Diablosport Predator #7135 Dodge 5.7 HEMI Knowledgebase – X E Ryder
(Author makes no claims to ownership of trademarks or property expressed or implied. Document intended as "Helpful Freeware".)
With so many of us using this great tool, and many making discoveries on its use, the information had become scattered out among many articles and topics. About a year ago this article was generated to pool our information into one resource that has the summary of our experience and knowledge with this powerful tool.
Please help us keep this article up to date and accurate with your factual replies to this thread. If you find something outdated, incorrect or otherwise cryptic, speak up and it will be corrected. Edits will be made to this article as often as deemed necessary to keep it a truly helpful resource for those of us using this tool. This knowledgebase is endorsed by Diablosport and was generated by working closely with them, so you can be sure the information you find here is accurate.
This article is intended to assist owners at all levels of comfort with tweaking the 5.7/6.1 Hemi PCM (Powertrain Control Module). Some information may seem quite simple to the more advanced. Let’s keep this discussion on subject and with the mind to offer the community a helpful resource! Thanks to all who contribute!
NOTES: * 3.5 V6 & 6.1L Hemi: Most of this info also applies directly to the 6.1L Hemi, but clearly such features as MDS (Multiple Displacement System) Disable will be absent from your menus. * Thank You to: Christy, John, Mike, Johan, of DS & Bob of SVS Motorsport. * Last revision date 6-1-08
should have your LX vehicle fueled with a minimum of 91 Octane fuel before
installing any tune, unless following an advanced feature discussed later on
running 89 Octane. Failure to run 91 Octane and installing a tune anyway can
cause a lot of Knock/Pinging, which is rough on the motor, and it will result in
The Predator #7135 and your 5.7 Hemi vehicle will become “Married” together, preventing the tool from being used on another applicable vehicle. During this process your Original Backup File will be created on the tool. Also, using the tool the first time to install a tune, you may be prompted to perform a DCX Calibration Update to your PCM.
You will need an interface cable that can be obtained from your DS Dealer OR Radio Shack. You will need a Serial or USB port available on your PC/Laptop. Check this before you buy! The Radio shack part number for the Serial Cable is 26-117 and the USB to Serial cable is 26-183. If your Predator cannot reach your PC while plugged into your vehicle’s OBD II port, you will also need a power supply from your DS Dealer OR Radio Shack part number 273-1776 for the adaptor and 273-1717 for the correct tip (make sure you plug the tip on so the center pin is Positive +).
Don’t forget to stop by the Diablosport website to register your Predator. Doing so will insure you are notified by e-mail of important product related updates. Look on the back of your Predator for a small sticker with your serial number, and go to this page to register: http://download.diablosport.com/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=89
The Predator is quite intuitive to use once you get past the “I hope I don’t hurt my car” fears. It features the standard OBDII plug to connect to your car, a large easy to read screen, and several buttons. There are Arrow buttons for each direction to help select and adjust items, the center Enter button for choosing items, and the upper left Escape button for backing up one menu level in case you find yourself in the wrong area or not wanting to change a selection.
When examining menu items, if a menu item appears to be cut off at the right side of the screen, select the item and press the Right Arrow button; the title will begin to scroll back and forth so you can read it. Items in the tool appear Selected or Modified by highlighting or having an Asterisk “*” mark in front of them, so you can always tell where your changes are and which selections you have made.
Note the small round DC power supply input near the top of the unit, and the standard Serial port on the bottom, a RS-232 DB9 connector. Both are required for interfacing the unit to a PC, and this will be required to use some of the more powerful features the unit offers, as well as updating the tool.
The tool will often prompt you to do specific actions, so pay attention and do not let anyone interrupt you or open doors/use accessories during the process. If the tool asks you to Cycle Key or Turn Key Off/On, turn the key to Off, after 1 second turn it to On, but never engage the starter (unless data logging – more on this later).
4) GETTING STARTED
Before reading on, you should have already examined your Predator, read the short printed manual, obtained a Power adaptor and Serial cable, or USB to Serial cable for PC interface. The Predator is like an infinitely adjustable “chip” that is also reversible to stock at any time, all with only one tool required.
You should also download and read the Complete Owner’s Manual, which has quite a bit more information in it, than the leaflet shipped with the tool. Other useful resources and utilities you should download and read or setup, are the DS Downloader Instructions, the DS Downloader Installer program for interfacing with the tool, the Revision Update Instructions and Predator Tool Updates or “crom” firmware files. If you plan to use the powerful Data Logging functions of the Predator, you will want the Data Viewer program as well. These can all be obtained from: http://www.diablosport.com/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=121
When you first connect your tool to your vehicle, it may tell you that your vehicle requires a DCX Calibration Update before you can install a tune. This is fairly common and the step-by-step directions for performing this process can be found here: http://www.diablosport.com/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=117
Performing this DCX Calibration Update will give you updated base calibrations for your PCM, which would normally require a trip to the dealer and use of the StarScan tool. Don’t confuse this with Predator “Crom” updates, in which it is the tool, not your car which is updated.
