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Having tuned cars for a living for about 8 years (stopped about 3 years ago), the curiosity and need to tinker always gets the better of me. Only picked up a 2017 SE 2.0 for the wife a couple weeks ago, and started researching the tuning options. Already had an HP Tuners MPVI interface, and they listed the FE in vehicles supported....it was just too tempting. I checked with her to make sure she knew what I was up to, and we got the green light!
I started with some logging to see what was going on in the stock calibration. I had to send the stock file to support to have it added to the latest beta of the editor software, but they were surprisingly quick about it.
After studying the stock file, there were a few key areas that needed attention. The goal here isn't necessarily more power (not ruling it out but....) as much as it is to have more access to the power available. By this I mean reducing the limitations for torque production in 1st and 2nd gears, reduce the torque reduction during shifts, shorten shift slip times and other similar tactics.
I built a base calibration file and have only had a very brief drive and datalog, but its a good start. Using the time stamps in the datalog, the 0-60 time dropped about 0.6 seconds. FYI, we are running 91 octane fuel.
I will try to post updates as I make progress
 

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Nice!

Are you AWD or FWD?

I'd be careful of the torque limiters though. I know VW for instance has these on their DSG transmission and simply removing them or raising them for the sake of doing so to increase performance without the proper hardware upgrades is usually detrimental to the life expectancy of the transmission. And that's with only 200-230 tq on the VW 2.0TSi platform.

I can image the 275+ TQ on the 2.0 Ecoboost put a lot more stress on the transmission. Also if you're just FWD you'll lend yourself to more torque steer and wheel spin. All of the inputs on these vehicle are very sensitive as I'm sure you have come to find out. Fuel pedal, brakes, and steering all seem to go from not enough to too much with very little movement so it may be harder to modulate the throttle off-the-line and through a slower turn if you goose the gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Nice!

Are you AWD or FWD?

I'd be careful of the torque limiters though. I know VW for instance has these on their DSG transmission and simply removing them or raising them for the sake of doing so to increase performance without the proper hardware upgrades is usually detrimental to the life expectancy of the transmission. And that's with only 200-230 tq on the VW 2.0TSi platform.

I can image the 275+ TQ on the 2.0 Ecoboost put a lot more stress on the transmission. Also if you're just FWD you'll lend yourself to more torque steer and wheel spin. All of the inputs on these vehicle are very sensitive as I'm sure you have come to find out. Fuel pedal, brakes, and steering all seem to go from not enough to too much with very little movement so it may be harder to modulate the throttle off-the-line and through a slower turn if you goose the gas.
It's an AWD, I should have mentioned. As far as transmission capacity goes, these 6F35 are used in the Lincoln MKC with the 2.3L behind 40 more hp and 30 more tq, although they could have similar torque limits in the software in lower gears. If this goes terribly wrong, I do have an ace in the hole.....I operate a transmission shop :)
I am taking this in small incremental steps rather than going for broke right off the bat, and will certainly leave some in reserve (just not as much as Ford did, lol ;))
I think a DSG has a smaller margin for error as it doesn't have a torque converter to absorb some of the torque spike during a shift event, but I recognize the risks and fully respect the gravity of the undertaking.
The vehicle, when driven "normally" must remain acceptable to my wife who daily drives the vehicle. She did, however comment that she noticed it seemed a little stronger when passing a car the other day. That's my girl!
Thanks for the comment and reading my post
 

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I'm very interested to see how you go. I would be happy with just having the auto trans behaviour improved, but most tuning places only seem to talk about the engine side of things.

I assume you could reduce the "hang time"? Where it will hold a low gear (for what seems like an eternity) after full throttle acceleration and backing off to a steady speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm very interested to see how you go. I would be happy with just having the auto trans behaviour improved, but most tuning places only seem to talk about the engine side of things.

I assume you could reduce the "hang time"? Where it will hold a low gear (for what seems like an eternity) after full throttle acceleration and backing off to a steady speed.
I will look through the available parameters to see if that can be sorted. I agree, that's annoying
 

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Another round of revisions tonight....
I've gone as far as I feel comfortable performance-wise (and further than I originally intended....😈). Logger showed 0-60mph in 6.02 sec. My best recorded with it stock was 6.997, so definitely something you notice. Shifts are shorter and cleaner, approaching "crisp". Its quite cool here in Ontario at 4 deg C or 40ish F, so when warmer weather comes I will datalog again to make sure things are ok with warmer ambient air.
 

