When it comes to our very own Project Diesel Chase, we want to bring you the best products on the market and show you how they perform in the real world. This time around, we went ahead and installed the Juice with Attitude CTS2 by Edge Products. This tuner features state-of-the-art technology with a new sleek and slim design.
Numbers don’t lie. We gained some impressive power numbers on our Dodge Ram when we strapped it to our Dynojet Research dynamometer, but the background of the device was worth delving into and learning more about. Helping us understand the device was Edge’s Matt Barker.
“Hot Unlock sounds like what it is,” said Barker. “It is a hot level, or in other words, a high-performance tune that we don’t enable right out of the box. It’s not for the faint of heart!”
Built into the CTS2 is the ability to monitor several parameters. These allow the driver to check on vitals for the engine, transmission, fuel system, and beyond. There is even an available screen that measures the angle of your vehicle for off-roading purposes; a quick calibration session needs to be dialed in first.
“With the monitoring capabilities of the CTS2, users will gain the insight into how their vehicle is running and, in some cases, help prevent costly repair bills by giving a heads-up when issues may arise,” said Barker.
Some of the other features on this CTS2 include fully customizable backgrounds, a quick plug for power and linking Electronic Accessory System (EAS) units, and one-touch easy menu navigation. All navigation is done with the tap or swipe of your finger. “Switching back and forth in the CTS2 can be done with ease,” commented Barker.
Time To Plug and Play
The first thing we did was grab a 1/2-inch wrench and loosen both negative battery cables. We removed the cables from the battery posts and set them aside. Remember, you don’t want to reconnect these cables until installation is complete, and you’re confident everything is properly connected.
From here, we located and removed the proper fuse from the fuse panel inside the engine compartment. We inserted the leaded fuse link provided in the supply kit. The leg with the wire soldered to it plugs directly into the “hot” side of the fuse location. We then connected the red power connectors to the installed fuse links from the main harness.
Next, we located the two factory injector connectors, removed them and installed the supplied injector harness Ts between the male and female factory plugs.
We pulled the large engine harness away from the firewall by gently releasing the retention tab from where it was mounted, then pressed the connector lock with our right thumb and disengaged the lever. We removed the connector and placed it to the side. We then moved the foam insulation to expose the injector connectors fully, and unplugged each injector set to install the edge harness provided. Next, we reconnected everything.
Next up, we located the MAP sensor and connected the Edge Harness MAP connector “T” in between the vehicle harness and the sensor. From here it was time for the turbo timer connections inside the cab.
We removed the panel under the steering column and located the key position connectors. For the 2006-2009 and up Ram trucks, these connectors are inside of the steering column. We connected the Turbo Timer (TT) Adapter in between the truck connectors, and routed the TT connector through the firewall. Then we connected the TT connector into the adapter.
We then located the supplied DATA/OBDII cable from the kit and found the truck’s OBDII port located under the dash on the driver’s side, as usual. We plugged the OBDII connector into its port, and routed the Data Link Connector through the rubber grommet in the firewall and plugged it into the Data Link Connector found on the main Edge harness.
As we mentioned previously, this kit allows you to monitor various fluid and gas temperatures throughout your truck. Unfortunately, an EGT (exhaust gas temperature) probe is not installed at the factory. Fortunately, this kit comes with the needed hardware, and allows you to easily monitor this temperature which is extremely critical for diesel engines. This portion of the installation is the only real modification that you have to complete, but with a little patience and simple tools, it’s not too difficult.
Each power level is truly an improvement in performance and efficiency, however, we bring the power on sooner and harder in the higher levels to give you more acceleration and more torque on the bottom end. – Matt Barker, Edge Products
We then installed the probe into the fitting, tightening the top nut just firmly enough to keep the probe in place. We positioned the probe cable at the best path with minimal bending to ensure proper routing through the firewall. This was because it moved about 90 degrees clockwise in the direction of the nut when tightened down appropriately. From there, we connected the remaining colored wires to the appropriate locations, and used the supplied zip ties to keep the wires out of the way.
Next up was the installation of the Juice-Attitude Bridge (JAB) system. The EAS system has JAB connectors that allow for a quick plug and play install. This portion is as simple as the rest, as you just plug in the two green connectors, and route the other cable through the firewall and into your Attitude CTS2.
