Getting In Tune:  DiabloSport’s inTune Programmer Wakes Up the Hemi

Over the past few months the Penn College Charger has been treated to a Hamburger’ Performance Products throttle body spacer (August 2014, Spaced Out:  Testing Hamburger’s Throttle Body Spacer) and Hedman Hedders’ shorty headers (September 2014, Get Shorty:  Factory Exhaust Manifolds vs. Hedman Hedders shorty headers).  In both cases the results were positive as both the torque and horsepower numbers were up, but only a high dollar Pro Stock team would have been ecstatic with the results.  The average enthusiast would have been left with a less than thrilled feeling with the seemingly minimal performance outcome of the TB spacer and the headers.  To rectify this concern, this month the Charger’s Hemi will be subjected to some software manipulation from a DiabloSport inTune programmer to take advantage of the previously installed components.  Not only will the focus be on improving the performance of the bolt-on parts but additional tuning will attempt to find torque and horsepower hidden within the binary code within the Charger’s engine controller.

DiabloSport inTune Programmer
The DiabloSport inTune Programmer showed up at the college with everything necessary to operate the programmer on the ’06 Charger.  The inTune I-1000 covers several different manufacturers and models, refer to to find if there is coverage for your vehicle.  Included in the I-1000 shipping box were the following components:  an inTune (tuner) that is about the size of a small cell phone or MP3 player, a USB update cable, an OBD2 cable, a quick start guide, and a promotional sticker.  The inTune is an easily navigated touch screen tuner that is loaded with several canned tunes that maximize the torque and horsepower of your application.  If you are more aggressive and adventurous you can adjust the canned tunes or burn your own path by modifying many different operating parameters to optimize your tune up.  The inTune can be connected to DiabloSport’s webpage via the included USB update cable to gain access to the latest updates whenever the user desires.  The inTune is connected to the vehicle’s DLC (data link connector) via the OBD2 cable to upload tunes, scan for codes, or monitor PIDs.

Setup of the inTune I-1000
Before plugging the inTune to the Charger the quick start guide suggested updating the inTune to the latest software release.  The inTune was plugged into a PC using the supplied USB update cable.  Once the inTune was attached to the PC the auto run program started and if there was an update a popup window would instruct you not to remove the inTune from the PC.  Once the automatic update completed the inTune rebooted itself and was now ready for use.  The inTune that we had received required no updates but it is still advisable to check for updates before every test session just to be sure the inTune is set up with the latest software update.  The USB cable was disconnected and the inTune was moved to the Charger.  The update process took less than five minutes.

With the inTune up-to-date it was attached to the DLC on the Charger with the supplied OBD2 cable.  The operation of the inTune is very simple, if you are familiar with the operation of a factory scan tool and how to follow the screen prompts the inTune will seem extremely similar.  Once the inTune had initialized it prompted, from the Main Menu, to select “Tune Vehicle”, “Scan Tool”, or “Settings”, the “Tune Vehicle” was selected.  Once on the Tune Vehicle menu there were three additional choices, “Write Vehicle”, “Restore Vehicle”, or “Adjust Parameters”.  The “Write Vehicle” button was depressed which then instructed the operator to turn the ignition key to the on position without starting the engine.  Once the inTune recognized the Charger it prompted me to select a desired Tuning Type.  The selection allowed the choice of “Diablo Tuning” or “Quick Adjusts”.  The “Diablo Tuning” was selected and I was presented with a six pre-programmed tunes (canned performance and economy tunes supplied by DiabloSport after their extensive hours of testing).  There were choices of octane tunes, CAI (cold air intake) tunes, a MPG tune, and modify stock tune.  The 93 octane tune (called the Diablo Tune) was selected for the first series of tests.  Once the Diablo Tune was selected the inTune prompted me to confirm the selection.  The Charger’s factory tune was read into the inTune and stored for future use and then the Diablo Tune export was started.  The inTune then prompted me to modify the Diablo Tune or proceed with the upload; no modifications were desired (at this time) so I proceeded with the upload.  The inTune provided a screen prompt that the installation had been successful and prompted me to depress the “Continue” button to exit back to the Main Menu.  At this point the Charger’s computer was flashed to a more aggressive 93 octane tune up.  The entire process took less than ten minutes to complete.

On the Chassis Dyno with the Diablo Tune
With the Diablo Tune installation completed the Charger was backed onto the Penn College Mustang dyno to see just how much the tune improved the performance of the Hemi.  According to the DiabloSport data, posted on their webpage, it was expected the Diablo Tune would increase the torque by 25 lb/ft and horsepower by 20 hp at the drive wheels over a stock computer tune on a stock vehicle.  If you recall the previous months’ baseline tests (all stock) the Penn College Charger had achieved a peak torque of 296.8 lb/ft at 4400 rpm and peak horsepower 275.0 horsepower at 5200 rpm.  The average torque was 280.0 lb/ft and the average horsepower was 223.3 horsepower.  These numbers were gathered at WOT from 2800-5500 rpm. 

Once the Hemi and drivetrain were warmed up three WOT runs were made on the all stock Charger with just the Diablo Tune loaded and the results were impressive.  The Diablo Tune produced a peak of 321.9 lb/ft of torque at 4400 rpm and a peak horsepower of 293.3 horsepower at 5400 rpm, an increase of 25.1 lb/ft of torque and 18.2 horsepower.  These numbers were extremely close to the predicted numbers posted on DiabloSport’s webpage.  But even more impressive was the average torque and horsepower; the average torque was 306.1 lb/ft and the average horsepower was 255.3 horsepower.  This was an increase of 26.1 lb/ft of torque and an increase of 32.1 horsepower over the baseline.  Those are very significant numbers considering the entire tune up consisting of me sitting in the Charger and pressing buttons.