This blog covers an in-depth tutorial of how to tune your Ford vehicle using the SCT flash tuner using Lasota Racing’s online tuning service. Since there are many ways you can tune your vehicle, we have included this method since we believe that it is the most cost-effective and practical solution if you do not have a tuning shop in your neighborhood that supports your Ford. Even if you have not purchased a boost kit from us and you are using a custom turbo or supercharger setup, this process is applicable.
This option gives you a custom tune for your vehicle. In general, this procedure will tailor a custom tune for your exact vehicle setup with all the customization you require. Please keep in mind, you will be required to perform vehicle data logs so you can dial it right in!
THINGS YOU WILL NEED:
- Personal laptop with internet connection
- Online Tuning Service Package and SCT Flash Tuner (you do not need to purchase the tuner from us)
- PLX AFR sensor and Module (gauge is not required, you can also use a competitor product for this)
- Moddbox SCT Firewire to PLX Molex Cable (if you are using PLX)
- Larger sized injectors (usually anything >=39lb/hr is good for our kits)
- One of the following MAF options installed: Moddbox MAF adapter, MAFia DiabloSport, larger diameter MAF
CAUTIONS & NOTES:
- This process usually takes 1-2 days (If this is your “daily driver”, you can drive it gently after your first log/tune iteration).
- Our tuning services are based in Eastern Standard Time. Submission of your logs during regular business hours will result in the fastest turn-around. Weekend tuning is often very busy or unavailable. Advanced notice and/or arranging a time for logging can save valuable time.
- Some of the vehicle logs will require you to drive with Wide-Open-Throttle (WOT). It is strongly recommended that you perform these at a dyno shop due to the higher speeds and driving risks associated with this. Although most of our customers prefer to do this with a helper outside of a dyno shop, you are also strongly advised to perform the WOT logs in 2nd gear if you choose to assume these risks.
- During your first WOT run, we are unable to guarantee 100% that it will be perfect. Although we err on the side of safety as we begin to dial it in, it often takes 2-3 iterations to get it right. For this reason, it is important that you listen/look for signs of pre-detonation. You will be responsible to “back-off” the throttle to avoid damage in the unlikely event that pre-detonation occurs.
- Although we are the best in the business (obviously some bias humor here), we cannot tune around mechanical problems. It is your responsibility to verify that your vehicle is in good mechanical condition.
- This tutorial has been written with the assumption that you are using PLX devices, the X4 SCT flash tuner, and laptop using the windows 7 operating system.
- When performing the idling logs, be sure you are in a well ventilated area.
The first thing to do is assemble and purchase everything you need. You will need to purchase one of the following Moddbox-Lasota tuning services prior to proceeding (if you haven’t already).
- SCT X4 and Online Tuning Service Package (includes SCT X4 flash unit and tuning services)
- Online Tuning Service Package (only includes tuning services)
Once the tuning service and the flash tuner has been purchased, email or call Don Lasota at firstname.lastname@example.org and notify him when you plan to do your tuning (he is in Eastern Standard Time). Once you have notified him, proceed to install your MAF adapter (or upgraded MAF) and injectors to your modified vehicle. Once these have been installed, you should not start your vehicle until instructed to do so by this manual (the Moddbox MAF adapter installation instructions, see the Moddbox MAF adapter product info page).
COLLECT & SUBMIT YOUR VEHICLES INFORMATION:
Use your SCT X4 (or other) flash unit and obtain your vehicle’s strategy code as follows (do not rely on the physical code on your ecu since it may have been re-flashed by your dealer):
- Plug your SCT X4 into your OBDII plug (under your driver-side dash)
- Turn your ignition key to on (do not start)
- Once your SCT X4 is powered up, navigate to “vehicle info”>”continue”
- Scroll down and you will be given your VIN, COMM, and ECUStrategy.
- Write down your the ECU Strategy code. You will need this to fill out the form in the next step.
Use your laptop and internet browser and navigate to tuning data submission link. Complete your personal and vehicle information. You are encouraged to request any other “tweaks” you might want such as idle speed adjustment, shift rpms, emissions equipment activation/disabling, traction control enabling/disabling, etc (Note: some provinces and states regulate the enabling/disabling of some components of your system. You are responsible to be in conformance of any and all appropriate laws).
