SCT X3 with Torrie Tunes - first impressions

Lincoln LS

  1. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    Uploaded the 3 tune files I bought from Torrie to the X3 device, and decided to go out at lunch to program a custom tune into the LS. Decided to start with "Aggressive."

    Being cautious, I went ahead and pulled the cooling fan fuse, as well as turned off the NAV head unit (even though I'm sure my amps were still on), and climate controls.

    1. Uploading the "Stock" programming to the X3 from the LS only took about 3 minutes.

    2. Downloading the tune file to the LS took a little over 5 minutes - maybe the X3 communicates faster than the XCal2 did.

    I don't think I'll pull the cooling fan fuse anymore, as I should be ok if it's running for under 10 minutes.

    Impressions of the changes from the tune - a lot better in several things. WAY better throttle response - the hesitation in response from the pedal is pretty much gone. Agree with others that the shifts are quicker and a little more firm (especially when using D4). I have not tried SST yet with the changes.

    However, I ALso ended up having the ungodly loud/whiny cooling fan issue that at least one other member had - I think it was BlackLS06. Torrie sent me a modified tune file to try for Aggressive. I'm going to load it in a little bit to see if that fixes it.

    Torrie has been phenomenal in how responsive he is to my emails/questions, but unfortunately, he doesn't really provide that much information in them. No tech details whatsoever. I guess I don't mind if the issue gets fixed. He's indicated that he'll send me modified files for the other 2 tunes if this does work.
     
  2. 2002_lincolnLS

    2002_lincolnLS Custom User Title

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    its to bad you can't duplicate tunes and send to each other and load via laptop. maybe I'll work on that
     
  3. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    Yeah, it would have been nice not to pay $150 for 3 electronic files. However, this way I'm able to get support from Torrie - and from the issue I posted previously, I definitely needed it.
     
  4. Ivan_D

    Ivan_D Well-Known LVC Member

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    ^^I don't see why you couldn't, at least within the same model year.

    Tru-Blu, can you check & post your fuel mileage with this tune?
    What are the other options you got besides "aggressive"?
     
  5. DENNISJR60

    DENNISJR60 Dedicated LVC Member

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    I think mine came with Aggressive, Performance & Economy(?).
     
  6. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    Yep, that's what I received. He couldn't (or wouldn't) make the tune files without the Vehicle Strategy code, which requires you to plug the device into the car to get it. I'm assuming that most Gen II LS' will have the same strategy code, but some have indicated that they have seen different values for it (maybe that was Gen I vs. Gen II, I don't know).

    I just downloaded the modified Aggressive tune file to the car, and it seems to have stopped the Max Speed cooling fan issue. I let the car idle for about 15 minutes, and intermittently revved it. Hopefully that would have been enough for the fan to kick in. I had only driven the car down the street before the max fan issue kicked in previously. I honestly don't remember how loud the fan was in a stock setting. I DO know that the fan isn't doing what it did with the first Aggressive tune file that he sent me - at least so far.

    I'd like to know what he changed so that I can better understand it - especially because I don't want there to be any risk of damage to the car either by the fan running too high or not high enough. Hopefully, he'll be willing to provide more technical information this time.

    Replacing the custom tune took less than 4 mins, though so it was nice not to pull any fuses or such.
     
  7. NYC LS8

    NYC LS8 Dedicated LVC Member

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    Because your VIN is written within the tune file.
     
  8. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    Also, for 2002 - the tune files are coded/linked to the serial number of the scanner device so if you tried to load a tune file that was coded for a different scanner serial number, it will abort the upload to the device. I'm sure they did this to prevent the "sharing" option from being possible.

    You've have to be a decent hacker or possess pretty good programming skills to work around that. I'm in I.T. (although I don't really have to program that much), and would be curious as to what type of encryption (if any) they're using on the files - although I'm pretty sure they'd never tell me that. If there's no encryption then I would think that they're probably built in C++ or maybe even in Visual Basic.
     
  9. 2002_lincolnLS

    2002_lincolnLS Custom User Title

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    I suppose you could duplicate the fil on the computer and use the same tuner on both cars not nesicarliy just the tune it self. but, I don't know what kind of copywrite/pirating laws there would be against that. I would rather avoid a law suit with sct if they were to be aware of that.
     
