Diesel Tuner's Blog

What Type of Tuner Is Best For My Diesel Truck? - Box Tuners V.S. Custom Tuning

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 8, 2023 2:45:00 PM / by Ben Lawson posted in custom tuning, Pre-Tuned

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 When it comes to improving the performance of your Duramax, Cummins, or Powerstroke, diesel tuning is always a great place to start. It offers some of the best value when it comes to price and performance and can make your truck feel like a whole new vehicle. However, when it comes to choosing which type of tuning to go with there seem to be two distinct yet similar options out there, Box Tuners and Custom Tuning. This article will help you decide which option is best for you. 

Box Tuners

How They Work

Box tuners manipulate the data stream of different engine sensors to provoke a desired engine response. In most cases, this consists of manipulating map sensor values in order to trick the ECM into adding more fuel into the combustion chamber. The idea behind this is that most diesel and even gas engines run on the leaner side of air and fuel mixtures. By increasing the amount of fuel in the combustion chamber more air is able to be burned, which in turn creates more power.

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Pre-Tuned DSP5 ECM

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 23, 2016 5:00:00 AM / by Paul Wilson posted in dsp, dsp5, SPADE, ECM, AutoCal, Pre-Tuned

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What happened to Pre-Tuned ECMs?

When EFILive first came out there was no AutoCal.  Flashing had to be done in person with a V2 or in the very early years a V1 cable.  This left remote tuners a set of challenges.  How do you provide custom tuning remotely?  Of course, the answer was Pre-Tuned DSP5 ECMs.  The lynch pin of making the Pre-Tuned ECM program work was a steady supply of good core ECMs.  This meant the only downtime truck owners had was the time it takes to swap ECMs.  

There are a few critical downsides to Pre-Tuned ECMs though.  The first being a long term availability for good cores.  As years pass and more trucks are tuned and older ECMs are crashed and lost, cores disappear.  The OEM's do not provide an affordable replacement option and after a while, the cost of cores out weigh the benefits of Pre-Tuned DSP5 ECMs.  Another drawback is the ability, or lack there of, to verify the quality of each core module.  Many will take a flash with the bench harness and still show problems when installed.  

  • Easy to install
  • Minimal downtime
  • Relies on Core ECM program
  • Unable to test reliability of Cores

SPADE stands for Standalone Programming And Diagnostic Equipment.  It is also known as an AutoCal.  The hardware is manufactured and provided by EFILive and custom DuramaxTuner.com or Calibrated Power tunes are loaded onto them.  The SPADE is a very easy to use hand held tool that allows you to flash custom built EFILive tunes and data log, and read/clear most codes.  

 Request More Information about the SPADE

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