(approx) 20 Minutes
Simple installation for anyone.
Hey guys, Adam here with americantrucks.com. And today, we're taking a closer look at, installing, and dyno testing, the Bully Dog GT Platinum Tuner, available for the '11 to '14 5.0 liter F150. Now, before we jump into all the details of the tuner itself and all the cool features built into this very compact device, what do you say we head right on over to the dyno graph to take a look at the results of our preloaded tune. So, we have our '13 5.0 strapped down to the dyno 35-inch tires on it, 93 octane in the tank. We did our poles in third gear, one-to-one gear ratio. We walked away with a baseline of 276 horsepower, 297 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. Then uploaded our premium preloaded tune on our GT Platinum tuner. Walked away with 286 horsepower, 305-pound feet of torque at the rear wheels. That's good for peak gains of 9 horsepower and 8 pound-feet of torque. Now, under the curve, we're seeing as much as 12 horsepower and 12 torque gains at the rear wheels, which is gonna make a difference to driveability. With a preloaded tune, you can expect gains in that high single-digit, low double-digit gains there. And the curve gains are really what's gonna make that difference to driveability with these bigger wheels and tires. Seeing those gains at the low to mid-range can make the truck feel a lot less sluggish and a little bit more alive. So, like I said, this is a preloaded tuner, the GT platinum tuner. It comes with that preloaded option that gives you a number of parameters that you can change to really get the most out of your vehicle without going with a more expensive custom tune.Now, this device here comes with a stock, tow-haul, or economy option along with a regular gas 87 and your premium 91 and 93 tune option. Within each of those preloaded tunes, you can go ahead and change a couple of different parameters. Things like your tire size to correct your speedometer because anytime you add larger wheels and tires, like our 35s here, your speedometer can be off up to about 7 to 10 miles per hour. That gets corrected in your preloaded tune while setting your tire size properly. You can also change a number of other things such as your speed limiter. Now, in those tunes, again, you're gonna be maximizing your vehicle's performance by changing those octane levels and a number of other parameters to get more out of it. You're definitely gonna feel a better throttle response and acceleration with your truck. And as you saw from our dyno graph, you get a small bump in horsepower and torque while you're at it. Now, this device is really gonna be for the guys out there who not only want those options but also wanna take advantage of a compact device that's great for tracking live engine vitals on the fly. The main menu that you're immediately booted up to is the gauges screen. You have four gauges displayed on the left side along with a more detailed option on the right. And all of those parameters are customizable to your liking. You have things like intake air temperature, map sensor, you can change it to the coolant temp, RPM gauge, speedometer.You can even track the economy with those gauges. And within that, you also have the ability to set economy goals. To keep that in mind, you can definitely feel and see a miles per gallon difference when using the tow or economy option there as well. Now, inside of that, you also have performance tracking. You can track things like your zero to a hundred times. You can also set a race tree if you're hitting the strip. There are course options in there. So, this is really for guys looking to have a little bit more fun with their engine parameters, track that on the fly, have it within arms reach, and really want something that can mount to a windshield mount Included in the kit. You also have special functions such as diagnostics. If the check engine light comes on, you can read and clear those diagnostic trouble codes right on the device so you can get your description, see what's going on, and get rid of that check engine light, which you would normally need a separate OBD2 tool for, or you would have to take it to your local shop. Now, that's all built into this device and it's extremely easy to use. Now, this one can hold up to 10 custom tunes, so if in the future you decide you wanna upgrade your tune, really get more out of your truck, you can hold up to 10 custom ones if you wanna work with a local tuner of your choice. The device comes in right around 450 bucks, so it's a little bit more affordable than a custom handheld tuner such as the Rev-X or the X4 option from SCT.And the install, I'm gonna give one out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. Anybody can tackle this guy in the driveway at home with about 30 minutes from start to finish. I'm gonna show you every step of the process focusing on our preloaded tune, 93 octane to be exact. I'll show you how to modify parameters and I'll walk you through the features. Let's get started. First things first, you wanna grab the power module included in the kit. That is connected to an OBD2 port module. This guy is going to plug right into the OBD2 port, located under the driver's side dash. I am gonna