The electronically controlled diesel scene has given birth to quite a few calibration gurus over the years. These innovators can custom tune your truck to squeeze every ounce of power from your aftermarket modifications. Jody Tipton of DP-Tuner is no exception. He's offered live-tuning sessions for 7.3L Power Strokes for five years now, which goes beyond simply selling an aftermarket chip with custom tunes to a willing buyer. As many of you know, slapping on the latest and greatest performance parts will yield good power gains, but every truck reacts differently to modifications. In the exciting quest for more power, we often forget how important it is to fine-tune our trucks, electronically.
What Is A Live-Tuning Session?
Over the years, Tipton has built a following as one of the premier tuners for tying all of your 7.3L Power Stroke's performance modifications together. One reason for this is he offers real-time tuning, where he climbs aboard as a passenger and tunes customers' trucks to their liking while driving down the road. Through the use of TunerPro software and Moates Quarter Horse hardware, which includes a vehicle communication module (VCM), Tipton can alter the way a 7.3L Power Stroke runs with his laptop computer. In doing this, he can custom-tailor the engine calibration for your Power Stroke with several different fuel economy, towing, daily-driver, and specialty tunes during a ride-along (changes are made on-the-fly). From there, the driver can decide which tune is best for each given situation, which Tipton then saves to his laptop. Upon returning to his shop, Tipton can create and install the perfect chip for the customer.
On a recent trip to John Wood Automotive in Holtville, California, we hitched a ride with Tipton in one of his customer's Power Strokes to get a glimpse of just how effective a live-tune session is. For our ride-along, the customer had a 39-foot, triple-axle camper in tow and wanted the truck to pull the 15,000-pound trailer better, and run cooler while cruising down the highway. Throughout the drive, Tipton tweaked the injection control pressures (ICP) and injection timing, effectively lowering the customer's EGTs, and providing more low-rpm fueling to get the load up and moving easier. Then, the trailer was unhooked, and it was time to play. Tipton had the driver run up and down the highway trying out various performance and economy settings to see which tunes best suited the driver's needs.
Jody Tipton, from DP-Tuner, uses TunerPro software that allows him to alter engine paramet
Paul Deol's '01 F-350 six-speed arrived with a 39-foot, 15,000-pound, triple-axle camper i
This VCM emulator from Ford Rotunda plugs into a 7.3L Power Stroke's OBD-II port under the