The 7.3 Powerstroke is considered by most as one of the best engines you could get inside a Ford heavy-duty truck.
It has excellent horsepower and is truly a beast in the ocean of hundreds of engines which sound good only on paper. But what you do not know is that it is capable of a lot more than what comes out of the factory.
Moreover, to access that hidden potential, you have to get a tuner, which allows you to gain more horsepower and torque from your engine. After extensive research, I have compiled a list of the best tuner for 7.3 Powerstroke, which will allow your drive to be upgraded to a whole new level.
So, let’s dive into it.
4 Top Best 7.3 Powerstroke Tuners & Programmers Comparison
1. Superchips Flashpaq 1805 Programmer
Here we have in the first place a product by a company that has scored a top spot. Superchips make extremely good tuners. They have earned a spot on most of my articles, thanks to their engineers’ work and effort. 1805 Programmer is another example of their superb engineering, and I am going to tell you why.
Designed to work for the 1999 to 2003 versions of the Powerstroke, it is, by far, the excellent option you can buy for your truck. You will notice some big improvement in not only horsepower and torque, but better fuel efficiency too.
The installation of this product is extremely easy. It plugs directly into the OBDII port, making it a one-wire connection. You don’t need to deal with fuses or even open the trunk to install them.
You can choose from three preinstalled tunes. They are towing, performance and economy. Each tune has been thoroughly tested to ensure it will provide a significant and observable boost in the area you require.
All of this can be done from the built-in screen, which makes navigation easy and simple.
Moreover, the work of this programmer does not end on that. You get all the basic stuff you would require from a tuner. You get a tool that can read diagnostic trouble codes, or more commonly known as DTCs.
They can help pinpoint any issues in the vehicle, so you can get them fixed. The codes are also explained, so you don’t have to search the net to know what each code means.
You can also calibrate the vehicle’s speedometer after changing your tire size for a more accurate representation of the speed you are traveling at.
The tire height can be chosen up to 38 inches, making it usable for a vast array of tires. You can change the engine’s top speed limit so you can really get going when you need to.
This tuner can be upgraded over the internet, and you can download new tunes from the manufacturer’s website. So, you can truly customize what type of performance you want from your truck. You just have to download the appropriate tune to do so. All of this can be done by connecting it to a PC.
- Plug and play design
- Easily updatable
- Can download new tunes
- Speedometer calibration
If this was any other manufacturer, I would have said that they truly outdid themselves. But with Superchips, they always make such tuners that receive an overwhelmingly positive response. This one is the excellent option available right now for the Powerstroke engine.
2. Edge Products 15001 Evolution Programmer
In second place is a product by another highly reputable manufacturer, which makes great tuners. The 15001 Evolution Programmer by Edge Products is an amazing product and has been mostly positively reviewed by the people who bought them.
It allows up to 100 horsepower and 200 pounds of torque to give you a sneak peek, more than the stock settings.
This programmer has three levels to choose from. They are simply labeled levels 1, 2, and 3, which provide a 60, 80, or 100 HP performance boost, respectively. So, you can choose the performance mode you desire and experience, first-hand, your engine’s true capabilities.
With every product’s description on their website, the brand always starts with one sentence, “Innovation and quality are part of Edge’s DNA”. I can attest to that, as the tuners they make are out of this world. And if you are looking to squeeze every bit of power from your engine, then this is the perfect fit for you.
The manufacturer states that this one is the first product on the market which can display EGTs. EGT stands for exhaust gas temperature. Knowing the value of those gases’ temperatures allows you to be sure that the engine is not overworked or overheating.
The tuner has preloaded tunes which allow for greater overall performance and fuel efficiency too. What makes this product truly stand out from other programmers on the market is that you can test your new settings in speed or duration tests to ensure you are getting optimal improvements in all regards.
Their diagnostic feature on this product is another specialty. It can read not only the EGT as stated above but the RPM and even the speed. You can always stay updated with real-time data of the engine.
The built-in screen allows you to see four performance parameters at one time. And there are eleven of these parameters to choose from.
You can also read DTC codes, which makes identifying problems in the truck easy. You can make repairs as soon as possible before the issue escalates to a worse state. The codes can be cleared, too, so you do not get distracted while driving.
- Easy to install
- Reads and clears DTC codes
- Up to 100 horsepower increase
- Can read exhaust gas temperature
- Corrupted ECM
Let me make one thing clear. The ECM going bad is an issue that happened to a very small percentage of the buyers of this product. It is an excellent tuner. If you are craving for a beastly performance boost for your truck, then there is no option better than this one available on the market right now.
3. SCT Performance 7015 X4 Performance Tuner
Although this list is short, it is filled with reputable manufacturers, and SCT is no different. It is a highly regarded brand that makes decent tuners. The X4 does exactly what the name says it is supposed to. It is designed to give you maximum power that you can use to get the most out of your truck.
The 7015 X4 Performance Tuner by SCT has all the features you would find on a good tuner. But what makes it stand out that it is the most reliable option you can find on the market. It can be used on many Ford vehicles, which are not limited to the Powerstroke 7.3.
Their data monitoring feature is top-notch. You can stay updated on your truck’s performance with real-time data collected from the car’s sensors. If it is a 5 volt or less electronic, then they can read the data.