- yournameYRmodel m_dd_yy.cef (X4 start tune file)
- yourname model.cf4 (laptop LiveLink config file)
SETUP YOUR COMPUTER, FLASH TUNER, AND UPLOAD YOUR TUNE FILE
Now that you have your “start tune” files, go to the SCT website download page and download the following two programs:
- SCT X4 Power Flash Ford Programmer Device Update Software
- SCT X4 Power Flash Ford Programmer NEW! Live Link GEN II Data Logging Software
Install the SCTDevice updater software :
- Right-click on the “SCTDeviceUpdater.exe” file and select “run as administrator”
- Follow the installation prompts and complete the installation
- There should now be an “SCT Device Updater” link on you desktop
Install the Live Link Gen II software:
- Right-click on the “LiveLink_GenII.exe” file and select “run as administrator”
- Follow the installation prompts and complete the installation
- There should now be an “SCT Device Updater” link on you desktop
Update your X4 SCT unit:
- Plug you X4 unit into your computer using the provided USB cable. Give it a few moments to allow your computer to recognize the device.
- Open the SCT Device Updater software by double-clicking the “SCT Device Updater” link on your desktop.
- Proceed to click “Automatically Check for Updates” .
- If updates are available, then update your device.
Upload your tune files to the X4:
- Open the SCT Device Updater Software (if it’s not open already)
- Select “Load Custom Tune File”
- Select your file named “yournameYRmodel m_dd_yy.cef” and click “open”
- Select the “>>” arrow to place the file “On Device”
- Click the “program” button and the program will take a momement to write the file to the X4
- You should read “Custom Tune Programming Complete”. Exit the program and remove your X4.
UPLOAD YOUR SCT TUNE TO YOUR VEHICLE
Connect your SCT X4 to your vehicle.
- Plug your SCT X4 device into your OBDII plug using the provided OBDII cable (located under your dash below your steering wheel)
- Wait for the X4 to start-up and select “program vehicle” (use the “dot” button).
- Select “continue”.
- Turn on your ignition to “on” and do not start your vehicle. Select “continue”.
- Scroll down to the desired tune file (added in a previous step) and select it.
- Under the “program vehicle heading” a long list of items will come up. The items may seem to be empty, however, these options are only optional adjustments to the programming provided in the file. Select “approve” (use the side arrow button and “dot” button).
- The tune summary list will come up and should say “Options: Default Options”. Select “continue”.
- Turn your key to the “off” position.
- Turn your key back to the “on” position and do not start your vehicle.
- The SCT X4 will now start to program your vehicle with the new tune. Wait until your reach 100% and the unit indicates that it is complete.
- Turn your key to “off” and remove your key. Your tune is now uploaded.
CONNECT YOUR WIDEBAND O2 SENSOR TO YOUR SCT FOR LOGGING
Leave your SCT unit connected to your OBDII plug. Add the PLX wideband O2 Sensor to your SCT as follows. For information on how to install your PLX AFR Sensor, see the product information page (simplified for moddbox customers) or consult the installation manual provided with the product:
- Obtain your Moddbox SCT Livewire to PLX Molex Cable and plug the Molex connector with the orange wire into the back of the PLX module as illustrated by the “2” label below (either the orange wire or the red wire).
- Connect the other end of the Moddbox cable to the SCT X4 via the 6-pin male firewire connector (plugs into the top of your X4 SCT device).
Setup your SCT X4 handheld to recognize the PLX analog signal (only needed if you want to display your AFR signal on your SCT device while the PLX gauge is not plugged in during logging):
- On your SCT X4, navigate to “Gauges/Datalog” and select it.
- Two default sensors will be displayed by default (usually rpm or coolant temp). Using the down arrow, highlight one and select it.
- Highlight the “Item” and change it from the default (probably coolant temp) to “Analog IN 8 – Orange Firewire”
- Highlight the “Equation” and change it from the default to “PLX”.
- Now you can display this on your SCT X4 device while you are logging.
LAPTOP SETUP AND CONNECT (for first log):
- Be sure everything is connected and your laptop has good battery life. Caution: This will take several minutes to setup, so be sure you are in a well-ventilated area.
- Open up Live Link software using “LiveLink_GenII” link on your desktop
- Select “I want to data log my vehicle”
- Click “Next”
- Turn your key and start the engine. While you set it up, your vehicle will be getting up to operating temperature.
