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Old 11-05-2019, 12:52 PM   #1
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California 6.0 tuner

I have a “California” 2008 6.0 that has been bulletproofed, head gaskets, ARB studs, FICM, blue spring, bulletproof oil cooler, bulletproof EGR cooler, water pump with metal impeller, all aluminum radiator, clutch fan. Now I am looking to add a tuner and am looking for some suggestions on tuners and tunes that others have and are happy with. Also has anybody changed to keep the their stock exhaust to keep the EGT’s down?
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:25 PM   #2
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I have a 5-Star tune and highly recommend them. In the 3 programs (40hp, 50hp, and 60hp) I had them program to have the cooling fan engage sooner to help keep my temps down. Works great, especially helpful on uphill grades.
Not sure I understand the last question - I have a 4" free flow exhaust, but can't tell you if it actually helps lower temps since it was installed by the previous owner. I will say I rarely see my EGT's above 1050 on hills, as long as I keep the RPM's up.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response. The question about the exhaust has to do with CA laws. I see a lot of 4" exhaust that state not for sale in CA.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:19 PM   #4
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There are some options for a 4" exhaust but you'll still have the restriction from the down-pipe around the dog haus. That's 3" if I recall but might be 3.5". A bigger bang for the buck can be had by killing the Kitty but that probably won't work since your in Kalifornia.


There's a few older threads with a search that will help with regard to heat management and lowering EGTs, especially if you are considering FICM or PCM tuning. FICM tuning is nice for throttle response and turbo spool-up but does raise EGTs; however, it does not raise cyclinder pressure like PCM tuning. That basically advances the timing which can get things hot in a hurry at WOT. That can be managed by using the tow-haul switch on long grades to keep the engine from lugging.


I have similar mods as you and am running a 40HP FICM tune and an 80HP PCM tune. Also you need to factor in that most aftermarket tuners are using truck fueling tables so the tune you might get is not based on a de-tuned van. I'm probably making at or near 400HP but I have the mods in place to support that.
The tunes I liked best were from Innovative Diesel and Power Hungry Performance. Although highly regarded by the diesel fan boys, I couldn't get the tuning to work right with Gearhead or TSD. Some info on tuners can be found here: https://www.powerstroke.org/forum/6-...periences.html
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:20 PM   #5
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The shop who did the engine set me up with an SCT tuner that didn't work good in my 6.0. Switched to a DP tuner and it has worked well. Also if you plan to tune for on the road performance, just understand about what you have to do to make it smog legal in CA. Getting it back to the CA standard takes a bit of time to clear. Some of this is different from county to county.
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:24 PM   #6
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None of the canned tunes on an SCT or X4 tuner will play nice with the vans which is why a custom-written tune is required using the E350 strategy specific to that van.
All it takes to make it smog compliant is to re-load the stock tune which is stored on the device when you install the tune.
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Old 12-24-2019, 05:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Harry View Post
I have a “California” 2008 6.0 that has been bulletproofed, head gaskets, ARB studs, FICM, blue spring, bulletproof oil cooler, bulletproof EGR cooler, water pump with metal impeller, all aluminum radiator, clutch fan. Now I am looking to add a tuner and am looking for some suggestions on tuners and tunes that others have and are happy with. Also has anybody changed to keep the their stock exhaust to keep the EGT’s down?

Did you get your tune done?

I'm in the same boat (Bulletproofed 6.0 in CA) and I was wondering which direction you ended up going?

My mechanic is recommending Innovative Diesel, but there seems to be a lot of different options with hardware and tuners.
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Old 12-26-2019, 07:46 AM   #8
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Did you get your tune done?

I'm in the same boat (Bulletproofed 6.0 in CA) and I was wondering which direction you ended up going?

My mechanic is recommending Innovative Diesel, but there seems to be a lot of different options with hardware and tuners.

I have the 65rwhp economy tune from Innovative. As well as a few others like the Extreme Street but I prefer the 80rwhp tune from Power Hungry Performance. I've tried tunes from 4 different vendors and the differences are not always that subtle. Some are faster than others but are more smokey. Others have better EGT control and throttle response. Others have better shifting. It's not an exact science and some if it just comes down to preference.
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Old 12-29-2019, 12:21 PM   #9
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I run the 50HP tow tune SCT/5-star and just put the "Atlas 40" FICM tune on top of it. Only have a couple hundred miles on this configuration so far but like it. Both tunes (even stacked) are supposedly OK for a 6.0 without head stud upgrade. Guess my trip to South America will tell if that's true or not! At ~100K miles on my van, the engine has never run stronger or smoother (of course I had a new FICM P/S and injectors installed earlier this year that certainly contributes to that).

Went to Contra Costa Diesel in Martinez, CA for the FICM tune and other regular maintenance items. Really liked working with the owner Blake. He will be my go to shop in the Bay Area for now on. He also provided shopping list of spare sensors / regulators for me to take with me and agreed to be "on-call" if I need any remote technical support on my trip.
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Old 12-29-2019, 03:17 PM   #10
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He also provided shopping list of spare sensors / regulators for me to take with me
If this is something you can share, I would appreciate a copy!
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