I recently purchased a tuner for my 2006 Ford Mustang V6. Sure the V6 isn’t a race car or carries the horsepower of the V8 by any means but it can still put down some speed if needed. I was given this automatic V6 as a gift and still love to drift and slam the pedal to the medal whenever I feel like it, but I was told tuning your car could easily add a few HP and make it more fun to drive, so I headed over to AmericanMuscle.com and purchased the Bama iTSX Wireless Tuner.
|iSCT Tuner from AmericanMuscle via https://vekhayn.com|
The general consensus around the car community is that tuners max will add around 10 HP to your car, but many claim if your car is an automatic you may see a much better improvement due to the more aggressive gear shifts. Due to my car being automatic and naturally having really slow gear shifts and being in a spot where I will need a tune in the future (upgraded CAI, turbocharger) I figured it would make sense to start now and utilize their free tunes for life program where they promise to give free custom made tunes for the rest of your life.
The installation was fairly simple, but the wireless model has its fair share of difficulties to work with compared to the wired one due to the confusing bluetooth pairing on the wireless tuner. For more information on how to fix the problem encountered with the wireless tuner, read this post here. Really, all I had to do for the installation without the problems was simply plugging in the tuner to the OBD port in the drivers side near the pop hood button and open the app on my phone.
After I filled out the form on BAMA’s website giving them the information on my car, how aggressive I want my tune, etc. they graciously and quickly gave me a custom tune file to upload to my car via the app. I ran through the steps on the app including turning the car on/off, etc, and once uploaded, hit the road. At the bottom of my e-mail it did note that my car has an adaptive ECU so it would take some time for the car to adjust and relearn how to drive with the tune.
Honestly, at first when I installed the tune I was quite nervous. This was one of my first “car mods”. I wanted to start modding my car after getting into one of my first street races and experiencing the adrenaline rush and fun that comes with it, and I just wanted my car to be faster. However, I just dropped $400 on this and was worried I wouldn’t see much out of it. I did understand without getting something such as a turbo, supercharger, or engine I wouldn’t see much of a difference, but I wanted all I could get. I was told by one of my friends (@5.0_universe) who I’ve known for a little over three years now told me that one of the first and best mods you can get is a tuner, because not only will it help you down the road with other mods (pairing with a cold air intake can increase your MPG and HP), but it will “wake up your engine”. So I took his advice and bought it, honestly unsure of what would happen.
|VigilantCMDR’s 2006 Pony Package V6 mustang via https://vekhayn.com|
I hit the road, and luckily for me, I basically live in the middle of nowhere. I live in a rural farm area in the midwest, so I got long farm roads I can just drive through as fast as I want. At first due to the adaptive ECU everything seemed really clunky, and it was almost like this car was foreign to me, it wasn’t how I used to drive it. However, I did a few laps and after roughly 20 minutes I couldn’t stop driving and having fun with how fast it was going compared to before. What was most noticeable to me was:
- Faster and way more aggressive gear shifting.
In an automatic transmission, you usually are stuck with whatever the computer feels like doing when you’re racing, and sometimes the sequential automatic gear shifter some cars get just aren’t enough, don’t work, or in my case don’t have all the gears. My car used to shift really weird and stay in first and second gear forever before even coming close to third or fourth gear and shifted at weird points like ~4,000RPMs and slowly hit the next gear. Now with the tune my pony powerfully pushes through almost to 5.4k RPMs and shifts fast lurching the car back and propelling my car to give the Honda Civic next to me some GAPplebees. While I am not sure how healthy it is for the transmission to shift that hard or fast, I know it makes my car faster and I still have a powertrain in my car as of the date of writing this post.
- The car is the “racecar” I want with the custom tune.
- The engine really does “wakeup”.
Whenever I was driving the engine untuned I always felt like it had more in it. The shifting never really pushed the engine to its max and I felt like it accelerated slowly and was being held back. With the tune it removed all of that. Now when I accelerate I literally burnout for a second I start moving so fast, which is something I think is incredibly cool.
- Safety of the increased responsiveness of the car.
In conclusion if you’re on the edge about purchasing the tune, get it. I bought it and never have looked back. My car is so much more responsive, I feel more in control, and I feel like even though it’s a small V6 the tune easily added 15 HP to my car just by allowing the engine to work harder and shift harder making those impromptu street races, much closer!
- Have problems with your iTSX tuner connecting? Checkout my post on how to fix it here: https://vekhayn.com/how-to-fix-sct-itsx-wireless-tuner-connectivity-problems/