GT350 OEM ECU Software Update - Piston Slap Reduction

Discussion in 'GT350 and S550 Technical Forum' started by JAJ, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. JAJ

    JAJ TMO Race

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    Some of you might know that I have a genuine Ford VCM II OBD connector, the one the dealerships use. Once or twice a year, I get a short-term Motorcraft IDS software license so I can hook up to the car and do the diff oil service and otherwise check to see that the electronics are all happy. This time, when I got the system all loaded up and connected, I also updated the ECU software to the latest version. I didn't expect much difference; I was curious, more than anything.

    Well, I have to say "It's different". Really different. Piston slap on my engine has always been annoying and loud. It's pretty much gone now - it's there if you listen for it, but it's not as obtrusive as it used to be by a long ways. The engine runs smoother too. Nothing major, but the flat spots in the torque curve are gone. It's a different feel from what it was. There seems to be a bit more torque lower down, but it could be an illusion. Anyway, I like it.

    So, for those of you who want to reduce piston slap, Ford has released a new software version for at least the 2016's that reduces it. Getting it installed is another matter. Unless you invest in a lot of expensive tools, it's not a DIY job. Independent shops can do it, and of course a dealer can, although the cost of installation won't be covered by warranty. And before anyone asks, it's way beyond anything that Forscan can do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
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  2. Demonic

    Demonic TMO Intermediate

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    This sounds significant, no? Even though you can't use warranty as justification for the dealer doing the update, if they are willing to, that shouldn't affect the engine warranty, correct?
     
  3. VoodooBoss

    VoodooBoss Rick Moderator

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    Very interesting. I wonder if there will be a service bulletin on this.
     
  4. TMSBOSS

    TMSBOSS TMO Addict

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    If only someone knew someone else at Ford they could send an email to.;)
     
  5. JAJ

    JAJ TMO Race

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    There is a service bulletin for piston slap, but it says "don't worry about it - it's normal - take no action". What alerted me to the availability of a new PCM software release was a different service bulletin that had nothing to do with piston slap, but where the solution was to install the PCM code update. I was curious, and once you have the tools and the licenses, it's free, so I installed it.

    The second service bulletin was about stuck muffler (exhaust sound) valves caused by ice and cold weather. Apparently the new software doesn't block drive mode changes when the valves are stuck. Whether that leaves the door open to owners blocking them open or closed all the time, I have no idea - the bulletin doesn't say - but it's a possibility.

    As to warranty coverage, it's genuine Ford software from Ford directly and there is at least one service bulletin that says "install it", so it won't affect warranty.
     
  6. VoodooBoss

    VoodooBoss Rick Moderator

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    Hmmm, maybe.
     
  7. Fastfordnut

    Fastfordnut TMO Race

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    Is there any type of number or code to reference if I talk to the dealer about getting the update?
    Even if not covered by warranty and they charge for labor, I think it'd be worth having it done.
     
  8. HR692

    HR692 TMO Intermediate

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    Wow...I haven't heard anything on mine...I think. I would be curious to know if this is something that will be done when cars are in for service or by request in the future?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
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  9. JAJ

    JAJ TMO Race

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    The more I drive this version, the more I like it. Low end torque is much better and smoother, more like what you'd expect from a 5.2 liter V8. The changes have definitely altered the piston slap too. It's still around but it's in new places on the power curve - the best part is that it's not happening on the long level stretches of road that used to drive me nuts. I don't know how Ford can move it around like this, but I do recall "piston slap" programming that was in my 2011 Mustang Coyote calibration, so there must be something in the timing that softens it up.
     
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  10. captdistraction

    captdistraction I am the breaker of things

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    Interesting. My GT350 is pretty noisy down low, and anything that boosts its otherwise dismal low end torque and tip-in response would be awesome.

    I just figured that's where the engine had to be, but I'll keep an eye out for a TSB that refers to the update, otherwise no way will I be able to get our local dealer to flash it. I'd try it with my VCM clone, but just too damn risky :)
     

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