When you have your tool powered up, look at the top line of the display, note the current firmware version shown, such as “v.8T16a” or “v.6R17”. Thus far, the “T” is for Test or Beta versions of firmware and “R” has been for the Release or final approved versions of firmware. Bear in mind that running Test versions may unlock new features sooner, but you may uncover a bug in the process of running these newer test versions. If you do find an anomaly, especially if it is Repeatable, drop Diablosport a line with as much info as possible on the occurrence.
If you have found there is newer “Crom” firmware available for the tool, and you wish to update, you can perform this process with the DS Downloader software previously mentioned, following the update instructions on the page linked above. Another helpful resource which summarizes many functions discussed here can be found here: http://www.diablosport.com/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=122
If you need some help or a specific question answered don’t hesitate to ask the people at Diablosport directly. You can do so on their Forum: http://www.diablosport.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewforum&f=29
Or you can call them from 9-5 Eastern Mon-Fri at 561-908-0400. In my experience they are very helpful and any hold time has been very reasonable. Now you are ready to Install a Tune.
5) PERFORMANCE TUNE
Before getting into the
myriad of options the tool offers, let’s choose and install a tune. Get in
your car with the tool, Close the Door, roll down the driver window if you like,
and shut off all accessories which may come on whether the key is Off, Acc, or
On. Set your headlights and climate control/fan to Off, as well – fluctuations
in system voltage are harmful to the PCM writing process, and make sure your
battery is in good shape too.
With the key Off, plug
the tool into the OBDII diagnostic port found under your dash about inline with
the steering wheel. It might help to crawl under there once before you plug in
to see the location and angle of the plug. The small slot in the plug faces the
front of the car. Once plugged in the tool will boot to the main screen after a
You are now on the top level of the menus, and the top selection “Performance Tunes” should be highlighted. Press the center Enter button and a Disclaimer will come up with “Disagree” selected by default, use the Right button to choose “Agree” if you DO agree to not hold Diablosport responsible for all the fun you are about to have. If you feel like reading the associated legaleze, use the Down/Up buttons to scroll the display. Next you will be told to set your parking brake and turn the key on.
Press the center Enter
key and the second level menu comes up with “Diablo Tunes” selected by
default. Press the center Enter key and the third level menu comes up with a
list of Canned tunes. Each of the tunes shown can be selected with the Up/Down
arrows and the Enter key. Once you choose one, a screen with notes on the tune
and suggested fuel and car setup is displayed. Use the Down arrow key to scroll
the notes if needed. Feel free to choose all of them to read about them – you
can hit the Escape key to back out anytime.
Select the tune that best
matches your current fuel and setup. Next a menu appears with Install Tune or
Modify Tune. It is suggested you go ahead and Install Tune the first time, and
see how your car accepts it before we customize it. You will have to confirm and
Agree to not hold Diablosport liable for any damages, and the writing process
will begin. NOTE: Another prompt may or may not appear when installing a Tune
file; if you have made several manual adjustments, the tool may ask if you wish
to reset all base values. It is recommended that you choose “Yes” to avoid
stacking adjustments that could render your tune useless or even hazardous.
Imagine a tune with added timing stacked on top your manual adjusted timing –
it would create a large amount of Knock/Ping.
It may take a full minute
or so during which you do not want to open doors, use accessories, tap the
brakes, or do anything that will alter system voltage. You will be asked to
Cycle Key or Turn Key Off/On (depending on firmware version). When the process
is complete, you will be told you can now unplug the tool. Turn the Key Off,
gently unplug the Predator, and you can go drive your car!
You may have noted there is a “Original Backup” entry in the list of Canned Tunes. Use this before you upgrade the Predator tool firmware (crom) to newer versions, decide to use the Predator on another supported vehicle, or if you have to return the vehicle to the dealer.
6) CUSTOM TUNES
The next menu entry under
Performance Tune, is Custom Tune, and this will only appear if the Predator
finds a Custom Tune in memory when it boots up. These are typically generated by
Diablosport CMR custom tuning software for use with aftermarket camshafts,
cylinder heads or other configuration changes that make the Canned tunes
unusable. The predator can store up to 5 Custom Tunes that can be useful for
racers setting up tunes for specific racetracks by altitude, race fuel grade
available, etc. You can select a Custom Tune here and install it just like you
do with a Canned tune, or Modify it which we will cover shortly.
7) QUICK ADJUST
This menu allows you to
make some changes without writing a whole new tune into the PCM’s memory. The
choices here will not affect engine tune parameters, but this menu item is
helpful if you swapped into a set of drag radials and just want to let the PCM
know you have a shorter tire, or want to try a different shift point.
The ESP menu offers On, Off and No Change entries, and will completely disable ESP, BAS and ABS functions. The indicator lights for these systems will remain lit up to remind you these systems are offline. They will remain offline until you set this option back to On. Remember that many LX vehicles can disable these features for a single drive cycle by rolling along at 20 MPH and turning the key to Start for 3 full seconds. The PCM will not engage the starter and after 3 seconds give a chime with ESP, BAS and ABS lights coming on. Shutting the car off, and restarting will bring these systems back again.