plug that guy in here. And then the other end just goes to the back of your GT Platinum. Now, this stuff, you can talk right under the dash. But for now, what I'm gonna do is just take our windshield mount and clip that into the back here. Now, we can suction [inaudible 00:04:21] to our windshield. All right, you crank that guy down and now it's adjustable to wherever you want. All right, so once you boot up your device, you're gonna be greeted with the main menu. Now, if you haven't already done so on your computer when updating the tuner software, you're going to be prompted to connect the proper configuration. And our case here for the F150, you'll wanna pick your specific vehicle. Once you have that taken care of, you'll be booted to the main menu, which looks like this. Now, the main menu is really just the simple gauge screen. You have four gauges on the left, you have the graph showing up on the right. Currently, the graph isn't populated with anything because that's set to read speed, which, of course, the vehicle is not on.So, there is no speed. So, with that said, you'll be able to customize that. And I'll come back to that in just a little bit. The first thing we wanna jump into right away is actually tuning the vehicle. Now, if you hit the main menu using these buttons on the side, they're sort of touchscreen. They don't actually click in, but they do sense the finger when you press it. So, once you have that selected, one thing I do suggest doing is instead of going right into the install download, shuffle down using the right options to vehicle settings and set your engine size. Now, ours is a 5.0 liter, but from the default, it was set to a 3.5. So, you wanna use these buttons here to adjust displacement. So, once you have that taken care of, you can go back. We're gonna go back one more time and go up to install download. All right, so verify that you have the proper configuration and then, yes, using the top right. All right, so this is basically terms of agreement. So, you're gonna scroll down. Once you scroll all the way to the bottom, select Agree. Now, at this point, it's saying to make sure your battery is in good condition. If you think that you're below 12 volts, you wanna hook it up to a charger here, which is basically what this battery connection here is saying. And then press Continue. All right, so we're gonna hit the key off. Press Continue. Back into the run position and continue again. All right, so here there is one option and its preloaded tune.So, we're gonna select that, key off, press continue. From here, before turning your key back on, you have a couple of options. You can use the right arrows to scroll. So, we have stock, tow, economy, regular, and premium. Stock option is basically similar to the factory tune, although you can go in and alter quite a few parameters, just to alter a couple of things such as tire size and gear ratio. Tow economy is going to optimize towing and hauling. Regular is regular gas, like 87 octanes. And then the premium, of course, is the higher octane, 91 or 93. Now, that's what we wanna focus on. So, I'm gonna go ahead and select Premium. So, once you select Premium, you wanna use the top button to enter. From here, you can go stock. For shift points, you can have performance shift points and you can have custom. So, we're gonna go and select our performance shift points. Press Enter again. Transmission firmness, your performance as well. We're trying to maximize our vehicle's potential here. Now, if we wanna adjust the speed limiter, we can do that here. We're gonna use our stock values for that. We do, however, wanna adjust our tire size. Now, we're running 35 on this, so I'm gonna use these up arrows to increase this to 35. So, it looks like you can take a second here but you can hold it and it'll go a little bit quicker. All right, so this is gonna recap that speedometer as well. So, we'll hit Enter on 35. Axle ratio is stock. So, I'll hit No. And there you have it. So, you just wanna verify everything is correct.We're gonna hit Accept on this guy and it'll prompt you to not unplug the device. You also don't wanna touch the key unless prompted to as well. It's currently building our file. So, once the file compiles all the changes that we made, it'll then save our stock file to the device in case we wanna revert back to stock, and then it will go ahead and upload our tunes. So, just make sure you're not unplugging or turning the key on or off unless prompted to and we'll come back here at the end. All right, so again, just during the dash, gauges might shutter and lights will illuminate. Just make sure to understand that that's normal. Now, we can go into the run position and press Continue. All right, so, now we're gonna turn the key to the off position and press Continue. Wait for 10 seconds and back on, and press Continue. One more time. All right, there you have it. So, it's congratulations. The download is done. You can turn the key off and press Continue to finish. So, that should reboot the device essentially. And take you right back to the main menu, which is essentially going to be your gauges screen. All right, now, I am gonna click our key back on so I can walk you guys through some of the other features of