Most Popular ECM Programmers for Diesel Trucks
These popular plug-and-play OBDII devices allow users to tailor a truck’s performance for specific needs.
The phrase "there are levels to this (expletive)" is easily applied to modifying a diesel pickup truck; especially enhancing its engine's performance. Powertrain upgrades typically range from proverbial "wild to mild," and of course, their cost increases exponentially based on whatever changes are made.
For diesel rigs later than 1994, all roads to managing engine functions pass through the Engine Control Module (ECM); an on-board computer that essentially dictates every move that a truck's primary powertrain systems (fueling, cooling, automatic transmission, etc.) make.
As engine mods such as adding turbochargers and increasing fuel volume are performed, changes in various ECM strategies (also known as "tuning") is required. These calibration adjustments are accomplished through use of electronic devices formally called ECM programmers--"tuners" in Diesel Guy parlance--that plug directly into the OBDII port and communicate one-to-one with module.
The primary function of most popular programmers for diesel trucks is facilitating the transfer of pre-programmed and/or custom calibrations (tunes) into and out of a truck's ECM. However, in addition to file shuttling, programmers can process and present (through a gauge or LCD monitor) real-time temperature, pressure, volume and other powertrain values, read, define and clear Diagnostic Trouble Codes, calculate horsepower and torque (and speed over distance by using GPS), and perform many other operations.
Many popular ECM programmers are pre-loaded by manufacturers with simple, safe, and in many cases, emissions-compliant calibrations featuring fueling, transmission-shift-point, and other changes that override stock settings and improve driving and towing performance (through incremental horsepower and torque increases), as well as promote fuel-mileage gains.
Operating most programmers is intuitively simple. With the device connected to an OBDII port, users can make desired changes by following prompts and selecting various icons on the device's screen (or pressing buttons on the unit itself), and cycling the (ignition) key as directed.
Here are three of the most popular ECM programmers for diesel trucks. They all support the Cummins, Duramax and Power Stroke engines (across several year ranges) found in Ram, GM and Ford pickups, and are great "first-mod" options for diesel owners who want to improve their stock rigs' performance.
|Most Popular ECM Programmers for Diesel Trucks|
|Product||Ford||Supported Years||GM||Supported Years||Ram||Supported Years|
|1||Edge Evolution CTS2||X||1994 - 2019||X||2001 - 2016||X||2003 - 2012|
|2||Bully Dog BDX||X||2008 - 2019||X||2006 - 2010||X||2013 - 2016|
|3||Banks AutoMind 2||X||1999 - 2016||X||2001 - 2016||X||2004 - 2012|