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Old 12-03-2015, 01:50 AM   #1
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5 Star PCM Tuning for Ford V10 Gas

5 Star Tuning out of SC claims numerous improvements to the V10 performance and increased mpg. Has anyone purchased this $599 Upgrade? If so, what improvements did you see?
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:04 AM   #2
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I have no experience with it, but have heard some positive things. My concern would be what the warranty ramifications would be with Ford, if you had a major engine problem? I could see them denying warranty work because of something like this that changes the characteristics of their engine.
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:35 AM   #3
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There is one member here with a 5-star tune on their motorhome. I'm sure they will chime in when they read this.

I had a 5-star tune on my F-350. I waited until the warranty ran out before purchasing it; thus I don't know the warranty ramifications.

It made a huge difference with how the truck ran (easily knocked 1 second off the 0-60 times and gave me an extra 1mpg as well). 5-Star is a great company to work with. Members on ford-trucks.com have been using them for a while including really custom tunes (a completely custom shift table for the trans for the two modes (normal or tow/haul), custom point for overdrive lockout, etc.). All you need to do is contact them..

I have no affiliation with them other than being a happy past customer. I have been thinking of putting a 5-Star tune on our Axis at some point.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:43 PM   #4
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5 star

for the V10 it is on sale right now for 429.00 plus shipping
i thing im goint to order it.
they said id get 10% better mpg
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:20 PM   #5
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You can have a custom tune and go back to stock. But I dont see the payoff in using this tune. Maybe unless gas jumped back up to 5.00 a gallon. I just stayed off the gas pedal. thats my two cents.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:32 PM   #6
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I personally don't see how Brake Specific Fuel Consumption can be reduced by 10%. Not without risking damage or circumventing emission controls.

If a safe and legal 10% could be accomplished with a simple reprogramming, why doesn't Ford do it from the onset? Assuming Ford engineers are too inept to know better themselves, couldn't Ford buy or license the technology?

I'd want to know what it is they change in order to improve fuel economy that much.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:19 PM   #7
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I added the Bully Dog tuner on my wife's Dodge Ram and gained a little over 2 mpg on fuel economy towing a 5th wheel camper now that I have a Class A towing a car and only getting six and a half miles to the gallon I can see 10% being a lot better your manufacturers are only going to put an average tune in the computer just to get by they are not going to optimize it.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:35 AM   #8
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Ten percent of 7 miles per gallon is only .7 mpg. That's less than the mileage drop I get in a partial head wind. I think the 10% is a realistic figure at our low mpg numbers. It would amount to a 56 mile gain on an 80 gallon tank of gas (if totally drained).
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:32 PM   #9
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To improve fuel economy, the engine (or transmission) has to run more efficient. It has to make the same amount of power with less fuel.

The requirement for more or less power depending on driving conditions is a different matter. As stated above a head wind can increase required power, and hence lead to lower MPGs.

A motorhome can easily go from 100 HP on level road to 200 HP up a hill, which would double instantaneous fuel consumption if engine stayed at same efficiency. So if we suddenly go from 8 MPG on level road to 4 MPG up a hill, it doesn't necessarily mean the engine is working less efficiently.

I think it's best not to commingle these two subjects.
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:49 PM   #10
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Chance,
You might have missed my point. My comment was that the 10% increase in fuel mileage with the 5 Star tuning might be worth it's cost as long as it doesn't damage the engine.

To get a good idea about instantaneous horsepower, gallons per unit of time, fuel mileage, and many other engine operating parameters, I use a Scangauge.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:14 PM   #11
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Getting back on topic -- how do you make an engine run 10% more efficient?

A "tune" doesn't affect compression ratio, or decrease internal friction (not directly anyway). So what's left? Does it run engine that much leaner? Does it change spark timing? If so, why doesn't Ford do it also?

I know 10% change in BSFC is very significant, and Ford engineers wouldn't simply ignore that much in fuel savings unless they thought it could harm the engine, it adversely affected drivability, it adversely affected emissions, or they are so ignorant they don't know the difference.

I would personally not bother with this for fear of potential damage in the long run that may add more cost than I'd be saving in fuel.

If the average motorhome is driven about 5,000 miles a year, and it burns 700 gallons of fuel a year, then saving 10% is about 70 gallons a year. At today's fuel cost that's about $140 per year.

Compared to all other costs of motorhome ownership, that's almost trivial.
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:46 PM   #12
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Talked to my service advisor this morning while I was getting my Flex serviced, aligned and inspected. She informed me that when a car comes in for a drive train issue the first thing they do as instructed by Ford, is pull the codes and tune history from the control module. If there is any indication that a "performance enhancing tune" has been applied they deny warranty coverage, provide the diagnostic printout and an estimate to the customer as well as the page from the warranty booklet that states

"and performance-enhancing powertrain components or software and performance ‘‘chips’’ under the Damage Caused by Alteration or Modification section of exclusions. She told me the biggest offenders are the Mustang folks and then the F250 Diesel Folks.

