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2021 GT500 Performance blue/white stripes, tech/handling and Recaro's.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm well versed in dyno calibrations and also well aware about the Magnussen-Moss Warranty act. My local service manager is quite mod-friendly so I'm considering adding a custom tune to my 2021.

I've seen some jokes about PBD and their aggressive timing as well as some nice reviews of others.

Has anyone here had a great experience and found it worth it? I'm considering starting there before going with the more in-depth mods.

Thanks dudes!
 

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Moderator/Admin Dude!
2020 CFTP Red! 2011 Kona Blue
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I'm well versed in dyno calibrations and also well aware about the Magnussen-Moss Warranty act. My local service manager is quite mod-friendly so I'm considering adding a custom tune to my 2021.

I've seen some jokes about PBD and their aggressive timing as well as some nice reviews of others.

Has anyone here had a great experience and found it worth it? I'm considering starting there before going with the more in-depth mods.

Thanks dudes!
What’s nice is Ken from PBD has tested these tunes/combos on his personal car.
 

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2021 Race Red Shelby GT500
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If you tune the car and you need to get a claim in your warranty is going to get black flagged. If you tune the car assume the warranty is gone because it will be. Mod friendly is one thing tuning the car is a whole different thing.
 

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2020 GT500 - Handling Package, Technology Package, Recaros, Forgeline
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There are no guarantees here.

1. Almost all ECUs today, regardless of manufacturer, keep a flash counter on the ECU. They won’t be able to tell what you flashed to the ECU, but they will be able to tell that you flashed it with something.
2. Every time the dealer flashes your car, they store the date, flash type, and flash count on their end attached to your VIN and warranty. If you bring it in again and their flash count doesn’t match the flash counter on your ECU, they will flag your VIN.

You must be prepared to have to foot the bill for a replacement of anything in the drivetrain if you do this. Honest truth real talk here. Had a friend over on the BMW M5 forums who tuned his M5 Comp at 1000 miles, engine blew at 5000 miles-ish (likely due to something not related to his tune), but BMW denied his claim and he was out $55k+ for a new engine.

Biggest word of caution I have is we have very little data on the longer term reliability of this engine, especially towards the end of the warranty period.
 

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2020 GT500
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PBD just acquired another GT500 as their second R&D vehicle, too. Personally I would go with them as they have more time and money invested in this platform than any other shop.

I keep flip-flopping on keeping mine stock until warranty runs out vs doing something simple like a smaller upper, intercooler & tune etc. I've even talked to a few shops about the new Whipple 3.8. Ugh!
 

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2021 GT500 Performance blue/white stripes, tech/handling and Recaro's.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PBD just acquired another GT500 as their second R&D vehicle, too. Personally I would go with them as they have more time and money invested in this platform than any other shop.

I keep flip-flopping on keeping mine stock until warranty runs out vs doing something simple like a smaller upper, intercooler & tune etc. I've even talked to a few shops about the new Whipple 3.8. Ugh!
That's where I'm at too! Lol

As far as the ECU counter, I'm well aware. I have a tuned 2018 Raptor and the service manager basically told me to put it back to stock when I come in for any warranty work and he'll overlook the counter. He said as long as upgrades aren't installed poorly or become the obvious cause of damage, he'll make sure it's covered. So far, only tuned the Raptor and had 60k happy miles out of it.
 

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Warranty work, especially engine damage. isn't usually left to the dealer to make a warranty determination. Anything can happen during a global pandemic, but I wouldn't count on your dealer saving the day. I'm not advocating one way or the other, just know it's a costly endeavor if things go wrong. I have that t-shirt.
 

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That's where I'm at too! Lol

As far as the ECU counter, I'm well aware. I have a tuned 2018 Raptor and the service manager basically told me to put it back to stock when I come in for any warranty work and he'll overlook the counter. He said as long as upgrades aren't installed poorly or become the obvious cause of damage, he'll make sure it's covered. So far, only tuned the Raptor and had 60k happy miles out of it.
I'd get that in writing lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd get that in writing lol
Probably never going to get that in writing. lol

I know the risks, I was mostly asking if there were people making reliable tunes that had nice power improvements vs if it would void a warranty or not. I'm still on the fence on modding now vs later. Any suggestions for the must have non-warranty problem bolt ons?
 

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Probably never going to get that in writing. lol

I know the risks, I was mostly asking if there were people making reliable tunes that had nice power improvements vs if it would void a warranty or not. I'm still on the fence on modding now vs later. Any suggestions for the must have non-warranty problem bolt ons?
I’ve been happy with with a JLT intake and the lethal resonator delete for now….
 

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I'd get that in writing lol
lol you think he’s gonna give that to him in writing? I’m sure that service mgr likes his job more than he likes this guy with the tuned car/raptor.

Guys I’ve been in the car business 30 years. Take my word for it if you get lucky and you find a nice guy willing to look the other way on a warranty claim consider yourself as lucky as someone who hit the lottery. That person of they do that is taking a big risk for you and 99% of the time they won’t risk their job because you tuned your car. Just being honest. I don’t tune any car that is new or fairly new and still under warranty. I know it sucks but to me paying out my ass for an engine sucks worse. Plus the car is wicked fast as is. I know I know we always want more I get it but man is just not worth it IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
lol you think he’s gonna give that to him in writing? I’m sure that service mgr likes his job more than he likes this guy with the tuned car/raptor.

