96-97 Mustang 3.8L, 4.6L 2V GT, 4.6L 4V Cobra, Town Car, Thunderbird, etc.: CDAN4 Strategy


These processors use EDIS coil packs backed by a 36-1 crank trigger wheel, sequential injection for up to 8 injectors, MAF air metering and an electronically controlled 4R70W 4 speed automatic transmission or Tremec 5 speed manual.  These mod motor ECMs speak the standard OBD2 which opens up options for logging using a standard scantool over the diagnostic port.  The CDAN4 strategy used by these processors was used to run almost all RWD engines offered by Ford in 1996 and 1997 – 3.8L V6 in Thunderbird and mustang base model, 4.6L 2V V8 in Mustang GT, Town car, grand marquis, thunderbird, 4.6L 4V in Mustang Cobra.

Hardware for Tuning

  • QuarterHorse – integrated device brings unique functionality to the table.  It is a “chip on steroids” that allows you to make changes while the vehicle is running and (with supporting software) log live data from the vehicle.
  • F3 – simple chip module that can store one or two tunes and switch between them while vehicle is running.  Requires Jaybird programmer or BURN2+FA.
  • F8 – fancy chip module that can store eight tunes and switch between them while vehicle is running.   Can also be programmed while installed – no need to remove chip to reprogram it.  Requires Destiny programmer
  • BURN2 + FA + FE – generic chip programmer with Ford adapter (FA) and ECM interface (FE) that can be used to read the current program from EECIV and EECV ECMs on the bench.

Software for Tuning

The CDAN4 strategy is very common in 96-97 vehicles as it is used on almost all of the RWD platform, both automatic and manual transmission.  Many base bin files for stock vehicles can be downloaded with tuning software, but there are a lot of applications where bin files are not available.  Plan on using the QuarterHorse or BURN2+FA+FE to read your own ECM.  Any of the three tuning softwares that we sell will work for this application.  Any tunes developed using a QuarterHorse can be programmed to F3/F8 chips for long term use.  Definitions for this platform vary in quality a TON!!!  Some support full automatic transmission control in addition to allowing engine parameters to be modified.  Some barely have the basics of engine operation.

  • Binary Editor 2012 ($100 – $171 available from Moates.net) is a Ford-specific graphically oriented tuning software that supports many EEC-IV and EEC-V processors.  There are several definition options for BE2012:
    • Core Tuning Definition ($195 available through Coretuning.net) – comprehensive definition with editing of engine and transmission parameters and full datalogging with QH.
    • Dex’s definition ($25 email sailorbob@uk2.net) – I haven’t seen this in order to review it, although Dex’s stuff is generally very, very good.
  • EEC Analyzer ($50 available from Moates.net) is an optional companion program to Binary Editor to assist with analyzing data and automating tuning tasks.
  • TunerPro RT ($30 / free available from Moates.net) is a universal tuning software that supports the CDAN4 strategy editing using definitions available on TunerPro’s website. 
    • The available definition does NOT have datalogging support.  Comprehensiveness questionable.
  • EEC Editor ($30 / $35 available from Moates.net) is a Ford-specific tuning software that supports the CDAN4 strategy with full QuarterHorse editing and logging.  
    • Datalogging and editing definitions available.  Completeness unknown.

Recommended Combos

Just want to know what to buy?  All of these will be valid combos that will allow you to tune a vehicle effectively.

(Ford Dealer Kit + Core Tuning Commercial Tuning Package)

(QuarterHorse AND Jaybird AND F3 AND Binary Editor 2012 WITH Dongle AND Core Tuning Premium Definition AND Innovate MTX wideband AND Keyspan USB->Serial)

(QuarterHorse AND Jaybird AND F3 AND Binary Editor 2012 AND Dex Definition AND Innovate MTX wideband AND Keyspan USB->Serial)

(Jaybird AND F3 AND TunerPro RT)