We got into the conversation because there was a guy crying the blues to another advisor because he did his own custom tune after watching too many episodes of Street Outlaws. I guess he didn't listen to the disclaimer at the beginning of the show.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:02 AM   #13
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I am also a member of another forum where this tune is considered by most as the best thing since sliced bread. I don't plan to do this because I also worry about warranty issues. from what I understand the "tune" not only tunes the engine but also the shift points and charicturistics of the transmission. It is also claimed the tune will not affect your warranty because you can un-install it when taking to the dealer.
That being said I put an aftermarket tuner on my 2004 Harley Davidson. It was one highly recommended and installed by a highly trusted mechanic/friend and only after it was out of warranty. Of course this tuner did nothing to the transmission only the timing and injection maps. I could feel an increase in performance and throttle response. I did however see my gas milage decrease, could have been because I twisted my wrist more. The tuner is no longer on my Harley because it wouldn't start one day, first time it ever failed. Got it checked out and the tuner had went bad, just had to remove it and all went back to the stock tune. It will stay like that as long as I can still ride. Jim.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04fxsts
The tuner is no longer on my Harley because it wouldn't start one day, first time it ever failed. Got it checked out and the tuner had went bad, just had to remove it and all went back to the stock tune. It will stay like that as long as I can still ride. Jim.
That can't happen with the 5-star tune. It downloads a new calibration into the engine computer. Thus if the engine won't start the engine computer would have to go bad (e.g. the 5-star tuner is really a programmer, not a piece of hardware you have to hook up and leave on).

You can restore the engine to stock (the first thing the programmer does is download the stock tune so that the vehicle can be returned to stock). I've done that a few times with my old F-350: Return it to stock before taking it into the dealer (even though I had waited until the warranty expired before tuning it). Although there were reports on ford-trucks.com that the engine computer also keeps a count of how many times its been reprogrammed and that the dealers check that count against their records...
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:51 PM   #15
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Wondering if anyone has one of these that they don’t need anyone and would like to sell?
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:47 PM   #16
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First, as to the OP''s question, yes I used a 5-Star tune on our 2015 Thor ACE 29.2 and I loved the improvement in power, transmission shifting (less frequent and dramatic down shifting and high RPM engine review and noise up every little hill) and did get ~10% mpg improvement (always hand calculated over a year before and after).
Second, any engine that is tuned for maximum efficiency through timing (advance curve) and fueling (leanest without detonation) will produce more power with less fuel (the factory tune is not optimized because Ford does not know what coach the RV manufacturer is going to install or what environment it will operate in), AND the same ECM controls the transmission which is programmed for soft/early shifts assuming consumer preference for smooth, undetectable shifts which allow's for a lot of slippage in the transmission, which equates to wasted power and increased wear. Optimizing both the engine tuning and shift points contribute to reduced transmission wear (firmer, quicker shifts) and increased efficency. By the way, the standard 5-Star tune is just 87 octane tune, so no need to run anything more and I never had detonation/pinging even on 110° days at 4000'!
Third, the Magnusun-Moss Act prohibits a manufacturer from denying a warrenty repare for a modification unless it is specifically the cause of the failure (i.e. can't deny repairing the AC or other non-internal engine part because you added a tune ). If you go to court, the manufacturer must prove what you did caused the failure or else they are liable for your atourney fees too. I brought my RV to Ford multiple times for warranty service and was never denied (I always removed the tune first so it wouldn't be overwritten with a factory update). If you are dealing with an adversarial dealer or service center, I would find someone else...
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squerly View Post
Wondering if anyone has one of these that they don’t need anyone and would like to sell?
Did you check the classifieds? There was a "used" one for sale. Or you can get a $100 discount by mentioning the IRV2 group discount.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:13 PM   #18
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I can see where optimizing performance for a specific set of circumstances could yield an improvement. my impression, based on fact adding 5,000 open racecar trailer not having impact on Vegas mileage tells me Ford has programmed to operate over wide range of circumstances.

I considered it but for the 3 years of living with factory tune, I have no real complaints. Maybe I could pickup a little performance/MPG under a given set of cicumstances but given the wide range of loading, why bother.

I do not see any significant return on investment or any correction of something that bothers me. I hear people complain/express concern about high RPM operation. Is nothing compared to my stock block chevy small block going downtrack over 7,200 rpm.

Just do not see enough of a benefit to it. If my loading was identical, maybe. Since it is not, not worth considering for me anyway.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Did you check the classifieds? There was a "used" one for sale.
Classifieds? We have a classifieds page?
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Muggs View Post
I can see where optimizing performance for a specific set of circumstances could yield an improvement. my impression, based on fact adding 5,000 open racecar trailer not having impact on Vegas mileage tells me Ford has programmed to operate over wide range of circumstances.

I considered it but for the 3 years of living with factory tune, I have no real complaints. Maybe I could pickup a little performance/MPG under a given set of cicumstances but given the wide range of loading, why bother.

I do not see any significant return on investment or any correction of something that bothers me. I hear people complain/express concern about high RPM operation. Is nothing compared to my stock block chevy small block going downtrack over 7,200 rpm.

Just do not see enough of a benefit to it. If my loading was identical, maybe. Since it is not, not worth considering for me anyway.
Absolutely correct that I can't speak to every RV, combined weight or environment performance which is precisely why Ford left so much potential untapped, and also a primary reason 5-Star only optimized for 87 octane fuel and not premium...
I suspect 5-Star could provide specific feedback to anyone cared to inquire about their specific RV and usage.
If you're happy with yours the way it is, congratulations!
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