Here's to the three J's, John (John Wood Automotive), Jody (DP-Tuner), and Joey (Terminator Engineering)! As has been reported here before, these guys go above and beyond the call of duty in customer service.
Background: the truck in my sig, but note that it's an early 99 Cali truck. I went to John Wood and had him rebuild my transmission, and also got a DP-Tuner F5 chip from him with 40t-60t-80e-120-stock tunes. It ran great, though perhaps some of the shifts were overly firm.
I then proceeded to install a DI regulated return fuel system, an Airdog, and a Terminator twin HPOP setup. I was waffling on installing the Terminator myself, but in the course of the regulated return install I ended up pulling the fuel bowl to check for leaks (none found), and that point figured I was most of the way there, so I went ahead and installed the Terminator (which was really pretty easy). With the existing tunes, the truck ran strong, but the shifts had become really firm and jerky, including in the "stock" setting. Email exchanges with Joey confirmed that this was a possible side effect of big oil, and I that I needed big oil-specific tunes ASAP. Joey contacted both Jody and John for me to get the process rolling. I pulled my chip and overnighted it John. Jody built new tunes over the weekend, and I got my chip back late on Monday. As it turned out, it took me until Thursday to finish the Airdog install, at which point I found that while the Tunes had plenty of oomph, they also had a bad "flat spot" or "miss" at half throttle or higher.
I had to haul over the weekend, so Jody created another set of tunes, and sent them to John, who burned a chip (as both of them were getting ready to leave for the DHRA event in Vegas) and got it couriered to San Diego for me to pick up. This set was better, but still had the problem. I was hauling a somewhat lighter-than-normal load on Sunday and managed using only half throttle (which still gave more power than full throttle did Before Chip).
Jody responded to my email when he got home from Vegas, about 8:00 PM his time, and said he and John were going to work on more tunes in the coming week. I let him know I had to haul heavy over the Grapevine on I-5 on Tuesday, but I had Monday free, and asked if it would help if I went out to John's, and Jody said it would.
So today I arrived at John's, with no appointment, when he's just come home from a big weekend, and when his place is buried in work. He welcomed me with open arms, instrumented my truck and took it for a drive. After verifying that my fuel system mods weren't causing a delivery problem, he had a theory that the HPOP bypass valves were blowing at too low a pressure and needed shimming (and of course he called Joey to discuss this). Being swamped, he pointed me to his tools and turned me loose to move all the stuff needed to gain access to both HPOPs. Once I did that, he re-shimmed the valves, then I put it all back together and we tested it, to no avail. So we were back to tuning, and John called Jody. Jody built new files, emailed them to John, who burned the chip, and off we go again. Better, but still not quite there. By now it's nearly 5:00 PM Pacific, 8:00 PM eastern, but John called and left a message for Jody. John's shop is closing up, but we're hanging out for a while just in case. And sure enough, Jody came through with a new set of tunes. And guess what? The problem is gone, and these tunes seem to run great. The real test will come when I haul on Tuesday, but coming home over the mountains from John's the truck ran great.
And here's the kicker: none of these guys would take any of my money for this service beyond what I'd already paid in purchase price weeks ago!
Now, you might ask, "Well, if Jody's so good, why didn't he get the tunes right the first time?" It turns out I'm the first person Jody's tuned for who's crazy (or conservative) enough to want to run Big Oil on a VCQ4 PCM with the stock early '99 turbo and stock AB injectors. So, with no possibility of live tuning, of course there's bound to be a little trial and error. I'd say four iterations is pretty good under the circumstances.
So, my thanks go out to the three J's!