Review & Install Video
Justin: Hey guys, Justin with AmericanMuscle.com here with my detailed review Dyno test and drive of the SCT preloaded performance tunes on the SCT Livewire TS+. Available for your 2015 and newer 5.0 L F150. You should be looking at the Pre-Loaded Livewire TS+ if you're looking for one of the most trusted names in aftermarket tuning to increase the all-around performance of his or her new F150.
Now, this would also be a great combo if you're looking for a premium device, one that can do it all, and one that you're going to want to display in the interior of your cab to monitor your rigs vitals at all times, and one that can do some pretty cool bells and whistles which I'll touch on in a minute.
In this video, I'm going to talk about the power improvements overstock, your fuel economy benefits, and even the drivability improvements of the SCT Tune 5.0 L Truck. But first, sit back, relax, I have a lot to talk about in this video. We're gonna walk you through the Livewire here. We're even going to go for a spin later on, but first let's talk about the power improvements you can expect using the SCT.
Now before you even pull the truck onto the Dyno, we replace those big, heavy, aftermarket 35s in the rear with the factory wheel and tire setup for the best and most accurate results using our Dynojet. We established our baseline run using 87 octane and the factory calibration. We then uploaded the 87 octane performance tune from SCT and ran the truck. We then drained all the 87 out of the truck, filled it with 93 octane, uploaded the corresponding SCT Tune, and here are all those results.
Based on run using our 2015 5.0 L F150 on 87 octane gave us 278 horsepower and 316 pound feet of torque at the rear wheels. With the 87 octane performance tune from SCT uploaded, the truck is now making 280 horsepower, 325 pound feet of torque. With a 93 octane performance tune from SCT, the truck made 290 horsepower, 339 pound feet of torque.
So with the 87 octane tune, the truck only picked up a peak gain of 3 horsepower and 9 pound feet of torque with curved gains of 12 horsepower and 13 pound feet of torque respectively. On 93 octane, the truck did much better, picking up heat gains of 12 horsepower, 23 pound feetof torque over the baseline numbers, and gains of 23 horsepower and 25 pound feet of torque under the curve.
All right, guys. Let's break down these graphs a little bit further here. Now, our red line will be our baseline pull with our F150, blue line's actually the 87 octane pre-load and the green lines are 93 octane pre-load. And as you can see the 87 octane tune didn't fair as well, because obviously it's a lower octane fuel and the tune is going to be a little bit more mild compared to the 93 octane.
So we actually lost a little bit of torque down low with their pre-load but we picked all that back up throughout the rest of the RPM range, actually made some pretty good horsepower up top here as well. But the big story again, as you might expect, is with the 93 octane pre-load performance tune from SCT, it picked up a ton of torque down low and your usable RPM range. Again, this is a truck after all.
You're going to be lugging this thing around from 2,000 to 4,000 RPMs, 75% of the time here and during that time, the truck is going to do really well for you. So now that you know a little bit more about the tune and the numbers, let's talk about some of your fuel economy.
Guys, I've been driving our tuned 5.0 L truck here for the last couple of weeks to monitor things like power improvements, drivability, and of course fuel economy, and I will say using the SCT Tune, I averaged roughly one to two miles per gallon better than our factory calibration. Now I have a healthy mix of both back roads and highway driving.
I was seeing roughly 11 to 12 miles per gallon with our lifted rig on 35s and a heavy foot. Now with the SCT 93 octane performance tune uploaded, I was seeing anywhere from 13 to 13 and a half miles per gallon using the same driving style and root. Now guys, I do want to point out that with your other tuning options here on the site, whether it be MPT, Edge, or Superchips, they're going to offer you a fuel economy tune, a towing tune along with some kind of performance tune.
However, with the SCT pre-loads, you're only getting the pre-loaded performance tune. Now on the flip side, guys, the SCT devices are currently the only options available here at AmericanMuscle.com that will be able to help you out when you do want to go with the custom tune. And that's something the Edge and Superchip devices can't offer you.
Now I will talk about more of the drivability improvements when we do get the truck on the road, but first let's quickly touch on price. I think you'll find that Livewire isn't exactly cheap. It's coming in at the top of the price range at 600 bucks but I think you'll find that it's going to be one of the most capable devices available here in the category at AM.
