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Livernois tune for 3.0TT MKZ

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Between this forum and the Fusion Sport Forum, I've been trying to learn how people are enjoying their tuned 3.0 MKZ's.

 

From reading all the threads on the two forums, I've learned that while the Livernois tune adds more HP and a little more Torque, the shifting issues that plague the stock tune are still present on the Livernois tune.

 

From what I've been able to tell, Livernois hasn't updated their original tune for this motor. Is that correct?

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I have a 3.0 AWD with driver’s package and absolutely love the car. The tune adds a lot of power and improves shifting, but does not make it shift like a dual clutch transmission. However, the transmission is not lacking so much where it is a deal breaker for me. As far as I know, Livernois has not released a revision to their initial tune.

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I have a 3.0 AWD with driver’s package and absolutely love the car. The tune adds a lot of power and improves shifting, but does not make it shift like a dual clutch transmission. However, the transmission is not lacking so much where it is a deal breaker for me. As far as I know, Livernois has not released a revision to their initial tune.

 

I have the drivers package on mine as well. I haven't bought the Livernois tune yet but have been considering it. My biggest gripe in stock form is the huge delay (0.5-1.0 seconds) between shifts. It literally feels as if power is cut to the motor or that the motor has been turned off in-between gears. It's annoying as hell.

 

Does the Livernois tune eliminate it?

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The additional power is worth it. I find turning Advancetrac off makes the shifts quicker too. There is definitely less delay with the tune.

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Don't they offer a shift tune also? From website"Rev, Top Speed Limiters and Shifting Characteristics- By dialing in the optimal RPM range and pressures for your transmission to shift at we are extending the life of those components"

 

https://www.livernoismotorsports.com/product/LPP631146

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They do, and that further improves shift speed, but initial driving results in a clunky first to second shift until the transmission warms up a bit. If they could figure out a way to eliminate that issue I would use the firm shift tune all the time.

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On 6/17/2018 at 9:21 AM, Airflow said:

They do, and that further improves shift speed, but initial driving results in a clunky first to second shift until the transmission warms up a bit. If they could figure out a way to eliminate that issue I would use the firm shift tune all the time.

I believe that would just be the characteristics of the Viscosity of the transmission fluid.  It's less viscous which would then make the pressures higher.  HIgher pressures causing the transmission to shift harder.  But at the same time it's slower to fill the clutches so it's more like a bang into the shift.  At least that would be my theory on it from dealing with my 4R70W in my thunderbird.  No matter what I did I could NOT prevent that from happening.  The higher stall converter would cushion it a bit though.

 

I really need to find a Taurus SHO forum to see what these guys are doing to beef up the transmission.  On the 4r70w we had the J-Mod (Jerry Mod named after the guy that designed the transmission and then released an entire write up on how to make it bullet proof) to make the shifts firmer and quicker.  What parts to use to help out and of course how to add more clutches and in what order to allow it to handle more torque.  I'd be surprised if there weren't any modified 6F55's yet since the transmission has been around for a minute.

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I haven't heard of any Taurus SHOs doing transmission upgrades. Even the fastest recorded Taurus SHO was sticking with a stock 6F55. Said to have pushed up to the 600's and Livernois believe that to be its safety threshold. Of course these cars aren't being hardly beaten on daily with racing and tracking. So actual longevity remains unknown.

All I can say is the transmission will not perform it's best first of the fluid isn't at operating temperature. During this time the warmer unit is utilizing engine coolant to help speed up getting fluid up to temperature. This is being 180 to 200 degrees farenheit. Around 200 will fluid change to flowing to the auxiliary cooler found on the driver side wheel well. I will say it does a great job if working right, since even on hot days and doing some drag plays, it never breaks past 200.

I did change my fluid from stock however, as I feel Mercon LV wears sooner than desired. Enthusiasts like us should look into changing transmission fluid around 30k. My QuantumBlue transmission fluid gives me more confidence though, and never ever has felt like it shifts with an issue. Honestly mine doesn't lag especially when I got the tune and throttle body upgraded in size. It's extremely crisp. Any issues is because I'm asking too much for what the ECU will allow. I'm learning this much better.

