(approx) 15 Minutes
Simple installation for anyone.
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Hey guys. Adam here with americantrucks.com and today we're taking a closer look at, installing and of course, dyno testing the Bama X4/SF4 Power Flash Tuner by SCT with two custom tunes available for the 2017-2018 5.0 liter F-150. You should be checking out the Bama tunes here with the X4 advice if you're looking for an easy-to-use handheld custom tuner with two tunes that are made specifically for your truck. You can expect a horsepower and torque gain, whether you're using the 87 or 93 race tune from Bama. And, of course, you can expect a better fuel mileage with the 87 option and a number of other features to take advantage of with the convenient X4 device. Now, before we jump into all the details of the tunes and the device features, what do you say we head right on over to our dyno and get to work on the results?So, we strapped our 2018 5.0 liter F-150 down to the dyno to establish a baseline run before tuning it to our Bama 93 octane. Keep in mind guys, it's got 35-inch all-terrains on it. It's got 93 octane in the tank, and we did do our pull in fifth gear as opposed to the seventh gear 1:1 ratio. Now, to establish our baseline run, we walked away with 325 horsepower and 334-pound feet of torque at the rear wheels. We then, of course, uploaded our 93 tune from Bama and ran again under the same conditions, walked away with 341 horsepower and 350-pound feet of torque at the rear wheels. Good for peak gains of 16 horsepower and 16 torque at the rear. Now, under the curve, it gets even better. We're seeing curve gains of as much as 39 horsepower and 54 torque, and we're seeing those at the rear wheels at the low to mid-range right around 3,700 RPMs. And guys, that's exactly where you want this to be on these big trucks, especially with larger wheels and tires, it can start to feel sluggish. So, getting this additional torque down low to the mid-range is really gonna make a difference in drivability and acceleration.Taking a closer look at those tunes here from Bama Performance, you can expect an 87 octane option, which is great for the daily driver out there looking to keep fuel economy in mind, while also getting a slightly better throttle response and acceleration. Now, on the day-to-day commute, you might not need all of the horsepower and torque from a 93 octane tune, and you might not be looking to spend the bigger bucks on the higher octane pump fuel. Now, what you might be interested in is just a truck that feels a lot more alive, something that is a little bit more fun and a little bit more enjoyable, and you might be looking to alter your speedometer to account for larger wheels and tires. You might be looking to alter your gear ratio if you have upgraded gears. Those couple of features you can change to your own personal preference right in the tuning menu itself. Now the 93 race tune is for the guys looking to really maximize the performance of their 5-liter F-150. 93 is gonna take a lot more into consideration like fuel strategies, the torque converter, which will stay locked longer and locked sooner so that you can take advantage of those lower-end gears. Now, you might notice in your F-150 that you race through those earlier gears, first through fourth, and it can really make your truck feel a little bit more sluggish. The Bama Performance tune is gonna take that into consideration and make those lower gears feel a little bit more torquey. That can be especially exacerbated with those larger wheels tires.The drive-by-wire delay is something that's taken into consideration. Now, the drive-by-wire delay is essentially the delay in time between hitting your gas pedal and your truck getting going off the line. Now, with those bigger wheels and tires again, that can feel a lot worse. Having that altered in your Bama Performance tune here is gonna make your truck feel a whole lot better. You're also gonna get a better daily driver mode. Your tow-haul mode is gonna have a lot more low-end torque there to make towing and hauling a lot easier on your truck as well. Now, anytime you pick up a Bama Tune paired with a device like this, you're automatically enrolled in the Free Tunes for Life program. What that basically means is any time that you need a tune revised or rewritten, you can have it done for free from Bama. What that means is anytime you add a cold air intake, a cat-back exhaust, or any power adders, you can have them factor that into the tune to maximize the performance of your new bolt-on for free, no extra charge. That is a huge value built into this tune because that can cost up to $150 for future revisions from other options out there. So, that's something to keep in mind for ease of use in the future. We all know we're never done building our trucks, so it's something to take advantage of.The device is gonna come in at right around $500, and the install is gonna get one out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. Anybody can tackle this in the driveway at home with about 30 minutes from start to finish. I'm gonna walk you through every single step of that process, starting with how to tune your truck, then we're gonna move into the features. Let's get started.First thing's first guys, grab your X4 device along with the wiring harness included in the kit. We're gonna plug the bigger end into our OBD2 port located under our driver side dashboard. If you take a look at your e-brake and go to the right of that and straight down, you'll be able to locate it. So, you're just gonna plug this guy right in. And the other end plugs right into the top of the X4. Now, we can hop in and get to work.All right guys, once you have your device plugged into the OBD2 port right under the driver side dash, plug the other end into your device, it'll boot up right to the main menu. And I wanna take you guys straight into the tuning process. So, from the main menu, select "PROGRAM VEHICLE," hit "CONTINUE" on your "STREET NOTICE." Make sure your key is in the on position, but don't start the engine and press "CONTINUE." From here, select your custom tune. Now, you'll have three options. We're focusing on the 93 octane one. So, that's all we have loaded right now. You're gonna select that or select, you know, whichever tune you would like to go with at this point. But we're going with that. You also wanna, you know, take in mind that you can adjust some of the parameters, things like tire revs/mile, axle ratio, speed limiter, rev limiter, so