On the surface, you're getting a rather large and really attractive four-inch full-color touchscreen LCD display. Only the Edge CTS 2 has a beat and size with its five-inch screen. They're also throwing in a suction cup mouth along with a rear camera support here that should work with most aftermarket cameras without issue.
Even though most modern F150s do come with rear camera support from the factory, you could always get a little creative with this feature from the Livewire, maybe put a camera on the front of your rig to help with parking. But again, totally up to you if you want to get a little creative. Now guys, there's really no way to get a better sense of how this thing is going to operate than to plug it in, so let's hop into our F150 and then we'll go for a spin.
All right, guys. We're out in the road in our 2015 5.0 L F150. We have the SCT 93 octane performance tune uploaded in the truck. And again, I just want to give you some of my basic impressions driving this thing around for the last week, and just basically how the truck feels now compared to how it did before in stock form.
SCT went and just turned it up a notch pretty much across the board. Everything is just a little bit more increased, or a little better I guess you could say. Power, again, I'm not going to totally blow your socks off here, but you can tell the truck is a little stronger, especially down low. The shifts are a little firmer overall. Again, definitely not the firmest shifts I felt out of all the tunes I've tested, but again, you can play with that a little bit as well.
But overall, it really is just a nice, well-rounded experience with the SCT pre-loads. Again, the 87 octane, you're really not going to see a whole lot of a difference with that. Yes, you will see some of the transmission settings be improved slightly. The shifts are a little firmer, things like that. It doesn't do anything it shouldn't do. It's definitely not stolen, there's no surging issues anywhere.
It idles rock solid. It drives like a stock truck. Again, just turned up a notch or two, that's the best way I can describe it. I wish it shifted with a little bit more throttle input. One thing I did notice is you've really got to lean into it to get it to downshift, and that's something I know a lot of you guys at home watching this probably want to fix. I will say that another tune option that I tested, the throttle input and the sensitivity was a lot better.
Basically, you got the truck to downshift a lot easier, so you're always in the power band. With the SCT, I did notice you really do have to lean on it if you want this thing to boogie. But once you get into it, it definitely hauls the mail, and for being a big truck lifted with 35s, it definitely moves along pretty good.
The miles per gallon, again, not too bad considering we are lifted six inches. We are hauling around some heavy 35s in this thing, just a great driving experience. So, if you have a daily driver, you just want to turn it up a little bit, you don't want to get too crazy. You might throw on a cold air intake or an exhaust down the road.
The SCT pre-loads are a great way to go. You really won't be disappointed with them, and if you do want to go with a custom tune down the road, you can do that with the SCT device. So it is giving you the best of both options there. So let's head back to the shop and I'll walk you through the Livewire TS+ device.
Now as we mentioned earlier, this thing does have rear camera support, and you could see that right in the middle there. So if you were to hook that up maybe to a rear camera, or if you want to put a camera upfront I get talked about earlier, basically you'd access that by just pressing the button in the middle.
So we're going to see the program vehicle tab for last and we'll start with some of the other basic operation of the Livewire TS, and this thing is a monitor, basically meaning you can read, display, and monitor a bunch of useful information from your rig at any point and display it here. So why don't we start with that, because I think that's probably the coolest feature of the Livewire TS+, and it's very attractive.
Again, we're talking about a full-color LCD touchscreen here, four-inch display. So here's our basic screen starting out with the gauges or the layouts, pretty simple stuff. It's displaying three different values right now. We have our air fuel ratio here in the gauge format and our two digital readouts are basically intake and air temperature and air cooling temperature.
Now, you can change these things to display a number of different things, again all from your truck's ECU at any point. So we're into one of the gauges here, and as you can see, there's a ton of stuff that you can choose from. So we'll just kind of scroll through some of them, intake, air temperature, fuel trim, things like that. Air fuel ratio of course, which is a big U at the SCT. And again, all this stuff is fully customizable when it comes to layout, and we'll go back to those layouts real quick and I'll show you some of the different options there.
We're looking at 12 different values on the screen here, which is very impressive. When you get the numbers this small, they might be a little hard to read on the fly, but you do have that option of course, and you can data log at any point with this thing as well. It's very easy to do. So we'll go to the performance test.
