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Old 01-16-2019, 05:27 PM   #1
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V10 Engine Tuning- Regular vs. Premium Fuel and More...

Good morning kids and welcome to my class!!! SO glad you could join me!

Lol. I think at 57 I'M the kid here?!

Today's lesson will be all about which fuel the Ford V10 likes better. My class has NO grades, NO tests, NO judgments and of course, NO stupid questions. I do give extra credit for participation though. And if you want to be the teacher's pet, bring me a cookie instead of an apple. Fruits and vegetables are dumb, burgers and fries are my friends. haha.

Ok so here's the first BIG lesson... The late model Ford V10 DOES NOT have a knock sensor! This is big. 99% of cars and trucks on the road have at least 1 knock sensor. GM has been using them on almost everything since the early '80's. This is big because it drastically changes how the factory "builds" the engine calibrations. Without a knock control system, they have to set the ignition timing and fueling so that on the cr@piest regular gas, in the worst situation for pinging, the engine won't knock. That means in the middle of summer, in the middle of Death Valley, the ignition timing has to be low enough that it doesn't knock, or at least not too much to cause damage.

(Fun fact #1... engines not only can handle certain amounts of engine knock just fine, they actually benefit from it!)

So if the timing is set to not ping in Death Valley, (below sea level and hotter than _____.) how do you think it's going to run going over that 13,000 foot pass in the middle of winter? Not too good! That's the major downside of not having any knock control. THAT'S what we have in the V10. The difference in optimum timing in those two situations can be as much as 20 degrees! The factory has to tune for the worst case, so without being able to control ignition timing in relation to knock means your timing can be 20 degrees away from optimum. That's a TON of power and efficiency. (That "20 degree" number isn't something that's set in stone, it's obviously a big ballpark number. The ignition timing in my Vegas engine calibrations is as much as 26 degrees away from factory in some areas.)

So what does that mean for you at the gas pump? Running premium gas IN THIS APPLICATION can actually result in LESS power and LESS MPG's. (Sorry about the YELLING, I tend to put really important things in all caps so that they don't get missed. And this is huge because it goes against so much "internet" knowledge. How many people think "race fuel" makes their engine stronger, when in fact it actually makes less power if it doesn't need it.) So the "in this application" part is huge because don't take what I'm saying here and try to apply it to ANY other vehicle. Again, 99% of the cars and trucks on the road have a closed loop knock sensing system, so they will, depending on application and engine, benefit from using premium gas.

So here's my advice for this application, running on the factory engine calibrations... Run regular gas unless you're towing a heavy load, running high speeds or in high temp/low altitude situations. Premium in those situations will simply give you a little extra safety because even on the SUPER conservative stock engine calibrations, the V10 can knock in those conditions.

(Fun fact #2... Pulling steep grades needs better fuel right? Not if those grades are at higher altitudes. Engines are far less likely to knock at higher altitudes because the air is thinner and it makes the cylinder pressures much lower. Even pulling grades at 2k or 3k feet your engine will be less likely to knock.)

There's obviously a ton more on this subject, but hopefully that will help clear up some common internet misconceptions about "Which fuel should I use?" And again, this only pertains to the late model Ford V10 because it doesn't have any knock control.

(Fun fact #3... After reading that, does it make you realize how much can be gained by an aftermarket tune in these engines? A TON! The fun fact is that Ford delays "Power Enrichment" for 60 seconds in the factory calibrations!!! This is enormous! So pulling that grade means your engine is running dangerously lean for a full minute before getting the proper fueling it needs for that amount of load. Let off the gas for a second and the 60 second timing starts back at 0. Yikes!)

Questions? Feel free to ask away! There's obviously a lot more to all of this and I'm happy to help clear up questions/thoughts/concerns if I can.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:40 PM   #2
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Are you snorting the white powder this morning or working on your 12th pot of coffee?
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by The Gritz Carlton View Post
Are you snorting the white powder this morning or working on your 12th pot of coffee?
haha yeah I was up until after midnight! No coffee though, just a cup of tea for me. And no drugs, a friend of mine once told me that you NEVER want to try cocaine, he said it was AMAZING! And as much as I'm addicted to toys, I think I could become addicted to any drug pretty easily. haha.

You want to know the truth? I checked my phone when I first woke up and saw Ken's question about regular vs. premium and literally put everything else aside to answer right away this morning. Sharing knowledge is that important to me and when somebody craves it, I can't help but dole it out.

I absolutely LOVE IT when people want to learn and it's stuff I know. My wife has been telling me for decades I should be a teacher but the problem with being a "real" teacher is you end up having kids or grownups in your class that either don't want to learn or can't learn. I don't have a whole lot of patience for that so I think that would frustrate me. But when smart people want to learn, I'll do anything I can to help!

