Why don't [Bama] tuners come stock (IE: there has to be a negative)? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 08-19-2006
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Why don't [Bama] tuners come stock (IE: there has to be a negative)?

I've been researching getting a Bama tuner. I haven't read anything bad about the Bama tuner. There has to be a reason that Ford has not stolen the Bama tune, or made some deal with Bama tuner.

Given the extra $400 cost (or steal the tune and free, or make some bulk deal) they could easily make more sales by upping their MPG and advertising it as such (IE: only 4x4 truck to average over 20 MPG EPA rating).

So yeah, all I hear are about are how happy people are with the mileage and/or the performance gains. It all sounds great. But there has to be some kind of negative for having this, what is it? Is it harder on the engine as a whole, so the engine wont last as long? Do I have to do more tune-ups?

What are the negatives of the Bama tuner?
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Old 08-19-2006
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There are really no neagatives I can think of besides the price. Ford does not do it because one of the main reasons people get them is to change the speedo for bigger tires or rims or to take the governor off give it extra horsepower or to change the computer for aftermarket things. The programmers are made for just your vehicle I.E. what you have done to it or on it.

Sorry if none of this makes sence but do you get the idea?

P.S.- Buy one they are worth the money!
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Old 08-19-2006
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Hes talking about the gas mileage increase.. why doesnt ford use one of them stock.
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Old 08-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rand
Hes talking about the gas mileage increase.. why doesnt ford use one of them stock.

Because the modifications to the fuel maps and such arent 50 state legal... They cannot advertise stuff like that for use in CA. Plus most of the time you have to run a higher octane fuel, meaning less efficient on the pocket...
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Old 08-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roach2004
There are really no neagatives I can think of besides the price.
P.S.- Buy one they are worth the money!
That's what I was thinking.... but yet again why not make it an option? Heck, chrome exhaust is an option.... a 2-3 MPG gain would probably sell just as well.

Oh yeah, after what I've been reading I definately do plan on getting one, but I was just curious about the negatives of having one. Like does it wear out the co2 sensors, or anything that I should be aware of so I know to change quicker etc. etc. etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksterSVT
Because the modifications to the fuel maps and such arent 50 state legal... They cannot advertise stuff like that for use in CA. Plus most of the time you have to run a higher octane fuel, meaning less efficient on the pocket...
I live in CA.... what does this mean to me? Will I fail emissions? Have to set it to stock to pass or something?

Isn't there a 87 economy tune for the Bama?
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Old 08-19-2006
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You can have any tunes you want but since its NOT CARB. legal you will have to return to the stock program before having a smog done.

Rick
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Old 08-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHuckster
You can have any tunes you want but since its NOT CARB. legal you will have to return to the stock program before having a smog done.

Rick
Accutualy I dont know if texas is more lax on the smog thing (which I dont think they are) but I recently got mine done and it passed so idk.
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Old 08-19-2006
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OK, I don't know what the different smog laws in the 2 states are either.
SCT's disclaimer: "Not legal for sale or use on pollution controlled vehicles".
I guess if he wants to chance running it through a Smog station instead of spending less than 5 minutes to return it to stock is his choice.

Rick
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Old 08-20-2006
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I've always wondered the same thing. If programmers/exausts/modded intake really work so well, why wouldn't they make them stock. But there have been a number valid points in this thread.
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Old 08-20-2006
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1.- there's a battle betwwen MPG and emmissions. Effecting one effects the other. Ford has to find a happy medium. Warranty is a concern also.

2.- I think it's almost understood that every manufacturer leaves room for the aftermarket. Take the new '05 Mustang. If it had everything from exhaust, intake, body kit, etc they wouldn't get all the free advertising from the aftermarket showing what could be done with the Mustang. They are getting millions of free advertising and the aftermarketis selling billions in new products as a whole.
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Old 08-21-2006
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A good aftermarket chip or flash tuner can increase both fuel economy and power. The most important changes are increasing the ignition timing lead and leaning out the open loop fuel tables. Believe it or not, the factory engineers know about this, too, but they operate in a world with a different set of rules.