Guys I’ve been in the car business 30 years. Take my word for it if you get lucky and you find a nice guy willing to look the other way on a warranty claim consider yourself as lucky as someone who hit the lottery. That person of they do that is taking a big risk for you and 99% of the time they won’t risk their job because you tuned your car. Just being honest. I don’t tune any car that is new or fairly new and still under warranty. I know it sucks but to me paying out my ass for an engine sucks worse. Plus the car is wicked fast as is. I know I know we always want more I get it but man is just not worth it IMO.
Thanks for your insight and you're 100% right. Trying my best to quell the mod-bug. I have no interest in buying a new motor at all.
 

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That's where I'm at too! Lol

As far as the ECU counter, I'm well aware. I have a tuned 2018 Raptor and the service manager basically told me to put it back to stock when I come in for any warranty work and he'll overlook the counter. He said as long as upgrades aren't installed poorly or become the obvious cause of damage, he'll make sure it's covered. So far, only tuned the Raptor and had 60k happy miles out of it.
You pop that motor the dealer is 100% out of the equation on your warranty. Ford will send in their rep and check it out and box the whole motor up and take it back to start dissecting it to determine why it blew. If warrantied, they will ship out a new complete motor. But, that is if they don't see the flashes, which they will.

Tom
 

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To be fair, I’ve yet to see a catastrophic failure resulting from a simple tune. Tunes have been available for 1.5 years now.
 
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#1 Mike!
2019 Shelby GT350
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That's where I'm at too! Lol

As far as the ECU counter, I'm well aware. I have a tuned 2018 Raptor and the service manager basically told me to put it back to stock when I come in for any warranty work and he'll overlook the counter. He said as long as upgrades aren't installed poorly or become the obvious cause of damage, he'll make sure it's covered. So far, only tuned the Raptor and had 60k happy miles out of it.
Gregger: Also be mindful that service department personnel, especially technicians, come and go at a pretty surprising rate. They get better offers, are dissatisfied with the dealership, are asked to leave, and all the other surprises that life gives us all. It's just a fact at dealerships. Depending on a Service Manager to be there when the time comes, is a gamble. There are exceptions, but it is a transient business.
 

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To be fair, I’ve yet to see a catastrophic failure resulting from a simple tune. Tunes have been available for 1.5 years now.
No doubt, but manufacturing defects can and do exist. The secondary cam tensioners are a prime example. While these engines are certainly overbuilt, someone is going to have an issue, and if you happen to be tuned or have other mods, you might be the one left holding the bag when it otherwise should be Ford's problem. I'll eventually take the risk, but I want to give the transmission time to break in and make sure it's sound. I'm not looking for much of a power increase, just a little more to stand out from the crowd and not stray too far from the OEM calibration. The car is pretty good as delivered.
 

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No doubt, but manufacturing defects can and do exist. The secondary cam tensioners are a prime example. While these engines are certainly overbuilt, someone is going to have an issue, and if you happen to be tuned or have other mods, you might be the one left holding the bag when it otherwise should be Ford's problem. I'll eventually take the risk, but I want to give the transmission time to break in and make sure it's sound. I'm not looking for much of a power increase, just a little more to stand out from the crowd and not stray too far from the OEM calibration. The car is pretty good as delivered.
Yeah, I agree... I'm in the same boat also.
 

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No doubt, but manufacturing defects can and do exist. The secondary cam tensioners are a prime example. While these engines are certainly overbuilt, someone is going to have an issue, and if you happen to be tuned or have other mods, you might be the one left holding the bag when it otherwise should be Ford's problem. I'll eventually take the risk, but I want to give the transmission time to break in and make sure it's sound. I'm not looking for much of a power increase, just a little more to stand out from the crowd and not stray too far from the OEM calibration. The car is pretty good as delivered.
When the time comes, are you going to tune it yourself or go with someone who does it for a living?
 

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When the time comes, are you going to tune it yourself or go with someone who does it for a living?
I'll probably get what I need to tune it myself, but I'm not beyond purchasing a tune. I find the VMP CARB certified power packs intriguing, but since emission testing is not being forced down our throats yet, I don't see an immediate need for something like that. But, by the same token no one knows what the future has in store from a regulatory standpoint. For all we know the EPA could put all the flash tool manufacturers out of business tomorrow. So much uncertainty. And it's not like we don't have bigger problems to solve.

Since I'm only looking at a few lbs of boost, I don't think I'm looking at big tuning adjustments. I'm not looking for every ounce of power out of pump gas or in making the car edgy by making it overly responsive for low pedal effort. I just need a conservative tune that can run the car safely with the bump in boost. I can't say I'm disappointed in the stock calibration from a drivability perspective. If I was looking for big power with a lot of mods, I'd probably let someone else tune it. I'm not very interested in raising the rev limiter either.

I've come to the realization, that it's almost pointless to put too much power into anything, at least where I live. There's no place you can easily get to to excise the car's legs. The more powerful the engine, the harder it is to find a place to have fun with it. That's more of an over population issue and subpar roadways than anything else.
 
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