The other factor is WAY back in high school for some stupid reason I took a typing class. Oh, I remember, I took it because it was 90% girls!!! Anyway, it stuck and I can still type pretty fast and without looking at the keyboard or screen. So I can be watching TV or talking to my wife and also typing tons of dribble, filling forum posts to the brim. lol. Sorry!
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:58 PM   #4
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Question... Since the fuel injection system is leaning out the mix as the barometric pressure drops: won't that sort of balance out the lower cylinder pressures advantage?
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Question... Since the fuel injection system is leaning out the mix as the barometric pressure drops: won't that sort of balance out the lower cylinder pressures advantage?
Good question!

Yeah, even the somewhat primitive ECM in these V10's compensates mixture and ignition timing for baro. It only has a certain range though so it's not always perfectly optimized. Yes, leaner mixtures will be more prone to knock, but baro/cylinder pressure has more of an influence on knock at altitude than the mixture does.

In other words, you can be super lean at high altitude and not ping. You can be just a little lean at low altitudes and ping. Cylinder pressure is the bigger factor. Make sense?
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:36 PM   #6
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Strangely enough: yes it does... Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmtech16450yz View Post
haha yeah I was up until after midnight! No coffee though, just a cup of tea for me. And no drugs, a friend of mine once told me that you NEVER want to try cocaine, he said it was AMAZING! And as much as I'm addicted to toys, I think I could become addicted to any drug pretty easily. haha.

You want to know the truth? I checked my phone when I first woke up and saw Ken's question about regular vs. premium and literally put everything else aside to answer right away this morning. Sharing knowledge is that important to me and when somebody craves it, I can't help but dole it out.

I absolutely LOVE IT when people want to learn and it's stuff I know. My wife has been telling me for decades I should be a teacher but the problem with being a "real" teacher is you end up having kids or grownups in your class that either don't want to learn or can't learn. I don't have a whole lot of patience for that so I think that would frustrate me. But when smart people want to learn, I'll do anything I can to help!

The other factor is WAY back in high school for some stupid reason I took a typing class. Oh, I remember, I took it because it was 90% girls!!! Anyway, it stuck and I can still type pretty fast and without looking at the keyboard or screen. So I can be watching TV or talking to my wife and also typing tons of dribble, filling forum posts to the brim. lol. Sorry!

I took the same typing class for the same reason! IBM Selectric and have been a fairly decent typist since. I miss the angled keys vs. the flat keyboards of today. I also took a second year of Spanish just to see the teacher's butt wiggle when she wrote on the "black board" (actually green) with chalk. I can only count to five in Spanish and cannot complete a single sentence other than to ask where's the bathrooms and order uno mas cerveza.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:50 PM   #8
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Spot on. Many people do not understand the significance of knock sensors.

I have heard pinging in rolling hills on occasion towing racecar trailer. Periodic addition of premium eliminates it.

Thanks for taking time to explain.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:06 PM   #9
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I wonder why Ford did not install knock sensors on this V10?

If they did .... it sounds like they could extract more power (and/or more MPG) out of the engines and also advertise more HP and or more MPG?

I been thinking of installing a "5 star tune" but they seem over priced to me. Any other good tuners for less $$ that are worth a darn?

Oh yeah, Thanks GM Tech for this info.

You mentioned before that your sound deading make your RV super quiet. Any tips or tricks (other than the obvious) for the rest of us? Any pictures? I think you removed your entire dash for your mods.... what did you install behind it to help with sound?

I have added a ton of insulation to my RV everywhere I could Inside cockpit area and under hood/dog house, under drawers and in access holes etc) but Im always looking for more tips/tricks to make it even better. But im pretty happy with my results so im not going to complain. LOL.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
I wonder why Ford did not install knock sensors on this V10?

If they did .... it sounds like they could extract more power (and/or more MPG) out of the engines and also advertise more HP and or more MPG?

I been thinking of installing a "5 star tune" but they seem over priced to me. Any other good tuners for less $$ that are worth a darn?

Oh yeah, Thanks GM Tech for this info.

You mentioned before that your sound deading make your RV super quiet. Any tips or tricks (other than the obvious) for the rest of us? Any pictures? I think you removed your entire dash for your mods.... what did you install behind it to help with sound?

I have added a ton of insulation to my RV everywhere I could Inside cockpit area and under hood/dog house, under drawers and in access holes etc) but Im always looking for more tips/tricks to make it even better. But im pretty happy with my results so im not going to complain. LOL.
I had a 5-Star tune in my F-350. What you get with the $$ is customer service. If you don't like what the tune is doing just call them and tweak it they'll send you an adjusted one free. They were great (for those of us without the equipment and acumen of gmtech).
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:41 PM   #11
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Is not having a knock sensor true for both late model v10's since the F53 class A chassis has a different version v10 from the E350/450 based class C's?
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:31 PM   #12
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This was interesting read, gmtech16450yz, thanks for enlightening.

