Ecoboost Tuning Devices

Picking a Device to Tune your Ford EcoBoost

 

Weather you have an F-150, Raptor, Mustang, SHO, FLEX, Explorer, Expedition, Focus RS, Focus ST, Fusion, or Escape a common question people have when looking at custom tuning for their Ford Ecoboost is "what’s the difference between the different tuning devices".

 

To start with, we at Brew City Boost tune Ford Ecoboost with 2 different types of software: Advantage 3 and VCM Editor. Advantage 3 is made by Derive Systems, who owns both the SCT and Bullydog brands. VCM Editor is made by a tuning software company called HP Tuners.

 

Since Bullydog and SCT are owned by the same parent company their devices and software have a lot of things in common. The Bullydog BDX and the SCT X4 are very similar. The BDX has cloud sync functionality and a few other newer features that the X4 doesn’t. The BDX however can only be used on 1 vehicle, while an x4 can be used on up to 5 vehicles. The BDX can however be unlocked for another vehicle by sending it into Bullydog for an additional fee. The Livewire TS+ can also be used on up to 5 vehicles and features a large touch screen and has some built-in performance calculator tools.

 

On the other side of the fence we have the Nguage, made by E-Motion Products. We use VCM Editor to make our custom BCB tunes for this device. This package can be beneficial because they offer support for newer vehicles (like the 2017 and 2018s F150s and Raptors for example) long before SCT / Bullydog do. HP Tuners does charge the custom tuning shop (us) credits for each VIN that we make a tune for, and each vehicles credit requirements are different, so we pass that expense to the end-customer. Credits are approximately $50 each, and up to 4 may be required.

 

All of these devices can be used to custom tune your vehicle remotely, can store several custom tunes, display custom gauges (of your choice), can be used to datalog, and read / clear DTC codes.

 

Some Pros and Cons of These Different Devices

 

 

 

SCT X4 – released circa 2014

 

Pros:

  • Probably the most commonly used device out there, and has the widest list of supported vehicles
  • Can be used on up to 5 vehicles (only 1 tuned at a time)
  • Inexpensive
  • Designed to be windshield or dash mounted, it can even work in a cup holder!

Cons:

  • Chassis has a dated look
  • Can landscape the screen only direction which limits install choices

 

 

 

Bullydog BDX – released 2016

Pros:

  • Modern look, looks at home inside the 2015+ F150 and Gen2 Raptors
  • Cloud Sync capability – when the device is within range of WIFI it can download your custom tune from the cloud, no PC needed.
  • Inexpensive
  • Can landscape the screen in either direction
  • Magnetic mount capability, it can even work in a cup holder!
  • Currently only SCT product to support 2017 F150’s

Cons:

  • Can be used on 1 vehicles (can be unlocked for other vehicles by sending to Bullydog for a $150 fee)
  • Huge molded connector for OBD2 cable which can be an eyesore if you keep your device mounted in your vehicle. Good news is that you can use the slimmer X4 OBD2cable in its place, can be ordered here.

 

 

 

SCT Livewire TS+ – released circa 2015

Pros:

  • Large 4” color touchscreen.
  • Can be used on up to 5 vehicles (only 1 tuned at a time)
  • Comes with a windshield mount

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Slightly longer flash times vs X4/BDX

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nguage – release date unknown

Pros:

  • Color touchscreen
  • Can be used with HP Tuners software so it typically is compatible with the newest vehicles long before other devices are
  • Removable microSD card
  • Slim OBD2 cable
  • Designed so it can be mounted in a circular vent, a cupholder, or a windshield mount

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Datalogging is more complicated and somewhat limited

 

 

 

Useful links and Other Information

 

Vehicle Compatibility

There are a couple sites check if a device works for your vehicle. To check SCT vehicle compatibility go to their website and search for your vehicle, any devices shown listed for your vehicle will work.

https://www.sctflash.com/products/search

 

Similarly for Bullydog, do a search for your vehicle, but note that just because SCT and Buyllydog are owned by the same parent company, doesn’t mean that all their devices work on the same vehicles!

https://www.bullydog.com/products/search

 

To check what devices can be tuned with HP Tuners simply check out there regularly updated list. Note that BCB can also flash a vehicle directly with HP Tuners software, no device needed. We need physical access to the vehicle though.

https://www.hptuners.com/products/vcmsuite_vehicles.php

 

Software (free) needed to use SCT and Bullydog devices

Livelink Software – used for setting up your device for Datalogging, and transferring datalogs from your device to your computer.

https://az824306.vo.msecnd.net/software/LiveLink_Gen-II.exe

 

Device Updater – used for adding custom tunes to your device and updating the firmware on your device

https://az824306.vo.msecnd.net/software/SCTDeviceUpdater.exe

 

 

Nguage support page (user manual, firmware updates, ect)

http://e-motionproducts.com/support/index.html

 

 

 

 

 

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