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Old 01-17-2019, 12:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
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.
For a 5-Star tune just go to their website select the vehicle you have and order one. You don't have to have someone "perform it" for you. You'll get a tuner (an enhanced OBD-II scanner) that you plug into the OBD-II port at the bottom of the dash. After a few menu selections your new tune is loaded on the vehicle (the tuner can then be unplugged and stored away at that point).

5-Star does offer custom tunes so they are a little more than "canned"; just call them.

I don't work for them, just a happy previous customer (the guys over at ford-trucks.com swear by 5-Star; at least in the V-10 forum there).

When I purchased the 5-Star tune it came with 2 different tunes (I had a performance and an economy tune for my F-350. Problem was I liked the performance tune so much I just left it in all the time LOL).
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:59 PM   #22
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If you go to the 5 Star Tuning web page they list for $549.00 right now! Perhaps they have venders that can sell a little cheaper? But at that price I will wait. If the HP tuner is around $400 I would go with that instead.

Most likely I wont see an increase of MPG so its all just for fun for me. Lets agravation with shift points on hills too.

I dont tow right now so I cant use that as excuse to purchase either.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:42 PM   #23
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Jamie, do you know if installing the 5 star tune has any effect on Ford's chassis warranty? With our upcoming Colorado trip planned for later in the spring this thread has really got me thinking about getting one and I sure don't want to shoot myself in the foot.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:51 PM   #24
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Yeah I need to make the difference between 5 Star and HPTuners super clear here...

5 Star, like Jamie said, is hardware AND the modified calibration or "tune" files that they have built and tested.

HPTuners is hardware to read the stock calibration or "tune" files, and then modify them either yourself or buy modified tune files from a separate "tuner" person.

This is a big difference, make sure you understand it. Like I said the 5 Star approach is what 90% of the people that would want an aftermarket tune should buy. They've done the hard part, all the experimenting and testing. All you do is load their tune into your vehicle. And yes, if it doesn't run or shift like you'd like, you can call them and they'll "tweak it" to your liking.

With HPTuners, you have way more control with the tuning and logging, but the key word is YOU. For those of you that like having that control, like learning new things, like actually seeing the changes that are being made, and like having the scanning and logging power that HPT has, it's an awesome solution.

I can get into the actual "tuning" part of this as deep as you'd like. Modifying your own engine calibrations can be as simple as changing the 60 second Power Enrichment Delay from 60 to whatever delay you want. (Mine is at .5 seconds.) It's simply a matter of changing a value in a box. OR it can be as hard as trying to perfect shift patterns, pressures and exact time between when one clutch releases and the next clutch engages. Or even scarier things like changing injection timing in an engine with direct injection, variable cam timing on both intake and exhaust cams, factory widebands, closed loop WOT fueling and a turbo! You quickly have to learn about things like "Injection Window Misfires" or you can F up an engine really fast.

Does that difference make perfect sense?

TheBreeze, I'm not sure what to tell you on the computer/software part of it. I've used these programs since they were first created and haven't had any real issues. I actually use their beta versions so I can tell them if anything is broken. The current software is solid in use. If you're trying to keep your boot drive pristine, I'm not sure that's something the guys at HPTuners are worried about in building their install files. ??
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:05 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mustang46555 View Post
Jamie, do you know if installing the 5 star tune has any effect on Ford's chassis warranty? With our upcoming Colorado trip planned for later in the spring this thread has really got me thinking about getting one and I sure don't want to shoot myself in the foot.
This issue has been debated ad nauseum for years on every car and truck forum in the internet! Here's the bottom line...

Yes, technically modifying a factory tune can void your powertrain warranty. There are a few BIG differences in this application though.

The first is that this isn't a Mustang, Hellcat, Camaro or Corvette. If you blow the engine on one of those, the very first thing the dealer is going to do is check for an aftermarket tune.

Second is that this is a VERY strong engine and you're not talking about tuning it to the absolute max power by any means. And it doesn't have forced induction either. It's simply a somewhat industrial engine that's detuned in stock form.

Third is 5 Star themselves. They are one of the only "aftermarket tuners" I've seen that has actual Ford dealers installing the tunes and also has motorhome magazines doing reviews of their tunes. That's kind of crazy because not only do their tunes potentially void powertrain warranties, they're illegal as far as smog laws go. It's almost like in this RV world doing aftermarket tuning is given a pass, especially if it's done by 5 Star. That's absolutely NOT the case in the rest of the tuning world.