The other two menu items, Tire Size and Transmission can also be adjusted when Modifying a tune, and will be explained in Section 9 below to avoid duplication. The final entry, Restore Quick Adjust, will clear all adjustments made to the current Tune base values. You may wish to go item by item to check adjustments as using this feature may clear something you desired.
8) ADJUSTING PARAMETERS
The Predator has immense
flexibility yet to discover, allowing each user the ability to fine-tune their
car and combination for the best performance. Before you start making changes,
be sure you do not create a program that is hazardous to your engine. With all
this great power comes the responsibility to make subtle changes based on
measurements taken, or you could create a bad Lean/Detonation condition which
could cause serious damage!
Before we get into the
specifics of some of the advanced items you can change, have a look at this
spreadsheet of the v.8r17 Firmware, called a “Menu Map”. It can help you see
where various adjustments are located and simplify the seeming maze of settings
the tool offers. A second sheet lists all the loggable sensors available for
Data Logging. You can find this spreadsheet here: http://www.xeryder.com/predator/Predator_v.8r17_MenuMap.zip
If you do not have
Microsoft Excel, you can get a free viewer from Microsoft here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c8378bf4-996c-4569-b547-75edbd03aaf0&displaylang=EN
There are three ways to customize your car’s tune. You can go to a Diablosport CMR dealer and have a Custom Tune created just for your car, and the Predator will hold up to five of these Custom Tunes. Second is to use the Modify Stock Tune menu, within which you will be creating your own adjustments from a stock tune. Third method is to select a Performance Tune from the list, and then choose Modify Tune, before Installing it.
9) MODIFY TUNE
Let’s modify a tune!
Many of us are running 180o F Thermostats, and Diablosport has authorized us to
Lower the Fan Settings in their Canned Tunes by 5o F. The OEM thermostat is 203o
F for emission reasons. This sounds like a great example of a useful adjustment,
wouldn’t you agree? Here is an example for a Perf CAI 91 Oct canned tune
adjustment. If you do not have a Cold Air Intake or run higher octane fuel,
select the Canned Tune that best fits your fuel and mods.
Plug in the Predator,
choose Performance Tunes > Diablo Tunes > Perf CAI 91 Oct > Modify Tune
> Modify Parameters > Cooling Fans AC Off. You will now have six entries,
(five showing, one you have to scroll down to). The first entry is “High MPH
HS Fan On”. Select this and you will be presented with a horizontal bar graph
style slider, it is labeled 150 to 230 degrees, adjustable in 1 degree
increments. The current value is likely 198.99 (or as high as 219.39!). Seems a
little high for the set point of turning on the high-speed fan when you have a
180o F thermostat. Use the Left Arrow button to bring it down 5 degrees, and
then press the Enter Key.
You will be returning to
the Cooling Fans AC Off menu, and note there is now an Asterisk “*” in front
of the one you just altered. This proves your change and alerts you that this
menu item has been changed. Repeat this process for all six of the entries,
lowering each by 5 degrees. Make sure to scroll down to the last entry in the
list, “Low MPH MS Fan On”. This entry is hidden until you scroll down. You
might note each temperature setting has some random decimal amount – disregard
this it has to do with the hexadecimal nature of the PCM’s stored values.
Press the Escape key once
to return to the Modify Parameters Menu. Now press Arrow Down once and choose
“Cooling Fans AC On”. There are three selections here, make the same
adjustment 5 degrees lower for each. When you are done, press Escape to back up
to the Modify Parameters menu. If you are comfortable with the selections here,
you can make other changes as well.
The EGR entry relates to
the Exhaust Gas Recirculating valve. This emission control opens variably as
directed by the PCM, sending some exhaust back into the intake manifold. Why
would we want to do this? We likely would not, but under certain driving
conditions when the mixture is richened, emissions naturally rise, and during
cruise a little NOX can even be helpful. If you have swapped in a 6.1, deleted
the EGR, or wish to disable it, this entry is quite helpful. You may select this
menu item to choose On, Off or No Change. The EGR will not open or report errors
when you select Off.
Next is the Idle Menu in
which you will find adjustments for your Idle Speed in Drive, and Park or
Neutral, with both AC On and Off, for a total of four entries. Your current
value is not given, but the slider bar offers +/- 400 RPM of adjustment. You may
note that with AC On in Drive, the idle drops a little low sometimes; this is
the place to correct this!
Menu Item Was Removed In Release 18:] The
Knock Sensor Menu has two items, Long Term and Short Term Knock Sensor Enable,
Disable or No Change. Disabling these sensors can be helpful for tuning a car
when an experienced tech is dialing in your best combination and settings. Bear
in mind you could cause serious damage to your motor from disabling them.]