Only thing I recall was Livernois suggested adding a bit extra fluid (with stock Mercon LV) in regards to the Taurus SHO. Fusion scene was trying this out too with the 6F35 since it can be the same. I went the next best step and stop using Amsoil ATF in my Fusion but now QuantumBlue strictly for it's even better heat transfer and lubrication properties. This added up to the best 6F series shifting I've felt yet.

Well that's my experience report on how to optimize the transmission behavior. I will say Livernois has not updated the tune yet but I guess it's all we have. There are OASIS updates available however.

Oh but before jumping on a tune! Make sure you don't have the symptoms of a faulty cylinder head. The signs to watch for are:

1. Flashing CELs whenever driving indicating a misfire.

2. When idling in park, engine running, revving the engine low results in a "water in dashboard sound". This means air is getting in the system...due to the bad cylinder head.

3. Spark plug(s) become wet with oil and/or coolant after checking.

My dealership was cool as I have been tuned with said issues to replace under warranty, but I don't want any other MKZ owner getting suckered out of warranty because they don't have a great service shop.  So do make sure your engine is healthy be it a new or used one by checking for these symptoms. If not present itll be a real delight of a upgrade to enjoy.

Edited by Zalvern

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I shouldn't have faulty heads. My car was just built a couple weeks ago. It was about 3 hours away in Kansas city on Monday. I'm not sure how long it will take to get here by rail but I am hoping to have it Friday or Saturday but I definitely see it being here by Monday.

 

What's this quantum blue transmission fluid though? How often do you change it. I usually change fluid every 30k miles.

 

What about the PTU? After seeing the pictures of the PTU's after only 15k miles I am really worried about it overall. It's one of the main reasons I'm considering the Lincoln protect extended warranty lol.

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Quantumblue fluids are what I replaced all my factory fluids with. Everything but brake fluid is made by BND Automotive LLC, and I use what is also called ACES IV mixed in my Shell 93 Octane fuel. You can PM me if you are interested in the business information and owner, who will happily speak to anyone interested.

These fluids are aimed more at vehicle longevity while working it harder, rather than just make more power. Basically buy it because you want your vehicle to have the best oils and overall edge in getting the longest life under all conditions. I do plan to purchase and keep my MKZ at its lease end for example, especially after seeing how good shape my engine was after its head work.

I've been using these fluids since taking delivery of the car and put them in asap, even when the vehicle was young and fresh. I plan to change fluids like transmission, PTU, and RDU every 50k miles or 3 years. Coolant will be 150k or 5 years as it is sodium/potassium free, and prevents wear and tear on coolant systems. Engine Oil is 10k though I could take it further like 15k if I wanted, but change sooner since being tuned and enjoying spirit drives whenever I can. ACES IV I use along with QuantumBlue Engine Oil to reduce the amount of natural carbon build up, as my engine break down indicated it greatly reduces the build up on intake valves while sticking to a stock PCV system.

I've sworn any vehicle I own from now on will only use BND Automotive's goods. It's my favorite product by far since it promotes vehicle longevity and ownership, and 100% certified so warranties of any kind must honor it. I'd give up all my performance mods to keep quality fluids in my vehicle before anything else.

As for the PTU, the common issue is that usually a seal will just go bad and you'll notice transmission fluid starts to leak from it (Not PTU fluid, as it is completely sealed and any leaking would indicate something worse). This is minor, and personally I think Ford's choice of seals seem to be a bit hit or miss. After getting it fixed it usually behaves itself for the better, or happens again pretty early on. Your 100k powertrain warranty will take care of the PTU, go extended if planning to keep longer.

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I figured the PTU would use gear oil honestly haha.