So MY opinion on the warranty and smog part of all of this? Don't worry about it. lol. Seriously, it's not like you're putting a turbo on it or taking the catalytic converter off. Technically putting headers, intakes and even changing thermostats is illegal. Is there a gigantic market built on people putting those things on their RV's? Yep.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:36 PM   #26
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Ford will take the path of least resistance for themselves on any major warranty claim. A new engine is over $20K and 1.5 times that much if it's in a motorhome. Commercial Ford Dealers hate working on motorhomes. While the tuners may be a great fad and actually improve performance, I wouldn't attempt it while under warranty. If it's that great and harmless, why doesn't 5 Star guarantee any warranty issues or get endorsement from Ford? I had a Pro Comp lift kit installed on my 2011 2500HD 6 months after purchase. I verified it with Ford that installation of the Pro Comp specific model frame modification would not affect warranty. I would call Ford and run it by the Warranty Department.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:51 PM   #27
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Ritz - they (5 Star) do offer a warrentee for an extra $700. 5 year or 60K miles.

So $1249.00 with warrentee.

Not worth it IMO.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:02 PM   #28
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Everyone is so hung up about the warrantee stuff. I hate to say "dont worry about it" but the chances that something goes wrong is so low (IMO)..... If you want the tune then just do it. If your having problems you can switch back to the factory tune then bring it in to Ford. The only time it comes into play (IMO) is if this tune screw up your engine. Then they might check to see what tune is in the computer (It might tell them a date that it was last updated - so who know what they will do or say). But if its not a Tune related problem it will be covered.

Plus 5 star has been around for a long time (so has HP tuners) and they know what they are doing. I have changed tunes on the last two vehicles I purchased and never had any issues so I would not hesitate to purchase one for my RV if thats what I want.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:37 PM   #29
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"Hung up" might not be the best choice of words, but you're probably right about the chances of having an issue. My biggest "question mark" is buying something that needs so much modification right out the chute...chassis and engine. But...what other options are available??? Not many. "gmtech" needs to start an after market shop in Elkhart where finished units are delivered to him before final destination at dealers. Customers can opt to have all these mods added before they get it...like 4X4 on a power equipment truck. There seems to be a good market for it and the forums would do a great job selling it.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:50 PM   #30
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You guys do realize I've spent 33 years working in dealerships right? lol.

Gritz, here's the reality of it... If you installed that lift kit and Henry Ford himself (assuming he was actually alive) said it wouldn't void your warranty, and then you came into my dealership and I determined that the lift kit caused added stress to the frame and broke it, guess what? You're buying a frame.

The reverse is also true. We've had cars towed in with obvious engine modifications and a broken rear diff. Guess what, even the factory rep said to go ahead and give the guy a free brand new diff because the engine mods did not cause the failure.

So you know who has 90% of the say in these situations? The service manager. Yep, one guy can either warranty that blown engine that had aftermarket tuning or he can say no way, you're SOL. So 90% of this comes down to common sense or a judgement call. If you put a Procharger on your E450 and blow the pistons out of it, chances are Ford isn't going to replace them for free. If you have a transmission problem in your otherwise stock RV and you have a 5 Star tune in it (ASSUMING they even check), chances are you're going to be taken care of. Again the flipside is if you walk in demanding a free transmission be installed that afternoon, chances are they'll tell you to jump in a lake.

Perfect example... You say you called "Ford" and "verified" that the lift kit wouldn't void your warranty. If you called back 10 minutes later and talked to a different person I'm betting they'd say no way, it WOULD void your warranty. You realize that right? That call would be laughed at during the point of you actually needing repairs because the lift kit caused damage. (BTW, lift kits are one of THE WORST mods done to vehicles! Not only does it completely screw up the suspension operation, lifespan and design, 9 out of 10 times it makes the vehicle WAY more dangerous. Fact.)

And tuning or modding vehicles being a "fad"? lol. It's a multi-billion dollar "fad" that literally drives innovations in the auto industry. Look at how much money is currently being invested in tuning the new ZR1 Corvette. There's also a thread about a 1000 ft/lb torque Dodge truck in this forum. Do you know who did the stress testing for the engine calibrations in vehicles like that? Guys like me. Hundreds of thousands of guys like me pushing their engines to the limits so engine designers know exactly what works and what doesn't. Diesel engine tuners and owners have been driving trucks with over 1000 ft/lbs of torque for well over a decade now.

Engine calibration modifications are the single biggest change you can make on a vehicle. Change a few values in a few tables and you can literally double the power of an engine. I know because I've taken 2.0L engines that put out 260/260 stock and with no internal engine changes have dependably raised that output to over 500/500. I have hundreds of these little 2.0L engines driving around the country dependably putting down 350 to 500 hp to the wheels. That's the equivalent of one of these V10's putting out about 1700hp! (2.0L @ 500hp = 250/liter - 6.8L x 250 = 1700)

We're A LONG WAY from trying to get 1700hp out of these engines. lol. If all you did was to change ONE item in the V10 tune, PE Delay, do you know what the result would be on possible dependability? It would INCREASE dramatically. Yes, tuning an engine away from stock parameters can not only improve efficiency, but make the engine last LONGER. That's not exactly a "fad".

