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Diablo Predator post trip report

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Old 12-07-2004, 09:00 AM
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Diablo Predator post trip report

I posted this as a reply to Sloberdog but thought I would start a new thread with it as well. This is my non-scientific seat of the pants review of my Predator experience:

I bought a Diablo more to try and help my mileage while towing my 5000# toybox with my F150 SC 4.6L. I got 18pmg hwy empty vs. 8-9mpg towing at 70-75mph.

Just went round trip from FL to WV. I had the performance tune installed and 93 octane fuel for the first half of the trip. Was pretty discouraged about the mpg. Saw no discernable difference - maybe even a little less but could have been driving harder. Hard to tell about the power difference from FL to North GA which was mostly flat.

Decided to put the stock tune and 87 octane back in instead of paying $.20/gal more for premium. When we hit the Smoky mountains I went down to 45mph in 2nd gear at full throttle. The next tank I re-installed the Diablo tune and bought premium gas. I could not believe the difference. I NEVER got below 55-60mph on another long up-hill pull!

Since returning to FL my around town driving mpg doesn't seem to be any better than the stock tune with 87 octane. The shifts are definitely much firmer and if I want to race from light to light it is faster, but not worth paying 20 cents/gal more for fuel. I am going to retard the timing on the Diablo tune and run 87 octane and see how I do on the next tank.

Was the Predator worth the $$? If you are pulling a load up-hill or racing soccer moms from light to light it is worth the $$. If you are looking for improved fuel economy and only pull your toys a couple time/year it may not be.

Oh I also have a K&N filter which I don't think is worth the $$ (read a post on here from a non-scientific study that seemed to prove it) and just installed a Flowmaster Series 50 muffler (after my trip). I spoke with the tech guy at Flowmaster. He said unless I really just wanted dual exhaust I would be fine with just replacing my OEM muffler with the 50 series to allow it to breath. Very little if any performance would be gained by going with single in dual out tailpipes. I'm not sure if a full Cat-back system would help or not.

I was unable to do real-time data logging to my laptop on the trip. I could store the info and then download it but never got the real-time to work.

Any feedback or other experiences would be great.
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Old 12-07-2004, 01:54 PM
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I concur.

The MPG hardly changed on my 4.6v8, but the improvement in throttle response is simply amazing. Shifting is much quicker and snappier too. I also like the fact that I can tweak the shifting parameters to my taste.

Is it worth it? I say YES. The fun factor in driving is greatly improved. It's all about smiles-per-gallon anyway, right? I don't tow or race soccer moms but I do enjoy occasional spirited driving.

Still not convinced? Now I have an OBDII Diagnostic Fault Code reader for my car and any 96+ Ford. Those devices are like $300. Plus I can monitor hundreds of items like Transmission Fluid Temperature, Engine Coolant Temperature, Intake Air Temperature, Spark Advance, etc.

Still not worth it? You'll save quite a bit if you later need to change gears or tire sizes. It lets me recalibrate the speed sensor to account for the gear/tire change. Those speedo calibrators are like $80. If you are going strictly off-road, swap out your exhaust with one without cats and the Predator can shut off the rear O2 sensors. There's another $50 you'd save for sensor bypass things.

Premium fuel in Fort Worth, TX is about $0.10 to $0.15 more than Regular. On a typical 14 gallon fill up, that's only $1.50-$2.00. That's well worth the increased throttle response to me.
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