Tuner newbie - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 1 Week Ago Thread Starter
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Tuner newbie

Hi all, I've been looking into tuners for my 2012 Mustang V6. I am not much of a gearhead and my car is completely stock. Are there any downsides to using a tuner? For example, does it cause problems with maintenance or taking it in to the shop, can it be untuned and returned to stock, etc.? Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 1 Week Ago
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You can return it back to stock anytime you want to. Unless you have a lot of bolt on performance parts (like I do) then you can't return back to stock. Most people with the v6 (like I do) use Bama or MPT tunes. My MPT tune took around 1/2 second off my 0 to 60 times when the only mod was the tune.


I must add: I've been running tunes on my 2011 v6 since August 2010 with no problems at all


'Little Red'. 2011 V-6 Mustang. Automatic <acronym title="transmission">Trans</acronym>. C&L C.A.I. Ceramic Coated BBK Long Tube Headers and Catted Shorty X-Pipe. Magnaflow Street Series Axle Backs. 3.73 rear gears. GT 500 Lower Control Arms. JLT Catch Can. Axle Exchange Aluminum Drive Shaft. Steeda Watts Link. Several more mods...1991 F150 4X4 61,000 miles. Wifes car, 2014 Ford Edge Limited.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 1 Week Ago
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There are two basic reasons for a tune:

1) adjust the computer settings/calibrations for modifications -- for example if you change the intake to an aftermarket one that has a bigger tube than stock, the computer needs to be corrected for the diameter of the tube. If you do a modification that requires a modified tune, then you cannot return the tune to stock or the car will not run right (unless you also return that modification to stock).

2) to improve performance by using some of the "safety factor" that is built in to the factory tune -- an example is advancing the timing . . . this can be reversed by flashing the computer back to stock. The added performance is gained by using up some of the margin of safety that is built in from the factory; this puts the engine closer to unsafe condition but should not be a problem if it does not cross the line. Potential problems can arise if you do something that the tune was not designed for; for example if you have a tune that is written for 93 octane and you put 87 octane gas in the tank, you could get some really bad pinging (also called detonation or knocking) which can be harmful to the engine if severe enough.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 1 Week Ago
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One worry some have is that Ford will blame the tune for voiding their warranties. But since you're running a 2012, that is probably not anything you need to worry about.


A tune WILL make your engine perform better, and you'll definitely feel the difference. (Even better than a canned tune from someone like Lund, would be a custom tune designed around your car's specific parameters.)

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 1 Week Ago Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies! Does anyone have experience with the Bama tuners from American Muscle? I'll search the forums too.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stang2010 View Post
. . . Does anyone have experience with the Bama tuners from American Muscle? I'll search the forums too.
yes, a lot of us do; and that search should turn up a LOT of posts on the subject, hope you have some time on your hands . . . you can learn a lot from all those threads, my brief summary:

> AM/Bama sells the SCT tuners, as well as other tuners -- the tuner device is the same as you can buy from others

> AM/Bama includes their "custom tunes" based on the basic information that you provide to them about your car . . . these are "remote" tunes so they can only be as good as the information that is provided to them; a true "custom" tune requires someone to look at your car on a dyno

> "back in the day" the Bama tunes were said to be pretty good; lately there have been a lot more complaints about them . . . I had their tunes in my 2010 with no problems, but others have reported problems

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stang2010 View Post
Thanks for the replies! Does anyone have experience with the Bama tuners from American Muscle? I'll search the forums too.
Yes, I ran Bama on my Mustang for a while. My overall experience for the time I was running Bama's performance and race tunes was positive. I know there are quite a few negative experiences out there, especially on the SVT performance forum, but thankfully my Mustang was done right. That being said the performance tune was good, but the race tune was far better in quality for both power and driveability. IMO Bama is fine as long as you plan to keep the mod's on your Mustang light. When I slapped a supercharger on my Mustang I was forced to swap from Bama to a new tuner. For whatever reasons Bama decided to stop providing tunes for forced induction so they are more limited in what they tune for these days.

I ended up swapping to VMP, one of the most reputable tuners out there in the USA. From my talks with manufacturers when I was doing my mustang for boost there were a set of 4 names that usually popped up quick. My recommendation would be to buy a tune from someone more reputable than Bama. Again, my experience was positive with Bama, but I can't recommend them as the best tuning option for any level of tuning. My recommendation would be looking into VMP, AED or Lund. Make sure to get an OBD II tuner box (SCT for example) as it makes changing tunes or reverting to stock easy.
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