Best Diesel Tuner For 6.6 Duramax Review In 2021

If your truck has a 6.6L Duramax engine built between 2001 and 2010 looking for upgrading its performance, you are in luck.

With the best diesel tuner for 6.6 Duramax, you can increase the Horsepower, torque, fuel economy, and overall performance of the engine. 

In this article, I have reviewed 5 of the top-rated and most desired tuners on the market. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Our Recommendations On Best Diesel Tuner For 6.6 Duramax
  1. Reliable and Easy-to-use – DiabloSport 8245
  2. Great for Monitoring and Improving Mileage – Bully Dog – 40420
  3. Increases Power and Improves Fuel Economy – SCT Performance – 40490
  4. High-resolution Colorful Touch Screen – 85401 Edge Diesel Evolution CTS2
  5. Suitable for Older Model Engines – PPE Standard Xcelerator

Recommend in between:

  1. Hypertech 32501 Max Energy
  2. GDP Tuning EZ LYNK

Best Diesel Tuner For 6.6 Duramax Reviews:

Some diesel tuners on the list can show real-time performance data where some can’t. Read the reviews to find the right one for your 6.6 Duramax engine.

1. Reliable and Easy-to-use : DiabloSport 8245

Specifications:

  • Compatibility: 2001-2010 6.6L Duramax
  • Screen Size: 2.8”
  • Display Type: Colorful Touch Screen
  • Weight: 0.42 ‎pounds

Due to complex circuitry and difference in vehicle models, lots of tuners don’t work perfectly on 6.6 Duramax engines. But that is not the case for the DiabloSport 8245 inTune i3 Platinum. People all over the US like it because the tuner is legal in all 50 states.

It is always ready to scan the car or truck and take the horsepower or torque to another level. You can perform versatile modifications and adjustments according to your requirements.

And, the best thing is that you don’t have to use any other tools to resolve transmission, AFM, or drivetrain issues.

Those who are willing to push the boundaries of their vehicle’s engines should try it. Plug the programmer in the OBDII port of the truck, and you are good to go. Keep a backup of the default settings so that you can go back to the previous state if anything goes wrong due to your modified tuning.

The best part is that you can install aftermarket parts without worrying about performance upgrades. Those who are using DiabloSport 8245 for the first time and are not confident about the settings can use the pre-loaded custom tunes that come with the package.

Among the options, you will find throttle response, DTC reading/clearing, top speed/rev limiters, speedometer calibrations, cooling, and even fan control. But you have to keep one thing in mind. This diesel tuner is not compatible with Hybrid or E-Assist vehicles.

Pros

  • Affordable pricing yet top-notch features
  • Easy to use and adjust different settings
  • Pre-loaded with a few custom tunes
  • Speedometer calibration option along with fan speed control
  • Perfect tuning ability for modifications with aftermarket parts

Cons

  • Wi-Fi may not turn on sometimes

2. Great for Monitoring and Improving Mileage : Bully Dog – 40420

Specifications:

  • Compatibility: 2001-2010 6.6L Duramax
  • Screen Size: 2.5”
  • Display Type: Color LCD; Not Touch Responsive
  • Weight: 0.3 ‎pounds

Besides tuning, you can monitor 15 different performance parameters in this diesel tuner. As a result, it is possible to keep the track of your modifications and choose the best mod out of several. Those are the reasons that people don’t mind spend some extra and buy Bully Dog – 40420 instead of the DiabloSport 8245.

Being a GT diesel tuner, 40420 is fully capable of providing higher HP, increased fuel economy, and more torque. So, you can unleash the best performance of the 6.6L Duramax engine. It is a smart turner that keeps your safety in mind and satisfies the modification requirements.

One can easily connect it to the truck, and navigate its user-friendly interface. With the help of its intelligent circuitry, you can also diagnose and clear trouble codes ensuring smooth engine operation. Inside the tuner’s package, you will find every necessary item for operation and configuration.

The list of accessories includes an OBDII adapter plug, windshield mount, SD card reader, SD card, mini USB cable, power cable, fuse tap, and fuse spade. What I really like about Bully Dog – 40420 is its memory that can save up to 10 custom tunes.

