Thunder max VS Power Commander

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by PeteINny, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. PeteINny

    PeteINny Active Member

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    Has anyone had any experience with either of these tuners? Other than price will I notice any difference. I have read allot about the power commander and have no knowledge of the Thunder max. Any input?
     
  2. shovelrider

    shovelrider Member

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    Have used both products with success & if tuned properly on a dyno
    you will notice a considerable difference.The Thundermax is a direct replacement for the stock ECM While the Powercommander piggybacks off of the stock ECM.Hope this helps.:D
     
  3. B-1B_Guy

    B-1B_Guy Junior Member

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    I run the PCV w/ AutoTune and I really like it. It took a while for the autotune to adjust to my latest upgrades (cams/heads) but the bike sure is running great now. Mileage was low at first also but I'm back up to 38.4 MPG and that was 2 up in the mountains.
     
  4. biscuit

    biscuit Junior Member

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    I run a T/max with autotune in my 2008 FLSTN.As mentioned,the T/max is a direct replacement for the H-D ECU,and in the autotune mode,it comes with wide band Oxygen sensors that replace the narrow band H-D items.Basically,you remove the stock ECU,Oxygen sensors and associated wiring and replace those with the Thundermax bits.Pretty easy overall,although i found Zippers to be a little parsimonious with the front wiring harness.A couple of inches short of a good length.

    It works by having a particular engine base map loaded into the ECU.This map is a reflection of any mods or alterations that you have done to your bike.There is a considerable number of base maps available to you on the software that comes with the T/max,and even if there is NO DIRECT (100%) match,there will be one that is pretty close.The beauty of the autotune function means that the system will overcome any disparities and eventually tune itself to match.Also,this process means that no Dyno time is needed to tune.You can either load a base yourself,or you specify your criteria and the shop you buy it from can probably load it for you.

    I'm happy with mine.My bike is running really well and my fuel consumption hovers around 44-45 mpg.However,i dont ride hard and all my work is roughly between 2200-3000 rpm.

    Furthermore,there are a number a great 'How-To' videos on physically installing the T/max and on how to actually Load a map.

    Just go to You tube and put in Thundermax.

    A long post i know;but you wanted some info.
    Good luck.:)
     
  5. PeteINny

    PeteINny Active Member

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    Thanks, Its hard to imagine the Thunder max can work so well and take the dyno work out of the install. I just spoke with at tech in a shop who wanted to install the Thunder max for me and then put it on a dyno. Is he trying to get more shop time out of me?
     
  6. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    I never have used the T/Max (I am using SEST) but it is easy to understand why it even works BETTER than a High $$ Dyno tune. An inertia Dyno tune is nothing more than a WOT blast for a few seconds. They are tuning at low map pressures only and they do not take into account any "cruise" A/F ratio's because they can't (if using an inertia dyno).
    On the other hand, you are already paying rent on the best dyno available which are Public Roads. Every possible type of load there is will be matched to the perfect A/F ratio by the firmware in the T/max ECM.

    If you have the Wide Band setup with auto tune, I can not see any advantage to using a Dyno.
    If your using a narrow band set-up, you will have to dyno tune.
     
  7. PeteINny

    PeteINny Active Member

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    I have to say the more I read about the T/max the more I like it. For somebody who likes to do things themselves it sounds like the way to go. You don't have to rely on somebody running it thru a dyno everytime you make a change.
     
  8. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Look at Any dyno pull chart you can find. Look at the bottom A/F ratio portion. In most cases what do you see? An A/F ratio of ~13.5 :1 matched against a WOT pull. That is too lean for those conditions. The hands of the tech are tied by the EPA so he can not do much. With wide band autotune, you are now the EPA.

    Just something you should know if your going to get your feet wet in the Wide Band arena. Wide band sensors are somewhat fragile. Much more so than narrow band. They make comparisons of internal pipe O2 concentrations to the outside world. They "breath". You should be very careful what comes in contact to the exterior exposed sensor. Things like wax, cleaners, silicone, oil, pledge, kerosine can do permanent damage to a Wide band sensor. You will have 1 for each pipe. They will require "free air calibration" if they get contaminated or as they age.
    The good side is they are not expensive to replace. About $60 each.
     
  9. PeteINny

    PeteINny Active Member

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    Hoople,
    Thanks, good to know. I like the idea of auto calibration. I would imagine that it will do away with allot of the dyno work and the techs involved. The nice part I see about this unit is that you can change different aspects of your stage one. If you buy one type of air cleaner and later down the road you find something else you like, you can bolt it on without going back to do dyno work. I wonder how reliable one of these units are? I have not read too many bad things after the initial set up.
     
  10. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    That I could not tell you because I have zero experience on them. If I remember correctly Hobbit knows and understands them. You may want to tag him for his opinion.