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Tunes for the N/A 3.5L Explorers

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorers - Tuning & Mods' started by roamingphantom, January 6, 2015.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
    Your thread has been merged with this existing one. The Forum has a very handy 'Search' feature (upper right) that can be used to find existing threads/posts on subjects already discussed.

    Peter
     
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  3. MikB

    MikB Active Member

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    First, let me say that the Livernois tune is great but, depending on the drivetrain you have, FWD only versus AWD, there advertised numbers will seem a bit misleading as the numbers they advertise are for a Ex with FWD only. This should not deter you from getting a great tune though, It will be noticed almost immediately whatever drivetrain you have. I am certainly not disappointed. :)
     
  4. SnowPanther

    SnowPanther New Member

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    Been looking into getting a tuner for my explorer for a while. Really interested in the livernois. Nothing on there site says 2011 explorer. Will it work? And do i need a 3 bar map sensor?
     
  5. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
    Your thread was moved here. You are right. If you check the link in the first post you will see that there is nothing for the 2011 and 2012. Not sure what changed from 2013 onward. I suggest that you send Livernois a PM to get a definite answer.

    Peter
     
  6. kars85

    kars85 Active Member

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    I programmed my '15 XLT NA last week, and man what a difference. Just in driveability the difference is amazing. At the first 100 miles, it shifts really really hard on 1-2-3, but after it adapts it smooths out and shifts beautifully (this is noted in the install documentation they send). Downshifts and power for passing are a definite improvement. I have no other mods than a tune now.
     
  7. TxRanger351w

    TxRanger351w Active Member

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    2014 N/A 3.5 V6 FWD

    Here come the questions:

    I'm seeing that there are different tuning profiles for different octane ratings. Are all of these loaded at once, and the ECM/Tune does the rest? Or could I only run 92/93 on that file? I usually run 87 day-to-day, with 93 going in for long trips for the 1-2 mpg increase.

    If I have to load different profiles whenever I want to switch octane ratings, how long does the load take?

    Are the results on stock intake/exhaust? What result was seen from having intake/exhaust? What about themostat and the Map sensor (unless that's just ecoboost)?

    Have you thought of using the H&S Mini-Maxx / BullyDog style platform to gain the ability to shift from 87 up to 93 on the fly? What about the Auto Agent EZ-Lynk setup?

    Would this negate the purpose of the JMS PedalMax and other similar devices?

    Is the tune file truly custom? Or is it just a matter of needing ECM model/version numbers, VIN, etc loaded in that file? Is there really that great of a difference from one vehicle to the next?

    Does the tuner need to remain plugged into the OBDII port after downloading?

    As far as everyone wondering about differences between the 2011-12 and the 13+ engines...there was something changed, because our 2011 would get 22 mpg combined all day long. We can barely break 20 in our 2014.
     
    Last edited: August 21, 2017
  8. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Normally a N/A engine manufactured to run of regular gas likely will not derive any benefits from running 93 octane over running 87 in a well tuned engine. Some reports I've read say that those who say it does are likely a victim of the 'placebo effect'. There was a report a few months ago that said that Americans wasted $2.1 billion dollars last year buying higher octane gasoline than what the manufacturer recommended. Even if what you say is true in your case, the cost of an extra 18 - 36 miles a tank likely will not offset the extra cost of the fuel.
    https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0210-paying-premium-high-octane-gasoline
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-premium-g/

    I don't run a 'tune' but from reading the posts here I believe each 'tune' is loaded individually. I'm sure those that have one will correct me if I'm wrong.
    Also the following thread deals with the Ecoboost, perhaps there may be some useful info in it for you. http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/2017-sport-ecoboost-3-5l-tuning.450350
    Good luck.