When you Advance your WOT (Wide-Open-Throttle) Spark too far, your car will begin to Detonate and Ping – or ignite the mixture before the piston reaches the top of the cylinder. This results in an awful sound of the upward piston hitting a downward fire; the Ping, which can create immense friction on the piston’s top. Excessive pinging can burn a hole in the top of a piston, and consider that you are not helping your crank spin, you are trying to Stop It when you have pinging!
The Knock Sensors detect
this unacceptable condition and begin to Retard the spark timing until the
Pinging condition ceases. Essentially, your car will try to run as much timing
as possible without Knocking. If pulling spark does not succeed, the PCM will
pull even more spark and fuel too! To provide a frame of reference for how
sensitive the timing is, only 2 degrees of timing are advanced when running 91
octane over 89.
MDS can be toggled On,
Off or No Change from the next menu. Some users with modded engines report a
surge when returning to 8 cylinders, so disabling MDS may be helpful. You may
wish to experiment with your MPG on a long drive with it On or Off to determine
if it is still saving your modded car fuel or not!
The Rear O2 Sensor menu
will allow you to turn On, Off or No Change to the Rear O2 Heater and Sensor.
This can be helpful to vehicles running long tube headers that keep setting
trouble codes. Finally, you can shut these sensors down and not have the ominous
CEL (Check Engine Light) coming on making you wonder if it is this again, or
something more important.
Rev and Speed Limits can
be adjusted in the next Menu, where entries for Rev Limit in Drive and Neutral
as well as vehicle Top Speed Limit can be adjusted more than high enough for a
Tire Size menu offers 2
methods for telling the PCM what you are rolling on. The first entry allows you
to input the tire size listed on the sidewall using the arrow keys. The second
entry allows an overall height to be entered. Since actual measurements of a
tire size vary by manufacturer, the overall height may be a more accurate way to
enter your choice, provided you measure accurately. This menu is also available
from the Quick Adjust Menu.
The Transmission Menu
offers several adjustments all of which are also available from the Quick Adjust
Menu. The first entry, Autostick Auto Upshift let’s you select whether your
trans will shift up to the next gear at the shift point in Autostick mode, or
not shift up unless in regular Drive mode. This can be helpful for Road Course
cars, allowing you to “overrun” a gear before decelerating into the next
turn. It can also stop those embarrassing up shifts in a burnout causing a bog.
Keep in mind you will be bouncing off the rev limiter if you do not manually up
shift, once this feature is disabled, when in Autostick mode. There are a few
selections here, all designed to achieve the same goal. You will have to
experiment with each one and try it to see what works for you. Also, note that
this feature may not work at all for ’07 models due to software limitations.
The Reset TCM
(Transmission Control Module) Adaptation item will clear all transmission
adaptives / whatever your trans has learned about your driving habits, and with
the increased power provided by installing a Predator Tune, this is highly
recommended. Coupling this with increased shift firmness is like having a new
Next entry is the Shift
Firmness item, where you can select Increased, Stock or No Change to how hard
your car grabs the next gear. Choosing Increased will tighten up your shifts by
a set amount that Diablosport felt was safe for your car.
Your trans Shift Points
can be adjusted from the next menu, offering Raised, Stock, No Change or Stock,
6000, 6400 entries depending on your firmware version. Once again, the shift
point offerings allow you great control so choose wisely here. Diablosport is
not responsible if you scatter your stock motor with 6400 rpm shift points!
Making a few dyno pulls or ET runs could be very helpful here, to determine if
your car is shifting at the optimal rpm and if you are even making any power up
WOT Fuel is one of the
most powerful adjustments the Predator puts into your hands, and this menu has
three useful entries for adjustment. This is an entry that you should not adjust
without a wideband O2 analyzer or dyno/data logs for reference information. The
selections are WOT Fuel 1k-3.8k (1,000’s rpm), WOT Fuel 4k-4.8k, and WOT Fuel
5k-7k. You are offered a bar graph with adjustments of +/- 20% in .5%
increments. Making dyno pulls with an air/fuel graph allows dialing this setting
in for best performance. The other option is to install a Wideband O2 Sensor and
make passes with adjustments to 12.4:1 AFR (Air-Fuel-Ratio) at WOT. Do not rely
on the installed Narrow Band O2 Sensors, they can only detect approximately
WOT Spark goes hand in
hand with the above settings to really dial in your car for peak performance.
There are two sets of three adjustments, or six total: WOT MBT Spark, and WOT
Spark. You are offered the same three rpm ranges, 1k-3.8k rpm, 4k-4.8k rpm, and
5k-7k rpm, as in the WOT Fuel menu item. You MUST adjust each rpm range of WOT
MBT Spark and WOT Spark by the same amount! The adjustment bar allows +/- about
10 degrees timing in 1 degree increments. Unlike WOT Fuel, the data logging
features of the tool can be used to dial this in, or of course pulls on a dyno.
