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Custom Dodge Ram Performance Mods - Engine - 5.7 HEMI V8 Discuss modifying your Dodge Ram with Performance Parts and Accessories!
Factory Spec: 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine - 390 horsepower, 407 lb-ft of torque.


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Old 03-12-2013, 03:25 PM
lamarsh lamarsh is offline
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Default Need help chosing what Superchips tune to run on

Hi all. Sorry I posted this yesterday, realized it was in the wrong section, but couldn't figure out how to relocate the thread, so I'm re-posting it here. I just want anybody's thoughts/experiences with running different tunes on a device like what I have, which is a Superchips Powerpaq tuner, in order to get max fuel economy.

So, long story short, I thew on some 35" mud tires about a year ago, which destroyed my otherwise reasonable fuel economy. I didn't buy a truck for fuel economy, but my 2008 Ram 1500 with 5.7L hemi, without the huge tires, used to get me around 18-19 on the freeway, 14-15 in the city, which I was very happy with. With the newly added weight on my axles from my 35s, along with the relatively heavy milled 1" spacers I had to run them with because of the backspacing of my wheels, my fuel economy dropped down to around 13.5-14.5 highway, and 11-12 in the city.

To take a shot at grabbing back a few MPGs, and to make my truck cooler (let's get real, that's what I'm after), I decided to throw $1k into her recently and put in a Volant CAI, Flowmaster 40 (which I acknowledge does not improve economy) and a Superchips Flashpaq tuner.

Now to my question to y'all. That tuner I bought came with a towing tune, performance 91 octane tune, 87 octane tune, and an "economy" tune. I'm running the "87 octane" tune on that tuner because I read dozens of reviews that said the performance tunes (the 87 or the 91) get the best economy, and that the "economy" tune does NOT. That confused me, but the reviews were so consistent with this opinion, and I even confirmed that with the Superchips technicians who agreed, that I decided to run the 87 tune first (and I run regular 87 octane gas).

I'm through two full tanks of gas, and the results have been bizzare. At first, I'd be on a 50mph road and it would start getting around 16-18, even with stop lights. I was thrilled. Then, if I parked just once and turned the truck back on and drove in an area with 30-45 mph and more stops, boom, it tanked down to around 10-11, and sometimes it reads 7mpg! I'm using the on board computer computation, which I acknowledge isn't always accurate, but, I have previously hand calculated my economy and my computer happened to be very close to the same numbers. Anyways, I'm wondering what you all think. I'm averaging out to around 13, which I think is about 1-2 mpg better. Not sure if that's more from the CAI or the tune.

In any event, I'd just like anybody's opinion as to whether I'd be better off running that economy tune. When I reset my fuel economy computer in the city, it immediately starts reading it at around 5-9 mpg, which NEVER happened before when I reset it in the city. Sometimes, however, I'll reset it and it will mark around 16-18 mpg on faster city roads (1 mile traffic light intervals at 50mph). The on board fuel economy computer seems to be confused. The tune, however, did make my truck run smoother with gear changes and acceleration, however I'd still like to know whether I'd be better off with the economy tune in order to achieve the best fuel economy.

Any opinions? Should I run any other tunes? Economy tune? Pay extra gas $ to run 91 tune with 91 octane gas? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I just want my tuner to give me the best fuel economy results : )

Thanks in advance, and I'd be happy to answer questions about my experience and observations with any of these mods, or other mods in my profile.

--Lamarsh
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:00 PM
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I have essentially the same set up as u. 2007 quad can with 35 inch mud tires, flowmaster 40 exhaust, CAI, and SC tuner. I ran the mileage tune before my tires and didnt experience anything worth raving about. i now run the 91 tune with 92 octane and after my spark plug charge last weekend my avg went from 11.2 to 12.7 mostly city. I haven't reset it in forever so i imagine if I did it'd be a little higher. our tires kill us, we just gotta suck it up. the tune might help some dont expect anything crazy.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:59 PM
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Gonefishin, thanks for the note. What inclined you to run that 91 tune with the 92 octane gas, as opposed to running the 87 tune with the regular 87 octane gas? If you were to look at it in $/mile, do you think I'd be better off programing with the 91 tune and running 91+ octane gas, or keep the 87 tune running 87 octane gas? Clearly, 91 octane costs more/gal, but I'm wondering whether the overall economy is better in terms of $/mile. I still have yet to run it with that economy tune to see whether that gets better fuel economy than the 87 tune I'm running right now.