All that being said, I agree that it's perfectly fine for somebody to decide they don't want to do something like this. It's a risk. Life is full of risks. For me, it basically depends on how you live your life in general actually. My wife and I bought our first RV when we were 23 years old and had only been married for 2 years. We didn't even own a house at the time. Was it a risk and maybe a stupid thing to do? Some would have said so. We had that little Tioga Class C for almost 25 years, put about 150k miles on it and took almost 200 separate trips in it. Our kids went from newborns riding in their car seats strapped to the floor between the two front seats to driving it themselves. It was one of the most amazing "risks" we took in our lives. Life is a risk. Don't waste the possible experiences you'd miss out on by being too "safe".

Sermon over. lol. Sorry!
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:57 PM   #31
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"Hung up" might not be the best choice of words, but you're probably right about the chances of having an issue. My biggest "question mark" is buying something that needs so much modification right out the chute...chassis and engine. But...what other options are available??? Not many. "gmtech" needs to start an after market shop in Elkhart where finished units are delivered to him before final destination at dealers. Customers can opt to have all these mods added before they get it...like 4X4 on a power equipment truck. There seems to be a good market for it and the forums would do a great job selling it.
lol. Yeah, I'd love to do that. But unfortunately I'm smart enough to realize what would happen. Everything I'd have to do would be "Modifying". So somebody has a failure that may or may not have anything to do with what I did, they sue me and my company, and I lose everything and go out of business.

Nope, I'll pass. haha. Thanks for the thought though!

The other side of it is people are inherently cheap. You guys are talking about spending ~$400 or $550 on something that with 30 seconds worth of "work" gives you a possible 70 ft/lbs of torque. That's amazing in the vehicle modding world, or any engine modding world. And how much would the average RV buyer want to spend for what I did to our Vegas? An additional $10k? Maybe. Too bad that wouldn't even pay for half the materials I put into the 4 months of "rebuilding" our Vegas took. I'd have to charge an additional $50k to deliver a Vegas like mine. You wanna pay ~$130k for my Vegas? Not too much market there.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:08 PM   #32
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Everyone is so hung up about the warrantee stuff. I hate to say "dont worry about it" but the chances that something goes wrong is so low (IMO)..... If you want the tune then just do it. If your having problems you can switch back to the factory tune then bring it in to Ford. The only time it comes into play (IMO) is if this tune screw up your engine. Then they might check to see what tune is in the computer (It might tell them a date that it was last updated - so who know what they will do or say). But if its not a Tune related problem it will be covered.

Plus 5 star has been around for a long time (so has HP tuners) and they know what they are doing. I have changed tunes on the last two vehicles I purchased and never had any issues so I would not hesitate to purchase one for my RV if thats what I want.
Perfectly said and I totally agree.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:51 PM   #33
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Thanks. I think if I was towing a car I would purchase a tune right away. But for now I have other mods I rather do first (like solar, LED accent lighting, Docking lights, Wheelie bars LOL).

Do you think with the 5 star tune we will actully realized a "little more MPG" on the interstate crusing at like 70 MPH and not really passing anyone??.... or is that a pipe dream?

I think I read 3 articles over the years. One say the MPG was about the same, one was +.5 MPG and the other was -.5 mpg. So really not much change either way. But they all like the power and shift points are improved greatly.

I just afraid I will like the addition power "to much" (is their such a thing - lol) and I will get like 6 mpg instead of 9 mpg. But I will be the first one to the good camping spots. LOL.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:59 PM   #34
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Thanks. I think if I was towing a car I would purchase a tune right away. But for now I have other mods I rather do first (like solar, LED accent lighting, Docking lights, Wheelie bars LOL).

Do you think with the 5 star tune we will actully realized a "little more MPG" on the interstate crusing at like 70 MPH and not really passing anyone??.... or is that a pipe dream?

I think I read 3 articles over the years. One say the MPG was about the same, one was +.5 MPG and the other was -.5 mpg. So really not much change either way. But they all like the power and shift points are improved greatly.

I just afraid I will like the addition power "to much" (is their such a thing - lol) and I will get like 6 mpg instead of 9 mpg. But I will be the first one to the good camping spots. LOL.
The mpg difference the 5-Star tune made in my F-350 was lost in the noise.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:01 PM   #35
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Thanks for the insight gmtech, and all the others. Lots of good points from everyone. To gmtech, Your comment about risk struck a familiar note. I used to race flat track motorcycles and until last spring road Harleys even with two replaced hip joints. I'm putting a 5 star on the list of items we need to get before the trip. Thanks again
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:36 PM   #36
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"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."