- Click “Next”
- If prompted, click “Check Communication”. Once it has connected, select “vehicle Info”. A screen will come up with your vehicle’s info.
- Select the bullet “Validate all PIDs in list”
- Click the “PID” button to show available PIDs. Under the “ANALOGS” heading, check off the “Analog In 8- Orange FireWire”. You now have your custom analog PLX O2 PID added.
- To now add the rest of your vehicle’s PIDs (from your OBDII connection), click on the “Load Config” button. Answer “yes” to the merge items prompt.
- The program will prompt you to load a file. Navigate to the “yourname model.cf4” file you had downloaded earlier with your tune file (this is a pre-configured list of PIDs we need to tune your vehicle). Select that file and click “ok”. This will check-off/select all the custom PIDs we need to log for tuning.
- Click the “Tools” tab at the top-left of the page. Click on the icon along the top panel called “Equations”. Use the pull-down list and select “PLX” then click the “green arrow” to apply the equation to the “Analog Input 8” (orange wire).
- Click the “Home” tab to return to the PID list.
- Click the icon with the green check-mark to show just the PIDs we have selected.
- Click “save config” and save over your .cf4 file for future logging (so you don’t have to add the PLX AFR analog PID again on your next log).
- Select “configure data log”. A new logging window will pop up. You are now ready to log.
COLLECTING 1ST DATA LOGS (IDLE & FREE REVS):
- Once your vehicle is up to operating temperature (should still be running), select the green “START” icon. The logger is now logging your first log. Log ONLY your vehicle idling for approximately 2 minutes. Click “Stop”.
- Save the file as <your initials>idle.
- Now it’s time to do the second log. Start logging again and do free revs holding at 1500 RPMs, for 20-30 seconds, then go to 2000, then 2500, then 3000. Don’t worry if it won’t stay at that exact RPM, just hold the rpm where it will stay steady. Stop the log. Then save it as <your initials>freerev.
- email the two log files to email@example.com for adjustment.
Upload new file to your vehicle:
- The new tune file will be updated and returned to you via email. Download and save the tune and upload it to your SCT device as before using the “SCT Device Updater” software.
- Connect the X4 to your vehicle and upload the file to your ecu. Proceed with the next log.
COLLECTING 2nd DATA LOG (LOADED REVS):
- Open the SCT Livelink software and connect to your vehicle as you did in previous steps. Start the vehicle when you are ready to go, let it get to temperature, then start logging.
- A dyno is the best place for this, but many people do this on the street with a helper – we do not advise this for safety reasons, but it is your choice.
- Get the vehicle to temp, let it run 2 minutes, then start the log. Get it in 2nd gear, and S-L-O-W-L-Y give it gas until you hit 3000 rpms. Save the log as <your initials> loadedrevs. Email the files to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the logs look good, you will be given the go-ahead to do the next log. If it needs adjustment, wait for the file to be revised and load it to your SCT flash unit.
COLLECTING 3rd DATA LOG (WOT)
- Finally, it’s time to do your WOT run. This should be done on the dyno for safety. However, many people prefer to do this on the track or street. If you choose not to do it on the dyno, proceed at your own risk.
- Start the vehicle, allow it to warm and wait 2 minutes before logging. Be sure the wideband is running. For WOT, go to the highest gear (non-OD) and go to WOT. If you decide you can do this on the street, you should use 2nd gear to keep it safer.
- If – after allowing a second or two for wideband lag – the sensor is reading that it is running too lean (>12.0 AFR ), STOP IMMEDIATELY. Also, STOP IMMEDIATELY if your hear ping or pre-detonation. If you see black/grey smoke at higher RPMs you should also STOP IMMEDIATELY (silent detonation). Let us know if this happens and submit your log and we will adjust your tune accordingly. If it’s a clean run, save the LiveLink file at <your intials>WOT. It may take a few runs to dial it in.
Please try to keep the file concise without a lot of extraneous data such as driving around on the logs. Also, on subsequent files you send, add a number to them so we can keep track of them (<filename>2 etc.) In any email response to us, please sign it with your full name, as we deal with a large number of different clients and we would not want to send the wrong file by mistake.
She’s dialed :) We hope your tuning experience has been a pleasant one. Please email us if you have suggestions to better manual. Have fun with your entirely new driving experience!