The preferred method for most of us is to use the data logging feature, and make
some WOT runs in our typical driving environment. Logging the Short and Long
Term Knock, RPM, TPS and Speed sensors would allow us to see if the PCM was
cutting spark and if any pinging was detected. This process will be covered in
Now that you have made some changes to the Canned or Stock Tune, you can hit the Escape key from the Modify Tune menu and a prompt will ask you to “Install Tune Now? Yes/No” with Yes highlighted. Pressing Enter will begin writing the tune with whatever changes you made to your car. Remember not to use/do anything during the Writing process. When it is done it will ask for a Key Off/On Cycle, and then prompt you to Unplug the tool.
10) DIAGNOSTICS MENU
You will find some very
powerful tools under the Diagnostics Menu, the most important of which is likely
the Data Logging feature of the tool. But other useful items are found here as
The first entry here is
Trouble Codes, which you can select if that ominous CEL comes on. When you
select this item, a secondary menu comes up with two entries: Show Trouble Codes
or Clear Trouble Codes. When you choose “Show Trouble Codes”, any codes that
have been “set” will be displayed by their ID. Tool tips on what the code
designation means may be available by selecting the item. Write the codes down
on some paper, and then use the second entry Clear Trouble Codes to remove them
from the PCM. Correct your problem or the cause if possible, and then you can
see if the code returns. This is much faster than going to your dealer to find
out what’s wrong isn’t it?
Real Time Data is where
our Tool Data Logging features are found. These are not to be confused with
Laptop Data Logging. The tool data logging features are impressive, but the
laptop data logging features are truly vast! You are urged to learn to use these
features as they truly unlock the key to optimal performance. Read on to the
next sections for a full description of both types of data collection.
Next is the Show Calibration ID menu item, and this can be very helpful to determine what DCX Calibration your car is currently operating on. Once again this is the version and description of your PCM’s base calibrations, not the firmware the tool is running. Select this item to see your “CALID”.
11) OPTIONS MENU
In the options menu, some
useful utility items are present, as well as some tool troubleshooting menu
items. The first item will display the internal serial number of the tool, which
differs from the serial number sticker found on the back of the tool itself. DS
has internal uses for this number such as circuit board revision etc.
The next entry, Show Last Tune Written, can display a brief summary of
the last tune sent to the PCM by the tool.
Under the Custom Tune
menu there are several entries. Import Custom Tune, is a function that is now
handled by the DS Downloader software for increased reliability. Similarly, the
next two entries, Export Original Backup and Export Last Written may not work
reliably, and are easily handled by the DS Downloader software instead. The last
entry in this menu, Erase Custom Tune can be quite handy. If you send a Custom
Tune to your Tool from your PC, and it is corrupt or has an invalid Base File,
your tool may fail to enter the Performance Tune menu! This feature will allow
you to Delete the offensive file, and regain the use of your tunes.
The Troubleshooting menu
can help DS straighten things out quickly if your vehicle or tool fails to
respond correctly. If you find your vehicle or tool locked, you can call DS with
your tool in hand, while in the vehicle, and they can usually walk you through
correcting the problem.
Show Cal ID will report
the PCM’s current software ID version, and this ID is not related to your Tool
or Tune, it identifies the base calibrations the car is using in the PCM. Show
VIN will of course show your Vehicle Identification Number as entered into the
PCM. Restore Original Backup can be used to install your OEM vehicle tune back
into to PCM for any number of reasons from emission testing, taking the car to
the dealership, or “un-marrying” the tool from your car so it can be used on
another. Collect State Data can take a snapshot of the vehicles current state
for diagnostic purposes at DS. Force Relearn Variant takes you to a password
screen that is used by you and DS over the phone, in the vehicle, to solve VIN
Locked situations. The final entry is a blank line, which DS can again help you
enter a password to reset the tool’s features.
Serial Baud allows you to
select the speed of your serial port, and this number should match your setting
in the DS Downloader program and in your PC’s Device Manager screen. The two
settings of 57,600 and 115,200 relate to bps or bits per second of data
transfer. Obviously, the higher setting is desirable, but the lower setting can
be good if you experience several communication errors at the higher setting.
Choosing the Logo entry will allow you to view the splash screen that appears on tool boot once again.
12) DATA LOGGING – PREDATOR
With the release of the
v.8r17 crom Predator update, DS has enabled the tools data logging functions.
There is sufficient memory to log about 45 minutes, of any 6 to 8 sensors you
flag before collection begins. You can import this data to the DS Data Viewer
program for playback and analysis when you are done driving. This will not only
allow you to make some safe performance adjustments, but can prove very handy in
trouble shooting other systems.
Begin by plugging the
tool into the vehicle, and after booting up, choose the Diagnostics menu item.
Next scroll down to Real Time Data, select this item to see two entries, Watch
& Record and Playback. Select the Watch & Record feature and you will be
prompted to Start the engine, remember this is the only time the tool will
prompt you to actually start the engine!
After a moment of the
engine running the tool will return a list of loggable sensors available under
several main menu headings, starting with Cooling. Let’s flag a couple sensors
for data collection now. Scroll down to Ignition, and from the list of sensor
acronyms present let’s choose BASE Spark. Press the enter key while on this
item and you see a “*” mark appear in front of it as it is now flagged as a
sensor to capture data from.
