 3 tunes with a single tuner and putting one tune in each of 3 vehicles. It doesn't work that way.

I've heard lots of stories about tuners bought used which the buyer couldn't use without speinding more money.
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2008
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There is the 9400 (XCal2), 9415 (StrategyFlash - SF), 9600 LiveWire and the X3 PowerFlash Device.
The 9415 has an A and a B version that can be flashed to an open 9400 XCal2.
The XCal2 is user adjustable, custom tuning device that can datalog, read and clear codes and log on the device.
9600 LiveWire is a GUI (Graphical User Interface) flash tuner that does 0-60 runs, 1/4 mile runs and more. You can display 6 custom guages at the same time.
X3 is a LiveWire without the graphics.

The XCal2, X3 and LiveWire are all "Ranger Ready", the 9415 SF has to be flashed to a 9400 (XCal2) to be used.

LiveWire and X3 have a "back up" stock tune that can be flashed to the PCM in an emergency. Pretty handy, it has saved my butt once already.

The X3 and LiveWire are finally at a stable release version (vx.x.285/1.1.109) and has been working very well (I have all 3 on personal vehicles).

I sell the XCal2 almost exclusively, the X3 and LiveWire on a case-by-case basis. I will probably start pimping the X3/LW now that we have a good many of the bugs worked out.

Be VERY Cautious about used devices, a $100 XCal2 can easily outprice a brand new unit if it is not returned to stock by the owner. Many FleaBay users are getting boned by this. One user paid over $400 to have his XCal2 reset, unlocked, updated and tuned. Not good, I threw in as much SWAG as I could to make it as painless as possible...

Last edited by Fredness; 01-30-2008 at 09:54 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2008
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Thanks, Fred -- I had that all cockeyed, lol. That straightened it out.
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2008
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Does any one use Sniper Special Forces tuning software.I use it on my 05 Edge 3.0 and 07 Sport-Trac 4.6.It gives you total control of your tune Timing,fuel,trans,injectors,mass air,ect.ect.You can also tune 2 vehicles with it.I spray nitrous on my lil 3.0 this software lets me have control of timing across the whole powerband.The interface box holds 5 tunes.Customer service can't be beat.You also get data logging software with that.Heres a link this seller works for sniper so you can buy with confidence.Just telling you what works great for me.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN:IT&ih=002
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N20-3.0 View Post
Does any one use Sniper Special Forces tuning software.I use it on my 05 Edge 3.0 and 07 Sport-Trac 4.6.It gives you total control of your tune Timing,fuel,trans,injectors,mass air,ect.ect.You can also tune 2 vehicles with it.I spray nitrous on my lil 3.0 this software lets me have control of timing across the whole powerband.The interface box holds 5 tunes.Customer service can't be beat.You also get data logging software with that.Heres a link this seller works for sniper so you can buy with confidence.Just telling you what works great for me.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN:IT&ih=002
ANYBODY?
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  #16  
Old 02-02-2008
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Quoting yourself and shouting like a drill instructor? Hmmm... Maybe you've unlocked the special personality trait that draws someone to the Sniper software? The very idea that there is a FleaBay link in there concerns me even more. Is there a reason this "dealer" doesn't have a storefront? ...an e-commerce site? ...a name? [I'm especially fond of the FleaBay marketing strategy of flooding the search words with a title like "Superchip Diablo Diesel Tuner Sniper Programer 100+HP" - just add "tubonator" and you've got the perfect storm!]

I would love to see SCT vs. Sniper vs. TwEECer vs. Diablo vs. FleaBay Power Modules "shoot out". It is an age old question; "which is best", but one that just can't be answered... It's not apples to apples. For one thing, the "crumbs" left over from a Sniper tune prevent tuners (like SCT) from flashing as they see the former Sniper tuned PCM as corrupt. So, this side-by-side comparison will never happen unless the person also has access to a Ford PCM flasher to properly restore the PCM to its original condition after the Sniper gets done with it. It is one of the standard fixes on the SCT dealers forum - Sniper = Ford reflash.

