When you are shopping for a tune it can be overwhelming because all manufacturer’s have wild claims about adding ridiculous amounts of horsepower. While a tune certainly is a cost effective mod, it is not going to add 50% horsepower like some people would like to think. There a few a main ones that people look at and I’m going to cover the differences.
The first ones I’ll go over are the classic “canned tunes”. These are preloaded on many of the tuners like VMP, Bama, etc. These are typically very generic and mild as they are not tailored to your specific vehicle. Many of these will allow you to send in your specific mods and they will send you back a custom made tune. Regardless of what company you go with, make sure the tune is for your vehicle! All 5.0s are going to be slightly different, so one size does not fit all if you want the most performance for your vehicle.
When it comes to performance tunes for Mustang GTs for this generation (S550) the three most popular custom tuners out there are Lund, Livernois, and Ford Racing.
When it comes to peak performance dollar for dollar it is safe to rule out Ford Racing. The one HUGE factor for Ford Racing is that, not only will they bump your power, but they will also leave your warranty in tact. While using a custom tune won’t necessarily void your warranty, if Ford determines the damage was caused by the tune they can definitely deny service and it will be on you to to prove otherwise which will be a near impossible task.
The other nice thing about the Ford Racing tunes is you know exactly what you’re going to get. They have 3 “Ford Performance Power Packs” which include a custom tune as well as new parts such as CAIs, Throttle bodies, and Intake Manifolds depending on which level you go for. For someone concerned about warranty this is definitely the way to go.
However if you aren’t extremely scared about warranty and are looking for the most performance out of your vehicle the two go twos are Lund and Livernois. Both of these tunes are sworn by many mustang owners and to be completely honest I don’t think you will go wrong with either. Both have their own tuner and will make custom tunes for your vehicle. For your first tune they are relatively evenly priced but there is one major difference. Livernois has a flat rate of $700 which will include the hardware, and tunes for life. Lund on the other hand starts a bit cheaper at just under $600, but then adds $ as more customization is done. For example a supercharger adds $400, E85 adds $200, GT350 Mani adds $100, etc, etc. In addition, if you ever change your build and need a different tune you need to pay again.
My current build is in it’s infancy so for me it was a no brainer. I currently have a PMAS intake, catback exhaust, and went with a Livernois E85 Flex Fuel tune. This means I can run any combination of 93 and E85 up to 100% of either and the car will adjust. I am extremely happy with it and I will do a separate review of that tune alone in the coming weeks.
My personal opinion for what tune would be best for you would be this- is there a very well known custom tuner in your area? If not that leaves you with the three major options of Ford Racing, Livernois, or Lund. If you value your warranty, and use your mustang as a daily driver and would have serious issues if it were undrivable for a few days I would go with Ford Racing for the peace of mind. Mine is my weekend car, and while Lund and Livernois are both extremely reliable and I’m not aware of their tunes damaging any cars… You always run the risk of something happening when you’re going to the aftermarket. If you are going for straight power I would break it down into two options – If you are completely done and will not be adjusting your build after this tune, you will not go wrong with Lund or Livernois. If you may change it up in the future then go with Livernois. Exceptional customer service and free tunes for life cannot be beat!