  10. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    I hear ya. I'm pretty much a "by the book" guy too when it comes to stuff like this. The clincher for me was getting direct support from Torrie if I had an issue with the results of the tune changes. As others have confirmed, he's great at responding quick and working with you to fix any issue.

    Hopefully, this is my only one but time will tell.
     
  11. gcwimmer

    gcwimmer Dedicated LVC Member

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    The tunes are linked to a Vin # and are created around the individual hexacode vehicle. My dealer did a update re flash that changed my hexacode and the tunes would not work, Torrie had to update my custom tunes.

    So hacking and working around for another vehicle would be difficult, probable cheaper and less of an hassle to just get a legit tune.
     
  12. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    Agreed, GC
     
  13. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    Update from my latest interactions from Torrie:

    Here's a copy of the email I sent him letting him know that his modified file for the Aggressive tune appears to have fixed the max speed fan issue. I tried to ask him a little more info on what he had to change to fix it.

    ---------------
    Torrie,
    The modified Aggressive tune file you sent me seems to have fixed the "Max Speed" cooling fan issue. I can't remember how much the fan ran before with stock pcm programming, but I KNOW that it's not running at max speed like the previous file caused it to. I have no desire to modify your tune files in any way on the device, but I'm definitely interested to know what you changed. The concern is whether or not the fan was running too high/too much (as in the previous file) to what it's running now - if there's any risk of causing an issue down the road. I'm not expecting you to know that latter, but hope you'll at least explain what you changed and why you changed it.

    I let the car idle for about 15 minutes after installing your revised Aggressive tune. I intermittently revved it slightly in attempt to get the engine warm enough for the fan to kick on. I had only driven the car down the street when it came on with the previous file. So, hopefully that was enough to determine if the issue is gone.

    Thanks,

    ----------------

    Torrie's reply to me was this:

    "I know it’s gone because I made it go away. I’ll modify the other files and send them "

    ----------------

    My reply back to him:

    Sorry, I'm not trying to be a jerk in the additional questions - just trying to understand. Did you reduce a "max fan speed" setting or something similar, was it a fan rpm range you had to set or modify? Again, I'm never going to be modifying any settings of your tunes - I just want to know what the change was so I can be in a better position to deal with any mechanical or operating issue that might be related to it in the future.

    Thanks again for your help,

    ---------------

    To which, his response was:

    "No temperature only"

    ----------------

    Now, granted, he's been ultra-fast in responding and appears to have fixed the issue. But, if you have someone who is politely asking for just a little more info several times (and explaining why he's asking it), wouldn't you think it would be reasonable to provide a little bit more? Something like, "I had to modify the temperature values for when the fan turns on and back off" or something similar to that. I have no idea how he's changing the fan's operation based on his response. So, I'm a little concerned - not a lot - just a little. I'd feel better knowing how my fan's operation is now based on his modification to the tune file.
     
  14. jolinc01

    jolinc01 Dedicated LVC Member

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    I wasn't real impressed with his smart*ss arrogant attitude when I dealt with him, and I'll leave it at that. :mad:
     
  15. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    Joe, I was kinda wondering if it was that. Initially, I was thinking that he was probably busy and was trying to get to everything as quickly as possible. Kinda giving him the benefit of the doubt or at least a "glass half-full" approach.

    Now I'm not so sure. Your comments make me wonder if it's what you're suggesting. Ironically, he asked me to spread the word to others when I thanked him for his quick service. However, I don't know if I can do that if he's not going to be willing to answer a reasonable request for a little more info.

    After I paid him, he had the files to me in less than 15 minutes. That's $150.00 for less than 15 minutes work. Granted, you could say that a good chunk of the charge was for his expertise as well as the software used to created them. However, when you are modifying how your car's computer and drivetrain operate to this level, it should not be unreasonable to expect at least a small description of what each custom tune file will do. I ended up getting more description of the results from threads/posts of people that are running the tune files instead of the guy that actually created them. Unfortunately, that may be too subjective. Torrie should be able to provide descriptions or summaries based on fact/what he is changing in the tunes. It shouldn't be that hard to do, and would definitely help his "customer service" skills.
     