I mechanic, but I am not an engine tuner.
I have a motorcycle I had them engine work, when purchased new, had to buy a programmer &ignition module so it could be remapped.
Is that what needs to be done to get the new v10 tuned up better?
Or what is involved to get it done, new knock sensors installed?
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
I wonder why Ford did not install knock sensors on this V10?
If they did .... it sounds like they could extract more power (and/or more MPG) out of the engines and also advertise more HP and or more MPG? .
I agree... Perhaps it has something to do with the V-10 setup? Doesn't that have a counterbalancer stuffed somewhere into it? Might that just not leave enough room for another sensor?
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
I had a 5-Star tune in my F-350. What you get with the $$ is customer service. If you don't like what the tune is doing just call them and tweak it they'll send you an adjusted one free. They were great (for those of us without the equipment and acumen of gmtech).
Yeah I have seen some of your posts....Sound like it would be a great mod for me....Little more power.....Plus I really like the idea of the shift points being changed too....I just wish they had a sale so I can justify (or feel good about) the purchase.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by gmtech16450yz View Post
Good question!

Yeah, even the somewhat primitive ECM in these V10's compensates mixture and ignition timing for baro. It only has a certain range though so it's not always perfectly optimized. Yes, leaner mixtures will be more prone to knock, but baro/cylinder pressure has more of an influence on knock at altitude than the mixture does.

In other words, you can be super lean at high altitude and not ping. You can be just a little lean at low altitudes and ping. Cylinder pressure is the bigger factor. Make sense?
Yes but if you run lean too long, don't you burn pistons?
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:03 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by gmtech16450yz View Post
The other factor is WAY back in high school for some stupid reason I took a typing class. Oh, I remember, I took it because it was 90% girls!!! Anyway, it stuck and I can still type pretty fast and without looking at the keyboard or screen. So I can be watching TV or talking to my wife and also typing tons of dribble, filling forum posts to the brim. lol. Sorry!
90% girls and you state it was stupid? That was absolutely brilliant!!!
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
Yeah I have seen some of your posts....Sound like it would be a great mod for me....Little more power.....Plus I really like the idea of the shift points being changed too....I just wish they had a sale so I can justify (or feel good about) the purchase.
me too
its a real addict/impulse purchase
although, that said...

i once owned a Ford Taurus SHO - V8 with Yamaha Aluminum Heads
and i purchased a $400 SCT Performance Chip to enhance the driving experience

she was a sweet ride and the tune made a huge difference for me

but...that was then, this is now. haha
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:14 AM   #18
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Ok I'm back! Let me see if I can reply to your questions/comments without leaving anyone out.

L&W, I think you asked me before about sound deadening and I forgot to reply? Sorry! Not sure what help I can really give there since what I did was so extreme. I basically insulated between the engine and cab with a combination of foil covered foam, sprayed on expanding foam, mass loaded rubber, dynamat and dynaliner equivalents. It's basically just a matter of isolating sound and deadening vibrations.

Why didn't Ford put knock sensors in this engine application? Who knows? lol. I'd guess it was a cost cutting move, two less sensors, wiring and a more basic ECM/calibration package. They probably decided it didn't make sense since they aren't really worrying about gas mileage since they don't have to put it on the window. And their calibrations have been perfected enough over the years of these V10's that they know it won't blow up without a knock sensor system. Think about it, do we really have a choice when it comes to what brand or engine we get in most of these RV's? You kinda get what they build them on. It's not like they're competing with Dodge and GM for the Class C, RUV and a little of the Class A market like it used to be years ago.

5 Star tune... I've never been a fan of "canned" tunes, but they've got two things going for them. One is that this ECM and it's engine and trans calibrations are super simple and basic, so there's not much to really screw up. Second is that these engines haven't really changed in quite a while, and they're all almost identical in their use. That's an easy tune to build and sell. For those of you that are thinking about it, I'd say for 90% of the V10 owners out there looking for an aftermarket tune, it's the right solution. The rest of us would fall under the "would rather do it myself" category. HPTuners has calibration definitions for these late model Ford V10's. (You're welcome! lol. They didn't, until I sent them the files and begged the owner to add the definitions in their software. He did. He knows I spent a lot of time teaching guys how to tune on the HPTuners forum so that helped.) So if you want to learn a little bit about how engine calibrations work, you can buy the HPTuners hardware and tune your own engine how ever you want, whenever you want! Pretty cool huh? Scary? Not really.

Mustang... I'm actually not sure if the 3V engines have knock sensors or not. I think they might. It's easy to tell, just grab a flashlight and look in the valley under the intake. They bolt onto the block, one on each side. They're little round black plastic pieces with a bolt in the center and a wire coming out. If it doesn't have them, you'll probably see the two bosses sticking up that they bolt to.