Now, what do you want to do with it?
Do you want to flash and go? Do you want a portable flash tuner that can be kept in the glove box and effortlessly change tunes in minutes? That's not Sniper. Do you want to deal with someone that has years of experience with that vehicle, training, dyno time, data logging and equipment. Unless that's you, that's not Sniper either.

If you want to tinker with your PCM on the cheap. Then sure, that's the way to go. Now, just to be fair - I do intend to buy one for my Focus and Explorer to do side-by-sides on the dyno, but I have to get a "hook up" from the Service Manager at the local Ford dealership first.

Last edited by Fredness; 02-02-2008 at 03:26 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-02-2008
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I have Sniper and I love it.

Sniper is going to be coming out with a hand held soon too. They just introduced the hand held GM tuner last week to the forum users, they will release it to the public soon.

As far as leaving your tuner in the glove box, I wouldn't recommend that. Someone breaking in to steal your radio is gonna get your tuner too and then your realy screwed.

If you own more than one FLM product, Sniper is the way to go. Two vehicles programmed for $360-$420 versus one for $370+ for an SCT each.

When you do side by side comparisons are you going to stick with the end user programmer functions or are you using dealer software when comparing it to Special Forces?

I'm upgrading my software to Commando soon.

Last edited by chriswells78; 02-02-2008 at 06:56 PM.
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2008
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I don't think it would be fair at ALL to compare it with the Special Forces - that's not what the USER can touch. If that is what they sold to the user, than yes, it will be.

I agree whole heartedly with the idea of not leaving it in your glovebox, but my point was that most laptops are not as portable as a flash tuner and far too costly to use as a dedicated device.
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  #19  
Old 02-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredness View Post
Quoting yourself and shouting like a drill instructor? Hmmm... Maybe you've unlocked the special personality trait that draws someone to the Sniper software? The very idea that there is a FleaBay link in there concerns me even more. Is there a reason this "dealer" doesn't have a storefront? ...an e-commerce site? ...a name? [I'm especially fond of the FleaBay marketing strategy of flooding the search words with a title like "Superchip Diablo Diesel Tuner Sniper Programer 100+HP" - just add "tubonator" and you've got the perfect storm!]

I would love to see SCT vs. Sniper vs. TwEECer vs. Diablo vs. FleaBay Power Modules "shoot out". It is an age old question; "which is best", but one that just can't be answered... It's not apples to apples. For one thing, the "crumbs" left over from a Sniper tune prevent tuners (like SCT) from flashing as they see the former Sniper tuned PCM as corrupt. So, this side-by-side comparison will never happen unless the person also has access to a Ford PCM flasher to properly restore the PCM to its original condition after the Sniper gets done with it. It is one of the standard fixes on the SCT dealers forum - Sniper = Ford reflash.

Now, what do you want to do with it?
Do you want to flash and go? Do you want a portable flash tuner that can be kept in the glove box and effortlessly change tunes in minutes? That's not Sniper. Do you want to deal with someone that has years of experience with that vehicle, training, dyno time, data logging and equipment. Unless that's you, that's not Sniper either.

If you want to tinker with your PCM on the cheap. Then sure, that's the way to go. Now, just to be fair - I do intend to buy one for my Focus and Explorer to do side-by-sides on the dyno, but I have to get a "hook up" from the Service Manager at the local Ford dealership first.
I was just giving this thread a bump.Sorry to offend.This E-Bay seller has a store front it's called Sniper Tuning thats just an E-Bay link.Call Sniper and ask for Patrick.
Last time I looked the Sniper interface is smaller than a handheld.I'll admit if your weary of tweaking your PCM then get a generic tune and you'll be just like everyone else.Why would you buy Sniper for your Focus & Explorer if it screws up your PCM?I'm not gonna say one is better than the other,but cheap C'mon.I'm just saying don't knock it till you try it.

