98 XLT w/ 4.6 tune? - F150online Forums

98 XLT w/ 4.6 tune?


Old 08-20-2017, 10:30 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: E. TN
Posts: 16
98 XLT w/ 4.6 tune?

98 F150 XLT Offroad w/a 4.6 & 3:55 rear.
It's bone stock withe the exception of a Deltaflow 40 1-in-2 out muffler (for sound). Tires are stock sized.
Been reading up on tuning options and have decided I really only need 2 mods, a crisper 1-2 shift and less-to-no downshifting when going up a slight incline and/or when slightly increasing speed (both cases the tranny will momentarily downshift then go back into OD).

Of lesser importance, power is OK but I could use a little more grunt when towing up to it's advertised 6K lbs. If it could get better than 17mpg highway that would be cool too.

Not looking to reinvent it's wheels and since neither of us are spring chickens drag racing tain't a goal either LOL.

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Old 08-22-2017, 01:47 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Friendswood Texas
Posts: 1,741
how many miles on the truck.

hate to be a buzzkill but if the truck has operated good for 20 years, i might just leave it alone.
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:51 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wilmington,NC
Posts: 4,002
Keep your eyes peeled for a used Superchips programmer. Should be able to find one fairly cheap. Years ago, I bought a used one from a forum member here and I am very pleased with it. Got a nice bump in power and a little bump in gas mileage. It has trans settings too but I decided i liked the stock settings best.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:35 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: E. TN
Posts: 16
Its got 145k miles and has been a real good trunk since I drove it off the new car lot. No major problems just the normal wear and tear maintenance.
I guess I should have phrased the question as "want" to make a few changes instecad if "need".
Course it's always sound advice not to fix something if it's not broke ...

The 1st to 2nd soft shift has always slightly annoyed me, as does the momentary upshift when depressing the throttle at cruise speed but both have been that way since new.
Reading about these tuners seems to offer a solution to both "wants" but I'm not interested in hot rodding it etc.

Thanks for the reply's, I'll keep my eye out for a used Superchips or similar.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:52 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
I have a Superchip added to the ECU on my '98. I bought the chip from a forum member about 15 years ago and it definitely firms up shifts. Power gains (small) are mostly from timing adjustments. It still downshifts or unlocks the torque converter on slight grades. These 4.6 engines up to '98 don't really respond well to tuning because the swirl-inducing heads are too restrictive. It's possible to swap later heads and intake manifold but the cost and time may not justify gaining 20 or so HP. I didn't notice any increase in gas mileage. One thing to remember is that whenever you tune these trucks you need to use higher octane fuel. I use 91 as required for my chip. The extra cost per gallon outweighs any mpg improvements.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:43 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wilmington,NC
Posts: 4,002
My superchips tuner has an 87 and 91 tune and I use the 87. On my 02 PI 5.4, I noticed a big gain in hp. This 02 didn't have the power of the 2000 5.4 4x4 I bought new so I assume it didn't have an as agressive factory tune as the 2000. Anyhow, I estimate the 02 gained about 20hp. It did help fuel mileage too a little. Twice I checked it driving over 800 miles to and from Wilmington NC to Homestead FL and got 16.0 mpg running 80mph most of the way. I run Michelin P tires and had them pumped up to 40 psig.
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