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Discussion Starter #1
A little background...I have 2400 miles on my '13 truck. I towed my trailer a little over a month ago about 700 miles round trip when my truck was completely stock. On that trip the truck ran perfect...not so much as a hick up.

Since then I have upgraded the exhaust, CAI and tune (see signature for details). Yesterday while towing my trailer on a 100 mile trip, the engine began making a loud, and abnormal sound about every 3-5 minutes (not sure how to describe it other than it sounded like it was related to the turbos). I was driving 65 mph into a strong headwind. The truck didn't loose power and the gauges were normal so I kept driving assuming that it was due to the strong headwinds. After about 20 minutes it made the same sound three times within about 60 seconds. After the last one, the truck lost power and the CEL came on.

I pulled onto the shoulder and shut it down. At this point I'm pretty pissed because I was about 50 miles from home with a broke truck and no way to get my trailer home. I checked under the hood and under the truck. Everything looked normal (no leaks, etc) to me in my very limited knowledge of what an engine is suppose to look like. I restarted the truck and the CEL was gone and the truck was running normal. I revved the engine a few times and it sounded normal. Put it in gear to see if it would move and it accelerated normally.

Being that I was half way between my home and my destination, I had to decide whether to turn back or continue. As I was traveling down the highway at 65 mph to the next exit, the truck was running normally again. No strange noises, no CEL. SO...I decided to go ahead and continue the trip and if the problem happens again, I would head to the nearest dealership.

I completed the trip with no more problems. Once I got the trailer setup, I used my SCT tuner to read codes. It shows no trouble codes. I thought that was strange since the CEL did turn on.

I don't know much about engines, but I know this truck ran/towed perfectly when stock. After the upgrades, I have problems towing...so...I have to assume either the tune, exhaust or CAI have caused the problem. Anyone else have a similar experience?

By the way, I am running the canned 87 octane SCT tune.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
 

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Not sure what the problem may be, but I do know that SCT code reader isn't a very good one and that maybe why you couldn't have found the code. With a better code reader you may find it is still logged in the ECU. Also I do know with the tune your trany will cycle it's oil more often and the fan will come on more often to keep everything running cool. That may have been the noise you heard coming on and off.
 

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I would recommend hitting up the dealership; as they can check the stored CEL code; recommend returning your tune to stock just to be on the safe side. Or like mentioned find a better ECU scanner to check the ECO history.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've driven the truck a few different times without the trailer now and it seems to be running normally. I just wonder if the SCT 87 octane tune is not the best tune for towing. I'm a bit nervous about messing with that tuner. I can't figure out how to see the other canned tunes to come with the tuner. I've read that it comes with the 87 octane and 93 octane tune, but what is the third canned tune?
 

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Not sure on the third tune, but I wouldn't recommend any tune if it was specifically programmed with towing in mind... The Eco even in stock form has more than enough ace to yank the heavy loads... Most tuners out there make tunes for towing and separate ones for performance... Try call SCT and talking to a tech or rep about it...
 

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I'm thinking that the can tunes are simply for overall performance increases in 87, 91 and 93 octane levels. Keep in mind that if you are running a tune and have a problem that results in a visit to the shop. The Ford scan may show that you have been running a tuner unless you take the needed time to remove it and the history of it being there.

I wouldn't worry too much about your problem that you had after only one experience. It could be that the wind just played hell on the performance of the truck, but it kept pushing forward until it experienced a computer brain fart. There may have been a small problem with the factory and can tune clashing and causing the truck to go into limp mode.

I guess I'm just not a big one on taking too many trips to the service dept, sometimes if there is nothing wrong they try to fix it anyway. And not always do it right.
 

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Ford says the F150 runs on regular fuel. I found a footnote in one of the spec tables that says that to get maximum performance you need to use premium. I read that as to run smoothly while towing or hauling heavy loads you may need to use premium.
 

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You will not fool the Ford techs...they will see the reflash on your ECU. I agree to call SCT and ask Mike for some advice on where to go from here.
 

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You will not fool the Ford techs...they will see the reflash on your ECU. I agree to call SCT and ask Mike for some advice on where to go from here.
The ford IDS software can not account for how many times the PCM was flashed, they can only account for the current flash in the system. No engineering software can. HOWEVER, this does not void your warranty. Do a little research on it, the links are even posted on SCT's faq page as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thought I would update the thread. I have now towed the trailer over 3000 miles this year. The only time I had any issue was while it was tuned and had exhaust & intake installed. I wish I knew which one caused the issue, but it seems apparent that one or more of the three upgrades caused it. I'm playing it safe and leaving everything stock (at least till I am out of warranty at 75k miles).
 

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These trucks are tuned quite well in stock form especially for towing. Now if your racing and you want more performance I can see why, but if your towing it's better left in stock form.
 

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Im thinking if you where running hard into a head wind the truck was kicking the fan on and off to keep it cool. Your stock gauges dont show much of any fluctuations untill things are going bad. So im think the truck hit limp mode to get the truck back down to where it wasnt being over worked. As for stored codes if the fault is no longer there you wont get a code. You will only get a code when the light is on.

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I have found that after tuning or returning to stock tune with the SCT, it does leave 2 grey codes in the system (no cel light). The Torque Pro app for android devices shows that, and you can clear the codes with it. The SCT code reader stinks. Torque Pro is probably the best $5 I've ever spent in my entire life. Make sure that you return the vehicle to stock tune, then clear the grey codes with Torque, before going to the dealer for any service, even oil changes, because you never know when they'll decide to access your ECM.
 

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is probably the best $5 I've ever spent in my entire life.
There's a seedy part in every town that would give this $5 a run for its money....lol

I just got Torque Pro running, and will see if I see these grey codes.
So far, it has been well worth the cost.

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I just installed the Bully dog and ran it on tow. Performance setting for motor and tow setting for trans. With torque management on and with 13, 000 plus behind the truck at 65 mpg I had no problems. Has to be the most impressive gas truck I have ever towed with and I have had a modded hemi and a 5.7 chevy mild build and there is no comparision

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I'd love to chat further. We pull with a 2012 supercrew with maximum trailer tow (373 axles). What did you learn, how is your rig running now? What did you find the root cause to be?
 

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I'll post our visuals later but tuning can void your warranty. As Power train F.S.E. Mgr, I reviewed many a vehicle while on Mustang program and believe me there are ways to determine root cause. SVT suggest that spark gap could actually be closed slightly as they have seen flame out under load. As for premium fuel I would expect little to no chnage in mpg. I'm sure you have already learned you have to keep it under 70 mph and cruise control can be your enemy. Have you learned anything you can share?
 
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tayers8
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