Now this is something the X4 doesn't have. And here you can measure your 0 to 60, your quarter mile time, and your breaking distance. Very nice to have, I guess, if you're into that sort of thing and you want to actually try to measure the improvements of the tunes you're making. The Livewire TS will give you that option.
Let's talk about vehicle functions here with the Livewire, we'll go into that. And this is basically your diagnostic tool. This is where you're going to go when it comes time to read and clear this diagnostic trouble codes better known as check engine lights. In addition to the read and clearing of the check engine lights, you can also go to special functions, and this is where you can go to do a cam reset which is a keep-alive memory, or do a crank relearn if you ever encounter a misfire or something like that.
We'll go to the next page here. Again, more useful stuff, vehicle info, this is where you can read and learn your strategy code for your ECU when it does come time. If you do want to do a custom tune, you're going to need that. A bunch of useful stuff here, device setting, this is just your basic menu. It's going to give you some options of how you want to lay this thing out as far as theme, your brightness, ambient light sensor, basically having auto dim for you if you'd like, turning off the beats if you like.
Ignition key check, power save mode, basically if you leave this thing plugged in at all times, you leave it in your truck. Go to the power save mode. You're going to leave it in the auto feature, that's what we have basically. This is just going to ensure it doesn't drain your battery. Startup function is pretty cool because this is where you can have it kind of default to where you want it to go whenever you start your rig.
Personally me, I leave it in the gauges in data log screen because that's what I want to see. I want to see the gauges every time I hope in the truck and I don't want to have to fumble through the different menus to get there. So, to be able to start it up on that is pretty cool. You can have it also startup on the performance gauges if you'd like as well.
Device info, pretty basic stuff here, just tells you what version of your firmware you're on, obviously the device itself. And keep in mind guys, this thing is wireless. So when you do need to do your updates for the SCT Livewire+, you can do so wirelessly as long you're within range of a Wi-Fi network. Just something that makes it a lot easier to operate and to update, because updating your tune or something, you will have to do rather frequently.
Pretty cool stuff here. As you can see there's a lot of options to choose from. The display itself is very nice, touchscreen is nice. You could be a little touchy at one point, a little finicky, but for the most part after you use this thing once in a while, you get the hang of it. So we're into the program vehicle tab here as you can see, no custom tunes found because this is again the SCT pre-loads.
However, if you did want to use the Livewire TS+ for an eventual custom tune, you can do so, and they'll show up right there on the custom tune section. But since this is a pre-load again, we'll select the 5.0 L F150. Very simple stuff again here, if you've never loaded a tune before in your truck, one out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter, it really doesn't get any easier than this guys.
It's going to take you about 15 to 20 minutes to flash your truck for the first time, but it does get a little quicker after that. And here are some of the adjustable, user adjustable options you can do before you actually program the vehicle. When it comes time to change your octane, very simple stuff. Here you go, 87, 91, or 93 octane. These are your performance tunes. You're going to want to switch between these depending on what fuel you plan on running.
Again, a 93 octane as we saw is going to give you the bigger results, or the bigger gains. So we'll choose that. Global spark is a user controllable setting as well. You probably shouldn't play with this too much unless you really know what you're doing. So therefore, we'll just leave it at zero. Speed limiter, if you're going to let your kid, son, daughter borrow the truck, you don't want them going too crazy fast. You can set up a speed limiter for 'em in the software here which is pretty handy.
In addition to that, you can also set up a rev limiter as well, so they're not just beating your truck up and down the street. Idle speed, rev limiter, neutral speed, things like that, all user controllable options as well before getting it into the tune. You can go into the tire size for instance. We do have 35s on this thing. If you're going to go ahead and load those in here accordingly.
And this is just going to ensure that our speedometer is entirely accurate, all that stuff as well. Here are the fuel mileage, things like that. So 35.1, closest for us, so it should be good to go there. Everything else, it looks good to me so from this point on, we'll prove it. We'll go ahead and proceed with the flashing process, and then from here we should be good to go.
So that's my review of the SCT Pre-Loaded Tunes on the Livewire TS+ device. You guys can learn more about this stuff for your F150 right here at AmericanMuscle.com.