OT- Hypertech Power Programmer III

I have a 1999 F-150 with the 5.4 engine. I have been considering getting the Hypertech Power Programmer III to re-program the computer. Also, I have been looking at the Gibson Side Swept cat back exhaust system. Do any of you guys have any input on these ideas? The programmers have been going for around $200 - $250 on E-bay, is it worth it? Would it be a good idea to buy one, reprogram the truck, then sell it? Why would you ever need to un-program it again?

Before I say too much, I will let you know that I am a Ford senior master technician, and also an ex road racer with a supercharged Mustang cobra... That being said, A power programmer is a good tool, BUT,you dont get alot of bang for the buck. The 5.4 Liter engine is great, but slightly underpowered in a Super Duty.( I own a v10 truck which does a bit better). I noticed a SLIGHT towing advantage after installing a Gibson exhaust on my v10 truck, I would not expect you to notice any more, and probably less. The v10 and v8 trucks use almost identical exhaust, so the 5.4 has a pretty free flowing stock exhaust sytem. The Gibson exhaust sounds great, and is well made, but not much if any performance gain. The power commander may give you a LITTLE bit of gain, but I dont know if you will be very impressed after shelling out a couple hundred bucks. The diesel trucks have substantial gains with chips and power commanders, but the gas engines aren't as noticable.

I guess the point to my rambling is this:

I have customers come in alot expecting alot more than what they get for the money, I don't know if you will even notice a seat in the pants difference after putting exhaust and the power commander on. You may be able to tweak fuel mileage and maybe a little better towing driveability, but that's about it.

Another thing to watch for is transmission changes, we have seen a rash of trans failures in Super Duty trucks after chips are installed, because of changes to EPC pressure(Basically governor pressure). It seems that alot of chip manufacturers are actually lowering EPC pressure, yet raising engine performance. What happens next is slippage, burnt fluid, and expensive parts replacement!! :)

Not good. I have personally done a line pressure test on a Hypermax chipped truck, and compared pressures "chipped" and "nonchipped". What I found is line pressures that were below manufacturers specs with the chip installed. Again not the best scenario to have.

I realize with a power commander you can make adjustments yourself, so if you decide to go for it, just be careful, tranny's aren't cheap.

The reason for telling you this, isn't to shy you away from the modifications you are pondering, I just want you to get an idea of your actual gains.

By the way Gibson exhausts do sound great!! :D

If you have any questions PM me.


One other thing I forgot... I believe the power commander has a chip module that has to be installed permanently, double check if you plan on using and selling. I don't think that would be a good idea anyway, If the truck ever needed a PCM update, you would lose that program. If you plan on getting the power commander you better keep it. My 2cts.


I found that the combination of a cat back exhaust change(flowmasters here) and a K&N airbox replacement made a huge difference on my '03 Chevy Avalanche. My next mod will be the hypertech. Try the first two, they do work! :)

I agree with the Flowmaster and Air box mod...best bang for the buck there is

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