1) Catalytic converter temperatures must be high enough for good conversion efficiency but low enough to prevent premature aging of the cat. Car and light truck manufacturers are required by law to warranty cats for 8 yrs/80,000 miles and warranty replacement of a set of cats costs several hundred dollars.

Higher temps means that the effective service life of the cats is shortened. The factory calibration engineer must keep the cat temps below some design goal, often 1650F. Cat temperatures are controlled primarily by their distance from the combustion chamber and the air/fuel ratio. For WOT power, the best A/F ratio is around 12.0~12.5:1 but cat temperature protection may require that the calibration run the A/F as rich as 11:1.

All an aftermarket tuner has to worry about is keeping the temps under the melting point of the cat substrate which is around 2200F. This means that the vehicle can be tuned for WOT power as a primary goal. As a result, the A/M calibration would be leaner than the factory cal, yielding more power and better WOT FE. It's a win-win situation as long as catalytic converter life is not a consideration.

2) At many speed/load points, more ignition advance means more power. At higher RPM and throttle openings, the maximum amount of advance is detonation limited.

For most vehicle lines, Ranger included, the specified fuel is 87 octane regular unleaded. Ford is not going to sell a Ranger (basically an economy vehicle) that uses premium. That would drive a lot of sales away.

The factory engineer must come up with a spark table that will work with 87 octane fuel everywhere in the intended market. It also must work with any production tolerance stackup that may occur and it should continue to operate without detonation as carbon builds up over the life of the engine. The spark table is finalized in low humidity desert testing because dry air is the worst case for detonation. What works in more humid parts of the country would detonate badly in the desert Southwest.

Using premium fuel allows more spark advance in high load/high RPM cells and the engine can make more power. An aftermarket calibration that is set up for premium will make considerably more power than one set up for regular. It also may not need as much "cushion" as the factory calibration.
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Old 08-21-2006
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Once again, Bob uses his smarts to win.
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  #13  
Old 08-21-2006
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Ha ha! Excellent, Bob. Learned something I did!
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  #14  
Old 08-21-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksterSVT
Plus most of the time you have to run a higher octane fuel, meaning less efficient on the pocket...
as the owner of a classic car that runs on 90+ Octane only, well it is true it impacts the pocket book, it isn't as bad as people think. I can ALWAYS find premium for a Dime a Gallon more than regular, so On a ranger for instance reguardless of the price of gas that will be $1.95 extra a tank if you coasted in to the staion with an empty tank.

If gas is 1.50 For Regula and 1.60 for premium The difference = $1.95

If gas is $5.00 reg. and $5.10 Prem. the difference = $1.95

Now I bet most of you spend near that every time you go into the gas station on your Energy drink of choice.

Now this is the same mentality that will cause someone to drive ten miles out of their way to save a nickel a gallon on gas. It just doesn't make sense.

~HJ

Last edited by HAZZARDJOHN; 08-21-2006 at 02:43 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-21-2006
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I never put nothing but 89 in my Ranger. She ran tip top. Like John said, it's only ten cents more a gallon no matter what the regular base price is. It's been that way since I first started driving and gas was .96 for 87 and 1.06 for 89 octance. Now it's 2.99 for 87 and 3.09 for 89 octance.
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Old 08-21-2006
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Dang Bob I learned more from you then than I ever did in school!

I put nothing but 89 or 93
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Old 08-21-2006
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wow, bob comes to dave the say.

d'oh. save the day
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  #18  
Old 08-22-2006
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another thing u hafta remeber here tho, something even bob didnt mention, which may have a negative side effect, like bob said, everything on the ranger or whatever vehical ur custom tuning has been set up for a middle of the road performance, and that performance has an impact on how long other parts last - such as your transmission. increasing your power output of your engine i would imagine would put added strain on everything between the engine and the tires. including your drive shafts, U joints, tranny, hell even the rod that the pistons run on.... ya im really mechanically inclined, can ya tell? lol. anyways, thats something to consider. i mean, sure, you can run a vehical custom tuned, but in reality, on average, will these stock parts last as long with stock permormance vs tuned performance? maybe, then again, maybe not.
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  #19  
Old 08-22-2006
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I have not bought a 'tuner' or programmer for my truck, despite the fact that I have a large (100+ mi/day) commute and am a chronic penny pincher. At the end of the day I have yet to see evidence that the 'tuner' offers any significant (or even measurable) improvment in efficency for regular, 87 octane gas under normal (read: no WOT, ever!) driving. In fact even if it did, I beleive that it would take quite a while to pay for the $400 buy in price.