You can either scroll the rest the way down to the “Back” entry and press the Enter key, or just hit the Escape key to back up a menu. Now select a few more sensors, such as Ignition > SPK ADV 1, Miscellaneous > KNK LT RETARD, Misfire > KNK ST RETARD, Throttle > ACC PDL POS, Performance > RPM, and Performance > VEH SPEED. Now that you have selected some sensors, you are ready to collect data. These sensor selections are good for setting up your own spark advance adjustments. Choose Watch & Record from the bottom of the headings menu, or hit escape again and the tools will ask if you want to “Watch & Record now Yes/No” with Yes highlighted. Press Enter and you are recording. Look at the display to see that data is appearing, and you can arrow down the list to watch various sensors in real time.
Do a few WOT passes from
a stand still, drive normally up a steep hill, cruise, coast, use Drive and
Autostick modes, collect as much data as you can! When you are done, shut your
engine down, and unplug the Predator tool. You can now take it to your PC and
connect it, and open the DS Data Viewer program to import the data and play it
back with the benefit of much greater viewing flexibility. If you use the DS
Downloader to Import/Export a Tune, it may Erase Your Log Data buffer in the
tool, so make sure you get your log exported before doing so.
If you connect the tool back to the vehicle, you can also choose Diagnostics > Real Time Data > Live Data > Playback to playback the data on the tool. Use the Right arrow to begin playing, and again to increase play speed. Pressing the Left arrow will slow down, stop, and then begin to play backwards, then rewind if you keep pressing it. Pressing Enter pauses. The title bar of the display tells you: Current timeframe, a progress bar of where in the recording you are with arrows for which direction you are playing, and a total time left to record in the tool. Play with the keys to get familiar with these features.
13) DATA LOGGING – LAPTOP
Collecting data with the
tool is quite easy, and captures enough relevant information to make your own
WOT Spark adjustments. What if you wanted to log something else though,
something specific for diagnostic purposes? Perhaps you want to know if that CAI
really pulls in cold air, or just less restrictive hot air? You could flag the
ambient temperature, intake air temperature, or other sensors and do a before
after data log.
This is where data
logging with a laptop can really be useful. Logging over 20 sensors at once with
a smooth, dynamic result is easily accomplished with the resources offered in
today’s laptops. The log buffer length is only limited by the laptop capturing
the data. You will need a copy of the Data Viewer program available on the DS
website. Once installed, you are ready to go.
Get in your car with your
Predator tool, laptop, and the interface cable you use (Serial/USB). Start your
car, plug in the tool and wait for it to boot into the top menu. Now plug in
your USB or Serial cable, and then open the Data Viewer program. It should find
and connect to the tool momentarily. Keep your eyes on the laptop screen for any
red messages, and you can also look in the lower right corner for a message of
Disconnected/Connected with an icon.
Now look at the top left
of the Data Viewer screen, the third button from the left looks like a lightning
bolt, clicking on it will enter Live Data mode, and it will Query The Vehicle to
display a list of available PIDs you can log. Be prepared for a mind-blowing
array of PIDs compared to the tool’s live data options, and it may take a
moment to get them all so be patient. Once they are all listed, you are ready to
choose some sensors and gather data. If you are interrupted and shut off the
car, you may have to re-start, and you can click the “Re-Query Vehicle”
button, fifth from the left to refresh the list.
If you plan on getting a
CMR Custom Tune, you can greatly increase your tuner’s effectiveness in
creating you a perfect tune by logging the following sensors: ACT, ECT, Open
Loop F/A, RPM, MPH, 1/1 Long Term Adapt, 2/1 Long Term Adapt, 1/1 Short Term
Adapt, 2/1 Short Term Adapt, Baro, Pratio, Knk Sensor 1(v), Knk Sensor 2(v), Knk
Total Retard (deg), Raw TPS 1, Raw TPS 2, Actual Spark cyl 1, Base Spark deg.
Make sure you drive your car in every way during this log – idle, cruise at
all mph and rpm, uphill, downhill, accel, decel, and of course WOT!
Use the menu pane on the left side to scroll through the PIDs types and click the name or the plus “+” sign to expand that sensor type list. Click in each box of a sensor you wish to capture data from, and a check mark will appear in it. Once you have 1 or more sensors checked, the red circle (Record button) can be clicked to Record Live Data. Perform your drive testing and then click the Stop square button. Click File in the upper left and Save Log File with a name and some notes so you can identify it later. Take some time to get familiar with the program. Mouse over each button and read the tool tip, learn what each does so using this powerful tool is easy. Since the car needs to be running, maybe head to a large parking lot where there is no traffic. Do a few test files to get the hang of it. Now it’s time to analyze what we captured.