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So you've got a version of this https://www.hptuners.com/mpvi2/ and that OBD2 interface comes with software that downloads and dissects the files from the PCM into something legible; with parameters you can alter for the engine and transmission?

Any chance of posting some screen shots of what it gives you to work with? It sounds very interesting (and extremely dangerous for someone unfamiliar with tuning!)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
20191106_090244.jpg 20191106_090405.jpg 20191106_090015.jpg
I have the older MPVI Pro, which is not wireless like the MPVI2. This software is incredibly complex and definitely gives you access to enough to be very dangerous if you get in over your head.
 

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Thanks. I just had a look and they support the Kuga and even Australian made Ford models.

Would it allow you to change the way the trans behaves when using the paddles? I've retrofitted paddles in mine and found the programming can override the selected gear eg. if you try loading the engine in a high gear at lower revs (like around 2-3k revs, not ridiculously low.)

Gaining around 1 second to 60mph is impressive. It might go some of the way to explain how the 2020 model has been reported as having significantly better acceleration (fitted with a new 8 speed auto, but basically the same engine power/ torque and weight.)
 

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Another question- does it enable any changes in the EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering)? I'm guessing it would involve settings in the PSCM (Power Steering Control Module ?)

The reason I'm asking is they released a Kuga ST Line model with lowered/ improved suspension and one thing I noted is they claim the steering has been improved. My guess is that has been done via software? Edit- read below.

...while the electronic power-assisted steering gets a new calibration for more agile handling.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Another question- does it enable any changes in the EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering)? I'm guessing it would involve settings in the PSCM (Power Steering Control Module ?)

The reason I'm asking is they released a Kuga ST Line model with lowered/ improved suspension and one thing I noted is they claim the steering has been improved. My guess is that has been done via software? Edit- read below.


There are tables specific to the select shift functions, but I haven't looked at them in depth. I would imagine with experimentation, you could effect the desired behaviour. I'm not sure how much authority the main shift tables have to override the select shift...
As far as steering calibration, no, I see nothing in there. None of the stuff associated with bcm functions are accessible. I would say Forscan would have a better chance at accessing electric steering assist profiles.
 

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It's an AWD, I should have mentioned. As far as transmission capacity goes, these 6F35 are used in the Lincoln MKC with the 2.3L behind 40 more hp and 30 more tq, although they could have similar torque limits in the software in lower gears. If this goes terribly wrong, I do have an ace in the hole.....I operate a transmission shop :)
I am taking this in small incremental steps rather than going for broke right off the bat, and will certainly leave some in reserve (just not as much as Ford did, lol ;))
I think a DSG has a smaller margin for error as it doesn't have a torque converter to absorb some of the torque spike during a shift event, but I recognize the risks and fully respect the gravity of the undertaking.
The vehicle, when driven "normally" must remain acceptable to my wife who daily drives the vehicle. She did, however comment that she noticed it seemed a little stronger when passing a car the other day. That's my girl!
Thanks for the comment and reading my post
As long as you are down with the saying "Gotta pay to play!" more power to you! On any forum I always find it humorous when people break things and then complain or lament that the car sucks etc, etc. No, it's the rules of the mod game!

Anyways, yes, very aware of what Ford and most other OEM's leave on the table. Especially those that have their own performance division to improve performance/output with just a tune. FRPP, NISMO, TRD, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have continued to make very subtle revisions to the cailbration in the Escape, and am very pleased with the vehicle dynamics now. One recent change was to bump the 5th to 6th shift point at low throttle a bit higher as it really lugged at 70kmh (43ish mph) and it produced a growl and mild resonance. It now stays in 5th until 80kmh (50mph) and RPM drops to 1500ish instead of 1250-1300.
Another was to experiment with a function called "torque based shift schedule" which could either be enabled (as it is by default) or disabled. I felt this might be a way to reduce or eliminate "shift hang" as Murcod inquired about.

