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Recommended Performance chip for 2000 4.0L V6 SOHC Sport

heaterhotter

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I recently started looking for chips for my 2000 explorer sport and i was wondering if anyone could help me out with getting a good chip and what else i should get for it. I've looked around and found an SLR performance chip online for $69. Would this be any good? or no? I appreciate any your help. thank you.
 
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Cobraguy

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Check with James in the "chips" section of this forum. He has a ton of experience with these...and that's what you want. He can write you a custom tune for your exact needs instead of some canned tune that is a compromise to fit everyone.
 
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aldive

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I wouldn't recommend a hardware chip; I would go with a programmer such as the SCT ( http://www.sctflash.com/ ) XCal2 or 3.

With this device you load a "tune" written by the dealer of your choice into the XCal 2 or 3 and then load it into your truck via the diagnostic port.
 
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heaterhotter

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ok. what all would i need? just the programmer? and is it an easy set up? and where would i get these tune set-ups? thanks for your help
 
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Cobraguy

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Same place I mentioned. I was assuming you were talking about a programmer. My bad. I have used both chips and programmers and the programmers are easier to work with, but the chips worked just fine and have advantages over the programmer in some ways. Such as valet mode, security mode (can't start car) two programs at the flip of a switch, etc, by using a chip with multiple programs loaded and you just flip a switch.

But in an Explorer, I'm not sure a chip will fit in the mount for the ECM. It goes on the service port in the back of the ECM. Not sure there is enough room there.
 
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celly

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Having used both a SCT chip and a programmer, I highly recommend the latter. Sure, you can't switch programs "on the fly", but that's about the only advantage of a chip. They're a bit of a hassle to install and getting it to sit properly can be an issue. After all, it's recommended that you duct tape the chip in place. If it does work itself loose, problems can arise. In my case, my Ex would stall on the highway. Always seemed to happen when I was in the fast lane too.

Programmers are sweet because once you have it, the tuner you choose can email you new files. That's a huge advantage. If you need new tunes with a chip, the whole unit needs to be uninstalled and returned to the tuner.

As others have recommended, site sponsor "James Henson" is a straight shooter and writes good stuff.
 
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heaterhotter

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ok ive been thinking of doing a test. i am going to buy a chip i found online but before i do that i want to know something. Say i do get the chip and i plug it in and everything is set up. Then i decide i dont like the performance and want to take it out. Do i need to do anything special to return the truck to stock? or if i decide to keep the chip in and it runs perfect, later down the road when i get some more money would i be able to run a programmer with the chip? or can i only run one or the other? and once again thanks for all your help.
 
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celly

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ok ive been thinking of doing a test. i am going to buy a chip i found online but before i do that i want to know something. Say i do get the chip and i plug it in and everything is set up. Then i decide i dont like the performance and want to take it out. Do i need to do anything special to return the truck to stock? or if i decide to keep the chip in and it runs perfect, later down the road when i get some more money would i be able to run a programmer with the chip? or can i only run one or the other? and once again thanks for all your help.

What kind of "chip" are you buying? Most of them are crap unless you look at SCT.

You get what you pay for in the programming game.

You can't run them together. A chip and a programmer do the same thing....they store a program. The difference is in the delivery. With a chip it stays attached to your vehicle and delivers the tune. With a flasher, it downloads the tune into your system and it stays active after your unplug the flasher. Return to stock with a chip means unplugging it. With a flasher you plug it in and remove the tune from the PCM. You can't use a flasher on two different vehicles at once (i.e. you need to return to stock before using the flasher on a different vehicle).

Don't waste your money on a no-name or less touted chip. Save your money for some SCT (or similar) tuning. If you think you'll get by spending less than $100 for a custom tune and chip, you're parting with your money for nothing. Save it up for the real thing.

Spend some time on this forum for more info on programs and programming.
 
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Cobraguy

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The only chip I would use is a Diablo. Their chip is pretty sophisticated and they led the way in this business and have a good handle on it. But you need to remember...every bit of tuning that needs to be done needs to be programmed to the chip itself. That means you need to remove the chip each and every time you need any change made. On an Explorer, that's an easy task. But it's still a pain. You also must have an authorized dealer burn the change into the chip. YOu can't do it. So you have to take it to a dealer or send it in. Personally, for what you want, I would consider a programmer. They are just too convenient. Have a dealer email you the change you want, upload to your programmer, download to your car. It doesn't get much easier than that.

As was mentioned, to return a chipped car to stock, just remove it.
 
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celly

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Personally, for what you want, I would consider a programmer. They are just too convenient. Have a dealer email you the change you want, upload to your programmer, download to your car. It doesn't get much easier than that.

Amen brotha! :thumbsup:

Case in point was this past summer when James at Henson sent me a 91 tune. I had always used Bama's tunes until Doug seemed to vanish into thin air and I always wanted to try James' handiwork. He emailed me the file. I loaded it (while on vacation I might add) and wasn't satisfied with the idle. I emailed James and within the hour, I had a new tune in my inbox and then loaded into my Ex shortly thereafter.

