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When Rudolf Diesel filed patent number RP-67207 in 1893, the world of transportation was forever changed. He created a new standard for power, fuel efficiency, and durability that stood the test of time and still powers modern cars and trucks to this day!
We promise you the extra horsepower and torque your diesel engine will gain with some specialized tuning. Will have you “laughing out loud” when you stomp on that accelerator pedal!
We have assembled the best tools on the market to tweak your diesel so let’s get to it! We know it is tempting to speed read and glaze over long explanations, but in this case, there are features that can make a big difference in results.
So, you may want to find time to read this from top to bottom to make the best decision when it is time to push the “buy” button.
Before we begin, let’s go over what kind of motors we are talking about.
- 7.3 Power Stroke
- Looking For More 7.3L Engine Details?
- 6.0L Power Stroke.
- Top 4 Best Tuners For 7.3 Powerstroke For The Money Reviews
- Photo Finish, But We Do Have A Winner!
7.3 Power Stroke
This beast was born in 1994, and by 1999, a million Ford trucks had been delivered with this motor. About this time they upgraded to a Heavy Duty package. This featured a single turbocharger wastegate intercooler.
That change really turned up demand, and in short order, they sold a million more!
We think the hydraulic lifters (which never need manual adjustment) in an overhead valve system (2 valves per cylinder) really contributed to this combination of long and reliable “no fuss” engine life.
When the motor was introduced, it developed 210HP at 3,000 RPM. By 2003, they had squeezed out 275HP at 2,800 RPM. The 2003 version pumps out 525 ft/lbs at 1,600 RPM.
By 2003, the public demanded better fuel economy, and the EPA demanded much better emissions performance, so the motor was retired and replaced with the a smaller, yet higher performance 6.0L Power Stroke.
Looking For More 7.3L Engine Details?
On the rear oil cooler pad (located on the driver’s side rear of the engine, where the oil filter assembly mounts to the engine block,) you will find the serial number of the motor.
The first digits should be “7.3” followed by a 4 digit manufacturing designation, and then a 6 digit build number. There are resources available to let you really dig into that specific motor’s inner workings. These may have a lot of value when “tweaking” an engine to maximize performance.
6.0L Power Stroke.
The 6.0L Power Stroke was introduced in 2003 and replaced the 7.3L that Ford had used with great success.
The 6.0L version found a home in the Ford Super Duty truck class until retired after the 2007 production run. This happened pretty much because it could not meet emission standards in that time period, and there was a perception those were just going to become even tighter.
They stopped using it in the Excursion models in 2005. (There are some examples of it in Ford Econoline Vans until 2009 (Model Year 2010.)
The motor features a variable-geometry turbocharger and intercooler. Rolling off the factory door, it reached peak horsepower (325HP) at 3,300 RPM while generating peak torque at 2,000RPM (570 ft/lbs.)
The direct injection, Electro-Hydraulic Generation Two (G2) technology aids in this motor’s quick throttle response time.
The compression ratio is 18-0-1, with the fuel cutoff factory calibrated at 4,200 RPM, a factor to consider when modifying engines.
Ford put four Torque to Yield (TTY) cylinder bolts per cylinder. While they are well known for clamping force, TTY bolts may stretch and exceed torque marks under excessive cylinder head pressures. Some mechanics change out the TTY bolts in favor of more powerful head studs.
We hope these provide useful benchmarks when considering performance upgrades.
There is a law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This makes it is illegal for a dealership to void your warranty because you installed an aftermarket product. If you still have an engine that is under warranty, the law covers performance programmers.
Top 4 Best Tuners For 7.3 Powerstroke For The Money Reviews
1 1805 Ford Superchips FlashPAQ Programmer 99-03 7.3L 03-07 6.oL Diesel Ford Truck
Engineered to work with F-250 – F-550. As we noted in the introduction, this applies to Power Stroke 7.3L Engines made between 1999 and 2003, and 6.0L Engines made between 2003 and 2007.
The Superchip Flashpaq is a handheld performance programmer that accesses the computer in your vehicle that controls pretty much everything, including engine performance across a wide spectrum of circumstances.
All you need to do is plug the Superchip Flashpaq into the 16 Pin On-board Diagnostics-II Port that you can find under the dashboard (OBDII Port).
The preloaded tunes up codes are designed to boost horsepower, increase torque, and increase fuel efficiency.
Once you are in the system, you will be introduced to a menu that offers custom options you can select to pinpoint the tuning and performance levels you desire. “Towing, Performance, Economy.”
You can run the engine on the stock settings, and when needed, switch to one of the three new tuning levels. The calibration process does a more effective job managing shift points automatically.
This tool can do the same tasks as the diagnostic tools mechanics use to discover what error codes are active, what they mean, and can cancel them.
Another cool feature is that if you change your tire size, this device can reset your speedometer, so it is still accurate. Tire heights up to 38 inches are supported.
Changing the program settings on your engine is a process that requires confidence in the equipment, and the software you will be changing in the system. So when you buy the tool, you are also buying the company behind it.
This programmer is an excellent example of that principle. You can go to the Superchips website and download fresh code on your home computer then load it into the flashpaq programmer when needed.
|Ford Powerstroke 6.0L|
|Level 1||46||Horsepower||100 Foot Pounds of Torque|
|Level 2||89||Horsepower||140 Foot Pounds of Torque|
|Level 3||94||Horsepower||200 Foot Pounds of Torque|
|Ford Powerstroke 7.3L|
|Level 1||70||Horsepower||150 Foot Pounds of Torque|
|Level 2||90||Horsepower||175 Foot Pounds of Torque|
|Level 3||110||Horsepower||200 Foot Pounds of Torque|
- Quick set up and easy to use.
