Best Tuners for 5.9 Cummins Engines Today

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Quick Answer: Reviews of the Best Tuners for 5.9 Cummins

  1. Edge Products 84130
  2. Superchips 3845 Flashpaq F5 Tuner
  3. Edge Products 85400 CTS2
  4. MADS Smarty Jr. J-06 03-07
  5. MADS Smarty POD Programmer
  6. Best Premium – Honda HRX217K6VKA

The Cummins 5.9L engine is a part of the Cummins B series of engines that operate on diesel. The B series engines have been in production since 1984.

The applications for these engines are mainly for on and off-highway.

They are employed in medium and light-duty trucks. The most popular applications that you will see of these engines are in the Dodge and Ram pickup trucks.

The power output of the 5.9 Cummins is around 325 HP at 2900 RPM. The torque output for the same is 610 lb-ft at 1600 RPM. The injection system employed by the 5.9 Cummins is the Bosch high-pressure common rail.

In the following section of this article, we review some of the top programmers and performance tuners available in the market for optimizing the performance of the 5.9 Cummins.

This section is followed by answering some of the frequently asked questions related to the 5.9 Cummins.

Best Tuners for 5.9 Cummins Compared

Here’s a comparison between Best Tuners for 5.9 Cummins:

Product ImageProduct NameFeaturesPrice
Edge Products 84130 Insight MonitorEdge Products 84130
  • Wifi Enabled: No
  • Weight (Ounces): 12.8
  • Pre-Loaded Tunes: No
  • USP: Ease of installation is high
No products found.Edge Products 85400 CTS2
  • Wifi Enabled: No
  • Weight (Ounces): 27.2
  • Pre-Loaded Tunes: Yes
  • USP: Updatable via the Internet
MADS Smarty Jr. J-06 03-07 Dodge Ram Cummins 5.9L DieselMADS Smarty Jr. J-06 03-07
  • Wifi Enabled: No
  • Weight (Ounces): 24
  • Pre-Loaded Tunes: NA
  • USP: Works as advertised
MADS Smarty POD ProgrammerMADS Smarty POD Programmer
  • Wifi Enabled: No
  • Weight (Ounces): 24.8
  • Pre-Loaded Tunes: Yes
  • USP: Adjustable on the fly

Reviews of the Best Tuners for 5.9 Cummins

Edge Products 84130

best overall rating Edge Products 84130 Insight Monitor

This tuner by Edge Products is one of the most popular tuners and offers high versatility in terms of compatibility with different engine models.

It is fitted with an HDMI plug that allows easy linking with the vehicle and other accessories. It also doubles up as a performance monitor that keeps an eye on the vehicle performance.

Some of the critical features of this performance tuner for the 5.9 Cummins are listed below.

Key USPs

  • High resolution, full color, 5-inch display
  • Custom color mixing possible
  • Backgrounds and gauges design can be selected by the user
  • One-touch navigation of the menu (intuitive and straightforward)
  • Allows easy switching between the US and metric units of measurement
  • Enables display of dozens of parameters
  • Updatable via the Internet
  • Fitted with a light sensitivity meter that automatically adjusts the screen brightness

Pros

  • Comprehensive display consisting of multiple engine parameters
  • Lightweight at just 12.8 ounces
  • The great technical support offered
  • Ease of installation is high
  • High quality, touch screen
  • Customers found the tuner extremely easy to use

Cons

  • Product life could be longer

Superchips 3845 Flashpaq F5 Tuner

best overall rating

The 3845 model of Superchips tuner helps to get the most out of the 5.9 Cummins engine.

Although the tuner specifications may vary slightly from one model to the next, each product by Superchips boasts of high-quality output.

Some of the key features of this performance tuner for the 5.9 Cummins are listed below.

