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Review: Edge Evoution CTS Programmer

56492 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  avirgen

I had the pleasure of reviewing Edge's top Evolution programmer, the Evolution CTS. Edge makes several, from the first generation Evolution programmer with no gauges to the next Evolution programmer with two gauges to the Evolution CS programmer that has up to eight gauges to the Evolution CTS touch screen, similar to the CS but with touch screen capability to make things even easier. This is the one I tested. From there they go to the very top end Juice and on to the Juice with Attitude.

To start with, my truck is a 1995 F250 7.3 PowerStroke diesel (PSD) 5 speed extended cab long bed that has had a pretty hard life. It has 286,000 + miles, an open element air filter, LUK clutch and is otherwise stock with the orignal injectors and injector O rings, original turbo and still the pancaked downpipe and exhaust. It is currently equipped as a service truck so it weighs just shy of 7500 lbs with me in the cab. Now on to the fun stuff!

Installation is very easy, the windshield mount holds securely and has not slipped in the week it has been in place. Instructions are complete and easy to follow, something that is not true of everyone in the business. The quality of the programmer, the exhaust gas temperature (EGT) sensor and the backup camera is exceptional; fit and finish as well as appearance is top notch. The programmer is easy to see, easy to read and very easy to use. I like the three analog gauge setting (gets you three larger, analog style gauges with digital display in the center of each as well as two smaller digital displays in the lower corners, giving you five gauges). If you choose to, you can monitor up to eight parameters at the same time. Changing display mode is a couple of touches on the screen and away you go. Changing between parameters for each gauge also could not be simpler - touch the gauge, let the programmer load the list of parameters, touch the one you want to watch and touch enter. Another nice feature is the adjustable auto dimmer that will dim the display your preset amount automatically, with a light sensor - not by dimming when your lights are on - which lets me run my headlights during the day without dimming the display to where I cannot see it in the sunlight.

The expansion harness for the EGT sensor is a great idea, it makes it very simple to add sensors in the future as your needs or wants change. The programmer uses existing sensors to read a multitude of items, from percent of throttle to engine oil temperature to boost and a host of others. I have been using it with boost, engine oil temp and exhaust temp on the three analog style gauges, and change the two digital displays depending on what I want to watch. The CTS does let you correct the speedometer for tire size but does it only on the speed display on the screen, it does not change the dash speedometer. I have not found anything I want to monitor on mine that does not have a sensor already installed except the exhaust temperature. I do have a manual transmission, though, and on an old body style (OBS) truck it is my understanding if you want to watch automatic transmission oil temperature you will have to add a sensor for the tranny as there is not one from the factory.(added in edit - see next post, there is in fact a trans temp sensor from the factory in automatic equipped trucks according to Edge Dave / Believer45)
I have been looking at backup cameras for some time and when I got the one from Edge I was impressed. The design allows you to install and use a high security drum style key to unlock the camera itself from the bracket so you can stow it out of sight (and out of a thief’s mind) when parked. The quality of the camera is top notch, it has built in night lights for those after dark situations. Another nice touch is a magnet on the back of the camera itself - you can place it somewhere else on the back of your truck for a minute to get a better angle while doing that difficult trailer hookup. It is not strong enough to use as a “permanent” mount but it would let you move the camera for a different angle on a difficult situation. Design and finish is higher end and it would not look out of place on any vehicle.
Now, lest anyone think I am nothing more than a cheerleader for Edge products, it would be nice to have a high idle setting separate from reprogramming the powertrain control module (PCM). As it is, you can raise the idle speed up to 300 RPM above stock but you have to reprogram the PCM to do it. I do not know if it would be possible just to have a “one touch” high idle option in any or all of the programs from Edge - that would be a question for the programmers.
From a performance standpoint, average 0-60 runs (launched in second gear and shifting just before power fell off at high RPM) yielded the following:
Program Time Max boost
Stock 18.2 12 lbs
Tow safe 16.3 14 lbs
Race 15.6 15 lbs
Extreme 15.5 15 lbs
I did note a pretty big improvement in low end response in all three modes but did not note as much of a difference between them - most likely due to the injector limitations. There is only so much you can do with the stock 1995 injectors.
EGT in race and extreme could get pretty high pretty quickly, as was said in the instruction manual quite clearly. You would not want to tow there - I saw 1205 just below 70 mph at full throttle acceleration in extreme and just shy of 1200 in race at the same point, and that is without a trailer but with my truck weighing a bit over 7500 lbs. Tow safe, however, never went over 1140 under the same conditions.
In summary, this is a very high quality unit that is well designed, easy to install, easy to use and a great addition to any vehicle. It gives you programming and all the gauges I want or need in one package and the price, when you consider what it gives you, seems very reasonable. As I use it more I will send further information regarding mileage gains and long term use.

Here's a picture of the tuner installed in the truck:


Dave Pharis / Believer45


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Well, I found out a couple things that I need to clarify.

There IS a temp sensor in the automatic transmission from the factory so if you have an automatic you can read transmission temperature on an auto, but not on the manual without installing a sensor - which I just might do. I just assumed that because installing a temp gauge requires installing a sensor that there was not one there. I was mistaken, and that is just one MORE plus for the Edge programmer.

Also, the reason the speedo correction will not correct the truck speedometer is the truck - if the truck would allow it Edge would be more than happy to accomodate.

I can honestly say I was expecting to like this quite a bit but this has surpassed my expectations. I am a very happy camper.

