December 17, 2017

Best Dodge Ram Perfromance Chip

What is the best Dodge Ram performance chip?

I often get asked “What is the best Dodge Ram performance chip?”Best Dodge Ram Performance Tuner

Well that is such a loaded question it’s not even funny. What I usually come back with, “What year is your truck and what do you want to do with it?”

In this review I want to cover just the basics. I will list my personal favorite tuners for each year make and model with a link to that tuner. Look forward to my more in depth reviews on each individual tuner and some of the perks that tuner offers for what may be your personal truck or a truck you are interested in purchasing.

All tuners, programmers or chips are not created equal. So read these reviews and then follow up with any questions you may have.

The best dodge ram performance chip tuners listed here are for your basic daily driven truck that may be used to tow occasionally. These are not meant for high horse power applications (650 horse power and up) These are meant for trucks with your basic modifications like cold air intake, lift pump and exhaust.

WARNING: DO NOT BUY THE CHEAPEST THING YOU SEE

So to answer everyone’s question, “What is the best Dodge Ram performance chip?

CUMMINS TUNERS

DURAMAX TUNERS

POWERSTROKE TUNERS

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24 Comments

  1. Vinny Himes
    Vinny Himes

    If there is a tuner you have used that you don’t see here please feel free to ask about it. These suggestions are based off of my personal use and experience with these tuners. I have used almost every tuner I can think of but the market is constantly changing and growing if there is something else you would like to hear about let me know!

    Reply
  2. Kyle Struiksma

    I know back in the day when people were want power out of their VP44 they turned to Blue Chip and if you got fancy you would get the redline box which did some hardcore fueling and timing but it could only be ran for 30 seconds. The drive ability on it was rough kinda like a hard fueling P-pump. But it would destroy your VP44 due to the fact it was so hard on it and you could run it to 4,000 rpm.

    Then Quadzilla who is now out of business which is always sad to see a company close their doors had a chip that people preferred over the redline you could custom tune it and the rev to 4k was alot smoother and the drive was easier.

    But most people that are in love with the VP44 stick with the Edge Drag Comp Box. I talked to a guy from edge at BD dyno days a few years back and I talked to him about it and he laughed and said he wished everyone would go away from them because they were old and not every single one worked perfectly. So he suggest the CTS which would monitor and give ya some more power.

    Reply
    1. Vinny Himes
      Vinny Himes

      Awesome input Kyle. You are exactly right. The good ol days of trying everything new to the market are over. Where there were many there are now only a few. The bad ones kinda weeded themselves out and honestly for the pre 6.7L Cummins Edge has kinda dominated that market.

      The Edge Juice with Attitude is just such a versatile platform that is more of a Swiss Army knife of tuners. It offers safety de-fueling, adjustability on the fly, tons of parameters that you can monitor and maintenance reminders.

      I am going to focus this next week on reviewing each of the tuners listed above one on one.

      Reply
  3. Jon Brazel

    I love Edges versatility and options, have a J/A on my 06 CR but I have to disagree with it bing the best tuner out there for that engine. The Smarty Jr. delivers better, cleaner and lower temp power. Running the Smarty in conjunction with the CTS is my personal favorite setup.

    Reply
    1. Vinny Himes
      Vinny Himes

      I agree Jon, that the Smarty Jr. is a much cleaner programmer with safer power levels for the transmission and engine.

      The reason it was not my first choice for this review is the simple fact that anyone can buy it and install it not knowing that gauges are of such great importance on these trucks. That makes it a liability.

      Back in 2008 I had a customer stop by the shop for a quote to rebuild his engine. I asked him what was wrong with the engine in question.

      He said he had a Smarty Jr. on the truck but never did any gauges. He was towing a 10,000 trailer on a daily basis and the first trip over a mountain pass with the tuner set on level 3 he melted down the piston in cylinder number 5.

      Is it the Smarty’s fault? Heck no, but that is one thing I have learned the hard way in this business. Customers can get online and buy programmers and tuners off ebay, amazon, or a number of other online stores that offer little or no technical support.

