DIAL A SMILE

IN­STALLING A BDP6-PO­SI­TION CHIP ON A 7.3L FORD

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents -

In­stalling a BDP 6-po­si­tion chip on a 7.3L Ford

Like many work truck own­ers, Matt Ford wanted to get more ef­fi­ciency out of his 2000 Ford F-250 7.3L Power Stroke with­out a lot of down time. He wanted some­thing that would work with the waste veg­etable oil sys­tem he has on the truck.

Ford turned his truck over to Jonathan Jones at Beans Diesel Per­for­mance in Wood­bury, Ten­nessee, to dyno-test the Beans Diesel Per­for­mance 6-po­si­tion chip. He uses the truck to tow used ve­hi­cles pur­chased from all over the coun­try back to his shop, MF Au­to­mo­tive in Knoxville, Tenn., and was happy to get more power out of his truck, but was pri­mar­ily fo­cused on im­prov­ing fuel econ­omy. But ad­ding the ca­pa­bil­ity to switch on the fly be­tween six dif­fer­ent tunes for his truck was a great bonus. He opted to have the stock, high idle, tow, daily driver, econ­omy and per­for­mance (hot) tunes pro­grammed onto the chip.

Af­ter Jones strapped the truck to the Dyno Dy­nam­ics chas­sis dyno, he ran a few base­line pulls with both #2 diesel and the aux­il­iary veg­gie oil. On diesel fuel the truck made 224.8 horse­power and 478 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t too bad for a truck with more than 335,000 miles. But as is usu­ally the case, the old Power Stroke was leav­ing some­thing on the ta­ble. The pulls on veg­gie oil showed a drop in peak power of just over 5 hp, to 219.6, and torque mea­sured at 458 lb-ft.

The BDP 6-po­si­tion chip was then cre­ated with the fol­low­ing six in­di­vid­ual tunes: high idle in po­si­tion 1, stock in po­si­tion 2, econ­omy in po­si­tion 3, tow in po­si­tion 4, daily driver in po­si­tion 5 and the per­for­mance tune in po­si­tion 6. While the chip was burn­ing in the of­fice, Jones re­moved the ECU from the truck and mod­i­fied the plas­tic ECU case to al­low him to

re­move or in­stall the chip in the fu­ture with­out hav­ing to re­move the ECU from the truck.

Be­fore re­turn­ing the ECU to the hous­ing, he re­moved the fac­tory ac­cess cover and split the case to care­fully clean the ter­mi­nals on the cir­cuit board. Jones tells us that when in­stalling a 7.3L chip clean­ing the ter­mi­nals is a vi­tal step that is of­ten over­looked or im­prop­erly done, caus­ing in­ter­mit­tent prob­lems down the road. He cleans the ter­mi­nals with a piece of Scotch-brite, mak­ing sure to re­move any coat­ing or cor­ro­sion buildup on both sides of the brass ter­mi­nals.

Af­ter re­assem­bling the ECU, he slips it into the plas­tic hous­ing, re­in­stalls it un­der the dash and re­con­nects the har­ness. The ro­tary con­trol knob har­ness is then plugged into the chip and the chip is in­stalled into the ECU, mak­ing sure it is fully seated on the cir­cuit board. The 6-po­si­tion ro­tary knob wiring har­ness is routed un­der the dash to the area to the right of the steer­ing col­umn. A hole is drilled to ac­com­mo­date the con­trol knob. To fin­ish the in­stal­la­tion, he bends the face­plate to match the dash con­tour, mounts the con­trol knob and then fires up the truck to ver­ify the chip oper­a­tion.

With ev­ery­thing but­toned up and work­ing prop­erly, Jones starts the dyno rollers spin­ning again. Since the truck is nor­mally op­er­ated on waste veg­etable oil, each tune was dy­noed with the truck run­ning on veg­gie. Us­ing the BDP econ­omy tune, the truck put down 243.7 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque for an in­crease of 24.1 and 20, re­spec­tively. Step­ping up to the tow tune, the truck made 287.0 horse­power and just over 600 lb-ft of torque with a huge bump in both horse­power and torque from 2,000 to 3,000 rpm, where it will re­ally help when tow­ing a heavy load. Mov­ing to the daily tune, the truck made 309.3 hp and about 690 lb-ft of torque with peaks around 2,400 rpm and fall­ing off steadily from there. The BDP hot tune picked up about 5 more horse­power at a peak of 314.5 and about 740 lb-ft of torque.

