How to "hop up" towing vehicle???

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barblarry

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???I would like to get a small power increase in my Ford F-250 with the 5.4 Liter V-8.  I've read that two things that will increase power and/or mileage would be a "power chip" or chip programmer, and a K&N Air filtration system.  Any comments?

Larry
 

Ron

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I'm not impressed with K&N filters they do pass more air but from the last comparrison chart I saw they also pass more contaminents.
Other things that have been used to improve performance is better exhaust sytems.  I think that is one of the items Banks replaces.

 
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barblarry

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Thanks for the heads up on K&N.  How much is the Banks kit?

Larry
 

Ron

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I have no idea what a banks system woulod cost but you should be able to get information from the following link.
http://www.bankspower.com/ford.cfm
 

Steve CDN

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I agree with Ron about K&N filters having used them on 2 motorhomes.  The improvement in power or fuel consumption is negligable in my experience.  Taking into consideration the mess created by the recommended washing and maintenance and re-oiling, i would look at other methods of achieving incresed power.
 

Toy Hauler

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I bought a Superchip progammer for my 2004 F350, diesel.  Not an expert by any means, but I have really liked the performance enhancements, both while pulling and while without a load.  Has three settings above stock, (1) tow-safe, (2) high performance, and (3) something else I never use, the middle one!!  The programmer is quick and easy to use.  I generally keep it on high performance because I like more power than the diesel wants to deliver at stock.  Seems that I get the best fuel economy at the high performance setting too.  When I am going to tow my 33' fifth wheel, I tune it down to tow-safe.  Easy, and I feel fairly safe that I am not damaging the engine.  10k miles this year pulling the trailer and no problems so far.

I would be very curious if anyone pulls above the 6,000 lbs.suggested limit while pulling in high performance, and if they have had problems.  Not worth the risk in my opinion, but would be nice to have that much added power under load.
 

Carl L

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That 5.4 is about as powered up as it is going to get.  As I remember the 5.4 is the 5.0 block with a head replacement.  I own a 5.0.  The 5.4 of the same year and vehicle only gained 400 lbs of tow capacity.

I suspect tho, what you are after is a bit more pull for the hills and passes.  That is a function of torque and gearing.  If you are running the Ford 4EOD transmission,  you have a helluva hole between 1st and 2nd that desperately wants a gear in it.  I know I do.  One possible solution lies in a over/under drive unit such as the one peddled by US Gear

Regards,

Carl L/LA
 

Wrangler

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Hi there

Would recomend both, have them on my diesel F250 and it makes a definite difference, travel with a friend who has a new 2003 dodge350 and he cannot keep up!
dont you just love it!
 

brianlclayton

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I have heard that the best "hop up" for the money is to get a computer programmer.  They are able to configure your truck depending upon what you are doing with the truck.  To maximize the ability of the programmer, a good flowing exhaust system and air intake will will help.  I have installed a flowmaster exhaust system on my 5.4l and am awaiting the arrival of my programmer and air intake.  Will let you know how it all works out.
 

Karl

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Carl,
Can't agree with you more. That hole needs to be filled. By the time it downshifts into 1st, the engine is already lugging hard. When it finally does go into 1st, the engine is near it's peak horsepower rev's and you can find yourself going back and forth between the 2 gears. The exhaust system on the 460 is another real bottleneck - literally, and I'll be replacing mine soon with a Walker designed especially for this chassis. Programmers are fine, but can't entirely make up for inadequate gearing. 
 

PancakeBill

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Having just purchased a 2002 Ford Power stroke, I have been researchig the programmers.  Does this effect warranty?  Or if you have warranty do you just set it back to stock and remove the programmer? 

Looks like you can really go crazy with all the enhancements, beteen intake, exhaust, and programmers....

 

Karl

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Bill,
Any time you use other than stock or mfg recommended parts, you run the risk of voiding your warranty. Some people do remove add-ons when trouble happens and then take it back to the dealer hoping they won't find out. But remember, there are A LOT of computers built into many newer vehicles which RECORD things like ignition and valve timing, manifold pressure, exhaust gas temperature, etc.; things you can't always reset at will, and would surely give a heads-up to the mechanic. I don't recommend using chip programmers, but if you do you should also be willing to take responsibility for any damage they may do.
 
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Toy Hauler said:
I bought a Superchip progammer for my 2004 F350, diesel.  Not an expert by any means, but I have really liked the performance enhancements, both while pulling and while without a load.  Has three settings above stock, (1) tow-safe, (2) high performance, and (3) something else I never use, the middle one!!  The programmer is quick and easy to use.  I generally keep it on high performance because I like more power than the diesel wants to deliver at stock.  Seems that I get the best fuel economy at the high performance setting too.  When I am going to tow my 33' fifth wheel, I tune it down to tow-safe.  Easy, and I feel fairly safe that I am not damaging the engine.  10k miles this year pulling the trailer and no problems so far.

I would be very curious if anyone pulls above the 6,000 lbs.suggested limit while pulling in high performance, and if they have had problems.  Not worth the risk in my opinion, but would be nice to have that much added power under load.

ToyHauler,

The EGTs (Exhaust Gas temperatures) will go through the roof on mine in the extreme setting, I have a "flip chip" with custom programming.  It illustrates the need for a set of gages (EGT, transmission temperature, and boost) so one can monitor the EGT on a hard uphill pull.  The rule of thumb it do not exceed 1200F if the pyrometer is located pre-turbo or 1000F if post-turbo.  Often you will find that a simple down shift to a lower gear and letting the engine rpm rev will reduce the EGTs to an acceptable level. (the information is primarily directed to those with turbo diesels and particularly if a PSD)
 

msmith

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I agree with BigRed. I have an '02 PSD with a flip chip. I usually drive mine in the 100 hp setting and even tow in this setting. I watch my pyromete close and sometimes have to flip my chip down to the tow setting. Even on the tow setting, I watch the guages close. I highly recommend a pyrometer with ANY programmer or chip no matter how "safe" they say they are.

On the 5.4, I'm not sure. I know you can add a chip, open the exhaust, and add a more free flowing intake such as a K&N or perhaps a blower even. Find a forum dedicated to Ford trucks for some good info. Perhaps thedieselstop.com.
 
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