14) DS DATA VIEWER
You have already used the
Data Viewer program to capture data, now it’s time to go back and review the
information so you can make “Educated Adjustments”. Gone are the days of
twisting the distributor up ‘til she pings, and backing ‘er off a bit, and
pulling plugs to see the color. The Hemi collects a mind-blowing array of
information several times a second to make real time adjustments to the power
train. Once we collect some of this information we can make solid, well planned,
adjustments that can leave your car running better than you have ever imagined.
Start the Data Viewer
program, and in the upper left, click the “Open a saved log file” button
that looks like an opening folder button. When you installed the program, DS
included a few log files, select the one called “gun_it.log” and click Open.
The file will load and a window will open with log notes. This is where you
should enter any relevant information about your logs when you record them, and
when you review them they can be updated. You can even edit the notes right now,
try it, and click OK.
You should now be looking
at a split window. On the left are all the PIDs that were recorded during the
Data Log session. Nothing will be available here that was not originally
collected, so make sure you select what you need when recording data. The listed
sensors already have check boxes in them so they Are selected and Will show
data. Clicking the check boxes unchecks the sensor, and makes the data it offers
unavailable for viewing.
On the right half of the
screen you see a set of graphic gauges that is called a Dashboard, and you are
looking at a “Gauge Tab”. You should note a selected Binder Tab labeled
“Analog”. Depending on your screen resolution they may not all fit. Use the
magnifying glass buttons in the upper left of the dashboard to increase/decrease
gauge size. You can also click on a gauge and use the Left/Right buttons to move
that selected gauge around in the dashboard. When you configure things the way
you like, you can click near the very top of the screen where it says “<new
dashboard>” to type a name for this dash and them click the disk icon to
Right clicking any gauge
offers two selections: Gauge Properties and Delete Gauge. Try this, and go into
Gauge Properties. Here you will find all sorts of adjustments to the visual way
the data is played. No matter what you choose, the same data will be displayed
at playback, but how you see it varies. Try a few settings out for yourself.
Knock Retard is good in Digital form while RPM is good in Analog, because
sweeping gauges work well for broad data sweeps like RPM, while digital work
well for small ranges as the knock retard may only report 0-2 degrees. Near the
top of the window now select the Binder Tab called Digital, click it, and you
have a complete digital gauge layout, also a “Gauge Tab”.
Now click the tab labeled
“RPM Chart”, this is a “Chart Tab” and as you can see looks like a Dyno
sheet. Note only one PID is selected on the left now, RPM. Now in the left
window click on the PID called Vehicle Speed, and see how the data is added into
the chart! The fourth button to the right of the chart controls is called
“Data Cursor” (near the magnifying glasses), click this now and you have a
Target cursor. Click a location in the Chart, and note that a white line appears
in the timeline. The actual data from that very moment is shown in the upper
right side of the chart.
The next button over is
called the “Track Zoom Cursor”; click this now. Bring your mouse to the Left
side of the RPM spike on the chart, Click and HOLD the mouse button, Drag the
mouse to the right of the RPM spike, and Release the mouse button. You just
selected a single section of data to zoom, and it now fills the screen. Now
select your Data Cursor again, and click on the peak of the RPM spike. Clearly
you can zoom in very close to get an Exact reading of any or multiple pieces of
data this way. The third button over Default Zoom will bring the screen back out
again. The remaining buttons toggle the scaling of the Chart. Try them all!
At the top of the window
are several buttons that look like the controls on a tape deck. They work the
same way and allow you to Play, Stop, Fast Forward, and Rewind the data file.
You also have a position slider you can click and drag to zip around to any spot
in the log. Click Play now and watch the data in each of the different Binder
Tabs. Watch it play in both Gauge and Chart Tab formats to get familiar with how
it works. Try keeping your finger over the “P” key to toggle Play/Pause.
This is a great way to freeze play when you see something important during
playback, such as Knock Sensor readings!
There are also buttons to
Add Gauge Tab and Add Chart Tab. Try them out, and you can also Right Click on
any Binder Tab to Rename it. This can be very helpful to create a special Chart
Tab for Knock Sensors for example, where you have no other data to distract you.
When you see a reading, Pause, and select the RPM PID from the left now, then
use the Data Cursor to click on the location, and see what the RPM was that
knock occurred. If it were a Long Term Knock Retard reading, decreasing 1 degree
of timing in this RPM range would likely be wise.
Remember that data logging serves many other purposes besides dialing in your WOT performance. It can be very useful to track adjustments to your cooling fan settings, modifications to the intake air passage routing, emissions sensor troubleshooting, etc. The Predator offers many helpful sensors, and a laptop data capture has a mind-blowing array of choices. Now go out, log data, and make blind adjustments no more!
15) DS DOWNLOADER
You most likely have
already used the DS Downloader software to load a DCX Calibration update by now,
at the very least. This program has several other uses, the most important being
the ability to download and upload tune files to and from your PC. Anyone who
intends to run a Custom Tune will need to use DS Downloader for this purpose.
Before you upload or
download a Tune, be advised that doing so will erase the Data Log buffer,
so if you have done any logging you wish to save, use Data Viewer to extract the
log first! Then close Data Viewer, start DS Downloader and extract your Tune or
you may wonder how the buffer could possibly be empty!
