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:
EDGE PRODUCTS WEBSITE
Dave Pharis / Believer45
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