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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To preface, I have been running a 5* 93 perf tune since shortly after purchasing my 2018 3.5EB. I recently had the cam phaser CSP performed and need to contact 5* to update my tunes for the change in strategy code. While I'm at it, I may shop around for a new tuner as well. Not that I'm unhappy with 5* overall, but their customer service is very busy and they never provided me a datalogging file with the desired PID's to moniter.

I also noticed that 5* tends to lean on boost to make their power gains as opposed to spark advance. Other tuners I've used in the past (on my '12 SHO) focused more on spark advance and kept the boost relatively low.

Does anyone know if this is the trend for most second gen 3.5EB tuners to lean more on boost vs spark advance? Are there pros to this versus adjusting the spark tables? On the SHO, I was seeing 17-19° of advance depending on IAT2 temps on 93, and in the 22-24° when playing around with an E30 tune. All the while at only around 14.5psi.

Anyways, enough rambling. For you guys that have already tried multiple tuners, have you found any that tend to favor the spark advance over the boost, and did you notice much difference in their behaviors? Thanks all.
 

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How do you know one is leaning on spark advance vs boost? Is your OAR maxed at -1 and KR pegged at -4 all the time?

If OAR and KR are not pegged, then the truck is advancing the spark as much as it can for the given air load and conditions. There is nothing the tuner could do to fix that.

This isn't me saying 5Star is amazing, just that they would have to completely mess up the timing to make the truck max out available timing on pump gas.Otherwise, it is the PCM limiting the timing to a safe level.

Whether or not the engine makes the same power at less boost I don't know. You are trading air flow for spark. My guess is the crossover point doesn't happen until you push the turbos to the point that they become insanely inefficient. Then you slap on some Garrett Powermax Stage 2's and suddenly your turbos are far more efficient again and you reset that crossover point.

So I guess if you are pushing more than 55 lbs/min of air then maybe you are getting to the point that the turbos are running out of steam, but the 2018 turbos are quite large and capable.
 

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Boost is generally safer than spark. I had 5 star turn mine down a couple psi from the ~22 psi they were at and to optimize timing given the boost change.

That's a crazy amount of timing on 93 unless the sho engines are different than the truck? Obviously the car is lighter so less load.
 

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Boost is generally safer than spark. I had 5 star turn mine down a couple psi from the ~22 psi they were at and to optimize timing given the boost change.

That's a crazy amount of timing on 93 unless the sho engines are different than the truck? Obviously the car is lighter so less load.
They are significantly different than even the first gen truck motor, nevermind a 2nd gen. The turbos are made by Garrett instead of BorgWarner, I believe they might not have VCT on the exhaust, and of course no dual injection.

its not an apples to apples comparison from the getgo nevermind that its transverse and in a car.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess I don't "know" for certain anything one way or the other. Just what I've seen from the quick datalogging file I threw together to moniter some PID's I believed to be important to keep an eye on. Not saying they are the correct ones to moniter, just what I chose.

Those 2 things, boost and spark advance, were 2 that stood out as vastly different from my transverse 3.5EB. I know the snails on the 2018's are substantially higher flowing than the SHO turbos which is why I was surprised at seeing 20psi but only around 12° of spark advance under WOT.
 

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I guess I don't "know" for certain anything one way or the other. Just what I've seen from the quick datalogging file I threw together to moniter some PID's I believed to be important to keep an eye on. Not saying they are the correct ones to moniter, just what I chose.

Those 2 things, boost and spark advance, were 2 that stood out as vastly different from my transverse 3.5EB. I know the snails on the 2018's are substantially higher flowing than the SHO turbos which is why I was surprised at seeing 20psi but only around 12° of spark advance under WOT.
I would suggest you look at KR and OAR(sometimes called LOR) as an indication of the health of your timing advance.

The problem is there are a bunch of different things that can effect timing globally in the PCM, like intake temps, engine coolant temps, etc. So one morning you might be running 12 degrees of spark and that afternoon when its 30 degrees hotter outside you might only be at 9 degrees. The PCM will apply an adjustment to the base timing tables for the change in the operating conditions.

As long as your OAR and KR are not maxing out, you know that the truck is supplying the maximum possible spark that it can in the given conditions without causing knock.

If they are maxing out(pegged at a -1 OAR and a -4 KR) then you know there is more advance that is not being taken advantage of.

Me, personnally, I don't love to see a -1 OAR. I like to be near a -1, but I like to have a small buffer because I know that means my truck has some timing overhead left, but also because it means that my PCM is not typically having to go chase down the peak timing advance. KR advances timing incrementally and it take time for it to arrive at its peak. If its going all the way to a KR of -4 then it can take something like 8 seconds to get there if I remember right.
 

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This new truck stays pegged at -1 OAR and KR between - 4<>-6 at normal acceleration rates and even cruising. Which is crazy because the same exact truck, but 2021, required intervention to keep the OAR up because low RPM factory shift strategy had it pulling timing. I could lock out gears and nurse it back to - KR and the OAR would go back up.

The variation between the two trucks is amazing.

And I've stated before that Ford reaches for boost last in meeting the torque request. It's electric and timing first. The rate of acceleration available without boost is amazing. Rather aggressive, in fact.

I realize it's not apples to apples because of the electric motor, but the timing strategy is interesting.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OAR typically stays around -0.72 give or take. Sometimes it will peg out to -0.96 and other times it will swing as low as -0.22. I have never seen positive OAR.

