Review & Install Video
Hey, guys, Adam here with americantrucks.com. And today we're taking a closer look at, installing, and dyno-testing the SCT LiveWire TS+ tuner, available for the '11 to '14 3.5 liter EcoBoost F-150s. You should be checking this out for your own truck if you're looking for a tuner that's a little bit more involved and has a little bit more to offer than your traditional handheld tuner. This one is obviously larger, has a touchscreen display, it's gonna display a lot more information than a regular handheld tuner, which definitely goes a long way for guys who wanna use it every single day in their truck. Now, this one in particular, we're gonna be taking a look at the preloaded tune that comes with it for our 3.5, and before we get started on all the features, what do you say we took a look at that graph? We got our baseline run with our '11 3.5 behind me, let's look at the before and after.All right, guys. So, of course, we strapped our 2011 3.5 Eco down to the dyno. Now, keep in mind, it is completely bone stock, other than 93 octane in the tank, and 35-inch tires, front and rear. We then ran our baseline number to establish that, walked away with 295 horsepower, 355 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. Then, of course, uploaded our preloaded tune with it on 93 octane, adjusting that parameter, ran it again under the same conditions in third gear. Fifth gear is our one-to-one, but you are gonna hit the speed limiter and rev limiter, so we pulled it in third consistently, walked away with 323 horsepower and 437 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. Good for peak gains of 28 horsepower, and about 82 pound-feet of torque at the rear. Now, those gains alone are really respectable, really good gains for just a simple 93 tune, but it gets even better under the curve. Now, we know these EcoBoosts tend to make pretty large power under the curve, especially at the low-to-mid range, and we walked away with 74 horsepower and about 103 pound-feet of torque, respectively, under the curve, which is amazing, guys. Now, it did actually exceed our expectations, because preloaded tunes typically aren't the most aggressive, or at least as aggressive as a custom tune. But this guy, on 93 octane, walked away with some really good power, and we're seeing that right around the 3,700 to 3,800 RPM region for the horsepower and torque, which is just that sweet spot that you know we're gonna feel, makes a ton of difference on the road.Obviously, the preloaded tune did some pretty good things for our 3.5, you can take that even further by taking advantage of custom tuning on the device, by working with a tuner of your choice. Now, this device here, in addition to tuning, has a number of other features. Because it is a larger 4-inch display with a touchscreen, full LCD color, this thing is gonna display live engine vitals pretty crispy, and pretty clearly, right on the screen there. Now, the gauges and data log functionality allows you to track live engine vitals like your boost, obviously, with these EcoBoosts, can be very vital. In addition to boost, you can track coolant temp, air intake temp, voltage, so on and so forth, all right here with a number of different gauge screens we'll go over in just a little bit. In addition to that, you can take advantage of the DTC code reader, check engine light comes on, you can read and clear it, get a description. You can also do performance tests, which is unique to this device, track 0 to 60, you can track braking and quarter mile times if you're hitting the track with your truck, definitely something to take advantage of. In addition to that, you're also getting Wi-Fi capabilities, wireless updating, so on and so forth, and I'll walk you through it in a bit.This tuner now comes in right around the $600 mark, it is a little bit steeper of a price tag than your traditional handheld tuners, but like I just said, it's got a bigger display, and it also comes with a windshield mount for you to display it on your dash at all times, and we'll be using that as well when we get to the tuning process. So, a lot of good features make that price worthwhile, especially when you take advantage of the custom tunes. Now, install, one of the three wrenches on our difficulty meter, anybody can tackle this in the driveway at home, all you'll need is about 30 minutes from start to finish. And if you're using that preloaded tune that comes with the device, you do have a number of different parameters you can modify without having to reach out to a custom tuner of your choice. Things like the octane levels, speed limiter, rev limiter, so on and so forth, you can modify yourself right on the device, which we'll be doing so, what do you say we get to it?All right, guys. Once you have your device plugged in, this is what you're looking at here. Now, the windshield mount, again, is included in the kit, and it is as simple as just hooking it into the slot on the back of the tuner, it might be a little tricky to find, you got to look around it, but you'll slot that right in. Now, of course, you can route the wire however you want, you can route it up the steering column, under the trim piece, whatever you see fit. Now, what we wanna do right now is jump right into tuning our vehicle. So, once it's plugged in, and your vehicle is on the "On" position, but the engine has not started, we're gonna select "Program vehicle" from the main menu. Just hit "Continue" on that street notice, key on, but do not start the engine, and press "Continue." Now, quick note, guys, if you get an error message right from that screen, you wanna go into your device settings and change "Ignition key" to "None." Now, from this menu here, if you're using custom tunes you've got on your own, they'd be found at the bottom. We're focusing on that preloaded tune with our LiveWire, so we'll select "3.5 F-150." All right. Just note internet is