Based on past experiences with their products, I was excited to see Superchips come back to life inside the diesel space. They are known for a lot of different products and as of late, their newest piece is out and I wanted to see if it holds the power the recent ones did. I was at a local shop working on a truck and they just so happened to have a legit, old farm truck. The lot, full of different trucks of many shapes and sizes, this ride stood out.
Before we attack this install, I caught up with Jacob White, a product specialist at Superchips, to get the scoop on Superchip’s return and what the future looks like for them. “Superchips started developing performance handheld tuners for Cummins, Duramax, and Power Stroke markets over 20 years ago. In the early 2000s the Max MicroTuner quickly became the top selling diesel flash tuner in its time.”
He continued, “The popular Tow Safe, Performance Tow, and Performance tuning calibrations set the standard when it came to producing stump pulling torque, with safe and reliable EGT control. As time has passed and technology advanced, our team of enthusiasts evolved the flash tuning market into our latest version of handheld devices, the Flashpaq F5 tuner. Which continues to set the mark as an industry leader. The device is simple to use, and offers complete step-by-step, instructions as you save your factory files and download the pre-calibrated tunes for your specific goals, whether it’s heavy towing, fuel economy, or performance.”
Let’s dig in. Our 1999 Ford F-250 with the legendary 7.3-Liter Power Stroke was dirty, dusty, and covered with miles. A truck with over 300,000-miles and a completely unmolested engine bay, you can imagine what kind of power it makes and how it drives. Since I haven’t driven this before, I wanted to so I could see what we’re working with.
With keys in hand, I fired this old Power Stroke up and could tell that it was going to be a turd. Just at an idle, the throttle response was poor and it was just sluggish. I obviously expected this because the thing is older and used. Based on the dusty, grassy interior, this thing is meant for one thing and one thing only; Work.
I pulled out of the shop and hit the road and put the hammer down. As expected, I wasn’t exactly set back in my seat. On the floor, the truck struggled to reach the 35-MPH speed limit. For a work truck, that is fine I guess, but it was lacking performance. In fact, after talking with the owner, he was looking for a tuner. Boy, was he in luck.
Let’s Get it On
I explained to him that this handheld tuner that Superchips offers was going to turn this truck around and make it drive like it never has before. Having never owned a tuner on any of his trucks, he was skeptical. I’m thinking, just give it a chance and see the difference yourself. At this time, especially having never used this tuner before, I was really hoping that the difference was noticeable. Should I have risked that? Maybe not, but I trusted Superchips.
After the initial test drive to see how it did, I wheeled it back into the shop to get the Flashpaq F5 loaded up. I unboxed the unit and plugged it into the OBD-II port. Like most handhelds, it’s easy to hook up. I went through the motions of key on and key off to get the options. The options I was offered are tune, scan, and info. For scan, you have the eligibility to read and clear Data Trouble Codes.
For tune, you have different options depending on what you’re wanting out of the truck. You have performance, fuel economy, light tow, heavy tow, and then the factory stock setting. Once you decide which setting you want, the tuner will read and store the factory tuning into the device and input the newest settings onto the truck.
Each of these settings shown great improvements. I noticed more throttle response, definitely a more responsive seat of pants feel, and I’m sure over time we’ll see an increase in fuel economy. As you tier up on the horsepower settings, the power, and torque increase. I really like the diverse spread of tuning on the Flashpaq F5. If you’re towing but not towing heavy, it has a setting for that.
Trying each of these tunes, I was very impressed with how the truck responded. For a super-affordable handheld tuner, I could see the Flashpaq being a real player in this space. This isn’t something you would run on a full-blown race or pulling rig, but that isn’t the market these are after. These are after you guys and gals who are using the truck and the factory power just isn’t there.
To end the day, we set it on the performance setting to see what this F5 had when it went all in. Instantaneous difference. The truck, for an old truck, woke the heck up. It actually did set me back in the seat and it didn’t feel like the same truck. Getting up to the speed limit in the small town this go around was no issue. Passing traffic on the interstate, not a problem.
Traditional Look, Modern Power
The F5 has a fixed cord out of the bottom with making your OBD-II connection easy. The device fits perfectly in your hand and is easily storable. Once you’ve made your changes in just a few minutes, you can store this thing in the glove box until you’re ready to tune or read codes again. Let’s talk a little bit about the tuning available.
- Performance- Designed to give the maximum engine and transmission performance, (112-horsepower / 205-torque)
- Light Load Tow- Designed to boost enough horsepower and torque to better handle a light towing load. (73-horsepower / 133-torque)
- Heavy Load Tow- Designed to boost enough horsepower and torque to better handle a heavy towing load. (73-horsepower/ 133-torque)
- Fuel Economy- Designed to maximize fuel economy for everyday driving. (50-horsepower / 90-torque)
- Stock- The device stores your stock files so if you’re wanting to go back to stock, it is easily retrievable.
Other features the F5 offer are the custom tuning options. You’re holding a tuner that can make changes to your tire size which will make the dash read correctly, if you make a rear end gear change, you have the ability to make that change in the tuning to correct the reading on the speedometer, odometer, and transmission shift points.
Overall, the owner and I were overly impressed with the changes the Flashpaq offered. We wanted more power, we got it. If you’re looking for a tuner within reason on price, this one fits the bill. For more information about the Flashpaq F5 and other Superchips products, head on over to their website here.
Before we sign off, I wanted to see what White had to say about the future of Superchips. For all of us truck guys out here, what is Superchips looking to do? Easy enough, White said the Flashpaq.
“With all our years of experience tuning these trucks, we know you depend on your Ford, Ram, and GM Diesel to get the job done, day in and day out. You need power you can use, with the fuel mileage improvements to keep down on your fuel stops. Flashpaq comes pre-loaded with our tried and true performance tunes built specifically to offer you exactly the power and driving experience you need for every occasion, whether it’s towing a skid steer around job sites, or taking your travel trailer to the mountains. Flashpaq was developed to offer you that little bit of extra power and torque without putting to much stress and strain on your drivetrain. Flashpaq is the go-to performance diesel tuner for a safe, reliable, and an enjoyable driving experience without breaking the bank.”
For more reviews on parts, truck features, and event coverage, stay tuned right here to Diesel Army. What do you think about the F5? Is this something you would use to wake up your old farm truck? Let us know in the comments below.