Best Ford 6.7 PowerStroke Tuners
Ford introduced the 6.7 Powerstroke turbo-diesel in the Super Duty in 2011, and it has remained there since. Depending on the year, the Ford 6.7 produces 400–500 horsepower and 800–1,200 lb-ft of torque. It is certainly a beast, and like the rest of the Powerstroke family is very highly regarded. Still, for those looking to add even more power to their Super Duty, one of the top mods is a 6.7 Powerstroke tuner. With just a tuner, you can add more than 100 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. Read on to find out the best 6.7 Powerstroke tuners on the market.
6.7 Powerstroke Tuning Basics
Adding a tuner is one of the most common mods done to the 6.7 Powerstroke turbo-diesel. It is a pretty easy and cost-effective way to add lots of horsepower and torque without making any hardware modifications. Tuners are completely reversible, so you can uninstall them and return the car back to stock very easily if you end up needing to for any reason. They are a very stealth way to add power without attracting excess attention.
Pretty much every build will utilize some form of tuning, from moderate builds to crazy 1,000+ horsepower monsters. Modern cars are run almost entirely through the engine control unit (ECU), including parameters like air-to-fuel ratios, ignition timing advance, and boost pressure. Tuners allow the ECU to be rewritten so that these parameters are optimized for performance.
This can mean increasing boost pressure, advancing timing, and changing the air-to-fuel ratios. Doing this adds more horsepower and torque and improves the power band of the engine. This makes your truck quicker and makes towing and hauling much easier.
Flashback vs PiggyBack Tuners
Generally, there are two kinds of 6.7 Powerstroke tuning devices: Either flashback or piggyback tuners. They both accomplish the same goal of increasing horsepower and torque, but they go about it in very different ways.
Piggyback tuners plug directly into the ECU in most cases and manipulate its signals as they travel to and from the engine. This allows changes to boost pressure, timing, and many other variables. When you purchase a piggyback device it comes preloaded with various tunes, and these generally cannot be adjusted.
Flashback tuners are much different and much more efficient. Instead of plugging directly into the ECU they plug into the OBD II port under the dashboard. This allows them to connect to the ECU and rewrite the programming by “flashing” a new tune to it. Instead of simply manipulating the electronic signals, tuners make precise adjustments to a wider variety of parameters to increase horsepower and torque. Flash tunes can be adjusted after they are loaded onto the car, unlike piggyback units.
For 6.7 Powerstroke tuners, we recommend you use flash tuners. These provide better and more powerful results that are also safer. In addition, the failure rate on flash tuners is much lower than piggybacks. If you plan on adding mods, flash tuning is a must, as your tune can be changed to suit your new mods – unlike on piggybacks.
Ford Tuning Terminology
One thing we should probably clarify before going any further is tuning terminology. The terms “tune,” “tuning,” “tuning,” and “tuned” are sometimes used interchangeably with each other but they describe slightly different things. Additionally, E-tuning is a blanket term that is also widely used.
- Tune/Map - The file or software that is flashed to your ECU or manipulates it signals
- Tuner - Tuner can refer to either these two things:
- 1) The person/company setting the engine parameters in the tune file
- 2) The handheld device used to flash or piggyback your ECU
- Tuning - The process of adjusting the engine’s parameters
- Tuned - A car that has been modified through either a flash or piggyback tuner
- E-Tuning - The process of having one’s car tuned by a tuner through email correspondence
It’s easy to mix these up when you first start learning about the process, so don’t be discouraged. If you ever have a question as to what something means you can always double check here.
6.7 Powerstroke Tuning Benefits
Some of the benefits of a 6.7 Powerstroke tuner include:
- 100–200+ horsepower
- 200–300+ lb-ft of torque
- Improved power band
- Improved fuel economy
- Increased towing
- DTC Troubleshooting and Clearing
By far the biggest benefit to a 6.7 Powerstroke tuner is the increases in horsepower and torque. Depending on the specific tuner you use and calibration level you select, you can make anywhere from moderate to massive gains. With a tuner, the 6.7 Powerstroke can easily gain 100+ horsepower and 200+ lb-ft of torque. This makes a significant difference in terms of both speed and towing, and really transforms your truck.
In addition to better peak power, you’ll also notice a much larger overall usable power band. You’ll make more horsepower earlier and it will hold out for longer, meaning a much improved mid-range. Depending on the tune, you can also see some increases in fuel economy by a few mpg, though the more you take advantage of the newfound power the worse mileage you will ultimately get.
In addition to getting better performance, you can also get tunes that prioritize towing. Considering the primary use of most Super Dutys is going to be hauling and towing, this is a big deal. Gaining more torque makes towing noticeably easier on the 6.7 Powerstroke.
Another advantage of getting a handheld tuner is they allow for data logging, data monitoring, and DTC troubleshooting and clearing. If you want to be able to monitor things like boost pressure and diesel particulate filter (DPF) status, a tuner is a great tool that allows you to do those things. Tuners can also read and clear DTC codes, stopping you from paying a shop or buying another device.