the GT Platinum Tuner from the Bully Dog. And like I said, upon startup, there's your gauges screen. Now, you are able to monitor up to four at once with the fifth one kind of being integrated into a more detailed graph of what you select.So, right now if I wanted to change that from speed, I'm gonna select coolant and it replaces that right side with more coolant information. So, why you only get the monitor for on the left, you can really dive in a little bit deeper with the right side of the screen there. You can even set things like economy goals, for example, inside the settings there, so you can see your miles per gallon and things like that, that can really give you a more detailed look at other parameters as well. So, if you wanted to actually go in and change some of these options, you can select this top left one, which takes you to the main menu. And then you can select a gauge setup. From here, you can scroll down through the list and you can see it's replacing that one spot there, that top-left spot. There's a number of things you can change it to. There's a lot of auxiliary options, air-fuel ratio, fuel economy, your math, timing load, trans temp battery, barometer, intake throttle, a number of options. So, if we wanted to replace the top guy with intake, let's say we wanted to do that and then you just kind of go back one more time and then it replaces it. So, it'll initialize communication again and then you can select that, and it replaces that right side as well. So, really useful stuff for guys who really wanna monitor live engine vitals on the fly. And if you're picking up the Platinum GT Tuner, it comes with the suction cup for the windshield. So, I'm sure you guys are gonna be looking at this in arms reach at the driver's seat at all times.And with this being sort of the main menu of the device, it is a really, really, easy to use option. So, if we want it to go into settings again, or the main menu, I'm sorry, from there, we can go down to set user options. And that gives you some small interior settings for the device. You can change the background theme, customize that to your liking. There's a couple of different animation preferences with the startup menus. You can change the sensors. You can change the units from metric to us. You can do a reset as well. So, those are a little bit more useful for guys who just wanna personalize the device. Performance testing is pretty neat, something a little bit unique to the GT Platinum Tuner. It does give you a notice that it isn't really meant to be used on public roads. This is really for closed tracking course uses. So, you just wanna scroll down and hit Yes. From here, you can do a performance test, which will track the engine vitals. You can do a zero to a hundred test as well so really for a drag strip purposes. Performance test results you can look at. You can save your results to the SD card on the side here. You can track your Fest as times. And you can change some of the performance test settings. You can change the settings in here for speed sense or race tree to go on a drag strip mode. You can go back. And the performance is really, again, not gonna be used on the road. But for guys who were taking it a little bit further at the track, it's a great idea to have that. Driving coach set up is more for on-road driving and set your economy goal. You can reset it.You can adjust acceleration and change the sounds of that setting there. Vehicle settings. You can change the engine size. We look at that in the very beginning before jumping into the actual menu. I just wanna make sure that the corresponding with your proper vehicle. And there's a couple of other parameters there to save as well to really specify it. Diagnostics is something I wanna mention here as well. If you have DTCs or if your diagnostic trouble code or check engine light comes on, you can connect to this, read the code, and get a description right there on that screen. Now, we have zero DTCs. Our check engine light is not on, but if it was, we would see it here. We'd be able to clear it. We can display the DTCs and we can save that so it saves onto the SD card there. So, that's useful as well. Show settings. This is more of just a screen where you can see your VIN number, strategy code, a number of other parameters of the device, hardware and software versions to make sure you're up to date. Vehicle Info shows very similar information. So, all in all, it is a very, very useful device to track, not only the gauges screen, but some of the other more personalized settings. And you can uninstall the GT from your vehicle as well and you can update the software from that menu. So, with that said, that is gonna be your GT Platinum tuner device. Lots of customizable options there. And it's wrapped up in a neat little package. That's gonna wrap up my review, install, and dyno test of the Bully Dog and GT Platinum Tuner, available for the '11 to '14 5.0 liter F150. You can get yours right here @americantrucks.com.
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Fitment: 2011 2012 2013 2014
Bully Dog 40417
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 20 Minutes
Simple installation for anyone.
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