    Peter
     
    Last edited: August 20, 2017
  9. TxRanger351w

    TxRanger351w Active Member

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    I've heard/read the same and for the most part concur. Had I not been on a 500 mile trip and run both directions in similar conditions (I'm a cruise control fanatic), I would completely believe that it's a placebo. It's not a huge gain, just mild. On my older vehicles I'd get a knock when running lower octane and tipping into the throttle at lower RPM. I believe the modern engines and their variable timing help prevent this.

    I liked what I saw in the video, but I want to get the most bang for the buck. If doing intake/exhaust before going the tuning route does that, then that's where I'll go.
     
  10. Napalm

    Napalm Active Member

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    if you run to the max of the performance curves - like a 93 octane tune would do. Then it makes a significant difference.

    factory tune - it more tolerant of octane difference. Biggest factor on the table though is IAT (intake air temp) and corresponding Intake air mass.

    The hotter you are outside - the more you need either more octane or you need more fuel in the charge for cooling effect to prevent pre-detonation.

    but hey - general articles right. In the SouthEast US - between July and August - temps at 90F I like to put 93 in the explorer - MPG difference doesn't offset the cost completely but it does indeed run better. between october and June I run 87.
     
  11. Eric F

    Eric F Elite Explorer

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    I don't have answers for all of your questions, nor am I am expert on tuning. I'm in the process of adding Livernois tuning to my '17 XLT. These are some things I've learned while researching for my own decision...

    "Tuning" is reprogramming of the vehicle's computer. Only one tune/program can be loaded to the vehicle at a time. The Livernois MyCal device has storage for two different programs - stock, and the modified "tune" of your choice. Switching between two different tunes (or returning to "stock") requires going through the process of reprogramming the vehicle's computer, and is not an "on the fly" adjustment. As I understand it from the information on Livernois' website, the process takes about 10 minutes. After loading the tune, the MyCal device is disconnected from the OBD2 port.

    According to Livernois, it's okay to run higher octane fuel with a tune designed for a lower octane, but it's not recommended to go the other way. I plan to run an 87 Performance tune, but will likely try a 91 tune at some point just to test for any noticeable differences. 93 octane fuel is not available in my area.

    The PedalMax (or similar throttle enhancer devices) are compatible with tunes. This has been confirmed by Livernois, who also offers a throttle enhancer device of their own. However, some of the throttle response improvements gained by the PedalMax will be built in to the Livernois tune. I have been running a Pedal Commander on my Ex for a couple of months, and my intention is to keep running it with the Livernois tune. I like the ability to adjust the pedal response to suit my preferences.

    As far as I can tell, the dyno gains posted by Livernois for the 3.5 NA are with stock intake and exhaust. After tuning, adding an improved exhaust system should result in some additional gains. How much, I'm not sure. An intake may - or may not - gain you a tiny bit more. The stock intake does a pretty good job. My intention is to run an AEM dry filter panel in the stock intake system.

    I'm not sure how "custom" the Livernois tune is. Personally, this doesn't concern me. I'm not looking to push my Ex to the limits of its performance capabilities. I just want a little more excitement. As I understand it, the verification of codes from the vehicle are required to make sure the tune program interfaces correctly with what is already in place. There are some tuners (other than Livernois) that have tunes for '16 and older 3.5 NA models, but not the '17. This tells me that there are some differences which Livernois has adjusted to, but others haven't. I purchased a MyCal device from someone with a Sport who was moving to a different tuning platform. Livernois required that I send the MyCal device back to them for updating the firmware to the correct version for my Ex. While the results of the tune may be the same from Ex to Ex, making sure that the tune interfaces properly does seem to require a bit of customization. I have heard/read that Livernois can tweak certain parameters to adjust the results to a customer's preferences, but I don't know for sure what their capabilities are in that regard.
     
    Last edited: August 21, 2017
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  12. Eric F

    Eric F Elite Explorer

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    Which order you add the tweaks is up to you. The biggest performance gains will come from the tune, which is also cheaper than an intake and exhaust.
     