I spoke with Brian on Thursday actually. I spoke with him for a good 30 minutes. He seems like a cool guy.  More marketing than an engineer imho though. But some of this stuff is pricey. I mean his transmission fluid is like 16 a qt... the ACES IV is reasonable though. I need to sit down tonight and figure out what all my plans are for the car and email him.  He told me he'd work out a package for me (Why I say he seems more marketing than engineer) if I tell him what all I'm looking for. I have just been trying to find out more info on this stuff. In my research I discovered 2 of the same exact posts with one minor different. Aces iv and TK-7.

I'm not entirely convinced yet. I'd love to data log a car that's tuned for 93 and then throw 87 or 89 octane in it and data log to see if this stuff truly works or if it's just snake oil. Seeing as nobody really knows what it is. I don't know about runnjng all BND's fluids but I may give their fuel additive a try.

 

 

 

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If you want to minimize things, I would recommend the coolant, engine oil and ACES IV. I truly trust it all now is how much my Lincoln tech was amazed by how good clean everything looked. Though of course I'm not going to go all out vouching for it, but feel confident it is worth every penny. Not to mention I am getting more than double of my original planned fluid change schedules. I said 50k for transmission, but really was suggested even 75k would be just fine with especially it being a daily driver first, with rarely seeing high performance play (the drag strip or so). To me, the price makes up if I get more mileage life out of it while keeping all temperature and lubrication performance just as good or better.

I don't go for these products with power gains in mind, which some might think. It's more about longevity as I mentioned before. While ACES IV will say "Octane Effect" think of it as protection against pre-ignition and detonation, not a replacement to use lower octane and cheaper gas to utilize a higher performance tune. That is why you constantly mix it with your fuel every time  to visit the pump. I inject 2 oz every time I fill up around hitting 1/4 of a tank remaining.

I did once, run a 100 Octane tune by Livernois while using ACES IV and 93 Shell Octane, and it did just fine...but that was on my 2014 Ford Fusion long ago. I wouldn't still treat it as a daily substitute for using cheaper Octane though. There is no long term proof or testing in regards to that, so Brian won't recommend that as a reason to use ACES IV.

I will say I easily average 2+ MPG over at higher speed thresholds. Like 27 MPG via highway with a 80 MPH average speed rating. If I remember right, the EPA Fuel Economy rating is always around 60 MPH for Highway. My City average is about 18.5 to 19 MPH from the expected 17 MPH. So there is a fuel economy gain bonus for sure, and this was before my MKZ was tuned since I used ACES IV the very first day it got its tank filled up with 93 octane (I avoided the "free" 87 octane dealership fill up). Post tune did not change my fuel economy however, it is the same.

Edited by Zalvern

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Honestly I would choose the transmission fluid over the oil... Mobile 1 is good enough and it's like 20-25 bux in the gallon jugs. I typically change an oil filter out at 2500-3k and then the oil and filter at 5-6k miles.  When I spoke to Brian he said that he recommends transmission every 50k at a minimum but as I said I do mine every 30k.  I don't know we'll see what he comes back as a package price and go from there.  I'll have to weigh in the entire annual cost and see if it's in the budget as I AM about to have a car payment.  I mean 450 a month isn't too bad for a car this expensive but still... it's a monthly cost I did NOT have before hand.

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Im working with Torrie to get the Mkz tuned via HPtuners, I think we can make this thing fly with tunes optimized for mods like cai, fmic and downipes. 

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3 minutes ago, darkstar said:

Im working with Torrie to get the Mkz tuned via HPtuners, I think we can make this thing fly with tunes optimized for mods like cai, fmic and downipes. 

It's so strange that SCT released the ability to tune for the fusion Sports but not the MKZ/continentals with the 3.0. I hope it works out. I hate to have to spend 100-200 more for livernois and not get any data logging ability.

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Ya we bugged SCT first but they didnt seem to care. 

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I actually bought a PRP years ago before I ended up being stationed in Japan (I think it's been like 9 years now) and I can definitely say they are a different company now that bullydog and them are one company.  Not sure who bought who. But it's not the same as it once was.

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Would really like it if SCT was available. I have been wanting to try it, but for now we are stuck with just Livernois.

