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Over the past decade and a half, DiabloSport has emerged as one of the preeminent forces in late model Mopar tuning. The Ogden, Utah-based firm originally debuted its tuning support for Gen III Hemi-powered vehicles back in 2005, offering dyno-proven performance while also unlocking an array of user-configurable parameters and features that were otherwise inaccessible to late model Mopar owners.
And that work continues today. “We cover all manner of applications: Cars, trucks, SUVs, even the Jeeps – when it comes to late model Mopar stuff, you name it, we support it,” says DiabloSport calibrations manager Brian P. McMahan. “Some of the immediately obvious benefits are things like better throttle response and transmission shifting, the added power, and enhanced efficiency, but it goes way beyond that. The idea here is to improve the driving experience across the board. And we can do all of it while remaining emissions compliant.”
Enthusiasts now also have a range of DiabloSport tuning devices to choose from, and the programming they offer is more sophisticated than ever. With the company’s recent addition of 2022 model-year Ram support, we wanted to get a better sense of what these tuners offer that will be of particular interest to truck owners while also taking a closer look at what you’ll need in order to get started.
Ram trucks, like this 1500 Rebel, have remained highly popular thanks to their big-rig look and the plethora of powertrains available, including Hemi grunt.
While improvements in fuel economy and power gains of as much as 38 horsepower 30 pound-feet of torque at the wheels for trucks equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi are compelling benefits on their own, DiabloSport tuning offers other capabilities which are equally important that might not be as obvious at first glance. “MDS is a good example,” McMahan says. “We can give you the ability to turn that Multi-Displacement System off if you want to, because there are situations where that can be preferable. For instance, if you’ve got an aftermarket exhaust system and MDS kicks in, it can cause drone in the cabin and the sound it makes can drive you crazy. The system tends to be prone to lifter failures as well, so some folks would prefer to remove MDS system altogether, and we essentially give them the ability to do that through the software.”
And for those who’ve swapped out their factory wheels and tires, the DiabloSport software also allows them to reprogram the vehicle computer to compensate for the change in diameter, which affects more than just the speedometer reading. “If the speedo is wrong, everything is off,” he says. “So that’s not only things like distance calculations, it’s also the behavior of the transmission as far as how and when it shifts. It really behooves you to have an accurate reading there.”
In terms of devices, would-be buyers have options that range from basic to advanced.
For owners of 1998-2014 Rams who are looking for a straight-forward option to deliver tunes to their vehicle, the Predator 2 covers the bases. “This one is our entry-level model, but includes a lot of the same features as the more sophisticated tool options,” McMahan says. “So of course you get the benefits of those pre-installed tunes, and if you want to do things like change your tire size and raise your speed limiter, you can do that sort of thing as well.”
If you’re seeking something a bit more comprehensive, the inTune i3 adds a range of features to the mix while also remaining easy to use. Along with its dyno-tested, 50-state compliant performance tunes, the i3 also provides fast read and write times and the ability to install custom tunes on the vehicle as well. “There’s just a plethora of adjustable parameters with this one,” he notes. “In addition to the speed limiter and tire size adjustments, it also gives you adjustments like idle speed, throttle sensitivity, cooling fan control, and so on. You can also data log with it to make sure there’s no timing retard going on, and things like that.” Additionally, the i3 provides an analog input for those who might want to add a wideband sensor to the mix.
“And it also brings in transmission control,” McMahan points out. “And that delivers a night and day difference as far as shift speed and quality, and that seat-of-the-pants performance feel. We adjust the torque management here and there, and basically tighten everything up a bit to make the shifts are crisp, but not harsh.”
Meanwhile, the Trinity 2 sits at the top of the DiabloSport’s tuning device totem pole. “This incorporates all the functionality of the i3 on a device with a full color, high-resolution 5-inch touchscreen display,” he says. “Manufacturers provide a pretty limited amount of information on the cluster, so if you need to see things that go beyond that, the Trinity 2 bridges that gap. It has pre-defined gauge configurations and themes, which you can also customize if you want to. It’s designed to be mounted on the dash and provide real time monitoring, but you can also install a tune and toss it in your glove box if you prefer to do so.”
The Trinity 2 also provides performance testing features, like the built-in 0-60 MPH timer, 1/8th mile and quarter-mile timer and can monitor other performance-focused data with its built-in accelerometer. It also supports the EAS system, which allows you to control devices like backup cameras.
“EAS provides an immense amount of analog input options to add to your vehicle,” he tells us. “And you can add those to your logging screens and display them in real time on the device. So that’s really useful for people who’re running boost or need exhaust gas temperature readings – any of those types of things that would be external.”
Due to the encryption system that is incorporated into your Ram's system, the PCM must be unlocked before you can use a tuner on it. Diablosport offers options to make that happen, including a PCM swap, a kit with a spare ECM, and a program that will unlock your original PCM.
While tuning 2005-2010 vehicles that were factory equipped with a Gen III Hemi is a straightforward proposition, things have gotten a bit more complicated in the years since. “Back then there wasn’t much of anything standing in the way,” says McMahan. “Then, in 2011, FCA moved to an encryption system that was over and above what other OEMs were doing at the time. In 2013 it changed a bit more, but 2015 is when they really got serious about it and the security got very stringent.”
The upshot is that a new solution had to be developed for owners of 2015-and-newer FCA and Stellantis cars and trucks. “These vehicles require a modified PCM, which we can do here at DiabloSport,” he explains. “But we also provide three different options to suit our customers’ needs: You can send in your factory PCM to be modified, or we offer an exchange program where we send you a modified PCM with a call tag so you can install the new one in your truck and send us back the original. And the third option is to simply get the whole shooting match with a spare PCM all ready to go so you can keep your factory PCM around as a spare.”
McMahan tells us that DiabloSports’ latest update provides support for all factory-equipped Gen III Hemi vehicles up to the 2022 model year. That includes not only the range of Ram trucks with the 5.7 and 6.4-liter Hemis, but also the supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat Hemi in the Ram 1500 TRX as well as all of the other Hemis found in the Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler lineups. “And we’re always updating these systems to provide improved features and support for the latest vehicles on the street, so definitely stay tuned to find out what’s next.”