We then took the cable located below the dash and hooked it up to the HDMI cable’s EAS Junction. We busted out the zip ties again and secured the JAB connectors underneath the overhang which flows across the top of the firewall. We kept the JAB assembly close to the driver’s side.
Finally, we plugged in the main Juice connector into the Juice module receptacle. We mounted the Juice module by placing a velcro strip to the backside of the module and to the top side of the fuse box under the hood.
With that done, we rechecked all connections to ensure everything was installed properly, and made sure that the wiring harness and cables were all secured with wire ties to prevent possible heat damage from engine parts. From here, we reconnected the negative battery terminals and mounted the Attitude CTS2 to the windshield, but not before plugging it into our laptop and updating the software per the recommendation on the screen protector.
Once the new Edge system downloaded what it needed from the factory computer, we were able to input a few items about our truck including the size of our larger off-road tires, which enabled the programmer to display a corrected speed compared to the factory speedometer. With everything running smoothly and our screen set to display our desired gauges, it was time to strap Project Diesel Chase to our in-house DynoJet dynamometer to see what kind of power we could make.
We put the truck on the dyno before the tuner was installed to get a baseline. The truck produced 279.97 horsepower and 505.70 lb-ft of torque. Power-wise, our truck was completely stock at the time of this test, so we did not test the optional Hot Unlocker power level; as previously stated, Edge recommends drivetrain enhancements for that level of power.
One of our favorite parts of this software is the ability to quickly change the behavior and output from the truck on the fly with a few swipes and taps on the touch screen. This is made possible by selecting one of the five tunes previously mentioned, in addition to the stock setting and the “Hot Unlock” should you choose to purchase it separately. According to Edge, the included tunes are described as follows:
- Stock, Level 0 – No tuning modifications.
- Mileage, Level 1 – Recommended for daily driving. The mileage tuning was created for optimal fuel economy under normal driving.
- Tow, Level 2 – Recommended when pulling a load. The tow tuning was created to provide power where it is needed most when pulling a load.
- Drive, Level 3 – Recommended for all around daily driving and performance.
- Race, Level 4 – Recommended for sanctioned racing events. The fuel injection and timing strategies are aggressively tuned to pull substantial power gains from the vehicle without sacrificing driveability or durability.
- Extreme, Level 5 – Recommended for sanctioned racing events. The fuel injection and timing strategies are aggressively tuned to pull the highest level of power and performance from your vehicle.
The lowest amount of power while tuning was enabled was produced with the Mileage tune; understandably, this should be the most conservative tune, but as you can see, there is still some serious power on tap. The following four tunes all increased in a fairly linear fashion, though the Race and Extreme tunes peak up a bit more than the others around the top of the torque curve. When Extreme mode was selected, our Dodge produced 366.4 horsepower and 690.7 lb-ft of torque. Considering this truck was completely stock a few plug-ins earlier, that is some serious power!
Regarding our findings with the dyno testing, Barker said: “Each power level is truly an improvement in performance and efficiency, however, we bring the power on sooner and harder in the higher levels to give you more acceleration and more torque on the bottom end. Most users will leave their vehicle in levels three and below when driving day to day and occasionally step up to the top two levels when they want to feel the power gains!”
Before we ever backed the truck out of our shop to test the CTS2, we were already highly impressed with the usability and versatility of the in-cab color touch LCD screen. We had already selected our favorite three screens, and customized the colors and themes to our liking.
In short, we picked a home screen showing the most important vitals with the EGT front and center. Our next screen was full of every temperature and pressure reading we could get, and the final set up for offload with the tilt and lean of the vehicle.
Driving with the tuner made us love our truck even more. The Mileage tune enabled some additional power on tap without sacrificing MPG and driveability. Also, the Tow and Drive settings definitely added a level of increased power while keeping the truck running cool and comfortable.
The real fun, however, presented itself in the highest two settings. We can tell you firsthand that if you want to maintain traction, don’t slam your foot down at the light. The amount of torque produced at the higher settings would make you think you did a lot more to your engine than just connect a few plugs – the power is seriously impressive.
Overall, we have really enjoyed the tuner. We appreciate the ability to monitor our vehicles vitals so easily while also getting the most out of the Cummins. Stay tuned as we cover future tech installations, and be sure to check out Edge Products on its website and Facebook page as well.