I guess they do not care because the market isn't there. Far less than compared to the more budget friendly Fusion Sport. 3.0T owners willing to tune early on will be a small amount since most find stock plenty of power for them.

I appreciate the better shifting response more than anything, as a reason to tune.

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This is my main reason for the tune. The shifting is just bad in Stock form. The other thing I like about sct is that whomever writes your tune can set parameters to allow the customer to make small tweaks to the tune.  I guess I'll bother SCT this week about it.  The more to call in to request the better chance we have of getting them to do it. I mean hell. I'm going to Florida in Sept. I don't mind letting them borrow my car if they need it. 

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My 3.0 Continental was tuned using an SCT X4 tuner.    I had it tuned over a year ago by AJPturbo.   bradleyfredrickfischer@yahoo.com   Brad is an SCT dealer and he asked SCT to support my car's strategy code which they promptly did.     I had originally asked Torrie but he basically told me no.   I am happy with Brad's tune.   It improved the quarter mile time by about 8 tenths and improved transmission behavior 100%.    He could tweak the tune further but I now have a Mustang that I am spending more time with than the Conti.

 

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The more tunes available for this engine, the better. A little competition might be the recipe for keeping all tuners up to date.

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I'll tune mine once i put some miles on it, so hopefully there will be options at that point.

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If you do go with Livernois, I just advise against using their "Firm" shift versions of the tune. The standard 93 (or 91) outperform it while still bringing more comfort.

I don't know why but on mine it just makes the transmission clunk more and actually shift less efficiency, and also causes a variety of other electrical issues. Things like the starter taking longer to fire up, sound system is weaker in output, and various voltage levels are under performing to other modules within the car (as indicated by my FORScan monitoring). Also the infamous irregular door chime issue happening a lot again.

I switch back to the normal 93 tune and not only is the transmission smoother, it does shift better than the firm one. I even can reach higher into 100+ MPH after a pull while staying in 4th gear before needing to shift into fifth. Firm shift? It cuts out.

I don't know why the firm shift is completely borked that it is something I highly advise against using. I've sent them an email but have yet to hear back on fixing it.

Edited by Zalvern

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Zalvern,

Do you know if these cars have separate tables for sport mode and drive? Was just curious.

 

Also, I contacted Brad at AJP and he said he'd contact sct if I can get him a strategy code. I really don't wanna purchase an x4 just to not be able to get the strategy code unlocked by SCT. But I really want to be able to data log as well so to hell with paying LMS more money for less features. So if anyone knows how to get the strategy code without plugging the car into the dealership 's IDS that would be extremely helpful.

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Get a OBD MX Scantool Bluetooth device: https://www.scantool.net/obdlink-mxbt/
 

Might be found cheaper or on sale than from the main site, or can look for a used one being sold online.


Then download and use FORScan (which is free software to date to acquire an extended license by just registering): https://forscan.org/download.html

FORScan will reveal all module strategy and part IDs, and latest FORScan is neat as it shows what current OASIS module updates are available even with the mobile version. It's the best we have without pony up the big cash for IDS equipment and subscription software. You can also do some nice tweaks such as adjusting the battery type and increase/decrease the amount of blinker signals when tapping the turn stalk (mine auto blinks 4 times now). It also allows you to run various tests, access to all module gauges, and reset modules. You can also do a proper PCM Adaptive learning reset and Battery BCM reset (which is to be done anytime you disconnect the battery, otherwise it take hours to adjust properly). Also whenever replacing TPMS sensors (Or swapping between different wheel sets) they can be re-calibrated with FORScan.

I know the SCT device offers more features at least, but would still use FORScan. However if using Livernois, I consider it a must have since their device is just only for uploading and reverting tunes.

Not to mention its good to have for any Ford or Lincoln you may own or come to own, or help out family and friends with.

As for the tables question, unsure but I would believe the transmission has its own behavior maps. Best to ask a tuner who can tap into the software directly.

Edited by Zalvern

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