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Bama chips review continued

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dreamr

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There are like three pages of discussion on the thread I originally started for this review.As a good portion of it is not really specific to bamachips I have started a new thread for my review. The other threadis full of discusion in regards to a potential dyno comparison, which I do not have any need for at the present time. After all 3-4 ponies really have no effect on driveability. In my experience a high number doesn't always mean the car performs better or is "faster". There are entirely too many variables for horsepower to be a relevant real world peformance test.

Any way I posted my first impressions on that thread, and have copied them below. I will continue to update this thread with my observations and opinions. If you are interested in pursuing dyno numbers I recommend that you order the programming, and do so yourself as I do not intend to. This review is designed to examine the service provided by Doug of Bama Chips, the real world performance of his programming, and to note any improvements over my Apten programming.

Firstly by real world driving I mean how the vehicle performs in a variety of driving conditions. From daily city, to freeway, to offroad. I do not "race" my vehicle, and have no need to build my "base line numbers". If I intended to have a high performance race vehicle I would buy almost anything over my Explorer. Probably a mustang though.

Secondly I have no intentions of sugar coating my review. I pride myself on saying what I thinkand what I believe. I am sure that many here and in my life have experiencerd that very personality trait. If there is a problem you will hear about it. If it is great you will hear about it. Given my first impressions are very ecstatic, but so far I am very impressed and have no concerns or problems.

It has been mentioned several times that, "this all means nothing without Dyno Numbers". I remind you that I did not need a Dyno to realize my Apten tune was worthless. If you want Dyno "proof" I urge you to go and get it.

With all that said here is a link to the first parts of this review if you are interested in wading through them.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=123336
 



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dreamr

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*previously posted 12-21-04*

Alrighty then... I got my tuner in the mail today woo hooo!!!!!

So fist comes my disclaimer. I seriously aggravated an old knee injury helping clients move today, so am suffering a bit of pain when I drive. Hence I have no intentions of driving a lot tonight or tomorrow. Come the weekend I will post back with a more extensive testing of the program under a variety of circumstances. City, Hi-way, and off-road, probably some snow too, but that's just for fun.

Secondly I want to list some of my concerns and observations with my Apten Tune.
1. Any time the program was in, I got a CEL. I tested extensively in a variety of engine configurations, and in the end, It was all about the Apten program.

2. The shift pattern was much improved, however it was inconsistant in that some shifts were nice and smoooth while a couple slammed your neck against the seat even under mild acceleration. This was a huge deficit a few times this summer when going up very slick and steep hills. In 4 low I would be crawling up just fine when all of the sudden the shift hit hard and broke the tires free. With open diffs, that's kinda time to slide back down and try again.

3 With the Apten Tune. I noticed performance wise was the shift points. It was definately a bit quicker on the rapping of RPM, and had some mild to moderate improvement overall. This seemed to be primarily focused on the top end and upper mid range.

4. With the Apten programming installed, my engine still ran well, but ended up being a bit rough on the idle in comparison with it's stock programming.

Customer Service:
Doug has been amazing to work with throughout this process. We have been in almost daily contact via phone and PM regarding what I wanted from the programming and also to better coordinate the details. I have spent a ton of money on this truck and a whole lot more on my old 5.0 Mustang. With the exception of my Body Man in Idaho, I have never had a customer service experience on par with that of Doug. Now I don't just say that because he made me a great deal, I truly have never had as positive an experience as I did with Doug!!!!!!! I wish he would have been around in this capacity when I was thinking about ordering from Apten. It sure would have saved some stress and headaches. Then again, Now that I have my tune, I think he should get 4.0 performance.com going again. That way I can get the same service when I can get some heads He did tell me where to go when the time came though, so I guess that will work out.

Seat of the pants driving in town (only about 45 minutes)

Damn Doug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :thumbsup:
Obviously I have not had the opportunity to be able to really test this program out. However my first impressions are very positive!
My engine idled as smoothly as I would expect from the stock configuration.
When I stomped on it. My only thought was Holy S***. The truck instantly kicked down and launched into aerospace. :burnout:
OK OK I exagerrate a little
The tuning was very noticeable compared to my experience with the Apten Tune, having pulling power improvements across the RPM range with a particular focus on the mid range. The shifting was very smooth and actually not intrusive. Under hard exceleration it sits you back a little, but under normal driving conditions I hardly even notice that it shifts. Almost like one long gear. I used to sit there and cuss the truck. I have always owned a standard. And drag raced several. The automatic always make me cry, "shift now, come on" or, "no damnit that was to soon!!!" I timed these and they were damn near perfect. 2nd may come a touch late, but a 4500 truck likely needs that extra boost to get rolling. Only a short trial, but I am quite pleased presently!!! Even My 5 year old daughter who rides all over in this truck noticed the change under full throttle. She asked why my truck got faster
:D
 






dreamr

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So here is a bit of input from day two.

Today was a chaotic day at work and I spent most of it behind the wheel running from place to place. So much for giving the knee a reast ehh.

This program was very pleasant to ride with in daily Seattle traffic. The vehicle ran smoothly under all acceleration patterns. When I chose to get on it, It was very impressive, but I have already told you all that.

The test for the day was hooking up to a utility trailer to do a dump run. I have done this run from the same house twice before. Typically the truck has a difficult time making it up the hill to the street when the trailer is loaded. You have to understand that this is a seriously steep Seattle hill!!!!!!!
Typically I havet o try and get as much speed up as possible in the first hundred feet before the hill. If left in Drive. I hit the hill a bit after the shift into second and it shifts back down almost immediately after hitting the hill. If I am lucky I will be doing about 10 MPH at the top.