Just like the Edge Products tuner, this one can also read exhaust gas temperature. It is a game-changer when it comes to tuners, as you can stay on the safe side and get your engine fixed if it is overheating before it’s too late.
Furthermore, the company makes and publishes custom-tested tunes to its website. You can buy them and install them on your tuner. These tunes are designed to improve the horsepower, torque, and fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
An appropriate one will suit your needs perfectly. The software design has made the use of the program extremely easy. You can set custom tunes and adjust anything you want.
These can be updated over the internet. You will get all the latest bug fixes and features, allowing you to get more performance out of your engine. And the best part is, to update this product; you don’t need to connect it to a PC.
They have WIFI built-in, so you can upgrade them without any hassle. The same goes for the installation. It has a single wire connection to the OBDII port. This means it can be installed within five minutes, and you are ready to experience your truck’s hidden potential.
- Easy to install
- Custom tunes
- WIFI enabled for easy updates
- Intuitive user interface
The brand has made a solid tuner which has left most people impressed. That is mainly due to extensive testing of all their products and tunes to ensure that the end consumer does not experience any issues.
They succeeded in that and have impressed not only the buyers but also me, although I don’t own one.
4. TS Performance 1180401 Blank Chip
Finally coming in the last place is the 1180401 Blank Chip by TS Performance. It is a no-frills and a no gimmick tuner that allows for an instant performance boost. These will provide you with more horsepower increase than any other tuner on this article or the market.
This programmer is completely different than any other tuner. It has been specifically designed for the 7.3L Powerstroke, which means each function has been designed to ensure it works with one engine only.
The installation is the most complicated out of any other tuner here. To install it, you need to disconnect the battery and the ECM. Then you have to install it directly inside it. I know this is a lengthy and time-consuming process, but the performance gains you will experience after this is simply mind-blowing.
It has eight options to choose from, adjusted using the built-in knob you have to install. You are actually going old school with this one, with no screen and no WIFI updates.
Yes, that’s right. The options you get are the options you will have for as long as you own them. But let me get this straight. These options are most probably all you need to get the most out of your truck.
Their knob has eight positions to choose from. You can choose from stock, high idle, valet, anti-theft, 50HP, 75HP, 100HP, and 140HP options. You have true customization power. The anti-theft mode does not let the truck start at all. That is extremely convenient when you park your vehicle in unknown places.
You can choose to go extreme when you feel like driving fast or just go back to stock settings. Although the install is complicated, the usage is extremely easy. And I think it is absolutely worth it.
Another thing worthy of mention is that you are basically changing the old PCM chip for a new one.
Normally that voids the warranty as to any changing of the engine values risks failure. And a warranty does not cover that. Well, with these, there will be no error codes or indications of any kind that a tuner has been installed. That can only be figured out if they inspect the ECM itself.
- Knob design for easy control
- No error codes that void the warranty
- Designed specifically for the 7.3 Powerstroke
- Some chips come unprogrammed
- No speedometer calibration and other features
- Tricky installation
If you are looking to take a step back and want to buy a no gimmick and straight-up performance-enhancing tuner, there is no better option.
I agree it does not have all the features, such as speedometer calibration, but it is not designed. The eight performance options will most probably be enough to suit everyone’s needs.
Q 1. Do These Tuners Come With Any Assurance That They Will Not Fail On Me?
Yes, they do. 1805 by Superchips has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty too. The Edge Products tuner also comes with a one-year warranty which starts from the date of purchase.
The last two options come with the same duration warranty. The TS Performance chip has a one-month refund guarantee, too, making the purchase completely risk-free.
Q 2. Is The Performance Boost Noticeable Or Subtle?
Now that’s the million-dollar question. If the difference is subtle, it seems like a waste of money to buy such a tuner.
Well, with the tuners I have mentioned here today, you can rest assured that you will feel your car jumping on a whole new performance level. You just have to choose the appropriate tune or crank the dial in the TS Performance one.
Q 3. What Is The High Idle Mode, And Do I Need It?
The high idle mode does exactly what the name says it does. If you live in cold weather, then you must know how difficult it must be to warm up a vehicle under those conditions.
With a high idle, the RPM is kept at 1200, which helps in warming the engine within a few minutes. Other than that, warming up a car or a truck is always advised before using it. This helps you get better fuel mileage.
Q 4. Can The Installation Of The TS Performance Chip Go Wrong?
If you are interested in this tuner, you must also be worried about installing it. Rather than following the instructions, I would recommend watching a few YouTube tutorials that underline the process.
It is tricky for beginners, but these video tutorials make the process much easier to understand. You will be done in no time; just don’t get distracted and bend the tuner’s pins because that will not be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
I agree this list was shorter than usual, but I can assure you that you will not find a better option than these. They have been designed and extensively tested for the 7.3 Powerstroke and have received positive reviews from many users.
If I had to choose one as the best tuner for 7.3 Powerstroke, I would definitely recommend the Flashpaq 1805 by Superchips. When a product has no cons and earns the number one spot on a list, it is a true champion.
You get all the tuner features, get new tunes, and even adjust the tire size. What more would you want from a decent programmer?