Ford Tuning Risks
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of Ford 6.7 Powerstroke tuners, it’s important to also acknowledge the risks. Since you are taking your engine out of the factory calibrations you are also getting rid of some of the safeguards Ford put in place from the factory. Depending on how hard you push your car with modifications and tuners, they can lead to engine damage and potentially engine failure.
This is why it is important to only use reputable tuners that are well reviewed and have made a solid name for themselves in the diesel community. In some cases, your powertrain warranty can be effectively voided if you tune your truck and something happens. As long as you use a good tune you will most likely be fine, but it’s still important to acknowledge the risks.
Edge Insight CTS3 Diesel Monitor
Before getting into our list of top tuners, first let’s talk about the Edge Insight CTS3 diesel monitor. While this is not a tuner, it is a monitor that allows you to view how your engine is performing after you get it tuned. You can monitor things like boost pressure, fuel pressure, air-to-fuel ratios, exhaust gas temperature (EGT), DPF status, and more. You can also use the CTS3 to datalog to do more extensive monitoring and as a DTC reader and clearer.
The CTS3 is a great supplement for any tuned vehicle, and the new monitor is 720p HD and can be attached to the windshield for convenient placement.
Best 6.7 Powerstroke Tunes/Tuners
Without further adieu let’s get to the important part: the 3 best Ford 6.7 Powerstroke tuners:
- EZ Lynk Tuner
- SCT-X4 Performance Tuner
- SCT Livewire TS Tuner
1) EZ Lynk 6.7 Powerstroke Tuner
First on our list is the EZ Lynk 6.7 Powerstroke flash tuner. Of all the available tuners out there, the EZ Lynk is one of the most popular and well reviewed. It works for the 2013–2019 6.7 Powerstroke, and also does transmission tuning as well. Transmission tuning, when coupled with engine tuning, is a great way to take advantage of the 6.7 Powerstroke’s entire power band more efficiently.
With pre-loaded tunes, the EZ Lynk is capable of some pretty impressive performance gains. It depends on what year your Powerstroke is, but you will be able to easily gain 100+ horsepower and 200+ lb-ft of torque pretty much any year. If you are just looking to add some moderate power to improve hauling and towing without going crazy, that is also an option.
The EZ Lynk is a handheld OBD II device that has an associated phone app to use it. You simply plug in the OBD II device, fire up the app to connect, and you are good to go. They are one of the easiest to use and most popular 6.7 Powerstroke tuners on the market, and their tunes are compatible with the Edge Insight CTS3 monitor.
2) SCT-X4 Performance 6.7 Powerstroke Tuner
Next up on our list is the SCT-X4 Performance 6.7 Powerstroke Tuner. Like the EZ Lynk, the SCT-X4 is a very popular option for diesel drivers, and it offers great value. The SCT-X4 works with the 2011–2019 6.7 Powerstroke, and also offers transmission tuning, too.
The SCT-X4 comes pre-loaded with a number of tunes that will offer similar performance as the EZ Lynk, with 100+ horsepower and 200+ lb-ft of torque being fairly easy to achieve. You can also get towing tunes with SCT-X4, for those who want to optimize towing without adding gobs of horsepower and torque.
An advantage the SCT-X4 has is that it is a handheld tuner that can also be used as a monitor. Instead of being reliant on an app, the tuner itself plugs into the OBD II plug and comes with its own monitor. The screen is 2.6” x 5.5” and is full-color LCD, which looks very nice and is easy to read.
3) SCT Livewire TS 6.7 Powerstroke Tuner
Our final entry on the list is the SCT Livewire TS 6.7 Powerstroke Tuner. The SCT Livewire is very similar to the SCT-X4, but comes with a much different monitor. The Livewire TS monitor is a full 4” display with a touchscreen. It is more responsive and quicker than the X4, though it performs pretty much the same functions.
The 6.7 Powerstroke SCT Livewire offers transmission tuning like the X4 and comes with a number of pre-loaded tunes. Both the Livewire and X4 are capable of holding a maximum of 10 tunes, and it’s pretty easy to switch between them on the Livewire. Like the EZ Lynk and X4-, the Livewire TS can add 100+ horsepower and 200+ lb-ft of torque to the 6.7 Powerstroke.
Really, the difference between the X4 and Livewire TS is price and the monitor. Compared with the X4, the Livewire TS monitor is leaps and bounds better. It’s bigger and has a touchscreen, though it is also almost $200 more expensive. If you really like the ability to monitor and use the DTC reader it is probably worth it.
6.7 Powerstroke Tuning Summary
Tuning the 6.7 Powerstroke is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to increase horsepower and torque and make towing a breeze. You can easily add 100+ horsepower and 200+ lb-ft of torque if you want to, or you can get something more moderate to wake the engine up and optimize it for towing.
The top three options for 6.7 Powerstroke tuners are the EZ Lynk SCT-X4, and the SCT-Livewire TS. All of them offer similar benefits as each other, and the decision really comes down to convenience. The EZ Lynk is only available via an app, which can create its own problems with connections. Both the X4 and Livewire TS have handheld monitors, with the Livewire’s being much better and more user friendly.
You can’t go wrong with upgrading to a 6.7 Powerstroke tuner on your Ford Super Duty. They add power, make towing easier, and are very cost effective. Once you get one you’ll wonder why you never did before.