It may be my brain telling my butt dyno but it doesn't seem to feel as strong when it's below -0.70 OAR. Even when I'm not seeing positive KR.
 

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OAR typically stays around -0.72 give or take. Sometimes it will peg out to -0.96 and other times it will swing as low as -0.22. I have never seen positive OAR.

It may be my brain telling my butt dyno but it doesn't seem to feel as strong when it's below -0.70 OAR. Even when I'm not seeing positive KR.
It wont be. There are three tables that limit air load based on your OAR. If you are -1, it will allow more load than at 0 which will allow more load than a +1.

Thats assuming the tuner is properly using the tables and not just setting them to infinity so they dont have to deal with them.

Also, as OAR goes towards positive it removes timing. But its not just + or - 1 degree, its a multiplier. So they have a table that tells it what to multiply the oar vaule by. So on my 2014 for example, the oar could add or subtract 5 degrees of timing. So my truck going from a -1 to a 0 would lose 5 degrees globally
 
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To preface, I have been running a 5* 93 perf tune since shortly after purchasing my 2018 3.5EB. I recently had the cam phaser CSP performed and need to contact 5* to update my tunes for the change in strategy code. While I'm at it, I may shop around for a new tuner as well. Not that I'm unhappy with 5* overall, but their customer service is very busy and they never provided me a datalogging file with the desired PID's to moniter.

I also noticed that 5* tends to lean on boost to make their power gains as opposed to spark advance. Other tuners I've used in the past (on my '12 SHO) focused more on spark advance and kept the boost relatively low.

Does anyone know if this is the trend for most second gen 3.5EB tuners to lean more on boost vs spark advance? Are there pros to this versus adjusting the spark tables? On the SHO, I was seeing 17-19° of advance depending on IAT2 temps on 93, and in the 22-24° when playing around with an E30 tune. All the while at only around 14.5psi.

Anyways, enough rambling. For you guys that have already tried multiple tuners, have you found any that tend to favor the spark advance over the boost, and did you notice much difference in their behaviors? Thanks all.
My #1 complaint about 5* was lack of customer service and long turn around times....... To me they are turning into one of those companies that have a name and a large following and over look what got them where they are..


I would give BoostKing a go, you want customer service and a quality tune, he is your guy....... Others will have suggestions as well....

Do some research on who boostking is and shoot him an email...... I can tell you this, I am on my 4th revision for tunes and he sends all the files needed when he sends you your base tune. his revision turn around and email replies are quick.
 

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My #1 complaint about 5* was lack of customer service and long turn around times....... To me they are turning into one of those companies that have a name and a large following and over look what got them where they are..


I would give BoostKing a go, you want customer service and a quality tune, he is your guy....... Others will have suggestions as well....

Do some research on who boostking is and shoot him an email...... I can tell you this, I am on my 4th revision for tunes and he sends all the files needed when he sends you your base tune. his revision turn around and email replies are quick.

too bad he doesn't tune for the ngauge, to say I'm beyond happy with my 5 Star tunes would be an understatement but I'm always open to trying someone I've never tried before if highly recommend. Would be my 5th company I've tried throughout the past trucks and 9 years if he did. Or maybe 6th 🤔
 
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I had the same bad experience with 5*, plus their tune made my truck run funny. I never would have known if I didn’t switch. First, they wouldn’t answer a single damn question in email AT ALL. Important stuff.

next,the trans tuning was pretty good but something just felt off. I’d get vibrations and shakes and what seemed to be misfires and strange gear changes.

here comes MPT for me. But also Boostking and ZFG tuning are also great.

I bought rush my tunes…I’ve gotten a tune reply with paragraphs addressing my every concern within 18 hours. I’m so happy. Not only that, my wastegate rattle isGONE. The truck runs way smoother. It pulls harder. I have slightly more consistent Less knock(I used to get bumps of 3-5, now it’s not above 2).

I lost faith in 5*really quick. MPT treated me the wayI thought a tuner should. Really seems a lot more personal. You can always message them on FB messenger, they always respond to emails, their tunes are great, they answer your questions and change exactly what you want.

mill be sticking with MPT until I can afford an RTD and see what ZFG and Boostking are like, but I’m so happy with my MPT tune.
 

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There are only a few tuners I would trust to touch my truck at this point, now that I have a good understanding of how it works for the most part.
 

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I had the same bad experience with 5*, plus their tune made my truck run funny. I never would have known if I didn’t switch. First, they wouldn’t answer a single damn question in email AT ALL. Important stuff.

next,the trans tuning was pretty good but something just felt off. I’d get vibrations and shakes and what seemed to be misfires and strange gear changes.

here comes MPT for me. But also Boostking and ZFG tuning are also great.

I bought rush my tunes…I’ve gotten a tune reply with paragraphs addressing my every concern within 18 hours. I’m so happy. Not only that, my wastegate rattle isGONE. The truck runs way smoother. It pulls harder. I have slightly more consistent Less knock(I used to get bumps of 3-5, now it’s not above 2).

I lost faith in 5*really quick. MPT treated me the wayI thought a tuner should. Really seems a lot more personal. You can always message them on FB messenger, they always respond to emails, their tunes are great, they answer your questions and change exactly what you want.

mill be sticking with MPT until I can afford an RTD and see what ZFG and Boostking are like, but I’m so happy with my MPT tune.

MPT is great also, Mike is awesome.
 
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