10scDust... You can't just bolt in a couple knock sensors and wire them up, there are other pieces missing in the calibration software to make them work. I actually have an aftermarket knock sensor system on my Vegas, it has two Bosch sensors and a display that shows the amount of knock. It also inputs to my HPTuners scanner so I can log the knock signals. That way I know at what load/rpm/temp/gear/etc the knock is occurring. It's pricey though and not likely something you guys are ever going to want. lol.
https://www.phormula.com/KnockMonitor-KS-4.aspx

TheBreeze, yes, you can burn pistons if you run too lean for too long. These newer engines are REALLY strong though and can take a ton of abuse. If Ford can run these V10's at stoich (14.7:1 air fuel ratio) for a full minute of WOT before giving it any extra fuel, I'd say they trust these pistons pretty well!

And yeah, I also took a cooking class in jr high for the same reason. haha. It was just me and one other guy (ugly weird guy at that) in a class full of cute California girls. Then in High School I volunteered to be a camp counselor at camp for 6th graders. Again, about a dozen girl counselors from other schools and one other guy that happened to be gay. My buddies all thought I was nuts until I came back from a week in the woods with stories about a bunch of hot teenage camp counselors. My momma didn't raise no dummy. lol.

Did I answer everybody? What is the 5 Star tune going for these days? $400? That's exactly what the HPTuners hardware and license to tune one vehicle costs. Both are WELL WORTH the money, believe me. Just different approaches for different people. There's a ton of potential in these engines though. I'm showing an increase of almost 80 ft/lbs of torque in my tune. I think even 5 Star claims 70 or something. They're pretty drastically detuned and it's pretty easy to wake them up.

Thanks for the questions guys! You know there's always lurkers that are getting something out of this even though they don't post or might not even be members.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:36 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by gmtech16450yz View Post
TheBreeze,yes, you can burn pistons if you run too lean for too long. These newer enginesare REALLY strong though and can take a ton of abuse. If Ford can run these V10'sat stoich (14.7:1 air fuel ratio) for a full minute of WOT before giving it anyextra fuel, I'd say they trust these pistons pretty well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmtech16450yz View Post
Andyeah, I also took a cooking class in jr high for the same reason. haha. It wasjust me and one other guy (ugly weird guy at that) in a class full of cuteCalifornia girls. Then in High School I volunteered to be a camp counselor atcamp for 6th graders. Again, about a dozen girl counselors from other schoolsand one other guy that happened to be gay. My buddies all thought I was nutsuntil I came back from a week in the woods with stories about a bunch of hotteenage camp counselors. My momma didn't raise no dummy. lol.
Ok,girls aside, try stay with me here.

I downloaded the SW from the VCM site. After a few trial runs I found files where I didn't want them - namely on the C drive. Maybe you can take this to VCM: They don't have a single user install. It's as though they're setup for a network install where you have multiple Users with their own setups(tunes) and a single SW source. This can be good and bad but that's not the topic at point.

The topic is it doesn't let you select where to place the runtime libraries and tune profiles. The tune profiles land on the C drive. That’s not acceptable. You're somewhat a geek so you should get this.

I run a partitioned HD. Nothing runs on C except the OS. Everything else is stored outside of that boundary on other drives. Tunes are data. Nothing more, nothing less. 3rd party installs and data do not reside in the OS partition.

I tried using Orca to edit the MSI file to point the installation libraries at a different drive. I successfully landed common libraries on the D drive but it placed the tune profiles under C:\User\<username>\... and it cannot be altered. It’s hard coded in the exe somewhere when it should be a variable the exe(MSI) can use to store the tunes on another drive. All that can be stored in the registry so I can't see what the problem is except laziness.

I would like to have this and would spend the money on it and learn it but not if it doesn’t conform to protocol.


Anyideas?
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:44 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by gmtech16450yz View Post
Ok I'm back! Let me see if I can reply to your questions/comments without leaving anyone out

Did I answer everybody? What is the 5 Star tune going for these days? $400? That's exactly what the HPTuners hardware and license to tune one vehicle costs. Both are WELL WORTH the money, believe me. Just different approaches for different people. There's a ton of potential in these engines though. I'm showing an increase of almost 80 ft/lbs of torque in my tune. I think even 5 Star claims 70 or something. They're pretty drastically detuned and it's pretty easy to wake them up.
Just a couple more questions, if you would, sir.
I like what you are saying and my interest for this upgrade/tune is piqued.

Where do I look to find someone to perform this, HPTune, or is it a 5 star tune search?
Ford dealer or Camping World?
Or,
Is this HPTuner something for the do it yourselfer?
Need a laptop and minimum OS?

I dread the thought of getting this delivered, installing myself, reading the procedure how to's for weeks, only to find that I did something that now it won't run good enough to get out of these mountains where I live.

Thanks again, and please enlighten me, it is greatly appreciated.
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