How To Install a Performance Chip
Posted on August 04 2021
Do you wish your truck packed more of a punch? You don't have to rebuild your engine and spend thousands on new, shiny parts to improve performance. All you need is a chip the size of your hand and less than a half hour to spare.
Performance chips are high-powered devices that can boost horsepower, torque, fuel economy, drivability, and more. Want to learn more about these handy devices and what they do? Ahead, you can learn how to install a performance chip on your Dodge Ram Cummins or Ford Powerstroke. Read on for more information.
What Are Performance Chips?
Performance chips, also known as performance modules, are devices that can access the engine's ECU (engine control unit) and change certain parameters (such as injection timing, air-to-fuel ratio, and turbo boost) to improve horsepower, torque, fuel economy, and overall performance. Some modules have data sets that tune the engine on them and others allow you to change settings freely.
The Benefits of Performance Chips
Performance chips are tiny. Most aren't much larger than your hand. But just because these chips are small doesn't mean they don’t make an impact. They pack a powerful punch. Performance chips offer innumerable benefits, but here are just a few:
Did you know that most manufacturers down-tune their vehicles before selling them? That's because they need to meet stringent emission standards. But many times, manufacturers go overboard and down-tune their vehicles excessively.
You may have a lot of power hiding away in your engine. With a performance chip, you can change the air-to-fuel ratio and timing of your engine to unlock that stowed-away power. Performance chips can add up to 35 horsepower on naturally aspirated gas engines and even more on diesel and turbocharged engines—up to 90 horsepower on the rear wheels!
Better Fuel Economy
Feel like you spend way too much time at the gas station? Is the price you pay for a fill-up exorbitant? It might be because your engine's fuel economy could use some work. Performance chips improve engine operating efficiency. This means the engine doesn't have to work as hard to generate power during the combustion process, which can improve fuel economy and reduce the amount of money and time you spend at the pumps.
Auto parts are expensive. A new transmission can cost thousands. Other components range in the mid-to-high hundreds. And most of these parts only serve one function. A performance module costs about as much as an air conditioner compressor (roughly $500-700) and can boost drivability, fuel economy, horsepower, torque, and more. And since you can install a performance module yourself, you won't have to pay extra for installation.
Make Your Truck Work For You
Trucks that are fresh from the factory come with settings manufactured to accommodate a variety of conditions (weather, terrain, speed, etc.) along with a variety of fuel grades. But unless multiple people drive your truck or you frequently travel cross-country, you don't need versatility. You need a truck that works with your specific driving style and surroundings. With a performance chip, you can change the ECU's parameters to suit your individual needs.
Are They Hard To Install?
Not in the least. You can install a performance chip on your own. That means no lengthy trips to the auto shop and no expensive labor fees. All you need is your module, a few tools, and anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes of your time. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to install one of Dr. Performance's performance chips on your Dodge Ram Cummins or Ford Powerstroke. Do you learn better through visuals? You can check out our module install videos instead.
Dodge Ram Cummins
Wondering how to install a performance chip on your Dodge Ram Cummins? You'll need:
- Your performance chip
- A long flat head screwdriver
- An adjustable wrench
- 15-30 minutes to spare
The first step involves mapping the engine. On the top of the engine on the driver's side of the valve cover, you’ll find two injection harness plugs: the flywheel harness, for the rear connections, and the engine harness, for the front connections. Disconnect the plug closest to the firewall and pair it with the module's flywheel harness. Next, disconnect the plug near the front of the engine and pair it with the module's engine fan harness. You might need to use a screwdriver to release the locking tab. To disengage it, carefully slide the blade into the lock and push it toward the valve cover.
The next step involves the engine terminals. Connect the red harness wire to the positive terminal and the black wire to the negative terminal of the driver's side battery. An adjustable wrench can help you attach the rings to the terminal. Next, take your module, plug in the main connector, and then mount the module in a secure location with zip ties. Finally, look for the small connector attached to the main harness, plug in the selector switch, and adjust the dial.
Planning to make your Powerstroke even more powerful? You'll need:
- Your performance chip
- 15-30 minutes to spare
To start, locate the fuel rail sensor. You can usually find it in the middle of the fuel rail. Once you find the sensor, disconnect the factory harness and attach the module's harness in its place. The rest of the module's harness should attach to the factory harness that you disconnected.
Next, locate the MAP sensor, which you can find on the intake manifold or intake tract. Repeat what you did with the fuel rail sensor—disconnect the factory harness, attach the module's harness, and then attach the remaining part of the module's harness to the factory harness you detached. Finally, plug the selector switch into the small connector attached to the main harness and adjust the dial.
A diesel power performance module can help unlock your truck's hidden potential. Dr. PerformanceRX's modules are powerful, easy to install, and untraceable by the ECU, which means they won't void your manufacturer's warranty. Come and shop our high-quality performance modules and other performance parts today!