      With no education of the parts or what those parts are doing to the engine, it presents a lot of problems. The Juice with Attitude has gauges built into it along with audible alerts, if the operator does not head to those visual and audible warnings the tuner will begin de-fueling until all temperatures have returned to a safe operating level.

      I will do a separate review pointing out the Pro’s and Con’s of the Smarty tuners!

      Reply
  4. Kyle Struiksma

    My buddy has a 07 5.9 6 speed and he borrowed his friends smarty for one of his long trips and even on level one the stock clutch couldnt handle it.

    I have not personally dealt with the smarty so i cant say much but from the people i have known to run them tend to run them on hot tunes because they just want smoke and they end up breaking trannys heads and pistons.

    I have always heard they ran hot to begin with dunno if thats true but i can say that the customer will never take responsibility of their own actions when something breaks.

    So with that said are the older smarty’s know to run hot and the timing is pretty aggressive?

    Reply
    1. Vinny Himes
      Vinny Himes

      The key with Smarty is customer education, I can tell a customer what levels are safe without gauges on a daily driven truck that never tows. I still wouldn’t recommend it though.

      Once you throw towing into the equation, everything changes. You simply HAVE to have gauges.

      Smarty is excellent in the sense that the timing can actually be adjusted up or down. That is one downfall to the Edge is you are stuck with whatever timing they include in the tune. You can’t adjust it.

      Whether or not the Smarty runs hotter or colder depends entirely on how the user sets it up.

      Reply
  5. Bill

    All I’m really looking for is more mpg. As far as I’m concerned my 2012 3500 could climb a wall. I’ve put 4000# on it several times and it walks off like nothing, but I never expected a crappy 11 mpg…

    Reply
  6. Nikko

    I am with Bill. My 07 6.7 has plenty of power. Just never planned on 10-11 mpg. I see that you weigh in heavy on the Edge with attitude and after reading up I understand why. My question is you move away from the Edge and go with the H & S unit when recommending a unit for the 6.7 Dodge. Why? And would you not recommend the Edge with attitude for the 6.7? Or I could use the Edge successfully but the H & S might have the edge for what reason?

    Reply
  7. VinnyDiesel
    VinnyDiesel

    Bill and Nikko,

    The reason I tend to lean toward the H&S in this review was because back when I wrote this you could still get the H&S Race Tuner. Due to recent events the H&S Race tuners went the way of the Dodo bird. They now only offer the street tuner which I still like because H&S has chosen to specialize in emissions equipped vehicles.

    I think their tuning is a lot cleaner than other tuners available to us on the market, meaning they keep the diesel particulates being produced to a minimum.

    A lot of these tuners and programmers are ramping up fuel pressure to achieve greater horse power. In turn that results in more diesel particulates which is exactly what your DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) is designed to stop. When the DPF becomes clogged with soot the truck will trigger a regeneration cycle which in tales more than a gallon of fuel being dumped in the cylinders to create the heat needed to burn off the filter.

    That is the main reason your trucks are getting poor fuel economy.

    The best way I have found to get better fuel economy out of a 6.7L Cummins is to upgrade the cold air intake, add the H&S Street Tuner and a water methanol injection system.

    There are a lot of bonuses to running water methanol but the main reason we use it on trucks equipped with EGR and DPF is because the methanol gives us better atomization of the fuel being injected into the engine. This reduces the amount of particulates that could potentially clog the filter which means fewer regen cycles and therefore better fuel economy and power.

    Here is a link to a review I wrote on water methanol injection specifically that may help you guys to understand further how the science works and the added benefits to your diesel trucks.

    Let me know if you have any further questions. Feel free to email me vinny@leadfootdiesel.com

    Reply
  8. dan

    i personally like just running the smarty jr. i have it in my 03 dodge cummins, shes got 700,000 and still runs like new. never touched the engine in anyway. the reason why they blow up or melt pistons in there truck is cause they do not know anything about there truck or what the chip does. its all those city people that want the power and roal coal. thats fine but if you dont keep up with regular maintenance thats when you mess things up. and its also how you drive and what you do. if your reving the piss out of the motor driving like an idiot yes that too will break it . Its so funny how than people blame it on the chip when really it was there fault

    Reply
  9. Syd Wallace

    Hey there Vinny, What is your recommendation for a 2011 2500 Cummins and a shop to take my truck to. Tennessee, 37050. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Vinny Himes
      Vinny Himes

      Bean’s Diesel Performance is an excellent shop and the owner Ryan Bean is a close personal friend, he can definitely help you out.