required, hit "Continue" on that, you will need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, press "Continue" again. All right. So, once you have that taken care of, you'll be connected to the parameter adjustment page. So, you can adjust a couple of these options before moving forward with the preloaded tune, which we are going to do.So, first thing's first, we're changing our fuel octane from stock to 93, that's what we've got in the tank. So, you wanna make sure you're selecting whatever you've got in your tank. Airbox is stock, all those good things are stock. Down, you can change your speed limiter, rev limiter, idle, wide open throttle shift, so on and so forth, there's a lot of parameters that you can change. We really wanna keep all that the same, with the exception of our octane. So, we're gonna select "Approve" and move forward. You can adjust your front TPMS settings, we are not, we're gonna press "Continue" on that, same thing for the rear. Once you have your parameters set, you can hit "Continue." What it will do is save your stock data, stock file, to the device, so if you ever wanna go back to stock you can do so, and then we'll go into tuning. So, we're gonna turn our key off, and then back on, just following directions, and then let it do its thing. All right. At that point, it says "Tune complete," "Download complete," you can hit "Done," and you're good to go. Now, I wanna take you through some of the features of the LiveWire itself aside from tuning. Now, of course, this can hold a number of custom tunes in the program vehicle section, but alternatively, you can...also, you can go into your gauges and data log and actually track live engine vitals on the fly. And given that you're using a LiveWire, big touchscreen, really big display, this is probably something you wanna take advantage of, especially with the windshield mount, you can really easily see these things in arm's reach at all times. Now, the first thing, of course, you wanna select your proper configuration. So, this is a Ford gas vehicle, 2011, so you wanna find a Ford gas '08 and newer, or whatever applies to your area, there are some non-U.S. options as well. So, we're gonna hit "Continue."All right. So, here you can see one of the many gauge layouts. Now, of course, there's different parameters, and you can change each of them. On the left here, we have boost and PSI in a gauge format, digital on the right-hand side with control module voltage, coolant temp. But if I wanted change one of these, say we wanna change coolant temp, you can double tap on that guy, select item, and say we wanna change that to air intake temp. You can change the unit, hit "Approve," and that replaces it. So, that's a really interesting thing you can take advantage of. You can also single-click, select layout, and actually change how it displays. You can change that to four digital gauges, you can change it to nine digital gauges, you can also see in more of a graph format. So, this is pretty interesting here, you can change, again, all three of those modules. So, if you single-click, again, you can change the configuration, the layout, you can also record, data log your performance here, which I think is very useful, especially if you're working with a custom tuner, you might wanna check out the engine performance. You can definitely...in the tuned performance, you can definitely record that here just by pressing record, and then connect that to LiveLink, or a software on your laptop. So, that's a good thing to take advantage of. You can hit, "Exit," take your right back to the main menu, and terminate.From there, you can go into performance test. And this is a very unique feature on the LiveWire, you can test your 0 to 100 kilometer, or miles per hour, 0 to 60 miles per hour, you can obviously switch the unit, right now it's in kilometers. So, 0 to 60, quarter mile time, and braking, those are useful things, guys, it's not something you would have on a different device, or some of the other ones in the category at least. So, what we're gonna do is hit "Exit" and go back. "Vehicle functions," you can read and clear diagnostic trouble codes. So, if a check engine light comes on, you can read the code, get a description and clear it. You can also hit "Exit," go back to the main menu. "Vehicle info" will give you things like your VIN number, strategy code. "Device info" will give you things like your device serial number, software, firmware, married status, unlocks, so on and so forth. "Device settings," you can click and hop into simple device settings, like, brightness for the daytime and nighttime, you can have it automatically change, change the theme. "Ignition key check" is what I mentioned earlier, if you get an error message while jumping into "Program vehicle" with having your key on, you can change that up here.One other thing to mention here in the device settings is the startup menu. So, if you wanna take advantage of those gauges and data log every single day, it might be worthwhile to have it plugged in at all times, and change startup function to gauges. If you want that to boot up to the gauges screen every time it turns on, you can do so, same thing with performance tester. Back here you have wireless updates you can take advantage of in that screen, and then finally, the last menu is more just the SCT logo, and then of course, you can swipe back. And finally, rear camera. Now, this isn't gonna apply to everyone, but if you have an aftermarket rear camera, or something that you wanna connect to that, you can take advantage of it right there, and you can click that to jump into it. We don't have one, so I can't show you exactly what that would look like, but if you did, the functionality is there.Well, guys, that's gonna wrap up my review and install for the SCT LiveWire TS+ tuner, for the '11 to '14 3.5 F-150. If you wanna get yours, you can do so right here at americantrucks.com.