Let's say fuel costs $3.00/gal for regular 87. My lifetime average is about 18 MPG, which includes the period before I cleaned up my act and stopped driving like a teenager! This works out to about $0.1667/mile. Let's say that a tuner could be demonstrated to yeild a 3 MPG improvement in my application. (I maintain it cannot, but let's just say it could.) A 3 MPG improvement would work out to $0.1429/mile. That is a $0.0238/mile improvement.

To save $400 and just break even for the 'tuner' I would have to drive 16806 miles!

And all that is just for an '87 economy' program. Go to a 'premium' tune and the math gets even uglier becayse you're spending an extra $0.10-0.20/gal at the pump.. And I still maintain the tuner does not yeild that much of an improvment.. AND it does not account for the cost of replacing parts prematurely worn in Bob's over-heated cat scenario.. AND it opens to giving Ford an excuse to void one of my warranties..

Besides, I'm already getting 20+ MPG these days anyhow! In the end I'll pass on the tuner thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyC
(IE: only 4x4 truck to average over 20 MPG EPA rating)
I've been getting 20+ easily w/o any 'tuner'.. I have probably the heaviest, least fuel efficient factory Ranger config possible!
Quote:
Originally Posted by l2en
I never put nothing but 89 in my Ranger. She ran tip top. Like John said, it's only ten cents more a gallon no matter what the regular base price is.
And I've been paying $0.10/gal less than you and my truck has also run just fine..
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Old 08-22-2006
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i dunno, i think my truck might be heavier. especially with my fat butt in the drivers seat, and i ave around 17-18mpg with out a tuner
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  #21  
Old 09-09-2006
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IDK if anyone has said this but it is I think pretty well known that CA has the toughest emissions standards, adn therefore I'm almost positive it won't pass with the aftermarket tune installed. If you decide to get a tuner you will need to put it back to stock to have it tested and you will have to do this a week or two ahead of time, IIRC inspection facalities check the computer for codes and will not pass the vehicle if they are present. Everytime you change the program in your truck the computer has to relearn the stragety it will throw a code (doesn't light CEL) for a couple hundred miles after the tune in programed. Once again IIRC the code is P1100 and it basically is a red flag that the computer has just been reprogrammed. Bottom line is that yes it can be used in CA you just have to be smarter than the vehicle inspectors, not that it would be hard to do.
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  #22  
Old 09-10-2006
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I ran 93 Octane in my SVT Focus, that's why I traded it.
24MPG on 93 vs. 18 MPG on 87...
I'm breaking even, considering 93 costs $0.20 more here...
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  #23  
Old 09-10-2006
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NYS is right behind CA with emissions as well. and since like 75% of the people line in NYC, i dont consider it 'fair' that the rest of us have to comply with standards for a uber populated area.
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Old 09-11-2006
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Bubba I'm glad you broke it down like that. I was debating whether or not to get the Bama. Now I have decided not too. I would only be using it for mileage, I drive 60 round trip every day. I never do any towing or racing.
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  #25  
Old 09-11-2006
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I've been contemplating getting a tuner, but the cost is the main turn off for me. The bottom line is if I want a very fuel efficient Ranger, I should have purchased the 4 banger. The 3.Slow is a decent fit for fuel economy and power. With my efan, CAI, and dual exhaust, I've maybe increased total MPG by an average of 3-4 MPG. Not bad, but then again, the return on investment will take a LONG time, if I think in terms of return on investment.
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