Now consider that both James and Doug live in Alabama which is a LONG way from where I live (Alberta). Therein lies the advantage of the programmer. When Doug at Bama put his tunes into my old SCT flip chip, I had to mail it to him, get the tunes burned and then he had to send it back. Took a few weeks to deal with and then there's shipping costs. If I was not satisfied with the tune, well, I'm just glad it didn't come to that!

Sure, I could have found a local SCT dealer to do my tunes for me, but I haven't heard of anyone locally that really knows Explorers. Doug and James do. :D

I'm not as familiar with Diablo, but have heard they're pretty good as well. Is it still hard to find dealers that burn them? I seem to recall people with Apten based Diablo chips having a hard time finding re-burns. Lots of SCT dealers around and their chips work fine once seated properly. The SCT "flip chip" is pretty handy for multiple tunes, but I still prefer the flasher in a heartbeat.
 
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heaterhotter

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ok then that answers all my questions ill wait a couple weeks to get some money but i am convinced now that a programmer is the better way to go.
 
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aldive

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With SCT ( http://www.sctflash.com/ ), there is another option for obtaining tunes for your truck.

That option albeit not for everyone, is to write your own tunes ( programs ) using SCT's Advantage III software ( http://www.sctflash.com/ADVFord.php ) included in their Racer Pro Package. This package is available from any SCT dealer.

I have been using mine for quite a while. When developing gas mileage tunes for my truck, I sometimes write and rewrite the tune up to 50 or more times.
 
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celly

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ok then that answers all my questions ill wait a couple weeks to get some money but i am convinced now that a programmer is the better way to go.

Just remember that you do get what you pay for. Those "el cheapo" chips you see around (especially on eBay) don't do much. Line yourself up with a reputable tuner (James is a good example of that. He's a site sponsor to boot). It will cost more to score a flasher and custom tunes, but the results are well worth it.

Good luck.
 
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jah81592

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Please note that the "chip" you generally buy for $69.00 is merely a resistor which fools the computer. It is hardly a tuning device. Please be leary of the businesses trying to sell these type of devices. I would highly recommend trying the SCT line of products. They work well and many on these forums have had success. Welcome to the forums.:usa:

If you do actually receive a chip-a real chip which plugs into the j-port of the computer then what do this product do? I never sell a chip to my Explorer customers (especially mail order) because if I need to correct or change part of the tune then the cost of shipping to the customer becomes a hassle. With a flash tuning device you can email the updated tunes to the customer and he can load the changes to the device. No shipping costs other than the initial cost of shipping to receive the unit. After that everything can be done via email.

Most of the time the jumpers for the j-port are not soldered. Thus causing a no start situation in the vehicle. If you have any questions feel free to call or email me direct with any questions you may have.-j
 
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Cobraguy

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Good points James. I liked my chip, but I had the dealer with a chassis dyno right here to tune it with too. Otherwise, I would have used a programmer.

By the way, if you can find one, throw your car on a dyno and have it checked. You might find the results very interesting. If you used forced induction, this isn't an option...it's mandatory IMO
 
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meyek91974

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How much more mpg's does a "chip" or programmer get ya???

If a chip or programmer costs $$$ and only gains 5mpg, is it really worth it?
But, I do mostly highway driving at 300 miles per week.
I drive like a grandpa and set cruise to 55-60mph
So, how much of an increase from stock 14-19mpg will it make to an Explorer?
 
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2000StreetRod

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fuel economics

300 miles/week x 52 weeks/year = 15,600 miles/year
15,600 miles/yr x 1 gal/18 miles x $2.25/gal = $1,950/yr
15,600 mi/yr x 1 gal/23 mi x $2.25/gal = $1,526/yr
So increasing your fuel economy 5 mpg could save you $424/yr
If the cost of fuel is more than $2.25/gal you'd save even more.

Unfortunately, it is difficult by changing the PCM tune to increase the fuel economy of a large, boxy, heavy vehicle (Explorer). Leaning the air/fuel ratio (AFR) could increase fuel economy but might also increase emissions and combustion temperatures increasing pollution and decreasing engine life. Decreasing the upshift engine speed might increase fuel economy but lugging the engine may cause detonation and increase crankshaft bearing wear.

In my opinion for fuel economy it is more cost effective to spend money keeping the vehicle in tune that paying for a chip or custom tune. The O2 sensors degrade with age and changing the pre-cat O2 sensors every 100K miles is probably a good idea. I add a bottle of Techron fuel injector cleaner to my fuel tank at least once a year and I only drive my Sport 3K miles per year. The spark plug gap increases with age and the air filter flow gets restricted as the filter gets dirty.

Disabling the A/C when defrost is selected can increase fuel economy as can keeping the tires properly inflated.
 
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