Welcome to RVForums.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest RV Community on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, review campgrounds
  • Get the most out of the RV Lifestyle
  • Invite everyone to RVForums.com and let's have fun
  • Commercial/Vendors welcome

Question Reprograming Engine on a V10 Gas Motorhome!

Welcome to RVForums.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends and let's have fun
  • Commercial/Vendors welcome
  • Friendliest RV community on the web

Rbjewell

RVF Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
72
Location
Naples, Florida
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
BayStar
RV Length
37’
TOW/TOAD
5000 Lbs
Fulltimer
No
Has anyone added a program to the engine for better performance? I don't know what it's called but I learned that I can buy a device that I can use to reprogram my V10 Gas engine for better performance. Is that true and is there a website that you can send me to that explains it. Does it hurt the engine?
 

John&Andrea

RVF Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
413
Location
Dallas Georgia
RV Year
2021
RV Make
Coachmen
RV Model
Concord 300ts
RV Length
31
Chassis
E450
Engine
7.3 gas
TOW/TOAD
Steal Tow Dolly Ford Escape
Fulltimer
No

There are several on the market. If you have a mechanic you use regularly, I would talk to them about it. I used a tuner on my 2004 f250 diesel and preformed great. I think the tuners make a difference on gas engines, I’m not sure how much.
 

Joe Goodxrvn

Helper Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
1,477
Location
Florida
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
CanyonStar
RV Length
39' 11"
Chassis
Ford F53
Engine
Ford V10
TOW/TOAD
Demco KarKaddy 460SS and VW Passat
OEM Automotive engineers have spent literally decades perfecting an engine's tune. Gale Banks Performance and other lesser shops have tweaked some aspect of an engines tuning but with today's self learning tuning algorithms, it is tough to make any meaningful improvement without sacrificing some aspect of performance.
An OEM tune is a 'best compromise' for cold weather starting, high altitude performance, hot weather performance, highway fuel economy, and start stop driving.

Changing any one aspect will certainly impact other performance attributes.

Back in the day, I worked with a team modifying Subaru engines/automobiles for rally work. Learned early on how hard it is to get an engine to perform consistently in varying day to day street applications, much less on any one race day.
Temperature changes, barometric pressure change, moisture content of the air, all have an effect on engine performance. To get all that right so an engine performs consistently , everyday is extremely difficult.
 

Rich W.

Fire Service 46 years; semi-retired
RVF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
1,039
Location
Grass Valley Ca
RV Year
2016
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 3427
RV Length
35
Chassis
Freightliner XCR
Engine
6.7 ISB 360/800
TOW/TOAD
2001 Jeep Wrangler, M&G air brake system, Blue Ox bar
Fulltimer
No
5 Star is one of the most popular tuners for motorhomes. It changes the shift strategy and how the ECM reads the throttle positioning sensor which might change fuel mix and timing a bit under certain circumstances. And no, it will not harm the engine. You wont get any significant (measured on the dyno) gains in HP or torque but you will get a slightly noticeable improvement in acceleration and drivability, especially on grades, where it will help eliminate some of the hunting these drivetrains suffer from. Also the guys at 5-star are very customer service oriented and will work with you to tweak the parameters a bit and create your own custom tune at no additional charge. And you can easily return it to stock for trips to the dealer or for smog checks.

I’ve added 5-star to two coaches. On the first, a 2010 E450 24’ C- (Phoenix Cruiser) I spent a lot of time and around $2000 trying to eek out a little more performance. I changed the air filter and plenum (K&N), and post cat exhaust (Banks) and added 5 star. The combination allowed me to utilize 4th gear more instead of the thing immediately going to third on grades. For me this was an improvement but it also required lot of throttle feathering, not using cruise, and manual shifting. I did some testing and this cut about three seconds off my 1/4 mile time (from around 22 to 19 by my non-racetrack calculations) which equated to better on-ramp and passing performance. With a light load and not towing the thing was actually fairly peppy.

The other was a 2010 30’ F53 (Newmar Bay Star). On this beast, I just added 5-star. It helped some but not enough to make any real difference. That coach weighed a lot more so the same changes in tuning weren't as perceptible. Basically it was a delivery truck dressed up like a coach and it was beyond hope for driving comfort and performance. As a leisure vehicle it was fine, but it took a lot of adjustments in driving style to make it enjoyable. Nice camper though.

