What exactly does a Tune do? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 03-06-2007
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What exactly does a Tune do?

So, ive been reading a lot of threads about guys tunning their rigs and whatnot, and when it comes to that intricate stuff im lost.

Why would one want to tune there rig? better mpg, better torque, performance? I get a little sketchy when a mod deals with resetting our computers to run differently. Can any truck have a tune? Mine has 142,000 miles and its a 98 XLT 4x4 V6 ...will my truck benefit? Its all stock expect for a exhaust. Sorry for all the questions, but just wanted to get an idea of whats so great about a tune.
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Old 03-06-2007
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your truck will definately benefit from a XCalibrator 2 tuner.....it takes the computer to were the factory should have set it and then allows you to do some minor changes to it.........you will get better mpg, horsepower, and torque...
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Old 03-06-2007
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All the above.

Basically, manufacturers tune their engines for mass performance, and try to be all things to all people, and stay away from manufacturing tolerance problems and so forth.

But this leaves a lot of range of setting adjustments (and combinations of adjustments) that can pull more performance out of the engine.

These can be by optimizing the settings for regular gas, or taking advantage of the extra power in higher octane gas.

Additionally, auto transmissions are often set for a "compromise" setting and not for best performance. Modern vehicles control both the engine AND transmission with the computer, so changing the settings can improve them too.

What you're changing is not the actual computer program. It's more like sitting at your computer setting different screen resolutions, "cache" settings, and so on. You're not actually reprogramming your computer -- you're just changing tables of settings that tell the program HOW to do it's job.

That's basically what a tune is: a set of setting changes that alters the way an engine/transmission computer does it's job.
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Old 03-06-2007
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can i put a tuner on my 94?
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Old 03-06-2007
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Oh, and most trucks from 96 on can be tuned -- but later ones often have more flexibility in what can be acheived. 1998 is probably a good candidate overall.

Edit:Ha ha! RangerKid, I was not answering your question -- I posted as you did to comment on the originators truck. A 1995 back truck usually needs to have a chip burned if it can be "tuned" at all.
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Old 03-06-2007
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With the tune is it easy to add minor things, or do you have to take it somewhere, like to a professional. My ranger is currently throwing the check engine light, so i scanned it and it was saying that i was running too lean and needed a new MAF. Would a tune fix this kind of problem?
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Old 03-06-2007
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Wow, n3elz great info!! So my truck might be undergoing a tune soon, ohh and its an auto.
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Old 03-06-2007
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no a tune will not "fix" any problems/........when you get a tune, problems that you have that have not come to a head, will most likely come a head then......

a XCalibrator 2 also will read and erase PCM codes that cause your check engine light to come on......it is the best $400 i have ever spent....

the tuners only work on '96 + OBDII computer trucks.....the pre '96 Rangers have to have a chip attached in the wiring at the PCM...
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Old 03-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRed911
Wow, n3elz great info!! So my truck might be undergoing a tune soon, ohh and its an auto.
with the auto you can adjust shift points, and shift firmness also....

you can also adjust your rev limitor and it will eliminate your speed governer....
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Old 03-06-2007
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It might, but if the MAF is going, it would be better to tune with a good MAF.

You can get the tunes for about $100 for 3 of them. A little more some places, a little less others.

The tuner itself goes from around $100 to $300 for a used one, and about $375 and up for a new one. The new ones come with tunes already in them.

I bought a used one for $125 and I can download tunes into mine -- but make sure if you buy one you get the necessary cable to hook it to the computer. I got bit on that little detail, lol.

Use the search feature on the board to find "ExtremeTune" and you'll find my posts on free software that can be used to adjust tunes. You can often get a stock tune for you truck for free and make limited changes on it from this program.

"Real" tunes are made by professionals who understand the settings and limitations and can be creative with them. The "free" tuning software only has limited control.
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Old 03-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
with the auto you can adjust shift points, and shift firmness also....

you can also adjust your rev limitor and it will eliminate your speed governer....
I must admit, my truck doesnt seem to be running too great, kinda of a little gutless, like it needs a good tune up. I do the every 3,000 mile tune-up but it could use a little more. Overall, it runs ok.
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Old 03-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
It might, but if the MAF is going, it would be better to tune with a good MAF.

You can get the tunes for about $100 for 3 of them. A little more some places, a little less others.

The tuner itself goes from around $100 to $300 for a used one, and about $375 and up for a new one. The new ones come with tunes already in them.

I bought a used one for $125 and I can download tunes into mine -- but make sure if you buy one you get the necessary cable to hook it to the computer. I got bit on that little detail, lol.

Use the search feature on the board to find "ExtremeTune" and you'll find my posts on free software that can be used to adjust tunes. You can often get a stock tune for you truck for free and make limited changes on it from this program.

"Real" tunes are made by professionals who understand the settings and limitations and can be creative with them. The "free" tuning software only has limited control.

yeah ford wants to charge 195 for a new MAF and probably more for labor. I think I just might do it myself...me, my buddies, and the trusty ole Haynes book!!
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Old 03-06-2007
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MAF's are easy. Unhook the wiring, unhook the intake tube, unbolt it from the airbox and install the new one. Maybe you can find a good one in a JY. Make sure it's out of the same year and engine type, or a year nearby with the same engine type -- preferably the same "generation" of Ranger.
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Old 03-06-2007
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in your opinion....
In the 07s the harness has changed as well as some other components. Do you think an older SCT like from 05 or 06 will work on a 07 ranger?
Or would one have to buy a "new" one?
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  #15  
Old 03-06-2007
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the tuner plugs into the OBDII dianostic port.....
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