Performance chips


#1

I have a Dodge Ram 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 5 speed trany.

I have heard that I could increase the performance and gas mileage if I would chip my computer.

What is your opinion. Thanks Johnmcj


#2

Possibly at the expense of engine longevity/reliability. Typically performance increase = increase in fuel consumption.


#3

Actually, you no longer ‘chip’ the computer. Pre-1996, a lot of ECM’s used factory-programmed EPROMS that needed to be removed to be reprogrammed. Now, all ODB-II ECM’s use flash-programmable EEPROMS that can be re-programmed through the diagostics port. The programmers you are referring to simpy re-program the computer.

However, the programs offered do increase power and performance at the expense of engine longevity and fuel mileage. I heard Hypertech offers a good unit.


#4

The program changes if you constantly beat your car to give you more power for that type of driving. Just keep driving it hard and it will respond well.


#5

The programmer that I am checking out is the hypertech one. I have talked to Chrysler, they would even do the program update if you wanted to pay them. I was also told that it will not affect the warrenty on the truck.
I have been told that if you keep your foot out of that extra power the fuel mpg will go ut 2-5 miles per gallon. At this time, highway driving, set on 2000 rpm which equals 72-74 miles an hour my truck gets 18-19.
At times pulling a trailor the extra power could be a good thing.
What are your opinions.
thanks John


#6

I was also told that it will not affect the warrenty on the truck.

I would want that in writing.


#7

There are chips that increase performance but you can’t get anything for nothing. I seriously doubt if a performance chip will even give you the same mileage. I once wrote the Chrysler Performance Dept. for info on getting more power from my car. Lots of info but also a warning that fuel consumption would increase. Gas will be going to $4.00/gal in the fuuture, and you may not be able to afford to drive your existing vehicle. Please refer to the post on Fuel Economy. A hemi in a truck has enough performance; as posted before, increased performance will decrease engine life and also make your vehicle less safe to handle.


#8

A hemi in a truck has enough performance

Enough… performance… what?! :slight_smile:


#9

It would be great if it comes up with Chrysler/factory guarantee. Usually every car manufacturer have several versions of ECU/data that’s been developed for different purposes and “demonstration versions” also exist in order to impress reporters/journalists at the test ride. IMHO, not only the best or second best compromise, Chrysler may provide you this option with limited warranty.

As for performance chips, no ideas what kind of test-mode/tools/analyzer those guys are using so I cannot comment on that.


#10

You are getting great gas mileage and performance. You don’t want to put extra strain on the truck. It’s just a road, not a race track after all. There are more things to consider than power. Remember to slow down before you start going downhill. There are trucks on the road that have a lot less power than what you are driving. If you aren’t already 25 years old; try to be careful enough to live until then. In any case; consider a review of your decision-making process. If I tried harder when I was young, I would have made much better decisions, and I would be really rich by now.


#11

coughRamSRT-10cough


#12

“I have been told that if you keep your foot out of that extra power the fuel mpg will go ut 2-5 miles per gallon”

Hmmm…Let’s see. According to whomever you have been speaking with, Chrysler COULD have produced their trucks with:

More power
and
Better fuel economy
with
No downside in terms of engine longevity

Or, in other words, Chrysler made a conscious decision to market a vehicle that had less power AND worse fuel economy than it was possible to produce. If that is really the case, then Chrysler makes some really bad marketing decisions.

Or, more likely, the people to whom you have been speaking don’t know what they are talking about. You might want to ask those people if they would like to buy a bridge that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan. I am selling it really cheaply right now.


#13

A couple of thoughts:
1: I see many “performance chip maker” web sites claim their chip will not void the auto manufacturer’s warranty. That may be true. However, if you have a problem with your car while it’s under warranty, I believe it’s under every auto manufacturer’s right to expect you to restore the factory programming - at your cost - before they look at it. I too would want anything in writing up front.

2: In just about every car today, the air-fuel mixture can be richened by 10% to give you better gas mileage and power (yes, both mileage and power). That 110% of chemically correct stoichiometric mixutre was the norm for all cars prior to 1971. I’m sure the performance chip makers need to make sure the tailpipe meets emission requirements, so I don’t know if or how much of that 10% they use. The government mandated auto makers run a chemically correct mixture. I wouldn’t be surprised if perf chip makers had to abide by that too.

3: Listen closely to the many replies already posted in this thread, as many offer ‘big picture’ perspectives. However I, like many others, remember all too well the days when I would eagerly spend my hard earned money chasing various aftermarket parts to give my cars that ‘extra edge’.

If you do install a perf chip, please let us know your experience with it.

Joe


#14

Yeah, the SRT-10 is a nice base to start off from, but there’s a lot of potential there…

Here’s what I’d say, having been on the periphery of Ford late-model performance for a while. A “cookie cutter” performance PCM reflash will get you some extra horsies, probably with no real impact to reliability or longevity. But you’ll pay a price for it, and it’s that you’ll probably be running premium fuel to keep it from knocking.

People seem to think that a PCM recalibration involves some mystic fuel injection system voodoo that automatically “puts strain on the motor”. Well, chip tuners do the same thing that hot rod tuners have been doing for YEARS, and that’s simply creating a more aggressive timing advance curve, and adding more fuel in the right places. (Or as it used to be known, recurving the distributor and jetting the carb.) Those are the two basic things that get you your extra power. Because of the extra timing, you usually have to run high-octane fuel.

But I’ll say this: if you really want a good performance tune, get in good with a Mopar club near you, and find out when they’ll be doing a dyno tune session. They’ll get your truck up on the dyno rollers, give it a few passes with it hooked up to the computer, and they’ll be able to see exactly what’s going on under the hood. Everything from battery voltage to fuel mixture in the exhaust stream. Then they’ll tweak the stock calibration with a known-good performance calibration that they’ve developed, and probably tailor it to any little nuances that your truck has. That is hands-down the way I’d go about getting a performance calibration.


#15

To start I want to thank all for your knowledge and opinions about my questions. I am not so apted reprogram my truck at this time. I will do more research though.
I thought that the question about my age was cute. I am a young 59.
The thought was to make sure that if I purchased the 5th wheel trailor my wife and I are looking at, that my truck would have the power to go anywhere.
I am also thinking about upgrading to a diesel motor in a Dodge 2500.
thanks again to all.
later John


#16

You’d probably be better off upgrading to a diesel if you plan on towing the 5th wheel often. If it’s just a couple weekends a year, then go with what you’ve already got


#17

Agree. A friend of mine has a 5th wheel trailer and tows it very nicely with a Ford F150 “heavy 1/2 ton”. His engine is the regular Ford pushrod V8. Your hemi is a lot more powerful and has better torque as well. Unless you are doing a lot of mountain driving, I believe the standard engine is OK.


#18

Since you are over 25 I will mention that an article in a truck magazine said that the Ford V-10 gave near-diesel perfrormance. The only drawback would be the gas mileage. And as a bonus I will say that you can get more power from a chip. An engine failure probably won’t bust your budget and you may be in good shape as far as budgets are concerned. You aren’t planning on losing the original chip so I won’t say…you know. Those diesel magazines I looked at a few hours ago have a surprising LOT of performance parts.


#19

yeah, diesel trucks are getting a ton of aftermarket parts for them. Those power programmers(not actually a chip, but a code reader/changer) claim up to 150 ft-lbs torque gain from using their programmer. I think some of the modern ones also doouble as a code reader so you don’t hafta waste a trip to Autozone or your mechanic to have the codes read.