Also on the Phoenix, the intake was LOUD! When that thing was pulling a grade in 4th (where previously it would have been winding out in third) it was really breathing. So while the engine wasn't “screaming” (a common complaint from folks who haven't figured these things out) at 5000 rpm, the intake was howling and conversation wasn't any easier. But it was faster, an improvement I primarily credit to the Banks and K&N. As with any engine, making it breath better is probably the most meaningful thing you can do these days. Its also the most expensive and difficult, and Im not sure the K&N part added much perfomance. I think it was primarily the exhaust. It also sounded better (to me) but thats pretty meaningless.

One of the problems with post 2007 Fords is the elimination of the “OD OFF” button in favor of tow/haul (useless and unnecessary IMHO). This eliminated the driver’s ability to manually select 4th gear. I found this irritating and limiting and since I wont willingly run these rigs at 5000+ rpm (even though the experts say this is just fine) I had to just throttle back and take the hills at a lower speed (less than 45mph) in 3rd.

My $2000 investment, and more than a few hours efforts, enabled me to use 4th on the mild and moderate grades where previously it would have required 3rd, but in the final analysis, it wasnt really worth it. Also to install the Banks exhaust I had to cut out the old system as it wouldn't come out in one piece without removing the axle (didn't want to do that). So faced with this prospect, you are committed when you break out the saws-all - something to think about. Its cheaper and easier to just let it go to third and run at 45 when you have to, and live with it. Since its supposed to be travel and leisure anyway, getting there a half hour later after a full day on the road shouldn't be much of an issue.

A note on tow/haul: I know a lot of people really believe in it, and some get pretty emotional discussing its attributes, but it is just a shift strategy. You can do the same thing with the shifter (if you‘re paying attention) and you could do it even better IF you could shift to 4th at will, up and down. In my 2017 F250 I can manually shift to any gear (in “M”) and lock out any gear in “D” with the little rocker switch gear selector on the shifter. These abilities eliminate any hunting, and provide the driver complete control of the transmission. For me this is a much better arrangement than a design team derived, one size fits all attempt at making the vehicle think for the driver.
 
Last edited:

Rob180

Newbie
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
7
Has anyone added a program to the engine for better performance? I don't know what it's called but I learned that I can buy a device that I can use to reprogram my V10 Gas engine for better performance. Is that true and is there a website that you can send me to that explains it. Does it hurt the engine?
I have the 5 Star tune on my coach. It is a 2015 Sunseeker 2500TS V10 5 speed. I can tell you that the improvement in transmission calibration is dramatic. The transmission generally operates in a higher gear at larger throttle openings which decreases noise and lets the engine use its torque. When in the "tow/haul" mode, the transmission is very aggressive with up and down shifts. Overall the tune is very well sorted, and it's obvious that a lot of work work and testing went into it. Although the tune does provide some dyno verified power gains which I can't remember exactly (40HP/70TQ)? it's not really noticeable on a vehicle of this weight.
 
Last edited:

Rbjewell

RVF Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
72
Location
Naples, Florida
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
BayStar
RV Length
37’
TOW/TOAD
5000 Lbs
Fulltimer
No
Thanks for taking the time to give me this information, I am thinking about adding it to my 2020 Newmar Bay Star 3616 but have some reluctance because in the back of my mind I wonder why the manufactures don’t add it automatically. I have to reconcile this in my mind, I have been known to over think things like this.
 

Rob180

Newbie
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
7
By manufacturer, I assume you mean the coach builder. Ford obviously would never install 3rd party tuning, and this tuning would likely void the powertrain warranty. The coach builder would need to bring in a 3rd party warranty provider at great expense on top of the cost of the tuning. All this expense is unlikely to generate many additional sales.
 

Jabber Jaw

RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 9, 2019
Messages
549
Location
St. Augustine Fl
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Canyon Star 3710
RV Length
38
Chassis
Ford F-53, 26,000GVWR
Engine
Ford V-10
TOW/TOAD
2017 Gmc Terrain & 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR-2
Fulltimer
No
Thanks for taking the time to give me this information, I am thinking about adding it to my 2020 Newmar Bay Star 3616 but have some reluctance because in the back of my mind I wonder why the manufactures don’t add it automatically. I have to reconcile this in my mind, I have been known to over think things like this.
Ray, I added the "Ford Ultra Tune" to my 2020 Canyon Star. The biggest plus, the changing of shift points, allowing for fewer upshifts/downshifts. There was a slight noticeable increase in acceleration, but no improvement in fuel economy. Was it worth it? I definitely think so.
www.ultrarv.com
 

Latest posts

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon for all of your needs.
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top