"I assume you could reduce the "hang time"? Where it will hold a low gear (for what seems like an eternity) after full throttle acceleration and backing off to a steady speed. "

While it didn't eliminate it entirely, it is MUCH improved. If you are not familiar with this behaviour, it is essentially the vehicle's tendency to take a few seconds to respond to a sudden tip out of throttle after a higher throttle position...resulting in the engine hanging at the high RPM for a few seconds before finally changing up to higher gears. It now is about 1 second or so. I will continue to observe this as it has been the most recent change.

Some fuel control tweaks and such yielded a small performance increase as noted by a datalogged 0-60mph time of 5.93 sec, a new best.

Overall driveability is improved in my opinion, and on a recent trip over the holidays, the average fuel economy over a 6000km distance (to Florida, around Florida and back to Ontario Canada) showed a reported economy of 9.6 L/100km or 24.5mpg. This was with 4 adults in the car and average freeway speeds of 75-85 mph. Pretty solid
 

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Very nice update :) If it were my vehicle I'd already be asking how much to have you tune my Escape but, it's my daughter's so, while she claims to want performance, she's not willing to pay (darn rules of the games!)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Very nice update :) If it were my vehicle I'd already be asking how much to have you tune my Escape but, it's my daughter's so, while she claims to want performance, she's not willing to pay (darn rules of the games!)
The one I am playing with is my wife's technically, and kinda our family vehicle when we go places. She loves driving it even more now that I've tuned it.
As far as cost, the passthrough device itself is where most of the money is spent. I already had one so it was merely license credits which were like $100. Even though I now have many hours into this tune, I am not sure I would sell it to anyone...too much liability. I am waiting to see what my brother-in-law and sister-in-law think about it when they drive ours since they have a '19 Escape SE 2.0L as well. The difference is quite noticeable.
 

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GOOD NEWS! I requested that HP Tuners add the software switch to disable the stop/start function. Less than 1hr later they replied and it was done. I downloaded the latest beta, and behold it was in there! I will be flashing this to our vehicle on the weekend likely. (on a side note, ours doesn't work atm as it is too cold where we live, but on the Florida trip it did function). I know a LOT of people dislike this feature.
 

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Thanks for the update. I've been wondering how you've been going with it long term.

Out of interest your 0-60mph time of 5.93s is very close to what they've quoted in reviews of the 2020 model with the updated 8spd auto (5.7sec.)

I'm certainly interested in doing the same.

If you are not familiar with this behaviour, it is essentially the vehicle's tendency to take a few seconds to respond to a sudden tip out of throttle after a higher throttle position...resulting in the engine hanging at the high RPM for a few seconds before finally changing up to higher gears.
That annoys the hell out of me. You're left with the engine revving high for what seems like an eternity. If there are any other vehicles close by they'd be wondering what the hell you're doing. Reducing it to 1 second would be a lot better and more of what I would have expected with the factory "tune".
 

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Thanks for the update. I've been wondering how you've been going with it long term.

Out of interest your 0-60mph time of 5.93s is very close to what they've quoted in reviews of the 2020 model with the updated 8spd auto (5.7sec.)

I'm certainly interested in doing the same.



That annoys the hell out of me. You're left with the engine revving high for what seems like an eternity. If there are any other vehicles close by they'd be wondering what the hell you're doing. Reducing it to 1 second would be a lot better and more of what I would have expected with the factory "tune".
I'm the same as you David, the rev hang when you back off after a short burst of acceleration is very annoying, and seems to last forever.
 

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GOOD NEWS! I requested that HP Tuners add the software switch to disable the stop/start function. Less than 1hr later they replied and it was done. I downloaded the latest beta, and behold it was in there! I will be flashing this to our vehicle on the weekend likely. (on a side note, ours doesn't work atm as it is too cold where we live, but on the Florida trip it did function). I know a LOT of people dislike this feature.
That feature doesn't last long here in AZ since the BCM monitors battery conditions and then decides how to manage the charging system and some features like this one. Nope, one summer is all it took for the feature to disable itself (or to now work).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Whittled 0-60 down a bit more. Datalog showed 5.80 tonight....2020 FE eat my shorts, lmao. Also for giggles I tried a timed 1/4 mile run on the Torque app. [email protected] is haulin pretty good I'd say.
*keep in mind, 91 octane fuel used
 
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