So, you can choose anyone within seconds and drive as smoothly as possible regardless of the road condition. When you are planning for a countryside trip or camping, increase the power for towing heavy loads.

Comparing performance improvement capabilities and feature set to the price, it is no wonder that people consider Bully Dog – 40420 as the best diesel tuner for 6.6 Duramax.

Pros

  • HP, Torque, and fuel economy increasing ability
  • Monitoring 15 different performance parameters
  • Reading or clearing any DTC for smooth operation
  • The performance proved by Dyno
  • Easy operation and software update through the internet
  • Large memory containing 10 custom tuned files

Cons

  • No touchscreen; expected according to the price

3. Increases Power and Improves Fuel Economy : SCT Performance – 40490

Specifications:

  • Compatibility: 2001-2006 6.6L Duramax
  • Screen Size: 5” (with buttons)
  • Display Type: Color LCD; Not Touch Responsive
  • Weight: ‎.97 pounds

The main feature of SCT Performance 40490 that has caught my attention is the capability of holding up to 20 custom tunes. No other model on the list has such a capacity. Also, it creates a backup of the default settings as soon as you connect it to your truck for the first time.

It will prevent any unwanted situation due to modifying important parameters of the engine. You can experiment without any worry because it is possible to get a fresh start in no time. Getting software updates and the latest features were tough in old tuners.

But it has become easier with the newer models. Now, one can connect the diesel tuner to the internet and download the necessary updates anytime. Another great thing about the tuner is its user-friendly navigation system. This BDX performance programmer comes with 5 buttons to choose the preferred settings.

With the tuner, you can control and adjust the performance and power of the truck according to the circumstances.

For example, camping or having a trailer requires extra towing power, and SCT Performance – 40490 can help you achieve that. Also, it is possible to increase the fuel economy, do idle adjustments, removing speed limiters, and see real-time data. 

Pros

  • Very easy plug-and-play design
  • Options for keeping default settings backed up
  • Huge memory capacity saving up to 20 custom tunes
  • Built-in WiFi for easy connectivity and updates
  • Capable of reading and clearing DTCs

Cons

  • Capable of reading and clearing DTCs

4. High-resolution Colorful Touch Screen : 85401 Edge Diesel Evolution CTS2

Specifications:

  • Compatibility: 2001-2010 6.6L Duramax
  • Screen Size: 5”
  • Display Type: Touch Screen Color
  • Weight: ‎1.7 pounds

Owning a vehicle with a 6.6L Duramax engine and tuning the engine is no big deal if you have an 85401 Edge Diesel Evolution CTS2 diesel tuner.

The controller also has a large display that shows a digital gauge. Having a rugged case to protect the sensitive electronics from impacts and a light sensitivity meter make it complete.

You will be glad to know that using the tuner, one can easily increase fuel efficiency and towing ability. Read the manual, and adjust the settings to match the vehicle’s performance according to your taste.

But I’m afraid that 85401 Edge Diesel Evolution CTS2 may not be able to unleash the full potential of the 6.6 Duramax engine. The device has an HDMI-style connectivity option for secure and reliable tuning. Its one-touch easy menu navigation is admirable.

Where the 2010 model of the engine can achieve up to 356 HP, you can get a maximum of 180 HP using the tuner. The same goes for the torque. 660 lb.-ft is the limit of the engine but Edge CTS2 can unlock only up to 440 lb.-ft.

The price may be a little shock to you. But the functionality and user-friendly interface make it worth every penny. However, those who can’t afford such a diesel tuner should check out Hypertech 32501 Max Energy.

Pros

  • Custom easy tuning possible
  • Provides real-time data
  • Huge 5” screen for easy navigation and setup
  • Increases mileage and fuel economy
  • Improves performance more than stock

Cons

  • Too much costly compared to competitor models.

5. Suitable for Older Model Engines : PPE Standard Xcelerator

Specifications:

  • Compatibility: 2001-2010 6.6L Duramax
  • Screen Size: Not Specified
  • Display Type: Not Touch Responsive
  • Weight: ‎2.25 pounds

Similar to the SCT Performance, the PPE Standard Xcelerator diesel tuner also comes with a small screen and 5 buttons to navigate the options. But the screen is black and white making it look not-so-modern or desirable. What I like about it is its versatile application.

