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Hey I am asking you guys for some advice on a 50th Birthday present for my father. He has a bone stock 2004 Ford 6.0 with maybe maybe 80,000 miles on it. It is his daily driver to and from work. He also uses it ... JOIN NOW TO REMOVE TRACER

Tuner and guages for Ford 6.0?

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Old 05-08-2012, 10:58 AM

Default Tuner and guages for Ford 6.0?

Hey I am asking you guys for some advice on a 50th Birthday present for my father. He has a bone stock 2004 Ford 6.0 with maybe maybe 80,000 miles on it. It is his daily driver to and from work. He also uses it to tow our 38ft toy hauler with a rhino and 4 banshees inside... so he is pushing the weight limits with it being stock.

My father is a simple man. He has been asking for a tuner for years just to give him a few more MPG when he is commuting and a good tune to give his truck the extra boost when towing the toys. My dilemma is that my father is not too into gauges, but I and everyone here knows those are necessary mods before you add any aftermarket parts or tuners. I am new to the tuner world of diesels, so I am asking if there are any tuners out there that not only tune the truck but also display the current information like dash gauges would. I am looking for a two for one here to be honest. Price limit is not really an issue if this product exists.

Any and all others suggestions I am completely open to. My Dad just wants the extra MPG and I guess some more torque for towing. Also my Dad trucks has had a tough life for not even being broken in at 80,000 miles. It blew a head gasket at about 45,000... thank god under warranty still. And about 4 months ago the FICM went out so he had to get that replaced. Pretty much the most common flaws of the 6.0
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:31 AM
Karls03's Avatar
Diesel Wrench


I would say an SCT Live Wire would answer you question. Some guys say Edge, but having used Edge in mine, I would NOT recommend them to another 6.0 driver. I will say that switching to SCT stabilized the mpgs on my 6.0 over Edge. I drive from northern NV to Vegas 2~3 times a year and with the Edge, a cross wind took me down to 12 mpg HWY With SCT tunes I have seen 15 in a cross wind, 17 clear. On 35s with a 6" lift, that ain't too bad.

SCT Performance - SCT Livewire Handheld Ford Programmer Part Number: 9600

From there you can get custom tunes to haul all sorts of loads or tunes to go fast. Most of us get our best MPG driving "normal" on the more aggressive tunes, not the "mileage" tunes.

Hope this helps and

Karls03's Sig:SRL + 4" exhaust = 13.89@96.68

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Old 05-08-2012, 11:40 AM
Mdub707's Avatar


If money isn't an issue, just go with a handheld SCT tuner with custom tunes, like the X-cal 3, and then for a gauge setup in a pod, go with the EDGE CTS. Use it for gauges only though, no tuning. I think the CTS makes a much nicer monitor than the livewire. The livewire looks primitive next to it.

Though, you may want to stick around a little while and read up, you may be opening a can of worms. If he had the gaskets blow on a stock truck, adding more power is only going to make this worse.

An EGR delete and a coolant filter may be better buys for your dads truck...

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Old 05-08-2012, 11:48 AM

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Thanks! I have definitely seen a trend towards SCT tuners for the 6.0 so I am glad they have one to suit my dad's needs. Thanks for the reply! And the crosswind example is impressive. We go through El Cajon pass in California... super steep incline (where my dad blew his head gasket towing the toys and trailer) and at the top the winds can get pretty dangerous so that is a good thing to know.

---AutoMerged DoublePost---

Hey Mdub,

I had looked at the Edge CTS, but I was not really sure if I could take the plunge. It seems like so much technology. My husband has a 91.5 1st gen cummins so I feel like a fish out of water when it comes to these super electronics. I am interested to see what other people have to suggest.

One thing is my Dad is not super tech savvy, so something user friendly is a plus. If he likes something he will learn to use it. The internet was a big pain for him a while back, but now he can surf auto trader online like nobody's business. Ha. Do you think livewire might fall under the category of being hard to navigate?

Last edited by MrsZ; 05-08-2012 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:01 PM
Mdub707's Avatar


Honestly the livewire and the CTS serve the same function. With the livewire you're combining your tuning and gauges into one package. With the way I suggested, the X-3 is just a plug in, tune your truck, unplug and toss it in the glove box kind of thing, and the CTS would be your gauges. I only say that simply because it's nicer looking. The livewire would still suit your needs just fine.

No matter what you do, you want an SCT product for tuning and you definitely want custom tunes.

For simplicity sake you may be better just going with the livewire then. Keep it all in one package for your dad. Gauges are a must. For tuning, the biggest thing is going to be choosing who to go with!

Popular one's are:

Eric @ Innovative
Doug @ GoGo
Vivian @ QuickTrick
Matt @ Gearhead

I have one of Eric's aggressive towing tunes I use for hauling my camper, makes towing a pleasure! It's about 70hp over stock and Eric claims it's safe to tow up to the max GVWR of the truck, so basically anything you can throw at it.

I would still recommend a coolant filter, they're ~$130.

For gauges, you will need to get the "add-on" EGT probe though to work with the livewire. Not a big deal, just as long as you know it's extra. I think the livewire will be like anything. No one is going to know how to navigate it right away, but I'm sure as he uses it he'll figure it out.

Anytime it comes to gauges or things to monitor for the 6.0, here's my list of most important gauges...

Fuel pressure #1!!! Low fuel pressure will cause low power and will destroy injectors. 55psi+ is a good number. Ford says lower than 45psi and you're doing damage... just food for thought.
Engine oil temp and engine coolant temp. These two work together. The difference in temp between the two shouldn't spread more than 15* If the spread gets larger than that, it means the oil cooler is failing. When the oil cooler clogs/fails, it leads to blown egr coolers and possibly blown headgaskets again. Not a lot of people know this, but it's really the root of most of those major failures. A lot of times people will have new headgaskets done and the tech not knowing anything about 6.0's wont touch the oil cooler... and then you're right back in the mess again in another month. An oil cooler rebuild is only $235 or so... headgaskets as I'm sure you know are MUCH more. Gauges are just cheap insurance! Luckily the livewire can monitor those two functions. For fuel pressure you'd probably need another add-on like the pyro (EGT). The EGT would be a good gauge to watch too, especially towing with a tuner.

Is this truck auto or manual? Auto's in these usually run pretty cool but if you're towing THAT much weight it might not be bad to watch that too. I think the livewire can monitor that without any plug-ins though.

Welcome to DB!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:57 PM
Karls03's Avatar
Diesel Wrench


The only thing I have to add to what Mdub has put out is to make sure you are looking at the CTS Insight. CTS is Edge's new product line and can be had with or without power programs, the Insight is strictly a gauge monitor. Either way, they both require an add on EGT probe and the CTS is very expandable.
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