Originally Posted by agertool
Ok, what is a tuner and how did that solve the problem? Also to get it reflashed, does that have to be done at a ford dealer?
Basically a "tuner" is a device (or person that writes a tune) that puts a new computer "tune" into your truck. This tune controls they way the drive train operates. It controls fuel flow, ignition timing, shift points and pressures, etc etc. At the end of the day, you get more HP/TQ, better throttle response and sometimes even improved MPGs (assuming you're not flooring it all the time).
"Canned tunes" are generic tunes written for a specific make and model, but that's as detailed as they get. These usually offer some increase in performance, but leave room for improvement. "Custom tunes" are tunes written specifically for your
vehicle, and yours alone. The tuner takes into consideration not just the type of vehicle, but it's specific computer code (there are dozens of codes for just the 04-08 F-150's), any after market parts (exhaust, intake, headers, supercharger, etc), the location of the vehicle (a truck in Denver CO has very different ambient conditions than the same truck sitting in Miami FL, or Northern Manitoba, CA), age and condition of the vehicle, etc etc. You get a much more specific tune that yields higher performing vehicle.
Check out J&Js write up. Very good stuff here if you're just getting started: Questions About "TUNES"? Read This!
While you're at it, there is more information there than you can shake a stick at here: Chips, Tuners & Programming
A dealer reflash is pretty much the same thing, only the new tune comes from Ford, not an aftermarket tuner. So yes, it needs to be done at the dealership. Thing is, you get Ford's tune, which is the most "average-joe" type tune. It may help with your problem, then again, it may not.
The big 3 as far as tunes go (around here at least) are Troyer Performance, VMP and now PHP. I don't think you'll go wrong with any of those places, but I can only personally speak for Troyer Performance. You'll wait a good while to get your tune, but it's well worth the wait.