  13. TxRanger351w

    TxRanger351w Active Member

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    I guess my question is this - if it's truly a customized tune, I should probably do the intake and exhaust beforehand so that they can write the tune to account for the increased airflow.



    I'm familiar with the process. My Super Duty is modified and tuned. There are platforms that allow changing of power levels on the fly - basically by adjusting the timing, fuel maps, etc. Since the main change made between different octane levels is timing, I thought there would be an opportunity there to use one of those platforms so I could switch "on the fly" instead of having to pull-over and reload in the event I'm caught somewhere without 92/93 octane.



    I thought as much. I imagine their profile is set to maximize throttle response. The module may just be redundant.


    K&N is claiming 10-11 HP verified on a dyno for their intake. That's why I think it's to my advantage to have that done, then inform them before having the "custom" tune written. That way I'm maximizing the flow.
     
  14. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Don't forget that K&N is in the business of selling their products. I think a confirmation from other members here might be a way to go first. Some members of 'untuned' Explorers have actually gone back to stock.

    Peter
     
  15. Eric F

    Eric F Elite Explorer

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    Livernois does want to know about any after-market equipment on the vehicle before they send your tunes, which leads me to believe that there are some adjustments that they make to their tune programming to accommodate that equipment.

    I'm not familiar with any switch-on-the-fly tuning platforms for the Ex, but there may be. Personally, Livernois is the only option for my year and model, so I don't have any choice.

    Maximum throttle response would be pretty un-driveable. In the upper end of the Pedal Commander's settings, the throttle becomes essentially an on-off switch - 100% or 0%. For realistic driving on public roads, it's not practical at all. My preferred setting is on the mild side of the PC's range, and it's significantly more responsive than stock. I have been told by Dave at Livernois that throttle enhancers are compatible with their tunes. At this point, I'm just making assumptions based on things I've read. Once I have my tune in place, I can provide more info on how the two interact.

    As Peter mentioned, there have been some people that have removed their K&N intakes. On an un-tuned motor, they seem to be essentially a $300 noise-maker without any noticeable performance gains. Nothing wrong with that, if that's what you're after. One of the issues with the K&N intake (and those like it) is that they don't actually do a better job than the stock intake at providing cool air to the engine. Providing a greater volume of air is only a benefit if the engine can use it.
     
    Last edited: August 22, 2017
  16. mjlkwolfe@gmail.

    mjlkwolfe@gmail. eco boost fan

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    Interesting reading
    FYI
    Most modern V8 & V6 N/A engines will perform better on higher octane fuel
    As an example the Ford Flex fuel 5.0L, the GM 5.3L & 6.2L all produce about 15-20% more torque & hp when using E85
    E85 is a 108 octane
    wish ford made a flex fuel eco boost
    we could then run 18-20 psi turbo boost & produce a bunch of power
     
  17. Napalm

    Napalm Active Member

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    no they don't. well not off the factory floor they don't. All of those engines make less HP on E85 than they do on regular gas. Now tuned out for E85 with bigger injectors to drink down the fuel yes they can produce more power. but off the factory floor - no they do not.

    as far as more power on more octane - that's generally true to a point and one of the bigger factors is Intake Air temp. But I'm probably beating a dead horse here.

    As far as the intake question - for the N/A engines they can provide benefit but ford did a good job of making the current kit pull colder air. so the biggest benefit is the better filter media and lack of restriction though the filter. A drop in will probably do just as good. Why is this the case because the same box and tube is similar or mostly the same as the box and tube used on the ecoboost turbo mill - and that pulls even harder. The restriction on the ecoboost mill is not the filter but the piping internal to the stock intercooler. Which is part of why you see the gains on aftermarket intercoolers on other vehicles.

    The biggest flow restriction is the intake valves.
     
