Today, diesel performance is more popular than it’s ever been. In an effort to maximize the power, economy and performance in the Ford 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel a multi-position chip is the product of choice in the aftermarket. I’ve tried different chips and programming throughout the course of the past 5 years. While they’ve all been an improvement over what I’ve previously run, I still wasn’t satisfied with the performance of my truck. I wanted something that would be ultra smooth and refined around town, but also have eye opening power when it was called upon. With more and more tuners in the industry providing chips for the 7.3L PSD
, I wanted to make sure that I went with someone who had extensive knowledge of these trucks and been doing this for a number of years to apply that experience to help me achieve my goal. I found that in Dennis Perry from TS Performance. Dennis has been tuning 7.3L trucks longer than most of the other tuners in the industry and does all his own programming and manufacturing of the chips in house.
I had been in contact with Dennis’s wife, Sheila, who is great to deal with and she told me to call their shop in Bowling Green, KY and talk with Dennis about what I was looking for.
I finally called Dennis one evening and explained to him the setup of my truck (2001 F-350, with 38” tires, 4.56 gears, BTS transmission), and what I wanted as far as the performance from a 6 position chip. He told me what he’d like for me to try and why. Dennis recommended the NVK4 line of programs because after numerous years tuning these trucks he felt that they provided the best performance of any of the other family of codes available. He explained the settings they offered and got me setup with a 6 position chip with the following programs: stock, 50hp, 75hp, 100hp, 140hp, and a high idle setting..
Two days later I came home from work to find my custom tuned TS Performance 6 Position chip sitting out side of my door.
The next day I set out to swap out my old DP-Tuner PMT1 6 Position chip and install the new TS Performance NVK4 6 Position chip..
Opening up the box you’ll find the switch, the custom programmed chip, installation instructions and a small scuff pad to clean the contacts on the PCM
Since I have already had various chips installed in the PCM
, the contacts were already cleaned and I didn’t have to go through the process of removing the PCM
and cleaning them. If you’re installing a chip for the first time the chip comes with good instructions for removing the PCM
and cleaning off the contacts to install the chip.
You’ll want to be sure to remove the keys from the ignition and disconnect the batteries during this process.
Swapping chips on a 99-03 7.3L PSD
is fairly simple. You’ll start by removing the two bolts that hold the PCM
to the bracket down by the parking brake (7mm socket is needed)
With the two bolts removed you can rotate the PCM
and it’s case slightly towards the brake pedal so that the case is free to be slid forward and expose the port on the PCM
Once you can access the port on the PCM
, remove the tape holding the old chip in and remove the chip
Now you’re ready to install the new TS Performance chip, but first you’ll need to plug the switch harness into the chip.
With the switch and chip connected, you can plug the chip into the PCM
Be sure that you secure the chip in the PCM
using tape. This will assure that it doesn’t come loose down the line while you are driving. Normally, I would use duct tape, but I was all out so used electrical tape:
Now with the chip securely taped in you can slide the case back over the PCM
and bolt it back up to the bracket. Be sure to properly route the harness for the switch out of the cover.
The next thing to be done is to install the switch. I chose to mount it on the dash, right next to the steering wheel by the ignition switch. A hole will need to be drilled to install the switch into the dash.
Once the hole is drilled you’re ready to mount the switch. The first thing that you’ll need to do is remove the knob from the switch. You’ll need a small allen wrench to loosen the set screw so that you can slide the knob off of the switch.
Now that the knob is removed you’ll remove the nut and washer that are below it (pay attention to the white peg to the right of the nut…this comes into play in the next step).
With the nut and washer off I also cut off that white peg that I mentioned in the previous step so that I could mount this to my dash (the peg doesn’t allow the switch to pass far enough through the dash to be able to install the washer and nut to secure it).
Pay close attention that you don’t loose that ring that is below the washer. The ring has a tang on it that sits in a slot to limit the amount of settings the switch has (i.e. if the tang is in the “4” slot you have four settings..in the “6” you have six settings, etc.). If you loose this ring the switch will continuously turn never stopped at the “first” or “last” setting.
Now you’re ready to install the switch into the dash. You’ll pass the knob and thread through the dash and then install the washer and nut. (Note: do not go crazy and really over tighten the nut. These are plastic threads and will get damaged if you over do it.)
Almost finished you can install the knob onto the switch. Just slide it back on and tighten down the set screw. Be sure to pay attention to the orientation of the flat side of the switch so that the set screw tightens onto there.
The Last step is to secure the slack in the harness for the switch and to install the fuse panel cover.
With the installation complete, I was ready to go out and test out the TS Performance 6 Position chip.
The first thing I did was switch through all the settings to make sure I was sure what setting was what. Now, I was ready to go for a test drive.
I switched into the 75hp setting since I figured this would be my daily driver setting. The first thing I noticed was the smoothness of the power when you just want to tool around town. It also is very responsive to throttle input, when you need to accelerate quickly the TS Performance chip brings the truck alive and really gets a big truck moving in a hurry. The power that the 75hp setting has when you call upon it is amazing. And never ceases to bring a smile to my face. The shifting of the transmission is equally as smooth. The DP-Tuner PMT1 programs I ran previous to these were giving me a wicked harsh downshift with my BTS transmission if I was rolling back into the throttle when it was thinking it was wanting to downshift. The beauty of taking Dennis’s advice and going with the NVK4 programs what that I no longer had any harsh downshift.
I’ve since driven in the 100hp and 140hp settings. The 100hp is very fast and responsive while still being very smooth. The 140hp setting is just wicked fast but still smooth if you try and do normal driving with it (with all that power I find it hard to drive normal
). Both settings shift just as smooth as the 75hp setting and can easily be driven around town without blowing any unwanted smoke out of the tailpipe.
Overall, I’m extremely pleased with my decision to switch from the DP-Tuner chip to the TS Performance chip. The TS Performance makes my truck run and shift smoother with my BTS transmission. TS Performance programming also gave me more responsiveness and performance when I need it. So, I ended up getting more refined, daily driver programs that will accelerate and perform awesomely.
After driving with the TS Performance chip it’s easy to see why they have been one of the leaders in the diesel performance industry.
I can’t say enough about the customer service that I’ve gotten from Dennis and Sheila Perry over at TS Performance. They’ve been awesome to deal with from start to finish.
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