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Discussion Starter #1
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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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 :)
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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. . . 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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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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Thanks everyone for the replies. I ended up going with the SCT Bama tuner from American Muscle because it seemed the most user-friendly for an inexperienced tuner like me. It has definitely pepped up my 2012 V6.
Happy to hear you are enjoying your tune!

For the sake of transparency for those who may search this topic down the road I figure I would expound on the user friendly portion based off my own experience. The main difference is that when you buy a Bama tune it comes on the SCT box with the two tunes preloaded. This makes it plug and play from the start as you don't have to put the tunes on the SCT box yourself. If you buy VMP, AED or some other reputable tuner then you have an extra step. You have to use the software that comes with the SCT box to put the tune(s) onto the box from your pc. To be fair this is more of a convenience factor than user friendliness. Both tunes upload the same exact way once on the SCT box (OBD II) and putting a tune on an SCT box is not hard as there are countless detailed youtube videos out there for even the most novice of users. Hopefully I don't come off as a jerk, just merely expounding for future clarity.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Happy to hear you are enjoying your tune!

For the sake of transparency for those who may search this topic down the road I figure I would expound on the user friendly portion based off my own experience. The main difference is that when you buy a Bama tune it comes on the SCT box with the two tunes preloaded. This makes it plug and play from the start as you don't have to put the tunes on the SCT box yourself. If you buy VMP, AED or some other reputable tuner then you have an extra step. You have to use the software that comes with the SCT box to put the tune(s) onto the box from your pc. To be fair this is more of a convenience factor than user friendliness. Both tunes upload the same exact way once on the SCT box (OBD II) and putting a tune on an SCT box is not hard as there are countless detailed youtube videos out there for even the most novice of users. Hopefully I don't come off as a jerk, just merely expounding for future clarity.
I bought a tuner with two custom tunes from AmericanMuscle.com. The tuner is a Bama-branded SCT X4/SF4. I was emailed the tune files and I had to copy them to the tuner myself.
 

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I bought a tuner with two custom tunes from AmericanMuscle.com. The tuner is a Bama-branded SCT X4/SF4. I was emailed the tune files and I had to copy them to the tuner myself.
My tuner is branded 'Evolution Performance', but I have loaded tunes from MPT and Steeda into it. You can use other email tune makers into it as long as they are made for 'your' Mustang :)
 

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I bought a tuner with two custom tunes from AmericanMuscle.com. The tuner is a Bama-branded SCT X4/SF4. I was emailed the tune files and I had to copy them to the tuner myself.
Back in 2015 I don't recall receiving e-tunes that needed to be added but that was a while ago. My mistake for not remembering correctly lol. I did search my email and located an email from Bama letting me know my box was programmed and shipped.. It does have a link on how to upload tunes to your box. Since you had to upload your tunes to the box then to the car what was the deciding factor for Bama being more user friendly for inexperienced users over someone else? Not trying to come off wrong, just genuinely curious.

My tuner is branded 'Evolution Performance', but I have loaded tunes from MPT and Steeda into it. You can use other email tune makers into it as long as they are made for 'your' Mustang :)
My bama sct box holds my VMP SC tunes just fine :)
 

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Question re: tunes. For the V6 with only a modded suspension the Bama (and others) claim ~20 hp and ~25 ft/lb increases. Is this noticeable and worth the 400 bucks?
 

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Question re: tunes. For the V6 with only a modded suspension the Bama (and others) claim ~20 hp and ~25 ft/lb increases. Is this noticeable and worth the 400 bucks?
I don't have a v6, but many people state that tuning a v6 is certainly worth it. For me personally, tuning is a must in terms of modifying. I have tuned every car I own because it makes a difference. Usually the difference is the entire power band gains and drivability. If memory serves me correctly those numbers are at the wheel, so yes you will feel ~20whp and 25tq. Obviously the more bolt ons you put onto your car the more power you will get from the tune.
 

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Question re: tunes. For the V6 with only a modded suspension the Bama (and others) claim ~20 hp and ~25 ft/lb increases. Is this noticeable and worth the 400 bucks?
if those numbers are real, then that would be a very good "bang for the buck" mod -- hard to beat $20/HP

but I would not count on those numbers . . . maybe, maybe not . . . I'd spend the money just for fun, if it makes a noticeable difference then that is a bonus, don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed ;-)
 
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