Ford Overview (READ ME)

“I have a Ford.  What do I need to tune my car?” is an email we frequently receive.  Hopefully this page will provide some answers.

We also often get asked, “Can I use your product to let me put _______ on my engine?” The answer to this is very simple: our products let you tune factory Ford computers.  If the factory Ford computer can do it, our products can help you tune it.  If there is another factory Ford computer that you can swap to run your engine that does what you want, great.  Some examples of what I’m talking about here include putting a MAF sensor on a car, running a car without a MAF speed-density, switching to coilpacks, etc.  If you can’t do it with a factory Ford ECM, our products aren’t going to help you achieve your goals.

We offer products that work with almost all ~1986-2004 Ford ECUs that have a J3 port (i.e. EECIV and EECV).  International users report success using our products with non-US computers that have a J3 port.  A J3 port looks like an edge of a circuit board that kind of sticks out.  J3 ports must be cleaned with a wire brush and solvents in order to remove the protective coating on the circuit board before they can be used.  They are almost always behind a rubber protective panel.  We do not offer any products for Ford computers that lack a J3 port, such as pre-1986 and 2005+ computers.  Also, cars branded by Ford but manufactured by others (i.e. Ford Probe, made by Mazda) often use computers that lack J3 ports.

It is critical that the vehicle is fully off before installing or removing anything on the J3 port.  Failure to power-off the ECM correctly can result in frying our hardware, your ECM or both!!!  If you have any doubts at all, remove the keys from the ignition 100% or disconnect the battery.  WARNING WARNING WARNING!

On this page “application” simply means the car/ECU/engine you are working with.

“ECU” means ECM, PCM – the computer running your car’s engine.

“Strategy” is Ford lingo for a set of procedures (i.e. code) that an ECU runs.  (Closest GM term: Operating system)  Most of the time, a strategy is particular to an ECU, i.e. the GUFB strategy runs onA9L ECUs.  Sometimes more than one strategy can run on the same ECU (i.e. GUFB/A9L + GUFC/A9P) .  Most of the time the “tuner” cars (i.e. Roush, Saleen) use unusual strategies that are often simply renamed factory strategies.

“Definition” means a file that describes the location of parameters that can be changed in a strategy.  All of the Ford tuning software uses definition files to process raw files.

“Patch code” refers to special routines that change the way a strategy operates in order to allow Quarterhorse to log all vehicle parameters.

Hardware used with Ford:

F3 Chip adapter – This stores a new program for a Ford ECU and clips on the J3 port.  This is a simple Ford “chip” that can optionally store two programs.  It works with both EECIV and EECV.

Jaybird – This is a Ford-specific device that writes F3 chip adapters ONLY.  It uses the same Flash n Burn software as a BURN1/BURN2

F2A – The F2A is a Ford interface for the BURN1/BURN2 programmers.  It lets you write a F3 chip adapter using a BURN1/2 programmer and the Flash n Burn software.

F2E – the F2E is used with a F2A and a BURN1/2 to read the stock program from a ECU.

BURN1/BURN2 – These general purpose ROM burners can be used with a F2A to program F3 chips

FORDEMU – This adapter allows the use of a Ostrich emulator to make real-time changes with a Ford ECU.  This product has been replaced with the Quarterhorse.  It does not work very well with EECV ECUs.

Quarterhorse – The Quarterhorse (or “QH” for short) is our flagship Ford tuning product.  It allows changes to be made while the vehicle is running.  It also allows datalogging by spying directly on RAM locations.  In order to log all vehicle parameters, patch code that is specific to each strategy is required.  Many of the features of QH require special definition files and/or software support that may not be available for all applications.

Software for Tuning Fords:

You can read the binary from any J3 Ford computer with our gear (BURN2+F2A+F2E), but that does NOT mean that any J3 ford computer is fair game.  In order to be able to display a raw binary from a Ford ECM in a real-world units that might make sense to you, a definition is required.  The def is kind of like a roadmap that allows software (Binary Editor or EEC Editor) to translate what runs the car’s computer into something meaningful to you.  Defs have to be developed by a human being for each application.  PLEASE ASK US FOR HELP IF YOU ARE NOT SURE YOUR APPLICATION IS SUPPORTED!!!

TunerPro / TunerPro RT ( : Great for basic editing.  Free.  Somewhat limited definitions compared with other software.  At time of writing (11/28/09) lacks full support for QH, but beta versions have support.

EEC Editor : Cheap ( <$50 ) software with fairly extensive editing support for editing Ford tunes.  EEC Editor requires you to purchase definitions on a per-strategy basis.  One strategy will cover more than one box code.  Definitions for datalogging can be purchased separately.  As of time of writing (11/28/09) has QH support for MANY applications including Fox body mustang (GUFB/GUFC/etc. A9L/A9P/C3W/etc.) 94-95 Mustang (T4M0, CBAZA) along with many 96-03 applications.  Custom definitions available for a fee.

Binary Editor ( : Relatively cheap ( $80 BE / $130 BE + EEC Analyzer) software with comprehensive editing support and comprehensive support for QH.  See here for a list of strategies supported.  Binary Editor comes with a bunch of definitions that are free and there are others you need to pay for.  You can see most of them at in the downloads section.