Definitely true about our mud tires--unless we drop thousands things like headers and superchargers, we'll never see that 18mpg highway / 14 mpg city that our trucks used to get before we started putting big boy parts on. Dead weight on axles just destroys fuel economy. I calculated that my mud tires cost me somewhere around $250 more in increased gas costs per year. Kind of stings, but doesn't sting as bad as seeing my jacked up truck on some tiny 29" OEM Goodyear Wranglers, hooah?
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:32 PM
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honestly I haven't tested out the different tunes to see what it did to my mileage. I put the 91 one because my truck was a dog with the mileage tune and I hated it. so I put the 91 on to see if it felt anymore powerful, and it did. then I got tires and figured I'd better leave it on 91. I don't mind paying $5 more a tank for premium so it doesn't bother me. I'm afraid to drop down in octane tune since Im so used to the 91 now
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:07 AM
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I also have a similar setup on my '04 QC. K&N CAI with flowmaster 40. I love the way my truck acts on the Superchips tunes. But in my opinion, even the economy tune is bad for economy. It changes the shift points for higher rpms which is never good for saving gas. I use it for fun though. I only run on the 91 tune with 93 fuel. I generally get 17-18 MPG at 55-60 MPH. But I love the feel of acceleration, so I only get 9-10 in the city. If only it was physically possible for me to drive conservatively. If you do the math, 26 gal. tank x $3.57/gal for 87 comes to $92.82, whereas $3.87 for 93 comes to $100.62. An $8 difference for fancy fuel that will never hurt my engine. And that's filling the entire tank. The gap closes by about $2 when I actually fill up (usually 20 gallons). It took me a while to accept it, but I don't think there's much we can really do to get noticeably better economy with these engines without dropping 6k or so for forced induction and proper tuning.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:42 PM
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I use the 91 performance tune and find I get the best mileage on this. I haven't tried the Economy tune as I have heard the same thing. Mind you with the tuner its hard keeping the foot off the gas so the mileage is really hard to gauge.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:07 PM
lamarsh lamarsh is offline
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'm on my fourth tank running the 87 tune with 87 octane, and my truck seems to really start liking it. My fuel economy has improved quite a bit, I'm averaging around 12 in the city, 15-16 on the freeway going around 75mph, and my economy is maxed around 60mph where I get around 18mpg! BUT, as you all point out, the best part is certainly the acceleration and improved shifting points this thing has done for my truck. It's a blast. When I really step on it, with the tuner and the amount of air my truck sucks in with that Volant CAI, it roars, and you can hear that CAI real well. Can't believe I waited this long to do this.

Anyways, I will switch to the 91 tune and run 91+ octane at some point in the next few months and let you folks know how it turns out.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:31 PM
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The general consensus is that the performance tunes get the best cost/mile. I've never tried the economy tune, but I used to always run the 93 tune and just recently started running the 87 tune and mpg seems about the same between the two, which is slightly better than stock.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:44 PM
lamarsh lamarsh is offline
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Sean, your observations are exactly what seems to be the general consensus, as well as what I've observed to be my results. Except, I'd characterize my results as a bit better than "slightly better" than stock. Because I'm getting several MPG better, I'd say that is a relatively significant increase, especially given the fact that I'm running 35 mud tires. Got 17mpg on a 4 hour highway run the other day *(up from about 12.5!), heading north with a 5mph wind coming from the west (so neither driving into the wind or with the wind, which I've observed makes a difference). Going to try to the 91 tune, while running 91 octane, pretty soon, and I will post the results.

Thanks for all of your input!

-Lamarsh
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:42 PM
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im not running 35s for the killing of mpgs but ive ran the eco 89 and 91 ive seen biggest gains on the 89 city im about 16-18 and hwy im 24-26.7 thats with 31's im putting 33's on soon so expecting the drop
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