To wrap things up, Jones made a few pulls us­ing the hot tune on stan­dard #2 diesel. It made a peak of 341.7 hp—an im­prove­ment of 117.7 when com­pared to the stock run on diesel fuel! Torque was also greatly im­proved over stock with 744 lb-ft of torque com­pared to

the 470 lb-ft we mea­sured as stock. The power band was very wide and vir­tu­ally flat from 2,400 to 3,400 rpm, show­ing that even a high-mileage truck like this can ben­e­fit greatly from a sim­ple chip and cus­tom tun­ing.

If you own a 7.3L Power Stroke truck and are look­ing for flex­i­bil­ity in tune se­lec­tion, check with the guys at Beans Diesel Per­for­mance; they can cre­ate a com­bi­na­tion of tunes to meet your needs. And by the way, in the short time the truck has been on the road since the BDP chip in­stal­la­tion, Ford es­ti­mates that fuel mileage has im­proved by 3.5 miles per gal­lon to 17 mpg while tow­ing a 4,000-pound load! UDBG

This small won­der from Beans Diesel Per­for­mance can store six cus­tom tunes and al­lows switch-on-the-fly changes. Even in an old road war­rior like this truck with more than 335,000 miles on the clock the BDP chip al­lowed it to pick up about 120 horse­power and 275 lb-ft of torque!

2 The red dyno graph is from the dyno pull on diesel fuel re­sult­ing in a 224.8-hp peak mea­sure­ment, while the blue graph shows the WVO re­sults with a 219.6-hp peak.

1 Af­ter strap­ping the truck down to the Dyno Dy­nam­ics chas­sis dyno, Jonathan Jones makes base­line dyno pulls with both diesel fuel and waste veg­etable oil.

3 Jones cus­tom burns the tunes to the BDP 6-po­si­tion chip to match each cus­tomer’s re­quested tun­ing and switch or­der.

4 To re­move the ECU from the truck, Jones first loosens the 10mm bolt se­cur­ing the har­ness to the ECU from the en­gine side of the fire­wall.

12

Most of BDP’S cus­tomers choose to mount the ro­tary knob in the panel to the right of the steer­ing col­umn. Jones drills the mount­ing hole for the switch.

8

The ac­cess plug must be re­moved from the end of the ECU; a small screw­driver is per­fect for the task.

9

To get bet­ter ac­cess to the cir­cuit board, Jones opens the ECU and thor­oughly cleans the ter­mi­nals on the board with a Scotch-brite pad.

11

The ECU is re­in­stalled in the truck by in­stalling the mount­ing bracket bolts then con­nect­ing the har­ness un­der the hood and tight­en­ing the 10mm bolt. Then the BDP chip and har­ness can be in­stalled into the ECU.

5 Mov­ing to the in­side of the cab, the mount­ing bolts are re­moved and the ECU can be re­moved from the truck.

6&7 Jones then cuts away some of the plas­tic from the ECU mount­ing bracket to make room for the in­stal­la­tion of the BDP chip, which will slide into the end of the ECU af­ter it is mounted in the truck.

10

With the ECU board cleaned and the case re­assem­bled, Jones slides it back into the mount­ing bracket that has been mod­i­fied to al­low the BDP Chip to slide into the ECU with­out re­mov­ing the ECU from the truck again.

14

Com­par­ing the base­line dyno graph (red) on diesel fuel to the BDP hot tune dyno graph (blue) shows a huge bump in power, as well as a much flat­ter and wider power band to make this one happy 7.3L Power Stroke.

13 Jones also bends the switch plate to match the con­tour of the dash and in­stalls the switch and knob to com­plete the in­stal­la­tion.

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