Dave / Believer45
I also realized I needed to let folks know what truck I had and what I was doing so I added a bit at the beginning - I guess I was so pleased with the CTS that I wanted to dive right in.

Dave / Believer45
That's cool I have been looking for a tuner for some time and when I get a few pennies saved up I think I'll be buying this one. Thanks for the review, it's nice to see a product for our older trucks.
Yup, I agree. When you consider all this one does it is really a pretty good deal.

And I REALLY like all the sensors being in place for boost, engine oil temp, trans temp on automatics, intake temp - long list. You don't have all those gauges on the pillar but that may not be a bad thing, plus you can tailor what you are watching to what you are doing at the time.

Dave / Believer45
this sounds like a winner to me!! i have been looking for a all in one for my ride also and i think edge has done it on this one. i just came a little too late cause i just put a 3 gauge pod on my a pillar but no big deal i still want this one!! thanks for the great review!!
Ive been runnin the plug in play programmer for about three years now, what the hp numbers on the new programmer, because the old is 50tow 90race and 100for extreme if I remember right. But dang if they had come out with this years ago I would have been all over it I hate drillin holes in the cab.
Well, I ran into an issue. I got an email from Edge about updated software for the programmer so I reprogrammed the truck to stock, hooked up the programmer to my computer and downloaded the new software and went back out to hook things back up. Everything seemed fine so I shut the truck down and went to bed. Next day the EGT would not read. I tried reprogramming the truck and it still would not read so my first call to customer service.

After a bit of time talking to their EXCELLENT tech we narrowed it down to a failed EGT sensor - air freight and I had a replacement the next afternoon, hooked up and all is well. Not only am I happy with the product but customer service for me has been top shelf as well. I am a regional maintenance manager for a large trucking company and deal with a boatload of vendors. My issue with a vendor is not whether things come up or not - the only vendors where nothing will ever come up are the ones that do not do much for you. My opinion on a good vs bad vendor is how they handle the problems when (not if) they arise. Edge did great.
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Ive been runnin the plug in play programmer for about three years now, what the hp numbers on the new programmer, because the old is 50tow 90race and 100for extreme if I remember right. But dang if they had come out with this years ago I would have been all over it I hate drillin holes in the cab.
If I recall correctly the HP gains for my 95 are

Tow safe +40
Race +60
Extreme +80

The limiting factor on mine is the injectors. I do not see a lot of difference between the three Edge programs on my otherwise stock (except for open element intake) engine but I do see a nice gain in low end power and smoothness as compared to stock programming.

Dave / Believer45
Im looking at getting this programmer for my 97 7.3.... i have at 6 position TS Performance chip, but really need the gauges! My TS claims 140hp gain, dont think it is quite that. Just wondered if anyone knows how the Edge compairs power wise to the TS? Would they stack?
Dave I was hoping to get a mpg update with you new toy.

It will be a while before I can get mileage data - I was unemployed for a bit over a year and was using the truck for a small business I started. The truck now has company signage on it and I cannot use it for work so it does not get the use it once did. I will have to reprogram to stock to get a new baseline and check mileage on the programs as well.
I pull a 5th wheel trailer can I use the settings with towing?
There is a tow safe mode that should work fine with your trailer, plus if you get one of the two available exhaust gas temp sensors you can monitor most anything you want or need to watch while towing. This uses existing sensors on the truck for engine oil temp, transmission oil temp (on automatics), intake air temp, % of throttle application - any number of things. The only sensor you would need unless you want something like differential temperatures, fuel pressure, or some other unusual parameter would be the EGT noted above. You can even watch injector oil pressure with an existing sensor - nothing needed except to select that as one parameter to watch.

LINK TO OPERATORS MANUAL to take a look at more information. The manual does list an economy mode but that is not on the ones for older Power Strokes, just the newer.

Dave / Believer45
Had a minor glitch last week. I used the CTS in my Silverado gasser just for the gauges while on vacation (by the way, this is a neat feature - could not program the truck but all the gauage functions worked). When I hooked back up in the REAL truck it would not read the EGT sensor. Quick call to Edge customer service, overnighted (AM delivery) the sensor and the CTS to them Tuesday evening, got them back Thursday morning reprogrammed and working fine. Now THAT is customer service. I believe the way to tell a good vs bad vendor is not if problems arise, it is how they handle problems when they happen. In my experience the only vendors that never have an issue are vendors who do not do anything. This shows me Edge is very concerned with customer satisfaction and I would recommend anyone buy from them in a heartbeat.

By the way, when I took the programmer out to send to them I forgot to reprogram the truck to stock so after the reburn at Edge I could not program my truck because it was in practice programming a truck with a non stock program already installed which does not work. 2 minute call to Edge, 10 minutes with the programmer hooked to my PC at home and I have the stock program back, installed in the truck and working great.
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Dave, any mpg numbers yet? Still like it after a year?
I do still like it but my truck is out of service. Clutch, transmission, broke off the bolts for the thermostat housing and to top it all off my job was eliminated a month ago so money is a bit tight.

I did cut the catalytic converter out while it was still running and check exhaust temps with just a downpipe and they were down 300 degrees so my cat converter is plugged enough the temps ran a bit high. This is just a great product for those who do not want fire breathing monsters, just a bit of a dragon under the hood.
I have a 95 f250 7.3l and I just got a edge evolution cts2 for it. I was seeing if the ts performance 6 pos chip is better or not?
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