Ive searched, so dont tread on me MGD!
The short and the long of it is this: I have a 2010 F150 King Ranch that I use to tow a race trailer (26ft V-nose enclosed). It seems to me that the majority of folks that buy a tuner do so for one of three reasons:
1. Take advantage of modifications (intake, exhaust seem to be the big two)
2. They want to take advantage of 93 octane fuel
3. They want to correct for an altered rear end ratio and/or larger tires
I have none of those issues. Well, I might be interested in running 93 if it helps with my issues, more on that in a second. My issues are mainly centered around a few things:
1. The truck is sometimes mildly sluggish when towing. I say sometimes, because other times it feels like Im driving a Prius that cant get out of its own way.
2. The transmission shift strategy is mind-bogglingly retarded (will detail in a moment)
3. The transmission shifting is, uh... less than ideal.
Now, to give some more detail, Im picturing a nice, sunny May afternoon. Ive got the racecar and spares in the trailer, about 6000lb loaded. Im heading to my favorite track, which is a mix of 45-70mph driving. For the most part, low speed stuff is ok. On the highway though, the truck will constantly hunt between 5th and 6th driving the transmission temperature up. There is one spot in particular where the truck in the past has held 4th gear and continued to slow down, despite the accelerator being used heavily, and despite the fact that it probably should have downshifted to third.
As far as the retarded shift strategy goes, this happens every time Im on the highway. At 65mph, the truck will be in 5th gear, and inevitably I will crest a hill and gain a little speed. The transmission will then proceed to dive to 6th gear, necessitating a shift back to 5th at the bottom of the hill and/or whenever it figures out that it cant maintain speed in 6th gear. Sure, I could drive 73-75mph and keep it in 6th, but that kills the gas mileage.
So, my questions are (and believe me, Ive searched):
1. Will the tuner make a drastic increase in the area under the curve in the 1800-2500rpm range? Will switching to 93 make it drastically better?
2. Will the tuner correct the tendency of the transmission to hunt, and if so, how does it do this?
2a. Does the tuner give ME any say in the shifting strategy since Ford decided not to put the user selectable gearing in the 09-10 F150s 6R80? i.e. can I make it so the truck holds on to 5th gear instead of going to 6th?
3. Is it worth doing just the tuner on a truck that will remain otherwise stock?
I realize that with my talk of TCM tuning, that limits me to the SCT X3, right?
If youve made it this far, thanks for reading my diatribe.