One can use it to modify or tune their LB7, LLY, LBZ, or LMM 6.6L Duramax engines. It is capable of unleashing 5 levels of horsepower and torque. The adjustable speed limiter also comes in handy in lots of cases. This feature allows 1mph increments up to 200mph.

Like other high-end competitor models, you can also read and clear engine codes for ensuring smooth running. Using the tuner’s side USB plug, one can easily and quickly apply the latest software updates from the internet. Besides the 2001-2005 engine models, you can read real-time engine diagnostics data on them.

However, if you are not comfortable with old-school control systems of PPE Standard Xcelerator, you can check out GDP Tuning EZ LYNK. You will love it.

Pros

  • Possible speed limiter and speedometer adjustments
  • Reading and clearing engine codes
  • Transmission improvement along with HP increase
  • Updating option through internet
  • Regeneration of PDF

Cons

  • Not possible to use in California except racing vehicles not meant for highway or off-road uses

What to Consider Before Buying the Best Diesel Tuner For 6.6 Duramax?

If you want to know how I have chosen 5 of the reviews, you will have to read the buying guide below. It will also help you choose a product independently.

Compatibility

The first thing to make sure of the tuner is that it is compatible with the engine model. I know that all of the products in this article are compatible with 6.6L Duramax engines.

But that is not true for RPO codes. Check out whether yours is LB&, LLY, LBZ, LMM, LGH, LML, XLD25, XLD28, LWN, L5P, LM2, or LMK. Once you have made sure that the tuner supports your engine, place the order.

Monitoring Option

Not all tuner models are capable of showing real-time engine performance data. Bully Dog in the second position can do that besides tuning the engine.

If you think that you need this feature, you will have to choose one accordingly. Lots of people prefer it because monitoring the performance gives you the chance to undo the settings before any kind of engine damage happens.

User-friendly Interface

After that, see the hands-on review videos on your preferred model to see how easy it is to use. Nonetheless, those who are used to the tuning experience don’t have to mind this factor.

Power Level

Another important factor is to know about the capabilities of the diesel tuners. All of them are not equally capable of increasing the power level. Car owners who have a specific target should buy a product that matches their expectations.

Storage

Next, find out the memory capacity of the tuner. What you have to look for is the capacity of holding custom tunes in its memory. Some can store 5, some 10, and some can keep up to 20 modifications at a time.

Display

Not that screen size matters a lot, you still have to keep it in your consideration. Because of its insignificance, I have placed it at the end of the list. As personal preference and other features are more important, you can think of the display type, and size as a tie-breaker. 

Things to Keep in Mind While Tuning a 6.6L Duramax Engine

There are some important factors to remember while using a diesel tuner. Otherwise, you may damage the engine.

  1. Before purchasing the tuner, you must check your car and engine mode for compatibility. You can do it while browsing the products from Amazon. Also, you can select a model and go to the brand’s official website to ensure compatibility.
  2. From the manufacturer of Duramax, it is recommended to go beyond 400 RPM.
  3. Search on Google with your engine model and year to know whether it requires Diesel Particulate Filter or DPF. Deleting DPF from the system is common. However, it is not legal due to excessive emission although it increases the performance of the truck.

FAQs:

What is the best diesel tuner for a Duramax?

Considering the price and features, I think Bully Dog – 40420 is the best bet. However, don’t underestimate other models on the list because each of them has some unique features. Read the reviews and see which one serves your purpose the best. 

What does a tuner do for a Duramax?

The main task of a tuner for Duramax is to increase the engine’s performance. It includes improving the HP, torque, fuel economy, rev limit, and speed. However, don’t push the limit of the engine too much.

How much horsepower can you get out of a 6.6 Duramax?

At 3100 RPM, you can get a maximum of 365 HP out of a 6.6L Duramax engine. But the rating shows much higher which is 445 HP at 2800 RPM.

Final Words

So, which one do you think is the best diesel tuner for 6.6 Duramax engine? All of the products are reliable and capable of doing great improvements.

Having a touch screen or not divides the models into two categories. But don’t give the fact too much importance at finalizing one because the features go beyond that.

I hope that you now have a clear overview of them, and found out the right diesel tuner to match your needs.

Related Posts: