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Is a tuner safe for a high milage 5.2?

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Old 09-24-2017, 03:01 PM
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Default Is a tuner safe for a high milage 5.2?

I have a 2001 Ram 1500 club cab 2wd with 224,000 miles. Is it safe to run a tuner on it. Id like to try to pull more mpg out of it. Currently im getting about 14 in the city. It runs great but if i can get some more power as well as fuel economy it may be worth it.

Just wondering....
 
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:24 PM
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Can you even find one for a 5.2 anymore? Superchips? Hell, if you can find one for 50 - 100 bucks why not go for it.
 
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:56 PM
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Yes, you can find tuners just fine.

If you're getting 14 in the city, that's about the best you'll find anywhere. A tuner will likely just cause it to ping and you can't put in the recommended colder t-stat because the 01s will throw codes.

I say leave it. Air up the tires to max. Empty the truck of anything extemporaneous or superfluous. Take off exterior decorations or add-ons. Keep the tach below 2k. Use quality (Shell or Chevron) 87 gas only. High octane gets worse mileage as it is slower burning. Use the AC and / or heater sparingly. Do a tune-up and use sythetics wherever possible.

If you squeeze another mpg out of it, you'll be in heaven. It's a truck. Factory EPA ratings for mine were 17 hwy and 13 city.
 
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:51 PM
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Thanks thanks for the help. I’m doing 90% of what you suggest now with the exception of added fender flares. She doesn’t ping now so I’m just going to replace plugs, wires, rotor, cap, and maybe O2 sensors, maybe the IAC and let it be. I come from driving a hybrid Honda Civic and a CRZ so I’m used to the hyper mile driving practices. I’m sure that will help as well. I haven’t even put a tank of gas through the truck so after some sea foam maybe that will help as well.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:05 PM
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If the current IAC is working properly, leave it in there.

Don't forget the PCV valve. Get one from the dealer, they are actually the correct flow rate.

NTK or Denso O2 sensors only please, skip bosch, our trucks don't like them.

Kind of a major change of scenery there from the drivers seat, eh?
 
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:09 PM
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Roger that and yes it is. I had trucks and suburbans years ago but mileage was a key factor in the hybrids. Still have them but wanted a truck for retirement as well.
 
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:47 PM
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I don't think a tuner would hurt it. It might help with shift points if you pull a trailer. I'm not familiar with tuners. I think there's a thread in the DIY section. I'd try a set of Stainless shorty headers and a free flowing exhaust. We got a set for my daughter's Chevy off Ebay. I think they are Manzo. Pretty good quality and 14 ga tubing.
 
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:55 AM
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Tuner will not help with mileage, even if they claim they do. Just throwing that out there.
 
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:54 AM
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A tuner is fine but if you have a blown plenum gasket and your run the 89 or 91 tune then it'll be ping city.
One big advantage of the tuner aside from getting rid of the death flash is the fact that it'll change your shift points. My truck used to shift into overdrive at about 38-40mph but now it doesn't hit overdrive until 46-48 mph and that is great if you ride around in hilly 35mph zones.
I'm not sure about the 5.2 but I know a 5.9 setup like yours should be seeing 16mpg, something is off on yours since you said that you baby the go pedal already.
Like HeyYou said, don't forget that PCV valve, they let a lot of oil into the intake manifold and get gunked up because of that, a bad one will give you a vacuum leak and hurt your mileage/power.
 
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Sheriff420 View Post
A tuner is fine but if you have a blown plenum gasket and your run the 89 or 91 tune then it'll be ping city.
One big advantage of the tuner aside from getting rid of the death flash is the fact that it'll change your shift points. My truck used to shift into overdrive at about 38-40mph but now it doesn't hit overdrive until 46-48 mph and that is great if you ride around in hilly 35mph zones.
I'm not sure about the 5.2 but I know a 5.9 setup like yours should be seeing 16mpg, something is off on yours since you said that you baby the go pedal already.
Like HeyYou said, don't forget that PCV valve, they let a lot of oil into the intake manifold and get gunked up because of that, a bad one will give you a vacuum leak and hurt your mileage/power.
What should I look for for a bad PCV Valve? I've got a relatively low mileage tuned 5.9, and have never gotten anything above 13.8 with combined hw/city, and that was MOSTLY highway and a pretty fresh/clean engine refurbish. I have definitely noted MPG has dropped way off for me, and power isnt what it was when it was fresher. I'm sure some of my fuel gets sucked because I've got a really messed up hood and no grille, so tons of air to fight through going up under it.
 
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