Key USPs

  • Easy to read, high definition, colored, 2.8-inch display
  • Faster processing speed for improved tuning performance
  • Increased memory for greater storage of performance data
  • Adjustments possible to speed and rev limiters
  • The choice between four tuning modes: driving, extreme, economy and towing
  • Offers active fuel management control
  • Engine trouble codes are easily read, diagnosed and cleared

Pros

  • Updatable via the Internet through USB
  • Tuning available for shift points and shift firmness
  • Helps in eliminating the downshift while climbing upwards
  • Lightweight at just 11.2 ounces
  • Noticeable gains in the vehicle’s mileage
  • Ease of use and installation is rated high by customers

Cons

  • Instruction manual could be better written

Edge Products 85400 CTS2

best overall rating No products found.

The CTS2 programmer by Edge Products is one of the leading diesel programmers in the market today.

With the modern design and power-packed features, the Edge CTS2 clearly has the edge over its competitors in terms of vehicle model compatibility and an overall boost in the performance.

Some of the key features of this performance tuner for the 5.9 Cummins are listed below.

Key USPs

  • Slim, 5-inch, high resolution, fully colored display
  • Full customization of the gauges and backgrounds allowed
  • One fit HDMI style plug for connecting to power as well as accessories
  • Menu navigation is simple and intuitive
  • User can choose between performance levels of economy, daily driving, towing, and mileage
  • Allows calibration of the speedometer
  • Adjustment possible to speed limiter and rev limiters
  • Easy switching between US and metric units of measurement
  • Updatable via the Internet
  • Fitted with a light sensitivity meter for automatic adjustment of brightness

Pros

  • Legal for use in all 50 states
  • The good technical support offered
  • Ease of installation is offered
  • Works as advertised
  • Good brand reputation

Cons

  • Required frequent updates

MADS Smarty Jr. J-06 03-07

best overall rating MADS Smarty Jr. J-06 03-07 Dodge Ram Cummins 5.9L Diesel

MADS offers a wide range of performance tuners to choose from. This model works best for the 5.9 Cummins engine. The user can choose from three different performance levels, which are 40 HP, 70 HP, and 100 HP.

Some of the key features of this performance tuner for the 5.9 Cummins are listed below.

Key USPs

  • Fuel economy is improved
  • Drivability is optimized
  • Claims to have the highest download speed in history (almost three times as fast as the competitors)
  • Updates occur in 3.5 minutes to 5 minutes
  • Leaves no trace on the engine’s stock settings
  • Tire height adjustments can be made in a matter of seconds
  • Does not require any tools or additional wires for adjustments
  • Built-in USB for getting updates onto the device quickly
  • Reliable and works off of the existing OEM hardware

Pros

  • Allows easy reading and clearing of diagnostic codes
  • Customers are happy with the performance
  • Highly recommended by many users
  • Works as advertised
  • Improvement noted in fuel economy and mileage

Cons

  • Product life could be longer

MADS Smarty POD Programmer

best overall rating MADS Smarty POD Programmer

Here we have another tuner by MADS that works exceptionally well with the 5.9 Cummins engine.

The manufacturers claim that there are more than 15 billion tuning customizations possible with this tuner, which is its unique selling point.

Some of the key features of this performance tuner for the 5.9 Cummins are listed below.

Key USPs

  • Fastest downloads available in the industry (almost three times as quick as competitors)
  • ECM updates are quick and take only about 3.5 to 5 minutes
  • Allows adjustments for changes in tire sizes in just a few seconds
  • Not traceable in the vehicle’s stock setting
  • Comes with a built-in USB for simple updates
  • Reading and clearing diagnostic codes is simplified
  • The speed limiter is programmable anywhere between 25 to 250 mph
  • Does not require any additional tools for installation

Pros

  • Allows adjustments to the torque management and transmission
  • Selection possible between ten different power levels
  • Adjustable on the fly
  • Users found it easy to use

Cons

  • Display design could be better

Best Premium - Honda HRX217K6VKA

best overall rating No products found.

MADS Smarty Touch Programmer S2G – Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel Trucks – 1998.5-2012 5.9L 6.7L
This is one of the most advanced performance tuners by MADS.

It has the display that was never seen before in any of the performance tuners launched by MADS over the previous years.

MADs also offers a lot of supporting accessories that work along with this programmer to deliver the most optimal performance that can be extracted from the 5.9 Cummins.