      Mail to: info@bdpshop.com
      Phone:844-237-7467
      Address:Beans Diesel, 210 Rollin Coal Lane, Woodbury, TN 37190

      Reply
  10. steve_wolle@yahoo.com

    I appreciate your knowledge in diesels, I have a 2016 Ram 6.7 looking for best gas mileage chip, really don’t want to leave a foot print for warranty purposes what is your suggestion? And the best one that does leave foot print?

    Reply
    1. Vinny Himes
      Vinny Himes

      This is a very dynamic question as there isn’t a perfect answer on my part. The honest truth, there is no tuner I can recommend that will help with fuel economy on your truck.

      The explanation:
      By tuning any diesel truck, you are inevitably going to change one of the following, fuel pressure, timing, injector pulse width/duration among many other variable/tables in the tune profile. Any adjustment to those fueling tables is going to result in more diesel particulates being produced. This particulate matter is what most people refer to as black smoke. The diesel particulate filter located in your factory exhaust system traps the soot being produced by the engine and once the filter is full the truck initiates a a reburn or regen cycle. During this regen cycle the truck consumes a lot more fuel than it would under normal engine operation. The more often the truck has to clean the exhaust, the worse your fuel economy is going to be. With all that being said, adding any kind of tuning device is going to hurt you rather than help you.

      Reply
  11. Tim

    I just purchased a low mileage 2012 3500 6.7 4×4 Limited with no DEF. What would you recommend to increase fuel economy?

    Reply
  12. Josh

    Hello… I have a 2003 3500 Dually. Currently running an older edge juice w/ Attitude (older smaller silver rectangle box with buttons on left side) and I like the looks an concept of the new 5″ dispay on th edge juice w/ attitude CTS2 and the gauges it can display. I have recently added an ATS Stage 3 Transmission, Torque converter w/ their electronic lock out option. Is the newer Edge Juice w/ attitude different than mine other than the display screen? Is the brain and wire harness the same and simply buy a 5″ display if possible? I apologize in advance for the rookie question.

    Reply
    1. Vinny Himes
      Vinny Himes

      Edge used to have the Juice With Attitude screen upgrade available, not sure if they are still doing that or not. I can’t find it on their website anymore. I think since the changed from the CTS, to the CTS2 you will have to order a whole new tuner. Here is a link to the tuner you would need to order.

      Reply
  13. Ken

    Hello, I have a 2001 ram 3500 with a 5.9 in it my question is which chip would you recommend for this to give it the power to go up hills

    Reply
    1. Vinny Himes
      Vinny Himes

      The absolute best tuner/programmer for your truck is going to be the Edge Juice with Attitude. There are a lot of “Plug and Play” style programmers for your truck, these are what we call pressure boxes. All they do is up the fuel pressure but they don’t make any adjustments to timing or anything else. So you may gain a little bit of power but they just aren’t as efficient as the Edge Juice with Attitude.

      The Edge will plug into the factory engine wiring harness and actually taps into the injection pump, giving us a lot more control of the engine and how it runs. The Edge also comes with a heads up display, a 5 inch LCD color touch screen that allows you to shift through the 5 different power levels on the fly, as well as display vital engine parameters such as EGT’s (exhaust gas temperatures) boost, fuel pressure, engine coolant temp in real time, oil temp etc.

      You also have options to set (defuel) levels, if any of the engine parameters gets out of hand, you can preset temperatures, and pressures in the Edge, if the engine gets too hot, or too much boost pressure is being made, thEdge will cut power to save the engine and transmission, no other tuner on the market does this. Here is a link to the correct part number for your truck.
      Click here to view the Edge Juice with Attitude for your 24 valve Cummins.

      Reply

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