on and so forth. There are a number of different options to play with. We're gonna leave it exactly as is from 5 Star, so we're just gonna hit "APPROVE" right on that tune. You can press "CONTINUE" on those "SPECIAL OPTIONS." All right. Press "NEXT." "DID YOU CHANGE YOUR TIRE SIZE?" So, we did. We have 35s on, so we're just gonna input 35 which is, you know, you just wanna select it in inches, so, 35s, press "DONE" or change it to whatever you have, if you have anything other than stock, then press "CONTINUE." Key is in the on position, it'll automatically load. It's gonna save your stock tune, you know, from the factory to your device. So, if you ever wanna revert back to stock, it'll be there for you. Let it load zero to 100 as many times as it needs to. You're really just not turning the key off and not unplugging the device at all throughout this entire process, and we'll come back at the end.All right. From here, we're gonna turn the key off. Wait until it directs you otherwise. Key back on. All right. Once it's done clearing those codes, "DOWNLOAD COMPLETE," you can hit "DONE," and you're good to go.All right. Now, I wanna take you through some of the other features of the X4 here. And "PROGRAM VEHICLE," we talked about. Under that, you'll see "GAUGES/DATALOG." Now, what this allows you to do is to take advantage of gauges on the screen itself without needing any other gauge pods, no other devices. All you wanna do is make sure you're selecting the right configuration. So, we're gonna go "FORD GAS 08 NEWER," and we're gonna press "CONTINUE." What that's gonna do is start off with a proper configuration in order to track live engine vitals like intake temp, coolant temp, air-fuel ratio, voltage, boosts, so on and so forth. And it's really just gonna be a useful tool for anyone looking to, you know, keep track of the stuff on the fly. If you have a windshield mount or something like that, you can really take advantage of this. So, as you can see right off the bat, we have two start off gauges. We'll see "BOOST IN PSI" and "CONTROL MODULE VOLTAGE," but you know, say you wanna change that. You don't wanna track boost. We're gonna track "INTAKE AIR TEMP." Select it, hit "APPROVE," and it changes that up. Now, the cool thing is you can track up to eight different vitals at once. So, if you go to the right, you have these different options here, you can select "GAUGE LAYOUT" and say we wanna track eight. This is gonna be the largest one, the most data at once. Now it's tracking a number of things, but again, you can just select any one you want, change it up. If you wanna do air-fuel bank 2, "APPROVE," and it replaces that gauge. Really useful stuff, and you can always start recording this data if you wanna communicate that back to your tuner, like 5 Star, or you can save it for yourself if you're doing some work and you wanna just track that performance along the way. You can always do that. Now, we can hit "STOP DATALOG," it'll take you back to the main menu. So, useful stuff there."VEHICLE FUNCTIONS" under that. You can read and clear DTC codes, which are diagnostic trouble codes, otherwise your check engine light. So, the light comes on, you can plug this device in without needing another one. No need to go to AutoZone or anything like that. You can plug it in, read the code, get a description, and you can clear it as well. So, really useful stuff there as well. So, "VEHICLE FUNCTION." Under that, "VEHICLE FUNCTION" and "DEVICE INFO" kind of go hand-in-hand. Vehicle info is gonna be like your VIN number or your ECU strategy code, and your device info is your serial number, software, firmware versions, your marriage status, your unlocks left, things like that. All the information you'll need when requesting any new tunes.Finally, "DEVICE SETTINGS." "WIFI" and "CHECK FOR UPDATES" go hand in hand. You have WiFi access. If you're connected to a WiFi network, which you can do right here, you can then check for updates wirelessly without needing to plug your device into a laptop or a computer. You can adjust normal things like brightness for day and night times. You can change the orientation from portrait to landscape. You can change your theme colors. There's red, blue and dark. So, blue and red are the same, pretty much just swaps out the reds for the blues. Dark changes and pretty much inverts it. Now, going back, you can go down and change a couple of light sensors and management modes. "STARTUP FUNCTION" is actually useful for anyone tracking the gauges screen every day or, you know, more often than not. If you have that windshield mount, you can make this so that when it's plugged in, and it boots up, it goes right to the gauge menu. So, that's useful. Under that, you can do a factory reset and turn off your demo mode. Hit "EXIT," and that's your X4.Well guys, that's gonna wrap up my review and install for the Bama Performance X4/SF4 Power Flash Tuner with two custom tunes available for your 2017-18 5.0 liter F-150. You can get yours exclusively right here at americantrucks.com.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
Performance / Towing (87-93 Octane) - The Performance/Towing Tune offers a seamless blend of power and performance that will improve the overall driving experience of your F-150. This tune improves vehicle acceleration and increases power throughout the entire RPM band. The revised transmission settings will provide more aggressive shifts. This tune is suggested for the day to day daily driver, who is concerned about low end power for towing, as well as performance for passing on the highway. This tune is available for 87, 89, 91 and 93 octane levels.
Economy (87-93 Octane) - The Economy Tune is designed for fuel savings just as the name implies. This Tune is for those F-150 owners who are concerned about fuel economy and want to increase gas mileage, but still want better than factory performance. This tune is available for 87, 89, 91 and 93 octane levels.
**Please Note: The SCT SF4/X4 Power Flash Tuner ships blank from AmericanTrucks, the custom tune files will be emailed directly to the end user within 2-3 business days from Bama Performance. Heavily modified vehicles are not tunable with a mail order tune. Click for restrictions. Membership in the Tunes for Life program is valid for as long as you own the vehicle that was originally tuned and is non-transferrable.
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(approx) 15 Minutes
Simple installation for anyone.
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