  16. 2002_lincolnLS

    2002_lincolnLS Custom User Title

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    is this torrie guy just some random dude or does ha have like a tuning company, The whole 150 dollars on top of the xcal price is way to damn much, especially if the guy isn't willing to let you know what the hell you are putting on your car
     
  17. Thirdworlddoug

    Thirdworlddoug Well-Known LVC Member

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    hmmm...this all very interesting i purchased a sct tuner yesterday and contacted torrie about price and specifics for a tune. He seemed nice and willing to help, but he just might want my business. Also 150 for 3 tunes does seem expensive especially when he has them all ready made and may just adjust for a couple of factors for each customer, but i have never purchased a tune before and i guess i am also paying for future questions being answered, etc...
     
  18. jolinc01

    jolinc01 Dedicated LVC Member

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    Tru I agree 100%. He's a great tuner and is very fast at getting back to you, but he doesn't seem very friendly, which I guess most people don't care anymore as long as they get their tunes. Personally I'd still like to seal a deal with a handshake...
     
  19. M4rk

    M4rk Dedicated LVC Member

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    His responses are very much Steve Jobs-esque. I wouldn't buy chit from a person that doesn't bother addressing customer concerns with more than a sentence.
     
  20. Thirdworlddoug

    Thirdworlddoug Well-Known LVC Member

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    ya he owns his own business http://www.fastpartsnetwork.com/ or http://www.unleashedtuning.com/ one of those. and it does seem like he is a very busy guy..
     
  21. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    Thirdworld, you are definitely paying for him to answer questions in that $150 - just don't expect him to answer them with much of anything.

    There are times when you don't seem to get what you pay for.

    That being said, I hope I don't have any issues or need to contact him with questions. If there are other tuning companies out there that deal with SCT Tuners and Ford/Lincolns, you may want to talk to them first. I think I saw an ad for Bama Tuners on SCT's website. Actually, if you click on "Find a Dealer" on their website you can just put in your area code and range of travel to find a bunch of shops that may be able to help you.

    In my case, hindsight is definitely 20/20. :confused:
     
  22. Bullschmidt

    Bullschmidt LVC Photographer

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    He does own a couple tuning companies, but the fact is he put in alot of work upfront to develop these tunes and now just sits back and can prepare one for you in a matter of minutes. All the while he is sitting in his garage playing with his Ford GT and chatting on facebook
     
  23. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    I'm gonna have to issue my opinion of "buyer beware" based on this experience. I'm sure there are other tuners out there that are just as technically capable, but are willing to provide their customers with a little more information to help them as they are extensively modifying how the pcm and drivetrain operate in their LS.

    I can't reasonably recommend him based on the experience I had. Yes, he turned the files around quick and promptly returned emails - but that's it. I think my $150 should warrant a little bit more.

    My opinion - anyone else's mileage (or lack thereof) may vary.
     
  24. gcwimmer

    gcwimmer Dedicated LVC Member

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    Torrie was instrumental in cracking the Lincoln LS code, and safe to say he has done more Lincoln LS tunes than all other Lincoln LS tuners combine. $150 for three tunes seems very reasonable to me with the short turn around time. Have heard of other members getting tunes from other tuners with little or no follow up and end up buying another tune from Torrie.

    I purchased from Torrie my tunes, and can't say enough good in customer support and performance.
     
  25. Tru-Blu

    Tru-Blu Dedicated LVC Member

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    Like I've already posted, I'm not knocking the responsiveness in getting the files or communication in general. I'm just disappointed with the "quality" of communication. If someone never has a question or never has an issue with a tune, that won't be an issue.

    However, I do feel that due to what is being modified (and how much) that a good chunk of people are going to have questions about something on it. There also needs to be a reasonable range of what the questions should be, though. I wouldn't expect a tuner to hold my hand in walking me through the entire process of getting my device ready and loading a tune onto my car. But I do expect that if I'm asking for just a brief description or explanation of the tunes or a modification to one of them that I could get something more than the bone I received.

    Obviously, since I paid the $150 I AM hoping that my satisfaction of the tune files' performance will be like yours, GC. That is truly what matters in the end. I still stand by my statement that there are probably other tuner shops out there that can support the LS - it would take some digging, for sure.

    When you have one person that is unhappy or unsatisfied with a certain aspect of customer service, you can certainly attribute that to the possibility of personal experience or subjectiveness. When you start getting several people that are unhappy about the same thing, then I feel that there may be a consistent pattern that should not be overlooked or dismissed.
     

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