Today I wasn't even thinking about the tune when I hooked up to the heavily loaded trailer of trash and furniture. I got in and took off quickly to get my speed up. I was surprised when it hit third gear at the base of the hill. I remembered the programming about then and grinned a little. Half way up it shifted down to second and was able to accelerate up the hill :eek: (in hindsight it may have dropped all the way down at once, but I am not sure if a Auto tranny does that or shifts a gear at a time.
When I came over the crest I was surprisingly doing 25 MPH. Now that was a statement for the low end grunt the chip helped to bring out in my 4.0.
About 9% of the MPH difference is due to my speedo being recalibrated, so I guess you could say I was doing about 22 MPH.

Tee Hee I have pulling power now!!! I wonder what it will be like on the passes?
 






Rick

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Pheww... 8 posts deleted. Please don't make me do that again... There can't be anymore bashing between sponsors. If someone reviews your competitions product in a thread that is not the place to hock your product. You can make your case in another thread. Dyno numbers or not. There is nothing wrong with a seat of the pants review as long as the reader is informed that's all it is.
 












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Please keep the "seat of the pants" reviews coming. I appreciate the helpful information. dreamr - have you noticed any difference in MPG yet?
 






dreamr

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It has been a very chaotic holiday season, so I have not had the opportunity to get on the freeway and really test it for MPG. I need to at least do a 100 mile trip to see if it triggers the CEL.

So far I have put around 500 miles on in town with no concerns whatsoever.
My performance has most definately improved over my previous program. Perhaps most noticably in the vehicles responsiveness. It also runs much smoother than it has with the other program. No more random idle hiccups I had gotten so used to. Overall I am very satisfied with this program.

I apologize for not having codntinued to update this thread, but as I mentioned It has been chaotic, and I am getting organized for the body lift that starts Friday bright and early.

I will get on the freeway and give it a good run to give a very unsientific report on gas mileage soon, as well as following up about my previous CEL concern. I really don't expect to see anything more than nominal mileage gains as the chip was not programmed for that. I previously averaged around 14 mpg in city, 18-20 on the freeway. It would be cool to see a high number in place of those, but I bought an Explorer for the woods. One day I'll get a city car, but it will likely suck more gas than the X :D

Back to the tuner..........
What can I say that I haven't already said. Great work Doug!!!!

If you have questions I'll be glad to answer, untill then, or untill I get on the freeway...

........body lift........body lift..........body lift ......... $.......... tires................. $ ........ gears ............ $.......... lockers.......... $ .......... shocks......... $......... body lift........tools...........$$$$$$$$
 






dreamr

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Tee hee...you know what really made this fun......
I did the Brown wire mod on a rainy night.
First time I ever saw an explorer do a three gear power stand. And no it wasn't in 2 low.....

Before ya cuss me I know I'll destroy my tranny, but it was only once and so fun :burnout: :burnout: :burnout:

Makes me mis the mustang though :(

Sorry, off subject, but I suppose in a way Doug added to that smoke a little :cool:
 






CDW6212R

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Psst, try 45MPH, throw it in reverse, and ease in half throttle. Done it, many times, on dry pavement. 1991 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE with AOD, best car I've ever owned.

And "Don't do it again!" :eek:
DW
 






dreamr

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Well it has been a while since I have updated this thread, but I finally got around to running it on the freeway to see if the CEL came on. It didn't yeah!!!!!!!

Typically with my previous Apten programming I would get a CEL after about 50-100 freeway miles. The codes indicated that the vehicle was running lean. I tried replacing and cleaning everything I could think of before starting to look at the program. After extensive road testing in a variety of vehicle configurations I came to the realization that nothing mattered, or would trigger the CEL unless the programmming was installed.

When Doug reprogrammerd my tuner we discussed this and he made some adjustments to correct the issue. And he did......

I had to run down to Astoria, Oregon yesterday. I believe the round trip is around 350 to 400 miles, All of this was just cruising at 70 without a orange light blinking on..

Gas mileage was not a primary concern with my progrqamming but I did see about a mile to 2 improvement over my average freeway mileage. This could have been due to a variety of variables, as it often varies a couple mpg, but I hope it remains improved :D
 






CDW6212R

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What light on the dash is an error code light? What does it say, my "check gauge" light comes on very rarely, for a couple seconds at a time. This indicator is red, in the upper left corner of the gauges, small and round. Isn't there a larger "check engine" light somewhere else?

I spoke with both Wayne and Doug. They both sound very good. Wayne is closer to me, so I will probably ask him for help when I finish my two projects.
Regards,
DonW
 












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I'm glad your happy with it guy, the problem lies in the computers adjustment to the K&N FIPK and other airflow mods you have, it short it just won't or it will reach it's adaptive limits before it does.

This is a main reason I ask for a list of mods you have done and plan on doing in the future so I'll know I need to make the adjustments for doing so.

I'm glad your happy and if I can be of anymore help in the future please feel free to ask.

Thanks, Doug.
 






spindlecone

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dreamr said:
The red check gage light typically indicates low fuel ;)
I was getting the orange light that says Check Engine.
Hooked up to the scanner I pulled two codes. Both indicating a lean condition
Might be prudent to find out what the A/F ratio is. Have not had that problem with my SCT flasher
Or was that problem with the Apten?
 












spindlecone

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dreamr said:
It was my primary concern with my Apten tune.
Thanks again Doug !!!
Do you know what the A/F ratio was with the Apten tune, and what it is now?
 






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