  18. mjlkwolfe@gmail.

    mjlkwolfe@gmail. eco boost fan

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    I have to disagree with you
    Engines will produce more hp on E85 stock from the factory
    E85 is 108 octane fuel
    However fuel mileage with E85 will about 85% of that with gasoline
    Here are the specs for the GM 5.3L engine
    Type: 5.3L V8 Displacement (cu in / cc):325 / 5328 Bore & stroke (in / mm):3.78 x 3.62 / 96 x 92
    Block material:cast
    Cylinder head material:cast aluminum
    Valvetrain:eek:verhead valve, two valves per cylinder, variable valve timing
    Ignition system:coil near plug, platinum-tipped spark plugs, low-resistance spark plug wires
    Fuel delivery:direct fuel injection with Active Fuel Management
    Compression ratio:11.0:1
    Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):355 / 250 @ 5600 (gas – SAE certified) 380 / 283 @ 5600 (E85 – SAE certified)
    Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):383 / 519 @ 4100 (gas – SAE certified) 416 / 564 @ 4100 (E85 – SAE certified)

    Read more: http://gmauthority.com/blog/gm/gm-engines/l83/#ixzz4qgtdpQR7
    This is also true of the GM 6.2l & Ford 5.0l V8 engines
     
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  19. mjlkwolfe@gmail.

    mjlkwolfe@gmail. eco boost fan

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    FYI
    Here is what I found on Fords 5.0L F150
    Mike Harrison, Ford's program manager for V-8 engines

    Want to add power to Ford's all-new 5.0-liter V-8 for the 2011 F-150 without making a single hardware or software change? Just burn E85 ethanol fuel.


    http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/0...iter-v-8-gains-power-burning-e85-ethanol.html

    Want to add power to Ford's all-new 5.0-liter V-8 for the 2011 F-150 without making a single hardware or software change? Just burn E85 ethanol fuel.

    360 horsepower (at 5,500 rpm) and 380 pounds-feet of torque (at 4,250 rpm) running on regular unleaded gasoline.

    Burning E85 fuel boosts 5.0 engine power to 375 hp and 390 pounds-feet of torque, said Mike Harrison, Ford's program manager for V-8 engines.

    Ethanol has a higher octane and heat-of-vaporization point than gasoline, meaning it combusts at a higher temperature and with greater force (higher compression) than gasoline, while also having a greater capacity to cool the fuel/air mix in the cylinder before combustion.

    This inherent efficiency is what enables the 5.0 to produce more power while burning E85 instead of regular unleaded fuel.

    There's a trade-off, though. Even though E85 combusts with greater force, it has less energy per gallon than regular unleaded gasoline, so fuel economy is worse when burning E85.
     
  20. Napalm

    Napalm Active Member

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    unless I can't see it in the link I see no mention of the E85 power ratings.

    I do know where was a recent improvement where they implemented an ethanol sensor in the gas line/fuel tank so as to activate a different set of tables in the ECU strategy code. By doing that I could see getting some slight power improvement at the cost of significant fuel mpg.

    I know people that race their cars on E85 and use custom tuning which does indeed provide a good bit of performance (one is a blown LS3) but in all cases they had to install larger fuel pumps and injectors to deal with the significant fuel flow requirement.
     
  21. Eric F

    Eric F Elite Explorer

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    I loaded a Livernois 87 performance "soft shift" tune into my Explorer on Tuesday. Very nice! Definitely better power and torque. Not OMG!!!thisisinsane!!! power, but a noticeable step up. After my next tank fill-up, I will give one of the 91 tunes a try.

    Being that I bought the MyCal from a previous owner, I was able to get the stock codes before I sent the device back to Livernois for reprogramming of the firmware. They sent the MyCal back to me already loaded with tunes. Since I have no need for tow tunes, and the highest octane gas readily available is 91, I got the following tunes for my Ex...
    - 87 performance
    - 87 performance "soft shift"
    - 91 performance
    - 91 performance "soft shift"

    The "soft shift" is no joke. Upshifts are very nice and smooth. Downshifts are a bit more noticeable than stock, but certainly not jarring.
     
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