- Updates via a desktop computer.
- Reads and clears trouble codes
- Three button operation.
- Clear easy to read screen.
- OBD cable attached, also has USB cable for updates.
- Supports tire sizes up to 38 inches.
- Comes with Lifetime Warranty.
- When connected, locks device to that vehicle VIN number.
- Truck and tuner need to be reset to factory setting for use with a different vehicle.
2 Edge Products 15001 Evolution Programmer for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L
This programmer is designed to enhance performance, torque, and fuel economy in the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engines manufactured from 1999 to 2003.
This is more than a programmer. It is an in-cab display that can provide a large range of information while monitoring vital engine functions. It is easy to mount and is an excellent match for most interiors. Users say it really looks like it came with the truck!
One of the most important features is the ability to monitor exhaust gas temperature (EGT). By drilling a hole in the exhaust manifold and installing the thermocouple-type pyrometer, which allows for a very accurate assessment of temperature and vehicle’s air-fuel ratio (AFR.)
Like other tuners on the market, it does a good job setting shift point and is easy to update via the internet if needed.
One of the features that we really get a kick out of is the quarter mile function. Push a button, and you get a drag strip style red, yellow, green countdown light display. Floor it, and enjoy all kinds of readouts that show what kind of maxed out performance you are getting!
The backlit (adjustable) LED color display is easy to read, and simple to manage with an intelligent button layout.
If you are a driver who loves to know what your motor is doing, this is a great choice. It lets you look at loads of different data while driving down the road.
- In-cab display looks like a factory install.
- Able to display a wide range of information.
- Fun features, like the quarter mile race function.
- Robust performance via exhaust gas temperature functions.
- Can’t adjust to different tire sizes.
- May damage ECM under certain circumstances.
|Ford Powerstroke 7.3L|
|Level 1||60||Horsepower||100 Foot Pounds of Torque|
|Level 2||80||Horsepower||140 Foot Pounds of Torque|
|Level 3||100||Horsepower||200 Foot Pounds of Torque|
3 SCT Performance – 7015 – X4 Performance Tuner – Custom Power Flash Programmer – Ford
We tend to agree with the old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none.” The idea here seems to be to sell a tool that is not dedicated to any engine group and let users figure out how to make it all work.
If you are a person who enjoys spending time on the internet trouble-shooting software bundles and loves to spend time on tech support calls, this may be the tool for you.
This tool is delivered with an immediate need to update programs, and in some cases, there may be a charge.
This handheld programmer has a 3-foot cable leading to the On-board Diagnostics-II Port (OBDII Port) It will work when properly programmed and accepted by your vehicle’s computer.
This programmer may not be delivered with the preset installs you may be looking for.
- Works on a very wide range of vehicles after software updates.
- Easy to read display.
- Requires software updates upon delivery.
- Some software may have charges applied.
- Unclear documentation generally ends up with users on tech support calls.
- Often ships with older no longer under warranty models.
4 TS Performance Part # 1180401 Diesel Performance Horsepower
This is the opposite of performance tuners that plug easily into the On-board Diagnostics-II Port (OBDII Port) that you can find under the dashboard, and feature display screens with digital readouts.
This is an actual raw computer board/chip that requires users to (among other things) disconnect the battery and yank the emergency brake assembly. They then have to pull off the ECM, get into the computer, clean off the protective coatings, install the chip, button it all up, and wait to see if it actually works!
It is specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine. And users have to interface with the manufacturer to ensure they have the correct chip since different model years can make a huge difference.
Again, these are physical components, and users can not just go to the internet and download updated code. They actually have to get the right chip in hand and physically install it.
This is the ultimate “old school” tool because unlike a backlit display with digital readouts, this unit has a simple 6 position switch that users click clockwise for “more” and counterclockwise for “less.”
The difference between this performance booster and the easy to install versions is that the 6 position switch makes changes on the fly. While the other units require users to stop, and select a new power setting.
It is quite good at managing automatic transmission shifting to make things smooth, instead of slamming from one gear to the next.
Also, because you are actually removing the factory chip and replacing it, this chip does not leave the telltale “605 computer code” in your PCM. This is what your dealership will be looking for if you want warranty repairs in case of failures.
- Can change setting while driving the truck.
- For folks who enjoy wrenching and tinkering with their truck.
- The 6 position switch is “old school” and very simple to operate.
- This device will not leave a computer code that dealerships see as “you reprogramed this engine.”
- Once it works, it just keeps on truckin’.
- The chip has to be manually installed.
- A pre-programmed chip, so, there are no user upgrades via the internet.
- May not work properly upon delivery, which may mean a lot of tech support time on the phone.
- Primitive compared to its competitors.
- Does not read or clear error codes.
- Does not allow for tire size adjustment.
- No screen to measure performance.
|Ford Powerstroke 7.3L|
|Level 1||Stock Setting|
|Level 2||High Idle|
Photo Finish, But We Do Have A Winner!
The all-around best Tuners for 7.3 Powerstroke is definitely the…
It is Plug and Play, works very well on both 6.0L and 7.3L engines, and really is made to keep a wide range of users happy.
We thought about folks who got it for their 7.3L and guess there is a good chance they may end up with a newer 6.0L somewhere down the line. If so, this tuner can just be moved to the new truck in about 10 minutes!
Speaking of moving from one truck to another, let’s image you and your friend are going to take his rig to haul his bass boat for a weekend fishing trip.
All you need to do is reset the tuner in your truck to the factory setting, plug it into his truck, and bingo! You are a hero who made the trip more fun and saved fuel in the process!
This rugged hand-held performance tuner is easy to manage, delivers high-performance results, is really tough, and has a Lifetime Warranty. All making it easily the Best Tuners for 7.3 Powerstroke!