Ever since the advent of electronic fuel injection on the Mustang in 1986, there have been aftermarket manufacturers seeking to crack the factory code and provide performance upgrades, whether they be a “canned”—style moderate tune, or a custom-written tune for your particular vehicle. When you read this technical review, it will be 2012—26 years since that original EEC-IV processor debuted in the ’86 Mustang GT. The current quickest processor is found in the Mustang GT—the Copperhead processor. It is tasked with many different jobs, and has to keep the High Definition Spark Unit and Variable Valve Control in check—jobs that are light-years ahead of those old EEC-IV units that simply had to control fuel and spark for one camshaft, not four. Thankfully, the aftermarket has kept pace with OEM advancements and continues to offer ways to “crack the code” and enhance your vehicle’s performance.
The inTune is the latest development to hit the market from one of the leaders in aftermarket tuner systems— DiabloSport. The inTune is the most advanced handheld pro- grammer on the market, according to DiabloSport. Inside the stainless-steel housing, the inTune’s dual processors and over 1 gigabyte of memory means that it can handle hours of datalogging, store tunes for multiple vehicles with one part number, and more. It offers the ability to be used as a universal diagnostic tool on any OBDII-equipped vehicle, meaning that you can check the codes on your wife’s Explorer with the same programmer you use on your Mustang. Tunes and software updates are handled through the onboard USB connection with a drag-and-drop interface, meaning even novice computer users will be able to work with the inTune with a minimum of hassle. In addition, DiabloSport will provide free automatic online updates for life. At first glance, the inTune looks like an iPhone without the Home button—coincidence? We think not. We also think it’s a home-run for DiabloSport’s design department. There are so many iPhones on the market today that designing a performance product with similar sightlines that performs tasks in much the same way should be a hit. Of course it helps that the inTune also offers 0-5-volt analog inputs, virtually-unlimited custom tune storage and datalogging (both based only on the amount of available memory) to go with its full-color touch screen interface. Enough with the pretty stuff—what about the tuning ability?
We are lucky enough to have a relationship with DiabloSport’s Ken Bjonnes, one of the premier engine calibrators in the business today. Bjonnes got his start in the performance aftermarket as one of the original proprietors and lead tuner at Modular Depot, but also spent many years as a crew chief and racer in the NMRA’s Pure Street class before moving on to his current position in the Research and Development division at DiabloSport. Bjonnes was happy to explain some of the features and benefits of the inTune system to us, as we were intrigued by its potential. “One of the things that makes it great is when you plug it into your computer, it just shows up as a hard drive. You can drag your tune file on it and you are done—it doesn’t require any special software or drivers either. If you need a datalog from it? Plug it in, open the hard drive, open the logs folder and there are all your logs. There is no special software needed to communicate with it and it will even support multiple vehicles down the road,” says Bjonnes. In addition, “When you buy this for a stock car, you can make changes on your own when you flash it. You can adjust idle, gears, shift points, things like that,” he explained. The inTune system comes with a great quick start guide, and just like DiabloSport’s previous tuner systems, the Predator and Trinity—the changes are made right on the handheld. Bjonnes expanded upon that, explaining just how simple it really is. “When you go to ‘Flash’ from the main menu, you’re asked if you want to install or modify your tune. If you choose ‘Modify’, there are menus where you can change the parameters; when you are done, you flash our tune along with the changes you have made. Depending upon the parameter, there are maximum allowable changes, for example in the timing table or fuel table, but we set those percentages as we do so that people are less likely to have an issue due to an accidental or unwanted saved change,” he says. The inTune is in tune with today’s performance vehicles, and after all, isn’t that what you want in a performance part?
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