Each time you start the
DS Downloader program, it opens on the “Connection Test” binder tab found at
the bottom of the window. The first thing it attempts to do is connect to the
tool, so have it plugged in and powered up to avoid any nasty messages. When the
tool is connected a dialog box pops up that says “Predator Detected” and you
have a check box to disable this message. Consider leaving this box enabled as
it makes you certain you have a connection. Click to close and the software
switches to the “Express Tune Mode” binder tab.
Let’s extract your tune
information. Choose “Get Tune File From Predator” and another dialog box
will pop up with 3 choices. First choose “Yes” to begin download of your
original backup, when it is done it may ask a bizarre question about saving it
as an .ORI file – just choose “Yes” and select where to place the file.
Now click the same “Get Tune File From Predator” button again and this time
choose “No”; after a moment it will ask where you wish to save the file and
once again place it where you will remember. You can now send these 2 files via
e-mail to DS or a CMR tuner for analysis or modification.
If you have a Custom Tune
file you wish to send to your Predator, you can choose the “Send Tune File To
Predator” selection. It will ask for the file with a standard file open screen
in which you have to direct the program to the file. If you have not done so
before, it may ask for a valid base tune file. If so, direct it to that Original
Backup file we extract above, and accept. One limitation here is you cannot send
more than 1 Custom Tune to the tool in this mode, more on this in a moment.
Near the bottom of this
window is a button you have likely used already labeled “Send CROM File To
Predator”. This is your Tool Firmware update button. Remember to install the
“Original Backup” tune to your car before ever using this or your tool may
become VIN locked requiring a call to DS. If you have done so simply follow the
prompts to update and be sure not to unplug anything during the upgrade process.
If you have performed a DCX calibration update, never roll your Predator tool
back to a previous firmware (crom) version! Also, if you use a Custom Tune, you
will have to have it updated by your tuner each time a DCX Calibration Update is
At the bottom of the window choose the “Advanced Tuning” binder tab, and here you can select up to 5 Custom Tunes to add to the list, associate the base tune if required, and then send all of them to the tool. If you later use the Express Tuning Mode to send 1 Custom Tune, you will wipe the other tunes from the tool and only have the single newest tune! You should create folders with tune names and a text file about each tune, firmware version and keep them separate. There is an “Advanced Mode” checkbox, which will allow you to edit file names of Custom Tunes prior to sending them to the tool as well.
16) ADVANCED TUNING
By the time you reach
this section you should be comfortable with using the Predator to install Tunes
and Adjust Parameters, using the DS Downloader, Updating DCX Calibrations,
installing new CROM Firmware files, Exporting the Original Backup, Exporting the
Current Tune, Importing a Custom Tune, gathering Live Data, Reviewing and
playing back Logs, and creating Dashboards. The more time you dedicate to this,
the happier you and your car will be. Now it’s time to take your tuning to the
If you have a Wideband O2
Sensor installed or available to you, you can really put this knowledge to work
for you to dial in your tune closer to perfection. In summary, we want to run as
much timing (advanced) as we can, without Long Term Knock Retard appearing under
WOT. Similarly, we want to see an AFR of 12.4:1 (or slightly leaner depending on
your climate) at WOT. Doing so will optimize all the mods you have done in your
specific climate for optimal performance.
Those users that race
their vehicles will find the Custom Tunes particularly useful. Simply make some
passes/laps at the track gathering data, and then make your adjustments to
achieve optimal performance. Once done, use DS Downloader to get the Tune File
From Predator, choose (Yes to get the Original Backup if you do not know where
the file is, then) No to Export Last Tune Written.
Now in the Advanced Tuning tab, add this tune to the Custom Tune list. You will be prompted for a valid Base File, click Yes and point the program the Original Backup file you had or just created. Next select the file you exported as your last tune written. You can click the Send To Tool button and the DS Downloader will install this tune as a Custom Tune in your Predator. You now have a Custom Tune saved for this specific track! This is also handy for running race fuels because you can create a Custom Tune that has added timing. Simply install this Custom Tune to your vehicle each time you go to this track. Only minor adjustments due to weather should be necessary in the future.
17) Running 89 or 100 Octane Fuel
Since the introduction of this tool, many have asked if they can run 89 octane fuel with a Predator tune. The answer is Yes and No! If you are going to install a Canned Tune shipped with the Predator, you Must run at least 91 octane and NO you cannot run 89 octane fuel. Diablosport has authorized using Modify Tune on the Perf 91 or Perf 91 CAI tune, by retarding timing 2 degrees in all six WOT Spark settings to run 89 octane fuels, so in this case, YES you can once timing is retarded 2 degrees as listed. Make sure you log some WOT passes and play them back to insure no LT Retard appeared. Similarly, if you are at the race track and can purchase 100 Octane Low Lead, you can Advance the timing of the 91 octane tune by 4 degrees, maybe 5 with data logging to check for knock.
Now You Should Be A Predator Expert! XE