Thanks gmtech16450yz for your wealth of information, not the greatest mechanic but I can turn a wrench and good at listening to the experts! Was planing on doing this in the spring before we go on a long trip anyway & kudos to you for explaining the advantages of this tuning thing! Am in the 90% group, so where is the best place to purchase this unit and still make sure that the unit will be covered under some kind of a warranty? The price at 5 Star's website currently at $549 or should I order from my local "real auto parts store". Thank you for all your input on this subject.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:08 PM   #37
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...If you're trying to keep your boot drive pristine, I'm not sure that's something the guys at HPTuners are worried about in building their install files. ??
Yeah, that's kinda what I thought. Could you mention it to them and see if they're interested in entertaining the idea?

Let's say you have a tune shop and plop the SW on a shared server. As it installs now, the tune profiles and logs end up on somebody's laptop or virtual disk (if a desktop instance).

If files are to be shared between people, they have to be physically copied and loaded onto whatever computer (profile) needs or wants it. That's a real primitive way of sharing data and knowledge. If you could point the software to a shared directory on a server, those files could be easily shared among people in the same shop.

Perhaps tune shops never get that big or people are close-to-the-chest with their tunes and I may be looking at a bigger picture than's really needed here.

Anyway, feel free to share my thought with them and see if they'll at least kick it around some. If not, I understand. Somewhat disappointed, but understood.

Thanks for your response.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:14 PM   #38
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To much sales pitching going on here...I have a diesel that performs like it was designed. I'm out of here. Opinions are flying around like sand in a hurricane.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:15 PM   #39
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GM Tech, we talked a little about sound deading on page one of this thread. I have used several layers and diff types of sound deadening (with great results) but Im always looking for just a little more.

From my reading about the only thing left to try is to use some sort of rubber sheets (like 1/8 inch thick). You mentioned "mass loaded rubber". Does that come in rolls or was that a thick matt? What brand did you use? Does it have an odor?

My wife is very sensitive to odors... this is why I held off on any rubber products on the inside of the RV. I did purchase some spray boom matt last year but have not used any yet. I figured I would spray under the RV (esp the fender wells).

I already have 2 to 4 layer diff types of dynomat/fat mat stuff everywhere you can get to under and inside the cabin/hood/dog house areas.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:30 PM   #40
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Hey guys hang in there on the 5 Star thing. I had an idea that I'm working on.

On the MPG question, here's one thing that in my 4 decades of "tuning" engines in just about every vehicle made has always seemed to be true...

Power is easy to increase. Mileage is much harder to effect.

On every engine I've ever worked on, my goal is primarily increasing or optimizing efficiency. Better efficiency IN THEORY results in better gas mileage. In actual real life though, it doesn't always work that way. The biggest reason I can say is as simple as "the more you have, the more you use". lol.

RV's are a little different though. They spend a large portion of their life going freeway speeds at a set throttle/load level. In those situations, increased efficiency usually DOES make a difference. It's the stop and go, pulling grades and WOT situations where the "more you have, the more you use" part comes in.

I can give your engine more hp and torque. On a climb up a grade that increase will result in your RV going 45mph stock vs., say, 60mph tuned. Will your gas use in that situation be lower? Probably not, and could actually be higher. Now IF you still went 45 up that same grade while tuned, you MIGHT get better mileage. But who's gonna do that? Nobody. lol.

But freeway cruise or steady state throttle is different. If stock your RV takes 32% throttle to maintain 65mph, and tuned it only takes 27%, that means you're using less fuel. That WILL make a difference. And in these Ford V10 tunes in particular, there's a LOT of steady state/freeway cruise efficiency that can be gained.

My Vegas is tuned by me. I log every mile I drive it and have every mile of our 6300 mile trip across the country and back logged. Our average for the entire trip was almost 10mpg. Our average speed was probably 70mph, which is hella fast for an average. I spent 3 hours straight on the way back with the cruise control set at 90mph and went 95 for probably a half an hour. (and have the logs to prove it.) I doubt seriously if my mileage would have been almost 10 if it wasn't for two things, my tuning and the wheel/tire swap I did.

So bottom line on the MPG question... It might increase your mileage. lol. It WILL ABSOLUTELY increase your power and engine efficiency. Your hill climbing or towing speeds will be higher at the same throttle/load levels. Will the gas saved pay for the tune? Debatable. But will the way your engine and transmission operates make driving more enjoyable? Absolutely without a doubt.
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httphttps://youtu.be/2q9BuzNRc3Q
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