Some of the key features of this performance tuner for the 5.9 Cummins are listed below.

Key USPs

  • Wide, fully colored, 4.3-inch display with a resolution of 480×272
  • Comes with two components, Smarty Touch Controller and Smarty Touch Display
  • Has a twin CPU design which aids in faster read-write operations
  • One of the quickest start-up times for display in the industry (almost 4 seconds)
  • One of the quickest refresh speeds for the PID
  • Kit includes a small micro USB cable
  • The kit also includes a microSD card for storage of multiple custom tunes
  • MADS also offers a customized tuning software

Pros

  • Numerous dashboards and gauges to choose from
  • Audible and visible alarm configuration by the user
  • Support provided for over 300 proprietary PIDs and SAE
  • Support for all Dodge Cummins from 1998 to the present day
  • User can select from ten different power levels
  • Reading and clearing of DTCs is greatly simplified

Cons

  • Slightly heavy at 1.64 lbs as compared to other performance tuners

FAQs

How much horsepower output can be expected from 5.9 Cummins?

The powerful and high-quality hardware that is used by 5.9 Cummins engine is capable of churning out an output of 800 HP with the torque lying in the range of 1,400 to 1,600 lb-ft. The engine can be pushed even further; however, then the possibility of replacing the rods and other supporting hardware comes into existence.

What is reflash?

Reflashing is the process of accessing the engine’s ECU and reading its contents while also enabling access via editing software that will allow the user to make changes to the materials and then subsequently loading it back into the ECU.

Why are the vehicles not tuned from the beginning by the manufacturers?

There is a certain safety threshold that is kept in mind while manufacturing vehicles. Since all of these cars are mass-produced, the specifications are kept sustainable and within certain limits to match the needs of the majority. There are only a few people who want to customize their vehicles and unleash the full potential of the engine that is fitted in these vehicles. The customizations allow each and every user to make changes to the vehicle’s engine as per their own requirements.

Does tuning lead to more wear and tear of the engine?

No, tuning aims to maximize the performance of the engine while also ensuring the drivability and health of the other engine components. It does not put undue strain on the engine’s components.

Will the maximum speed of my vehicle increase after tuning?

The tuners work toward increasing the power of the vehicle, and this is done by increasing the torque in the medium to low range. This will lead to a guaranteed increase in the top speed of the vehicle. However, the gain can vary from one tuner model and engine model to the next. Typically one can expect an increase anywhere in the 5 to 10 kmph range.

Can any physical change be noticed in the vehicle after tuning?

If you are using a performance tuner that is supposed to be installed in the engine, then this is noticeable by someone who is having a look at the engine. A programmer, on the other hand, has to be plugged in for a short while only while the tuning is taking place. Other than this, there is no physical change in the vehicle’s appearance.

Is there any different requirement for automatic vehicles?

Some tuners specify the kind of vehicles that they are compatible with. Most of them are well suited for tuning left-hand drives, which are either stick shifts or automatic. Some mention their incompatibility with right-hand drives or imported engines. Be sure to take note of this carefully.

Summary

The 5.9 Cummins engines were very popular as a part of the Dodge Ram ISB and Dodge Ram ISB CR. The specifications of this model highlight its powerful performance and ability to take care of extremely high loads.

The high load-bearing capacity of this engine ensures its viability for operations in marine, construction, and agricultural fields.

Tuning is one of the best options when it comes to making performance optimizations to the engine. It does not require the vehicle owner to make any extensive physical modifications to the engine.

This makes it one of the most famous avenues for the thrill-seekers to make modifications to their car in a convenient and cost-effective manner.

However, it is essential to put in the required research efforts to ensure that the best tuner is selected for your vehicle, which will deliver the most optimal performance.

About Christopher Hall

Chris has been writing on automotive topics for more than five years now. He works with a custom car-making firm. Car racing is his no.1 passion and he's been doing it ever since he was 16 years old. He loves to take care of cars and enjoys reading all about them, while also always looking forward to the next race.

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