Last edited by N20-3.0; 02-03-2008 at 05:38 AM.
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  #20  
Old 02-03-2008
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Oh and by the way Fredness. I am in no way questioning your knowledge on this subject.I'm sure you know more about it than me.
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  #21  
Old 02-03-2008
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Glad to hear its someone real. I use my forum screen name or business name on those sites, there are WAY too many hacks and knock-offs out there preying on people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N20-3.0 View Post
Why would you buy Sniper for your Focus & Explorer if it screws up your PCM? I'm not gonna say one is better than the other,but cheap C'mon. I'm just saying don't knock it till you try it.
...that's what I do.

I try to break things to see how they do, what has to be done to fix them and post the results. My background is 20+ years of component level repair on military weapons systems, 10+ years programming, an AAS in Computer Networking and this year I finish my Bachelors in Information Systems Security. You could say it's my job to break things.

To date, I've bought a 6 different ignition systems, 2 chips, 5 MAFs, dozens of brands of spark plugs and a "Tornado" to see what works, what doesn't and what's best. I have the latest firmware and programs for SCT with all 3 types of their flash tuners on my personal vehicles. (I think I've "bricked" more LiveWires testing firmware than most dealers!).

I'm not beating up on one or the other. As with any product, the dealer is the make or break point on the sale. If people are contacting SCT direct, it is because they bought their device from the wrong place!

If Sniper does well, you can be sure I'll add it to the stable...

N20-3.0: What version do you have, and did you get a base tune or a stock tune to start with?

Last edited by Fredness; 02-03-2008 at 01:57 PM.
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  #22  
Old 02-04-2008
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Sounds like you have a cool job Fredness.I just got the Special Forces.is that what you mean by version?
I just read the stock tune and worked from there for my daily setup.For my NOS tune I selected 93 octane w/75 shot and backed out 1 extra deg. of timing for safety because I'm spraying 80 h.p.It seems to work really well.
I want to get it on a dyno to check A/F.
Now don't get me wrong this is no race vehicle nor does it get drove like one,but it is funny to see the look on someones face when a so they think stock Ranger hangs with there stock GT Mustang from a stoplight. I'd be very interested in how the comparison turns out.
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  #23  
Old 02-04-2008
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That's what I need to look at - What does selecting 93 octane do?
Is it just timing? Can you adjust the AFR, the MAF counts, shift times and pressures?
There are so many things, an I would hate to think it was a "point and click" type of thing.
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  #24  
Old 02-04-2008
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Supposedly it changes them to what the "average" changes would need to be made. The only way to know for sure is to have the commando software. SF comes with Commando and is supposed to be used to get it close, then fine tune with Commando after you use recon and a WB to data log. A WB is in my near future and Commando isn't that far behind it.

To date I have only heard of one catastrophic falure of someone using sniper and the user admitted to not using the software correctly. He was running a turbocharged mustang and didn't read the manual of SF. He adjusted the global fuel modifier down 2 points and it blew up after 5 seconds of WOT. If he read the manual properly, he would have realized the global multiplier is just that, a multiplier. He mis-understood and thought he was adding more fuel at WOT.

Always read the Manual...
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  #25  
Old 02-05-2008
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Here are some of the things you can support with the Sniper SF Software.Engine size for strokers,Compression Ratio,Aspiration type Turbo,Supercharger,Nitrous wet & dry,Natural.
Fuel system type returnless & non return,Injector size,Fuel pump size,Fuel octane,Returnless fuel press.,Mass air brand & calibration,Mass air location,FMU,Intercooler type,Header type,X/H pipe,Rear O2's,Cat back type.
Shifting firmness & points,3rd gear dyno lock,Rev & Speed limit,Idle speed,Tire height,Gear ratio,Anti theft,Cooling fans on & off,Traction control,EGR.
You can also control Fuel & Timing across the board or in different R.P.M. brackets.Hope this answers a couple Q's.
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